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The King of Pop is Dead...Long Live the King.

When the American dream turns into a nightmare

By Edie J. Adler, Contributing Writer
Published on LatinoLA: June 29, 2009


The King of Pop is Dead...Long Live the King.


How many times do we hear people say "only in America!" Well it's true: only in America could a poor black boy from Gary, Indiana, grow up to be the most popular, adored, and vilified performer in the world.

Born in 1958 Michael Jackson was the seventh of nine talented children, growing up in a home ruled by an emotionally and physically abusive father, who regularly beat the daylights out of the young performer if he had the misfortune of missing a note or God forbid, a dance step.

As a famous adolescent Michael Jackson, suffering from acne, regularly heard from his father how ugly he was, what a fat nose he had, and how he most certainly did not inherit his looks from his paternal side of the family. No wonder Michael would later try to continually reinvent himself by attempting to improve his looks through plastic surgery.

It's also no wonder he craved attention and worked so hard to be the best performer he could be. In spite of his world fame and adulation by millions of fans, he never stopped being the little boy who just wanted to be loved.

He was a real life "Peter Pan" literally creating a fairy tale world in his Never Land Ranch, where he hoped to find the happiness that eluded him his entire life in spite of his tremendous success.

You do not need a Ph.D. in psychology to understand why this lost soul was most comfortable around children. It is also known that for years he tried to numb both his physical and emotional pain with medication, which I am certain, clouded his judgment.

Then in 1993 came the allegations of child molestation, followed by an undisclosed out of court settlement with his accusers. Michael said later he did not want a repeat of the O.J. Simpson trial TV circus. He just wanted to be left alone, and so made the mistake of settling.

Perhaps if he had fought his accusers, there would not have been a repeat charge, of which he was acquitted by a jury in 2005. However his name will be forever tarnished as the public continued to convict him as a pedophile until the day he died.

This saddens me very deeply. I met Michael briefly in 1977. Even then, as a 15 year old girl, I could see a gentle soul with a sadness reflected in his eyes if you looked close enough.

I have it on very good authority that Michael Jackson never abused anyone, let alone any of the children he cared for so much and longed to give them the love and attention denied him by his own father.

His adored own children will grow up with the stigma of doubt that will always cloud their father's name. Whenever I have the opportunity, I will speak out to defend Michael Jackson's reputation. But alas, I know mine is a losing battle. My dear, wise grandmother Mam?í Angelita, taught me that a person's good name is like a mirror; once you break it, it can never be restored, no matter how hard you try. Furthermore, when you break that mirror your own image will be distorted.

My heart bleeds for his children, for perhaps those innocent kids are the only ones who truly loved Michael Jackson for whom he was, and not for what he accomplished as a performer.

The King of Pop is deadlong live the King! And may he rest in peace and find in the next life the love he so craved in this one.

About Edie J. Adler, Contributing Writer:
Edie J. Adler is a freelance writer, public speaker, and voice over artists, and a regular contributor to LatinoLA. She lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband Neal and their five cats, five dogs and three birds.
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