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    Channel 4's Jackson family documentary 'was fabricated'

    Smooth Criminal

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    Channel 4's Jackson family documentary 'was fabricated'

    Post by Smooth Criminal on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:21 am

    Channel 4 faces court costs exceeding £1 million if it loses a libel trial in which it is alleged that journalists made up parts of a story about members of Michael Jackson's family planning to move to Devon.

    The programme, called The Jacksons Are Coming, captured the lives of the family, including Michael's older brother Tito, as they spent five weeks in a rented house in Appledore, near Barnstaple.

    But according to documents presented to the High Court, elements of the programme were fabricated.

    Matt Fiddes, who featured in the documentary as the Jacksons' local guide, claims the programme wrongly stated he betrayed Tito Jackson and the family by leaking stories about them to the media during their stay in 2008.

    Mr Fiddes, 30, a martial arts expert from Barnstaple and a former bodyguard to Michael Jackson, claims he and Tito Jackson contrived a publicity stunt pretending that the family were moving to Appledore.

    He then helped broker a £20,000 deal for Studio Lambert, a production company, to cover the move.

    Mr Fiddes said that Tito Jackson was in a "poor financial position" and actually wanted the money to secure a deposit on a London home from which to relaunch his career.

    But he is suing Channel 4, Studio Lambert and narrator Jane Preston, claiming that the whole programme "was from start to finish a gross misrepresentation or distortion of the true facts as they occurred".

    Court papers claim that litigation for proceedings including the trial, set to being in June, could "cost well in excess of £1 million".

    A spokesman for Studio Lambert said: "Channel 4, Studio Lambert, and the producer Jane Preston completely refute these false allegations and are confident that they can demonstrate the honesty and truthfulness of this documentary."


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