Pop superstar Michael Jackson emerged from the seclusion of his troubled Asian tour and drew another crowd Sunday as he spent $5,000 on toys.
A cameraman was knocked to the ground by a Jackson bodyguard and a Taiwanese fan was injured as a crowd of about 200 pressed forward to catch a glimpse as Jackson completed a private shopping spree at a Toys R Us store.
Some shoppers were angry at having to wait outside for 90 minutes as the 35-year-old singer filled 10 shopping carts with Barbie dolls, video games, water pistols and other toys to give to young fans, said store manager Scott Chen.
"Michael was concerned about the crowd outside and was afraid the store's glass windows would break and the children would get hurt," said Chen, who invited his three children to the store to meet Jackson.
The injured fan cut his head when he lost his balance and fell during a pushing match involving fans and newspeople outside the store.
Jackson brought along a mongrel puppy given to him by two teen-age girls who had chased Jackson's car on a motorcycle and banged on the window. "We gave him an orange shopping basket to carry the puppy in," Chen said. "Michael then bought a baby blanket and pillow to put inside the basket to make the puppy more comfortable."
Jackson's family also spent the afternoon shopping, after moving from a neighboring hotel to the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel, where Jackson is staying for the Taipei stop of his "Dangerous" concert tour.
The family arrived in Taiwan on Friday to give the superstar moral support and to defend him against allegations that he sexually abused a 13-year-old boy. No formal charges have been filed against Jackson, and his representatives say the allegations are part of a $20-million extortion scheme by the boy's father.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor and husband Larry Fortensky checked out of the Regent Hotel Sunday afternoon and headed for the airport to fly back to the United States. The couple had joined Jackson in Singapore last week to offer their support and accompanied him to Taipei on Friday.
Jackson performed before 40,000 enthusiastic fans at Taipei's open-air Municipal Stadium on Saturday and he plans a second concert today. Band members said the audience was one of the best along the Asian leg of the tour, during which Jackson postponed concerts three times and the abuse allegations produced an international news media storm.
"They're very receptive, very vocal, very alive," vocalist Siedah Garrett said of the concert-goers. "The audience was anticipating everything that we did."
Times wire services contributed to this report.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times