VH1 News is reporting on an interview with Shaye Areheart, one of the editors of Michael’s book Moonwalk, which is re-issued today.
Ms. Areheart spent many months with Michael while his biography was being compiled, and got to know him really well. She says that the Michael in the book is not the Michael who has been reported on since the molestation allegations and also since his death on June 25th.
“I didn’t believe those stories,” she said. “I thought it was untrue. I think you don’t change that much. I knew Michael pretty well for those years. He was a fundamentally gentle, kind, decent person who revered children, who felt that children were angels on Earth. That’s not the sort of person that would take advantage of a child. I never did believe those stories.”
She interviewed him at length about his life and his childhood and family, and also “his early Motown experiences, the isolating effects of superstardom and the bizarre rumours that often enveloped him.” She also travelled to Australia, where he was on tour, and read the draft of the book to him, which he loved. After initially hesitating about issuing the book, he went ahead with it, and it shot to the top of the bestsellers list in the US and all over the world.
She was shocked to hear of his death, and especially by the circumstances surrounding it. “When I knew Michael, he didn’t even drink,” she said. “The guy did nothing. He was healthy and very proud of his health. He was a vegetarian. He was constantly exercising and dancing and moving. So I just…I just can’t speak to that.”
The new book will have an introduction by Berry Gordy and an extensive afterword from Ms. Areheart herself.