Jackson ready to fight back

'King of Pop' Michael Jackson has decided to get back at people trying to 'abuse' his reputation and use him as a 'lottery ticket', his lawyer has said.

    The singer may take legal action against his detractors

    Jackson is currently trying to evade the world media's attention following his arrest for child molestation.

    The beleaguered singer has dismissed the allegations, made by a 12-year-old cancer survivor, as a "big lie".

    Jackson's defence attorney Mark Geragos said at a news conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday that opportunists were trying to cash in

    on the singer's troubles.

    The lawyer vowed to take stringent action against anyone who saw Jackson as "a lottery ticket". He suggested that the singer's young

    accuser or his family were also trying to cash in on the star's woes.

    "This is not the lottery. This is this man's life, this is his family's life, these are scurrilous accusations.

    "If anybody doesn't think, based upon what's happened so far, that the true motivation of these charges and allegations is anything but

    money and the seeking of money, then they are living in their own Neverland."

    Jackson's sprawling ranch near the California town of Santa Barbara is called Neverland.

    Santa Barbara police have said that Jackson was likely to be formally charged "in the first weeks of December" ahead of his first scheduled

    court appearance on 9 January.

    Stern warning

    Geragos also issued a stern warning to all those who were speaking out against Jackson.

    "We will land on you like a tonne of bricks, we will land on you like a hammer, if you do anything to besmirch this man's reputation,

    anything to intrude on his privacy in any way that's actionable, we will unleash a legal torrent like you've never seen," the lawyer said.

    Jackson's fans have come out in
    in support of their hero   

    He added that Jackson would now target anyone who acted in bad faith. "We will meet any accusation that is made with every legal

    avenue. We will not sit back and allow him to be abused - and that's what actually going on here."

    Meanwhile, an airline charter company that Jackson used after his arrest allegedly tried to sell to media two videotapes of Jackson and

    Geragos discussing the case on the plane.

    The lawyer said Jackson had won a restraining order against XtraJet, the charter firm that tried to peddle the videos.

    "We, I believe, will put XtraJet out of business for this outrageous act," Geragos said, slamming the "surreptitious" taping and invasion of

    attorney-client privilege.

    The company denied taping the conversation, saying the tapes were found on the plane.

    Jackson turned himself in to police on an arrest warrant for child abuse and was freed on $3 million bail on Thursday.

    The pop icon's spokesman Stuart Backerman refused to say where the star was holed up, but a report said he had fled his Las Vegas

    hotel shortly after arriving there on Thursday disguised as an old lady in a flowing back dress, veil and hat.

    SOURCE: AFP


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