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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 18:10 GMT
Who speaks for Michael Jackson?
Uri Geller with Michael Jackson at Exeter City Football Club
Uri Geller (right) is one of Jackson's most public supporters
BBC News Online looks at Michael Jackson's inner circle and the self-proclaimed spokespeople surrounding the star, as he faces new allegations of child abuse.

After police searched singer Michael Jackson's Neverland home investigating complaints he had molested a 12-year-old boy, the star released a statement.

It reacted angrily not only to his accusers, but to people he said were speaking for him without his permission.

"I've seen lawyers who do not represent me and spokespeople who do not know me speaking for me," Jackson said.

Jackson's statement on Tuesday was released by his Los Angeles-based spokesman Stuart Backerman, one of his official representatives.

Another official spokesman, Steve Manning, has also given comments to the media from Las Vegas this week, saying that Jackson was "holding up" and had his family's support while in the city to film a music video.

Jackson's team of public "mouthpieces" has included, unofficially, his friends.

Before the latest incident, spiritualist and friend of Jackson Uri Geller has often spoken on the singer's behalf. Though he has never described himself as an official spokesman, he has often made public announcements about the pop star.

Michael Jackson
Jackson has led a reclusive lifestyle in recent years

Geller has recently spoken twice in the singer's defence - once when Jackson apparently dangled his baby from a hotel window in Berlin in 2002.

He came to his friend's defence again in February 2003, in the aftermath of UK TV journalist Martin Bashir's controversial documentary on Jackson, which provoked the singer to say that Bashir had betrayed him.

There are others who have also talked on Jackson's behalf.

Lawyer Brian Oxman, who has represented Jackson in the past, has gone on TV in the past 24 hours and talked to reporters in the US, despite admitting he was not currently handling Mr Jackson's defence.

"They are just really very shocked by this entire incident and they go, 'Here we go again'," Mr Oxman said about Jackson's family to ABC News.

Controversial Jewish leader Shmuley Boteach, who has formed a charity with Jackson called Heal the Children with Geller, has also in the past publicly praised Jackson.

The singer has had a hard time putting his point of view across in the past - especially since the damaging allegations in 1992 that he had molested 13-year-old Jordan Chandler.

Jackson denied the accusations, and settled with Chandler's family out of court for a reported $20m (12.7m).

Earlier this year the star put out his own version of the Martin Bashir interview in reply to what he saw as the journalist's allegations, using unseen footage shot by Jackson's own cameraman.


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