Family Says Michael Jackson Hid Out in Their Home
In a town situated not far from Washington, D.C.'s Beltway, where few people can keep secrets, former news anchor Del Walters guarded a big one. Until now.
He says he opened his Leesburg home to Michael Jackson five years ago during rumors of child molestation charges. Walters says he's able to talk about it now that the pop star has died.
Walters says it was a difficult time for Jackson, who could not escape the media and rumors of child molestation charges. His entourage was on the hunt for a hideout, but they were running out of ideas.
Del and Robin Walters say his representatives were exhausted when they stopped by a local grocery store and saw the Walters family featured on the cover of Washingtonian Magazine about 'great places to live.'
Robin Walters says she remembers getting the phone call from her husband, "He told me Michael Jackson wants to stay at our home, I said 'yeah bring the Pope and Elvis too.'"
Del Walters had met Michael Jackson once before as a reporter in Kansas City covering his Victory Tour in 1984. He now had to decide if Jackson would stay in his home. After consulting with his minister and a family vote, Michael Jackson stayed at their home for nine days.
Walters said, "I thought it was the right thing to do. Everyone was looking for him he just needed a place to stay. Shelter from the storm."
Jackson had the whole run of the house, while the Walters stayed in a hotel. Fourteen people in all, including Jackson's three children, their nannies, chefs and bodyguards stayed at the home.
Walters says Jackson liked his cologne so much Jackson took it. Jackson stayed in their master bedroom. He says Jackson especially liked a white couch in their room.
Walters says anyone dealing with Jackson called him 'the Principal and the Client.' He says they called him Michael.
Michael signed CDS for the family and left a couple of shirts in their home.
The couple witnessed odd behavior, too. The windows were taped up so no one could see in. They say Jackson slept during the day and roamed the house at night.
Asked if they suspected drug use back then, Robin Walters said, "There was something making him sleep, don't know if it were drugs but something to get him off the world for a moment."
The Walters say no matter what people thought about the complicated entertainer, their's was a simple gesture.
Del Walters said, "We wanted him to look back and hope he had peace."
The Walters said there are many more places Michael Jackson visited, but businesses signed disclosures. The Walters say they never were asked to keep this a secret. The family would not disclose how much Jackson paid to rent their home.