Q: Why did you decide to write a biography of Michael Jackson, and what do you see as some of the most common perceptions and misperceptions about him?Visit Steve Knopper's website.
A: I wanted to write the book about Michael Jackson that I wanted to read. There are a lot of great books about him, but not a narrative that drills down on the dances and the music. [I wanted] the Peter Guralnick version. He’s a hero of mine. His Elvis Presley books…that’s what I was looking to do. How the albums were made.
I’ve done a lot of interviews on this subject [Michael Jackson’s life] recently, and I get asked a lot about, “He was a weirdo, that led him to be a child molester, how can you defend him as a genius?”
People forget that he went through a trial in 2005. It was a fair trial, and there was a not guilty verdict. That’s the standard any writer looking into Michael Jackson has to measure against…
I didn’t have any exclusive [with] children saying, “We were molested by him.” I tried to interview every child. Nobody was able to persuade me the not guilty verdict was [not valid]. I’m sympathetic to children who accuse people of sexual abuse and child molestation. You have to take them seriously. Usually they are telling the truth…
Q: As you researched the book, was there anything that particularly surprised or startled you?
A: This startled me most: I’d always thought of Michael as...[read on]
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