MICHAEL JACKSON’S 1993 CASE: Jordan Chandler’s declaration, Blanca Francia’s deposition and Tom Sneddon’s leaks to the press
This post is a review of some details around Jordan Chandler’s declaration about Michael Jackson made in 1993.
For those who don’t remember the most basic facts of that case let me remind them that the paper was part of the civil lawsuit against Michael Jackson which was running parallel to a criminal investigation.
The criminal investigation was carried out by four law enforcement bodies including the District Attorneys (Tom Sneddon and Gil Garcetti) and the Sheriff departments of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.
Their 12 months investigation (August 1993-Sept.1994) ended in nothing as the two Grand Juries of both counties looked into all the evidence gathered by the prosecution but did not find anything to indict Jackson for.
The other bodies involved in the investigation were the Departments of Family and Children Services and the FBI. As a result of all this scrutiny in the Jordan Chandler 1993 case no criminal charges were ever brought against Michael Jackson.
Jordan’s declaration was a big lie
Jordan made a declaration to his civil lawyer Larry Feldman on December 28, 1993. And though the paper is nothing but a statement not corroborated by any evidence it is still raised as a banner by anti-Michael troops each time Michael’s supporters provide proof that Jordan Chandler lied. The line of reasoning of Michael’s detractors is that the boy said it and this alone is regarded by them as reason enough to believe his lies.
However the specifics of slander is that anyone can say anything about anyone at all, especially when big money is at stake, so the words themselves are meaningless unless they are backed up by something more substantial – for example the evidence proving that the words are true.
Sane people all over the world have long been aware of the fact that the story told by Jordan Chandler was a big lie as MJ was scrutinized so ruthlessly that the police even photographed his private parts and still never arrested him. However even this fact pointing to Michael’s innocence is not good enough for his detractors. They keep claiming that the boy received money in a settlement of a civil lawsuit and then refused to testify against MJ, and this was the reason why the criminal investigation was not brought to its logical end.
So initially the idea of the present post was to find out whether the prosecution was indeed that helpless in investigating the Jordan Chandler case if the boy refused to testify. However while writing the post some other facts worked their way into the general picture and what you will see here is the result of bringing together some important details around Jordan Chandler’s declaration.
First let me remind everyone that Jordan Chandler’s declaration was just a statement similar to the one you make in case you’ve seen or heard of an accident in the street. Even if you make it under oath it still remains what it is – a piece of paper with your version of the story, put down by someone in the lawyer’s office and then offered to you to sign.
Much in what you tell in your story depends on your memory and truthfulness. You may be simply wrong in your description, you may fantasize to make yourself look more important than you are and you may even maliciously lie in order to derive some benefit from drowning another person in the mud. Many people do not even have to answer for their lies because it is difficult to tell whether they are simply wrong or are involved in deliberate perjury.
In my opinion Jordan Chandler told a deliberate lie. After analyzing the signatures of Jordan and his parents I came to the conclusion that the signature under the declaration belonged to Jordan, though it doesn’t look like the signature of a 13 year old boy and speaks to a very willful, grown-up and determined character.
The signatures his parents put under the retainer agreement of Larry Feldman are totally different, so this leaves us with the only option that the person who signed that paper as “J. Chandler” was actually Jordan. Of course we cannot rule out that he signed the paper without looking at the text of it, but let us not find any excuses for the boy who probably knew what he was doing.
Why he put his signature under a totally false statement is another question but since none of us want to have any illusions here I think it would be correct to assume that Jordan Chandler did sign that paper, and consequently became part of his father’s scheme against Jackson – at least by the end of 1993.
The details of that statement do raise one’s eyebrows and make you wonder – the name is never cited in full but is spelt as “J.Chandler” only, there is no lawyer’s signature or accompanying document to verify the fact that the lawyer was present during the process and there is no confirmation from anyone at all that they witnessed J.Chandler to be the Jordan Chandler we are talking of and that it was him who signed the paper. Yes, there are a lot of questions around that paper but let us give its creators all the benefit of the doubt and assume that the statement is authentic and made in accordance with proper rules.
Jordan’s declaration was no deposition
However no matter how hard we look at this paper nothing will turn it into a deposition which it is not (though it is often called that way). No, it is categorically no deposition and its value as a legal document is absolutely no comparable to that of a deposition. Two years ago I made a special post about Jordan’s declaration being no deposition, so please feel free to get familiar with it here: https://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/did-jordan-chandler-make-a-deposition/
The very short of that post is that a deposition is a testimony recorded by a court reporter and made in the presence of a lawyer from the other side who has the right to ask questions. It is so serious a document that may be occasionally used to replace the absent witness’s testimony if it is made in the required form of a court reporter’s transcript or video recording.
But Jordan Chandler’s declaration is different. It is just a statement that can be made almost by any passer-by who thinks he heard or saw something important for the case. Never mind if he makes a mistake – all of us are human and are prone to making mistakes. And even if the witness tells deliberate lies but is below the age of 14 (as Jordan Chandler was) the story-teller will never answer for slandering the other side as children under that age are not legally responsible for perjury.
This small detail is in fact crucial for understanding why it was so terribly necessary for Larry Feldman to record the boy’s story on the eve of the New Year of 1994. The problem is that only two weeks later – on January 11, 1994 – the boy was turning fourteen, so making a statement after the birthday was not safe any more, and no one in the flimsy Chandler’s case wanted to take any more risks than they had.
Here is a quote from Lisa Campbell’s book “King of Pop’s Darkest Hour”, 1994)
Beginning January 11, Michael Jackson’s accuser would no longer be referred to by the media as “the thirteen year old boy”. Jordy Chandler turned fourteen.
Another point to remember about Jordan Chandler’s declaration is that it emerged in very dramatic circumstances, which look extraordinary even on the background of all the other madness that was taking place around Michael Jackson at the time.
The declaration was made almost immediately after Michael Jackson’s humiliating strip search (arranged on December 21, 1993) to which MJ agreed to prove his innocence. As a result of the strip search and taking photos of Michael’s genitalia no match was found between MJ’s intimate parts and the boy’s idea of them, and this is the reason why MJ was never arrested.
The fact that there was no match was mentioned (somewhat in passing) by Reuters and the USA Today in a single line the next day after the settlement, which was surely not enough for a sensation like that. However for serious people even this single line is not needed – the mere fact that Michael Jackson was not arrested after comparing the photos with the boy’s description is proof enough that there was absolutely no match.
Intimate strip searches are no fun and require a special search warrant which Tom Sneddon obtained by some miracle. If the photos had coincided with the description of the boy MJ would have been arrested then and there (actually Tom Sneddon attended the procedure for that very purpose). But if the photos did not match it was logical to immediately end the case as the discrepancy effectively showed that the boy was telling lies.
However in the case of Michael Jackson the criminal investigation lasted for another tedious half a year as now the prosecution was interested in how come his private parts turned to be so different from what the boy fantasized about them. Checking up the medical records ensued, subpoenas to Michael’s mother about circumcision or non-circumcision issues followed and questions whether MJ could grow foreskin on his genitalia while he stayed in Europe for a month were researched.
In short a lot of nonsense took place instead of a quiet admission of the fact that the boy turned out to be a gifted narrator of science fiction stories.
However photographing Michael Jackson naked had a somewhat cooling effect on Jordan’s declaration. The text carefully avoided any description of the subject so that it would not accidentally betray the fact that the boy was lying. It also didn’t mention the boy ‘masturbating’ the other side. Had this process really taken place the boy would have surely seen that Michael Jackson was not circumcised and wasn’t dark in that part of the body (they boy said he had “light splotches the color of his face”) but was actually white there and had some dark spot as the photos showed it.
No, the declaration was vague, lacking dates and was just telling a story, devoid of any details that could be checked and verified in order to establish the real truth.
Making that story more than three months after the lawsuit was filed was of course a totally unnecessary thing to do, as a similar and more detailed account was contained in the text of the lawsuit itself. The only real reason for a new declaration was the need to reach a new victory in the tug-of-war initiated by Larry Feldman against Jackson and to finally win a war in the court of public opinion. Jordan’s declaration was a sort of a retaliatory blow to reverse the tide in the public opinion which began to turn in Michael’s favor after he submitted himself to a strip search, was not arrested after it, publicly spoke of his innocence over satellite TV and said that he hoped that the authorities would find the truth.
This could absolutely not be tolerated by the accuser’s side, hence they hurried to make a declaration and refresh in people’s mind the allegations against Jackson in all their naked horror. The pretext for it was a motion filed by Jordan’s lawyer to obtain Michael Jackson’s detailed financial records.
What one has to do with the other and why a much more detailed text of the lawsuit could not suffice to back that motion is totally beyond my understanding. The same amazement was expressed by Jackson’s lawyers who called the declaration a publicity move meant to bias the public and especially the potential jury.
In her book of 1994 “King of Pop’s Darkest Hour” Lisa Campbell wrote about it:
“Following Michael’s live statement and the resulting dramatic swing of public opinion in his favor, Feldman had to somehow even the score. A statement taken from the boy on December 28 was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on January 10 which detailed, again, the specific acts which the boy said he and Michael engaged in.
Howard Weitzman explained the new court document, which contained nothing that hadn’t already been detailed in August, was simply a counter punch by Feldman following Michael’s very public statement. He very much needed to keep the allegations in the mind of the public, and especially potential jurors, “Because it’s clearly this kid’s story against Jackson’s story. So the motion was really filed to generate more publicity to get out there these allegations to attempt to make Michael look bad so you’ll ask me the type of questions you’re asking me, and to generate amongst potential jurors a negative image of Michael. That’s what that motion was all about.”
The statement was filed by Feldman as part of a request for Michael’s detailed financial records. He figured he would need such information in assessing a proper amount of damages should he actually win the case. One more in a long line of indications that Chandler was very interested in money from the case and nothing more”.
If we look back at the year 1993 from what we know about the case in 2012 now, we will realize that it would be wrong to say that it was the word of Michael Jackson against the word of Jordan Chandler. These days we have the evidence that the word of Jordan Chandler was a word of lie against Jackson and that it was none other but his own lawyer Larry Feldman who actually provided us with the proof of this lie.
Forget for a moment the mantra repeated by MJ’s haters about the so-called “match” between the photos and the description. This nonsense was based on Tom Sneddon’s lies fed to the media and freely spread by it for decades to bias the public against Jackson. Use your brains instead and look at the fact which is by now very well known to Michael’s supporters.
On January 5, 1994 the Los Angeles Times informed its readers that Larry Feldman approached the court with a motion concerning the photos made by the police. The motion suggested an incredible alternative –
– either the police provided the copies of the genitalia photos to the boy (so that he finally learned what the genitals were like and corrected his story accordingly) and Michael Jackson submitted himself to a second search after that (!)
– or… the Chandlers’ lawyer insisted that the court barred the photos from the civil trial as evidence (!)
So this was the degree of the boy’s confidence in his own description (and story itself)? The near ultimatum we’ve just seen shows that their confidence in their own words was so low or even zero that the boy and his lawyer demanded to bar the photos altogether from the civil trial! They didn’t even know what the photos showed but they nevertheless didn’t want them!
What is the best word to describe this situation? I would call it a totally panicky state following a discovery that a well thought-out story based on nasty fantasies about Jackson was collapsing right in front of their eyes. So panicky that the lawyer openly demanded to bar the main evidence that proved the boy’s lies. Such a panic could arise only if the lawyer received a hint from the police that the boy’s story about what he had allegedly seen was a complete lie.
The proof of Larry Feldman’s panic over the photos was discovered by our Lynette in an article published by the Los Angeles Times on January 5, 1994. Larry Feldman speaks at length there about Michael Jackson’s fictional “guilt” but the very idea of his motion explicitly tells us that the sole purpose of all this vagueness is to cover up for the panic he feels over the discrepancies found:
Boy’s Lawyer Seeks Photos of Michael Jackson’s Body
Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF
January 05, 1994
The attorney representing a 13-year-old boy who claims he was molested by Michael Jackson filed court documents Tuesday in an effort to obtain photographs of the entertainer’s body.
Last month, Jackson submitted to a body search by investigators seeking evidence to corroborate the boy’s claims.
“We think that the fact that my client can establish what Mr. Jackson looks like naked is very substantial evidence of Mr. Jackson’s guilt,” said Larry Feldman, the boy’s attorney.
Feldman said he filed a motion in court that is a “multiple choice” request: Jackson may provide copies of the police photographs, submit to a second search, or the court may bar the photographs from the civil trial as evidence.
Feldman said he has asked Jackson’s attorneys and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for copies, but they refused.
This request alone explains why Jordan’s declaration, surely accessible to the Grand Juries in 1993, did not make any impression on them and why there was never any indictment and no criminal charges brought against Jackson. Why pay attention to the lies told in the declaration if there was nothing to prove his lies? Or to be more precise, why pay attention to the declaration if foolproof evidence was found that actually disproved those lies?
The Declaration struck again in 2003
However the people who had Jordan’s statement on their hands decided that if they couldn’t use the statement in court they could find a way to put it to an even better use. In court the declaration can be disproved and even considered perjury while if it is leaked to the press it will become a heavy propaganda tool against Jackson which will be very difficult to refute. This is why and how the paper concocted with the sole reason to slander Michael in 1993 was used for the same purpose ten years later – in 2003 when the public remembered very little about the details of the Chandler’s fictional story.
By then the media the public had been brainwashed long enough to finally think that the settlement was made due to the photos allegedly “corroborating the description” while it reality the settlement was made in spite of the photos proving Michael Jackson’s innocence.
The only thing the photos corroborated was that Michael Jackson was telling the truth and that he settled with the boy only because he wanted to scramble together the remaining shreds of his health, life and reputation, and because he could no longer tolerate the pain of his half-a-year crucifixion arranged for him by greedy accusers, a revengeful Prosecutor, the nasty media and ignorant public.
However someone wanted to turn the pain of 1993 into a life-long torture for Michael Jackson and disclosed Jordan Chandler’s declaration immediately after Bashir’s documentary aired on TV in February 2003. This somebody leaked the declaration to the media the very same day the film was broadcast in the US (February 6, 2003).
Out of the four parties who had access to this highly confidential (and sealed) document Tom Sneddon looks to me as the most possible offender.
Michael Jackson can be crossed out from the list of suspects for obvious reasons, the Chandlers would also refrain from leaking it for fear of losing the settlement money, and the third party, Larry Feldman vehemently denied any leakages from his office in a conversation with Roger Friedman:
- On Monday I spoke to Larry Feldman, the lawyer who represented the boy’s family and cut the $20 million deal with Jackson. Feldman’s name is on the court papers, but he is adamant that he had nothing to do with their release. “You can say that categorically we did not release the complaint,” he said.
According to another report Larry Feldman hinted at Tom Sneddon as the only party who could disclose that slanderous document (or at least this is the way I understood his words). Judging by Tom Sneddon’s behavior he could indeed take his revenge on Michael Jackson by leaking that paper after the humiliating defeat he sustained from Michael even despite investigating him for a whole year in 1993/94.
Knowing the insane methods of the “mad dog”, as Tom Sneddon was called by his colleagues, we cannot rule out that by disclosing Jordan’s declaration Tom Sneddon hoped to create a favorable climate of public hate for further prosecution of Michael Jackson, plant some crazy ideas into the minds of the Arvizo family and probably even suggest a text which a prospective accuser could use as a pattern for his future accusations. Considering that Sneddon went as far as leave his visiting card under Janet Arivizo’s door at a time when she wasn’t making any accusations it wouldn’t be a big stretch of imagination to think that Sneddon was sort of encouraging the Arvizos to come up with a convenient story helping him to reopen the case against Michael Jackson.
Incidentally if you haven’t yet signed a petition in support of William Wagener’s initiative to have Tom Sneddon’s investigated by the authorities, this is the right time to do it (please go the site mentioned on the right).
If you have done your duty towards justice for Michael Jackson you can now proceed to an article where Larry Feldman hints at Tom Sneddon as the source of leaking Jordan Chandler’s declaration as well as the settlement agreement which was also leaked, only several months later.
Please note that Roger Friedman calls Jordan’s declaration a sealed document.
June 18, 2004
Friedman On Leaked Documents
Roger Friedman’s column on June 16, 2004 comments on the recent leak of documents by Court TV which are said to feature details on a 1994 settlement:
[…] Meanwhile, the Jackson camp is scrambling this morning in the light of the unauthorized release, to Court TV’s intrepid Diane Dimond, of the settlement agreement between Jackson and his pre-teen accuser from a decade ago.
The papers are not a complete surprise. They say that Jackson paid the child $15 million to be put in a trust, with another $1.5 million for each of his parents. All of this was put on a payment plan.
But the really interesting part of the agreement is a $5 million payment to the family’s attorney, Larry Feldman.
The very same Feldman who, a decade later, represents the family of Jackson’s current accuser and stands to profit again if Jackson is found guilty — kind of a cottage industry for one attorney.
The “release” of the settlement agreement is a scoop for Dimond, but it does raise the question of where the papers came from. They were sealed by the court, and, I am told, destroyed by some of the lawyers in the case so they could never be fingered as sources.
Certainly the family of the accuser from 10 years ago didn’t want the papers to come out. You don’t have to be Columbo to figure out that leaves Feldman and prosecutor Tom Sneddon as prime suspects.
Interestingly, in February 2003, literally right after the special “Living with Michael Jackson” aired on ABC, the highly salacious complaint against Jackson from the 1993 case, which had also been sealed, surfaced.
The papers had a court stamp and were drawn up on Feldman’s letterhead, something I asked him about at the time. He insisted they did not come from him, but said the guilty party was close at hand and that “just a little connecting of the dots” was needed to get a name.
Now that sealed documents have twice surfaced and wound up in the same place — Court TV/The Smoking Gun Web site — maybe it’s time to think about who had access to them and how they could possibly have gotten out.
Source: FoxNews; Fox411 Roger Friedman by special permission / MJFC
So February 6th 2003 was when Jordan’s declaration really hit the public and this is when it really did the damage it failed to do in 1993. At the time the declaration was initially made very few people – or none at all – had a chance to read it as the document was sealed, and when Michael was not indicted by the Grand juries the people lost interest in this statement.
But ten years later the long-forgotten declaration delivered Michael a fatal blow – despite its absolute falsity it was leaked right after Bashir’s terrible innuendoes and was the final straw that turned the public against Jackson. It also gave ideas to the Arvizos (the Arvizos boys admitted during their 2005 testimony that they knew of the first accuser) and most probably prejudiced the Grand jury as they finally indicted Michael on totally ridiculous charges in the bogus Arvizo case.
To see what a bombshell effect Jordan’s declaration produced in the year 2003 here is a sample of how the media reacted to it at the time. Together with Bashir’s film it created a total hysteria that made the public demand that Michael’s three children be taken away from him:
Boy’s bombshell: Michael Jackson had sex with me
13-year-old’s court declaration describes romps with pop star
Published: 02/07/2003 at 10:20 PM
The bombshell court declaration of a 13-year-old whose family was paid multi-millions by pop star Michael Jackson over allegations of child sexual abuse has finally seen the light of day, revealing in graphic detail the sexual relationship the two shared, reports The Smoking Gun.
The four-page document signed by “J. Chandler” under penalty of perjury, posted on the Court TV affiliate’s website, is purportedly the September 1993 statement given by teen-ager Jory Chandler, which was the basis of his family’s claim against Jackson for sexual battery, willful misconduct and emotional distress. Following the settlement, the family dropped the charges.
The Smoking Gun claims all the exclusive documents it posts are “100 percent authentic.”
WorldNetDaily contacted the Santa Monica, Calif., law firm whose name is stamped along the side of the document to verify its authenticity. The firm confirmed it handled the Chandler case. The secretary of the attorney involved with Chandler’s court declaration said the firm had not verified “word-for-word” that what was posted on the Internet was the real declaration.
If authentic, the document undermines the singer’s latest attempt to rehabilitate his troubled reputation, although the attempt itself has largely backfired.
As WorldNetDaily reported Tuesday, the British documentary “Living With Michael Jackson” had its debut in London and the U.S. this week. It aired on ABC’s 20/20 last night.
Tom Sneddon, the district attorney in charge of the Chandler investigation, is paying close attention to the new allegations of Jackson “sleeping with boys,” a spokesman told the London Times.
Meanwhile, Santa BarbaraCounty officials are reportedly considering launching an investigation into Jackson’s fitness to be a parent. He has three children. In November Jackson caused gasps around the world when he dangled his baby son, Prince Michael II, over the balcony of a Berlin hotel, appearing briefly to lose control.
Following the broadcast on Makers Granada Television in England, Jackson released an angry statement calling the program “terrible and unfair” and saying he felt “betrayed.”
“Everyone who knows me will know the truth which is that my children come first in my life and that I would never harm any child,” said the statement.”
However let us return into the year 1994 and see what effect Jordan’s declaration produced at the time.
The depositions presented by Larry Feldman had “half-truths and “untruths”
The effect produced in January 1994 was equally bad as Feldman chose the eve of Jordan Chandler’s birthday, January 11 for filing his motion and the whole event turned into a big publicity stunt. Though all Larry Feldman had from Jordan Chandler was a mere statement which repeated his words said three months before that, the motion created a lot of public noise.
There was so much fuss over the various depositions accompanying the motion that the general public thought that one of the depositions was that of Jordan Chandler (though he was never deposed) and that Larry Feldman deposed all the Chandlers (though he never did). The public belief that Feldman had deposed Jordan was so big that every other media person referred to Jordan’s declaration as a deposition though no such thing ever existed.
We were also under the same illusion and it was only from some other articles of the period that we accidentally learned that none of the Chandlers were ever deposed – it sounds incredible, but almost everyone was deposed except the main accusers!
On January 10, 1994 Feldman did a very cunning thing. He submitted the depositions of other people – a driver, a secretary, a maid, etc. plus a declaration from Chandler which had nothing new in it – in order to create the impression that the boy had been deposed too, was not afraid to cross-examination and probably even disclosed some new sensational details there.
Let me also note that besides the Chandlers’ missing depositions there was actually one more person whose total absence from the case was almost screaming of something being really wrong there.
This person was June Chandler’s maid who was actually the first person to approach as she was a live-in maid who lived in June Chandler’s house exactly at the time when Michael Jackson supposedly visited her, her son and her daughter on “30 occasions”.
However not a single word was ever said about this witness and never did she make her appearance either in 1993 or 2005 or any time at all. I wish we could see this honorable woman one day in order to learn the real truth of the matter about the Chandler case.
As to the Chandlers the surprising fact that the Chandlers were never deposed was confirmed by Johnnie Cochran, Michael Jackson’s defense attorney.
Michael’s first lawyer Bert Fields hoped very much to cross-examine Jordan Chandler during his deposition – only he did not have an opportunity to do so as he made one unfortunate blunder during a press-conference and was fired by his partner Howard Weitzman. The lawyer was replaced by Johnnie Cochran who immediately started negotiations with Larry Feldman for a settlement (now we know that Johnnie Cochran was friends with Larry Feldman and advised Michael Jackson to take a highly questionable decision which Michael Jackson later regretted very much indeed).
Whatever the reason for it was, none of the Chandlers were ever deposed and therefore Michael’s defense was never given a chance to subject Jordan Chandler, his mother and father to a heavy crossfire of questions.
In her book Lisa Campbell says about it:
- “Colleagues said Fields was against negotiating a settlement because it would be seen as in indication of guilt. He also wanted the opportunity to cross-examine the boy. Johnnie Cochran, seen as being shrewder about limiting the amount of damage done, did not oppose a settlement. As soon as Cochran took over for Fields, he began negotiating the settlement. Legal experts speculated that had Cochran been representing Michael Jackson at the beginning, it wouldn’t have gotten so out of control. “
- “In a taped interview, Johnnie Cochran stated there was never a deposition taken from the boy. Cochran stated further that in her deposition for the civil case, the maid stated she never did see Michael Jackson in the shower with anybody, and she never saw Michael Jackson molest anybody.’
The above piece is very valuable to us as besides confirming the fact that Jordan Chandler was never deposed we also find out that Johnnie Cochran himself said that the initial deposition of Blanca Francia did not contain the allegation that she saw Michael Jackson in a shower with a boy. This allegation appeared 13 years later, when she was giving her testimony at the 2005 trial.
Blanca Francia did not speak of MJ “showering with a boy” in her 1993 deposition
Indeed, in the deposition of the maid made in 1993/94 there was no such statement. Instead there was a statement that she never saw Michael Jackson in the shower with anybody at all.
Why did I emphasize that fact that Johnnie Cochran himself said that this allegation was missing in Blanca Francia’s initial deposition? The answer is because Johnnie Cochran was present at that two-day deposition as a lawyer from the other side and even asked Blanca questions. This top important evidence from Johnnie Cochran about Blanca should be remembered by us by all means.
The misinformation about the shower could very well come from Francia’s interview with Diane Dimond for her Hard Copy TV program and nasty reports following it. Though we have no transcript of that interview we can very well assume that the lie about a shower was generated by Dimond in her notorious program.
The Hard Copy interview preceded the deposition and if the “shower theory” was launched in that program questions about the shower should have been asked at the deposition too (they were indeed asked there). And when she was asked that question we now know from Jonnie Cochran what answer she gave – she said she had never seen Michael in a shower with anyone at all.
Of course there is a slight measure of supposition here but in the absence of the actual 1993 Blanca Francia’s transcript this is all we can do (the deposition was sealed, same as Jordan’s statement).
When asked in 2005 whether she remembered saying to Diane Dimond about a shower Blanca Francia said that she didn’t remember it, but the fact of such a question seems meaningful to me – DD’s program could very well be the place where the shower story originated :
12 Q. And you told Diane Dimond that? 13 A. Yeah, I think I did. 14 Q. Now, this is the bathtub or this is the 15 shower? 16 A. I don’t remember if I told her about the 17 shower. But I remember that I told him about the 18 bathtub and the Jacuzzi, I think.
The article below also touches upon Blanca Francia’s deposition of 1993 in connection with the documents enclosed by Larry Feldman with his motion. What is exceptionally interesting about the article is that though it gives a pretty detailed account of Blanca Francia’s deposition (unavailable to us, alas) not a single word there is said there about Blanca allegedly seeing Michael with anyone in a shower!
This confirms to us that Johnnie Cochran’s information was totally correct – in her initial deposition Blanca Francia did not say a word about the shower, otherwise this smashing news would have been the first thing reported by this article!
Won’t it be interesting to find out at what point the shower allegations appeared in Blanca Francia’s story? Very interesting indeed, however for the moment let us just memorize the fact that during the initial deposition taken by Francia twelve years before her 2005 testimony not a word was said about that “shower” point.
Please also note that Larry Feldman’s motion of January 10, 1994 was accompanied by much distortion of the truth on the part of Larry Feldman himself. We know it for a fact as both Michael’s lawyers Howard Wiezman and Johnnie Cochran complained that the depositions mentioned in the motion were misrepresented. Translated from the legal language it means that the motion contained lies from Larry Feldman which Wiezman carefully named half-truths or untruths.
See how the journalists call both Jordan declaration and the depositions of others “sworn statements”. Well, technically they may be right as both a declaration and a deposition are sworn statements, but from the point of the legal weight of those documents they are totally incomparable:
Lawyer Seeks Jackson Financial Records : Investigation: Attorney for the boy allegedly molested by the singer files partial transcripts of depositions telling of bedroom activity and photos. Jackson’s counsel says the papers misrepresent sworn statements.
January 11, 1994|JIM NEWTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER
Michael Jackson routinely shared his bed with young boys, kept a hidden closet with photographs of children and installed a security system to alert him whenever anyone approached his bedroom, according to former employees interviewed as part of a lawsuit brought by a boy who says the entertainer molested him.
Partial transcripts of those depositions were filed Monday in Superior Court as part of a motion brought by the boy’s lawyer, who argues that he should be allowed access to Jackson’s financial records because there is a “substantial probability” that his client will win his lawsuit. Also included is a declaration from the alleged victim, who repeats almost word for word the allegations he made to police and social workers last summer.
The transcripts and other legal documents filed Monday provide the foundation of the boy’s lawsuit against Jackson, detailing the evidence for the first time and summarizing the civil case against the pop superstar. They include sworn depositions from the singer’s chauffeur, former maids and a former secretary who admits that she told police Jackson was a “chicken hawk,” or pedophile, though she now regrets the statement and disavows it.
“There is substantial direct and circumstantial evidence that plaintiff was sexually molested by Jackson,” the boy’s lawyer, Larry R. Feldman, said in his motion. Feldman’s client was 13 years old at the time of the alleged molestation. He turns 14 today.
Howard Weitzman, one of the lawyers representing Jackson, said the portions of the transcripts filed by Feldman misrepresent the depositions, and he vigorously reasserted his client’s innocence.
“These are half-truths and untruths,” Weitzman said of the claims made by Feldman. “When all the facts come out, we are confident that Mr. Jackson will be vindicated.”
Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who also is representing Jackson, echoed Weitzman’s remarks. “This is innuendo and misrepresentation,” he said of Feldman’s motion. “It just points out how he is trying this case.”
Nevertheless, the latest legal effort by the boy’s attorney highlights the difficulties that Jackson faces as he attempts to battle allegations of child molestation and sets the stage for his scheduled deposition next week. In fact, even as that deposition date draws near, Jackson’s lawyers warned that he may decline to speak under oath unless he can get assurances that his testimony will not be used against him in the possible criminal case that prosecutors from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties are contemplating.
“That’s a decision that Johnnie (Cochran) and I still have not made,” Weitzman said when asked whether Jackson would agree to give his deposition as scheduled. “However, it is unlikely that we would be willing to give up any constitutional protections that Mr. Jackson might have.”
Among the partial transcripts attached to Feldman’s motion are long excerpts from the sworn testimony of Blanca Francia, a former maid to the entertainer who has previously spoken to police as well as to The Times and to the tabloid television program “Hard Copy.” Francia’s statements during her Dec. 15. deposition were her first under oath, however.
Francia, who will be questioned again by lawyers today, worked for Jackson for five years beginning in 1986. During her deposition, she detailed a number of instances in which she said she saw the entertainer naked or partially clothed with young boys–whose names are deleted from the transcripts. She also recounted seeing Jackson in bed or in a sleeping bag with boys, sometimes during the day, and she said that Jackson told her not to tell anyone.
“He says that whatever I saw is none of anybody’s business,” said Francia, who immigrated to the United States from El Salvador in 1975. “And that he liked me, and that if I (was) ever asked by anyone, not to tell anything about him.”
While working at the Neverland Ranch, Francia also said she once found a photograph of a young boy, apparently naked except for a sheet that covered his genitals. Francia told the attorneys that she does not know what became of that photograph, but she added that Jackson stored a number of photographs and videotapes of children in a “closet within a closet” at the ranch.
Weitzman confirmed that there is a closet such as the one described by Francia, but he said it had been built by the previous owner of Jackson’s home. Moreover, Weitzman said, the closet did not contain anything suggesting that Jackson ever molested children.
“The inference that Michael Jackson built it for some nefarious purpose is false,” Weitzman said, “absolutely false.”
During her deposition, Francia also disclosed that shortly after she began working for Jackson, he installed a security system at his Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos. Among other features, the system would alert Jackson whenever someone approached his bedroom, she testified.
“It make a bell, like a little bell,” said Francia. Another maid, Adrian McManus, also discussed the security system during her deposition.
In addition to sensors that would alert Jackson to anyone outside the bedroom, the door to the room contained a peephole, Francia added, according to the deposition transcript.
Weitzman dismissed the importance of the security system, noting that a common feature of such systems is that they warn their owners if someone is in the house and might be approaching a bedroom. “Most homes that are equipped with sophisticated security systems have electric eyes at strategic locations,” Weitzman said.
Several representatives of companies specializing in home security told The Times on Monday that motion detectors are common features.
Francia’s earlier comments have been challenged by members of the Jackson family and legal team, many of whom note that she was paid thousands of dollars for her interview with “Hard Copy.” Although Francia was not paid for her interviews with police or The Times, Jackson’s lawyers say the money she received from “Hard Copy” undermines her credibility as a witness.
In addition, Cochran said that Francia told attorneys that she never saw Jackson molest any boys. He cited Feldman’s failure to include that portion of her deposition as evidence that Feldman’s motion misrepresents the facts of the case. Feldman insisted that he did not withhold any relevant information from deposition excerpts he filed Monday.
Francia’s account is not the only one cited in Feldman’s motion for access to the singer’s financial records. The boy himself submitted a sworn declaration in which he repeated the allegations he made to social workers and police last summer.
As in his interview by police and social workers, the boy described an escalating series of alleged sexual advances by Jackson, beginning with hugs and kisses and culminating in Jackson masturbating himself and the boy. The relationship ended in July, according to the boy, after his father obtained custody of him and broke off his contact with Jackson.
Jackson has maintained that he is the victim of a failed extortion attempt by the father, and he has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence. Although police and sheriff’s deputies from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties continue to investigate the allegations of sexual molestation, Jackson has not been charged with any crime.
Feldman and Jackson’s attorneys agreed last month not to divulge certain kinds of information–including details about children and Jackson’s security systems. Late Monday, Superior Court Judge David Rothman sealed the documents filed by Feldman in order to determine whether the material contained in them should be protected by court order.
Among other edited depositions filed Monday in connection with the lawsuit is one taken from Jolie Levine, who worked as Jackson’s secretary for two years starting in 1987. Levine told the lawyers that she called Jackson a “chicken hawk,” a slang term for a pedophile, when police interviewed her about the allegations against her former boss.
“And when you told that to the detectives or the police, you meant by that that Michael Jackson was a pedophile, correct?” asked Robert Turner, an associate of Feldman who also is representing the boy.
“I was caught off guard, angry, surprised,” Levine said. “I didn’t really mean saying that.”
Jackson‘s lawyers accused Feldman of filing the documents Monday merely as a way to make allegations against the singer public. But Feldman, in the papers, argues that he needs access to Jackson’s financial records now because analyzing them will be difficult and time-consuming.
In addition to his income and real estate holdings, Jackson, one of the world’s wealthiest entertainers, owns the Beatles’ song catalogue and other difficult-to-value assets.
“He is a millionaire hundreds of times over whose assets are tied up in intangibles,” Feldman wrote. “Plaintiff will need the three months remaining before the trial date to be able to track down these assets and come up with an approximation of their worth.”
By the author’s attention to detail you can judge for yourself how thoroughly (but not necessarily accurately) the article reported Blanca Francia’s deposition of the year 1993.
Now we have at least two sources – one direct and the other indirect – stating that Blanca Francia never said in her first deposition that she allegedly saw Michael Jackson “in a shower with a boy”. This fact will be important to remember when we handle Blanca Francia’s testimony at the 2005 trial where, as you know, she changed her tune.
How the public can read the declaration even when it is sealed
I gather that it is customary legal practice for the US to open the documents to the public once they are accompany a motion filed in the court. This was why when Larry Feldman made his motion on January 10, 1994 Jackson’s lawyers accused him of doing it for publicity sake.
However in that particular case a different course of action was taken by the judge – evidently under the insistence of Jackson’s lawyers and considering the public effect the disclosure of all those documents would have on the public and potential jury the judge sealed these documents the same day:
- “Partial transcripts of those depositions were filed Monday in Superior Court. …. Late Monday, Superior Court Judge David Rothman sealed the documents filed by Feldman in order to determine whether the material contained in them should be protected by court order.”
So does it mean that the media could not really have access to Jordan’s declaration in January 1994? It seems so. And this is why the declaration produced such a bombshell effect in 2003 when it was finally disclosed to the public the next day after Bashir’s film. And was such a sensation. Because the media and the public never heard that story in all its salacious detail before!
Let me remind you that Jordan’s declaration was a statement which was never corroborated by any evidence at all. So the only thing the public heard in 2003 was a highly frivolous story which didn’t produce the impression even on the Grand Jury 10 years before that, as it was a clear contradiction to the photos made of MJ’s genitalia. The declaration was sealed by the judge in 1994 as soon as it was filed by Feldman together with the motion and was all the more kept under the seal when the agreement reached with the Chandlers put a stop to the civil suit which generated it.
But even despite all those restrictions the paper was still leaked to the public ten years later, and in connection with Bashir’s film though it had nothing to do with it! And did a lot of damage to Michael because the people were brainwashed enough to think that there were some grounds behind it!
Doesn’t it amount to malicious spreading lies about Jackson? Isn’t it the use of media for manipulating people’s minds? And isn’t it proof enough that someone was so terribly determined to throw Michael into the mud that was ready even to break the law by leaking to the public a sealed and totally unsubstantiated paper?
If the leak was the doing of Prosecutor Tom Sneddon it means that he wanted to impress on the public solely the prosecution side of the matter. However the duties of a prosecutor are different – his duties are not to accuse by all means, expecially by breaking the law. His duty is to seek justice.
All sources say that a prosecutor is a lawyer who is:
- “charged with not only being a legal representative but a vigorous advocate on behalf of the people relying on the courts to make ACCURATE and FAIR rulings”.
- The Prosecutor’s duty and mandate is not only to prosecute and seek conviction, but TO SEEK JUSTICE in the first place.
Malicious dissemination of lies about someone as a revenge for a flop in the previous case and misinformation of the public in the form of leaking unproven lies about this man is absolutely no part of the prosecutor’s work.
Out of all those who could commit this offence against Michael Jackson the only real candidate seems to be the District Attorney Tom Sneddon (or someone else equally dishonest from his department). But if this was the case then it means that Michael Jackson was a victim of the most malicious prosecution and legal harassment the world had probably ever seen. It lasted for no less than 13 years and was stopped only due to the honesty of 12 jurors who had the fortitude to stand up to all that madness.
Add to it that Tom Sneddon was consistenly spreading lies about Jackson by saying for more than a decade that the photos matched the description given by the boy (and no one asked him a simple question why he never arrested Michael Jackson if his words were true), and you have a very sad picture of collusion between the prosecution going after the innocent, dishonest media ready to spread lies, corrupt false witnesses cooperating with the authorities and ignorant public which gladly swallowed every lie told to them about Jackson.
No wonder that Michael Jackson was so devastated by all this injustice that he even talked of a huge conspiracy around him. He mentioned it in his interview with Jesse Jackson in March 2005. Whether this was a conspiracy or simply the mass madness of the nation I don’t know, but what I am sure of is that the law was gravely violated in respect of Michael Jackson and his rights, and no one seemed to give a damn about it.
Here is the statement Michael Jackson made when his rights were violated again when another of those innumerable leaks took place and this time his confidentiality agreement with the Chandlers was disclosed:
June 18, 2004
Statement Of Michael Jackson
CONTACT: Raymone K. Bain
Michael Jackson issues the following statement regarding the recent release of confidential information:
I respect the obligation of confidentiality imposed on all of the parties to the 1993 proceedings. Yet, someone has chosen to violate the confidentiality of those proceedings. Whoever is now leaking this material is showing as much disrespect for the Santa Maria Court’s “gag order” as they are a determination to attack me.
No action or investigation has been taken to determine who is leaking this information or why they are permitted to violate the law in such a manner. I respectfully request that people see these efforts for what they are.
These kinds of attacks and leaks seek to try the case in the press, rather than to a jury who will hear all of the evidence that will show that I did not, and would not, ever, harm a child. I have always maintained my innocence, and vehemently denied that these events ever took place. I reluctantly chose to settle the false claims only to end the terrible publicity and to continue with my life and career.
I ask all of my neighbors in Santa Maria, the people whom I give my loyal trust and admiration, to keep an open mind, and give me a chance to show that I am completely innocent of these charges. I will not let you down.
Source: Raymone K. Bain / MJFC
And here is an excerpt from Michael’s interview with Jesse Jackson where Michael Jackson spoke of a conspiracy around him:
Michael Jackson: I just know in the end that I will be vindicated, I pray, because I know the truth. I’m an innocent person. And I believe in God and love God. And just continue to pray for us.
Rev. Jackson: You know that, given your faith, in God and in yourself, and your declaration of innocence and while you are going through this storm ahem, presuming that you ah – win this, this has been a close battle, ahhh, a very intense battle, because the battle is-is not over, ah, the, appearance, given your relationship ahh, has called for lots of consternation. Is there anything that you will do differently? When this season is over?
Michael Jackson: Is there anything that I would do differently?
Rev. Jackson: Differently? When this season is over?
Michael Jackson: (Clears throat) Ahem, my level of trust will change. And ah, there-there there’s a lot of conspiracy going on. I’ll say that much. A lot of it.
Rev. Jackson: Do you think that….
Michael Jackson: All around me.
Rev. Jackson: Is the conspiracy connected to the celebrity or to the trial or to the catalog – what do you think the source of it is?
Michael Jackson: I-I can’t comment. I can’t comment Jessie, I-I don’t wanna… it ah, I’m under a gag order and it’s a very serious thing. I don’t want to say the wrong thing. With the wrong flavor. It’s a very delicate area. Very delicate where we are now.
See how far the reflections on Jordan Chandler’s declaration took me? So far that there is no space and time to answer the question with which I started, i.e. whether the refusal of Jordan Chandler to testify could effectively put a stop to the criminal investigation of the case. This matter is so serious and so vast that it will have to be left for the second part of this post.
And while I am putting it together please do not forget to support William Wagener’s initiative to have Tom Sneddon answer for his crimes against Jackson and the truth. Tom Sneddon should answer for what he did.
* * *
Legal Difference Between an Affidavit & a Declaration
by Grace Keh, Demand Media
Affidavits are written documents attached to an oath or some affirmation (i.e., notary public) that the statements in the affidavit are true.
Declarations are merely written documents that the author believes to be true, but the statements are given without the author being sworn in by a court officer.
Declarations under the penalty of perjury (sometimes referred to as sworn statements) are very similar to affidavits. Courts consider both to be legally equivalent, though most court systems and businesses still prefer affidavits over declarations.
Affidavits are signed in front of a notary public or commissioner of oaths and require notarization.
Declarations must be signed only by the author, though sometimes before a justice of the peace or, at least, legal counsel. U.S. Code 1746 permits an individual to submit as true a declaration under the penalty of perjury.
Both affidavits and declarations require signatures of the authors. One who submits an affidavit is referred to as a “affiant.” One who gives a declaration is called a “declarant.” Declarations under the penalty of perjury must be accompanied by a statement in substantially this form: “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct,” as well as the date on which it was executed and the declarant’s signature.
Critiquing the Affidavit
An affidavit can inconvenience a witness because of the requirement that the witness be sworn and the written document notarized. It also incurs a notary fee, at the minimum. Some courts are turning to declarations under penalty of perjury as substitutes for affidavits because of the efficiency of these statements and their efficacy in forcing people to tell the truth.
The Other Statement
Alongside affidavits and declarations, depositions are often used to take the statements of witnesses. Depositions differ specifically in one way from affidavits: They allow for cross-examination. Depositions are recorded by the court reporter and become written transcripts that can be used in court. The witness is sworn in before making a deposition and is considered under oath, regardless of whether the deposition takes place in a courtroom.