Without a doubt, Jackson had a turbulent personal life. He was often the focus of unwanted media attention, and would become a social recluse in later life.
In his early years, while performing with the Jackson 5, his father Joseph would push Jackson and his brothers to succeed behind the scenes. He would also reportedly become violent with them.
Around the time ‘‘Thriller’’ was released, Jackson signed an endorsement deal with Pepsi-Cola. However, while filming a commercial for them in 1984, he was injured badly, and suffered burns to his scalp and face. He had surgery, and it is believed that his long history of experimentation with plastic surgery began around this time.
Neverland & MarriageEdit
Due to his shy persona, Jackson was often uncomfortable with the media attention he received. From the late 1980s onward, he spent his time living at his newly built Neverland Ranch in California, away from the media. He sometimes opened the ranch for children’s events.
From the late ’80s to the early ’90s, rumours began abounding around him that he was bleaching his skin to appear more white. He explained, in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired in 1993, that he had a disease called vitiligo, which was causing the change in his skin tone.
That year, he faced child molestation allegations, from a thirteen-year old boy. It was known at this time that he had had sleepovers with boys at his Neverland Ranch. In 1994, Jackson settled with the boy’s family, out of court. He maintained through this time that he was innocent. He married Lisa Marie Presley the same year, but they divorced two years later.
Trial & This Is ItEdit
In 2004, he was faced with charges relating to incidents with a thirteen-year old boy the year before, and was arrested. He was faced with ten counts. At his trial in 2005, over 130 people testified, for example Macauley Culkin, who testified in Jackson’s defence. In June of that year, Jackson was acquitted on all counts.
In 2009, Jackson made an announcement that he would be performing a number of concerts in London. He called them his final curtain call. He was set to perform at fifty concerts in total. He was to appear at the 02 Arena in London, from early July 2009 on. All tickets for the ‘‘This Is It’’ tour sold out in four hours.
However, on the 25th of June 2009, Jackson, at his Los Angeles home, went into cardiac arrest. He was taken to hospital after his heart stopped and CPR attempts failed. However, he died that day, at the age of fifty. It was later revealed that he died of a drug overdose, due to drugs that he had procured from his personal doctor, Conrad Murray. Tributes to Jackson flooded in, in the wake of his death.