Jackson returns passport to authorities

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- Michael Jackson has again surrendered the passport authorities briefly returned to him so he could travel to Great Britain on business, although there was no indication he ever used it.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon took Jackson's passport after the singer was booked in November on child molestation charges.

Sneddon returned it so Jackson could travel to Britain between Dec. 20 and Tuesday to meet what the singer said were long-standing contractual obligations. Susan Tellem, a spokeswoman for Sneddon, confirmed in an e-mail Tuesday that Jackson has returned the passport.

She did not immediately return a call for comment on whether Jackson provided Sneddon with proof of travel.

Jackson family friend Brian Oxman said Tuesday he didn't know if Jackson had traveled. But he said one of Jackson's brothers, Randy Jackson, told him the commitments in Britain had been canceled.

At the time of Sneddon's Dec. 22 demand, Jackson's then-spokesman, Stuart Backerman, said he believed plans for the trip were still on. Jackson's new spokesman, Kevin McLin, did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

Jackson was still in the United States as recently as Christmas Day, when he taped an interview with "60 Minutes" to deny the molestation charges.

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