The day Madonna put Jacko’s hand in her cleavage: Craig Brown on the most extraordinary encounters of the last century.
He has a genius for mimicking the rich and famous.
But in a fascinating departure, CRAIG BROWN’s latest book is based totally on fact. Utterly bizarre as these encounters between the rich and famous may seem, each one really did happen. In this glorious series, he picks the most revealing.
And remember: each one actually took place — proof that sometimes, fact truly is stranger than fiction…
MADONNA AND MICHAEL JACKSON
The Ivy restaurant, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, March 15, 1991
Wondering who might be sufficiently glamorous to accompany her to the Academy Awards, Madonna has a brainwave.
‘How about Michael Jackson? Oh my God, what a great idea!’ she exclaims to her manager, who immediately arranges a preliminary dinner at The Ivy for the two biggest-selling stars in the world.
In the past, Jackson has been puzzled by Madonna. Though he is an astute businessman, he can’t fathom her appeal.
‘What is it about her? She’s not a great dancer or singer.’
Two years ago, he was somewhat put out to discover that she was being advertised by Warner Brothers as the ‘Artist Of The Decade’.
‘It makes me look bad,’ he explained. ‘I’m the artist of the decade, aren’t I? Did she out-sell Thriller? No, she did not.’
At their table at The Ivy, Madonna wears a black jacket and hot pants with lacy stockings. Around her neck hangs a crucifix. Jackson is wearing black jeans, a red shirt and matching jacket, topped off with a fedora. He keeps his dark glasses on.
‘I’m sitting there, you know, trying to be nice. And the next thing I know, she reaches over and takes my glasses off?…?And then she throws them across the room and breaks them. I was shocked. ‘?“I’m your date now,” she told me. “And I hate it when I can’t see a man’s eyes.”?’
As the dinner progresses, Madonna thinks she has spotted Michael taking a crafty peek at her breasts. Grinning, she snatches his hand and places it upon them. Jackson recoils.
When all is said and done, this is not his style. But Madonna is not the kind of person to take no for an answer; later during their dinner, she saucily drops a piece of bread down her cleavage, then fishes it out and pops it into her mouth.
The effect on Jackson is one of instant queasiness. Their exploratory dinner cannot, therefore, be judged a great success, but at least it is not so disastrous as to derail their joint entrance at the Academy Awards ceremony.
They cut a dash together: Jackson in a white-sequinned suit with a large diamond brooch, plus gloves and gold?tipped cowboy boots, Madonna in a skintight low-cut gown, also white?sequinned, and $20?million worth of jewels.
Afterwards, they go to Swifty Lazar’s annual Oscar night party at Spago.
Once inside, it is not long before Madonna drifts towards her former lover Warren Beatty, leaving Jackson all alone. He is rescued by his old friend Diana Ross.
‘Well, I just don’t understand it, Michael,’ Ross says loudly.
‘I mean, she’s supposed to be with you, isn’t she? So, what is she doing with him?’
‘I don’t know,’ whispers Jackson. ‘I guess she likes him better.’
‘Well, I think she’s an awful woman,’ says Diana Ross, reassuringly. ‘Tacky dress, too.’