Janet Jackson interrupts Australian tour to be with family

Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:33pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Janet Jackson is putting her Australian tour on hold and returning to the United States to be with her family in the midst of the trial of her brother Michael's doctor.

A statement on Jackson's website said that "after private discussions with her family regarding her late brother Michael Jackson, it became necessary" that Jackson leave Australia, where she had scheduled various stops on her Number Ones tour, for several days.

Dr. Conrad Murray is on trial charged with involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's 2009 death from an overdose of the drug propofol and sedatives.

"When I planned these shows, the schedule in California was completely different. After talking with my family last night, I decided we must be together right now," Jackson said in the statement posted on Sunday.

"I'm looking forward to being with you for the Gold Coast, Sydney, and the Melbourne concerts," she added in a message to fans in Australia.

Concerts slated for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday in Melbourne have been rescheduled at the Rod Laver Arena for one night on November 3.

Gold Coast and Sydney concerts are unaffected by her travels.

The statement quoted the tour's promoter, Paul Dainty, as saying: "It is important that Janet is with her family at this critical point in the hearing.

"While Janet and our company apologize for any inconvenience for the reschedule of the Melbourne shows, we thank Janet for the great and successful concerts in Perth and Adelaide and eagerly await her return."

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Jerry Norton)