NEW YORK – Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes made it to the doorstep of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch this past Saturday, but a hoped-for interview with the embattled pop star never materialized.
The interview would have aired the following evening, but it was not to be, for reasons which were unclear yesterday.
Don Hewitt, executive producer of 60 Minutes, confirmed that Bradley and a camera crew were at Jackson's California compound on Saturday, where they discussed with Jackson and members of his entourage the possibility of an interview.
The eccentric recording artist is said to be seeking a high-profile forum in which to clarify statements he made on last week's sensational two-hour documentary on ABC, Living with Michael Jackson, in which he was interviewed by British journalist Martin Bashir.
Among other things, the "Beat It" singer defended his practice of sleeping in the same bed with underage boys.
Hewitt emphasized that no agreement had been made for an interview before Bradley flew to California.
He said he wasn't exactly sure why the interview didn't come to pass. "They weren't ready to do anything right now," Hewitt said, "and whether they will at some point remains to be seen."
Another source speculated that Jackson might have backed off from participating in another televised interview because of the release over the weekend of court papers from 1993 that contained details of alleged sexual abuse committed by Jackson with a then-13-year-old boy.
"It all got shut down because of this stuff that came out," the source said.
Despite his reluctance to be interviewed by Bradley, Jackson is waging a p.r. offensive aimed at salvaging his career in the wake of last week's show.