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Controversial friend for Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is raising eyebrows with his new friend and associate. Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop.
/ Source: msnbc.com

Michael Jackson is raising eyebrows with his new friend and associate. The King of Pop has become close to Florida businessman Al Malnik, who has been linked with organized crime, says a source.

Although Malnik has denied any association with organized crime, published reports in the past have called him a “reputed organized crime figure” and government reports have outlined business and possible criminal ties between Malnik and the late alleged mobster Meyer Lansky.

“Jackson hosted a party for Malnik at his restaurant (the Forge in Miami Beach) and has been staying at his house on and off as a long-term guest,” says a source.

Jackson’s rep laughed off the story. “(Jackson) knows (Malnik) socially, so I don’t know if he’s intimately aware of his reputation or what other people say about him — or if he is interested in what I assume to be rumors,” the spokesman told The Scoop. He denies that Jackson has been a houseguest of Malnik, saying “that’s ridiculous” and added, “There’s no business relationship with the two gents.”

Malnik didn’t return calls for comment.

The First Lady?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for juicy details about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s supposed first wife.

An Internet site is carrying a detailed story claiming that investigative reporter John Connolly has “found Arnold’s first wife (married in Austria) and their son.” The report continues: “John has apparently tape-recorded a telephone interview with the former wife.” Connolly is reportedly shopping around the story, and the Internet report has been picked up in chat rooms and linked on other Web sites.

Problem is, the reporter who supposedly uncovered this scandal says he knows nothing of the story. “Never looked into that, and never even heard of it,” Connolly told The Scoop.

Connolly is the author of a hard-hitting, controversial profile of Schwarzenegger than ran in Premiere several years back, and he has recently been looking into various rumors about the gubernatorial candidate — but not this particular one. “Someone’s imagination has gone wild,” he said.

Jeannette Walls delivers the Scoop Monday through Thursday in MSNBC Entertainment.