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Lawyer: Jackson hospitalized after acquittal

Mesereau worries that singer will be a ‘perpetual target’ after trial
/ Source: Reuters

Michael Jackson went to hospital suffering from dehydration and weight loss after jurors acquitted the singer of child molestation last month, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

“Michael Jackson was ill from time to time. In fact, people didn’t realize he actually entered the hospital after the verdict,” Jackson’s lawyer Tom Mesereau told BBC radio in an interview.

“He was dehydrated, he had lost a tremendous amount of weight, he was having trouble keeping food down, he was terrified about what was going happen to his children and he had a recurring back problem,” he added.

The child star turned superstar, whose “Thriller” album made him one of the world’s best known entertainers, was visibly weak at the end of his four-month trial and his family said he had gone to bed after the verdict.

Mesereau said he had not spoken to Jackson in the last few weeks although the two had been in touch after the trial.

Jackson was acquitted last month of molesting a 13-year-old boy in 2003 as well as plying him with alcohol and conspiring to abduct the boy.

The singer faced nearly 20 years in prison if convicted.

Although cleared, music industry experts have questioned how the formerly unstoppable superstar can rebuild his career and work his way out of deep debt.

Mesereau insisted Jackson would not settle out of court if further allegations were made against him.

“I am concerned because he is a perpetual target. There still is a perception among some people that he ... doesn’t want to go to court and will settle,” said Mesereau. “We will be fighting any of these suits all the way if they happen.”

Jackson’s success as a pop singer had faded even before the trial as he became more reclusive and the media turned its attention to his dramatic physical changes and eccentric lifestyle.

Mesereau said he hoped nobody entered Jackson’s home to spend the night to avoid future false claims.

“I advised Mr Jackson not to let any families in his home again,” said the lawyer.