The King of Pop’s fans have demanded that ITV investigate the 2003 documentary, Living With Michael Jackson, which saw the singer allow cameras unprecedented access into his Neverland ranch.
The calls come just days after a bombshell report released by former judge Lord Dyson discovered that the journalist used ‘deceitful behaviour’ and commissioned fake bank statements to secure his 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana.
During his 2003 Tonight Special, Bashir confronted the late pop star over his relationship with children and the child abuse allegations made against him.
Michael Jackson’s fans have called for an inquiry into his interview with Martin Bashir in 2013
During his Tonight Special, Bashir confronted the late pop star over his relationship with children
In one particular segment the singer defended sleeping alongside then 13-year-old Gavin Arvizo, a cancer patient who was staying at his ranch, telling Bashir: ‘Why can’t you share your bed? That’s the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone.’
When pressed further by Bashir, Jackson continued to refuse any suggestion that it was inappropriate to share his bed with children, claiming that it was a pure and completely innocent act.
However just two year later, Jackson faced allegations that he had sexually abused Arvizo.
Arvizo, who was suffering from kidney cancer when he first met the singer, told officers the abuse took place in February and March 2003.
Following a trial in 2005, held in Santa Maria, California, the American singer was acquitted by a jury.
However the rumours against Jackson continued even after his death in 2009.
The controversial interview saw the singer defend letting children sleep in his bed at Neverland
The singer allowed cameras unprecedented access into his Neverland ranch during the documentary
A report carried out by former judge Lord Dyson discovered that the journalist used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure his 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana
In the eyes of the law, Jackson died an innocent man, but in 2019 new allegations surfaced when James Safechuck and Wade Robson came forward in the controversial documentary Leaving Neverland.
Now, in the wake of Lord Dyson’s report, celebrity psychic Uri Geller, who introduced the musician to Bashir said he had ‘very major regrets’ about introducing his friend to the Panorama journalist.
He told iNews: ‘My immediate reaction is I’m not surprised, an ethical journalist shouldn’t go there. I met Martin Bashir and I felt an uneasiness. I have very major regrets.
‘If I knew then of the controversies that are raging around Martin Bashir and the BBC I would have never ever have introduced Michael to Martin Bashir.’
The calls come after Lord Dyson’s six-month inquiry found that bogus documents ‘deceived and induced’ Earl Spencer to help Bashir ‘to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana’.
His lies landed the Panorama reporter the interview of the century and multiple awards – but hastened the end of Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles and saw her stripped of her HRH status just two years before her death.
Bashir mocked up these bank statements to convince Earl Spencer to help broker an interview with Diana in an extraordinary breach of BBC editorial guidelines
Following the damning report the BBC made a ‘full and unconditional apology’ for Bashir’s conduct and the subsequent cover-up now fully laid bare 25 years on.
Director General Tim Davie has written to the royal family to apologise and is also returning all awards the explosive interview accrued, including a Bafta TV gong won in 1996.
In his report, Judge Lord Dyson, said: ‘Mr Bashir deceived and induced him [Earl Spencer] to arrange a meeting with Princess Diana.
‘By gaining access to Princess Diana in this way, Mr Bashir was able to persuade her to agree to give the interview. This behaviour was in serious breach of the 1993 edition of the BBC’s Producer Guidelines on straight dealing.’
Lord Hall’s subsequent 1996 investigation into claims Diana was hoodwinked by Bashir was ‘woefully ineffective’, the judge said, especially because their inquiry ‘did not scrutinise’ Bashir despite knowing he had lied three times about showing the fake bank statements to Earl Spencer.
‘Lord Hall could not reasonably have concluded, as he did, that Mr Bashir was an honest and honourable man’, the report said. The BBC had ‘without justification’ ‘covered up’ Mr Bashir’s tricks and ‘thereby fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark’, said Lord Dyson.
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