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Interview with Fibiro Carr

Aired January 3, 2004 - 09:33   ET


ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN ANCHOR: The Michael Jackson TV special that was yanked from the CBS schedule after the singer was charged with child molestation finally aired. Last night's show featured the singer and entertainer that Jackson fans know and love, his top hits, his electrifying dance steps, his trend-setting outfits.
It made no mention of his legal troubles. The hour-long program, "Michael Jackson, Number Ones," was originally set to air November 26.

We want to talk more about the Michael Jackson case this morning. Joining us now is Jackson's Firpo Carr, Jackson's spiritual adviser. He joins us live from Los Angeles.

Good morning to you, Mr. Carr.

FIRPO CARR, JACKSON SPIRITUAL ADVISER: Good morning, Andrea. How are you?

KOPPEL: Very well, thank you. I wanted to ask you, and I'm sure a lot of people are wondering, just how Michael is doing and how his family are doing.

CARR: Well, Michael is cautiously optimistic. He knows he's innocent of the charges filed against him. The family's obviously concerned, they're understandably concerned. They have their children, Catherine (ph) Jackson, Mrs. Jackson, Michael's mother's -- mother, her children, grandchildren, other relatives are under the emotional crush of all of this.

It's kind of sad, most people don't know that when his young nieces and nephews go to school and what have you, they get teased, Your uncle's a molester, that sort of thing. These are things off camera, if you will, or out of the news. But it's a great emotional toll on the family.

KOPPEL: So how is it you've been a friend of theirs, I know, for about the last 10 or 11 years, how is it that you are and other friends are supporting them now?

CARR: Well, I'd like to direct them to Scripture. Michael's mother's one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and so is his older sister, Reeby (ph), and her husband and family. And they all have a Witness background, so they're familiar with the Bible. But I like to refer to them to Scripture and to let them know that this, too, shall pass, pass. So that's the best advice I can give them. And they're holding up understandably well given the circumstance. I hate to say that Mrs. Jackson, pardon me, is not doing real well. She kind of hides her stress, and -- but it becomes manifest in various ways, to the point where sometimes she needs to visit the doctor.

But we're confident that all of this will pass, as I mentioned. And giving them spiritual encouragement is what so far, I think, is keeping them -- their heads above water.

KOPPEL: Well, I'm sure, you know, that can be of comfort to an adult. But what about to the children, and especially Michael's three children?

CARR: Well, you know, pretty much, it's my understanding that they're trying to shield this from the children, Michael's children, so that they don't really know what's going on, you know, they don't know what's happening with Daddy. They see Daddy happy all the time.

So he's so concerned with the children, not only his own, but all children. And he wants to kind of shield them from this negativity, all of this that could eventually, of course, be damaging to them in later years.

They love their father. They hate to be without him. If they're in the room together with him, they are right under him, they are just so fond of him. And once again, he's fond of them. And as I mentioned, all children. And it's not just of any particular race. His approach is multicultural, and his fan base is multicultural, and they're all rooting for him.

And as far, once again, as his children are concerned, they're doing reasonably well.

KOPPEL: Mr. Carr, help us out here. I know that you and others have taken issue with the way sometimes the media and pundits who appear in the media have portrayed Michael's relationship with children, and in particular, with his comments that he sleeps with children. Why don't you clarify things for us?

CARR: I sure will. And thank you for the opportunity to do so, Andrea. I would like to say, first of all, Michael Jackson has never stated that he slept with any child. What he said is that he would share his bed with them. That is to say, the same way I would share a comb, say, with my friend. We're not using it at the same time, but I am sharing it with them, it is my comb.

And Michael has stated repeatedly that he slept on the floor. Even with his interview with "60 Minutes," he compared child molesters to a serial killing murderous person known as Jack the Ripper. So what he did is reaffirm his hatred and his disdain for child molesters, which he is not.

In fact, he is so innocent of that, he is so far removed from that, that he said, Although I haven't done so, I wouldn't mind sleeping with the child, because I'm not that way. I'm not a pedophile.

And when he said sleeping, I like to emphasize that that's what he meant, sleeping, not having sex with, which is disdainful and disturbing and horrible to him and horrifying to him. What he said was, I wouldn't mind sleeping.

And that's something that has happened in the black community for quite some time, when you have large families and what have you, or if they're visiting somewhere. It's not unusual. In the past, especially down South, when there was segregation, and you couldn't stay in the same hotel, or stay in a hotel, white hotels, you had to stay with friends and family. And it wasn't unusual to have an adult sleeping with the child. And just that, sleeping.

KOPPEL: OK, Firpo Carr, the Jackson family is lucky to have a friend in you. And we appreciate your coming in today to help us understand the other side of the story. Thanks so much.

CARR: Thank you so much, Andrea. And you have a good day.

KOPPEL: Thank you.


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