Pop Culture

Did Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston have a brief romance?

Reuters, AP / Today

The star-crossed and much-scrutinized lives of Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston may have been intertwined beyond public knowledge, as a bodyguard for Jackson is now saying the two pop enigmas had a brief romantic affair in the early '90s.

Determined to prove he is the biological father of Jackson’s youngest child, Blanket, former bodyguard Matt Fiddes made a number of striking claims to UK’s The Sun, including the suggestion that the pop superstars had a two-week fling at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in 1991, and that Jackson never quite recovered from it.

"They met because they were two of the biggest recording artists on the planet and mixing in the same circles. They instantly connected as kindred spirits because they understood each other’s massive fame,” Fiddes told the Sun on April 29. “Whitney practically moved into Michael’s ranch and they had a fling like any other young couple. But Michael said later he had always hoped the relationship had gone further, and I know he dreamed of marrying her."

In March, there was speculation that Houston was romantically linked to Jackson’s older brother, Jermaine. The Sun also reported that the affair took place while Jermaine was married to Hazel Gordy, daughter of Motown founder, Berry Gordy. Jackson’s sister, La Toya confirmed the rumor on March 5 when she appeared on the "The Talk," saying, "He [Jermaine] has admitted that they had an affair."

Fiddes further elaborated to the Sun, commenting that Michael "was furious when he heard she had also slept with Jermaine, but this didn’t stop him holding a candle for her his whole life."

The 32-year-old British martial arts expert and fitness instructor met Jackson in 1998, and soon became his bodyguard and confidant until his passing in 2009.  Fiddes insists that Jackson asked him for a sperm donation in 2001 because he wanted to "create an athletic child," and that 10-year-old Blanket (real name Prince Michael II) was the result of his endowment. Though not seeking custody of the boy, Fiddes is aiming to bring the paternity issue to court in order to have DNA testing carried out and obtain visitation rights.

As further testament to his close ties with the late superstar, Fiddes has made a number of other allegations about the singer, including that he was "anorexic" and "impotent" due to heavy use of drugs and alcohol. He claims Jackson’s body was riddled with needle marks, and that he was ashamed of his balding head and had a closet containing more than hundred wigs.

Added Liddes, the last days of the pop icon were sullen. "If he couldn’t get drugs, he would drink. When he announced the 'This Is It' concerts at the O2 in London in 2009, he had downed half a bottle of whisky to cope with the pressure. He was also wearing a bullet-proof vest, petrified he would be assassinated due to the child abuse allegations that haunted him until his dying day."

Though he asserts he spoke to Jackson just three days before his death on June 25, 2009, Liddes was banned from the Jackson family circle following the singer’s passing.

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