Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy/Alan Light)


When Michael Jackson paid a witch doctor $150,000 to put a curse on Steven Spielberg


In the history of Hollywood superstars and the tornado of popular culture fandom, there are fewer names as significant as Michael Jackson, a bizarre figure who made a name for himself as one of the most eccentric icons of all time, whilst his legacy is marked by several allegations of sexual assault.

With no shortage of strange stories from the life of the superstar, including the time he dangled his nine-month-old son over a fifth-floor hotel balcony or when he constructed a theme park in his back garden, there are few tales that would surprise any fan of the musical icon. With that being said, there was one blood-soaked event involving the influential filmmaker Steven Spielberg that is less publicised, involving witch doctors, strange rituals and $150,000.

Having spent a fortune on witch doctors over the years in the hopes of pulling money “out of thin air,” as Vanity Fair reported in 2003, Jackson invested in violent practices whereby dozens of cows, sheep and chickens were slaughtered for the benefit of spiritual ‘success’. 

When Michael Jackson wanted to act in ‘Star Wars’

Read More

It was when the performer travelled to Switzerland in 2000, however, that things started getting particularly strange, bringing with him a list of 25 “enemies” that included the likes of businessman David Geffen and the Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg. 

“David Geffen be gone! Steven Spielberg, be gone!” the witch doctor allegedly chanted, with the whole session involving the slaughter of 42 cows and the payment of $150,000 that Jackson’s manager had to wire to a bank account in Mali. Jackson reportedly saw the cruel ritual as necessary after Spielberg turned the musician down for the part of Peter Pan in his 1991 film Hook starring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman.

Such was only the tip of the iceberg, however, for the record-smashing singer behind the albums Thriller and Bad, with his relationship with such rituals going far deeper than reporters had previously thought. 

As the Vanity Fair article further details, on a separate occasion, Jackson was led to a basement in Geneva by an Egyptian woman named Samia who showed him what she claimed to be $300 million in cash. Telling the star that the money would be his, along with a villa and a yacht, if he did what she asked of him, Jackson reportedly believed her words and arranged for a meeting between key figures to arrange the completion of her demands. 

Jackson’s business manager Myng-Ho Lee was later sent back to Geneva to another witch doctor who reportedly put on an elaborate makeshift show of lights, sound and pigeons before revealing to him a bathtub allegedly filled with $50 million. Telling Lee that the money would disappear if Jackson did not send through thousands of dollars for the slaughter of more animals, the superstar was once again faced with a bizarre spiritual quandary. 

Thankfully, Jackson’s curse has not yet caught up to Spielberg, who continues to create movie magic, with his most recent musical remake of West Side Story proving this fact. Take a look at some rare footage of Michael Jackson talking about the iconic director, below.