Jackson family disagreed on plan for Michael Jackon to flee if convicted
WITH BILL ZWECKER September 11, 2011 6:02PM
Michael Jackson waves to fans after his acquittal on child molestation charges in 2005. | Frederick M. Brown~Getty Images
Updated: November 30, 2011 12:16AM
Michael Jackson’s family was far from united on that elaborate plot to spirit the pop star out of the country if he had been convicted in his sensational 2005 child molestation case.
Seems several of his siblings — among them Janet, plus family matriarch Katherine — took issue with Jermaine Jackson’s idea to fly Michael via private jet to the island nation of Bahrain, which had no extradition treaty with the United States.
While Michael reportedly was ignorant of the plan, Jermaine (with the backing of brother Randy) was convinced he’d jump at the idea — in lieu of going to prison for a crime he vehemently denied having committed.
† The big problem, according to a solid Jackson family source, was the anti-flight siblings and Mama Jackson were concerned they could be liable for prosecution themselves for aiding and abetting a convicted felon. Of course, this all became moot due to Michael’s acquittal.
Ironically, the king of pop did end up going to Bahrain for about a year as the guest of a son of the nation’s king.
† Michael Jackson’s attorney in the criminal case disputed Jermaine’s claim about an escape plan, telling TMZ on Sunday that police authorities were concerned about violence by Jackson supporters in event of a guilty verdict and had plans in place to helicopter him straight to prison, precluding any chance for a flight to Bahrain — or anywhere else.
† Meanwhile, another brouhaha has erupted over that already controversial Michael Jackson tribute concert, scheduled for Oct. 8 in Wales. According to Billboard, the concert organizers have slashed ticket prices by as much as half, outraging fans who already paid full price. On top of that, more than 30 Jackson fan clubs are calling for a boycott of the event, agreeing with several of Michael’s siblings that holding it during Dr. Conrad Murray’s manslaughter trial — tied to Jackson’s death — is inappropriate.
BLAME GAME: Oprah Winfrey and her team are both irritated and amused by Ryan O’Neal’s big complaint that the reality show Oprah produced on OWN has caused an even bigger rift in Ryan’s long-troubled relationship with daughter Tatum O’Neal.
“He forgets that it’s his decades of terrible parenting that is behind all this,” said a Harpo source over the weekend.
O’Neal complained that the reconciliation that aired at the end of the reality series was disingenuous, as the father and daughter’s relationship now is worse than it was before they began filming, when they virtually hadn’t spoken in 10 years.
BAD MEMORIES: “Desperate Housewives” star Teri Hatcher is not happy Andrew Dice Clay is trying to sell a book deal largely based on tales of the brief fling he had with the actress when they filmed the forgettable “Brain Smasher” back in 1993. Along with that flick, Hatcher had hoped everyone also had forgotten about that bad mistake she made — and is irked that a Clay memoir would bring it back up.
ROMANTIC RUMBLES: Things are said to be very much on track with Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney of “The Vampire Diaries,” who co-starred with Gaga in her “You and I” video. The fashion-crazed pop queen and on-again-off-again beau Luc Carl finally called it quits earlier this summer.
† Congrats to actress Amy Smart and home improvement pro Carter Oosterhouse (“Trading Spaces,” “Carter Can”), who tied the knot in his Traverse City, Mich., hometown Saturday. The couple, who went public with their relationship only in January, were engaged in April.