“In late May 2009 I was with Michael when he was leaving Arnold Klein’s office in Beverly Hills. The hype was building about the This Is It shows and there was a swarm of paparazzi outside the building. I was nervous about him being able to leave - the previous day had been a nasty experience both emotionally and physically: one photographer had shouted a question at him that was designed to be hurtful; then another had audibly banged Michael’s head with his oversized camera. It had been truly unpleasant and Michael had no reason to be in a good mood after that.
Today, a woman Michael didn’t know had gotten into the doctor’s office. She was older, and although I’d never seen her before it seems she had a habit of chasing away paparazzi whenever she saw them near celebrities in LA. When she met Michael, obviously for the first time, she was in tears, almost hysterical, ranting to him incoherently, and for no apparent reason kept saying “please” as if asking for help.
I’m a little ashamed to say, she was getting on my nerves. I could see he was tired and, after the events of the day before, I was worried about him exiting the building safely. I hadn’t even really spoken to him for that reason: I just wanted him to get out of there and be safe. And looking at this woman hugging him and ranting in his face, I wished he would say, “I’m sorry, I have to go,” put his own well being first and walk away.
Not Michael. He stood in complete peace, stooped a little to look this older lady in the eyes and said in that low, kind voice that I remember too clearly, “Tell me what you need. What is it you need? How can I help you?” Calmly, slowly, as if trying to instil her with some of his equilibrium. And still she couldn’t answer. She was just rambling because she couldn’t believe that she’d really met Michael Jackson, who most people saw as an untouchable icon; the greatest entertainer of all time, who had broken so many boundaries in a stellar career over the past four decades. She couldn’t believe that this man, who symbolized so much to her, had hugged her when she’d asked for a hug. And when she pleaded aimlessly for something she couldn’t even identify, he gave her everything a person could ask for. He treated her with love, dignity and respect. He lowered his head, gave her his time and offered of himself, even though he had no idea who this hysterical person was or what she wanted.
He hadn’t dismissed her. He hadn’t thought of himself or how badly his bodyguards needed to get him out of that building and away from the throng of photographers.
That was Michael.”— Maria Crawford on Michael Jackson, one month before he passed away (via lacienegasmiled)