Jackson Backers Plan Arraignment Rally

Jackson Backers Plan Arraignment Rally

LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson (news)’s family, friends and fans are planning a massive show of support when the pop superstar is arraigned on child molestation charges late this week.

Fans and family of Jackson, including his brother Jermaine, scheduled a news conference Monday at the family’s complex in Encino to announce their plans for the singer’s arraignment, which is scheduled for Friday in Santa Maria.

Jackson’s fan clubs plan to have cars and buses travel to the courthouse in northern Santa Barbara County from throughout Southern California and even Las Vegas, said Angel Howansky, a freelance publicist who is helping coordinate the event.

“We’ve had fans calling from out of state who are flying in just for the arraignment,” said Howansky, who added that she was helping without pay.

Also Monday, more than two dozen Jackson lawyers, accountants, bankers and managers will meet at the Beverly Hills Hotel to discuss the singer’s business affairs, said Jackson family friend Brian Oxman.

“There is to be a meeting of the brain trusts for Michael’s management,” Oxman said. “Rumors will be set to rest, and it’s to explain how Michael is to handle further actions in connection with his business. They have not specified what it is or who is to be doing the speaking.”

Jackson spokesman Kevin McLin provided details Sunday of the Encino event, but said he couldn’t provide any information on the Beverly Hills meeting besides confirming it had been scheduled.

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’s free on $3 million bail pending the arraignment in Santa Maria.