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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fans of Michael Jackson Rejoice

APAlexander Korzhakov presenting Michael Jackson with a saber during their meeting in Moscow in September 1996.
A woman who publishes a Michael Jackson fan magazine joined former Kremlin insider Alexander Korzhakov and scores of other Russian fans in rejoicing Tuesday over the pop star's acquittal on child molestation charges.

Hundreds of fans from around the world, including Russia, rallied outside the California courthouse in support of Jackson during the 14-week trial, and they broke into cheers Monday when a jury cleared the singer of molestation, conspiracy and other counts.

The news broke well after midnight in Russia, where Jackson performed twice in the 1990s. One fan wrote on the Michaeljackson.ru fan site that he was so happy that he stared for 20 minutes at a line of text running across Euronews television that read "Michael Jackson Found Innocent" in several languages.

Other fans said they woke up the neighborhood with screams of joy when they learned about the verdict via cellphone text messages, e-mail and telephone calls from friends.

Anastasia Kislenko, who published the Dangerous Zone magazine in Russian and English, said she burst into tears of joy.

"We never needed any proof to know he is innocent. We just know it," Kislenko said, speaking in fluent English by telephone from Cheboksary, the capital of the Chuvashia republic.

"I waited for so long. It was more like 12 years," Kislenko said, referring to the first accusations of child abuse that surfaced in 1993. "This weekend there will be a big party."

The delight even reached inside the State Duma, where Korzhakov, former President Boris Yeltsin's onetime bodyguard and close confidant, said he never doubted Jackson's innocence.

"I knew that they were false allegations," Korzhakov, a United Russia deputy, said by telephone.

"I met him and looked into his eyes and saw he was normal person," he said.

Korzhakov presented Jackson with a ceremonial saber during a private meeting in 1996. Jackson, however, was not allowed to take the saber out of the country, Korzhakov said, blaming his former archrival Anatoly Chubais of being behind the problem.

"Chubais really doesn't like Michael Jackson," he said, saying the then-deputy prime minister was jealous of his meeting with the pop star.

Chubais, who now heads electricity monopoly Unified Energy Systems, was out of the country Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.

There may be fewer fans in Russia than when Jackson visited in 1993 and 1996, performing at the Luzhniki and Dynamo stadiums, but there is a hardcore group of some 300 people, Kislenko said. "Not every Michael Jackson fan has access to the Internet. Some live in very small villages, and all they have is TV and radio with all the lies to air," she said. "That's horrible. My girls and boys call me on the telephone, worried at times because the media have just spread another lie. So for them I make this fanzine -- just to give them a chance to know the truth."

Kislenko, 29, said her life changed the day she first saw Jackson on television, being interviewed by U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey. She still remembers the day: June 9, 1993.

"I'm a disabled person. ... I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have a reason to live without him," Kislenko said.

Kislenko suffered from calcium deficiency in her childhood, causing her bones to become brittle and leaving her unable to walk.

She said that seeing Jackson gave her confidence in herself and prompted her to leave her apartment without covering up her legs for the first time. Now, she said, she is confident, runs a successful magazine, speaks fluent English and has a circle of friends -- all through Jackson.

"Michael Jackson is something in your blood," she said. "I have a human being who loves me. It's not so easy for a normal person to love me, but I have someone who loves me. I have learned to love life through Michael Jackson."

Kislenko recalled another devout fan, Olesya Krechetova from Tambov. The young woman, who died in April, was completely paralyzed and met Jackson in 1996. Fellow fans bought her a computer so she could keep in touch.

"She wouldn't have survived the last four or five years without Michael Jackson," Kislenko said.

Antonio Lupher contributed to this report.