Michael Jackson first met Scott Shaffer in 1991 when he was filming the music video for Black and White. Shaffer was working as a production assistant at the time and the pair soon struck up a friendship. Shaffer went on to work as the King of Pop’s own personal assistant for seven years, becoming one of the singer’s innermost circle of friends.
In an interview with The Sun, he opened up about the late popstar’s relationships and personal life, sharing an insight into his prescription drug use.
Shaffer claimed it was “no secret” Jackson had issues with drugs.
“Everyone knew he had a problem, he’d go on TV shows high, it was no secret.” he said.
“When we were in Mexico City, Elizabeth Taylor came and snuck him to London for rehab,” the Billie Jean hitmaker’s former assistant recalled.
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Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor made friends in the 1980s
Michael Jackson’s friend Elizabeth Taylor reportedly helped plan to get the star to rehab
“She was already with us but she was the one who said, ‘l’m taking you out of here.’”
So an elaborate plan was hatched to get Jackson away after his concert without fans or the media finding out.
He was to be flown to England with Taylor arranging for him to enter a rehab facility.
“After the show instead of going back to LA – we snuck him out,” Shaffer told the publication.
Michael Jackson’s team reportedly organised to sneak him away from fans and the media to rehab
“We got one of the security guards — who was about the same size as Michael — to wear a robe with a hood and walk through the hotel so the fans and the media and everyone thought he was still in the hotel in Mexico City,” he explained. “Like a decoy.
“Then they took Michael out a different way to a plane and he went to a facility in London.”
And so movie star Taylor snuck Jackson out of Mexico so he could go through rehab.
But Shaffer also spoke of Jackson’s ongoing problems with prescription drug use.
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Jackson first became friends with Hollywood darling Taylor in the 1980s and they developed a close bond.
The unlikely pair were often seen attended charity events and red carpets together.
In a 1993 home video, the King of Pop opened up about their friendship, saying: “I’ve met a lot of people in my life and very few are real, real friends.
“I can probably count them on one hand.
“Elizabeth is one of the most loving, loyal, caring people that I know.”
Taylor also referred to their friendship as “the purest, most giving love I have ever known”, saying: “I don’t think anyone knew how much we loved each other.”
She was heartbroken by the signer’s death in 2009, with the New York Post saying she was deeply affected by the loss as her own health declined.
In 2011, she died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.