Two handwritten notes from Michael have gotten a lot of publicity this week. I will address each in their own, separate posts.
While the Wade Robson revelations shook the fan community, they also inspired Michael’s nephew Taj Jackson to bravely step forward with his own revelation. Taj revealed on Twitter that he had been a victim of child sexual abuse-molested by his own mother’s brother! The revelation came via Twitter, within only hours of Wade Robson’s Today Show interview.
I applaud Taj for coming forth, and speaking his truth. (Hmm. Wonder if this was quite what Wade was bargaining for when he said he hoped to inspire “other victims” to come forward. Somehow, I don’t think so!).
But I am also glad on another level, because this finally clears up a decades-old mystery that has puzzled both fans and detractors alike. What exactly could have compelled Michael to write such a seemingly bizarre letter to his late sister-in-law DeeDee, advising her to protect her sons since child sexual predators can even exist within one’s own family?
The letter reads:
DeeDee, please read this article about child molestation, and please read it to Taj, TJ, and Taryll, it brings out how even your own relatives can be molesters of children, or even uncles or aunts molesting nephews or nieces, please read. Love, MJ.
For years, MJ haters and detractors-as well as those who are simply skeptics-have asked the question: Why would Michael write such a thing? Of course, we all know where they have tried to go with this for years, and it’s a very sick place indeed. I recall, in fact, having a very drawn out debate with one detractor that went on through many PM exchanges, all over this very letter.
Her line of reasoning was that Michael-in the best Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde fashion-was aware of his “darker nature” and sought to warn his sister-in-law, in the way that some serial killers, I suppose, might warn their potential victims in a moment of clarity.
While I never bought that sinister explanation, I had to confess that it still left a puzzling, nagging question. Why did he write it? I felt all along that this probably pertained to a private family matter, but with no smoking gun and no apparent motivation, it remained an intriguing and troubling mystery-until now.
I am so proud of Taj for coming forward, even though it must have been very humiliating to “out” his own uncle this way (Taj, Taryll, and TJ have always been very protective of their late mother’s memory, and anything that might potentially tarnish it. While Jackson proponents have been quick to point out, “His abuser WASN’T a Jackson!” we have to keep in mind that, for Taj, this is still family-and still just as painful, regardless of which “side”).
But I am also thankful that he has finally cleared up this mystery, hopefully for once and all. His words confirm for us the Michael Jackson that we, his fans, truly believe he was-a compassionate and caring soul who was always looking out for the welfare of others.
There is also an important parallel here. It shows that Taj, at some point, must have confided the abuse to Michael. This is not dissimilar to other stories I have heard, such as Jordan Chandler confiding in Michael regarding Evan’s physical and psychological abuse of him (and while there is no evidence that Evan sexually abused his son, there is certainly plenty of evidence that Evan was abusive to his son in other, just as fundamentally damaging ways). Michael, it seems, often found himself in the “Big Brother” role; occasionally, even, the substitute father role. He was evidently someone that youngsters felt comfortable confiding their troubles to. (I think, more often than not, this probably caused troubles for him!).
In addition to being a willing ear and shoulder to cry on, it seems he was willing to take an active stance when necessary. This letter seemed to be his way of telling his sister-in-law to open her eyes. How must DeeDee have felt to know her own brother was molesting her son? Or did she ever know? It seemed Michael may have been using this letter as a way of breaking it to her gently. Maybe he hoped that reading it would trigger enough red flags for her to take the necessary precautions. Or perhaps she did know, and was just having trouble getting her hands around it.
This isn’t something to brush off lightly. Families have been ripped apart, at the seams, over just such issues. Trust me. I know.
As I am sure most of my readers are aware, DeeDee (Delores) Jackson, Tito’s ex-wife, died in August of 1994 in what was originally ruled a swimming pool accident. But four years later, in 1998, Donald Bohana-a man she had dated for three months- was convicted of her murder.
Taj Jackson is proof that being born into fame and money does not guarantee happiness. By the time he was a young adult, he had been both a victim of incest and, along with his two brothers, had tragically lost his mother.
I’m sure Michael loved all his nieces and nephews, but I think the loss of their mother may have been one reason why Michael always had an especial soft spot for Tito’s sons.
Now we may have an even better understanding of why he was so protective of these boys, and went to such lengths to take them under his wing.