DUBAI — When she went to the ladies washroom in the Egyptian Court of Ibn Battuta Mall at 9.30 last night, 37-year old Latifa M. never imagined that she would come face to face with pop icon Michael Jackson, who walked in dressed in a T-shirt and trousers, with his head covered with the Emirati women’s traditional head scarf Sheila.
The Tunisian, who is a teacher in a private school in Dubai, screamed in shock and ran out of the ladies room when she realised that the woman-like person was a man. She went back in to photograph the pop singer with her mobile phone, while he was busy fixing his make up.
This time it was the turn of Michael Jackson who ran after the Ajman-based teacher, to retrieve the pictures. The scene attracted the security of the mall, who tried to take the phone from Latifa, but she refused and asked for compensation, while the two women accompanying Jackson tried to convince her to sit in private and settle the issue.
Wary of this suggestion, the teacher called the police. Colonel Abdul Jalil Al Mehdi, Deputy Director of the Preventive Security Department of Dubai Police, took the matter in his hands and tried to solve the issue, while Jackson left it to his companions to explain who he is and solve the matter.
While Latifa insisted on compensation, Jackson flatly refused to pay up. The police informed Latifa that the UAE laws do not entitle her to any financial gain from the situation and they convinced her to hand over the mobile, which she did after erasing the photos for the fear of being penalised.