Some of Michael Jackson‘s family are outraged at the recent revelations that former BBC journalist Martin Bashir was found to have used unethical means to get Princess Diana‘s bombshell 1995 interview – and now they’re claiming he did the same to Michael Jackson.
Martin Bashir was recently the subject of an investigation by senior judge John Dyson after Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer accused him of using unethical means to obtain her interview. Bashir was found to have created false bank statements and stories about the royal family to appeal to Diana’s paranoias and gain her trust.
Now, Michael Jackson’s nephew Taj Jackson is alleging that Martin Bashir used similar means in creating his infamous documentary Living with Michael Jackson (2003).
"I think now the world is seeing how unethical Martin Bashir can be"— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) May 24, 2021
Michael Jackson's nephew @tajjackson3 talks about his call for an investigation into his uncle's notorious documentary with disgraced reporter Martin Bashir. pic.twitter.com/lyTjXQD1iO
Prior to the documentary airing, Michael Jackson was found not guilty of child sex offences in a highly publicised trial.
Living With Michael Jackson profiled MJ’s life at the Neverland Ranch, and during the interview Bashir asked him about the allegations against him. In response to questions about sharing a bed with a 13-year-old, Michael Jackson said “Why can’t you share your bed? That’s the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone.”
Months after the film’s release, Michael Jackson was charged with seven counts of child molestation, but was acquitted of all charges in 2005. He died in 2009, and in 2019 a controversial doco came out called Leaving Neverland, which included testimonials from two men who allege Michael Jackson molested them when they were children.
Taj Jackson has since taken to Twitter and alleged that Bashir manipulated footage, and blamed him for MJ’s death.
“Bashir’s manipulated footage and [unethical] journalism is one of the main reasons my uncle Michael is not here today,” he said.
“That 2005 trial broke him. Shame on those who provided cover for Bashir. Shame on those who rewarded him. My family deserves an investigation & apology too.”
Bashir’s manipulated footage and unethically journalism is one of the main reasons my uncle Michael is not here today. That 2005 trial broke him. Shame on those who provided cover for Bashir. Shame on those who rewarded him.— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) May 20, 2021
My family deserves an investigation & apology too. https://t.co/pJAO4amAum
He claimed in an interview on Sunrise this morning that the controversial quote about sharing beds was taken out of context, and alleged that signatures on release documents for the documentary didn’t look like Michael Jackson’s before calling for a new investigation into Bashir’s practices.
A statement on behalf of Bashir said that “The ITV documentary team spent more than eight months filming with Michael Jackson. He signed two contracts to allow for filming and broadcast and Martin Bashir was always accompanied by a production team and crew.
“Following the documentary Mr Jackson was charged by the relevant authorities in the United States in relation to allegations concerning a teenage boy. It was the second time Michael Jackson had faced similar allegations in his lifetime. He was tried and eventually cleared by a court in California.
“Martin Bashir gave no evidence against him because, apart from a very few minutes of the documentary that featured Mr Jackson talking on camera – very willingly – about sleeping in bed with a child, the film did not contain any allegations of wrongdoing. To suggest the TV programme led to his death, over which his personal physician was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, is untrue.”