Marlon Brando said Michael Jackson cried when he asked about relationships: ‘I think he was frightened to answer me’

Final episode of a new podcast reveals details of a dinner conversation the actor had with the late King of Pop, which addressed topics including Jackson's father, his own sexuality, and allegations of child sexual abuse

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Friday 30 August 2019 07:31 BST
Trailer for new HBO documentary about Michael Jackson abuse victims Leaving Neverland

Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson spoke about sex, relationships and allegations of child sexual abuse against the pop singer, in a conversation unearthed via a new podcast.

The encounter between the two celebrities took place in 1994, while Jackson was under investigation for child molestation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Details of the conversation were revealed by Telephone Stories: The Trials of Michael Jackson when Brandon Ogborn, one of the show’s creator-producers, obtained a transcript of a sworn statement and verified its authenticity with Los Angeles Superior Court judge Lauren Weis. Weis investigated Jackson during her 23 years as a prosecutor with the LA County district attorney.

Prosecutors had heard rumours of a “special relationship” between the star of The Godfather and the King of Pop. Jackson was reportedly teaching Brando to dance, and Brando was teaching Jackson about acting.

In the transcript, Brando, who died in 2004, shares details of an alleged discussion with Jackson over dinner at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, where he claims they discussed the singer’s sexuality and his difficult relationship with father Joe Jackson.

Ogborn said that Brando is different to others who have spoken out about Jackson for a number of crucial reasons: he was already famous, was rich enough not to need anything, and “he’s also a weirdo, like Michael Jackson. So he’s to me a weirdo who understands another weirdo in a weird world”.

“It felt like it was a hot potato,” he added of the transcript. “Brando would probably be cancelled if he was around now.”

Here are some of the most striking Brando comments from the podcast:

  • “I had asked him if he was a virgin and he sort of laughed and giggled, and he called me Brando. He said, ‘Oh, Brando.’ I said, ‘Well, what do you do for sex?’ And he was acting fussy and embarrassed.”
  • “He said he hated his father and started to cry. So I pulled back. I started to tiptoe. I realised he was in trouble with his life because he was living in a never-never land.”
  • “We were talking about human emotions and where it all comes from. I could see from the way he behaved... he speaks in a very peculiar way for a man who is as old as my oldest son, 35. And he didn’t want me to swear.”
  • “I said, ‘Well, who are your friends?’ He said, ‘I don’t know anybody my own age. I don’t like anybody my own age.’ I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know.’ He was crying hard enough that... I tried to assuage him. I tried to help him all I could.”
  • “With this mode of behaviour that’s been going on, I think it’s pretty reasonably to conclude that he may have had something to do with kids. My impression was that he didn’t want to answer because he was frightened to answer me.”

Jackson was investigated twice over allegations of child molestation. He was not charged in 1994, but he went to trial in 2005 and was acquitted on all counts.

The finale of Telephone Stories streams on Sunday 1 September on podcast platform Luminary.

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