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Home / News Archive / News February 2003

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Granada TelevisionTruce Called In Jackson Battle. 28-02-'03

Granada Television has agreed not to use any out-takes from its controversial Michael Jackson documentary for the time being.
The decision came on the morning Jackson's High Court case against the TV company was due to begin.

But after out-of-court discussions between the TV company and Jackson's legal team, a temporary agreement was reached.

Granada has also agreed not to release a DVD of the out-takes, until the end of a full hearing in April.

The company told the court the unseen footage would be kept under lock and key in "secure conditions" at its London headquarters.

Jackson had been seeking an injunction to force Granada to stop screening unseen footage of his own children, until the dispute could be resolved.

The broadcaster said it had reached the agreement without admitting liability.

The singer said Granada had agreed to give him the footage, but did not keep its word.

His lawyers said Granada has refused requests to place the film in the care of a third party until the case is settled.

However, Granada denies any agreement to hand over footage.

Jackson said he was "betrayed" by reporter Martin Bashir over the documentary in which the star revealed he had shared his bedroom with children.

Andrew Hochhauser QC is representing the singer and his company MJJ Productions.

He told Mr Justice Etherton that Jackson, in agreeing to take part in what he believed would be a faithful and truthful representation of his life, asked only that Granada make a substantial donation to charity.

But when Jackson asked how much had been donated, "they said it was none of his business", said Mr Hochhauser.

He dubbed the programme "a travesty of the truth which misrepresented his life and his abilities as a father".

Granada breached an agreement that Jackson's children would not be included in the documentary, he claimed.

"His paramount concern is for the safety of his children," Mr Hochhauser told the judge.

"Granada has further footage containing images of the children in which they are readily recognisable," he added.

Jackson and his company said Granada agreed they would own the footage - subject to Granada's right to broadcast.

That right, they said, did not cover out-takes or release of the finished programme on DVD or video.

But Geoffrey Hobbs QC, for Granada, said it maintained there had been "absolutely no wrong-doing or impropriety".

Jackson's lawyers said in a statement: "For Michael, the key concern has always been to ensure that the unseen footage that Granada took of his children could never be abused.

"Michael will obviously be pleased that Granada has today made promises to the High Court that it had refused to make until he began this legal action."

After its showing on ITV1, Jackson lodged a complaint with broadcasting authorities.

His production company then released its own footage of Bashir's interviews.

In these scenes, Bashir praises Jackson's treatment of youngsters, telling him: "Your relationship with your children is spectacular."

But Granada described Jackson's programme as a collection of "out-of-context soundbites".

Source: BBC News / Billie Jean


Granada TelevisionMichael Jackson Files Injunction Against Granada Television. 24-02-'03

Michael Jackson's lawyer filed an injunction against the British television company, Granada, in an effort to block the release of unused footage from the 'Living With Michael Jackson' documentary which aired worldwide earlier in the month. Jackson and his production company, MJJ Productions, issued a statement that they were indeed seeking to file an injunction against Granada so that the unseen footage cannot be used until it has been determined whether British journalist, Martin Bashir "breached the terms on which he was permitted to film Jackson."

Michael Jackson's legal team allege that Granada has refused to place the unseen footage in the care of a neutral third party's possession until the legal questions have been answered. In a statement released by Jackson's London-based publicist Bell Yard Communication, the following is noted:

"Consistently Michael Jackson has argued that Martin Bashir and Granada broke the agreement by which he was permitted to film Michael, concerning ownership of the filmed material and permissions relating to the inclusion of the Jackson children." In response, 'Granada' acknowledged that Jackson's lawyers have been in contact with them regarding the situation and a spokesperson, who spoke on anonymity, had the following to share in regards to the this ongoing legal matter: "They relate to attempts by Michael to claim copyright in our footage. We shall be resisting such claims vigorously."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Blanket JacksonBirthday Of Prince Michael II (Blanket). 21-02-'03

Today it's Michael Jackson's second son Prince Michael Jackson II aka "Blanket" his Birthday and he may blow out 1 candle. Michael host Blanket's first birthday party at the Malnik's house in Miami.

"Blanket", born February 21st, 2002 – his mother is unknown to the public. Blanket is the brother of Prince Michael and Paris Jackson.

We would like to wish Blanket Jackson a very Happy Birthday! We hope that your special day is full of smiles, joy and laughter and all of your favorite things. We love you!

Happy Birthday!
Michael Jackson Fan Site Billie Jean

Source: Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Response Airs In US. 21-02-'03

Journalist Martin Bashir has been seen lavishing praise on Michael Jackson in a two-hour show - the star's response to a documentary on his life - shown in the US on Thursday (February 20).

The footage was shot by the pop star's own cameraman during the filming of 'Living With Michael Jackson', broadcast on ITV1 in the UK.

It was presented in a show entitled 'Michael Jackson, Take Two: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You', on the US television network, Fox.

British viewers will be able to watch the documentary on Monday, 24 February, after it was bought by Sky One.

Jackson sold the footage to Fox for £1.6m because he felt he had been misrepresented in Bashir's original programme.

Granada has since repeated its defence of the Bashir documentary.

"As we have said before, Martin Bashir has nothing to hide," said a Granada spokesman.

"He knew he was being filmed by Michael Jackson's aide at various times.

"This film has been made by selecting out of context sound bites from a few hours of material.

"By contrast our programme presented a rounded picture produced from many, many hours of filming over a number of months," the spokesman added.

"We still stand wholeheartedly by our documentary. We do not understand what all the fuss is about over this Fox programme."

The documentary showed Bashir showering compliments on Jackson for his generosity and praising his loving relationship with his children.

Bashir, who said Neverland was a "dangerous place" for vulnerable children in his documentary, is shown describing the ranch as "incredible".

"The problem is nobody actually comes here," he told Jackson before one of the interview sessions.

"But I was actually here yesterday and I saw it and it's nothing short of a spiritual kind of thing."

Bashir was also shown telling Jackson: "Your relationship with your children is spectacular.

Maury Povich, who hosted the special, said the Jackson footage contradicted the picture drawn by Bashir.

Jackson made an official complaint to TV watchdogs in Britain about Bashir's documentary in which Jackson said he sometimes shared a bedroom with children.

His lawyers said the original programme contained "clear innuendo" that the singer was guilty of inappropriate behaviour with children.

Source: BBC News / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Allowed Counter Action. 19-02-'03

Singer Michael Jackson has been told he can go ahead with two complaints against a former business manager who says the pop star owes him millions.

Los Angeles judge Andria Richey ruled that Jackson could pursue the allegations - that South Korean-born Myung-Ho Lee breached contracts and did not act in good faith in giving the singer business advice.

Judge Andria Richey rejected Lee's request to dismiss Jackson's allegations, saying the allegations were strong enough for him to pursue them.

Lee sued Jackson last April 2001, alleging that Jackson had reneged on a September 2001 promise to pay him $13m (£8.06m) in back wages.

But Jackson, in court papers filed on 20 December, denied he owed the money, saying someone had forged his name on an agreement to pay Lee for business advice.

According to the suit, Lee began working for Jackson in 1997, giving him business and career advice, arranging loans and setting up investments.

Lee said in his suit Jackson was a "ticking financial time bomb waiting to explode at any moment".

"My client just wants to be paid for the service he has provided that are documented in contracts that were signed by Jackson," said Lee's lawyer Nina Froeschle.

"The allegations of forgery make no sense as we had handwriting experts say the signature was fine," she added.

But, according to the suit, Jackson told Lee in the middle of the following year that he had spent the cash.

Jackson is said to have told Lee he needed more money to settle his divorce from Debbie Rowe, the mother of two of his three children.

Jackson then allegedly took out an additional $200m (£124m) in loans between 1998 and 2000 from the Bank of America/Nations Bank, according to the lawsuit.

The singer fired Lee in August 2001 and then immediately rehired him, the suit said, before the two finally parted company in 2001 or early 2002.

Source: BBC News / Billie Jean


Prince MichaelBirthday Of Prince Michael Junior. 13-02-'03

Today it's Michael Jackson's oldest son Prince Michael Junior his birthday and he may blow out 6 candles. Michel host a Spiderman theme party for Prince's birthday at Neverland.

Prince Michael was born on February 13th, 1997 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was named after Michael's grandfather and great-grandfather, who were both called Prince.

We hope your special day is filled with love and laughter. We love you!

With Love,
Michael Jackson Fan Site Billie Jean

Source: Billie Jean


FOX Network To Televise Michael Jackson's Footage Of Martin Bashir. 13-02-'03

Fox NetworkThe FOX network has announced plans to air outtakes from last week's, 'Living With Michael Jackson' special which was conducted by British journalist, Martin Bashir. The new two-hour special titled, 'Michael Jackson, Take Two: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You' is scheduled to air in the United States on February 20th, 2003 at 8 pm (EST).

Jackson's British publicist said of the new footage, it "clearly shows that Bashir was actually continuing to praise Michael's abilities as a father and Bashir making many statements about how he feels it is a pity that the world is so quick to criticize Michael."

They will not feature any new interviews with Michael Jackson, but will include extensive interviews with Debbie Rowe among others.

A Jackson spokesman, Stuart Backerman, said FOX was selected because it was the network "that packaged it with the best sensitivity to Michael Jackson." There were several networks interested, including the other top three broadcast networks, he said.

Source: AP / MJFC / Billie Jean


Marlon JacksonJackson Defended By Brother. 11-02-'03

Michael Jackson's older brother Marlon says the media is obsessed with his brother Michael and called the current round of reports “a modern-day lynching.”

In an interview Tuesday (February 10) on The Early Show, Marlon Jackson said, “Everybody is trying to get their Jackson fix and here we are about to go to war. We should be talking about how we can get the world leaders together to study peace.”

Marlon, who is launching his own TV network aimed at family programming, confirmed Michael's account of having an abusive father, but dismissed accusations that Michael is a poor parent or sexual predator.

Marlon was asked to provide some insight into his brother's life in the wake of a controversial TV documentary. Marlon said he did not see the 90-minute program by journalist Martin Bashir that stirred up comment because it captures Jackson saying on camera he sometimes lets children sleep in his bed.

In the voice-overs in the documentary, Bashir expressed concern about Jackson's treatment of his three children, including the baby whom Jackson dangled over a hotel balcony in Germany.

Marlon said he has not talked to Michael since the documentary aired but that his own wife has told him that Michael had mentioned to her “that he offered his bed to them and he slept on the floor and things of that nature.

“I don't see anything wrong with that,” Marlon said. “The thing is that, I think the media is taking things and twisting them around. To me, I think it's a modern-day lynching.”

Asked about the multimillion-dollar child sex abuse case that Michael settled in 1993, Marlon said it was done to prevent a media-circus trial. “Well, you know, everybody can have their opinion on this and their opinion on that,” he said. “But the true fact is that those things didn't happen. So if you look at the truth, you'll be fine.”

Marlon confirmed Michael's accounts of abuse from his father, Joe, that Michael said was most often aimed at Marlon . “My father was a disciplinarian," Marlon said. “But you know, I got lit up. Yeah, it was Christmas for me every other day.”

"But, the thing about it is, is that in our neighborhood, that wasn't abnormal. And that doesn't mean that it was right either. But that's the way they disciplined in those days.”

As for his brother's denials that he has had cosmetic surgery, Marlon said, “That's his body; that's his face. We weren't put on his earth to judge others, OK.”

Michael Jackson's British-based lawyer said Sunday he would release a video, no more than five minutes long, in which Bashir praises the way Michael treats children, including his own. The video was shot during the making of the documentary.

In the statement, Jackson again denied that he molested a boy who had stayed at his home in 1993. No charges were filed at the time and Jackson reached a financial settlement with the boy's family.

“I have never, and would never, harm a child. It sickens me that people have written things that portray me as a child abuser," Jackson was quoted as saying.

The statement added that Jackson chose to pay a "considerable" settlement to the boy's family "to avoid being subjected to a media circus."

In the Bashir documentary, Jackson said he had slept in a bed with "many children," including actor Macaulay Culkin and his brother, Kieran.

"When you say 'bed,' you're thinking sexual," the singer said. "It's not sexual, we're going to sleep. I tuck them in. ...It's very charming, it's very sweet."

Source: CBS News / Billie Jean


Janet Arvizo
Janet Arvizo, the mother of Gavin Arvizo.

"Michael Is My Children's Angel". 10-02-'03

Boy's mother forced to defend her son against media perversion.

The mother of 12-year Gavin Arvizo, who was featured in the 'Living With Michael Jackson' documentary, has spoken to the Australian Sunday Telegraph on February 8th about her family's relationship with Michael.

Since the UK transmission of the documentary on February 3rd, hypocritical newspaper editors, apparently so concerned with the welfare of children, have seen fit to plaster Gavin's image all over their publications while implying an improper relationship between Michael and the boy.

Janet Arvizo says she is comfortable with her son Gavin and her two other children staying at the Neverland ranch and that she sees Michael as her children's angel.

"Michael has brought something special into our lives," she said.

Gavin, who was given only two weeks to live when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer two years ago, tells his mother: "I am living for my daddy, Michael."

The Telegraph reveals that struggling to scrape together enough welfare money to feed and clothe Gavin, his brother Star, 11, and sister Davelin, 16, Mrs Arvizo was once so poor that the family was forced to live in a stable.

Thanks to Michael, they now have a car and live in a comfortable flat.

Mrs Arvizo told the newspaper: "All of my kids have stayed over with Michael. I am comfortable with that. They are happy with him and have a lot of fun. They are hoping to travel the world with him. He is their angel."

Before meeting Michael, Gavin was at the lowest point in his difficult upbringing in a rundown district of Los Angeles.

"They were living in a stable with the hay and horses for a long time," said family friend Jamie Masada. "Another time they were all living in a tiny room in Compton that wasn't big enough for one person. They couldn't afford to buy clothes or food."

The Telegraph article sates:

"Ironically, it was Gavin's battle with kidney cancer that turned his life around. Surgeons were forced to take out one of Gavin's kidneys and his spleen. Exhausting chemotherapy sessions made all his hair fall out and sapped his spirit."

The paper also reveals that it was Quincy Jones who helped put Gavin in touch with Michael.

"No matter what people may say about Michael Jackson, he came in and has helped this boy to survive," says Mrs. Arvizo.

Source: MJNI / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson's Second Statement. 10-02-'03

Statement on behalf of Michael Jackson regarding allegations made in the UK press on Sunday 9th, February 2003.

In response to a number of allegations made against Michael Jackson in the Sunday newspapers, in the United Kingdom, Michael has authorised the following statement to be made.

Michael Jackson is authorising the release of excerpts from a video-tape taken while Bashir was interviewing Michael Jackson, in which Martin Bashir was recorded.

The film shows extraordinary scenes of Martin Bashir praising the way Michael treats children and commenting on how good a father he is.

These video excerpts were taken in the eighth - and last - month of Bashir's shooting with Michael and after the time Bashir and Michael were in Berlin.

In his film, Bashir says that it was in Berlin that he began to change his mind about Michael's treatment of his children. Yet, the Jackson footage clearly shows that Bashir was actually continuing to praise Michael's abilities as a father and Bashir making many statements about how he feels it is a pity that the world is so quick to criticise Michael.

On the face of it, either Martin Bashir was lying to Michael or was misleading his audience in his voice-overs on the film.

Bashir knew that Michael's personal cameraman was filming at various times during the course of his interviews."

In relation to the 1993 allegations made by Jordy Chandler which have again been recycled by certain newspapers, Michael has authorised the issue of the following:

Michael cannot understand why Jordy Chandler ever made these allegations over 10 years ago.

Michael Jackson then, and has ever since, vehemently denied that these events ever took place.

Michael does not know who manipulated Jordy Chandler to make these allegations at the time, nor has he ever understood why, other than the motives of some people to exploit both Jordy and Michael, for financial gain.

The reason Michael chose to pay Jordy Chandler a considerable sum of money, rather than be publicly vindicated following a trial, was to avoid being subjected to a media circus.

Despite his profound hurt at the allegations made by Jordy, Michael did not, at the time, think it right or proper to subject a 14 year old boy to prolonged litigation, the effects of which on Jordy appeared to be of little concern to those manipulating Chandler at the time.

Michael Jackson has respected the obligation of confidentiality imposed on all the parties to the prior proceedings, yet someone has chosen to violate that confidentiality and use Jordy's 1993 statements to further sully Michael's character.

It should be remembered that, at the time, the confidentiality obligation was a mutual one, designed as much to protect Jordy, who was then 14 years old, as much as Michael, since it has prevented Michael from fighting back and denying these allegations.

Whoever is now leaking this material is showing as much disregard for Jordy as they are determination to attack Michael.

Michael is aware that certain former employees are, or are planning to, sell certain stories to the press. As with all celebrities, he is vulnerable to being exploited and abused by anyone who chooses to betray his trust, in return for financial gain.

Michael Jackson said on Sunday:

"I am bewildered at the length to which people will go to portray me so negatively. I will say again that I have never, and would never, harm a child. It sickens me that people have written things that portray me as a child abuser."

Source: BBC News / Billie Jean


King Of Pop's Albums And DVD's Storm The UK Charts. 09-02-'03

The Official UK Albums Chart has been published for the week beginning Sunday 9th February 2003.

Three Michael Jackson albums have re-entered the charts, presumably as a result of the fact that one in every four human beings in the country watched 'Living With Michael Jackson' on ITV1 on Monday 3rd February.

'HIStory Greatest Hits Volume 1' re-entered at No. 37.
'Thriller' re-entered at No. 48.
'Bad' re-entered at No. 73.

But even more incredible is the success of Michael's DVD's. Last week 'HIStory On Film Volume II' was at No. 50 in the Official UK Music DVD Chart. This week, it is at No. 5. 'HIStory Video Greatest Hits' was at No. 37 last week and is now at No. 6.

MJ Albums UK Charts

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson Files Official Complaint With TV Watchdogs. 07-02-'03

ITC and BSC receive written complaint from lawyers. It was announced to the news wires on 6th February that Michael Jackson has filed complaints with two British television Watchdogs about the 'Living With Michael Jackson' interview.

Michael's lawyers have filed the complaints with the Independent Television Commission (ITC) and the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), saying he had been "unfairly treated" by the program which was an infringement of his privacy.

According to Associated Press, the complaint filed with the Independent Television Commission alleged the documentary"contains the clear innuendo that Mr. Jackson is guilty of inappropriate behavior with children." It said the show's voiceover's, questions and editing gave credence to allegations made against him in 1993 of a sexual offense against a child.

In the complaint filed with the Broadcasting Standards Commission, Michael said he was not given any prior warning
of the narrator's intent to interview him about the 1993 incident or to question the legality of his current relationships with children.

Michael has also complained that his own children were improperly filmed and he wasn't allowed to see the documentary, as promised, before it was broadcast.

The watchdogs have the power to censure offending broadcasters.

Source: MJNI / Billie Jean


Debbie Rowe: "There Is No Better Father Than Michael Jackson". 06-02-'03

Debbie RoweIn the wake of all of the media frenzy surrounding the 90-minute interview, 'Living With Michael Jackson', Michael's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, gives an exclusive interview to the UK's breakfast show GMTV.

Debbie says she was horrified by the way the media had treated Michael since the interview:

"He is a really wonderful, loving, caring man". He has not been portrayed as he really is, and it really pisses me off. There could be no other person that could be a better father. And I resent anyone making allegations that he is not a proper parent.

No one has ever read more about parenting, no one has ever practised the art of parenting... you know, parenting is an art. You earn the title of parent. Because you give birth, because you impregnate someone, that does not give you the title of mother or father.

"My kids don't call me 'mom' because I don't want them to. I am their mom, but they are Michael's. I had them because I wanted him to be a father. I believe there are people who are meant to be parents, and he is one of them. He is such a fabulous man and has always been there for me. Always - from the day I met him."

I could do something for him and this is what I wanted to do. And people don't understand that. They want a traditional... they have this notion of 'beaver cleaver'. That wasn't reality in the 50's and that's not reality in the 21st century.

We have a non-traditional family, and if it makes people uncomfortable, then it's a shame that they are not more open minded. We are a family unit because I will always be there for the children. People say "I can't believe she left her children." I did not 'leave' my children! They are with their father, where they are supposed to be. I didn't want to be a mother.

Source: MJNI / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson Releases Statement Regarding TV Interview. 06-02-'03

This morning, Michael Jackson issued a statement through his London representation, Stephen Lock, regarding his unhappiness with the way in which he was portrayed in a 90-minutes documentary of his life entitled, 'Living With Michael Jackson' which airs on ABC's 20/20 with Barbara Walters tonight at 8 pm.

In the statement issued by Michael, he states:

"I trusted Martin Bashir to come into my life and that of my family because I wanted the truth to be told. Martin Bashir persuaded me to trust him, that his would be an honest and fair portrayal of my life and told me that he was 'the man that turned Diana's life around." Bashir is well known for an interview with Princess Diana, during which she admitted being unfaithful to Prince Charles.

"Today I feel more betrayed than perhaps ever before; that someone who had got to know my children, my staff and me, whom I let into my heart and told the truth, could then sacrifice the trust I placed in him and produce this terrible and unfair program,'' Jackson said. "Everyone who knows me will know the truth which is that my children come first in my life and that I would never harm any child."

Jackson also said he has received many messages of support from fans in Britain since the documentary was aired on Monday night (February 3).

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson’s Bizarre Behavior Examined In Two New Documentaries. 04-02-'03

After shocking the world in November 2002 when he dangled son Prince Michael II over a balcony in Berlin, Michael Jackson was in need of some serious damage control.

But considering the uproar caused by a documentary that aired Monday (February 3) in Britain and airs Thursday (February 6) in the United States, the singer’s reputation won’t be getting better anytime soon.

'Living With Michael Jackson', which will be shown as part of a special 20/20 on ABC, is a 90-minute film by British journalist Martin Bashir, who followed the star for eight months and was with him at the time of the infamous baby-dangling incident.

In the documentary, Jackson reveals that Prince Michael II, whom he calls 'Blanket', was born to a surrogate mother he has never met. It also shows Jackson explaining his love for children, saying that his interest in them is not sexual and that he has slept in bed with many children, including actors Macaulay Culkin, Kieran Culkin and their sisters. Jackson also said that his love for youngsters is so deep that he would “jump off a balcony immediately” if someone announced that all the world’s children were dead.

Not to be outdone, NBC will air its own Michael Jackson 'Dateline' special on February 17. 'Michael Jackson Unmasked' will take a look at the singer’s life and career, and will examine how Jackson has altered his looks throughout the years, particularly through plastic surgery.

Real estate magnate Donald Trump, Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborelli, former publicist Lee Solters and video director Bob Giraldi ('Beat It', 'Say Say Say') make appearances.

The 20/20 special airs Thursday (February 6) on ABC at 8 p.m., and the 'Dateline' special airs February 17 on NBC at 10 p.m.

Source: MTV / Billie Jean


Jackson Interview Seen By 14 Million Viewers. 04-02-'03

More than 14 million viewers watched Monday's (February 3) UK TV documentary 'Living With Michael Jackson' in which Michael admitted he shared his bedroom with young children. The ITV1 programme attracted 14.1 million viewers according to unofficial overnight figures, one of the highest ever figures for a TV documentary and taking 53.9% of viewers.

Towards the end of the 110-minute programme - as Jackson was seen discussing his relationships with children - over 60% of UK TV viewers were watching.

It was made by Martin Bashir, whose BBC interview with Diana, Princess of Wales in 1995 attracted an audience of 22.8 million.

During the programme it emerged that children still slept overnight at Jackson's house, despite allegations of abuse - which the singer has always denied - made in 1993.

Jackson said he sometimes slept on the floor while giving the children his bed, which he said was a "beautiful thing", "charming" and "sweet".

"Why can't you share your bed? That's the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone," he said.

Living With Michael Jackson
'Living With Michael Jackson' a documentary and interview by Martin Bashir airs on ITV television in the UK.

Source: BBC News / Billie Jean


Sotheby's Filed A Lawsuit Against Michael Jackson. 01-02-'03

Sotheby's filed a lawsuit yesterday against pop superstar Michael Jackson, who the auction house claims has yet to pay nearly $1.4 million dollars for two 19th century paintings he purchased last October.

The suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, alleged Jackson's Los Angeles company MJJ Productions successfully bid on two paintings by French artist William Adolphe Bourgereau on Oct. 29, 2002. One of the paintings shows Cupid removing a thorn from his foot and the other is a portrait of a young woman with a child and a sheep.

Sotheby's asked payment of $1,324,247 for the paintings plus at least $60,733 in late fees. The auction house said Jackson does not dispute that his company bought the paintings or that he has been billed for them.

William Adolphe Bourgereau Paintings
William Adolphe Bourgereau paintings shows Cupid removing a thorn from his foot and the other is a portrait of a young woman with a child and a sheep.

"Rather the reason stated for MJJ's failure and refusal to pay for the property is that Michael Jackson now believes the property ... no longer fits into Michael Jackson's collection contrary to his previous review," the suit alleged.

Brian Wolf, a lawyer representing Jackson, said MJJ was surprised that Sotheby's had decided to file the suit. "We remain confident that the matter will be resolved with Sotheby's," he said.

He confirmed that Jackson was no longer interested in keeping the two pieces after finding they did not fit into his collection as he had expected. Wolf said that MJJ offered to give them back to Sotheby's for reselling, but the auction house refused.

Diana Phillips, senior vice president for the New York auction house, said Jackson had been a client in good standing for a number of years and this was the first time there had been a problem and "we hope it is the last time. When Mr. Jackson's company bought these two paintings, it was his obligation to pay for them immediately," she said.

She said Sotheby's had made repeated requests for payments during some 20 conversations over the past few months, but "we had no choice but to take this action."

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


'Freak! Inside The Twisted World Of Michael Jackson' Book Is Released. 02-'03

Freak! Inside The Twisted World Of Michael Jackson Book CoverThe book 'Freak! Inside The Twisted World Of Michael Jackson' written by Ed Breslin is released by publisher AMI Books.

FREAK! is the riveting, no-holds-barred story of the rise and fall of a true American icon -- a blazing star who spun madly out of orbit.

A pop superstar since the age of eleven, Michael Jackson went on to earn enormous wealth and international adoration. But by the 1980's, things had already begun to get weird, what with Michael's bizarre facial reconstructions and skin bleaching, his odd preoccupations and phobias, and his unhealthy obsession with young boys.

Before the eyes of the world, Michael Jackson was unraveling, culminating in his shocking indictment on child molestation charges.

Publisher: AMI Books
Author: Ed Breslin
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-1885840059
Printed: USA
Guide price: 10 €

Order the book here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean

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