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Tuesday, 4 February, 2003, 09:07 GMT
Jackson defended over TV interview
Martin Bashir and Michael Jackson
Martin Bashir spent eight months with Jackson
Psychic Uri Geller has come to the defence of his friend Michael Jackson after a documentary where the pop star admitted he shared his bedroom with young children.

Jackson made the admission in a documentary made by journalist Martin Bashir on the UK's ITV1 channel on Monday.

During the programme it emerged that children still slept overnight at Jackson's house, despite the allegations of abuse - that the singer always denied - made in 1993.

Psychic Uri Geller
Uri Geller: Says Jackson is an innocent human being
Jackson said he sometimes slept on the floor while giving the children his bed, which he said was a "beautiful thing", "charming" and "sweet".

"Why can't you share your bed? That's the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone," he said.

Difficult questions

Geller told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday that he thought it was a good idea for Jackson to agree to the programme.

"I thought it was about time for Michael to open his house to a presenter I trusted," he said.

"I think Michael was brutally honest, he was direct, he never flinched from the most difficult questions."

But Geller also said the tone of the show had changed halfway through and Jackson's words had been twisted.

"In the first part of the show he came over as a totally positive person, towards the end of the programme I think he was shown in a more negative light," he said.

"This is just an indication of how manipulative a documentary like this can be."

Geller added he had no doubt's about Jackson's character.

"I fully trust Michael, he is a pure innocent human being, he brings so much joy into the lives of people," he said.

Innocent

In the programme Jackson introduced Bashir to a 12-year-old named Gavin, who he befriended as the youngster fought cancer.

The boy said he battled his illness with the help of Jackson and that his parents were happy with their friendship, and saw nothing wrong with him sharing a room with the star.

Michael Jackson
They were chanting they wanted to see my child, so I was kind enough to let them see

Michael Jackson on the 'baby dangling' incident
Jackson insisted his love for children was entirely innocent and had nothing to do with sex.

"My greatest inspiration comes from kids... it's all inspired from that level of innocence. I just love being around that all the time," he said.

Bashir had "unprecedented" access to the singer for the 90-minute documentary, Living With Michael Jackson.

He followed Jackson for eight months, interviewing him several times and spending time at his Californian ranch, Neverland, which includes a zoo and a full-scale fairground.

Bashir was present during the infamous "baby dangling" incident in Germany recently when Jackson held his baby son over a balcony to show waiting fans beneath.

Adoption plans

Jackson denied that had been wrong, saying any criticism was "ignorant" - a word he also used to describe media criticism of any other aspects of his life.

"We were waiting for thousands of fans down below, and they were chanting they wanted to see my child, so I was kind enough to let them see. I was doing something out of innocence," he said.

"I love my children, I was holding my son right and strong... I wasn't going to let him fall," he said.

He said he wanted more children and was considering adopting two from each continent.

The singer said he wanted to "live forever" and "totally" identified with the immortal children's fiction figure Peter Pan.

Questioned about the apparent change in his skin tone over the years, Jackson said he had the condition vitiligo, which made him lose skin colour and meant he was allergic to the sun.

Elsewhere in the programme, the singer is shown trying to teach Bashir his trademark "moonwalk" dance.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Living with Michael Jackson:
Extracts from Martin Bashir's documentary
Uri Geller, Jackson's friend
"Michael is a pure and innocent person"

Send your views on ITV1's interview with Michael Jackson in a Tonight specialJackson speaks
Your views on ITV1's Living with Michael Jackson
See also:

04 Feb 03 | Entertainment
15 Nov 02 | Entertainment
06 Dec 02 | Entertainment
04 Dec 02 | Entertainment
27 Nov 02 | Entertainment
21 Nov 02 | Entertainment
20 Nov 02 | Entertainment
19 Nov 02 | Entertainment
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