Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Securing Michael Jackson


I never dreamed I’d be writing about Michael Jackson on this blog (or anywhere else).

I had an elderly aunt who, in the early days of television, complained that she wanted a new TV because the “old” set handed down to her only played old films. As I walked away from our kitchen TV grumbling about the round-the-clock media marathon Jackson’s death had become, I thought of Aunt Ida. Maybe I needed a new TV.

Then I thought of an old friend, Moshe Alon, a first-rate security agent who has worked with the biggest of stars and VIPs, including Michael Jackson. Based on having seen him in action, I believe Moshe is the best security man in the country, probably any country. He doesn’t wait for trouble, he anticipates and prevents it. He uses his head instead of his muscles, and I’ve never seen him with a weapon. He’s wise and sensible, ethical and unassuming. Only the most qualified security personnel are employed by his company, PSC, Professional Security Consultants, but it is Moshe who is always in demand.

Moshe and I met in Israel when I was traveling with Elizabeth Taylor and he was engaged to provide her security. He was so impressive, Elizabeth invited him to come to America to work for her. That was 27 years ago, and while his services to her were never exclusive, his loyalty to her has never flagged, so the few times she asked him as a favor to her to help Michael Jackson, he did. [That’s Moshe between them in the above photo.] And when, not as a favor but as a friend, I asked him about Jackson, he readily reminisced.

Jackson watchers will remember that when he was in rehab, he disappeared for a month. It started with Elizabeth Taylor and Moshe going to Mexico for him. Moshe detailed how he had to scramble to get Jackson’s passport from the superstar’s own security people, who were withholding it from him. Then, using the first of many decoys, Moshe put an African-American who resembled Jackson in a car headed in one direction while he and Elizabeth spirited him away in another and put him on a private plane to Iceland.

While “everyone” was looking for him, they escorted Jackson to London, where he hid more or less in plain sight, and then to Switzerland, while Moshe dispatched look-alikes “all over the place.” Jackson’s own management offered Moshe “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to tell them where Jackson was, but he wouldn’t take it.

“When he [Jackson] came back to America, he was clear in his head,” says Moshe with satisfaction.

To be continued: personal recollections of the private Michael Jackson.

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