USA/GERMANY: MICHAEL JACKSON PREPARES TO AIR HIS OWN VERSION OF MARTIN BASHIR'S CONTROVERSIAL DOCUMENTARY...
- Title: USA/GERMANY: MICHAEL JACKSON PREPARES TO AIR HIS OWN VERSION OF MARTIN BASHIR'S CONTROVERSIAL DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE SUPERSTARS LIFE
- Date: 1st January 2003
- Summary: EXTERIOR OF ADLON HOTEL, TILT UP MV: JACKSON APPEARING AT WINDOW AND DANGLING HIS BABY SON OVER THE EDGE
- Reuters ID: LVA2U0ITLUD917CKUYD2EBE3H5W1
- Location: VARIOUS U.S. LOCATIONS / BERLIN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Duration: 00:00:13
- Topics: Entertainment,General,People
- Story Text: In a documentary airing in the US, Michael Jackson seeks to rebut an earlier documentary that cast a gaze on the more unsavory aspects of his eccentric life.
The two-hour special, airing on the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox network, features Jackson's own footage of British interviewer Martin Bashir's several sessions with the King of Pop.
In one excerpt, Jackson announces that he would like more children. Bashir pushes further, asking "Would you like to have them through a surrogate mother?" To which Jackson replies that the first two of his three children were conceived naturally with his then wife, Debbie Rowe. "You had sex with Debbie,?" asks an incredulous Bashir, quite possibly serving as proxy for a disbelieving television viewership.
When Jackson says "Yes," Bashir then aks if he was embarrassed to be talking about having sex with the mother of his children. "Yes," says Jackson. The Fox special also includes interviews with Rowe, in which she defends the singer.
The Fox special, called "Take 2; The Interview They Wouldn't Show You," includes footage from Jackson's own cameraman taken over the eight-month period that Bashir spent with Jackson at his Neverland ranch in California, in Berlin and in Las Vegas.
Jackson's attempt to turn the tables on Bashir, who he accused of betrayal, follows a new furor over the self-styled King of Pop's relationship with his own three young children, and his defence of sharing his bed with other kids.
In this new documentary, Jackson enlists the help of his former makeup artist, as well as his parents and brother, Jermaine. "I mean, he was never indicted, he was never charged, he was never anything," said Jermaine, in reference to child molestation allegations brought against Jackson several years ago. The documentary also features an interview with 12-year-old cancer sufferer Gavin Arvizo, who has shared Jackson's bedroom and was seen tightly clutching hands with Jackson during the original documentary.
Jackson's decision to have his former hairdresser interviewed on the documentary most likely stems from recent charges aired in another unflattering documentary that the singer whitens his skin and has undergone well over 50 cosmetic surgeries on his face, though he acknowledges only two operations. Not surprisingly, the hairdresser, Karen Faye, confirms Jackson's previous claim of a skin condition requiring medical attention. "He has spots all over his entire body. And this is hard, and it was hard for me," says Faye. We were always trying to hide it and cover it for the longest time until he just had to tell Oprah and tell the world: listen, I'm not trying to be white, I have a skin disease."
Bashir's original documentary drew huge TV audiences in both Britain and on ABC in the United States and prompted calls for Jackson, 44, to be investigated by child welfare authorities. Authorities in California have declined to comment.
Some of the outrage stems from an incident in November of 2002 where the singer dangled his youngest child from a hotel balcony in Berlin.
Bashir, in his documentary, expressed deep unease about Jackson's relations with his own children, their isolation from their mothers, and Jackson's view of himself as Peter Pan.
But Bashir is shown on Jackson's own tape saying: "It almost makes me weep when I see you with them (children) because your interaction with them is just so natural, so loving, so caring."
The U.S. broadcast of "Living with Michael Jackson" on February 6 on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network attracted some 27 million viewers, while the original UK showing by Granada Plc on Feb. 3 pulled in about 15 million viewers, or more than half the British TV audience.
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