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March 2nd, 2005 Anne Kite (Direct & Cross Examination) and Albert Lafferty (Direct Examination), Part 1 of 2

May 15, 2012

On the second day of her testimony, Kite began by describing exactly how she started her stint with Jackson, and her compensation:

Q. Okay. And when did you — was there a

period of time in which you discussed with Mr.

LeGrand working for Michael Jackson?

A. Yes —

Q. Prior to your employment, actual employment?

A. Yes, there was.

Q. And when was that — when did that

discussion begin?

A. About the 27th of January.

Q. Okay. Were there further discussions —

when were you actually hired?

A. On the 9th of February, Mr. LeGrand sent me

an e-mail along with other people that were working

on the MJJ working group that said, “Welcome to the

team.”

Q. Okay. And between that period of time when

you began discussions with Mr. LeGrand and the time

that you actually became a member of the team, did

you continue to have discussions with Mr. LeGrand

about the issues involved in being a PR person for

Michael Jackson?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Were you paid for your employment?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. How much?

A. $10,000.

Q. Was that payment in advance or arrears of

your employment?

A. Well, it was supposed to be $20,000 for the

month. When I signed the contract on the 14th of

February, David gave me a $10,000 check, so that was

an advance.

Q. So you began your work on the 9th?

A. Yes.

Q. You signed your contract on the 14th?

A. Yes.

When Kite was first approached with the idea of doing PR work for Jackson, she initially wanted to put the public’s focus on the art instead of the artist. But she was unaware of the upcoming damage that the Bashir documentary would do, and she admitted that it changed her perception of Jackson from a PR standpoint because it was unfair to him.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: The question was,

between late January and the time that you were

actually hired, I believe you said it was the 9th of

February, did something happen that changed your

perception of Mr. Jackson from a public relations

standpoint?

A. Yes.

Q. What was that?

A. The Martin Bashir documentary.

Q. All right. What — how did that — the

Martin Bashir documentary present itself as an issue

for you, from a public relations standpoint?

A. As an absolute disaster.

Q. Why do you say that?

A. I felt that the documentary was put together

in a way that portrayed Mr. Jackson in an extremely

negative light.

Q. Were there particular issues with that

documentary that you believed presented problems for

Mr. Jackson from a PR point of view?

A. Yes, there were.

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation;

relevance; 352.

THE COURT: Overruled.

You may answer.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: What were those issues?

A. I believed that Mr. Jackson was portrayed in

a very negative light in his actions as far as the

shopping spree, as far as climbing the tree, as far

as statements made portraying himself as Peter Pan,

and the interaction that he had with the person that

was on the video.

Kite goes on to say that there wasn’t any positive feedback from the documentary, and on a scale of 1 to 10, the negative damage done by the documentary was a 25!

Q. In terms of the reaction of the

international media, how did you evaluate in your

role as a public relations person?

A. That it was extremely negative.

Q. All right. Was there any positive media?

A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. Okay. You have — have you ever been asked

to characterize or measure this crisis on a scale of

1 to 10?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. And how did you characterize it?

A. A 25 —

MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.

THE COURT: Overruled.

THE WITNESS: A 25.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: So you perceived this

to be a big problem?

A. Absolutely.         

Kite then says that she began to formulate her plan of attack to fend off the inevitable media attacks that would come from all directions, and she also wanted to look into the background and credibility of Martin Bashir, who was the root of this PR disaster.

Q. Okay. So in the beginning, when you were

formulating this plan, what was your — what was

your idea, what was your goal?

A. Well, my goal was to immediately speak with

someone and assess all of the negative impacts from316

the Bashir documentary, addressing each one.

Because my fear was that while one media source

might pick up on one thing, another media source

would pick up on another thing, so there would be

multiple angles coming at us.

And I felt and believed that unless we had a

clear plan of attack to be able to address each one

of these issues, we were not going to be as

proactive on Mr. Jackson’s behalf as we needed to

be.

Q. Were there any other goals other than

attacking the current media problem?

A. Yes. My goal was to begin an immediate

rehabilitation on his image.

Q. So how did you plan to go about these goals?

A. Well, I needed to address, first of all, the

negative items that were coming out in the press.

And then once that was taken care of, I wanted to

begin to do the rehabilitation on his image.

Q. So in terms of the nuts and bolts of public

relations, how do you go about doing that?

A. How would I personally go about doing that?

Q. Yes.

A. I would write out a list of questions,

decide how people wanted to respond or to react. I

would look at what was potentially coming up in the

media. Because you have to understand, with the

media, they don’t call you up politely and say,317

“We’re going to write a story about your client, and

we’d love to give you an opportunity to respond and

please tell us your side.” They send you a very

short e-mail or give you a call and say, “Look, this

is what we’re printing about your client, and I’m on

a deadline, so if you don’t get back to me, too

bad.” I mean, that’s pretty much what it was.

And so I believed that we needed to

immediately sit down and assess all of the negative

things that could have come out of this documentary

for Mr. Jackson, and decide how we wanted to respond

so that we didn’t get stuck in a downward spiral of

people printing things because they didn’t get a

response quickly enough.

Q. Did Martin Bashir figure in in any way to

your plan of attack?

A. Yes.

Q. In what way?

A. I wanted to look at the credibility of the

other documentaries that he had done.

In this excerpt, Kite describes how the release of Jordan Chandler’s declaration (and not a deposition, as that media myth was debunked in this post) further exacerbated the problem. She also described how NBC aired an episode of Dateline that mocked Jackson’s plastic surgeries (here is a link to the post on that episode, as well as the NY Times printing a fallacious story about Jackson’s 60 Minutes interview), and how Jackson’s association with Marc Schaffel further tainted his image due to Schaffel’s past history of directing gay pornographic films. (In this post, excerpts are included from a book that describes how Schaffel’s background was brought to Jackson’s attention in late 2001.) 

Q. So I’ll back up a little bit. You’ve said

that there were additional problems that arose in

the media. Did you have to perceive it as your

duties to deal with these problems as a PR

representative for Mr. Jackson?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. So these problems became your problems?

A. Absolutely. I felt it was my position to

address anything that affected Mr. Jackson

negatively.

Q. So what was coming out in the media at this

point?

A. There were documents that were released on a

website, thesmokinggun.com, that, in conjunction

with the Bashir documentary, I felt was just

absolutely beyond a disaster for Mr. Jackson.

Q. Okay. And what did those documents concern?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay;

foundation; 352.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: As reported in the media, 321

is the question.

MR. MESEREAU: Same objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I’ll overrule the objection, but

advise the jury, again, that this area is not being

offered for the truth of the matter asserted; that

whatever she’s going to testify to that appeared on

The Smoking Gun is being offered strictly to show

why she took her next action.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: And I’m not asking you

specifically what was written in those documents.

I’m just asking in general terms, what was that

document about?

A. It addressed another PR issue that Mr.

Jackson had in 1993.

Q. What was that PR issue?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: That’s my question.

MR. MESEREAU: 352; foundation; hearsay; no

personal knowledge.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I believe she has personal

knowledge —

THE COURT: I’ve already ruled on this. The

objection is overruled. Go ahead.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: You may answer the

question.

A. They involved Mr. Jackson having

inappropriate actions with a young boy.

Q. Okay. The ’93 case? 322

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. What else was there? What other

problems, other than the ’93 case, did you — that

came up? You said there were several.

A. Besides the documentary, the things that

were contained in the documentary?

Q. Yes, uh-huh.

A. Well, the media then began to pick up on any

number of things about Mr. Jackson. Pediatricians

were weighing in about the way that he fed his baby

on the documentary. There was just several — they

were attacking him personally from every angle.

Q. Okay. Were there any other news —

purported news programs that were coming?

A. Yes, there were.

Q. What was that?

A. NBC was doing a program about Mr. Jackson’s

purported plastic surgeries.

Q. Just that, or did that include other things?

A. Also included other things.

Q. Okay. Was that actually aired?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. Was that positive or negative for Mr.

Jackson, in general terms?

A. In general, I felt it was very negative.

Q. What about members of the team specifically?

Were there ever any members of the team that became

problems or burdens in terms of the media and Mr.323

Jackson’s image?

A. Yes, there was.

Q. Who?

A. Mr. Schaffel.

Q. Marc Schaffel?

A. Marc Schaffel, yes.

Q. And why was he a problem?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. 352; foundation;

hearsay.

THE COURT: Vague; sustained.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: What was it

specifically that was reported in the media? And

I’m just asking you — well, let me just say

generally, why was Mr. Schaffel a problem in the

media concerning Mr. Jackson?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation;

hearsay; vague; 352.

THE COURT: The objection’s overruled.

THE WITNESS: Mr. Schaffel had a very

negative image and I felt very strongly that that

image might taint Mr. Jackson.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. Who else

had a problem?

A. With Mr. Schaffel?

Q. No. Was there any other member of the team

that presented a problem for Mr. Jackson, I should

say?

A. Not of the team per se. But there were –324

there was someone else that Mr. Jackson’s name was

associated in the press that I felt would be a

problem.

Q. Okay. Who else was that?

A. Mr. Malnik. Al Malnik.

Here is arguably the most important statement that was given by Kite under direct examination; she flatly denies having ever met Jackson! This is critical because the prosecution asserted that Jackson was in charge of the conspiracy to hold the Arvizo family hostage and fly them to Brazil, but Jackson was kept out of the loop of many of the pertinent things that were going on behind the scenes with his inner circle.

Q. Okay. You say you were hired by Mr.

Jackson. Have you ever met Mr. Jackson?

A. No, sir, I have not.

Q. And why did you believe that you were

working for him?

A. Because David LeGrand told me that I was.

And the contract that I signed said “MJJ

Productions” on it.

Kite heavily disagreed with the approach that Jackson’s inner circle was using in the aftermath of the Bashir documentary. They weren’t doing a good job of being proactive enough to fend off the negative press, and as she sat in the studio of Access Hollywood she was told by Mark Geragos that she could not proceed with the positive statement about Jackson that she was scheduled to give on the air. Kite was terminated for no apparent reason on February 15th, 2003:

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you agree with the

team, how the team was handling the PR problem?

A. No, I did not.

Q. Why not?

A. Because I believed that they were leaving

Mr. Jackson exposed in a way that was extremely

negative for him.

Q. How were they leaving him exposed?

A. By not addressing the issues that were being

raised by the press.

Q. Were they being proactive?

A. No, not at all.

Q. When were you terminated as a PR

representative?

A. On the 15th of February.

Q. Were you given an explanation as to why you

were terminated?

A. I received an e-mail, if that’s your

question.

Q. Did they explain why — the reason for your

termination?

A. No. There was no explanation. I can tell

you what the e-mail said.

Q. What did the e-mail say? 356

A. The e-mail said Ronald —

MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. I’ll go back to

the question. Did the e-mail explain — it didn’t

explain the reason for your termination?

A. No, sir. It didn’t.

MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It’s not a statement.

THE COURT: It’s not a statement. It’s an

unstatement. Sustained.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you — were you

ever provided, by anybody, with an explanation —

A. No, sir, I was not.

Q. — as to why you were terminated?

A. No, sir.

Q. At some point did you prepare to make a

statement, while you were still employed, on

television?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. What was the television show?

A. Access Hollywood.

Q. And when was that?

A. When was it scheduled?

Q. Yes.

A. For the 14th of February.

Q. Were you ever told to clear such appearances

before any member of the team? 357

A. Not when the preparations for Access

Hollywood were being made, no.

Q. Did you clear your appearance on Access

Hollywood with any member of the team?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who?

A. I spoke with Mr. Schaffel, I spoke with Mr.

Geragos and I spoke with Mr. Konitzer.

Q. Did you tell them what you were going to

say?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did they agree with you to go ahead?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And did you go to Access Hollywood and

prepare to make that statement?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. I take it this was a pro Jackson statement

on Mr. Jackson’s behalf?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did something unusual happen while you were

on the set?

A. Yes.

Q. What was that?

A. I was pulled off the set by Mr. Geragos.

Q. In what fashion?

A. He called Access Hollywood and told them to

not do the interview with me.

Q. How much time before the expected filming of 358

the set were you pulled off?

A. I was actually miked and sitting on the set

with Pat O’Brien.

Q. Okay. Did that cause you some concern?

A. Yes, it did.

Q. Why?

A. Because I was of the belief that Mr. Jackson

had been barraged by so much negative publicity, and

I wanted to be able to get back into a proactive

cycle for him.

In conclusion of Kite’s direct examination, she describes how she was asked by Geragos to sign a confidentiality agreement, but refused to do so because she felt it would impact her negatively, and in a conversation with LeGrand he said that he was no longer worried about Janet Arizo because they had her on tape and they were going to make her look like a “crack whore”:

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: After you were pulled

off the set of Access Hollywood, did you

subsequently have any conversations with Mr. Geragos

about your employment with Mr. Jackson?

A. I had a conversation with Mr. Geragos, yes.

Q. When did that take place?

A. On the set of Access Hollywood.

Q. So you spoke to him then?

A. Yes, on the phone.

Q. All right. And what was that conversation

about?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Offered in furtherance of

a conspiracy.

THE COURT: I’ll sustain the objection,

because it’s vague, “What was the conversation

about?” It calls for a conclusion of the witness.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I can be more specific.

Did Mr. Geragos make any request of you?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. What was the request?

A. He —

MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Offered in furtherance of

the conspiracy.

THE COURT: Overruled.

THE WITNESS: He asked me to stay in town

overnight and come into his office the next morning 360

and meet with him.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: For what purpose?

A. To sign a private —

MR. MESEREAU: Same objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

THE WITNESS: To sign a private

investigator’s confidentiality agreement.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Are you a private

investigator?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you understand what that would have done

to you if you had signed such an agreement?

A. I had an idea, sir.

MR. MESEREAU: Calls for speculation, Your

Honor.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you have an

understanding as to the effect, the legal effect of

that agreement, if you signed it?

MR. MESEREAU: Foundation; speculation.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Goes to her intent as to

whether she wanted to sign the agreement or not.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I can ask another

foundational question.

THE COURT: All right. Go ahead.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you sign that

agreement?

A. No, sir. 361

Q. Why not?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance;

hearsay; foundation.

THE COURT: Overruled.

You may answer.

THE WITNESS: Because I believed that it

would negatively impact me.

Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Why? In what way?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Speculation;

relevance; foundation; hearsay.

THE COURT: Overruled.

You may answer.

THE WITNESS: I believed it was designed to

shut me up.

Q. After your termination, Ms. Kite, did you

have a conversation with David LeGrand about Janet

Arvizo?

A. Yes, I did.

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; hearsay.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It’s — it’s a yes or no

question. It is not hearsay. And it’s hardly

leading. It’s just an open-ended question, whether

she had a conversation.

THE COURT: Objection is overruled. She did

answer. She said, “Yes, I did.” 363

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right.

Q. When did this conversation take place?

A. Approximately a week to ten days after I was

terminated.

Q. Were you in a room with him? Telephone?

You tell me.

A. We were on the telephone.

Q. And did he convey some information to you

about Janet Arvizo?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. What did he say to you?

MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay;

foundation; relevance.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Offered in furtherance of

the conspiracy.

THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

THE WITNESS: He said that they no longer

had to worry about Janet Arvizo because they had her

on tape and they were going to make her look like a

crank whore.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you, Ms. Kite. No

further questions.

THE COURT: Cross-examine?

MR. MESEREAU: Yes, please, Your Honor.

Jackson’s defense attorney Thomas Mesereau began his cross-examination of Kite, and it started off with a bit of humor from the prosecution!

CROSS-EXAMINATION

BY MR. MESSEREAU:

Q. Good morning.364

A. Good morning.

Q. Ms. Kite, my name is Thomas Mesereau and I

speak for Mr. Jackson.

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’m going to object to

counsel’s preamble concerning who he represents.

THE COURT: Overruled.

(Laughter.)

Mesereau immediately got down to business, and questioned Kite about who exactly was on the “team” that she reported to during her brief stint inside Jackson’s inner circle, whether she ever met Jackson or the Arvizo family, and whether she considered herself an “expert” on Jackson based on her 6 days of employment by his inner circle:

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Ms. Kite, I’d like to

refer you to Exhibit 410, which is a document the

prosecutor showed you, which has names and phone

numbers on it. Do you see that document? I think

it’s labeled as 410 in the book you have.

A. Yes, sir, I do.

Q. And just for the record, that is a document

you referred to while the prosecutor was asking you

questions, correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And it’s a document that appears to have

names and phone numbers on it only, correct?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. And you looked at that document when you

were testifying and you gave the names of people who

were on the team, correct?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. And this was the team that you worked with

for purposes of public relations, right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Does Mr. Jackson’s name appear on that 365

document?

A. No, sir, it does not.

Q. Does Mr. Jackson’s phone number appear on

that document?

A. No, sir, it does not.

Q. And while you were working with this team,

you never met Mr. Jackson, correct?

A. No, sir, I did not.

Q. And you never spoke with Mr. Jackson,

correct?

A. No, I did not, that’s correct.

Q. You never met any of the Arvizos, correct?

A. That’s correct, sir.

Q. And at that time you never spoke to the

Arvizos, correct?

A. No, sir, I did not.

Q. Have you ever been to Neverland?

A. No, sir, I have not.

Q. How long were you employed by this team?

A. From the 9th of February to the 15th of

February.

Q. So you were brought on board on the 9th?

A. Officially, yes.

Q. You were terminated on the 15th?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. So you worked for less than a week?

A. That’s correct, sir.

Q. Now, while you worked on this team for less 366

than a week, did you have other clients?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. How many other clients were you working for

during this six-day period?

A. Just one.

Q. Okay. Who was that?

A. Webcaster Alliance.

Q. And you have represented that client for a

long time; have you not?

A. At that time, no, I had not.

Q. Well, did you have a position with that

client as well?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. What was your position with that client?

A. The president.

Q. Okay. You were president of the Webcaster

Alliance, correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Would you please tell the jury what the

Webcaster Alliance is?

A. The Webcaster Alliance is an organization

that supports Internet-related webcasters, support

services, manufacturers, anything to do with

broadcasting music over the Internet.

Q. And how many people are members of that —

or excuse me, let me rephrase that.

How many people were members of that

alliance at this particular time? 367

A. At that time I don’t remember specifically.

I think it was a little bit over 100, but I’m not

sure.

Q. In the six days that you represented Mr.

Jackson, as you described it, and were president of

this alliance, did you think you became an expert on

Mr. Jackson’s life?

A. Oh, no, sir, I would never profess to be an

expert on anybody’s life.

Q. Please answer my question.

A. No, sir.

Q. During the six days you claim you worked for

this team, did you think you became an expert on Mr.

Jackson’s music?

A. No, sir.

Q. Okay. During the six days that you worked

with this team, and at the same time were president

of the Webcaster Alliance, you didn’t really become

an expert on anything associated with Mr. Jackson,

did you?

A. No, sir.

Next, Mesereau questions Kite about statements she made to the police in March 2004 about Jackson’s inner circle “ripping him off”, which she couldn’t remember saying, but admitted that she told police she was dissatisfied with Jackson’s inner circle:

Q. Okay. Now, you told the Santa Barbara

sheriffs that you were very concerned that these

people were ripping off Mr. Jackson, didn’t you?

A. I don’t remember saying that, sir.

Q. Did you ever tell anything to the Santa

Barbara sheriff that suggested you thought these

people were taking advantage of Mr. Jackson? 368

A. I don’t remember saying anything like that,

sir.

Q. Okay. You met with the Santa Barbara

sheriffs approximately when; do you know?

A. I believe it was in March of 2004.

Q. Okay. It was approximately March 11th,

correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you gave them a lengthy statement, did

you not?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. To your knowledge, was that statement

recorded?

A. Yes, I believe it was.

Q. And were you told that your statement was

going to appear in the form of a police report?

A. I don’t remember, sir.

Q. Have you discussed your statement with

anyone on the prosecution team at any time?

A. The statement in the police report?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes, I did.

Q. And when did you last discuss that with any

member of the prosecution team?

A. I don’t remember. Sometime probably in the

last couple weeks.

Q. Who did you talk to about that?

A. To Gordon, Mr. Auchincloss. 369

Q. Okay. And that’s the prosecutor who just

asked you questions, correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he give you a copy of that police report

to look at?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. Did you read it?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you discuss its contents with Mr.

Auchincloss?

A. I don’t understand your question.

Q. Did you discuss the contents of that police

report with Mr. Auchincloss?

A. I discussed —

Q. Let me rephrase the —

A. Okay.

Q. Maybe I’m being —

A. Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be

stupid.

Q. No, you’re not. Don’t worry.

Mr. Auchincloss gave you a copy of the

police report, correct?

A. Yes, that’s correct.

Q. He asked you to read it, correct?

A. Yes, he did.

Q. And it’s a pretty long report, isn’t it?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. And, in fact, it goes for many pages, 370

correct?

A. Yes, it does.

Q. And it is a narrative summary about what you

told the police, true?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. What you told the sheriffs?

A. Yes, it is. That’s correct.

Q. And it actually — you had an approximately

90-minute conversation with the sheriffs in March

when you were interviewed, true?

A. Yes, somewhere around there. I don’t

remember the time. But it was lengthy.

Q. You told them a lot of things you haven’t

said today, correct?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. You told them a lot of things that you felt

about the way the so-called team was handling Mr.

Jackson —

A. Yes, I did.

Q. — correct?

A. That’s correct.

Mesereau then asks Kite to confirm the members of the team to which she reported to, and he emphasized the fact that Jackson was not in control of this team during this time when the prosecution alleged that Jackson was trying to organize a trip to Brazil for the Arvizo family:

Q. Okay. Okay. Now, when the prosecutor was

asking you questions about the people you were

working with, remember you said you thought Mr.

Jackson was at the top?

A. I don’t remember the prosecutor asking me

anything about if I thought Mr. Jackson was at the

top.

Q. Well, during his questions of you yesterday,

do you remember he sort of tried to emphasize that

Mr. Jackson was at the top of some structure?

A. I don’t remember him bringing Mr. Jackson’s

name up at the top of a structure. I believe he

asked me about the team that I worked with.

Q. Well, at no time when you were interviewed

by the police or the sheriffs did you ever say Mr.

Jackson was on this team, right?

A. No, sir, I did not. 375

Q. Because based upon your experience, Mr.

Jackson wasn’t on this team, correct?

A. That’s correct, sir.

Q. You described the team to the Santa Barbara

sheriffs as composed of the following individuals:

Mr. LeGrand, right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Mark Geragos, right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Stuart Backerman, right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Ronald Konitzer?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And Dieter Weizner, right?

A. Yes, sir.

In this excerpt, Mesereau questions Kite about her qualifications to asses Jackson, considering the fact that she had never met him prior to working for his team, nor did she meet him during her brief employment with his team:

Q. Okay. So before you joined the team to

handle crisis management for Mr. Jackson, you had

done this kind of work for one person you considered

a celebrity for one year, right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you believed that one of your duties was

to help the team put together a plan, correct?

A. Yes, sir, that’s correct.

Q. And it was supposed to be a plan that would

be consistent with your philosophy of being

proactive, right?

A. I don’t understand your question.

Q. Okay. I’ll break it down.

Correct me if I’m wrong, you testified that

you wanted to be proactive?

A. Yes, sir, that’s correct.

Q. With respect to the response to the Bashir

recording, correct?

A. Yes, sir, that’s correct.

Q. And that also was just your general

philosophy when it comes to dealing with crisis for

celebrities, correct?

A. Yes, sir, that’s correct.

Q. Had you been proactive with Mr. Sylver?

A. Yes, sir, I had.

Q. Okay. Did he have a crisis? 388

A. Yes, sir, he did.

Q. And did you feel that you handled the crisis

pretty well?

A. Did I feel that he handled it very well?

Q. That you did.

A. Yes, I felt that I did. I didn’t believe

that he did, but I felt that I did.

Q. Okay. Is there any reason why you only

spent a year with him?

A. Yes, I moved on to other things.

Q. Like what?

A. More Internet broadcasting. I began to get

into more technical aspects of promoting products

and services.

Q. Okay. And out of crisis management?

A. No, never out of it. But just — technology

was very fascinating for me, and so I began to do a

lot of productions from conventions in Las Vegas.

Consumer electronic show, the National Association

of Broadcasting. Those types of things. Comdex.

Q. But your proactive philosophy meant what?

A. Did you say “meant what”?

Q. Yes, please.

A. The proactive philosophy meant that I

would — in terms of taking care of a client, is

that what you’re asking me?

Q. Yes.

A. That I would assess their assets and 389

vulnerabilities and map out a plan for them to be

able to address any issues that might come up in the

future and to be able to promote themselves in the

manner that they aspire to.

Q. Now, with all due respect, how do you assess

the assets and vulnerabilities of Mr. Jackson if

you’ve never met him?

A. Mr. Mesereau, there are millions of people

in the world that have never met Mr. Jackson and

judge him based on what they read in the media.

I believe, for myself, as someone who

handles public relations – and I’m not going to term

myself as an expert in deference to you – what those

people read in the media directly reflects to them

who Mr. Jackson is. They have never met him either.

So what better way to try to connect with the

public’s thinking than to read what’s printed in the

media about him and try to counteract it to his

benefit?

Kite goes on to say that she had not met face to face with anyone on Jackson’s team, except LeGrand:

Q. Did you have face-to-face conversations with

the various team members?

A. With Mr. LeGrand.

Q. Anyone else?

A. No. Not that I remember.

Q. Have you ever personally met Mr. Schaffel?

A. No, sir, I have not. 393

Q. Have you ever personally met Mr. Konitzer?

A. No, sir, I have not.

Q. Never personally met Mr. Geragos?

A. No, sir, I have not.

Q. Never personally met any of the British

lawyers?

A. No, sir, I did not.

Q. Ever personally met Mr. Backerman?

A. No, sir, I did not.

Q. So one member of the team only you had

face-to-face conversations with, right?

A. Yes, sir, because Mr. LeGrand was in Las

Vegas.

Q. Okay. That’s where you were?

A. Yes, sir.

Here is some very disturbing information about one of Jackson’s handlers: Kite describes how she told sheriff’s investigators that Ronald Konitzer had obtained a Power of Attorney privilege from Jackson, and used it to embezzle $980,000 dollars!

Q. Okay. Now, you told the Santa Barbara

sheriffs that you knew that Konitzer had obtained a

power of attorney over Michael Jackson, true?

A. Yes, sir, that’s correct.

Q. How did you know that Konitzer had obtained

a power of attorney on behalf of Michael Jackson?

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Hearsay,

unless this witness has personal knowledge.

MR. MESEREAU: I asked how she learned, Your

Honor. State of mind.

THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

You may answer the question. Do you want it

read back?

THE WITNESS: No.

Mr. LeGrand told me. 416

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. And approximately

when did he tell you that Konitzer had gotten a

power of attorney over Michael Jackson?

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Same objection.

THE COURT: Overruled.

THE WITNESS: Are you asking me when he

actually physically signed the power of attorney or

when Mr. LeGrand told me that it was going to be

signed?

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: I’m asking you when you

learned that Konitzer was going to have a power of

attorney over Michael Jackson.

A. At the end of January.

Q. Okay. When you first heard about it, was it

your understanding that it had already been signed

or was it about to be signed?

A. It was about to be signed.

Q. Okay. And do you remember why — excuse me.

Let me rephrase.

In what context did Mr. LeGrand discuss that

with you, if you know? Why did it come up?

A. David had been telling me for a while that

he was preparing to take on a new client, that he

had been working on it for a number of months. I

think it was probably close to a year. And he was

excited about it. He never told me who the client

was until he told me about the power of attorney and

who the client was. 417

Q. And was it your understanding that David

LeGrand prepared that power of attorney?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. Okay. Did you ever learn that David LeGrand

had commenced an investigation of Schaffel,

Konitzer, Dieter, Geragos, Malnik?

A. I asked Mr. LeGrand to start an

investigation.

Q. And you did that because you thought they

were stealing from Michael Jackson, correct?

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; argumentative.

THE COURT: Overruled.

THE WITNESS: No, sir. I did that because I

couldn’t understand why they would allow Mr.

Jackson’s reputation to fall into total ruin in the

press.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Well, didn’t you tell the

police that you had learned that Konitzer used the

power of attorney to embezzle $980,000 from Michael

Jackson?

A. I told —

MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Hearsay;

multiple hearsay.

THE COURT: Overruled.

You may answer.

THE WITNESS: I told the police that Mr.

LeGrand told me that.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Well, correct me if I’m 418

wrong, didn’t you say to the Santa Barbara sheriffs

Konitzer had power of attorney and he embezzled

$980,000 from Michael Jackson?

A. Yes, sir, that was my statement. But

your’re phrasing it in a way that I didn’t say it.

I did say that he did have power of attorney, and he

embezzled $980,000, but that was told to me by Mr.

LeGrand. I had no personal knowledge of Mr.

Konitzer take the money from Mr. Jackson.

Q. So your source was strictly David LeGrand,

right?

A. Yes, sir, that’s correct.

Q. Do you know approximately when he told you

that Konitzer had used that power of attorney to

embezzle $980,000 from Mr. Jackson?

A. It was somewhere in the beginning of March.

But I don’t remember the exact date.

Q. So that was after you were terminated,

right?

A. Yes, sir, that’s correct. 

To further highlight the mass confusion that took place in the aftermath of the documentary, Kite describes how she told investigators that she was considering what to do if Janet Arvizo sold her story to a British tabloid because nobody on the team would discuss their crisis plan with her due to their own agendas:

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: As part of your work

during those six days, you had to consider what to

do if Ms. Arvizo sold a story to a British tabloid,

right?

A. At that — are you asking me at that point,

or are you asking me before that?

Q. I’m not talking about any point. I’m asking

you if you told the Santa Barbara sheriffs that you

were considering what to do if Janet Arvizo sold her

story to a British tabloid.

A. I don’t remember that.

Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I show

you the report?

A. Absolutely, sure.

MR. MESEREAU: May I show her the report?

THE COURT: You may.

THE WITNESS: That’s what I said.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Have you had a chance to

look at your report?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Does it refresh your recollection about that

issue?

A. Yes, it does.

Q. Okay. In the course of your duties during

those six days, did you take into consideration what

to do if and when Janet Arvizo sold her story to a

British tabloid?

A. I didn’t know what story Miss Arvizo could

sell to a British tabloid.

Q. Did you ever, during those six days, as part

of your work, discuss the possibility of Ms. Arvizo

selling a story to a British tabloid with any member

of the team?

A. No, because no one would go over the crisis

plan with me. I couldn’t discuss anything with

anyone because they all had different agendas.

Q. So you never discussed it with Schaffel,

correct?

A. I never discussed what the team would do if

Miss Arvizo sold a story to the British tabloids,

no.

Here is some more detailed information about the aborted interview with Access Hollywood, and Kite’s assessment of the performance of Jackson’s handlers during her brief stint as an employee of theirs:

Q. Now, when you arrived in Los Angeles to go

on Access Hollywood, did you talk to any member of

the team on the phone after you arrived?

A. Yes, I did. 430

Q. Who did you talk to?

A. David LeGrand.

Q. Did you ever talk to Konitzer that day?

A. Not that day, I don’t believe so, but I

don’t remember, sir.

Q. Okay. Who told you to appear on that show?

A. Well, initially the decision came from Marc

Schaffel. And then I spoke — Access Hollywood sent

the questions to me. I forwarded them to Mr.

Geragos. We went through them together and created

the replies. And then I spent about an hour and a

half or so on the phone on Thursday, the 13th, with

Mr. Konitzer going over everything for it. So there

were — and then, of course, Mr. LeGrand was aware

— actually, I believe I was in his office on the

11th when I talked to Access Hollywood to initially

set something — to do something up with them, so —

Q. But you’ve told the police that you thought

Geragos didn’t want anybody to do public relations

work for Michael Jackson, correct?

A. I don’t remember saying that specifically.

I mean, I don’t — no, I don’t remember saying that

specifically, that Geragos didn’t want anybody to do

public relations work for Michael Jackson.

Q. Didn’t you tell the Santa Barbara sheriffs

in that interview that you had a theory as to why

you were pulled off the Access Hollywood show,

right? 431

A. Yes, I did.

Q. You told them that you were told by Geragos

that you were pulled off the interview because he

did not want anyone to do PR work for Michael

Jackson, right?

A. When I was on the phone with Mr. Geragos

when I was on the set of Access Hollywood, that was

one of the things that he told me at that time. He

didn’t say anyone ever, he just said for that day.

He wanted me to stay around, to stick in town, he

wanted to talk to me. He wanted me to come in the

next day, sign a private investigator’s agreement,

and then he would — he would fill me in on the

rest, is exactly what he said to me.

Q. Again, let me just rephrase the question.

You told the police you were told by Geragos that

you were pulled off the interview because he did not

want anyone to do PR work for Michael Jackson,

right?

A. Well, as you said, that’s a summary of my

tapes —

Q. Okay.

A. — and I don’t remember saying those words

exactly.

Q. Didn’t you tell the police that this made no

sense to you?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. It made no sense that Geragos would not want 432

you on the show for that reason; is that correct?

A. It made no sense that no one on the team

would try to do anything publicly to refute the

absolutely horrible things that were coming out

about Mr. Jackson.

Q. Okay. And you told the police you thought

Michael Jackson was being slammed by this team,

correct?

A. Yes, I believe I did.

Q. The word you used was “slammed,” right?

A. I believe so, yes.

Q. You thought they were not doing their job to

help Michael Jackson, right?

A. Well, they were there longer than my six

days, so maybe I was wrong.

Q. I’m not asking maybe. But, basically, your

opinion at that point was that this team is not out

to protect or help Michael Jackson?

A. That was absolutely my opinion, yes.

Q. You told the police that Access Hollywood

had a fax from Mr. Geragos saying, “Don’t interview

Gabriel,” right?

A. That’s correct, yes, sir.

Q. Did you actually see the fax?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

In part 2, Kite will finish her cross-examination, and Det. Albert Lafferty will begin his direct examination. Open this link to go to the next post in this series: https://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/march-2nd-2005-anne-kite-direct-cross-examination-and-albert-lafferty-direct-examination-part-2-of-2/

4 Comments leave one →
  1. nannorris permalink
    May 17, 2012 4:51 am

    There is an unsettling thing about someone working for a year to get in with MJ, and he hires this woman , who i believe he had a personal relationship wit, as part of this gigantic star team when she has basically little to none experience….
    So fishy..
    I dont know if Geragos had her yanked off Access Hollywood because he saw her credentials and didnt want her to be the spoksperson for MJ ..Maybe he wanted to make sure he had the Arviso family on tape to deny the garbage that Bashir put out., which was the smart thing to do..
    I wonder why MJ lawyers or private detective Pellicano didnt think to get Jordan Chandler on tape when he denied abuse to them..
    It would seem that Mark Schaffell was busy figuring out how he could cash in on a rebuttal documentary.
    You look at what she told the police about the people around MJ and it is astounding that they went and charged MJ with running a conspiracy when she told them people were embezzling from him..

    Like

  2. May 17, 2012 12:34 am

    @sanemjfan–That’s interesting. I don’t remember anything about this part of the trial. If it was in Aphrodite Jones’ book, I must have spaced it. Thanks for reminding me. It’s important information for any serious MJ scholar to have.

    Like

  3. aldebaran permalink
    May 16, 2012 6:51 am

    So the client that Le Grande was working on getting for a year was Konitzer? or who? I am confused about this–he drew up the POA but he also says K. took almost 1 million from MJ?

    Like

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

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