The Jacksons are America's first family of music. Superstars Michael and Janet and their seven siblings have been in the public eye since the 1960s, but along with chart-topping hits, they've had their share of heartache and controversy. Here are five crimes involving the Jackson family.
Michael Jackson Sexual Abuse Allegations (1993)
Michael Jackson will forever be known as the King of Pop. In 1993, his reputation would be forever changed when a father, Evan Chandler, alleged that the singer befriended his 13-year-old son, Jordan, and had sexual relations with him. The singer released a video statement denying all charges. "Don't treat me like a criminal," he said. There was no trial and Jackson settled with the boy's family for more than $10 million, per the NY Times.
2. Michael Jackson Faces More Allegations (2005)
More allegations about Michael's alleged inappropriate behavior with children surfaced in 2003. In 2005, the superstar was on trial for child molestation. A 15-year-old cancer survivor claimed the singer got him drunk and molested him several times two years prior. As Billboard reports, the trial was a media frenzy. Prosecution shared sordid details about Michael's personal life, including pornographic magazines found at the Neverland Ranch. Journalists remembered the trial taking a physical toll on Michael. "He became frailer, a lot thinner—almost, I hate to use this phrase, zombie-like, as he walked in and out.... It was tragic to watch," said Peter Bowes of BBC News. The singer was cleared of all charges following the 14-week trial. Some jurors even told the NY Times that they felt the accuser's mother had created the charges to scam Michael out of money.
3. Janet Jackson's Super Bowl Slip (2012)
Janet Jackson has always been provocative. In 2004, her notorious "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl almost cost big. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) went against CBS, the network which aired the halftime show, for a hefty fine of $550,000. A lengthy battle of court cases and appeals followed. Eight years later, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of CBS by saying that it would not hear the case. But, the flash of skin did make an impact. In a statement, CBS said that it added delays to live programming to prevent similar slips from occuring.
4. Michael Jackson's Controversial Death (2013)
In 2009, the world mourned the untimely death of Michael Jackson. The singer's family felt that AEG Live was responsible for his death. The concert promoter had hired Dr. Conrad Murray, who administered the fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol, as part of a series of comeback shows Michael was rehearsing for. Katherine Jackson and her family sought $1.5 billion damages (largely based on Michael's potential future earnings). In 2013, a Los Angeles court ruled in favor of AEG. Murray was separately found guilty on involuntary manslaughter.
Katherine Jackson's Family Brawl (2017)
In 2017, the Jacksons are back in court in an all-out family feud. Matriarch Katherine Jackson has accused her nephew, Trent, of ongoing abuse and neglect, including secretly recording and stalking her in her home. She alleges that Trent has used her name (and credit cards) and ignored her when she thought she was having a seizure. "Trent was supposed to be her driver, but over time has infiltrated Mrs. Jackson's business and personal affairs, even referring to himself as her 'House Manager,'" says a statement, per CNN, that's part of Katherine's restraining order. "Trent has made it his business to regulate Mrs. Jackson's interactions with her children -- screening phone calls, not relaying messages, not allowing privacy during visits or phone calls." Katherine is reportedly being hidden from her family, including her grandchildren, for fear that they may sway her lawsuit.
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