The Michael Jackson Watch
Unintended victims of the Jackson case include the raft of lookalikes who make a living imitating the King of Pop’s signature looks and moves. Vegas-based Jackson impersonator Kenny Wizz said that bookings are slipping since the allegations broke and that he’s worried about his future. “I’m concerned, simply because I love what I do,” Wizz said. Several other impersonators reported that many recent clients have been seeking Jackson satire pieces instead of tributes. “I worry that I won’t be accepted in the same way,” Wizz said. “I’m a professional. I, like, do the moonwalk” . . .
The home of former Jackson producer Marc Schaffel was searched by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s investigators on Saturday, though authorities would not comment on the search due to a gag order. The gay-porn director helped produce Jackson’s failed all-star 9/11 benefit song “What More Can I Give” . . .
The March issue of Vanity Fair features a story on Michael Jackson in which writer Maureen Orth alleges that the singer served wine to underage boys in soda cans, including the unnamed child at the center of the current molestation case. Jackson is said to have referred to white wine as “Jesus Juice” and red as “Jesus Blood.” Among the nine counts against Jackson are two of “administering an intoxicating agent” . . .
A judge has refused to lift the restraining order barring Jackson’s accuser’s father from seeing his son. The father had requested supervised visits with the teenager in order to learn more about the molestation allegations and to check us on his son’s health, which is reportedly failing. Russell Halpern lost custody of his son and other children after pleading no contest to child cruelty and spousal abuse . . .
Yet another star has jumped to Jackson’s defense, joining activist Dick Gregory and the singer’s family in defending his honor. Dionne Warwick called the case against Jackson “a complete injustice.” Warwick said that she’s watched Jackson grow into the world icon that he is today and “wouldn’t even consider believing the claims against him.”
Singer R. Kelly, who is facing child pornography charges, was given permission by a Chicago judge to travel to Sunday’s Grammy Awards, but was told that he must avoid any contact with Jackson. Though Kelly has written and produced two songs for Jackson, his lawyer said avoiding the troubled pop star would be no problem, since, “What’s the difference if someone makes an order not to see someone he didn’t want to see in the first place?” . . .
Child protective services interviewed Jackson, all three of his children and a nanny last week in response to the molestation allegations. No actions were immediately taken in the wake of the interviews . . .
Just a week after Debbie Rowe, the mother of Jackson’s two oldest children, revealed that Prince Michael, 6, and Paris, 5, were Jewish — in light of her concern over the singer’s ties to the Nation of Islam — questions arose over the paternity of the children. A British tabloid reported that Rowe filed papers seeking custody of the children, claiming that Jackson is not their biological father, but that she was artificially inseminated with anonymously donated sperm. Rowe later denied that she intended to file the papers . . .
On Friday, Jackson’s former pal, Kosher Sex author Rabbi Shmuley Boteach posted a plea to the singer to raise his children Jewish on the WorldNetDaily.com site. Fearing that Jackson could “end up like his one-time father-in-law and fellow pop superstar, Elvis,” Boteach said he was compelled to speak out despite recent “vociferous” attacks from Jackson fans. “Michael, do the right thing and make sure your children are raised as Jews,” Boteach posted. “Keep them far away from Nation of Islam. Do not raise them in a tradition that is not only alien to them, but hostile to their congenital faith. The fact is, you have Jewish children, and you have an obligation to raise them in the traditions of Abraham and Moses. Just as your children are heir to your musical genius — you told me several times that Prince is already exhibiting musical talent — they are also heir to the harp and lyre of King David’s Psalms.”