NEW YORK, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Michael Jackson's parents say the media have tarnished the pop star's reputation and their son is not a child molester.
In an interview to be broadcast on Britain's ITV, parts of which are to be aired Friday night on ABC's "20/20," Katherine Jackson says her son "loved children" and the charges pending against him are the result of the "many vicious people out there."
Joe Jackson said they never warned Michael about showing affection to children because "there's nothing wrong with hugging a kid or nothing."
"But, they're so -- I don't know what you call it -- here in America ... You can't hug a kid, you can't spank him or nothing," he said.
Jackson's parents described their son as a good father who is more lenient with his children than they were. They also said the three youngsters already are showing musical talent.