'I rowed with Jacko over anti-Semitism'
As he tried to come to terms with the death of Michael Jackson, a distraught Uri Geller spoke to TJ today about the allegations of anti-Semitism that dogged his late friend.
The 50-year-old singer, who had two Jewish children - Paris and Prince with his ex-wife Debbie Rowe - fell foul of the community twice in his career, firstly in 1995 with the release of They Don't Care About Us, which included the line 'Jew me, sue me, everybody do me'.
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The second occasion came in 2005 during a court case. An answerphone message Jackson had allegedly left in 2003 was played during proceedings in which the singer, referring to Jews, said: "They suck... they're like leeches... It's a conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose."
Describing the comments as "hateful", Abraham H Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said: "It seems every time he has a problem in his life he blames it on Jews. It is sad that Jackson is infected with classically stereotypical ideas of Jews as all-powerful, money-grubbing and manipulative."
He also claimed Jackson had an "anti-Semitic streak".
However, Geller, said Michael regretted those words, noting that the singer even acted as best man, wearing a kippah, when the celebrity psycic renewed his wedding vows.
Recalling the allegations of anti-Semitism, Geller said: "I had rows with Michael Jackson about that, when I heard that, I tried to wash Michael Jackson out of my mind and I said it a few times to the press that I don't want anything to do with Michael Jackson when I heard that.
"Michael called me many times to make me believe that that was not what he meant, I believed him. I don't want to even go there now because he is no longer around and I have to respect the Michael Jackson that I knew."
He added: "I can tell you is that I am still in a state of shock, I'm saddened, I can't believe that Michael Jackson is gone. He was my best man when I renewed my wedding vows with Hannah. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was there. I remember Michael wearing a kippah.
"It is just devastating to face the reality that he is dead. I hope that Michael Jacksonwill be remembered with dancing, for his lyrics, songs and his music.
"He will be remembered as the idol, the icon, the legend and the phenomenon that made Michael Jackson who he was".
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