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Michael Jackson's Nephew Seeking $770K To Finance Docuseries About Uncle

"I knew I had to be someone out in front fighting for my uncle"

Michael Jackson's nephew, Taj Jackson, is fighting back against the sex abuse allegations made in HBO's Leaving Neverland documentary. Taj, who is the son of Tito Jackson, has reportedly launched a GoFundMe account to help finance his own documentary series about his uncle in hopes of telling his "truth."

In a new interview with Billboard, Jackson spoke about his hopes for the docuseries.

"I knew I had to be someone out in front fighting for my uncle," Taj told Billboard. He said he believes that it is his duty to defend his family's name and protect Michael's legacy amid director Dan Reed's documentary.

In the interview, Taj said that he participated in more than 200 sleepovers with his uncle at Jackson's Neverland Ranch. During his time spent at the ranch (he also lived there for one year), he said he never witnessed any sexual misconduct. He also protested the accounts of sexual abuse made by alleged victims Wade Robson and James Safechuck.

Taj said the new docuseries will prove the discrepancies in Leaving Neverland's narrative. "I’m not combating Leaving Neverland," he said. "I’m doing a documentary about the media’s relationship with my uncle and how they’ve reported certain things as factual that were lies. I’m going to go back all the way to 1993 with the first allegation and uncover that along with the 2005 allegations. I’m obviously going to make it entertaining because I don’t want people to fall asleep, but it’s going to be about facts, court documents, depositions, and interviews. It’s going to be about debunking what you heard and sharing what really happened. I want to get the truth out there."

Jackson has adamantly denied the allegations made against his uncle in Leaving Neverland. Shortly before the doc premiere on HBO in early Mar. 2019, Taj, his father Tito, and uncles, Jackie and Marlon Jackson hit various news channels to defend Michael. While Taj said that he is sure of his uncle's innocence, he said that if he found evidence supporting Robson and Safechuck's claims, he would document it.

"I’m all about justice. Integrity is everything for me," he said. "But here’s the thing: What I can tell you is that—in 10 years of [multiple] investigations, hundreds of documents, a trial and a tip line that prosecutor Tom Sneddon kept open for [people claiming to be] victims of Michael Jackson for years— there’s still nothing."

Jackson's GoFundMe for the docuseries has raised more than $114,000 of its $777,000 goal so far. Read Billboard's full interview with Taj Jackson here. To donate to the GoFundMe, click the link.

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Alabama Deputy On Leave After Comments About Gay Teen's Suicide

An Alabama deputy has been placed on leave after making insensitive comments on social media about a teen who committed suicide after allegedly being bullied for his sexual orientation.

According to reports, the officer has been with the Madison County Sheriff's Office in Huntsville for 12 years and sparked backlash for referring to LGBTQ qualms as "a fake movement which requires no special attention but by persons with an altered ego and fake agenda."

"Liberty. Guns. Bible. Trump. BBQ. That’s my kind of LGBTQ. I’m seriously offended that there is such a thing such as this movement," the deputy allegedly wrote in a Facebook post. "Society cannot and should not accept this behavior. I have a right to be offended and will always be offended by this fake movement which requires no special attention but by persons with an altered ego and fake agenda.”

The law enforcement officer defended his statement as freedom of speech before it was taken down. It was made in reference to 15-year-old Nigel Shelby who took his own life Thursday (April 18) after being bullied for being gay.

In a statement, Monday, the Madison County Sheriff's Office revealed a deputy had been placed on leave, while Local sheriff Kevin Turner offered kind words to the friends and family of Nigel Shelby.

Turner said: “Bullying of any group or person in or outside of schools is unacceptable, and I welcome any and all efforts to raise awareness to bullying and bring bullying to a stop. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is proud of the community support and engagement we have received over the years, and we look forward to growing those community partnerships.”

 

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Jay-Z's Foundation Is Helping Kids Visit Black Colleges

With accepted students days happening on college campuses across the country, the timing of Jay-Z's foundation's newest endeavor is right on the money. The Shawn Carter Foundation is teaming up with Toyota to launch an HBCU college tour for prospective students.

The week-long tour will take selected high-achieving students to visit 11 historically black colleges and universities located along the East Coast from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Georgia. While on this tour, selected students will be able to meet with college admissions counselors as well as former Shawn Carter Foundation scholars. Over 125 schools in the New York/New Jersey area have been invited to take part in some of the college prep workshops that will lead up to the tour. Then in September, administrator-selected students will tap into weekend ACT/SAT prep sessions that also touch on resume skills and dressing for success.

Jay-Z's mother Gloria Carter, 93.9 WKYS radio personality Angie Ange and Creative Writing M.F.A. Candidate Candice Wong (the latter two of whom are Howard University alumni) will kick off the 2019 Shawn Carter Foundation College Bus Tour on Howard's campus this week.

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Russell Wilson Buys Amazon Stock For Select Teammates

Russell Wilson recently made history as the National Football League's (NFL) highest paid player. To celebrate this wealth, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback purchased Amazon stock worth $12,000 apiece for 13 of the team's offensive linesmen, TMZ reports.

The premise behind the gesture is to help set the players on a lucrative path post-NFL. "We all have dreams of what we can build and accomplish off the field," he wrote in a memo. "One important lesson I have learned thus far in my career: The memories on the field will last forever, but we have to constantly prepare for life after football."

In the letter that was sent to his teammates, Wilson said he was indecisive on what to give them as a sign of his appreciation for their protection on the field. "Some were flashy, some were cool, but I wanted to give you something that had a lasting impact," he said. "Something that would affect the lives of you, your family, and your children." According to CNBC, each linesmen's stock could be worth $270,000 in the next 10 years if Amazon's shares continue to result in a return of 2,200 percent.

Earlier this month, Wilson signed a $140 million contract. He'll suit up with the Seahawks for the next four years. The re-signing follows a previous four-year agreement the 30-year-old athlete made with the team.

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

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