Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Larry King Live

Interview with Joe Jackson

Aired July 20, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Joe Jackson exclusive -- live, unedited in his own words. For the first time since his son died, what Joe knows about Michael and drugs; challenges to wife Katherine's guardianship; and the foul play he blames for M.J.'s death.

Who is Joe accusing?

Plus, the never before asked question and answer -- how he said good- bye to his son.

Joe Jackson exclusive is next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Joe Jackson, the patriarch of the Jackson family, is in Las Vegas.

In Atlanta, is Leonard a lot of time, the music and concert promoter and longtime friend of Michael Jackson.

Before we get started, I should say we got a lot of e-mails, blog comments, Kings Things, Tweets, asking if we paid for the interview. And the answer is simple -- no, absolutely not.

Joe, I have -- I have not heard the answer to this -- how did you learn of Michael's passing?

JOE JACKSON, FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Well, I -- I learned that by some of the fans, you know. They called me and they told me that the ambulance was leaving Michael's house and it looked it was headed toward the hospital. And he said the fire truck was following the ambulance. And they said we are following the fire truck.

That's how I learned.

KING: Wow!

Did you turn the TV on right away?

JACKSON: No, I did not. I was trying to find out more of the things, you know, by the fans and that sort of the thing.

KING: Wow!

So fans were the first to tell you?

JACKSON: Yes, they did. They always keep me abreast of what's going on.

KING: How are -- how are you doing? It's four weeks later.

Is it any easier?

JACKSON: Well, it -- you know, I took it very hard. But, you know, I'm sort of a tough person myself. But I took it very hard, but I didn't let nobody know about it. Yes.

KING: We -- by the way, Leonard will be -- we'll bring Leonard into the conversation shortly.

How is Katherine coping?

JACKSON: Katherine is taking it very, very hard. You know, she's -- she's really, really taking it harder than I have ever seen her take anything. Yes.

KING: Yes.

Were you surprised at all at that?

JACKSON: Yes, of course, I was surprised, because, you know, it's the first time something like this ever happened to us. And -- and the whole world suffered behind Michael's loss, you know -- our loss, I'll put it like that. And we all are grieving about it and still is.

KING: How are the children doing?

JACKSON: Oh, everybody's fine. Thank you. Very fine.

KING: How about Janet Jackson?

You know, where she stood up for the family at the funeral. And I was there at the award -- at the memorial. It was a heartbreaking moment. She seemed rather shaken.

How is she doing now?

JACKSON: Well, she's fine. You know, it happens with, you know, everybody practically I mean. But she's got to keep on doing what she's supposed to do and that's to try to be Janet Jackson. Yes.

KING: Jermaine said in an interview that he wished that he'd been the one to die and not Michael.

As a father, how do you react to that?

JACKSON: Well, I can't. That's Jermaine talking, you know?

And I...

KING: Yes, but how do you feel when you hear it?

JACKSON: Well, because we -- that's what Jermaine thought and maybe that's what his reaction was. But he's living and Michael is dead. And so -- and so that's the way it is. It's not him. KING: Isn't it hard -- isn't it hard to accept?

JACKSON: Accept what, Larry?

KING: That your son is gone?

JACKSON: Oh, of course. It's very hard. It's not just me, it's so hard for the whole family -- and the world, because Michael was -- did so much for the -- for the whole world and which he never was -- he never was -- well, he never -- the people never give him his just due, what the things that -- for all of the things that he has done.

KING: Well, we'll get to some of that.

When little Paris spoke at the end, everyone, of course, was immensely touched and impressed. A lot of people were especially moved.

What do you -- why -- how do you think she was able to do that, get up and talk in front of that crowd?

JACKSON: Well, she's a Jackson you know?

And that's all I can say about that at the moment. But she's got a lot of nerve, yes.

KING: Are you saying it's in the genes?

JACKSON: Of course it's in the genes.

Where else could it be?

KING: Do you think these children might go into show business?

JACKSON: I can't get into that right now, Larry, because, I mean, I just can't. But they like to watch movies and things and that show -- they watch hit shows on TV and stuff, you know.

What can I say?

KING: But I mean down the road, down the road, if they expressed an interest -- I mean, you raised a family and they all got into show business.

If the grandchildren wanted to, would you encourage them?

JACKSON: Larry -- Larry, I know where you're trying to go with that. And I don't want no (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: I'm not trying to go anywhere, I'm asking you would you encourage them...

JACKSON: Well, I'm not...

KING: (INAUDIBLE) business?

JACKSON: I'm not encouraging them to do nothing -- not (INAUDIBLE). They have to be what they are, kids, at the moment -- yes, and be raised properly.

KING: So those rumors that you wanted to tour the Jackson 3 are not true?

JACKSON: Not true. That's a bunch of jive. That's a bunch of -- I wish I could say what I should say. That's a bunch of bull. That's a bunch of bull.

KING: Do you spend a lot of time with the grandkids?

JACKSON: I don't spend -- I'm -- I live in Las Vegas and they live in L.A. and I go back and forward sometimes, yes.

KING: Where is -- where is Michael's body?

JACKSON: I don't know. You'd have to ask somebody that knows. I don't know. All I know is that...

KING: You're the father.

JACKSON: I was at the memorial and where they took him from there, I have to find out. I'll let you know later, Larry.

KING: OK. But as the father, one would think you would have the most imminent right to know.

JACKSON: I do have that right. But I'm not talking about that right now.

KING: OK. Jermaine talked to me about seeing Michael's body and saying good-bye.

Did you get a chance to say good-bye?

JACKSON: Yes, I said good-bye to him when he was up -- well, when he was up there in front of us, you know?

And I say -- I'm saying good-bye to him now. But -- and what the others say, that's what they say. And what I'm saying is I do feel the loss of my son, Michael Jackson, who was an international star all over the world.

KING: But you -- you didn't get to see the body or say anything...

JACKSON: No, I did not.

KING: the remains?

JACKSON: No I did not.

KING: Do you wish you could have?

JACKSON: I could have. But -- but I wanted to see Michael -- I wanted to remember Michael alive, because I didn't want to see him -- I didn't want to see him laying up in a casket, you know?

KING: Yes, I understand that.


KING: If -- do you expect to be asked about burial?

JACKSON: Well, they could ask me...

KING: I mean, do you expect to be included in the decision?

JACKSON: Yes, I do expect a lot of things. But a lot of things you expect don't ever happen.

KING: How true.

We're going to talk about lots of things. And we'll be bringing in -- we have not forgotten your friend, Leonard, right there. And we'll be bringing in Leonard shortly to talk about...

JACKSON: There you go.

KING: Hold on right, Joe.

Hold on.

We'll be right back.

We're going to talk about the reported drug use and what you thought about that and what he did to help his son.

We're back with Joe Jackson. And we'll bring in Leonard a lot of time, as well, right after this.



KING: Oh, what a family Joe Jackson raised.

And, Joe, also with us is Leonard a lot of time in Atlanta, the music and concert promoter, a longtime friend of Michael Jackson. We're going to include Leonard in a lot more in a couple of moments.

But, Leonard, quickly, were you at that -- that last rehearsal of Michael's?


KING: Did you make it -- what do you make of -- did you have any inkling that he might have a medical problem?

ROWE: Yes, I did.

KING: Based on what?

ROWE: Well, based on his physical appearance, based on his weight, based on his actions, based on his mental capacity. When I was with Michael, I didn't see the Michael that I'd normally have seen in the past. I've been knowing Michael for about 30 years. And I know when he was well, in good health. And I know when he's not in good health.

KING: Joe, what do you think of what Leonard just said?

JACKSON: Well, Leonard's telling the truth, because, you know, he knew Michael -- well, I'm the one that started Leonard a lot of time into being a concert promoter many years ago. And he did promote my -- my boys in the earlier years, of course.

KING: Yes, but I mean what do you think of what he just said, that he thought Michael was not well?

JACKSON: Well, he was not well, you know. This -- we tried to find out what the situation was, but there were a lot of times that we couldn't get to him like we should.

KING: You're not surprised, then, at what Leonard just said?

JACKSON: No, I'm not surprised.

KING: The official autopsy results have not yet been released. They've been delayed a while, I guess.

But you had a private autopsy.

What can you tell us it said, Joe?

JACKSON: Well, I haven't -- I don't know yet. I haven't heard it. I haven't read it.

KING: Didn't you get a private autopsy for the family?

JACKSON: Yes, but they haven't -- they haven't reported nothing to me yet.

KING: Well, I don't understand. You're the father. And a...

JACKSON: Yes, of course I'm the father.

KING: So don't you have the right to say to the people, we have a private autopsy, will you show it to me?

JACKSON: Well, they have not showed it to me, Larry. I'll put it like that.


And you haven't asked for it?

JACKSON: Well, I figured I would get it pretty soon, so I didn't ask for it.

KING: Do you frankly think that drugs were involved in your son's life?

JACKSON: Something happened there, Larry. This wasn't just only drugs. This -- there's something else behind all of that.

KING: And what do you mean?

What do you -- what is -- where is it -- what are you thinking?

JACKSON: Well, I'm thinking that there's foul play, you know?

That's what I'm thinking. And...

KING: Well, but explain that.

Foul play meaning what, somebody trying to harm him?

JACKSON: Of course. A lot of time, you -- you get into that, a lot of time.

ROWE: Larry?


KING: You get into the -- I don't know what you said. I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said.

JACKSON: I told a lot of time to get into that. So he knows all that stuff about the, you know, what happened (INAUDIBLE).

KING: OK, Leonard, what do you know about foul play?

ROWE: Well, Larry, let me explain this to you. During Michael's final days, the final days of Michael's life, and during the final days that was leading up to his life, as well as the final days that surrounded his death, there was a lot of suspicious activity going on in his surroundings.

KING: Like?

ROWE: Michael Jackson's life, at the end, was being controlled and manipulated. Michael Jackson was not allowed to make his own decisions. He was not allowed to hire who he wanted to hire to work for him. Michael Jackson was being told what to do and people was controlling Michael Jackson.

KING: By whom?

Who was that?

ROWE: The same people that was controlling Michael Jackson financially, the people taking care of Michael Jackson, the people that was paying his bills. Those are the people that was controlling Michael Jackson.

KING: Who is that?

Is that the corporation that owns Neverland?

Are you referring to them?

ROWE: No. It was the promotors who were promoting him in London...

KING: You're talking...

ROWE: ...which was AEG. They was -- at the time of Michael's death, they were the ones that was controlling Michael's life. And this is (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: But what did that have to do with foul play?

ROWE: Well, let me say this. Foul play would have to be determined with an investigation. But what we are saying is there was a lot of suspicious activity that was surrounding Michael.


ROWE: I mean...

KING: Well, why would...

ROWE: Let me...

KING: Why would AEG want to harm him when he's going to perform for them?

ROWE: Listen, let me -- let me correct you about something here. I'm not saying that. I'm going to repeat myself. There was a lot of suspicious activity that was occurring around Michael Jackson and I'm willing to explain it.

Michael Jackson, at the end, was not allowed to make decisions of his own. Everything was being told. Michael Jackson...

KING: You said that.

ROWE: OK. Let's...

KING: I understand that, Leonard. But that's not foul play.

ROWE: OK. Let me explain what -- what I'm saying to you when I say suspicious activity.

KING: Right.

What do you mean?

ROWE: People was brought in to run Michael Jackson's life...


ROWE: ...that he had dismissed from his life in the past, OK, by AEG. AEG brought people in that Michael had dismissed in the past. I found that to be very unusual. I was one of the people that Michael Jackson personally hired to come in, but everyone was against that...

KING: But I -- but, Leonard...

ROWE: ...everyone from AEG.

KING: I understand -- I understand that.


KING: But I don't understand how that constitutes foul play.

ROWE: OK. Let me say this to you. There was a doctor in the house with Michael Jackson -- the healthy Michael Jackson, the Michael Jackson that AEG said was in perfect health. That doctor was put in the house with Michael Jackson and he was paid a large sum of money per month.

KING: To do what?


KING: To take care of him, right?

ROWE: Yes.

But why would you put -- why do someone that's completely healthy, as they say, need someone to take care of them?

I consider myself...

KING: So you're implying...

ROWE: I consider myself healthy, Larry. I don't have a doctor living with me.

Do you have one living with you?


KING: So you're implying foul play by sending a doctor there?

ROWE: No, Larry. Let me say this to you. Michael Jackson was addicted.

Do you understand that?

We all know that.

KING: Correct.

ROWE: It's not a secret.


ROWE: Would you put a cocaine seller in the house with a cocaine addict? No, you wouldn't do that.

KING: Are you saying they put a cocaine seller in the house -- the doctor was selling cocaine?

ROWE: I didn't say that, Larry. But he was able to write...

KING: Well, what did you say?

ROWE: He was able to administer drugs.

KING: Joe, what do you...

ROWE: Do you understand that?

KING: I understand .

Hold on, Leonard.

Joe, what do you think of what Leonard has had to say?

JACKSON: Well, this is what -- you don't take a doctor and stick him in the room there and the doctor give him something to make him rest and then he don't wake up no more. Something is wrong there. The doctor -- the doctor -- the doctor just -- somehow, I understand that he left or went to sleep or something. I don't know what happened there.

But he tried to bring Michael...

KING: Are you implying, then, that the doctor committed foul play...

JACKSON: Something went wrong...

KING: ...Joe?

JACKSON: Something went wrong, Larry, because when he -- when they tried to bring Michael back, he was dead. Something went wrong. Let me...

KING: All right. Let me get a break here. We ran a little over. I'll be right back.

We'll ask our guests whether they ever talked to Michael directly about drug use.

More next.


KING: We're back with Joe Jackson in Las Vegas and Leonard a lot of time in Atlanta.

Joe, did you talk to Michael about drug use?

JACKSON: No, I did not. KING: Why not?

JACKSON: I never got a chance to.

KING: I'll go back to -- you're his father.

If you pick up the phone and you call your son and you're worried about him and you know he's had some problems with this, why wouldn't you counsel him?

JACKSON: Larry, I'm going to cut through the chase on this. I could never get to him. I tried all I could and I could never get to him because he -- I was barred away from him by securities and all that type of thing. I could not get to him.

KING: They cut you off?

JACKSON: That's right, Larry. They cut me off.

KING: Now, what if Michael asked to see you?

JACKSON: Well, that's a horse of another color. If he asked to see me, then he probably could have seen me.

KING: All right.

So why do you think he didn't?

JACKSON: Well, I couldn't -- I can't answer that, Larry. All I know is I was barred from being around there to see him.

And we were just talking about foul play.

You want to know about foul play?

If a doctor's there that couldn't bring you back -- and this doctor, he ran away. They had to look for him three days to find him.

So what do you think there that's happened?

To me, that's foul play.

KING: All right. That's your explanation. That's fair enough.

Do you -- what do you say about all these things that have been said over the years, that you harmed Michael as a child?

JACKSON: Oh, that's a bunch of bull S. That's a bunch of bull S.

KING: Straighten me out.

JACKSON: You know, that's not true. I would never...

KING: You never physically harmed him?

JACKSON: Never. Never have. And I -- and I raised him just like you would raise your kids, you know?

But harm Michael, for what?

I have no reason. That's my son. I loved him and I still love him.

KING: And we'll be back with more after this.


KING: Joe, sometimes in a family, when a family member dies, the other family members feel some sense of guilt. For instance -- it might be unwarranted.

Do you feel any guilt at all?

Do you ever say to yourself, I could have done more?

JACKSON: Well, I wish -- I wish I had done more. I wish I had have broke those gates down they had me barred out from him and went in there and got past the security guards myself. But, you know, I was (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: That's understandable...


KING: have guilt or -- I would have guilt over that.

Now, what about that unseen footage, that notorious '84 Pepsi commercial shoot made public last week by "Us Weekly?"

It was pretty graphic. It's been shown many times.

Do you think that was a big turning point for your son?

JACKSON: Well, I imagine so, because, you know, he got his hair singed off his head. And -- and it took a long time for that thing to heal, you know?

So -- so it had to have some kind of damage to him, of course.

KING: Did he -- did he talk to you about it?

JACKSON: No, he did not.

KING: Leonard, what did you make of it?

ROWE: What did I make of his hair burning, Larry?

KING: Yes.

ROWE: It was just a...

KING: I mean do you think it had a telling event on his life, affecting drug use and etc.? ROWE: I think so, Larry. When I first met Michael Jackson, he would hard -- he wouldn't drink a Coca-Cola. So as far as taking any kind of drugs, that was totally out of the question. And that was something that him and I used to talk about quite often.

Michael Jackson was against drugs and he was against alcohol at the time when I first met him. So I think...

KING: So something went wrong?

ROWE: Well, he began taking those drugs -- I think that was in 1984, because he had a lot of excruciating pain.

KING: Right after the incident?

ROWE: Sure.

KING: Yes.

ROWE: And, you know, like a lot of people do, I think he became addicted, which he said and which he had told me before.

KING: Do you think it might have started, also -- Joe, do you think it might have started a lot of plastic surgery, because of that burn?

JACKSON: It could have, you know. I don't know the reason when it started. But it could have started a lot of plastic surgery.

KING: Yes. Because he sure -- he must have had a lot of it, right?


KING: Joe, you all right?

JACKSON: I'm OK. Yes, I'm good. Thank you. Yes, I'm good.

KING: Let me get a break.

We'll be right back with Joe and -- and Leonard.

Don't go away.


KING: Joe, in a minute, I want to clear up some business involvement -- a question involving Leonard and Michael.

But are you surprised, Joe, that you were left out of the will?

JACKSON: Well, I wasn't too surprised, because, you know, that's what his -- it was his will. That's the way he wanted it. And it's not going to hurt me that I was left out of his will. But it happened. And I can't (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: Were you estranged from Michael? JACKSON: Well, he left it to his mother, you know, as much as he could. And -- and I figure that it will be -- she's pretty fair a lady to be able to -- to be fair with everything about the will.

KING: Are you and she separated?

JACKSON: No, we're not.

KING: You're still marr -- a married couple?

JACKSON: That's right.

KING: All right, now to the business thing.

What involvement, if any, did either of you have in Michael's business affairs?

And this is a note to you, Leonard. Leonard, apparently, you have a letter March 25th addressed to AEG's Randy Phillips, purportedly signed by Michael Jackson.

In the letter, Michael reportedly says that "effective from this date, Mr. Leonard a lot of time is my authorized representative in matters concerning my endeavors in the entertainment industry."

Is that true?

Do you have that letter, Leonard?

ROWE: Yes, I do.


Now how about another letter that comes forth, dated May 20th, the same year: "Dear Mr. A lot of time, I hope you are well. After further consideration, I've decided to streamline my business opportunities at this time. Accordingly, this is to inform you that you do not represent me and I do not wish to have any oral or written communication with you regarding the handling of my business and/or personal matters. With respect to my touring matters, please -- please feel free to contact Frank DeLeo or Randy Phillips of AEG."

Did you get that letter?

ROWE: Never received that letter, Larry.

And let me say this to you, Larry. Michael Jackson knew very well how to reach me by phone, by mail and a couple of more ways. I've never received that letter, Larry.

But this letter is back to what I was saying to you at first.

Michael was being controlled. I was not on AEG payroll. I was not one of their people. They did not want me around Michael Jackson nor did they want anyone around Michael Jackson that they did not control. Because if they could keep people from around Michael Jackson that was trying to look out for his well being and people that actually cared about Michael, they could reach their goal of stripping Michael.

That's what I truly felt.

KING: Are either of you -- Joe, are you going to go -- were you going to go to the London concerts, Joe?

JACKSON: Yes, I was going to be there. They didn't want me there, but I was going to be there. They didn't want me around my son at all, you know, because they know that I'd be watching everything they do.

KING: Leonard, were you going to go?

ROWE: Yes, I was going, Larry, because Michael had hired me to oversee his finances, number one. And to look...

KING: So do you discount this purported -- this letter which appears to have a signature...

ROWE: I've never received a letter, Larry. I have to receive it first. And I don't think Michael meant for me to receive that letter. You know...

KING: When was the last time you spoke to him?

ROWE: Let me say something, Larry. I think you are missing something here.

KING: All right, go ahead.

ROWE: But I can't stand it, Michael was being controlled.

KING: I understand that.

ROWE: And I'd like to understand that. I don't think you understand.

KING: Well, he could get to a phone. Did he talk to you on the phone?

ROWE: I spoke to Michael. I was also in a meeting with Michael and Randy Phillips, one of his employees, Mr. Jackson and his mother, about three weeks before Michael passed. If they wanted me to receive that letter, they could have easily hand that letter to me. But that letter was never handed to me. And Joe could verify that.

JACKSON: That's right.

KING: So Michael never said anything to you about breaking off the relationship?

ROWE: What Michael said to me is, "Rowe, I need you to look out for my money. I have kids. I can't come back from London with no money." And I gave him my word that I would do that.

But you know what? I was in the way, Larry, like anyone that was going to look out for Michael's money because I think other people had a different agenda about Michael's money. Do you understand me?

KING: Yes, I understand what you're saying. So you're saying this letter is not what it's supposed to be?

ROWE: What I'm saying is I've never received that letter, I've never seen it. So how can I tell you that?

KING: But you're saying -- you are saying you were with him three weeks before he died and gave you no indication he was going to break off with you.

ROWE: Just -- his father is here on your show. And he could verify that I was with Michael.

JACKSON: That's right, he never received that letter, Larry.

KING: Right.

ROWE: Three weeks before he passed we met at the Beverly Hills Hotel. And I was trying to discuss different things with Randy Phillips concerning Michael's finances in London, England.

KING: And...

ROWE: As far as scalping of the tickets and things that I thought they were doing unethical to Michael Jackson. I was doing my job for Michael Jackson. That's what he hired me to do.

KING: Joe, how did that meeting end?

JACKSON: That meeting ended with me out there and shouting on the floor and talking to Larry Phillips about...

ROWE: Randy.

JACKSON: ...they wanted...

KING: Randy.

JACKSON: pay him in U.S. dollars and I wanted him to get paid in pounds. And he said, by the time his tour starts, the U.S. dollar will be much more than the pound.

ROWE: Which was totally untrue.

JACKSON: And that's not untrue, because the U.S. dollar was never more than the pound. And they said they were going to straighten all this stuff out and get back with me. I never heard from Randy Phillips at all...


JACKSON: ...until I called him. And then when I called him and asked about all this stuff he said he never said that.

ROWE: And Larry, can I say something here really quick. KING: Yes.

ROWE: I want you to hear me and I like you to hear me well.

If people cared about Michael's well-being like they paraded they did, they really paraded around like they was Mother Teresa. But I told Michael in numerous occasions that they wasn't. But if they really cared...

KING: I'm going to get to break. All right, hold it, Joe, hold it Leonard.


KING: Joe was answering your questions tonight, too. You go to, ask him what you'd like to know. Don't forget our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Back with Joe Jackson and Leonard Rowe right after this.


KING: Leonard, you described the actions of AEG as unethical. What do you mean, Joe? What was unethical?

ROWE: Can I answer that, Joe, please?

JACKSON: Yes, you go ahead and answer that. You better put it there.

ROWE: Ok and Larry, I would like to answer that question, please.

KING: Go ahead.

ROWE: Larry, the first conversation I had with Michael Jackson. The night, it was a Friday night, the night he asked me to come and go to work for him. This is what he told me.

He said, "Rowe, I only agreed to do ten shows for AEG. I never agreed to do 50. He said I can't do no 50 shows, Rowe." He said "I never agreed."

I said, "Well, Mike, what is your deal? He said, "I don't know what my deal is." He said, "I need you, Rowe to straighten that out. I need you to get with Randy Phillips on Monday morning and take care of that." He said "I would like for you to schedule the shows out and stretch them out to a schedule that is doable for me."

KING: So you're saying that they set 50...

ROWE: Hold on Larry, would you please give me...

KING: Hold on, hold on, you're wandering off. Are you saying, when they said 50, that was against Michael's wishes?

ROWE: Totally. Michael wasn't capable...

KING: But they were selling tickets for 50?

ROWE: I said that. But he didn't approve that Larry. He was telling me that he didn't approve 50; he only approved 10.

KING: But we have a statement from -- we have a statement from AEG President and CEO Randy Phillips...

ROWE: Did you have a contract?

KING: ...on the number of concerts.

ROWE: It's isn't even approved.

KING: Read. And he says, "Our original agreement with Michael Jackson called for 31 shows. It was our option as the promoter to only announce the first ten concerts, knowing that based on the response to the presale we could and would add the additional 21 shows.

The presale response was so overwhelming that we went back to Michael's representative at the time, Dr. Thome (ph), to inquire whether Michael would be willing to increase the number of shows." He reported that Michael was willing to increase the number of performance to 50.

And I would expect that AEG is going to probably dispute these allegations tonight. But they're saying Michael agreed to it.

ROWE: Ok, let me just say this to you Larry.

KING: Could that be after their spoke to you?

ROWE: Let me say this Larry, no, it couldn't be. But first of all and let me say this...

KING: So you're saying they're lying?

ROWE: Let me say this. Listen to me say this, they'll say anything, ok?

But what they should do is produce to you a contract showing what was signed by Michael to do 50. Do you have that?

KING: I don't have any contract, no. Ok.

ROWE: But you have my contract with Michael. You have that one.

KING: Ok, yes, I think we have that.

ROWE: Yes, you do.

KING: All right Joe "People" magazine quotes what is described as a source close to the family as saying, that you are willing to sign papers saying that you don't live with Katherine and won't be involved in raising Michael's kids.

Is that true or false?

JACKSON: I've never said I was going to sign any papers to that effect. But...

KING: Well, there's a lot flying around here.

JACKSON: And they got wings. They fly around with a lot of stuff that's not true.

KING: Ok, we have a blog question for Joe.

JACKSON: Square.

KING: A lot of questions posted for Joe on the Larry King blog. Did Michael convert to Islam? Was he a Muslim when he died?

ROWE: Joe don't know that, Larry.

JACKSON: I don't know that.

KING: Ok. Joe, what do you make of the document that's been filed in court as Michael's will? Do you think -- do you have any complaints about his will?

JACKSON: Well, I don't like the people -- because all these people that was involved with the will -- Michael fired those people. Now all of a sudden they're popping back up here.

ROWE: Larry, there was a lot of complaints about the will. Not about the will. No one is contesting the will. So let me say that and let me repeat myself. No one is contesting the will.

But what may be contested is the trustee of the will...

KING: All right.

ROWE: ...because there's a question whether Michael Jackson wanted these people, those trustees over the will, in place, at the time of his death.

KING: Joe, do you have any...

ROWE: These are the people -- I'm sorry, Larry, but these are people Michael had dismissed from his life earlier.

KING: All right, I got you.

Joe, do you have any at all bad feelings about the way Michael was raised? I know you are denying the stories about violence. But as you looked at it, were there any mistakes you made?

JACKSON: I didn't make no mistakes, Larry, because Michael, Michael was raised properly. He didn't run the streets like most of those other kids that was in his neighborhood.

KING: Why did he said... JACKSON: Listen, listen. Listen, now. You've got to understand me. Don't cut me off here, Larry. Michael has claims that he had a troubled life -- Michael never had -- he had his own brothers and sisters to play with. And most of those kids that was Michael's age during their time, they're not living now. So, you know...

KING: So when he -- didn't he once say that you were physically/emotionally abusive to him?

JACKSON: I've never been abusive to him, never have.

KING: But did he say that? Did he ever say that to your knowledge?

JACKSON: Well, I don't know whether he said that or not. But I hear the media keep hollering about that I abused him, I've never abused my son.

ROWE: Larry -- could I say something, Joe?

JACKSON: Wait, wait, wait, Rowe, let me handle this right here.

KING: That's right, Joe.

JACKSON: Let me handle this. The media keep hollering about saying that I beat Michael. That's not true. You know what this beat started -- beat started in the slavery days. Where they used to beat the slaves and then they used to torture them.

That's where these beating started. These slave masters, and that's where that come from. But, hey, there's a lot of people in America, Larry, a lot of people in America spank their kids, you know? They say they don't, they're lying. They're lying.

Now, Michael was never beaten by me, I've never beaten at all.

KING: Ok, you're on record.

Was Joe Jackson responsible for the kids' success? That's tonight's quick-vote question. Go to, tell us what you think.

So far, by the way, the majority says yes. The father was responsible for the success.

Back in 60 seconds.


KING: Joe, another Twitter question. If you could do it over with Michael -- raising -- what would you do differently?

JACKSON: Are you speaking to me?

KING: Yes, Joe. What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?

JACKSON: Well, I'll tell you what I would do differently. I think I would make sure that all this media talk about what I'm doing to Michael and the family, hey, I would be more cautious about the media because the media can -- well, you know, naturally they do all this stuff for ratings and they get a check. They get a check for all of this stuff they put out. But most of this stuff is not true. And that's unfair.

KING: And you think you should have handled it better initially?

JACKSON: Not too much better I could have done. Because I was working two jobs and then promoting my boys as well and I kept them eating and then, that's a lot to do. But I did it. I worked two jobs.

KING: All right, back with some more of -- back with some more of Joe and Leonard, don't go away.


KING: John King sits in for Anderson Cooper. He'll host AC 360. John what's up?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "STATE OF THE NATION": Larry, fascinating conversation you've got going there.

Coming up at the top of the hour on "360," we'll have more on what you're talking about: the Michael Jackson case including the latest details on the investigation and the big question -- whether or not criminal charges might be filed in Jackson's death.

Plus, President Obama's health care plan on the ropes. The crown jewel, you'll remember, of candidate Obama's campaign platform. But now, some of those in his own Democratic Party threatening to derail it. We'll look at how any compromise might be reached and how that would affect the future of your health care.

And new details in the Billings murder in Florida: new details about a past relationship between Billings and one of the suspects.

Plus, police say they're looking at what they're calling a second motive in the killing. We'll talk to the sheriff right here tonight.

All that Larry, at the top of the hour on "360."

KING: That's John King 10:00 Eastern and 7:00 Pacific.

A couple other quick things, fellows, from our blog. What, Joe, is your favorite Michael song?

JACKSON: The "Earth" song. I like that "Earth" song that he always sang about the animals and all that stuff because he was crazy about animals.

KING: How do you think he'll be remembered?

JACKSON: Well, he should be remembered -- how he would be remembered? KING: Yes.

JACKSON: All over the world?

KING: Yes.

JACKSON: Because he was a fan to everybody all over the world and also he's in the "Guinness Book World of Records" as selling more records than anybody in show business history. And he should be remembered by that. I just wished he could have -- go ahead. I'm sorry.

KING: It stands on its own.

Leonard, do you think the legal issues here are going to be resolved?

ROWE: Which legal issues?

KING: Well, the question of whether do you had any part of this they had, your charges about AEG that's a lot up in the air here?

ROWE: Larry, I couldn't answer that question. I know nothing about legal charges about AEG or nothing. I mean I have...

KING: Well I mean, you've made statements about AEG. Do you think that might ever be resolved?

ROWE: Larry, I hope that we have a Congressional investigation into Michael's death. And that is something that I have spoke to Joe about. I'll be speaking to his mother about and we will be asking the Congress to do that. Because there's something that I ...

KING: Joe, do you support that idea? We are almost out of time. Joe, do you support that?

JACKSON: Of course I do. I want to find out all I can about his situation there with certain people. For instance, Dr. Thome...

KING: All right.

JACKSON: Dr. Thome, he's no doctor. And he was fired by Michael and this is a terrible guy, he got about nine -- eight or nine different aliases.

KING: We're going to do a lot more on this. Thank you both very much.

Joe Jackson and Leonard Rowe, thank you.

By the way, tomorrow night, Liz Cheney will be here and a week from tomorrow night an hour with Colin Powell.

Some serious allegations have been made about AEG here tonight. And I suspect AEG will likely dispute the charges being leveled.

Debbie Rowe has stayed out of the spotlight. Her good friend is here to tell us why next.


KING: We now welcome Iris Finsilver to LARRY KING LIVE; a return visit for the former attorney for Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe and still a close friend of Debbie's. What did you make of the Joe Jackson interview?

IRIS FINSILVER, DEBBIE ROWE'S LONGTIME FRIEND: Well, I think it is a real bombshell, Larry. It's certainly surprising a lot of the things that were said today.

KING: When did you last have contact with Debbie?

FINSILVER: Last Friday is the last time I talked to Debbie.

KING: Not long ago and how is she doing?

FINSILVER: Well, yes, I try to talk to her every day.

KING: Has she seen the children?

FINSILVER: No. Not yet.

KING: What does she plan to do?

FINSILVER: Well, as far as I know...

KING: Plus, the hearing has been postponed, right?

FINSILVER: Correct. It's my understanding that certainly the family would try to work something out. I believe that that's what the judge said in open court. And that's always the best thing to do in a family situation is to have the parents and the grandparents sit down and talk about what their concerns are, what they might be afraid of.

KING: What does Debbie want with her children?

FINSILVER: Well, obviously, she would like to have a relationship with her children.

KING: Not custody?

FINSILVER: I don't know -- I really -- I don't know if she wants every day hands-on custody of the kids. The thing is, when she was married to Michael and having children with Michael she wanted to be a part of their lives but she recognized in her mind that Michael would be a better parent.

KING: She did?

FINSILVER: Yes. She thought he would be a great...

KING: That's an honest way to look at it.

FINSILVER: Yes, she said... KING: With all the rumors swirling around, did she ever tell you that Michael wasn't the father?

FINSILVER: I know that Michael was the father.

KING: Was the father.

FINSILVER: One hundred percent, Michael is the father of those two children. Yes.

KING: So if it's not custody, you think an arrangement will be worked out?

FINSILVER: I think so. I would hope so certainly. Sure.

KING: Why do people have negative feelings about Debbie, do you think?

FINSILVER: I think that the Jackson family doesn't know Debbie. Michael knew Debbie. I don't think that Katherine has ever met Debbie as far as I know. I don't think that Joe has ever met Debbie.

I don't know about the brothers and the sisters. But I think because they don't know her, they're fearful that she might do something or say something or you know it's...

KING: She blew-up at some paparazzi a couple weeks ago last week I think. Did that surprised you?

FINSILVER: No. I mean, it's not in her character to blow-up. But it certainly didn't surprise me to see a pack of photographers on her heels and for her to make a comment like that. I think that she's been very upset. I've spoken to her about it. She's had the paparazzi camped outside of her house.

KING: Still?

FINSILVER: Still. Still.

KING: How has all of this changed, you knew her before Michael, right?

FINSILVER: Yes and I've known Debbie before, during and after.

KING: Events changed life, right?

FINSILVER: Absolutely.

KING: People don't change, circumstances change. How has she changed?

FINSILVER: Debbie is still the same caring, loving person. Debbie has always loved those children.

I want to tell you something about her kids. She used to have pictures in her house of herself with her children. And one day I went in to her closet and it was like a shrine in the closet with all these pictures. So I said "Debbie why do you have all the pictures of your children in your closet?" And she said, "I can't leave them out. When people come in to my home they steal these photographs."

KING: What's wrong with that?

FINSILVER: She doesn't want her guests to come in the house and steal photographs of her children.

KING: Oh, steal them.

FINSILVER: Steal. Yes, yes.

KING: So why do you think she doesn't want them, now?

FINSILVER: Oh I didn't say it...

KING: She thought Michael would be a better father but he's gone.

FINSILVER: Right, so I didn't...

KING: Does she think Katherine is a good mother?

FINSILVER: I know, I...

KING: ...a good grandmother?

FINSILVER: I don't want to put those kinds of thoughts out there that she would say that. I think that she wants to step up to the plate. She's always loved those children, Larry. Always.

KING: Is she very emotionally distraught over Michael's death?

FINSILVER: Yes. Yes. She loved him more than any other person in the world. And you asked me a question, Larry. You asked me, did I see this change in Debbie.

KING: Yes.

FINSILVER: And I remember the night that she was leaving Beverly Hills to fly to Australia to get married to Michael. and I said, "Debbie, your world is going to change completely." And she said, "No, no. I'm still going to be the same me," and she skipped out the door and ran-off to get married.

She really had no idea that the world would be interested in her.

KING: Why did they break up?

FINSILVER: I really don't know the exact facts. I think that she didn't like life in the public eye. She had been in Paris with him. She had gone on various tours with him.

KING: It wasn't her style? FINSILVER: It's not her style.

KING: Was it -- was Michael -- but was that in vitro with Michael or was it natural sex?

FINSILVER: That I don't know. I know that they had sex together. That's what she told me.

KING: Now that -- Arnold Klein said that the other night, you have no about that, right?

FINSILVER: That Debbie had sex...

KING: Sex with Michael.

FINSILVER: I have no doubt. I wasn't in the bedroom. But I have no doubt that when she would tell me her -- these little things about their private life -- that it would...

KING: Will you attend the custody hearing when she attends.

FINSILVER: No. I don't believe so.

KING: Why not? You're her friend, you were her lawyer?

FINSILVER: I'm her friend. I'm there for her in her personal life. I want to stay out of the courtroom when she's in the courtroom so.

KING: But you do think it'll be resolved so that she can get visitation, Katherine will raise them. They'll work it out?

FINSILVER: I think if the Jackson family gets to know Debbie and if they sit down and talk to her, whatever fears they're thinking...

KING: They'll work it out.

FINSILVER: Yes, absolutely.

KING: Good seeing you again, Iris.

FINSILVER: Great to see you, Larry.

KING: We'll call on you again.

FINSILVER: Thank you.

KING: Iris Finsilver, our connection to Debbie Rowe and maybe Debbie will come here one night.

FINSILVER: Maybe, that would be great.

KING: It might be nice.


KING: Earlier, we heard about allegations from Dr. Thome. We will try to get reaction.

And tomorrow, Liz Cheney will be with us and as we said, a week from tomorrow Colin Powell.

Time now for John King and "AC360" -- John.