Michael Jackson has established a new Web site as a line of communication between him and his fans about his arrest last week on charges of child molestation.
The site, mjnews.us, includes statements from Jackson's attorneys from late last week addressing the search of his Neverland ranch, the District Attorney's press conference and the actual arrest. Jackson said he established the site as the only official source of news and information from his camp. "Any statement that does not appear on this Web site must be considered unauthorized," he wrote. An open latter from Jackson to his fans, friends and family is viewable on the homepage.
"The charges against me are terribly serious," he wrote, "They are, however, predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us."
Though Jackson said that on the advice of his counsel, he could only offer limited information, he did take a moment to address the frenzy that surrounded his arrest. "You are right to be skeptical of some of the individuals who are being identified in the mass media as my friends, spokespeople and attorneys," he wrote. "With few exceptions, most of them are simply filling a desperate void in our culture that equates visibility with insight. We will not engage in speculation. We will not provide running commentary on every new development or allegation du jour. We intend to try our case in the courtroom, not in the public or the media."
After last week's media blitz, Jackson's supporters have become more vocal. He recently received a comment of support from his longtime friend Elizabeth Taylor, who issued a statement reading, "I believe Michael is absolutely innocent and that he will be vindicated." Jackson's brother Jermaine referred to the arrest as a "modern-day lynching" in a TV interview. And fans held candlelight vigils in more than a dozen cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles and Paris.
Jackson surrendered to Santa Barbara police last week and was released on $3 million bail. A conviction could carry a prison term of three to eight years.
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies