Dr. Karen Moriarty has worked as a teacher, counselor, administrator, and consultant in public schools and as a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice. She earned advanced degrees, including her doctorate, from Northern Illinois University.
Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy is offered as an intimate and disclosing portrayal of Michael Jackson, with new information and unique insights regarding this "king of a man."
Dr. Moriarty leads her reader through the maze of stunningly bizarre circumstances in which Michael lived and struggled, through his private joys and sufferings as a real human being... a transcendent man.
B2M presents our exclusive interview with Dr. Karen Moriarty.
B2M: Welcome to Books2Mention Magazine.
Please tell our readers what sparked your interest in writing Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy.
DR. MORIARTY: I started out as the ghostwriter for Michael Jackson's two bodyguards in Las Vegas! When we had a parting of the ways in April 2011, I went back to the drawing board and wrote my own book, in directions that I believe to be very important for MJ's legacy. Hearing fascinating and moving accounts from many people who got to know MJ intimately, including his defense attorney, personal artist, spiritual adviser, and 24/7 security men--inspired me to present the real Michael Jackson to the fans and the general public. I was burning with the desire to separate the fact from the fiction about MJ!
B2M: Why was Michael Jackson so misunderstood?
DR. MORIARTY: Michael was very private, also shy, and he gave very few interviews. When he did an interview with Oprah in 1993, it was the first in 14 years! Because he was enormously popular on a global scale, the media longed for coverage of MJ. They began making up stories, distorting the tidbits that they did discover, and they soon realized that billions of dollars could be made in revenue and ratings by portraying Michael as weird and bizarre. That paradigm was set and then continued on through the years.
B2M: What do you believe was the force behind some in the media to attempt to destroy his image?
DR. MORIARTY: Some people loved to hate Michael Jackson! He was wildly successful and yet kept his personal life private. Many people in the media resented that. Going after Michael Jackson--destroying his image--became an industry for fun and profit. The tabloids that published scurrilous articles about MJ flew off the shelves. Again, it was a monetary bonanza for media to portray him as bizarre and "wacko."
B2M: Please share your thoughts on Michael as a healer and a humanitarian.
DR. MORIARTY: From my extensive research, I discovered that the driving force in Michael's life was to give to others. He genuinely wanted to heal the world, save the planet, and help starving, dying, and neglected children everywhere. He perceived his music as a vehicle for these goals. I am honored to have been able to present scores of examples of his humanitarianism in my book--private stories of his giving to individuals as well as the more grand examples of his generous monetary contributions in many countries around the world.
B2M: Do you believe the world was just not ready to accept a man that embodied such a gentle loving soul?
DR. MORIARTY: This is a wonderful and welcome question! I do believe that the world was not ready to accept the belief that a mega-star could be so caring and motivated by love. It was incomprehensible. If he had been a woman, it would have been more believable, but a man is not expected to be motivated--from the core of his being--to want to give to others, to save children who needed help, and to lead these noble efforts. MJ fans "get" this, and it helps to explain the exceptional fervor of MJ fans globally.
B2M: Did you face any challenges in bringing this book to fruition?
DR. MORIARTY: Two-and-a-half years of intensive research--investigations to separate fact from fiction about MJ--were challenging. I traveled to Las Vegas three times, to Los Angeles twice, and to Chicago in order to get first-hand information and interviews with key people for Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy. I went on the "pilgrimage" of MJ fans and admirers who had come from dozens of countries and all fifty states; we visited all of the places where MJ lived, including Neverland. I spent many hours with his round-the-clock security men, Tom Mesereau (his defense attorney--who has officially endorsed this book), father-figure and personal artist David Nordahl, and many others to obtain new, undisclosed information so that this book would be unique and interesting even to well-informed MJ fans. I have used more than 200 sources, which makes Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy a book like none other.
Portraying Michael's daily life, especially during his last four mysterious years--subject matter that is truly unique to this book--was not only challenging but fascinating and very fulfilling.
B2M: Speaking as a licensed clinical psychologist, what do you feel could have been done to prevent this tragic loss?
DR. MORIARTY: If Michael had a significant other, I believe his death would have been prevented. If he had appropriate medical care, including a clinical sleep study, his chronic insomnia could have been treated properly and his untimely death would have been avoided. It is shocking to know--as I explain fully in the book--that various employees, including bodyguards, were steps away from his death bed as he was dying; his three children were nearby in the house; and fans were standing at his front gate, just waiting to catch a glimpse of him. And yet he died at the hands of the doctor whom he trusted with his health and his life, a man who was convicted in November 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for 17 egregious acts of malpractice!
B2M: Do you think the world will ever fully understand the profound treasure that was lost by his death?
DR. MORIARTY: Perhaps with the passage of time, the world will know that Michael Jackson was indeed a profound treasure and that he was an unofficial ambassador of the U.S.! Through books like Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy, the truth about MJ can be proliferated. I encourage readers to loan the book to an acquaintance, buy one for a friend, and donate one to their local library.
I am honored to explain in Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy how Michael represented America in other countries. It is fascinating to know the impact that he had in far-flung countries from the Soviet Union to Japan to Germany to Gabon, in countries on six continents! In fact, he was more popular abroad than in the U.S., and two-thirds of his records and albums were sold in other countries.
B2M: Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy is your second book. You published your first book, Baby Richard: A Four-Year Old Comes Home in 2003. Please tell our readers about this book.
DR. MORIARTY: With the permission and encouragement of my clients, I wrote this book about their behind-the-scenes struggles to regain their baby after a failed and fraudulent adoption. Otto and Daniela Kirchner, immigrants from the Czech Republic, fought through the court system in Illinois for four years to regain their baby boy from a Chicago-suburban couple who had "adopted" him when he was only a few days old. His mother Daniela did not understand adoption in this country, and his father Otto not only wanted the child but he never gave the required permission for another couple to adopt his son. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the child must be returned to his father--who had since married Daniela, the birth mother--and the boy was transferred to his biological parents in front of media cameras from around the world. I was the family's psychologist/therapist, who helped them become a family under these very difficult and turburlent circumstances. Across months, which turned into years, I became like a family member, transitioning from therapist to friend. I witnessed and experienced the ugly side of the media during my work on this case, all of which I did on apro bono basis because the family had no money. When the boy (Baby Richard) was twelve, I published this book so that the inside story--and my clients' side of the epic-level dispute--would finally be disclosed.
B2M: What can readers expect from you next?
DR. MORIARTY: If I write another book in the near future, it will be a children's book. I would hope to sensitize children to the effects of animal abuse and to promote empathy with the feelings and needs of animals, especially family pets. My main character would be modeled after my own cat, Stephanie Ann, who was an abused one-year-old kitten when my husband and I adopted her years ago. She has never overcome the effects of the abuse, but she is a gentle and loving little creature!
B2M: Dr. Moriarty, we appreciate your dedication in providing an informative and thought provoking look at the life and legacy of Michael Jackson...the man. We look forward to hearing more from you.
Thanks for interviewing with Books2Mention Magazine. Please be sure to come back again and keep readers informed about all of your future endeavors.
Much Success To You!
The Staff @ Books2Mention Magazine
You are welcome to visit the website of Dr. Karen Moriarty at: www.DefendingAKing.com.
Books by Dr. Karen Moriarty include: