Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson were two peas in one odd pod.
The eccentric star from Hollywood's golden era the shape-shifting King of Pop shared “the purest, most giving love,” according to Taylor in a statement made shortly after Jackson's death, in one of the strangest, and longest lasting, celebrity friendships in Hollywood.
Taylor, as famous for seven tumultuous divorces as she was for the beauty and talent that won her two Oscars, said she loved Jackson “with all my soul.” Taylor added, “My life feels so empty. I don’t think anyone knew how much we loved each other.”
It all began two decades ago, following a Taylor walk-out from Jackson’s concert in Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium in the 1980s. Learning of her abrupt exit, Jackson called Taylor almost in tears. She assured the singer, whom she famously dubbed “The King of Pop,” that she left due to bad visibility, not a poor performance.
That short phone call became a three-hour conversation, and the beginning of their relationship.
“Then we met, and spent more and more time with each other, and just became really good friends. Told each other everything,” Taylor said in a 2006 interview.
The two bonded over their pasts as troubled young stars, what Taylor called “horrible” childhoods they both felt Hollywood had stolen.
From then on, the two were a close pair, escalating into what some saw as a strange dual obsession. Birthday blow-outs, song dedications like “Elizabeth, I Love You,” and even marriage rumors abounded. At his Neverland ranch, Jackson built a shrine to his close friend, where her movies played 24/7.
They shared also nights at the ranch with his nephews – nights Taylor later defended in the child molestation claims against Jackson.
“There was nothing abnormal about it. There was no touchy-feely going on. We laughed like children, and we watched a lot of Walt Disney. There was nothing odd about it,” Taylor said.
Indeed taylor supported Jackson throughout that child molestation trial, always affirming his innocence. “I believe Michael is innocent and that he will be vindicated,” Taylor said in 2003.
Now, separation from Jackson has proven overwhelming for Taylor, who upon learning of his death, was “too devastated” to talk. Though she denied she was on suicide watch, Taylor confirmed her painful heartbreak over the loss.
“Oh God! I’m going to miss him. I can’t yet imagine life without him.”