The former Playboy centerfold who played Michael Jackson's real life girlfriend in hit music video Thriller has told how she turned up on set stoned and shared a passionate kiss with the King of Pop.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV Ola Ray lifts the lid on what went on behind the scenes on the most successful music video in history.

And in a revelation that will shock the superstar's millions of fans Ray also claims the Bad singer stripped naked while wooing her in his dressing room after a long day on set.

"Michael and I did get intimate on Thriller, yes," Ray confesses for the first time. "I went to his trailer one day and that's where I had my second kiss with him.


"I kissed him for the first time on the set, I kissed him on the cheek, then he asked me to come into his dressing room one day and I went in there and we sat down and had a conversation and we got really close and that's when he kissed me the second time.

"It was a very passionate kiss and, you know, we also did a little something else, but that's all I'm gonna say."

She added: "I'll just tell you this much. He undressed in front of me, I'm not going to tell you anymore about it - you've got to read my book."

It's the first time Ray has revealed what really happened behind the scenes on the cult classic video, saying she's been waiting a 'long time' to tell the world.

She plans to reveal a full account of what happened in her as yet unpublished book.

"I wanted to save a little bit for my book," she told DailyMailTV. "Getting intimate with Michael made me feel really, really good.

"I mean, I did not expect for something like that to happen, but you know, because of the time that we spent together on set, the two weeks we spent together, we just became very, very close."

Ray's bombshell comes on the 10th anniversary of Jackson's death and 35 years since the iconic Thriller video, which has been viewed more than 597 million times on YouTube.

Ola Ray says she struggled for money following the Thriller video. Photo / Getty Images
Ola Ray says she struggled for money following the Thriller video. Photo / Getty Images

But while Ray, 58, shares fond memories of working with the superstar singer during the intensive video shoot, her story is tinged with sadness.

The huge success of the pop video propelled the young actress - who had previously appeared in a couple of movies as well as being Playboy's Miss June 1980 centerfold - into overnight global stardom.

But rather than being able to enjoy her rapid success, the fame sent Ray's life spiraling out of control.

She tells how she became gripped by cocaine addiction and crippling depression, attempted to take her own life, turned her back on the entertainment industry and 35 years on from Thriller she reveals she is still battling the Jackson estate for millions of dollars in unpaid royalties.

Such is her dire financial position today, Ray lives under the poverty line in a one bedroom apartment in LA making money from signing autographs at music and fan conventions.

Ray was in her early 20s when she beat hundreds of other hopefuls to play Jackson's girlfriend in Thriller, directed by John Landis.

The 14-minute short went on to help Jackson's Thriller album top the US chart for 37 weeks, selling a reputed 120 million copies and making it the best-selling record of all time.

"Oh my God, I was so excited to get the role. I jumped on the bed and I was like jumping up and down and screaming," recalls Ray with a smile.

She says she was filled with nerves before arriving on set and meeting Jackson for the first time.

And fortunately for her Jackson was very understanding of the state she was in.

"That night when we first met, he walked up to me and he introduced himself and then he gave me a hug... and he smelled marijuana," she recalls, her eyes widening.

Ray didn't smoke much at the time but a friend who was at her apartment offering support had suggested she take a puff from a marijuana joint to quell her nerves.

"So I did, I took one puff, and oh my God I was so stoned and Michael smelt it on me," recalls a mortified Ray.

Ola Ray pictured in 1983. Photo / Getty Images
Ola Ray pictured in 1983. Photo / Getty Images

"He said, 'do you smoke weed?' and I said, 'no', and he said 'Yes you do I can smell it.'

"I said, 'Michael, I'm so sorry. I really don't smoke.'

"I told him I was so nervous to come to meet him and that a friend had given me a puff to relax me, he started laughing at me and then he said, 'ah, you'll be alright.' He really put me at ease."

Ray claims she had "great chemistry" with Jackson and they instantly hit it off.

They spent day and night together during the grueling two week shoot and she says Jackson was always trying to make her laugh.

But she says kissing the superstar singer in his trailer did change things between them on set.

Jackson became awkward and told her that they couldn't continue their fling because of a promise he made a friend - in other words a friend of Jackson's had eyes for Ray.

"There was an obstacle in the way, we couldn't take it as far as we wanted it to go.

"When I found out who this person was I was very upset about it," she recalls.

"I saw Michael a few months after Thriller. He was in Westlake (Recording) Studios at the time with Quincy (Jones), producing the Bad album.

"I realised who this person was and talked to Michael about it, he said, 'please sit down and have lunch with me Ola'.

Ola Ray:
Ola Ray: "It was just like my life was going out of control." Photo / Getty Images

"And I was like, 'no, I'm not gonna sit down and have lunch with you, I've gotta go', but I said, 'here's my number, call me and we'll talk about it later.'

"That was the last time I saw Michael. So yeah, I kind of kicked myself around a lot after that."

Ray described Jackson as a "sweet", "articulate" and extremely nice guy and she still cherishes her brush with the superstar.

"He had a gentle soul. He was very, very loving. Very funny. When Michael would walk into the room, he would have like an aura around him. I mean, it was like almost bigger than life," she said.

Ray claims that after Thriller aired to the world on December 3, 1983 things went "crazy" for her.

She had to move out of her Los Angeles apartment because of the attention from crazed fans.

"Oh my God. I had people that I didn't know coming over and knocking on the door, trying to get an autograph, trying to get me to answer the door, trying to see me," she recalls.

"And so it got really, really crazy for me. I ended up having to move and then after that it got even worse."

Amazingly, other than a $2,500 initial payment for her role in the music video, Ray says she didn't receive a penny more for at least two years, despite signing a lucrative contract.

And with surprisingly few offers of work coming in she struggled for money.

"To be honest it was a little hard for me because of the fact that I started having all these people come to my home and they wanted to do drugs and then all of a sudden I started using cocaine, I mean I'm sure that this played a factor in my not getting work.

"But it was like really bad, I was addicted to cocaine. And then I got really depressed because I hadn't received a payment from Thriller in two years."

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In the grips of cocaine addiction, no sign of her Thriller payment and her new found celebrity on the wane, Ray slumped into a deep depression.

By the end of 1985 she reached her "lowest point" and attempted to take her own life with a pills overdose.

"I couldn't pay my rent, I couldn't pay my bills so I got really depressed," she recalls.

"I decided to take a bottle of pills and try to commit suicide. Nobody knows about this.

"After a couple of days I woke up and I crawled to a telephone and I just started dialing numbers," she recalls.

Ray says the police broke her door down, dragged her outside and called an ambulance which rushed her to hospital.

"I was saved by the staff at Cedars-Sinai hospital, that was really a sad time in my life, you know. But things got worse.

"My life went into a tailspin. There was so many things going on in my life that it just really made it hard for me to do anything."

To add to her mounting problems Ray says she got involved with a violent boyfriend who beat her regularly.

One beating was so bad that he locked her in the basement of his house for a month so she wouldn't go to the police. She still fears telling the police today.

And if that wasn't bad enough she claims someone tried to kill her with a car bomb.

"Somebody blew up my car on Sunset Boulevard and the ATF came to my house and asked me, 'Who would want to blow up your car?" I didn't know.

"Still today I don't know."

She added: "It was just like my life was going out of control."

Somehow Ray, a budding actress and glamour model still in her early 20s, got through these traumatic experiences but was forced to turn her back on the entertainment industry as a result.

She left LA and sought refuge with her family in Sacramento, northern California where she stayed to raise her daughter Iam.

Before giving birth Ray battled to kick cocaine and in 1993 entered the Tarzana Treatment Center for a year from which she graduated with honors.

Today Ray is sober but is facing a fresh battle.

She claims Jackson promised her 2.5% of the royalties from the Thriller film, which was the most expensive music video of its era with a budget of $500,000.

The generous deal is laid out in a contract seen by DailyMailTV and was fully backed by Jackson himself who signed the contract.

But Ray claims that when Jackson died in 2009 her contract was suddenly changed and she was "duped" into signing a settlement agreement.

In 2011 a legal deposition seen by DailyMailTV established that up until June, 2010, the Thriller video had earned a total of US$92,735,816 (NZ$140m) in digital video sales and $78.6 million in total DVD sales.

Ray claims that her contracted 2.5% cut should be in the region of $4.2 million - presumably now a much higher figure nine years later.

In fact Ray claims she's been paid less than $200,000 in the 35 years since the iconic video was created and says she has been forced to live below the poverty line.

In 2012 the ex-glamour model did achieve victory and was awarded $75,000 for back payment of royalties following a court battle but $20,000 of that went to her attorney.

But now mom-of-one Ray claims she's receiving next to nothing.

And with the release of the 3D version of Thriller in September last year she fears she won't see any royalties from that either.

She claims that a short time after Jackson died, attorneys for the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG), Sony and Jackson's estate got together and changed her percentage from 2.5% to an 18/43 split.

She said she raised the issue with the attorney for SAG, of which she's a member - and was told yes it had been changed and they were not planning on changing it back.

"So I'm thinking to myself, this is kind of crazy. Now I'm thinking, how can a person change another person's contract? I'm a SAG member so I don't get this."

Ray is currently looking for a new lawyer to help.

"I am definitely owed millions of dollars, it's my legacy and I'm willing to fight for it.

"I have a daughter and two grandsons to think about."

Ray claims no one contacted her over Thriller 3D - released by Optimum Productions - and she was shunned from its world premiere.

"They haven't tried to contact me or negotiate anything," she says.

"How do they think they can just do this without paying me? These people are making millions of dollars out of me. Right now I'm living in a small one bedroom apartment.

"My daughter and grandchildren also live here and it's been a struggle for us, so this is why it's really important that I keep fighting, my life shouldn't be like this."

As for the controversy surrounding Jackson and the accusations of child abuse hurled at the King of Pop - Ray isn't buying them.

"When I first saw Leaving Neverland, I cried because this is not the Michael I know, I don't feel he could ever be that person at all," she says.

"I don't understand how he could've gone to court - the allegations were dropped right - I don't understand how these guys (Robson and Safechuck) can come back later on and tell this story."

She added: "All I can say is that the Michael I know would never do anything like that."

In HBO documentary Leaving Neverland Wade Robson and James Safechuck - the former child companions of Jackson - allege that they engaged in sexual activity as minors with the star, while staff were on site.