Analyzing the Media’s Hypocrisy in Reporting on Michael Jackson’s Settlements vs. The Settlements of Other Celebrities, Part 2 of 2
Ok guys, here is part 2, as promised! I address the other celebrities who have settled serious lawsuits, and I expose Janet Arvizo’s scam of JC Penney! But the part that brought me the most joy was when I totally dismantled notorious MJ haters Bill O’Reilly and Congressman Peter King! You guys are going to feel like throwing your computer out of the window when you view to those clips of O’Reilly and his cronies, but fortunately I included the ultimate antidote: a rebuttal by comedienne Steve Harvey, a true friend of MJ! – D.E.
Analyzing the Media’s Hypocrisy in Reporting on Michael Jackson’s Settlements vs. The Settlements of Other Celebrities, Part 2
Now, let me segue into other high profile individuals who have settled multi-million dollar lawsuits out of court, and have been “forgiven” by the media. The first is two-time Superbowl Champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, followed by Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, political commentator Bill O’Reilly, and college basketball coach Rick Pitino. Afterwards, I will end with our most under-reported settlement scam artist, Janet Arvizo!
On July 17th, 2009 Roethlisberger was hit was a civil lawsuit that was filed by a woman named Andrea McNulty, who worked at a Harrah’s hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She claimed that she was sexually assaulted on July 11th, 2008 inside of Roethlisberger’s room after he requested that she fix his broken television. The police were never notified, and physical evidence was not collected. (A huge red flag should be waving over your head right now!) She asked for monetary damages of $440k. The civil suit also names eight Harrah’s officials as defendants, alleging they orchestrated a “cover-up” of the incident. The suit says she suffered depression, was hospitalized, and forced to take leave from her job in the year after the incident. Roethlisberger denied all accusations, countersued her for extortion, and vowed not to give in to her demands.
Now, hold up! Wait a minute! Let’s look at those dates: she was allegedly assaulted in July 2008, and made no attempt to notify authorities to seek justice, but she filed a civil lawsuit in July 2009? Based on those facts alone, do you think Ben is guilty? I sure don’t! (Although I’m not too sure about that second accusation!) What kind of rape victim puts money ahead of justice?
Now, here’s where things get suspicious: in September 2009, McNulty made Roethlisberger a settlement offer that she thought he couldn’t refuse: she would drop the civil suit if he admits to raping her, apologizes, and gives $100,000 to the Committee to Aid Abused Women, which is a non-profit agency in Reno that helps victims of domestic violence. (That’s not a typo! I’m not kidding around! She really made that offer to him!)
Now, fast forward to March 2010, and Roethlisberger is charged with another sexual assault. He was bar-hopping with friends and bodyguards when he invited some young ladies into the VIP section of a bar, and somehow he ended up alone in a bathroom stall with one of them (who was drunk), and the next thing you know he’s facing another allegation. After several weeks of investigation, the district attorney decided that he would not prosecute Roethlisberger due to his lack of faith in his ability to prove his guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”. He could not find any probable cause against Roethlisberger, and as a result no arrest was made. (Gee, does that sound familiar? Kinda like how Sneddon couldn’t arrest MJ due to lack of probable cause!)
In his press conference, he alluded to the fact that a few weeks prior to his decision not to press charges, the accuser had a change of heart, and decided not to continue cooperating with police, and that has led some to speculate that she and Roethlisberger negotiated an out of court civil settlement. This is very similar to both Blanca Francia and Kobe Bryant (coming up next!), because in all three of these cases, the criminal case first collapsed (or in the case of Jason Francia, it never existed in the first place), and subsequently a potential civil suit was settled out of court. This article talks about this in more detail, and the author compared Roethlisberger to MJ by saying that these types of settlements create a suspicion of guilt. (In my opinion, out of court settlements only create “suspicion” to people who are too lazy to do any research, and who pre-judged the defendants as being guilty anyway!)
Now, let’s get back to the first accuser. Obviously, after seeing this current chain of events, she flip flopped and rescinded her settlement offer to Roethlisberger because he’s now viewed as “vulnerable”. Her initial demand was to have the $100k donated to charity, but I think that now she wants to continue with the lawsuit so that he settles and pays her the money instead! And with all of the negative publicity that he has been through over the last year, nobody could blame him for just settling and moving on with his life. I’m sure I would do the same if I was in his position because I wouldn’t want the media spotlight hanging over my civil trial, and having my dirty laundry aired in public, etc. But if Roethlisberger decides to fight the suit, then good for him! At least he doesn’t have to worry about a criminal trial!
Personally, Andrea McNulty reminds me a lot about Evan Chandler. They both made outrageous demands that they couldn’t have possibly thought would have ever been met. (Andrea wanted Roethlisberger to publicly admit wrongdoing, and Evan wanted to record a rebuttal album! Are you kidding me?) And they both had no intentions of ever seeking justice through a criminal trial (and Evan only reluctantly told his shrink to notify the authorities when he learned that June Chandler regained custody of Jordie). In fact, here is Evan’s recollection of the “gut-wrenching” decision that he had to make, from “All That Glitters”, pages 119-121:
In a phone conversation the night before Freeman’s request was to be heard in court, Barry counseled Evan that unless he was willing to walk into the courtroom and accuse Michael of molesting Jordie, he didn’t have a prayer of winning; June had legal custody and that was all she needed to get Jordie back.
“How long will I have?” Evan asked.
“One, maybe two days.”
“What if I refuse to give him back?”
“If you don’t give him back the sheriff will come take him. And he may arrest you, too.”
Accusing Michael of molestation was a can of worms Evan did not want to open. He doubted anyone would take Jordie’s word over Michael’s, especially If June took Michael’s side. And she’d have to; otherwise she’d be implicating herself. But it was Jordie’s fears over the prospect of going to court that weighted heaviest on Evan’s mind.
At the same time, Evan knew that as soon as June had Jordie back in her clutches she’d be on a plane to join Michael, who was already out of the country. Evan believed with absolute certainty that if Jordie went on tour with Michael he’d suffer severe psychological damage.
“I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t,” Evan lamented to Barry. “What if I take him out of California and hide for a while? Maybe that’ll buy you some time to come up with the necessary appeals.”
“Appeals!” the attorney exclaimed. “Are you nuts! You’ll be a fugitive in the eyes of the law. You’ll end up in jail and guarantee June permanent custody. You can forget about any appeals.”
Confused and saddened, Evan thanked Barry for all his help and hung up.
“What’s the matter, Pops?” Jordie asked. He’d been standing next to his father while he talked to Barry.
“They’re going to make you go back tomorrow, Jordie. Barry says we have no choice.”
“Uh-uh! No way! I’ll run away first.”
Buoyed by his son’s feistiness, Evan made him a promise. “If that’s the way you feel, then I’m with you. But we’ve got one move left. If it doesn’t work, then we’ll go.”
For the past six weeks the two sides had gone back and forth, each trying to outmaneuver the other in what Evan called “the chess game from hell.” Now he found himself checkmated. “They left me no choice. The only move I had left was to kick over the table before they took the king.”
Evan dialed the number. “Do you remember me?” he asked. “I’m the one who came to your office and told you about my son.”
“Yes,” Dr. Abrams replied. “I remember very well.”
It was the one thing Evan had tried so desperately to avoid. Once he supplied the names, the psychiatrist would have no choice but to file a report with the authorities, who would then assume full control.
“The thought of placing Jordie in the hands of a government agency was frightening,” Evan commented. “Almost as frightening as returning him to June and Michael.”
Evan took a few seconds to think before embarking into the unknown; then he took a deep breath. “My name is Evan Chandler. My son’s name is Jordie Chandler. The adult male is Michael Jackson. Can you help me? Please!”
Other than the knowledge that Michael had touched Jordie’s penis, Evan had never asked his son about the sex. But Dr. Abrams would, and Evan hoped he would be convinced of the truth and be willing to appear at the court hearing the following morning as an expert witness. “I’m sorry,” Dr. Abrams said. “I can’t see him today. But don’t worry; bring him in first thing in the morning.”
Despite the DA’s tacit admission that Roethlisberger’s actions were not entirely wholesome on the fateful night, the media has pretty much let the story die down. You don’t see ESPN’s legal analysts publicly calling him a “rapist” or “predator”, and once he serves his four game suspension and starts winning games again, nobody will even remember this dark episode of his life.
UPDATE!! January 22nd, 2012
Ben Roethlisberger settled out of court with Andrea McNulty! Although he was innocent (based on all of the aforementioned facts), settling was the right thing to do because it spares him the embarrassment of being dragged through a civil trial and having his personal life splattered on the front pages of newspapers all over the country! It’s very possible that the civil trial may have taken place this summer during training camp, or even during the regular season! Also, Roethlisberger married his long time girlfriend last year, and this settlement spares his wife the humiliation of seeing her husband trashed in the media again. As a result, Roethlisberger can now concentrate on preparing for the upcoming football season.
Settling out of court was the right thing to do!
NFL Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin faced a similar situation earlier this year as well. In February 2010, he was hit with a $1 million dollar civil lawsuit from a woman who claimed that he raped her in July 2007. Yes, that’s right, July 2007! Unlike the Roethlisberger case, the police were notified, but not until two weeks after the alleged assault, and the accuser signed a “waiver of prosecution,” which basically means that the accuser wanted to “put it behind her and not have it be splashed all over the newspapers.”
Irvin was approached by the accuser’s lawyer shortly before he was to appear on last season’s “Dancing With The Stars”competition. Irvin was told he must pay the woman $1 million, or a lawsuit would be filed to coincide with the SuperBowl, which was being played Feb. 7, 2010 in Miami. Irvin’s lawyer called the lawsuit “civil extortion,” saying the woman’s entire story is false.
Irvin has filed a $100 million dollar countersuit against the woman after her lawsuit was made public, claiming, among other things, civil extortion and defamation. It’s obvious that Irvin refused her demand outright, but he did attempt to “negotiate” with her in order to avoid the negative publicity, which is something that he couldn’t afford after numerous arrests during his career. The accuser first asked for the $1 million that she originally demanded, then dropped it to 800k. If you’re wondering why Irvin would even attempt to “negotiate” with someone who is obviously extorting him, look no further than this: as a result of the negative publicity stemming from the civil lawsuit when it was filed (combined with his checkered past), Irvin was FIRED from his ESPN Radio job! Irvin felt that it was tangibly cheaper to pay a settlement, and by doing so it would have saved his reputation (whose worth is intangible!) from being further sullied!
On a positive note, Irvin will not face criminal charges due to the fact that the accuser waited so long to report the alleged assault that no physical evidence could be found.
It seems like this accuser used the Blanca Francia “playbook” by threatening a civil lawsuit against Irvin right before the Super Bowl, the same way Francia threatened MJ with her lawsuit right before HIStory was released. The difference is that MJ’s negotiations with Blanca were successful, and as a result the lawsuit was never filed, but Irvin’s negotiations failed. As of now, the lawsuit is still pending, and I have yet to hear Irvin publicly called a rapist by any media pundits!
On the night of June 30th, 2003, Bryant checked himself into a hotel room in Eagle, Colorado. He met a young female employee, who gave him a tour of the hotel, and later that night they had a sexual encounter. To make a long story short, she felt that she was raped, while Bryant felt it was consensual, and you know how that goes! On September 1st, 2004, after over a year of investigating, the District Attorney was forced to drop the case after the accuser refused to testify. Ironically, she filed a civil lawsuit against Bryant BEFORE the police had completed their investigation. (Wow, does that sound familiar?) Here is attorney Jonna Spilbor’s take on it:
Another development in the case is that, as noted above, the accuser has sued Bryant for sexual assault. She is seeking monetary damages – including punitive damages.
The fact of the suit is not surprising – especially since Bryant is a high-profile, deep-pockets defendant. But the timing of the suit is surprising indeed, especially since the statute of limitations on the civil suit is nowhere close to running out.
Generally, victims wait until a criminal conviction before suing. There are several reasons why. A guilty verdict in the criminal matter – where the burden of proof is far greater – makes a civil case much easier to prove. Indeed, once convicted, a defendant will often capitulate, paying a large settlement because he knows he won’t win the civil case.
So why is this an exception to the rule? Why did the accuser jump the gun on the civil suit? Unfortunately, none of the explanations is good for either the prosecution or the accuser.
The accuser and/or the prosecution may have wanted to get her story out there — to taint the jury pool, and provide some much needed counter-spin. Or she may anticipate a loss at trial, or a dismissal – and she may understand that an acquittal might destroy her civil case, and even a dismissal might hamstring the case.
Let’s be blunt: If the accuser expected a conviction, she’d have waited to sue. And if even the alleged victim herself doesn’t expect a conviction, how likely is it that a jury will vote unanimously for one?
For the prosecution, the filing of the civil suit is more bad news. The defense has argued, and intends to keep arguing, that the accuser is lying to make money.
And the theory has some legs. Already, the accuser has received nearly $20,000, the maximum amount allowed to a crime victim in Colorado, from the state’s victims’ compensation fund. Doubtless, the defense attorneys will make much of this fact at trial.
Now that the victim has sued to get even more money, jurors may wonder: How much money does she want? And how much role is her claim for cash playing in this case?
On March 2nd, 2005 Bryant and his accuser settled their civil lawsuit out of court. Andrew Cohen, another “unsung hero” of the legal community, gave his analysis on the settlement. Notice how he references MJ’s case as well:
The immediate catalyst for the deal was Bryant’s scheduled pre-trial deposition, which was supposed to take place last Friday but which was mysteriously postponed at the last minute. As soon as the deposition was scheduled, as soon as a date for it was fixed, this settlement was a cinch; as sure a thing as Jack Nicholson sitting courtside at the Staples Center. Bryant’s attorneys and handlers never were going to permit him to face questions, under oath, about any other “relationships” or “encounters” or “hookups” or whatever he may have had with any other young women while traveling on the road for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Naturally, I have no idea whether Bryant engaged in any such dalliances. During the criminal trial, there were strong hints, from media reports and otherwise, that perhaps there were other women who might have been able to talk about a pattern of behavior on the part of Bryant that might have been relevant in that case. Now we will never know. But what we do know is that Camp Kobe understood that the star’s already tattered reputation would get even shakier were he to be deposed in the civil case.
That’s because no one believes that Bryant’s testimony, whatever it would have been, would have remained private and sealed and closed to public scrutiny for long. In the Michael Jackson case, grand jury transcripts that never should have seen the light of day were posted on the Internet long before the King of Pop’s trial. Does anyone believe it would have been different with Bryant’s deposition transcript? I bet we would have seen details emerge within days or even hours of the end of Bryant’s testimony. And I’m sure that Bryant’s attorneys would not have taken that bet.
If anything, there would have been more pressure, and more incentive, to leak portions of the Bryant transcript than there was to leak the Jackson grand jury material. Virtually everyone knew before the transcripts were posted what the Jackson case was about; virtually no one knows what Bryant would have said when asked about other hotel stays, in other towns, at other times. And once that information was released publicly, once it was leaked the way it seems always to be leaked these days, the damage to Bryant’s reputation would have been cemented into place no matter how the civil case turned out.
Cohen is trying to make the argument that regardless of the outcome of the case, it was in Kobe’s best interest to settle. He couldn’t afford to have his personal life splattered all over the tabloids by being asked under oath about his other mistresses, the same way MJ’s lawyers didn’t want him being asked about his habit of sharing his bed with children who are not his own. By settling, Kobe was able to just put the ugly episode behind him once and for all, the accuser was paid millions of dollars, and in retrospect both parties made the right decision. Since settling the case in 2005, Kobe has led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, winning the last two. He signed a seven year, $136 million dollar contract to remain with the Lakers, and – as a result of avoiding the negative publicity that a civil trial would have brought – he was able to regain his endorsements with Nike, Coca-Cola, etc. In fact, in a recent poll, Kobe moved up into a tie with Tiger Woods as America’s favorite athlete. (Or, you could argue that Tiger Woods moved down in that poll into a tie with Kobe, based on his recent sex-capades!)
As a result of the civil settlement, and with the media’s complete compliance, Kobe was able to regain his reputation and his popularity! He is now officially considered the most marketable player in the NBA, especially with LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in such a shameless display of selfishness! When was the last time you heard a sports columnist refer to Kobe as a “rapist”? When was the last time you heard a legal analyst say that Kobe “bought the silence” of his accuser? Kobe’s story is a prime example of what Sony and MJ’s insurance carrier were hoping for when it settled, but as we all know the media never stopped spinning it as a sign of guilt. In a way, you could make the argument that the accuser “legally extorted” the money from Kobe, but obviously Kobe was all too willing to pay. It would have been too costly to prove his innocence!
Bill O’Reilly and Rick Pitino:
O’Reilly, who has the #1 rated show on cable news, was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit by a female employee in October 2004. The accuser, Andrea Mackris, claims that O’Reilly engaged her in sexually explicit conversations over dinner and during phone calls after work, which she recorded. (And we know that they were recorded because the accuser listed some of his quotes in the lawsuit, which are very embarrassing to someone who tries to act like the sheriff of the morality police on his show.) She described the conversations as “lewd, lascivious, vile, and threatening”.
O’Reilly filed an extortion lawsuit against her, and issued the following statement:
“As a public figure, I have received many threats,” he said. “But enough is enough … The threats stop now. I will not give in to extortion.”
Mackris says that, beginning in 2002, her boss regularly regaled her with sordid sexual tales — at times over dinner, but most often over the phone. Her complaint reveals it as the kind of dirty talk for which some lonely hearts might pay $3.99 per minute.
Mackris’s complaint details O’Reilly’s alleged soliloquies – complete with “ums” and pauses. It seems likely, for this reason, that Mackris must have somehow recorded O’Reilly’s ramblings. And these recordings, if they occurred in New York, may have been perfectly legal: New York is a “one party consent” state when it comes to recording — which means that although wiretaps remain illegal, one party to a conversation can legally tape the other without his knowledge.
These facts suggest the strong probability that O’Reilly really did make the comments Mackris ascribes to him. If so, O’Reilly’s public image will doubtless be harmed: The notorious conservative will seem hypocritical, for he is the married father of two small children. If he used his producer as a soundboard for his own sexual fantasies, that not only wasn’t part of her job – it was decidedly contrary to his image and beliefs. But was it, under the law, sexual harassment?
On October 29th, 2004, a few weeks after the lawsuits were filed, both parties agreed to settle out of court. Here is O’Reilly’s statement about the settlement on his show.
When you watch that video, listen how O’Reilly implores his viewers to “not believe everything they hear and read”. (Hmmm, kinda sounds like MJ’s song “Tabloid Junkie”, huh?) In this article, he plays the victim by saying that “this matter has caused enormous pain, but I had to protect my family and I did. Some of the media hammered me relentlessly because, as you know, I am a huge target, as is Fox News.”
O’Reilly was put in the same situation as Kobe. He couldn’t afford to defend himself in civil court because his reputation would be ruined once his dirty laundry – in this case, those taped phone conversations that would make a prostitute blush – was aired. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Reilly was having an affair with Mackris, and that this is a case of a lover scorned. As Jonna Spilbor alluded to in her analysis, Andrea Mackris wouldn’t have recorded all of those explicit phone conversations unless she was having a consensual relationship. If she was truly offended, then she would have immediately reported the harassment to the management of Fox News. And it also wouldn’t surprise me if Fox News “suggested” to O’Reilly that he settle the case, because –just as Sony depended on MJ to earn millions in profits – Fox depends on O’Reilly for the high ratings and revenues that he earns for the network. It was in Fox’s best interest that he settle the case, the same way it was in the Lakers & the NBA’s best interest that Kobe settled his case, and it was in Sony’s best interest that MJ settled his case.
Recently, Louisville University head basketball coach Rick Pitino pressed charges against a former fling who tried to extort millions of dollars from him in exchange for her not publicly admitting that they had a consensual sexual encounter in 2003. (Pitino was married at the time.) She became pregnant, and Pitino paid for her abortion. This incident was swept under the rug for six years, until she tried to extort $10 million dollars from him in August 2009. After he accused her of extortion, she tried to claim that she had been raped, but law enforcement declined to press charges due to lack of credibility. He didn’t give in, and the case went to trial, and she was convicted and faces a maximum prison term of 26 years.
Unfortunately, Pitino won the battle but lost the war, because he had to acknowledge the affair that he had, and if he wasn’t one of the greatest college coaches of all time, he surely would have lost his job. This is the negative publicity that MJ’s insurance company, Kobe Bryant, and Bill O’Reilly wanted to avoid by settling their lawsuits. Pitino discusses the aftermath of his trial in this interview.
Now, back to O’Reilly: in July 2009, when he interviewed Congressman Peter King about his disrespectful comments about MJ, he was careful to remind him that settling a civil lawsuit is not an admission of guilt. Peter King played the “he sleeps with little boys” card, which is what MJ haters typically do because they haven’t researched the facts, so they have to use scare tactics to get people to agree with their point of view.
King also felt that since he (and Sen. John McCain) lobbied to get boxer Jack Johnson pardoned by President Obama for the crime of marrying a white woman, that he can’t be a racist. (Personally, I don’t think King’s attack was motivated by racial prejudice, just his perceived “weirdness” of MJ.) But the good news is that he will not be running for the U.S. Senate, so the publicity that he earned last year with his tirade, which he thought would help him in his campaign, was all in vain!
In a 2005 interview with Jesse Jackson, MJ compared his trial to that of Jack Johnson, who was prosecuted under the Mann Act. Watch the video below for more comparisons!
Jack Johnson was the first black man to win the heavyweight championship in boxing in 1908, and he was known to openly date white women, which was a severe violation of social norms back then. In the FBI Files that were released to the public in December 2009, it was revealed that the LAPD wanted to use the Mann Act against MJ, but the FBI refused. The Mann Act was enacted with the intentions of using it to bring down Jack Johnson, the same way that California Evidence Code §1108 was enacted by Garcetti and Sneddon to bring down MJ. Charles Thomson wrote an excellent article on this topic last year.
While we’re on the subject of Peter King, let’s take a peek into his background! The fact that he said such cruel things about MJ while the nation mourned him should come as no surprise, as this man is also a religious bigot who feels that there are “too many mosques” in America, and who has shown support for the Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary terrorist group “dedicated to removing British forces from Northern Ireland”! He only withdrew his support for them when they refused to support the war in Iraq in 2003! With his checkered past, no wonder King is considered by some to be America’s Worst Congressman! (In this article, the author sarcastically asks King to present the evidence that he has that MJ was guilty, considering he surely didn’t say it in his youtube video!)
OK, back to O’Reilly! Maybe it took getting sued to make him realize that settling a civil lawsuit isn’t an admission of guilt, because in February 2004 (long before he was sued) he interviewed Geraldine Hughes, and he was very sympathetic to Evan Chandler. Judging by the length of the interview transcript, it’s safe to assume that the interview was around five minutes long, and he probably squeezed her in at the end of the show. O’Reilly exhibited a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality, and Geraldine did the best she could, but the 1993 case cannot be explained in a sound bite! Here is an excerpt of the interview where O’Reilly regurgitates the crap about Jordie’s description matching.
HUGHES: Well, okay — well, basically, it’s — my contention is that it was an elaborate — elaborate, meaning it was multifaceted. Multifaceted means I can throw you one thing and it’s really not going to matter until you pull it all together. Minus physical evidence, you have to look at the whole picture. You can’t just — one thing is not going to do it for you.
O’REILLY: All right.
HUGHES: But I will say this. I will say this. We have the finest police, law enforcement agency in the nation. There were four police agencies that went looking for evidence to corroborate with the little boy, and they found nothing. That really should be your biggest thing right there.
O’REILLY: Well, here’s what swayed me to disagree with you, and maybe you can put this in perspective for us. During the settlement hearings…
O’REILLY: The father, Dr. Chandler, all right, and your boss presented a scenario whereby the 13-year-old boy would identify marks on Michael Jackson’s body that nobody would have known about unless they had seen his intimate parts.
HUGHES: Right. Yes, okay.
O’REILLY: Now what say you, Madame?
HUGHES: I said did they bring him — did they arrest him based on their findings? Because had he accurately described parts that only someone could have described if they had seen it, that would have been — that was really what they were looking for, the mere fact that they didn’t bring him up on charges after that. And Michael even said the only reason why…
O’REILLY: The boy — after the $20 million changed hands, the boy then wouldn’t testify. And that’s how it went.
If you watch his interview with Aphrodite Jones from 2007, you’ll see him condescendingly ask her if she’d leave her kids alone with MJ, and of course he had to remind people that “not guilty doesn’t mean innocent”. And he has the audacity to call his show “the no-spin zone”! Based off the “phone sex” he had with his female employee, would you let your wife or girlfriend talk on the phone with him? I wouldn’t!
Before you feel any sympathy for O’Reilly, listen to MJ’s statement before his trial, and you’ll see how MJ also complains about the way his family has been hurt. And then think of all the times O’Reilly had Aphrodite Jones come on his show during the trial and peddle lies about MJ being guilty. Remember, she was told by Fox News to only report the dirt!
In fact, here is a collection of O’Reilly’s “opinions” on MJ:
In this first video, O’Reilly questions how MJ could possibly be a black hero, because he “bleached his skin”, “had white babies”, and had “plastic surgery”. He said that MJ “was just an entertainer, but THAT’S IT”, thus ignoring his humanitarian work (which is described in further detail later on in this piece). If we apply his logic to other entertainers, then U2’s Bono is also “just a rock star”, right? And Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt is also “just an actor”, right?
Here is Columbia Professor Dr. Marc Lamont Hill’s response to O’Reilly’s tirade. He calls him out for his hypocrisy by bringing up a statement he said about another high profile death, and he corrects O’Reilly when he tries to play the “he sleeps with little boys” card.
I’ll give O’Reilly credit where it’s deserved: he acknowledged that MJ was acquitted, and he said he would respect the jury’s decision. He claimed that he never publicly proclaimed that MJ was guilty, unlike many of his peers, and for that I give him kudos. But his rationale is flawed because when he says that he believes MJ is innocent merely because the jury says he’s innocent, then that opens up a line of attack that MJ haters love to use, and we’ve all heard it a million times: “Well, OJ Simpson was acquitted too!” And think about this: what if Ray Hultman and Eleanor Cook had actually released that “tell-all” book proclaiming that MJ was guilty? What would O’Reilly say then? “Well, those two jurors now say MJ is guilty, therefore he really was guilty!” This is why MJ fans need to know all of the facts of the case, and not rely solely on the fact that he was acquitted.
But Dr. Hill’s rebuttal was mild compared to comedian Steve Harvey’s rebuttal! Harvey was a close friend and staunch supporter of MJ, and he didn’t hold back in his criticisms of O’Reilly! Here’s part 1:
Here’s part 2, where he blasts O’Reilly for bashing liberals and defending hypocrite conservatives who also have problems in their personal lives. I’m sure he would have reminded everyone of O’Reilly’s sexual harassment lawsuit if it had crossed his mind!
Here’s part one of the “real deal” on MJ, according to O’Reilly and his cronies, including one of MJ’s former financial advisors. The point of this segment was to paint the picture of MJ as being an out of control spending freak (similar to what Bashir did in his documentary) who couldn’t take care of himself or his kids. To top it off, the lady implies that Katherine Jackson was a bad mother will instill the same “values” in his three kids as she instilled in MJ.
Of course O’Reilly didn’t bother to mention all of MJ’s philanthropic efforts, which are compiled here for your convenience!
And while we’re on the topic of MJ’s finances, everyone loves to talk about how much debt he was in. But regardless of his financial issues, one thing that MJ can proudly boast about is the fact that he was NEVER investigated by the IRS for tax evasion or fraud! MJ always made sure his taxes were squared away! This is a rarity for someone with so much money, since there are so many wealthy people who deliberately cheat on their taxes, like Wesley Snipes (who co-starred with MJ in the “Bad” video). He was recently sentenced to three years in prison for failure to pay taxes for several years.
Here’s part two, where his “Culture Warriors” debate the media coverage. The behavior and condescending attitude of the “journalists” in this segment is despicable. One of them, Juliet Huddy, said that the media is being too nice to MJ’s legacy and should be more objective, but then she goes on to call him a freak who was “addicted to plastic surgery”! How you can you be “fair and balanced” when you’re mocking the person that you’re reporting on??! I bet if she had been alive when slaves (and subsequently, freed blacks) afflicted with vitiligo were advertised as “freaks” in circuses for the public’s entertainment, she would have been there front and center laughing at them too! Here is a video that further compares the horrendous treatment of vitiligo afflicted slaves & free blacks to MJ:
It’s disappointing that O’reilly didn’t chastise her for using the term “freak” because, as someone who lobbies for stiffer sentences for child molesters, he should know firsthand that one’s appearance is IRRELEVANT in determining their thereat to children! And of course, Huddy played the “he sleeps with little boys” card, which is the Ace of Spades for MJ haters everywhere! She also added in the most overused and worthless legal analogy every made: “OJ Simpson was acquitted too!” (For an intriguing analysis of the prejudice that permeates the people who make this ridiculous argument, please read this article!) The other journalist, Gretchen Carlson, had to remind everyone of the 1994 settlement and use it as a sign of guilt, and that idiotic comment is one of my motivations for writing this piece in the first place! I just don’t understand MJ haters! They say he paid the settlement to avoid the civil trial because he was guilty, yet when he goes to criminal trial and is acquitted, his celebrity got him off. MJ can’t catch a break with these people!
Surprisingly, one thing that Huddy didn’t bring up is MJ’s marriages. I’m sure if she was asked, she would have gleefully said that they were both shams. Well, here’s some dirt on Huddy: she’s in the process of divorcing her third husband after only four months of marriage!! I wonder if her “marriages” were shams?
Geoffrey Fieger & Gloria Allred
The point that I was trying to make in this article (and I hope you guys believe that I have made this point!) is that the media has continually spread the lie that MJ’s settlement was a sign of guilt, and MJ was never able to recover. Throughout the trial, and even after it, legal pundits with an agenda have misled their viewers into believing that trash about MJ, while ignoring the settlements of other celebrities.
As I promised in the very beginning of this article, here is “attorney” Geoffrey Fieger. (And I know this article is so long that you probably forgot that I said earlier that I would mention him!) In this clip, he’s sparring with – guess who?- Jonna Spilbor about the §1108 witnesses, and he lowers himself to pond scum by implying that Jordie Chandler won’t testify due to the settlement he received (which of course is contradicted by the fact that Debbie Rowe, June Chandler, Blanca Francia, and Jason Francia all testified, despite the settlements they received. Remember, Debbie Rowe received a settlement after her divorce to stop her from selling stories to the media.) We now know that Jordie Chandler wasn’t “silenced” by MJ’s settlement because he threatened legal action to avoid testifying in court (per the FBI Files), the same way his cowardly uncle Raymond Chandler also successfully took legal action to avoid testifying, which is discussed in detail in this post.
I really can’t say that I’m surprised at Fieger’s lack of legalistic integrity. After all, this is the same lawyer who once said that “rabbis are closer to Nazis than they think“! Fieger’s “analysis” starts at 4:00. (I tried to embed this video into this post, but it wouldn’t let me because I believe that I have exceeded the limit already.)
Speaking of sleazy lawyers, according to Gloria Allred, MJ wouldn’t have paid the settlement if there wasn’t at least some guilt on his part. Let’s see how she spins it:
He did fit the profile of a sexual predator of children. Neverland had a lot of things that would attract children: a merry-go-round, animals, all kinds of games, ice cream. He was obviously acquitted in the trial, but he reportedly paid millions to the first child, which is not usually done unless there is some basis to the claims. It was a confidential settlement, but there are reports that he was paid 20 million. I briefly represented that child in the beginning, but did not represent him in the settlement.
Personally, I think she’s still bitter because she didn’t get a cut of MJ’s settlement in 1994. It must have been humiliating to be told she was being fired for wanting to seek justice! Not only does she use the settlement as a sign of guilt, but she takes a cheap shot by using an ad hominem technique to insinuate the MJ was a pedophile by using the “Neverland was a trap for young boys” talking point. (Ad hominem means to “appeal to people’s emotions and prejudices instead of their ability to think.”) These types of sustained attacks over the years have led the misinformed general public to believe that MJ was guilty, and many use this “ad populum” argument as a substitute for tangible, thorough research.
Ok, ok, I’m sure you guys are probably asking yourself “What does ad populum mean?” since this is my fist time using that term in an article. An ad populum argument is a fallacious argument which concludes that a proposition must be true because a majority of people believe it. Here are some examples from Charles Thomson’s article where the media used this type of argument to imply MJ was guilty:
“A poll conducted by Gallup in the hours after the verdict showed that 54% of White Americans and 48% of the overall population disagreed with the jury’s decision of ‘not guilty’. The poll also found that 62% of people felt Jackson’s celebrity status was instrumental in the verdicts. 34% said they were ‘saddened’ by the verdict and 24% said they were ‘outraged’. In a Fox News poll 37% of voters said the verdict was ‘wrong’ while an additional 25% said ‘celebrities buy justice’. A poll byPeople Weeklyfound that a staggering 88% of readers disagreed with the jury’s decision”.
MJ haters use this type of logic all of the time! (By the way, why does the media ALWAYS have to divide us by bringing up race? Why do they need to remind us that a higher percentage of whites thought he was guilty, thus implying that whites are either smarter or prejudiced?) Here is an example of Bill O’Reilly being criticized for using both of these techniques against one of his primetime competitors.
When Allred couldn’t use Jordie Chandler to get a multimillion dollar settlement, she found another “phantom victim” that she thought would force MJ into another civil settlement. His name is Daniel Kapon, and in April 2004 he claimed to have been molested by MJ for several years, beginning in the 1980’s. Not only was he molested, but MJ also forced him to get plastic surgery, held him hostage, and (the most insulting accusation of all) MJ stole his songs that he wrote and used them for his albums!
He allegedly “forgot” about his abuse until quack psychologist and notorious MJ hater Dr. Carole Lieberman “uncovered” his repressed memories, and notified the cops. On June 2nd, 2004 the LAPD dropped their criminal investigation like a hot potato once they realized there was no basis to his claims whatsoever.
In fact, Diane Dimond wrote about Daniel Kapon in her book “Be Careful Who You Love”. (She refers to him as “Donny”.) From pages 199-201:
Standing next to the DA at the news conference that day was the newly installed sheriff of Santa Barbara, Jim Anderson. He made a public appeal for anyone with any other complaints against Michael Jackson to call his office. He gave out a special phone number.
Sources at the sheriff’s office revealed that there were literally hundreds of “leads” phoned in that they were obligated to follow up. Calls came in to the district attorney’s office as well. It took countless man-hours to deal with them all. In the end, most if not all of the complaints went nowhere.
One such cold call was from an L.A.-based psychiatrist whose website says she is “recognized as the preeminent authority on the psychology of showbiz and the psychological influence of the media.” On a Sunday in late winter 2003, she telephoned authorities in Santa Barbara and dramatically told them they had to come to her Beverly Hills office immediately, as she had with her an eighteen-year-old boy who was claiming to have been repeatedly molested by Michael Jackson. A pair of law enforcement types quickly took the bait – how could they not check it out?
Once in the doctor’s office, they found a small, scared-looking young man I’ll call “Donny”. His story was not only dramatic but graphic. In a nutshell, he told them over the course of several years, when he was between the ages of ten and fourteen, his father had repeatedly driven him to Neverland Ranch and left him there for days at a time. Jackson, he said, had bought is father a new car to make sure he always had a reliable way to get to Neverland from his suburban L.A. home. At first he and Jackson just had fun at the ranch playing with all the games and riding the amusement park rides. But then over time, he said, Jackson gave him alcohol served in soda cans and drugs that made him “zone out”.
Donny told the investigators it got to the point where he didn’t mind because that way he could be “out of his body and not care what was really happening.” Asked to describe exactly what had happened, he told them about various sex acts, including penetration, that were performed upon him by the star. He claimed his mother had pictures of him with Michael Jackson and close-up photos of bite marks left on various parts of his body, inflicted by the King of Pop.
The Santa Barbara investigators listened intently. And then Donny’s mother entered the room. She was reported as having presented herself as confused and barely believable. She told of being attacked in a parking lot by a Jackson goon with a baseball bat who warned her to keep her mouth shut. She was sure they’d been sent by a private investigator Anthony Pellicano, apparently unaware that Pellicano hadn’t word for Jackson for years. She had no photographs of her son and Jackson to show the authorities, and when asked why it had taken her son so long to come forward with is story, the psychiatrist interjected, “Because this is a case of repressed memory.”
In cop shops across America those two words, “repressed memory,” cause eyes to roll. For the Santa Barbara team listening to the doctor, it was no different. Nonetheless, it was decided that Donny would travel back to Santa Barbara to undergo official forensic interrogation the next day. The U.S. Justice Department offers special training to only a handful of child abuse investigators. It’s an intense course on how best to deal with children who have suffered at the hands of deviant adults. Santa Barbara called in one of those specially equipped people to speak to young Donny, and after several hours it was determined that “there is nothing correct about this….it is bogus.”
The interrogator reported that the young man’s story kept changing. His original claim, that he’d been between ten and fourteen years old at the time of the molestation, switched in mid-interview. No, Donny said, he’s actually been three to seven years of age. Then later he reportedly said the sex abuse occurred when he was fifteen years old. There were other discrepancies, too. But Santa Barbara authorities didn’t leave it there. They traced the mother’s claim of being attacked in the parking lot and found it to be nothing more than an altercation between two neighbors, fighting over some perceived slight. They found the boy’s father and learned much more.
Donny’s dad told investigators he had never met Michael Jackson and certainly had never taken his son to Neverland – ever. He called his ex-wife “a certifiable psycho” who’d actually lost custody of Donny when he was just three years old. The father had raised the boy himself and the mother had no contact with him until his eighteenth birthday. She’d apparently hired a private detective to track down her son at his college and reentered his life.
Donny’s tale was described by insiders as “a tragedy, pure and simple.” A lonely, impressionable boy who so longed for motherly love that he allowed himself to be virtually brainwashed into believing an unstable parent’s incredible story.
Asked later what he thought of the Donny story, Santa Barbara district attorney Thomas Sneddon told me, “The story was pure voodoo. But that poor, poor kid.”
Wow! The fact that even Sneddon was unimpressed with his story should have been enough to make any competent attorney think twicebefore representing Kapon, right? But that didn’t stop Allred from filing a frivolous civil lawsuit on behalf of Kapon in January 2006! She hoped that MJ would settle out of court in order to avoid the additional negative publicity, but MJ and his legal team weren’t going to give in. And, unlike the 1993 case, there was no impending criminal case, and MJ didn’t have to worry about jeopardizing his legal defense strategy. On January 15th, 2008 the case was dropped when Kapon didn’t show up to court. Once Kapon and Allred realized that MJ wouldn’t settle, they had no choice but to either put up or shut up, AND THEY CHOSE TO SHUT UP!! The photo on the right is pretty illustrative of this!
Well, now that MJ is dead, maybe Allred can focus her undivided attention on representing all 18 of Tiger Woods’ mistresses! (And I think 18 is a conservative estimate!)
On a positive note, the Chandlers had some very kind things to say about Allred! They were really impressed with her passion for justice, but it just didn’t fit in with their goals of getting money. Oh well. From “All That Glitters”, page 169:
Allred meant well; no one doubted her sincerity and concern. And had the defendant been other than Michael Jackson, her strategy might have been more appealing. But Larry and Bob’s insights made a lot of sense. Getting a conviction against Michael would be near impossible without a second victim.
It may be said that Gloria was more concerned with the larger issue of child abuse, and that bringing the truth to light via a criminal trial was a nobler goal than getting a lot of money and sweeping the entire affair under the rug. But as Evan commented months later, “The overriding consideration in every decision had to be what was best for Jordie, and Larry’s way was more consistent with that goal. Doing anything that might bring additional fear and anxiety was the last thing Jordie needed. Or any of us.”
Eliminating the horror of worldwide exposure from a protracted trial was not only the best thing for Jordie, it was best for Michael as well. The money it would cost him to settle with his accuser was incidental. Keeping his career intact was what really mattered. Shapiro knew all this from the start. By steering Evan and June toward Larry Feldman and away from Gloria Allred, he was doing everyone a mitzvah, including Michael Jackson.
Could the Chandlers be any more blunt? They have no shame in admitting that all they wanted was money, and were more than willing to “cover up” the molestation if MJ had given in to their demand. And that’s very ironic, because their book is subtitled “The Crime and the Cover-Up”, but usually it’s the perpetrator who tries to cover up a crime! Accusers usually don’t demand money to cover up a crime that was committed against them!
But you have to admit, they are probably the nicest people in the whole wide world! Even though they claim that MJ molested Jordie, they were still concerned about his career and his well being! Not only were the Chandlers thinking of what was best for MJ, but so was Robert Shapiro!
Here is another sign of how hospitable the Chandlers really are! This quote is from Ray Chandler in a 1995 Entertainment Weekly cover story on MJ:
Charmatz says his brother and nephew bear Jackson no ill will:”They all loved him — that was why it was so hard to come to grips with what was going on. It’s too bad to see his career take the hit it did and we all hope he gets it back. They don’t hold any malice in their hearts toward Michael. I think they understand what’s happened in his life and how he’s an even bigger victim of abuse.”
Now let’s compare the actions of the Chandlers with the actions of the Dubois’ and the Kings’, who are REAL victims of crime! They each had a daughter who was murdered by John Gardner, and they were instrumental in getting him sentenced to life in prison by voicing their opinions to him in front of the judge and jury during his sentencing.
Unfortunately this article about the effect of Victim Impact Statements that crime victims make to their perpetrators was written by Diane Dimond, and I hate to use her as a reference, but I found the story of those two families to be too compelling to pass up because they are the antithesis of the Chandlers.
She was present at the sentencing of John Gardner, who was recently convicted of killing two teenage girls in California. She talks about how brave the families were to give those statements (which they were, and I’m not arguing about that), and she wonders if she would have had the courage to do the same if she was in that same situation.
True crime victims will stop at nothing to seek justice against their perpetrators, and would eagerly travel from the other side of the Earth to be in court to give their Victim Impact Statement.
But as I read this article, I couldn’t help but think about Jordie, Evan, and Ray Chandler. Their lack of cooperation in prosecuting MJ in 1993 & 2005, and their threatening and/or taking legal action to quash their subpoenas doesn’t only speak volumes, but it SCREAMS volumes!
It’s just ironic that Diane rightfully praises the families in this article, but over the years she has continually DEFENDED Evan and Jordie’s lack of cooperation by saying they “wanted to avoid the media circus”, or some crap like that. She has never called them out for the cowards that they really are. What a hypocrite!
In closing, here is one last settlement for us to analyze: in 1998, Janet Arvizo sued JC Penney, claiming that their security guards “sexually assaulted” her by twisting her nipples “10 to 20 times”, and she sued the store for $3 million. This is the story according to David Arvizo, Janet’s ex-husband, who witnessed and tried to stop Gavin from shoplifting:
After they arrived at the shopping mall, Janet went inside of Oshman’s Sporting Goods to fill out paperwork and take a drug test, as she had recently been hired by the store. David, Star, and Gavin were inside JC Penney, and Gavin grabbed several articles of clothing and ran out the store into the parking lot. David grabbed Star and they both followed Gavin with the intention of returning the stolen clothes to the store, but they were swarmed by security and apprehended for shoplifting.
While they were being questioned in the parking lot, Janet was exiting Oshman’s and was unaware of what was happening. She saw David getting restrained by security and attempted to intervene, and as a result a scuffle ensued between her and security, and she was arrested. David was escorted back inside of the store, where he explained to security that Gavin stole the clothing on his own initiative, and he and Star were merely attempting to stop him, and as a result no charges were filed against them.
Janet was arrested and taken into police custody, and released shortly thereafter. Upon her return home, Janet ordered David, Gavin, & Star to write down their version of events, and upon completion she altered them to fit what she wanted them to say. The revised versions were returned to the boys and they were ordered to read and memorize their script on a daily basis. It would be a year before they were deposed for the $3 million dollar civil lawsuit that Janet subsequently filed on July 22nd, 1999, claiming “battery, false imprisonment, and infliction of emotional distress”. However, on June 29th, 2000 Janet amended the complaint to allege that she was “sexually assaulted” by the guards in the parking lot, who “fondled her breasts”, “squeezed her nipples 10 to 20 times”, “punched in the face with a closed fist”, “molested in her vaginal area, and “called her racial slurs”.
During the period of time between the filing of the lawsuit and the depositions, Janet became friendly with Mary Holzer, who worked as a paralegal for Feldman & Rothstein, the law firm that represented Janet. (Open this link and scroll down to “Day 59” for a summary of her testimony.) Ms. Holzer drove the Arvizos to multiple appointments with their lawyers because they didn’t have a car, talked to the family on an almost daily basis, and while doing so she got to know the family pretty well. So well that Janet decided it was OK to tell Ms. Holzer her deepest, darkest secrets!
For example, after being dropped off for a medical appointment, Janet threw herself down on the driveway of the medical center and started kicking and screaming, and saying that the doctors and nurses were “the devil, and the they were out to get her.” (This behavior is consistent with the conclusions of a psychiatrist that was hired by JC Penney to evaluate Janet, who declared her to be “schizophrenic, delusional, and severely depressed.”) Here are some brief excerpts of her testimony:
MR. MESEREAU: What did Janet Arvizo do in the driveway when she was there for that examination?
HOLZER: She threw herself down on the ground, started kicking and screaming, carrying on that the doctor was the devil, and the nurses were the devil, and they were all out to get her. And I explained to her that they were only asking her standard questions that they ask in an Independent Medical Examination; that — the history of her injuries and how she obtained the injuries. And she was very defensive. And they asked us to leave because she was so irate.
MESEREAU: Did you leave?
HOLZER: Yes, I took her out
Ms. Holzer had every intention of keeping their relationship as “strictly business”, but she succumbed to the effusive nature of Janet and her children, who routinely claimed that they “loved her”.
HOLZER: They would come into the office. Usually they would pop in every once in a while and the children would come in my office, and sit on my lap, and draw me pictures, tell me how much they loved me, and write little notes and post it on my pin board, and say how great I was, and that I was helping their family.
MESEREAU: Would Janet tell you how great you were?
Janet revealed that she prepped her kids on what to say during their medical examinations and depositions, and she enrolled them in acting classes because “she wanted them to be good actors so she could tell them what to say and how to behave.” Wow! Janet truly is a delusional nutcase!!
MR. MESEREAU: What did Janet Arvizo tell you about her children learning to act?
HOLZER: She said she wanted them to become good actors so she could tell them what to say and how to behave.
MESEREAU: Did she ever say anything to you about Gavin getting his stories straight in the J.C. Penney case?
MESEREAU: What did she say?
HOLZER: She said she wasn’t worried. This was at the Independent Medical Examination for psychiatric of all three, Gavin, Star and Janet. And when we were at the doctor’s office, she was very concerned about them completing general forms, you know, like, “Generally do you feel happy?” “Generally do you feel sad?” You know, “What kind of days” — “How do you feel when you wake up?” Those kind of forms. And she refused to have the children fill them out. And then she wanted to participate in the medical examinations with the doctor and the children. And I asked her, you know, I said, you know, “It doesn’t work that way.” You know, “The doctor sees the children on their own.” You know, “You can’t go in there.” And she said, “Well, I’m pretty sure Gavin will get the story straight, but I’m not sure Star will remember what we practiced and what I told him to say.”
Isn’t that something? Janet was “pretty sure Gavin will get the story straight”! If she had that much confidence in Gavin’s ability to lie in 2000, then how much more confidence did she have when he lied to the cops in 2003, when he was older and even more believable? By that time, Gavin was already well-trained; having had those acting lessons and having talked to at least two attorneys and psychologist Stan Katz. And there’s no telling how many times she rehearsed Gavin for his latest role as the victimized and molested recovering cancer patient!
Holzer also testified that Janet told her that David Arvizo was the one who beat her up, not the JC Penney security guards! This was a stunning development because Sneddon showed jurors the photos of Janet’s injuries, depicting dark purple-and-black welts from head to toe on her legs, arms and face. The photos weren’t taken until at least a week after the JC Penney altercation! If the guards had truly beaten her like that, then her injuries would have surely subsided after a week! And although David did indeed beat Janet, he definitely did not molest Davellin or falsely imprison the family, as Janet falsely claimed to police in November 2001.
MESEREAU: Did you ever have a chance to discuss with Janet Arvizo those photographs?
MESEREAU: And what did she tell you about those photographs while that lawsuit was going on?
HOLZER: She told me that the bruises that were on her body were inflicted by David that night after the altercation at J.C. Penney’s.
MR. MESEREAU: Did you ever see the booking photos at the jail which were taken when Janet Arvizo was arrested the day of the J.C. Penney events? They don’t show any injuries, do they?
MESEREAU: Do you recall ever asking her, “When did you take the photograph that shows the injuries?” that Prosecutor Zonen just described?
HOLZER: No, I never asked her.
MESEREAU: And just to clarify, how long after the J.C. Penney incident did your law firm get involved with the Arvizos, if you know?
HOLZER: I would say nine months maybe.
If Janet told this to Holzer, that would certainly explain why, in the mug shot taken directly after the altercation, there are no bruises, no busted nose, no split lip, no redness or swelling anywhere on her. Oddly enough, there wasn’t a hair out of place and she even appears to have a very slight smile on her face in that mug shot! Holzer later testified she told Janet that she needed to retract the allegation to talk to Mr. Rothstein, the partner of the law firm. From the transcript:
MESEREAU: And what was your response to her telling you that?
HOLZER: Well, it scared me.
HOLZER: Well, I represent my law firm, and when a client admits to fraud, it’s kind of scary.
MESEREAU: And did you say anything to Mrs. Arvizo in response?
HOLZER: Yes, I did.
MESEREAU: What did you say to Ms. Arvizo about that?
HOLZER: I told her that she couldn’t do that, that that was wrong, and that, you know, she needed to retract that, and that she needed to speak to Mr. Rothstein about it.
MESEREAU: Did you tell her that was fraudulent?
HOLZER: I don’t know whether I used that word. I told her it was wrong; that “You can’t do that.”
MESEREAU: And –
HOLZER: I was very upset.
(19-28 | 1-9 (pg 11757))
One has to assume that JC Penney couldn’t press charges for fraud against this family after all of this came to light in 2004, because perhaps the statue of limitations had already expired by then? And if they could have pressed charges but refused to do so, it could have been that they did not want to be bothered anymore with the Arvizos. Who knows?
Holzer also said that she and her 9-year old daughter were threatened in a round-about way; not directly by Janet. According to Holzer, the scheming mother told her David Arvizo’s brother was in the Mexican mafia and knew where Holzer lived. I kid you not! From the transcript:
MESEREAU: Did she threaten you?
HOLZER: Yes, she did.
HOLZER: She told me that David’s brother Ray is in the Mexican mafia and runs drugs between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and that she knows where I live, because she had been to my house on several occasions, and they would come and kill me and my nine-year-old daughter.
MESEREAU: Did this terrify you?
MESEREAU: Did you ever tell anyone at the law firm about what Janet had told you?
HOLZER: No, I did not.
MESEREAU: Or, let me rephrase it. Did you ever have any further discussions with her about the fake claims against J.C. Penney?
HOLZER: I did. I tried to get her to speak to Mr. Rothstein about it. I asked her if I could speak to Mr. Rothstein about it, because we run a clean law firm, and I really didn’t feel that we should be involved in something like that. And she proceeded to call me daily and tell me she had told David, and David was raging mad, and that he was going to come after me, and that I better watch my back.
MESEREAU: How many times do you think Janet Arvizo threatened you and your daughter?
HOLZER: I’d say about eight, nine times.
Finally, in an attempt to enhance her chances of getting a settlement from JC Penney, Janet never worked a day at Oshman’s after she was hired, claiming that that she was unable to work due to the “injuries” sustained during her “assault” by the guards, and hence a loss of earnings claim was added to the lawsuit. And to show that Janet’s lies and manipulations knew no boundaries, she had Gavin deposed by attorneys representing JC Penney while he was in his hospital bed during the peak of his illness! She did this in order to earn sympathy from potential jurors, and to force JC Penney to settling out of court. This plan obviously worked, because just before the lawsuit was settled, a mediator was brought in and offered Janet $300k, which wasn’t good enough for Janet, because she demanded $500k, and that her kids get placed in a JC Penney television commercial! Obviously Janet’s demands were not met, and she had to “settle” for a measly $152,500. (Pun intended!)
Does anyone think that JC Penney settled because they believed that their guards were guilty of assaulting Janet Arvizo?
I don’t think so!
UPDATE October 8th, 2010
Here is a video from September 1993. CNN interviews a bodyguard who describes how celebrities are oftentimes the target of extortion from greedy fans and associates! CNN wanted to put MJ’s situation into context by showing viewers that these types of situations happen all of the time! They even mention a lady named “Bille Jean Jackson” who claimed that MJ fathered her child, and they also mention the LAPD’s “Threat Management Division” who deal with celebrity threats.
Notice how Det. Greg Boles says that most of the perpetrators are “disordered people“, which is very foretelling because Evan Chandler was bi-polar, Janet Arvizo was schizophrenic, and Daniel Kapon’s mom was a “certifiable psycho”!