Liza defends Jacko over baby incident
Maybe Liza Minnelli thinks she owes Michael Jackson for playing matchmaker last fall for her and David Gest. She returned the favor Wednesday by defending his behavior in Tuesday’s incident, in which he dangled his 9-month-old son, Prince Michael II, outside the fourth-floor window of a Berlin hotel, showing the tot off to fans on the street below. ”It doesn’t sound like him at all,” Minnelli told reporters in Los Angeles, according to the BBC. ”The word ‘dangling’ is what I would like to look into. I don’t see a picture where he is dangling the child dangerously, I see him holding [him] up above a railing for the press to say hello to his kid,” she said.
That may not be how fans on the street, TV viewers around the world, or even Jackson himself saw the incident. From the widely viewed video footage of the incident, it seemed clear that Jackson was holding the wriggling, kicking infant over the railing with one arm and holding a towel over the child’s face with the other. Jackson himself issued an apology for the incident, calling it a ”terrible mistake,” adding, ”I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children.” German authorities, however, said that Jackson would not face any child endangerment charges unless someone filed a formal complaint, the Boston Globe reports.
Minnelli, who met Gest last September when she appeared at the Gest-produced Jackson 30th anniversary concerts (Jackson served as Gest’s best man at the couple’s March wedding), also discussed the incident with CNN’s Larry King, telling him, ”It’s also the angle of the camera. Of course nobody should do that to a child, but did he do that, or was he holding up the baby over the railing to show the fans as he did his other little boy first?”
For his part, Jackson spent the day proving his bona fides as a father and someone who cares for kids. Wire reports had him buying a copy of ”E.T.,” a movie he has reportedly watched 500 times, to watch with his three kids. He also auctioned off a silver-studded jacket he wore at January’s American Music Awards for $16,000 at a benefit for homeless children. And he took his older kids — son Prince Michael I, 5, and daughter Paris, 4 — to the Berlin Zoo. Jackson kept them veiled, like their baby brother, showing them off, but with their faces covered by crimson shawls.