I sort of thought the next big news to come out about Michael Jackson would be the announcement of his hologram tour, but it turns out there are some fairly juicy revelations in Rolling Stone contributor Randall Sullivan's new biography on the King of Pop. Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson includes a number of fascinating tidbits about Michael Jackson, including the jaw-dropping statement that Jackson died a 50-year-old virgin.
While Untouchable is being criticized as "bloated," "overlong," and full of "the sorts of observations made countless times before," the assertion that he was virtually incapable of molesting children is certainly an interesting one. Even though there is, of course, no way to prove whether Sullivan's claims are correct.
If you'd rather skim the book without actually reading all 704 pages, The Daily Beast has a pretty good roundup of some of the most eyebrow-raising stories about Jackson, including:
• His brothers and father locked Jackson in a room with two adult hookers when he was 15, as a sort of 'intervention' on his perceived sexuality
• Jackson's lifelong obsession with makeup and surgery stemmed from a traumatic teenage bout with acne
• He fully believed in leprechauns
• His first wife, Lisa Marie Presley, never saw him without makeup
• Aside from being underweight, his body was in perfect health when he overdosed
Sullivan also writes that while the details revealed in Jackson's 1993 child-molestation investigation case were "undeniably disturbing," he believes Jackson was innocent. Sullivan describes the $15-million out-of-court settlement as textbook extortion, and says it was Jackson's painful childhood abuse that led him to become "presexual."
It was understood that Michael Jackson sought the company of prepubescent males because he yearned to be one himself. [He] wasn't trying to be heterosexual or homosexual or even asexual, but rather presexual (...) Of all the answers one might offer to the central question hanging over the memory of Michael Jackson, the one best supported by the evidence was that he had died as a 50-year-old virgin, never having had sexual intercourse with any man, woman or child, in a special state of loneliness that was a large part of what made him unique as an artist and so unhappy as a human being.
Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if this was true. But the thing is, there's no way to prove it now. It doesn't serve to exonerate Jackson from the accusations that still cloud his reputation three years after his death. This book, like most biographies, seems like it simply repackages a bunch of existing facts and rumors into something the author hopes will be salacious enough to boost sales.
While Untouchable may be, as the LA Times puts it, "the most comprehensive effort to chronicle the hot mess of Jackson's last half-decade on Earth," I'm not sure who this depressing account is aimed for. Fans are likely tired of digging through Jackson's tragic dysfunctions, and the rest of us -- well, we don't really care.
Do you think it's true that Jackson died a virgin? Will you be reading this biography?
Image via Grove Press