MICHAEL Jackson’s doctor and confidant has come out in defence of the stars bizarre behaviour, branding it as nothing more than “a celebrity thing”.
Dr Neil Ratner, who introduced Jacko to the drug that would later kill him, says he knew the singer well and most of what people saw was just “part of a public persona”.
Now, almost 10 years after his sudden death, Jacko’s musical legacy as the King of Pop has become as notorious as his eccentric antics and obsession with young boys.
A ‘PUBLIC PERSONA’
Ratner told The Sun: “That was part of his public persona when you knew him in private he wasn’t that strange of a guy.
“He just wasn’t as odd as you’d think.”
The self-described ‘Rock-Doc’, who started his career in the rock and roll business before switching to medicine, toured with Jackson as his private physician throughout the 90s.
He explains: “Lets put it in the context of what it is. Id been in the rock and roll business and I saw all kinds of things of stuff when I wasn’t a doctor about rock stars on the road.”
“A lot of what you see is that rockstar celebrity thing.
“In the privacy around friends, Michael was Michael.
I didn’t find him so odd and strange.”
Ratner describes the man he knew as both patient and friend as troubled, but not as strange as he seemed.
He says: “The oddest part of Michael [was] his inability to grow up. His inability of wanting to be an adult. That was his hangup.
“Was he a manchild? Absolutely.
“Did he like children more than adults? Probably.”
SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS
Michael’s legacy has come under fresh scrutiny in an explosive new documentary, detailing the accounts of two men who allege the star abused them as children.
But Ratner says he never saw a thing.
Speaking to The Sun, he reveals: “All I can say is that in the eight years that I was with Michael .. not the Michael I knew.
“I never knew that Michael. I never saw that Michael. And I was hypersensitive to all that had gone on.
“And don’t forget I was spending a lot of time in his bedroom. Not many other people got to go in his bedroom.
“I think I would have seen things, I would have seen signs, I would have got indications.”
Despite not witnessing any abuse, the now-retired anaesthesiologist says he is “not discounting anything”.
“Anything is possible in life. Were amazed and freaked out all the time when we hear about peoples behaviour that we think we know.
“I can only speak from personal experience and I wouldn’t venture an opinion based on anything but that.”
Ratner visited Jackson’s sprawling 3,000-acre Neverland ranch, where the singer was able to retreat into his own bizarre, secluded world.
He says the purpose-built amusement park was a place where Michael didn’t have to grow up.
Speaking about his time at Neverland, he said:“I saw things that make it hard for me to believe he was anything other than what I knew him as.
“But Im not discounting anything because I’ve seen so many crazy things in life.”
OBSESSION WITH CHILDREN
Ratner did reveal that the troubled star was plagued by childhood traumas which haunted his adult life.
“He constantly talked about the innocence of childhood and how we lose it as we become adults.
“Michael had this whole thing about not having had a childhood.
“He couldn’t let it go. It bothered him tremendously.
“I talked to him about it. I said this is not good behaviour for a 50-year-old-man.
“Believe me, if I had seen or suspected I don’t want to be around that. I dont condone that. I don’t want to see kids abused.”
“Im not discounting anything. All I can speak about is the time I was there.
“The eight years I was with Michael, the time I was with him with kids, I just never saw any indication of that.”
Getty – Contributor
Jackson’s Neverland ranch was a place where he didn’t have to grow up
Michael dangles his son Prince Michael II over a balcony in Germany
Michael became famous in the 1970s as part of the Jackson 5
Jackson arrives for his child molestation trial in 2005