Jackson accused by sister of abusing boys for years

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THE CHILD sex scandal surrounding the pop star Michael Jackson deepened last night after his sister LaToya told an extraordinary midnight press conference in Tel Aviv that her brother threatened to kill her if she revealed that he had been molesting children for years.

Ms Jackson, who has made conflicting claims about her eccentric brother before and is estranged from her family, told reporters that she could 'no longer be a silent collaborator of his crimes against small innocent children', and added that she 'hopes he gets help'.

She continued, in an emotional statement which will further damage Jackson's tottering multi-million dollar empire: 'If I remain silent, then that means that I feel the guilt and humiliation that these children are feeling and I think that is very wrong.'

'Now you stop and you think for one second,' she told reporters, 'and you tell me, what 35-year-old man is going to take a little boy and stay with him for 30 days and take another boy and stay with him for five days in a room and never leave the room?'

For weeks Jackson's lawyers have been fending off allegations that he sexually abused the 13-year-old son of a Beverly Hills dentist during a four- month relationship. The entertainer is in hiding, possibly in Britain, after suddenly cancelling a world tour, saying that he needed treatment for addiction to painkillers.

However, the Los Angeles police, who are investigating him, have not filed charges or detailed their progress.

Ms Jackson, speaking in detail about her brother's case for the first time, alleged he had made payments to parents: 'I have seen cheques payable to the parents of these children, and I don't know if these children were apparently bought through the parents by Michael or not, but I have seen these cheques.'