Video: Exclusive: Jacksons speak
updated 6/14/2005 2:46:21 PM ET 2005-06-14T18:46:21

In a world exclusive seen only on Countdown, MSNBC's Rita Cosby spoke with Jermaine and Tito Jackson in their first interview since the verdict in the Michael Jackson case. Below is the full transcript and remarks from the two brothers.

KEITH OLBERMANN, 'COUNTDOWN' HOST:  Three hours after the acquittal of Michael Jackson, and there has yet to be comment from Michael Jackson or any members of his family.  Well, all that is about to change as we welcome, in her debut here on MSNBC, my new colleague, Rita Cosby, with a world exclusive.  And Jermaine Jackson will be joining Rita.

Good evening, Rita.


And indeed, as you point out, none of the family members has commented at all up until this point.  But we have with us now exclusively on the phone, Jermaine Jackson, the older brother of Michael Jackson.

Jermaine, can you hear me?


COSBY:  Hi.  Jermaine, first of all, what was your reaction to the verdict?

J. JACKSON:  I was very, very happy, because we always felt from the very beginning my brother was 1,000 percent innocent.  That's what we always knew — the jury did a great job.  They did the right thing.

And we‘re very happy.  The family is rejoicing.  And Michael is resting.  And we‘re all very happy, Rita, very happy thaT.

COSBY:  What was Michael's reaction, Jermaine?  You were near him in the courtroom at the time.  What did he say, and what did he do?

J. JACKSON:  No, during the final parts, the judge, he only (INAUDIBLE) in the courtroom, so I stayed out to let my mother and other people go in.  So I didn't see his reaction.  But he was strong, he was very strong.  He's been tremendously strong.

But I would like to really, really thank the supporters from around the world, the fans and the people who love my brother, who love the family, who have always supported us.  Because, like I said from the very beginning, he's been 1,000 percent innocent.

And that showed today.  But it was a long, long struggle and a tough road.  But being a family and staying together, we can overcome anything.  And that's what we proved.

So thank you and thank everyone who really believed in that.  And we know that the ones who didn't, and who said this and that, but that's what it's about.  We thank God.  We thank the people who have been there and who know who we really are.

And so I'll say it again, Thank you to the world, really.  And I really mean it.

COSBY:  And Jermaine, we've heard from the jurors too.  I was very impressed with them.  Here they were, you know, the regular jurors, also the alternates, very thoughtful.  They seemed very level-headed.  What were your impressions of the jury, and what would you like to say to this jury tonight?

J. JACKSON:  Well, I would like to say the jury has been wonderful, and there are wonderful people in this county.  It's just the people who are in authority weren't so nice.  And you know who I‘m speaking of.  But the taxpayers up here, the people — it's a wonderful community.  But at the same time, the people who were put in power, those were the ones who weren't so nice and who concocted this whole thing from the very beginning.

But justice was served.  My brother's 1,000 percent innocent.  I am the most happiest person.  Also, my son's birthday is today, Dante.  He‘' 13.  And that was a special day.  Today is a special day.  And I'm just going to let Tito say hi real quick.

COSBY:  OK.  Great.  Tito?  Do we have Tito Jackson on?


COSBY:  Tito, what is your reaction?  This is Rita Cosby.  You're live on MSNBC with Keith Olbermann.  Tell us, if you could, your reaction to the verdict.

T. JACKSON:  Oh, it's a beautiful day today.  Like Jermaine was saying, it's a beautiful day, and we‘re just glad all of this is behind us.  We can go on with our lives.  And Michael can go on with his life and do what he does best, and that‘s making good music, making his fans happy, people happy all over the world.  And that's what it's about.

COSBY:  Now Tito, how tough was this for the family?  You know, we saw pictures of Michael.  He looked so thin.  He lost a lot of weight as this case went on.  This really took a toll on him.

T. JACKSON:  Well, of course, this would take a toll on anyone.  But at the same time, you must remember that he's a very strong individual.  But when you're faced with such allegations, it would just beat you down in that fact.  So he's strong.  He‘' getting his strength moment by moment.  And he knows that he's going to be Michael Jackson in the future and do the good music that he's always done and make people happy.  And that's what it's about.

COSBY:  And Tito, what are the family's plans tonight?  What are you guys doing, and what is Michael doing right now?

T. JACKSON:  Well, right now, we‘re just trying to absorb everything.  Like I said, Michael is resting and enjoying his family, his children, and just taking it easy today.  Today is a day to rejoice and to just take in everything and have fun, enjoy it, party, have fun, just enjoy your life.  He has his life back, and he can do his thing.

COSBY:  You know, I spoke, Tito, with Jermaine probably about 30 seconds after the verdict came down.  And the first thing Jermaine said to me was, My brother is free.  A black cloud is lifted off of him.  How do you feel?  Do you feel that this has sort of wiped the slate clean for him and he can start fresh now?

T. JACKSON:  Yes.  I‘m glad that he's got all this behind him.  And I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of people — and there are certain people that don't report the news accurate for their own personal fame and gain.  And they know who they are.  And I've listened to the news so many times when the news was reporting one thing, and it wasn't what was going on in that courtroom.

Some people are probably scratching their heads and saying, How did that happen?  That's because some of the media didn't give the public the full story.  They didn't give them the true cross-examination.  And that happens at times.  But now Michael is free.  He went through the justice system.  And like Jermaine was saying, it's a beautiful county out here.  And now Tom Sneddon, he can retire and do whatever he needs to do.  He had his day in court, and that's about that.  And leave Michael Jackson — leave him alone.

COSBY:  What would you say to Tom Sneddon — the D.A. came out earlier today, Tito, and he said that he feels that the case was justified.  He still stands by the reason he brought charges against your brother.  What would you say to him tonight, if he's listening?

T. JACKSON:  Well, I don't have anything to say to Mr. Sneddon, you know?  Nothing at all.  So it's a beautiful day for the family.  We went through his justice system, and there were jurors on the stand.  My brother was found innocent under 10 counts.  And that's that about that.

COSBY:  What do you think is ahead for your brother career-wise, Tito?

T. JACKSON:  Oh, Michael Jackson is Michael Jackson.  And no matter if he sold 40 million records off of one record and sold 15 off his last or whatever the counts may be, Michael Jackson will be Michael Jackson.  And you can't take that away from him.  And who knows what the future is for him.

COSBY: Do you think he‘s going to be bigger than ever?

T. JACKSON:  He‘s never been small.

COSBY:  All right.  Well, Tito, thank you very much.  We so much appreciate Tito Jackson, also Jermaine Jackson, two older brothers of Michael Jackson, joining us live here exclusively.  Keith, back to you.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann airs weeknights, 8 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. E-mail Keith at

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