Jermaine Jackson is the first family member to do a full sit-down interview in the wake of his brother [artist id="1102"]Michael's[/artist] tragic death last week. During the "Today" show interview with Matt Lauer, Jermaine described the moment he found out that his superstar brother had died.
He said he received a call from his mother, Katherine, and later rushed to the UCLA Medical Center. There, he met with his brother's three young children and viewed his body with them. "[My mom] was crying, saying he was dead. And, Matt, to hear my mother say, 'Michael is dead,' to feel and hear the tone in her voice to say her child is dead, is nothing that anyone can ever imagine," he said.
"To see him there lifeless and breathless was very emotional for me. But I held myself together because I knew he's very much alive in his spirit, and that was just a shell," he continued. "But I kissed him on his forehead, and I hugged him, and I touched him and I said, 'Michael, I'll never leave you. You'll never leave me.'
"I wish that it was me," he added.
As for having Jackson's three children, Blanket, Paris and Prince, see their father's body, Jermaine felt that it was necessary to help them better understand the situation. "I know it's tough, but I think it was the best thing to do," he told Lauer, who took a tour of the singer's house at Neverland Ranch. "At first I was against it, but what do you say if you don't show them?"
He also said that his mother is capable of caring for Jackson's children: "She's always with all the children. She loves laughter and the crying and all the excitement."
Responding to reports that Jackson's death may have been drug-related, Jermaine said he "would be hurt" if that turned out to be true. "Michael has always been a person who was against anything like that. I'm not saying it's right, because it's not right. But in this business, the pressure, and things that you go through — you never know what people might turn to."
He also refuted rumors about Jackson being too weak to perform his 50-date This Is It concert series in London. "I do believe and I do know that Mike is very strong, not just mentally but physically," he said. "He's a dancer, he never stopped dancing, he was already ready physically. He passed the physical, he was strong; he was ready."
As for the child-molestation charges that Michael faced during the last part of his career, Jermaine said he never believed the allegations, saying, "I knew he was 1,000 percent innocent.
"Michael is a gift from Allah, and He is taking him back. The world didn't appreciate him," Jermaine said. "The world loved him, and certain people, certain industries didn't appreciate him, and in his time on this Earth he did good. He wanted good for everyone. He saw the good in even people that claimed to be bad. But he wanted to change things, so the message is through his songs, through his lyrics, his actions, going to hospitals, going to orphanages, trying to cure children, trying to bring enlightenment.
"There is nothing to be compared to this, 'cause we lost our brother, our hero. The world is mourning. We are mourning," he added. "The fans are mourning. It is unreal. Unbelievable."
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit "Michael Jackson Remembered."
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