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Jackson handlers deny singer’s in U.S.

Representatives for singer Michael Jackson denied published reports Thursday that the elusive pop star has entered a Connecticut treatment facility, maintaining that the singer is being treated at an undisclosed European location.

Rumors that Jackson was quietly admitted to Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan — a facility whose patients have included Liza Minnelli and Gregg Allman — circulated late Wednesday, but are being denied by Jackson handlers.

Publicist Lee Solters said reports that Jackson was in the U.S. were “absolutely untrue. Period. Unquote.”

Hospital spokeswoman Susan Boujoukos said she has been besieged by calls since the item appeared in an East Coast newspaper Thursday morning. “It is our policy to not confirm or deny who we are treating,” she said.

In Los Angeles, the singer’s brother and mother spoke out as the latest legal volley was fired by an attorney for five of the singer’s former security guards.

The attorney claims his clients have been the targets of intimidation and harassment tactics from Jackson handlers. The guards have filed a suit claiming they were terminated because they knew too much about Jackson.

Jackson is being investigated by authorities in L.A. and Santa Barbara on charges he molested a 13-year-old boy, who has filed a civil suit against the singer. Jackson has not been charged in the criminal investigation.

Attorney Charles Ted Mathews claimed Thursday Jackson security consultant Anthony Pellicano has repeatedly telephoned his clients and has engaged in a pattern of intimidation.

Mathews said bullets were fired into the window at the workplace of one of the guards, and another client was almost run down by a hit-and-run driver.

“It’s a very well financed, sophisticated attempt to protect the financial empire of Michael Jackson,” Mathews said. But the attorney was unable to provide evidence linking Jackson’s reps to the alleged deeds. “Do I have hard evidence about it? No. But I have a good suspicion.”

Brother Jermaine Jackson and mother Katherine, who said they spoke via telephone with Michael on Monday, continued their round of TV interviews, appearing on a morning and a cable show Thursday to express their support and to criticize strategies used by the singer’s attorneys.

“Since nobody has come forward, we felt we should do it,” Katherine said. “I’d much rather his legal team would come forward.” Both believe Michael’s handlers, particularly his attorneys, have made mistakes in the court of public opinion.

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