Skip to content

March 1st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Martin Bashir and Anne Kite (Direct Examination)

May 13, 2012

On March 1st, 2005, Martin Bashir was called as the prosecution’s first witness. I have already summarized and analyzed Bashir’s testimony in the following two posts:

In addition, you can read more about Bashir’s actions before, during, and after the airing of the documentary in the post below:

Here is a transcript and rebuttal of Bashir’s second hit piece on Jackson, titled “Michael Jackson’s Secret World”, which aired in February 2005, just before the start of the trial.

Finally, here is a post on how hypocritical many of Jackson’s detractors (including Bashir) and accusers are for professing to be Christians, but gleefully peddling lies to try to bring down Jackson.

Anne Kite:

On March 1st, 2005, Assistant District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss called Anne Kite to the witness stand in what would be the first of two days of testimony for her. Kite worked as the President of the Webcaster Alliance, which is a group of webcasters who play music on the internet. Her duties included helping to move forward legislation that would make it easier for people to be able to produce music and information on the internet, and to help people produce programming.

Prior to her stint as President of the Webcaster Alliance, Kite was president of a public relations firm called Gabriel Media. (She used the last name of “Gabriel” as her professional name.) She used her talents and experience from 20 years as a PR manager to help people and products get their information to the public.

Kite also specialized in what’s called “crisis management”, and she described it in this excerpt:

26 Q. All right. Can you tell me what the term

27 “crisis management” means.

28 A. Well, crisis management is a different type 280

1 of public relations. Crisis management comes about

2 when you have someone, or a product or a person, who

3 gets into a situation that is unexpected.

4 And in the case of crisis management, you

5 have to do a couple of different things. First of

6 all, you want to try to analyze the assets of the

7 client or the product, and then also their

8 vulnerabilities, what areas might they be attacked

9 on.

10 And so crisis management is the – for lack

11 of a better term – the difficult part of public

12 relations, the difficult part of trying to help

13 someone present themselves or their product to the

14 public.

15 Q. What do you mean when you say “the assets of

16 a client”.

17 A. Well, any client or any product has assets,

18 the things that are good about them, the thing that

19 the public perceives good about them.

20 Q. In general terms, can you tell me what the

21 goal of a public relations specialist is.

22 A. In general terms, on the best days, it is to

23 make sure that your client’s product, or their

24 person, the personality, is always presented in the

25 best light to the public.

26 Q. And the purpose for that would be.

27 A. So that they can create things for

28 themselves, whether they want to create more assets 281

1 as far as dollarwise, entertainment value, or

2 whatever it is they’re trying to sell.

3 If it’s themselves that they’re trying to

4 sell, you want to make sure they’re always presented

5 in the best light.

That pretty much explains how and why she was brought into the picture shortly before the Bashir documentary aired in the United States. In March 2002, she met attorney David LeGrand, and they worked together on several projects for the Webcaster Alliance. They also dated from July 2002 through January 2003.  In late January 2003, LeGrand asked Kite to do some public relations work for Jackson, as he and everyone else anticipated the firestorm of controversy that the Bashir documentary would bring about, so the hiring of Kite was a preemptive action.

Here is an excerpt where Kite describes her duties:

11 Q. Who told you what your assignment was to be

12 as a public relations employee for Michael Jackson.

13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation and

14 hearsay; it misstates the evidence.

15 THE COURT: Overruled.

16 You may answer.

17 THE WITNESS: Initially it was David

18 LeGrand.

19 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. And what

20 did Mr. LeGrand tell you your duties were.

21 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay;

22 foundation.

23 THE COURT: Overruled.

24 You may answer.

25 THE WITNESS: To help with the fallout from

26 the Martin Bashir video.

27 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. What did

28 you understand your duties were at that point. 287

1 A. To immediately begin protecting Mr.

2 Jackson’s reputation.

3 Q. Did you research the issue, the problem.

4 A. Yes, I did.

5 Q. Did you evaluate the problem.

6 A. Yes, I did.

7 Q. Did you come up with a plan of attack.

8 A. Yes, I did.

In this next excerpt, Kite describes the exact date that she signed her contract, and the people in Jackson’s inner circle that she communicated with. Notice that she did NOT report directly to Jackson, which threw a linchpin into the prosecutor’s claims that Jackson was in charge of the conspiracy to force the Arvizos to shoot the rebuttal video and then fly to Brazil:

7 Q. So, my last question, if I can recall it

8 correctly was, what was the plan that you formulated

9 to approach — well, let me back up. Let me just

10 start at the beginning here.

11 You said you formulated an assessment of the

12 problem. How did you go about doing that.

13 A. Well, I took a look at a lot of the press

14 that was coming out, the information that was out in

15 the media. I looked at what was being played most

16 prominently, and figured that that was probably the

17 most vulnerable area of attack for Mr. Jackson at

18 that point.

19 So I began to formulate a plan, based on my

20 information of things that had come out in the press

21 in the past, and to immediately try to take the

22 focus off of Mr. Jackson’s frailties as a human and

23 put them back on his genius as a musician. That was

24 my plan.

25 Q. Okay. Did you sign a contract to come on as

26 a PR specialist.

27 A. Yes, I did.

28 Q. When did you do that. When was that 289

1 contract signed.

2 A. In the afternoon of the 14th of February.

3 Q. Did you become familiar with any other

4 individuals who were also hired to work on the same

5 problem.

6 A. Yes, I did.

7 Q. Did you communicate with them.

8 A. Yes, I did.

9 Q. Who were these people.

10 A. Ronald Konitzer. Marc Schaffel. Stuart

11 Backerman. Melanie Riley. And Richard, I think

12 it’s Eldon, from Bell Yard. And a team of some

13 other attorneys in the United K — United Kingdom.

14 Q. During the course of your employment for

15 Mr. Jackson, did you communicate with these

16 individuals.

17 A. Yes, I did.

18 Q. Did you communicate directly with Ronald

19 Konitzer.

20 A. Yes, I did.

21 Q. In what fashion. In what medium.

22 A. Both by e-mail and by telephone.

23 Q. Did you contact and speak directly with Marc

24 Schaffel.

25 A. Yes, I did.

26 Q. Did you also communicate with him by e-mail.

27 A. Yes, I did.

28 Q. How about Mr. Backerman. 290

1 A. Yes, I did.

2 Q. Did you ever talk to an attorney by the name

3 of Mark Geragos.

4 A. Yes, I did.

5 Q. Who did you report to. Who did you report

6 to in terms of the hierarchy of this team.

7 A. Well, I spoke to David. I spoke to Marc

8 Schaffel. I spoke to Mr. Geragos. And I spoke to

9 Ronald.

10 Q. So would it be fair to say, you reported to

11 all of those four individuals.

12 A. Yes, at different times.

In this excerpt, Kite gives her impression of what everyone’s role was during her brief period of employment:

13 Q. And Mr. Konitzer, did you have an

14 understanding of what his function was in relation

15 to Michael Jackson.

16 A. I understood that Mr. Konitzer was the

17 lead —

18 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; and

19 foundation.

20 THE COURT: Foundation; sustained.

21 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It’s a yes or no question.

22 I would follow with foundation.

23 MR. MESEREAU: Same objection.

24 THE COURT: All right. I’ll allow a yes or

25 no answer.

26 Do you want the question read back.

27 THE WITNESS: Yes, please.

28 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. The question — 291

1 THE COURT: The court reporter will read it

2 back. Thank you.

3 (Record read.)


5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. And what

6 was it that you based that opinion on, or that

7 assessment on.

8 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading and

9 foundation.

10 THE COURT: Overruled.

11 You may answer.

12 THE WITNESS: On information that David had

13 given me.

14 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. Did you also

15 base it on information that you obtained in the

16 course of conversing with Mr. Konitzer.

17 A. Yes, I did.

18 Q. And Mr. Schaffel.

19 A. Yes, I did.

20 Q. Did you base it on information that you

21 obtained by way of e-mails from other members of the

22 team.

23 A. Yes, I did.

24 Q. And from Bell Yard.

25 A. Yes, I did.

26 Q. Was it clear from — clear to you — well,

27 did you also base it upon the conduct of all of

28 these individuals on the team that you previously 292

1 mentioned.

2 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading;

3 foundation.

4 THE COURT: Sustained; leading.

5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you consider

6 conduct as part of this assessment.

7 MR. MESEREAU: Same objection.

8 THE COURT: Overruled.

9 You may answer.

10 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did.

11 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. And based on all

12 this information, did you form a belief or an

13 understanding as to what Mr. Ronald Konitzer’s role

14 was in relation to Michael Jackson and this team

15 that you’ve described.

16 A. Yes, I did.

17 Q. What was that.

18 A. That he was the leader.

19 Q. Also based on all that information that I’ve

20 asked you about, were you able to form an opinion as

21 to what Mr. Schaffel’s role was in this team.

22 A. Yes. Yes, I did.

23 Q. And what was that.

24 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation.

25 THE COURT: Overruled.

26 THE WITNESS: That he was in charge of the

27 public relations effort for Michael Jackson.

28 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Same question as to 293

1 Mr. Backerman. Based on all the information you

2 obtained during the course of your employment, were

3 you able to form an assessment or did you obtain an

4 understanding of what Mr. Stuart Backerman’s role

5 was.

6 A. Yes, I did.

7 Q. And what was that.

8 A. That he was the spokesperson for Mr.

9 Jackson.

10 Q. What’s a spokesperson in the PR realm.

11 A. Well, in Mr. Backerman’s case, it was my

12 understanding that he would be the one that would,

13 for the most part, get out and speak in front of the

14 press.

15 Q. So the actual face person that would be in

16 front of the camera.

17 A. For the most part, yes.

Just prior to the court adjourned for the day, Auchincloss asked Kite to explain her assessment of the PR problem that besieged Jackson after the airing of the documentary:

18 Q. All right. You previously said that you

19 assessed the problem based upon your review of what.

20 A. The information that was coming out in the

21 press.

22 Q. Uh-huh.

23 A. The information that was coming from the

24 Bashir documentary.

25 Q. Uh-huh.

26 A. And the bombardment of questions that were

27 coming from people in the press that were looking to

28 delve into other aspects of Mr. Jackson’s empire. 294

1 Q. All right.

2 THE COURT: All right. We’re going to stop

3 for the afternoon.


5 THE COURT: I have a couple of points I want

6 to address.

7 One is that the District Attorney must lodge

8 a transcript of the videotape that was played today

9 with the Court as soon as you can.

10 MR. SNEDDON: Judge, in order to do that,

11 I’ll need permission of the Court to withdraw the

12 exhibit so I can have it — have a transcript made

13 perfect.

14 THE COURT: Any objection to that.

15 MR. MESEREAU: No objection, Your Honor.

16 THE COURT: All right.

17 MR. SNEDDON: Thank you.

18 THE COURT: The second thing is that even

19 though we are not redacting documents anymore,

20 sealing documents, California Rule of Court 2073,

21 which relates to the filing of documents on the

22 Internet, which we do in this case, has some

23 restrictions that you cannot put on the Internet.

24 For example, addresses, phone numbers of parties.

25 I’m not going to read the whole statute to you, but

26 that’s what I’m talking about.

27 So when you file a document, you must file

28 it — file a redacted version in compliance with 295

1 California Rule of Court 2073 so that may be placed

2 on the Internet.

3 I don’t intend to do any separate sealing

4 orders, because they’re just — it’s a statutory

5 requirement that you redact those.

6 Any questions about that.

7 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: No, Your Honor.

8 MR. MESEREAU: No, Your Honor.

9 THE COURT: All right. We’ll recess until

10 tomorrow morning. I’ll see you tomorrow at 8:30.

11 (The proceedings adjourned at 2:30 p.m.)

On the next court date, Anne Kite continued her testimony and described why she felt that Jackson was being taken advantage of by certain members of his inner circle, and 18 year sheriff’s office veteran Albert Lafferty testified about the photographs and video footage that he filmed during the Neverland raid in November 2003.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. lynande51 permalink
    May 13, 2012 4:48 am

    Nice synopsis of her first day of testimony. It is the second day that is important though. That is when she is cross examined.


  2. lynande51 permalink
    May 13, 2012 8:33 am

    Hey David here is a video that belongs in your post about Stacy Brown and Bob Jones. It is bunch of still shots of MJ’s trip to Africa in 1992. The one that should interest most people is at 4:19 or 4:20. Then notice how many times Brett shows up in the pictures at the special events. MJ sure was trying to conceal him from the press wasn’t he?


  3. mjjyo permalink
    May 13, 2012 2:15 pm

    Guests can go to hell?
    Please go to.
    Is the location that works best for you.
    Sneddon even when taken together?
    He is the best for you.
    Then Dan ABRAMS, Diane DIMOND also.
    Chandler waiting.


  4. sanemjfan permalink
    May 13, 2012 4:45 pm

    Thanks! I’ll embed it there later today.


  5. lynande51 permalink
    May 14, 2012 10:04 pm

    David here is a portion of David LeGrand’s testimony that you might want to add to one of your pieces on Martin Bashir. In response to being sued he and Granada Television demanding that no footage of him be utiilized without Granada’s permission. So Granada and Bashir did not want footage shown that would prove that he tricked Michael or lied to him about what he was doing.

    THE COURT: All right.

    2 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you, Your Honor.



    5 Having been previously sworn, resumed the

    6 stand and testified further as follows:


    8 CROSS-EXAMINATION (Continued)


    10 Q. Good morning, Mr. LeGrand.

    11 A. Good morning.

    12 Q. Yesterday we talked about the LLC Fire

    13 Mountain, and you indicated that that LLC, that

    14 limited liability corporation, was formed to act as

    15 the corporation under which the proceeds from the

    16 FOX special, “The Footage You Were Never Meant To

    17 See” or what we’ve been calling the “Take 2” video,

    18 to basically funnel those assets or those — the

    19 cash that was produced from that program and then

    20 disburse to various parties. Is that correct?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Okay. And I asked you — I’m not sure if we

    23 ever got the answer, but I asked you, and I’m asking

    24 you now, was that corporation formed to conceal

    25 assets from Mr. Jackson’s creditors?

    26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation;

    27 relevance.

    28 THE COURT: Overruled. 10150

    1 You may answer.

    2 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: In any way.

    3 A. There were multiple concerns with regard to

    4 the “Take 2” video at the inception of the process.

    5 There was a letter from Granada basically demanding

    6 that no footage of Martin Bashir be utilized without

    7 Granada’s permission, so we had significant concerns

    8 about potential liabilities associated with Fire

    9 Mountain.

    10 There were also concerns, not so much about

    11 trade creditors in general, but, rather, that the

    12 mounting financial demands of the lawyers, the

    13 accountants, the production people be met, and we

    14 had not yet — there was — we had not yet

    15 accomplished a complete transition of money

    16 management affairs and open —

    17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’m going to object at this

    18 time as nonresponsive.

    19 THE WITNESS: Okay.

    20 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

    21 I’ll allow him to complete his answer.

    22 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right.

    23 THE WITNESS: I opened a dialogue with Bank

    24 of America and discussed with the bank

    25 representatives the relationship of Fire Mountain

    26 with FOX, and to my knowledge, there was never a

    27 demand of default made by Bank of America with

    28 respect to any of their credit protection 10151

    1 provisions.


  6. Hilary permalink
    May 14, 2012 10:33 pm

    Hey guys, you can watch the trial re-enactment of part of Bashir’s testimony and Mesereau’s opening statements here. You can see how Bashir’s attorney keeps objecting.


  7. aldebaran permalink
    May 15, 2012 2:20 am

    Just watched the reenactment–is this from Court TV? Something is wrong with the interpretation of the 1st amendment that a defendant’s lawyer can’t ask questions about how the agreement to film the defendant came to be. Journalists seem to have carte blanche here to lie and get away with it by using the 1st and the ‘Shield Law’–shielding crimes, smears, lies, slander. I hate Bashir so much–and to think he profited from this is too much. Journalism was disgraced by his act and yet he was rewarded.


  8. Hilary permalink
    May 15, 2012 7:18 am

    It’s from E! network.


  9. Linda permalink
    May 18, 2012 9:18 am

    You know, I really liked this re-enactment. I didn’t remember, word for word what was said in the actual testimonies, but it sounded pretty close. Then I clicked on more re-enactments of other days in the trial and It was obviously the same actors, so put out by the same person and Gavin is talking about how he loved being f**ked by Michael over and over again. That disappointed me.

    I would love to see a really serious re-enactment of the whole trial day by day and word for word. These actors were great, but I would like to see it done factually. Gosh, I wish I had the talent, or the know how, or the money to make a movie out of that trial to bring out the truth and expose the media and all the grifters for what they are. People would understand more from seeing a movie than reading court transcripts, which most won’t take the time to do.



  1. February 28th – March 1st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Summary of Sneddon and Mesereau’s Opening Statements « Vindicating Michael
  2. February 28th – March 1st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Summary of Sneddon and Mesereau’s Opening Statements | Michael Jackson Vindication 2.0

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: