Stephanie Mills once thought of Michael Jackson as the one who got away, but now it seems they never really would have made it very far.
Mills, 65, met Michael when she portrayed Dorothy in “The Wiz” on Broadway from 1974–79; Michael starred as the scarecrow in the 1978 film adaptation alongside Diana Ross (Dorothy), Nipsey Russell (the Tin Man), Theodore Ross Roberts (the cowardly lion) and others.
However, the two did not grow close until after she became good friends with Hazel Gordy and Michael’s older brother Jermaine Jackson, which ultimately led them to reportedly date for about a year-and-a-half in the late 1970s.
In a recent interview, she described him as kind, loving, gentle, and easygoing. She recalled never hearing the global icon utter a foul word about anyone, and despite his being perceived as soft, Mills said he was nothing of the sort. “Michael was not a punk…he knew what he wanted, he knew how to get it; he was very strategic in things that he did.”
The “Never Knew Love Like This Before” singer said his “family really liked us being together.” She told VladTV, “Michael wanted so much more is probably why we went our separate ways.”
“He wanted to be the biggest star in the world, and he wanted to associate with certain people that I didn’t want to associate with. So we just went in different paths … He liked and would go to their houses and stuff, and I wasn’t particularly interested in going,” she further elaborated.
Mills said that she and Michael did not discuss his career goals or his self-proclaimed title as King of Pop at the time, but she was aware of the path he had chosen.
She divulged, “He wanted to be a certain way, you know. He wanted to be a certain way, and he lived his life the way he wanted to. He liked a certain type of woman and he thought it would be best for him and his career to be with certain types of women.”
The 13-time Grammy Award winner was romantically linked to Madonna, Brooke Shields, Tatum O’Neal, and Lisa Marie Presley, whom he wed in a secret ceremony in May 1994. They divorced two years later in 1996, the same year he secretly wed Debbie Rowe.
Rowe and the acclaimed artist shared two children: son, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., and daughter Paris Jackson. They divorced in 1999, and Michael went on to welcome a third child, son Prince Michael, in 2002.
Michael’s being linked to white women, according to Mills, was all part of his master plan to dominate entertainment.
“I think he felt he would be more accepted in the world that he wanted to go in, in the world he wanted to dominate. I believe he felt that … He made himself look the part that he felt would … that he would become a huge star,” she said.