Michael Jackson’s nephew has had an accuracy complaint against the Daily Mirror over a story headlined “Jacko’s £134m hush money” rejected by press regulator IPSO.
The story reported that two men allegedly abused as children by Jackson were seeking to bring new civil cases against the late singer’s estate in which they would introduce “damning evidence”.
It included claims that Jackson had paid “up to £134m” to silence his alleged victims. It also included a comment made by Jackson’s sister LaToya in 1993 saying she did not want to be “silent collaborator in my brother’s crimes”.
Taj Jackson complained to IPSO that the story was inaccurate.
He said the story did not provide a source for its claims and that the quotes from LaToya were later retracted by her. He also said the Jackson estate was not approached for a comment.
The Mirror said the information about “hush money” had been widely reported. Before republishing, its journalist contacted an American journalist who originally reported the information.
The US journalists declined to reveal sources but said they were “impeccable”.
The Mirror said its reporter attempted to contact a representative of the Jackson estate by telephone and had not received a response.
The Mirror offered to change “damning evidence”, to “potentially damning evidence”, and to say that LaToya Jackson has since retracted her comments in the online version of the article. It also offered to publish a clarification and follow-up article setting out the Jackson family’s position.
IPSO said the Mirror was entitled to report the claims, provided that they were clearly presented as such.