The legendary musician, who died on Thursday, saw his multimillion-dollar fortune depleted by years of overspending and legal fees in battling various lawsuits and court cases against him.
He fled to Bahrain in 2005 after he was cleared of child molestation charges and lived at the expense of Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, son of the King of Bahrain, who agreed to fund his lavish lifestyle in return for an album and autobiography deal.
Sheikh Abdullah subsequently sued the star for allegedly reneging on the agreement.
Rwaramba, who worked for the star for 17 years and looked after his kids until her recent dismissal, insists the family was left destitute at the time and was forced to live off the charity of Jackson's friends and acquaintances -- because the star was in denial about how bad the situation really was.
They stayed with friends in a castle in Ireland before arriving at the home of Jackson's longtime friend Frank Tyson, in New Jersey in 2007 -- which saw Rwaramba sharing a cramped room with all three of Jackson's kids.
She says, "Frank’s family is not rich. They have a small house. We stayed there for weeks. Michael stayed there downstairs alone.
“The kids slept with me in one room. I didn’t mind because I tried to make it fun for them."
Rwaramba admits that as the financial crisis worsened the star was accepting any work he was offered in a bid to clear his mounting debts.
She says, "Michael had no idea about money. He got a proposal to make an appearance in Japan for $1 million. I knew how many people were involved. I told him, ‘Michael, by the time everyone takes his cut you will end up with a very small amount.’ He didn’t want to hear. He flew to Japan. By the time everyone took their share, he ended up with $200,000."
But Rwaramba claims Jackson was still not able to reign in his spending -- even when his debts were spiraling out of control and his family was living out of hotels.
She adds, "Suddenly -- I can’t remember now how it came -- he received some money. Instead of buying a small house, so that we won’t go from one hotel to another or stay with friends, he told me, ‘Grace, you have to go immediately to Florence to buy antiques.’ He wanted me to spend $1 million. We didn’t even have a home to live in so we had to put the antiques in some storage.”
Jackson lost control of his beloved Neverland ranch in Santa Barbara last year and was facing an auction of his property at the time of his death in an attempt to clear his debts -- rumored to be hundreds of millions of dollars.
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