JACKO’S SILENT SPENDING SPREE

The star says that he was "concerned about my family and the media scrutiny"…

Michael Jackson has admitted that he paid people off in the past who threatened him with legal action.

The star responded on Friday (September 3) to a ‘Dateline NBC’ report that claimed he paid $2 million to silence a would-be-accuser in 1990.

A retired Santa Barbara County sheriff explained in the report, which also aired on Friday, how his office uncovered a 1990 payoff to the 12-year-old son of a Neverland Ranch employee.

According to MTV News, the discovery came while the office were investigating a 1993 molestation case in which Michael Jackson paid between $15 and $20 million in an out-of-court settlement.

Michael Jackson issued a statement via his official news and information site, mjjsource.com, saying: “It is unfortunate, that yet again, I must respond to untruths and sensationalism.

“Years ago, I settled with certain individuals because I was concerned about my family and the media scrutiny that would have ensued if I fought the matter in court. These people wanted to exploit my concern for children by threatening to destroy what I believe in and what I do. I have been a vulnerable target for those who want money.

“I have spent my entire life helping millions of children across the world. I would never harm a child. It is unfortunate that some individuals have seen fit to come forward and make a complaint that is completely false. Quite frankly, I question the timing and motive of this report.”

The singer, who is currently facing a ten count indictment which includes charges of child molestation and conspiracy stemming from alleged incidents in early 2003, added: “I look forward to the day when I will be vindicated by a jury of my peers. Maybe then, these reports will come to an end.”

Michael Jackson is currently set to stand trial on the child molestation charges in California’s Santa Barbara in January 2005.