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Blanca Francia’s Testimony Revisited: THE TIMELINE

January 25, 2020

The promise to cover the remaining parts of ‘Leaving Neverland’ horror movie will be certainly kept, but before that we need to finish with the Blanca and Jason Francia’s story which is also a very big subject that has secrets of its own.

And I am not only talking about Blanca’s so-called evidence regarding Wade Robson that was handled in one of the previous posts – there are a lot of other interesting details that will open up to you if you really look.

Blanca Francia

This post will be about some of those secrets, but first here is a short reminder of what we found earlier about Blanca’s tale regarding Wade Robson.

Some excerpts from her 1993/94 deposition, posted on the internet only recently, made it clear that the story of ‘the former maid seeing Michael in a shower with little Wade Robson’ is a myth dispelled by her own depositions which took place just three years after the alleged event.

It turned out that she had seen only one figure in Michael Jackson’s shower – that of Michael himself. She only assumed that someone else could be there because his figure was blurred and half seen through the fogged glass, and she heard him give a little he-he-he giggle which made her think that he was talking to someone, though there were no other voices heard.

She also assumed that Wade Robson was in the shower as the boy was not in MJ’s room and she saw him and Michael Jackson together later in the day. But nothing was seen or heard in that bathroom – all of it was just a play of her vivid imagination.

Great as this discovery was, more awaited us when we learned that the alleged event  took place in December 1989 which dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s – by that time the Robsons had not even arrived in the US yet as their first visit to Neverland was only in February 1990.

So regardless of Robson’s claims, the described scene has nothing to do with him and we can forget about Robson for now.

A little more research brought us the name of the boy who really stayed at Neverland at the time specified by Blanca Francia – that of Ryan White, an AIDS victim whose condition was already so bad that he died just four months later, in April 1990.

Ryan White, aged 18 meets Ronald and Nancy Reagan. This is his last public appearance [March 1990]

Though being already 18 years old Ryan White looked very young, small and no older than 12, and could be easily taken by Blanca Francia for a ‘little’ friend of Michael Jackson.

And if she made her assumptions about that boy, any ideas about a joint shower with him will be completely crazy considering his disease, because at that time people were afraid of even sitting beside an AIDS victim, not to mention going to a shower or a bathtub with an infected person.

However another astonishing fact we know about Michael Jackson is that he wanted to go to a Jacuzzi with Ryan White.

When speaking to Larry King, Michael’s dermatologist Arnold Klein said that Michael asked him if going in a Jacuzzi with Ryan would be safe and didn’t pose a threat to him. He asked Dr. Hoefflin too, and Hoefflin strongly advised him against it, while Klein said it was okay.

Why did Michael want to do it for Ryan White?

He wanted to show the boy that he wasn’t a pariah and that at least Michael wasn’t afraid of him. Michael’s heart always went out to the weak and he wanted Ryan to feel normal and no different from others. He wanted to set him at his ease and acted like there was nothing extraordinary in taking a Jacuzzi with an infected person though everyone around shunned him like the plague.

In case Michael Jackson managed to realize his big plan and did take Ryan to a Jacuzzi during that visit, Blanca Francia could indeed see their wet swimming trunks on the floor (as she said she did) and Michael could indeed take a shower after that, right in the middle of the day.

As to Ryan White, after the Jacuzzi he would certainly go back to his guest unit to have a nap there – he was so frail that he regularly took a nap in the daytime to regain his strength.

For details of what Blanca Francia said during those 1993/94 depositions please go to this post. And if you want to learn more about Ryan White’s five-day stay at Neverland (in a guest unit by the way) in December ‘89 and see how he got acquainted with MJ at all, you can go to a separate page of this blog that will tell you about the two visits to Neverland described by Ryan White himself. He doesn’t mention the Jacuzzi, but if it did happen it could be only during his second visit to Neverland at Christmas 1989.

And we proceed to Blanca Francia’s numerous depositions that span the incredible period of nearly 25 years – this is how long every speck of dust around Michael was dissected by law enforcement, the media and his detractors.

Our goal is to see 1) what Blanca and Jason Francia testified to and what is true and false in their story 2) how their narrative progressed as time went by and 3) why and how Blanca reached a $2 mln. settlement agreement with MJ in connection with her son’s claims that he was tickled on three occasions within the five years they knew him.

THE TIMELINE

According to Diane Dimond’s book Blanca Francia was first interviewed by police “shortly after the Chandler allegations surfaced.” This is the most we know about the time of Blanca’s interview, so it was probably in September 1993, soon after the police opened a criminal investigation into the Chandler allegations in late August ‘93. The investigation lasted for a year and ended in September 1994 without any charges filed.

Besides speaking with the police Blanca Francia was deposed within the Chandlers’ civil lawsuit where she was subpoenaed by the boy’s lawyer Larry Feldman. Her deposition started on December 15, 1993 and was resumed almost a month later, on January 11, 1994. The full transcripts of the two sessions are not available to us, but their most essential parts were read out to Blanca Francia during her latest September/October 2016 depositions by the lawyer for MJJ Productions and this is how we learned what she had said before.

And from those early excerpts we find that in December ’93 she said one thing and in January ’94 she said another.  Her English was broken as she never studied it, so when in January she was asked to clarify the shower episode described a month earlier, it turned out that she hadn’t really seen or heard anything and all of it was a supposition only.

Before those two depositions another notable event took place. On December 9, 1993 Blanca Francia was interviewed by Diane Dimond for her Hard Copy TV program – for three hours and for a fee of $20,000.

Diane Dimond claims that Blanca Francia had been in hiding for five days before they finally met at the Hilton hotel. She was hiding ‘there’ (at Hilton?) because after the Chandler scandal broke out she had spoken to police and then received a call from Pellicano who declared himself as her ‘protector’ and offered her a job, but she went into hiding instead.

Here is an excerpt from DD’s book:

 

“I had arranged to meet Blanca at a Hilton hotel not far from the Never­land Ranch on December 9, 1993, where we did the interview. She had been hiding there for five days when I met her, afraid of Jackson’s chief of secu­rity, Bill Bray, a former LAPD officer; Norma Staikos of MJJ Productions; and Anthony Pellicano.

Francia claimed that shortly after the Chandler al­legations surfaced she spoke to police and then Pellicano contacted her to declare, “I am your protector.” She said he offered her a job at his home, helping his wife to care for their nine children. Blanca said she refused the position and subsequently went into hiding.”

I wonder why Diane Dimond says that it was Blanca who spoke to the police and not the other way round.

After the Hard Copy interview aired on TV the media went completely crazy claiming that ‘the maid quit her job in disgust after seeing him naked with young boys on a number of occasions’.

None of it was confirmed during the depositions that followed the TV program, but the Hard Copy version went viral and prevailed over the real facts – the depositions were put under a gag order so that no one could speak out and the truth is being disclosed to us only now, while Diane Dimond’s story was trumpeted all over the world and has turned into another of those nasty myths about Jackson.

Blanca Francia says that she didn’t watch the program and saw only its teasers, and didn’t explain why. Her only comment was that ‘the Hard Copy people were not honest’.

However all others did watch it, including the Neverland employees, some of whom were also tempted to resort to tabloids and use the same method of making easy fortunes for themselves.

The tapes left by the deceased Jim Mitteager to private detective Paul Barresi show that the media were ready to pay as much as $100,000 for anything salacious about Jackson. Roger Friedman wrote about it:

At one point on the tapes, an editor at the Globe is heard saying to Mitteager: “Jim, when you go in on these deals, talk big money and don’t back off. I mean, talk 50 grand. We need [Jackson’s former manager] Frank DiLeo telling all, at $100,000, if we can get him. We need all of Jacko’s celebrity pals. Anything they said.

“Every kid that has ever been with Jacko, we want to know who he is … where he’s coming from … any pictures available. We want to put big offers to any member of the family. We need to go with the big money”

Given the bait of really big money, Blanca Francia’s example was a great temptation to others. Even for Blanca the Hard Copy event was only a start in her media career – she was planning to go on the National Enquirer too, but those plans were thwarted by the police who restrained her from further media performance as they needed her for themselves.

Roger Friedman mentions that the National Enquirer reporter Lydia Encinas helped to translate for Blanca Francia when she spoke to the police. The tape suggests that the reporter’s involvement with Blanca Francia goes back to at least January ‘94 or even earlier:

On the tapes, Barresi discovered that Enquirer reporter Lydia Encinas was with the maid when police officers came to interview her.  In a January 1994 conversation, Enquirer editor David Perel asked Mitteager if anything new was breaking on Encinas’ involvement in the interrogation. “No. Just hope the cops don’t freak out when they see the story.””They sort of know what’s coming,” Perel replied. What was coming was an Enquirer story about Francia that was penned by Encinas.

But Blanca Francia was not only in close cooperation with the media. According to Diane Dimond’s book the former maid continued contacts with some Neverland employees long after she left the ranch, though she denied it on several occasions during her 2005 testimony.

For example:

Q.  BY MR. MESEREAU:  Did you learn at some point after your Hard Copy interview was on television, that now other people who worked for Michael Jackson were hoping they could make money media interviews like you did?

THE WITNESS:  No, I didn’t know that.

Q. So after you left — after you stopped working for Mr. Jackson, you stayed in touch with some people who worked for Mr. Jackson, right?

A.  No.

And Diane Dimond claims the opposite:

“She had followed all the developments in the newspapers and on television. Blanca still lived in the Santa Barbara County community and had stayed in contact with others who continued to work at the ranch. The standing order that all Neverland employees sign a strict confidentiality agreement did not stop them from speaking to one another, Blanca had confirmed that after she left the ranch, Michael’s string of “special friends” continued to visit-some with their parents, some alone. There were sev­eral different boys, she had heard [ ] and he gave them all the same silly nickname, Rubba.

As burdened as she still seemed by her knowledge, she was still somehow distressed at revealing it.”

The people she kept contact with must have been those Neverland employees who were fired in mid-1994 and besides turning to tabloids also sued Jackson for ‘wrongful termination’ demanding the sum of $16 mln. for the traumas they sustained at Neverland. Ralph Chacon, for example, complained about various things including MJ ‘staring’ at him, Adrian McManus said she was harassed by a bodyguard, etc.  Their suit was thrown out and this somewhat cooled their zeal, but not until the 2005 trial where they reappeared again in the role of most ardent Michael Jackson’s accusers.

In the midst of the hype around Blanca Francia’s Hard Copy interview everyone forgot that there was one more person who watched the program and that was her son Jason. Jason Francia was 13-years old then and though he himself never experienced or saw anything inappropriate with Jackson, the scene of his own mother claiming certain things about Michael could not but leave a mark on him and his future story.

Add to it that the teenager surely took his mother’s narrative at its face value as she was his only loved one and the person he trusted most. Later he claimed that he didn’t know that his mother had been paid $20,000 for the story. Believe it or not, but at the trial he said he learned about it only on the day of his testimony on April 4, 2005:

Q.  When did you first learn that your mom had gone on the T.V. show Hard Copy to talk about Mr. Jackson?

A.  I think it was when I saw it on T.V.

Q.  Okay.  And at some point you learned that she took $20,000 to go on the T.V. show Hard Copy, correct?

A.  No.

Q.  You don’t know anything about that?

A.  I do not.

Q.  You’ve never heard that to date?

A.  I have heard of it today.

At the trial Jason Francia was also reminded of his first police interview on November 3, 1993 where he said that he had never been inappropriately touched by Jackson.

The important point to remember about it is that it was before his mother went on Hard Copy and the media craze that followed.

During his first interview with the police Jason Francia denied any wrongdoing on the part of Jackson and remembered only some tickling which was much fun (he himself was a tickler and said that on each occasion they were in tickling contests about who would tickle the most).

The few excerpts from Jason Francia’s testimony give us the idea of his first interview with the police:

Q.  [ ] And you told them that at one point, he started tickling you and you started tickling him, right?

A.  Yeah.

Q.  And then you told the police, “I have this blackout.  I can’t remember anything else,” right?

A.  Yeah.  I — I tried to black everything out.

Q.  Okay.  You told the police you knew that Michael Jackson had a reputation of being nice to kids, right?

A.  I’m sorry?

Q.  You told the police that Mr. Jackson had a reputation for being very nice to kids, right?

THE WITNESS:  I don’t remember.

Q.  Do you remember in your first police interview in 1993 telling the police, “I’ll just say this out flat. I don’t remember him trying anything with me except for the tickling”?  Do you remember that?

A.  Do I remember saying that?

Q.  Yes.

A.  No.  But I’ve heard that on the voice. Yeah, I was fighting them with everything I had.

Q.  Does looking at those pages refresh your recollection about what you have told the police —

A.  No.

Q.  — in ’93?

A.  I was 13.  Eleven years ago.

Q.  You weren’t even sure you were tickled at all.  Remember that?

A.  I don’t remember that I — I knew.

Q.  Remember telling the police, “You guys are pushy”?

A.  Yeah.  I remember telling the police that.

Q.  Okay.  And after they kept pushing you, you finally said, “You know, I think he did tickle me,” right?

A.  No.

Q.  Okay.  You kind of went back and forth during the interview, didn’t you?  One second you’d say, “He tickled me,” and the next second you’d say you’re not sure, right?

A.  I was trying to figure out how to get out of there.

Q.  I understand.  And you remember exactly how you felt in 1993 during the interview, right?

A.  The feeling of, yeah, crying and crappiness.

 

Q.  Okay.  All right.  Now, you admitted that at the beginning of your first interview with sheriffs in ’93, you said that Mr. Jackson had not touched your genital area, right?

A.  I said that at the very beginning.

Q.  BY MR. MESEREAU:  It was only after you were pushed real hard by the sheriffs that you began to say anything like that, true?

MR. ZONEN:  Objection; asked and answered.

THE COURT:  Sustained.

Q.  Do you remember in that interview one sheriff telling you, “Mr. Jackson is a molester,” and the other saying, “He makes great music, he’s a great guy, bullshit”?  Do you remember that?

A.  I don’t remember that specifically, but I think I remember hearing it on the tape, which was my voice, or his voice.

Q.  And even after sheriffs said to you, “He’s a molester, he’s a great guy, makes great music, bullshit, he has lots of money,” you still said he had never touched your genital area, right?

A.  I believe so.  Probably towards the beginning again.

Q.  Do you remember the sheriff interviewing you wanted to know whether Mr. Jackson went under your pants or on top of your underwear, and you said, “I don’t know”?

A.  I’m sorry?

Q.  Do you remember the interviewing sheriff asked you, “Have you ever been touched under your pants or on top of your underwear?”  And you said, “I don’t know”?

A.  Were we talking about a specific incident?

Q.  I’m just asking about the interview.

A.  Oh.  Then —

MR. ZONEN:  I’ll object as vague, Your Honor.

THE COURT:  Sustained.

Q.  Do you remember in your first interview with the sheriffs when, after repeated questioning, you finally said, “Mr. Jackson touched me,” do you remember not knowing how long he had ever touched you at any time?

A.  I don’t remember.

Q.  Okay.  Do you remember telling the sheriffs that Mr. Jackson, during your tickle games, used to pinch you in the stomach?

A.  Tickling, pinching.  Same thing.

Q.  Okay.  You did tell the sheriffs in your first interview you had never spent the night with Mr. Jackson, right?

A.  I never slept in his bed with him.

That was the most the police got from him on November 3, 1993.

Jason Francia’s second police interview was on March 24, 1994 and by that time a lot had taken place to help him remember things ‘correctly’ – he had  listened to his mother’s allegations on the Hard Copy program and had been subjected to the media hysteria over it, was already under the counseling and therapy program for molested children (more about it later) and was certainly aware of Michael Jackson’s settlement with the Chandlers on January 25, 1994 as well as the media speculations that the settlement sum could be as high as $50 mln. (in reality it was $15,3 mln for Jordan).

It is also obvious that by his second interview in March ’94 the money factor had already become an issue for the Francia family as their civil attorney Terry Cannon was already in the picture and was even present at Jason’s second police interview.

In short the emotional, psychological and financial pressure the 13-year old was under made it virtually impossible for him not to remember the things ‘right’.

The second police interview did not go without his resistance to the interrogators either, but eventually Jason agreed that the three tickling episodes ‘were not proper’- though they were never skin to skin, were years apart, and each lasted seconds. Two of the incidents were one year apart and amounted to the some short tickling over his pants, but the ‘more than ten seconds’ tickling that took place two years later was alleged to have touched his testicles and been under the pants, though no skin-to-skin either.

The assembly listening to these revelations was huge. It included a team officers from the LA Police department headed by the LA District Attorney deputy Lauren Weis; a Santa Barbara team headed by the Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon; Jason’s counselor Mike Craft who had already been counseling Jason and his mother; and attorney Terry Cannon who represented the family in a complaint against Jackson that must have already been in the making (otherwise why his presence?).

The names of all these people are enumerated in the respective transcript that was read out to Jason Francia by Thomas Mesereau at the 2005 trial.

When Mr. Mesereau gave Jason Francia a copy of his ’94 police interview the latter seemed astonished by the number of those present. However the only people he remembered were Mike Craft, the counselor provided to Jason by the prosecution under a state-run ‘therapy program for molested children’ and a certain woman who turned out to be the LA Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis.

The police questioning of the 13-year old Jason was so intense that on occasions he wanted to ‘get up and hit them in the head’.

Here is what he said at the 2005 trial about the second police interview:

Q.  You were interviewed a second time on March 24th, 1994. Do you remember that?

A.  Again, I personally don’t remember, and I didn’t even really listen to that tape, so — and I didn’t get a transcript for it either, so I didn’t even review it.

Q.  You were given a tape of your second interview?

A.  I was, but I did not listen to it.

Q.  And who gave you that tape?

A.  It came in the same packet as tape one and with the transcript.

Q.  Do you remember present at that interview was Tom Sneddon?

A.  I remember saying that yesterday, yeah.  And I also remember saying that I was unsure if he was there or not.

Q.  Would it refresh your recollection if I just show you a transcript?

A.  Sure.

THE WITNESS:  Is this a transcript of ’94?

MR. MESEREAU:  (Nods head up and down.)

THE WITNESS:  So these are the people that were there?  I — I can’t ask that.

Q.  BY MR. MESEREAU:  So you don’t remember if you were interviewed by Tom Sneddon and two district attorneys in ’94?

A.  I remember Mike Craft being there.  That was the only person. And a woman being there.  Other than that, I cannot — because I think that was the first time I told a woman what happened.

Q.  Do you remember someone named Lauren Weis from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office being present at that interview?

A.  No.

Q.  Do you remember someone named Bill Hodgeman from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office being at that interview?

A.  No.

Q.  And you don’t remember whether or not Mr. Sneddon was there, right?

A.  I don’t remember whether he was there or not.

Q.  Do you remember Russ Birchim being there?

A.  I do not.

Q.  Do you remember your own lawyer, Terry Cannon, being there?

A.  I do not.

Q.  Do you remember stating in that interview, “They made me come out with a lot more stuff I didn’t want to say. They kept pushing. I wanted to get up and hit them in the head”? Do you remember that?

A.  No.

Q.  Would it refresh your recollection if I show you the transcript of that?

A.  Probably not.  But you can show it to me anyway.

Q.  BY MR. MESEREAU:  Have you had a chance to look at that page of the transcript?

A.  I have.

Q.  Does it refresh your recollection about what you’ve said?

A.  No, it does not.

Q.  You do recall giving more information during your second interview than you did in your first, right?

A.  I do not recall.

When answering some of the police questions Jason Francia didn’t give a reply but said that he was ‘working on that’:

Q. In the second interview in 1994 –– that was recorded – all right? – when asked if Mr. Jackson said anything to you about whether you should discuss what happened, do you remember telling the interviewers, “No, but I’m working on that”?

A.  I do not remember that.

The worst Jason Francia said to the police in March ‘94 was repeated by him at the 2005 trial:

A.  He was tickling me.  And then I was wearing shorts again, I’m pretty sure, and, yeah, because he had to have reached under. We were tickling; I was laughing.  He reached on my leg, and I’m still laughing, and he’s tickling. And then he reached up and — and to my privates, yeah.

Q.  Did he actually touch your —

A.  Yeah.

Q.  Touch you?

A.  Yeah.

Q.  Did he touch your penis or your testicles?

A.  I think option two, yeah.

Q.  Your testicles?

A.  Yeah, that one.

That was the most they got from Jason Francia during his second police interview on March 24, 1994.

COUNSELING

Since Jason’s counselor Mike Craft was already there during the March ’94 event and looked like the only familiar face to Jason, this suggests that at that time Jason was already in some kind of ‘therapy’ arranged for him by the police, so the beginning of that program can be tentatively placed in between Jason’s first (Nov. ’93) and second (March ’94) police interview.

And this means that though the first time Jason didn’t really say anything bad about Jackson, he was nevertheless put under the program for ‘molested’ children. So the authorities regarded his molestation as a given and the only remaining problem was to make him confess to it.

The above succession of events is confirmed and further clarified by Diane Dimond who wrote the following about Blanca Francia in her anti-Jackson book:

“Our conversation about exactly what happened to her son was confus­ing. At some points, she said she didn’t think anything happened. But in the next breath she would be in tears, worried that she would never be able to reach or heal her damaged son. She explained that after she spoke with po­lice, they had arranged for both she and Jason to be admitted into a state ­run therapy program for molested children.”

Wait a minute, so both of them were put under that program and it started after she spoke to the police?

The naïve and uninitiated will assume that any therapy or counseling can start only when or after the child remembers some inappropriate incidents in his past in order to heal him of a possible trauma.

But not in this case. Those more or less familiar with Blanca Francia’s’s story will tell you the official version – the police had to put Jason under a therapy and counseling program because at his first meeting with the police he cried a lot and was in so much distress that his mother complained about it.

The first police interview indeed involved a lot of pushing, and Jason was interviewed alone at the sheriff’s office in the absence of his mother because she had given her consent to it and probably didn’t expect it to be that bad. So the need for a therapy program after so much pushing sounded plausible enough.

However now we are facing a completely different version.

Diane Dimond says that firstly, both mother and son were placed under a state-run program for ‘molested children’ and secondly, the program began not after Jason’s interview, but after his mother’s interview with the police.

And another page of Diane Dimond’s book defines the time of Blanca’s interview as taking place ‘shortly after the allegations surfaced’. Consequently, their counseling program could start in September or October ’93 at the latest.

In other words, if we are to believe Diane Dimond, all that counseling began even before Jason Francia was first interviewed by police on November 3, 1993. And also before Blanca’s interview with Hard Copy and her two depositions in December ’93 and January ’94.  And certainly before Jason’s second interview in March ‘94 where he revealed the alleged molestation to the authorities for the first time.

But this means that the police placed Jason under the program for molested children even before he complained about anything at all!

Well, it seems that Diane Dimond unwittingly disclosed to us something that we were never meant to know. The reason for it being a secret is that if the police indeed placed Jason Francia under some ‘therapy’ that early, it means that their motives for entering the family into that program were completely different.

The program was arranged for them not for therapeutic reasons as the myth has it, but as a fact-finding mission to have Jason’s memory ‘restored’ well enough to give the police what they wanted to hear about Jackson.

And the fact that the program was arranged at the very start of their investigation also provides some food for thought and sheds a totally new light on the whole situation. Only imagine the extremes the police and District Attorney went to if they were ready to provide free therapy and counseling to the boy who hadn’t made any allegations against Jackson yet!

If all witnesses for the prosecution underwent similar state-run counseling before their first police interviews, most of them would undoubtedly testify in favor of the prosecution – at least out of their gratitude for free therapy or due to them feeling indebted for all the trouble taken by their generous sponsors.

Funnily, the most the police retrieved from Jason in March ’94 after half-a-year of counseling him were those three tickling episodes only.

This reminds me of Wade Robson whose story followed exactly the same pattern and who realized that he had been abused only after some ‘insight-oriented therapy’.  In Robson’s case it took mere days for the good therapist to explain to him that he had been as much as raped and only then the 30-year old Robson ‘realized’ how loathsome it had been, while in Jason’s case the most they squeezed from the boy after their 6 months of work on him was just some no-skin-to-skin tickling.

Another point of difference between the two guys is that the many years of alleged rape left Wade Robson totally unaffected – he thought nothing of it, dated numerous girls (all at the same time) and radiated with success until he was 30 and only then succumbed to his trauma not forgetting to claim a billion dollars from the MJ Estate. And then he miraculously recovered again, in the same quick way the sudden realization of the abuse had also struck him.

In contrast to Robson, those three tickling incidents lasting ‘more than 10 seconds’ were so bad for Jason Francia that he had to stay under a counseling program for five years until he turned 18:

Q.  BY MR. ZONEN:  For what period of time did you stay in counseling?

A.  Shoot, like a week after the sheriffs interviewing me, or police, or whoever they were. And —

Q.  That’s when it started?

A.  Till I was 18, yeah.

Q.  Till you were 18?

A.  Yeah.

At this point I began to suspect that the five-year counseling program could actually be a way to keep an eye on Jason Francia so that he didn’t make any reckless remarks, didn’t go over to MJ’s side and didn’t disclose that he had made his allegations as a result of some therapy, counseling or whatever.

THE SETTLEMENT

At the trial Thomas Mesereau wondered why Francia’s civil attorney Terry Cannon attended Jason’s police interview in March ‘94, apparently drawing some parallels between the attorney’s presence and Francis’s complaint against Jackson initiated around the time of MJ/Chandler settlement in January the same year.

Jason Francia answered that he had no clue whose idea it was:

Q.  BY MR. MESEREAU:  To your knowledge, was it your mother’s idea to have an attorney be present at the March 24th, 1994, interview?

A.  To my knowledge, I have no clue.

Q.  Okay.  But at your ’94 interview, you do remember Terry Cannon being present, right?

A.  I don’t know.  I don’t know who was present other than Michael Craft in ’94.

Q.  In the second interview that you gave in 1994 — you indicated that you were aware that someone else had sued Mr. Jackson for money, correct?

A.  I don’t remember.

Q.  Would it refresh your recollection to look at the transcript?

A.  Probably not.

Q.  Now, do you know whether or not your mother went to these attorneys after she learned that Mr. Jackson had settled with someone named Chandler?

A.  I do not.

Well, it is no use denying the obvious – Terry Cannon’s presence at that police interview speaks volumes about Blanca Francia’s further intentions, so in March ‘94 she was already considering a lawsuit against Jackson.

Her official story is different of course – Blanca Francia says that she approached the attorney when at one of her two depositions Johnny Cochran told her that he intended to depose her son too.

You will remember that her depositions were on December 15th and January 11th, and both were within the Chandlers’ civil lawsuit which ended already on January 25th ’94, so there was no need or even time to supboena Jason Francia.  But Terry Cannon representing the family nevertheless stayed and even attended Jason’s police interview two months later, in March ’94.

Kris Kallman died in 2018

Kris Kallman who was another lawyer for Blanca Francia and worked in association with Terry Cannon (yes, she could afford two attorneys) testified at the 2005 trial but had very little remembrance about the time they started working for the Francia family.

Thomas Mesereau reminded him that Blanca Francia signed the settlement agreement for $2mln. on April 1, 1996 and her son Jason Francia signed his part of the document two years later, on June 1, 1998.

Kris Kallman explained that the reason for a 2-year gap between the two dates is that children under 18 have no right of signature, so they had to wait for him to turn 18 (Jason was born on May 30, 1980).

The agreement could have been reached even earlier, in 1995 or even 1994, but Blanca Francia’s lawyers were facing a technical problem –Terry Cannon and Kris Kallman first contacted Johnny Cochran and Carl Douglas, the murky character who worked as Cochran’s associate and bragged about buying a car after that settlement. The media reported that their services to MJ were very expensive (besides being extremely sloppy in my opinion) and Johnny Cochran was also in much hurry to wrap up Michael Jackson’s business as his main interest lay with O.J. Simpson even while Michael’s future was still unresolved.

Whatever the reason, Johnny Cochran and Carl Douglas were soon gone and Jackson began to be represented by two other lawyers – Zia Modabber and Howard Weitzman, so the negotiations with Francia’s attorneys must have started anew.

Kris Kallman named the beginning of their work for Blanca Francia as the end of ‘94 or early ’95, however we know that Terry Cannon was already in the picture in March 1994:

A.  Initially our contacts were with Johnnie Cochran and his associate, Carl Douglas.

Q.  Do you recall approximately when it was when you first made contact with Mr. — or when contact was made between you and Mr. Cochran and Mr. Douglas?

A.  It was either late ’94 or early ’95.

 

A.  At some point, Mr. Jackson’s representation was assumed by a lawyer named Zia Modabber, and a lawyer named Howard Weitzman.

Q.  And do you recall approximately when it was that you then began contact with those particular individuals?

A.  I believe it was in mid 1995.

 

A.  Well, we never filed the lawsuit.

Q.  Did you reach an agreement, a settlement agreement?

A.  Yes, we did.

Q.  Did you reach a settlement agreement in which Jason Francia received monetary compensation from Mr. Jackson?

A.  Yes, sir.

The exact time when Jason Francia first met his two attorneys was actually disclosed by Jason himself during his testimony in 2005.

He and Ron Zonen were talking about Jason’s first interview at the sheriff’s department on Nov. 3, 1993 focusing on the fact that his mother had allowed him to go there alone and somewhat in passing Jason mentioned the time when the two lawyers began representing him:

Q. BY MR.ZONEN: Did your mother know that you were entering an interview with them?

A.  Yes.  She had to have let me go.

Q.  Do you remember where you were for this interview?

A.  Yeah.  At the juvenile hall, or the sheriff’s department.

Q.  So it was over in the — in where, in Santa Maria?

A.  Yeah, in Santa Maria.  Well, in Orcutt, but — yeah, in the sheriff’s department.

Q.  Do you recall how long that conversation was?

A.  I don’t recall.  An hour, hour and a half.

Q.  At some point in time, did you have an interview or were you represented by a private lawyer?

A.  At some point, yeah, in time I was.

Q.  Do you remember the name of that lawyer?

A.  Yeah, Terry — Terry Cannon.  And Kris Kallman.

Q.  There were two lawyers who represented you?

A.  Yeah.

Q.  Do you know if — was this after this interview?

A.  Yes, it was after this interview.  It was two months after this interview, I think.

Q.  Were you ever called for a deposition?

A.  I was never called for a deposition.

So it was just as we expected. The two lawyers began working for Blanca and Jason Francia two months after his November ’93 interview which takes us to January ’94, and that was the time after or even before the Chandlers’ settlement agreement.

The agreement itself contained somewhat untypical language and had a special clause ‘Denial of claims by Mr. Jackson’ that was added to the more or less standard text.  Kallman agreed that the language was untypical, and explained it by the insistence from the other side to which he saw no reason to object.

Q.  BY MR. MESEREAU: Actually, there’s a whole separate paragraph entitled, “Denial of Claims by Mr. Jackson,” correct?

A.  I believe so, yes, sir.

Q.  Okay.  In addition to the language that I have read, there’s further language which says, “Jackson specifically disclaims any liability to, and denies any wrongful acts against, Francia, Blanca or any other person and may continue to do so publicly, to the extent reasonably necessary, to respond to any inquiries in this regard.” Right?

A.  Correct.

Q.  It said further, “The parties acknowledge that Jackson is a public figure, and that his name, image and likeness have commercial value and are an important element of his earning capacity.”  Right?

A.  That’s true.

Q.  Now, Mr. Kallman, provisions in which a settling party denies liability are fairly standard in settlement agreements, right?

A.  True.

Q.  But the language that I just read to the jury is not standard language in a settlement agreement, is it?

A.  This is not a standard case, or was not. And no, you’re right.  These were carefully drafted by a team of lawyers, and we agreed to the terms.

Q.  Did you have any input into the language in the agreement?

A.  Only to review it.  And if there was language we found objectionable, we could strike it, I suppose.

Q.  Okay.

A.  But they wanted that in there, and I didn’t find it objectionable.

Though the settlement agreement had a confidentiality clause it certainly did not preclude the Francias from cooperating with law enforcement which they proved by testifying at the 2005 trial.  

So why did Michael Jackson sign it then?

Well, to put it plainly, the main idea of the agreement was to make them shut up and stop speaking to the press.

To a certain extent it helped because after the settlement we didn’t hear from Blanca or Jason Francia until they testified at the 2005 trial and were deposed by lawyers for the MJJ Productions in 2016. In fact, if Robson’s case comes to a trial I would very much like them to testify again, because it is an absolute must to grill them over that ‘therapy program’ and some other issues that will come next in these posts.

However before signing the settlement agreement Blanca Francia and her lawyers were quite vocal. The article below shows that their negotiations over the settlement sum were absolutely not ‘hushed up’ and were freely reported by the press, who based their story on Diane Dimond’s version of course:

BOY, OH BOY, JACKSON REPORT MAID-TO-ORDER FOR FLEET STREET
BY GEORGE RUSH

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Thursday, January 26th 1995, 3:81AM

Will Michael Jackson buy the silence of another boy?

London’s Today newspaper reported yesterday that lawyers for the singer have been hammering out a deal with attorneys for a 15-year-old who claims he was molested by Jackson.

The youth is said to be the son of Blanca Francia, the former Jackson maid.

Francia, 39, was a witness during a 1993-94 investigation into charges that Jackson had molested the 13-year-old son of a dentist-screenwriter. She told police and the media that she saw Jackson naked with young boys. She also said she saw boys sharing his bed and bath.

Now that Jackson has made a multi-million-dollar settlement with the dentist’s son, Francia is said to be pressing for money for her own child.

Lawyers are working on a settlement in excess of $1.5 million, Today reported, adding: “The exact figure and the wording of the deal is still being negotiated. But Jackson’s lawyers will insist any payment is not an admission of guilt.”

The Today story comes two weeks after another British report that there exists a security videotape capturing Jackson in a compromising position with a boy. Allegedly, the date-coded tape was made last month.

But even reporters who work the edge of the Jackson-scandal territory have their doubts about the video claim, which traces to a freelancer named Victor Gutierrez.

“Victor is becoming a bit of a loose cannon,” said one tab vet. “His main sources are in the family [of the dentist’s son]. Outside of them, his stories don’t hold up so well.”

By deadline, Jackson lawyer Howard Weitzman did not return calls seeking comment on the alleged Francia settlement.

Weitzman recently announced that Jackson planned to file a $100 million suit against Today and another British newspaper, as well as “Hard Copy” and KABC radio, based on their “defamatory” coverage of the alleged sex-video.

Yesterday, a spokesman for “Hard Copy” told me Jackson’s lawyers still have not served the show with legal papers. The spokesman said the suit-threat “was an attempt by Mr. Weitzman’s office to discourage ‘Hard Copy’ and other news media from continuing their independent investigation.” Defiantly, the show’s producers are “looking into” a story on Francia’s rumored settlement talks.

Full text here: http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/gossip/1995/01/26/1995-01-26_boy__oh_boy__jackson_report_.html

Let me make a short note on the above.

Michael Jackson did file a $100mln suit against Diane Dimond and Victor Gutierrez, but Diane Dimond escaped justice due to DA Tom Sneddon’s interference and his statement in her support as well as the shield law protecting journalists, while Victor Gutierrez was found guilty of libel, but fled the country and never paid the $2,7mln in damages awarded to Michael Jackson by the jury.

This means that though Michael did win the case, it still brought him nothing as he never recovered even his own legal expenses. And after that people wonder why he didn’t sue each and every who slandered him?

The activities of the Dimond gang did not end with Blanca Francia’s Hard Copy interview and Gutierrez’s lies about a non-existent video tape.

Very few people know that Blanca Francia went on Hard Copy again, on May 9 and 10, 1994 and the idea of it was most probably to threaten Michael Jackson and coerce him into making a settlement.

This time Diane Dimond invited Francia to attend her reading on the air of the so-called Evan Chandler’s diary which is not only fictitious but is also sheer pornography. This loathsome paper originated with Victor Gutierrez of course and the chapters read on the Hard Copy program were later reproduced in his pro-pedophilia book about Jackson.

The May 1994 Hard Copy program coincidentally aired right at the time when the LA grand jurors were holding their sessions and were deciding whether to indict MJ or not (they did not).

The short newspaper clipping below says that the people who attended the readings were Blanca Francia and Mark Quindoy. It says that Hard Copy ‘had them on the show’ which I understand it as their personal presence.

Now no one wants to be associated with the notorious Victor Gutierrez and admit their old contacts with him, and this may explain why the news about that Hard Copy on-line reading is buried deep in some archive and is probably the only trace left of the disgraceful episode.

The media definitely want it to be erased from our memories.

TV show continues to prick Michael Jackson’s credibility

Article from: New York Amsterdam News

Article date:  May 21, 1994

Author:  Abiola Sinclair

Tabloid TV show “Hard Copy” continues its leading role in the persecution of Michael Jackson with a so-called diary written by the father of the 14-year-old boy who was allegedly sexually abused by Jackson.

The diary, which was admittedly procured by “Hard Copy,” was read on the air Monday and Tuesday May 9 and 10, in typical “Hard Copy” fashion.

The diary tells the father’s version of the events surrounding the abuse case, but despite “Hard Copy’s” attempt to put its own suspicious spin on the information, it also reveals the father’s greed and manipulation of the situation for his own benefit.

“Hard Copy” never brought out the manipulations of the father and presented the entire matter from the father’s perspective. They did this with all of the people they had on their show, including Quindoy, the valet, Blanca Francia, the maid, as well as others.

Ethnic NewsWatch SoftLine Information, Inc., Stamford, CT  Provided by ProQuest LLC.

 

(more about it in the next post)

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2020 9:28 pm

    I wanted to make this post tomorrow but while the Internet traffic is still available to me decided to post it today to be on the safe side. Sorry that didn’t have time enough to really proofread it – later it may change a bit.

    Stay tuned for the next part in the Blanca Francia series. I wanted to handle it for so long that simply can’t drop it midway now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. January 26, 2020 7:31 am

    DD: “Our conversation about exactly what happened to her son was confus­ing. At some points, she said she didn’t think anything happened. But in the next breath she would be in tears, worried that she would never be able to reach or heal her damaged son.”

    It was confusing for her, because stupid Dimond thought the damage could come only from molestation. But I think Blanca was talking about two separate things: 1) she didn’t think anything bad happened with MJ, 2) she actually SAW that Jason was hurt and damaged, he changed and probably his attitude to his mother changed – and it happened because he was pressured by police and was made a liar and traitor by them. And his mother played a role in that pressure too, so he could have become hostile to his mother. (He said in 2005 that their relations are “weird”).

    Q. (Mesereau) Does it remind you that your son had talked to the police before you went on Hard Copy?
    A. (Blanca F.) It doesn’t — I don’t remember.
    Q. Okay. Did you know your son was going to speak to any police officer about Mr. Jackson?
    A. No.
    Q. It happened without you knowing about it?
    A. I didn’t know he was — they were going to talk to him.
    Q. Do you have any idea WHY the police wanted to talk to your son at that point in time?
    A. No, I don’t remember.

    WHY the police wanted to talk to him?
    They wanted to talk to her son, because on Sept, 1 Jordan named him among “other victims” (“Garcia” surely is Francia, who else it could be?)
    Btw, funny, how on Sept, 1 Jordy dropped Wade, Jimmy and Jonathan from his statement and named “a local boy named Garcia”, BUT on Oct, 6 Jordy talks to Gardner and again names Wade, Jimmy, Jonathan, and doesn’t mention any Garcias. I guess, when Evan made his son change the statement, he forgot to rehearse a new story with him?

    Helena, in many MJ-supporters website I see ppl mentioning how Blanca Francia had the key to Michael’s closet and she was present during the raid. But what is the source of that? I can’t find the source anywhere. How do we know that and is that a credible info? And what else do we know about that?

    Like

  3. January 26, 2020 5:21 pm

    “Helena, in many MJ-supporters website I see ppl mentioning how Blanca Francia had the key to Michael’s closet and she was present during the raid. But what is the source of that? I can’t find the source anywhere. How do we know that and is that a credible info? And what else do we know about that?” – Мария

    It comes from the testimony of one of the investigators who raided Neverland in 1993. In 2005 she gave a direct answer to a question about the key to Michael’s locked file cabinet and replied that it was provided by Blanca Francia. I will talk about it in the next parts of this post.

    As to the various people’s motives in this story I suggest we discuss it after the second post as it will also contain important information.

    On my part I would also like to ask you about Jordan mentioning Garcia on September 1st. What source do you have in mind?

    Like

  4. January 26, 2020 7:36 pm

    Well, my source was this blog. I remember reading this in your blog, and… somehow I remember that there was a web-link somewhere, that I saw “Garcia” mentioned in some old article. That’s why I felt sure it’s a proven fact… But now that you’ve asked, I started to doubt my memory (did I actually saw the article? I didn’t save the link).
    I found the page in your blog where I probably first saw it: https://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/victor-gutierrez-behind-the-scene-of-michael-jacksons-case/
    In the comments Lynande51 mentioned it: “when all of these boys were interviewed by the police and denied it Jordan changed his statement to include only Mac, Brett and a “local boy named Garcia”
    So, it would be nice to clear the source for that, too 🙂

    Regarding Francia and the keys. Is it also a fact that the closed was locked for two years?
    If so, did you notice in Diane Dimond’s book this phrase: “According to the source, the items were found just where the young accuser said they would be — in Michael Jackson’s master bedroom suit at Neverland Valley Ranch.”
    1) I never saw Jordy claiming MJ showed him any books
    2) If the closet was locked, who could Jordy know that?!!

    Like

  5. January 27, 2020 5:17 pm

    “In the comments Lynande51 mentioned it: “when all of these boys were interviewed by the police and denied it Jordan changed his statement to include only Mac, Brett and a “local boy named Garcia”. So, it would be nice to clear the source for that, too” – Мария

    Lynande51 used to write for this blog but unfortunately she oftened neglected to give links to her sources and I often had no access to the documents she had in mind.
    In this case she most probably talked about Jordan Chandler’s interview with the Department of Children and Family Services which was leaked to the press soon after the first allegations. But as far as I know we have never seen that document and I doubt that Lynande51 had it. But she could have seen some references to it in the press.

    Like

  6. John Doe permalink
    July 1, 2020 10:05 am

    The Garcia reference comes from DD’s book, ironically, and she said he came from Santa Barbara. It was not on September 1, however, but on August 18, when Jordan was interviewed by people like Dworin and Ferrufino for the first time. At least that’s how DD took up the story – then again, I doubt she’d lie about that – she could’ve made up something far more salacious had she wanted to.

    That Jordan mentioned a Garcia from SB is particularly intriguing, and I do see eye to eye with Lynette on him being a supposed mention of Jason, which does make one wonder about what implications that could have on Jordan’s credibility and the way the Chandlers went about the boys Jordan pointed out that MJ had purportedly molested.

    Like

  7. July 3, 2020 4:30 pm

    I don’t understand. . .what do these people get out of it? Why are people so evil? I believe all are good deep down, but as you age, you lose that childish innocence, that Michael retained.

    Like

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