December 17, 2003 01:55 AM

Michael Jackson is due to be formally charged by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office in state superior court on Thursday, at around 1 p.m. PT, say reports.

Jackson, 45, was arrested Nov. 20 on multiple (but unspecified) charges of child molestation. Jackson, who’s free on $3 million bail, has called the accusations against him “a big lie,” saying they were prompted by a desire for financial gain.

NBC News reported Thursday morning that Jackson’s passport will be returned after the charges are filed, so that he might attend a London concert.

The charges arose after the mother of Jackson’s young accuser learned from the boy last spring that Jackson allegedly gave the boy pills and wine, showed him heterosexual pornographic tapes in a computer and then touched the boy inappropriately, NBC reports.

This is Jackson’s second brush with the law over allegations of child molestation. A decade ago, Jackson reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the family of a boy who claimed the pop star had sexually molested him.

Charges were not brought in that case because the boy refused to testify.

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