In the wake of the accusations of sexual assault levied against the late Michael Jackson in the documentary Leaving Neverland, the pop star’s former doctor, Neil Ratner, spoke about Jackson’s obsession with childhood in an exclusive Daily Star interview.
Ratner, who grew close to the “Smooth Criminal” singer during his time as Jackson’s physician through the ’90s, believes that Jackson’s inability to let go of his childhood stems in large part from his upbringing and his relationship with his father, Joe Jackson.
“I only know what he told me and when were [sic] on tour in South Africa on a few occasions his father came so I did get to meet his father, speak to his father and see his adult relationship with him,” he said.
“And it was obviously not good and it was turbulent and I’m not condoning Joe’s behavior but you know they were a poor family and he was trying to get something to support the family.”
Ratner claims that Joe definitely didn’t approach fathering in the right way and was abusive, which he suggests impacted Jackson in his later life. Ratner also revealed a story that Jackson told him about his childhood when he and his brothers would rehearse at the orders of their father. Jackson reportedly said he and his brothers would look out the windows at the other children playing and wish they could join them, but their father would always say “no, a couple more hours of rehearsal, a couple more hours of rehearsal.”
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) July 13, 2019
According to Ratner, this memory “sums up” Jackson’s inability to move forward from his childhood as he grew into adult life.
Per The Inquisitr, Jackson’s ex-girlfriend, Tatum O’Neal, recently revealed on Good Morning Britain that she finds the abuse accusations of Wade Robson and James Safechuck “hard not to believe.” She claims that after watching Leaving Neverland, she was disturbed by the allegations it chronicled, although the actress admits she never saw anything abusive from Jackson herself.
O’Neal also revealed that the allegations against Jackson don’t surprise her, and she highlighted the “many disgusting things in Hollywood” that have slowly begun to seep into media and the public eye.
The 55-year-old also used her 2004 autobiography, A Paper Life, to touch on her relationship with Jackson — when she was 12 and he was 17 — and how Jackson pushed their relationship forward fairly fast. She also admits that Jackson did seem hesitant during their intimate encounters and suggests he was just as nervous about the intimacy as she was.