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2005: Michael Jackson cleared of abuse

Pop star Michael Jackson has been found not guilty of all charges at the end of his four-month-long child abuse trial.

There were cheers from fans outside the court as the verdicts were read. The singer had strenuously denied molesting 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo.

He was also cleared of giving alcohol to the boy, now 15, and conspiring to kidnap him and his family.

The star left the court in Santa Maria, California, for his Neverland ranch, without speaking to fans.

His lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, said: "Justice was served. Michael Jackson is innocent."

Some 300 fans later gathered outside Mr Jackson's home, hoping to get a glimpse of the star, with cars backed up for at least 3km (2 miles) either side of the narrow lane leading to the Neverland ranch.

In Context
Michael Jackson was accused of child abuse in 1993. The case never went to court.

A civil action was settled out of court in 1994 when Jackson paid a reported $20m to Jordie Chandler.

In a television interview in 2003 with the British journalist Martin Bashir, the singer admitted sharing his bed with young children.

The interview led to charges being brought and the trial in 2005.

After the verdict, Jackson left the US for the Middle East and is now living in Bahrain.

He has closed down the house on his fantasy Neverland Ranch to reduce costs.

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