Jackson mobbed in first UK appearance since acquittal

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[b]Jackson mobbed in first UK appearance since acquittal[/b] 08/10/2005 – 19:26:58 Controversial pop star Michael Jackson was mobbed by fans today as he made his first public appearance in the UK since he was cleared of child molestation charges.

Controversial pop star Michael Jackson was mobbed by fans today as he made his first public appearance in the UK since he was cleared of child molestation charges. He sat at the back of the stalls with his children for the musical Billy Elliot at the West End’s Victoria Palace theatre this afternoon. And during the interval, he mingled with members of the audience – chatting and signing autographs. Wearing a green shirt and glasses, Jackson, 47, turned up at the theatre 15 minutes after the show’s scheduled start after leaving the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane a mile away where he is staying. Security staff forced a path for him through a scrum of fans and photographers to the building’s front door but he fell to the ground in the melee. Jackson’s children had their faces concealed by a pink coat and a blue scarf. Throughout the show, hundreds of his admirers waited outside brandishing posters of support and chanting his name. Fan Phillip Goldstone, 22, from Walthamstow, east London, said: “We were outside his hotel and there was a rumour that he was coming here, so we came down.” Inside the theatre, Gary Dean, 43, from Ramsgate, sat three rows in front of Jackson during the performance. He said: “We knew at the interval that he was there and there was some clapping. ‘Nobody really knew before that because the lights had gone down by the time he came in.’ Roxanne Wisenberg, 47, from San Diego, was one of those people to meet the singer during the interval. “He talked to us saying hello and there were a lot of people around him,” she said. “He was very nice and his children were with him.” But chaotic scenes followed as Jackson left the theatre and greeted screaming fans. He shook hands, took posters and gave his typical wave and victory sign to fans waiting behind police barriers. But many broke through a barrier to surround his waiting blue people carrier so they could get close to their idol. And officers had to fend them off so that he could make his getaway. The scenes echoed similar ones at the Dorchester earlier in the day when Jackson had to abandon plans to exit through the front of the hotel. He escaped through a side entrance with many fans chasing his convoy down Park Lane before jumping into taxis to follow him. … He is understood to have been in London since Thursday to record a charity song, From The Bottom Of My Heart, in aid of victims of Hurricane Katrina. Fan Murtaza Arif, 30, a student, from Streatham, south London, said: “I didn’t believe the allegations against him. He is a great artist, but more than that he is a great person, a great humanitarian.” Jackson has been recovering from the California trial in the Middle East as a guest of Sheik Abdullah, the son of the ruler of Bahrain. The Billy Elliot musical tells the tale of a boy growing up in a tough mining town in the north of England who has a fascination with ballet. Elton John has provided music for the stage makeover of the successful film. Source: http://breakingnews.iol.ie/entertainment/story.asp?j=158509002&p=y585x97x8

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