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Living With Michael Jackson

Living with Michael Jackson is a Granada Television documentary, in which British journalist Martin Bashir interviewed Michael Jackson over a span of eight months, from May 2002 to January 2003.

Jackson’s decision to make the documentary was made on a suggestion by his close friend Uri Geller. It later emerged that Geller had turned down another ‘bid’ for the interview by journalist Louis Theroux. The interview was very unusual, as it had been extremely rare for Jackson to allow such access to his personal life, or to talk so freely about his traumatic childhood.Nevertheless, he did show some reserve when asked to discuss other personal issues, such as the plastic surgery he had allegedly had. The documentary contained much commentary by Bashir which was very critical and judgmental of Jackson.

Jackson felt betrayed by Bashir and complained that the film gives a distorted picture of his behaviour and conduct as a father. He claimed that Bashir, in the final version of his interview, used only that material which supported the negative view Bashir portrayed as holding towards Jackson. In response, Jackson and his personal cameraman released a rebuttal interview, which showed Bashir complimenting Jackson on his abilities as a father and grace under pressure, thus contradicting the journalist’s previous statements.

Jacksons lawyers claimed in a British High Court case against Martin Bashir and Granada TV that the documentary was a breach of contract and breach of confidence. The proceedings were put on hold when Jackson was charged with 10 felony counts in late 2003, but the proceedings could continue after since Jacksons acquittal. However this is unlikely following his death. Ann Kite, a public relations consultant hired by Jacksons advisers to counter negative publicity, called the documentary a PR-disaster.

Watch the full documentary ( 101 minutes)

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