Michael Jackson 'hoarded Tabasco sauce and danced alone until 4am', claims new book

Bodyguards' memoir paints lonely picture of the King of Pop's last years

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The Independent Online

Michael Jackson hoarded bottles of Tabasco sauce and danced alone until 4am, according to a book by the bodyguards who were along the few people to see the singer in the last years of his life.

Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard have recorded their experiences of being with the pop superstar for almost 24 hours a day in the two-and-a-half years before he died from an anaesthetic overdose in 2009.

Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days paints a sad picture of Jackson in his faded glory – hiding himself and his children from the outside world and making even his own family book appointments to see him.

The two minders are convinced he was not a paedophile and said in an interview with the Press Association that despite his eccentricities, Jackson was a good father to Prince, now 17, Paris, 16 and Blanket, 12.

They claim he had secret affairs with two women – including “making out” with one in the back of a limousine.

Jackson left his self-made sanctuary at Neverland in California after his child sex abuse trial in 2005.

He was acquitted, but the ordeal and publicity left him a broken man.

Bill, a former policeman, said the King of Pop would sometimes “buy everything” in shops.

He added: “When we stayed in hotels he would buy thousands of books.

“At one point, he bought a whole bookstore.”

Jackson reportedly travelled with a silver briefcase containing two Oscars won by Gone With The Wind – he’d bought them for more than £1 million –and another containing thousands of dollars.

Even in the searing heat of a Las Vegas summer he would go out disguised as a biker in crash helmet and leathers, or wear bandages on his face, and made his children wear masks.

Javon said there was no internet in the family home and the children, who were not allowed to watch normal television, remained unaware of how their father was portrayed as “Wacko Jacko”.

They would be thrown lavish birthday parties but with no friends, nobody came apart from their tutor, their nanny and the guards.

In November, 2002 Jackson brought his newborn son onto the balcony of his hotel room in Berlin and briefly extended the baby over the railing, causing widespread outrage.

Toy shops and cinemas would close so they could shop or watch films alone, all staff were strictly vetted and visiting workers had their mobile phones taken away.

Jackson was devastated by the sexual abuse allegations, Javon said.

“I’m a father myself and I wouldn’t have worked for him if I’d had any doubt. He wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he added.

Both men claim the singer had secret relationships in the years up to his death with two women codenamed Friend and Flower.

Jackson died aged 50 in 2009 at his home in Los Angeles from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

Conrad Murray, his doctor, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison.

Remember The Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days by Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard with Tanner Colby is published by Scribe at £14.99.

Additional reporting by PA