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Authorities search Michael Jackson's ranch


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(CNN) -- Investigators from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office and Sheriff's Department searched entertainer Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California Tuesday as part of an "ongoing criminal investigation," a spokesman said.

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The nature of the investigation -- or what they were searching for -- was not disclosed.

Stuart Backerman, a spokesman for Jackson, said the singer was up all night shooting a video in Las Vegas and as of 12:30 p.m. PT (3:30 p.m. ET) was resting, so "he doesn't know about it [the search] yet."

Backerman said Jackson has been in Las Vegas for the past 2 1/2 weeks, shooting a video to promote a CBS special called "One More Chance."

The spokesman had no comment to make on the search at Neverland Ranch.

"We're unaware of what the substance of this matter is," Backerman told CNN's Frank Buckley in a telephone interview.

Backerman said no one was aware that the sheriff's department was coming Tuesday.

The search warrant was served at 8:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. EST), said Chris Pappas, a spokesman for the sheriff's department, and investigators were still on the scene several hours later.

Attorney Larry R. Feldman, who represented the alleged victim in a child molestation lawsuit against Michael Jackson nearly a decade ago, told CNN Tuesday he would "not confirm or deny" that he is currently representing anyone in a civil or criminal investigation pertaining to Jackson because of possible "violation of attorney-client privilege."

In 1994, Feldman settled a lawsuit brought by a 14-year-old boy who spent time at the Neverland Ranch alleging that Michael Jackson sexually molested him. The terms of the settlement were confidential although the boy's attorney, Feldman, said at the time they were happy to resolve the matter and put it behind him.

Johnnie Cochran, Jackson's attorney in that case, said at the time that Jackson maintained his innocence and that settlement was in no way an admission of guilt.

CNN producer Stan Wilson contributed to this report.


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