News Article

Who's Bad?

Jacko files complaints with TV watchdogs. He urges authorities to punish the documentary's creators for breaching his trust

The fallout from ''Living With Michael Jackson,'' the revealing documentary that aired on British television earlier this week and on ABC's ''20/20'' Thursday night, continues. A day after Jackson issued a statement complaining that interviewer Martin Bashir betrayed his trust, he's throwing legal weight behind his complaint. On Thursday, the Associated Press reports, he filed complaints with two of the authorities that oversee English TV, claiming that he had been ''unfairly treated'' and had his privacy violated.

The complaint filed with Britain's Independent Television Commission alleged that the documentary, in which Jackson talks about sharing his bed with numerous children not his own, ''contains the clear innuendo that Mr. Jackson is guilty of inappropriate behavior with children.'' The complaint said the show also lent credibility to the allegations that he'd molested a boy in 1993, even though Jackson denied wrongdoing, was never charged with a crime, and paid a multimillion-dollar out-of-court settlement to the boy's family.

Jackson's other complaint, filed with the Broadcasting Standards Commission, said he was not warned about Bashir's intent to question him about his relationships with children or the 1993 allegations. The singer also said that his own children were filmed without his permission and that the producers reneged on a promise to show him the film before it aired.

Granada Television, which produced the film, insisted that it had played fair with Jackson. ''There has been no distortion, misrepresentation or breach of trust,'' the statement said. ''Martin Bashir agreed with Michael that we'd make an honest film about his life and we've fulfilled that promise.'' It also said that the singer's three children were filmed only with their masks and veils on, in accordance with Jackson's own practice of never letting them appear in public without their faces hidden.

Do you think Michael Jackson was treated fairly?

Originally posted Feb 07, 2003