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Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 09:28 GMT
Minnelli defends Jackson in baby row
Michael Jackson
Balcony show: Michael Jackson with the infant
Liza Minnelli has defended pop singer Michael Jackson after the star was criticised for dangling his baby out of the window of a Berlin hotel on Tuesday.

The entertainer, a close friend of Jackson, told reporters in Los Angeles: "It doesn't sound like him at all.

"The word dangling is what I would like to look into. I don't see a picture where he is dangling the child dangerously, I see him holding (him) up above a railing for the press to say hello to his kid," she said.

Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli is a close friend of Michael Jackson

The singer caused a stir when he appeared with the child - reported to be his youngest son Prince Michael II - in Berlin, precariously clutching the infant out of a third floor window, and draping a towel over the baby's head.

Minnelli had earlier told CNN's talk-show host Larry King that she could not make any comment until she knew all the facts.

"It's also the angle of the camera. Of course nobody should do that to a child, but did he do that, or was he holding up the baby over the railing to show the fans as he did his other little boy first?" she asked.

"Terrible mistake"

Jackson was the best man at Minnelli's wedding to producer David Gest in April. He is reported to have introduced the pair.

Jackson has admitted he made a "terrible mistake" in dangling a baby over a hotel balcony as he greeted fans.

"I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children," Jackson said.

Rumours have been circulating for months that Jackson has a third child, but it is not yet known if the child is adopted or is his biological offspring.

Uri Geller
Jackson's friend Uri Geller was critical of his actions
About 200 fans gathered at the entrance to the Adlon Hotel, near the Brandenburg Gate, as Jackson's motorcade arrived on Tuesday.

The reclusive performer had to fight his way through the crowd of fans to get into the hotel, in a scrum that injured one person.

Safely inside

Later, Jackson dangled the baby out of the window of his room on the third floor, holding it with one arm under its shoulders.

Many onlookers feared the 44-year-old would drop the infant, although he brought the child back inside safely.

As fans cheered for him to appear again, Jackson came out onto the balcony covering his face and threw a towel down to the crowd below.
Michael Jackson
Safe again: The crowd feared Jackson would drop the baby
Jackson has two other children, Prince Michael, who is five, and Paris, who is four.

The singer's close friend, psychic Uri Geller, condemned Jackson's actions but did not believe he was capable of harming a child.

"I just would not put any child over a railing at such a height," he said.

"I think it was a silly thing to do. He probably did it because he was overwhelmed emotionally by the fans."

But he had suspected the baby was a fake, saying he was "too protective" of his children to do something like this.

See also:

21 Nov 02 | Entertainment
20 Nov 02 | Entertainment
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23 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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