Michael Jackson's bodyguard claims star wore tape and masks to make headlines

Julia Hunt

Michael Jackson’s bodyguard has claimed the late star wore masks and tape on his nose to “manipulate the media” and make sure he hit the headlines.

Matt Fiddes has been speaking out and defending the singer in the aftermath of the explosive Leaving Neverland documentary, in which Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege that Jackson molested them when they were young.

Fiddes has said he knew the singer well, and has insisted that he was not the man he is being portrayed to be.

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The bodyguard - who looked after the King of Pop for 10 years - has now told Metro that Jackson wanted his life to be seen as “the greatest mystery on Earth”.

Michael Jackson sings at Moscow’s Olympic Stadium in 1993. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

“He knew how to manipulate the media,” he said.

“He knew exactly how to get the front pages.

“He used to have a meeting as soon as he got to a [city]. Ninety percent of the time it worked, by putting a mask on his face, or sticky tape on his hands – or tape on his nose was a favourite one.

“He would say he wanted his life to be the greatest mystery on Earth.”

Michael Jackson is shielded from the rain by bodyguard Matt Fiddes as he attends a fundraising event at Exeter Football Club in 2002.

‘It’s backfired on him now, though, that’s the sad thing,” added Fiddes, who has previously defended the singer against the molestation claims.

Fiddes said Jackson was “a normal guy” at home, behind the mask.

“He never used to live with make-up on,” he said.

“I remember one time we were watching TV at the [St Pancras] Renaissance Hotel in London and he wanted to go to Uri Geller’s house for a curry.

“He asked for the cars in an hour and he’s off getting ready, getting his hair done and he comes out in the whole image, the mask and fedora, the whole works.”

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Fiddes recently shared his thoughts on the scandal surrounding the late star, saying “this whole paedophile thing is complete nonsense”.

“The guy had girlfriends and had a legitimate marriage to Lisa Marie [Presley], that was the way he lived his life,” he said.

“We were the people sneaking the girls into his room.”

Jackson died in 2009 aged 50, following an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.