As if last week's broadcast of the documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" hadn't done enough damage to the singer's already sullied image, court papers detailing decade-old molestation allegations have now surfaced online.
The Smoking Gun on Monday posted a four-page sworn declaration in which a then-13-year-old California boy details a friendship with Jackson that progressed to the point where the singer was allegedly calling the boy for up to three hours from various tour stops to talk about "video games, the Neverland Ranch, water fights and famous people that he knew."
In February 1993, the boy began staying over at Neverland, first in the guest house but eventually in Jackson's bed, according to the papers. Gradually, the boy claims, the singer began to initiate physical contact, and when the boy would refuse, Jackson would start crying. The documents go on to detail alleged sexual encounters.
The boy sued Jackson on a number of charges, including sexual battery, willful misconduct and emotional distress. The case was settled out of court four months later for undisclosed terms, and no criminal charges were filed.
Jackson's London public relations representative, Bell Yard Communications, could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday. However, Jackson did issue a response on Thursday to "Living With Michael Jackson," in which journalist Martin Bashir voices concern for the singer's children.
"Everyone who knows me will know the truth, which is that my children come first in my life and that I would never harm any child," Jackson wrote.
In the same statement, Jackson also claimed he was deceived and misrepresented by Bashir, and he promised to prove it within 24 hours by giving the press video footage showing Bashir praising Jackson's parenting skills. As of Tuesday, no such video had surfaced.
Granada, the company behind "Living With Michael Jackson," called Jackson's attempts to discredit the program "flimsy and desperate."