Michael Jackson prays with Jesse Jackson

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) – Michael Jackson has been starting his trial days by praying with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the minister and the singer’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Michael Jackson receives advice from the activist minister on both spiritual and personal issues, said Raymone K. Bain, the singer’s spokeswoman.

“He speaks to the Rev. Jesse Jackson every morning,” Bain said after Jackson’s child molestation case recessed for the afternoon Tuesday. “They’ve known each other for a long time.”

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She said the singer usually wakes up at about 4:30 a.m., and talks to Rev. Jackson for 15 to 20 minutes. The two talk to each other by phone and pray together, she said.

Earlier in the case the pop star received advice and security from members of the Nation of Islam.

Rev. Jackson said in a telephone interview that the entertainer and his family are Jehovah’s Witnesses and the prayer they share is nondenominational.

Rev. Jackson said he speaks to the entertainer in the morning and the evening.

“I counsel him and his family,” he said.

He said his main message to them is to “stay focused.”

“He is serious. He is focused,” Rev. Jackson said of the pop star’s demeanor.

“This is a difficulty for all involved, the accuser and the accused. … He will survive this,” Rev. Jackson said.

He also said that it was unfair that Michael Jackson’s jury has no black members and he challenged a reporter to imagine a situation in which a white person would be charged with molestation and have a predominantly black jury.

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Associated Press, via MercuryNews.com, USA
Mar. 15, 2006

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