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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 11:51 GMT
Jackson hits back at Bashir show
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson wants to prove the show was unfair
Michael Jackson is to hit back at a British documentary about him by releasing video footage he believes will prove the show was misleading and unfair.

Living With Michael Jackson, which was first broadcast in the UK last week, showed the singer revealing to journalist Martin Bashir that he shared his bed with children.

I have never, and would never, harm a child

Michael Jackson
He has since complained the programme, which provoked a storm of controversy, "could have led viewers to conclude that he abuses children".

Jackson said he would produce his own video excerpts, filmed by his own staff during the eight-month documentary shoot, to prove Bashir's portrayal was hypocritical.

He also repeated a vehement denial of "recycled" child abuse allegations, which were published in British papers over the weekend.

The video was taken after the Berlin visit where Jackson infamously dangled his baby son from the balcony of a hotel.

"The film shows extraordinary scenes of Martin Bashir praising the way Michael treats children and commenting on how good a father he is," said a statement released by the singer.

Martin Bashir
Bashir was manipulative, Jackson claims
"The Jackson footage clearly shows that Bashir was actually continuing to praise Michael's abilities as a father and [shows] Bashir making 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 on the voice-overs on the film."

Abuse claims

The statement added that Bashir had been aware he was being filmed during his interviews.

Jackson went on to attack the publication at the weekend of claims made in 1993 by the then 14-year-old Jordy Chandler, which alleged the singer had abused him.

Michael cannot understand why Jordy Chandler ever made these allegations over 10 years ago

Michael Jackson's statement
"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."

Jackson was never charged with any offence over the allegations, but later reached a multi-million-dollar out-of-court settlement with the boy's family, with both sides signing a confidentiality agreement.

Jackson said in Sunday's statement the teenager had originally been manipulated into making the allegations for "financial gain".

The lurid claims were now being leaked by someone "determined to attack" him, he said.

'Truthful, open'

The statement said Jackson had made the financial settlement to spare Jordy "prolonged litigation".

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 statement
It added the confidentiality agreement about the matter had been aimed at protecting both parties.

"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," it said.

The documentary, made for the UK's ITV1 network, has also been screened in the US, the Netherlands and Australia.

A Granada spokesman said: "Martin Bashir has nothing to hide - he knew he was being filmed by Michael Jackson's aides at various times.

"The resulting footage has been edited by Michael Jackson's aides, and as yet we've seen nothing of it.

"This is becoming the most expensive, clumsy and desperate attempt at shooting the messenger we've ever seen."

The BBC's Peter Bowes reports from Los Angeles
"Jackson feels he can prove this documentary was misleading"
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