A Christmas shopping spree by Michael Jackson caused pandemonium at a Las Vegas casino at the weekend as the former “King of Pop” returned to America for a possible comeback.

Jackson and his three children arrived in “Sin City” on a private aircraft from Ireland on Saturday night to end 18 months of self-imposed exile after his acquittal on child abuse charges.

Jack Wishna, a Las Vegas dealmaker who has handled Wayne Newton and Britney Spears, said that he was working on several projects with Jackson, who has not had a No 1 hit in America since 1995. Mr Wishna made headlines by courting Jackson during his trial, suggesting a comeback contract similar to the hugely successful 600-show deal struck by CÚline Dion.

He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that “one of the greatest entertainers in the world . . . is poised to return to the top of the entertainment world soon”.

Jackson, 48, who has been living in Bahrain and a castle in the Republic of Ireland since his trial, caused a mini-riot on Sunday when he went Christmas shopping at the Caesars Palace shops. The singer, protected by three hotel security guards, was surrounded by hundreds of tourists vying to get a snapshot of him. He spent 15 minutes window shopping at a Sony shop before escaping through a back door.

It was the first time Jackson had been seen in public since he walked out of a California court in June 2005 and took his three children — sons Prince Michael I, 9, and Prince Michael II, 4, and daughter Paris, 8 — abroad.

Jackson has family ties to Las Vegas. It is home for one of his sisters, Maureen “Rebbie” Jackson, and his father, Joe Jackson, spends most of the year there. Jackson's return from self-exile caused surprise, however, because it came just a day after Joe Jackson declared that his son would never live in America again.

Joe Jackson declared that his son would never live in America again.

I just hope he is right!

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