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Tatiana Thumbtzen was the star of Michael Jackson’s video The Way You Make Me Feel. She performed with him at he 1988 Grammys and did shows with him in on the second leg of the Bad Tour in Kansas City and New York, where she famously kissed him during their performance.
"To this day I have no idea what I did that was so terrible, but that was the end of the tour for me. I was not asked back when the Bad tour went on to several cities. Sheryl Crow took my place.
I went home and cried incredibly hard, over both the lost opportunity and over losing Michael. His mother, Katherine, was also puzzled by what happened. She later invited me several times to the Jackson compound in Encino and we talked at length. She told me that when we were shooting the video, Michael had asked her what he should do with me. He had told her how much he liked me and that he had feelings for me. She had told him to express himself, to tell me about his feelings.
He never did tell me anything of the kind, although several others in his camp – bodyguards, secretaries, and writers – had let me know. The only explanation I could fathom was that Michael’s top managers must have seen me as a threat. The Bad tour was one of the most successful promotions of his career, and the people working for him did not want anything to mess it up, especially a relationship with some girl they hardly knew.
Perhaps they thought of me as someone who, like a crazed fan, imagined herself being lovers with the superstar. Michael had done a music video of “Dirty Diana” with a similar storyline. To me, however, the feelings between us had always seemed very mutual. I felt a bond with him. Maybe it was because he, too, seemed to want to think of the world as color blind.
Perhaps, however, I was naive or mistaken or read too much into some of the things that happened between Michael and me. Even if that is so, I always behaved in a completely professional manner. Unfortunately, being fired from that tour had terrible repercussions for me both psychologically and professionally. I hope I will be able to put the experience behind me someday and go on, but for years it has haunted me. Certainly it illustrates how show business, money, and greed can keep apart two people who care for each other.
Joseph Jackson Misguides My Career
After leaving the Michael Jackson tour, Joseph Jackson, Michael’s father, wanted to sign me to a management contract. Like Michael’s mother, he also sympathized with me and didn’t like what had happened to me on the tour. When he proposed that he become my manager, I hoped he might really be able to help me. I had never had any problems getting contracts with agents or managers but finding one who could really build my career seemed to be the real challenge. I knew that Joseph was quite the ladies’ man, but he never tried to have his way with me. At the time we met he had a little Asian girl under contract, to whom he paid a lot of attention – unfortunately more than he ended up paying to me professionally.
After a while I realized that Joseph wasn’t going to be able to help me. In fact, I suspected that being under contract to him was probably hurting my career. All I wanted was to get out from under his control, but everyone to whom I showed the contract, including agents and lawyers, told me I was locked in. They said I needed a high-powered attorney with connections, but I had neither the money nor the clout to get one."