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Michael Jackson's Troubles Grow - 2003-11-22


Singer Michael Jackson, who is facing charges that he molested a child, could now lose custody of his own three young children.

High-profile Los Angeles attorney, Gloria Allred, said Friday she would file a complaint with the Santa Barbara County child welfare authorities asking them to investigate whether Jackson's children should be temporarily removed from his care.

The singer has three children, ages three, five and six. Last November he was widely criticized for dangling his youngest son, Prince Michael the second, over a hotel balcony as he greeted fans in Berlin (Germany).

Santa Barbara law enforcement officials said earlier this week that Jackson's current situation would not automatically warrant a child welfare investigation at his home. Officials said it would be up to a juvenile court to make any custody decisions.

In 1993, Ms. Allred represented a 13-year old boy who made molestation accusations against Jackson. In that case, no criminal charges were ever brought, but the case was reportedly resolved with a multimillion dollar settlement paid to the boy by Jackson.

Formal charges against Jackson are expected to be filed sometime after Thursday's (U.S.) Thanksgiving holiday. The singer is free on three million dollars bail and is due to appear for arraignment in a California court on January ninth.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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