Michael Jackson’s family is considering taking legal action against Martin Bashir over his 2003 BBC interview with the late star.
Jackson’s nephew Taj alleges that Bashir’s “manipulated footage and unethical journalism is one of the main reasons my uncle Michael is not here today … my family deserves an investigation and apology too”.
“My uncle felt safe with him, and safe that he would portray him in the right light,” Taj told “Good Morning Britain” co-hosts Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull. “My uncle looked at him as a friend, and through the voiceovers and the editing, really stabbed him in the back. I always had faith that journalism meant something, and that day that faith died,” he continued.
Bashir is facing public scrutiny over a 1995 interview with Princess Diana. Last week, BBC issued an apology where they admitted that Bashir had used “deceitful” tactics.
In 1996, the BBC conducted its own investigation into the matter and cleared Bashir of any wrongdoing. However, a recent independent inquiry found that Bashir had hired a graphic designer to falsify the bank statements and checks to fuel a narrative that Diana was being spied on by her own family. He did so to convince Earl Spencer, Diana’s brother, into arranging a meeting with the Princess,
The 127-page report found the BBC’s inquiry “woefully ineffective” and asserted that top BBC executives had covered up the truth.
Illusionist Uri Geller introduced Bashir to Jackson. He claims that Bashir earned his trust with a forged letter from Princess Diana.
“What convinced me to introduce him to Michael was a letter he pulled out of his pocket,” Geller told The Mirror. “It was folded two or three times and there was a logo on it. He said it was from Princess Diana, writing to him about how happy she was with the interview.”
Bashir’s sit-down with Jackson sent shockwaves around the world. In the interview, Jackson admitted to sleeping in the same bed as underage boys but denied any sexual interactions. The British journalist painted Jackson as a calculated child predator.
Tito Jackson sat down for an interview with The Mirror, where he echoed his son’s sentiments. “Bashir created a fake narrative about my brother, which becomes crystal clear when you view the outtakes Bashir kept secret. He used Michael’s trust and friendship with Diana to get the interview, manipulated Michael throughout the interview, then deceptively edited the footage”.