London, 2nd November 2011 – Michael Jackson’s family members and fans from across the globe gathered in Leicester Square at a star-studded red carpet event to celebrate the life and legacy of the ‘King of Pop’ at the World Premiere of Michael Jackson: Life of an Icon, to mark its release on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Universal Pictures International Entertainment.
Producer, TV star and lifelong friend of Michael Jackson David Gest was joined by Michael’s brother Tito Jackson, sister Rebbie Jackson and his former lawyers Thomas Mesereau and Susan Yu, at a memorable and moving event that was viewed live by tens of thousands of fans around the world through Livestream.
Stars from the worlds of music, film and entertainment graced the red carpet, from Motown legends including Martha Reeves, to rising stars such as X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, all expressing how they have been inspired by the iconic life of Michael Jackson.
KEY QUOTES FROM THE EVENT:
Producer David Gest said: “It was like putting a puzzle together. It took over 15 months to do. I’m really proud of it and I think Universal have done an incredible job. There were so many misconceptions about Michael that we wanted to set the record straight.”
Tito Jackson (Michael’s brother) said: “I can’t think of anyone else that would have done such a good job as David Gest. It’s so important that the world knows the real Michael Jackson. David knew Michael for many decades and we have been friends since I was fifteen. “
Tito went on to emotionally reveal his fondest memory of his younger brother, when Michael sprung a surprise gift on him after the Santa Barbara court case, of a Bentley filled with beautiful signatures from Beyonce to Liza Minelli.
Rebbie Jackson (Michael’s sister), was visibly moved by the whole experience and said of her participation in the documentary: “It’s something I really wanted to do personally – I felt I owed it to Michael. The film speaks about the positives and the negatives and really does justice to his life.”
Motown star Martha Reeves said: “Michael and the Jacksons are phenomenal and always will be. We need (to spread) this positive message among the negativity of the trial. This is a complete joy I am loving being here tonight.”
Thomas Mesereau (Michael’s former lawyer) said: “It’s still hard to believe Michael has passed away. The media treated him so badly but justice was done. Michael was the best client I ever had and a dear friend. He was a wonderful human being and we miss him dearly. This film comes from the heart and soul.”
Gest, the driving force behind the moving documentary, hosted an insightful and emotional Question and Answer session with theJacksonfamily members inLeicester Square’s iconic Empire Cinema, in which they took fans behind the headlines, sharing their feelings about the celebrated singer’s early life in the Jackson Five through to his sudden tragic death in 2009.
The evening was rounded off in style at a star-studded after party at The Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, which included stunning tribute performances from Motown legends Martha Reeves, Kim Weston, Peabo Bryson, Brenda Holloway and Michael’s sister Rebbie Jackson, as well as an auction of Michael Jackson memorabilia including a personal hat worn by Michael and a rare original Jackson 5 cartoon cell.