Jackson lawyer denies actor Lester is Paris father

Michael Jackson's family lawyer today rejected claims from child star Mark Lester that he could be the biological father of the pop legend's daughter Paris.

Speaking on GMTV from Los Angeles, Brian Oxman said: "The thing I always heard from Michael was that Michael was the father of these children, and I believe Michael."

Lester, who starred in 1960s musical Oliver! and is godfather to Jackson's three children, revealed yesterday that he donated sperm to the King of Pop 13 years ago.

The actor cited similarities between his own 15-year-old daughter Harriet and Paris, 11, saying: "I gave Michael my sperm so that he could have kids - and I believe Paris is my daughter."

Lester, 51, also said he was willing to take a paternity test to determine the truth.

But Mr Oxman told GMTV: "Mark Lester is a friend of mine - he is a straight shooter.

"I think what Mark said is what he understands - he was told these things. That's what Michael wanted it to be.

"But Michael always told me he was the papa."

Mr Oxman said he also talked to Jackson's sister La Toya yesterday, and she also said the late singer was the real father of his children.

"I think that Michael was the dad, but Mark sure tells it straight," he said.

"Mark is a man of his word...he was the godfather of these children.

"But I have to go with Michael because Michael told me he was the dad."

Lester told the News of the World yesterday: "I do feel a definite bonding with Paris and I think there's a definite possibility that she's part of me.

"I want to have contact with her, Prince and Blanket regardless of whether any or all of them are mine. I think it's cruel that I've now been excluded from them."

The father of four added: "Paris is very pale, with blue eyes. All my daughters, apart from my eldest, are fair with blue eyes. So many people have commented on how alike Harriet and Paris look."

Lester said he was speaking out because he feared being cut out of the lives of Jackson's children.

Up until the pop singer's memorial last month, he was in contact with them on a weekly basis, the former child star said.

But since Jackson's mother Katherine had been granted custody of the children, he said all his phone calls and emails had gone unanswered.

"This isn't what Michael would have wanted," Lester told the paper. I feel I have to come forward, as my only way of saying, 'Please don't shut me out!'."

He was supported by Jackson's close friend, Uri Geller.

Geller said yesterday: "I am not surprised, I knew it all along simply because Michael told me.

"Mark has his own reasons, I really have to respect them."

Mr Oxman also revealed that a final burial ceremony had taken place for Jackson.

It follows the return last week of certain tissues such as his brain following autopsy and post-mortem investigations. These tissues were interred with the singer's body during a "low key ceremony", Mr Oxman said.

He told GMTV: "The interment has now taken place.

"The burial itself was at the time of (last month's) memorial.

"When the tissues were returned to the body, then the interment was made final."

The Daily Mirror said the ceremony happened at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills.

A spokesman for the sprawling site said she "had no information to give" on any ceremony to do with Jackson.



Geller said the best way to resolve the issue was for Lester to undergo a paternity test.

He told GMTV: "I have no reason to doubt Mark's story simply because I remember years ago in New York Michael implied to me that he wanted Mark to help him father a child for him.

"Obviously I can't be 100 per cent sure that Paris is the biological daughter of Mark but I remember those words, and knowing the relationship that Mark had with Michael and their families and their children and the many trips they did take together, there was such a strong bond that to me it really makes sense.

"As Mark Lester's friend and past friend of Michael Jackson, I really have to respect at this stage both camps. I would advise the family to allow Mark to do a paternity test. That will solve everything, won't it?"

He said he believed the children could cope with the stress of the situation.

And when he was asked if he thought Lester was trying to make money out of the story he said: "I don't know that."

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