Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump blamed bad plastic surgeries for helping to lead to the death of late pop star Michael Jackson.
Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper his thoughts on Jackson toward the end of CNN’s town hall segment with the New York billionaire, when Cooper asked what his favorite kind of music was.
“Well, I think Elton John is great, I think the Stones are great. The Beatles, I love. Michael Jackson was actually a very good friend of mine. I knew Michael Jackson very well. Lived in Trump Tower for a long period of time, would go down to Mar-a-Lago,” Trump responded.
“He actually got married — you know, Lisa Marie Presley, the whole big deal at Mar-a-Lago — they were in the tower. And I will tell you, he was up there one week with her, and he never came down, so I don’t know what was going on, but they got along,” Trump said, which elicited laughter from the audience.
He continued, “You know, a lot of people say, ‘they didn’t really’ — they were up there for a week. They never, ever came — I said, ‘where the hell is Michael? … But he was a very talented guy. One of the truly most talented people.”
Trump, who defended Jackson from accusations of child molestation in the past, explained solemnly, “I knew him very well. I knew the real story of Michael Jackson. You know, when he died, I would watch people get on — I don’t want to mention names, but people that you know very well and people that you interview — and they would talk about Michael Jackson.”
“They didn’t even know him. I mean, very few people got to know Michael Jackson. But he was an unbelievably talented guy. He lost his confidence. And he lost tremendous confidence because of, honestly, bad, bad, bad surgery.”
According to news reports, Jackson had up to 100 facial procedures over 30 years before his death in 2009. In 2003, however, Jackson told filmmaker Martin Bashir he never had any plastic surgery performed on his face other than his nose to help him breathe better to hit higher notes.
“He had the worst — he had people that did numbers on him that were just unbelievable, facially, and, you know, the plastic surgeons,” Trump said. “But Michael was an unbelievable talent who actually lost his confidence. And you know, believe it or not, when you lose your confidence in something, you can even lose your talent.”