Michael Jackson began a vacation at a prince’s palace in the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, his first trip overseas since being acquitted of child molestation charges, an official close to the royal circle said Thursday.
Jackson and his three children arrived on a private plane from Europe on Wednesday night for an indefinite stay, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because private visits involving the royal family are not authorized to be announced.
Jackson was found not guilty of child molestation in a California court on June 13.
He chose Bahrain because his brother, Jermaine, previously visited the kingdom, the official said.
“He’s come here to retreat and relax and enjoy the calmness of Bahrain,” the official said, adding that no other member of the Jackson family accompanied the pop star.
Another official speaking on condition of anonymity said Jackson was a guest of Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the king’s son, in one of the royal palaces. Sheik Abdullah, believed to be in his early 30s, is a friend of Jermaine Jackson.
The official described the visit as “very, very private.”
Jermaine Jackson has close links with Bahrain’s royal circle. In January, he and Sheik Abdullah announced plans to launch a charity theme song written by the royal.