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Michael Jackson

Is Aaron Carter’s OK! Interview Bogus?

a still from Aaron Carter's taped interview with Daphne Barak of OK! Magazine

Yesterday we posted quotes from OK! Australia attributed to 23-year-old singer Aaron Carter, who allegedly told the magazine that Michael Jackson plied him with alcohol and cocaine when Carter was just 15 years old.

Now, many MJ loyalists are doubting the veracity of the published interview, insisting the videotaped version of the interview is evidence of some kind of fabrication.

In this video—filmed by tabloid journalist Daphne Barak and posted to her website—Aaron Carter makes no mention of anybody offering him cocaine. In fact, he clarifies that he never witnessed Michael Jackson doing drugs.

Because visiting Ms. Barak’s cutting-edge website might kill your computer, I’ve embedded a meticulously subtitled version of Barak’s taped interview with Carter. (FYI: no part of Barak’s original video has been omitted, although on her website she does note that this is only the “first excerpt of an hours-long interview.”)

Carter describes the party he attended at Neverland Ranch in 2003, saying that Jackson cut loose and drank wine. He speaks favorably of Michael Jackson, although he concedes the man was weird. As for drug use? He maintains that Jackson was “fine.” But then Barak and Carter go on to invent several hypotheses about Michael Jackson, speculating that he may have secretly done coke in the bathroom, or that he’d built up enough of a pill-tolerance so as to always seem “fine,” or, or, or.

The video itself, by the way, is bizarre. By its end, Carter—who has been sitting next to a piano all along—is visibly eager to play Ms. Barak a song he wrote to Michael Jackson in “tribute.” Carter’s ballad is transparently lyrically loaded to imply the Love of Which We Oughtn’t Speak, and it is completely ridiculous. Also, the footage of Carter is intercut with photographs of Ms. Barak and Carter palling around.

Did Daphne Barak simply edit all the incriminating quotes out of her video before posting it? Does it even matter that Aaron Carter On Tape seemingly conflicts with Aaron Carter In OK! Magazine? What exactly is going on here?

Michael Jackson Hooked 15-Year-Old Aaron Carter Up With Wine and Cocaine

A photo of Aaron Carter

Real quick before we get started:  how shady does Aaron Carter look nowadays?  So shady, right?  Right.

Anyway, Aaron did an interview with OK! Magazine, and he talked about his friendship with Michael Jackson.  It’s a little too creepy for me to paraphrase, so just check out Aaron’s quote:

“I never talked about it… This is the first time. I do… I miss Michael… I have spent such incredible times with him. I did things with him that nobody else did… But I was also troubled about what he did to me. Yes, he gave me wine. I mean, I could have refused, but I was 15. He gave me cocaine. I felt weird about that and other stuff… We spoke afterwards, hours and hours, on the phone. I admired Michael, but his behaviour bothered me a lot. Then my mother called the police…”

Obviously, these could be total lies, but I’m inclined to believe Aaron here. It’s clear that he’s had some substance abuse issues for a good long while now, and he just went to rehab in January, so he might just be getting things off his chest.  Or he might be getting ready to drop a new album so he needs some publicity.  Or perhaps he’s back on meth and is just making up stories for funzies.  I don’t know, all I do know is that anything is possible when it comes to the wacky world of the Jackson family.

La Toya Jackson’s New Memoir Maintains that Michael Was Murdered

La Toya signs her memoir

I do honestly believe that Michael Jackson was a sad and misunderstood man-child, doomed to isolation, who never knew a normal life. Maybe a certain amount of retconning is required to arrive at that conclusion: I’m soft.

La Toya Jackson‘s new memoir, Starting Over, is a real downer. Much of the book centers on her brother’s paranoia that people were out to kill him (she still shares his suspicions, not to mention his fake nose). And while La Toya Jackson isn’t my go-to for facts-based narratives, this is some pretty dark stuff.

She holds that Michael Jackson warned her, on multiple occasions, that he was going to get offed:

‘La Toya, I’m going to be murdered for my music publishing catalog and my estate,’ he had told me again and again. Michael believed there was a conspiracy.

La Toya still suspects her brother’s business adviser, the mysterious Dr. Tohme Tohme, of leading a cabal against MJ:

As soon as he began acting as Michael’s business adviser, he fired key people who had been close to Michael for years. … Once Tohme shut out the rest of the world, he would be able to steer Michael toward business ventures that were profitable for Tohme and his friends.

La Toya adds that her brother was deeply wary of all drugs and medication, including aspirin, which makes his addiction to painkillers all the more out-of-character.

She also quotes Paris, alleging these were his last words to his now 13-year-old daughter:

Prince and I were arguing, and Daddy said, ‘Stop fighting with your brother. I’m not always going to be here, and you’re going to have to be the lady and watch over them.’

Paris remembers Michael’s last days, his body ravaged by illness:

Daddy was always cold. … He would sit and fall asleep by the fireplace. He would always cry. And we would watch to make sure everything was fine. … And he needed a doctor. And then, they turned the lights out. We were in the dark … and they cut the phones off.

True crime or shameless cash-in? Whether treachery really were afoot—or more likely, Michael Jackson simply suffered an untimely end—Michael’s family sure knows how to paint a grim picture.