Jackson Aide Quit Over Noi Influence
Michael Jackson was used as a "front" for the Nation of Islam after the religious group targeted him as he was reeling from child abuse allegations, according to a former aide.
The Thriller legend fell in with the Muslim organisation when some of its members began working for his security team.
Jackson's former publicist Stuart Backerman insists the group slowly began to take control of the singer's legal and business affairs - and "infiltrated" his world after he was hit with child molestation claims in 2003.
Backerman eventually quit working for Jackson in dismay over the Nation of Islam's increasing influence over the star.
He tells U.K. tabloid The Sun, "I quit because the Nation of Islam has infiltrated Michael's world. I was the only one who was left standing at that point because Michael wasn't in his right mind. It was heartbreaking for him to have these charges and his life turned upside down.
"In that period of weakness he allowed the Nation of Islam to come in under the guise of acting as security first, to taking control of his business operations and have an advisory role on legal matters. Basically they just took over control.
"I just felt it didn't make sense to become a front for the Nation of Islam. I felt that this was not in Michael's interest to associate with a group like that and it turned out to be true."