Michael Jackson's lawyer slams Martin Bashir over documentary

Michael Jackson’s lawyer claims Martin Bashir documentary ‘set in motion a series of very tragic events’ that led to the Thriller star’s death

  • Tom Mesereau defended Jackson during his child molestation trial in 2005
  • The lawyer, 70, claims Jackson told him that Mr Bashir ‘flattered’ the singer 
  • Jackson said he was promised positive portrayal in a 2003 Bashir documentary
  • In the documentary the star admitted that he shared his bed with children 
  • Jackson faced trial for alleged child abuse and extortion but was found not guilty

Michael Jackson’s lawyer claimed the singer’s documentary with Martin Bashir ‘set in motion a series of very tragic events’ which ultimately lead to his death in 2009.

Tom Mesereau defended Jackson during his child molestation trial in 2005, during which he was found not guilty on all 14 counts against him.

The lawyer, 70, claims in an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph that Jackson told him that Mr Bashir ‘flattered’ the singer.

He was told Mr Bashir promised Jackson a positive portrayal in the 2003 ITV documentary Living with Michael Jackson – similar to Diana’s portrayal in her interview with the journalist. 

However the sensational programme attracted worldwide publicity after the star – who was notoriously sceptical of the press – admitted that he shared his bed with children.

Two years later, Jackson – who died in 2009 – faced trial for alleged child abuse and extortion but was cleared of all charges.

Mr Mesereau claims he ‘always wondered why, of all the people he could have trusted to do a professional interview, he chose Mr Bashir’.

Michael Jackson’s lawyer claimed the singer’s documentary with Martin Bashir (pictured) ‘set in motion a series of very tragic events’ which ultimately lead to his death in 2009

Tom Mesereau (pictured) defended Jackson during his child molestation trial in 2005, during which he was found not guilty on all 14 counts against him

The lawyer, 70, claims Jackson told him Mr Bashir promised a positive portrayal in the 2003 ITV documentary Living with Michael Jackson (pictured) – similar to Diana’s portrayal in her interview with the journalist

He added: ‘What Michael told me was that Martin Bashir had gained his trust, and he was most impressed with his professed relationship with Princess Diana.’ 

Jackson said Mr Bashir lauded a close personal relationship with the princess and even claimed he was her most-trusted confidante, Mr Mesereau claims. 

The lawyer claims Jackson told him 15 years ago that he thought if Diana trusted Mr Bashir, he could as well.

The sensational programme (pictured) attracted worldwide publicity after the star – who was notoriously sceptical of the press – admitted that he shared his bed with children


Jackson (right) said Mr Bashir (left) lauded a close personal relationship with the princess and even claimed he was her most-trusted confidante, Mr Mesereau claims

Mr Bashir – who is seriously ill with Covid-related complications – is facing scrutiny over doctored bank statements which the BBC has said Mr Bashir – who interviewed the royal in 1995 – admitted commissioning as he tried to gain access to the princess.

The mocked-up bank statements relate to a now ex-employee of Diana’s brother Earl Spencer. 

But the princess’s sibling has accused Mr Bashir of showing him other made-up documents, relating to members of the royal household, to ingratiate himself with Diana.

In an earlier statement, a BBC spokeswoman highlighted an apology the earl has received from the director-general over the mocked-up documents relating to his former employee.

BBC director-general Tim Davie has already announced there will be an investigation into these alleged new documents relating to royal staff. 

On Monday, he said: ‘The BBC is taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth.

‘We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation.

‘The recent stories have highlighted some concerning issues. The BBC must hold ourselves to the gold standard of journalism.’

It is not the first time Mr Bashir’s documentary about Michael Jackson has come under scrutiny.

Mr Bashir is currently facing scrutiny over doctored bank statements which the BBC has said Mr Bashir – who interviewed Diana (pictured)- admitted commissioning as he tried to gain access to the princess 


Mr Bashir has also been accused of showing Diana’s brother other made-up documents, relating to members of the royal household, to ingratiate himself with the princess

Mr Bashir has faced claims he promised the singer that he would organise a trip for the pop star and the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Africa to help children suffering from AIDS, according to court transcripts.

During the pop star’s trial for alleged child abuse and extortion, Mr Bashir faced intense questioning over his conduct.

Citing California’s ‘shield law’ which protects journalists who refuse to answer questions about their sources or newsgathering, Mr Bashir blanked a series of questions from Jackson’s lawyer. 

The mocked-up bank statements relate to a now ex-employee of Diana’s brother Earl Spencer (pictured with Prince Harry) 

‘You told him [Jackson] that you were going to arrange a meeting with Kofi Annan… and would plan a trip to Africa with Mr Jackson and Kofi Annan to help African children with AIDS?’ asked the lawyer.

Asked by the judge if he wished to answer, Mr Bashir replied: ‘I don’t, your honour.’

In one reply – as reported in Cornwall Live – he said to the court: ‘He asked for no conditions whatsoever and agreed that I was free to make the film with him.’ 

In 2006, Mr Bashir denied that he had given the singer any assurances. ‘He wasn’t promised anything,’ he insisted.

The BBC and Martin Bashir have been approached for comment. 

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