Details About Michael Jackson's Relationship With Elizabeth Taylor

There's hardly a person alive today who hasn't bobbed their head or tapped their toe to the infectious grooves of Michael Jackson; he wasn't hailed as the "King of Pop" for nothing. According to Biography, his long career in music stretched almost the entirety of his life, as he was just 5 years old when he joined his older siblings — Tito, Jermaine, Jackie, and Marlon — to form the Jackson 5, scoring numerous major hits throughout the 1970s. However, it wasn't long before he branched out to start a solo career, eventually becoming one of the biggest pop stars of the 20th century.

Elizabeth Taylor is one of the most recognizable figures in Hollywood history, having delivered legendary performances in such classic films as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Suddenly, Last Summer," and many others, according to Biography. She's been nominated for numerous Academy Awards, winning three including the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. While her love life often dominated the tabloids, she never lost her reputation as the dominant leading lady in Tinseltown.

While there's not much overlap between the lives of Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, they both came together to form a fascinatingly unique friendship that lasted for years.

Their similar life experiences

According to the Hollywood Reporter via the New York Post, the pop culture icons first encountered each other in the 1980s when Elizabeth Taylor left one of Michael Jackson's concerts early, prompting him to ask her why. It was the beginning of their close association and blossoming friendship.

Taylor shed more light on their surprising relationship when she made an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1992, as reported in CheatSheet. Carson asked Taylor what resulted in her becoming so chummy with the singer despite having completely different backgrounds. She stated that they actually had similar upbringings, as they were both pushed into the public spotlight at early ages. She described how their instant fame made them feel separate from everyone else, essentially robbing them of normal childhoods. They're both inherently shy, Taylor explained, which meant that they could relate to one another in a deeper way than with most other people.

A relationship that was closer than family

Michael Jackson is known for having a, well, strained relationship with much of his family, but it's still a bit surprising that his friendship with Elizabeth Taylor seemed much deeper and more profound than his relationship with the members of his own blood. This, of course, caused a fair amount of tension in the Jackson family. As recounted in Vulture, Jackson often favored time with Taylor over that with his family; for example, when he was hospitalized, Taylor could visit him anytime she wanted while his own mother Katherine Jackson had to make an appointment to see him. Jackson's association with Taylor was so intense that Janet Jackson had the family go to therapy to deal with the impact of her brother's neglect of them.

Vulture recounts a time when another legendary singer, Diana Ross, invited Jackson to dinner with her but, because he wanted to dine with Taylor that night, he asked Ross to join them. Ross declined, and so Jackson picked dinner with Taylor over dinner with Ross. While less egregious than straight-up ignoring his family, it's still more proof of how much Taylor meant to Jackson and the things he did to make her happy.

The role jewelry played in their friendship

Both Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor were basically show business royalty by the time they became friends, so it's no surprise that jewelry often played an important role in their relationship. According to Donald Bogle in his book "Elizabeth and Michael: The Queen of Hollywood and the King of Pop — A Love Story," as per Vulture, Jackson had a way of getting Taylor to accompany him for a special occasion when she wasn't in the mood. Bogle wrote, "When Michael wanted Elizabeth to join him for an award show, or in this case, his thirtieth anniversary special, she was there for him contingent upon receipt of a diamond."

Apparently, that wasn't the only time wherein jewelry factored so heavily into their friendship. Vulture recounts an incident wherein Jackson gifted Taylor with a necklace that wasn't even his. While she was bothered with having to give it back, she was even more annoyed with the fact that he had one of his lawyers call her to get it back instead of going to her himself. Taylor ultimately forgave Jackson for his slight, but not before she refrained from giving him the silent treatment for months.

Their friendship wasn't without bumps

As previously stated, the friendship between Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, as close as it was, had its moments of drama. One of the bigger rifts to occur between them came when Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley in August of 1994, per Biography. While it was widely speculated by the public that the marriage was intended to distract from the accusations of child molestation that were plaguing Jackson at the time, it did lead to a more personal problem for the King of Pop.

According to Donald Bogle's book, "Elizabeth and Michael: The Queen of Hollywood and the King of Pop — A Love Story," via Vulture, Jackson didn't tell Taylor about his marriage until after they had gotten married, and she was devastated. Jackson apparently didn't learn from his mistake, and failed to introduce his second wife, Debbie Rowe, to Taylor before Rowe's pregnancy — an act that Taylor didn't take well, either. Bogle wrote that Rowe called Taylor's office and in return, she received a signed photograph from her. It's understandable that Taylor would respond in such a way as, considering how close Taylor and Jackson were, one would think that he would let her know when he was getting married.

Friends until the end

Despite the many ups and downs that Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor experienced in their friendship, they nevertheless had a deep love for one another that few could really understand — a love that lasted well into their final years. Via the New York Post, when Taylor learned of Jackson's tragic death in 2009, she tweeted: "I'm home from the hospital sore, but intact. Of course I'm still grieving for Michael ... I always will." In another tweet, she wrote: "My heart ... my mind ... are broken. I loved Michael with all my soul and I can't imagine life without him."

While Jackson's friendship with Taylor caused a rift between him and his family as stated earlier, it seems that at least some of Jackson's family members were able to leave the drama in the past and acknowledge how much she meant to the pop singer. In the wake of Taylor's death on March 23, 2011, the Hollywood Reporter shared heartwarming statements left by the Jackson family. Tito Jackson stated, "Liz provided a sense of relief and comfort to my brother at various difficult times in his life, and I appreciate that, may she rest in peace." Meanwhile, La Toya Jackson said, "She was an incredible friend to my brother, at his side through some of his most difficult times and of course loved by his children and our family."