You thought Elton John spilled all his tea in Rocketman? Sweetie, that was just him telling his own secrets.
In his new memoir, Me: Elton John, the “Tiny Dancer” singer reportedly has plenty to say about his many famous friends, acquaintances, and frenemies. One of the celebrities John dishes on, according to the U.K. newspaper The Independent, is Michael Jackson.
In the book, John wrote that he’d known the late pop star “since he was 13 or 14” and that Jackson “was just the most adorable kid you could imagine.” But John went on to describe that as an adult, Jackson “started sequestering himself away from the world and away from reality the way Elvis Presley did.”
“God knows what was going on in his head, and God knows what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of, but every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles,” John recounted, clarifying that Jackson’s state of mind wasn’t eccentric, but unsettling. “I don’t mean that in the light-hearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around.”
“It was incredibly sad, but he was someone you couldn’t help: He was just gone, off in a world of his own, surrounded by people who only told him what he wanted to hear,” John added.
John also told the story of a dinner party he hosted with husband David Furnish, which Jackson attended. According to his account, Jackson refused to eat and wandered off from the party, and they later found him playing video games with their housekeeper’s 11-year-old son. “For whatever reason, he couldn’t seem to cope with adult company at all,” John said.
This account is all the more disturbing considering the decades of sexual assault allegations surrounding Jackson. In the 2019 HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, recount the sexual abuse they say they suffered as children through their relationships with the singer.
Me was published October 15.