My Sleepover With Michael – NY Post – Elatab

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MY SLEEPOVER WITH MICHAEL NY Post By MARIANNE GARVEY November 22, 2003 — EXCLUSIVE TEENAGER Ahmad Elatab stayed at Michael Jackson’s super-secretive Neverland Ranch a half-dozen times as part of the King of Pop’s kiddie crew, and came away with stunning revelations about Jacko’s weird world. According to the 17-year-old Elatab, Jackson: * Has a “secret” bedroom above the movie theater in his mansion. * Insists on speaking to the parents of his prospective young guests before letting them stay over. * Gives youngsters the run of his fabulous house and grounds, letting them play with valuable works of art. * Treated Elatab and 20 other young guests at a closed Toys R Us, where they had the run of the place for 2 1/2 hours and got to leave with anything they wanted at Jackson’s expense. * Said he “divorced Lisa Marie Presley because she refused to have his kids.” * Called Madonna a “bitch.” * “Never molested me. I never saw Michael touch or be weird with any of the kids, he didn’t do this – he’s kind.” Elatab told The Post that while at Neverland, “there were no rules. Any whim was fulfilled instantly.” The boy started spending time at the luxurious California mansion in October 2002. Elatab, who lives in Clifton, N.J., described Neverland as a “fantasy world” where kids routinely handled expensive crystal and diamond collections, had their hands all over valuable oil paintings and had unlimited access to every crevice of the house – including Jacko’s bedroom and personal belongings. Before he was allowed to stay by himself, Elatab dialed his mother, Hanadi Fattouh, 31, and handed the Gloved One his cell phone. “Michael asked me if it was OK if Ahmad slept over and I said yes. I completely trusted him and I still do,” Fattouh said. “I’d let him go back anytime, I support him and don’t believe the rumors and accusations, never did.” On the boy’s first solo visit, the star gave him and six other kids a personal tour of the place. The first stop was Jackson’s bedroom, which Elatab describes as “the typical teenager’s room.” “He didn’t even have the big, nice bed there, he sleeps on a little pullout couch,” he recalled. “And by the way – there’s no oxygen tank.” Elatab also described the room above the theater, the one where Michael slept – as Jacko’s “secret room.” Extra couches and beds are all around and anyone inside is welcome to stay the night or a few days. But first, Jackson must speak with the child’s parent, Elatab said. Elatab usually slept on a pullout couch in the room with six other kids. The movie theater below has a projector and screen “better than a real movie theater” that plays “anything you can think of to request.” “Michael gets every movie that’s just been released,” Elatab says. “And I watched ‘Star Wars’ in there. You sit on soft leather seats spread about two feet apart from each other. There’s a popcorn maker, a candy counter, fountain drinks, hot dogs, nachos, everything a regular theater has.” On one occasion, Elatab and 20 other kids also were treated to a private 21/2-hour visit to Toys R Us. “He’d say, ‘Yes, yes, anything, get whatever you want to get.’ ” Elatab left the store a lucky kid that day, the proud owner of a Sony Playstation 2, and games to go along with it. Jackson also gave the teen the blue silk germ mask he was wearing that day – which he told Elatab he wears “only because he feels ugly sometimes.” On the limo ride back, “I asked him about Madonna, seeing Lisa Marie Presley at the house one time, if he was gay, things like that,” the teenager said. “He was so open, he doesn’t hide anything. He’s a different person when you know him. He said Madonna’s a bitch, and that he divorced Lisa Marie because she wouldn’t have his kids. “He’s sexual, he likes women. I’ve seen him flirt. Some of those women he says are his nannies, he’s sleeping with. He’s just hiding it from the public. “He said he’s not gay, that people are jealous and out to get him. He told me he loves his family, especially his father – he said wouldn’t be where he is without him.” “The only questions he doesn’t like are about his plastic surgery and [documentary maker] Martin Bashir,” Elatab added. “When I asked about that famous interview, that’s the only time I ever saw him get mad – but not at me of course, at Martin.” Elatab’s amazing life with Jacko began seven years after he and a group of other Arab-American teens met the star at Sony studios in Midtown. He gave Jackson a picture of himself with his phone number on the back. To his surprise, Jackson called him three months later and the two struck up a phone friendship. Jackson quickly gave the boy and his family an open invitation to Neverland. Elatab and his parents took a day trip there. For all subsequent visits, he went without his parents. Jackson’s palatial playground sits atop a long winding road in Santa Barbara – the private pathway to the mansion dotted with “Children at Play” signs that Jackson had installed, Elatab said. Security checkpoints greeted the then-16-year-old teen as he pulled up to the house. And before being allowed in, he – like most of Jackson’s young visitors – agreed not to smoke, drink, or possess a camera while on the property. Jackson was at Neverland during most of Elatab’s visits, but the boy also visited when the Gloved One was away and bodyguards were in charge. On arrival, guests are greeted by an enormous black and gold gate “the size of the one at Disneyland,” open before him, with “Neverland” above it in shiny gold letters. “There were lights everywhere. There were trees with Christmas lights, lights on the gate, tons of lights, sparkling – it was great,” Elatab said. He was taken to Michael’s “old brick house” on the property, where the eccentric star stays. “It’s not the biggest house I’ve ever seen, but it is big,” Elatab said. “It looks like a nice English home.” Elatab describes Jackson as a simple guy off-camera, one who “wears the same clothes day after day” and “likes to collect action figures and watch horror movies.” On shelves lining his room, Jackson keeps the music prizes he’s won over his long career – Grammys, American Music Awards, MTV Moonmen and a lifetime of magazine covers that show his changing face. There’s also evidence of the boy still stuck inside the man, said Elatab. “There are toys, toys, toys everywhere,” he said. “Life-size figures of Darth Vader, R2D2, Pinocchio, E.T., you name it.” Along the downstairs hallways he saw hundreds of pictures of Jackson with other celebrities including Bill Clinton, Liza Minnelli and Elizabeth Taylor. “There are pictures all over, covering a piano, on a wall, laying all around. Pictures of him with all the kids who’ve been to the place,” said Elatab. The downstairs contains an “antique library,” as Jackson calls it, filled with expensive period furniture, jewels and rare books – all of which the kids are allowed to handle. Jackson let the kids roam the entire property – which contains a theater, a private recording studio, a zoo, an arcade, a pool and Jacuzzi, and a section of amusement park with a roller coaster and flying swings on a carousel. “The place has everything you can imagine, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want,” Elatab says about the endless possibilities. The arcade is “another whole house” with car-racing video games and a virtual tennis game, autographed by Serena and Venus Williams. “It’s filled with waist-high gumball machines, photo booths, Coke machines, a jukebox,” said Elatab. “It has every video game, fishing games, skateboard games.” And this is where Jackson gave Elatab an impromptu dance lesson, showing the teen some of his trademark moves – to tunes from a mix of artists ranging from 50 Cent to the Bee Gees. “He showed me how to pop like him,” Elatab said of the memorable lesson. The teen said Jackson liked to hug them or give pats on the head. “He just loves acting our age . . . He called us doo-doo, appleheads and smellies. It was all from his heart, I know it was.” Source:

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