Speaking ahead of the 10th anniversary of the King of Pop’s death, Shana Mangatal revealed how she was due to visit the singer on Friday June 26th, 2009 where she was going to plead with him to get help for his prescription drug problems and other issues.
Tragically, Shana’s planned meeting never took place as Jacko died from an overdose of propofol - a powerful anesthetic drug - at his home in Los Angeles one day before - on June 25th.
The shock of his death led Shana, now 48, to be diagnosed with PTSD - and she says even 10 years on she still lives with regret at not reaching out to him sooner.
In an exclusive interview, she told Sun Online: “It was a huge shock because I was supposed to go see him that week at rehearsal.
“That whole week I was preparing to see him. I'd gone to the mall to find an outfit to wear.
"And I was trying to think of what to say to him because a couple of the people who were close to him had been calling me frantically, telling me that he was in trouble and he needed help.
“One of the people was his nanny and she called me crying one day and begged me to go to rehearsal to go see him and tell him that I was here for him if he needed anything and offer to help with the children.
“She really wanted me to go there and offer my help to him because she knew that he needed it but I couldn't think of what to say to him.
“It was going to be hard for me to go to rehearsal and bring this up so I had been procrastinating all week.
"I could've gone any day that week but I thought I'll just go on Friday and that will give me time to find the perfect outfit to wear and figure out what to say.
“I thought I'd write a letter and I was trying to formulate the words to give to him on Friday - and Friday never came.
“He passed away on Thursday, June 25th.”
Shana first met Jackson aged 17 after one of his shows, but said she didn't develop a "love connection" until she began working as a receptionist at his management company in Hollywood in her 20s.
After months of flirting, the couple shared a passionate kiss - but Shana was left heartbroken when Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994.
After his divorce from Lisa - the pair rekindled their passion during the summer of 1996 and Shana fell "madly in love".
They remained friends even after their relationship ended - although Shana says she never stopped loving him - and no man has ever compared to him since.
She says his death devastated her so much - she couldn’t hear his music or watch his videos for years without breaking down.
“It was devastating for years after I kept thinking, ‘What if I had gone to see him on Wednesday? Would that have changed anything?" she said.
“Could I have somehow changed the state of mind to make him be able to stay around a little longer? I don't know.
“I guess we can never know, but part of the thing that haunted me all of these years was that I had an opportunity to see him at least one last time and to possibly help him and I put it off by procrastinating and I never did."
She added: “I’m not God. I couldn't have saved him probably but you can't help but think what would have happened differently if I had just seen him in that week?
“Maybe something would have changed. And those events of the final month, they keep replaying in my mind. I think it's hard to stop those thoughts.”
Shana revealed how she and many of those in Jackson’s inner circle were worried about the impact his prescription drug problem was having on his health even in the nineties.
She believes the star began to misuse the drugs to deal with the aftermath of the accusations by Jordy Chandler - the first young boy to come forward and accuse the singer of molesting him.
She said everyone around him knew the signs of his drug abuse - and knew that he needed help in the weeks before his death.
"In 2009, it had got to a bad point again. And the fact that he had children now, it was even more dire because, he needed someone to help them. And he really didn't have anybody.
Shana still wishes Jackson had a competent medical team around him during his last days - who could have helped him get off the strong sedative drugs he was reliant on - or at least administered them safely.
Jackson’s death was recorded as acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication and the doctor who administered the drugs Conrad Murray was jailed for involuntary manslaughter after it emerged he was negligent.
“He had started taking propofol during the late nineties during the History tour," Shana revealed.
“It was difficult for him to sleep because whenever he did a show, he would have all this adrenaline and then he'd come back to the hotel room and he would be bouncing off the walls and not able to sleep.
“All those other times he had competent doctors administering it to him and they would stay with him through the night and monitor him, which is what you are you are supposed to do. And Conrad Murray didn't do that.
“He went off and talked on the phone and when he came back Michael was dead.
“If he had had a competent doctor doing this, he would okay - like he had been in the years before.
“Of course it wasn't a healthy thing for him to do in the first place but he could have got some help with that."
Now 10 years on, Shana says it’s only in the last few years she’s been able to share her memories of Michael without getting upset.
She said her fondest memories of Michael were when she starred alongside him in the videos for Ghost and Is This Scary.
“What a lot of people don’t know about Michael is that he was just a really normal guy," she recalled.
"For example his favourite thing to eat was Tic Tacs and Bazooka bubble gum - he always had like a pocket full of Tic Tacs and his mouth filled with three or four lots of bubble gum.
“When we were on the set, if we were standing around and got bored, he would start throwing the Tic Tacs at people.
“They would be looking around wondering where are the Tic Tacs coming from and it would be Michael throwing them - he was a funny guy.
“Once I asked him for one and he said, ‘Yeah, you can have one if you reach in my pocket and get it'. So that became our thing - every day I would reach in his pocket and get a tic tac.
“One of the other things that showed me how human he was when his mom would come to the set of the videos that we did.
“I noticed Michael would have this nervous energy whenever his mom was there.
“He just wanted to make her proud and at those moments he wasn't the King of Pop any more he was just little Michael from Gary, Indiana up to wanting to make his mother proud and that would touch my heart.”
Shana’s last meeting with Jackson before his death was backstage on the New Year's Eve to welcome in 2007, while she worked as an assistant to magician David Copperfield in Vegas. Jackson attended the show with his kids Paris, Prince, Blanket.
“When I saw him that New Year's Eve and he was just like I remembered him 10 years ago, my heart melted and I did start thinking, maybe we can get back together again," she said.
“The hope came back and the fire was lit again.
"After the show was over, he walked back stage and came right over to me and gave me the longest hug ever. And he gave me a peck on the lips.
“It felt like he knew that would be the last time he saw me.”
She does not believe the Michael she knew would ever harm a child - and she said she and his fans will always stand by him.
"He was just magical. He had this thing about him that was different from every other human being I've ever met and I really miss that," she said.
“He had his power about him that drew you in and made you fall in love.
He did some things sometimes that would upset me - like disappearing and marrying Lisa Marie Presley! But when I spoke to him, he knew exactly what to say to me to make me melt and forget about the bad stuff.
“I don't think his legacy has been affected that much at all by Leaving Neverland. The people who loved him and believed him before, they still do. The people who think he was guilty before still do.
“All as I can do is remember the Michael that I knew, how he treated me personally and what I witnessed of him interacting with children. Never at that time did it cross my mind that anything bad was going on - it was all innocent.”