The story between Michael Jackson and Omer Bhatti is probably the most popular one out of Michael Jackson’s relationships. Omer was chosen to travel with Michael and Michael’s children for 13 years until MJ passed in June 2009. This created space for a lot of speculations. Is he Michael Jackson’s son? Or was he his lover? A victim? Both? Was he MJ’s best friend? Is he the real father/brother of Michael Jackson’s youngest son Prince Michael Jackson II? How did he manage to become Jackson’s favorite and even more important to stay his favorite while most of Jackson’s other friends lost contact to him after his molestation trial? Jackson was known to have very unstable relationships in his private life besides of the Cascio Family and a few more. Bhatti became Jackson’s number 1. How did all of this began and what is the truth behind their close bonding?
Omer grew up in Holmlia, a poor district of Oslo, capital of Norway. He is the child of Pia & Riz Bhatti. As a child, Bhatti soon discoverd his passion for dance. As he says, he started to dance at the age of 8. His biggest idol was the most popular dancer in the world, Michael Jackson. He started to imitate Michael Jackson and became a dancer in his town. Bhatti was very talented, he soon became famous in Oslo. He was a guest in some norwegian talkshows & won a lot of dance competitions. That he never had a teacher and that he taught himself every single move, made him unique. As a 10-year-old he was famous as “the norwegian boy who is a copy of the King of Pop” . Bhatti already earned money at that young age. The life of the young boy had already completely changed without even knowing Michael Jackson. Here you can see a video of 10-year-old Omer Bhatti in a norwegian talk show,1994:
Jackson got to know the boy soon in 1996 when he was 12 years old. He invited him into his hotel in Tunis. Omer was there visiting his uncle who worked in Tunis. They met in front of Jackson’s hotel for the first time & Michael took Omer with him into his suite.
After spending some time with Omer in his hotel suite in 1996, Jackson said to Omer’s older sister Shaista that he is impressed how similar her brother is compared to himself. Shaista was 18 at the time. She was also having a friendship with the world’s most popular singer now.
Michael decided to take Omer with him on the rest of his ‘HIStory’-tour (even though Omer didn’t accompany Jackson to all countries). However, Omer soon became different than most of the other people that were travelling with him. Jackson made Omer feel special. He took him on stage as he did with many kids, but Omer was always the one that was picked up by Michael to stand in front of all the other kids.
Jackson didn’t put that much attention in the whole Bhatti family, as he did in the beginning. Omer was getting his full attention, sharing this hotel rooms and being his new young favorite. After the HIStoury-tour was finished in 1997, Jackson couldn’t let this boy go. This was rare and never happend before but MJ took Omer with him to Neverland to live together with the boy and his family. Omer and the family returned to Norway to sell their house (they bought a better one because they needed a house to stay at when they visited Norway) and Omer completed his school year. After they did that, they flew over to the United States to live with Michael Jackson. It is believed (not proven) that the Bhattis were living illegally in the US. Michael didn’t want the press to know about Omer (after the 1993 scandal, it wouldn’t be good to hear in the NEWS that Jackson has again chosen a 13-year-old young boy to share his life). There was only one solution for Jackson, he changed the boy’s name, Omer was now known as ‘Michael Joseph Winter’. He had the same name as his new mentor -Michael Joseph Jackson. Pia Bhatti started to work as a nanny for MJ & Riz Bhatti became one of Michael’s drivers.
That Omer was called ‘Michael Joseph Winter’ proves that Michael obviously wanted Omer to be just like him. Even Omer’s friend, Ricky Harlow said:
“It was really strange to see them (Michael and Omer) together”~Ricky Harlow,2009
It should be added that Ricky was a really close friend to Michael and Omer & he always speaks very positive about MJ. Why it was strange to see them together? Well, Ricky said that Omer began to look like Michael :
In 1997, Jackson became father for the first time and Omer seemed to be a very young step father/brother to his son Prince Michael. Omer was enjoying Jackson’s family life. It would be normal to have your wife, the child and yourself in your family photo album or if you are divorced you would have yourself and the baby. Well in Jackson’s case it was himself, Omer Bhatti and the child:
For the people working in Neverland, it soon became clear that Michael’s family was not his wife Debbie Rowe and his child, but Omer Bhatti and Prince. For the employees, Bhatti became ‘Little Michael’ or ‘Little monkey’, both nicknames given by the boss, Michael Jackson. In 1998, Michael became father for the second time. This time it was a daughter, the name given to her was ‘Paris’. Omer was Michael’s constant companion during his marriage with Debbie Rowe and accompanied them to many places. An example is this trip to France:
Paris, who was born in 1998, was as fastly included in the family as her older brother was a year earlier:
Their ‘family life’ went on and Omer seemed to be the only person out of the Bhatti family, Jackson still cared about. There is no exact date but between 2000 and 2001, when Omer was 16 or 17 years old, Omer’s parents and his sister left the US and returned to Norway. Omer stayed with Michael, seperated from his family. This again proves that Jackson was focused on Omer and not on the whole Bhatti family. The Bhattis visited the US again, when Omer’s sister got kids and Omer became an uncle. Jackson wanted to get to know Omer’s nephews & the family was invited again. If Omer’s family had contact to MJ before the nephews were born but after they left the US is unknown.
In 2001, Michael’s Invincible album came out, it was dedicated to the (at the time) 17-year-old Omer Bhatti and his killed friend Benjamin Hermansen, as it says on the CD cover. Benjamin was killed by Nazis in Norway, because of his black skin color.
On the album cover it says:
Michael Jackson gives ‘special thanks’:
«This album is dedicated to Benjamin ‘Benny’ Hermansen. May we continue to remember not to judge man by the color of his skin, but the content of his Character. Benjamin … we love you … may you rest in peace.»
It was 2002, 18-year-old Omer was alone with Michael and Michael’s kids and Jackson decided to became a father for the third time. He called his son ‘Prince Michael Jackson II”. It is rumored that Omer Bhatti might be the biological father or brother of this child, since he and Omer look very similar as children. Nisha Kataria said that Omer & Blanket shared a brotherly bonding and that Omer took care of Blanket a lot.
In 2003, another boy came into Michael’s life named Gavin, but he couldn’t replace Omer-Omer stayed in the family pictures. If Gavin was molested, it wasen’t on an emotional level for Jackson, because emotionally he was clearly still bounded to the 19-year-old boy he met in the 90s (if Omer wasen’t his son or best friend).
Michael Jackson seemed to be very proud of ‘his family’. In October 2003, the Jackson family took a picture which included every single member of the Jackon family. Along with the Jacksons, there were: Michael, 19-year-old Omer Bhatti and MJ’s three children (the youngest one in Omer’s arms):
There was a family photoshooting in 2004 which included 2-year-old Prince Michael II, Michael Jackson & 20-year-old Omer Bhatti. This photoshooting wasen’t done in Neverland because Jackson left it in 2003 (Jackson left it,because he never wanted to live again in Neverland after the police raided it). Those photos were taken at the Meanwhile Ranch in Colorado that Jackson had rented for him, 20-year-old Omer and the Jackson children in 2004:
One year later, 2005, 21-year-old Omer Bhatti with Michael’s child on Michael’s vacation to Dubai:
As you can see Prince Michael II was as fastly included in the family as Prince and Paris before.
Omer was firstly noticed by the public, because the police found him on the Neverland Ranch in 2003. They interviewed him about the pornography and the alcohol that was found on the ranch. Omer Bhatti, 19 years old at the the time, became very nervous and wasen’t able to form a sentence, it was almost like a stutter, as Jeffrey Ellis said. That could mean a lot. Of course, it isn’t unusual for a young man to be ashamed when talking about pornography, but a stutter? Seems not normal to me, but Omer defended Jackson. After Michael was arrested, Omer flew to Norway to spend some time with his family.
After that, Michael, Omer and his children left the Neverland Ranch. They were now travelling all around the world. In 2003, Omer started his own career. He bought a music studio in Norway (it is believed that it was from Jackson’s money), because he knew it is easier to become succesfull in Norway than in the USA. He was always working in it when he was in Norway with his family. Makes sense that Omer’s first song ‘Red Nikes’ came out in 2008. Needed 5 years for one song? This proves that he was more interested in spending time with Michael than in producing music. However, there were some dance performances by Bhatti before 2009 in Norway. His real career started in 2009, when MJ died. It also should be added that Michael paid a lot of money to Omer’s parents and also to Omer. One proof for that is a picture that Bhatti shared on Instagram (@kidslife), which shows him in a car that he owned as a teenager:
That Omer started to visit Norway after Jackson left Neverland/got arrested in 2003 is a lie & it’s made up by people who are obsessed with the idea of Michael Jackson being an exclusive pedophile (even though a 16 to 19-year-old guy would be too old for an exclusive one anyway). This was proven by Bhatti himself who gave an interview in June,2016. The interview was given to VGTV in California. He set the record straight:
“Since childhood I have lived two lifes. The ‘highlife’ here, and then back to Holmlia, in my room, a normal boy room.”~Omer Bhatti
So, Bhatti never had a permanent residence as a child or an adult. This is also proven by another quote of Bhatti, given in 2015 when he talked about charity work. He talked about a time when he and his family stayed in Norway (1999):
Here is a picture of Omer Bhatti taken in Norway, two years before Jackson was arrested:
That Bhatti also spent a lot of time in Norway when he was living on Neverland was also proven by Michael Jackson’s makeup artist Karen Faye, who answered a fan on her twitter (@wingheart) on the 31st July, 2016. The fan was asking if Omer lived on Neverland and Karen answered that he spent time on Neverland. She wanted to make clear that he also spent time in Norway:
It should be clear to everybody now that Bhatti always spent time in Norway. It didn’t start after Jackson was arrested in late 2003.
One of the first trips they did after staying in Colorado was the one to Hawaii, in 2004. Omer was 20 here:
After the molestation trial was finished, Omer and Jackson were having a house together one-on-one with Michael’s kids in Bahrain. Jackson made the royal family of Bahrain known to 21-year-old Omer and his children. They were in Dubai as well (picture of Omer and Michael’s youngest kid mentioned earlier in this article). Jackson lived in the arabic world for a long time, for about a year to be exact. He moved to Bahrain after his molestation trial in 2005.
After living in Bahrain for nearly a year, Jackson moved in 2006 from Bahrain to Ireland. Back then, Omer was already 22 years old. Jackson stayed in Ireland until December, 2006. Omer was the only one who was with Michael in Ireland except for his children and some employees. Those pictures were taken in Ireland, 2006:
In 2007, Michael Jackson bought a new house in Las Vegas. He lived there from 2007 until 2008. Omer was still around and included in the family. Here is a picture of 23-year-old Omer Bhatti and Jackson’s youngest son in Michael Jackson’s house in Las Vegas:
In 2008, 24-year-old Omer Bhatti even brought a signed autograph to a norwegian fan that Jackson signed for him after spending months in the US:
In 2008,Omer was asked how he managed to be still that close to Jackson by a norwegian newspaper VG. He replied that he is ‘loyal’ to Jackson and that this is the reason for their close bonding. In the same interview, Bhatti spoke about Jackson’s musical talent:
“We can sit, have a deep conversation or a discussion, and then I can see that I lose him with my face and eyes. That’s when he disappears into his own world and starts tapping his feet.”~Omer Bhatti,2008
He went on talking about Michael Jackson, the human being:
“All geniuses are eccentric and Michael is definitely eccentric, but still he is the most normal person I know of. It’s inhuman to survive what he has gone through, it’s incredible that his feet are still on the ground and that he is happy, because that’s what he is now.”~Omer Bhatti,2008
Omer also was on many short trips with Michael Jackson as a boy and as a man. You can see more pictures of them from trips/other houses and on Neverland later in this article. He was living 6 years with Omer in Neverland and afterwards, he was travelling with Omer and the kids all over the world for another 6 years until he died. That it isn’t a normal bonding to me but everybody should make their own conclusion, since I want to stay objectively. If a man is being together with a young boy/man and makes family pictures of them together (especially with the man’s children), it isn’t really usual at least.
Let’s switch to 2009. Michael was now living in Los Angeles & Omer was with Michael until a few months before he died. Why was that? Omer had to visit Norway, not just for business, but also because he wanted to spend time with his family as he always did. Since he met Jackson, he wasen’t really living either in Norway or in the US. Even nowadays, he is spending some months with the Jackson family and some with his family in Norway. The huge difference is that he isn’t spending as much time in the US as he did when Jackson was alive. Regarding 2009, Omer was probably against the ‘This is it’ concerts, but Jackson knew he had to do them because of his financial problems. He was probably happy to have Omer away for 2-3 months. A friend of Omer told Sunday Mirror that Omer planned to come back to MJ in July because he planned to join the ‘This is it’-Tour in London ( Jackson died on 25th June). She told the newspaper back in 2009 that Omer planned to be with Michael at all 50 concerts.
“He had been really looking forward to his concerts in England because he was going to go over and spend some time with him. He told me he had planned to go to all 50 shows.” ~ a friend of Omer Bhatti to Sunday Mirror,2009
A picture of Omer Bhatti, about 25 years old, and Michael Jackson in early 2009:
Omer would have been the ‘This is it’ traveling companion at the age of 25, like he was the ‘Invincible’ boy at the age of 17 & the ‘HIStory’-tour companion at the young age of 12.
When Jackson died, Omer wrote a letter to the dead singer:
“Even if you are not here anymore, I feel every second that you are present, and in it I find my strength. Thank you very much, and I am infinitely grateful for everything you taught me, and all the knowledge you shared. You made me who I am today and I promise to make you proud. Our time together is a treasure in in my heart, forever and always. I love you. Can not wait for us to meet again.”- wrote Omer and signed the text with MJ’s nickname for him: Little M.
Omer returned earlier to the Jacksons than planned, as he heard that Michael had died. He lived with Michael’s children for 2 months (July & August,2009)
There was an interview given by Bhatti himself:
“Since June 25th 2009 it’s been hard to comprehend and accept this new world without him. Everyday is a struggle but just a small victory for him today can show the world the wrong that was done to him.” ~Omer Bhatti , 2009
So, he had to accept this new world without him. Was there an abusive part to their relationship or anything like that? Well, no one knows. But it should be added that in 2004, 20-year-old Omer and Jackson were visiting a theraphy center together:
This relationship definitely gives space for a lot of speculations. Bhatti has 2 tattoos on his body for Jackson and changed his name in 2010 from ‘Omer Jamal Bhatti’ to ‘Omer Michael Bhatti.’
MJ also loved Omer a lot. He even thanked his mother Pia for giving birth to Omer. In this letter, he calls Omer ‘Doo Doo’.
Ricky Harlow, a friend of Jackson and Omer said that Jackson was very protective of Omer. When he and Omer would drive a car together, MJ said: “Please be careful with little monkey, when you ride on four wheelers, PLEASE be careful because Little Michael is living with me”. Ricky also mentioned that Omer Bhatti slept regularly in Michael’s bed. He’d often be tucked away with Michael in his bedroom while his parents slept in another cottage on the ranch. This proves that Omer knows Michael’s most intimate secrets, but has never spoken about them.In an interview given in 2016, Bhatti said:
“[…]When Michael was here, we celebrated Christmas Eve together. It is a tradition that we maintain even after his death (He and the Jackson family).[…]After Michael died, I stopped dancing. I felt completely unnatural. I really lost the flame and it lasted more than a year. Many told me: ‘now you have to make a roof, start again’, but was too far away. There was nothing in me that made me want to dance”.~Omer Bhatti
Omer’s father is Riz Bhatti, so can we cross that ‘son thing’ out? No, not really to be honest. After reading all of this you can make your own conclusion if he was his lover (and, or) victim, his best friend or his son.
In 2009 when Michael died, everyone wanted to know what relationship they had, because 25-year-old Omer was sitting in the front row with the Jackson family at the memorial, where only family members were allowed to sit. Jackson’s friends were sitting in the 3rd and 4th row. Furthermore, Bhatti was also wearing the ‘Jackson glove’.
Omer’s story is different to all the other boys he was spending time with. He was living and touring with him as a boy and a man, being a part of his family. No other boy has ever lived with Michael Jackson or has been in family pictures with Jackson’s children.
Some more photos of Omer Bhatti & Michael Jackson throughout the years:
No special friend except for Omer Bhatti has nowadays still contact with Michael Jackson’s children:
Prince Jackson even produced Omer Bhatti’s video for his song ‘Automatic’, which came out in June, 2016:
“I can’t say enough about this guy right here. I can honestly say he is the ONE person that has always been there for me, through thick and thin from the day I was born. The one CONSTANT in my life, my fucking brother right here. I love you so much, dude. You’ve impacted my life in more ways than you realize and I’m so thankful for the friendship, siblingship, and spiritual connection we’ve had for the past 18 years. You’re such a focused and hardworking hustler and you inspire me every day. There is no one like you on this planet LM.” ~Paris Jackson,2016
When a reporter from Yahoo wrote a speculative article about this post, Paris deleted it.
Which relationship Jackson & Bhatti exactly had could only be answered by Bhatti himself, but he is silent about his relationship with Jackson and calls it ‘private’. He especially doesn’t want to classify his relationship with Jackson:
“It’s like that day (June 25) I had died with him and then was reborn.[…]the media and people always focus on wanting necessarily classify my relationship with Michael. The truth is that I do not give a name for our relationship.”~Omer Bhatti,2016
Omer never really denied the rumors that he is Jackson’s son, as his interview in Sweden (given in 2011) has shown:
The host said to him: “Ok, I’m gonna ask you flat out, are you Michael’s son”?
Omer just smiled and said something like:”You know, I don’t respond to questions like this. I don’t respond to anything the media says. They can say whatever they like. It doesn’t matter what I say, they will write whatever they want anyway”. “And you”, he said to the host, “have this from the media”. The host: “No, I got it from Joe Jackson” (smiles when he says this).Omer doesn’t respond. The host asks what it was like when he heard about MJ’s death, and how long it was since he had been in contact with Michael. Omer says, a few days before June 25th,and he really didn’t wanna talk about that, he was fighting back tears, it seemed. Host asks Omer if Michael trusted him, and Omer said yes. Host asked if MJ had many in his life that he could trust, Omer said no, almost no one and it got worse over the years.
In 2014, Omer was asked about the molestation allegations and that is what he responded:
“I don’t wish to say too much about it, but I will say Michael in many ways was very innocent. But you can’t expect everybody to have the same view on everything. […] To him certain things were natural and completely innocent,things that not necessarily all people would view the same way.”
– Omer Bhatti towards Elle (a norwegian magazine)
Here you can hear Omer talking about Michael Jackson:
Most important sources:
1)Bahrain 2005, rehab 2004, police 2003, meeting Omer at the age of 12, his background
2) Invincible album:
3) Bahrain picture (the caption under a fan edit of the original picture that Bhatti wrote):
4)nicknames, Ricky Harlow, general story
5)Omer Bhatti’s interview in June,2016 (always visited Norway,Christmas,Michael’s children)
6)Ireland 2006, Hawaii 2004
7)Omer Bhatti’s sleepovers with Michael Jackson
8) Omer Bhatti’s father:
9) Ranch in Colorado, 2004
10) He changed his name:
11) 2009 picture,2004 photoshoot and many more:
12) 2009 discussions about Omer, then 25. He was rumored to be Michael Jackson’s son:
13) Excerpts from Yahoo’s speculative article about Paris’s birthday post:
14) doesn’t want to classify his relationship with Jackson:
15) grew up in Holmlia:
16) comment on the molestation allegations: