How Michael Jackson lived incognito in a converted cowshed in Ireland for six months
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The story of how Michael Jackson lived in a converted cowshed in rural Ireland for six months in 2006 has finally been told.
Jackson fled with his family incognito to Ireland where he stayed at a converted cowshed with his family.
It was right after the Neverland trial where he was found not guilty of sexual contact with children.
Jackson liked rural Ireland so much that he stayed until the end of 2006.
Michael Jackson lived on the estate at Coolatore House in County Westmeath at the end of a pothole-filled unmarked road.
The residence was owned by impresario and musician Paddy Dunning and his wife Claire, and it featured a full recording studio that had previously been used by everyone from REM to Doves, Muse to Ms Dynamite, Snow Patrol to Shirley Bassey.
The Observer newspaper reports that in 2006 "A woman called Grace Rwaramba arrived to check out Grouse Lodge studio for an unnamed A-list pop star.
She liked what she saw and booked the studio plus a three-bed cottage on the grounds that had been converted from a cowshed.
"But she still didn't reveal who the artist was. Paddy and Claire only discovered the identity of their new lodger when a bus turned up and out trooped Prince Michael Junior, Paris and Blanket, followed by their father Michael Jackson, nanny Grace and the children's tutor"
Jackson fell in love with County Westmeath and the Dunnings kept his presence there a complete secrets.
"If someone said to me I've heard Michael Jackson is there, I would tell them: 'Yeah, so is Elvis Presley!' says Paddy.
Paddy Dunning recalls a night with Michael Jackson in the recording studio. "Michael was on the drums, I was playing guitar and [American producer] Nephew was on the keyboards and we just started getting a rhythm together, and slowly but surely Nephew just creeped the song in to 'Billie Jean'. It was just mad playing 'Billie Jean' with Michael Jackson – I never thought I'd do that."
Dunning also told a bizarre story about how he had 'retired' a wax likeness of Elvis Presley from the wax museum he owned in Dublin and put it in the woods near the country house.
"Paddy," he said, "I just met my father-in-law in the woods!"
Dunning says his wife Claire and the staff at Grouse Lodge cooked for Jackson, who liked a simple diet of porridge for breakfast and main meals of fish or chicken with vegetables.
"The guy was fit – he was getting stronger," Paddy says, "and I reckon if he had lived here and stayed here, he wouldn't have died."
Alas, he didn't and returned to the madness back home in America.