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Home / News Archive / News December 2003

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Kevin McLin
Kevin McLin, Michael Jackson's publicist.

Jackson Family/Publicist Statement. 31-12-'03

What the tapes the Santa Barbara sheriff released shows is interesting but what it conceals is vital. The tapes do not address any of the allegations that Michael made but only paint a portrait of what the sheriff’s men did when the cameras were on them, not what they did when no one was looking.

We look forward to a further investigation when all the facts come out in due course." Michael Jackson’s Publicist, Kevin J. McLin Sr. Los Angeles, Ca.— As a publicist for Michael Jackson, I would like to set the record straight on the dismissal of Michael’s former spokesperson, Stuart Backerman. Mr. Backerman is claiming he resigned over “strategic differences “ with Mr. Jackson’s advisors. This is not true. Mr. Backerman and I both attended the Jackson family get-together December 20th, at Neverland Ranch.

Both Mr. Backerman and I were present at the media briefing by Michael’s attorney Mark Geragos. Both Mr. Backerman and I agreed not to make any statements to the press without authorization by Mr. Geragos. Mr. Backerman spoke to the press without that authorization and was terminated for refusing to acknowledge that agreement.

Source: Kevin McLin / MJFC / Billie Jean


Sheriff Disputes Jackson’s Abuse Claims, Plays Tapes Of Booking. 31-12-'03

Jim Anderson
Santa Barbara Count, California, Sheriff Jim Anderson.

Santa Barbara County, California, Sheriff Jim Anderson said on Wednesday that he’s treating Michael Jackson’s claims of police brutality as a formal citizen’s complaint. If Jackson’s claims prove groundless, he could be charged with giving a false report against a peace officer.

Anderson called a press conference to debunk Jackson’s assertions on '60 Minutes' that when he surrendered on November 20, authorities handcuffed him too tight, causing bruising and swelling, and that deputies dislocated his shoulder. The singer also claimed he had been locked in a feces-smeared bathroom for 45 minutes and taunted about the smell while he was in there.

The sheriff, who said he was “shocked and troubled” by the allegations, categorically denied them, describing the arrest, transport, booking and release of Jackson as “professional” and “courteous.”

Jackson was booked and released in 63 minutes, including a space of about 15 minutes during which Jackson was placed alone in a holding cell so that he could use a bathroom, Anderson said. The holding cell, normally meant to house seven people, was equipped with a toilet, sink and bench, and it had been scrubbed prior to Jackson’s use, the sheriff said, noting that Jackson thanked the detective who escorted him there.

“The entire booking process was supervised, and at no time did Mr. Jackson complain of any injury or mistreatment,” Anderson said. “And we observed no injuries.”

Anderson played for the press a videotape that showed Jackson being handcuffed upon his surrender and uncuffed upon his arrival at the jail. The handcuffs were “double-locked,” Anderson said, to minimize discomfort. Anderson also played an audiotape recorded during Jackson’s ride to the jail, in which the singer can be heard whistling and singing softly to himself.

Though Jackson complained that the handcuffs were tight and hurt, the officer is heard making helpful suggestions to Jackson, telling him to “scoot forth a little bit, there you go,” so that he can sit with less discomfort, and offering to turn on the air conditioning. Twice during the recording a police officer asks Jackson how he is doing, and both times the singer replies positively. “It’s wonderful,” he says at one point, and he replies, “Yes, fine,” at another.

“This case is not about police misconduct,” Anderson said. “This is about being advocates for child and adult victims of a crime. I think Mr. Jackson has seriously hurt his credibility.”

Jackson’s arraignment on charges of child molestation and providing intoxicating agents to a child is scheduled for January 16.

Source: MTV / Billie Jean


Nation Of Islam BodyguardsNation Of Islam Bodyguards To Be Fired. 31-12-'03

Michael Jackson is sick of his aggressive Nation of Islam bodyguards and wants to fire them, sources told The Post yesterday. Jackson's relatives and business associates are shopping around for other security outfits, a source said.

Fierce Nation of Islam guards have been on Jackson's hip since mid-November, when Santa Barbara County, Calif., authorities busted the King of Pop for allegedly molesting a young boy earlier this year.

But now, the family believes bringing the controversial group into their camp--first reported by The Post--was a bad idea because the Nation of Islam protectors have gone overboard in keeping Jackson away from his closest confidants.

Other than a provocative interview on '60 Minutes' Sunday night (December 28), few people--even his own family--have been able to see Jackson. Leonard Muhammad, a top Nation of Islam official and group leader Louis Farrakhan's son-in-law, even stood behind Jackson defense lawyer Mark Geragos during a recent press conference. "Everyone who has dealt with Michael for years, from his lawyers to family, [is] afraid," said a source familiar with Jackson's current security arrangement. "They're intimidated and no one can get in touch with Michael."

Sources told The Post that Jackson's brothers Jermaine--an orthodox Muslim, not a Nation of Islam member--and Tito hired the singer's current bodyguards. But Michael has sided with his mom, Catherine, and his father, Joe, in seeking new security, said a source.

A family friend said Jackson was caught off guard by the Nation of Islam's tough "Secret Service-style" ways. "Michael's someone not used to this intensity that was provided by the Nation," said a family friend. "They're very thorough, and their main focus is protecting Michael, even if that meant protecting Michael from his own family at times. And that's made Michael and the Jackson family very uncomfortable."

Source: New York Post / Billie Jean


Kevin McLin
Kevin McLin, Michael Jackson's publicist.

Michael Jackson In Control of His Business Affairs. 31-12-'03

The following press releases are being distributed on behalf of Kevin McLin, Michael Jackson’s publicist.

Pop superstar Michael Jackson is in full control of his business affairs and the more than 25 people he employs to manage those affairs; including longtime and ongoing relationships with his accountants, lawyers and advisors. Contrary to an article in the December 30, 2003 New York Times, the Pop icon along with his advisors, is making the key decisions that affect the day to day running of his entertainment empire.

The article in the New York Times “Dispute in the Michael Jackson Camp Over Role of the Nation of Islam”, incorrectly reported that the Nation of Islam has taken over Mr. Jackson’s affairs. "The idea that there is some takeover by the Nation of Islam — someone is spinning you," says Jackson attorney Mark Geragos.

Mr. Jackson is facing charges of child molestation and attorney Geragos notes that these accusations of Nation of Islam control surfaced immediately after the Santa Barbara district attorney's office engaged a public relations firm. In addition, the Nation of Islam has stated that it has "no official business or professional relationship with Mr. Michael Jackson” and “joins thousands of other people in wishing him well".

The New York Times also erroneously reported that Mr. Jackson's official spokesman, Stuart Backerman, resigned on Monday to protest the Nation of Islam's presence. In fact, Mr. Geragos personally fired Backerman last week for making an official statement on December 20th at Neverland Ranch, without the previously agreed upon authorization.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Nation Of IslamNation Of Islam Denies Role With Jackson. 30-12-'03

Members of the Nation of Islam have begun playing a role in Michael Jackson's affairs, sources close to the Jackson camp tell The Associated Press, although the controversial group denies having any official part in the pop star's life.

Jackson insiders, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the AP that Nation of Islam members have handled security at the singer's Neverland Ranch and have began taking over some of Jackson's business affairs since he was accused of committing lewd acts on a child. The group, which in the past has been accused of anti-Semitism and inflammatory, separatist rhetoric, issued a statement Monday after receiving inquiries from the AP and other news organizations.

"The Nation of Islam, in response to several inquiries, has said today that it has no official business or professional relationship with Mr. Michael Jackson," said the statement. "The Nation of Islam joins thousands of other people in wishing him well." Jackson's attorney, Mark Geragos, also dismissed the reports and denied that Nation of Islam members had been working out of Geragos' office. "They are not part of his defense," Geragos said. "I'm certainly not pushing away support from anyone, but I don't ask people what their religious affiliation is when they offer support."

Geragos acknowledged that when he held a news conference on Jackson's behalf after charges were announced on Dec. 18, one of those standing behind him was Leonard F. Muhammad, identified on the Nation of Islam's website as its chief of staff. "Leonard Muhammad was there," Geragos said. "He's one of Michael's supporters." Under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam advocates black self-empowerment and a separate African-American state; Jackson is not a Muslim nor a member of the Nation of Islam, according to one of his brothers. Attorney Brian Oxman, who is a close friend of the Jackson family and has represented some of them in litigation, said his attorney-client relationship with the family restricted what he can say. "I've heard of the claims (about the Nation of Islam), but I do not know their validity."

Two of Jackson's business advisers for the past year, Charles Koppelman and Alan Whitman, said they remain in charge of Jackson's music and finances. Asked about the Nation of Islam's reported role in directing Jackson's affairs, Koppelman said, "It's not the case as to his music, finances and assets. I think it's primarily in security." Koppelman, a former chief of EMI Records said he has not talked to Jackson about the Nation of Islam. "If he gets involved on a spiritual basis, that's his business," he said. Whitman, an accountant, said he continues to be Jackson's financial manager. "I receive his bills and write his checks. ...

Anything else I relate to Mr. Jackson is confidential," he said. Jackson's brother Jermaine has converted to Islam but is not a member of the Nation of Islam. Asked during an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" whether his brother planned to convert, Jermaine Jackson said he did not. Also on Monday, Jackson spokesman Stuart Backerman resigned, citing "strategic differences." Backerman refused to comment on reports involving the Nation of Islam. Geragos said Backerman was fired last week because he spoke to the news media during a Jackson family get-together Dec. 20 at Jackson's Neverland estate near Santa Barbara.

The event was designed to show support for the embattled singer after he was charged with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine. "He was terminated by me personally for talking when I told him not to," Geragos said. Backerman responded to Geragos' statement by saying, "That's untrue." "I was the spokesman up until I just resigned. I was actively involved with management," Backerman said. While Backerman did not immediately explain the reasons for his departure, he said he left reluctantly. "I was not fired," he said.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Stuart Backerman
Stuart Backerman, Official Spokesman for Michael Jackson.

Official Spokesman Stuart Backerman Resigns. 30-12-'03

Michael Jackson's chief spokesman resigned Monday (December 29), citing "strategic differences" with other members of the embattled pop star's team over the handling of child molestation charges.

Stuart Backerman stepped down a day after CBS News broadcast an interview with Jackson in which the onetime "King of Pop" said he still saw nothing wrong with sleeping with children and claimed to have been mistreated by police.

"I resigned today over strategic differences with the way things are going," Backerman told Reuters in an interview. He declined to elaborate on those differences. "The one thing I will say is that I love Michael Jackson and his fans."

Backerman said he had no firm plans for the future and did not know who would replace him as spokesman for the 45-year-old entertainer.

Jackson is being represented in that case by high-profile Los Angeles lawyer Mark Geragos, who sat in on the CBS interview and in one case prevented his client from answering a question from TV personality Ed Bradley.

Geragos could not be reached for comment after business hours on Monday evening.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


Jackson 'Was Hurt' During Arrest. 29-12-'03

Michael Jackson has denied allegations of child abuse and accused Californian police of mistreating him. In his first interview since being charged with child molestation, the singer said police had treated him very roughly during his arrest.

Jackson insisted it was acceptable for him to share a bed with children, and said he would "slit his wrists" before hurting a child.

"People think sex - when I see children I see the face of God," he said.

The pop star told CBS he was "manhandled very roughly" by police in Santa Barbara after he surrendered to them to be arrested formally.

He accused officers of hurting him deliberately as they put him in handcuffs.

"My shoulder is dislocated, literally. It's hurting me very badly. I'm in pain all the time," he said in the interview recorded on Christmas Day and broadcast on Sunday (December 28).

Michael Was Hurt During Arrest
Michael Jackson was hurt during arrest at the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department.

Jackson also said he had been locked in a filthy toilet for 45 minutes. Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department earlier said Mr Jackson was treated with courtesy and respect throughout the booking process.

The singer faces seven counts of child abuse and two of plying a minor with alcohol to commit a crime.

During the interview for the '60 Minutes' programme, Mr Jackson was asked whether he thought that under the circumstances, it was still acceptable to sleep in the same room as children.

The 45-year-old singer answered: "Of course. Why not? If you're going to be a paedophile, if you're going to be Jack the Ripper, if you're going to be a murderer, it's not a good idea. That I am not.

"Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists," he added.

BBC correspondent Robert Nisbet said the interview may have persuaded Jackson's wavering fans to support the troubled pop star.

"We were sitting with a psychiatrist who is normally very critical about Michael Jackson's behaviour, but she said that for some people who may be sitting on the fence, maybe some fans of his music, he may have been convincing.

"It was a half-hour interview, a mainly sympathetic interview, they weren't particularly aggressive questions, and it was very well stage managed, it looked a very slick production."

Source: CNN / Billie Jean


Number Ones (Off The Wall) CD Album CoverMichael Is Gold In America! 28-12-'03

'Number Ones' moves half a million units in the States.

Michael Jackson's 'Number Ones' has officially gone gold in America, according to the latest edition of Billboard magazine. Gold status represents shipments of more than 500,000 copies to US retail and is measured by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album is currently at No. 65 on the US Top 200 Album chart, up four spots from last week.

'Number Ones' is a greatest hits album by Michael Jackson. It was released on November 17th, 2003 worldwide and on November 18, 2003 in the United States by Epic Records in the trademark of Sony Music.

Source: Billie Jean


Jacko Dropped From Hall Of Fame. 28-12-'03

Troubled star Michael Jackson's battle against child sex allegations have cost him a place in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The singing legend was set to pick up the coveted honour at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel in March (04), but organisers have pulled the plug - for now - after he was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of "administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of a committing a felony".

A record industry insider explains, "Because of all the charges, we didn't feel right honouring him. We felt it was better to hold back and see what happens."

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


60 Minutes Ed Bradley's Interview with Michael Jackson (2003)Jackson Proclaims His Innocence In A Interview By Ed Bradley. 28-12-'03

From the Beverly Hills Hotel, Michael gives an interview to Ed Bradley on Christmas Day (shown on CBS’s '60 Minutes' 3 days later) in the presence of Mark Geragos, Leonard Muhammad & Grace.

In his first interview since his arrest on child molestation charges, Michael Jackson tells Ed Bradley the charges against him are motivated by money, and says he shared a bed with a grown man many times when he was a boy.

He also says police deliberately injured him and humiliated him by locking him in a feces-covered men's room during his arrest.

The pop star says it's still okay to share his bed with children.

"Of course. Why not? If you're going to be a pedophile, if you're going to be Jack the Ripper, if you're going to be a murderer, it's not a good idea. That I am not."

He says that while he was in police custody, officers locked him in a feces-smeared bathroom for 45 minutes in order to belittle him and take away his pride.

"There was doo doo - feces - thrown all over the walls, the floor, the ceiling," he tells Bradley. "And it stunk so bad. Then one of the policemen came by the window. And he made a sarcastic remark... 'How do you like the smell? Is it good?' And I just simply said, 'It's alright. It's okay.' So, I just sat there, and waited."

He also says the police handcuffed him in such a way so as to hurt his back. "Now I can't move," he tells Bradley, and the injury "keeps me from sleeping at night. I can't sleep at night."

But he vehemently denies the charges against him. An impassioned Jackson says, "Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists," in reaction to a Bradley question about the charges brought against him that he molested a young boy.

When Bradley asks Jackson if he would allow his own children to sleep in a bed with a grown man who was not a relative, or to sleep in that man's bedroom, Jackson replies, "Sure, if I know that person, trust them, and love them. That's happened many times with me when I was little."

Jackson also says he does not blame the youngster involved in the case for bringing the accusations against him. Instead, he said, "Somewhere, greed got in there, and somebody…I can't quite say. But it has to do with money. 'It's Michael Jackson. Look what we have here. We can get money out of this…' That's exactly what happened."

When Bradley asks him why a child would accuse Jackson of sexual molestation if it weren't true, Jackson replies, "Because parents have power over children. They feel they have to do what their parents say. But the love of money is the root of all evil. And this is a sweet child. And to see him turn like this, this isn't him. This is not him."

Jackson says people will believe the worst about him "if they have a sick mind. And if they believe the trash they read in newspapers."

He adds, "Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's the gospel. People write negatives things, cause they feel that's what sells."

Jackson also says that the police search of Neverland Ranch was overdone and so violated his privacy that his home will never be the same.

He tells Bradley, "I won't live there ever again. It's a house now. It's not a home anymore. I'll only visit."

The interview took place on Christmas night in a Los Angeles hotel. The pop star has been charged with performing lewd acts with a child under 14.

Source: CBS News / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Interview To Air Sunday. 26-12-'03

An interview with Michael Jackson will air on the CBS show '60 Minutes' this Sunday (December 28). Ed Bradley, correspondent for '60 Minutes', conducted the interview at a hotel Thursday (December 25), according to a CBS spokesman. The interview lasted for 30 minutes. This will be Michael's first interview since the recent allegations.

Also announced by CBS is the rescheduling of a Michael Jackson special for Friday, January 2nd, 2004. The original program was postponed when news of the allegations broke. The special is to include performance footage, as well as interviews with Dick Clark, Beyoncé Knowles, Mary J. Blige, and others about Michael's influence in music. The special is called, 'Michael Jackson Number Ones'.

Source: AP / MJFC / Billie Jean


Da Calls For Jackson Passport. 23-12-'13

Santa Barbara county officials are calling for Michael Jackson to surrender his passport now his trip to Britain has been cancelled.

District Attorney Tom Sneddon had handed the troubled singer his travel documents ahead of his planned trip, but is now demanding them back as he continues the investigation into Jackson's alleged child molestation.

Sneddon said yesterday (December 22), "As of noon today, I have faxed a letter to (Jackson's lawyer) Mark Geragos seeking either documented confirmation of the trip or requesting the return of Michael Jackson's passport in response to reports that Mr Jackson has cancelled his trip to Great Britain.

"The trip was represented by his attorney, Mark Geragos, as necessary to fulfil two contractual agreements related to his new CD, and that failure to complete the obligations would result in significant financial penalties to Mr Jackson. While neither the sheriff nor I saw the contract, Mr Geragos' representations were the basis for our agreeing to the stipulation and the court signing it."

MJ Passport
Michael Jackson to surrender his passport now his trip to Britain has been cancelled.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Uri GellerGeller Tells Pal Jackson To Stay Away From U.K. 22-12-'03

Illusionist Uri Geller has weighed in once more over troubled superstar Michael Jackson'S mooted Britain trip - and has warned his pal to stay away.

Only on Sunday (December 21), Israeli star Geller indicated that Jackson could still yet make his promotional trip to the UK, saying, "Right now he's not coming - but who knows, 10 minutes from now, he will wake up in California and say 'I want to come to England'."

However, yesterday (December 22) Geller spoke of his fears should Jackson make the controversial journey across the Atlantic.

He says, "(Michael should remain with) the few friends he has got in America".

"I do not think Michael should come here. My advice to him is that the media structure here is devastating towards him.

"I am not blaming the media but the viciousness of some reports will tear him apart."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Katherine JacksonJackson's Mother 'Predicted' Child Molestation Claims. 22-12-'03

Michael Jackson's current accusations of child molestation were predicted many years ago by his very own mother Katherine, according to family members.

Michael's brother Jackie, a former member of the Jackson five, claims their mother was always concerned that one day Michael's love of children would lead to trouble of some kind.

Jackie says, "My mom told us this a long time ago. She said, 'One day they're gonna pin something on Michael. Something that he loves the most is children. They're gonna do something against him.' She told me that a long time ago."

Michael's brother Jermaine adds, "Had we known the price we would have to pay for this success we never would have wanted it. We would have stayed in Gary, Indiana, in that two-bedroom house and been happier."

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Hundreds Gather For Party At Neverland Before Jackson Flies. 21-12-'03

Michael returns yesterday (December 20) to Neverland for the first time since it was searched for a private get together entitled 'You Are Not Alone' which attend about 600 friends & family.

Musician Edwin Birdson reported that Michael was quiet and subdued as various supporters honored him. "He just said 'Hi' and smiled" Birdsong told reporters, noting that the overall feeling of the event was upbeat and happy. Birdsong reported that a gospel choir led by Andrae Crouch performed and added the names of celebrities including Robert Townsend and former baseball star Darryl Strawberry to the list of attendees.

Jackson spokesman Stuart Backerman stressed that the star-studded party, held just two days after the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" was charged with molesting a young boy, was not a giddy celebration but a gathering of loyal friends.

"The purpose of the event, which has had wild speculation, number one is a private gathering of friends and family to show support for Michael Jackson," Mr Backerman said as Jackson headed back to Neverland, reportedly for the first time since his November 20 arrest.

"It's not party so to speak ... this is what friends are all about," he said of the event that was planned earlier this week for 300 people, but aides said that up to 600 supporters may end up attending.

Among the guests at the party were tennis star Serena Williams, rapper MC Hammer, Jackson's sister LaToya, his parents Katherine and Joe, former boy band members Nick and Aaron Carter and US television host Ryan Seacrest.

But Mr Backerman would not comment on whether any children were present at the party that came after Jackson was charged on Thursday (November 18) with seven counts of sexually abusing a boy under 14 and two counts of plying him with alcohol in order to take advantage of him.

As the cars begun to leave the ranch, passengers in one car threw T-shirts to the fans waiting outside the gates. The shirts read "I Support Michael Jackson." Brian Oxman, a lawyer and friend of Michael's echoed Stuart Backerman's words saying Michael had wanted to thank people who have stood beside him, noting that the gathering was for "family and friends to say thank you from Michael to people he loves and who have supported him...It's not a party. It's not a pep rally. It's not hoopla or celebration."

You Are Not Alone Party
Stuart Backerman arrived at the 'You Are Not Alone' party, Michael Jackson's homecoming at Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, California.

Jackson was arrested in the California city of Santa Barbara, that lies south-east of Neverland, and was freed on $US3 million bail after surrendering his passport.

But prosecutors agreed on Wednesday (November 17) to return his passport to allow him to carry out two contractual work obligations and to promote his 'Number ONes' album that came out last month between Saturday and January 5, 2004.

British newspaper have rounded on authorities for allowing the trip, asking for him to be kept out of Britain.

Mr Backerman said Jackson's trip to Britain was "an obligation" but that he would spend Christmas there "relaxing, doing what most of us would do during the Christmas season".

He also dismissed reports this week that Jackson had joined the controversial black Muslim group Nation of Islam, saying that while he had received support from many groups, he did not "fund or direct" any of them.

The television magazine Extra said on its website that Jackson may be flying commercial to England, unable to foot the $100,000 bill for a private jet.

Source: ABC News / AP / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson's Sneaky Uk Visit. 21-12-'03

Michael Jackson's promotional trip to Britain is back on again - but it will be a case of "sneaking in and sneaking out" of the country.

Michael who is facing charges he molested a 12-year-old boy at his Neverland Ranch in California - has been granted special permission to visit Britain between December 20 and January 6 (04) to promote his 'Number Ones' album.

Jackson's spokesman Stuart Backerman says, "He just found out about his ability to travel yesterday. We need to think about when, where and how. He is going over to London to fulfil some contractual obligations.

"He may well want to have a quiet trip - a sneak in, sneak out situation."

The 45-year-old hitmaker has been hit with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of "administering an intoxicating liquor to a child for the purpose of committing a felony".

His court appearance has been delayed until 16 January (04).

Source: BBC / Billie Jean


Sony Axed Jackson Ad Campaign After Arrest. 21-12-'03

Sony reportedly axed a $850,000 (GBP500,000) advertising campaign for Michael Jackson's new album, after his arrest for child molestation.

According to British newspaper the mail on Sunday, the record giants pulled the plug on the TV campaign for Jackson's new 'Number Ones' album last month, just days after Santa Barbara, California, officials arrested and charged the singer over allegations he sexually abused a 12-year-old boy at his Neverland Ranch.

A source close to the label says, "Sony went into a complete panic. The chairman ordered that the TV campaign be dropped because it was deemed totally inappropriate.

"Unfortunately for Sony, Michael's arrest came in the same week his new album was launched."

A scaled down version of the campaign has since been released, but the source also claims Sony cancelled plans to shoot a video for Jackson's new single 'One More Chance', which appears on the album - because of the controversy surrounding the singer.

Sony
Sony reportedly axed a $850,000 (GBP500,000) advertising campaign for Michael Jackson's new album, after his arrest for child molestation.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Robert Nisbet
Robert Nisbet is Europe Correspondent for Sky News.

Michael Jackson To Face The Music. 19-12-'03

On the day Michael Jackson has been charged with child abuse (November 20) Breakfast talks to Robert Nisbet live from Los Angeles.

The pop idol has been formally charged with seven counts of child molestation and if convicted faces up to 24 years in prison.

Jackson also faces two lesser counts of administering intoxicating liquor to a minor with the intent of committing a crime.

His lawyers claim the charges are motivated by money and revenge.

Robert reported that Mr Jackson - who has denied any wrongdoing - is currently in Las Vegas, but is expected to return to his Neverland ranch in California for a family event over the weekend.

District Attorney Tom Sneddon has let Mr Jackson have his passport back to complete a promotional tour of the UK to promote his new album from 20 December to 6 January 2004.

But Robert's enquiries into this UK visit found that Jackson seems unaware of the trip and cannot give any further details.

Robert also pointed out the changes in law since Jackson faced similar charges in 1993.

He reported: "children who make such allegations can be compelled to testify in a criminal investigation."

Today's charges - filed at Santa Barbara County Court in California - follow last month's headline-grabbing raid on the star's famous Neverland Ranch.

Hours before the charges were made public Mr Jackson won a second court order barring video tapes of him talking with lawyers on his flight to California to be arrested in November.

The first hearing is expected on 16 January 2004.

Source: BBC / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson'Irate' Jackson To Fight Charges. 19-12-'03

Michael Jackson is vowing to vigorously fight charges of child sex abuse "with every fibre of his soul".

Yesterday (December 18) Michael was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of "administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of a committing a felony".

Jackson surrendered to Santa Barbara, California, police last month after a warrant for his arrest, following claims he sexually assaulted teenager Gavin Arvizo at his Neverland Ranch home earlier this year.

The star will appear in court on 16 January (04).

Jackson's lawyer, Mark Geragos, has reacted angrily to the charges, insisting his client was "unequivocally and absolutely innocent".

He says, "There is not truth to any of this. There is absolutely no way that we will stand for the besmirching of this man with these horrible, horrible allegations.

"He's not running, he's not hiding. He's as irate as I am."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Press Release: Statement By Katherine Jackson On Behalf Of Jackson Family. 18-12-'03

Katherine JacksonStatement by Katherine Jackson on behalf of the Jackson family:

"Michael is innocent. On behalf of the Jackson family we know these vicious lies are totally untrue, malicious and motivated by pure greed and revenge. Our family totally supports Michael. We proudly stand next to Michael who we know could never commit any of the acts he is accused of.

We will fight with every ounce of our energy to reveal the truth behind these false allegations and the motivations behind those who have falsely accused Michael. We pray for a swift resolution, real justice and we especially want to thanks the millions of fans and supporters who have solidly stood by Michael and the family during this ordeal."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean

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