September 23, 2009

Jackson said he didn’t want to grow old

NBC says it plans to air recordings made before Michael Jackson's death, in which the U.S. pop star is heard saying he doesn't want to grow old.

Meredith Vieira is interviewing Jackson's one-time friend and confidante, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, about recordings of Jackson he made between 1999 and 2001.

The audio, which was recorded with Jackson's permission, will be made public for the first time in a one-hour Dateline exclusive to air Friday, NBC said.

The conversations are also detailed in Boteach's new book, The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation.

Boteach is also to appear live on Today Friday and Tuesday.

In one conversation, Jackson discusses how he feels a need to vanish from the spotlight.

I would like to some kind of way to disappear where people don't see me anymore at some -- at some point, and just do my things for children but not be visual. To disappear is very important, he said. If it weren't for children, I would choose death. I mean it with all my heart.

The pop icon also talked about how the mannequins stationed throughout his home were proxies for real human company.

I needed someone, he said. That's probably why I had, uh, the mannequins, I would say. Because I felt I needed people, someone, and I didn't have, I was too shy to be around real people.

He revealed his dread of aging, as well.

... when the body breaks down, and you start to wrinkle, I think it's so bad"¦

Asked by Boteach if he would rather die before that happens, Jackson replied, I don't want to grow old.