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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 14:27 GMT
Truce called in Jackson battle
Michael Jackson
Jackson said he was "betrayed" by reporter Martin Bashir
Granada Television has agreed not to use any out-takes from its controversial Michael Jackson documentary for the time being.

The decision came on the morning Jackson's High Court case against the TV company was due to begin.

But after out-of-court discussions between the TV company and Jackson's legal team, a temporary agreement was reached.

Granada has also agreed not to release a DVD of the out-takes, until the end of a full hearing in April.

The company told the court the unseen footage would be kept under lock and key in "secure conditions" at its London headquarters.

Jackson had been seeking an injunction to force Granada to stop screening unseen footage of his own children, until the dispute could be resolved.

'Betrayed'

For Michael, the key concern has always been to ensure the footage of his children could never be abused
Jackson statement
The broadcaster said it had reached the agreement without admitting liability.

The singer said Granada had agreed to give him the footage, but did not keep its word.

His lawyers said Granada has refused requests to place the film in the care of a third party until the case is settled.

However, Granada denies any agreement to hand over footage.

Jackson said he was "betrayed" by reporter Martin Bashir over the documentary in which the star revealed he had shared his bedroom with children.

Andrew Hochhauser QC is representing the singer and his company MJJ Productions.

He told Mr Justice Etherton that Jackson, in agreeing to take part in what he believed would be a faithful and truthful representation of his life, asked only that Granada make a substantial donation to charity.

But when Jackson asked how much had been donated, "they said it was none of his business", said Mr Hochhauser.

He dubbed the programme "a travesty of the truth which misrepresented his life and his abilities as a father".

Agreement 'breached'

Granada breached an agreement that Jackson's children would not be included in the documentary, he claimed.

"His paramount concern is for the safety of his children," Mr Hochhauser told the judge.

"Granada has further footage containing images of the children in which they are readily recognisable," he added.

Jackson and his company said Granada agreed they would own the footage - subject to Granada's right to broadcast.

That right, they said, did not cover out-takes or release of the finished programme on DVD or video.

But Geoffrey Hobbs QC, for Granada, said it maintained there had been "absolutely no wrong-doing or impropriety".

Jackson's lawyers said in a statement: "For Michael, the key concern has always been to ensure that the unseen footage that Granada took of his children could never be abused.

"Michael will obviously be pleased that Granada has today made promises to the High Court that it had refused to make until he began this legal action."

'Spectacular'

Martin Bashir
Bashir has stood by his documentary
After its showing on ITV1, Jackson lodged a complaint with broadcasting authorities.

His production company then released its own footage of Bashir's interviews.

In these scenes, Bashir praises Jackson's treatment of youngsters, telling him: "Your relationship with your children is spectacular."

But Granada described Jackson's programme as a collection of "out-of-context soundbites".

Fans' support

Before Friday's case, it said it stood by Bashir's film and would "vigorously resist" Jackson's legal challenge.

Jackson fans gathered outside the court for the hearing, with banners reading "back-stabber Bashir" and "the world needs Michael Jackson".

Fan group MJ News International claims it has pledges from 2,500 fans in 99 countries backing its "campaign for media fairness".




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