With three weeks to go before his formal arraignment on child molestation charges, Michael Jackson has gone on the offensive, accusing police of manhandling him and locking him in a filthy bathroom for 45 minutes when he gave himself up for arrest last month.
In a long television interview aired on Sunday night, Mr Jackson said the Santa Barbara sheriff's deputies who handcuffed him at the county jail had yanked his arms "too tight behind my back" and dislocated his shoulder. He showed his interviewer, from CBS's Sixty Minutes programme, a photograph of an angry welt on his right wrist, which he said was caused by the police.
"They manhandled me very roughly," Mr Jackson said. "My shoulder is dislocated, literally. It's hurting me very badly."
The Santa Barbara district attorney's office, which has filed nine felony counts of child molestation and administration of an "intoxicating agent" to a minor against the 45-year-old singer, did not respond to Mr Jackson's specific allegations but said before Christmas that all reports of mistreatment were "untrue".
Of the lavatory incident, Mr Jackson said: "Once I went in the restroom, they locked me in there for, like, 45 minutes.There was doo-doo, faeces thrown all over the walls, the floor, the ceiling. And it stunk so bad. Then one of the policemen came by the window. And he made a sarcastic remark. He said: 'Smell - does it smell good enough for you in there?' "
Mr Jackson protested his innocence, saying the allegations of abuse against a cancer-stricken 12-year-old guest at his Neverland ranch in central California were the product of dirty minds. Asked whether he thought it was odd for a 45-year-old man to share a bed with children he is not related to, Mr Jackson replied that it had happened "many times with me when I was little".Reuse content