What do you do when the legal strictures and social norms of your homeland don’t coincide with your own? If you have the resources — as for example, Michael Jackson, might — you pick up and leave.
Yesterday, Thomas A. Mesereau Jr., the silver-maned attorney who won Jackson’s acquittal on child molestation and other charges in June, announced that Jackson has decided to take up permanent residence in Bahrain.
“He’s looking much better. He’s with his children, and he’s moving on in life,” Mesereau told the LA Times. “He’s living permanently in Bahrain. He has friends there who have been very loyal and helpful to him in a difficult period of his life.”
Jackson headed for Bahrain and the luxurious hospitality of Crown Prince Abdullah shortly after his acquittal. Ironically, Jackson was just called for jury duty in Santa Barbara County, the action that precipitated Messereau’s Bahrain statement. “All he has to do is show he has legal residency somewhere else and he’ll be exempted,” Jury Commissioner Gary Blair told AP.
The once-and-theoretically-future King of Pop, now 47, was in London October 7-9 working on his hurricane disaster relief single “From the Bottom of My Heart.” On September 12, MJ’s publicist Raymone Bain announced that “Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, R. Kelly, Wyclef Jean, Lenny Kravitz, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Yolanda Adams, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, James Brown, Snoop Dogg , the O’Jays, and Ciara, are among the artists joining in his hurricane relief song.” But, a publicist who works with some of the artists on the list told the Times, “A lot of the people on that list found out about their commitment when the release came out.”
The manager of one Grammy-winning artist on the list was frankly negative about the project, scheduled to be released by Prince Abdullah-owned 2 Seas Records: “It’s going nowhere. We had one phone call and nothing has happened since, and I’d be surprised at this point if it did. We’re not really wanting anything to do with Michael right now anyway.”
While in London recording, Jackson also attended a performance of Billy Elliot: The Musical and visited the Madame Tussauds waxworks museum, where he hobnobbed with fans and signed autographs.