During her lifetime, Taylor declared that Michael Jackson was her “friend and I love him like a son.”
The two met in the 1980s, when Taylor walked out of Jackson’s concert at Dodgers Stadium. Jackson called Taylor to query why she didn’t like his show, she stated she left because of “poor visibility.”
That phone call gave birth to a friendship.
In 1991, when Taylor took her eighth trip down the aisle, (to marry Larry Fortensky), Jackson transformed his lush, 2,700-acre Neverland into a wondrous outdoor wedding.
Taylor stood by the musician through thick and thin to affirm her adoration. In 1993, when Jackson was accused of child sex-abuse allegations, the actress didn’t hesitate to defend him.
“I believe totally Michael will be vindicated,” she told news program, “A Current Affair.” “I believe in Michael’s integrity and his love and trust in children.”
That same year, Jackson was hospitalized to treat his addiction to prescription drugs, and Taylor was by his side.
During a press conference she said, “ I have suffered and dealt with the same kind of medical problems now affecting my friend Michael Jackson.”
In Christmas of 1993, their friendship had come full circle, when Michael Jackson transformed Neverland once again, this time to celebrate his first Christmas.“I don’t celebrate Christmas,” he shared with the camera, right before Taylor, decked out in red, entered the room.
Michael doted on Taylor and, to the awe of Hollywood, gave her a $637,000 necklace after she came to his defense when the suspect Martin Bashir Jackson documentary surfaced.
When Michael Jackson died suddenly in June 2009, Taylor was too distraught to attend the funeral. She tweeted:
“My love goes out to Katherine and Michael’s beloved children … I said I wouldn’t go to the Staples Center and I certainly don’t want to become a part of it. I love him too much …”
In 2009, after watching This Is It, Elizabeth Taylor tweeted 19 reviews of the film, calling her departed friend a prophet and an inspiration.
“Listen to his messages,” Taylor tweeted. “From Black And White, Man In The Mirror. The inspiration behind We Are The World. We must take his words of responsibility seriously.”