Jackson Publicist Slaps Down False Stories – MJEOL Bullet #100 Jackson’s publicist, Raymone Bain, gave interviews recently (March 5) to slap down the many false stories that are circulating around Michael Jackson. These rumors range from the ridiculous to the defamatory. Bain, who talks to Jackson 5 or 6 times daily, says Jackson is tired of the nonsense. Why is Jackson in Colorado? Ask me this question, and I’d ask why the *beep* it’s any of your business. Fortunately, Bain is a lot more patient and provides more detail:

Incorrect, that is totally a lie. I’m glad you mentioned that because I’ve had to deal with that since he stepped foot in Aspen. First, [it was rumored] he was checking himself in rehab in Denver and that was all over the place and we had to address the fact that he was on vacation in Aspen. So we had to let the whole world know that he decided to take a vacation with his kids because someone called one of the World News organizations and said that Michael Jackson had checked himself into rehab in Denver and he was right there in Aspen… I was never asked and Michael Jackson was never asked to respond. (see Access Hollywood interview) Michael is in Aspen with his kids on vacation. He is doing fantastic. However, as you can imagine, he’s getting a bit concerned about all of the rumors, innuendo, all of the people who have been speaking on his behalf, whom he doesn’t know, whom he hasn’t authorized them doing so. And I think that anyone would be now just a little bit angry and that’s putting it mildly. (see Video:Today show interview) He was snowboarding with the kids, snowball fights. You know, just enjoying the snow because the kids wanted to see the snow. And one of his children celebrated a birthday. So he thought it would be a nice time for him to get away. (see transcript of show which has more than what Access Hollywood showed on the program)

When asked if Jackson was in “detox” as certain wrong-heading writers for certain wrong-headed publications have claimed, Bain does not mince words:

Not true. Not true at all. Absolutely false. Michael is there on vacation with his kids. (Today show interview)

There were many reports recently about a Dr. Sebi (sp?) who is an herbalist; well known in the black community. His involvement has sparked a flurry of false reports about his current role in Jackson’s life, and has provided a way for many people to massively misinterpret whatever he is or isn’t doing with Jackson. Jackson has known the doctor for a while now. And Bain makes the point of people incorrectly jumping to conclusions based on what somebody said they heard from a source who heard from someone who said…well, you get the idea:

If I have lunch with a friend who’s an oncologist, do I have cancer? If I have a visit from a friend that’s a hematologist, do I have a blood disease? I mean Michael has known the doctor and I don’t think that that should indicate that Michael is being treated or anything. He’s not in detox. He is absolutely, positively on vacation with his kids. (Today show interview)

It’s just a shame that certain people didn’t check with Bain or with Jackson before going to the media to push this story. Bain also brought up a great point that was completely overlooked by the media, who have previously totally refused to ask such common sense questions:

And, Katie, why would Michael—if he were in detox—leave LA? He can very well have had the doctor come there. Why would he take his kids with him if he were being treated for some kind of dependency of drugs and alcohol? That’s absolutely untrue. (Today show interview)

Now, let’s review that point. Just why in the world would Jackson take his children with him if he was being treated for any kind of dependency? Shouldn’t it have dawned on members of the media before now that Jackson wouldn’t go to “rehab” or be in “detox” with his children? In Colorado?? Why would he be out shopping in different places if he were being treated for addiction? Are people routinely let out to do a little winter shopping during their detoxification process? I don’t think so. Common sense is sorely lacking with many of these recent “reports”. But what is even more angering is the fact that no one even asked these questions before shoveling in the misinformation from tabloids like Celebrity Justice and publications like US Weekly. When asked about the defamatory Vanity Fair article, Bain admits that Jackson was outraged at the article:

Outrage. And I can’t blame him. Because just because someone has been employed does not mean that they tell the absolute truth. I think there are people who, whatever their reasons are, have been out here making misstatements, turning the truth into something that’s untrue, speaking out about issues of which they have no knowledge, and Michael Jackson is frankly sick of it. (Today Show interview)

Speaking of misstatements, this “detox” crap has been furthered recently by a US Weekly article claiming to emphatically know that Jackson is in rehab. Despite everything to the contrary, the “writer” still ridiculously stands by the story. US Weekly have stepped in a pile of you know what with their latest story and may have missed an opportunity to get an interview from the megastar himself:

I mean, for instance, there is a magazine article that’s coming out either today or next week, emphatically stating that he is in detox and which emphatically indicates how I was brought into the team. Factually incorrect, both. (Today show interview) I was never asked and Michael Jackson was never asked to respond . All he [the writer of the article] had to do was [contact me]… Not one call. And who’s to say they could not have even gotten statements directly from Michael Jackson. And so they could have lost an opportunity to speak to him directly…I talked to the executive editor of the magazine who apologized. But after you have a headline “Michael Jackson in Detox”, what kind of apology can you give?? (Access Hollywood interview)

What is the role of the Nation of Islam in Jackson’s life? Bain confirms what many people (especially in the fan community) have already known:

There is not a role of the Nation of Islam as a group. Michael has known Minister Farrakhan since he was 6 years old. He trusts him and he likes him. Leonard Muhammad, he has known for a very long time. He trusts him and he looks to him as an advisor. He is not embracing a religion or a thought as a result of his friendship with the two of them. Each of us has our own various religions and our philosophies. And because he relies on me to do a specific responsibility for him, that doesn’t mean he’s embracing my religion. I think he’s separating all of that from how he feels about those individuals’ ability to talk to him, to advise him, and to perform their various services that he’s in need of. (Today show interview)

Mark Geragos did an interview with Geraldo Rivera last night (March 6 2004) and admitted that the people working with Jackson are of all different faiths: Geragos (Armenian), Brafman (Jewish), Bain (Episcopalian and you could see her wearing her cross necklace in the interviews she’s given), etc. They are not there because of their religion nor are they there to push their religions on him. What next? Will we now get Rita Cosby breathlessly reporting on how the Episcopalians are trying to take over his finances? Will we be “treated” to more New York Times reports by Sharon Waxman claiming to know for a certainly that the Armenians are taking a more prominent role in Jackson’s personal affairs?? Please. Is Jackson taking this lying down? Simply put: hell no. Bain was asked if Jackson plans to sue these publications for continuously reporting false information:

Well he has indicated to me that if it doesn’t stop, he will. I think we’re going to look and see how much cooperation we can get. As I have been speaking to members of the media, they’ve said they in the past have not known who to speak to; they’ve not known how to get to him. Ok, well, now they know. (Today show interview) If he has to sue, if he has to continuously send out statements refuting it all, he is going to be very aggressive. (Access Hollywood interview)

So what’s the so-called “PR strategy”? According to Bain, it will be at least a 2 part strategy: Proactive and Reactive:

Michael has indicated that he is going to be both proactive and reactive. Proactive, you might see some surprises in the future. Michael Jackson is gonna speak on his own behalf on occasions. And then I will speak on his behalf on occasions. Reactive, because he is really concerned about all of these erroneous reports. (Today show interview)

It sounds as if this is less a “strategy” and more of the results of Jackson kicking a$s, taking names and no longer relying on the media’s mythical ‘good conscience’ and ‘journalistic integrity’ to filter out the nonsense from the truth. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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