Originally created 11/25/03

Michael Jackson launches new Web site



LOS ANGELES -- Michael Jackson, addressing his fans directly via a new Web site, says the child molestation allegations made against him are "predicated on a big lie" and he will be exonerated in court.

The entertainer's spokesman, Stuart Backerman, had said last week that Jackson was putting the site together so he could communicate with the news media and fans. Jackson said in his statement that it would serve as a source for "official communications on my case."

"As you know, the charges recently directed at me are terribly serious," Jackson said in the six-paragraph statement. "They are, however, predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us."

Jackson surrendered to Santa Barbara County authorities on Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued alleging he committed lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14.

He was released on $3 million bail. Authorities have said they expect to file formal charges sometime after Thanksgiving.

Jackson said his attorneys have advised him to say little about the matter until it is resolved.

"No doubt, this will be frustrating for all of us," he added.

He also urged people to be skeptical of those representing themselves as his friends or claiming to speak for him.

"With few exceptions most of them are simply filling a desperate void in our culture that equates visibility with insight," he said. "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."

Meanwhile, actress Elizabeth Taylor broke her silence about the accusations, defending her close friend and blasting the media.

"I believe Michael is innocent and that he will be vindicated," Taylor said Sunday in a statement released through her publicist.

Taylor had previously refused to speak to the media about the charges against Jackson, who hosted Taylor's 1991 wedding to construction worker Larry Fortensky at Neverland.

Text of Michael Jackson's statement proclaiming his innocence:

To my fans, friends and family:

As you know, the charges recently directed at me are terribly serious. They are, however, predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us.

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. There will be times when I cannot comment at all. No doubt, this will be frustrating for all of us.

For that reason, I have set up this website to serve as a source of official communications on my case. Any statement that does not appear on this Web site must be considered unauthorized.

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. 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.

I thank you all for your support and understanding.

God bless you, Michael Jackson.

On the Net:

http://www.mjnews.us