The king of pop was a loving father who changed nappies himself and enjoyed surprisingly humble pleasures like fish and chips, his friend of nearly 30 years, tells HELLO! in this week's issue
Millions around the world adored Michael Jackson for his genius, but few knew the man behind the music.
Now HELLO! can offer a unique insight into the personality and surprisingly down-to-earth tastes of the pop legend from his close friend former child star Mark Lester.
The king of pop considered the actor – whom Michael contacted after being touched by his role in the musical Oliver! - a "spiritual brother".
As godparents to each other's children, they spent many family holidays together - including Christmases and birthdays - during almost three decades of friendship.
In this week's magazine, issue number 1080, the former actor describes Michael's generosity – his family once bought back 22 crates of gifts from a vacation with the singer – and talks about his hand-on approach to fatherhood, which meant he often changed nappies himself.
His friend describes the star as a "big kid but… not an imbecile". "He was acutely aware of merchandising opportunities and his tabloid image, which he found amusing since many of the stories he read about himself were rubbish".
With his "brother" gone, Mark uses his tribute to dismiss this "rubbish" including allegations that the Thriller artist was abusing pain medication and speculation that Michael wasn't the father of his three children. The article also discusses his pal's extensive plastic surgery.
This week's issue also contains previously unseen pictures of the star on his Neverland ranch. Read Mark's touching memories in this week's HELLO! - on sale from Monday July 6.