The actress insisted her pal was “one of a kind” and revealed the pair could never quite understand why the media was so mean about their friendship.
She told the Staples Center audience, “The (photo) caption usually said something like ‘an odd couple’ or ‘an unlikely pair,’ but, to us, it was the most natural and easiest of friendships. I was 13 when we met and from that day on, our friendship grew.
“Michael always knew he could count on me to support him or be his date, and that we would have fun no matter where we were … We had a bond and maybe it was because we both understood what it was like to be in the spotlight from a young age.”
She brought humor to the tribute by adding, “I used to tease him and I’d say, ‘I started when I was 11 months old; you’re a slacker. You were what, five?'”
Shields then recalled the night Jackson tried to teach her how to moonwalk, adding she and her late friend loved to laugh at her “silly imitations.”
She said, “MJ’s laugh was the sweetest and purest laugh of anyone’s I had ever known, his sense of humour was delightful.”
Recalling the night she joined Jackson on the eve of Elizabeth Taylor‘s wedding, the actress revealed she and Jackson were left giggling hysterically when they sneaked into Taylor’s bedroom to catch a glimpse of the gown — only to discover the movie great asleep just feet away from them.
She also remembered the time Jackson “started wearing the glove,” adding, “I was like, ‘Look, if you’re gonna hold my hand, it better be the non-gloved one.'”
Shields then brought the audience to tears by reading a passage from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince and then introducing Jackson’s brother Jermaine, who performed the late star’s favorite song, Charlie Chaplin‘s “Smile,” sobbing, “Today, although our hearts are aching, we need to look up, where (Jackson) is undoubtedly perched in a crescent moon — and we need to smile.”
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