Home Celebrity Exclusive: Bodyguards Detail Michael Jackson’s Last 2 Years of Dwindling Finances, “Homelessness,”...

In the last two years of his life, Michael Jackson entertained at least two mysterious lady friends. According to his bodyguards in their chock-full-of-stories book “Remember the Time,” the women simply showed up and Jackson knew them. Their code names were “Friend” and “Flower.”

The former was “drop dead gorgeous.” Jackson would meet her at a Hamptons Inn in Chantilly, Virginia in the summer of 2007 when he and his family were staying on the East Coast.  Was she a hooker? Did Jackson pay her? The guards don’t know. The girl named “Flower” stayed at a place called– I love this– the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg, Virginia. (You can almost hear Redd Foxx shouting “Here comes the big one!”)

Was there, uh, sex involved? With “Friend” in the car, one of the bodyguards drove them to see the Washington Monument at night. “All we heard was smackin’ lips behind the curtain,” Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard write. Cops in tactical uniforms eventually stopped them and ran the car’s plates. It was registered to Michael Jackson. No ticket. But they got autographs.

Two new Michael Jackson books hit stores next week. Only one of them is of much interest. “Remember the Time” is written by the two main bodyguards who were with Jackson from the time he returned from Bahrain in December 2006 until his death on June 25th, 2009. The book should be called “Adventures in Babysitting.” Whitfield and Beard have so many good stories that you can’t put the book down.

Even if half of them are true, the book is a page turning “Thriller.”

Unlike the other book, “Michael Jackson Inc..” which is largely a clip job with a lot of omissions and errors, “Remember the Time” is about as close and personal a collection of original observations that you can get about Jackson during that period. The two guards were with him in Las Vegas, on his circuitous trip to Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey, back to Vegas, and finally, Los Angeles for the preparation of the “This is It” tour.

All the traveling was because Jackson would not return to Neverland after the 2005 trial ended. “It’s contaminated by evil,” he told his kids.

Not only that, Whitfield and Beard (Whitfield especially) was there was for the arrival of “Doctor” Tohme, all the shenanigans of publicist- turned manager Raymone Bain, and even the recording of the famed Cascio tracks that turned up on the “Michael” album.

There’s a lot of great stuff. Michael, they say, was obsessed with Bobby Brown’s song “My Prerogative.” He wanted to cover it.

A lot of “Remember the Time” has to do with money. Jackson was running out of it, like gas leaking out of a car. The ironic part is that he always had cash stashed away even as his credit cards were being turned down on romps through malls and toy stores. For weeks on end, the men say, they weren’t paid, but held on out of loyalty.

The saga of their own paychecks not coming through dovetails with stories I was breaking at the time about Jackson allowing his parents’ mortgage to fall into the hands of strangers, of employees at Neverland not being paid, and so on.

A few things of interest to kick us off:

Jackson’s credit was so bad that AT&T asked for a $5,000 deposit when he tried to get a cell phone.

Despite refusing to see his family– and their many efforts to see him– Jackson still had father Joe Jackson on his mind. Whenever anyone wronged him, Michael would say: “I should have my father kick their asses,” he’d say repeatedly.

Jackson was insulated from bad press. The only paper he read every day was The Wall Street Journal because it was the only place he wouldn’t run into Michael Jackson stories. Manager Raymone Bain kept bad stories away from him, and Jackson himself didn’t go on the internet.

Jackson was surprised to learn after some time that Raymone Bain wasn’t running a big management office for him. Her HQ was her home in Washington DC.

During this period, Jackson relied heavily on L.A. attorney Peter Lopez (who committed suicide in 2010, a year after Jackson died). He would call Lopez and ask him, “Peter I don’t know where my money is. Or how much money I have. Can you help me?”

The other lawyer during this time was Greg Cross, of the venerable DC firm Venable LLC. Bain and Venable were constantly squabbling within earshot of the bodyguards about Jackson’s perilous finances.

The guards discovered that Jackson had been hoarding Tabasco sauce in his rented Las Vegas home. “A shitload of it,” they write. The entire pantry in the kitchen was wall to wall with it.

Michael carried a silver briefcase with him wherever he went containing two Oscars from “Gone with the Wind.” He’d paid $1.5 million for them in 1999. They were his “hard asset” in case his back was really against the wall.

They frequently took Michael and his kids out on expeditions. Jackson would be veiled or in costume. One time they passed him off as Prince, the singer. At a Chuck E. Cheese, wily daughter Paris responded “As if” when a parent asked her if her veiled father was Michael Jackson.

In Virginia, the bodyguards say they “lived” at Burlington Coat Factory, buying clothes for themselves and the kids because the summer 2007 trip had gone on longer than anyone imagined.

Michael was constantly asking the bodyguards to inquire about buying crap he saw in stores or malls. He had them plunk down $1,000 for a life size set of “Simpsons” characters he saw in a movie theater lobby.

More to come…

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
22 replies to this post
  1. […] Exclusive: Bodyguards Detail Michael Jackson’s Last 2 Years of Dwindling Finances, “Homelessness… – The book should be called “Adventures in Babysitting … that you can get about Jackson during that period. The two guards were with him in Las Vegas, on his circuitous trip to Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey, back to Vegas, and finally, Los … […]

  2. Here is the Amazon Discussion for “Remember the Time.” A must-read.

    Conrad Murray’s Staunchest Supporters & More Betrayal
    Sunspot says:
    These renegade bodyguards, William Whitfield and Javon Beard, went on Good Morning America on the first day of jury deliberations in Murray’s criminal trial for having killed Michael Jackson. On national TV, they declared Murray’s innocence and argued that he should not be convicted and not go to jail. That was Nov. 4, 2011, and their performance can be viewed on Hulu and the GMA website. How is that for betrayal of their deceased employer Michael Jackson? But Whitfield and Beard got their 15 minutes of fame that day.

    GMA: http://www.hulu.com/watch/296794

    Three days later Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson and sentenced to 4 years in jail [later reduced to less than 2 years]. Whitfield and Beard have remained Murray’s advocates.
    With this book they are exposing MJ and his three minor children to public scrutiny – these same men who pledged and were paid to keep MJ, Prince, Paris, and Blanket PRIVATE and away from public knowledge. The children were 10, 9, and 5 years old when Whitfield and Beard were employed to protect them. Their father even veiled them to keep them unrecognizable and relied on bodyguards to keep them private. More betrayal now, with this book, for children who pay an exorbitant price just for being the offspring of the greatest entertainer of our time. If the bodyguards of the children of President Obama or Matt Damon or Ben Affleck were exposed in this way in a tell-all book, people would be outraged. Because it is Michael Jackson, it seems, people take for granted anything that otherwise would be bizarre, off limits, and inappropriate, and this attitude extends to his innocent children.
    You can buy this book or ignore it or boycott it.
    If you care about Michael Jackson or his children, you will know your best option.

    CM Supporters & Lies: it should be “… Protecting Michael Jackson Many Months Before His Death”
    Brad says:
    In the title of their book and elsewhere, Whitfield & Beard claim to have been with MJ “in his final days,” whereas they had NO CONTACT with MJ during all of 2009 [he died on June 25, 2009] – in fact, no contact with him for 8 months before his death. [Documents & testimony from the Murray trial verify this time frame.]
    These bodyguards have also misrepresented and lied about the amount of time that they were in service to Michael Jackson; they claim 2-1/2 years of service. They were with him only from the end of December 2006, to October 2008 (21 months – not 30 months).
    The bodyguards describe their book (on Amazon) as covering their time with MJ “from Neverland to his death.” Neither of these bodyguards even visited Neverland and they had no contact with MJ for fully 8 MONTHS before his death.
    In the description of their book (on Amazon), they claim to be “the only two men who know what 60 million fans around the world still want to know: what really happened to the King of Pop?” In reality, they have no more information than anyone else who has followed MJ’s last months. They also insist that Conrad Murray is innocent and should never go to jail [GMA program – 11/04/11], which assertions reveal their ignorance regarding the proven cause of MJ’s death.

    BETRAYAL of MJ & his young children!
    Tammy thao says:
    Both of these bodyguards are violating their confidentiality contracts with Michael Jackson by releasing this book.
    Both are violating required confidentiality regarding Prince, Paris, and Blanket – all MINORS.
    MJ’s young children are very vulnerable to betrayal, exploitation, and embarrassment. Paris attempted suicide in June 2013, partly because of painful media intrusion into her private life. The children’s guardians have not approved these bodyguards’ public disclosures about MJ’s children.
    William Whitfield bragged on Good Morning America on March 10/11, 2010, that he had “kept Michael Jackson’s financial records.” He would be divulging this private and confidential information in his book about MJ.
    These bodyguards are revealing private information in spite of the undisputed fact that their paid jobs for him required that they keep this information private and confidential.
    These bodyguards are revealing private information and events about Michael Jackson, his family members, and his minor children for the SOLE PURPOSE of making money on their betrayals, many of which will be detrimental, damaging, and embarrassing to the Jacksons.
    Theirs is the ultimate betrayal of their employer MJ, whose primary goal for them was to keep his personal life safe & private.

    Prince, Paris & Blanket are betrayed & exploited in this book!
    Tina H. says:
    Prince, Paris, and Blanket Jackson – these bodyguards’ clients – are all still minors, entitled to their privacy, and at especially sensitive ages to have to deal with yet more betrayal, inappropriate exposure, exploitation, and public scrutiny. They are VICTIMS of this book.
    William Whitfield promised several times, via social media, that he would obtain the approval of Katherine Jackson before releasing his book for publication. Unsurprisingly, that never happened because Katherine does not need any more heartache or public disclosures by paid employees to embarrass, exploit, and shame her family members – her children and her grandchildren.
    William Whitfield promised, via social media, to give a significant portion of the proceeds from his book to a large number of charities. There has been no mention of any contributions to charities since the announcement was made that the book would be available in June 2014.
    None of MJ’s security personnel were ever allowed inside his home without special permission for a special reason, ensuring that these two bodyguards’ exposure to MJ and his children was very limited. This reality begs the question of how much “information” that is “revealed” in the book is lies, misrepresentations, and/or exaggerations for the sole purpose of selling books. The bodyguards claim to expose MJ’s “home life,” whereas they were not allowed in his home!

  3. I do not think that this book contains accurate information.I think it is another way to make money from the dead. Poor Michael, he was surrounded by leeches all his life.No wonder he turned to drugs and died so young , he could not trust anyone around him.It’s pity that people are so greedy and hunger for money. Money does not bring happiness.period

  4. Bull crap stories… the guy was filthy rich they just want to make him look as bad as possible because he actually cared about us… go listen to “they don’t care about us” and find out why they hate him so much.

  5. What do you think? ??

    I think this page is a farce…You post comments (Which I had done on a couple of other articles of yours), and they never appear. Or maybe that is because whomever is in charge of this process, is far too selective in what they will let through.

  6. More to Come? Oh, Please ! No more. I just can not take all this important information in. There should be a law that no public information about dead entertainers, is allowed, for 50 years after they are gone, gone, gone, and did I say it? Gone.

  7. The tragedy of Michael Jackson is that he had so many psychological problems that were widely recognized and universally ignored. Had he been capable of acting as a responsible adult, he would’ve sought psychological help on his own. He certainly could have afforded it regardless of his financial concerns.

  8. What about his 50% share of Sony/ATV, wortth around $1billion at the time he died according to an article on Forbes at the time?
    What about his 87.5% share in Neverland Ranch?
    What about his own music catalogue that he owned outright?
    What about the earnings from Sony/ATV (around $40million per annum) plus his own music and business ventures?

    Michael Jackson was cash poor but asset rich.

  9. I can believe that about MJ. There were women who knew MJ and were going to see MJ who did not care about his fame. Remember, MJ was a MAN.

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