Jackson’s father denies family rift

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Last Update: Thursday, April 21, 2005. 11:04am (AEST) [b]Jackson’s father denies family rift[/b] Michael Jackson’s father has dismissed speculation that his family is distancing themselves from the superstar, who is on trial for child abuse. Joe Jackson has hit back at media reports that suggest the absence of the pop star’s musical siblings from the court’s public gallery indicated a family rift. “This information is both false and mean-spirited,” Joe Jackson said in a statement, referring to news reports that said some members of the family were not supporting their relative’s court battle. Family spokeswoman Angel Howansky says the family decided early on that parents Katherine and Joe would represent the entire Jackson clan at the trial in the California town of Santa Maria. The family patriarch has not come to court recently only because he has been ill, Ms Howansky says. “Joe Jackson has been resting at home recovering from a recent bout of the flu, and is being very careful not to get his son Michael Jackson sick,” she said. Since his trial began in late January, Michael Jackson has been escorted to the small courtroom by either his mother and one of his brothers or by both parents and a brother. During at least two pre-trial hearings, Jackson was accompanied to court by his parents and all of his siblings, including singers Janet and LaToya Jackson. But before the trial began, Judge Rodney Melville warned the clan that there may not always be enough room for all of them at hearings as room had to be made for fans and journalists in the public gallery. … Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200504/s1350322.htm

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