Journalist Martin Bashir has been accused of having Michael Jackson’s blood on his hands after the release of his controversial documentary featuring the King of Pop in 2003.
The doc, titled Living with Michael Jackson, was partially blamed for the latter’s downfall, which subsequently led to his untimely death in 2009 when he overdosed from acute propofol intoxication.
According to the The Mirror, Jackson’s former confidant and lawyer Brian Oxman believes that Bashir had an agenda the minute he secured his interview with Jackson.
Oxman claims that the controversial journalist wanted Jackson “brought down” on TV like Princess Diana, whom he had interviewed back in 1995.
One of the many controversial topics covered in the Jackson documentary was the “Smooth Criminal” singer’s adoration for children before the latter confessed to sometimes having shared the same bed with a 12-year-old boy.
Jackson also admitted that the children who stayed over at his Neverland ranch every other weekend were allowed to sleep in his room, and when questioned on where he would sleep, he said on the floor.
The remarks later led to Santa Barbara authorities to charge Jackson with seven counts of child molestation in December 2003, and a further two counts of intoxicating a minor with alcoholic beverages.
After pleading not guilty, Jackson’s trial commenced in January 2005, and by June of that year, he was acquitted of all felony counts along with four misdemeanors.
Still, Oxman explained to The Mirror that the child molestation trial had “tormented” Jackson until he passed.
"Some of the family feel Martin Bashir has blood on his hands. He brought down Princess Diana on TV. He wanted to do the same with the biggest entertainer in the world," Oxman said.
"Michael was cleared on all counts, but these false accusations meant whatever he did, a cloud hung over him.”
Jackson’s public persona changed following the release of the documentary, and once his trial commenced two years later, the “Billie Jean” chart-topper was spending millions of his money on legal fees, consequently leading him to bankruptcy by the time of his death.
Bashir is alleged to have told Jackson what a privilege it was to document him helping sick children, stressing that those who had misrepresented his intentions were “disgusting,” but the 57-year-old went against his word and produced the complete opposite of what he originally pitched to the singer and his team.
In an unaired scene taken from the documentary, Bashir reportedly said: "It almost makes me weep. Your interaction is just so natural, loving.”
Oxman says that Jackson’s reputation and well-being were harmed by Bashir’s wrongdoing and that he should take accountability for the singer’s untimely death in 2009.
According to The Mirror, Bashir’s spokesman was approached but made no comment.