Jul 09 2012

Michael Gave Whitney Houston a Monkey for Her Birthday

Category: Friends,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 10:51 pm


Michael with Whitney Houston

Does that sound strange? Well maybe it is. But before you judge such a gift too harshly, try to understand the life of the person it came from.

BeBe Winans wrote a book about Whitney Houston called ‘The Whitney I Knew‘. There are some exclusive excerpts of the book in an article on RollingStone.com. I want to share a few of them here in the interest of understanding what the Whitney Houstons and the Michael Jacksons of our society go through in order to share their gifts with us.  It’s heartwrenching that these people are so judged and crucified by our society and its tabloids and media as they  give our souls life through their gift of music or other talents. There truly must be a special place in Heaven for these people, monkeys and all.

Here are the excerpts, but please do read the entire article at RollingStone:

Hers was a tangible gift that audibly and even visibly set her apart. That’s what Whitney possessed. There was no gimmick to her, only giftedness. But with that giftedness came great promise and great responsibility, the weight of which can be too much for even the most pure in heart.

The world saw Whitney in the tabloids just like it sees Madonna or Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Our mistake is that we make our assumptions about the kind of people they are based on the manipulative lenses of photographers scrambling to land their photo on the front page of TMZ. We watch Being Bobby Brown and think that the scenes caught on tape constitute Whitney as a person, a mom, and a wife. True, the reality show was not Whitney’s (or Bobby’s) shining moment. But are we really that eager to remember someone for their worst moments when they’ve given us so many of their best?

The truth is, those images never constituted Whitney’s reality. Her life was not lived at the reality-show/tabloid level. And yet, because that’s all so many people saw, it’s all they allowed themselves to believe. The public formed their opinion of her through writers and photographers who never met her. To me, that’s a tragedy.

Imagine yourself in this situation. You can’t escape the expectations of the mob. And it kills you.

• • •

To give you an idea of how the media twists reality, allow me to expound on the Mariah Carey situation. Now, this story would probably embarrass Whitney a little, but I have to tell it. I think she’d understand that it’s all in good fun.

When Mariah debuted, I’m sure people in the media couldn’t wait to compare her to Whitney. I had heard of Mariah early on because my good friend, Rhett Lawrence, produced her first big single. I was at his house in California when he was raving about this new singer.

Well, as we all know, when Mariah came on the scene, she hit hard. And instantly the media created a “hate” between Whitney and Mariah. They were both going to be at the American Music Awards, and people were expecting some kind of fireworks because supposedly there was this massive tension between them. Again, this was a fabrication. They didn’t hate each other; they didn’t even know each other.

I could convince Whitney to do anything – pranks or whatever. We’d be hanging out and I’d tell her to do something, and she’d say, “You are not my father. Why do you think you my father? You think I’ll just do whatever you tell me?” To which I’d reply, “Shut up, I am your father” – all in good fun, of course.

Well, we were at the American Music Awards, and I had persuaded Whitney that after her performance and her category were over, we would go to dinner. I’d also informed her that when we exited our seats, she would be the last one out, and that we were going to pass Mariah Carey on the way out.

“Here’s what you do,” I said. “You gonna stop and you gonna put out your hand and you gonna speak to her.”

“I’m not gonna speak to her,” Whitney replied.

“Yes, you are. You’re going to be bigger than this whole situation.” “I’m not . . .” “Yes, you are.”

Her category finished and our little foursome started marching out to go to dinner – CeCe in front of me, Whitney’s assistant, Robin, in front of her, and Whitney at the end of the line – just like I said. And Whitney did exactly as I told her to do. I didn’t stop to listen to or watch their interaction; I just kept moving. The three of us piled into the car, and then Whitney blew in like a storm and slammed the door behind her. She was clearly upset and embarrassed.

“I’m going to kick your tail!” she said to me. “What happened?” “I’ll never listen to you again.” “Tell me what happened!”

“I did everything you said: I stopped. I put out my hand and said, ‘Hi Mariah, I’m Whitney.’ And when I stuck out my hand, she turned her head like she didn’t hear anything I said and looked up at the sky.”

“Oh no,” I said. “Tell me that’s not true.”

“Oh, it’s true. I was so embarrassed. There I stood, looking like an idiot. I’m never going to do what you tell me to do again.” Thank God the media didn’t see this. If they had, Whitney’s and Mariah’s brief exchange (or lack of it) would have been blown into epic proportions. They would have hated each other and not even known why – and all because it may have been so chaotic in that moment that Mariah didn’t even hear Whitney. Unbelievable. Well, my idea didn’t go very well, but we laughed at that whole awkward affair years later. And this incident didn’t end up stopping those two from getting together in the future . . . after some further persuasion. When Whitney was approached with the opportunity to record a duet with Mariah, I encouraged her to do it. She wouldn’t hear of it. “You crazy,” she responded. “You know what happened last time I tried to do something nice. You don’t know what you’re saying, boy. You’ve lost your mind.”

It wasn’t that she disliked Mariah; she just didn’t want to be embarrassed again. We talked a little more about it, but she finally said, “That ain’t going to happen, BeBe.” Then, only a few months later, she called me and sheepishly informed me of her latest news.

“Well,” she began, dragging it out a bit, “you said it a few months ago – that I should do a duet with Mariah.”

“No,” I interrupted, “don’t tell me you’re doing it!”

“Yeah, Babyface wrote the song, and it’s on.”

I could tell she was very happy about the whole thing.

“Wow,” I replied, “ain’t that something! That’s going to be incredible! But wait, you said you were never going to do something like that.” We both laughed and laughed. Oh, how Whitney loved to laugh. Finally the two superstars met – two musical powerhouses who knew who they were outside of the pop world. And when they performed that Oscar-winning song together (“When You Believe” from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack), it was the catalyst for a great friendship between them. When I looked at Mariah at Whitney’s funeral, all those memories came flooding back.

I share that story for two reasons. First, as an example of the gross exaggerations the media likes to spin on celebrities and also to communicate Whitney’s honest love for her peers. She loved other singers and was always up on who was new and fresh. Second, I wanted to depict the scene within the church the day of her funeral. Each person sitting in that sanctuary represented both the good and the bad of Whitney’s life.

When I say good and bad, I simply mean the wonderful make-up of this life in general. That’s what makes life so beautiful: the fun and the boring, the misunderstandings and the epiphanies. All of it mixes together on the canvas of our lives. When I saw Mariah at Whitney’s homegoing, I saw a specific brushstroke of Whitney’s life. That brushstroke touched other brushstrokes. Together the strokes formed a masterpiece.

All masterpieces have certain tensions or contrasts on display – that’s what makes the painting dynamic and memorable. Whitney’s life told a dramatic story filled with contrast and beauty, a life truly lived.

The seclusion of fame damages people the most. Fame causes its inhabitants to live afraid – to fear their reputation being marred – which makes seclusion seem the only real alternative. Look at how Michael Jackson faded into eerie reclusiveness, buying a monkey and other exotic animals as pets. For me, that seems far removed from reality and true human connection. But he also endured a level of celebrity that few people on earth can relate to.

One year Whitney threw an exclusive party – a BIG party. You may ask, who throws a party for their 26th birthday – complete with a who’s who of attendees, loads of food, a beautifully decorated tent, and excellent music? Well, she did, because she was on the road during her 25th birthday.

The invitation had a spectacular picture of Whitney on the cover. You had to be on a list, and there were different security checkpoints. CeCe and I just stayed on the sidelines of the party, watching her enjoy the evening and all the love as she mingled with everyone.

That was also the night we discovered that Michael Jackson had given Whitney a monkey as her birthday present. Everyone seemed amused, but I’m sure they were all thinking the same thing I was – This is crazy! Who gives monkeys to people for their birthdays?

The thought is funny and ridiculous at the same time. Of course Whitney didn’t need a monkey! It was all she could do to take care of her cat! But perhaps Michael was so far removed from people that he thought Whitney could use the companionship of a monkey.

Whitney couldn’t believe it. She read Michael’s card, looked at me, and said, “What am I going to do with a monkey?”

We both laughed.

“As soon as this party’s over, that monkey is getting dropped off at the zoo!” Did this gift make sense to Michael? I don’t know. Perhaps. The amount of fame that Whitney had garnered already as a 26- year-old had propelled her into a lonely way of life. But can you imagine thinking that another person would be so lonely that they’d need a pet monkey? This was someone’s reality?

This is what seclusion does to a person. Whitney didn’t struggle with the inclination toward extreme reclusivenes like Michael did, though I can see now how that gift from Michael was a foreshadowing of darker days ahead for Whitney.

• • •

Rest in Peace Michael and Whitney. At long last, Rest in Peace. ♡

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30 Responses to “Michael Gave Whitney Houston a Monkey for Her Birthday”

  1. cjg says:

    I think everyone has experienced periods of feeling isolated, removed, and unable to relate to those around them. However, I don’t think anyone, Michael included can be defined by those moments. No one can argue the fact that Michael suffered more than his fair share of unjust treatment by many, however, I think you have to be careful or that will overshadow ALL of the phenomenal aspects of who he was. He was a multifaceted person and so was his life. He was filled with grace, beauty, compassion, understanding, genius, incredible art expressed through music and dance like we will NEVER exprience again – we were lucky to be alive to witness this miracle called Michael Jackson. Something horribly neglected is that he was a teacher- in that through his magnificent gifts he taught a world how to give selflessly, treasure the beauty of differences/diversity through acceptance of others, and most importantly L.O.V.E. unconditionally. He was an artist and sometimes would express these qualities in an unconventional, artistic manner (like giving someone a monkey) we might find unusual. We musn’t forget that Michael loved his life. He himself said, “I am happy to be alive. I am happy to be me.”

  2. julie says:

    Etta James had a monkey and dressed it up as Elvis.

  3. Seven says:


    That passage in ‘Moonwalk’ was absolutely heartbreaking.

    He did have an emotional innocence. His compassion and empathy for others was always innocent. It’s just the thing the world needs more of – yet when it existed here in the form of Michael Jackson, it was ridiculed and denigrated. And that tells us more about what’s wrong with the world and our society than what’s wrong with Michael Jackson. It’s exactly why we always say “he wasn’t only the man in the mirror, he *was* the mirror.

    At least in this piece, there was some attempt to understand him, rather than to simply reject, insult and ridicule. And that’s more than most people do.

  4. Seven says:


    I don’t blame MJ’s fans for being ultrasensitive because he was so abused by the media and their trash peddlers. His fans will always loyally rush to defend him. I’ve done it myself many times!

    In this case though, I don’t think Winans meant anything derogatory. I think he seeks to understand Michael through his knowledge of Whitney and his comments seem compassionate and sad, not insulting.

    It’s true the media did dissect and twist everything about him and some of them still do. The poor man had been driven (partially by the media) to an early grave and still they cannot just leave him alone. It’s despicable, and it ought to be illegal. I can’t imagine being his family and being subjected to bovine scat like D. Dimond’s recent attack and the media’s continuing penchant to label him “Jacko”. They can manage no respect at all – if not for him, at least for his family and children.

  5. Sina says:

    I agree with you Seven that the article was in support of the artists and made some good points.
    There are definately similarities between Whitney and Michael.They had a close connection and Bebe Winans knew and worked with both of them.(some of his stories about Whitney are very funny.)
    However there are so many examples that whatever Michael did or said was dissected, twisted and turned to keep the freakish image going. Sometimes well meaning people unintentionally contribute to this by stating things out of context or by wrong interpretation.
    Then the real good intentions gets lost in translation.
    I guess that is what unfortunately happened here.

  6. luvuangel says:

    I agree Seven… there is empathy and understanding in this article about Whitney and also about Michael. It is not degrading at all. And the bold-type statements about what fame did to both of them are right-on. Both of them were, but I refer to Michael in particular, when I say that he was crucified by the media. It’s like a human sacrifice on the altar of profit, and it’s true that law enforcement doesn’t lift a finger against it. It’s tragic how that very fame destroys their lives. And they have no control over it at all. When I read in “Moonwalk” how he would go out alone looking for someone to talk to, I wanted to just cry. The way Mr. Winan’s article describes how Michael assumed that Whitney would need a monkey the way he needed Bubbles shows how innocent he was. What infuriates me is how the tabloids use that innocence and twist it to haul in their blood money. Will they ever have to pay for what they have done?

  7. Seven says:

    Thanks Sina.

    His human rights weren’t protected at all. His U.S. civil rights were grossly violated as well.

    When it comes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the U.S. unfortunately does not subscribe. It believes in human rights for corporations (like big media companies), but not its people (like Michael or Whitney). It has other laws (civil rights laws), which in the case of Michael Jackson, it did not enforce, either.

    Pretty shameful.

  8. Seven says:

    Thanks luvangel. The message about the loneliness of fame is what to me was the overriding subject and BeBe Winans wrote so well about it in these passages. We know it bothered Michael to be unable to do normal things like go to the grocery store or go see a film. While he sometimes was able to pull off getting out anonymously, mostly he could not. And he did say he wore a mask as a means of retaining a little bit of privacy. And he was of course ridiculed by the press for that and called ‘weird’ – even though they themselves were part of the reason he could have no privacy. It’s doubly cruel to cause someone such hardship, and then atop that, to ridicule them for their response to it. It’s horribly abusive – twice.

    I think in some ways Michael’s life was like Whitney’s and vice-versa. In some ways it wasn’t. When it came to ‘extreme fame’ and having to deal with that and deal with the abusive media and public expectations, they were similar. I wanted to share what Mr. Winans wrote about it in regards to Whitney, so that people would have a better understanding of what it’s like to have to live under those conditions.

    My objective (and I believe Mr. Winan’s too) was understanding, not degradation.

  9. Sina says:

    @ Seven ,

    ‘I am one who thinks that privacy and protection from slander should be a human right”

    It is actually a human right by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Most of Michael Jacksons human rights were severely violated, worst by ‘law enforcement’.

    Article 12
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

  10. luvuangel says:

    I had to read the article twice as well to focus correctly. I am flooded with requests from organizations to comment on articles that slander MJ or contain evil inuendos to twist the public’s minds. I have picked apart so many of those articles that my mind set is there. I also know that MJ777 publishes really positive articles but I automatically fell into the critical mindset and I didn’t catch the message about loneliness. I am so sorry that Michael suffered from isolation.. it is so cruel. It is like solitary confinement, but instead of a prison cell, it is a hotel room or a limosine, and instead of being invisible you are mega-visible. Every breath you take is under a microscope but you have no one to really talk to. How could he face being ridiculed and lied about every single day of his existence and having so few people in his life he could relate to? Genius sets individuals apart and causes loneliness, yes. I have seen this among students… a very high IQ means social awkwardness and being left out… that in itself is hard… but on top of that to be made into a circus freak by fame, the way they did to MJ shows just how evil people can be. I agree with Susie … that protection from slander should be made a basic human right. Michael was never free to be himself. He wore masks and costumes all his life and behind those masks was a very vulnerable, lonely and sad fellow. It is one of the saddest life (and death) stories I know.

  11. Meap says:

    One of the most beautiful aspects of Michael was his enduring love for the natural world and all creatures that inhabit it. I think getting a monkey as a pet was great. Okay, so some people don’t like monkeys as pets, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean that you are lonely if you love animals, it just means that you love animals. People just see what they want to see, doesn’t matter if the truth is far from it. I believe that Michael’s life was very different from Whitney’s; what is this obsession to compare them all the time. Michael doesn’t need it, he really stands apart. One of a kind.

  12. Seven says:

    Exactly Susie! My first sentence asks people not to judge – not only the gift Michael gave but the person Michael was due to the life he lead as the most famous person on the planet. The author explained very well what such celebrity did to Whitney – the affect it had on her and her life – the pressures, demands, and the burning need to retain some semblance of “normal” amidst all of it, even if a just small thing – and the difficulty that such celebrity causes a person in forming and maintaining relationships with others. Most people cannot imagine what it’s like to live like that. It’s not fair for them to be judged so harshly, particularly when tabloid/media stories are all twisted and mostly untrue.

    I am one who does believe that privacy and protection from slander should be a human right – or at least that media outlets should have the legal responsibility to report factual information. They should not be allowed to report, broadcast or publish spin, out-of-context audio, images or quotes (such as the Bashir thing), slander, rumors, innuendo, or salacious heresay about people. The media has so much power to shape public opinion, that along with that great power should come great responsibility. The media corporations like to claim they have “free speech” just like regular people do, but my contention is that free speech is for individuals or small groups, not huge mega-media corps with an axe to grind or monetary or political interests to protect or promote. That is blatant conflict of interest and it should not be allowed. I don’t think the media ought to have “free speech” – there ought to be limits to it. They destroyed Michael by constantly portraying him an extremely negative light. They shouldn’t be allowed to do that to people.

  13. Susie says:

    I am glad to have been able to clarify, Seven. I come to this website all the time as I consider it one of the absolute best MJ sites out there 🙂 I believe that you would never post anything you felt was disrespectful or unfair to Michael. Reflexively when I saw the word weird in that article, I had felt a bit disappointed but I can totally see your point that the author was trying to highlight the loneliness that becomes a part of the fame equation for these mega famous.

    This excerpt from Winan’s book talks about a very big truth about the nature of fame which perhaps many people don’t realize or are unaware of. Celebrities get criticized for being spoilt when they complain about paparazzi or tabloids. What psychological pressures public figures must deal with is something which deserves to be discussed at large. Unfortunately the multi billion dollar media complex has burgeoned and become so huge, these artists have become no more than commodities. I had liked Lady Gaga’s meat dress for the commentary that I thought she was making with it.

    This kind of dispensation is so sad. People ought to be able to share their gifts with the world without being subjected to these types of concerns. Makes me question whether privacy and protection from slander should also not be considered a fundamental human right.

  14. Seven says:

    Thanks Susie. I believe – that is to say it was my perception – that the author’s comments came from a place of sympathy and an attempt at understanding, not degradation or insult.

  15. Susie says:

    I can see where you are coming from in you last comment. The article was meant to highlight the travails that come from the seclusion that fame creates. The lines you have bolded in the article above state that very well and make a very good point.

    I just want to clarify that ironically I had found the monkey/weird comment in this story itself as a possible example of misinterpretation. The comments by the others elaborated their view on this too. Even though I had indeed appreciated the overall point the author was making regards what these famous folks have to deal with.

    I don’t know if my previous comment about the issue being intertwined got moderated. But I had found the author’s Mj related statement somewhat ironic in itself when I first read this story and saw the point she was trying to make. But as you pointed out, maybe her MJ statement was in fact coming from a place of sympathy only. It is just that we are so used to reading the weird label for this man everywhere..

    Sorry about posting so many comments in my bid to clarify . Normally I am only a passive reader when I visit here.

  16. Susie says:

    He would have had to negotiate privacy concerns and public perception concerns because of how everything tended to get misrepresented. It’s all interconnected. My previous comments on the weird label were an effort
    to demonstrate that in his case, even small actions by him held the possibility of being interpreted this or that way. That of course was a tough burden to carry through out his life, even if we drop this story as an example of that.He could not trust people to betray his privacy and that would have also been a contributor to him being lonely. The whole issue is intertwined as I see it.

  17. Sina says:

    Why is everything that Michael does analysed, dramatized, dissected, psychologized, always needs to have a deeper meaning.
    Why cant anything be taken for what it is.
    Everyone considers themself experts on Michael Jacksons psyche and can freely put their label on him.
    With all these labels, what in the end was left of the real Michael Jackson. What a relief to be free from it all.

  18. Seven says:

    The message in this passage about Michael is that he was lonely due to extreme fame & all that goes with that. I didn’t see anyone “trashing” him.

    Perhaps the monkey was a bad example but when I read this, I didn’t see him being trashed. I was heartbroken about what people like MJ and WH go through to share their gifts w/ the world. I didn’t get hung up on the monkey bit. It seemed to be an effort at understanding him and that’s more effort than most make when considering MJ.

    Rather than a lot of defensiveness about the monkey, what I’d hoped to see discussed is how it must have felt for Michael to be so famous and to have no privacy, and to be so misrepresented & judged by the media & public.

    I don’t think the author misjudged him. Maybe he used a bad example but he was correct that MJ was lonely much of his life from being painfully shy, being misunderstood and from fame – that he preferred the company of children & animals because they don’t judge and love unconditionally. They are also easier to form relationships with. I don’t know how you could not call that “loneliness” – especially when the person loves people, friends, family but besides shyness, also has to negotiate tremendous privacy concerns and public perception concerns in order to form or maintain relationships with them – when forming substantial relationships with people is difficult enough even without those issues!

    And when the media / tabloids stick their noses in and inject their spin into the relationships, that’s another wrench tossed into the works with sometimes very damaging results.

    Beyond defensiveness about the monkey, there’s plenty to discuss and consider, but I see it isn’t possible, which is OK. We all have different perceptions of things.

  19. luvuangel says:

    Elizabeth Taylor gave Michael an elephant once. He called it “Gypsie” because Elizabeth was dressed gypsy-style or hippie-style that day. His gift to her was a huge portrait of her on a wall-size tapestry. Pets don’t get much more exotic than that and if I remember, nobody trashed Elizabeth for giving him that surprise present. (He loved it, of course, although he said at first it kind of scared him)

  20. Susie says:

    I don’t think MJ had problems with relating to people, even if he may have been very shy or introverted. He was very empathetic to others, which would mean he was able to relate to other people very well. Even if he was kind of unfamiliar maybe with the life style of average joes because he obviously never had that kind of life.
    Michael was so hugely popular because people connected to this wonderful artist so much. Had he been truly weird, I don’t think people all over the world would have been able to connect to him like that. Ok, I guess I’ve said enough on this topic, lol.

  21. Susie says:

    Love all the comments above. People keep dogs/cats in their homes often to feel less lonely. Pets often can serve such a function. It is tiring to see the label ‘weird’ constantly attached to him. I find certain other
    prominent rock groups of past to have been rather freaky or weird ,but never saw the label given to them.

    Artists can and do expand the boundaries of society in positive ways by breaking down bad stereotypes. Being creative and being unconventional go hand in hand. The weird tag is so narrow minded.

  22. June says:

    When I saw clips of Michael with Bubbles traveling the world, I thought it was so cute; absolutely nothing strange about it, even when they sipped from different sides of the same teacup! And how about Liz Taylor gifting Gypsy the Elephant to Michael! Something strange about Liz too? Of course not. Love of animals was inherent in Michael’s soul. Bubbles is now living at an ape sanctuary, Thriller the tiger recently passed away after years of care at Hedren’s, Michael’s giraffes were placed in zoos after Neverland; we read these stories and draw solace that these precious animals were cared for after 2005. It is with great sadness that we can’t say the same for their former Owner.

  23. Seven says:

    Absolutely Max.

    There’s another kind on loneliness too that comes with huge celebrity ie: no privacy, huge expectations, tabloids/media hounding and writing crap about you every minute. I think he experienced both, unfortunately.

  24. Seven says:

    I think the comment by the author was meant to illustrate the extreme loneliness and inability to lead a normal life that the Whitneys and Michaels of our world feel. The comment referenced the gifted monkey (perhaps incorrectly) as a symptom of that.

    But the main point still stands ie: what these people go through to share their gifts with the world. So much pressure, they completely give up most of their privacy, and they have tabloids writing garbage about them constantly that is 99.9% lies.

    It gives me some comfort that the both of them can finally R.I.P., though they are missed here.

  25. Anna says:

    Michael gave a monkey to Whitney as a present because he had Bubbles and he loved the pet. He says this in his Moonwalk book: how wonderful pet a monkey is! And he offered her, he wanted that she had the same joy. As you do when you love a friend, isn’t? That’s the way I see this. People love to dramatize … celebrities really suffer! RIP Michael and Whitney! Have fun and peace in heaven!

  26. Max says:

    There’s a kind of loneliness that comes from living with people who are not on your wave-length. Happens to a lot of us, even or maybe especially with family. Plus, Michael was not only an introvert but a shy introvert, which means he couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable sometimes when surrounded by people. The good thing about animals is that their love is unconditional. The mere fact that someone as shy as Michael went to build such a spectacular career for himself out in the open, in the eye of the world, is truly courageous and astounding.

  27. cjg says:

    It does get tiresome that everyone interprets everything Michael did as odd, weird, or strange. Michael was notorious for loving all species of animals and owning them as pets throughout his life (a love he seems to have passed onto his children). There are many “ordinary” people who own exotic animals (even though it may be ill-advised to do so because they don’t have the proper facilities to care for them – which Michael did)various snakes, lizards, alligators,ferrets, birds, pigs etc.. I, myself, grew up with horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, turtles and still have animal members of my family. Shall we label them all weird and say they have problems relating to people? To the contrary I think it demonstrate great sensitivity and compassion to all living creatures (perhaps especially people) and an appreciation of the incredible diversity of God’s creations. Those seem pretty good attributes to possess if you ask me. I’m glad Michael doesn’t have to listen to one more person misinterpret him and his intentions. I love the way this author just had to include a reference to Michael when writing about Whitney Houston.

  28. Susie says:

    I like Max’s comment. Thank you. I didn’t see either why having an ‘exotic pet’ should be automatically associated with weirdness. Nor do I find gifting a monkey to Whitney to be so ‘strange’ either. Maybe Michael J just wanted to share and spread his love and appreciation of animals to other people, especially his friends.
    Maybe very rich people enjoy giving exotic or unique gifts to each other . He was a creative mind. Creative people look at things differently. I see his gift of the monkey as something a creative individual might easily do. Michael J did not like dogs, I believe I read somewhere. I think his pet monkey might have been the equivalent to him of other people’s pet dogs to them. If he had gifted Whitney a dog or puppy would that have been considered weird?

    If weird is just another term for different/creative, then ok maybe. Sorry for the long comment.

  29. Seven says:

    That’s true, he did. Seems Michael always had exotic pets right up until he had to leave Neverland. I think he did love people and animals. He did write of loneliness while living at home though too.

  30. Max says:

    As far as I know, Michael bought exotic pets while he was still living at home at Hayvenhurst with his parents and siblings. Nothing reclusive about that. Can’t he just be somebody who loved animals AND people? Doesn’t have to be one or the other. Why claim that it’s part of some weirdness on his part?