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Published on Jul 8, 2009
Living with Michael Jackson is a documentary, in which British journalist Martin Bashir interviewed Michael Jackson over a span of 8 months, from May 2002 to January 2003. It was shown first in the UK on 3 February 2003 and in the US three days later on ABC, introduced by Barbara Walters. Martin Bashir put the proposal to Jackson as a way to show the world the truth about him and make nothing off limits. Jacksons decision to make the documentary was made on the suggestion by his close friend Uri Geller. It later emerged that Geller had turned down another bid for the interview by journalist Louis Theroux. The interview was very unusual, as it had been extremely rare for Jackson to allow such access to his personal life, or to talk so freely about his traumatic childhood. Nevertheless, he did show some reserve when asked to discuss other personal issues, such as the plastic surgery he has had.
Jackson felt betrayed by Bashir and complained that the film gives a distorted picture of his behaviour and conduct as a father. He claims that Bashir, in the final version of his interview, used only that material which supported Bashirs opinion of Jackson, which was not a favorable one. Jackson filed complaints with the UKs Independent Television Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Commission. Jacksons lawyers claimed in a British High Court case against Martin Bashir and Granada TV that the documentary was a breach of contract and breach of confidence. The proceedings were put on hold when Jackson was charged with 10 felony counts in late 2003, but the proceedings could continue after since Jacksons acquittal. However this is unlikely following his death. Ann Kite, a public relations consultant hired by Jacksons advisers to counter negative publicity, called the documentary a PR-disaster.