We interviewed senior conservative party member, Deanna Keene to discuss the Michael Jackson controversy….
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you have lived in Harrow for?
I have been a Senior Conservative Party Member & Activist for the past three years and I have taken part in numerous campaigns, locally, regionally and nationally to try to make a difference in society. I have lived in Harrow for the past 5 years but grew up in North West London preciously.
2. At what age did you become a fan of Michael Jackson? was it any particular song or album that resonated with you?
I have been a Michael Jackson fan from around the age of 5 when I used to love to dance to his music with my brother and sister and also watch his music videos whilst trying to copy his moves wearing a trilby hat! The song ‘Ben’ has always been one of my all-time favourites along with ‘Thriller’ and ‘Dirty Diana’. I used to have a budgie called Ben, when he passed away whenever I heard the song ‘Ben’ it used to make me very emotional and sad but also comforted at the same time.
3. The recent documentary “Leaving Neverland” has again surrounded Michael Jackson’s name with controversy. Did you watch it and if so what did you think of it?
I have decided not to watch the documentary as I do feel very strongly about Michael Jackson being deemed to be a paedophile. I have very strong views that he is totally innocent. This is due to knowing one of Michael’s close friends, Adrian Grant. Adrian is the Founder and Proprietor of the London Theatre show “Thriller Live”. Adrian spent a lot of time staying with Michael on the Neveland Ranch and also wrote a book about this. I feel Michael was very sheltered as a child and was almost childlike even in his adult years and due his niavity and vulnerability, people took huge advantage of him.
4. You recently attended a protest outside Channel 4’s London offices on the day Part 1 of the Leaving Neverland documentary was aired, what was that like? how many people attended? tell us a bit more about your involvement with it.
I felt very privileged and honoured to take part in this very peaceful protest as it was organised by a friend of mine called Pavla Stuchlikova. It was an absolutely exhilarating experience meeting so many MJ fans from all over the world and I believe there was around 250 people in attendance. The crowd in attendance seemed more like family than strangers and although I had come on my own I felt that I already knew everyone there due to having one main thing in common – we all believe MJ is completely innocent. There were two lawyers who had flown in from Cologne Germany to give their support just for one day because they felt it was totally unfair that such a programme should ever be broadcasted anywhere in the world.
5. Michael Jackson fans are extremely defensive and passionate about their idol and the protection of his legacy. Why do you think they are so adamant that he was innocent of the crimes he has been accused of?
I feel the reason why Michael Jackson fans are extremely defensive are due to firstly the fact that MJ was put on trial for child abuse claims in 2013 and 2014 by his accusers, Wade Robson and James Shafechuck. These claims were thrown out of court in 2017 with both of then owing the MJ estate almost $100,000. Both also Robson and Safechuck throughout the court proceedings kept changing their stories multiple times. Secondly, after an FBI investigation that spanned for 10 years, with a 70 police raid on MJ’s Neverland Ranch, and a long trial that included evidence from previous cases, Michael Jackson was found innocent of all charges of child abuse. The release and screen of the Channel 4 documentary is like a a “punch in the face” for all his fans and seems to be opening up a whole new can of worms.
6. What do you think the future holds for the legacy of Michael Jackson and his music?
I still believe that Michael Jackson’s legacy will live on for years to come regardless of some people still trying to point a finger and make other people wonder whether there is some possibility that he may have abused any of the children who claimed he had. There may always be a question mark about MJ’s innocence but his music will always still be played on radio stations worldwide, his films and music will also always sell online and from other retailers as well as on television. He really was the King of Pop and still is in death.
7. Finally, what’s next for you and what are your plans over the next couple of years?
At present I am working towards a career in politics and I am hoping to help to make some difference to disadvantaged people in society by getting behind campaigns that will help me to do this. I would alsolike to see more women especially from the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) come forward to stand as councillors, assembly members and MPs. At present there are only around 33% of MPs in Parliament so it would be good to see a 50/50 balance by 2020. I also will be campaigning more with campaigns such as 5050Parliament who constantly aim to get more women to join all the main political parties that they feel closely affiliated to. I will also be working closely with and campaigning for the Conservative Mayoral Candidate, Shaun Bailey for the election in 2020 and hope this will give myself valuable in-depth into London and the way it should and needs to be run.