February 17, 2004 09:08 PM

The glove is coming off for this one.

Pop star Michael Jackson is ready to start fighting back when it comes to the rumors, allegations and misrepresentations he says are being spread in the media, according to his new spokeswoman. “Michael Jackson is stepping up to the plate and taking control of his personal image,” Raymone Bain tells USA Today.

As he prepares to stand trial on child molestation charges, Jackson is concerned about the image of himself that is being painted, Bain added. “(He) will work more proactively to turn that around.”

Among the changes expected to take place in the Jackson camp are the launch of a new Web site, MJJSource.com, that the struggling star’s representatives hope will offer the true story as to what is unfolding in the Jackson corner. The site, scheduled to launch March 1, will reportedly feature press releases, court dates, background information and details on the singer’s legal team.

Other proactive steps that Jackson’s people have taken include the hiring of Bain, his first official spokesperson since Stuart Backerman left in December, USA Today reports. Bain’s other clients include Serena Williams and controversial boxer Mike Tyson.

According to Bain, Jackson is angry about the number of people claiming to speak for him or his interests. Jackson also wants to put a cap on incorrect stories, such as last week’s report in The New York Times that he is facing serious financial trouble, Bain says. Representatives for the singer want to quell any stories that could influence jury members in his upcoming case.

Attorneys for Jackson were back in court in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Friday, where Judge Rodney Melville indicated that he wanted to see the trial for the pop singer start before the end of the year. But “I’m not making a hard rule that that is going to happen,” the judge added.

Jackson is due back in court April 2.

You May Like