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Michael Jackson's family defends him against 'new' child porn charges

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Those shocking child porn accusations about Michael Jackson aren't what they seem

A tabloid has published what they call never-before-seen, damning evidence found at Michael Jackson's house before his child molestation trial, but there are a couple of problems with that claim.

A report on Radar Online claims that police found a treasure trove of child pornography when they searched Jackson's Neverland Ranch back in 2003, including "disgusting and downright shocking images of child torture, adult and child nudity, female bondage and sadomasochism," according to their source.

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"In a book Jackson called Room to Play, there is a deeply disturbing photo of a [murdered child beauty queen] JonBenét Ramsey look-alike with a noose around her neck," revealed the insider. "There were also photos and videos featuring sadomasochistic sex, bondage..."

Here are the issues with Radar's so-called "exclusive": One, the material in question has been in the public domain and all over the internet for years. Two, Room To Play is actually an art book released by photographer Simen Johan in 2002 and is still readily available on Amazon for as little as $20. The photos are controversial, for sure, but hardly pornography — no sexual acts are depicted. Three, police confirmed that your average, run-of-the-mill porn was found in Jackson's possession — specifically some issues of Playboy and Penthouse, the same as many men have.

"There were all kinds of conventional porn magazines," former Santa Barbara Senior Assistant District Attorney Ron Zonen told People. "Things like Playboy, Penthouse. There was one called Barely Legal. It was a publication that featured young women presumably over the age of 18 but selected because they look much younger.

"There were photos of nude children but they weren't sexually graphic," he said. "They weren't children engaged in sexual activity and there was no child pornography. There were no videos involving children. There were videos that were seized but they were conventional adult sexually graphic material. No children involved."

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Jackson's family and estate are livid that the story has resurfaced, just days before the anniversary of his death.

"Seven years ago this coming Saturday, the world lost an amazing artist and humanitarian devoted to helping children in need in all corners of the world. Michael Jackson's fans, including the executors of his estate, prefer to remember the wonderful gifts Michael left behind instead of having to once again see his good name dragged through the mud by tabloid trash," the estate said in a statement.

"Everything in these reports, including what the county of Santa Barbara calls 'content that appears to be obtained off the internet or through unknown sources' is false, no doubt timed to the anniversary of Michael's passing. Those who continue to shamelessly exploit Michael via sleazy internet 'click bait' ignore that he was acquitted by a jury in 2005 on every one of the 14 salacious charges brought against him in a failed witch-hunt. Michael remains just as innocent of these smears in death as he was in life even though he isn't here to defend himself. Enough is enough."

And both his daughter Paris and brother Jermaine chimed in with their own thoughts on the rehashed story.

Jackson was acquitted of all charges.

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