Michael Jackson’s nephews Taj, T.J. and Taryll Jackson, are suing Radar Online for $100 million because they say the site falsely claimed Jackson molested them and then paid them off. The three made up the music group 3T.
Radar Online publisher AMI sent iMediaEthics this statement about the lawsuit, denying it said they were molested or took a bribe.
“It’s curious and revealing that plaintiffs have not attached the Radar article to their complaint,” the statement reads. “The article does NOT accuse Michael Jackson of molesting his nephews, nor does it accuse them of accepting a bribe.”
The AMI statement goes on, “The Radar article clearly states that detectives reported that Michael Jackson may have used photos of his nephews ‘to excite young boys.’ This theory was, in fact, presented by the prosecution during Michael Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial. Radar looks forward to correcting plaintiffs’ misstatements in a court of law.”
The June 20 story was headlined “Paedo Proof? Never-Before-Seen Cop Reports Expose Michael Jackson’s Sick Secrets.” Referencing the three nephews, the article says:
“One private investigator with direct knowledge of the raids said: ‘The detectives’ report cites Michael even used sexy photos of his own nephews, who were in the band 3T, in their underwear to excite young boys.“
After the Radar story was published, the New York Post reported that a detective said the nephews were allegedly bribed. The Post‘s June 25 story reads:
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“We received a credible tip about the nephews and, as with many things that happened during the investigation, Jackson’s people got wind of it and Jackson spirited the one boy off to an island,” said a former county detective. “Well, when that boy returned, Jackson had also purchased him a brand new car which we understood, along with the trip, was to shut the nephew up.”
iMediaEthics has asked the New York Post if it has received any legal threats. The lawyer for the Jacksons, Bert Fields, told iMediaEthics there hasn’t been a decision yet on whether they are suing any other outlets.
“Radar has tried to profit by launching a vicious and unrelenting attack on [Jackson] based on claims that, years ago, he was guilty of sexual abuse, even though, at the time, he was found ‘not guilty’ of that very charge,” the lawsuit states, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Radar represents its ‘reports’ as ‘new’ and based on official ‘Detective Reports.’ Not only have those Detective Reports been available to the public for many years, Radar has misrepresented what the Reports say.”
The Jacksons’ lawyer, Bert Fields, told iMediaEthics “Our position is set out in the Complaint. All I can add is that I look forward to getting these people on a witness stand.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the three asked Radar Online unsuccessfully for corrections.The nephews deny ever being abused by Jackson or impeding any investigation into him.
The lawsuit also points to the media coverage of the Radar Online story. “Based on Radar’s Libelous Stories, the international media reported to the public that ‘Michael Jackson molested his own nephews…and silenced them with threats and gifts.'”
The Daily Mail, for example, headlined its story: “Investigators were convinced Michael Jackson molested his own nephews and believe he silenced them with threats and gifts, sources say.”