Since the release of Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland, Michael Jackson’s legacy has been on trial. In the controversial HBO documentary, Wade Robson and James Safechuck accuse Jackson of molesting them as children, which has sparked outcry from those who believe the pair’s story, and backlash from Jackson’s supporters and closest friends.
The King of Pop’s former bodyguard, Matt Fiddes, has been one of Jackson’s most vocal supporters. He was one of the central figures behind Michael Jackson: Chase the Truth — which seeks to discredit Leaving Neverland — and is often the subject of interviews about the singer’s life. He also regularly takes to Twitter to interact with fans and speak about his relationship with the “Smooth Criminal” singer.
Recently, Fiddes responded to one Jackson’s supporters with words of encouragement after she said Fiddes had “nothing to prove” following what appeared to be doubts on social media that he was Jackson’s bodyguard.
“Ha ha bless you! That’s why he loved you all!” he wrote. “Everyone seems to want attack people who knew him personally! Such jealousy! Should all stick together to prove his innocence!”
Fiddes previously spoke to The Daily Mirror about the 2005 trial Jackson faced for allegedly molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo. Although Jackson was acquitted, Fiddes claims that the late pop star never fully recovered from the ordeal.
“It was clear after the verdict he was never going to be able to click his fingers and be back in Michael Jackson mode again,” he said, adding that Jackson was a “walking deadman” by the end.
???????????????????????? I should not have to post these! should know not to judge! I was never paid when I guarded him! I was his friend to the end along with Mark Lester we last saw him in 2009 after the “Oliver show” fact research like @dannywuyue not like @TheMJCast #mjfam pic.twitter.com/1csco45L3y— Matt Fiddes (@MattFiddesUK) October 13, 2019
Fiddes claims that Jackson was “terrified” that someone would assassinate him while performing, and at one point, wanted to wear a bulletproof vest.
“We talked to him and said the public love you, you are going to have no problems, I am going to here [sic] for you with security and making sure you are looked after you [sic],” he said.
Jackson also reportedly struggled with drug addiction during the later years of his life. The pop star eventually died from acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, which led to the arrest and conviction of his doctor, Conrad Murray, who served two years in prison for his role in the star’s death. Murray was reportedly providing Jackson with a continuous infusion of propofol and allegedly tried to hide the identity of the drug by putting it in a saline bag. According to Steve Shafer — a Professor of Anaesthesiology at Stanford University — he claims Murray should have known this form of infusion was not safe.