Shocking New Jackson Allegations: Story
01/29/2004 AT 11:05 AM EST
Orth, who has extensively covered Jackson in the past, cites as her sources attorneys and relatives of the accusers, and former Jackson employees, whom she quotes firsthand. Another source, reports USA Today, is former Jackson financial adviser Myung-Ho Lee, who last year sued Jackson for $12 million for money he was allegedly owed. (The case was settled out of court.)
Among Orth's other revelations, as reported by USA Today: Lee's reputed claim that a Demerol-and-morphine-addicted Jackson spent years in and out of rehab and secretly underwent detox in Seoul, Korea, and that ex-wife Debbie Rowe allegedly threatened to reveal Jackson's secrets unless he forked over at least $8 million in hush money.
Lee also confirms to Orth that Rowe was the surrogate, not biological, mother of children Prince Michael I and Paris. Earlier this week, a similar report appeared in the British tabloid News of the World, but Rowe denied the story to Los Angeles TV station NBC4, saying the tabloid story amounts to nothing but "a malicious, pathetic pack of lies."
Orth also reports that the boy at the center of the 1993 investigation against Jackson (the accuser, who never went to trial with his claim, reportedly received $25 million from the pop star) is now a college graduate who manages his own money and does not work, according to his uncle, Ray Chandler.
Jackson's attorney, Mark Geragos, citing a gag order in the current case, told USA Today that he could not comment on Orth's article. Jackson, 45, has pleaded innocent to seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, reportedly wine. He is free on $3 million bail pending trial.
In still other Jackson-related news, a Chicago judge has ordered R&B star R. Kelly, who is awaiting trial on child pornography charges, to steer clear of Michael Jackson when Kelly attends next month's Grammy Awards. (But several other reports say Jackson is not expected to attend the big music industry bash on Sunday, Feb. 8.)
Prosecutors and Kelly's lawyers tell the Chicago Sun-Times that they never raised the issue of a Jackson-Kelly liaison during a hearing this week about Kelly's travel. (Kelly required the judge's permission to attend the Grammys in L.A.) Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan made the edict on his own, they said.
Also on Wednesday, the father of Jackson's current young accuser was denied his request to see his children by Superior Court Judge Richard E. Denner, reports the Associated Press.
Barred from contacting the boy and his brother and sister, the father had asked to visit his son because of rumors the boy is sick and because he hoped to determine whether Jackson molested him.