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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 09:19 GMT
Jackson's chief spokesman quits
Michael Jackson
Mr Jackson has denied child abuse allegations
Michael Jackson's chief spokesman has resigned over what he called "strategic differences" with other members of the singer's entourage.

Stuart Backerman stepped down the day after a television interview with Mr Jackson was broadcast in the US.

Mr Backerman said: "I resigned... over strategic differences with the way things are going."

Mr Jackson, who was charged with child molestation earlier this month, told CBS News police had mistreated him.

He denied allegations of child abuse, and said he had been "manhandled very roughly" during his arrest.

Mr Jackson insisted it was acceptable for him to share a bed with children, and said he would "slit his wrists" before hurting a child.

Future

The singer faces seven counts of child abuse and two of plying a minor with alcohol to commit a crime.

Mr Backerman said he had no firm plans for the future and did not know who would replace him as spokesman.

He added: "The one thing I will say is that I love Michael Jackson and his fans."

  • US religious organisation The Nation of Islam is rallying to support Mr Jackson and has begun handling some of his security, according to anonymous sources quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

    However, the group issued a statement denying the report, saying it had "no official business or professional relationship" with Jackson, adding it "joined thousands of other people in wishing him well."




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