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Michael Jackson defends himself in CBS interview
( 2003-12-27 16:44) (Xinhua)

US pop superstar Michael Jackson, in an interview aired by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) TV network Sunday, has defended his acts with children while denying the molestation charges against him.

A portion of the interview, conducted on Christmas night with the CBS' "60 Minutes," was released by the CBS Friday.

When asked by CBS host Ed Bradley that if he still believes it was acceptable to sleep with children who had given the molestation charges against him, Jackson answered, "Of course."

"Why not?" Jackson said. "If you're going to be a pedophile, if you're going to be Jack the Ripper, if you're going to be a murderer, it's not a good idea. That I am not."

But the singer denied the child molestation charges filed against him. "Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists, " Jackson said.

Jackson was freed on a 3-million-dollar bail on Nov. 20 after being booked at the Santa Barbara police department, where he turned himself in after being charged with child molestation by a 14-year-old Los Angeles boy.

Jackson, 45, was formally charged in mid-December by Santa Barbara attorney general's office with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent.

Jackson, interviewed in a Los Angeles hotel room, said the police search of his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara in central California had been overdone and so violated his privacy that it will never be the same for him.

"I won't live there ever again," he said. "It's a house now. It ' s not a home anymore. I'll only visit."

Meanwhile on Friday, CBS also announced that it had rescheduled a Jackson music special on Jan. 2, which was forced to be postponed last month when the molestation charges surfaced.

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