Michael Jackson

Thriller star Ola Ray unrecognisable 40 years after playing Michael Jackson’s girlfriend in iconic music video

MICHAEL Jackson’s iconic Thriller album turned 40 at the weekend -and the co-star of its seminal video looks incredible four decades on.

Former Playboy model Ola Ray, now 61, starred in the Thriller video as Michael’s innocent girlfriend.

Ola Ray starred alongside Michael Jackson in the Thriller video

Ola Ray starred alongside Michael Jackson in the Thriller videoCredit: Instagram
Ola celebrated Thriller's 40th anniversary at the weekend

Ola celebrated Thriller’s 40th anniversary at the weekendCredit: Instagram
Ola previously worked as a Playboy model

Ola previously worked as a Playboy modelCredit: Getty

She famously fled a theatre after watching a creepy horror film in the iconic promo with the King of Pop.

Dressed in his iconic red suit, Michael followed her out and reassured her it was just a film, before launching into his legendary zombie dance routine.

Ola now has voluminous blonde hair and a keen eye for a glamorous outfit.

And she paid tribute to the landmark release on Sunday as it reached a major milestone.

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

“I’ll just tell you this much,” she added. “He undressed in front of me, I’m not going to tell you anymore about it – you’ve got to read my book.”

Ola, who was a former Playmate of the Month for the June 1980 issue, said even though she didn’t expect something like that to happen, “getting intimate” with Michael Jackson made her feel “really, really good”.

She added that over the two weeks they were together they became “very, very close”.

Ola who had previously appeared in George Benson’s video Give Me The Night, was thrust into the spotlight in her early 20s due to her featuring in the Thriller video which became a huge hit when it was released in 1983.

The video is still hugely popular with fans and has been viewed more than 597million times on YouTube.

While Ola has fond memories of working on the video she claimed that Jackson’s estate still owed her millions of dollars in royalties and she was struggling to get by, living in a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles.

She beat off hundreds of hopefuls to feature in the 14-minute video directed by John Landis which took two weeks to film.

She described Jackson as a “sweet” and very nice guy as well as being a “gentle soul”.

After shooting had finished she met Jackson one more time at Westlake Studios a few months later when Quincy Jones was producing his Bad album.

Jackson had told her he couldn’t continue their fling because of a promise he had made to a friend, meaning they were interested in Ray.

The pair talked about the situation and Jackson invited her out to lunch but Ray refused and instead handed him her number and asked him to call her.

She said she got an initial payment of $2,500 (£1,900) for her role in the video but didn’t get another payment for at least two years even though she had signed a lucrative contract.

Ola claims Jackson promised her 2.5 per cent of the royalties from the Thriller video but said that when Jackson died in 2009 her contract was changed and she was “duped” into signing a settlement agreement.

It is reported that up to June 2010 the video earned $92,735,816 in digital video sales and $78.6m in DVD sales.

Ola said that her cut of the money should be $4.2m (£3.3m) but claimed she had been paid less that $200,000 (£157,000) in the 35 years since the video came out.

In 2012 she was awarded $75,000 in back payments after a court battle, with $20,000 of that going to her legal team.

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Ola also said she did not believe the accusations of child abuse that had been made against Jackson in the Leaving Neverland documentary by Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

She told DailyMailTV: “All I can say is that the Michael I know would never do anything like that.”

She hit the big time when she starred in the iconic Thriller production

She hit the big time when she starred in the iconic Thriller production

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