According to News Of The World, one of Michael Jackson’s most trusted bodyguards, Eric Muhammad is cashing in on his boss’s death by attempting to sell the surgical face mask Michael wore the night before he died…and they have the video to prove it (he tried to clinch a deal with an undercover reporter working for the tabloid).
According to the tabloid, Muhammad took the silky black mask from the Thriller star’s limo after he drove children Prince, Blanket and Paris to the Los Angeles hospital where doctors frantically tried to save their dying father.
Here’s the full story via NOTW:
In a meeting with our investigator, posing as a rich businessman, the burly guard pulled the mask from a plastic zip lock bag and told us: “This is the only way I could, you know, preserve it. This was HIS and you are more than welcome to DNA it.
“It still has his Make-up on it. It still smells like him.
“It’s very sentimental to me and it’s personal. The number that I had initially in my mind was to offer it up for 200 hundred grand.” Then in an effort to prove his closeness to Jacko, and the provenance of his goods, the free-talking security man mouthed off about the night the King of pop died, Blamed personal medic Dr Conrad Murray for the tragedy and Bragged how the Jackson children lovingly nicknamed him Big E.
Muhammad’s attempt to line his own pockets comes just after Michael’s rhinestone-studded glove – worn for his first Moonwalk dance in 1983 – was sold to a Hong Kong gaming resort boss for $350,000. But that was a legitimate auction. Slippery Muhammad’s offer is a hush-hush private get-rich-quick scheme.
We were tipped off by an LA businessman who had already been approached, and our man took the ‘customer’s’ place. Within seconds of entering our suite at the Intercontinental Montelucia hotel close to his home in Phoenix, Arizona, Muhammad was boasting of his close relationship with the Jackson clan.
Muhammad, 36 – who boasts of celebrity clients including Britney Spears, Kanye West, Claudia Schiffer and Bette Midler – guarded Michael for the final three months of his life at the star’s Bel Air mansion.
His role included driving Jacko to and from rehearsals for the This Is It tour, running errands for the superstar and taking the kids shopping. “I was the first one he seen everyday when he came out of the house,” bragged Muhammad, sporting a bright orange shirt with his name embroidered on the collar and large fake diamond cufflinks.
“I took care of the children, I took care of him. I took care of whatever he wanted. I’d bring him his food at rehearsal and make sure he got into the house at night.”
Muhammad drove Jackson to the last rehearsal two days before his sudden death on June 25 and said the 50-year-old star appeared “fit and healthy”.
The minder blamed Dr Conrad Murray for the tragedy, accusing the medic of dozing off after administering powerful prescription drugs to get the singer to sleep.
“I think Dr Murray left him under this anaesthesia, whatever it is, too long,” said Muhammad. “Dr Murray would get there quite early but MJ wouldn’t go to bed sometimes until five in the morning.
“So once Dr Murray got him under, he’d take a nap. I just think he made a bad mistake and it cost MJ his life.”
Muhammad said he was one of the security team booked to accompany Jackson on the UK This Is It tour that was never to be.
“It would have been phenomenal,” said Muhammad. “It was all set and I had my own apartment. Michael said the fans in London are unbelievable.” Outrageously the minder views the sale of Jacko’s mask as some sort of compensation for missing out on the tour.
“I was looking online and there’s a lot of stuff on there but none of it is personal items,” he said. And, pointing to a brown smudge of make-up on the nose area of the mask, he added: “This IS a very personal item.
“I was responsible for cleaning the cars, so I’d take all Michael’s valuables or things I thought might go missing and just keep them. And ironically I just kept that mask!
“So that’s it, man. He’d be rehearsing in that. When he’d come out he would wear it. I was just fortunate enough to be where I was at the time to get it.”
Setting his first price at $200,000, greedy Muhammad told us: “I was really banking on getting the money from the tour to do me well, and I’m not asking for a handout…
“To part with that, it’s a big sentimental piece for me, obviously consider that.”
When told he was asking too much, 22-stone Muhammad agreed to a cut-price $150,000.
Bizarrely, despite blatant betrayal by selling one his boss’s possessions, muslim Muhammad claimed he would never exploit tragic Jacko by TALKING about him for cash.
“I would never give an infidel the pleasure of that,” he said arrogantly. “Michael was very into Islam. That’s why we were all Muslims doing security for him.
“He’s not somebody I’d want to talk bad about. People have no loyalty!”