After Radar Online published documents this week suggesting that Michael Jackson kept a collection of pornography at his Neverland Ranch, the singer's estate issued a statement calling the disclosure "sleazy internet click bait."
Radar Online's report claims that Jackson was in possession of magazines and videos that contained images of nude children and animal torture. This material was allegedly used to entice young men, and was allegedly found during a raid on Jackson's Neverland ranch more than a decade ago by the Santa Barbara Country Sheriff's Department.
"Some of the documents appear to be copies of reports that were authored by Sheriff's Office personnel as well as evidentiary photographs taken by Sheriff's Office personnel interspersed with content that appears to be obtained off the internet or through unknown sources," a representative of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department told Billboard in an emailed statement. "The Sheriff's Office did not release any of the documents and/or photographs to the media."
The L.A. Times reports that Michael Jackson's estate dismissed all the material, regardless of its origin, in a statement. "Everything in these reports, including what the County of Santa Barbara calls 'content that appears to be obtained off the Internet or through unknown sources' is false, no doubt timed to the anniversary of Michael's passing.
"Those who continue to shamelessly exploit Michael via sleazy internet 'click bait' ignore that he was acquitted by a jury in 2005 on every one of the 14 salacious charges brought against him in a failed witch hunt," the estate added. The statement said that Jackson's "good name" was being "dragged through the mud by tabloid trash."
Jackson's daughter Paris seconded her father's estate on Twitter. "Unfortunately negativity will always sell," she wrote. "I urge you all to ignore the trash & the parasites who make a career trying to slander my father." "The most pure people are always torn down," she continued. "It will continue to be proven that my beloved dad has always been and forever will be innocent." Jackson's nephew Taj also weighed in, writing on Twitter, "Not only is there absolutely no truth to this story whatsoever, but I'm truly sick of this crap. #getalife and stop living off ours."
In 2005, Jackson faced trial for four charges of child molestation, one charge of attempted child molestation, one conspiracy charge and eight possible counts of providing alcohol to minors. He was acquitted of all charges after a 14-week trial. The singer died in 2009.
Jackson was sued for molestation again in 2013. A Los Angeles judge dismissed the case last year.