5:34pm UK, Monday June 29, 2009
The man behind the world's biggest online Michael Jackson fan club has said heartbroken followers of the star have committed suicide because of his death.
A plea goes out to Michael Jackson fans amid fears a dozen have committed suicide
Gary Taylor, president and owner of MJJcommunity.com, said he understood the tragedies had mostly taken place outside of the UK but he believed one may have been British.
"I know there has been an increase, I now believe the figure is 12. I believe there may have been one Briton who has taken their life," he said.
"It is a serious situation that these people are going through but Michael Jackson would never want this. He would want them to live."
Jesse Jackson, a friend of the singer, has recorded a YouTube film on the site urging fans not to "self destruct".
He said: "This is a time when hearts are heavy. There is great pain but great cause to celebrate Michael's life.
"It made Michael happy saying 'We Are The World'. Don't self destruct.
"We fall down sometimes, we get back up. That's the right thing to do. In Michael's name let's live together as brothers and sisters and not die apart as fools."
MJJcommunity.com was formed 10 years ago by Mr Taylor, a London office manager, and has more than 14,000 online users and 30 staff worldwide.
He said the singer's death had left his fans on the forum "in a surreal place".
"They can't accept it, they feel in some sort of different reality," he said.
"I'm stunned that he's dead. One minute he is coming here for concerts and the next he is gone.
"I think the funeral will be where the reality kicks in that he is gone and won't be coming back, there will be a huge depression in the fan community when that happens."
Thousands of Michael Jackson fans are expected to gather for a vigil on July 13 at the O2 Arena where the star was due to perform.
They will assemble at Canary Wharf from 1pm before moving on to the 02 from 6pm.