- Everything I do, I do it because of Michael. When I make music, dance, perform it's all because of him. I'm inspired by all the things that he taught me, says Omer Michael Bhatti to the breakfast show God morgen Norge (Good morning Norway) on TV 2 on Friday.
Omer Michael Bhatti from Norway started imitating the artist at the age of 8. During a trip to Tunisia in 1996 he befriended the artist, and was later invited to stay at his home Neverland. At the time Bhatti was only 12 years old. The two remained close friends right up until the artist's sudden death last year.
- The most important person
At Jackson's funeral, Bhatti was seated in the front row alongside Jackon's children and family. Bhatti has remained silent about their relationship, but in the wake of Jackson's death he released a press statement saying:
– I have lost the most important person in my life. He raised me and made me the person I am today.
- Still part of my life
Since Michael Jackson's death, Omer travels regularly to the United States, and still maintains a close relationship with his children and the rest of the Jackson family.
– It's a huge part of my life and always will be, Bhatti tells TV 2.
Why have you chosen to be so secretive about your relationship to Jackson and his family?
– Everything I do is inspired by him. But at the same time so much of this is private, says Bhatti. This past years, so much has happened. I feel I've been stripped of my private life, and the little I have left, I wish to keep for myself, he tells TV 2.
Hunted by paparazzi
Since Michael Jackson's death, Omer Michael Bhatti has been subject to an enormous amount of interest from international media and paparazzi. Two British tabloids wrote that he was the unknown child of Michael Jackson and sent journalists to Norway to hunt him down.
One of the stories that has outraged him the most was the on-line tabloid radaronline.co who wrote that Bhatti claims to have fathered Michael Jackson's three children.
- I have experienced the ugly face of the paparazzi, and this past year things have just gone crazy, says Bhatti. You do an interview and people distort what you say and twist it into something completely different.
Wants to share
Though secretive about his Jackson connection, he also has something he wishes to convey to the world.