"Declaring himself 'completely innocent' of child molestation charges, Michael Jackson said Sunday that he is the victim of a conspiracy and asked fans around the world to pray for him.
"In an interview with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the entertainer said he believes he is just the latest of several 'black luminaries' to be unjustly accused, citing former South African President Nelson Mandela and former heavyweight boxing champions Muhammad Ali and Jack Johnson as others.
"Michael Jackson suggested that his troubles are in part the result of his 50 percent stake in a highly profitable catalog of music copyrights, including many for songs by the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Little Richard.
"It's a huge catalog. It's very valuable, and it's worth a huge amount of money, and there is a big fight going on right now as we speak about that," he said. "There's a lot of conspiracy going on as we speak."