Vanity Fair scribe Maureen Orth covered Michael Jackson in depth when he was alive, and Friday morning during a lengthy segment on "Morning Joe" she talked about his death and in some of the frankest terms heard since the news of his passing.
Orth said, among other things, that his isolation was partially self-imposed and helped him play with boys, that his fame and money got him off of child molestation charges, that he suffered a crippling drug habit and that the publicity-seeking Jackson would have wanted to die as he did.
"I was wondering if it wasn't one last stunt in order to promote his concert tour," Orth said she had thought when she first heard news had he been taken to the hospital.
She said of Jackson's supposed drug use, "He had a terrific drug problem, starting when he checked himself into rehab to escape molestation charges in '94."
She later said she watched Jackson pop pills during the 2005 trial and that he was often "zombie-like."
"He was surrounded by sycophants," Orth continued, "He isolated himself so much, but honestly I think a lot of that isolation was self-imposed so he could play with little boys and do whatever he wants."
"His celebrity got him off the charges when he had that trial," Orth said of 2005. "As big a genius he was with music he was also that big a failure as a human being, in my opinion."
"I think this ending is great for Michael," Orth said when asked about his death and the outpouring of emotion and media blanketing. "He would have wanted to go out this way."
You can also read Orth's 2005 article on his child molestation trial, his debt and supposed drug use, "C.S.I. Neverland," here.