"Some people believe what they want to believe. I can't stop that," says Katherine Jackson

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 21, 2005 08:40 AM

A week after her son was cleared an all 10 counts of child molestation, Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, spoke publicly about the toll that the trial took on her 46-year-old son and how the two of them reacted to the verdicts.

“I felt like the world had been lifted off my shoulders,” the matriarch tells MSNBC. (NBC’s Today show aired portions of the interview Tuesday morning.)

When they heard the words “not guilty,” said Katherine, “I just hugged (Michael) and cried and he hugged me. And I said, ‘At last they saw the truth.'”

Acknowledging that during the course of the 14-week trial, Michael just seemed to waste away physically, she said: “I knew he was worried about what was going to happen, because his fate was in the hands of 12 people who didn’t know (the people involved).”

Asked what it was like to sit in a courtroom and hear that her son had porno magazines in his house, Jackson said: “The porno magazines, they were sent to him. I’m sure he looked at them.”

She said he’s a man, and men look at that sort of thing – but, Jackson emphasized about her son, “One thing he is not, he is not a child molester. He is not a pedophile. Not for one minute did I think he was a child molester. You know what, a child molester has a pattern, my son doesn’t fit that pattern.”

And does she think her son is 100 percent innocent? “I do,” says Jackson. As for those who might not agree with her, she said: “Some people believe what they want to believe. I can’t stop that.”

Moving forward, she said she thought that Michael should close the gates to Neverland to the public – even to needy children who’d enjoy the amusement park rides there – but he refuses to do that. However, he will change his approach. His mother quotes Michael as saying: “If I have to help people, I’ll help them from a distance.”