'I wish I had died instead'

LOS ANGELES - Jermaine Jackson says when he first saw his brother Michael dead in a hospital room he kissed him on the forehead and wished that he had "died instead".

"I don't know how people are going to take this, but I wish it was me," Jermaine said yesterday on the Today morning talk show on NBC television.

"I've always felt that I was his backbone, someone to be there for him," said Jermaine, who with Michael and three other brothers formed the Motown band The Jackson 5, and who is four years older than Michael.

Jermaine also said reports that his famous brother's possible drug use could have led to his death had hurt the Jackson clan. - Reuters