Published November 23, 2003
LOS ANGELES – Police seized a dozen explicit love letters and poems allegedly written by pop icon Michael Jackson (search) to the young boy accusing him of molestation, according to several international newspaper reports.
Fox News has learned of a number of reports claiming that about 12 love letters and some poems were taken from Jackson's Neverland Ranch (search) during Tuesday's raid, which stemmed from allegations of child sexual abuse.
Court TV's Diane Dimond, who broke news of the raid, confirmed those reports Sunday on Fox News.
Also Sunday, another superstar and longtime friend of Jackson's came out decrying the sex abuse accusations and the intense media coverage of the case.
"I thought the law was, 'Innocent until proven guilty,'" said actress Elizabeth Taylor. "I know he is innocent, and I hope they all eat crow."
In other developments, a story in the U.K.'s Sunday Mirror reported that Jackson was an emotional wreck during Thursday's flight on his private jet from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara, Calif., where he ultimately turned himself in to authorities peacefully.
The Mirror reported that Jackson's handlers had to practically drag him aboard the airplane and once in flight, he was in a state of panic, shaking and rocking back and forth so much that he had to be sedated. He was heard saying, "Why, why, why are they doing this to me?" over and over again, according to the Mirror.
At one point, the singer demanded to be flown to South America to avoid confronting the arrest warrant on counts of child molestation, the Mirror reported.
Jackson surrendered to Santa Barbara County (search) authorities without incident on Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued alleging he committed lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14.
Authorities have said they expect to file formal charges sometime after Thanksgiving. Jackson's arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 9.
After posting $3 million bail, Jackson flew back to Las Vegas, where he had been working on a music video. But his attorney, Mark Geragos (search), told The Los Angeles Times he planned to meet with Jackson at the star's Neverland ranch near Santa Barbara on Saturday.
Media reports have said Jackson's alleged victim is a 12- or 13-year-old cancer survivor who visited him at Neverland where the singer was known to hold sleep-overs for children and share his bed with youngsters.
Stuart Backerman, a spokesman for Jackson, said the pop star was feeling "very positive" despite the allegations against him.
"He's fine. He's fighting mad, that's what he is. He's outraged at these allegations. But he is doing fine," Backerman said Saturday.
Small gatherings of Jackson's fans held candlelight vigils around the world Saturday to support the pop megastar.
There were rallies from Los Angeles to Toronto to Rome, but each typically drew just a few dozen fans. Vigils were planned over the weekend in more than a dozen cities, and others were to follow in China and Australia.
In Los Angeles, about 25 supporters gathered at Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame outside Grauman's Chinese Theater. They chanted "Michael's innocent!" and set candles in the shape of a heart around the star.
Faisal Malik, 29, a Los Angeles fan who helped organize the gathering, said he believes the performer is innocent.
"No other entertainer ever has opened his house so much to people," Malik said in a telephone interview. "True charity comes from the heart."
"He's the most famous person in the world, and they make someone a god and then they try to tear them down," said Arus Tashchyan, 18, of Montebello, who wore a black felt hat and a sequined glove, a style that Jackson made famous.
Geragos, who has said Jackson denies the charges, did not return repeated calls Saturday from The Associated Press.
In Las Vegas, about 25 fans gathered outside the CMX Productions studio, where Jackson had been working on the video.
"It's important for all his fans to come together at a time like this," said Christina Lowhorn, 21, of Las Vegas.
In Paris, about 60 fans gathered on the Champs Elysees and marched through crowds of shoppers to the Arc de Triomphe. They held candles and banners with slogans of support and sang "We Are the World," the 1985 African famine relief anthem written by Jackson and Lionel Richie.
"It's really hard for us," said Pascale Hatot, a 37-year-old fan from the suburbs of Paris. "I haven't been able to sleep or eat for three days."
Supporters in Rome gathered at the foot of the Spanish Steps just after darkness fell. They held candles and a sign in Italian that read: "Michael: Accused but not guilty!"
"There is an interest to see him fall as a man and as an artist," said Fabrizio Basili, a 30-year-old man from Rome who wore a black shirt bearing the image of Jackson's face. "His album 'Number Ones' came out with some of his great hits, and the same day the accusations came and this is why we're suspicious."
In Toronto, about 30 fans huddled over candles as rain and wind swept over the midtown square. A few fans held handmade signs supporting Jackson, some with photos clipped from magazines and "Michael We Love You" in six-inch-tall letters.
Some fans felt that Jackson is simply misunderstood.
"Is he creepy, no. Is he eccentric, yes. Different? Absolutely. I think that's what draws me to him," said Evan Williams, 28, who cranked a radio that played Jackson tunes.
Backerman said Jackson had received hundreds of supportive e-mails and was buoyed by his fans' loyalty. He added that a Web site, www.mjnews.us, will be launched as early as Sunday and will have official information from Jackson's camp for the media and fans.
"Michael Jackson has said in the past that his fans are his most precious resource. Clearly, the demonstrations around the world reinforce his long-standing feelings for his fans," Backerman said. "He's grateful."
Fox News' Anita Vogel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.