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January 30, 2003
Michael Jackson Collaboration with Ja Rule and Ashanti

MJNI has some details about the new song that Michael Jackson has collabrated on with with rapper Ja Rule and singer Ashanti.

The song was written by Michael and Murder Inc. boss Irv Gotti. Gotti also produced the track.

More details to come.

Official News from MJNI

January 25th 2003
Michael Jackson's British Television Interview: Transmission Time

ITV1 have now released details of its schedule for the day of the Martin Bashir interview with Michael Jackson.
Monday 3rd February
8:00pm - 8.:30pm. Tonight With Trevor McDonald 9:00pm - 10:50pm. Living with Michael Jackson: A "Tonight" Special
It has not yet been officially confirmed whether the earlier programme at 8:00pm will also feature Michael Jackson, although the producers have indicated that this is indeed the case.
The programme is expected to be sold to broadcasters throughout the world.

Official News from MJNI

22 January 2003
Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Concert to Air in UK

Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Concert will be broadcast in the UK on ITV1 on 6th February at 11:00pm.
The event was filmed at Madison Square Garden across two nights (7th and 10th September 2001), and features Michael reuniting on stage with the Jacksons.
Local ITV1 listings may vary.

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Jermaine: NBC "lied" to Jackson Family
Jermaine Jackson claims NBC producers told a "vicious and blatant lie" to lure Michael Jackson's family onto an episode of Dateline NBC. This according to a statement released by the singer yesterday.
Jermaine stated that producers of the show told him that the episode would be about "the family's legacy and that they later learned the program had an insulting, degrading and insensitive story line about his face."
An NBC spokeswoman says Dateline NBC producers still plan to air Michael Jackson Unmasked on Feb. 17 and "hope Jermaine Jackson rethinks his position and grants us an interview."
Michael's family is not the only one up in arms about NBC's plans to utilize an hour of news programming to examine the King of Pop's appearance. Fans have also expressed outrage through letters and emails to NBC.
Below are a few e-mails addresses that should make their way back to the powers that be at NBC. If you are equally upset over NBC's decision to air this special, you are encouraged to write the below staff at the network (please send separate e-mails; not copies to all of the below).

Neil Shapiro, NBC News President
neil.shapiro@nbc.com

Cheryl Gould, NBC News VP
cheryl.gould@nbc.com

David Corvo, Executive Producer of Dateline
david.corvo@nbc.com

Other important e-mail addresses:
dateline@nbc.com
dateline@news.nbc.com

US fans especially should send letters to the following address:

NBC 30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112-0036
Attn: Jerry Zucker

Official News from MJNI

20th January 2003
Bashir Interview To Transmit on Monday 3rd February

The special episode of Tonight With Trevor McDonald that features Martin Bashir's interview with Michael Jackson will be transmitted in the UK on ITV1 on Monday 3rd February, probably at 8:30pm.

Tonight (20th January) and tomorrow morning (21st January), ITN News on ITV and the ITV News Channel are showing extracts from the programme, including footage of Michael showing Martin Bashir how to moonwalk. "You're a very kind man," Martin tells the King of Pop when Michael compliments him on his footwork.

In an interview with ITN, Martin Bashir said today: "I saw Michael Jackson in concert in 1973. I have been given access for the best part of a year - one of the most turblent years of his life."

Official News from MJNI

Martin Bashir Interview with MJ to Broadcast in February
On 21st November, MJNI issued a news bulletin confirming that Michael Jackson was recording a major UK television interview for the ITV1 Tonight With Trevor McDonald show.

Today, Granada, makers of Tonight have announced that the interview will be broadcast in February.

"The film is an extraordinary insight into the life of one of the most famous and controversial figures in the world," said the Tonight editor, James Goldston in today's Guardian (unofficially the UK's main newspaper for media news).

"We have been filming with Michael Jackson throughout one of the most turbulent periods in his life. The results are utterly compelling - viewers will not believe what they are seeing."

Interviewer Martin Bashir has spent eight months with the King of Pop and was with him in Berlin during the infamous Balconygate incident.

The 90-minute programme also goes behind the scenes at Neverland.

Granada have told The Guardian that Michael talks candidly to Bashir about "all aspects of his life" in a series of interviews conducted in Europe and the US.

Programme bosses told the paper that they paid no money for the exclusive access and said that no limits had been set on what they could or could not talk about.

"We have made this film entirely on our own terms," said Jeff Anderson, the controller of current affairs and features at the programme's production company, Granada.

"No money has been paid and no areas of the singer's career or personal life have been off limits. This truly is Michael Jackson as you have never seen him before."

Martin Bashir is best known for his astonishing interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, but his career has involved work on a wide range of television and radio programmes including Panorama, Public Eye, and The Midnight Hour.

Official News from MJNI

January 18, 2003
NBC Plans to Air MJ Face Special

NBC, the US television network that is home to hits like Friends and Frasier will air footage from the controversial special Michael Jackson's Face which originally aired in the UK last Fall.

Retitled Michael Jackson Umasked, the show will air on Dateline NBC February 17.

Naturally, the King of Pop is none too happy about NBC's decision to air the special. His publicist told Reuters: "I think it's horrible that NBC is planning on doing a special on Michael Jackson's face, and the network should focus on more important issues in the world," she said.

If you too would like to express your opinions of NBC's decision to air this special, you can do so in the most effective manner by writing them at:

Viewer Relations
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
/
You can also email them at dateline@nbc.com.

Official News from MJNI

January 12, 2003
Bee Gee Maurice Gibb Has Died

Bee Gee singer Maurice Gibb died in hospital on Sunday 11th January. He had been under observation after suffering a heart attack during treatment for an intestinal illness.

Michael Jackson is a close friend of the Gibb family, and had been working on a song with the Bee Gees just prior to Maurice's sudden illness.

Official News from MJNI

January 9, 2003
Thomas Mottola Leaving SONY

It's official: It’s the end of the Mottola era at Sony. The now former President of Sony Music has step down from his post to "start a new record label."

According to Hits Daily, a replacement for Mottola will be announced within the next 24-48 hours. The new chief will reportedly be someone from outside the traditional record business, "with a strong financial background."

Official News from MJNI

January 4, 2003
Globe Publishes Exclusive MJ Interview

In its current issue, US supermarket tabloid the Globe published a pro-Michael story which included details and pictures related to the spider bite the King of Pop endured last month during his millenium concert trial in Santa Maria.

Below is the article in its entirety, which included an interview with Michael, his doctor and copies of letters sent by celebrities in support of the King of Pop.

The pain… it is bad, really bad… sometimes it feels like a lion took a bite out of my leg!”

Those are the dramatic words of superstar Michael Jackson, after a nightmarish six weeks that propelled him into newfound controversy.

Millions of TV viewers watched transfixed as the King of Pop dangled his infant son from a fourth-floor balcony in Germany and then, as he hobbled into court on crutches, looking sickly, with his foot mysteriously bandaged and hand badly swollen.

And the entire world has been asking: What’s wrong with Michael?

Now, in a world exclusive, Jackson is finally breaking his silence about those problems and giving GLOBE readers a glimpse into his secret world!

The bite, says the hermitlike King of Pop, did not, in fact, come from a ferocious lion, but from an itsy-bitsy – yet very dangerous and poisonous – spider.

That’s what Jackson claimed in court and a judge told him to prove it.

Now, he’s doing exactly that. Jackson has chosen GLOBE to show the whole world that he was telling the truth, displaying one of the gruesome spider bites – this one on his right leg – to our readers in these exclusive pictures.

“I really was bitten by spiders”, he tells GLOBE in a blockbuster interview. “I have been in agony”.

And Jackson insists it was because of the searing pain caused by those bites that he missed court appearances in Santa Maria, CA, where a concert promoter is suing him for $21 million, claiming he backed out of two millennium concerts.

And when the 44-year-old entertainer did attend the December court proceedings, he was carried inside with only a sock covering bandages on his left foot and saying that spiders chomped down on his hand, left foot and right leg.

“I didn’t take one pain pill to deal with the excruciating pain”, Jackson proudly tells GLOBE.

“I have just been dealing with it by meditating. I deal with it and rise above it. Elisabeth Taylor once told me to rise above it when I was nervous to go onstage. I know that other people who have this are in agony. But I have to rise above it and, like a force, I am doing it. I am rising above it”.

Jackson says a spider sunk its venomous fangs into him one night while he lay asleep at his Neverland ranch in Los Olivos, CA.

“I don’t know exactly how it happened” he admits.

“I never saw the spider. I woke up one morning about a month ago and had a big spoot on my leg. Pus was oozing out and it hurt terribly. I then had some cultures taken and found out that it was a bite from a very poisonous spider that can even be deadly”.

While some experts publicly scoffed at Jackson’s explanation, doctors who examined him confirmed the torturous spider bite.

His personal physician, Dr Alimorad Farshchian, says it was likely a brown recluse spider, which injects a devastating toxin creating nasty lesions that can take weeks to heal.

“The wound was 6 or 7 centimeters in diameter”, Dr. Farshchian confirms to GLOBE. “IT was purple with three or four blisters in the middle. Shortly after that, we started treating it and it dried up and became a big scab. It is now in the state of healing. The old skin is now falling off and the new skin is starting to develop”.

Jackson tells GLOBE the constant pain made it hard for him to attend court proceedings and prevented him from attending the recent Billboard Music Awards to accept a trphy commemorating the 20th anniversary of his landmark Thriller album. Instead, pal Chris Tucker gave him the award at his ranch which was seen by live satellite feed. And he adds it made it difficult for him to function normally.

“I love to dance so much”, Jackson tells GLOBE. “But I haven’t been able to dance for weeks. That is one of the things I miss the most.”

“Things have been getting better slowly but surely”

Jackson says the bite on his leg is taking time to heal. “It became more of a scab when I was in Germany, getting more tender and a bit smaller”, says the father of three kids, Prince Michael Jr., 5, Paris, 4, and 11-month-old Prince Michael II.

Jackson’s doctor has been treating the ghastly wound on his leg with antibiotic Cipro, which hundreds of Americans took during the anthrax attacks, and cleaning it once a day to prevent further infection.

Under proper care, the wound has shrunk to 3 centimeters in diameter. “Everything is healing up beautifully”, Dr. Farshchian tells GLOBE.

“In three or four more weeks, Michael should be able to walk normally and dance again. Michael really heals fast. It’s amazing. It was such a big wound. If it was me or anybody else, it would take months and even surgery to recover. It has been painful and uncomfortable, but everyday he gets a little better. And I know for a fact that he has taken no painkillers to deal with this.”

And a close friend of the entertainer adds, “Michael has been in quite a bit of pain, but he said he would not let it get in the way of work or spending time with his children.

“One day after he described the pain to me, he spent all day playing with his kids inside and outside the house. We knew it was hurting, but he was trying to act normally with his children as if he was OK. He didn’t want them to know how much pain he was in.”

And the music giant wants GLOBE readers to know that he is grateful for their get-well wishes.

“I am still hurting”, admits Jackson, “but I am getting through it with the love and support of my family and fans”

Hollywood celebs rally around the King of POP

Top Hollywood stars are rallying around Michael Jackson as he fights to fend off bitter attacks following the worldwide incident where he dangled his baby boy off a hotel balcony in Germany.

Stars ranging from legendary actor Gregory Peck to Jackson's longtime pals Elizabeth Taylor and Macauley Clukin to Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees are rushing to his defense, saying the 44-year-old pop star is the ultimate doting daddy and the perfect father to his three children.

Jackson has recently been under intense criticism after holding his 11-month-old adopted son, Prince Michael II, over a hotel balcony in Berlin.

Feminist attorney Gloria Allred has called for California authorities to investigate and Beverly Hills psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman has filed a complaint to Santa Barbara County Protective Services, charging the singer with child abuse.

But stars who have known him for years say, "Don't be fooled. No one loves their kids more than Michael".

GLOBE has been given unprecedented access to Jackson, letters sent to him by top celebrities and his private photos.

Our world-exclusive pictures show some of the toys Michael has given his kids - 5-year-old Prince Michael Jr., 4-year-old Paris, and his new baby son, as well as Michael flying a kite with cousins Simone and Rio Jackson at his Neverland ranch in California.

Celebrities claim there's no better daddy than Michael

"You are recognized as a great artist all over the world, but very few know you as a father," Peck and his wife Veronique, said in one letter to Michael.

"We have been close friends and have known you over 25 years. We have spent many times together with you, Prince, Paris, and Prince Michael, who all play happily with our own grandchildren."

Meanwhile, Michael's pal Liz says she had no concern about the baby dangling incident.

"I saw all the news on TV of you showing the baby - I also saw the tight grip you had under his armpits."

Gibb wrote, "As a father of five, it was obvious to Linda and I that you were all very happy and that they love you as much as you love them."

And longtime pal Culkin, in an open letter given to GLOBE, adds:"I know Michael to be an incredible father, especially given the circumstances of living life in the public eye. I have had a chance to talk at length with Michael about what happened in Germany on that day. He expressed regret and was sincerely sorry for what had happened."

Letter from Gregory Peck:

Dear Michael,

You are recognized as a great artist all over the world, but very few know you as a father. We have been close friends and have known you over twenty-five years. We have spent many times together with you, Prince, Paris, and Prince Michael, who all play happily with our own grandchildren. We and our children, who are of your generation, have always admired you as a loving and caring father. Your children could not have a better father. They love you and respect you. You raised them with gentleness and kindness and genuine concern for their well-being. Their joy and love are a reflection of your attention and love as a parent. Those who criticize and judge you should do well to look into their own family life. We have seen you countless times as an attentive and devoted father, and we join your many friends who stand beside you and your family now.

With love,

Veronique and Greg

Letter from Elizabeth Taylor:

December 19, 2002

My beloved Michael,

I saw all the news on TV of you showing the baby - I also saw the tight grip you had under his armpits. The baby loves to be swung around, and I know you could see the sheer part of the curtain. It's a game for him and I know why you coverd his face. All celebrity kids are shielded from being recognized for an obvious reason - they're under constant threat from would-be kidnappers. I went through it as a child actress, Michael, and i know you did, too.

Michael, I have never seen a better or more loving parent. You are bringing your children up with singleminded love and manage to gently discipline them, as well. I have never seen two better behaved or lovable children. (including my own)

You are an exemplary father. You would no more take a chance with your children's safety than fly to the moon. If people could only see you with the children, and the time you spend with them, and the love. Not just pretty clothes and gifts, but pure unconditional love. And they respond so completely in kind.

If only you would let people see the real you more, but I understand how shy you are and you understand also how shy I am, but we are both professionals. I did my best to keep my kids away from the public eye, and they have grown up so beautifully. I am so proud of them, and yours are kids I am proud to know. They are so beautiful inside and out, like you.

Don't ever let them get you down, Michael. You're loved by too many, especially this kid. I love you just as much as I always have and understand you just as much as I always have. Don't hide. You haven't done anythging to be ashamed of. Be proud of how you are bringing up your children. God knows I am.

I love you with all my heart, and because I know you so well, I will always understand where others may not. But you know something: Screw the others!

All my love,

Elizabeth
My Comment:Some great support from people who know the real Michael Jackson as a father.
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