by Brigitte Feda on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 12:04am
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© translated by Monika van Riesen
Before Michael’s demise in June last year I already had the opportunity to have a long, interesting conversation with Dieter Wiesner. It was due to some questions regarding Michael’s merchandizing situation at that time.
Few weeks ago I got the thought that it would be quite interesting to continue the conversation. Dieter Wiesner made a very sympathetic impression during the telephone call and it was fun to talk to him.
So we contacted his office. Also this time we were treated very attentive and friendly. Mr. Wiesner’s secretary negotiated my proposed date with his boss and he confirmed it. By the way, his secretary is also a very nice contemporary.
That’s how it happened that I was in front of Dieter Wiesner’s office on July, 13th at 04:00 p.m.. Okay 04:09 h. If you travel by public transportation it’s hardly possible to be completely in time.
I rang at the entrance door at the multistoried office building and Dieter Wiesner opened the door himself and welcomed me with hand shake and a friendly smile. We went to his office directly. Of course, I was quite well prepared before I had started my trip.
That’s the reason why I already knew that a room full of Michael Jackson pictures was waiting for me and I have not been disappointed.
Framed posters and pictures of Michael could be found on every wall. Many of them with personal dedications.
Mr. Wiesner asked me to take a seat at his huge desk and offered to me something to drink.
Behind him I saw a digital photo frame on which you could see various photos of Michael and himself. Just one picture protruded. Another Michael, who is looking in the camera there: Mike Tyson.
I have to admit frankly I was a bit nervous. I am not a huge celebrity fan and I met one or the other famous person too during my time in Great Britain. But this here was something different.
The man sitting opposite to me was Michael’s friend and manager over many years.
He was his manager in a time at which Michael worked very much and productive and when he had huge plans. For example, when Dieter introduced to Michael his new protégée, Nisha Kataria, Michael was inspired by her instantly. She and her mother were invited to Neverland and lived there until Michael was seized.
At the beginning it was not planned to do a duet but spontaneously it got to that.
At that time beside Nisha and her mother also Dieter Wiesner lived on Neverland. „One night – it was late – Michael called me and said: Go and bring Nisha, we go in the studio.”
He only knew by himself what made him act that way. But the result was a beautiful song.
The obvious question is why it has never been released. Besides the fact that the trial intervened, Wiesner did well aware not urge to release this song. „It was a very personal matter for the two of them,“ said Dieter. “And if we would release it now, it could maybe lumped together as all the other projects which are now sold with the assistance of Michael’s name.”
„There was no relation“
Was this a small potshot at the family?
Anyway, some of Michael’s siblings and both of his parents are now on the way with projects concerning Michael. And before his demise, those projects could never been realized this way.
But no – that was it not. He is in contact with the family – even though I had never the impression that one can talk about a kind of friendship. When LaToya recently came to Germany another time, Wiesner was with her. But he seems to think poorly about her – weird – giggling and other quarrels, like many fans do.
But Dieter never let himself carry away to expressly negative statements about the family. Despite of the disputes and different opinions – which I will partly bring to light here – they have, the respect is present. And most of all, a huge affection for Katherine.
About her he has nothing but positive statements. He was often around when Michael talked to her on the phone.
But he never talked with her about things, which he really bothered.” This impression came also to my thought when I looked at her book “Never Can Say Goodbye”.
„He really loved her from the bottom of his heart,“ said Wiesner, “but he never talked to her about profound things.”
Wiesner has a concerned view regarding the sudden new business transactions of Katherine. “She’s such a loving woman, a very normal woman. She goes to the super market and is very down to earth. She never had to do with any business transactions of the family.” The question, whether he thinks that she is overworked with her new business ways, Wiesner affirmed. “She is a religious and for this business a bit too naive woman.”
Michael’s relationship to Joe is still a topic which bother many fans. How was their relation? Was Michael afraid of him? Did they conciliate? How was their connection?
No relationship existed,“ replied Dieter Wiesner to this question. Michael loved and respected his parents. He was raised that way. It has been an important part of his religion to love his parents and siblings and – if possible – to take care for them. “He often did things as small interviews, just to give the money for his family. He always cared for his parents. That’s simply the way he was.”
The relationship with Joe was a complicated matter. On one hand he loved him – he was his father – but on the other hand, they lacked any basis for a father-son relationship. The affection which Michael missed when he was a child made it quite impossible to have a good relationship. “He loved and accepted his father but there was no relation between the both of them.”
Wiesner himself is quite often in contact with Joe and he was the one too, who made it possible for Markus Lanz to get an interview with Joe Jackson on Neverland. Even though it came out another way for the documentation.
„Lanz said again and again how wrong he was about Neverland. He said: “I have to alter my point of view about the whole thing completely.”
He (Wiesner) was there too when the interview with Joe took place.
„I felt sorry for Joe.“
I got the impression while they were talking that Joe wasn’t aware of what Michael lacked during his childhood. He thought that everything was alright from his side but he noticed that Michael did not feel that way.
„They simply could not come to terms“
Something which interested me very stronly was the question: Why had Michael been burried on Forest Lawn?
„They simply could not come to terms. The Jacksons could not come together and solve the matter by themselves. So one day, the authorities had to take a decision and their decision was Forest Lawn.”
Would Michael have liked to be burried on Forest Lawn?
„No, indeed. The family has simply no connection to Michael’s fanbase. They do not quite understand how much Michael’s fans really meant to him.”
Did you think that Michael rather would have liked to be on Neverland after his death?
It did not seem to be very simple for Dieter Wiesner to answer this question.
„First of all, I have to stress that ‘death’ was never an issue for Michael. But afterwards, I have to say that I am absoulutely sure. If he would have known that he had to die that early he would have had arranged many things in another way. The kids would not necessarily be with Katherine. And with regard to Neverland…“
Did he would like to create another Graceland ?
„In any case, he would have liked to see a part of it open for the public. But whatever the arrangement would have been, he would have liked to see the kids having 100% benefit out of that and no one else.”
„The problem with Neverland is, the county had squandered all their money by pursuing and suing Michael. They now have to alter the infastructure completely. Broader roads to Neverland etc. But there’s no money left anymore. And Michael was always liked very much by his neighbours.“
„Michael was no weirdo”
„ The first time I had been on Neverland,“ tells Wiesner, „it was a wonderful experience. Michael was very, very kind and absolutely down to earth! Simply a hospitable, nice man. Little Paris wanted to shake my hand and Michael looked at both of us and said: We don’t shake hands in this family, we hug!“
„All of this was very important for Michael. He treated everyone with incredibly much respect and affection. He really listened to the people and always welcomed them this way: Dieter clasped his hands in front of his face and imitates the welcome gesture of some far east countries.” He was very, very humble. He always highly respected his employess, no matter whether security, cleaning ladies or gardeners. And they respected him the same way back. They appreciated him very much. They always called him “the boss” or “Mr. Jackson” when they talked about him.”
Something, which seemed to be very important for Dieter Wiesner was the fact that Michael was no weirdo.
„He was no dreamer far away from reality. He had goals and those were realistic goals for someone of his caliber.
Of course, he was extraordinary. For instant, I had always to be there for him on demand. When he called, I was instantly on the spot. And if I wasn’t reachable once, then I got a lot of messages on my answering machine. Most of them from Michael’s staff. Mr. Jackson really needs to speak to you, please call him back at this number.“
„Or when I lived at Neverland and Michael called me at 3 or 3.30 h a.m. to discuss new ideas. We just talked and the words just came sputtering out of his mouth. Later then, around seven o’clock, he noticed how late it was. He then said something like: Dieter, you must be really tired. Let’s go to sleep. And then he sometimes slept til noon.
But that’s the way it was, it was in the bag. He was an artist. But Michael was no weirdo! He was highly intelligent and had an eye on everything.
Dieter Wiesner told me about an occasion in 2002 when he got Michael to Germany for the Bambi Award. “That meant a lot to him. When he held his speech there, which we wrote together the evening before, he was totally excited. He knew all those important people, which were sitting there in the first row. And it meant a lot to him to get this kind of appreciation. By the way, he already knew Angela Merkel – before she became chancellor. He simply always kept himself posted. The same when we later had the meeting with Dr. Burda. He and Michael talked together for hours and Dr. Burda was deeply impressed of Michaels knowledge. No matter if the topic was the Black Forrest, Bavaria or politics. Michael was widely read and thus could make a contribution to anything. Also when we met him here” Wiesner shows a picture of the Dalai Lama, “it was just the same. They talked for hours. Someone like the Dalai Lama would hardly talk for hours to someone who would only do vague talk.”
Suddenly Michael’s voice can be heard……
Shortly before the trial, Michael intended to terminate his music career slowly but surely. It was my impression that he would have stopped preferably after his HIStory World Tour in order to concentrate on making movies.
For sure he would never ever have stopped making music, Dieter Wiesner also confirmed. “He would have given few concerts once in a while, for example at the Pyramids. This was something he always wanted to do. But only single concerts and always something huge and never seen before. But by no means, he would like to go on tour anymore. Touring was simply too much for him. As much as he loved the stage, as little he loved to go on tour.”
Just after millennium turn, Dieter and Michael began together to materialize a new idea. MJ-Universe. This should become a huge entertainment platform, which would consists of many small companies. “Those companies had already been founded by ourselves”, said Wiesner. Then he took out of the closet a kind of business plan on which the different divisions and companies were figured with “MJ Universe” in the center of all.
„We finished everything. I found an animating company (Cinegroupe) in Canada, at which he would like to participate. The contracts were signed on Neverland.”
Dieter talks to me with animation how intelligent and visionary Michael was. He tells me about a project, which Michael planned called “Pinocchio 3000” and talks about how precisely Michael had an eye on the industry.
I had not planned on what then happened. “Here I show you what I mean.” Saying these words Dieter Wiesner turned to his Mac and clicked around a bit.
I could hear a crackling sound coming out of the speakers surrounding the office and suddenly Michael’s voice could be heard.
Since I had no possibility to record it, I have to recall it out of my mind roughly.
„Hello Dieter, this is Michael,“ I could hear him say loud and clear. “I have a close look at the Marvel shares. They got low heavily and it would be the right time to purchase. I just heard that the shootings for Hulk have been terminated. And there will also be a bunch of Spiderman movies. I urgently want to get a foodhold there, before all the others get wind of that. This is the right time for it. Super hero movies will get huge very soon, the next big thing!”
He sounds full of action and excited. One can hear how much he wanted to start with this part of his life at last. It breaks my heart – even now, just thinking about it. How vivid, intelligent and happy he sounded…
It is interesting to see how right Michael was with his prediction. Superheros are most popular since 2002/2003.
After this conversation I contacted Michel Lemire – he is the Deputy General Manager of Cine-Group. He confirmed to me in an email that he and his General Manager were on Neverland and negotiated with Michael. Even the signing of the contract had been confirmed. “I spent my time with Michael in Montreal. Our General Manager, Jacques Pettigrew, flew to California where he spent time with Michael and his family. Michael was mainly interested in materializing 3D projects. Hollywood lost its glamour for him and he rather would love to work with people, who cared more about quality than dollars.”
He added: „Afterwards there surfaced those new (and final) allegations against Michael. The projects were in the range of family entertainment and so the climate changed there understandably. Michael left his ranch as we all know and he was located in Bahrain for a certain time. And there were also those financial problems.
We have spent time with Michael and we got to know him. We cannot see any truth in all those allegations. He was an artist, who had been misunderstood by so many people. And as we all now can see, he was taken advantage of by as many of them.”
„Michael did hope til the end that all turns out another way.“
An issue, of which Dieter talked especially long was Martin Bashir. It was plain to see that this was something which left marks behind. Looking back this must be the time when Michael began to trust the wrong persons. Anyway, it was the time when Michael’s much too soon demise was carved in stone. Upon our conversation, Dieter Wiesner emphasized several times that Bashir and his broadcasting killed Michael at the end.
All things which happened after that, could not have happened, if Michael would not have suffered so much.
The fact that Bashir had such an never before seen access to Michael, poses a lot of questions. Why could that happen? How could Bashir get this unbelieable advance of trust?
The answer: Uri Geller.
Geller, as most of the fans probably know, suggested to Michael to do this broadcasting with Bashir. He spoke highly of Bashir. Neither Michael nor Dieter had ever heard of this man before and they didn’t know him.
The puzzle pieces which perhaps could have averted this disaster would appear only later.
„It’s plain madness if you imagine that Geller recommended this guy to Michael that much.” Wiesner let me recall Princess Diana and the fact that Bashir was involved in the revelation with the “calvary captain”.
And something, that I don’t understand now is: how could this connection come into existence? What made Uri Geller to recommend Martin Bashir, yes almost impose him on Michael? Did they know each other?
According to my rechearch they did not know each other before. One can get the impression that Bashir precisely took Uri Geller as his ace for his way to Michael. Even money should have been paid, according to a newspaper article. It has further been disclosed that also another British journalist, Louis Theroux, would have liked to materialize a similar documentation with Michael. “There were several offers from journalists for that. But Michael did rely on Geller’s decision completely”, told Wiesner.
It was no secret that Geller and Michael were friends. Geller was always interested in spreading this. So everyone should know that he was a friend of Michael Jackson.
And Bashir was not the first one, who gained access to Michael via Geller. There was “the Rabbi” too. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
There are many unanswered questions about the friendship between the Rabbi and Michael.
The beginning was when the Rabbi released a new book which he wanted to promote. And this should have happened in a public event in which he wanted to talk with Michael about the content of the book.
The title of the book: Kosher Sex.
„I said to him:“Michael, you can’t do that. It’s inappropriate. You cannot sit down and discuss about sex with this guy?” But he had given his promise to the Rabbi and nobody could stop him from doing it.” At the end it was still possible to convince Michael to drop it. „But this is how Michael was. He did anything what he could do for his friends. But it then took on a dramatic scale which became untenable and so Michael terminated it.”
It circulates a story about how it came to the fact that Michael and the Rabbi are no longer friends. According to that story Shmuley had not only the leading position at Heal The Kids but also at the Heal The World Foundation. Bills should not been paid and money should have been peculated, what moribunded Heal The World finally. When Michael noticed that, he immediately fired Shmuley and stopped every contact with him.
Dieter Wiesner was not willing to confirm the story for this article. And due to the brisance of these allegations, it’s no wonder.
What Wiesner confirmed was the termination of the friendship by Michael. “He did it as usual. Some day he couldn’t be reached anymore.“
Here I probed into the matter because I had also heard about that. “He simply didn’t accept his calls anymore. The same way it went with Geller later.”
Shmuley has released a book, which should base on conversations between him and Michael. He claims to be the one who ended their friendship, because Michael was medication-dependent.
When asking Dieter Wiesner about that, he laughed and said:“ That’s total crap. It was only from Michael’s side“. And the medication thing? „Complete nonsense.“
Wiesner is also doubting that the Rabbi recorded all of his conversations with Michael which are used in the book.
Also untrue, according to Wiesner, is by the way the story that Uri Geller hypnotized Michael and asked him about the child molestation allegations. “Never, ever!” is Dieter Wiesner’s reply to that.
During the shooting of „Living With Michael Jackson“ Wiesner got suspicious. “He was plain disrespectful,” said Wiesner. “Once I got him making a mess of Michaels things. And he even had a key to Michael’s hotel room. I mean, I had one too, of course, but I had to prepare things for him etc.. But I never entered without knocking and waiting for Michael’s invitation to come in.
Bashir just opened the door and got in.”
Bashir was also seen by Wiesner when he filmed Michael’s kids without Michael’s presence or permission.
But also here, no one could stir Michael from trusting Bashir. “He did believe until the end that he would have the Final Say”, said Wiesner, what would have meant that Michael must give his permission to the documentation and its content before release.
„Just a few days bevor broadcasting of the documentation, we just were travelling by plane, I got a call and we were forewarned how the documentation would really be. Michael was hoping til the end that the whole thing wouldn’t turn out that way.”
After the broadcasting Michael was devastated. “Michael was a very proud man. To see this proud man sitting on the bed and crying like a child… It was incredibly hard.”
Understandably, Dieter Wiesner has an aversion against Martin Bashir to this very day.
„And now, after his death, N24 just shows this crap again!“ He gets upset. “I can’t believe it! And, of course, they don’t show the second part which we did to rectify Bashirs statements.”
„What are we actually doing here?“
When after Michael arrest suddenly the Nation of Islam appeared, many things changed completely, according to Wiesner.
„One night the boss of them came to Michael and they talked for hours. And directly after this conversation Michael seemed to be different to me.”
Dieter noticed more and more changes in Michael’s surrounding, the situation became more tricky.
Last but not least because he and 3 others were alleged being „unindicted co-conspirators” in Michael’s trial. “The DA would like to put us onto pressure and thus to force us to testify against Michael. But I told him: I will testify, but it will be for Michael and not against him.” I think the other ones must have said something similar as none of them testified for the prosecution. “And then he had to bring this Janet (Arvizo). So this was the end of the case, as they didn’t have anything in hands against Michael.”
I talked to Dieter Wiesner about the fact that he went back to Germany in the early stage of the trial against Michael. Was it because of the pressure that the DA tried to put onto him?
No, not at all. There didn’t exsist anything with that he could have put pressure onto myself. No, the main reason for that was the situation with the Nation (of Islam).” Furthermore, Thomas Meserau did changed the strategy of defense considerably. He had focused heavily on the “unindicted co-consirators” in order to prevent that one or the other would testify for the prosecution.
Dieter Wiesner said, that he could understand it. The main point was to get Michael out of this matter, because he was innocent.
„I couldn’t bear the situation any longer and thus I went back to Germany.,” Dieter said to me. Little time later, one person of the Nation Of Islam called him and they had a heavy quarrel then. Suddenly Michael was on the phone and asked:”Dieter, where are you?”
Whereon Dieter replied: „I am back again in Germany.” Michael asked him to come back to him very soon. So Dieter took the plane and got back to California. When the staff of the Nation of Islam noticed about that, they began to bring Michal from one place to another with all kinds of excuses. Some day, this hide and seek game was too much for Wiesner and again, he flew back to Germany.
The time passed and all those plans and half-begun projects were lying there on the sidelines. Both, Michael and Dieter had invested money and now everything was lifeless and nobody knew whether and when it will come to light again.
Wiesner’s attorneys were growing louder that the only way would be a lawsuit. “I must admit, that this was terribly hard” Dieter said. “He was my friend – not another stranger. How can you sue a friend? And not just that. He gave me Power Of Attorney. I will never forget when he came along with 5 lawyers and put the documents into my hands saying the words, that he would trust me entirely.
Finally, the decision had been made – Michael had been sued.
„Actually, it was a ridiculous action. First, we sued for 40 Millions, then Michael sued back for 100 Millions or whatever. Completely mind-boggling amounts!”
But then it turned out another way. „We came to the hearing and my lawyers were completely heading for confrontation. They were absolutely sure that there will be a trial. But I told them again and again: ‘No guys, just wait. There won’t be a trial.’ They didn’t believe me til the end. By accident, I met Michael – and we both were alone in the room. We looked at each other and Michael first said:’What are we doing here?’ I replied: ‘Michael. You were just gone!’ And he said:’ I know Dieter, I know.’
So we sat down and solved the matter during a long conversation. “Without any lawyers and all,” Wiesner mentioned. “Even though the attorneys were not that happy about the outcome”, he added with a smile.
Despite their friendship which bloomed anew and lasted til Michael’s death, both of them did not work together again. “He was fully devastated after the trial,” Wiesner explains his decision, not to urge Michael to work together after the trial. “He had to recover and this took very much time. You may not forget how exhausted he was. Physically, in his soul, mentally – the batteries were just empty. And to be frank – I wouldn’t have liked to impose on him. This would not have been right. He needed time for himself.”
“Michael’s strength and comfort came from his fans”
Dieter Wiesner talks about Michael with a strong affection, which seems to be painful in some places. Especially, when he talks about the fact how often and and how much, all kinds of people did hurt Michael. How Michael felt in the times of the trial.
„He was a proud man, with much dignity and decency. To see him being totally exhausted and all in – it was hard to bear. After we got certainty that he will be prosecuted, he was totally down to the ground at first. He was left in disbelief that they would do this to him. But after this time of depression, he actually took a grip on himself and he changed his attitude. He again became the fighter and he was prepared to attack the whole matter. But despite all of this it was an incredibly hard time for him.” Wiesner got emotional, when he declares:”If he wouldn’t have had his fans, it would have been almost impossible for him to find a further meaning of life.”
I was a bit shocked about this. I was aware of the fact that Michael really loved his fans. But I was never aware of how much strength he got out of the fact that he was loved by his fans.
„If he felt bad and down we cheered him upwith fan gifts and letters. And he loved it from his very heart. First and foremost the paintings. Not only in those hard times, but always. No matter where we’ve been – if fans were around and he saw drawings and paintings, he always said: Get me the pictures, get me those pictures! , recalled Wiesner and gesticulates how Michael underlined this request.
What did the fans mean to Michael?
Everything,“ said Dieter without hesitation. “They were his family. They were his crutch and they gave him strength. More than any other thing. And he loved them above all things for that. And he told this to his children too. Every time, in any place where we stayed in hotels etc. He showed his fans to his kids and explained to them, what the fans mean to him and how much they love him.“
But weren’t his siblings and parents rather his support? Mainly during the trial days?
„They were there and it was good that way. But Michael’s strength and comfort came clearly from the fans. He loved them beyond words. I mean, he respected his siblings and parents and loved them. He always cared for their wellbeing and that they wouldn’t miss anything. But this closeness and love – it came rather from the fans. Always, when he said that he loves them and ‘I love you more’ – then it was the simple truth.”
Other support, besides his family and fans, was hard to find. Most of his famous “friends” had abandoned him.
„Michael was very disappointed about that. We did contact some of those people who were known to him at that time. We would like to ask them for public statements to support Michael. But the most of them did not care about it.”
Well, Chris Tucker was suddenly no longer reachable. Not available. And a girlfriend, whom by the way I liked personally very much too, she was prepared to make a statement but she wanted money for that.”
I do not mention the name of the girlfriend on request of Dieter Wiesner. We talked a bit about her and her friendship with Michael and I got the impression that Wiesner and Michael liked her very much, but that the friendship was more on Michael’s side than hers.
Michael didn’t care about the money thing. But I was personally disappointed.”
„The simple truth – he was all alone.”
And then we came to another sad topic – Michael’s last years, financial problems and, of course, This Is It.
My first question – you can imagine that – was: Was Michael able to do 50 concerts?
„Able? Yes, he was able to do it. But he didn’t want it. No way.”
This answer made me wondering a bit. Be it Kenny Ortega, Randy Philips or even the ex manager Frank DiLeo. All of them told in several interviews, that Michael wasn’t only fit enough but also excited! That he wanted to break the record of Prince and so on.
„DiLeo…Michael didn’t really talk with DiLeo“ Wiesner explained. “He just appeared when he noticed that one can earn money again with Michael. He did sign this contract – which he had no permission to do.” He talks about a contract about Michael doing a concert with his brothers. DiLeo signed the contract as Michael’s manager, although he wasn’t Michael’s manager and had no permission to do so. When the concert promoter sued Michael and DiLeo, the lawsuit failed.
“The concert promoter had no right to sue Michael, because he had nothing to do with it. But they tried to get a little more out of the case by suing Michael, too.”
So, the stories about Michael’s and DiLeo’s reconciliation and that Michael had again engaged DiLeo are not true?
„No,“ was the reply.
And what about the story of John Branca’s and Michael’s reconciliation weeks before Michael’s death and that they intended to work together again?
Also here the answer was clearly:“No.“
I got the impression that also DiLeo as well as Branca tried to court Michael. There was the smell of money in the air and they wanted his friendship again.
How about the story that Michael told few of his fans that he didn’t want to do 50 concerts and mainly his quote:“Yesterday I went to bed with 10 concerts and today I woke up and there were 50. “Was this really true?
„I don’t know whether or not he said this to the fans. I wasn’t there. But it matches the situation how Michael felt about it. He was framed and taken advantage of. And at the end they even isolated him from his fans. And this was not typical for Michael. In those years, I worked with him, none of us would ever dare to tell him whether he may greet and meet fans or not. He always took his time. No matter where, no matter when. The fans were the most important to him.”
Why – I questioned – why did he let it happen now?
„Very simple – he was all alone. There was almost no one around who didn’t work for AEG or the company which owns Neverland. No matter who you are – you cannot bear it for a long time under such a pressure and loneliness. Even two of his bodyguards were from the Nation (of Islam). There was a huge struggle needed by Michael to make sure that they at least didn’t sleep any longer in his house, but in a caravan outside on his property.”
I don’t know, if Dieter is talking about the bodyguards on Neverland or if he talks about the bodyguards who worked for him in the end.
These answers are shocking to me. We all have heard about those stories and of “This Is Not It” and so on. But to hear it right now that way…
Those times,“ Dieter tells about the time when Michael lived in Las Vegas, shortly before he moved to Los Angeles, „were very hard for him. When he moved out of Vegas he had to pack his luggage on his own. There was no one around.
And then there was the issue with the company which bought Neverland. They brought to him this Tohme and Michael did not know that Thome worked for that company. He – well I say it like that – was Michael’s advisor and told him to sell his ranch to this company in order to prevent it vor compulsory auction.
And after this had happened the connection to Philips (of AEG Live) came into existence and they told Michael quite clear: do the concerts or the ranch will be gone.“
I was shocked. Dieter Wiesner was the first serious source fort his statement. I read something like that in several articles but I have not believed it yet. For a moment I was out of words. Then I asked how Michael thought about it – how he intended to handle it.
Michael was upset. He wanted to say goodbye with the 10 concerts – as he always mentioned. But they (AEG Live) sold it as a comeback. It wasn’t a comback for Michael, it was his goodbye regarding his music career.
He was only prepared to give max. 10 concerts and that’s it. The whole thing was insured. He never agreed to 50 concerts, so he would have performed only the original number of concerts.”
So, it is correct to say that This Is It was just a constraint for Michael? He did not want to perform anymore?
„When he agreed to do it, he wanted to make it right. And he really wanted to show his kids how it feels when he performs on stage. How the people react and so on. And he wanted to say goodbye to his fans. But that’s not the whole thing.”
Was Michael at least satisfied with the execution of the rehearsals?
„Not at all. The show wasn’t as complete as it has to be. They weren’t in a position to beginn in time. As I said the show was incomplete. The costumes were incomplete. Not even the merchandizing contracts were signed! And Michael didn’t have the control about the organization which he normally was used to have.”
He had no longer spare hand as in former concerts?
„No, and that was totally frustrating for him .“
Is it possible that this situation lead him to take medicines? That this situation caused a kind of addiction?
„The fans should know one thing. Michael wasn’t a drug dependant. Sure, there were times when he took painkiller in the 90ties and during the trial he also had to take medicine to soothe his pain. But those were painkillers. This doctor had given to him a anesthetic. This is absolutely another kind of story!”
In the media you can clearly read that Michael was addicted to medicine/drugs, so that many fans got it as a matter of fact. Is that wrong?
„Absolutely. Michael wasn’t addicted to medicine/drugs. Of course, the fans hear about it and they hear about it again. They hear it and they forgive him because they love him. But there’s nothing to forgive – as he never was that way!
You should know, there are some doctors – and I have some of their names in my mind – they come to you and say: Oh, you don’t feel good? I have something for you and you feel better. There’s no big deal. You cannot sleep? Here, take this. You will sleep well. Sleep is important!“
Wasn’t Michael strong enough to decline?
„You must not forget, what this man had dealt with in his life. He was such a sensitive, vulnerable and proud person. And he had been humiliated and ridiculed from the whole world. And at the end he was all alone. Nobody was there by his side. The best person among us would get weak then.“
„Michael would not be happy if those lies would prevail in the end.“
How do you feel about Michael’s death today?
„You know, I haven’t yet acknowledged it in my heart. You cannot grasp it really. This great human being, in whom was so much love. And he should not exist anymore…”
Dieter Wiesner takes a short break.
„I always look at his pictures – or I listen to the messages, which he has left me all over the years. And I simply get upset, that they got this man down. He has been utilzed from A to Z and gotten down. It’s just inapprehensible.”
Was would Michael say to the present situation? This Is It, the children, the family?
„If Michael would have known that he will die at this time, he would have ruled the custody in another way. In any case, it is according to his wish that he will obviously now making history as a musician and entertainer and not only with the scandals. This Is It would never have gotten his permission in the way they did it. Michael would have been absolutely against it.”
Will there be a book by Dieter Wiesner?
„I wish more than any other thing to give Michael the last word. I have so many recordings of our conversations etc. I could prove anything I say and I would like to set many records straight with his words on his behalf. There are circulating so many lies outside. And Michael wouldn’t be happy at all if all these lies would prevail in the end.”
Are there any concrete plans?
„I don’t know yet. To be frank, the longer I think about it, the more I feel the urge to do it. I mean, I can tell names. I could disclose many things, just to tell the truth. And I know, that this would be in the spirit of Michael.”
I looked at my watch at that time and I noticed that we spent more than 3 hours together talking. Planned was only 1 hour. Ups! But Dieter seemed to me as if he also wouldn’t have noticed the time. His telephones rang and he had to answer one or the other call – but there was no rush.
I terminated the conversation reluctantly and began to say goodbye. Mr. Wiesner stood up and showed me some more things. For example, this huge Photo-book “Afrika” by Leni Riefenstahl. And before you yell now – Dieter’s father was Jewish. This was a present for Michael from the magicians Siegfried and Roy. The book is really very, very big and stricltly limited. Michael’s copy is number eight. And the photos inside are really breathtaking.
Another book, which he showed me was: „Michael Jackson – King Of Pop – The Legend“ Not a humble title!
„This was Michael’s idea. He designed the cover and the title exactly that way.“
This book is a proto type and the engraved effect on the cover did not stand out that well. When I asked him what kind of book it should be, he said:
“Michael wanted to write a book about his life. And therein he wanted to put stunning gorgeous pictures which nobody had ever seen before. From his childhood til today. And it was very important to him. He wanted to bring to light all things that have happend to him. As he said: the good stuff and the bad stuff.”
And this confirmed my impression, which I always had about Michael. As silent as he was about his humanitarian deeds – no one spent so much money as he did – as selfconfident was he concerning his achievements in the music industry. And he had all the right to be proud. What higher price can be paid for success than losing the own childhood, freedom, private life – and at the end unfortunately the own life?
Michael, we miss you…….
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