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Tabloid Junkie

Michael Jackson launches defense website. The singer pleads his case directly to fans via the Internet

Michael Jackson | ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS Jackson's official mugshot probably won't appear on his official website
Image credit: Michael Jackson: EPA
ACCORDING TO OFFICIALS Jackson's official mugshot probably won't appear on his official website

The child molestation charges against Michael Jackson are ''predicated on a big lie.'' So says the singer in his latest statement, made via a new website he's launched to send messages directly to fans. ''I have set up this website to serve as a source of official communications on my case,'' he says in a brief letter posted this weekend on the site, called The Official Press Room. ''Any statement that does not appear on this website must be considered unauthorized.''

The self-styled King of Pop adds that many of those claiming to speak on his behalf are not to be trusted. ''You are right to be skeptical of some of the individuals who are being identified in the mass media as my friends, spokespeople, and attorneys,'' he says. ''With few exceptions, most of them are simply filling a desperate void in our culture that equates visibility with insight. We will not engage in speculation. We will not provide running commentary on every new development or allegation du jour. We intend to try our case in the courtroom, not in the public or the media.''

Visitors to the site, which also contains an archive of official statements released since news broke last Tuesday that he was being investigated for allegedly molesting a 12-year-old boy at Neverland, should not expect frequent messages from Jackson, he suggests. ''Because the charges are so serious, I hope you all will understand, on the advice of my attorneys, I will be limited in what I can say about the situation,'' he writes. ''There will be times when I cannot comment at all. No doubt, this will be frustrating for all of us.'' At the end of the day, however, he says he expects to be vindicated, ''and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us.''

Originally posted Nov 24, 2003