Monday 10 February 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 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.”