Their faith has been tested many times, but Michael’s fans have always supported him. This remains true at the trial of his former doctor who is accused in his death.
Outside the Los Angeles courthouse where Dr. Conrad Murray faces a manslaughter charge, the fans do not number as many as they did at Michael’s 2005 trial, but his supporters are just as colourful and no less passionate.
Cooper Lawrence, author of ‘The Cult of Celebrity,’ told Reuters Michael had a unique relationship with his fans.
“He constantly talked about them, whereas now a lot of celebrities have taken the lazy man’s approach to staying in touch with fans through Twitter and Facebook,” Lawrence said.
More than two dozen people, including European tourists, celebrity impersonators and women with sunflowers, showed up last week for the start of Murray’s involuntary manslaughter trial.
A handful earned seats in the courtroom, where they watched in silence and when the second week gets underway on Monday, there is little doubt they will be there again.
Michael’s personal assistant, Michael Williams, testified last week that when Michael was rehearsing in Los Angeles for the ‘This Is It’ tour, his admirers would camp out just beyond the driveway to his rented mansion.
Fans would cheer him as his Cadillac Escalade pulled into the arena where he rehearsed. They would be there when he left at night and would race back to his home to see him again. Often, he stopped to greet them, sign autographs and collect gifts or letters they brought, Williams said.
Gregory Son, 34, is one of those outside the courthouse and he wears a red armband that reads “Justice.” Son said he was among the fans that gathered at Michael’s mansion and saw the gifts he would receive.
“People, they spent money on Michael. They’d give him jewels, statues, antiques, dolls, Mickey Mouse or Charlie Chaplin things, pictures of babies,” Son said. “I mean, the list just goes on.”