On February 10, 1993, Oprah sat down with Michael Jackson for what would be the most-watched interview in television history. Michael, a fiercely private entertainer, had refused to give an interview for 14 years. The unprecedented live event, which took place before any allegations were made about sexual abuse, drew a worldwide audience of 90 million people. "It was the most exciting interview I had ever done," Oprah says. "It certainly was going to be the most watched interview I had ever done."
Sixteen years after that memorable special, and just a few months after Michael's untimely death, Oprah opens up about what she really thought of the candid discussion.
Oprah's done thousands of interviews since she sat down with Michael, but she can still remember her excitement at going to the King of Pop's home. "We are coming in the gates of Neverland, and it's like a moment in The Wizard of Oz," she says. "It was literally like going to see the wizard. We couldn't believe it. I felt like a kid."
During their interview, Michael spoke to Oprah about missing out on a normal childhood. "I remember going to the recording studio, and there was a park across the street, and I'd see all the children playing and I would cry. It would make me sad that I would have to go to work instead," he said. "People wonder why I always have children around. It's because I find the thing that I never had through them. Disneyland, amusement parks, arcade games—I adore all that stuff because when I was little, it was always work, work, work."
Looking back, Oprah says she realized in that moment that she had a fondness for Michael. "He's very likable there, and I can tell you I really, really liked him," she says. "After this interview, I thought I could be his friend, because I felt that he was really honest."