Michael Jackson has been the victim of widely published defamatory and false statements, according to a spokesman who also vowed the singer plans a more active role in combating rumors.

Jackson attorney Bert Fields held a press conference yesterday in his office to respond to recently published reports that Jackson insisted a white actor portray his younger self in an upcoming Pepsi commercial.

Fields called the story “absolutely untrue. It’s a lie.”

Fields said that the commercial would “superimpose (the young Michael’s) face over the (actor’s) body.” Fields could not confirm whether the actor was white.

Fields also denied a published report by TV Guide that Jackson demanded all other acts for the upcoming presidential inaugural ceremonies be canceled before he would appear. Fields said he was present when Jackson agreed to appear with other performers.

A representative for TV Guide said the publication “stands by its story” and declined furthercomment.

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