Jackson family arrives in Berlin, without Michael

21st July 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 July 2005, BERLIN - Ending weeks of speculation, Michael Jackson announced Thursday he would not be coming to Berlin for a three-day Jackson clan party at a suburban hotel in honour of his father Joe Jackson's 76th birthday. The tersely worded announcement was made on Jackson's official website. Undaunted, the paparazzi were ensconced around the Estrel Hotel on the leafy outskirts of Berlin, where the self-styled King of Pop's parents, siblings and about 1,000 hand-picked celebrity guests were gathering

21 July 2005

BERLIN - Ending weeks of speculation, Michael Jackson announced Thursday he would not be coming to Berlin for a three-day Jackson clan party at a suburban hotel in honour of his father Joe Jackson's 76th birthday.

The tersely worded announcement was made on Jackson's official website.

Undaunted, the paparazzi were ensconced around the Estrel Hotel on the leafy outskirts of Berlin, where the self-styled King of Pop's parents, siblings and about 1,000 hand-picked celebrity guests were gathering for the birthday bash.

The elder Jackson arrived at the Estrel Wednesday along with his wife Katherine, 77. Siblings who have arrived or are due to arrive include sisters LaToya, 49, Janet, 39, and brother Jermaine.

Michael himself is reported to be recovering from the trial at a resort in Dubai.

In all, 115 rooms have been booked for the three-day marathon of partying. Reports have hinted that stars such as film star Elizabeth Taylor, boxer Mike Tyson and singer Diana Ross could show up. Ross is currently on a concert tour of Germany.

The bash is the sort of star-studded party that formerly would have been held at Jackson's Neverland Ranch. But 46-year-old Jackson is said to feel the California ranch was tainted by the criminal allegations.

On arrival in Berlin Thursday, Joseph Jackson told reporters that Michael is afraid to be seen in public in the United States, where death threats have been received. He said Michael wore a bullet-proof vest when he emerged from court in California last month.

"There are a lot of folks who don't want Michael to ever see the light of day again," his father said.

The Jackson clan patriarch has a soft spot in his heart for Germany, and his memoirs were released there prior to publication elsewhere last year.

The Berlin plans also coincide with promotion of a planned reality TV show involving the entire Jackson family.

The six-episode show is to focus on how Michael's parents, Joe and Katherine, and eight siblings rallied around the entertainer after he was accused of child molestation in 2003 and how they are trying to overcome the scandal after the not-guilty verdicts.

Jackson's last public appearance in Germany in 2002, when he received a lifetime achievement award, ended in a scandal.

During a brief appearance at a window of Berlin's five-star Adlon Hotel, the superstar dangled his baby son from the railing of his fourth-floor suite.

The bizarre scene was shown repeatedly on television news programmes in Germany and around the world and severely dented the singer's popularity in Germany.

In Germany, Jackson's career peaked in 1997, the year when the entertainer was able to sell out two consecutive concerts at Munich's giant Olympic Stadium.

DPA

Subject: German news

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