According to The Sun, Matt Fiddes (28) has worked for Michael Jackson as a bodyguard on several occasions - and is proud to count him as a personal friend. When his mum was battling breast cancer, the entertainer even called her regularly to cheer her up. And dad-of-five Matt also had no qualms about his children meeting Michael. Matt says:
Michael must be the most misunderstood man in the world.
He is such a nice guy behind closed doors. Once you get to know him, you see that - but for most people his huge international profile tends to get in the way.
Michael definitely wants to keep the mystery going. It's like a game to him. He knows he can go out and be photographed and the photos will be used worldwide.
During a visit to London in 2002, Michael took my stepsons, Archie and Charlie, on a shopping trip to Hamleys toy store. He's a great guy and I didn't have any problem with it. It sounds like a dream come true to most kids, but the boys were too shy to choose anything expensive. They came home with just a few bits and pieces."
Matt Fiddes was introduced to Michael Jackson by Uril Geller after taking part in a fitness video alongside Geller.
One night Uri called me at 2am and said 'You have to come to my house now, or you'll regret it for the rest of your life.'
I made the three hour trip from Devon to Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire. My jaw dropped when I watched Martin Bashir's documentary at Uri's house. I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked into Uri's living room and Michael Jackson was sitting there on the sofa.
Michael mentioned he was looking for a bodyguard in the UK and asked me to keep in touch. From then on I was his bodyguard on trips to the UK."
Amazingly, Matt was present at the Renaissance Hotel in London in 2002 when Martin Bashir pitched Michael Jackson the idea for his famous and so very controcversial documentary.
Martin told Michael it would be the best thing he could do for his career.
It was supposed to be about the music and Mike's children were to be kept out of the final cut. Of course it was nothing of the sort and my jaw dropped when I watched the show at Uri's house.”
During filming for Martin Bashir's documentary, Matt also worked for Michael Jackson, who tried to escape the press:
Michael would come up with elaborate plans to escape the crowds. He asked me to dress up like him to distract the fans and he would sneak out the back door. He produced white socks, a military-style jacket and sunglasses for me to put on. The US security team of four bodyguards came with me through the front of the hotel. People were grabbing my hands and talking to me as if I was their hero. Meanwhile Michael snuck out the back with one bodyguard and had about 20 minutes of hassle-free browsing before he was recognised.
Another time, Michael and I ordered a takeaway curry and escaped to Uri's house in Berkshire. I had to pinch myself when I was sitting on the floor with the King of Pop eating a curry and watching Bruce Lee movies."
Despite the excitement, Matt's memory of the time is tinged with sadness. During the same period his mum, Majella Norris, was diagnosed with breast cancer and given just six months to live. But when Matt confided in Michael, the star didn't waste any time giving his stricken mum a call.
That really touched me.
Michael's a very sensitive human being and he'd ring my mum every day to see how she was coping.
He makes a big impression on everyone, and she really appreciated his best wishes. Thankfully Mum pulled through and is loving her retirement."