“The Michael Jackson I will remember was smart, articulate and made me laugh. His death was a huge shock but it brought back so many happy memories."
Such are thoughts of David Gest, the sexually ambiguous ex-husband of Liza Minnelli turned British reality TV "star". Like many of Michael's famous comrades, Gest has come out in support of his friend, revering the man he once knew and openly discussing the musician as he once knew him.
Their life-long friendship, starting in their young teens, resulted in Gest getting to know a side of Jackson rarely seen and reveals some interesting facts about the artist.
For example, Gest recalls that out of his magnificent body of work, Michael's favorite songs were Man In The Mirror and Heal The World. He also reveals that some of Michael's favorite contemporary artists were Beyonce, Eminem and Dr Dre,.
But his biggest reveal was the pairs shared passion for plastic surgery, beginning in the early 80s. While Gest grew out of the fascination, he explains that Michael did not, always insisting he could look better and falling prey to the sales pitches of a plastic surgeon.
“I begged him not to have any more, I said, ‘Your nose is perfect’, but the plastic surgeon we were using kept encouraging him to have more procedures. I believe he was just trying to keep the relationship going with Michael, but he wasn’t being honest with him. Even his family tried to say enough is enough. This guy made a fortune on my nose, Michael’s nose, Janet’s nose and La Toya’s nose. Tito and Jackie were smart, they left their noses alone.”
Gest also recalls the troubled relationship between Michael and his father, Joe Jackson:
“Michael was scared of Joe. Michael and I would take trips just to get away from him. Joe was always demanding but he wasn’t a bad man — he perhaps went about things the wrong way but what he truly wanted was more for his kids than he had. Joe eventually mellowed and Michael didn’t resent him like people think he did. Later in life, they got to know each other and made peace.”
But what Gest mostly remembers is a caring and giving man he was privileged enough to call his friend:
“There will never be another Michael Jackson — he was a musical innovator, a great dancer and you know what else? He was one hell of a friend."
[Image via WENN.]