No matter what the outcome of Michael Jackson’s trial, which begins Monday, the singer won’t be hosting any more sleepovers at Neverland. In a videotaped statement released on Sunday, the singer once again proclaimed his innocence, said he befriended his young accuser out of a desire to help the cancer-stricken boy’s family, and said he would never again make himself vulnerable to accusations like those that the boy has leveled against him.
”Years ago, I allowed a family to visit and spend some time at Neverland,” Jackson said in the video. ”Neverland is my home. I allowed this family into my home because they told me their son was ill with cancer and needed my help.” Now, however, he regrets that decision, he said, and he’s much more wary of helping others. ”These events have caused a nightmare for my family, my children and me. I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable a position again.”
Jackson also complained about recent news reports that spelled out in graphic and explicit detail the boy’s molestation allegations against him, details culled from leaked transcripts of grand jury testimony obtained by The Smoking Gun website and ABC’s Good Morning America. ”The information is disgusting and false,” the singer said. He called upon potential jurors — and the public at large — to keep an open mind. ”Let me have my day in court,” he said. ”I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I love my community and I have great faith in our justice system. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told.”