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Ola Ray was Michael Jackson's love interest in Thriller. She says his spirit visits her.

It was the cinematic music clip that ran for 14 minutes – changing the world of pop forever from its release date in 1983.

Featuring dance moves that have lived on for decades through drunk people’s sloppy attempts to emulate them, Michael Jackson’s Thriller film clip is, by every definition, iconic.

The music video was also the first time fans saw Michael in an onscreen romance, as he danced down the deserted street to a zombie-filled graveyard with former Playboy playmate Ola Ray.

Now 58, Ola Ray popped up in the headlines only twice more after the film clip dropped.

Watch Ola Ray talk to Craig Bennett about being in the Thriller music video. Post continues after video. 

In 1992, she was arrested for drug possession, claiming the attention she received after the popularity of the film clip was at the root of her substance use, and in 2009, she sued the Jackson estate for breach of contract.

The former model has penned a book about her time working with the controversial star, titled The Thrill of It, and on Thursday morning, she spoke to Studio 10 about the two weeks spent with the King of Pop, touching on the darkness that followed her short-lived fame.

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“I had a lot of people always coming to my house,” she told Craig Bennett of life after the film clip exploded onto screens around the world.

Ola Ray in 2019 and 1983. Image: Studio 10, Youtube.

"I was completely sober before... (but) they were just putting it out and I started using."

In 1992, she was arrested at her home after police were tipped off about suspected drug activity.

Ray says she was actually dating an undercover cop at the time, who had tried to taint her reputation by having media wait outside to film her arrest.

"He called the television station and had them sitting there when I came out. It was a fake arrest, I never did any jail time," she told Bennett.

Ola Ray's 1992 arrest. Image: Studio 10.
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She also went on to claim she was "kidnapped and held under someone's house for a couple of months" after she became involved with the West Hollywood drug scene.

A UPI report from the year of her arrest claims she was arrested with possession of a controlled substance for sale, after police found a bag in her possession containing methamphetamine and cocaine. A pipe bomb was also found in her home, but it was detonated by bomb squad police in a controlled environment near the station.

Her housemate faced an additional charge of possessing an explosive device.

But before her run-in with the law, Ray was known only as the mysterious woman who won the coveted role of Michael Jackson's onscreen love interest.

Ola Ray, 1983. Image: Youtube.

Ray recalls her audition for the film clip:

"When he started to play Thriller, I got so excited," she said of meeting with her agent.

Two weeks later, she scored the role thousands of women had dreamt of, and soon became the source of rumours that her relationship with Jackson was more than just as co-stars.

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"Well in a way it was like a real romance," she says of the time spent filming.

"Everyone felt that love. We made it very special."

Earlier this year, the former model told Daily Mail she had a "fling" with the controversial pop star.

Ola Ray and Michael Jackson. Image: Youtube.

“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," she told the publication.

“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.”

But while she only saw the popstar once more after filming wrapped, The Sun reports it wasn't the last the family would hear from her.

Shortly after Jackson's death in 2009, Ray claimed she had been underpaid from her role in the video and was struggling to get by as a result.

Michael Jackson family
Image: Getty.
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Ray said she was paid around $3400 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.

She also said she was promised 2.5 per cent of the royalties from the Thriller video, but when Jackson died, her contract was changed and she was tricked into signing a settlement agreement.

Ray claimed she was owed millions of dollars in back pay dating 35 years since the video was released.

The case was settled in 2013 by the Jackson estate. It's believed she received almost AUD$80,000 after she claimed her contract had been breached, according to TMZ.

Rather bizarrely, that same year the former model paid tribute to the iconic Thriller film clip in one of her own, set to a track called Remember.

It featured re-enactments of a number of the clip's sequences, including one featuring three zombies walking through a wood, while flashing back to snippets of the old footage.

Ray had also attempted to recreate the dance moves made famous by the late singer.

On Studio 10, when asked of the sexual assault allegations against Jackson by a number of men who claim they were molested by him as boys, she says she frankly "didn't believe it".

The allegations have been thrust into headlines again this year after the Leaving Neverland documentary, which uncovered the claims of Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

"It was horrifying to watch from afar (but) to this day I don't think he was capable of doing that," Ray says.

"Michael made me feel so comfortable with him always laughing and joking. He was so funny," she recalls.

At the end of the interview, she added that she has felt his presence on more than one occasion.

"I've had a lot of different experiences with Michael's spirit. He has come back to me so many times."

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