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Jackson rep denies Nation of Islam ties

Jan. 5, 2004 at 10:59 AM

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Michael Jackson's attorney has denied that the Nation of Islam is playing any part in the American pop singer's business.

"The idea that there is some takeover by the Nation of Islam -- someone is spinning you," Mark Geragos, Jackson's attorney, said in a statement posted Sunday on Jackson's Web site, CNN reported.

Last week, CNN reported that informed sources said that the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim separatist group based in Chicago, was playing an important role in Jackson's affairs. The sources also said that Leonard Muhammad, chief of staff and son-in-law to Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan, had set up Jackson's CBS "60 Minutes" interview a week ago and was working out of Geragos' office.

At a recent news conference called by Geragos, Muhammad could be seen standing behind the attorney. The Nation of Islam has issued a statement saying it has "no official business or professional relationship" with Jackson.

Jackson, 45, is free on $3 million bail after being charged with seven counts of child molestation involving a boy under 14 and two counts of administering "an intoxicating agent" to a minor in the same case.

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