UNTOUCHABLE: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson depicts the superstar as an artist plagued by allegations of scandal, dishonest people and a difficult past
On Tuesday, a new book detailing the life of Michael Jackson was released by Rolling Stone journalist Randal Sullivan.
Sullivan had unprecedented access to people surrounding Michael, including members of his family, and his portrait shows a different side of the superstar than the media has previously highlighted. In the book, Sullivan depicts Michael as an incredibly talented and successful artist surrounded by dishonest people and marred by allegations of scandal.
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Many devoted fans of Michael Jackson have been quick to criticize Sullivan's portrayal, unnerved by parts of the narrative that Jackson family members have spoken out to refute. But the tome is a sympathetic take on the difficulties Michael faced in his relationships with his family, business partners, and physicians, struggles with his finances and legal proceedings, putting a new, perhaps at times more human, face one one of the most successful pop stars of all time.
The book paints many members of Michael's family as untrustworthy, interested more in financial gain than Michael's health and well-being, discusses Michael's own bizarre financial practices (he only had one credit card) and talks about his desire to play characters like Willy Wonka and Spiderman on the big screen.
Sullivan goes so far as to attempt to prove Michael was not a child molester, deeming him a "presexual" who probably died "a 50-year-old virgin... never having had sexual intercourse with any man, woman or child, in a special state of loneliness that was a large part of what made him unique as an artist and so unhappy as a human being."
In an interview with ABC, Sullivan confesses that throughout his process of researching and writing the book, he became sympathetic. "I developed a deep affection for Michael that I didn't see coming," he says.