“Extra’s” Charissa Thompson sat down with author Tavis Smiley to talk about his new book “Before You Judge Me,” which sheds new light on the dark days before Michael Jackson’s death.
Smiley opened up about why he wrote the MJ book, as well as his relationship with another late legend, Prince.
Smiley, who is very close with the Jackson family, said, "I started this book with a simple question as a fan: 'You tell me you're coming back one last time… 16 weeks later, you’re dead. I want to know what happened. What happened from the moment you said you were coming back until the time you died?'"
J.J. Abrams is set to turn “Before You Judge Me” into a TV event, including bombshells like the revelation that Michael’s addiction was worse than anybody knew.
“When I got into the research, my question did a 180. 'How did he survive this long?’ is the question I came to wrestle with,” Smiley said.
Tavis was with Prince just after Michael passed away, and shared the “Purple Rain” singer’s reaction to Jackson’s death.
“I've never said it publicly… when the news came that Michael had died, Prince was in rehearsal at Paisley Park… Prince cancels rehearsals, sent the band home, and for days locked himself in his bedroom and wouldn’t come out and really didn’t talk to people.”
Smiley is still struggling to move on after losing Prince, his unlikely friend of over 20 years.
“I didn’t get to know Michael the way I knew Prince; that is why this book and researching this text was so much fun for me. Again, they are two of the greatest artists the world will ever know, and to hang out with Prince as much as I did is one of the great joys of my life.”
“Before You Judge Me” is in stores now. Buy it here.