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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 02:20 GMT
Jackson seeks footage injunction
Michael Jackson
Jackson is taking action against Bashir

Singer Michael Jackson has issued legal proceedings against Granada television over journalist Martin Bashir's documentary about him.

The singer claims he owns the copyright in Granada's material.

He is seeking a High Court injunction to stop the television company screening unseen footage until the dispute over the programme is resolved.

A hearing is expected at the High Court in London on Friday.

The documentary, Living with Michael Jackson, revealed the superstar had shared his bedroom with children.

He claims Granada agreed earlier this month to give him unused footage of his own children, but has not kept its word.

After the programme was shown on ITV1 Jackson lodged a complaint with broadcasting authorities and accused Bashir of "betrayal".

The singer's own production company released footage of the Bashir interviews in which the interviewer praises the way Jackson treats children.

Third party

Jackson's lawyers have alleged that, to date, Granada has refused requests from them that the disputed footage should be placed in the care of a third party, until legal questions have been determined.

A statement issued by Jackson said: "Consistently Michael Jackson has argued that Martin Bashir and Granada broke the agreement by which he was permitted to film Michael, concerning ownership of the filmed material and permissions relating to the inclusion of the Jackson children.

"In particular, Granada has failed to honour an agreement reached earlier this month to deliver up to Michael Jackson unused film footage of his children, where recognisable."

The proceedings are for a High Court injunction to be granted against Granada.

Granada says it has no current intention to use any of the remaining footage and it denies any agreement to hand over footage.

'Resisting claims'

A Granada spokesman said they had been informed of the proceedings on Monday night.

"They relate to attempts by Michael to claim copyright in our footage.

"We shall be resisting such claims vigorously," he said.

After seeing the programme, Jackson said: "I trusted Martin Bashir to come into my life and that of my family because I wanted the truth to be told.

"I feel more betrayed than perhaps ever before; that someone who had got to know my children, my staff and me, whom I let into my heart and told the truth, could then sacrifice the trust I placed in him and produce this terrible and unfair programme."

But Bashir, answering questions on a live webchat on 13 February , denied he had betrayed the star.

"I agreed that we would make an honest film about his life," he said.

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