Pop star Michael Jackson, arrested today on child molestation charges, has been secretly hosting three teens from Norway at his Neverland Ranch in California, according to a Norwegian newspaper.
One of the mothers said she was waiting to hear from her son, and was considering calling Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Aftenposten daily of Oslo, citing a report in another city newspaper, VG.
Michael Jackson’s mug shot
The trip was to have lasted for a week, but now is nearly four weeks old.
Two of the youths were invited to California by Jackson’s Norwegian-Pakistani friend Omer Bhatti, 19, according to VG.
Bhatti, of Oslo, was befriended by Jackson in 1996 after the pop star saw him standing outside his hotel in Tunis. The youth was dressed like Jackson and held a red rose in his hand, the Norwegian paper said.
Since then, Bhatti and his family have been frequent guests of Jackson’s and was seen at the star’s 45th birthday celebrations in Los Angeles.
VG’s sources claim Jackson paid for the three teens to visit his ranch and kept the trip secret from all but their nearest family members.
One mother said she’s not fretting too much.
“I have faith in the judgment of both Omer and my son,” the mother told VG. “Besides, I don’t believe all the claims and rumors about Michael Jackson, even if I have them in the back of my mind. I am more worried about the conduct of American police than I am about the claims against Michael Jackson.”
With his hands cuffed behind his back, Jackson walked into a Santa Barbara sheriff’s station today to be booked in cooperation with issuance of an arrest warrant based on multiple counts of child molestation.
Jackson’s attorney, Mark Geragos, told reporters shortly afterward that Jackson had posted $3 million bond. The singer also was required to surrender his passport.
Geragos said the pop star is ”outraged” by the charges and considers the accusations ”a big lie.”