Michael Jackson's death provoked a new huge wave of interest to his incredible person. Following this wave a lot of people started to write books about him - researchers, relatives, friends, etc.
Recently I completed reading of Frank Cascio's book "My Friend Michael".
I'm extremely bad in writing reviews. When I started writing this post I realised that actually I need to re-read the book!
Then I decided that this post will be not a review, but a list of things that I found interesting and worth mentioning.
Frank Cascio himself puts a huge red flag in the very beginning of his memoir:
To me as a reader this was a warning: don't take everything written in the book as a gospel truth. Some things were probably omitted. Some things were probably softened. Etc.
Truth, nothing but the truth apparently is not a motto of most of those who were around Michael Jackson.
Frank Cascio got acquainted with MJ at a very young age through his father whom MJ befriended in the middle of 80-s. Since then MJ became a family friend of Cascios, someone who will spend holidays with the family and even live in their house for a while.
At age 12 or 13 Frank Cascio and his younger brother even spent several months with Michael
on his 'Dangerous' tour (it is peculiar that it happened after MJ was accused of being a child molester by Chandlers). MJ gave them a chance to see the huge world and became a surrogate father to both brothers, helping them doing their homework and taking care of them.
Before the tour Frank and his family visited Neverland and even got acquainted with Jordan Chandler who he describes as an ordinary boy. According to Frank Cascio Jordan complained that his father Evan was jealous of Michael and that MJ's relationship with Jordy and the rest of his family was a problem for Evan.
Throughout the book Frank Cascio strongly denies any wrongdoings on MJ's part which could be considered "molestation".
Frank and his brother Eddie were with Michael when he cancelled his 'Dangerous' tour and went to rehab.
Frank never identifies the doctor (in case he himself knew his name).
At the time Frank Cascio was too young and inexperienced to understand influence of drugs on MJ, though there were a couple of episodes when Michael's behaviour was strange - perhaps aftereffects of Demerol.
But according to Frank the main reason MJ cancelled his tour was not his drug addiction:
(But Michael really went to a rehab).
Frank also explains why MJ settled with the Chandlers (though he doesn't go into much details, but I believe he simply doesn't know those details too well).
The settlement was finalised before MJ returned to U.S. according to Frank, as far as I know it was signed soon after MJ had to undergo the infamous strip search.
None of Cascios knew that MJ married Lisa Marie Presley. Michael told them that he got married for business reasons:
So basically he confirms that MJ married Lisa Marie mostly for image purposes (well, that was MJ's explanation. Why does a marriage needs an explanation at all?..).
However Michael informed Frank about his future fatherhood before all the world learnt about it. But he gave the same explanation for marrying Debbie Rowe as he gave for his marriage with Lisa Marie:
According to Frank:
When Frank was about 18 Michael offered him to become his personal assistant, it included a lot of random things to do.
Frank became a witness of an accident that happened during a concert in Munich, when a bridge on which MJ was singing "Earth Song" fall instead of slowly coming down, and Michael's back was injured. It caused chronic pain in his back which led to abusing of painkillers. It was the first time that Frank Cascio witnessed MJ about to receive propofol (he realised it only much later). At least it was his assumption.
Michael felt a little bit of jealousy towards Grace Rwaramba, nanny of his kids.
Frank wrote that once he and Michael went to a
I couldn't even imagine that there could be such restaurants!..
Frank mentions 3 women who (possibly) had some kind of a romantic relationship/interaction with MJ: a fan who MJ kissed in a car, a friend who spent an hour in MJ's bedroom (and MJ went out of bedroom with unbuttoned pants) and a woman who Frank named Emily who was hanging in Neverland for about a year, though Frank was unable to say for sure what was the true nature of their relationship:
To be continued.