Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields were both thrust into worldwide fame at a young age and the actress and King of Pop formed an unbreakable bond.
Jackson and Shields first met in 1981, when she was just 15 and he was 22. The duo locked eyes at the 1981 Academy Awards as Shields was presenting the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The duo instantly formed a connection, so let’s take a look at Jackson and Shields’ unique friendship…
Brooke Shields’ budding acting career featured controversial roles
Brooke Shields was born to an actress and businessman on May 31, 1965 in Manhattan. She first rose to fame as a child model and got her breakthrough acting role in Pretty Baby (1978). At 13 years old, she played a child prostitute called Violet.
The actress continued to star in widely controversial roles throughout her teenage years, as she starred in films The Blue Lagoon (1980) and Endless Love (1981). The actress continued her modeling career with photoshoots for Calvin Klein, Playboy and as a cover star for Vogue.
Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields’ special bond
Shields approached Jackson and confidently invited him to dance at the Oscars afterparty, to which he agreed. Jackson and Shields got each other’s numbers and, following the initial meeting, Jackson revealed he was “up all night, singing, spinning around in my room, so happy, you know?”
Jackson told Shmuley Boteach in 2000: “It was great. We dated a lot, we went out a lot… Her pictures were all over my wall, my mirror, everything.”
In a 2014 interview with Larry King, Shields recalled the pair “immediately hit it off, we laughed so hard… we just started hanging out.”
Brooke Shields set the record straight in touching memoir
Shields revealed in their early relationship they formed an unbreakable bond. She said: “People want sordid details or they want big blow-ups and the truth of the matter is, from the time we met we understood each other and became very good friends,” she told Rolling Stone. “And that was it, we didn’t need to make it into anything else.”
The stars found comfort and safety in one another as they bonded over their time in the spotlight as young children. Shields said: “We acted like little kids together and I don’t think either one of us, in our lives, really had the environment to do that safely.”
Shields wrote in her memoir There Was A Little Girl: “From the day we met, we saw something of ourselves in each other.”
She also set the record straight on their relationship status in her memoir. She wrote: “Of course we loved each other, but nothing happened romantically.” Shields insists she and Jackson were only ever “good friends” even though Jackson suggested marriage and even proposed the idea of adopting a child together.
Engagement ring was really a friendship gift
For decades it has been rumored that Jackson proposed to Shields but was rejected. Shields was even pictured with a big ring while dating Jackson, which fans thought was a signal their relationship had been taken to the next level.
However, she has since stated it was a “friendship ring” and, when Jackson raised the topic of marriage in the 1980s, she simply responded: “You have me for the rest of your life, you don’t need to marry me,” as per the Michael Jackson commemorative issue of Rolling Stone.
In 1993, Michael Jackson professed his love for Brooke Shields on national television in an interview with Oprah Winfrey: “We try not to just be everywhere and go everywhere. It’s mostly at home. She’ll come over, I’ll go to her house because I don’t like going out in public.”
Brooke also spoke highly of her dear friend: “I think we both still have a crush on each other… we have a lot of fun together,” Shields told Oprah in 1993. “It’s a love on a different level. I feel closer to him than some of the boyfriends I’ve had.”
The strength in their relationship was due to Jackson and Shields becoming each other’s support system. “He was the first person to call me when my dad got sick. When I had postpartum [depression], he sent me flowers,” Shields said. “He was consistent to the end.”
Shields spoke at Jackson’s memorial
Following Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, his mother asked Shields to speak at his memorial service. Shields took to the podium on July 7, 2009 to speak about their bond and unique friendship, along with the qualities that set Jackson apart from other artists.