Prime Time Live (1995)
Diane: Glad you're here. It occurs to me, looking at the two of you, I have got to start by asking how this marriage took place, how it began. Let me guess it wasn't over miniature golf and a...a hot dog or something. When did it start? What was the dating?
Michael: Well, we first met, she was seven years old and I was seventeen. This was in Las Vegas. She used to come and see my show. We had the only family show on the strip - the Jackson 5. And um, she used to some as a little girl and sit right up front. She came quite often. She came with a lot of bodyguards and...
Diane: Had you stayed in touch with her?
Michael: Sure, sure. And then she'd come backstage and then I'd, you know, talk and say hi and then she'd come again. And I thought she was sweet and loving and I hoped I...I always hoped I'd see her again.
Diane: And who first talked about marriage?
Lisa: We didn't stay in touch after that.
Michael: We didn't stay in touch after that, no.
Lisa: He...he...go ahead, you wanna say it. Go ahead.
Michael: No you can. You can. You have a good memory.
Lisa: Well you said you were going to say it.
Diane: Our first argument here, um, this hour. Um, who proposed? I mean how did marriage actually get discussed?
Michael: Well, well at first this is what happened. When she was eighteen I used to tell my lawyer John Branca, do you know Lisa Marie Presley 'cause I think she's really cute. And he'd laugh every time. He goes, "I'll try my best", that's what he'd say. Then he'd come back and I'd say "well did you find out?" He'd say "no, there's nothing". So I would worry him about this all the time. The next thing I noticed, there was a picture on a magazine cover where she's married, which really tore me to pieces because I felt that was supposed to be me, I really did.
Diane: And what, what was the countdown to your marriage? Tell me, who said the word marriage first?
Michael: I did.
Lisa: He did.
Diane: When? Where?
Michael: When? Where?
Lisa: On the telephone.
Michael: Oh yeah, oh yeah on the telephone.
Lisa: He first asked me...We were going out four months, um...right? Four months?
Michael: I don't remember.
Lisa: Yeah, anyway we were spending a lot of time together. I don't know how it didn't manage to get in the press, because we weren't hiding it. I was in Las Vegas, we were in...everywhere.
Michael: We were everywhere.
Michael: We went to bookstores...
Lisa: To bookstores. We were not hiding it.
Diane: And you said yes right away?
Lisa: I was separated for four months and I said...he said what would you do id I asked you to marry me? And I said I would. Um...
Michael: A big I would. You were really enthusiastic! (laughing)
Diane: I have to ask you this, because I can only imagine there a number of lawyers involved in a prenuptual agreement between these two - fortunes. Is there one? A careful one?
Michael: Well we've worked out things and we've signed things but, of course, that's very confidential.
Lisa: We agreed...we made agreements prior, yes.
Diane: As you know, the reaction to this marriage - and I know you feel strongly about it - but the reaction to this marriage has been across the spectrum. Everything from astonishment, to delight, to suspicion. That it was somehow too convenient. Lisa did you ask Michael about the charges? Did the two of you think about the impact, of the marriage on the allegations?
Lisa: Absolutely not. He called...I was in touch with him through the whole process of this - charges going on. I was talking to him when he disapeared. I was actually supposed to go to Santa Juan Puerto Rico when he left and disapeared, and I got a call that he wasn't going to be there and I was actually a part of the whole thing with him, by talking to him on the phone, so...
Diane: Did you say to him, are they true?
Lisa: No I didn't. No...I actually did not.
Diane: I want to take a minute here, and I'm gonna come back to the marriage...
Lisa: Could I just...sorry. He, he went on and on and on about it, so I didn't really have to say "Are the allegations true?" It was "Aaaarrrgh!" on the phone, you know, and...
Diane: Over and over.
Lisa: Just constant...yeah.
Diane: (turning towards Michael) Well, because I know that you've wanted to express similar sentiments for a long time, I want to ask you a few things about the charges. But first I want to establish for the viewers here that there are no ground rules. You have said to me that you are not afraid of any questions. So, I wanted that to be understood by everyone before we proceed. I think I want to begin by making sure that the terms are clear. You have said that you would never harm a child. I want to be as specific as I can. Did you ever, as this boy said you did, did you ever sexually engage, fondle, have sexual contact with this child, or any other child?
Michael: Never ever. I could never harm a child, or anyone. It's not in my heart, it's not who I am, and it's not what I'm...I'm not even interested in that.
Diane: And what do you think should be done to someone who does that?
Michael: To someone who does that? What I think should be done? Gee...I think they need help...in some kind of way...you know.
Diane: How about the police photographs though? How was there enough information from this boy about those kinds of things?
Michael: The police photographs?
Diane: The police photographs.
Michael: That they took of me?
Michael: There was nothing that matched me to those charges. There was nothing.
Lisa: There was nothing they could connect to him.
Michael: That's why I'm sitting here talking to you today. There was not one iota of information that they found, that could connect me...
Diane: So when we heard the charges...
Michael: There was nothing...
Diane: ...markings of some kind?
Michael: No markings.
Diane: No markings?
Diane: Why did you settle the...
Michael: Why am I still here then?
Lisa: You're not going to ask me about them are you? (laughs) About the markings. (laughs)
Diane: If you volunteered...
Lisa: No, I'm just...The point is, is that when that finally got concluded there was no match-up. It was printed this big, as opposed to how big it was, what the match-up was supposed to be.
Michael: Because it isn't so!
Diane: Why did you settle the case then?
Michael: The whole thing is a lie.
Diane: Why did you settle the case, and, and it looks to everyone as if you paid a huge amount of money...
Michael: That's...that's...most of that's folklore. I talked to my lawyers and I said, Can you guarantee me that justice will prevail? and they said, Michael we cannot guarantee you that a judge or a jury will do anything. And with that I was like catatonic. I was outraged...
Diane: How much money...
Michael: Totally outraged. So what I said...I have got to do something to get out from uinder this nightmare. All these lies and all these people coming forth to get paid and all these tabloid shows, just lies, lies, lies. So what I did - we got together again with my advisors and they advised me, it was hands down, a unanimous decision - resolve the case. This could be something that could go on for seven years.
Diane:How much money was...
Michael: We said let's get it behind us.
Diane: Can you say how much?
Michael: It's not what the tabloids have printed. It's not all this crazy outlandish money, no, it's not at all. I mean, the terms of the agreement are very confidential.
Diane: I want to ask...
Lisa: He's been barred to discuss it. The, the...
Diane: The specific terms?
Lisa: The specific terms.
Diane: Of the agreement.
Lisa: The specific amounts.
Michael: The idea...it just isn't fair...what they put me through. 'Cause there wasn't one piece of information that says I did this. And anyway, they turned my room upside-down, went through all my books, all my videotapes, all my private things and they found nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing that could say Michael Jackson did this. Nothing!
Diane: But let me ask you a couple of questions...
Michael: To this day nothing. Still, nothing...
Diane: Let me ask you...
Michael: ...nothing, nothing, nothing!
Diane: Nothing. We got nothing. As you may or may not know, we have called everyone we can call. We have checked everything we can check, we have gone and tried to see if what we heard before is in fact the case...I want to ask you about two things. These reports that we read over and over again, that in your room they found photographs of young boys...
Michael: Not of young boys, of children, all kinds of girls and...everything.
Diane: And that they found photographs...books, of young boys who were undressed.
Diane: It didn't happen?
Michael: No, not that I know of - unless people sent me things that I haven't opened - People send, people know my love for children, so they send me books from all over the world. From South America, from Germany, from Sweden. I...
Diane: So people say that, that they found these things, that there's an indication...let them come forward...Let them produce them, right?
Michael: Yeah. Because I get all...I get all kinds...you wouldn't believe the amounts of mail that I get. If you say to somebody, you know, if I let the fans know that I love Charlie Chaplin, I'll be swarmed in Charlie Chaplin paraphanalia.
Diane: What about...
Michael: ...If I say I love children, which I do, they swarm me with everything pertaining to kids.
Diane: Any other settlements in process now or previously with children making these kinds of claims. We have heard that there is one...not, not a case that the prosecutors would bring in court...
Diane: ...but, but once again you're taling about settling out...
Michael: No. That's not true. No. It's not true. I think, I've heard everything is fine, and there are no others.
Diane: I guess...let me ask this, and I'm trying to think of how to phrase it though. I can hear out in the counrty...people saying...and you've been cleared of all the charges. I want to make that clear. People saying, look, here is a man who is surrounded by things that children love. Here is a man who spends an inodrinate amount of time with these young boys...
Michael: That's right.
Diane: ...What is a thirty-six year old man doing, sleeping, with a twelve year old boy? Or a series of them?
Michael: Right. Okay, when you say "boys", it's not just boys and I've never invited just "boys" to come in my room. C'mon that's just ridiculous. And that's a ridiculous question. But since people want to hear it, you know, the answer...I'll be happy to answer it. I have never invited anyone into my bed, ever. Children love me, I love them. They follow me, they want to be with me. But...anybody can come in my bed, a child can come in my bed if they want.
Lisa: I can say...I can, I can say...sorry. I've seen this. I've seen it a lot. I've seen kids. I've seen him with children in the past year. I've seen it enough to where I can see how that can happen. It's, you know,...I understand.
Diane: Isn't part of being an adult...and you have a two year old child...a two year old boy...
Michael: (to Lisa) Don't you want to finish?
Lisa: (to Michael) Huh?
Lisa:Yeah. Lemme just, let me just...sorry.
Lisa: I, I just wanted to say I've seen these children. They don't let him go to the bathroom without running in there with him. And they won't let him out of their sight. So when he jumps in the bed, I'm even out. You know, they, they jump in the bed with him.
Diane: But isn't part of being an adult...and loving children, keeping children from ambiguous situations? And agin we're talking about over an intense period of time here. Would you, let your son when he grows up and is twelve years old do that?
Lisa: You know what, if I...didn't know Michael...no way. But I happen to know who he is, and what he is. And that makes it, you know, I know that he is not like that and I know he has a thing for children and I...go ahead, sorry.
Diane: I just want to...is it over? Are you gonna make sure it doesn't happen again? I think, this is really the key thing people want to know.
Michael: Is what over?
Diane: That, that there are not going to be more of these sleepovers in which people have to wonder.
Michael: Nobody wonders when kids sleep over at my house. Nobody wonders.
Diane: But are they over? Are you...are you going to watch out for it now?
Michael: Watch out for what?
Diane: For the sake of the children, and for, everything you've been through.
Michael: No, 'cause it's all...it's all moral and it's all pure. I don't even think that way. It's not what's in my heart.
Diane: So you'll...you'll do it again?
Michael: I would never ever...Do what again?
Diane: I mean you'll have a child sleeping over.
Michael: Of course! If they want.
Lisa: He has...
Michael: It's on the level of purity, love and just innocence. Complete innocence. If you're talking about sex then that's a nut. That's not me. Go to the guy down the street 'cause it's not Michael Jackson. It's not what I'm interested in.
Diane: Okay, we're going to take a break now. When we come back Elizabeth Taylor talked to us a little bit about what she saw when she went over...and talked to you in the middle of this, and helped you get treatment for...
Michael: Oh wow...
Diane: ...addiction to painkillers.
Michael: ...Elizabeth is on the show.
Diane: When we come back.
Diane: As we said Elizabeth Taylor is going to talk a bit about when she came over to see you in the middle of this, what she called agony. And one of the things she was so...I think she was so angry with us, was that she said that people always talk about...one side of a person, they never give them credit for their accomplishments.
Michael: That's right.
Diane: Particularly what they give to children and the money you give to children...that's how is starts.
(clip of an interview previously given by Elizabeth Taylor):
Elizabeth: When he's on tour he goes to hospitals without the press following him. Without anyone knowing. He'll get up in a disguise and do it. Take his diguise off when he's there and kids know, "Wow! It's Michael Jackson."
Diane: Was there no point at which you said to yourself...reading everything everybody had been reading..."maybe this is true, maybe I completely didn't understand who he was".
Elizabeth: No way. Absolutely not.
Elizabeth: Never. I know Michael's heart. I know his mind and his soul. I'm...not that insensitive. Especially to him, or people I love.
Diane: How did you decide to go to Singapore?
Elizabeth: He was my friend. He was alone. He was totally alone. And he just...he needed help. Nothing in the world could have hurt him more. If it had been calculated. If they'd planned an assassination, they couldn't have done it any better. It almost...it almost broke his heart.
Diane: (voice over) She said she recognised a friend turning to painkillers for escape.
Elizabeth: He wasn't aware of what was happening. He was dulling his pain. But, it really frightened me because I have been there and I know how easy it is to get there when you're in mental, or physical pain.
Diane: And...he knew right away that he had to...deal with it, to...
Elizabeth: Not right away. Not right away...but he knew.
(end of clip)
Diane: There were some reports during this period, Michael, that it was...such agony for you that you were actually suicidal. Is that true?
Michael: I was never suicidal. I love life too much to ever be suicidal. I'm resiliant. I have rhinocerous skin. Never, ever suicidal.
Diane: Did it leave you, though...
Michael: Heartbroken, but not suicidal.
Diane: Did it leave you changed, completely? I...I've talked to you a little bit about where you're thinking about where you want to live...in the world. Did it change your view about living here? Are you thinking about living someplace else?
Michael: I don't care to stay in America anymore, no...I, I don't care...I will always have Neverland, you know, 'cause I love Neverland. I don't like...I'm very sensitive to the smog. You know. so I can't have the smog. And uh, I would like to go abroad. Matter of fact I am.
Diane: You are?
Michael: Oooh, I haven't decided the exact place yet. Probably South Africa, maybe.
Diane: To live permanently?
Michael: Maybe, uh, Switzerland.
Diane: Lisa, are you in favour of it?
Lisa: Can we just change...wait, just go into the fact that we don't live in separate houses for...to start this with...
Michael: Yeah. We don't live in separate...this is just...
Lisa: ...It's ridiculous. Wherever the camera is. Anyway, um...sorry. (laughs)
Michael: No. Jump in.
Lisa: What? What do I feel about the overseas thing? I think it's a nice place to visit, yes. I would like to have a...a house over there.
Lisa: We would be completely and utterly harrassed beyond belief, but...
Diane: Before we move away from the last two years, we told you, becasue we want to that we are going to show - what is really your...comment of those two years. And uh, is a video you have done with your sister Janet called Scream. And in it you have some words, for middle-aged people who can't follow these words. Uh, the words you'll hear will be about confusion, bashing, victimizing. "Stop pressuring me," he says," Makes me want to scream." The last two years
Diane: We have some wedding video of the two of you. And I'm gonna let you tell us a little bit about what we're seeing here...if our director Roger Goodman wants to roll it in...we will take you there, a year ago, right?
Diane: Just about exactly.
(Show clip of wedding video - their voices are talking over it)
Lisa: I look like an idiot, I can tell you that.
Michael: You don't look like an idiot. You look more like a...uh, no.
Lisa: (laughs) Do you want me to tell you...
Lisa: ...While we're watching it?
Diane: Tell us. We're watching here live.
Michael: (to Lisa) I do.
Lisa: (to Michael) What?
Michael: (to Lisa) I do.
Lisa: (to Michael) (laughs)
Lisa: In the middle he asks for his autograph.
Michael: (Comments to Lisa about his stretching in the video but it is inaudible)
Lisa: Right, now we're out of time.
Michael: (to Lisa) How do I look?
Lisa: (to Michael) Great.
Michael: (to Lisa) You sure?
Lisa: (to Michael) Yeah.
Diane: (clip ends) So...I know that you, Lisa Marie, have wanted to talk about this. There are a lot of doubters about this marriage. I've heard it's a Scientology plan, you are a member of the Church of Scientology, which...is said to influence it's members greatly and that...the husband you divorced was a Scientologist and he's still very much in your life and this is all part of a calculation to get Michael, and his money, into the church.
Michael: Ooooh, Gee...
Lisa: It's crap, I'm sorry...it's, it's like ridiculous...
Lisa: It's ridiculous. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I'm not...um...first of all you can't get influenced by anything, um, like that...and, and under the term of a marriage...um, I'm not gonna marry somebody for any reason other than the fact that I've fallen in love with them. Period. Period. And they can eat it, if they wanna think any differently.
Diane: To put it succinctly.
Diane: What is it you love the most about him?
Lisa: Oooh, um...what do I love the most about him? Everything! Uh, he's amazing. I really admire him. I respect him. I'm in love with him. And no, we don't sleep in separate bedrooms, thank you very much. And um...I love everything about him.
Diane: To finish up on that, though, are you a Scientologist? Are...
Diane: No. Plan to become one?
Michael: I believe in spirituality and I believe in a higher source, such as God. But I'm not a Scientologist. I read everything. I like to read. I love to study.
Diane: You said you don't sleep in separate bedrooms and I'm gonna confess, Okay...this is live TV and I'm copping out right here, because I didn't spend my life...as a serious journalist to ask these kinds of questions. But I'm not oblivious to the fact, that, your fans had one question they most wanted to ask...of you...
Lisa: Do we have sex?
Diane: We have...
Michael: (laughs) Sh...she didn't ask!
Michael: She didn't ask!
Lisa: Okay, I won't ask.
Michael: We don't know what it was gonna be.
Lisa: Is that what you were gonna ask?
Diane: Let's play just a minute or two.
Lisa: Sorry. (laughs)
Diane: Let's play one or two.
Person 1: We wanna know, if you've done "the thing"?
Person 2: Michael, I know this is an intimate question, but are you having sex, together, with Lisa Marie?
Person 3: Do you guys really love eachother or are you just doing this to satisfy the media?
Person 4: Are you guys intimate?
Michael: I can't believe it!
Diane: But this is about...the sucpicion.
Lisa: Yes. Yes! Yes!
Diane: And...we have read in the papers that you are...expecting a child.
Lisa: We will be expecting a child. Now, when....I'm not gonna...
Michael: We're not gonna say when, or...
Lisa: It's personal.
Michael: It's up in the hands of the heavens.
Diane: But not yet?
Lisa: Did we marry out of convenience? That's really interesting to me.
Michael: It's ridiculous.
Lisa: Well, why wouldn't we have a lot in common? That's the question. Why? Why not?
Michael: Like we're faking this?
Michael: The most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
Lisa: But you can't live with someone day to day. We're together all the time...first of all. Second thing, how can you fake that 24 hours a day with somebody? Sleeping with somebody, waking up with somebody. Having the...
Michael: It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Lisa: He's running around the house, I'm running around the house. You were in our house. We have a normal house. We have a nanny, we have a maid and we walk around and he's either in the studio or I'm in the kithen. We're running around like, uh, normal - I know it's hard to beliece - people.
Diane: You go shopping together...you...
Lisa: We go shopping. We go out to dinner. We argue...sometimes.
Michael: About what may I say? (laughs)
Diane: We also heard a report that you were planning to adopt the children.
Michael: Oh I would love to adopt children. I think that's something I've always wanted to do. But children of all races. Arab children. Jewish children. Black children, it's all races.
Diane: But Lisa's children?
Michael: I love Lisa's children. It's been a mission...
Diane: But are you going to adopt...or...
Diane: To adopt them though?
Michael: Oh I love her children, they're sweet.
Diane: But to adopt? No?
Michael: Of course.
Lisa: But if they have a biological father...and he's the...he's their...
Michael: I think they love me very much. I love them.
Lisa: They do.
Michael: We have a lot of fun.
Lisa: But I've never heard of that before, personally...someone adopting someone's children while they're in a relationship with that person.
Diane: We're going to take a break for a minute ad come back with more questions.
Diane: We're going to show you a film now, created by Michael Jackson, and it's causing a furore in some movie theatres around this country. They say among other things that it's clearly modelled after Triumph of The Will. I mean Rieffenschtal. A Nazi film with a Nazi meaning to it.
Michael: It's not true. None of that's true. None of those things are true.
Diane: Did you watch that film before you did it?
Michael: I watch everything. I love movies. I love documentaries. It had nothing to do with that at all.
Diane: But there are people who keep saying this is...they look at it and say this is...
Michael: Absolutely not.
Diane: You were...
Michael: It has nothing to do with politics, or Communism, or Fascism...
Michael: At all.
Diane: Well the critics have said that it's the most "body vein, glorious, self-deaffecation a pop singer ever undertook with a straight face".
Michael: Good! That's what I wanted.
Diane: For the controversy?
Diane: And they...
Michael: They fell into my trap.
Diane: But the people who say that...
Michael: I wanted everybody's attention.
Diane: But for the people who say these symbols matter...
Michael: No. The symbols...no.
Diane: The suffering...
Michael: No. The symbol has nothing to do with that. It's not political. It's not Fascist. It's not dogma. It's not, you know, ideaology and all this stuff. It's pure, simple love. You don't see any tanks. You don't see any cannons. It's about love. It's people coming together.
Diane: About love. We're gonna let everybody watch a bit of it.
Michael: Yeah, but it's art! It's art!
Michael: Where a director...we get him to create art.
Diane: The short answer, coming up. Here it comes.
(HIStory trailer shown)
Diane: Well, as we said, we're gonna clearly agree to disagree maybe on what this means to some people watching it. There's been another issue raised. In a song you say, "Jew me, sue me". And some people are saying that that is anti-semetic.
Michael: It's not anti-semetic because I'm not a racist. I could never be a racist. I love all races of people from Arabs, to Jewish people...like I said before, to blacks. But when I say, "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me, kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me" I'm talking about myself as the victim, you know. My...my accountants and lawyers are Jewish. My three best friends are Jewish...David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Mike Milkin. These are friends of mine. They're all Jewish. So how does that make sense? I was raised in a Jewish community.
Diane: I wanna ask you both about something 'cause I know it was the second most asked question by people on the street. And I know, I know it's a sensitive issue for you, and you talked with Oprah about it. But, somehow people still are not...they don't feel they've heard everything about the whiteness of your skin, and that it's somehow not a choice on your part...along with the make-up, to be...is it to be neither black or white...neither to look completely male - to be in the androgynous zone. I, I think they wanna know...is it a decision on your part someway?...the way you look. Where does it come from?
Michael: I think it creates itself...nature.
Lisa: He's...he's an artist. He has...
Michael: I'm an artist.
Lisa: ...every right.
Michael: I'm a performer.
Lisa: And he is constantly re-modifying something, or changing it, or reconstructing it or, you know, working on some imperfection he thinks needs to be worked on. If he sees something he doesn't like he changes it. Period. He re-sculptued himself. He's an artist.
Michael: I might wanna put a red dot right there one day...(points to his forehead)
Michael: An' two eyes right here. (touches his cheeks)
Diane: Do you wish you were the colour you were, again?
Michael: Do I wish I was the col...
Diane: Black color.
Michael: You have to ask nature that. I loved...I love black. I love black.
Diane: But do you wish you were that way...
Michael: I envy her 'cause she can tan and I can't.
Diane: One more question I wanna make sure I ask. Are you going to sing together?
Diane: The two of you.
Michael: (breaks into song) I would love to sing with you...would you like to sing with me?
Lisa: (shaking head) Mmm, mmm.
Diane: You don't sing?
Lisa: I don't sing? I, I did sing. If I wanted it...I mean I'm not gonna marry someone for a recording career, just to clear that up as well. Um...(Michael makes bunny ears behind her head)
Michael: What? (laughs) (Lisa pokes him in the chest) Stop!
Diane: I'm gonna let the two of you dupe this out over here. We'll take a break and we'll come back.
Lisa: (to Michael) Grrr!
Diane: As our hour ends I'd like to ask each of you for a one second answer...time's so short. Where do you want to be in five years?
Michael: Oh boy...uh, I love what I'm doing now, and to do everything I can to help the children. And hello Bobby Sherrit.
Lisa: (laughs) I just want people to know what they're dealing with, before...and understand that I'm not - that we're not - the jokes, the degrading comments, all that kind of stuff. It's really irritating. So, I didn't get to get in there...this is over already, but...um...
Michael: We want to choke them!
Diane: Alright, so five years you want to...
Lisa: Yeah. We want to choke them.
Michael: Don't believe the garbage, all the tabloid junk. Don't read it. Don't listen to it. It's junk. It's stupid.
Michael: Enough of it!
Diane: And tonight is over.