Yesterday I wrote about celebrity blogger Ian Halperin, who has been plugging a Michael Jackson biography by publishing bogus stories about the popstar for the best part of 8 months.
Roger Friedman of the Hollywood Reporter - for years the news media's most authoritative source on Michael Jackson - writes today on his blog: "Ian Halperin's book will make salacious reading but it is full of fiction, sources tell me."
The columnist brands claims that Jackson was unfit for his London shows a 'nonsense' and says Halperin's recent story about Jackson sneaking to a motel to sleep with a male construction worker is 'insane'.
Friedman also echoes my warning that Jackson will now become an even greater target for ludicrous stories, stating, 'You can write anything about the dead.'
Indeed, the law states that a dead person cannot be libelled because they no longer have a reputation to defend. Libelling a dead person cannot cause them to be shunned or avoided because they are dead. It cannot harm them in their business or their occupation because they are dead.
As such, when a celebrity dies the floodgates are opened. When Ray Charles died the media was flooded by stories about how he was a depraved sex maniac who indulged in drug orgies. When James Brown died GQ printed as fact an unsubstantiated allegation by a mentally unhinged woman that she Godfather of Soul had raped her at gunpoint.
Jackson will doubtless become the target of such nonsense in the coming weeks, months and years. Roger Friedman will surely be on hand to combat this and so, perhaps, will I.
Later: Jacques Peretti.