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What's Next In Jackson Saga?

Michael Jackson blows a kiss to his fans as he leaves the Santa Barbara County Superior Court, Santa Maria, California, 6-13-05
AP
The court clerk had barely finished rattling off "not guilty" verdicts in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial when speculation turned to what the pop star's next move might be.

The stunning acquittal on all counts means that the pop star is free to try to rebuild his blighted musical career, but his legal victory came at a terrible price to his image.

Jackson biographer and CBS Consultant J. Randy Taraborelli said on CBS News' The Early Show that the first question is whether Jackson has the energy to try a comeback.

"I was watching him yesterday and wondering whether all this litigation has extinguished that fire in his belly that he's always had for performing, for being an artist," Taraborelli told Early Show co-anchor Russ Mitchell

According to his family, a weary Jackson's first step was going straight to bed after he arrived at Neverland after the verdict was read. The entertainer, who appeared exhausted as he shuffled out of court, is "trying to get back his strength," said his father, Joe Jackson.

"He has to spend some time healing," said Jackson's attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr., on The Early Show. "You know, it's taken a toll on him. He's had trouble sleeping and eating, but he is looking forward to the future."

"I'd like to think that after some time away, Michael can come back and be, you know, maybe not what he was in the past, but at least some version of a future Michael Jackson," said Taraborelli.

"I've seen Michael come into this courtroom every day in worse shape than the day before. It's hard to imagine him moonwalking right now when he can hardly walk," Taraborelli added.

However, Anthony DeCurtis of "Rolling Stone" magazine also notes that even before the trial, Jackson's career was in a kind of free fall and that those issues remain.

"I think that for him to come up with the energy to reenergize his career, it will be very, very difficult," DeCurtis said on The Early Show. "Essentially his audience is confounded by him."

"Michael has been stuck with this "Thriller" fixation," DeCurtis added. "He will have to do something pretty substantially different to generate attention."

CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports that Jackson does plan to take some time to recuperate with his family. But eventually his famous brothers would like him to join them in a worldwide victory tour to celebrate his acquittal.

Taraborelli said that he thinks a tour with his family would be a good idea because it would let him slip into the background a bit and not be as visible as he's been.

"I think that a tour with the brothers would take the emphasis off of Michael Jackson, put it back on the group," he said.

CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports that Jackson is about to test the limits of the theory that everyone's supposed to get a second act in American life.

"Child molestation is just the harshest thing one can be accused of," public relations specialist Ronn Torrosian said. Torrosian's PR firm represents stars like P. Diddy and Mary K. Blige, who've needed his skills after brushes with the law.

Torrosian told Axelrod he thinks there can be no second act. "The Michael Jackson brand is effectively dead."