Did Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields Ever Date?

John Barr/Liaison

There has been a decades-long rumor that Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields used to date. They were often spotted together in public, and Jackson himself once told Oprah that she was his girlfriend. But according to Shields, that was never true. She never stopped loving Michael Jackson as a friend, but their relationship was always platonic. Here is what we know.

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Michael Jackson Once Told Oprah That Brooke Shields Was His Girlfriend

It February 10, 1993 when Michael Jackson dropped the live TV bombshell claim that he and Brooke Shields were, in fact, lovers. He was speaking on Oprah Winfrey’s show.

Jackson told Oprah that Shields was his girlfriend. “We try not to just be everywhere and go everywhere,” he said. “It’s mostly at home. She’ll come over; I’ll go to her house because I don’t like going out in public.”

Oprah followed up that point by asking Jackson, “Are you a virgin?”

“I’m a gentleman,” Jackson responded. “That’s something that’s private, that shouldn’t be spoken about openly. You can call me old-fashioned if you want, but to me that’s very personal.”

Oprah later admitted that the question regarding Michael Jackson’s virginity was a bit embarrassing. However, she asked him because it was something that fans were curious about, especially because he was known for holding his crotch when he danced.

Oprah Interviewed Brooke Shields About Michael Jackson That Same Year

That same year, Oprah interviewed Brooke Shields about her thoughts on Michael Jackson. Oprah asked the actress what it was about Jackson that made him “such a good friend.”

“His sensitivity, his honesty. I mean, as a friend I’ve known him for so many years,” said Shields, adding that she’d known him since she was about 14. “I think because we both grew up in the same business and we had similar upbringing in a sense where we had to begin in this business at a very young age… We had defense mechanisms that we had built up. We realized that we didn’t really have to be wary of one another. And that enabled us to build a friendship on a very different level.”

Asked if they were ever romantically involved, Shields told Oprah that she “believe[d] right now that we’re closer than we ever were before.”

Shields Said She Didn’t Believe the 1993 Child Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Jackson

Oprah asked Shields about sexual abuse allegations which had come out against Michael Jackson that year. A screenwriter and dentist named Evan Chandler had accused Jackson of abusing his 13-year-old son, Jordan, at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The two had formed a friendship that Evan and his wife later deemed inappropriate. The Chandlers sued Jackson for $30 million and, although Jordan never testified against Jackson in court, the case was settled for $23 million. Evan Chandler later committed suicide in November 2009, shortly after Jackson’s death.

The Chandler incident was one of many allegations which would later arise in Michael Jackson’s life.

“Do the unfortunate and nasty comments and criticisms about [Michael Jackson] upset you?” asked Oprah.

“They upset me constantly,” said Shields. “I’m constantly upset by what people say. I mean, first of all, granted you take everything with a grain of salt. And there are many things said about me that are unkind that I don’t find pleasurable. But so many people really don’t know him and they don’t give him a chance and they’re so ready to criticize.”

“And I think what happens is when you see genius, and when you see a talent that is just unstoppable and untouchable, the first reaction that people have is to criticize it,” Shields added. “Because it scares them, it threatens them… You know, he’s a sensitive human being. All of the negativity, it does affect him, and it hurts him.”

Brooke Shields Said She and Michael Jackson Crushed on Each Other

“Did you have a crush on him, or did he have a crush on you?” Oprah asked.

“I think we both had a crush, and still do have a crush on each other. I mean, I think part of having a crush on someone is admiring them. We have a lot of fun together and it’s almost unfortunate because we know each other so well. But I mean, he amazes me every time I sit down and talk to him about something.”

When Oprah asked Shields if Jackson felt “more like a brother than a boyfriend,” Shields gave a wishy-washy answer.

“It’s hard to say,” she said. “I mean, it’s a love on a different level. I feel closer to him than some of the boyfriends that I’ve had… I feel more relaxed around him, I’m more comfortable with him.”

Shields said she’s never had a brother, so “it’s hard to explain.”

“Whenever I’ve tried to explain it to people, it’s been misinterpreted,” she said.

Shields Talked About Jackson In Her 2014 Memoir

Fast-forward to 2014, and Brooke Shields gave more insight into her relationship with Michael Jackson. She’d just released her memoir, There Was a Little Girl, which discussed her mother at length as well as her romantic history.

In an interview with People that year, Shields said that she and Jackson had always remained platonic. She divulged that she’d actually met Michael Jackson when she was 13, not 14, and that they “were like two little kids” when they were together. Jackson was about 7 years older than Shields, so he would have been about 19 or 20 when they first met.

“From the day we met, we saw something of ourselves in each other,” Shields said. “We felt really safe. Together, we felt impervious to the craziness that swirled around us. We joked about how silly people were and watched movies and ate candy.”

Shields Wrote That “Nothing Happened Romantically”

“Of course, we loved each other, but nothing happened romantically,” she explained. “I would be like, ‘Oh please, knock it off.’ He was like this kid who would ask you [about dating and romance]. Nobody was telling him and nurturing this stuff and I think he was terrified. He was terrified and sort of juvenile. I think there was an arrested development.”

Michael Jackson certainly had deep feelings for Brooke Shields, regardless of where they came from. She said that he once gave her a friendship ring. “It sparkles and you sparkle,” he told her at the time.

“He wanted us to never not be with each other. It wasn’t something that people were going to understand. It was so much easier to marginalize it and diminish it,” she said.

Shields Claimed in 2023 That Jackson Lied About Being Boyfriend and Girlfriend 30 Years Ago

Despite their very close friendship and mutual adoration, there were times when Michael Jackson crossed the line. In a March 2023 article published by The Sunday Times, titled “I posed naked at ten, now I’m telling my story,” Shields revealed how she reacted when Jackson told Oprah that she was his girlfriend. She was sharing her perspectives ahead of the release of her two-part documentary, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, released on April 3 via Hulu.

“I called him up and I think I said, ‘This is kind of pathetic that you need to do this. I am having a shot at normal life — you cannot drag me into crazy town,’” said Shields. She added that Michael Jackson laughed at her over the phone.

When The Times asked Shields if she’d ever been physical with or kissed Jackson, she assuredly said “No.” In fact, there was an incident that involved Jackson trying to kiss her in public and she had to ask him to stop.

“No! There was one moment when we were in the car and the cameras were there and he grabbed me to kiss me, and I said, ‘No! Stop! We are just friends, and you need me as a friend,’” Shields revealed.

Shields was acutely aware that other women wanted Jackson, but that didn’t make her jealous or want to become more than friends.

“I remember the early days when other actresses were after him and he was kind of cute, before the shift. But it never ever crossed my mind,” she told The Times.

Brooke Shields Says “It’s So Hard to Believe” the Sexual Abuse Allegations About Michael Jackson

Asked what she thought about the explosive allegations against Michael Jackson in later years, Shields said she didn’t know “how to think about it” because “it’s so hard to believe.”

Jackson was indicted on 10 criminal counts in 2005, including child molestation, extortion, false imprisonment, and abduction, but eventually acquitted. On June 25, 2009, he died from cardiac arrest, which was deemed to have been caused by a drug overdose. Shields later delivered a heart-felt eulogy at his memorial service.

“I wish I knew the truth. Then I could figure out how to structure the narrative in my head. But I’m as shocked as I think the world is,” said Shields.

It’s hard to truly discern what exactly the relationship between Brooke Shields and Michael Jackson was all about. If we’re going to take Shields at her word, Jackson lied about them dating and no, they never did.

Interestingly, a man named James Safechuck, who first crossed paths with Jackson in 1986 when he was 10 for a Pepsi commercial, later accused him of coercing him into having sex. Safechuck spoke about Jackson in the 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland.

“I remember Michael saying he was going to have to have these public relationships with women so people wouldn’t think anything,” Safechuck said. “He would always say he was going to get married. He said, ‘One day, I am going to go get married, but it wasn’t going to mean anything.’”

Read More: Brooke Shields Says She Broke Up  with Now-Husband Chris Henchy After She Wanted to ‘Sow My Oats’

What do you think?


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