Michael Jackson’s Former Publicist Michael Levine Incurs Fan Wrath Over Opportunistic Pitch

About an hour after TMZ.com first reported the news of Michael Jackson’s death yesterday, PRNewser received the following statement from Michael Levine, founder of agency Levine Communications Office:

As someone who served as Michael Jackson’s publicist during the 1st child molestation incident, I must confess I am not surprised by today’s tragic news. Michael has been on an impossibly difficult and often self-destructive journey for years. His talent was unquestionable but so too was his discomfort with the norms of the world. A human simply can not withstand this level of prolonged stress.

The Twitter reaction to the statement has been overwhelmingly negative. As Four Corner Communications founder and president Drew Kerr noted on his blog:

Instead of doing the classy thing and taking the high road, he belly-flopped right into the mud. Wow. Couldn’t the guy just stick with nice things to say about his former client instead of playing backstabbing armchair shrink?

Nonetheless, Levine certainly achieve his goal of getting some ink, as the statement was picked up by the Associated Press, NPR and Perez Hilton, among other outlets. Levine has not responded to a PRNewser request to elaborate on his comments as of the time of this post.