Jackson adviser: 'Great emotional toll' on family
Firpo Carr, spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson's family
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(CNN) -- A Michael Jackson TV special aired Friday night on CBS, featuring the singer's hits, dance moves and friends, but no mention of the child molestation charges against him. The show was postponed in November but aired after Jackson discussed the charges on the CBS show "60 Minutes."
CNN anchor Andrea Koppel spoke Saturday with Firpo Carr, a Jackson family spiritual adviser, about the Jacksons' point of view.
KOPPEL: I wanted to ask you and I'm sure a lot of people are wondering just how Michael is doing and how his family are doing.
CARR: Well, Michael is cautiously optimistic. He knows he's innocent of the charges filed against him. The family is understandably concerned. Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, her children, grandchildren, other relatives are under the emotional crush of all of this.
It's kind of sad, most people don't know that, when his young nieces and nephews go to school and what have you, they get teased, "Your uncle's a molester," that sort of thing. These are things off camera or out of the news, but it's a great emotional toll on the family.
KOPPEL: You've been a friend of theirs for about the last 10 or 11 years, how is it that you and other friends are supporting them now?
CARR: Well, I'd like to direct them to the Scriptures. Michael's mother is one of the Jehovah's Witnesses, and so is his older sister and her husband and family. They all have a Witness background so they're familiar with the Bible but I like to refer them to Scriptures and to let them know that this, too, shall pass.
So that's the best advice I can give them. And they're holding up understandably well given the circumstances. I hate to say that Mrs. Jackson is not doing real well. She kind of hides her stress but it becomes manifest in various ways to the point where sometimes she needs to visit the doctor.
We're confident all of this will pass, as I mentioned, and giving them spiritual encouragement is what so far I think is keeping their heads above water.
KOPPEL: I'm sure that can be of comfort to an adult, but what about the children and especially Michael's three children?
CARR: Well, pretty much, it's my understanding, they're trying to shield this from the children, Michael's children, so that they don't really know what's going on. They don't know what's happening with daddy. They see daddy happy all the time.
He's so concerned with the children, not only his own, but all children. He wants to shield them from this negativity, that could eventually be damaging to them in later years. They love their father. They hate to be without him ... they are so fond of him and he's fond of them and, as I've mentioned, all children.
It's not just of any particular race. His approach is multicultural and his fan base is multicultural and they're all rooting for him. As far as his children are concerned they're doing reasonably well.
KOPPEL: I know you and others have taken issue with the way sometimes the media and pundits who appear in the media have portrayed Michael's relationship with children and, in particular, with his comments that he sleeps with children. Why don't you clarify things for us.
CARR: I sure will. Thank you for the opportunity to do so, Andrea.
I would like to say, first of all, Michael Jackson has never stated that he slept with any child. What he said is that he would share his bed with them. That is to say the way I would share a comb with my friend. We're not using it at the same time, but I am sharing it with them, it is my comb.
Michael has stated repeatedly that he has slept on the floor. Even with his interview with "60 minutes," he compared child molesters to a serial-killing murderous person known as Jack the Ripper. So what he did was reaffirm his hatred and disdain for child molesters, which he is not.
In fact, he is so innocent of that, he is so far removed from that, that he said, although I haven't done so I wouldn't mind sleeping with a child because I'm not that way. I'm not a pedophile. When he said sleeping, I like to emphasize that's what he meant, sleeping, not having sex with, which is disdainful and disturbing and horrible to him and horrifying to him.
What he said was, I wouldn't mind sleeping, and that's something that has happened [in] the black community for quite some time, when you have large families and what have you or if they're visiting somewhere, it's not unusual. In the past, especially down South, when there was segregation and you couldn't stay in the white hotels you had to stay with friends and family and it wasn't unusual to have an adult sleeping with the child. Just that -- sleeping.