EXCLUSIVE: Brett Ratner Issues Statement On Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson and Brett Ratner

Michael Jackson and "Rush Hour" director Brett Ratner may not have been BFFs, but they were fairly close. They never collaborated on anything, but the normally reserved Jackson wasn't afraid to be himself around his filmmaker friend. Remember that video of the two of them together in Ratner's SUV?

Ratner is understandably saddened by the sudden and unexpected loss of his pal. In an exclusive statement to MTV News, the director had this to say: “Michael was not only a great friend, but a true inspiration in my life. I will never forget his kindness to me, and his beautiful heart. He was the best father and truly loved his children. I will miss him.”

For continuing coverage on the tragic loss of pop's greatest entertainer, head over to MTV.com.