Jackson's legal team shoots down the LAPD's investigation of a '80s allegation against the star

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 16, 2004 08:41 AM
Richard Young/Rex

Lawyers for Michael Jackson are dismissing this week’s latest child-abuse allegations against the pop star, saying the accusations are an attempt to smear Jackson and damage his chances for a fair trial in his child-molestation case.

“This appears to be a malicious attempt to undermine Mr. Jackson’s right to a fair hearing on the charges presently pending,” said his lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and Mark Geragos, adding: “We believe that this smear campaign is driven by money-hungry lawyers, seeking to capitalize on Mr. Jackson’s current legal situation.”

Los Angeles police announced Monday they were investigating a new claim of sexual misconduct by Jackson that allegedly involved a young boy during the late 1980s. The Los Angeles Times, however, reports that the new allegations against Jackson came from an adult who claims to have been abused as a minor during a visit to the star’s Los Angeles-area home. Said Brafman and Geragos: “We have to question the timing and purpose of this 20-year-old false allegation being raised at this time.”

A spokesperson for Jackson, 45, told news agencies this week that he was unavailable for comment because he was in Orlando, “visiting some of the amusement parks with his children.” The visit coincided with a National Enquirer story this week that the lover of the late entertainer Liberace claims that that he had an affair with Jackson back in the early ’80s. A lawyer for Jackson angrily told New York’s Daily News that the claims by Scott Thorson, now also 45, were nothing but “false trash.”

Meanwhile, in other Jackson news, on Friday in Africa, Namibian government officials were surprised to learn that the star would not be not arriving that day as part of a planned, 12-day African culture tour, reports the Associated Press. Jackson’s spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, said the travel company planning the tour had acted without the singer’s permission. “These things do happen quite often. There are a lot of misrepresentations and misinformation,” she said, promising to look into the matter.