Brooke Shields has opened up about her close friendship with the late Michael Jackson and addressed his claims in 1993 that they were dating, despite her being in a relationship with Dean Cain at the time.
The actor and model spoke ahead of her forthcoming two-part documentary Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, which will be released on Hulu on 3 April.
In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Shields recalled Jackson telling Oprah Winfrey on live TV that she was his girlfriend.
“I called him up and I think I said, ‘This is kind of pathetic that you need to do this. I am having a shot at normal life – you cannot drag me into crazy town’.”
In response, Jackson reportedly laughed off Shields’ reaction to his claim.
Asked if they ever went on a date or kissed, she said: “No! There was one moment when we were in the car and the cameras were there and he grabbed me to kiss me, and I said, ‘No! Stop! We are just friends and you need me as a friend.’
“I remember the early days when other actresses were after him and he was kind of cute, before the shift. But it never ever crossed my mind.”
Shields and Jackson became friends in 1981, when she was 13 and he was 20, and they frequently attended awards shows as each other’s dates.
“He was so famous and I was so famous, and we could laugh at everybody, like little kids,” she told the newspaper.
Jackson faced multiple allegations of child sexual abuse and child molestation between 1993 to 2005.
He was put on trial in 2005 and indicted on 10 criminal counts, including child molestation, abduction, false imprisonment and extortion, but was later acquitted. He died in 2009 at the age of 50.
Asked what she thought of the allegations, Shields said she did not know “how to think about it” because “it’s so hard to believe”.
“I wish I knew the truth. Then I could figure out how to structure the narrative in my head. But I’m as shocked as I think the world is,” she added.
Shields attended Jackson’s public memorial service, which was held at the Staples Centre in LA. She delivered a eulogy and described their relationship as “the most natural and easiest of friendships”.
Shields is currently married to US film director Christ Henchy, with whom she shares two children, Rowan Francis Henchy, 19, and Grier Hammond Henchy, 16.
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