Jackson Seeks TV Interview Injunction
Michael Jackson's lawyers requested a court injunction yesterday (Feb. 24) to block a television company from releasing unused footage filmed during the making of a documentary about his life. The sinMichael Jackson's lawyers requested a court injunction yesterday (Feb. 24) to block a television company from releasing unused footage filmed during the making of a documentary about his life. The singer has complained he felt "more betrayed than perhaps ever before" by British journalist Martin Bashir's program "Living With Michael Jackson."
In the 90-minute documentary, aired in England and the U.S., Jackson said he sometimes lets children sleep in his bed. Bashir expressed concern about the king of pop's treatment of his three children.
Jackson and his company MJJ Productions Inc. said in a statement they were seeking an injunction against Granada, the company that released the documentary, so that it cannot use unseen footage until wider disputes are settled -- specifically whether Bashir "breached the terms on which he was permitted to film Jackson." Granada said it would fight the proceedings vigorously. A hearing is expected Friday in London.
Jackson's lawyers allege that Granada has refused to place the disputed footage in the care of a third party, until legal questions have been resolved. "Consistently Michael Jackson has argued that Martin Bashir and Granada broke the agreement by which he was permitted to film Michael, concerning ownership of the filmed material and permissions relating to the inclusion of the Jackson children," said the statement.
"In particular, Granada has failed to honor an agreement reached earlier this month to deliver up to Michael Jackson unused film footage of his children, where recognizable," it added.
Granada confirmed it had been contacted by Jackson's lawyers about the proceedings. "They relate to attempts by Michael to claim copyright in our footage," said a spokesperson on condition of anonymity. "We shall be resisting such claims vigorously."
In the Bashir documentary, Jackson said he had slept in a bed with many children. "When you say bed you're thinking sexual," the singer said. "It's not sexual, we're going to sleep. I tuck them in... It's very charming, it's very sweet."
The program showed the singer with his children -- his 5-year-old son, Prince Michael I, 4-year-old daughter, Paris, and infant son, Prince Michael II. Their faces were always covered, either by masks or veils, so they could not be identified. Earlier this month, Jackson's lawyers filed complaints with Britain's Independent Television Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Commission, saying he had been "unfairly treated" by the program.
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