Michael Jackson: Inside His Finances and Family

Jackson's bodyguards say King of Pop did not often see his family.

March 9, 2010, 1:10 PM

March 10, 2010— -- While the Jackson family portrayed a unified front at Michael Jackson's funeral, three of his former bodyguards said Jackson did not often see his family in the two years prior to his death.

"They didn't come around much and when they did, they came unexpected. And we'd say, 'Mr. Jackson, one of your family members is at the gate [and] would like to see you,' and he'd ask, 'Do they have an appointment?'" Bill Whitfield, one his former bodyguards, said.

Whitfield said family members were not allowed in if Jackson was "being creative," but that did not stop Jackson's youngest brother, Randy, from trying to see him.

"There was another occasion when Randy came to the house and crashed the security gate with his vehicle and came inside. And at the time, I didn't know who he was and I drew my weapon on him and the first thing out of his mouth was 'Get that thing out of my face or I'll call the press,'" Whitfield said, who said he put away his weapon when he realized it was Randy.

Whitfield said Jackson was "not happy" and refused to see Randy.

Taunya Zilkie, Randy Jackson's public relations representative, says she was with him that day. She told ABC News that she and Jackson were at the Las Vegas house that day but never made it on to the property. And Zilkie denied that a gun was pulled.

Zilkie said ABC News Randy Jackson went to Jackson's home that day for an "intervention" but was refused entry into the house.

The three bodyguards said that Randy tried to sneak in behind them as the doors to the gate were closing and hit the gate as he came though. Zilkie said Randy did not crash through the gate.

Whitfield, Mike Garcia and Javon "BJ" Beard met Jackson in 2007 and worked as his bodyguards for more than two years.

The three men said they were exposed to personal and very distressing parts of Jackson's life, such as a family intervention in 2007 for Jackson's alleged drug abuse.

"I get a call about 12:30 [pm], 'Bill, you need to come back, his whole family is here.' And I was taken aback," Whitfield said.

Jackson said he would only meet with his brothers, according to the bodyguards. But instead of allowing them into the house, they said Jackson met his brothers outside in the security trailer.

Beard and Whitfield said Jackson seemed "fine" afterward and simply left the trailer and went back to the house.

In November, Janet Jackson told "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts that she had unsuccessfully reached out to Jackson over the years about his drug use.

"I did," she said. "Of course, that's what you do. Those are the things that you do when you love someone. You can't just let them continue on that way. And we did a few times. We weren't very successful."

Michael Jackson's Alleged Drug Problem

Despite these interventions, the bodyguards said Jackson did not seem like he had a drug problem.

"He was intoxicated in some way, but I wouldn't say a problem, no," Garcia said.

"Certainly there were times where he gave the appearance that he was probably high on something," Whitfield said.

The men said this would happen "once or twice a month."

Jackson died June 25 from a lethal combination of prescription drugs. Dr. Conrad Murray allegedly administered the drugs and has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Last month, Murray pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles court.

The bodyguards said Murray was the only doctor they saw while they worked for Jackson, but that Murray wasn't there all the time.

"When he came onto the scene, he was taking care of the kids. The kids had colds and stuff," Garcia said. He added that he thinks Murray is a "scapegoat."

"I never thought it was the fault of one person," Whitfield said.

In addition to being his bodyguard, Whitfield was also Jackson's gatekeeper. He said he handled Jackson's personal e-mails and phone calls.

"There wasn't a phone call or paperwork on our watch that didn't go through this man right here," Beard said, referring to Whitfield.

The paperwork, Whitfield said, showed millions of dollars in debts, much of it owed to law firms, and millions more being paid out.

"$38 million," Whitfield said.

"$10 million…$20 million," Garcia added.

But despite these payments, the men said sometimes it took Jackson months to pay them.

"I'm seeing all these zeroes and we can't get a $5,000 check," Whitfield said.

"It was going out faster that it was coming in," Garcia said.

Long after the 2005 child molestation case, the men said Jackson was still being sued and he chose to settle outside of court.

"We'd go to lawyers' offices and we'd be there from 10 a.m. until midnight," Garcia said.

Eventually, this took its toll on Jackson.

"He got so frustrated he threw my cell phone out the window, through the window, and broke the glass," Whitfield said. "And he looked at me and said, 'Bill, you're going to need a new phone.'"

Michael Jackson's Financial Troubles

The men described credit cards being declined on at least four different occasions and hotels evicting them.

"We were asked to leave hotels because the credit card on file was denied," Whitfield said.

In fact, the men said Jackson could not afford to attend longtime friend Jesse Jackson's 66th birthday party.

"Jessie Jackson put up his credit card to fly the entire staff and team out and put us up in a hotel three nights," Whitfield said.

Although the King of Pop's empire was crumbling, the bodyguards said he was not physically prepared to save it. At the time of Jackson's death, he was preparing his comeback, launching a "This Is It" tour at the age of 50.

"I don't think he was physically healthy enough… to perform the shows they expected of him," Whitfield said.

"If you [were] with him, you would hear him [say] that he's in pain sometimes…He would tell me, 'right now is not a good day,'" Whitfield said.

The men said that although Jackson loved being in front of a crowd, he was pressured to perform because of dwindling finances.

The three bodyguards said they were not in Los Angeles when Jackson died in June but attended his memorial at the Los Angeles Staples Center.

"I looked around, I looked at a lot of celebrities, a lot of stars…and it just made me wonder, where were they?" Whitfield asked.

"Were these some of the people who turned their back on him after the second trial?" Whitfield said, referring to Jackson twice being accused of child molestation. Jackson settled the first case in 1993 and was found not guilty in the 2005 criminal trial.

"The guy was so lonely, where were they?" Garcia asked.

The men said they did not "even want to talk about" seeing the children on stage at the memorial.

"It was unbelievable," Garcia said.

They tried to reach the children on stage following the memorial, they said, but the three kids were already gone.

When asked what the bodyguards would like to say to Jackson's children, the three men became visibly emotional.

"I'm a little speechless on that right now," Whitfield said.

"Certainly we hope that we did the best that we could to make them feel like kids and provide them with things to make them feel comfortable," Whitfield said.

Garcia said he wants them to know that they "were everything to [their] father."

The men said that Jackson is watching over his children now, and that they are all very proud of them.

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