Latin Conference & Awards

Jacksons Speak Out In Michael's Defense

In the wake of child molestation charges officially filed yesterday (Dec. 18) in California, Michael Jackson's family has pledged its support. As previously reported, Santa Barbara County prosecutors

In the wake of child molestation charges officially filed yesterday (Dec. 18) in California, Michael Jackson's family has pledged its support. As previously reported, Santa Barbara County prosecutors slapped Jackson with seven counts alleging lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent.

"Michael is innocent," reads a statement released by the entertainer's mother, Katherine Jackson. "On behalf of the Jackson family we know these vicious lies are totally untrue, malicious and motivated by pure greed and revenge.

"Our family totally supports Michael. We proudly stand next to Michael who we know could never commit any of the acts he is accused of. We will fight with every ounce of our energy to reveal the truth behind these false allegations and the motivations behind those who have falsely accused Michael."

Yesterday's charges came nearly a month after Jackson's Neverland estate was raided by police. He surrendered to authorities days later on a warrant for suspicion of child molestation and was released on $3 million bail.

Jackson's arraignment has been set for Jan. 16. Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon has returned Jackson's passport to him in order to allow him to travel to the U.K. tomorrow, with plans to return Jan. 6.

On Web site set up as his "official press room" -- mjnews.us -- Jackson says the charges are "predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us."