Now that Michael Jackson has been cleared of child
molestation charges, the next big question is whether the one-time unstoppable
superstar can rebuild a shattered career and work his way out of deep debt.
As he emerged from a central California courthouse on
Monday, shaky and expressionless after his acquittal, the 46-year-old performer
appeared more a victim of shell shock than a commanding King of Pop.
But experts in image management and the music industry
say Jackson could make a modest comeback singing the hits that made him famous,
especially in Europe and Asia, where his following has long surpassed his U.S.
Watching from all corners of the globe, fans and friends
of Michael Jackson rejoiced when a California jury acquitted him of child abuse
charges in a trial that has captivated the world.
From the US to Romania, people tuned into live television
coverage, logged on to the internet and pressed their ears to radios to hear
the judge read the not guilty verdict.
But while some were elated with the news, others
expressed shock and said that despite the jury's decision they still had doubts
about Jackson's innocence.
"I can't believe it, I'm just so pleased I'm lost
for words!", said Uri Geller, Jackson's psychic friend. "I'm trembling,
this is so important. He did not let down his fans and all the people that love
Jackson was found not guilty of molesting 13-year-old
cancer survivor Gavin Arvizo, getting the boy drunk and conspiring to imprison
him and the boy's family at his Neverland estate. "He went through h*ll
and now the nightmare is over," Geller said.
In Germany, several news channels carried the verdict
live, and the top-selling Bild newspaper quickly posted the headline
"Acquittal!" on its website. Martin Stock, the founder of a Jackson
fan club in Germany who stayed up to watch the outcome, said he was overjoyed,
even though he had expected an acquittal.
Elsewhere in Latin America, people were stunned by the
verdict. "It's a mistake. It's incredible," said Carlo Gonzales, 31,
a part-time bartender and guitarist in a rock band in Lima, Peru, who said he
was a Jackson fan until he was 15. "I realised that he used his image to
"I was a tremendous fan of Michael Jackson,"
said Valdeci Pereira, an evangelist preacher in the Dona Marta shanty town in
Rio de Janeiro, where Jackson filmed a video in 1996. "The magic is
forgotten. People will never listen to his music the same way again."
What wld be his life after now..