Music

Michael Jackson: Star’s private videos were held at RANSOM for six-figure sum

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Michael Jackson did not have the easiest of lives. He was constantly hounded by the press, was chased down streets on motorcycles, had his photos taken in every public space he went, and his children were followed. Jackson was even given a cruel nickname – Wacko Jacko – which he was called all the way up to his death. But perhaps the most tragic set of circumstances befell Jackson in 1999, when his possessions were stolen.

According to reports from October 27, 1999, a thief had supposedly stolen some home movies from Michael Jackson.

It is not certain how these home movies were taken, but it was confirmed that they were of Jackson and his children in their day-to-day lives.

Included in these video was Jackson, his son, Prince, his daughter, Paris, and their trip to Euro Disney just outside Paris, France.

According to MTV at the time, the thief was supposedly trying to sell the movies on to tabloids for publication.

The thief was also allegedly holding these videos ransom from Jackson.

According to reports at the time, the movies would only be returned if a huge sum of $100,000 was provided.

Jackson’s lawyers advised publications against publishing any snippets of these photos, threatening legal action if they did.

One of the Beat It star’s spokespeople, Howard Rubenstein, gave a statement on what was happening to the star.

He said: “Any entity [that] publishes any portion of the stolen videotapes or any photographs taken [from them] will be subject to an immediate action by our client.”

The spokesperson added: “He thinks it’s an invasion of his and his kids’ privacy. He won’t pay a dime [in ransom].”

The spokesperson later added: “Any photographs or videotape which might be offered to the media depicting Michael Jackson and/or his children over the holidays at Neverland Ranch or at Euro Disney are stolen and should not be published by any entity.

“Jackson is the sole and exclusive owner of the copyright in and to the stolen home videos and any stolen photographs made therefrom.”

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Jackson gave details about his hatred for his famed nickname, Wacko Jacko, in an interview with Barbara Walters in 1997.

Speaking about the tabloid press, Jackson told the host: “You should not say [I’m] an animal.

“You should not say he’s a Jacko – I’m not a Jacko! I’m Jackson.”

He continued by condemning the publication that came up with the name.

Jackson continued: “Wacko Jacko – where’d that come from? Some English tabloid.

“I have a heart and feelings, I feel that when you do it to me. It’s not nice don’t do it. I’m not a Wacko!”

Jackson also spoke out about the press chasing him for photos of his child, Prince.

He said: “There was a race. There were some illegal pictures out. Illegally, somebody had taken pictures of a baby and [sold it for] millions of dollars! And said: ‘Here is Michael’s son.’ And it wasn’t!”

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