Florence: I originally met [his family] in 1977 at Disneyworld in Orlando Florida.
Q: “Were you doing what you were doing at that time?”
Florence: Oh I was a kid. I was at Disneyworld just like they were at Disneyworld and they were in line, just like I was in line. LaToya later told me that was her first time. And the kids were like, “Flo, that’s Michael Jackson,” and I said, “No, that’s not Michael Jackson” and they said “Flo, it’s Michael Jackson” and I turned around and it was Michael Jackson. So I was like, “Everybody just calm down and see if we could take some pictures.” So we took the pictures and the rest is kind of history.”
Q: “Michael wasn’t in disguise when you met him?”
Florence: No no, Mike was in line like everybody else. And later on, a friend of mine that he used to go with, Sheila, she went to Disneyworld with him not long after that, I would say maybe a year and a half, two years after that, and he wasn’t in disguise at all. He would mainly put on disguises when he would hand out JW pamphlets and stuff, but other than that he wasn’t in disguise.
Q: “You said he used to go with Sheila?”
Florence: Yeah, a friend of mine, Sheila, used to go with Mike and she went to Disneyworld with him, I’d say about a year and a half – that was about 77 so it was about 78, 79, when they went to Disney after that and I mean, he was a great great fan of Disneyworld and so he was there often throughout his life. Even after the kids were born he would go, back then I can’t think of the first… ’cause that’s when they had the Magic Kingdom, so I can’t quite think of the hotel he stayed in but after that he would mainly stay at the Dolphin and the Swan, because he liked the paddle boats that they had and then after that his favorite hotel was the Grand Floridian.
Confirms they dated on her facebook, August 2011
• Yes. My friend Sheila dated Mike.
There was speculation on forums that it might be a lady named Sheila Eldridge and then on November 2nd 2011 someone shared this photo of her with the Jacksons in 1978 on facebook showing that they did in fact meet, further fueling suspicions it is the right lady:
Q: I wanted to know more about this woman he was dating…
Flo: He had a lot of girlfriends so you can’t just go into one. Michael had a lot of girlfriends. I don’t know why people don’t realize that. And uh, due to her privacy and she’s still around and kicking, I won’t go into all that, but he had a lot of girlfriends.
Q: So why do you think the media portrayed him as such an innocent person when he had so many women?
Flo: Well because he wasn’t seen much with any women other than Debbie and Lisa Marie. And before that, Brooke Shields, that’s why. But he had a lot of girls.
Q: Was that purposeful?
Flo: Um I don’t know, I guess so, since it worked.
Q: Did he want to maintain his privacy or their privacy or…
Flo: He did want to maintain privacy. I don’t know so much within there, but he did want to maintain privacy.
Q: I know you can’t talk about Sheila to respect her privacy and I respect that.
Flo: I don’t believe I ever said her name, did I?
Q: I think you did say Sheila, but -
Flo: I did? Okay.
Q: But what we wanted to find out – because people said -
Flo: You have a tape that I did say her name?
Flo: I don’t think I did.
Q: I think you might have said it.
[MJ Preservation Project girls play the tape of her talking about Sheila the first time]
Flo: (laughing) Gotcha! You outted me. Okay.
Q: (laughing) We weren’t trying to out you, but there was so much controversy over that. Because people were confused when you said, “Go with” they weren’t sure if –
Flo: “Go with” – I’m old school.
Q: They dated.
Flo: They dated, yes.
Q: Oh, okay, that was it. And I guess people had heard about this, and people wanted to believe that he didn’t date a whole bunch of people or you know, what ever the case may be, so you may have rocked a few people’s world, when you said that.