Michael Jackson bowled over by exuberant fans
Fri Jun 14, 2:10 PM ET
By Paul Majendie
Pop star Michael Jackson(2L) and psychic Uri Geller (top) are mobbed by fans as they catch a train at Paddington station in London, June 14, 2002. Jackson is due to support his friend Geller at a fundraising event in Exeter later on Friday to raise funds for Exeter City Football Club and local charities. (Darren Staples/Reuters)
EXETER, England (Reuters) – Michael Jackson was knocked to the ground Friday by excited fans fighting to touch the pop legend at a London railway station. The American superstar, jostled and pushed in the melee, was lucky to escape injury as mass hysteria gripped his die-hard admirers.
“It was just horrifying … he was knocked to the ground,” said spoon-bending psychic Uri Geller who had invited Jackson on a fund-raising charity trip to the southwest English city of Exeter.
“I honestly thought we wouldn’t make it and we would end up in hospital,” Geller told Reuters Television after battling to get aboard the “Jackson Express.”
“For a moment I thought he would faint. But then he suddenly looked at me and said ‘I love these people’ and I said ‘Are you okay?’ He said ‘I am okay’ and kept waving to his fans,” Geller added.
Geller, who is hoping to raise money for a children’s charity and his third division English soccer club Exeter, said he had never before experienced anything like the screaming mob.
“I have been around for 35 years. I have met Elvis Presley, Elton John, John Lennon, all the Beatles. I have never ever seen anything like that and I hope I never will see it again. Michael was crushed,” Geller said.
Bedlam erupted as Jackson and his entourage arrived at London’s Paddington station to board the train to Exeter as a screaming mob of fans from all corners of the globe tried to get close to their idol.
Each excitably clutching a $150 “ticket to ride,” 100 die-hard Jackson fans clambered aboard the train for “country away day” with the star.
The scene at the station was pure chaos, recalling Beatlemania back in the 1960s.
Scuffles erupted and extra police were called as the fans surged forward on the platform.
The scene was in stark contrast to a rather more sedate tour the Jackson team took through the echoing halls of the Houses of Parliament in central London.
“I want that,” the pop legend told his entourage as he admired the throne where Britain’s monarch sits once a year to formally open parliament in the ornate House of Lords.
“Can you get it up to the ranch?” one of his assistants asked three burly bodyguards.
Jackson, accompanied by Geller and escapologist David Blaine, showed particular interest in the extensive House of Lords library. “Do they have cartoons?” Jackson asked.
Blaine asked librarians to track down a copy of a 400-year-old book of magic — “The Discovery of Witchcraft.” “They burnt most of the copies,” he explained.
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