Nov 24, 2005
By NATHAN GUTTMAN
Pop star Michael Jackson was caught on tape making anti-Semitic remarks, calling Jews “leeches.”
In a series of audio tapes broadcasted Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Jackson is heard using anti-Semitic language in a voice message to one of his former advisers. “They suck…they’re like leeches,” Jackson is heard saying. “It’s a conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose.”
The tapes are part of lawsuit filed against Jackson by two of his former advisers. According to the ABC report, Jackson, who was restricted by his business managers in the amounts of cash he was allowed to spend, used to ask his advisers for cash loans that sometimes reached millions of dollars. When he did not receive the money, Jackson became abusive and would leave harsh messages.
The message was sent to Dieter Wiesner, a former adviser who is now suing the pop star for $64 million. A separate lawsuit was filed by Marc Schaffel, who claims Jackson owes him $3 million.
ABC news has said that, while the authenticity of voicemail recordings left by Jackson to Schaffel could be confirmed, they could not verify the recording on Wiesner’s answering machine.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a statement claiming Jackson “has an anti-Semitic streak.” Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, said “every time he has a problem in his life, he blames the Jews”. Foxman referred to a similar incident with Jackson in 1995, when he wrote a song titled “They don’t care about us” that included anti-Semitic stereotypes. Jackson later apologized for the lyrics and removed them from the song.
“It is sad that Jackson is infected with classically stereotypical ideas of Jews as all-powerful, money-grabbing and manipulative,” said Foxman. He called on Michael Jackson to acknowledge the hatred in his words and show his fans that he rejected bigotry.
Jackson’s lawyer was quoted on ABC as unwilling to comment on the content of the audio tapes. Since his acquittal on child molestation charges, Jackson has been living in Bahrain.