Beleagured pop star Michael Jackson, responding to a recent TV movie about his life and legal troubles, said in a statement he was tired of being ”vilified” and taunted as “Wacko Jacko” in the public eye.
In a statement issued late Thursday on his Web site, Jackson said his family had dedicated their lives to “spreading unity and peace to the world through our music” and had been misrepresented by the film, VH1 television network’s “Man in the Mirror.”
“It is unfortunate that for years we have been targets of completely inaccurate and false portrayals,” he said. “We have watched as we have been vilified and humiliated. I personally have suffered through many hurtful lies and references to me as ’Wacko Jacko...”’
He added: “This is intolerable and must stop. The public depiction of us is not who we are or what we are: We are a loving family.”
Jackson is scheduled to stand trial in January on charges of child molestation and conspiracy. The 45-year-old singer, who is bound by a strict “gag” order issued by a Santa Barbara County judge in the case, made no reference to the legal proceedings in his statement.
The self-proclaimed “King of Pop” and members of his family attended the first day of the latest round of pre-trial hearings Monday dressed head-to-toe in symbolic white, but have since been absent with the judge’s permission.
“My brothers and I are brothers first, we started out together and will always be together,” Jackson said. “All I can hope is that one day my family will be shown the same kindness and respect that we have, throughout our lives, shown to others.”