MICHAEL Jackson’s former bodyguard has sought sanctuary in his home town following claims that he could be the father of the singer’s youngest son.
Former Greendown pupil Matt Fiddes has been the subject of a media circus following claims by Mark Lester, who played Oliver! in the film version of the musical, that the singer’s third child, Prince Michael Jackson II – nicknamed Blanket – is his son.
Yesterday Matt, who was Michael’s UK bodyguard for 10 years, spoke out for the first time since going into hiding.
“The Sun story horrified me,” he said. “It’s been devastating. I’ve been screwed over by somebody with very private information which should never be revealed just because it’s Michael Jackson.
“I’ve got three young girls who I’ve got to explain to why daddy’s all over the TV. This issue has caused devastation to my family and my business.”
The 31-year-old, who is at a location in West Swindon, has had to cancel a tour of Australia, where he was set to promote his martial arts schools. “I was due to fly to Australia last Saturday, I was booked on all the major television shows out there,” he said.
“The press jumped to conclusions that I was going to talk about Michael. When I got to Heathrow I realised there was a media frenzy and that my family needed me. If I went to Australia after what had been in the papers I was only going to be asked one thing.”
The martial arts expert, who had been living in Barnstaple, in Devon, said he’d returned to Swindon because it is a place where he feels safe and it is somewhere he loves.
“I want the people of Swindon to know the truth,” he said. “I love the town and I feel like I’m home. People don’t go into my personal life.”
Matt said Michael had once visited Swindon and had stayed at the De Vere hotel. “Michael was very fond of the area. We went to the cinema at Greenbridge to watch a film and he was amused by the Magic Roundabout.”
The last time Matt saw Michael before he passed away was in March last year at the Lanesborough hotel, in London, when he recalled sitting on the hotel room floor eating fish and chips with him and Mark Lester.
“It was the day he announced his concerts. He did look thin and he had doctors with him.
“Michael was scared stiff about the concerts. He got concerned when the number was increased to 50. He said he was also scared stiff of being assassinated and asked us to look after his children if anything happened. We haven’t been able to do that but I think Michael’s family are doing a great job.”
Matt hopes the media circus will now die down and he plans on doing a tour of schools in the town, talking about martial arts.
MATT Fiddes says he has no idea who is the father of Michael Jackson’s son Blanket despite claims that his sperm was used to father the child.
He said he donated sperm on the advice of a doctor, who was recommended by the singer, when he and his wife, Marcia, were having trouble conceiving.
A year later Marcia gave birth to daughter Maddison and shortly after Matt said that Michael offered him £500,000 for a second sperm donation, which he declined.
“I did it for medical reasons, I was desperate for a child and Michael thought I would be a great dad. Michael set it all up for me and I never went back for the results because I produced Maddison.
“I declined to do it the second time because I had children of my own by then and it would only have complicated matters. I didn’t want any children who might be seen as half sisters to Michael Jackson’s siblings.”
Matt, who has three children six-year-old Maddison, Lola, four and Savannah, three, said his youngest daughter is the spitting image of Blanket. “But it means nothing,” he said.
“Michael never confirmed to me, and I have never asked him, if Blanket is mine. They are very much Michael’s children and it’s time to let them be children. They need to be left alone.”
Matt says that claims of him wanting custody of Blanket are false.
“I will only intercept if those children are in trouble. If anything does happen to Catherine Jackson, I would like Tito or Jermaine to look after Michael’s children.”
THIS is not the first time Matt Fiddes has hit the headlines thanks to his with a colourful background in martial arts as well as his link to the most famous man in pop.
Bullied throughout his time at school, Matt became a black belt martial artist when he was just 11 and by the time he was 17 he had opened his first martial arts school.
Within six months Matt, who is a 6th Degree black belt master in Tae Kwon Do and holds a Black Belt in Kickboxing and Kung Fu, was the owner of the largest martial arts school in the UK. The Matt Fiddes Martial Arts brand is now based at 500 clubs.
Matt was introduced to Michael Jackson by Uri Geller and the pair quickly formed a strong friendship with Matt acting as the singer’s bodyguard whenever he visited Europe.
The former St Joseph’s Catholic College and Greendown student’s connections with the Jackson family also saw him organise visits to the town by Jermaine and brother Tito Jackson in 2008.
Jermaine visited Matt’s martial arts school, in Station Road, to launch an anti-bullying campaign following the allegations of racism and bullying on Celebrity Big Brother, which he appeared on. In November 2008 Matt attempted to sue Channel 4 over the documentary, The Jacksons are Coming. He alleged the documentary, which followed members of Michael Jackson's family as they were planning to move to Devon, was “faked”.
He later discontinued his High court libel action landing him with a bill of more than £1m.