Michael Jackson's confidante brands singer's friendship with children 'weird'

Michael Jackson’s lifelong confidante has branded the singer’s friendship with children ‘weird’.

In a brand new BBC2 documentary, titled The Real Michael Jackson, American journalist J Randy Taraborrelli spoke about his relationship with the Thriller hitmaker after knowing him throughout his career.

And while being interviewed by Jacques Peretti, he was quizzed over claims that the popstar was a paedophile.

Addressing the first time he saw Jackson hanging out with a 12-year-old boy, Taraborrelli said: ‘I went out into his backyard and there’s Michael with this kid and they’re laughing and rolling around on the basketball court and wrestling.

‘And it was so unusual.’

The biographer continued: ‘I asked him: “Why are you hanging out with this little kid?” and he explained: “Because I like him, and he is fun, and he’s a good actor, and I feel I can teach him the ropes of how it is in the entertainment business.”‘

Peretti pressed to see how Taraborrelli reacted to his response, to which he said: ‘I was straight with him and said: “I think it’s weird.”

‘Not that I thought it was sexual, it never crossed my mind that there was anything sexual about it, I just told Michael: “I wouldn’t have a 12-year-old friend, why do you?

‘”We’re in our 20s, why do you have a friend that is 12-years-old?”‘

Taraborrelli added: ‘When he explained it to me, I agreed it was okay.’

Later on in the hour-and-a-half show, Taraborrelli spoke about the recent documentary Leaving Neverland, which saw both Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege they were sexually abused by the singer when they were children.

He said: ‘It was hard for me because I felt there was a lot of acting going on, but I know I brought my own bias when watching the show.

‘I didn’t watch it with an open mind, I don’t know how anyone who knew Michael would sit there and watch it with an open mind.’

Peretti chirped up: ‘They look like they’re telling the truth.’

To which Taraborrelli confessed: ‘I think I would have felt that way if it wasn’t Michael they were talking about.’

The Real Michael Jackson will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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