Seeking to protect his good, boy-band-shepherding name, currently incarcerated manager Lou "Big Poppa" Pearlman has reached out to Radar to refute accusations made in the November issue of Vanity Fair that part of his proven hit-making formula included taking his underage charges to strip clubs, giving them the occasional aura-enhancing shoulder-and-ab rub, or sharing funny, Whoops! How did that hardcore pornographic footage get onto this rented Star Wars VHS tape? The guy behind the beaded curtain at Tom's Triple X Video Shack will be getting a piece of my mind! male-bonding moments. The best of Pearlman's itemized explanations follow:
• On whether he had boys keep things from their parents, showed them porn, or took them to strip clubs: "I never had secrets kept from parents. Especially since at least one parent was always around to chaperone and drive the boys. I never showed any of our artists any porn. In fact, if they stayed in hotels while traveling with us, we prohibited minors from accessing those channels. What strip club do you know that would let minors in? Therefore, NO, I never took any minors to strip clubs."
• On massages Pearlman allegedly gave to members of his bands: "I paid for professional masseuses to give massages to our artists. I have no idea where this question is going? It is also true that I do not own a Neverland Ranch." [...]
• On an incident described in the Vanity Fair story in which former Take 5 boy-band member Tim Christofore describes Pearlman swan diving on a bed full of boys and wrestling with them wearing only a towel (which falls off):
"T.J. [Christofore] is making up this story. He sued me in child labor court and lost. If what he says is true, you would think he would have brought it up to help his case. The fact that he never mentioned this in court should tell you where he's coming from. He's just trying to join the lynch party. Besides, I've never owned a towel that could wrap all the way around me anyway."
We're especially glad to hear Pearlman's denial of the alleged towel incident fantasized by a former protege obviously embittered about his failure to reach Timberlakian heights of fame; perhaps now that we've been assured of its fundamental untruth, we'll finally be able to exorcise the disturbing image of the corpulent Svengali swan-diving onto a waterbed full of giggling Take-5ers whose innocence was stolen by an improperly secured swath of genital-obscuring terry cloth that we feared might haunt us for the rest of our lives.