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"Michael would never harm a child in any way. These scurrilous and totally unfounded allegations will be proven false in a courtroom."
——Jackson rep Stuart Backerman

ARREST WARRANT FOR MICHAEL JACKSON—UPDATE

Reports Say Beleaguered Icon Will Fight Allegations "Tooth and Nail"
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Michael Jackson on charges of sexual molestation of a minor. 

Bail has been set at $3 million, and the music legend,  whose whereabouts are currently unknown. has been ordered to surrender his passport.

At a news conference, District Attorney Thomas W. Sneddon Jr. suggested the missing artist  "Get over here and get checked in," adding that multiple charges would be filed shortly.

Sneddon also pointed out that unlike the similar charges Jackson faced a decade ago, these will be corroborated by a witness and be bolstered by recent changes in the law.

Representatives of the performer have told the press that he plans to confront the charges of engaging in lewd and lascivious acts with an underage boy.

"Michael would never harm a child in any way," reads a statement from Jackson rep Stuart Backerman. "These scurrilous and totally unfounded allegations will be proven false in a courtroom." 

"They will choose their own time and their own place to do this," said Brian Oxman, an attorney and family friend, on CBS' The Early Show. Oxman is not serving as Jackson's counsel—that task falls to Mark Geragos, who is also defense attorney in the hot-button Laci Peterson case.

Could another media circus be getting underway? How can you even ask?

“I've seen lawyers who don't represent me and spokespeople who do not know me speaking for me. These characters always seem to surface with dreadful allegations just as another project, an album, a video is being released,” Jackson said  in a statement on 11/19.

"He feels he's been wrongly accused and he's going to fight this tooth and nail," family friend Steve Manning said of the pop legend's plans on Good Morning America. "He's at war right now and he's going to use any weapon he has to fight these charges."

Any weapon? Should we be concerned?

Though Santa Barbara officials stood ready at the California town's airport to intercept the troubled megastar, he didn't return there as scheduled. His Neverland Ranch abode was subject to search by 20-plus warrant-wielding sheriffs and D.A. officers on 11/19.

Though the Santa Barbara County Sheriff Dept.’s Sgt. Chris Pappas would only say that the search was part of an "ongoing criminal investigation," a Court TV report alleged that said investigation was the result of molestation charges from an underage boy, citing unidentified sources. Further reports indicated the complaint was from the mother of one of the boys that appeared on one of Michael's TV specials earlier this year.

Backerman said that Jackson and his three children were in Las Vegas for the King of Pop’s latest video shoot. Backerman declined to comment on the investigation.

Though the singer was escorted by Santa Barbara officials to his private jet in Las Vegas, he did not return as agreed. His pilot has reportedly not issued a flight plan. Ironically, that made his passenger a flight risk.

Jackson was, of course, the subject of sex-abuse charges by a 13-year-old boy in 1993; following what was said to be a multimillion-dollar settlement, no charges were filed in that case.

Jackson denounced media coverage of the search in a statement released by Backerman to Associated Press.

"I've seen lawyers who don't represent me and spokespeople who do not know me speaking for me. These characters always seem to surface with dreadful allegations just as another project, an album, a video is being released,'' the Jackson statement said.

Detectives were expected to be gathering evidence into the night. The district attorney and sheriff planned to provide more details at Wednesday morning press conference.

The music legend has also made headlines of late due to his connection to jailed private detective Anthony Pellicano, who began serving time in federal prison this week after being found guilty of possessing illegal explosives. Ironically, he was not accused of selling them to underage boys.

Pellicano was himself a Jackson spokesman and part of the singer’s security team when the 1993 controversy erupted.

Calls to Sony were referred to Jackson's current rep, Charles Koppelman.

Jackson’s Number Ones, the last Epic album under his deal with Sony, hit the streets 11/19 with one new track, "One More Chance." Insiders say the bad publicity could damage sales even further, though expectations weren't all that high to begin with.

CBS is currently slated to air a prime-time, Jackson-produced special on Nov. 26 consisting of old concert footage. Maybe now they'll run it after that Ronald Reagan mini-series they moved to Showtime, which was just resheduled for Nov. 30.

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/6a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
WINNING NOMINATIONS
I.B. Bad on music's biggest comeback (12/6a)
ON THE COVER: LADY GAGA & TONY BENNETT
It's De-Lovely. (12/6a)
CALLING THE PLAYS:
JOHN JANICK
We salute the winner and still champ. (12/6a)
SONG STREAMS:
'TIS THE SEASON
It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas. (12/6a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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