Michael Jackson and the Safechucks on a Trip To Hawaii
August 29th is Michael Jackson’s birthday and today he could have turned fifty seven. Already fifty seven!
What a strange feeling it is – all of us are getting older and he remains young. Though we would have very much preferred it to be different and him staying along and aging together with all the rest of us.
Imagine him being fifty seven and what a thrill it could have been. He would have still been very thin but strong and tough – of course only in case he was spared by the media and was able to sleep. Sleep and leaving him alone was all he needed to make him happy and enjoy the comfort of his private life.
If they hadn’t run him into the ground he would have devoted his life to his kids and would have surely involved himself in more affairs with women. And he would have probably even married again and had more children. And how much fantastic music he could have created! And there would have surely been no cases like Robson and Safechuck – they would have simply not dared to lie looking him in the eye.
But none of it will ever happen. Michael gave us his very best and burned across the sky as if a comet. And here we are – lost, bewildered and still not understanding why so big an injustice could take place. And why there seems to be no end to it considering the tons of mud thrown at him by those who contributed to his death and the lies of his haters who are now doubling their efforts to portray him the person he never was.
And what seems to be especially wrong is that the public still doesn’t know the true Michael and is still feeding on misconceptions about him.
First the media ridiculed him for everything he did and didn’t do progressing from a mere “eccentric” to “weird” and then to an outrageous “freak”, and never apologized for it and pretended that it was nothing much, and now on top of the old lies they are piling up new ones – with the help of someone who is hoping to profit from the success of Michael’s estate and turn his money into an endless source of their income.
And with every new wave of hatred towards MJ his real self is getting dimmer and dimmer and turns into a flicker that risks to completely fade away and never to be known to people at all.
Guys, this won’t do. It is simply a must to restore the truth about Michael Jackson and the real man he was.
A recent occurrence that took place in the comments section to this post about Jimmy Safechuck’s allegations where we discussed with Alan Light (who made photos of MJ and Safechuck in Hawaii) the reason why they were there at all, showed to me once again that there is simply no such thing as an “unimportant detail” in establishing the truth about Michael Jackson.
Every detail matters. One small omission of fact and a false assumption arising from it can take us in the wrong direction and make even Michael’s supporters jump to wrong conclusions about him. With an omission here and there his detractors don’t even need to tell many lies about Michael – it is just enough to drop a hint, and people’s own imagination will do the rest of the job.
In the Hawaii case the false assumption made even by Michael’s supporters was that it was Michael Jackson who took Jimmy Safechuck on a short trip to Hawaii in February 1988 where MJ, the boy and his mother stayed together at the Kamala Hilton hotel (in separate rooms though).
However the truth of the matter is that it wasn’t Michael Jackson who took Jimmy Safechuck there – both of them were invited there by Pepsi who naturally covered all the expenses on the visit too.
Pepsi was holding a convention in Hawaii that featured a commercial where MJ and Safechuck had taken part in a year earlier, so it was a sort of a business trip for each of them.
In this new context all Safechuck’s talk that he was invited there by Michael and he covered the Safechucks’ travel and accommodation expenses turns into a flat lie. It was an official visit organized by Pepsi, so it was naturally not Michael who paid for the Safechucks’ visit.
The most Michael could do was reminding Pepsi not forget to invite the other co-star of the commercial or passing on their invitation to the family, but as regards the expenses since Michael didn’t pay for his own visit to their convention, there was absolutely no reason why he should pay for their other two guests.
In the context of this discovery Safechuck’s statements in his lawsuit that he was taken by “a limousine to the hotel” and “enjoyed a V.I.P. treatment throughout the visit” no longer produce the impression they were intended for. Michael could offer Safechuck and his mother to pick them from the airport by his limousine so that the organizers didn’t have to arrange for them a separate car, but it conveys to us nothing but the fact that despite all his fame Michael was a very polite and considerate young gentleman.
If you read the respective point of Safechuck’s lawsuit you will see how well structured and sly his lie is – it starts with an age difference between the boy and MJ (as if it matters) and ends with the limousine and VIP treatment all of which is meant to produce the impression that Safechuck was Michael’s “special friend”, though there was nothing special about him and his visit there, and it was nothing but a usual business trip.
In 1988, when Plaintiff was 10 years old and Decedent was 29-30 years old, Decedent invited Plaintiff to a convention in Hawaii at which the Pepsi commercial they had both appeared in was being featured. The Plaintiff attended the Pepsi convention with Decedent and appeared with him on stage. Decedent and/or Does 2 and 3 made all the arrangements and paid all the expenses for Plaintiff and his mother to fly first class to Hawaii, travel by limousine to the Kahala Hilton Hotel and for all of their accommodations and expenses during the convention. Plaintiff and his mother travelled together with Decedent’s entourage. Plaintiff stayed with his mother in her hotel room on that trip.
See how easy a business trip organized by others and Michael’s politeness turned into a point in a lawsuit which treats the rest of the story in the same way and twists even the most trivial matters into something sinister?
ALAN LIGHT ABOUT HIS CHANCE ENCOUNTERS WITH MJ
Alan Light who was at the Kamala Hilton hotel with his two friends and made pictures of MJ, Jimmy Safechuck and the woman who was not identified at that moment, described the seven times he met Michael within so short period of time (his full comments are provided in the post about Safechuck):
“Hi, my name is Alan Light and I took the many photos of Michael Jackson and Jimmy Safechuck at the Kahala Hilton Hotel in early February, 1988, that are posted in my flickr account.
Michael and the boy I later learned was Jimmy were staying at the same hotel I was, and I saw them together all around the hotel 7 different times over 3 days. It was funny because, for a supposed recluse, every time my friends and I turned around there he was again. They were inseparable around the hotel – running after each other, playing tag, making soap bubbles on a room’s balcony, walking closely together on the hotel’s small private beach, looking at the hotel’s dolphins, turtles and penguins together. Another time I saw them together in the hotel lobby.
The still-unidentified woman in white was with Michael & Jimmy on 2 of those 7 different occasions I saw them – once on the balcony when they were making soap bubbles, and the other time out during the daytime around the pool area talking to fans who had spotted Michael, where you say Jimmy looks bored.
Jimmy may look bored in those daytime photos but at no other time in the trip did he look bored with Michael when I saw them together.
I think Jimmy just knew to back off when Michael was spotted by fans, because that’s how he behaved when I first spotted Michael and asked for a photo with him.
When I asked Michael if he would pose for a picture with me he agreed, but said we should move farther away from the hotel so as not to attract attention.
As Michael and I stood side by side ready to take the picture it occurred to me that it would be polite to ask Michael’s young friend to join us. I didn’t want the boy to feel left out, shoved aside by a fan only interested in the star. The boy seemed happy to be invited to join us the photo. I only found out Jimmy’s name later, and that he was the boy appearing in a Pepsi TV commercial with Michael at the time.”
Well, now we know why Safechuck looks so terribly happy around Michael and why he is even embracing him in this picture. Each time fans were taking pictures of Michael he had to stand aside, but this time he was allowed to join him and he ran in with a look of happiness on his face.
So the scene we are witnessing here was actually not a routine one – on the contrary, it was an exception to the rule though Michael’s haters will naturally tell you something different.
Alan Light continues:
“Michael was extremely sweet and nice to us, and we talked to him for about 15 minutes. He asked us where we were from and told us he was going to be touring in Europe later in the year. When I saw him and asked for this picture he said “They’d be mad if they knew I was out here” which I assumed meant he had sneaked out of the hotel away from his security and that they would be upset if they knew he had ventured out alone. But there was nobody out around the pool and animal area but he and Jimmy, myself and my friend’s Jack and Don. Just the 5 of us, so he was in no danger of getting mobbed. Still, he didn’t want to attract attention.
Later as we were talking a young girl and her parents wandered by, they saw Michael and got his autograph and their own photo with him. All I know is that they were the Butler family and from England.
I never personally saw any suspicious behavior between them, just a lot of playfulness. Michael was acting more like someone Jimmy’s age, 10, than a 29 1/2 year old man. They obviously connected on a childlike playful level.”
When our Susannerb wondered if Alan could bring together the thoughts he had at the time about the boy and the allegations now in his court documents, he said:
“I wish I could tie what I saw to the persistent allegations, but just seeing them in public together several times over a period of three days unfortunately doesn’t give me any special insight into what may have happened when they were behind closed doors, or what ulterior motives Michael may have had in mind regarding Jimmy. As I said in my original comment, I never personally saw any suspicious behavior between them.
I wish I had more to say about the allegations but really all I can say is what I saw, which was nothing suspicious or inappropriate, and that Michael Jackson was extremely nice to me and my friends. It was so surreal seeing this supposed recluse superstar seven different times during three days around the hotel. My friends and I got so used to it we’d just say “Well, there he is again.” When I had my camera with me I took pictures; other times I didn’t have my camera with me.”
Of course it was surreal to see the supposed recluse superstar seven times during those three days, because this notion is another of those misconceptions imposed on us by the ugly media – Michael was not that much of a recluse and liked very much to mix with ordinary people, only he had little chance to do so as on all other occasions except those three days in Hawaii he was mobbed.
And sorry for having to correct Alan Light here, but for this particular case he doesn’t need any special insight about “what happened when they were behind closed door”. It is Safechuck himself who says that nothing happened behind closed doors and even his lawsuit says that he simply came to know Michael Jackson much better during those three days.
The news that Michael was in Hawaii at a Pepsi convention was reported by a local newspaper and this is how Alan Light and his friends knew the reason why he was there, however the fact that the boy was another of Pepsi’s guests evidently escaped them (and the media). Alan is writing:
“The fact that I knew Michael was in Hawaii to make an appearance at a Pepsi bottlers convention was printed in this local newspaper article (in my hometown newspaper) at the time, from February 14, 1988. The writer says that Michael told me he was there for Pepsi, but I think that is the writer’s inaccurate conclusion. I don’t recall Michael telling me that, I remember reading in the Hawaii newspaper about the Pepsi convention and put two and two together – or perhaps the Hawaii newspaper article mentioned Michael made an appearance. 27 years later, my memory isn’t perfect on small details.
Here is the article about meeting Michael that was written up in my local Moline, Illinois newspaper on February 14, 1988. I put this article on flickr at the same time I put the MJ photos on flickr long ago:
You’re right that my original captions to the MJ photos did not say why he was in Hawaii, and I regret that lack of detail in my first hastily-written captions led some people to believe that Michael just took Jimmy there for a sort of personal vacation. So I added the information about the Pepsi convention a little while back.”
THE MEDIA COVERAGE
The article Alan Light is referring to is very interesting.
On the one hand it is a typical media product which starts with a standard enumeration of every rumor about MJ that existed at that moment but had nothing to do with the trip to Hawaii. The list included every so-called “eccentricity” of Michael Jackson which (even if true) look so innocent today that it is even funny.
In addition to that a couple of things were also made up – the author, for example, claimed that Michael wanted to add the bones of the deformed John Merrick to his “collection of deformed skeletons”.
First of all, Michael didn’t have a collection of deformed skeletons, and second, even if it had been true, how on earth did the reporter know the reason why Michael allegedly wanted to buy the bones of a disfigured man? What if he simply felt sorry for the fate of the poor human exhibit who had to show his deformities to earn his living and wanted to have him buried as any human being deserves it?
But fortunately, in addition to the standard (obligatory?) part of every Michael Jackson story, its other part contained the impressions of three Moliners – Alan Light and his two friends, all from Moline, Illinois – of their chance encounters with Michael and this is where the article begins to get interesting because it is where we begin to see Michael the way he really was:
Moliners say Jackson is ‘very shy’
By Jackie Chesser
There’s always a lot of hype and mystery surrounding famous people. Some of it’s accurate, while some is just rumor or speculation. Often, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.
Superstar Michael Jackson is one celebrity who’s as well known for his eccentricities as he is for his musical talent.
There’s the one about him spending several thousand dollars on a hyperbolic chamber because he believed sleeping in the chamber would retard the aging process.
And then there’s the one about his futile bid to buy the remains of John Merrick, England’s famed Elephant Man, to add to his collection of deformed skeletons.
Jackson also supposedly has had nearly a dozen plastic surgeries to streamline his figures and reportedly received shots to lighten his skin.
He’s also known as a recluse who rents amusement parts in the off-hours.
But, despite his reputation, Jackson actually is a very nice and friendly person, say three Moline men who stayed at the same hotel as the superstar on a recent trip to Hawaii.
Jack Viviani, Don Liggitt and Alan Light saw Jackson seven times while vacationing with friends at the Kahala Hilton. “He was a very shy person basically,” said Mr. Liggitt.
“He kept putting his hand to his mouth when he talked.”
When they first saw him, Jackson was walking along the beach with a youngster who turned out to be the 9-year-old co-star of one of Jackson’s Pepsi commercials.
One of the group jokingly remarked that the man looked like Michael Jackson. Another friend insisted it was the star. A closer look verified it.
“It was a funny sight because, while it was about 85 degrees and very hot in the sun on the beach, this guy was wearing a long-sleeved red shirt with long black pants and shiny black shoes, along with a cap and sunglasses,” said Mr. Light.
When Mr. Liggett told him how much he liked his music, Jackson took off his sunglasses and said “in a high voice, “Thank you very much”, said Mr. Light.
Hoping to see the superstar again and get a picture of him, the men began carrying a camera with them. They were in luck. Later that night they saw Jackson and the youngster watching the live turtles, penguins and dolphins the hotel keeps on display in its lagoon.
After discussing the animals with him, they asked if he minded posing for a picture. Jackson agreed, but asked that they go to a more secluded area so the camera flash wouldn’t attract attention.
He posed for several photos, volunteering to pose for an extra one after blinking because of the flash in one photo.
“Jackson was very soft-spoken and polite,” said Mr. Light.
When Mr. Liggitt commented that it must be difficult for someone of his fame to go out in public without being mobbed, Jackson said he was used to it, that it had been like that ever since he could remember. Then he said, “if they knew I was out here now, I would be in trouble,” apparently referring to his bodyguards.
While they were chatting, an English teenager approached Jackson and he posed for several photos for her. Then he gave her and her parents an address in England where they could get complimentary tickets to a concert he will do there later in the year.
Wanting Jackson’s autograph but not having any paper, Mr. Liggitt asked him to a sign a $20 bill. Jackson declined, saying he’d gotten in trouble once for signing money. The English teen gave Mr. Liggitt some paper for Jackson to sign.
When a crowd started to gather, Jackson said he had to leave and he and the youngster raced over the walking bridge that connects the hotel to the lagoon.
Later that night the Moliners saw Jackson again and he told them he was in Hawaii for a Pepsi bottlers’ convention.
Although they saw him four more times in the next two days, they didn’t talk to him again. “Several times we looked up from the beach or the pool area and saw him standing on the balcony of his room, “said Mr. Light.
One time while watching Jackson sign autographs, they chatted with his bodyguard, who told them Jackson had reserved an entire amusement park that evening for himself and his young commercial co-star.
The guard, a hotel employee, said he’d guarded many stars, but that Jackson was one of the nicest he’d met so far.
When asked how Jackson looked after all his plastic surgeries, Mr. Liggitt said, “He looks just like a woman. He’s beautiful. And he has a very high pitched voice.”
Well, the media rule is evidently to start with a rumor and close with it too, so if they open with “nearly a dozen of plastic surgeries” and “shots to whiten his skin”, they should end with it too.
The truth is of course different – now everyone knows of Michael’s vitiligo and by the way this was the reason why he was on the beach in a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. And as to his plastic surgery, let me remind you of Dr. Richard Strick, a doctor who was helping the prosecution in the 1993 case and had access to all Michael’s medical records, who said five years after the above story that Michael actually had little plastic surgery per se.
For those who don’t know it: besides the cleft in his chin he had a nose job twice – first after he broke his nose during a fall from the stage, and the second was when the breathing problems arising from the first operation had to be corrected (and this is when it was combined with cosmetic surgery). All the rest done to Michael’s head and face was a medical necessity – at least until 1993/94. Due to a discoid lupus diagnosed already after the surgery healing of his scars was a problem – the scars would turn into keloids and spread over the burned area of his head and apparently the same was true for his nose.
However accurate information about Michael was never the media’s strongest point, so out of the whole article it is only the Moliners’ account which is worthy of attention.
And the first thing that strikes us when we listen to these people is that Michael was very normal – very polite, very shy, very sweet and soft-spoken, very patient with others and even obliging to them.
He would run about the hotel and have innocent fun, and if someone wanted to have a photo with him he would agree to pose for the picture again and again, and only asked to move to a place where the flashes would not attract attention, and if he blinked he volunteered for another shot, and he readily associated with everyone and even took care of complimentary tickets for a girl from England whom he had just met and saw for the first time in his life.
Imagine him giving complimentary tickets to Jordan Chandler on the first day they met – oh, they would have written volumes about it and it would have certainly become a separate point in the list of horrible accusations against MJ.
So the marvel of this article is that without really knowing it, it shows a huge contrast between the man Michael really was and the distorted picture standardly made of him by the media.
If the media portrayal of MJ had been true the three Moliners would not have been so amazed by the real Michael they met in Hawaii.
By Wayen Harada
HE’S BAD: Michael Jackson raced through Kahal Mall yesterday morning with a bodyguard and a youngster in town – and those who saw Mr. Bad (a.k.a. Mr. Thriller and Captain EO) weren’t certain if it was, indeed, the rock superstar.
Jackson whisked through Liberty House, among other stores, and Richard Natto (a Liberty House employee when he’s not performing with Toma/Natto) not only got Jackson’s autograph, but managed to chat with him too.
“Real nice guy – tall, and with big feet,” is the way Natto remembers the quickie exchange.
Jackson was clad in a red shirt, black jacket, black pants, and red socks – his hair with the pomade look, his face whitish with makeup.
He was believed to be ensconced at the Kahala Hilton – and his quiet visit was arranged by Pepsi Cola, for whom he does those commercials…
If the other Michael also was here – that’s Michael J. Fox, also a Pepsi spokesman – he certainly maintained a very low profile.
Judging by all we’ve read about that visit to Hawaii the weekend was a busy one – MJ and Safechuck attended the Pepsi convention, explored every corner of the hotel including its beach and animals in the lagoon, posed for the photos with other hotel visitors and gave autographs to them, went on a trip to town and whisked over some shops there, toured an amusement park and even took a helicopter to see the area.
So it is no wonder now that Safechuck says in his lawsuit that “during the convention, the Plaintiff spent a great deal of time with Decedent and got to know him well, and their friendship deepened”.
Of course they got to know each other well, only the very same statement is speaking of another thing too – before that trip Safechuck didn’t spend a lot of time with Michael and didn’t know him well, and this even despite all Safechuck’s claims that Michael allegedly stayed in the Safechucks’ home prior to that!
The above information is also helpful for determining the exact date of the Hawaii event which may come in handy one day.
The newspaper article about the Moliners is dated Sunday February 14 according to Alan Light and we know that the trip to Hawaii was on a weekend and lasted for 3 days. In 1988 the closest weekend to February 14 was February 12-14 (Friday-Sunday), and though of course the trip could take place a week prior to that I highly doubt that the excited Moliners would wait a whole week before sharing their story.
If the weekend really fell on February 12-14, then only four days remained for Michael to finish up his rehearsals in Florida and on February 23 he was already performing in Kansas City on the next leg of his “Bad” tour.
Somewhere in between those four Florida days Safechuck claims to have stayed with Michael in a separate house he rented there, but a closer look at his lawsuit does not in the least support this statement and let me once again repeat why.
When it comes to details Safechuck’s story becomes a disastrous mess – in Hawaii his mother allegedly didn’t allow him into Michael’s room even when the boy was taken ill, however a couple of days later she allegedly okayed his separate stay in Michael’s house, and several weeks after that, during their March visit to New York the mother allegedly said no again to a possibility of him staying with Michael.
The timeline is totally unnatural, but all these illogical yes-and-no in the alleged behavior of Jimmy’s mother made me really wonder about this woman – and this is where Alan Light helped us a lot.
I found on the Internet a couple of pictures of Jimmy Safechuck’s mother and Alan Light confirmed that she was the mystery woman he saw together with Michael Jackson and Jimmy Safechuck in Hawaii:
- “After 27 years we know who the mystery woman is. Yes, that is definitely the same woman. Thanks.”
So what was previously a guess is now an established fact – the woman in all the pictures below is Jimmy Safechuck’s mother.
In the first photo she is with her husband. Her maiden name is Anderson and this name has something to do with the company where her husband is working.
In the next photo she is photographed with Michael Jackson and Lisa Minelli. This is when all of them attended the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway in New York on March 11, 1988.
And according to Alan Light’s pictures the very same woman accompanied Jimmy and Michael Jackson on that weekend trip to Hawaii.
Don’t know about you but my impression is that she is a very confident, determined and a no-nonsense woman who knows what she wants, and is far from someone crazy and psychotic like, for example, Janet Arvizo was.
And this means that the inconsistent stories of her no–yes–no again behavior are simply a not too talented attempt of James Safechuck to invent another of his lies.
Hopefully all of the above restores another short fragment in the life of Michael Jackson. Another true fragment of his life.