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Defending a King ~ His Life & Legacy Paperback – December 15, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 557 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A Psychologists Take on Michael Jackson

Dr. Karen Moriartys "Defending A King" may not be a traditional biography, but it offers an intriguingand humanizingperspective on the King of Pop.

A trained clinical psychologist, Dr. Moriartys most interesting contribution is her professional analysis of Jacksons actions throughout his life, especially those deemed strange by the tabloid media. Of particular note is her Bizarre Behavior chapter, in which she points out that bizarre behavior is normal in bizarre circumstances and then thoughtfully explains how and why.

Dr. Moriarty delves into the psychology of what it was like to be Michael Jackson,  underscoring how incredible it was, from a therapists perspective, that Jackson turned out to be such a kind and gentle human being  given his upbringing.
[H]er professional perspective on the inner workings of Michael Jackson alone made the book a worthwhile read for anyone looking to gain a new understanding of the King of Pop.
                                                                  -- Zack OMalley Greenburg, Senior Editor, Forbes Magazine & Author, "Michael Jackson, Inc."

Truly engaging  the real story at last!Skillfully-written with layer after layer of facts and presented with interesting style, this book tells the heart-wrenching story of that most interesting and complex entertainer [Michael Jackson]....

Truthfully, I was never a fan of Michael Jackson. But I am keenly interested in the few who skyrocket beyond the heights of celebrity strata through hard work and sheer brilliance. Dr. Moriarty helped me appreciate this performer who, in spite of his eccentricities (which many great personalities seem to acquire), was a highly talented, creative, good man trying to do the right thing....

When the hype of the media skews the truth, you will find satisfying resolution to your doubts through this extraordinary book.                                                                      -- Kenneth R. Overman, Author, "A Lion in Spring"

From the Author


Michael Jackson fans and others have praised Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy for many reasons:

~ It discloses the truth about Michael Jackson with respect & passion
~ First-hand witnesses and true friends of Michael are its major sources
~ Michael's last four years are disclosed in detail
~ The author presents a well-reasoned analysis of Michael's personality & behaviors
~ The book dispels the myths - avoids sensationalism & distortions
~ It captures both the mind ... and heart of the reader
~ Michael Jackson, the innocent victim of media & the greedy, is revealed and vindicated


                                                               "His kindness and humility."
                                 These are the words that most people used to answer my question,
                                             "What did you most admire about Michael Jackson?"

     It is because of Michael Jackson's goodness - mostly unknown and ignored during his lifetime - that I have been inspired to undertake this project. "A mission" is the best way to describe it. I never experienced a moment of "writer's block" as I was working on this book. Not ever.
     The "SECRETS" about Michael Jackson that I discovered were neither sinister nor ugly. Michael chose love, as corny as that sounds. He chose to be a global humanitarian. Michael believed that was his purpose on this Earth -- to "heal the world."


     I always believed in Michael Jackson's innocence. To me, his jury trial in 2005 for alleged crimes against children, including kidnapping and molestation, was a misguided, ill-intentioned travesty of justice. I rejoiced when Michael was found not guilty of all 14 counts of felonies and misdemeanors.
     When Michael Jackson died suddenly on June 25, 2009, I was stunned, numbed, and deeply saddened. That fateful and pivotal day began what turned into full-time research about Michael; visits to his homes, including Neverland; writing as a volunteer for a secret MJ advocacy group; interviewing many people who knew him; and networking with his fans from everywhere.

     In early 2010, I watched a television program that featured Michael's team of three bodyguards, men who protected him and his children while he was based in Las Vegas from late 2006 to mid-2008. These men announced that they wanted to write a book about Michael Jackson from their "inside" experiences and perspective. They felt like his champions and were determined to dispel the media-created nonsense about their beloved boss.

     Weeks later, after searching unsuccessfully for their book, I contacted the head of security on that team and volunteered my services to help. I believed that it was important that finally there would be a caring and credible book about Michael Jackson. After four days of meetings with two of the bodyguards in Las Vegas and several months of full-time ghostwriting for them, I realized that we were "not on the same page" on some major issues. We had "a parting of the ways," which I describe fully in "The Back Door" chapter. With my husband Robert's encouragement, I changed direction, expanded the scope, and wrote the "definitive book" about Michael Jackson that I had hoped would be available ... but never was.

     During my author's journey, I met with and interviewed many people who knew and loved Michael. They were generous both in spirit and in the information that they shared with me. Everyone knew that we were working together on a project to advance Michael's legacy.

     I made no attempt to work with a conventional publishing company because many "knowers" assured me that the American publishing industry was not interested in a positive book about Michael Jackson. It was trash that sold - sensationalism, rumor, innuendo, allegations, and sordid stories. I self-published Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy in December 2011.

     Michael Jackson fans responded in great numbers. People from around the globe have embraced this book in heartwarming ways.

     Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy was updated during the early months of 2012, incorporating excellent suggestions from fans and other readers. I self-published the second edition with Outskirts Press in August 2012. This edition is now available anywhere in the world. The book became an Amazon Kindle bestseller at the end of that year. I'm so grateful: "It's all for L.O.V.E."


     From Michael's two bodyguards, I gained a real feel of Michael Jackson as a private person, father, boss, businessman, friend, and family member. These men knew the greatest entertainer in the world as "surprisingly normal," kind, gentle, vulnerable, and plagued by extraordinary troubles. They were surprised and amazed by their journey as his protectors and occasionally as his confidantes. They loved "the boss" and his "three little ones" -- Prince, Paris, and Blanket.

     When we went our separate ways, we were not friends ... but we were not enemies either. These men never did publish a book about their beloved boss. Perhaps someday they will.

     After that fascinating "immersion" experience, I have been blessed to make friends with many wonderful people of unquestionable integrity, all of whom are advocates of Michael and his legacy. I feel that we are kindred spirits. They have generously shared with me their stories, intimacies, feelings, and experiences with Michael Jackson. I feel humbled and honored to call them my friends.

                                                    The "Dedication" of the book says it all:

                                                        "To Robert, my in-house inspiration,
                                                    To Michael Jackson, who changed my life."

     One of the biggest surprises for me has been the discovery of the multitude of individuals whose lives have been changed by Michael Jackson. I've included as many stories from these people as possible in this book.

     I'm especially grateful to....
  • Thomas Mesereau and Susan Yu, MJ's defense attorneys in 2004-05;
  • David Nordahl, MJ's personal artist and mentor for 20-plus years;
  • Larry Nimmer, MJ's advocate and the filmmaker of the only video of Neverland, Michael's home and sanctuary for 17 years;
  • Cherilyn Lee, MJ's personal nurse in 2009 and key witness in the Conrad Murray manslaughter trial.
     There are many others whom I would like to include here, but space does not permit....


     As a former teacher of English and writing, I incorporated specific goals in Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy:
  • This book contains no salacious material; its content is appropriate for teenagers as well as adults of all ages.
  • The reader does not need to read it from beginning to end because there are 19 discreet chapters, each with its own theme.
  • This biography can be comfortably incorporated into the curriculum at the high school, college, and graduate school levels.
     While I was writing Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy, I was ever-conscious of Michael's beloved children - Prince, Paris, and Blanket. I wanted this book to be a worthy tribute to their father.

LAST WORDS: I encourage readers to write reviews of Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy. Also, I welcome direct communications from readers. I attempt to answer every message.

Find Us On Facebook: "Karen Moriarty" and "Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy"
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Infinity Publishing; 1st edition (December 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0741470314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0741470317
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (557 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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." His goodness has been unknown and/or ignored; this volume needs to be affixed to the legacy of his greatness. "Bizarre behavior is normal in bizarre circumstances." 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.

Baby Richard: A Four-Year-Old Comes Home, published in 2003, was her first book, written because it was "an epic story that had to be told."

Karen is married to Dr. Robert V. Moriarty, also a licensed clinical psychologist and former president of a community college and of a private graduate school.

They reside with their feline companion, Billy Gene, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When considering the myriad of books, articles and television programs that have been released since Michael's passing, some people may wonder if there's anything new or compelling left to be said about his well-chronicled, remarkable life. Well, I can assure you that Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy will give readers something unique: a never-before-told, inside story of what daily life was really like for the world's most famous person. What Michael referred to as his "life in a fishbowl" will seem like an understatement when you've finished reading this exceptional book.

I was extremely impressed with the depth and breadth of Dr. Karen Moriarty's research. She supports her positions thoroughly and thoughtfully in each of the 19 chapters. An emphasis on firsthand sources--including security staff and professional associates--adds a great deal of credibility throughout. Additionally, I thought the book did an excellent job of clearing up the lies and misinformation repeatedly spread by the self-serving media.

Writing from a psychologist's perspective, Dr. Moriarty effectively describes the "why" behind the "what" regarding Michael's decisions, both as a public figure and as a father. Conclusions are grounded in psychological theory, presented at an accessible level. It was particularly interesting to learn about concepts such as compartmentalization and situational demand. I came away with a better appreciation of how Michael Jackson was uniquely human, just like the rest of us.

One of the central themes across several chapters explores the duality of Michael's mission in life. Almost everyone knows him for his unparalleled artistic excellence; however, the extent of his worldwide philanthropic involvement is equally impressive.
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We all face great personal challenges in our lives that we overcome and move on from. For every one of us inevitably our environment changes, and so do the circumstances that bring people in and out of our lives. Only one thing is certain in this life and it is change. Michael Jackson said in his lyrics of Man In The Mirror "Make that change" and for Michael's followers these are words to live by. I know I am mindful of these words every day.

There is one challenge in my life that I have come to know and accept that is different from anything that I have ever known in my earlier years on earth and I am honored beyond expression to be part of it, and it is spreading Michael Jackson's legacy, and educating people to the truth of who Michael really is. This mission is a part of every minute of my consciousness since June 25, 2009, the day that Michael Jackson left this earth physically. Life as I knew it ended that day. Upon learning that Michael passed away it felt as is the earth stopped rotating and there was a colossal global shift. Time stood still. When time started ticking again for me and I began to live under the magnitude of what had happened, nothing was the same. The man who lived the most dignified life on earth, in my lifetime was not a physical being among us anymore and as time passed I felt complete, gut wrenching despair.

Like millions of people over the world I was stuck by the urgency to learn everything that I could about Michael, although I had known of him since my early childhood and I was fortunate to spend 40 years of my life on earth with him, I did not truly know him well. I became part of the world phenomenon of people becoming friends through love of Michael to support each other and to continue Michael's work.
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There have been many books written lately on Michael Jackson and his eccentric life. One book that is strikingly different to some degree is the one written by Karen Moriarty, author of "Defending a King".

Moriarty writes to some degree about the life of Jackson, his legend, his musical genius that made him the super star he was. She touches briefly, upon the side of him, that isn't seen or discussed. You will empathize with his psyche, yet learn how he gave his heart to anyone without question, trusting everyone, believing the good in people and at the same time being burned by the very same conviction.

His biggest mistakes in life, one of them being his love for children, this very spirit, he felt so strongly about, was the one component that took him down. How this and many other incidents created a darkness that would haunt him to the very end. No one could have faced what Jackson had endured during his years, the despondency, pain, fears and his uncertainties in life.
Business folks who took advantage of his kindness created mistrust, and made life for Jackson a delusional world of ambiguity.

"Defending a King," won't resolve any really issues, it only briefly gives you a synopsis of what it's like to a huge icon with it the excess baggage and what a legend has to endure in a world of greed, bleeding him of everything he had until there was no more. Especially the trial of 2005 and what that had done to the very core of Jackson, emotionally and physically. It's a powerful insight to what this man went through to some point -a good honest read for anyone.
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