4. Civil suit for the Arvizos
We are still reading Larry Feldman’s speech and telling the story of 1993 and 2003 allegations the way it really was and not the way Feldman presented it at the Frozen in Time seminar. Since Feldman’s distortion of the truth arises from a mere omission of the necessary facts our story is much longer than his clipped version of it.
Today’s part is especially long as it is a highly documented one where the newspapers actually tell the whole story themselves.
ANOTHER CIVIL SUIT IN 2003?
LARRY FELDMAN: In the 93 case, by the time I was retained, this case was the lead story in the LA Times. This case was in every local television news cast. It was the lead story. In this case, the young boy, just to refresh some of your recollection, was sent to Children’s Services through a psychiatrist, that he had reported this molestation. Children’s Services, as most of you probably know, this is a confidential report, when anybody reports molestation, psychiatrists are required under the law to report. And that was supposed to be remained totally, 100% confidential. Somebody got a hold of it and leaked it to the press, so the press had it by the time there was any lawyers involved in this.
Somebody got hold of it and leaked it to the press? I am truly surprised that a lead lawyer like Larry Feldman does not know up till now how all those leaks came about in August 1993. Though the report was made by the DCFS it was available to the police as well and could be leaked by them too:
Lisa D. Campbell says:
- “Actually the Los Angeles Police Department would turn out to be one of the biggest leaks of information in the whole investigation. Within just a few days, two tabloid TV shows had copies of confidential documents in the case from the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services. Each show paid over $10,000 for the copies of the documents.”(The King of Pop’s Darkest Hour, 1994, p.30)
Maureen Orth was evidently closer to the source of the leak as in January 1994 she wrote: http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/archive/1994/01/orth199401?currentPage=8
- “Pellicano suspected that Splash knew the original source of the leak of the highly confidential Department of Children’s Services report, which had actually been given first to Diane Dimond of Hard Copy, but which found its way to Splash so soon after that that because of the time difference between England and California, Splash’s buyer, The Sun in London, could trumpet a world exclusive: JACKO USED ME AS SEX TOY. Splash won’t reveal how much it paid for the document—guessers say in the $30,000 range—but it was able to sell the report… Revenues from the report made up a tidy part of the $100,000 Splash has reaped so far on the Michael Jackson story”.
The LA Times says both the Children’s services dept and the police clamped down on their employees because of the leak:
“Unauthorized news leaks have bedevilled investigators probing the case since it broke early this week, and their task at controlling information has been made even harder by the willingness of some media outlets to pay for information. (The Times does not pay for information.) Police and Children’s Services officials have clamped down on their employees. http://articles.latimes.com/1993-08-28/news/mn-28760_1_michael-jackson
Later the LA Times also obtained the copies of both DCFS and police interviews:
“Copies of the boy’s interview by police and social workers were obtained by The Times, and they include detailed, graphic descriptions of alleged sexual advances by Jackson. (for graphic details of what was leaked click the link below, if you want to).
The boy said he and his father met with Jackson and Jackson’s lawyers, “and confronted him with allegations in an effort to make a settlement and avoid a court hearing.” (as they never wanted any court hearing in the first place).
The case file was obtained by the LA Times which among other things told the story of a feud between the LAPD and the Department of Children’s Services – the police hampered the DCFS in their investigation for reasons unstated in the file:
“The two primary agencies involved–the county Department of Children’s Services and the LAPD–have feuded over control of the case, while Pellicano has aggressively waged an inquiry on the singer’s behalf.
The bickering between LAPD and Children’s Service erupted on the investigation’s first day. Children’s Services received the initial complaint from the boy’s therapist and informed the LAPD’s West Bureau, which sent officers to the interview with the boy.
For reasons unstated in the case file, an LAPD sergeant named Thomas L. Felix requested that Children’s Services end its investigation. As a result, the social worker was “unable to interview (father), (mother) or sibling.”
Despite the LAPD’s attempts to force Children’s Services off the case, however, social workers did resume a role in the investigation. Interviews of possible victims are now being conducted jointly. The relationship between the LAPD and Children’s Services remains tense, however, and some police sources blamed their counterparts for leaking information to the media.
At the Children’s Services headquarters, one source close to the case said supervisors were going desk to desk looking for purloined copies of the department’s files on the Jackson case. “Everyone is tearing up their copies and flushing them down the toilet,” the source said. “It’s like the Gestapo. Everyone is scared to death. . . . It has been made plain and clear someone is leaking the information and that they will be terminated.”
The rest of the article takes us a little aside the main story but a few points here are so interesting that I am leaving them here:
The case has also thrust the 13-year-old boy’s father into the spotlight because of his role in bringing the allegations forward. The father is a prominent dentist–his patients include Paramount Pictures Chairman Sherry Lansing and actor Christian Slater–and he reportedly had aspirations to break into the film business.
On Thursday, the Hollywood Reporter said the father had unsuccessfully sought a $20-million movie production and financing deal with Jackson, who has a lucrative arrangement with Sony Corp. The deal apparently went nowhere. http://articles.latimes.com/1993-08-27/news/mn-28516_1_jackson-case
The fact that Evan Chandler knew of Michael’s lucrative $40mln. arrangement with Sony and wanted $20mln. as “his half” for making movies was confirmed by painter David Nordahl who was a chance witness to the events:
- “I was working on sketches for his film production company, called “Lost Boys Productions”….Sony had given him (Michael) $40 million to start this production company and that little boy’s dad (Evan Chandler), who ... considered himself a Hollywood screenwriter, and being friends with Michael and his son being friends with Michael, this guy had assumed that Michael was going to make him a partner in this film production company and that’s where the $20 million figure came from. He wanted ½ of that Sony money. It was proven. It was an extortion.…. http://www.reflectionsonthedance.com/interviewwithdavidnordahl.html
Surprisingly Ray Chandler also confirms that his brother was expecting a job with Michael’s production company. The conversation between Evan Chandler and his wife Natalie from “All that Glitters” is exactly about this matter:
“He [Jordie] also told me Michael’s going to give me a job working for his production company.”
“Are you going to take it?”
“I don’t know. What do you think?”
“You won’t be happy, I know you. You’ll be living under his thumb.”
“You’re probably right, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.”(Evan cannot refuse the job because it will hurt Michael’s feelings? Oh, my Lord!)
“And Jordie, are you going to tell him he can’t live here, too?”
“That’s the hard part. I’d love him to live with us. He’s the one who asked Michael to give me a job so we can all be together. I’m not sure what to do.”…
So Jordan Chandler asked Michael to give his father a job in his production company? Let’s remember it and go on with the feud between the police and the Department for Children’s services.
The real reason why the police were hindering the DCFS was because they, as long-time experts in investigating child abuse allegations, did not want to jump to hasty conclusions in Jordan’s case. A week after Jordan’s allegations the LA Times was reporting the opinion of one of the top DCFS executives (August 25, 1993):
Deanne Tilton-Durfee, executive director of Los Angeles County’s Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, cautioned that many may be jumping the gun.
“These kinds of investigations go on thousands of times a year. . . . It is premature to attach much credibility to this yet. Celebrities are vulnerable to extortion,” said Tilton-Durfee, who said she has seen many allegations made against high-profile entertainers that were not substantiated.
Of the 2.9 million reports of child abuse made nationwide in 1992, only about 40% are substantiated, she said.
Authorities are obligated to investigate all credible reports they receive of physical or sexual child abuse, although such inquiries are supposed to be confidential until criminal charges are filed.
Such inquiries are supposed to be confidential until criminal charges are filed? So these people who looked into so many false reports of child abuse annually surely knew how to protect the privacy of those falsely accused while they were investigating the cases? Could they really be the ones who leaked the information to the press? I doubt it.
LARRY FELDMAN: The young boy in that case, in the 93 case, had given an unbelievably detailed statement about his relationship with Michael Jackson, how that came about, how the sexual part came about. He detailed in great detail the start of the relationship, how it transgressed into a more physical activity with Michael Jackson, how it became fondling, how it became oral sex, how it became masturbation. And he gave this whole history in exquisite detail.
What I notice about Larry Feldman is when it comes to essential things we need to know about the case he doesn’t talk about them, but when it’s something unnecessary which they fed to us for decades he hammers it into our heads again and again. What’s the use of repeating the above to the audience of lawyers at the Frozen in Time seminar and in “exquisite detail” too? Or is he using this opportunity to make sure that the allegations are carved in stone and no one ever dares doubt the official version of the events?
I strongly suspect he wants to start it all over again….
LARRY FELDMAN: The other boy that wasn’t true. The other boy had, was a young boy who had at one time in his life he had Stage 4 cancer, and was a boy who had never really disclosed everything about the relationship. And he came from a family that was all broken, came from a broken home. But that family, by the time they came to me, had never told any Children’s Services, hadn’t been to therapy, hadn’t called the police, hadn’t called the District Attorney. So in case one, that case was sort of out there by the time we got involved. And in the second case, it had not been told to anyone. And so there were totally different issues that were involved in both cases.
Besides confirming by this account that it was actually him who was the starting point for Arvizos’ allegations (thank you, Mr. Feldman), the lawyer aims to explain here why Gavin Arvizo never suspected he had been molested until he met the good old man.
Feldman heavily implies that the poor victim was so ill and intimidated that he could never raise himself to disclose the truth about the ‘relationship’. So shy in communication the boy was that the Dean of his school had the following to say about him to the jury:
“Jeffrey Alpert, the former dean of Burroughs Middle School in Los Angeles, said the boy was regularly in trouble with teachers for his disruptive behaviour”.
“Under questioning from Mesereau, the accuser conceded that he had had disciplinary problems in middle school, where many teachers wrote him up for talking back, not doing homework, getting into fights and being generally defiant”.
He had also told Jeffrey Alpert that nothing bad had ever happened to him in Neverland. “I told him Michael didn’t do anything to me,” he testified. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/mar/15/local/me-jackson15
Flight attendant Cynthia Bell also noticed how ‘shy’ Gavin was:
“…the accuser was rude and demanding throughout the flight, at one point triggering a food fight by throwing mashed potatoes at Jackson’s doctor. “He acted like I was his maid,” Bell said. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/30/jackson/index.html
“He was unusually rude, discourteous,” she testified. I remember him talking about how, ‘I got this watch from Michael and it’s real expensive.’ . . . He was obnoxious. “When I served him food, he said ‘This isn’t warm. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.’ It was embarrassing to have him on board, actually.”
She said the boy was consistently rude except when listening to music. Under questioning by Mesereau, she said the boy’s mother was aware of his rude behavior and didn’t stop it. The boy had a wide range of unreasonable complaints.
‘I want a side of coleslaw. I don’t want it on the same plate.’ … He was very demanding throughout the entire flight,” she said.
She said that at one point Jackson’s accuser threw mashed potatoes at a sleeping doctor who was traveling with Jackson. “The initial flinging of mashed potatoes was not playful. Throwing mashed potatoes at a sleeping man?” she said. http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-03-30-flight-attendant_x.htm?csp=34
Brett Ratner had another couple of things to say about Gavin Arvizo when he spoke to Roger Friedman:
“[The boy] would sit in my director’s chair. When I told him to get up, he’d tell me to go to hell.” Ratner said, “He used to tell me, ‘Brett, I don’t like the last shot’ while he was watching us make the movie. He’s telling me how to make my movie! He’s more street smart than I was at that age. If someone tried to fondle him, he’d punch them in the face. He’s an adult. I think the jury will see that.”
Michael Cardoza, a former Alameda County prosecutor attending the trial, summed it up:
- “He was feisty with teachers, then all of a sudden with Michael Jackson he was passive”
So it was this ‘ill and intimidated’ boy who raised himself to ‘tell the truth’ only after meeting our great experts in human hearts – lawyer Larry Feldman and psychologist Dr. Katz? And it was due to their considerate approach and unique methods that they reached for the soul of this frightened little thing? Well, I always say it takes real professionals to do the job…
LARRY FELDMAN: In the first case it was simple, because this boy was being chastised, and couldn’t survive under circumstances that existed. In the second case, you had a boy that had terminal cancer at one point, and almost died of terminal cancer at least. He had stage 4 cancer, and here this kid has now have to decide, and his parents have to decide whether or not they should do anything, whether they should go to the police, whether they should go to the district attorney, whether they should go to children’s services, whether they should ask for money from Michael Jackson, or do nothing except try to get a quick settlement. There are all these kinds of issues out there that these people have to deal with, and you have generally parents making these decisions who, in some form or another, were complicit in, if anything happened, allowing it to happen. So they’re helping them make decisions that impact these kids for life. So it’s an awesome responsibility to help them.
I don’t know why Jordan Chandler couldn’t survive ‘under circumstances that existed’, though with a father like that who knows, probably he couldn’t… But the rest of Feldman’s speech is aimed to raise compassion for the poor Arvizos again and explain incessant inconsistencies in their behaviour. As the Arvizos’ decision-making was indeed a long and winding road, let us look at its main lampposts:
On February 14-27 when the DCFS and the Los Angeles Police Department were conducting a joint probe the family didn’t remember any child abuse yet. The DCFS concluded that the allegations were unfounded and the Santa Barbara Police department closed their two-month long investigation lasting Feb.18-April 16, 2003.
The social workers of the special Sensitive Case Unit of the DFCS gave their testimony about their February 2003 interviews with the Arvizos at the trial in 2005:
Jackson Case Social Worker Says She Found No Molesting
A longtime social worker testified on Tuesday that she investigated accusations that Michael Jackson’s accuser had been sexually abused but found no basis for believing that was the case.
Irene Peters, a social worker with 30 years of experience in the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services, told the jury that she investigated after a complaint had been lodged with her office after a documentary was broadcast in February 2003.
Testifying for the defense, Ms. Peters said she and two colleagues interviewed the accuser, his two siblings and his mother in the Los Angeles apartment of the mother’s boyfriend and were told that the children had not been mistreated or sexually abused.
… She asked whether Mr. Jackson had touched him sexually. ”He became upset,” Ms. Peters testified. ”Said: ‘Everyone thinks Michael Jackson abused me. He never touched me.’ He was very upset about it.”
She said that the teenager’s demeanor was ”playful, articulate” and that ”he appeared to enjoy the attention.” She added that he was not withdrawn or mistrustful, behavior that is common with sexual abuse victims.
Ms. Peters and her supervisor, Karen Walker, testified that the accuser’s mother never complained that she was being held against her will at the ranch, as the prosecution contends, despite many opportunities to do so.
Instead, the two social workers said, the mother repeatedly expressed her displeasure that Mr. Bashir’s documentary showed her son’s face without her permission and asked for help in persuading Mr. Jackson to send her children to private school, because of the unwanted news media attention.
”Her main complaint was she felt the kids were being taped without her consent, and what could she do about it,” Ms. Peters said.
She and Ms. Walker met the mother and spoke to her repeatedly on the telephone in February and March, when the family says it was held captive. On April 1, 2003, the social workers coincidentally crossed paths with the mother and her children at a restaurant in Los Angeles, and no mention was made of being abused or held captive, they said.
”I asked how the children were doing, and she said they were doing O.K., except they had missed a lot of school”.
”I would have called,” Ms. Peters said, referring to the police, ”if there was any doubt in my mind that abuse was going on. We’d have been in children’s court.”
The testimony on Tuesday underscored how difficult it may be to prove that Mr. Jackson chose to molest the boy at the very moment when the news media, the police and social workers were scrutinizing him for such crimes. (By SHARON WAXMAN May 18, 2005)
According to the Santa Barbara News Archive (“The Jackson Trial: Accuser’s cousin rebuts prosecution claims about alcohol”) Janet Arvizo later claimed that the social workers hadn’t taken the necessary notes, but this was refuted by Tom Sneddon who said the report was available to him:
“The social workers never took notes or filed a report because they were concerned that Mr. Jackson might sue them. However, both defense co-counsel Robert Sanger and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon had a copy of an official report completed by the social workers.” (The police naturally had a copy of the report. Leaking it this time wasn’t in their interests. Sorry for the side remark, just couldn’t resist it)
At the time of the inverviews on February 21, 2003 Janet Arvizo consulted a lawyer William Dickerman, a long-time attorney for her friend Jamie Massada. She tried to get the boy’s name and photograph removed from international publication (rightfully so) and visited him on several occasions but later claimed the family had been ‘held hostages’ in Neverland at the same time:
“The mother, her children and Mr. Masada met four times with Mr. Dickerman — either at the attorney’s office or at the comedy club — during a period when the family said they were being held hostage at Mr. Jackson’s ranch.” http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1043690,00.html
“Dickerman said the mother wanted him to write letters to networks who aired the program demanding that they stop using the boy’s image. The next month, after the family broke off contact with Jackson and left his Neverland Ranch for good, Dickerman said he also began sending letters to Mark Geragos, Jackson’s attorney at the time.
Dickerman conceded that in the letters he wrote to Geragos in the spring of 2003, he never mentioned anything about allegations of child molestation or alcohol consumption, or that the family claimed it had been held against its will at Neverland.
He said he never called police to report any wrongdoing by Jackson. He said he did call the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department once to check on the progress of the investigation triggered by Katz and Feldman”. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/30/jackson/index.html
Dickerman said he immediately began a two-pronged effort on his new clients’ behalf: retrieve their personal property from Jackson after the relationship had soured, and prevent Bashir’s people from re-airing the program, because the mother claimed she had never consented to her son’s face being shown.
But he later began to realize, Dickerman said, that he needed a Jackson-savvy attorney on his side.
It was most probably the lure of a multi-million 1993 settlement which inspired the Arvizos and their lawyer Dickerman to make their next move in May 2003 and approach Larry Feldman:
“In May of that year, Dickerman said, he referred the boy’s family to attorney Larry Feldman, who a decade earlier had represented another Los Angeles boy who reportedly won millions in a legal settlement after accusing Jackson of molesting him.
“Dickerman said he referred the case to Feldman because “I knew he was the go-to guy about Michael Jackson.”
Dickerman said he and Feldman have an agreement to divide any proceeds from a lawsuit against Jackson, should the family file one. “We were retained together. I have a fee-sharing arrangement with Mr. Feldman,” Dickerman said.
“In court, the accuser, who had appeared in the documentary holding Jackson’s hand, claimed the first molestation occurred after the taping of the rebuttal video.
Seemingly incredulous, Mesereau insisted the molestation complaint arose only after the family’s visit with attorney William Dickerman, who referred them to attorney Larry Feldman, who had secured a reported multimillion-dollar settlement for a family that accused Jackson of child molestation in 1993.
“You went to two lawyers and a psychologist before you went to the police, right?” Mesereau asked.
So it was only after the family contacted Larry Feldman in May 2003 that the accusations actually started. And though both Feldman and Katz agree on this point, there is some controversy between them as to “who was the first to hear the victim’s story”.
Larry Feldman says all the credit for restoring Arvizo’s memory goes to Dr. Katz and at one point even claims that the family met the psychologist before consulting him, while the psychologist thinks it was the other way about – the family came to Larry Feldman with their ready-made story (or it is him who dragged it out of them) and Dr. Katz’ mission was only to determine whether their accusations were credible or not.
The LA Times tells Feldman’s version of the events:
“The family was referred to Feldman in 2003 by Los Angeles attorney William Dickerman. The issue, Feldman testified, was to determine whether to take action against the ABC television network, British TV journalist Martin Bashir and other possible defendants.
While talking with the boy, his brother, his older sister and their mother, Feldman said he realized they had discussed their Neverland experiences with psychologist Stanley Katz. Feldman had conferred with Katz on previous cases, including the 1993 lawsuit against Jackson.
When Katz concluded that Jackson had committed some sexual abuse at Neverland, the psychologist and Feldman reported it to Los Angeles social workers and Santa Barbara County prosecutors, Feldman testified. That report triggered the current case.” http://articles.latimes.com/2005/apr/02/local/me-jackson2
And the Santa Barbara News Archive says that Dr. Katz only confirmed what Larry Feldman had already heard from the family:
“Dr. Katz’s testimony also revealed that the alleged victim’s accusations against Mr. Jackson were first made to the family’s civil attorney, Larry Feldman, who then referred the boy to Dr. Katz”. (Strategy is supreme in Jackson hearing August 25, 2004)
“… the boy’s family’s second civil attorney, Larry Feldman, may have been the first to hear the boy’s accusations. Mr. Feldman, who brokered a multimillion-dollar settlement in a 1993 child molestation case against the entertainer, called Dr. Katz, who was also involved in the 1993 case that never made it to trial, and asked him to speak with the boy.
“He asked me to interview the minor to determine the veracity of these comments they had made to him,” Dr. Katz said.
(Jackson’s accuser, gumshoe may share psychologist By DAWN HOBBS August 18, 2004)
So most of the credit for restoring the Arvizos’ memory goes to Larry Feldman after all? Interesting that he never admits it…
I wonder if the transcripts of their testimonies are still available anywhere. Unfortunately the Smoking Gun site no longer has them so for details of the testimonies we have to rely mostly on the media.
CNN says that Feldman paid Dr. Katz $300 per hour for his interviews and asked him not to make an in-depth analysis of whether the abuse had really occurred.
For some reason the prosecution didn’t ask him for details either during the 2005 trial which was a factor that didn’t enable Thomas Mesereau to cross-examine Dr. Katz properly – he had to limit himself only to the range of questions asked by the prosecution:
“Katz told jurors Wednesday that he was paid $300 an hour by Feldman to evaluate the family’s claims of molestation.
But while the doctor testified in detail at a grand jury proceeding about the interviews he conducted, prosecutors gave a halting and brief direct examination Wednesday, never asking about the substance of the interviews and doing little more than establishing his presence in the narrative.
“Katz also conceded that his evaluation of Jackson’s accuser and his family was cursory, and that he was not asked to do an in-depth psychological investigation to make a clear determination of whether abuse had occurred”. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/31/ctv.jackson/index.html
Katz testified he conducted eight interviews in May and June 2003 with the accuser and his mother, brother and sister. He did not provide details of what they told him.
After the interviews, however, he said he informed Larry Feldman — the attorney who hired him to “help sort things out” with the family — that they needed to report abuse allegations to authorities.
The brevity of the prosecution’s questioning of Katz limited what defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. could ask on cross-examination, which has to be within the scope of the prosecution’s direct exam.
Details of Stanley Katz’ testimony are scattered here and there and from the various fragments I gather that before the family addressed Dr. Katz they had approached Larry Feldman with a civil suit.
The MJEOL site says:
“If you remember, the prosecution and their sympathizers went out of their way to convince people that the reason the family hadn’t filed a civil suit was because they did not want money from Jackson. Well, new information blows that lie right out of the water. And this information comes from the psychologist hired by Feldman to “pull out” the allegations of molestation in the first place.
NBC’s Mike Taibbi has revealed more information found within the documents obtained by them earlier. The psychologist, Stan Katz, told Santa Barbara investigators in June 2003 about the accuser and his siblings:
KATZ: Mr. Feldman actually referred these kids to me because they come to him in this lawsuit Feldman’s going to file… Whether the mother’s motive is to do it for money, I can’t tell you…I mean, certainly they’re kind of a poor family.”
The Santa Barbara News Archive confirms that Larry Feldman was contemplating another civil suit against Michael Jackson:
A clinical psychologist told jurors on Wednesday that a well-known civil attorney who had sued Michael Jackson over child molestation allegations in 1993 has considered filing suit against him again on behalf of the accuser in the current case.
Stan Katz, the psychologist, testified that Larry Feldman referred the boy to him for an interview in June 2003. After Mr. Katz interviewed the boy’s mother, the boy and his siblings, the psychologist reported to Los Angeles officials on June 12, 2003, that Mr. Jackson had allegedly molested the boy four months earlier at Neverland Valley Ranch.
On cross-examination, lead defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau asked whether the psychologist remembered his conversation with a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s detective the day after the report was made.
“It was your belief when you talked to him that Mr. Feldman was filing a lawsuit against Mr. Jackson, right?” Mr. Mesereau asked.
“It was my belief that he was thinking about filing a lawsuit,” Mr. Katz responded.
The admission bolstered the defense position that the boy and his family are after Mr. Jackson’s money. Mr. Jackson’s lawyers have maintained that the allegations of sexual molestation surfaced only after the boy’s mother’s failed to get a payoff from the entertainer”. (THE JACKSON TRIAL: Psychologist testifies of link to lawyer in ’93 case, March 31, 2005)
In the meantime it turns out that while Dr. Katz was supposed to interview Gavin Arvizo about any ‘molestation’ business, he actually discussed financial issues with the boy and told him he would receive money in case his family went ahead with the civil suit and they won. Isn’t it interesting how suggestive some psychologists might be?
The Smoking Gun cites a taped telephone interview of Dr. Katz by a Santa Barbara sheriff’s investigator Det. Paul Zelis in June 2003 where Dr. Katz freely admits he raised that money issue with the boy:
“While the accuser and his mother have repeatedly denied ever contemplating a lawsuit against Jackson, Katz, 55 left a different impression during his debriefing by Zelis.
The child psychologist noted that “Mr. Feldman actually referred these kids to me. Because they had come to him in this lawsuit.”
After remarking that he was left with the impression that the accuser and his brother were not fabricating their claims, Katz said, “Now there’s a lawsuit that Feldman’s gonna file. And I don’t get the idea that they’re [the brothers] doing this for money. Whether mother’s motive is to do it for money, I can’t tell you. I mean, certainly they’re, they’re kind of a poor family.”
“I don’t think they see the financial motive here because when I sat down with [the accuser],” Katz continued, “I said,’…look, if you go ahead with the civil lawsuit your family will get money if you win.’
Katz told Zelis that he found the accuser and his siblings credible, though “it’s a very bizarre story, to be honest with you”.
*After this post was made Olga provided me with a transcript of Dr. Katz’ testimony in 2005 where the psychologist is epxlaining to court why he discussed a civil suit with the children though the only thing he was supposed to do was checking the credibility of their abuse allegations.
He says he raised the subject to see what expectations they had of a conversation with him, which is very interesting news to me – previously I thought it was he who was interviewing them…
12 Q. During the course of those interviews, did
13 you discuss with either of the children the
14 possibility of a lawsuit?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. What was the purpose of that discussion?
23 A. The purpose was, excuse me, to determine
24 what the children’s expectations were for talking to
25 me, and what they thought would happen as a result
26 of talking to me.
As to Larry Feldman he absolutely denied the fact that any money had ever been involved in the case. In his interview of March 19, 2004 to Today show Larry Feldman said:
- “I don’t know where they got this idea that this is about money. It just simply isn’t true.”
In an interview of January 16, 2004 Larry Feldman practically hypnotized his listeners with the assurances that the case was not about money (see at 2:19 of the interview):
- “It has never been about money. There is one thing that needs to be straightened here. This case never had to do about money. It has never been about money. It was about what happened to the little boy…”
Click on the link below if you want to listen to Larry Feldman’s mantras and please note that he himself admits the ‘molestation’ evidence had to be practically dragged out of the children:
Larry Feldman’s interview: http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/id/67lge6f
However the above is what Larry Feldman said.
And what Larry Feldman thought of the Arvizos became known to us due to the TV talk-show host Larry King in whom Larry Feldman confided sometime in 2004, a year after he had sent them to Dr. Katz.
Larry Feldman told him that:
1) he didn’t believe them,
2) thought their mother was “wacko”,
3) the family was in it “just for money” and
4) that he “didn’t want to represent them”.
Larry King was ready to give his testimony to the effect but due to some behind-the scene maneuvers was never allowed to do it as it would contradict the version Larry Feldman had earlier presented in court. Finding that the top lawyer was telling a flat lie (under oath) was evidently too much an embarrassment for Larry Feldman and was too detrimental for Tom Sneddon’s case, so both of them did their best not to allow Larry King to speak.
CNN tells the detailed story of how Larry King’s testimony never came to be:
SANTA MARIA, Calif. — The judge in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial ruled Thursday against allowing CNN host Larry King to testify for the defense, saying his statements would be irrelevant.
Judge Rodney S. Melville ruled after listening to King’s account of a conversation with an attorney, Larry Feldman, who represented the accuser’s family.
Without the jury present, King said that Feldman told him the accuser’s mother was out for money and referred to her as “wacko.”
Testifying earlier for the prosecution, Feldman denied making such statements about his clients, saying, “It is absolutely privileged, and if anybody tells you that, they are absolutely lying.”
After listening to an account by King and another man who heard the conversation, the judge ruled them out on grounds they would not impeach Feldman’s testimony because neither could say the attorney directly quoted the accuser’s mother.
On the stand and without jurors present, King said he spoke to Feldman at a Beverly Hills restaurant before the trial began. He said he and a producer were trying to get Feldman to appear on “Larry King Live.”
He said Feldman told him he didn’t take the mother’s case because he didn’t find her credible and thought she was only after money.
“The mother was a ’wacko’ was the term he used,” King said.
“He said he thinks she wants money. … He said ’wacko’ a couple of times and he said ’she’s in this for the money,”’ King told the judge.
Jackson defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked King if he asked Feldman to clarify what he meant by “wacko.”
“No, I think that’s self-explanatory,” King said.
There had been speculation that King might try to avoid testifying by invoking a state shield law that protects journalists from testifying in many circumstances. But the matter was not raised before the testimony was ruled out.
The judge also ruled against testimony by a publisher, Michael Viner, who was present during King’s meeting with Feldman.
Without the jury present, Viner told the judge that Feldman said “he had met with them (the family) and felt that their statements, their case, didn’t hold up to scrutiny and he didn’t believe them.”
“Under cross-examination by Mesereau, Feldman repeatedly denied attending a meeting at which defense attorneys say he told CNN’s Larry King that the accuser’s mother was making up the molestation allegations.
While he was on the stand, tempers appeared to be running short in the courtroom. Feldman seemed testy with both Sneddon and Mesereau, and Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, while considering an objection, told Sneddon, “Don’t give me that look.”
What makes Larry Feldman to lie so vehemently even under oath is a contradiction between his thoughts and deeds.
If he didn’t believe a single word of what the Arvizos were saying (as Larry King tells us), why did he report the case to the police then? If he thought they were for money only why was he so insistent on calling the Santa Barbara DA department even after the DCFS refused to take Dr. Katz’ report? Why did he have to take the case into his hands and talk personally to Tom Sneddon?
In his testimony Dr. Katz says that Larry Feldman did call the DA office to move the case further:
9 Q. Did you ever discuss with Attorney Feldman
10 whether or not he had talked to Mr. Sneddon after
11 the DCFS interview?
12 A. I don’t think we ever talked about that.
13 Q. Never?
14 A. I don’t have any recollection of that at
16 Q. Okay. So you’ve never heard anything about
17 that as you sit here today?
18 A. I’m sorry, about Mr. Feldman talking to Mr.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Yes, I think that, as I said before, prior
22 to the call to — from Detective Zelis, I believe
23 that Mr. Feldman called the D.A.’s Office. I don’t
24 know if he personally talked to Mr. Sneddon or not.
Another update from Olga and I have a full testimony from Larry Feldman where he clearly says that he called Tom Sneddon after the DCFS had refused to accept Dr. Katz’ report (the DCFS still remembered that they had earlier extensively interviewed the family and no molestations were ever, ever mentioned).
Tom Sneddon is questioning Larry Feldman:
Q. Did they take the report?
7 A. They didn’t take the report, and they didn’t
8 direct us to another agency. They —
9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay; move to
11 THE COURT: Overruled.
12 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Now, after you left the
13 agency, did you decide on a course of action?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And was this regarding and connected with
16 Dr. Katz’ responsibility as a mandated reporter?
17 A. Yes, because I felt he still hadn’t reported
18 because they didn’t take the report.
19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Objection. Move
20 to strike; nonresponsive.
21 THE COURT: After “Yes” is stricken.
22 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: All right. Who did you
24 A. I called you.
Let me point out once again that Larry Feldman’s insistence would have been understandable if he had believed the family and thought that the boy had really been abused.
But we know from Larry King that Larry Feldman did not believe the family and was sure that they were “in for money only” and were therefore lying – so why bother so much about reporting the case to the D.A. department and personally to Sneddon?
Did they have an arrangement between themselves regarding Michael Jackson or what? And does Larry Feldman have his own agenda when it comes to persecuting the poor man?
Though Larry Feldman said he didn’t want to represent the “wacko” family he still carried out some jobs for them even after he dropped their case – the fact he admitted under the pressure from the defense team:
The pop star, 46, and his family members, including his mom and brother Randy, looked stunned when the judge hastily nixed such crucial testimony with the simple words, “I’m not going to allow it.”
Jackson’s defense lawyers wanted jurors to hear King’s story to discredit Feldman, who denied he ever told King or anyone else that the current family was after money.
During his earlier testimony, Feldman denied he currently is representing the accuser’s clan, but records presented by the defense show his firm has done legal work for them this year.
So the defense proved it that Feldman’s firm had done legal work for the Arvizos in 2005 – two years after Larry Feldman officially had dropped their case. If he had represented the Arvizos in matters other than Jackson it would have been nothing much of course, however all the jobs were connected with thwarting the moves of Michael’s defense and this makes me think that Larry Feldman does regard himself as a sort of a life-long Michael Jackson opponent who should interfere in the process each time Michael’s enemies find themselves in danger.
And those four legal jobs did not bring him any money as I doubt the Arvizos had a lot to pay Feldman for his services. In fact I wonder how on earth they could pay for his services at all – Larry Feldman is one of the best-compensated US attorneys! (see the list of the top-earning lawyers http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/law-firms-attorneys/748906-1.html ).
It must have been either sheer charity on Larry Feldman’s part or he must have had other motives to do those four jobs for the Arvizos as pro bono work:
“A loud and confident witness … Feldman did not appear quite as confident when answering Mesereau’s questions about his firm’s involvement with Jackson’s current accuser and his family.
Feldman acknowledged that he and some fellow attorneys at the Century City law firm Kaye Scholer had done at least four legal tasks for the family since he formally dropped them as clients two years ago.
They included thwarting a move by Jackson’s attorneys to delve into the finances of the alleged victim’s grandparents. Feldman said the defense wanted to see whether the Spanish-speaking elderly couple were hiding money that belonged to the alleged victim’s mother.
Under questioning, Feldman also said his firm tried to keep the West Covina Police Department from releasing arrest records related to the family’s lawsuit against J.C. Penney — a good example, defense attorneys claim, of the mother’s shakedown tactics. http://articles.latimes.com/2005/apr/02/local/me-jackson2
In short each time Michael’s enemies were in trouble Larry Feldman went out of his way to help them. When the defense wanted to see whether Janet Arvizo had put any money in her parents’ account Larry Feldman’s heart was moved again by the poor fate of the Arvizo gamily:
20 Q. And do you consider what you did with the
21 Arvizos after the point that you were no longer
22 officially their lawyer to be pro bono work for the
24 A. Yeah. Absolutely. I never expected to get
25 paid, and I’ve done very limited stuff, and the
26 stuff that I’ve done is just stuff that I felt that
27 I should do. That nobody was going to do it for
28 them, and I got this thing rolling and I ought to do 4523
1 it, and I have very limitedly done things.
You know, I really begin suspecting that Larry Feldman had an agenda and was acting as Tom Sneddon’s right hand…
In the second case, it was the reverse. The district attorney in Santa Barbara, who ultimately got the case, insisted that the criminal case take place first, and that there be no civil case, and that the civil side of the case take a backseat, and they, rightfully so, wanted to control the case, and how it would be tried, and what would be tried, and how it would be dealt with in the press and elsewhere.
And so there were totally different things going on, with that kind of decisions that I made in the first case, I wasn’t making in the second case. The district attorney was. How this case would play out was the district’s attorney’s choice in the second case, while in the first case I had total control of how it would play out.
Well, the only thing I understood in this pile of intentionally meaningless words is that in 1993 Larry Feldman had a total control over the Jordan Chandler’s case and it was he and not prosecution (Gil Garcetti and Tom Sneddon) who was making decisions there – which is an impressive confirmation of the conclusions we’ve made earlier.
The fact that Larry Feldman didn’t have a chance to control the 2005 case same as in 1993 is something which we should be wholly thankful to our dear prosecutor Tom Sneddon. It was him who made it impossible for the civil suit to go first in 2005.
No matter whether Larry Feldman liked the Arvizos or not, his odd jobs for them within the next two years prove that he would never have missed the chance to bleed Michael Jackson to death in another civil case should he had had an opportunity to do so.
The REAL reason why the civil suit never went forward was that it simply COULDN’T due to the changes in the legislation initiated by Tom Sneddon.
The situation is explained in a beautiful news bulletin by Mark Wittenberg & Willy Gijsman:
“In a press conference held by Tom Sneddon we learned that due to the (failed) 1993 court case against Michael Jackson the law had been changed. Art 288 has been extended with Art 288A, meaning that if you touch a child (if you put your hand on its shoulder for example) you are conducting a criminal activity. This new law also forces the children to testify, even if they do not want to. Tom Sneddon continually urged any victims of Michael Jackson to please come forward.
Katz reported the alleged abuse to the Santa Barbara Police Department and then Tom Sneddon personally investigated the accusations. It was then the family found out that because of the law that Sneddon had changed, their civil lawsuit would have to be put on hold until after the criminal trial was over.
In November, Sneddon informed the family of a state victim’s fund that would provide them with financial compensation if they went through with the criminal case. He met with the accuser’s mother in an empty parking giving her the necessary paperwork to apply for the fund. Less than a month later, Michael Jackson was arrested”.
Despite all his professionalism Larry Feldman is a civil lawyer and he could have learned about the changes in the California law well after they had been made. Imagine their disappointment with the news – the lawyer and his clients are following their usual routine of consulting a psychologist who will report the ‘abuse case’ to the authorities and are already to start a civil case when they all find out that California law has changed! Incredibly bad luck for the Arvizos…
Well, despite all Tom Sneddon’s vendetta against Michael there is at least something good he has done for him!
Larry Feldman is clearly irritated with Tom Sneddon even today. Sneddon’s desire to ‘have justice for the victim’ annnoys him so much that he even allows himself some criticism of the prosecutor at the Frozen in Time seminar:
LARRY FELDMAN: “When you bring these cases of false imprisonment, and Jackson is kidnapping, and their going back to Neverland, and you just keep broadening the case, you are playing right into the defendant’s game! If you file one count of sexual molestation, and that’s what occurred, if it occurred, I don’t know what happened, but if it occurred then you have a much better chance to get a conviction. There’s less to fight about. I think those are significant things”.
I shudder at the thought that if it hadn’t been for Tom Sneddon, the Arvizos case could have been put forward too and we could have had a repetition of the Chandlers’ civil case handled by Larry Feldman again.
There would have been no Thomas Mesereau around (as he is a criminal attorney not involved in such cases) and only God knows what could have been the outcome of the case with all those attorneys working for Michael Jackson before Thomas Mesereau came…
On the other hand the 2005 trial is a mirror reflection of what the outcome of the 1993 case could have been if criminal proceedings had preceded the civil case and Bert Fields as Michael’s committed supporter had been defending him in a criminal court.
In my opinion the Chandlers’ case wouldn’t have gone to the criminal stage at all, as in contrast to the Arvizo family none of the Chandlers ever had a minimal desire to testify….
(the continuation of this post will be in the next part as it has become too long for anyone to read it)