Michael Jackson is ending his relationship with the Nation of Islam, sources tell Foxnews.com.
Jackson has apparently decided, in the wake of firing his lead attorneys over the weekend, to also get rid of his controversial recent “business manager” Leonard Muhammad, son-in-law of Louis Farrakhan.
The change in Jackson’s camp reflects the sudden rise to power of Michael’s brother Randy and Randy’s own advisor, Brian Oxman, who have gained leverage with the singer of late. It was Randy and Oxman who engineered the hiring of Thomas Mesereau as Jackson’s new lead attorney in his child molestation case.
One of Mesereau’s requirements in taking the job was that Jacko rid himself of the NOI. But it won’t be so easy to get rid of Muhammad. According to my sources, he is resisting Jackson’s decision.
“He won’t go without a fight,” said one source.
Indeed, Muhammad was telling at least some people last night that he was still working with Jackson, even though it was clear that he was out.
Jackson’s housecleaning of lawyers and security may not stop there. Late last night there was also talk that he was planning to drop his current publicist, Raymone Bain.
This would be wise, since this woman has yet to give a straight answer or give one true statement to the press since taking over from Jackson’s much-admired former PR guy, Stuart Backerman.
So what’s going on?
“Michael wants to get back to where things used to be,” is how one insider put it last night. “He wants to go home to Neverland, back to his community in Santa Barbara and get back to his life.”
That would be sensible, although Michael Jackson is not known for that trait. He’s leaving the Orlando mansion he rented, and on July 1st he has to leave the Beverly Hills estate for which he plunked down $700,000. That lease will be up at the end of June and Jackson could stand to stop spending money for a while.
The big question is: How will all these changes affect Friday’s arraignment in Santa Maria? We’ll know more tomorrow.