Late film legend Marlon Brando offered troubled singer Michael Jackson sanctuary on his Pacific Island before his death last year (JUL04).

American newspaper NEW YORK DAILY NEWS has obtained a notarised deed, dated 5 June 2003, allowing the BAD hitmaker a half-acre on the islet of Onetahi, in the French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa.

After Jackson hosted a birthday party for Brando's daughter NINA, the OSCAR-winner wrote the superstar a letter, saying, "I can't easily describe the pleasure that has come our way with your invitation to Neverland.

"(The island is) in consideration of gratitude and affection."

Brando signed the letter, "Love Dad."

During the period in which the deeds were transferred, child welfare groups were putting pressure on Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon to investigate Jackson, following the broadcast of controversial documentary LIVING WITH MICHAEL JACKSON.

Jackson's spokeswoman Raymone Bain insisted the singer "has absolutely no plans to flee the country" and will remain in America to clear his name in his current child molestation trial.

The singer's passport was withdrawn when Santa Maria judge Rodney Melville set $3 million (GBP1.7 million) bail.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges of child molestation, administering an intoxicating agent and conspiracy involving allegations of child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

Brando's island is currently at the centre of a dispute, with the actor's former employees fighting plans to turn it into a luxury eco-resort.

Bain admits she didn't know whether her famous client was aware of the plans for the islet, but "has a lot of other things on his mind".

05/04/2005 09:29