Michael Jackson’s bodyguard claims child abuse allegations led to ‘paranoid’ singer’s death
Michael Jackson's former bodyguard Matt Fiddes has opened up about the child abuse allegations levelled against the late megastar, saying that the explosive claims led to the singer's death in June of 2009, per the Daily Star Online.
According to Matt Fiddes, who recently spoke with the publication about his former employer of 10 years, Jackson was "never the same" following the Gavin Arvizo trial back in 2005.
Watch as La Toya Jackson publicly accuses her brother of "crimes against small, innocent children" in a resurfaced clip from 1993:
Gavin first met the Thriller star as a 10-year-old who had been battling with cancer in hospital. The pair became friends, with Gavin even defending his relationship with children in Martin Bashir's controversial documentary Living With Michael Jackson.
He even stayed with the singer at his Neverland residence on several occasions. In June of 2003, however, he accused Jackson of molesting him - an allegation which went on to spark headlines around the world. As a result, Jackson was faced with multiple charges of child molestation. In June 2005, Jackson was cleared of all charges.
"It was clear after the verdict he was never going to be able to click his fingers and be back in Michael Jackson mode again," Fiddes told the Daily Star Online. "He was like a walking deadman by the end. Eating and sleeping was a battle, he was just a complete mess."
Following the trial, he became increasingly paranoid that someone was out to "get him", Fiddes said.
"He was terrified about being assassinated on stage, and was making silly suggestions about wearing a bulletproof vest while performing," the bodyguard said. "We talked to him and said the public love you, you are going to have no problems, I am going to here for you with security and making sure you are looked after you."
Ultimately, the 50-year-old died after overdosing on a cocktail of prescription drugs just weeks before he was due to start a series of 50 concerts at London's O2 Arena.
Michael Jackson was once reportedly caught buying a 'wedding ring' with a young boy:
To this day, though, many still believe the late singer to be guilty of all or at least some of the allegations levelled against him in the 2005 trial. And that was especially the case after the release of the Leaving Neverland documentary earlier this year, which saw two of his accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, claim they were sexually abused by Jackson when they were children.
A counter-documentary, Michael Jackson: Chasing The Truth, was released in response to Leaving Neverland last month.