Michael Jackson thought he could "cure" Adolf Hitler of his evil.
The 'King of Pop' – who died of acute Propofol intoxication in June – praised the Nazi leader's "genius" in a previously unpublished interview, before insisting he could help rehabilitate him because no one was "all evil".
Michael expressed his thoughts in a series of taped interviews conducted by his friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in 2001.
In one conversation, the 'Thriller' singer said: "Hitler was a genius orator. To make that many people turn and change and hate, he had to be a showman and he was."
Boteach then asked: "You believe that if you had an hour with Hitler you could somehow touch something inside of him?"
To which Michael replied: "Absolutely. I know I could. Nobody is all evil. You have to help them, give them therapy, teach them that somewhere, something in their life went wrong."
The tapes – which recorded more than 30 hours of dialogue - were intended to be released in 2001, but were delayed when Boteach and Jackson had an argument.
By the time they had reconciled, Michael had been arrested on child molestation charges and he decided the tapes might sway public opinion further away from him.
The interviews have been published today, in a new book called 'The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul In Intimate Conversation’.
Boteach said: "He desperately wanted these conversations to be published. Nobody had any sympathy for him before but there was a groundswell of sympathy after his death.
"I believe a public who once judged Michael negatively are now seeing a fuller picture. He was a man who yearned so deeply to do good with his life but was ultimately consumed by loneliness and pain."