DA: Jackson's admission of sleepovers not enough to investigate
SANTA BARBARA, California (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's televised admission that he still lets children stay overnight in his bedroom at his California ranch is not enough to pursue an investigation of the pop star, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Under California law, merely sleeping with a child, without "affirmative, offensive conduct," isn't criminal, and law enforcement officials would also have to have cooperation from a victim before any charges could be brought, said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas W. Sneddon Jr. in a statement.
Jackson's 3,000-acre ranch, Neverland, is located in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles.
In a documentary made for Britain's Granada Television by journalist Martin Bashir, which was broadcast Thursday night in the United States on ABC's "20/20," Jackson, 44, said he still allows children to stay with him in his bedroom, despite a high-profile 1993 investigation into sexual misconduct allegations involving a 13-year-old boy.
"Why can't you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone, " Jackson said. "You say, 'You can have my bed if you want it. Sleep in it. I'll sleep on the floor. It's yours.' I always give the beds to the company."
"It's not sexual. We're going to sleep," he said, adding that he would not mind if his three children slept with an adult whom he knew and trusted.
Jackson was never charged in the 1993 case, though Sneddon said the investigation remains "open, but inactive." Jackson later reached a multimillion-dollar out-of-court settlement with the boy's family, which he would not discuss with Bashir because of a confidentiality agreement.
But Jackson said he decided to agree to the settlement to avoid dragging out the controversy.
'I see God in the face of children'
The reclusive star said he enjoys being around children because their "level of innocence" inspires him.
"I see God in the face of children," he said. "If there were no children on this Earth, if somebody announced that all kids are dead, I would jump off the balcony immediately. I'm done."
Bashir spent eight months as part of Jackson's entourage to produce the documentary, called "Living with Michael Jackson." After it aired in Britain on Monday, an angry Jackson issued a statement saying he was "devastated" and calling Bashir a "salacious ratings-chaser."
"I feel more betrayed than perhaps ever before, that someone who had got to know my children, my staff and me, whom I let into my heart and told the truth, could sacrifice the trust I placed in him and produce this terrible and unfair program," he said. (Full story, Read Jackson's statement)
Jackson filed formal complaints with Britain's Broadcasting Standards Commission and Independent Television Commission, accusing Bashir of using footage of Jackson's children that he had promised not to air and unfairly bringing up the 1993 molestation allegations.
"Granada has, by use of voice-overs, editing and the nature of the questions asked, treated me unfairly by giving viewers the impression that I have behaved inappropriately with children," Jackson alleged in his BSC complaint.
Jackson also complained that Bashir aired an interview with a young male friend of Jackson, a 12-year-old cancer survivor who has stayed overnight at Neverland with Jackson in his bedroom. The documentary showed the two holding hands through much of the interview.
Bashir has said he found Jackson to be "charming ... but disturbing." (Full story)
Jackson: Balcony incident came 'out of innocence'
Jackson's three children -- Prince Michael I, 5; Paris, 4; and Prince Michael II, an infant he has nicknamed "Blanket" -- also made a rare appearance on the program. Their faces were kept covered with masks or a scarf.
In November, Jackson made headlines when he was videotaped dangling the baby off a hotel balcony in Berlin. But he told Bashir he was not deliberately endangering the boy.
"We were waving to thousands of fans down below, and they were chanting they wanted to see my child. So I was kind enough to let them see. I was doing something out of innocence," he said. "Why would I throw a baby off the balcony?"
Prince Michael I and Paris are Jackson's children with his ex-wife, Debbie Rowe. He gave Bashir two different explanations of who the baby's mother is, first describing her as a woman with whom he had a relationship but later describing her as a surrogate mother whom he has never met. Jackson said the woman is black.
Neither mother lives with Jackson and the children, but he said he isn't concerned that will negatively affect them.
"The children are fine," he said.
Star denies having plastic surgery
Jackson said Rowe has no interest in raising the children and "she prefers them to be with me than with her."
Rowe agreed to have his children because "she wanted to do that for me as a present," Jackson said, adding that before he became a father, he wanted children so badly that he carried around a baby doll.
Rowe came to Jackson's defense Thursday, saying: "It breaks my heart that anyone could truly believe that Michael would do anything to harm or endanger our children. They are the most important thing in his life."
Jackson also said claims that he has had extensive plastic surgery are "garbage." (Photo Gallery -- Michael Jackson over the years)
The performer did say, however, that he felt so insecure about his looks as a child performer that sometimes he "wanted to die."
He insisted that the only cosmetic work he has undergone were two operations on his nose to help him breathe and sing better. Asked about his changing appearance through the years, Jackson said, "I changed. People change."
"Plastic surgery wasn't invented for Michael Jackson," he said.