News Article

Off the Wall

Jacko apologizes for dangling baby out a window. The King of Pop says he didn't mean to put the tot in danger

Michael Jackson | ON THE EDGE Jackson showed off a baby thought to be his new son
Image credit: Michael Jackson: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters/Newscom
ON THE EDGE Jackson showed off a baby thought to be his new son

Michael Jackson fans in Berlin got more than they bargained for on Tuesday when the singer greeted their cheers by emerging from his fourth-floor hotel room -- then dangled a baby out the window. In a moment captured and aired on TV worldwide, Jackson held the kicking, wriggling infant -- reportedly his new son, Prince Michael II, in one arm while using his other hand to keep a towel in place that covered the baby's head. He held the child aloft over the crowd in the street below for only a couple of seconds, but that was enough time to spark yet another controversy for the singer, who quickly issued a statement of apology.

''I made a terrible mistake,'' the statement read. ''I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children.''

Jackson had checked into the Adlon Hotel, near the German capital's landmark Brandenburg Gate, in order to attend Thursday's Bambi Awards ceremony, an entertainment awards broadcast where he is to receive a lifetime achievement award for his music. The trip marked a recess in his current trial in California, where he's being sued for $21 million by promoter Marcel Avram, who claims the King of Pop backed out of an agreement to perform in two 1999 concerts. In three days of testimony last week, Jackson said it was Avram who scrapped the shows.

Bambi spokeswoman Antje Sigesmund identified the light-skinned baby as Prince Michael II, CNN reports. Little is known about the child. In August, People magazine reported that the tot, then 6 months old, was Jackson's natural child, though the boy's mother's identity remained unclear. Debbie Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife and the mother of his two older kids, son Prince Michael, 5, and daughter Paris, 4, has denied being the mother of Jackson's youngest. One of those two kids also made an appearance Tuesday at dad's hotel window, with his or her face also obscured by a towel.

Originally posted Nov 20, 2002