In his book, "Call Me Miss Ross," he wrote that Ross said, "I was older. He kind of idolized me and wanted to sing like me."
Some would say he even wanted to be her.
Taraborrelli wrote about one instance in 1986, when Jackson visited Ross backstage at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. When she returned to her dressing room, Jackson was putting on her makeup, transforming himself into Ross.
The writer also said Jackson once demanded that a chauffeur driving him around Beverly Hills that he address him as "Miss Ross."
In his autobiography "Moonwalk," Jackson called Ross "my mother, my lover and my sister all rolled into one."
Taraborrelli has said there was no sexual relationship between the two.
Nonetheless, in "Call Me Miss Ross," Taraborrelli wrote that Jackson was heartbroken when Ross got married for the second time to Norwegian multimillionaire Arne Naess. Jackson did not attend the wedding, telling Taraborrelli, "I was jealous, because I've always loved Diana Ross and always will."
Ross may have felt more motherly toward him. When Jackson moved to Los Angeles at the age of 9 to continue his recording career with Motown, he lived with Ross for a time.
The two stars shared a lot in common. Both started at Motown and became worldwide pop stars. Both earned diva reputations for their outsized lifestyles. And both were accused of selling out and turning their backs on their black heritage.
When Jackson collapsed during a rehearsal for a cable TV concert in 1995, Ross rushed to his bedside at a hospital in New York.
Now Ross, like the rest of the world, is left to mourn the fiercely private man as speculation continues about the cause of his death and his funeral.
Jackson's family said Wednesday that the singer's body will not be laid in state at Neverland Ranch, where he lived for over a decade and which became synonymous with the singer's eccentricities.
Ending days of speculation about where the memorial service would be held for the pop icon, who died June 25 of apparent cardiac arrest, a Jackson family spokesman said the singer would not be memorialized at the 2,800-acre compound.
"Contrary to previous news reports, the Jackson family is officially stating that there will be no public or private viewing at Neverland. Plans are under way regarding a public memorial for Michael Jackson, and we will announce those plans shortly," said Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine in a statement.
Sources have told ABC News that the memorial will be in Los Angeles next week, possibly at the Staples Center. Wednesday's statement included no details about the location or date of the event.
Jackson hadn't lived at Neverland since 2005. He left following his acquittal in a child molestation trial, saying the property -- once replete with a zoo and amusement park -- no longer felt like home.
He died at a posh, rented mansion in L.A.'s exclusive Holmby Hills neighborhood that, at times, has been home to stars including Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Sonny and Cher and the man whose life and death is drawing eerie parallels to Jackson's -- Elvis.
At 17,000 square feet, the three-story, French-style mansion boasts seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and a seven-car garage.
Once on the market for $30 million, the home also features African walnut floors, a Russian-inspired home theater and an infinity bathtub with an ornate faucet that spills water from the ceiling.