No. KING: And says that he had many special young male friends -- the "Vanity Fair" article deals with other things too. And you were raised as Jehovah's witnesses? Do you still have that faith?
L. JACKSON: I believe in a lot of the faith, but I am not a Jehovah Witness today. No. There are certain things I agree with and certain things I don't. KING: OK, what is your faith? Do you believe?
L. JACKSON: I believe in God. I'm very spiritual. I'm a spiritual person. I think being spiritual doesn't mean that you have to go to church every Sunday or throughout the week as long as you have that connection with God. And that's what I have and to me that's the most important thing that we speak.
(From CNN News)
CHUNG: Rabbi Boteach, you've known Michael Jackson for a while and you actually worked with him on projects that involved children. What did you find most disturbing about this interview? Because I think the general consensus is that there were many parts of it that were disturbing.
BOTEACH: I only saw a part of it.
And I was nauseated and sickened that a man of Michael's ability and God-given talent should have so -- should have become unglued on international TV. Michael's a profoundly private person. Why he submitted himself to this kind of invasion of his life is beyond me. I always used to say to him, when these requests first came in for this interview about two years ago, that: You'll never be more famous than you are. You're one of the three most recognizable names on the planet. What you need is credibility, as opposed to celebrity. Go to universities. Lecture to major bodies. If you want to be a true activist for children's rights, then you have to be taken seriously.
We gave a lecture at Oxford for that reason. We gave a lecture at Carnegie Hall. Michael Jackson is a man who has a profound spiritual core. He was a Jehovah's Witness. He used to witness, even after "Thriller" came out. He was the No. 1 star in the world. He would knock on doors and he would sell "The Watchtower" magazine.
When he severed himself from that spiritual life, he lost his anchor. And now we see him, sadly, as being totally adrift. And my heart breaks for a man who has a golden heart. He's a philanthropist. He's a profoundly good man. But no one can watch that interview and not see an idol that all of us had so many years, a guy who entertained us, who danced for us, who sang with us, and not be heartbroken that this is what it's coming to.
EBONY: I've noticed that you often make references to God. How religious are you?
JANET: God is very important in my life. I didn't grow up in the church. I grew up a Jehovah's Witness, which truly is different. The first time I was in a church was when I actually got married to James (DeBarge) in Michigan (1984), and he took me to a church. And what an experience that was. I had never seen anything like it before. You know, seeing the people getting what you call the Holy Ghost. I had never, ever experienced any of that before. I grew up in a religious home. It's very important to me. If I were to have children, I would raise them with some sort of religious background. I don't necessarily at this point in my life believe in organized religion. It's more of a one-on-one relationship with God, talking to God and feeling Him and knowing that He is there and a part of me, a part of all of us. That is what has truly gotten me through these hard times, aside from my friends and family. It truly has been God and getting on my knees and not being afraid to do so.