When the first iPhone came out in 2007, everyone wanted to try Apple’s next big gadget — including the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
But the singer may not have had access to the hottest piece of tech if it weren’t for his security guard.
In a new book out today, “Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days,” two of Jackson’s security guards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, reveal what it was like working with the artist during the final years of his life.
The book details how poorly Jackson’s financial situation was handled — at one point, Whitfield says he overheard Jackson say he had no idea where his money was or how much he had — and how both guards weren’t paid for months on end.
Nevertheless, the star still managed to drop thousands of dollars on FAO Schwarz toy trips and miscellaneous purchases ranging from a nearly seven-foot-tall Tinkerbell replica to $US1,000 on a theatre display for “The Simpsons Movie.”
About halfway through the book, Whitfield recalls how Jackson wanted the iPhone when it first came out.
Whitfield said after Beard stood for two and a half hours in line to make the purchase, he was asked by Jackson to set up the phone.
What should have been a simple task ended up turning into a nightmare.
As Whitfield recalls:
“I had all his personal information, so I said sure. I first tried to set it up in his name, but after running Michael Jackson’s Social Security number, AT&T wanted a $US1,500 deposit. Just to turn on a cell phone. That’s how bad his credit was. I went ahead and set up the account in my name. Then he wanted an iPhone for his mum, so he could send her pictures of the kids. I set up his mother’s cell phone in my name too.”
Whitfield said eventually Jackson’s number was changed and the bill for both phone accounts was never paid.
“The charges had run up close to two thousand dollars, and they got disconnected,” said Whitfield.
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