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Thursday, Feb. 29
The Indiana Daily Student

arts

Jackson criticized showing son

Says he made mistake in endangering him, carried away

BERLIN -- Michael Jackson said he made a "terrible mistake" by holding his infant son over the railing of a fourth-floor balcony at a Berlin hotel to show fans below but shocking many people who watched the scene captured on video. \nTelevision around the world repeatedly broadcast footage of the reclusive pop star's brief appearance Tuesday at the Hotel Adlon across from Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate. \nThe boy had a white cloth over his head as Jackson held him with one arm around his waist over the edge of the hotel's iron balcony railing. \nFans cheered as Jackson appeared with the child, but the pop star quickly retreated into his hotel room. \nThe child, wearing a baby blue jumper, was the singer's third and youngest, Prince Michael II, said Antje Sigesmund, a spokeswoman for the Bambi entertainment award ceremony, which Jackson is attending in Berlin. \nOn Tuesday night, Jackson issued a statement saying he had gotten carried away when fans below the window asked to see the baby. \n"I made a terrible mistake," he said. "I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children." \nEuropean media scolded Jackson for the incident, with Berlin's BZ daily calling his behavior "foolish." Sweden's Expressen headlined its story "Jackson plays with the baby's life." \nIn Britain, Jackson was chastised in The Sun tabloid under the headline "You lunatic" and in the Daily Mirror as "Mad bad dad." \n"The Berlin police should arrest this negligent father for reckless endangerment of his own child," said an editorial by Mirror show business editor Kevin O'Sullivan. \nBerlin prosecutors said they were not investigating the incident, although an inquiry could be opened if a complaint was filed. \nPromoters of Thursday's Bambi ceremony, during which Jackson will receive a lifetime achievement award, played down the flap. \n"Some people obviously found it strange, but that's why Michael Jackson has given an explanation for the incident," said Patricia Riekel, editor of celebrity magazine Bunte and a board member at publisher Burda, which organizes the Bambis. \n"I thought it was a very spontaneous action and he loves children. I don't think it was dangerous," Riekel said at a news conference on the awards. \nOn Wednesday, teenage fans still crowded the pavement in front of the luxury hotel, hoping to glimpse Jackson and breaking into intermittent screams of excitement even though Jackson was nowhere in sight. \n"It was rather bizarre, what he did," said 17-year-old Joerg Diestel of Berlin. "But Michael's a bizarre person." \nMaria Hunyadi, 15, from Budapest, Hungary, said, "I thought it was dangerous, but he probably did it spontaneously." \nUta Nierlein, a 16-year-old fan from Berlin, said, "If I had a child I wouldn't hang him out of the window like that"

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