Exclusive: Michael Jackson's Secretive Life

Three former bodyguards speak about Jackson, his girlfriends and children.

ByABC News via logo
March 8, 2010, 8:22 AM

March 9, 2010— -- Michael Jackson enjoyed spending time with his children, cruising the Vegas strip and even ordering fast food through a drive through, according to three of his former bodyguards.

But the men also said Jackson's lifestyle was isolated and lonely and described it as full of "stress, paranoia and pain."

In an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America," Mike Garcia, Bill Whitfield and Javon "BJ" Beard spoke out about Jackson's secretive life, describing some moments as just plain "sad."

For instance, when Jackson held a birthday party for one of his children, only Jackson, the teacher, the nanny and the three bodyguards would attend, the men said. No other children were there.

"None," the three men said.

Jackson died June 25 following a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs and propofol. The three men said they first met the pop star more than two years earlier in 2007.

"He's got his little doctor's mask on and he says, 'BJ, hi, I've heard so much about you. Go ahead and have a seat,'" Beard said.

The three men signed up for personal protection, but the job became much more, they said. Jackson trusted them with his life, his children and his secrets.

"We were with Michael Jackson the person, not the entertainer," Garcia said.

In fact, the bandages Jackson wore frequently in public were not concealing secret surgeries, Whitfield said. Instead, the singer was using them as a disguise.

"That disguise to him was the burn victim look," Whitfield said.

Although the men wondered what was going on, they never asked Jackson about the mask.

"He's coming down with the kids and we can't say, 'What the hell you got on, sir?'" Beard said. "How could you tell him that?"

Prior to his death, Jackson was staging a comeback tour in London. When the family was not on the road, Jackson called a rented Las Vegas mansion his home. But his bodyguards said the singer did not enjoy being there.

"For you and I, it's a great house…but for security for MJ and his kids…[it's a] horrible house," Whitfield said.

The men said Jackson was always paranoid about security.