Boy's father calls Jackson 'evil guy': Pop star cancels third concert as publicity battle heats up over allegations of sexual abuse of children

Click to follow
The Independent Online
MICHAEL JACKSON postponed a concert for the third time in a week yesterday, strengthening suggestions that the allegations against him are taking a toll on the 35-year-old entertainer's health. Some 40,000 fans at the National Stadium in Singapore roared in disbelief when the postponement was announced just before Jackson was due to perform. A spokesman for the tour promoters said the singer had fainted.

Meanwhile, the publicity battle between the opposing sides in the Jackson child sex-abuse scandal intensified sharply yesterday after a television station said it had a tape-recording in which the singer is branded 'an evil guy' by Evan Chandler, the father of his 13-year-old alleged victim.

Details of the alleged recording were revealed at exactly the same time as Jackson's father, mother and brother were appearing at a press conference in Los Angeles to protest his innocence and declare their support. They said the family was planning to go and see him on his world tour.

The tape, acquired by CBS television which said it had checked its authenticity, was allegedly between the boy's father, a Beverly Hills dentist and part-time Hollywood scriptwriter and the boy's step-father, who owns a car rental company. 'If I go through with this I win big time,' the tape reportedly said, 'I will get everything I want. The mother is going to lose the son and Michael's career will be over.

'The mother is harming the son and Michael Jackson is harming him and I can prove that. It cost me tens of thousands of dollars to get the information I got, and you know I don't have that kind of money. It will be a massacre if I don't get what I want. I know Michael is bad for my son. I know what he has to hide. Michael is using his age and experience and money and power to great advantage over the son.

'The problem is he is also greatly harming him for his own selfish reasons. He is not the altruistic kind of human being he appears to be. This man is going to be humiliated beyond belief. He will not believe what will happen to him, beyond his worst nightmare. He will not sell one more record. The facts are so overwhelming that everyone will be destroyed in the process.'

There was speculation last night that the tape was leaked by the father in an attempt to counter the barrage of pro-Jackson publicity coming from the singer's lawyers and family, who say he is the victim of a dollars 20m (pounds 13.33m) extortion attempt.

In Singapore, Jackson was taken back to his hotel suite to be examined by a doctor to determine if he needed hospital treatment, the tour promoter's spokesman said. As the scandal casts a cloud over his six-continent tour, Jackson has mostly stayed out of sight, appearing only for a concert on Sunday, his birthday.

From Singapore, Jackson is due to perform in Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Israel, Turkey and the Canary Islands. Yesterday a group of fans serenaded him below his room at Singapore's Raffles Hotel, singing: 'You are our sunshine, our only sunshine, you make us happy when skies are gray.'

(Photograph omitted)