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July 21, 2017

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New book ‘Remember the Time’ offers different take on Michael Jackson


Joerg Sarbach / AP

Michael Jackson performs during his “HIStory Tour Part II” across Germany and Europe at the Weserstadion in Bremen, Germany, on May 31, 1997.

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Michael Jackson and Robin Leach at Wing Lei in Wynn Las Vegas in June 2009.

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A hologram of Michael Jackson performs during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

Remember the Time

The King of Pop would be celebrating his 55th birthday Friday if he were still alive and hadn’t died in June 2009. Books have been written about Michael Jackson, shows have been staged, and a legion of lookalike dancers have tried to duplicate his moves.

The legend lives on, but is there anything that remains to be said?

His bodyguards during the last three years of his life and part of the time he lived in Las Vegas believe a side of Michael has only been known to a select few. Now, just in time for the celebrations to mark his Aug. 29 Virgo birthday, comes a new work.

(Aug. 29 also is my birthday, and Michael and I laughed about that when I had dinner with him at Wing Lei in Wynn Las Vegas years ago.)

His security team of Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard unmask the man with a rare insider’s glimpse in “Remember the Time,” a close-up story yet to be told. The new, in-depth tome isn’t tabloid sensational; it is raw and intimate and at times very funny and tragically sad.

Bill and Javon, first-time authors, are remarkable in their telling the full story of the superstar so greatly misunderstood by most. There’s no sugar coating, and they shed light on everything from Michael’s close relationship with his children to his strained relationships with business associates and family members.

You’ll shed tears when you read how the star who had everything really had nothing.

“We wanted to share with Michael’s fans who he was as a man, person and father. Our goal is to dispel the myths that were written about him,” said Bill. The authors will be here Saturday afternoon at Barnes & Noble on North Rainbow to meet fans and sign copies of their book.

Bill spent several years working as a law enforcement professional before venturing into private security in the mid-1990s. By 2001, he was living in Las Vegas and established as one of the city’s top independent security contractors. By the time he went to work for Michael, Bill secured a clientele list of celebrities, athletes and politicians.

Javon grew up with the hopes of becoming a professional athlete. His life took a much different turn when he took a job in private security after graduation. Through the years, he worked his way up to oversee a security staff of more than 200. His first high-profile security detail was with Michael.

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Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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