Reports said that items 'depicting nude children' were found at Jackson's home in 2003
The estate of Michael Jackson has responded to recent reports that police found several items “depicting nude children” at the late star’s Neverland Ranch home over ten years ago.
Earlier this week Radar Online published police reports dating back to a search of the singer’s Santa Barbara property in 2003. Jackson later faced trial for child molestation two years later in 2005 but was acquitted on all counts.
The reports claim that several books featuring explicit and suggestive material of young boys were found, including a “book depicting nude children” and images of “pre-teen or early teenage individuals” who were either “nude or semi-nude”. Many of the items found were detailed in court papers from the time, the Daily Mail reports.
The investigator writes in the report: “Based on my training, this type of material can be used as part of the ‘grooming’ process, by which people (those seeking to molest children) lower the inhibitions of their intended victims and facilitate the molestation of said victims.”
Jackson’s estate has now released a statement, denying the reports and labelling them “sleazy internet click bait”
“Seven years ago this coming Saturday, the world lost an amazing artist and humanitarian devoted to helping children in need in all corners of the world,” the statement reads, as reported by Billboard.
“Michael Jackson’s fans, including the Executors of his estate, prefer to remember the wonderful gifts Michael left behind instead of having to once again see his good name dragged through the mud by tabloid trash.”
“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 statement closes by saying: “Michael remains just as innocent of these smears in death as he was in life even though he isn’t here to defend himself. Enough is enough.”
Meanwhile, Taj Jackson – Michael Jackson’s nephew and Tito Jackson’s son – tweeted that “there [is] absolutely no truth to this story whatsoever”, adding that he is “truly sick of this crap”. See that tweet below.
Jackson repeatedly denied accusations of child sex abuse during his lifetime. In 1993, 13 year old Evan Chandler sued Jackson for allegedly sexually abusing him. The two parties reached a financial settlement the next year, with criminal investigations into the claims later dropped due to a lack of evidence.