SANTA YNEZ, Calif. -- Troubled pop superstar Michael Jackson broke his months-long silence Wednesday concerning child molestation allegations, denying the claims of a 13-year-old boy in a televised speech from his Neverland ranch:
'I am doing well and I am strong. As you may already know, after my tour ended I remained out of the country undergoing treatment for a dependency on pain medication. This medication was initially prescribed for the excruciating pain that I was suffering after reconstructive surgery on my scalp.
'There have been many disgusting statements made concerning allegations of improper conduct on my part.
'These statements about me are totally false. As I have maintained from the very beginning, I am hoping for a speedy end to this horrifying, horrifying experience to which I have been subjected.
'I shall not in this statement respond to all of the false allegations that have been made against me because my lawyers have advised me that this is not the proper forum in which to do that. I will say that I am particularly upset by the handling of this mass matter of the incredible, terrible mass media.
'At every opportunity, the media has dissected and manipulated the allegations to reach their own conclusions. I ask all of you to wait and hear the truth before you label or condemn me. Don't treat me like a criminal, because I am innocent.
'I have been forced to submit to a dehumanizing, and humiliating examination by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Police Department earlier this week. They served a search warrant on me which allowed them to view and photograph my body including my penis, my buttocks, my lower torso, thighs and any other area that they wanted.
'They were supposedly looking for any discoloration, spotting, blotching or other evidence of a skin color disorder called vitiligo, which I have previously spoken about.
'The warrant also directed me to cooperate in any examination of my body by their physicians to determine the condition of my skin, including whether I have vitiligo or any other skin disorder.
'The warrant further stated that I had no right to refuse examination or photographs and if I failed to cooperate with them, they would introduce that refusal at any trial as an indication of my guilt.
'It was the most humiliating ordeal of my life, one that no person should ever have to suffer. And even after experiencing the indignity of the search, the parties involved were still not satisfied and wanted to take even more pictures.
'It was a nightmare, a horrifying nightmare. But if this is what I have to endure to prove my innocence, my complete innocence, so be it.
'Throughout my life I have only tried to help thousands upon thousands of children to live happy lives. It brings tears to my eyes when I see any child who suffers.
'I am not guilty of these allegations, but if I am guilty of anything, it is of giving all that I have to give to help children all over the world. It is of loving children of all ages and races, it is of gaining sheer joy from seeing children with their innocent and smiling faces, it is of enjoying through them the childhood that I missed myself.
'If I am guilty of anything, it is of believing what God said about children. Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not for such is the kingdom of heaven. In no way do I think that I am God, but I do try to be God-like in my heart.
'I am totally innocent of any wrong-doing and I know these terrible allegations will all be proven false.
'Again to my friends and fans, thank you very much for all of your support. Together we will see this through to the very end. I love you very much. May God bless you all. I love you. Goodbye.'