NEW YORK – Michael Jackson (news) told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he still believes it’s acceptable to sleep with children and that he would “slit my wrists” before he would hurt a child.
Jackson, arrested Nov. 20 on suspicion of child molestation, denied the charges against him during an interview with Ed Bradley conducted Christmas night and set to air Sunday. CBS released a portion of the interview on Friday.
Jackson, 45, is charged with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent. He remains free on $3 million bail.
Asked by Bradley if it was still OK to sleep with children given the charges against him, Jackson answered, “Of course.”
“Why not?” he said. “If you’re going to be a pedophile, if you’re going to be Jack the Ripper, if you’re going to be a murderer, it’s not a good idea. That I am not.”
“Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists,” Jackson also said.
The pop singer, interviewed in a Los Angeles hotel room, said the police search of his Neverland Ranch in California had been overdone and so violated his privacy that it will never be the same for him.
“I won’t live there ever again,” he said. “It’s a house now. It’s not a home anymore. I’ll only visit.”
Meanwhile on Friday, CBS also announced that it had rescheduled a Jackson music special that had been abruptly postponed last month after the molestation charges surfaced. The special will air on Friday, Jan. 2.
The interview was a coup for “60 Minutes,” which has been enjoying a ratings renaissance the past few months in its final year under the direction of founding executive producer Don Hewitt.
Bradley had been pursuing an interview with Jackson even before the molestation charges. The CBS newsman traveled to Neverland last February for an interview, but Jackson got cold feet and canceled it at the last minute.
The existence of the musical special, which had been scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving and was largely complete before being postponed, was an unusual factor in landing a widely sought interview.
CBS would not have rescheduled the entertainment special if Jackson hadn’t addressed the molestation charges with the network’s news division, CBS entertainment spokesman Chris Ender said.
The criminal case won’t be discussed during the special, “Michael Jackson Number Ones.” The special was to include Jackson performance footage, but that filming wasn’t completed before November’s postponement. The special was also to include interviews with Dick Clark, Beyonce Knowles (news), Mary J. Blige (news) and others about Jackson’s impact on pop culture.
Bob Steele, an expert on newsroom ethics, said news organizations should maintain independence and conduct interviews on their news value alone.
“If CBS was creating a deal in any way for a news interview with Jackson that is dependent on the entertainment special or vice versa, that certainly seems to compromise journalistic independence,” said Steele, a scholar for journalist values at the Poynter Institute.
Kevin Tedesco, “60 Minutes” spokesman, said he couldn’t imagine any news organization that would not pursue an interview with Jackson.
“It’s a big story,” he said.
His musical career may have faded, but Jackson is still a big television draw, if only because of the curiosity factor. His last television interview, with British journalist Martin Bashir, was seen by 27 million people on ABC last February.
I don’t get this…I used to like Michael Jackson in the past…I still appreciate some of his videos, but how can he say so freely that it’s ok to sleep with kids?!!!
8 thoughts on “"It's ok to sleep with kids" for Michael Jackson”
Well if he doesn’t molest them or anything like that well then it is ok to sleep with kids. How is Jackson saying this much different to Eminem talking about murdering his wife. In fact what Jackson says in itself isn’t illegal or anything, what Eminem describes is actually an illegal act.
Of course if neither of them actually does anything illegal then how can we have a problem.
but he never killed nor raped anybody.
Neither has Michael Jackson. I’m the first to respect Eminem’s right to express himself in whatever manner he wishes. Likewise it’s not up to me to prohibit Michael Jackson from innocently sleeping with children. He’s an innocent man – at least for the moment – and deserves to be treated as one.
And for the record is it not true that Eminem has said that he’s lucky he didn’t kill he guy he pistol whipped. He expresses himself violently in song and in reality and yet is a superstar. A kid with a history of making child abuse allegations accuses Jackson and he is vilified as evil.
I swear there was a comment from Isabelle that I was replying to. It seems to have vanished though!
There was indeed a comment of me, but i wasn’t satisfied with it, so I decided to delete it…sorry.
But I would like people to stop stereotyping Eminem as a violent man. He has made a mistake pointing a gun at John Guerra, but he did this out of jealousy.
Eminem’s songs are always targetted as violent, because ppl don’t get his sense of humor and parody.
I won’t argue with you about Michael Jackson’s innocence…I’m not sure he’s innocent, but I cannot say he’s guilty either…
But there’s a huge difference between Michael and Marshall: Michael wants to be white by any mean, it is like denying his skin color. Marshall is conscious of being a white man whose roots are hip hop.And I think Eminem is real…
Fair enough Isabelle, I don’t mean to try Eminem here, all I was trying to show you is that you believe Eminem deserves to be treated fairly and doesn’t deserve people to declare him x,y or z.
I believe the same should apply to Jackson and that in a year or two we can have a conversation on the right or wrongs of what Jackson said in the interview, but for the moment, saying he sees nothing wrong with sleeping with kids is correct.
I do agree. People should not accuse Michael Jackson before being totally sure he’s guilty of what he’s been accused of. I hate stereotypes anyway.
But I think Michael should be cautious about this sentence ( I mean the interpretation people will make of his sentence…and of course, the exploitation of the media…)
True but if he had said he didn’t think it was OK to sleep with kids everyone would be at him asking him what had suddenly changed and made him frown upon something he previously didn’t think bad of.
It’s a no win situation for him. He has to admit he sleeps with kids because it’s a known fact.
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