Michael Jackson's video nasty

Unseen footage shows Jacko squirming in horror as he's quizzed over sex

The bombshell tape - never before made public - shows the King of Pop NERVOUSLY LAUGHING, COVERING HIS FACE with his hands in dismay and GROANING IRRITABLY as a team of lawyers grilled him in 1996 as part of a lawsuit brought against him by Neverland staff.

Thriller star Jackson-who died last week-SQUIRMS at times as he is questioned about allegations surrounding Jordy Chandler, Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin and Brett Barnes.

But at one point in the frank and revealing footage, the star launches into a spirited defence of himself in which he:


DENIES bleaching his skin and says he is PROUD to be black

SLAMS his child abuse accusers as LIARS and cites the teachings of JESUS to defend his sleeping in the same bed as boy visitors to his Neverland ranch in California.

"Jesus said to love the children and be like the children-to be youthful and innocent, and be pure and honourable," says Jackson reading from a statement he has written.

"He always surrounded himself with children. That's how I was raised-to believe, and to be like that, and to imitate that."

The three-hour video was made in March, 1996-three years after Jackson was first accused of molesting 13-year-old Jordy Chandler who was reportedly paid $22 million not to testify against him.

And it was filmed NINE YEARS before he faced trial over alleged abuse of cancer sufferer Gavin Arvizo, 13-in which prosecutors also claimed he had abused Barnes, 11, and Culkin between the ages of 10 and 14. He was cleared despite refusing to take the stand.

Our tape shows a legal hearing as part of the private suit against the star by what became known as The Neverland Five-a group of former workers at the estate who claimed wrongful dismissal.

One of the key arguments put forward by their chief lawyer Michael Ring was that Jackson, then 37, had threatened staff who claimed they witnessed him behaving inappropriately with children.

The camera focuses on the pale-looking star-wearing a black jacket, red shirt, and black hat-sitting at a table in the hearing room at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York.

He is looking steadfastly forward at the legal team in front of him-including Ring and co-counsel Ruth Ann Niosi. Sat off camera are his briefs, Steve Cochrane and legal adviser Zia Modabber.

But his demeanour is shattered when asked by Ring: "Mr Jackson, in the latter portion of 1993 there were some allegations levelled at you concerning improper conduct with some young boys."

Jackson's face breaks into a weary smile before he straightens it and answers: "Yes". When asked "Are you familiar with a person named Jordy Chandler?", the distracted star at first looks stunned and asks: "Who?"

A few seconds later, as Ring and one of Jackson's aides discuss legal issues about whether or not the star will answer questions about Chandler, the singer bites his lip, picks up papers in front of him and hides behind them for a second before putting them down and trying-and failing-to stifle a huge yawn.

But when asked if he was aware that "Jordan Chandler, or his family on his behalf, filed a litigation, a lawsuit, against you" he lowers himself in his chair and quietly says: "Yes." The star is clearly nervous about the questioning, at one point leaning across the table to apparently look at the opposing lawyers' notes. Looking gaunt and scratching his neck, chest and head, Jackson fidgets through a series of questions about the staff at his ranch who have spoken out against him, revealing that although he has heard their names he doesn't know what job they did.

But it is when the boys are mentioned that he becomes the most animated. At one point Ring asks him: "To your knowledge Mr Jackson, were you ever accused of having sexually molested Brett Barnes?"

The Aussie boy, then 11, slept in the same room as Jackson for a year, according to the testimony of his sister Karlee in documents submitted for the Jordy Chandler case.

But Barnes and his mother insisted nothing inappropriate happened. Clearly disturbed by the question, Jackson squirms away from the camera, closes his eyes and covers his face, before breaking into a smile and shaking his head.

After more legal argument, Ring moves onto child screen star Culkin, asking: "To your knowledge, were you ever accused of having sexually assaulted Macaulay Culkin?"

Again Jackson throws his hands up to his face in frustration, groaning: "Oh."

His lawyer Cochrane quickly says: "That's an instruction not to answer that one." Jackson doesn't. Instead he shakes his head and smiles before looking into the camera. But as the lawyers battle on, the Bad star becomes increasingly agitated and produces a series of his own handwritten documents.

Jackson admits it is a list he made, saying: "When I get angry enough I write down what I want to say and what I want to talk about, to set the record straight.

"Cos you get to a point where you get tired of people lying. I get tired of situations like this, where people completely lie on me, and I'm sick of it . . . I want to set the record straight."

Jackson first denies bleaching his skin. "I'm a black American and I'm proud of it. And I'm honoured of it," he says. "The bleached skin rumour, which is a rumour. I don't bleach my skin. He adds: "They say-they once said-I wanted a white kid to play me as a child, which was a rumour."

Then he blurts out: "I'm not gay." And he adds in faltering, disjointed speech: "Don't judge a person unless you have spoken to them one-on-one, which, which is true. 'Cos what you hear is a lie."

The star, who was raised a Jehovah's Witness by his parents in Gary, Indiana, tries to defend his behaviour with children by referring to teachings in the Bible.

He says: "He (Jesus) was talking to his apostles, and they were fighting over who's the greatest among themselves. And he said, 'Whoever humble yourself like this child is the greatest among me'."

Jackson seems distracted by the nitty-gritty details about his sacked staff. He denies bugging workers, and using radio transmitters disguised as pens. To other questions about them he answered either "I don't remember" or "I'm not sure".

As the hearing drew to a close Jackson seems totally uninterested in the proceedings, grinning at his lawyers' doodles on notepads and saying: "That's good."

What was also good for Jackson was that the sex abuse discussions on the tape were discounted in the civil case which he later won.