An Evening With Michael


I remember the first time I met him over dinner at Al Malnik’s house. Al and his family invited me, my husband JR, and my daughter Amber over for an intimate gathering with Michael and his three beautiful children, Prince Michael, Paris, and Blanket. Memories of how much he loved his children come flooding back to me as I recall that night. He was the proud papa, grinning from ear to ear as his children performed a little play for us, “Three little monkeys sitting on a bed.” He smiled and laughed so much that night. He was so proud of those kids and he knew how to show it.

During dinner we talked about his lack of authentic childhood experiences and how his sister Janet had always been so amazing and sensitive with him. As he talked, he spoke with his heart and I could actually feel some of the pain that he must have experienced in his short life. I really believe that the child inside of him was always begging to be released. Watching him play hide-and-go-seek with my daughter Amber and the other children, I was struck by how much he laughed, enjoying the fun as much as they did. Listening to Michael speak was almost as amazing as hearing him sing because he spoke with such love-for his children as well as his family and fans. He was kind, gentle, and remarkable in every way. He shared stories with us that night as if we had known him forever.

The evening turned quite comical when Michael complimented the pants that I was wearing because they reminded him of the ones he donned in the video for “Bad.” He loved mine so much, in fact, that he asked me to let him try them on! Feeling somewhat embarrassed and at a loss for words, I was goaded into it by both my own family and the Malniks, who kept saying, “Oh come on…just let him try them on.” I gave in and told him I would wait in the bathroom for him to pass them back to me. After 10 minutes I knew I was in trouble. I heard a little knock at the door and he said, “Loren, I love these pants! Please, please, please let me keep them. I will give you my pants to wear home!” Well, what was I supposed to say? He was, of course, the legendary Michael Jackson and he simply stole my heart. I watched him show everyone at the house how wonderful the pants looked on him and I started my own fashion show wearing his. We all laughed and carried on with the beautiful evening.

I had the opportunity to see him many times again thereafter and we always laughed just as much as we did on the first night we met. He was always so loving and so wonderful. He cared about people and he cared about the world. I am sure there will never be another Michael Jackson. He changed music, breaking every barrier and demonstrating that he could accomplish anything that he set his mind to. He paved the way for so many other artists and entertainers and he gave us the belief that if people loved each other and cared for each other enough, we would “Heal the World.” I wonder if the some of the world let him down and forgot the words that he sang to us with such love in a song that touched our hearts.

He made the world a better place for all of us. Michael opened his heart to all of us through his life and his music and because of him we will never be the same. I asked some of my friends to share their thoughts on the passing of this legend, which I share with you here.


Warm Regards,

Loren Ridinger