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Home / News Archive / News June 2003

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Michael Jackson To Star In 'Wolfed'. 30-06-'03

Michael Jackson will star as a werewolf and also produce 'Wolfed', the first film being made by his Neverland Pictures company.

The story is a new take on the Alexandre Dumas novel 'The Wolf Leader'. The King Of Pop will star as Thibault, the son of a shoemaker in 17th-century France, who is nearly beaten to death by a group of aristocrats. He is saved when he makes a pact with Satan. The devilish one grants Thibault the power to kill anyone he wishes, but each time he does so, he becomes more wolf-like.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


EminemMichael Jackson Laughs At Eminem Stunt. 26-06-'03

Michael Jackson has laughed off rapper Eminem's spoof of the pop superstar's infamous baby-dangling episode last year.

Michael was amused to see footage of Eminem wearing a surgical mask dangling a baby doll from his hotel balcony in Glasgow, Scotland.

The stunt was an thinly-veiled send-up of the incident last November when Jackson dangled his baby, Prince Michael over a hotel balcony in Berlin, Germany.

A source says, "Michael thinks things like this are hilarious. He has a very good sense of humour."

Source: BBC / Billie Jean


BET AwardsMichael Jackson Presents James Brown With Award. 25-06-'03

Michael Jackson made a surprise appearance at the third annual Black Entertainment Television Awards in Los Angeles on June 24th held at Los Angeles Kodak Theatre and received huge applause when he danced with the fleet-footed Godfather of Soul.

In a ceremony broadcast live on BET, the King of Pop presented James Brown with with the Lifetime Achievement Award - but only after he danced along with the Godfather of Soul, helping him put on his trademark cape.

Michael looked like the consummate rock star, wearing sparkling tight blue and white trousers and a tucked in white shirt that was open to his stomach.

When Michael arrived on stage, the audience - already ecstatic from Brown's performance - rose for a thundering standing ovation.

"Nobody has influenced me more than this man right here," Michael told the crowd as he presented the award. "There's no way I could refuse to give out this award, because no one loves me more than this man."

Other winners included Queen Latifah for Best Actress, R. Kelly drew with Jaheim for Best Male R&B Artist, while R&B quartet B2K won Top Group.

This year marks the third annual BET awards, which recognize people of colour in music, film and sports categories.

Source: BBC / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Attend A Memorial Service For Gregory Peck In Los Angeles. 17-06-'03

Gregory Peck Memorial ServicesMichael Jackson, who wore a red velvet jacket, arrived yesterday (June 16) just before the gospel reading and was escorted up the far left aisle to the front. According to family spokesman Monroe Friedman, Jackson and Peck had been friends for years, visiting each other at their homes.

Harrison Ford and Lauren Bacall were among 3000 friends, family and fans who bade farewell to Hollywood legend Gregory Peck.

The memorial service at Los Angeles's Catholic cathedral on Monday followed a family burial for the actor, who died last Thursday at the age of 87 and was earlier laid to rest in the crypt of the cathedral.

"He was an actor of extraordinary depth and breadth and achievement," said Los Angeles archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony, who led the one-hour service.

"But his life was not acted. He lived his life authentically. Gregory did not have to act at being an extraordinary human being."

Ford and his girlfriend, Calista Flockhart, Bacall and Anjelica Huston joined other celebrities including singers Harry Belafonte and Lionel Ritchie in paying homage to the life and work of one of Tinseltown's best-loved screen heroes.

Brock Peters, Peck's co-star in his signature movie, To Kill a Mockingbird, conducted the eulogy, while the actor's children, Anthony, Cecelia and Cary, all gave readings.

"Eldred Gregory Peck. A legend of five decades. How do we start?" asked Peters, who played an unjustly accused black man defended in the movie by Peck's character, the right-minded southern lawyer Atticus Finch.

The movie, which provided Peck with his greatest screen role and won him the coveted best actor Oscar, became a focus of the memorial service.

Peters, 75, delivered a moving tribute to his close friend of 40 years, remembering him as a loyal and upstanding man and a great actor.

He recalled his first contact with one of Hollywood's biggest stars, when Peck called the young actor soon after he had been cast in To Kill a Mockingbird to welcome him aboard the production. Peters was so amazed he dropped the phone.

"This was an idol of mine both as actor and as a person. He waited (while Peters grasped for the phone) and I think he must have realised what happened," Peters recalled.

The service ended with a film-clip showing an interview with the actor in which he said he wanted to be remembered as a good husband, father and storyteller.

Peck's wife of 48 years, Veronique, attended the service, along with the actor's four children and his grandchildren.

Peck was holding Veronique's hand when he died beside her early last Thursday, according to his publicist.

Source: The Age / Billie Jean


Jackson Thrills Homeless German Family At Neverland. 16-06-'03

Michael Jackson is living up to his famous reputation for generosity by offering a homeless German family the chance to visit his Neverland Ranch home.

The King of Pop was horrified when he saw TV footage of the floods that devastated parts of Europe last year, and decided to turn a trip to Berlin, Germany, into a mercy mission for one special family.

The family in question were the Wolfs, who had watched in horror as their Meissen home was washed away by Triebisch floods.

Just a day after Jackson's infamous baby-dangling incident in Berlin, the superstar met with the family and invited them to his home.

The trip took six months to plan, but yesterday (May 15), Heiko and Susann Wolf and their daughters Saskia and Sabrina visited Jackson in California.

Susann Wolf admits the three-day trip to Neverland was a "magical experience" which has given her and her husband a new perspective of pop's strangest star.

She says, "Before, I was fascinated, like everyone else, with the way Michael Jackson looks. I read about all the horror stories and I was panicking a bit.

"When I met him briefly in Germany and then again at his home I realised he's normal - like us.

"The children immediately became friends with his. Paris ran to her dad and said, 'Dad, here is my friend Saskia.' It was wonderful and they all played great together!

"My children ate with his children and it was spectacular. They just talked and talked. Saskia can speak a little English, but they found another way of communicating using hand gestures.

"I got the impression that Michael's children were glad they had somebody to play with there."

On that day Michael gave a pair of shoes a unique special touch and painted them for the action "Shoes for Charity".

Wolfs Family visit Neverland
After meeting Michael in a Berlin Hotel, Michael invited the family to Neverland Ranch where they spent three days.

Source: BBC / Billie Jean


Michael Attends A Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. 12-06-'03

Michael attends a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition breakfast planning meeting with the Reverend Jesse Jackson. During the breakfast, which was held at the First Church of Deliverance on South Wabash in Chicago, Michael signs autographs and has pictures taken with guests.

Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
Michael Jackson attends a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition planning meeting with the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson Settles Lawsuit. 11-06-'03

A $12 million lawsuit against Michael Jackson by former financial advisers that could have revealed details of his finances has been settled, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The attorney declined to discuss terms. The case had been scheduled for trial June 18.

"It just got to a point where we agreed on what we needed to do," Zia Modabber said in a phone interview, adding that Jackson "was thrilled."

Calls seeking comment from the plaintiffs' attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, were not immediately returned.

Union Investment Corp. of South Korea and its financial adviser, Myung-Ho Lee, claimed Jackson owed them $12 million in unpaid fees and expenses for their efforts to put his financial affairs in order.

The agreement came as the judge was to rule on a request by Jackson's lawyer to dismiss the suit on grounds that Lee was not properly licensed to give investment advice in California.

Court TV was asking to televise the trial, which could have meant a public airing of records of Jackson's closely guarded finances.

The suit claimed that Jackson, who amassed a half-billion-dollar fortune as the "King of Pop" over the past 20 years, is saddled with debt and teetering near bankruptcy.

Jackson, meanwhile, was in Gary, Ind., for ceremonies honoring him in his hometown, which he had not visited for decades. Thousands of fans lined the streets to watch his dozen-vehicle motorcade go by. Jackson, 44, was 9 when his family left the city.

Stops included City Hall, where the mayor gave Jackson a key to the city, the neighborhood where he grew up and a high school where Jackson was awarded an honorary diploma.

Jackson's return to Gary Wednesday followed his trip to Indianapolis this week to give a deposition in a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Source: CBS News / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson To Visit His Boyhood Home In Gary, Indiana. 11-06-'03

Michael arrives back in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. Outside the Gary City Hall the crowd cheers as he emerges from a black limousine at 12.30pm. Wearing a black suit with white embroidery and holding an umbrella Michael climbs to the top of the steps outside City Hall and turns to wave to hundreds of people who have gathered outside to see him.

They are pressing against police barricades, treating the small white and brick home like a shrine.

Jackson is expected to arrive at the home, after revealing that he will help the city of Gary build a performing arts center.

Neighbor Lisa Nelson says that in the summer, groups of people will come by the home to sightsee.

A few blocks away, the band is warming up in the auditorium of Gary's Roosevelt High School.

Jackson's brother Marlon graduated from the school and Jackson is scheduled to make a stop there after he visits his old home.

Michael Jackson will help the city of Gary to build a performing arts center.

Gary Mayor Scott King made the announcement in a news conference with Jackson today. Jackson's role in building the center hasn't been determined. King says Jackson will work with the city in any role he feels comfortable with -- possibly helping with the design or fund-raising.

It will be named the Michael J- Jackson Performing Arts Center.

Gary Indiana
Michael Jackson arrives back in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. He makes the short journey to his childhood home.

After the news conference, Jackson stood on top of his limousine, holding a black-and-white umbrella. He blew kisses to the crowd and signed autographs.

Jackson wasn't expected to speak at the news conference, but said that being back in his hometown gives him a "wonderful feeling" and said he feels so much love that he feels like a king.

Michael Jackson says it's great to be home.

Later in the day Michael visits Roosevelt High School where he received a framed Honorary High School Diploma, and in the evening Michael attends "Salute to the Troops", an event held at the Baseball Stadium in Gary that was open to the public with free admission. Mayor King gives a brief speech, which is followed by a presentation to Michael from world wide fan group, MJ Unity.

He returned to his hometown of Gary, Indiana, today for the first time in 20 years. Jackson was given a key to the city.

He thanked the mayor for a wonderful, magical, day that he would never forget.

Source: AP / Billie Jean


'Billie Jean' 2nd Best Hit On VH1's '100 Greatest Songs Of The Past 25 Years'. 10-06-'03

Billie Jean Single CoverHere they are now, entertaining us or at least entertaining VH1, which named Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' the greatest song of the past quarter-century. The Seattle band's groundbreaking grunge anthem is No. 1 on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years".

The whole countdown will air over five nights, starting at 10 p.m. EDT Monday 15th, on the video music channel. The series will feature clips of videos and performances by the artists along with interviews from musicians and celebrities discussing why the songs matter.

Michael Jackson had the second-highest song, 'Billie Jean,' and was at No. 40 with 'Beat It.' In May 2001, VH1 picked the 100 greatest videos of all time; Jackson's 'Thriller,' a 17-minute mini-movie, was No. 1, but it didn't even make the list this time.

Here is the top 10 of the "100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years,'' as chosen by VH1:

1. Nirvana, - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
2. Michael Jackson - 'Billie Jean'
3. Guns N' Roses - 'Sweet Child O' Mine'
4. Eminem - 'Lose Yourself'
5. U2 - 'One'
6. Run-D.M.C. - 'Walk This Way'
7. Prince - 'When Doves Cry'
8. Whitney Houston - 'I Will Always Love You'
9. The Police - 'Every Breath You Take'
10. Madonna - 'Like a Virgin'

Source: VH1 / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Attempts To Give Deposition Again. 10-06-'03

Michael has returned to Indianapolis for a second attempt at giving a court-ordered deposition in a copyright lawsuit.

Judge Philip Simon ordered Jackson to return by Friday after the pop star fell ill before he could give a deposition there on May 21.

Jackson was briefly hospitalised, but was released about two hours later and returned home to Los Angeles.

Simon had ordered Jackson to give testimony in a lawsuit alleging that the Jackson 5 used the name of another Gary, Indiana, band and two of their songs without license.

Gordon Keith, who signed the Jackson 5 to his Steeltown Records in 1967, and musician Elvy Woodard have accused Michael, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon Jackson of infringing on the trade name Ripples + Waves, which was the name of another Gary, Indiana, band during the 1960's.

Source: Boca Raton News / Billie Jean


Jackson Strikes Deal To Rake In More Cash With Charles Koppelman. 10-06-'03

Charles Koppelman
Jackson's business adviser Charles Koppelman.

Michael has devised a new business plan to boost his cash flow and flagging music reputation.

Jackson is teaming up with veteran music executive Charles Koppelman for a new venture in which Koppelman will serve as business adviser in helping the star revitalise his recording career.

The movie comes just a day before a judge will rule on whether to dismiss a $12 million lawsuit filed by Jackson's former financial adviser Myung-Ho Lee and his firm Union Finance and Investment Corp, claiming the star hasn't paid for any of the services provided and is a "ticking financial time bomb waiting to explode at any moment".

Koppelman says, "Michael is going to be at a time in his career where he's going to be making new music and seeing his fans. I'm working with Michael on his vast publishing holdings, but also on the record side and the concert side."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Michael, Marlon And Chris Tucker Attended The MBC Network. 09-06-'03

If you want to draw attention to something you're doing what better way than to get the "King of Pop" to attend.
That's just what the MBC Network did Monday at the opening day of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association's 52nd Annual Convention and International Exposition at Chicago's McCormick Place.

Michael Jackson joined his brother, MBC co-founder Marlon Jackson, along with fellow MBC backers, Willie Gary and Cecil Fielder, commissioners from three of the four black college conferences and a host of MBC executives in promoting the Atlanta-based network at the annual confab known as "The National Show."

The National Show is the cable and telecommunications industry's largest and most prestigious convention exposition. In addition to the cable industry, other industries heavily represented at the convention include television networks, telecommunications, satellite communications, computer manufacturers, consumer electronics and suppliers of new services such as interactive gaming, shopping and video on demand.

On Monday, the Opening General Session featured CNN commentator Lou Dobbs, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates, Viacom President and COO, Mel Karmazin and AOL Time Warner CEO and Chairman, Richard Parsons.

But none drew as much attention as Jackson, who appeared at the MBC booth along with actor/comedian Chris Tucker. Both appeared as friends and supporters of the network. A lot of people who were supposed to be at other workshops and other exhibits gathered to catch a glimpse of the two stars.

Michael appeared but didn't speak though he did pose for photos and sign autographs.

NCTA Conference
Michael Jackson attend the NCTA Conference in Chicago. Michael support his brother Marlon, who is co-owner of a cable channel, MBC.

Source: Onnidan / MJFC / Billie Jean


LawsuitDecision In Lawsuit Against Jackson Find Out On June 11th. 07-06-'03

Michael Jackson will find out next week if a $12 million lawsuit against him will go ahead.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Andria Richey will rule whether the suit brought by a former financial adviser to Jackson should be dismissed on Wednesday (June 11), and also whether to allow TV cameras in court if the case proceeds.

Jackson is expected to be on the witness stand for three days in the trial.

Myung-Ho Lee and his firm Union Finance and Investment Corp have sued Jackson for breach of contract and fraud, alleging that the singer owes Lee $12 million. The lawsuit claims Jackson has squandered his fortune on "charlatans," "sycophants" and "swindlers".

Jackson has counter-sued, alleging that the man he called 'Lawyer Lee' stole millions from him.

Jackson's lawyers have asked for Lee's case to be dismissed on the grounds that Lee was not a licensed financial adviser in California. If the case does go ahead, they want cameras banned from the courtroom.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


What More Can I Give Video Clip - On the set (2002)'What More Can I Give' Video Online. 03-06-'03

The video for Michael Jackson's long-lost charity single 'What More Can I Give' has surfaced on the internet.

The track, which features vocals from the likes of Celine Dion, 'N Sync, Beyoncé Knowles, Usher and Mariah Carey, was recorded in the wake of the September, 11th, 2001 terror attacks in America, but was never given an official release.

But the video - which shows the all-star cast laying down vocals for the track - has now found its way onto the 'Thriller' star's fansite, Jacksondailynews.

According to reports, only 200 copies of the song were pressed and distributed before disagreements between Jackson and Sony Music resulted in the project being shelved.

Marc Schaffel, executive producer of the track described the song as "a gift to the world".

He said, "Michael and everyone donated their time for it, and it deserves to be heard.

"The song is called 'What More Can I Give' and I can give the world a song they can cling onto and hopefully make them think about what they can give."

Both English and Spanish language versions of the track were recorded and both are currently available to download in full online.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Uri GellerUri Geller: Jackson's Not Broke. 01-06-'03

Celebrity psychic Uri Geller has slammed claims his pal Michael Jackson is facing bankruptcy.

The mystical star, who persuaded the 'Bad' singer to take part in Martin Bashir's controversial documentary 'Living With Michael Jackson', insists it would be impossible for Jackson to have spent his way through his vast wealth.

He says, "I can't believe someone once worth almost $1 billion is going bankrupt. Even if he spent half that, he has property and his royalties, which includes the Beatles back catalogue.

"If I am wrong, he would be foolish to maintain his standard of living, but I cannot believe it."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael Attends A MTV Movie Awards Post Party. 01-06-'03

Michael Jackson made a special effort to party at the weekend (May 30) - so he could convince rap superhero Sean 'P Diddy' Combs to help resurrect his ailing career.

The pair met at a private party at Ron Burkle's Beverly Hills Mansion in Los Angeles and insiders say Jackson, who's been plagued with reports of financial disaster, convinced golden boy Diddy to make a record with him.

One source reveals to British paper The Daily Star, "Michael wants to resurrect his career and he's counting on Puffy to help him do it. Michael doesn't like going out much but one reason he went to the party was because he knew Puffy would be there.

Jackson and Puffy spent more than an hour chatting and made plans to go into the studio and lay down some tracks later this month.

Michael's career is nowhere near where it used to be and he's hoping Puffy can help him reclaim his throne as King of Pop.

"He's very excited at the prospect of working with Puffy and is sure it will lead to a huge hit record for them both."

MTV Movie Awards Post Party at Ron Burkle's Beverly Hills Mansion
Michael Jackson show up at a MTV Movie Awards post party at Ron Burkle Beverly Hills Mansion in Los Angeles where he meets Puff Daddy & Paris Hilton among others.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Michael Attends A Party For Brett Ratner To Celebrate The Launch Of His Book, Hilhaven Lodge. 01-06-'03

Michael accompanies Brett to a party at the weekend (May 30) held at the home of Robert Evans for the launch of Ratner's book "Hilhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures".

Michael stays for a short while and has his photo taken with guests who include Ana Radakovich, Seymour Stein, Paris Hilton, Phil Stern, Patrick McMullan, Josh Evans with Nicky Hilton and Nicole Richie.

Brett Ratner Book Party
Michael Jackson are attending a party organised by friend Brett Ratner for Ratner's book, "Hilhaven Lodge: The Photo Booth Pictures" at the home of Robert Evans.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Jackson Opens Up Neverland For New Movie. 01-06-'03

Michael Jackson is to open up his fantasy Neverland Ranch home for a new movie.

The pop star has appeared in a series of documentaries at his Santa Barbara, California, estate so far this year, and now he's given permission for the movie cameras to roll.

Jackson will make a brief cameo after being persuaded to take part in the cheesy comedy, 'Miss Castaway', by director pal Brian Michael Stoller.

Stoller says, "Michael has a great sense of humour and we're good friends. I told him this would be great."

The film stars America's reality TV king Evan Marriott, who thrilled as Joe Millionaire earlier this year.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Pharrell WilliamsMichael Jackson Interviewed Pharrell Williams! 06-'03

This interview, which took place in early June 2003, actually came about as the magazine was planning a piece on Pharrell Williams, who at the time was an upstart producer from Virginia.

As the editors were arranging the story with Williams, he casually mentioned that he’d always wanted to speak to Michael Jackson, who had been in the news after appearing in British journalist Martin Bashir’s infamous television documentary, 'Living with Michael Jackson,' which portrayed the singer at his most bizarre.

A complex chain of e-mails and phone calls ensued, messages were passed, reputations were vouched for, and a few days later, Michael’s office called to say that he would do the interview.

Source: MJWN / Billie Jean

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