Monday, April 04, 2005

Jackson Updates

Everyone I’ve talked to is bored of reading recaps and, hey, I’m bored of doing them, so I’m taking a break for a while until Wacko Jacko does something else befitting of the name. In the meantime, here’s a little tidbit from The NY Daily News. Sounds like Brando offered his little island paradise up to quite a few potential felons No passport required (since Brando was able to smooth the way with the Tahitian government), which would be good, since the court made Jackson surrender his as a flight risk (along with $3 million in bail.) On the other hand, after Neverland, half an acre isn’t all that much. And is it paradise when you’re stuck there?

Jacko could beat it to Brando paradise

BY GEORGE RUSH
DAILY NEWS COLUMNIST

If Michael Jackson ever left the country, he could live out his days on a tropical island paradise - thanks to his friend Marlon Brando.

A notarized deed obtained by the Daily News shows that on June 5, 2003, Brando granted Jackson sanctuary on one of the Pacific islands he owned "for the rest of [Jackson's] natural life."

According to the deed, Brando transferred use of a half-acre on the islet of Onetahi, in the French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa, "in consideration of gratitude and affection." Brando informed Jackson in a letter thanking the pop star for hosting a birthday party for Brando's daughter, Nina, now 15.

"I can't easily describe the pleasure that has come our way with your invitation to Neverland," wrote Brando, who signed the letter "Love, Dad."

But the deed raises the question of whether Brando, who died last July, may have intended Onetahi as a possible refuge for the embattled singer.

At the time of the property transfer, child welfare groups were pressing Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon to investigate Jackson, who had admitted on TV that he shared his bed with a then-12-year-old cancer survivor. Jackson, currently on trial in California, is accused of sexually abusing the boy and plotting to hold his family at his Neverland ranch.

In 1976, Brando arranged for American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks to fly by private plane to Onetahi after he was indicted for assault and inciting a riot. Brando also spirited his daughter, Cheyenne, to Tahiti after she witnessed his son, Christian, shoot her lover, Dag Drollet, in 1990.

Jackson's spokeswoman Raymone Bain insisted the singer wants to clear his name and "has absolutely no plans to flee the country." But Judge Rodney Melville regarded Jackson as enough of a flight risk to impose a $3 million bail and demand that he surrender his passport.

Banks told Brando biographer Peter Manso that he also had no passport when he arrived on the island, but that Brando's relationship with Tahitian government officials smoothed his entry.

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