A dad who was so obsessed with Michael Jackson that he legally changed his name to that of the late star and spent £1 million ($1.3m) on memorabilia is now desperately trying to change it back after the singer's reputation was tarnished by allegations of sexual assault against children.
On legal records, John Lomas' name is actually 'John Michael Jackson' - but the 38-year-old aspiring care worker from Malvern, West Midlands, claims the moniker is doing him no favours when applying for new jobs.
Now John, who currently works in a factory, is raising funds to secure the £120 ($150) needed to make the change by deed poll.
He said: "During my childhood I had various obsessions and special interests growing up and one of those has been Michael Jackson. A few years ago I went to LA and soon after that I changed my name to Michael Jackson legally.
"I have supported him blindly for years and but it has come to a point with everything recently that I've thought 'no more'. There is too much doubt and I'm now left with this name that I need to get rid of.
"I'm trying to get into the care profession but every time I do a DBS check I have to disclose my full name. If I'm going for a job like that, it looks really bad that I've chosen to change my name to that of an alleged and believed paedophile.
"I've asked for legal advice and there is nothing I can do to change my name back by deed poll without paying a £120 fee, which I can't afford. I just want to put this behind me - I can't have this name hanging above me any more, I just want a fresh start."
For years John defended his hero against speculation that the singer may have groomed young boys, purchasing everything from the 1988 Michael Jackson LA Gear trainers to branded umbrellas, shipped over from Germany.
He estimates that over the course of his 25-year-long obsession, he could have easily spent over £1m on Jackson souvenirs, trips, albums and other memorabilia.
And incredibly, it's not the first time John, whose birth name was Ben Andreas Lomas, has changed his name. In 1999, following an obsession with The Beatles, he became legally known as 'John Lennon'.
His strongly-held obsessions became more easier to process when he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2011.
But after the release of controversial documentary Leaving Neverland, which told the stories of two men who allege that they were molested by Jackson when they were young boys, John finally came to a decision.
He said: "As a child I bought anything and everything I could get my hands on, I bought his albums in every format I could. This obsession has been going for 25 years, since I was 12 years old - I could have easily spent over a million on it.
"You do idolise these people and you just never really know what they are actually doing. I've deleted all his songs and got rid of all my MJ souvenirs and memorabilia. It all went straight in the bin almost immediately after I had watched the documentary.
"I knew this documentary was coming up and I thought it was just speculation. I thought, 'Here we go again,' but as I was watching it, some of the victims came across as completely genuine."
John is raising money to change his name on GoFundMe but so far has received no donations to his cause.
On the page he wrote: "I can't live comfortably carrying this name anymore I would appreciate any help anyone could give me."
To donate click here.
Featured Image Credit: Caters
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