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Elton John: Michael Jackson a ‘disturbing person to be around’

(L-R): Elton John and Michael Jackson.
(L-R): Elton John and Michael Jackson. Getty Images

Elton John said he found the late Michael Jackson to be a “disturbing person to be around” and “genuinely mentally ill” in his new memoir, Me.

“I’d known Michael since he was 13 or 14,” he wrote, according to The Independent. “Elizabeth Taylor had turned up on the Starship with him in tow. He was just the most adorable kid you could imagine. But at some point in the intervening years, he started sequestering himself away from the world, and away from reality the way Elvis Presley did.”

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In the book, John reportedly said that after having met Jackson as a teenager, he found himself wondering “what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of” during the late singer’s “later years.”

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“God knows what was going on in his head, and God knows what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of, but every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles,” John wrote.

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“I don’t mean that in the light-hearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around. It was incredibly sad, but he was someone you couldn’t help: he was just gone, off in a world of his own, surrounded by people who only told him what he wanted to hear.”

The Tiny Dancer singer recalled Jackson attending one his dinner parties where the late Thriller singer didn’t eat anything and disappeared for a few hours before being found “in a cottage in the grounds of Woodside where my housekeeper lived: she was sitting there, watching Michael Jackson quietly playing video games with her 11-year-old son. For whatever reason, he couldn’t seem to cope with adult company at all.”

Jackson died on June 25, 2009. During his life and after his death, controversy has swirled around the late pop star surrounding sexual abuse allegations.

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In the 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, Jackson was accused by Wade Robson and James Safechuck of molesting them when they were children.

Jackson’s estate has condemned the documentary. Jackson was found not guilty in 2005 of charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy.

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John’s memoir, Me, hits shelves on Oct. 15.

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