Michael Jackson fans still mourning King Of Pop decade after his death
Fans visited Jackson’s Walk Of Fame star to pay tribute on the 10th anniversary of his death.
Michael Jackson fans say they are still mourning the King Of Pop a decade after his death and their love for the star has not been diminished by resurfaced allegations of child sexual abuse.
Jackson, one of the most influential musicians ever thanks to his groundbreaking albums and revolutionary live performances, died on June 25 2009 aged 50 after suffering a cardiac arrest.
He remains hugely popular, despite the release of HBO documentary Leaving Neverland earlier this year which featured interviews with two men who alleged they were abused by Jackson as children.
His star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame still attracts a steady stream of tourists and on the eve of the anniversary of his death fans were lining up to have their picture taken with it.
Self-confessed super fan Jolanda West flew to Los Angeles from Michigan especially for the anniversary.
The 51-year-old has been a fan of since she was a child, when a young Michael was performing with his brothers as the Jackson 5.
She told the Press Association: “It’s been a really long time. It doesn’t seem like it was yesterday, it seems like a very long time of suffering. But he’s free now.
“That day is the worst day of my life.”
Ms West said the allegations raised in Leaving Neverland had not affected her love for Jackson, pointing to the fact he was never convicted of any offence.
Latara Deshazior, 34, is from Miami. She has been a Jackson fan for as long as she can remember, and said: “I grew up on Thriller, I grew up on Billie Jean, that’s what made me love him as an artist.”
Ms Deshazior, a mother of two boys, said she cried when Jackson died and admitted Leaving Neverland made her reevaluate the singer, but added: “People do make mistakes.”
“Because his music takes you and lifts you and pushes you to another area of life where something so small definitely doesn’t take away all that he has done for this world.”
Natali Benavides, 27,from Michigan, said she had been a Jackson fan since she was 15.
She said: “We should just not pay attention to the bad things. He’s a good person overall. I would just say look at the positive side, never the negative.”
Gregg Donovan, a prominent Hollywood tour guide and regular fixture on the Walk Of Fame, said he felt “horrible” after hearing the allegations.
Mr Donovan said he is often asked by families where Jackson’s star is but in light of the allegations, “I kind of hold back. I don’t know if I want to”.
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