Jackson: Acquittal start of 'a new life'

June 14, 2005 at 1:02 PM
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CHICAGO, June 14 (UPI) -- Rev. Jesse Jackson, spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson during his child-molestation trial, says acquittal begins "a new life" for the pop star.

Jackson said the Santa Barbara County, Calif., jury found the entertainer not guilty based on facts and evidence "but he could still lose the newsroom trial as some folks suggest."

Jackson said Michael Jackson remains a suspect in the minds of some despite acquittal.

Jackson said Michael Jackson seemed at the end of his rope when the two talked before the verdict.

"He was at the brink," Jackson told WFLD-TV, Chicago, Tuesday. "I could sense in the conversation the pain, the fear, the stress -- anticipation.

"It (the trial) did take its toll on Michael," Jackson said. "One, he has to take a deep sigh of relief, it was a near miss. Second, he must rehabilitate himself physically to get his back in shape and he must also begin to work again."

He said Jackson felt betrayed by those he had befriended and that advisers had not served him well.

"He must reassess his personal relations, reassess personal conduct," Jackson said. "He has a new life and he should make the very best of it."

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