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Michael Jackson doted on his children in months before his death, bodyguards say

March 9, 2010 |  7:33 am

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a4e6195e970b-800wiIn the months before his death, Michael Jackson worried about his personal safety but relished his role as a father, his bodyguards said.

In an interview with ABC News, the bodyguards -- Mike Garcia, Bill Whitfield and Javon "BJ" Beard -- did not directly address the day of Jackson's death last summer or the role the pop star's physician, Conrad Murray, might have played. 

But they described day-to-day life with Jackson. They characterized him as a doting father who took his kids through a McDonald's drive-through, insisting on ordering himself. "The kids were constantly saying, 'I love you, Daddy'.... They were like four buddies," Garcia told ABC News.

The bodyguards said Jackson was secretive and obsessed with privacy. They said Jackson once threw a birthday party for one of his children -- but only invited a few adults, and no children. They said Jackson wore a hospital mask over his face when he was out in public, hoping to go unnoticed.

Last month, L.A. prosecutors charged Murray with involuntary manslaughter in connection with administering a combination of surgical anesthetic and sedatives blamed in Jackson's death. The complaint filed in Superior Court accused  Murray, a cardiologist caring for the 50-year-old pop icon during an ambitious comeback attempt, of causing Jackson's June 25 death by acting "without due caution and circumspection."

Murray has denied any wrongdoing.

--Shelby Grad

Photo: Jackson children at memorial service. AP