Jackson starts Web site on own case

— Michael Jackson launched a Web site Monday designed to tell his side of the story in his child-molestation case, asserting that the allegations are "predicated on a big lie."

"As you know, the charges recently directed at me are terribly serious," Jackson said in a six-paragraph statement posted on the site. "They are, however, predicated on a big lie. This will be shown in court, and we will be able to put this horrible time behind us."

The entertainer's spokesman, Stuart Backerman, said Jackson put the site together so he could communicate directly with the news media and fans. Jackson said in his statement that the site would serve as a source for "official communications on my case."

The site also contains links to three earlier statements Backerman made on Jackson's behalf last week after authorities raided his Neverland Ranch and he then surrendered on a warrant alleging lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14.

In addition, the site attempts to separate Jackson's official statements from those of others who have claimed to represent him since the allegations arose.

"Any statement that does not appear on this (site) must be considered unauthorized," Jackson said.

The site's pages have a straightforward, businesslike design, with the phrase "The official press room" at the top above Jackson's name.

Jackson was released on $3 million bail after his surrender Thursday and immediately returned to Las Vegas, where he had been filming a video.


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