Michael Jackson has thanked his family and fans for supporting him during his recent child molestation trial in his first public statement since being acquitted.

The BEAT IT singer was cleared of 10 charges of child molestation and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion after his four month court trial which came to an end on 13 June (05).

In an official statement posted on his website, Jackson says: "Without God, my children, my family and you, my fans, I could not have made it through.

"Your love, support and loyalty made it all possible. You were there when I really needed you. I will never forget you. Your ever-present love held me, dried my tears, and carried me through.

"I will treasure your devotion and support forever. You are my inspiration."

Jackson has not been seen in public since he left the Santa Maria court house for the final time, and he was beset with health problems throughout the trial, with his weight falling to a reported 43 kilograms (94 pounds).

27/06/2005 05:30