2019 American Music Awards

Elton John Remembers Michael Jackson in His Later Years as 'Genuinely Mentally Ill'

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Sir Elton John speaks during a lecture on 'The Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on HIV' at French Institute South Kensington on June 8, 2018 in London. 

Elton John's memoir Me is on its way, and in a new excerpt published by The Independent, the legend remembers some tragic moments in the later years of Michael Jackson.

“I’d known Michael since he was 13 or 14,” he wrote. “Elizabeth Taylor had turned up on the Starship with him in tow. He was just the most adorable kid you could imagine. But at some point in the intervening years, he started sequestering himself away from the world, and away from reality the way Elvis Presley did.”

In particular, John recalled Jackson attending one of his dinner parties, at which Jackson didn't eat anything a disappeared for a few hours before being found hours later "in a cottage in the grounds of Woodside where my housekeeper lived: she was sitting there, watching Michael Jackson quietly playing video games with her 11-year-old son. For whatever reason, he couldn’t seem to cope with adult company at all.”

“God knows what was going on in his head, and God knows what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of, but every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles," John added. "I don’t mean that in the light-hearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around. It was incredibly sad, but he was someone you couldn’t help: he was just gone, off in a world of his own, surrounded by people who only told him what he wanted to hear.”

Me is available for purchase Oct. 15.


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