The untold story of love interrupted
Global fans of the video The Way You Make Me Feel (1988) starring Michael Joseph Jackson and Tatiana Yvonne (then Thumbtzen) wish they could be here in Los Angeles when the reclusive Tatiana signs her long-awaited paperback, Michael & Tatiana–The King of My Heart ($24.95) at Eso Won Books (323.290.1048) on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 6:30 pm. Are people really interested in the pair? The video has scored over 26 million hits and counting! Noting that Michael’s famous first kiss in public was with Tatiana, one British newspaper quoted him as saying, “I’m really in love with her.” Not only did the paper call Tatiana MJ’s “new love,” it went on to say that he “flipped for 25-year-old Tatiana the moment she showed up to audition for his video The Way You Make Me Feel nine months ago.” But who was Tatiana before she met Michael?
Ballerina Fame: It may come as a surprise to some that Tatiana enjoyed “stardom” long before she ever met Michael. For instance, as a budding ballerina at age 10 she caught the eye of international superstar ballerina Viollete Verdy, who eventually offered her a Ford Foundation scholarship to attend The School of American Ballet at Julliard in New York. There she danced before the great George Balanchine. Tatiana learned ballet from Alexandra Danilova and also attracted the attention of the incomparable Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Michael and his people knew none of this when he selected her out of 200 females who auditioned to play his opposite in The Way You Make Me Feel. Once he heard she was a ballerina in her youth he excitedly asked, “You wore point shoes and danced on your toes?” “Yes, I did,” she answered. His simple response? “Wow!”
Modeling & More: As if her ballerina “fame” weren’t enough, renowned photographer Barry Lategan (he discovered Twiggy, and photographed the likes of Princess Anne, Paul and Linda McCartney, Iman, Calvin Klein, John Major, Margaret Thatcher, Salman Rushdie and others) chose Tatiana for a special layout of Modern Brides Magazine. And not only did Harry Belafonte rave over her and subsequently cast her in a movie, he sent her to an exclusive audition before Sidney Poitier in his office. Herbie Hancock chose her to star in his Hard Rock video, the one he made before his record setting MTV award-winning Rockit video.
As a model she became one of “Antonio’s Girls.” As she says in her book: “Antonio Lopez was a very famous fashion illustrator whose illustrations regularly appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle’, and the New York Times.” Who else qualified to be among “Antonio’s Girls”? Well, he discovered Jerry Hall, Jessica Lange, Tina Chow, Pat Cleveland, and Grace Jones. Years before she met Michael Tatiana appeared in People magazine with Antonio and some of his famous models.
Enquiring Minds: What happened when Tatiana and Lisa Marie Presley came face to face? What did Jermaine Jackson tell BET about Michael and Tatiana? What does 2010 Dancing With The Stars champion Jennifer Grey have in common with Tatiana? What did Mick Jagger discuss as Tatiana sat across from him in the studio? What did Paula Abdul say about Tatiana? What did Sylvester Stallone say to Tatiana when in a restaurant together? What did Tatiana own that Rod Stewart wanted so badly he offered her money for it? Did Brooke Shields and Tatiana have a confrontation when they met? What was said between Diana Ross and Tatiana when they met backstage with Michael? Finally, after one of her accomplices fought with security, Tatiana and her friends were hauled off to jail in a pattywagon! While they were under surveillance, they tried to make a run for it! What happened? The answers to all these questions are in her new book!
Love Interrupted: Michael told the world: “I didn’t think any woman could affect me like this. I’m really in love with her.” Joseph and Katherine Jackson, Michael’s parents, phoned into The Maury Povich Show to state that Michael was indeed in love with Tatiana. So, what happened? As Tatiana states on the back cover of her book, “The genesis of a fairytale love affair began slowly transforming into a nightmare. The Hollywood script would read: ‘The exuberant bride-to-be morphed into the lovelorn queen denied her crown.'”
It was particularly painful to learn that Michael had discussed her with a close friend shortly before he passed. To purchase the book online go to http://firpocarr.com/michaelandtatianabook.html.