Martin Bashir interviews Michael Jackson in 2002
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From May 2002 to January 2003 Martin Bashir interviewed Michael Jackson at his home in Neverland Ranch. The documentary that he released, Living with Michael Jackson, aired in February 2003 and was watched by millions of viewers around the world. The documentary called into question Michael’s actions with children in his home. These questions were asked a decade after Michael had already faced allegations of sexual misconduct.
After the documentary was released, Michael hit back at Martin, whom he claimed “betrayed” him.
Jackson said the final documentary was a “gross distortion of the truth”.
He said: “I trusted Martin Bashir to come into my life and that of my family because I wanted the truth to be told.
“Martin Bashir persuaded me to trust him, that this would be an honest and fair portrayal of my life.”
Michael added that the film painted a “misleading” picture of his behaviour and conduct as a father.
The King of Pop went on: “I feel more betrayed than perhaps ever before.
“That someone who had got to know my children, my staff and me, whom I let into my heart and told the truth, could then sacrifice the trust I placed in him and produce this terrible and unfair programme.”
The singer also claimed he was manipulated into doing the interview by Bashir who used his previous interview with Princess Diana as a reference.
Michael Jackson A Faking It Special: Discovery+ release trailer
Michael and Diana had a close relationship, and Michael was eager to get his side of the story told.
He said: “[He] told me that he was ‘the man that turned Diana’s life around’.”
Later that year, in December 2003, Michael was charged with seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of committing a felony. A six-month trial followed.
Taj Jackson, nephew to Michael, recently spoke to The Sunday Mirror about the claims that Martin had “hoodwinked” the star to be interviewed.
Taj also claimed the interview and documentary eventually led to Michael’s death on June 25, 2009.
He told the publication: “Bashir’s manipulated footage and unethical journalism is one of the main reasons my uncle is not here today.
“That trial broke him. Shame on those who provided cover for Bashir. Shame on those who rewarded him. My family deserve an investigation and apology too.”
Taj’s comments follow those given by Michael’s former minder, Matt Fiddes, who said: “The family are considering their legal position.
“They believe, ultimately, that Bashir’s portrayal of Michael and lies he spun destroyed his career.”
He added: “They say Bashir never kept promises, including an agreement to edit out material Michael didn’t want in. He used the Diana letter to gain Michael’s trust, but ended up betraying him.”
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