Michael Jackson's FBI Files Reveal Extortion, Terrorist Threats

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The FBI's dossier on Michael Jackson — over 300 pages of files ranging from an alleged extortion plot against the King of Pop to documents concerning the FBI's involvement in Jackson's child molestation trial — were released today as part of the Freedom of Information Act, the New York Times' ArtsBeat blog reports.

The King of Pop's epic career, in photos.

The files reveal that in 1992, an unnamed man attempted to extort Jackson, threatening, "I will personally attempt to kill if he doesn't pay me my money." The man, who pleaded guilty to extortion and was sentenced to prison in 1993, also proclaimed, "I'll commit mass murder at a Michael Jackson concert if necessary, in an attempt to murder Michael, then you will have to deal with my situation in the public eye." Similar death threats were made to mob boss John Gotti and then-President George H.W. Bush.

As for the FBI's documents regarding the child molestation trial, according to TMZ, local authorities in Santa Maria reached out to the FBI out of concern that the trial could be viewed as a "soft target" by terrorists, adding that the "worldwide media coverage" might appeal to terror groups. The FBI determined there was no terror threat in that case.

The FBI was also involved in the investigation of Jackson's child molestation charges, as local authorities reached out to the FBI to see if they were interested in "working a possible federal violation against Jackson concerning the transportation of a minor across state lines for immoral purposes." Jackson was ultimately found not guilty of the charges.

Look back at Michael Jackson's career in Rolling Stone's essential MJ coverage.

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