Michael Jackson and Sam Stein
I presume these conversations take place around the release of LaToya’s book, February 1991
MJ: I’m torn between Mother and LaToya.
S: That must be hard on you.
MJ: When you’re brought up… We used to play at the club circuits and stuff like that, you know, with all the black groups and it’s like, you’re brought up and then we finally went with Motown and stuff… You’re brought up. You’re taught to be a certain way because you’re in the public eye. The close knit, the close knit family, the tight knit family, whatever, and “Papa Joe this” and “Papa Joe was wonderful” and “Papa Joe helped do this and that”. When things start falling apart, then you gotta cover for it, you know, because you’re out there and you gotta cover for it. I would come home. We would come home from sessions and if we didn’t do something right, we’d get beat with a sock full of wet sand because it didn’t leave bruises. We’d go to the studios the next day and, and, you know, people in the business, people in the Motown family, they knew what was going on. I mean if you did something wrong and Joseph was there, he’d slap the mess out of us. They knew what was going on but it was like, you have to portray this certain image. You have to smile and everything. And everything like “y’all so tight”. “The Jackson family came from poverty, you know, from being nobody” and (I)
MJ: Joseph is dangerous.
S: ??…Joseph isn’t dangerous..(I)
S: Not to you
MJ: I can’t hear you.
S: I said he’s not dangerous to you.
MJ: He’s not dangerous to me?
S: ?(Not unless you let him?)
MJ: Why don’t you just not talk to me anymore? Why don’t you just… honestly, why don’t you just… Why don’t y’all just not talk to me?
S: ? Every time you tell me something about Joseph, you, uh…
MJ: I said, no matter what, no matter what you think, no matter what you believe, I would never, never never do anything intentionally to hurt you and your family. No matter what, I swear.
S: We know that. You don’t have to keep saying that. We know Joe J. hurt you.
MJ: I deal with all kinds of other stuff (?)
S: When are you going to talk? (or: like what?) Who are you scared of? You know that I would never harm you Jackson. (I)
MJ: (i) You be fading.
S: I’m not fading. You’re the one that fades.
MJ: You be fading too.
S: You know I’d never hurt you, don’t you know that?
MJ: You mean like physically or?
S: I mean physically, mentally…? (and nobody’s going to hurt you either). You know that, don’t you? Don’t you?
MJ: I really don’t know that. I know you would never physically hurt me if you were. I know that. I know that.
S: You should know that I ain’t going to hurt you mentally either.
(Break in tape.)
MJ: You love her and she loves you.
S: You know sometimes we (fight? forgive?) each other It’s… and when we get back together… we’ll see. It takes time. It’s unlikely but…
MJ: But aren’t you afraid of getting close to her?
S: No, I never get, it’s a different situation. You have a lot more to be frightened about. You have a lot more to lose. You’re… I think that you’re… I think that you’ve been hurt by a lot of people…You’ve kind of created this (nightmare thing?)…You’ve created… some, you don’t know who to trust, who to believe.
MJ: But you ask so many questions.
MJ: You swear?
MJ: (I) Do you swear on, um. Do you swear. Do you swear. I mean, do you swear you’ll tell me the truth?
MJ: No matter what?
MJ: Honest, no matter what? And if I swear to you that, if I swear to you that, um. Hold on one second. (Talks to someone else – “Tell them I’ll be right there.”) Hello. Do you swear, if I swear to you that I won’t disappear and I won’t change my number and go away no matter what? If I swear that to you on on Mother’s life, if I swear to you that, um… This is so hard for me (to think about?).
MJ: If I swear to you before this (I)… If I swear to you that I won’t disappear or no matter what, on Mother’s life, that you’ll tell me.
MJ: Do you?
S: Tell you what?
S: If you swear on your Mother’s life?
MJ: If I swear on Mother’s life, if I swear…
S: That you won’t change your number.
MJ: That I won’t disappear on you, no way, then you will swear you’ll tell me?
S: Yes. The truth.
MJ: What do you want from me back?
MJ: First of all, before you say that, I’d like to say that I swear to you that I’m not going to go away and disappear and go away and disappear and stuff and change my number, although we are going to change it. Sorry, hold on. Okay.
S: Yeah. (I)
MJ: Like you said…
S: (Jackson , everyone hurts you?)
(Break in tape)
S: (I) She lives off the Gold Coast.
MJ: Oh, for real?
MJ: When did you find that out?
S: Last Wednesday. I was playing there one day and they said that sounds like (I) that’s Janet Jackson’s house with her boyfriend.
S: Yep. I’ve seen her house. She has a beautiful house on the coast… She has a beautiful home. It’s a beautiful house/coast. [Flats?], beautiful home, I’ve seen it from the Country Club. I played with the, uh, the Gene LePar, they showed me the property. Yeah, try and see if she’ll give you the number…I’ll really call her and we’ll see if (I) I love talking to her, yeah, I really love talking to her. We had a real wonderful time ,we laughed… talk to her about it, it’d be (I)….
MJ: Pardon me?
MJ: You don’t like Randy?
S: No, I never liked Randy. Too, uh, he’s too hard and too obnoxious. He’s too, um, he’s too angry. Angry… if you have a need to be angry, fine, that’s one thing. If you got no business being angry on the street. I like Janet. She’s…
MJ: Latoya’s a witch.
S: Latoya’s crazy, a crazy person. I don’t have anything against her. She has a sweet voice. She’s a beautiful girl. Real beautiful girl.
MJ: Yeah, she’s pretty.
S: …on the outside, maybe on the outside.
MJ: Janet’s real natural. Toya’s got-
S: Oh yeah, definitely.
MJ: -Toya’s got too much of a weave in her hair.
S: Well you know (that’s typical?). Toya’s a pretty girl. Janet’s has. Janet just oozes with personality.
MJ: I have a crisis.
S: About what?