Home Celebrity Didn’t Happen: Michael Jackson, Brando, Liz Taylor Road Trip

Sorry, guys. The “road trip” Michael Jackson supposedly took after the World Trade Center tragedies never happened. Various outlets are suddenly reporting that Michael gathered up Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando on September 12, 2001 and escaped from New York on a cross- country adventure.


It’s a great urban myth, and it will probably live on forever now that it’s been published on the internet. But you know, at the time, Michael and Liz Taylor weren’t so close. He’d had to give her a piece of jewelry that cost over $600,000 so she would come to his Madison Square Garden shows. Michael also paid Brando one million dollars cash so he’d come to New York and deliver the most inane speech of all time on a couch in the middle of the stage.

So what did happen? Michael and his kids, the nanny, et al immediately decamped to their second home–that of Dominic and Connie Cascio in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. And there they stayed, a family friend confirmed for me, for two weeks. Finally, Michael and party chartered a private plane from White Plains, New York to Burbank.

What happened to Brando and Taylor? I have no idea. But there was no “On the Road” for them. Brando weighed way too much to travel that distance by car. Taylor had way too many maladies. The Jackson family, I was told in 2001, went home on a private bus.

Where do people get these stories? And why are they reprinted over and over without any fact checking?

By the way, this was two years before Michael’s arrest for child molestation and conspiracy. During the entire period from 2003 through Michael’s acquittal in 2005, Taylor never said a word in public to defend Jackson. While Macaulay Culkin, Chris Tucker, and other friends testfied for Michael and went to bat for him, Taylor remained mum.

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14 replies to this post
  1. Kitty,

    Thank you for clearing that all up!!! What an amazing piece of journalism on your part if I can say so!!

    Roger, Shame on you!!!!

  2. Liz Taylor released a statement in Jackson’s defence soon after the 2003 allegations broke.

    What was that you were saying about fact-checking?

  3. The day MJ was arrested in 2003 Taylor issued a statement: Michael Jackson is absolutely innocent of child molestation charges and will be vindicated. Then she said about the press: “Their whole reaction is that he is guilty. I thought the law was ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ I know he is innocent and I hope they all eat crow”.

  4. In your own column back then you also said this:

    Jackson Weighing Getaway Destinations, Roger Friedman, June 16, 2005

    Their destination is supposed to be secret, but the choices have been winnowed down to two locales: Switzerland and South Africa. In the case of the former, Jackson has carte blanche to use Elizabeth Taylor’s home in Gstaad. But I’m told it’s more likely he will take up occupancy at a home he owns in Geneva. This little known asset is held in brother Jermaine’s name, but the real owner is said to be Michael.

  5. Let’s see…

    The “$600,000 dollar jewellery” thing was allegedly what Mike gave Elizabeth Taylor as a thank you for letting him use her in his home movies, released in 2003. But, this is only speculation, not confirmed.

    And Taylor and Mike not being so close around 2001? Really, that’s strange:

    In September 1999 she gave a joint interview with him to Thoreoux in Talk Magazine, talking about how much they both loved each other, Elizabeth saying; “I love him. There’s a vulnerability inside him which makes him the more dear. We have such fun together. Just playing.” Talking about how they both went to the movies together.

    In Rabbi Shmuley’s tapes in 2000/1 Michael talks about her there too, so much so there’s an entire chapter, once again he talks about how he’s just been to see her the day before, etc.

    In Larry King Live in 2001 Elizabeth speaks about Michael, “He’s so tender. He is so compassionate. He hurts, literally pains for other people’s suffering. If there is — like — the starvation of children in this country, in India, in Africa”

    Februray 2002 they both attend a fundraiser for AIDs together.

    March 2002 they’re together at Liza Minnelli’s wedding.

    September 22 2002 in a New York Times intervie Elizabeth calls Michael her “best friend” and defends him about the Sony kerfuffle.

    November 2002 after the balcony incident she sends a letter in to The Globe, defending Michael as a parent, saying she’s never seen a better father or better behaved kids.

    And on the 22 November 2003 Elizabeth had this to say about the court case:

    Elizabeth Taylor (actress/friend of Michael): “I believe Michael is absolutely innocent and that he’ll be vindicated. The press has behaved so abominably towards Michael. Their whole reaction is that he is guilty. I thought the law was innocent until proven guilty. I know he’s innocent. I hope they all eat crow.” Taylor is refusing to comment on camera as a protest of media treatment of Jackson.

    And then after word of his acquittal – June 15 2005,

    “Thank God Michael is vindicated for all time,” said one of his most loyal famous pals, Elizabeth Taylor. “Now, maybe people will leave him alone.”

  6. All the crazy surrounding his estate TODAY and all you could come up with was this stupid rehash story NOBODY gives a crap about? What is going on with you, seriously?

  7. I’ve heard the story about the 600,000 dollar piece of jewelry gift in connection with something else. I am very willing to not believe the car travel story, but from where does this columnist know about what happened between Jackson and Brando and Taylor on a personal level? Did they all confide in him?

  8. Nothing new… moving on. On the other hand Liz did talk about how Michael was treated..in a CNN Larry King Interview …when Michael left after the trial was over and was found not quilty ..Liz said that Michael should stay over board and not return to the U.S. cuz they treating him like shit..She put an angry face and didn’t want to continue talking about…Larry got the message.

    -Also, at the time of the trial ..Liz health was even getting worse in 2003 as oppose to 1993…-

    Liz also made a statement the day of his death…and she went to the private ceremony…so..they might have there high and lows…but now they are together again.

  9. Thanks for clearing this up, I first read about the rescue of Taylor amd Brando inTaraborelli’s book. I knew that Taylor ,at some point, demanded a 600,000dollar piece of jewelry but Wow! To the occasion of MJ’s 30 years on stage? And Brando surprises me, I know Michael was very kind to him and literally had him as guest at Neverland for months at a time. Mesereu said once in an interview in Europe that he was horrified at the ‘good friends’ who refused to testify for Michael in 2005. Sad, sad and sadder. MMH

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