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Spike Lee Recalls Reaction to Death of Michael Jackson

6 years ago by Reg Seeton

Spike Lee poses in front of the cover of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album for his new documentary “Bad 25” – Photo: ABC

Director Spike Lee recalled his reaction to the death of Michael Jackson during a Bad 25 press conference with reporters while promoting his new documentary about the late King of Pop’s Bad” album.

For Bad 25, director Spike Lee assembled a variety of musical heavyweights and industry pros to reflect on the legacy of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album 25 years later after its original release. From Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber and Usher to Martin Scorsese, L.A. Reid, Stevie Wonder, and Sheryl Crow, Bad 25 features nearly 50 stars and industry professionals who felt the impact of Michael Jackson and the “Bad” album.

In the video of for the Venice presentation of Bad 25 late this year, Spike Lee recalled his reaction to the death of Michael Jackson and how he felt when he heard the news. Lee told reporters that he was in a conference in Cannes when he started to receive calls about the sudden death of Jackson on on June 25, 2009.

When the veteran director heard the news, like many fans, he didn’t believe that Jackson was really dead.

On that fateful day in 2009, Michael Jackson died of propofol intoxication after suffering a cardiac arrest at his home in Los Angeles under the care of Dr, Conrad Murray. After a two year trial, Murray was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson and is currently serving a four year sentence.

“Then I turned on CNN International,” said Lee, “the clip is in the documentary where his brother, Jermaine Jackson, gave that press conference at the UCLA hospital that his brother had left us.”

Lee went on to explain how he flew back to New York and was deeply impacted by the loss of Michael Jackson.

“I’m not going to lie,” Lee continued. “For a month, I was out of it.”

Spike Lee also admitted that he only had one Michael Jackson album on his iPod at the time of Jackson’s death. Following the huge loss, Lee went out and purchased the entire Michael Jackson discography.

Bad 25 airs Thursday on ABC at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.


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Reg Seeton created The Deadbolt in 2005 after working for the pioneering movie news website, Coming Attractions. Reg has over 15 years experience as a top online entertainment journalist and interviewer, has worked with several award winning actors, musicians and writers, and has managed entertainment networks in New York and Los Angeles. And he's done it all with one eye!