Norwegian Jacko friend busted for drugs
In an apartment in Oslo July 15, less than two weeks before he preformed in front of 20,000 soccer youth at Norway Cups opening show, the 20-year-old Michael Jackson imitator was arrested for possession of small amounts of drugs.
Bhatti has accepted a fine of NOK 2000 (USD 294) for the narcotics violation.
«This is shocking,» said Frode Kyvåg, general secretary of Norway Cup, one of the world largest soccer tournaments for youth. «With our values and believes, Omer Bhatti would never have been on stage during our opening show this Sunday if we had been aware of this.»
When TV 2 Nettavisen contacted the famous dance artist, he first said that he had been in possession of narcotics, but denies that it was his.
«It was only a small piece of hashish I had on me, but it did not belong to me. I cant understand why you are writing about this. This case is over and done with,» Bhatti said to TV 2 Nettavisen, and asked us to call back one hour later.
Next time we spoke to Bhatti, he changed his explanation and said that he never been arrested for possession of narcotics, and never received a fine.
«I was there when the police came, but I was never arrested for possession of drugs,»Bhatti explained. «The people who were arrested are some old friends of mine, who I dont see any more. Do you think I would have preformed for free at an arrangement against drugs if I myself was not against drugs.»
Hashish or Rohypnol
Police Prosecutor Richard Bech Pedersen, the lawyer dealing with Bhattis case, did not wish to comment what type of drug it was or how much.
«Generally speaking, a fine in the size of NOK 2000 (USD 294) will be for the possession of smaller amounts of hashish or Rohypnol,» Bech Pedersen said to TV 2 Nettaivsen. «These are not strong substances. If the person admits and the seizure is rather small, its most appropriate to give a fine.»
He stressed that his statements were made in a general capacity, not in regards to this specific case.
Against our values
For Frode Kyvåg this case is not a small matter. Norway Cup has a strong anti-drug profile. They collaborate with organizations like MOT and Landsforbundet mot Stoffmisbruk (the national association against drug abuse).
«This is particularly sad,» Kybåg said. «If he was arrested with small or large amounts doesnt matter, as long as he admits it.»
Eleven days after he was arrested by the police, Bhatti stood in front of 20.000 Norway Cup participants. He was one of many known artists the Cup management had booked for the opening show.
«When Bhatti only days before the show admitted to the police to be in possession of drugs, that is this not possible to unite with our values,» Kyvåg stated.
Kyvåg said that many of the participants are fans of the artists who perform at the opening show, and they therefore try to get the artists who are most popular and good role models.
Omer Bhatti become know to the world in 1996 after he amazed Michael Jackson with his imitator talents outside his hotel in Tunis. Bhatti and Jacko became close friends, and Bhatti travelled the world and preformed as Mini-Jackson together with the super star.
Bhatti and his family later sold their house in Holmlia, Oslo, and moved to Jacksons ranch, Neverland. Omer Bhatti lived here for several years and are still a close friend of his idol. As late as three years ago, Omer Bhatti made sure that Micheal Jackson dedicated his last album to his best friend, Benjamin Hermansen, who was killed by neo-Nazis.
Stood by Jacko while he was in rehab
The Norwegian magazine Se og Hør wrote in its Easter edition that Michael Jackson had signed himself up for drug rehab. At the same time, his Norwegian friend Omer Bhatti was visiting him at the time, and according to the magazine, Bhatti was very supportive of the pop stars decision to get treatment for his addictions and was a great help during the difficult time.
According to the magazine, Jackson has hired Dr Alfredo Bowman, who is famous for his alternative treatment forms.
«I can confirm that Michael is receiving treatment from Dr Bowman, but do not wish to comment it any further,» said Jacksons spokesperson to the magazine US Weekly.
In addition to Michaels own children Prince, 7, and Paris, 5, was Omer Bhatti resent in Colorado, according to Se og Hør. The young Norwegian has for several years been one of Michael Jacksons closest friends, and he is known for his extreme loyalty. The only time Jacko appeared in public during his stay in Colorado, he was seen together with Bhatti.
Bhatti was allegedly also present at Neverland when the police earlier this year did a search of the pop stars home.
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