Jackson Makes His Complaints Official
Michael Jackson has made it official with his disapproval of this week’s much-watched — on both sides of the Atlantic — documentary on his life and times, “Living with Michael Jackson.”
The musician, 44, through his attorneys, filed complaints with two British TV watchdogs Thursday, telling the Independent Television Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Commission he was “unfairly treated” by the program in which, among other things, it was revealed that he sometimes lets children sleep in his bed.
Jackson is also claiming that the show, which was aired in Britain on Monday and on ABC’s “20/20” Thursday night, was an infringement of his privacy.
According to Reuters, the complaint filed with the Independent Television Commission alleges that the documentary “contains the clear innuendo that Mr. Jackson is guilty of inappropriate behavior with children.”
It argues that the show’s narration, questions and editing gave credence to allegations made against Jackson in 1993 of sexually molesting a boy who had stayed at his home. Jackson, who continues to deny the allegations, reached a financial settlement with the boy’s family. No charges were ever filed.
In the complaint filed with the Broadcasting Standards Commission, Jackson said he was given no warning about interviewer Martin Bashir’s intent to ask him about that incident or about his current relationships with children.
Jackson, who is shown in the film feeding his 1-year-old son, Prince Michael II — nicknamed Blanket — with a blanket over the boy’s head, also says his children were improperly filmed in the documentary, which he did not see prior to its broadcast, as Bashir allegedly promised.
In a statement responding to Jackson’s complaints, Granada, the TV company behind the documentary, called the program “a truthful, open and intimate portrayal of many aspects of Michael Jackson’s extraordinary life … There has been no distortion, misrepresentation or breach of trust.
“Martin Bashir agreed with Michael that we’d make an honest film about his life and we’ve fulfilled that promise.”