February 20, 2003
Bashir Skips Brits; Fears a Bashing
According to London's Daily Telegraph, British journalist Martin Bashir has backed out of appearing at the upcoming Brit Awards after receiving death threats from angry Michael Jackson fans.
Martin was scheduled to present the best international female award at the show and had been due to walk on stage to the strains of Thriller in the background.
But he reportedly told organisers yesterday he was dropping out after fears for his safety.
The report also claims that Martin has been deluged with hate mail from angry King of Pop fans since his documentary about the singer was broadcast earlier this month.
The program even had US singer Justin Timberlake talking trash about Martin:
"That guy is despicable. He had better keep out of my way. Michael is a really nice guy who looks at the world through the eyes of a child," said Justin who is due to perform at the show.
A Brits spokesman told the Telegraph that because feelings are still so high, he (Bashir) started to get nervous. "Jackson fans are very passionate and he was worried that he could have been targeted as he walked up the red carpet," the source said. "He also felt that he would be vulnerable when he left Earls Court."
The Brits spokesperson continued: "As well as all the fans, it's clear his program has angered some of the performers at the Brits. He wouldn't want to be bumping into an angry Justin."
February 13, 2003
Further details of Fox Special emerge
More news on "Take 2: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You"
According to Reuters, The Fox special on Michael Jackson due to air next week will contain interviews with both Debbie Rowe and Gavin Arvizo, the young cancer sufferer who was featured in Martin Bashir's documentary on Michael.
An outake from the special is currently being shown on news channels around the world. In the short video, taken by Michael's own cameraman during the filming of Bashir's documentary, Bashir praises Michael's relationship with his children. He says to Michael "Your relationship with your children is spectacular. It almost makes me weep when I see you with them because your interaction with them is just so natural, so loving, so caring."
This clip did not make the final cut for Bashir's documentary, and contradicts the deep unease he expressed in his voice-over about Michael's relationship with his children.
February 11, 2003
Fox to Air King of Pop Interview Outtakes
A two-hour special, tentatively titled Michael Jackson, Take Two: The Interview They Wouldn't Show You is scheduled to air Feb. 20 in the US on the Fox Network.
Angered by how Bashir portrayed him in the Living with Michael Jackson documentary, the King of Pop came forward with videotape taken during the Bashir interview by his own production company.
Michael's British publicist told Reuters that the 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 criticize Michael."
Fox spokesman Scott Grogin said he didn't know how much the network paid Jackson for the video. ABC reportedly paid a British television company nearly $5 million to show the Bashir interview.
The special is not expected to feature a new interview with Michael. There had been rumors that Michael was ready to give an interview to CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley over the weekend but it never materialized.
Meanwhile, the VH1 cable network is rerunning the ABC version of the Bashir interview three times this weekend.
February 10, 2003
Michael Jackson Issues New Statement
Statement on behalf of Michael Jackson regarding allegations made in the UK press on Sunday 9th February 2003. Monday February 10, 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."
February 9, 2003
King of Pop's Albums and DVDs storm the UK Charts
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 Great 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 DVDs. 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.
February 8, 2003
Gavin Arvizo's Mother: "Michael is My Children's Angel"
The mother of 12-year Gavin Arviszo, who was featured in the Living With Michael Jackson documentary, has spoken to the Australian Sunday Telegraph on 8th February about her family's relationship with Michael.
Since the UK transmission of the documentary on 3rd February, hypocritcal 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.
February 7, 2003
Michael Jackson Files Official Complaint with TV Watchdogs
It was announced to the newswires 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 voiceovers, 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.
February 6, 2003
EXCLUSIVE: The FULL TEXT of Michael Jackson's Statement
Michael is devastated and feels utterly betrayed by the British television programme, ‘Living with Michael Jackson’, presented by Martin Bashir and broadcast in the UK on Monday 3rd February 2003, which he regards as a gross distortion of the truth and a tawdry attempt to misrepresent his life and his abilities as a father.
In a number of crucial respects Michael is concerned that Martin Bashir and Granada Television have broken the trust he placed in them. In particular, he felt he had obtained their assurance that his children would not be featured in any way in the broadcast programme. Michael repeatedly asked Bashir to stop filming his children, and was promised by him that the footage of his children would be taken out in the final edit but, Bashir said, shooting should not be stopped because “it would break the continuity of filming”.
Michael is deeply upset that the programme sensationally sets out to use two or three pieces of footage giving a wholly distorted picture of his behaviour and conduct as a father. Michael feels particularly devastated that he has been treated so badly by Martin Bashir, whom he let into the Jackson family home on a number of occasions over eight months, in the belief that Bashir wished to make a genuine documentary of his life. Michael believes that what was eventually broadcast was a salacious ratings chaser, designed to celebrate Martin Bashir and which was indifferent to the effect on Michael personally, his family and his close friends.
Michael originally consented to grant Bashir extended access to the Neverland Valley Ranch, his family and Michael himself, because he wanted to give the world a faithful representation of the truth about his life. Michael believes that the programme Bashir has produced is a travesty of the truth.
Michael would never have consented to participating in this film if he had been aware of how Bashir was going to portray him. Michael believes that this programme was intentionally produced and edited with a view to broadcasting sensationalized innuendo.
Michael feels deeply angry that the programme could have led viewers to conclude that he abuses children in any way. Michael Jackson has never, and would never, treat a child inappropriately or expose them to any harm and totally refutes any suggestions to the contrary. Michael would never betray the trust that a child, or their parents, might place in him.
Michael was today moved to make the following personal statement:
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” (referring to the late Diana, Princess of Wales). I am heartbroken that someone whom I treated as a friend could stoop so low.
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 programme.
It breaks my heart that anyone could truly believe that I would do anything to harm or endanger my children: they are the most important thing in my life.
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.
I also want to thank my fans around the world for the overwhelming number of messages of support that I have received, particularly from Great Britain, where people have e-mailed me and said how appalled they were by the Bashir film. Their love and support has touched me greatly.”
Living with Michael Jackson” was broadcast on Monday 3rd February 2003 in the United Kingdom on the commercial channel, ITV, and was produced by the Granada Television programme “Tonight”. Granada Television’s ‘investigative journalist’, Martin Bashir, fronted the programme. The programme was viewed by Michael Jackson for first time late on Wednesday 5th February 2003.
A version of the programme was re-broadcast in the Netherlands and in Australia on 4th February and is due to be broadcast in the USA, on ABC, on Thursday 6th February 2003.
Debbie Rowe: "There is no Better Father than Michael Jackson"
MJNI has prepared the full transcript of Debbie Rowe's exclusive interview with the UK's GMTV breakfast TV programme:
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 thre title of mother or father.
My kids don't call me 'mom' becuase 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 50s 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.
Gloria Allred's Wishes are Slapped Down by Tom Sneddon
A fascinating article has appeared in Michael Jackson's local newspaper.
The Santa Barbara News Press covers the region of California that Michael calls home.
In an article on 6th February, the paper exposes the weak position in which Jackson-obsessed Gloria Allred, the ex-lawyer of Jordan Chandler, finds herself.
Ms. Allred, a woman for whom the appeal of the world's cameras has always seemed as important as justice, has been relentless since Monday's UK airing of Living With Michael Jackson in telling the world's media that she is "alerting the authorities" about Michael's interview.
But now State District Attourney Tom Sneddon, who is "the authorities" (he led the criminal investigation into the claim made by Chandler in 1993) has now told the The Santa Barbara News Press that the interview is "much ado about nothing."
"Sleeping in bed with a kid is not a crime, that I know of," said Sneddon.
When asked by the paper if he would be watching, Sneddon replied: "Absolutely not. I've got a life. Why should I watch?"
The article stated that Sneddon was "clearly miffed" after being hounded by calls from European and American reporters.
"It's a media circus and I'm not going to be part of it," he said (presumably forgetting his own hate-filled interview with Vanity Fair in 1995 but let's not mention that).
"You can't do anything without victims, and we don't have any victims," Mr. Sneddon said.
In other Allred 'news', the paper revealed that she wrote a letter to Randolph Hudson, a supervisor for Santa Barbara County's division of Child Welfare Services in Lompoc in which she pleaded him to investigate Michael.
Allred was warped enough to suggest in her letter that Gavin, the 12-year old boy shown in the documentary should be interviewed immediately. Gavin was receiving treatment for a cancer that doctors said would kill him when he got to know Michael - but no mention of this from the Wicked Witch of the West Coast.
Mr. Hudson refused to comment to the media when asked... which must have disappointed the media-savvy Allred, a person whose website proudly mentions the award she won from the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts (NARTSH).
February 5, 2003
Michael Jackson's UK Sales Increase by up to 1000 Per Cent
MJNI can now confirm reports in the regional press that following the Living With Michael Jackson documentary, Michael's sales have dramatically increased in the UK - in some cases by up to 1000%.
The Solent News has reported that HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo says the massive increase in sales of Michael's albums was "utterly remarkable".
He said: "These albums are flying out of our music stores nationwide. To give you some idea of how crazy it is, we have seen a 1,000 percent increase in Jackson's Greatest Hits Volume 1 album this week. Sales of his Thriller album increased by 500 per cent just on Tuesday.
Sales of Jackson Five albums have also soared by up to 500 per cent.
My Comment:Well its because of the music we all love Michael Jackson, its a shame they didn't feature more music and entertainment in the "Living With Michael Jackson" programme, music is what he is about.