Troubled superstar Michael Jackson has become convinced he will die in prison if convicted of child molestation later this year (04).

The THRILLER singer, 45, faces multiple counts of molesting cancer victim GAVIN ARVIZO at his Neverland Ranch in California last year (03).

And friends tell British newspaper the DAILY STAR they are increasingly worried about the singer's mental health as he tries to cope with the pressure of the impending trial.

A pal says, "Michael is in a terrible state.

"At times he is crying and drooling. The pressure is breaking him and his family is worried that he really needs some time in a psychiatric facility to help him recover."

Insiders say Jackson - who has three children - is haunted by the image of himself in a coffin.

Another source tells the newspaper, "At times he sits emotionless like a zombie. Other times he is crying out of control.

"His brother RANDY is staying with him and calling the shots. Michael is absolutely convinced prosecutors won't stop until they find some way to put him behind bars.

"Michael sees his time in jail as a death sentence. The prospect of serving time with brutal rapists and killers terrifies him."

However, Jackson's spokesperson Raymone Bain counters, "He is not on the verge of a breakdown. He has consistently maintained his innocence and has often stated that he looks forward to defending himself in court."

24/06/2004 01:58