Michael Jackson and Tatum O’Neal

(Tatum was born on the 5th November, 1963. Michael the 29th August, 1958. She was 12 when they first met in 1975, he was 17. They started dating in 1977 when she was 13 and he was 18 and finished when she was around 16 and he was 20.)

[EXPAND On Their First Meeting At A Paul McCartney party in 1975, (Magic and Madness, Taraborelli, p. 195, ’91 ed) ]

Michael and Tatum first met in 1975 at a party Paul McCartney hosted aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. At the time, he was seventeen and she was twelve. They had no contact with each other again until the spring of 1977, when Michael spotted Tatum with her father at the On the Rox club in Los Angeles.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Photos of them together at a party at The Roxy, 1977 ]

Michael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'NealMichael Jackson and Tatum O'Neal[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Michael Jackson Story 1977 ]

The singer had been seen many times in the company of adolescent actress Tatum O’Neal. After the critical acclaim she received acting with her father Ryan in Paper Moon she was in the same position as Michael. Everywhere she went Tatum was the centre of attraction. Michael could empathize with the pressures of child stardom and found in her a kindred spirit.

In fact reports reached the press that the relationship had turned torrid at Hugh Hefner’s Los Angeles mansion and that they had taken a nude sauna bath together. “Well, I guess I am dating her in a way,” he explained. “I’ve taken her out a couple of times — or she’s taken me out — whatever. ‘I met her sometime back, when Paul McCartney gave a party on the Queen Mary boat. She was there and we talked a bit. Two years went by before I saw her again, which was at a club on Sunset Blvd called the Roxy. We talked and talked and talked. The next day she invited me to join her at Hugh Hefner’s house to watch Roots on videotape. She got sort of bored, so we went outside and got into the jacuzzi. We weren’t naked as people have said. We both had on bathing suits, just enjoying ourselves. And that’s it.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Magic&Madness regarding their first few dates, p. 196, ’91 ed ]

The next day, thirteen-year-old Tatum invited Michael to a dinner party at Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner’s rambling Holmby Hills estate, long a playpen for the chic Beverly Hills jet set. There they watched Roots, the highly rated Alex Haley television miniseries, on videotape. When Tatum became bored, she asked Michael to go into the hot tub with her.

“But I don’t have a bathing suit,” he said.

“Who needs bathing suits?” Tatum responded.

When Michael began to blush, Tatum asked one of Hefner’s assistants for two swimsuits, then handed one to Michael.

Tatum’s hair at this time was soft blond and flowed just below her shoulders. Her skin was baby pink and her figure quite ample for a girl who wouldn’t turn fourteen until close to the end of the year.

She was almost plump. “She’s like a sacred doll,” Michael said of her to a friend. He said that while soaking in the water and watching for shooting stars, the two shared secrets with one another.

Eventually, rumor has it they were nude together in the hot tub. The idea was tantalizing to the public, and the rumor persisted for months, fed by Tatum’s fast-life reputation.

“We weren’t naked,” Michael firmly pointed out in an interview, “as people have said. We both had on bathing suits, just enjoying ourselves. And that’s it. Why do people have to always find something dirty in everything?” [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Todd Gold’s book on their first few dates ]

He wasn’t used to being touched in a romantic way by pretty young ladies, and when Tatum’s gentle hand rested upon his, Michael’s heart melted.

On their first official date they went to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, an enormous stone castle in Holmby Hills, with a reputation for being an orgiastic playground. Inside, the rooms were generally dark and full of leather furniture. The rambling backyard was home to Hef’s envious collection of exotic animals, not the least of which were the many shapely young women who regularly lounged topless poolside in all their pneumatic splendour.

Halfway through the movie they were watching, Tatum, then fifteen years old and light years ahead of Michael in sophistication, led her more innocent date outside for some fun and relaxation in the backyard. Discarding their clothes they slipped into the roiling hot tub. In recounting the incident, Michael says they had their swimming suits on, but mansion insiders say they were indeed skinny-dipping.

Consequently, the bare facts remain buried in a frothy sea of bubbles but Michael’s sexual preference seemed clear. “I can’t tell the details of that evening since I wasn’t there,” Marlon says, “But Michael definitely isn’t gay. He’s not as innocent as people think. When it came to girls in the early days, he and Jermaine were something to keep up with. Michael definitely isn’t a virgin.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael telling Hilburn about Tatum, Hilburn, Cornflakes with John Lennon, p. 160]

…when I asked [Michael] about supposed encounters with Tatum O’Neal, his eyes got big as he told me about the time at the Roxy that she had actually put her hand on his knee under the table.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Susan Blonde in Ron Galella’s book about Michael and Tatum at The Roxy ]

“I introduced Michael to Tatum O’Neal at On the Rox in Hollywood. Her father Ryan flirted with me a little, so Tatum sat on Michael’s lap (she was still a kid, although she had won an Academy Award).” [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Talk with Joe about Michael dating Tatum and being seen at the Playboy Mansion, Jet Mar 31, 1977 ]

Michael Jackson and Tatum O'Neal
Michael Jackson and Tatum O'Neal [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Report of Michael date at the Playboy Mansion, 4th April, 1977 ]

Michael Jackson and Tatum O'Neal [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Jacksons interview, Echoes, May 28th, 1977]

Rumours of Michael’s love life abound. He’s been matched up to date with every under-seventeen year old from Jodie Foster to Stephanie Mills and Tatum O’Neal. Yes, he and Tatum have gone to a couple of parties, but they are strictly friends. Jackie kids that Linda Blair (of Exorcist film fame) is still ringing him up. Michael prefers to tip out quietly on his own. But he does ask after 14 year old Heather McCartney, who he met at the Wings party last year. “They have a house in Scotland. I thought they might be up there.” [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael asked if he’s dating Tatum, JET 30th june 1977 ]

Michael Jackson and Tatum O'Neal[/EXPAND] [EXPAND St Peterburg Times, 13 July 1977 ]

“Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Ledger, 14 Aug 1977 ] “Michael

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael speaks about meeting Tatum in 1975, Rock Lives, August 23, 1977]


“This was a year ago. I’ve got some pictures here of the party. It was a gigantic party at the Harold Lloyd estate. It was a very good evening. All the stars were there! [He pulls a voluminous black scrapbook off a nearby shelf and leafs through it.] Lemme see. This is when we met the Queen . . . This is at Paul’s party at Harold Lloyd’s estate, right around the time when Paul and his wife and I, were were talking about the Girlfriend song, and exchanging numbers and addresses.

“That was one of the greatest parties I’ve ever been to, because when Paul gives a party he believes in just going out! It was a whole schedule: nine o’clock, you get to see the ballerina act. Ten o’clock, Chuck Norris, the karate expert, put on a show. At four o’clock in the evening, the Broadway company of The Wiz would put on a show. There were all kinds of food! You want Mexican food, they had a Mexican stand, a Mexican lady. Italian, and Italian stand with an Italian man. American food, a buffet! Oh, man!

And that’s more at Paul McCartney’s party, where they had the Wiz show… And John Belushi doing his Joe Cocker imitation at Paul’s thing, too. Did you see the robot on summer TV specials? That was the same robot that was at Paul McCartney’s party! That was the first time I had seen it. I said, “How does he work?”

People went crazy over him. And that’s my friend Tatum O’Neal . . . And that’s my nephew on my brother’s side.

I left kinda early, but the party went on and on…”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael denies swimming naked with Tatum, JET 22 Sep 1977]

Michael Jackson and Tatum O'Neal[/EXPAND] [EXPAND “Michael hoping for Tatum to visit him in New York, Pittsburg Post Gazette, 7 Dec 1977 ] “Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum O Neal, 22, December, 1977 ] “Michael [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael speaks about Tatum, London, Disco Dancing, 1978]

He admits to often still being shy and embarrassed in front of girls.

“But I love them,” he says. “I’d love to meet the right girl and get married. But at the moment I can’t because there’s so many things I’ve got to do.”

Michael’s name has been recently linked with film star, Ryan O’Neal’s daughter, Tatum. But he says, “We’re really good friends. She’s helped me a lot with my acting.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Interview with Michael by phone from California, August 3, 1978:]


L.R. You’ve been seen out with Janelle Penny Commissiong, the former Miss Universe. Is it a romance?

M.J. [Laughter, giggling.] That’s a hard question to answer. Like most of the people you may see me out with, like Tatum [O’Neal] and Janelle, they’re kind of on and off, they’re friends, and [hysterical laughter] … I talk to them. I don’t know how to describe it, really [more laughter]. I don’t know what to say.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael says Tatum wants to take him camping, People Weekly, November 1978]


They met at record producer Lou Adler’s private club, and she later took Michael on a date – he claims it was his first with anyone – to an open house at Hugh Hefner’s mansion. Yet Tatum has so far failed to persuade Michael to move up to Malibu to be near her. ”Girls,” he complains, ”want all your time.”


(Michael is) planning a three month tour with his brothers of, among other places, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Singapore. (A new LP , Destiny, the first completely written and produced by the Jacksons, has just shipped gold.) At some point, though, Michael wants to fit in a pleasure trip with Tatum. “She wants to take me camping. I’ve never done any of those things,” he says wistfully. “I been knowin’ this business all my life so there’s no way of quittin’-but I am ready for a nice long vacation.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael wanted to go with Tatum to the premiere of the Wiz, 24 Oct, 1978]

Michael invites Tatum to be his date for The Wiz but she turns him down and he goes alone.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael attends Tatum O’Neal’s Birthday Party, November 5 1978 ]

At 5:43 on Tatum and Ryan’s 2011 show The O’Neal’s where Tatum talks about the craziest birthday she ever had at a dinner.

Tatum: But for 16, dad, we had a party and we invited a couple hundred people and a couple of thousand came.
Ryan: I remember 15 now…
Tatum: 16 or 15.
Ryan: Oh I have to sit down.
Tatum: Sit down now. So, I remember Brooke Shields came.
(Someone mentions Michael)
Tatum: Well, Michael was there. Michael was there. (Show a picture of her and Michael) And it was just the craziest birthday and I remember going ‘Where were you dad? Where were you?” You were at the beach house.'[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael talks about Tatum, Jet Dec 14, 1978]

Michael Jackson’s first date is still his current one – but he isn’t saying it goes beyond that.

Jackson, who is part of the box office success of the film version of The Wiz, still dates teen actress Tatum O’Neal, who he said was really excited for me when I was cast for (it).

“She helped me, too, with advice on how to stay cool through it all. She and her dad (actor Ryan O’Neal) have been just great for me,” he told a Philadelphia Daily News interviewer.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum interview, The Beautiful Brat, 1978 ]

“He doesn’t believe in birthdays or Christmas or Halloween or any of those things. It’s so strange because I’d like to send him a Christmas card and he says I mustn’t do it. Strange, no presents. I think that’s so weird. I love presents more than anything and I thrive on them.”

Ryan O Neal characterized their relationship as “no big thing.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum, Michael, Dan Aykroyd, Randy Jackson, Margot Kidder, photographed together, 1979]

1979: Actress Tatum O’Neal and actor Dan Aykroyd sit at a table and pose fora portrait with pop singer Marlon Jackson, basketball player Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, pop singer Michael Jackson and actress Margot Kidder at an event in 1979.

“Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael interview, 1979]

Because Jackson is such an introvert, his life isn’t as glamorous as many assume it is. He could obviously be part of that frantic show biz social circle but chooses, nearly all the time, to avoid it “That way of life isn’t for me,” he said. “It’s not what I want. I don’t go out much. Oh, if Tatum (actress O’Neal, a close friend) calls and wants to go out I may go to the Roxy or some place like that. But I spend a lot of time by myself. That’s the way I want it.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Sat next to Tatum O’Neal at the Grammys, 1979]

Soon after, Michael made a solo album, “Off the Wall,” produced by brilliant pop composer Quincy Jones. It was more sophisticated than anything he and his brothers had ever done, and Michael won the 1979 Grammy for Best Rhythm and Blues Male Vocal for one of the singles from it. He sat in the audience that night next to his friend Tatum O’Neal, his conventional cuteness suddenly replaced by a sharply original handsomeness. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Taken inside a bank vault in Beverly Hills to celebrate a gold record for the Destiny album, June 1979]



Photographer Brad Elterman on these photos

Michael Jackson made sure that I got these cool photos of him dancing with Tatum O’Neal at a party held inside a bank vault in Beverly Hills. They were best buddies and Michael wanted copies of all the photos.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The Ledger, 26th June 1979]

“Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum and Michael reported back “on” again, Spokane Daily Chronicle, 11 July 1979]


[/EXPAND] [EXPAND The alleged encounter between Taum and Carole Mallory and Michael Jackson, printed in Star Magazine 8/2/1988]

Magic/Madness quoting a Star magazine exclusive (originally printed 8/2/88 “How Tatum O’Neal Stripped to Seduce Michael Jackson”) on what happened a few weeks later between them

Says Sarah Jackson (no relation to Michael) who was a friend of Tatum’s at the time, “Tatum told me that Michael was a nice guy, but so shy, how can any girl have a relationship with him? When we’re together, he hardly says two words. I know he’s a virgin. Someone needs to have a talk with him about it. I wonder if he’s afraid to have sex. He doesn’t seem very interested.”

Michael’s romance with Tatum lasted a couple of years and apparently ended the night of a Hollywood party at the guest house at Rod Stewart’s Beverly Hills home in 1979. The occasion was a rock concert Michael had attended with Tatum and some of her friends.

A lawsuit has been filed regarding reported events that allegedly took place at that party. According to one published report in Star magazine, Tatum persuaded Michael to go with her and a few friends, including model novelist Carole Mallory, to a small party at Rod Stewart’s. Stewart was not home.

According to the assertions of the complaint filed by Carole Mallory in her lawsuit, Alasdair Buchan reported that Tatum tried to convince Michael to have sex with her and Carole Mallory. Mallory and O’Neal were supposed to have made a pact that this evening would be “let’s bed Jackson night.” Mallory reportedly told O’Neal, “Well, if you don’t want him, I’ll have him, darling.” To which Tatum said, “Even better, why don’t we let him decide.”

The two starlets then supposedly climbed into a bed with actor Leif Garrett. “Come to bed with Carole and me,” Buchan reported Tatum O’Neal as having told Michael Jackson.

As the other at the party cheered him on, the shy Michael stood up and headed for the bedroom with Tatum and a scantily dressed Mallory. But Buchanan reported that, in the end, Michael refused their offer of sex. As a result, he was taunted and embarrassed in front of the other party goers.

According to “Starfucking as Research” a Playboy magazine article about Carole Mallory, the “ex model was inspired by her nights under the stars – some forty celebs, she says,” to write a sexy Hollywood novel, Flash, published in 1988. The dust jacket of Flash describes the book as portraying “the wild fantasies, the perverse desires, the amorous delights the way a woman really experiences them. And what the boys don’t know, Carole Mallory tells.”

Even though Carole Mallory is popular for living a rather sensational life style, when asked to clarify the accuracy of the report thtat she and Tatum O’Neal tried to seduce Michael Jackson, she became outraged and indignant. “How dare you? How dare you ask me such a question?” she said. “If you so much as use my name in your book, I will sue you, I swear it!”

The next dat Mallory’s attorney, Elliot Livingstone, reiterated her threat. Finally, Mallory would insist that the story was not true, and that she was suing the tabloids that published it. Indeed, she did file suit against The Star and NOTW for $50 million, in September 1988, claiming that “as a result of the extraordinary personal effort, struggle and hardship, [I} for at least approximately eight years [have] been and [continue] to be a reformed and rehabilitated alcohol, cocaine and sex addict.”

Whatever really happened that night remains a mystery, Michael Jackson has never commented on the matter. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael mentions Tatum, Ebony, September 1979]


At 21, Michael is unmarried but is reported to have “a thing” going with actress Tatum O Neal, who is 15.

Michael says that he has “plenty of time” to think about marriage, and he is not eager to discuss his friendship with Ryan O’Neal’s daughter Tatum, 15. He says she is the first girl he ever dated, admits they are “very close” — then says no more. The relationship has already created too much controversy — involving Tatum’s age, mainly, and then there’s the interracial thing, too, and the Jackson’s avoid controversy at all cost. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum attends the Triumph Tour, 1980]

“Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael mentions Tatum, Melody Maker, March 1, 1980 ]

I wonder if most of Michael’s friends are entertainers, and he agrees.

“Most of the time you understand each other easier, Tatum (O’Neal) will call me up and say, “Hey, you wanna go somewhere?” [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Ledger, 24 July 1981, Jackson and Tatum to Star in Film To Be Shot in China] “Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Evening Independent, 25th July 1981] “Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael talks about Tatum, Ebony, Dec 1982] “Michael[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Fan asks if rumours about Tatum and Michael being back together are true, Gossip Column, Feb 22 1983]

Q: We keep hearing rumors of a romance between Tatum O Neal and singer Michael Jackson. Are the reports true?

A: Tatum and Michael may have shared some innocent dates in the past, but that was it. A while back I checked out a rumor that Jackson’s interest in Tatum was much more intense than vice versa. Didn’t turn out to be true.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND February 28th, 1984, Grammy Awards]


Poor Tatum O’neal was at the entrance door with four friends, watching the madness.

Michael, Brooke and a coterie of security guards rushed right by her. “Michael. Hey, Michael!” Tatum shouted. Too late. He was gone. She turned to her friends. “I’ll introduce you to him later. I promise.”

…As he left the auditorium with Brooke and Emmanuel, fifty people were elbowed out of his way by his guards–including Tatum O’ Neal and her four friends. “I’ll introduce you to him later,” she promised them, again.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael and Tatum go to a Kool Aid And The Gang concert together, Michael in disguise, May 11th 1984]


At first glance you wonder what beaming young actress Tatum O’Neal sees in her older date, his features obscured by a huge afro and bushy beard.But the eyes are the giveaway – beneath the elaborate disguise is a 24-year-old Michael Jackson, hoping to enjoy a concert with his first girlfriend in blissful anonymity.The 1982 snap documents one of the many “crazy nights” Tatum, then 18, says she shared with Jackson. And while the singer came to be mocked for the crazy disguises he adopted, this one was clearly a work of genius.

When the snap resurfaced recently, a now 45-year-old Tatum told pals: “We were going to a Kool And The Gang concert, but Michael didn’t want to be spotted. “He got a special effects guy to help. We had an amazing night. No one recognised us, but we did get some strange looks as he appeared so much older than me.”

A Jackson insider reckoned the get-up – put together by Oscar-winning special effects artist Rick Baker, who worked on the Thriller video – cost thousands of dollars.They added: “Michael loved it. He thought it was so much fun. Rick created this beard and did some work on Michael’s lips. He also gave him make-up to make his skin darker.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum seen with Michael during Victory Tour in New York, Jul 6, 1984 ]


Where is His Hotness staying?

Rumors abound: He is in the Alameda Plaza Hotel because it is swanky. He is in the Westin Crown Center because it is easily secured, and President Reagan stays there. (The possibility that Jackson is a Republican remains.)

He is at a private home. He has been here all week, and saw “Gremlins” Wednesday night. He is not here at all, but will be air-lifted in at concert time.

Jackson almost scotched the last rumor when he appeared at a news conference here yesterday.

The problem was that Jackson was only in the room for three minutes and you had the feeling that a first-rate look-alike could have pulled off his act.

The press, three hundred strong, quivered with anticipation and fear of losing their seats.

“Somebody said Brooke Shields is out in the hall!” exclaimed one unfortunate reporter, ignorant of the fact that His Hotness was most recently cited with Tatum O’Neal, not Shields. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael speaks about not being able to return all of Tatum’s calls, Ebony Dec 1984]

[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Jermaine Jackson mentions her, early 80s]

But he dates other women, including a former Miss Universe and Tatum O’Neal.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND MJ talks about Tatum in his Moonwalk autobiography, 1988 ]

I saw Paul [McCartney] for the first time at a party on the Queen Mary , which is docked in Long Beach. His daughter Heather got my number from someone and gave me a call to invite me to this big party. She liked our music and we got to talking.

later on:
My first real date was with Tatum O’Neal. We met at a club on Sunset Strip called On the Rox. We exchanged phone numbers and called each other often. I talked to her for hours: from the road, from the studio, from home. On our first date we went to a party at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion and had a great time. She had held my hand for the first time that night at On the Rox. When we met, I was sitting at this table and all of a sudden I felt this soft hand reach over and grab mine. It was Tatum. This probably wouldn’t mean a lot to other people, but it was serious stuff to me. She touched me . That’s how I felt about it. In the past, girls had always touched me on tour; grabbing at me and screaming, behind a wall of security guards. But this was different, this was one-on-one, and that’s always the best.

Ours developed into a real close relationship. I fell in love with her (and she with me) and we were very close for a long time. Eventually the relationship transcended into a good friendship. We still talk now and then, and I guess you’d have to say she was my first love – after Diana.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Photo of Michael in disguise with Tatum in ’84 offered for sale, The Deseret News, August 22 1989]

Jackson: Pricey Pic

Could any fan of Michael Jackson be fanatical enough to pay $400,000 for a photograph of His Weirdness? That’s the asking price for an original Polaroid showing Jackson, in a bushy afro wig and bogus beard disguise, sans glove, hugging his pal Tatum O’Neal. The photo was snapped by an employee at the Helmsley Palace, where Jackson was staying. The Palace paparazzo, who is accepting bids until October at a Bronx post office box, tells Eavesdropping that Jackson paid $10,000 for the get up.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael speaks about Tatum, Glenda audio, June 1992 ]

Michael’s phone conversations with Glenda Stein, tape 4-5

G: Tell me something, you know what? You told me before that you’re the loneliest person
MJ: I am!
G: Then how can you be that way when there are so many people…
MJ: Because I don’t love those people like that! I want to be with someone…I want to know what a relationship is all about before I die, can’t you understand that girl? I never had… I mean I’ve been with Tate… I’ve been, well not with… I been with Tate.


G: Where did Tatum and that..what was that other girls…
MJ: Tate..I dealt with Tate when I was a little bit younger..She came up to me in a club..we were in a club..(she came up to me?) and she put her hand on mind and I couldn’t believe it (break in tape) [/EXPAND] [EXPAND “Growing Up In The Jackson Family” Latoya’s Autobio (pub. 1991)]

My brother had been as sheltered from the opposite sex as I was. He too believed that sex came after marriage, and marriage was the goal of dating. Up till then (1984) he’d had only one close friendship, with Tatum O’Neal in the late 1970s. Tatum, just fifteen then, was in some ways more sophisticated than Michael, running with an older, faster crowd. We always found it so strange that her father, actor Ryan O’Neal, regularly left her and her younger brother Griffin unsupervised for days at a time, but for them, and many kids in Hollywood, that was considered normal. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum speaks about Michael, VIBE magazine; June/July 1995]

I never worked with Michael, but he and I had a really wonderful friendship when I was 12 and he was 17. He used to dance with me, we’d talk on the phone all the time, and he’d say how funny it was that I was 12 and I could drive and he was older and couldn’t. Michael used to come to my house when I was living with my dad, and I remember him being so shy. Once he came into my bedroom, and he wouldn’t even sit on my bed. But another time when he was over, he played the drums, my brother played guitar, and someone else played another instrument, and we had a jam session. I had the tape of it, but I lost it somewhere.When I was 12, he asked me to go to the premiere of The Wiz with him, and my agent at the time said it wasn’t a good idea, maybe because they felt he wasn’t a big enough star yet. He never talked to me after that. I think he thought I just canceled, but it wasn’t me at all. I was a child doing what I was told. I want you to print that, because I don’t think he ever knew that. I lost touch with him because of it, so I don’t really know him anymore. But I love him; he’s one of the nicest, most innocent people I’ve ever met. I love “She’s out of My Life” because I think it describes our friendship at that time. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael speaks about Tatum, Rabbi Schmuley’s book, conversations in 2000/1 ]

MJ: Yes, my first girlfriend, Tatum O’Neal she’d won the Academy Award for Paper Moon… I was 16, she was 13. And I was very naiive. She wanted to do everything and I didn’t want to have sex at all, because there were a lot of valuses associated with being a Jehova Witness. I said, “are you crazy?” One of those was to be kind to everyone. When I held Tatum’s hand it was just magic, better than anything, kisisng her, anything. Her, Ryan O’Neal and myself went to this club and were watching a band and underneath a table she was holding my hand I was was melting. It was magical. There was fireworks going on. It was all I needed But that means nothing to kids today. She grew up too fast. She wasn’t into innocence, and I love that. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Michael speaks about Tatum to Bashir, Living With Michael Jackson, Aired 9th February 2003]

Asked about girlfriends, he spoke of Tatum O’Neal, “My first girlfriend who I really loved a lot”.

He said: “I remember her telling me to come over to her house in Beverly Hills, and what she’s going to do to me. All the sexual stuff. So I’m scared to death. Scared because I’d never done anything like that.

“I came over there trying to be Mr Big Shot and brave and I remember she cut out all the lights in bedroom, opened the curtains so you could see the whole skyline of the city over the cliffs. It was beautiful.

“And she told me to lie on the bed. And I did. She slowly walked over and she touched the button of my shirt to open it. I took my hands and I wouldn’t let them down. And she just walked away. She knew I was too shy for it.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum speaks about what Michael said to Bashir, E Online, Monday, 10th February, 2003,] Source

During a sit-down with Bashir, Jackson recounts how a young O’Neal tried to seduce him and steal his virginity. On Friday, O’Neal released a statement saying her heart goes out to the Moonwalker and his family but claims Jackson embellished on what was an innocent relationship. ‘I am just as shocked as everyone else from what I saw last night. I have a great deal of respect for Michael Jackson as an artist and as a person. However, he has a very vivid imagination. His comments about our friendship were inaccurate. Michael did come over to my house when my father was home, but at 12 years old, there was no way I was capable of being as mature or as sophisticated as he claimed I was.'”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum O’Neal, Daily Herald, April 2003]


Then, reporters called asking about Michael Jackson’s claim in his February documentary that O’Neal seduced him when he visited her house in the 1980s. (“It was a huge lie,” she says). [/EXPAND] [EXPAND From Tatum O’Neal’s book “A Paper Life”, Oct 2004]

I met him at the On the Rox, the club Lou Adler & Jack Nicholson opened upstairs from the Roxy on the Sunset Strip. Michael was around 17 at the time, about 5 years older than me, & he seemed very sheltered & fearful & lonely–not at all what you’d expect a world-renowned performer to be. As I recall, he didn’t even know how to drive a car.

He gave me his number, and we started talking everyday–long drawn-out conversations that sometimes got so boring I would hand over the receiver to my friend Esme Gray. Michael would just keep on, thinking he was talking to me. His usual subject was sex. At 12 I didn’t have much to say about sex–all I knew was that it went on, pretty steadily, in my father’s room next to mine. But Michael was intensely curious about anything, everything sexual, though in an incredibly sweet & innocent way.

He was a huge star, but it seemed he barely even dated & knew little about life. He once came to my house and asked to come upstairs because he’d never been in a girl’s bedroom before. He sat on thebed, and we kissed very briefly, but it was terribly awkward. For all my passionate crushes on people like Dustin Hoffman, I was just 12 and not at all ready for a real-life encounter. So I said,’I can’t.’ Michael, who was sweating profusely, seemed as intimidated as I was. He jumped up nervously and said,’Uh, gotta go.’

That’s the closest I ever got to Michael, which is why I’m amazed by his recent claim on national TV that I’d seduced him but he was too shy to carry it through. I absolutely adored Michael–as a friend–and I admire him to this day. I believe that he fell in love with me. I’m told that he wrote the song “She’s Out of My Life” on his album Off the Wall for me. What an honor.

At the time of the supposed seduction, I was barely pubescent, and what I’d seen of sex so far was unappealling & gross. It may have been Michael’s fantasy that I’d seduce him–and it’s a little sad that he cast himself as failing, even in his dream–but it just didn’t happen.

Unfortunately, my friendship with Michael came to an abrupt ending. He’d played the Scarecrow in The Wiz, the urban remake of the Wizard of Oz, which starred Diana Ross as Dorothy. For the film’s premiere, Michael invited me to be his date. I asked my dad, who didn’t care one way or another if I went, but my talent agency was dead set against it. I was told, in exactly these words: ‘You can’t go to a premiere with a ni**er.’ Hollywood!

That upset me tremendously. Had I been old enough–or had I the parental support–I could have stood my ground & insisted ‘Oh yes, I can.’ But my father was too disengaged to help me think it through. So, without telling Michael the reason, I turned him down. He was devastated. After that Michael didn’t speak to me for years, until I ran into him at the Helmsley Palace in New York. For old times’ sake, we caught a concert together, Kool and the Gang at Madison Square Garden. Michael dressed in full costume for the event–coming in blackface, with a pasted-on beard–the whole nine yards. But things were never the same between us.”[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum O’Neal, Newsweek, October 25, 2004]

You were friends with Michael Jackson. When your boys were little, would you have let them stay over at Neverland?

Absolutely not. Are you kidding?

So do you think he’s guilty?

Ah, Jesus juice… I really don’t know. I don’t understand why he would have little children around all the time. He’s guilty of being a completely misguided soul in the world. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Joe talks about Tatum and Michael’s relationship, Joe Jackson’s autobiography (roughly translated from German), 2004

In 1984, my son already had had a few girlfriends. Everyone knows that he and Tatum O’Neal kissed at a party in the Playboy mension. Tatum was his first love. Then there was Brooke Shields, but she was too young then, and Michael was always a gentleman. He nevertheless courted her and bought her a ring with a big diamond. He frequently told his mother about how much Brooke meant to him.

Tatum, Brooke and Michael had a lot in common. All three were child stars.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum O’Neal is speaking out about the death of her fellow former child star Michael Jackson, June 2009 ]

“The world lost two unbelievable talents in one day. There are no words that can express the sadness I feel in my heart. My condolences go out to his family,” she told ET exclusively.[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum Attends Memorial, Hiphopweekly, July 7th 2009 ]

Two of Michael’s former dates, Brooke Shields and Tatum O’Neal, showed support of their childhood buddy along with other celebrities, including Dionne Warwick, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and BET’s Debra Lee and Stephen Hill. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum O’Neal, The Daily Beast, June 15th 2011]

Farrah and Michael Jackson passed away the same day. That’s a pretty full-circle thing for you, to have your first “public” boyfriend and your father’s great love that sort of drove a wedge between you two, pass at the same time.

[Michael] was somebody I knew and I did go on a date with, but I don’t know about my first “public boyfriend.” Let’s call that the media’s take on my first “public boyfriend.” First of all, how sad to lose two fucking icons. Secondly, it sort of canceled Farrah out a little bit because she didn’t get the moment that I think she deserved and could have had. At the same time, this is life, man. This isn’t about who’s going to get the better farewell.

It’s interesting, because you say in your book that your father was disapproving of all your boyfriends except for Michael Jackson. He said he knew how much Michael “adored” you.

He liked Michael Jackson but he likes famous people. He’s that guy. But I don’t think he wanted me to have any dates the same way I didn’t want him to have any dates. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum O’Neal say she made out with Michael on Howard Stern, June 15th 2011 ]


Howard: Ever make out with…
Tatum: Michael Jackson? Yes.
Howard: So you did make out with Michael Jackson?
Tatum: (laughing) Yes. Uh-huh.
Howard: Now that’s weird.
Tatum: Sorry. That’s not weird, come on, that’s lucky. A lot of people would want to make out with him, it was before had all that face work done, come on.
Howard: But I thought you said he was kind of scared…
Tatum: He was scared… he had a big half… (gets interrupted)
Howard: Of course he was scared, he was a homosexual man.
Tatum: Was he? Is that what you think? He was in love with Diana Ross and I know that that was real. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Tatum O’Neal on twitter, June 17th 2011 ]

jermjackson5 Jermaine Jackson
I’m sure @Tatum_Oneal meant well. She was otherwise kind about Michael, but this myth is upsetting

Tatum_Oneal Tatum O’Neal
@NitashaNath Michael jackson was the sweetest person in the entire world.x

Tatum_Oneal Tatum O’Neal
@mimimjfan I met Michael the first time when I was 13. But we were friends for a long time. X

Tatum_Oneal Tatum O’Neal
And I want to stand on my bed and start cheering.that I have not received a cruel tweet from an MJ fan in 10 whole mins. Yay yay yay

jermjackson5 Jermaine Jackson
@Tatum_Oneal Pls RT this: Michael was fit & well, ready to rock the world again. then his life was taken. “addiction” nothing to do with it

jermjackson5 Jermaine Jackson
@Tatum_Oneal I didn’t intend for ugliness either. I intended to clarify. so ur RTs of Chinese Whispers from the media educated hardly help

Tatum_Oneal Tatum O’Neal
@jermjackson5. Your very welcome. I had no intention of starting any kind controversy. He was beloved by me as well. Tatum peace

jermjackson5 Jermaine Jackson
@Tatum_Oneal thank you for that retweet, Tatum. best of luck with your show

JakkiB Jakki Byrne
@IAMAARONCARTER Should be part of the education system along with @Tatum_Oneal as leading examples of WHY Not to do drugs!!! #Fail

Tatum_Oneal Tatum O’Neal
@JakkiB I totally agree

what do you feel when you first time met michael?

Tatum_Oneal Tatum O’Neal
[/EXPAND] [EXPAND Ryan O’Neal mentions Michael and Tatum, on Piers Morgan, June 19th 2011 ]

MORGAN: This is a tape.
MORGAN: Your brother said that your father gave him drugs when he was, I think, 11. Did he do that to you?
T. O’NEAL: You’ll have to ask him.
MORGAN: Why are you reluctant to say?
T. O’NEAL: Because we have a show we’re doing and I don’t want to say incriminating that are going to make it harder to kind of make peace and have a healing. Every time I kind of bring up the bad stuff, it just doesn’t go towards making a healing and getting us to a better place. I know for sure my dad made a lot of mistakes. I’m sure that he’s living with them today.
O’NEAL: Now, she’s been saying that for 25 years. She can’t stop saying it. Why? Why does she do that? It’s because she needs a reason for why she collapsed. Why her career and her marriage, her children, they all went south. Why did that happen? Because I had a terrible childhood. She had a wonderful childhood. She met Queen Elizabeth. She traveled the world. She was a millionairess by the time she was 12.
MORGAN: Does that make you —
O’NEAL: It doesn’t hurt, OK.
MORGAN: Doesn’t it?
O’NEAL: It doesn’t hurt, no.
MORGAN: Can it?
O’NEAL: She had a career. She had a picture. She had everything she wanted. She danced with Michael Jackson. He called every night. She was a happy camper. OK? [/EXPAND] [EXPAND “Found: A Daughter’s Journey Home,” Tatum O’Neal, released June 14th 2011 ]

When I was a teenager, I discovered that some people, mostly women, befriended me to get to Ryan. That was an eye-opener, and I discovered that there was a safety in people who were already known or successful on their own terms. When I dated Andy Gibb and Michael Jackson, I know they weren’t going out with me because of who I was. They didn’t need me. The same was true with John.


Then he added “You were sixteen, then seventeen, and you were going through all kinds of changes that I wasn’t comfortable with. I didn’t quite understand all this growth-hormone stuff. The boyfriends. Michael Jackson adored you. That was all right with me. But nobody else. ” This was my father, not the all-powerful god I worshiped as a child but a young man saddled with an adolescent daughter he didn’t understand. [/EXPAND] [EXPAND Jermaine talks about Michael and Tatum’s relationship, “You Are Not Alone” by Jermaine Jackson, released Septemeber 2011 ]

The secluded privacy of [my ranch/beach house] appealed to [Michael]. That was presumably what appealed to my neighbors, too: actors Ryan O’Neal (four doors down) and Beau Bridges (directly next door). It was during my morning runs on the beach that I used to wave at Ryan’s daughter, Tatum, as she stood on the balcony. She was a 13 year old child star at the time, having won an Oscar at the age of 10 for Best Supporting Actress in Paper Moon. I told Michael there was “this real pretty girl” living nearby and, coincidentally, he started showing up at the beach house more and more at weekends. But here’s the ironic thing: they waved at each other but never spoke until they bumped into one another in a club on Sunset Strip.

“It’s meant to be,” I joked.

“It’s nothing, we’re just friends,” he said, playing down its importance. But it was obvious from Tatum’s visits to Hayvenhurst that they were boyfriend and girlfriend. She was clearly smitten and he was giddy around her, but Michael was guarded about when and where he saw her. I don’t remember one visit to Malibu when he left my house to see her, or they met at the beach. Which seemed odd, but Michael’s sense of privacy and discretion, even among his siblings, was notable.

I am aware that Tatum has publicly distanced herself from being Michael’s childhood sweetheart, but I don’t think my brother suggested that they shared a blazing passionate love affair. It was nothing but puppy love. But what matters is that, in my brother’s heart and mind, Tatum was his first girlfriend. [/EXPAND] mjfacts.info, desiree speaks

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