[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Bashir may face UK court action
Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges on Monday
Journalist Martin Bashir is awaiting news on whether Michael Jackson's lawyers will revive High Court action over his controversial ITV documentary.

Breach of contract and breach of confidence proceedings were issued against production company Granada, following the February 2003 broadcast.

Proceedings were suspended pending the end of the singer's child abuse trial, which cleared him of all charges.

ITV said it was "still standing by the contents of the documentary".

Living with Michael Jackson, in which Jackson admitted sharing his bed with young boys, sparked the criminal investigation which led to the star's 16-week trial in California.

Martin Bashir
Bashir defended his documentary Living with Michael Jackson

Bashir gained exceptional access to Jackson's private life over a period of eight months to make the documentary.

But the singer later said he felt "betrayed" by the British journalist, claiming Bashir and Granada had broken the terms under which they had agreed to film.

"I trusted Martin Bashir to come into my life and that of my family because I wanted the truth to be told," said Jackson in February 2003.

"I feel more betrayed than perhaps ever before; that someone who had got to know my children, my staff and me, whom I let into my heart and told the truth, could then sacrifice the trust I placed in him and produce this terrible and unfair programme."

Jackson had hoped the documentary would help revive his flagging career.

Out-takes withheld

Legal proceedings, issued later that month, also sought to prevent the broadcaster using the footage or any out-takes from the documentary.

A temporary agreement was reached between the two parties not to use any out-takes in February 2003, but Granada refused to hand over the footage.

The singer's acquittal on Monday paves the way for his lawyers to reopen those proceedings.

An ITV spokesman said the network - which owns Granada - was waiting to hear from Jackson's lawyers.

Michael Jackson leaving court
Jackson has not been seen in public since leaving court on Monday

"Michael Jackson issued widely publicised proceedings against Granada in 2003 alleging breach of contract and making copyright complaints which we vigorously defended," he said.

"We are absolutely still standing by that stance and the contents of the documentary."

Granada held confidential discussions with Jackson's lawyers in 2003 but the spokesman said no payment or damages were offered and no liability was accepted before the talks were suspended.

A spokesman at ABC News in New York, where Bashir is now employed, said he would not be giving any interviews.

Dwindling fans

Meanwhile, triumphant postings on Michael Jackson's official website have likened the singer's acquittal to the birth of Martin Luther King, the fall of the Berlin Wall and Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

But there was little sign of the throng of fans that greeted the jury's decision on Monday, as Jackson continued to take refuge at his Neverland home.

By late Tuesday night some 30 fans remained outside the star's California estate.

Gone too are the police officers and tents set up outside Santa Maria courthouse, as the world's press return home.

The singer has not been seen in public since he left court on Monday afternoon, looking frail and exhausted.



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific