Soleil Moon Frye, aka Punky Brewster: Michael Jackson and I shared Jacuzzi
Soleil Moon Frye, aka 1980s television's Punky Brewster, says that when she was a child, she had a "heart-to-heart" chat with Michael Jackson in a hot tub and that the King of Pop also saved her from a swan.
The 35-year-old former child star reveals details her encounters with the late pop star in her new book "Happy Chaos," which was released on Tuesday, August 23.
Jackson's representatives have not commented on Frye's remarks. The King of Pop, who died in 2009, had often touted his friendships with young celebrities and made headlines in 2005 when he was tried for child molestation in a case involving a teenage boy. He was found not guilty.
Frye says in the book that she met Jackson at a Bruce Springsteen concert she attended with Kidada Jones, the daughter of music producer Quincy Jones, who worked with the pop star. Jackson showed up at the box they were sitting in with his friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away earlier this year.
Frye, who was 8 years old at the time, says Jackson later invited the two girls to his home and that she took him up on his offer two weeks later.
She and her mother showed up at his ranch in North Hollywood, which is near Los Angeles. Kidada Jones was there as well and she and Frye were later permitted to remain alone with Jackson and watch "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," a 1971 film starring Gene Wilder as a chocolate factory owner who takes a group of children on an tour of his mysterious and seemingly magical facility.
Frye says Kidada Jones left the house after the three finished watching the movie and that Jackson then offered to show her his animals. The singer was known for keeping a wide varierty of pets, notably his chimpanzee, Bubbles.
"We went outside on his stunning property and began walking over a bridge when a swan jumped out at me," Frye says in her book. "Michael threw me to the ground in an effort to protect me. he explained that the female swan was pregnant and so the male swan was protecting her. Seemed normal, I guess."
The two later returned to the house. Jackson asked if she wanted "to take a Jacuzzi" and she accepted. She says she changed into a swimsuit and the two sat in a hot tub "talking about life, love and the secrets of the world."
"I remember him talking about the fact that he related more to kids than adults and that grown-ups never completely understood him," Frye says. "He sat across from me and we had a dialogue as if we were peers - a true heart-to-heart. He never made me feel like this was a bizarre situation. It just seemed as if he really wanted someone to talk to, someone who would make no judgments about him."
Frye said the two later played games in the house and that she never saw the pop star again after her mother picked her up.
"This story is not one I have shared often, but now I realize, if even for only one night, Michael Jackson was my babysitter," she wrote. "As strange as it all sounds - and I know it sounds strange - it was a highlight in my young life."
"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is based on the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl. A 2005 film remake by Tim Burton featured Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and was touted as darker, even creepy, by many critics, some of whom drew comparisons between the title character and Jackson amid his much-publicized child molestation case.
Kidada Jones, who is 37 and the sister of "Parks and Recreation" actress Rashida Jones, has also not commented on Frye's remarks.
Frye played pig-tailed Punky Brewster on a comedy series by the same name that ran from 1984 to 1988. After the show ended, the actress appeared on episodes of shows such as "Saved By The Bell," "The Wonder Years" and "Friends" and voiced characters on the cartoons "Tiny Toon Adventures" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show."
Frye had a recurring role as Roxie King on the sitcom "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" between 2000 and 2003. Between 2001 and 2005, she voiced the character of Zoey on "The Proud Family." In 2008, she had small parts on the animated show "Robot Chicken" and in 2010, began portraying the character Aseefa on "Planet Sheen."
Frye's most recent project is the movie "For Better Or For Worse," which also stars Janeane Garofalo and Rebecca Gayheart.
Frye has been married to producer Jason Goldberg since 1998. They are parents to daughters Poet Sienna Rose, or Poe, who turns 6 on August 24, and Jagger Joseph Blue, who is 3 years old.