New Book: Madonna Jealous of Michael Jackson's Fame
Michael Jackson, Madonna
Michael Jackson's one-time spiritual advisor, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, has authored a book that depicts a strained relationship between Jackson and Madonna and paints Jackson as a man who wanted to "disappear," according to the AP.
The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation, released Friday, is said to be based on 30 hours of taped interviews that took place in 2000 and 2001. Boteach, 42, said he and Jackson originally created the tapes to strengthen Jackson's public image.
Madonna Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
"It was Michael's wish to bare his soul and unburden himself to a public that he knew was deeply suspicious of him," Boteach writes on his website. Boteach and Jackson parted ways after Jackson was charged with sexual abusing a child in 2003 for the second time.
NBC's Dateline will play the tapes on its Friday program. Boteach also appeared on the Today show Friday to discuss the book and Michael's June 25 death.
On the tapes, Jackson discussed his courtship of and rivalry with Madonna, his strained relationship with his father and his fear of growing old.
"Madonna laid down the law to me before we went out," saying, "'I am not going to Disneyland, okay? That's out.'" Jackson talked about steamy phone conversations the two shared during their romance but ultimately, Jackson said, Madonna was jealous of his fame.
Remembering Michael Jackson: Photos from His Memorial
Jackson also talked about the years of abuse he endured from his father and former manager, Joe Jackson. "He was rough," Michael said of his father. "The way he would beat you hard, you know, was hard."
Some of the darkest interviews concern Michael's own will to live, or lack thereof. "If it weren't for children, I would choose death. I mean it with all my heart," he said. Michael is also quoted as saying, "I would like some way to disappear where people don't see me anymore at some point."
"He lost the will to live," Boteach told Today's Meredith Vieira. "I think he was just going through the motions of life toward the end."
Michael's death has been ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office and the investigation is ongoing. A film based on his last concert rehearsals, This Is It, is due in theaters Oct. 30.