It wouldn’t be a Celebrity Trial of the Century without some insight from Geraldo Rivera. On his weekly show At Large this Saturday night, the Fox News Channel correspondent will air his exclusive interview with Michael Jackson, marking the first major TV interview for the embattled King of Pop since he spoke to 60 Minutes‘ Ed Bradley in December 2003 shortly after his arrest on child molestation charges. Rivera, who received an on-air phone call from Jackson a few weeks ago while covering a rally of Jackson supporters, taped the interview in mid-January and has been touting it this week on other Fox News shows. Reportedly, the Feb. 5 broadcast will feature Jackson talking about his relationship with his own children, how he’s coped with the intense media scrutiny of the past 15 months, the future of his career, and (making him the last person in America to offer an opinion on the subject) his sister Janet’s wardrobe flap at the Super Bowl a year ago.
A court-imposed gag order prevents Jackson from talking in too much detail about the trial (for which jury selection began on Monday), though he was permitted to let Rivera videotape his prepared statement, released to the public over the weekend, proclaiming his innocence and complaining about the recent leaks to the media of supposedly secret grand jury testimony that graphically and explicitly details the allegations against him. He should get a sympathetic ear from Rivera, who has said that the ”damaging and destructive” leaks may taint the jury pool and make it hard for the singer to receive a fair trial.