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Michael Jackson's family, sheriff respond to child-porn allegations

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 22/06/2016 Jayme Deerwester
FILE - In this March 5, 2009 file photo, US singer Michael Jackson speaks at a press conference at the London O2 Arena. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams is adapting a new book , "Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days," for TV with its co-author, TV and radio host Tavis Smiley. Written by Smiley and David Ritz, it's described as a novelistic take on the pop star's final months. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this March 5, 2009 file photo, US singer Michael Jackson speaks at a press conference at the London O2 Arena. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams is adapting a new book , "Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson's Last Days," for TV with its co-author, TV and radio host Tavis Smiley. Written by Smiley and David Ritz, it's described as a novelistic take on the pop star's final months. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File)

The Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office and Michael Jackson's family have responded to a RadarOnline.com report that the late singer kept a collection of child pornography at his Neverland Ranch, citing documents from a 2003 raid.

In a statement, police spokesperson Kelly Hoover told the Los Angeles Times and Billboard  that some of the documents featured in the gossip site's story "appear to be copies of reports that were authored by the Sheriff's Office." But she warned the media that their numbered reports are "interspersed with content that appears to be obtained off the Internet or through unknown sources." 

Hoover added that her office had not released any of the documents featured in the Radar story to the media, implying Radar had obtained them through less-than-proper channels. Rather,  she explained, "The Sheriff's Office released all of its reports and the photographs as part of the required discovery process to the prosecution and the defense" in Jackson's 2005 sex-abuse trial. 

Meanwhile, Jackson's estate accused Radar of trying to exploit the seventh anniversary of the singer's death on Saturday. Jackson died in 2009 from an overdose of the sedative Propofol, which is commonly used by anesthesiologists to put and keep patients under for surgery.

“Everything in these reports, including what the County of Santa Barbara calls ‘content that appears to be obtained off the Internet or through unknown sources’ is false, no doubt timed to the anniversary of Michael's passing,” their statement read. “Those who continue to shamelessly exploit Michael via sleazy internet ‘click bait’ ignore that he was acquitted by a jury in 2005 on every one of the 14 salacious charges brought against him in a failed witch hunt.”

The singer's nephew Taj, the son of his brother Tito, registered his disgust with the media via Twitter on Tuesday. "Fake news travels fast," he wrote. "The world picked up this trashy story. There's such a race to be first, only a few checked to see if it's even true."

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