Michael Jackson says it was his own decision to replace his defense attorneys.
He's released a statement saying he's "terminated the services" of Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman, "effective immediately."
Brafman portrayed it differently Sunday, saying he and Geragos had "decided to step down." The attorney said the decision was based on "recent developments, " and on discussions with people close to Jackson.
Jackson says it's "imperative" that he have the "full attention" of the people representing him. In the statement, he says, "My life is at stake," and he says he must be able to feel confident that his interests are "of the highest priority."
The statement goes on to say, "I am innocent of these false charges, and will aggressively seek to clear my name."
Jackson says he's hired Thomas Mesereau as lead counsel. He says Mesereau will work with Jackson's long-time attorney, Steve Cochran. And he says Santa Barbara attorney Robert Sanger will "remain on the team."
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