HIStory vs EVANstory: The 1993 allegations Parts 1-3
Who lured who?
In May 1992, Michael Jackson was driving in Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, when his jeep broke down. He was spotted by Mel Green’s wife – Green was an employer at Rent-A-Wreck. She called her husband, who rushed to the scene in order to meet the world’s most famous celebrity and bring him to his employer’s shop. When Mel Green verified that it was really Michael Jackson, he called David Schwartz, the owner of Rent-A-Wreck, who immediately called his wife June Chandler (she never took Schwartz’s last name, she was always June Chandler) and told her to bring her son Jordan Chandler because he had a big surprise for him. Jordan was a big MJ fan who used to dress like him, a very common behavior for young (and in many occasions older) die hard fans of Jackson (and other popular artists for that matter). His mother verified that, in her April 11, 2005 trial testimony (direct by Sneddon):
18 Q. Now, let me go back in time. Before this
19 meeting that you had at your husband’s place of
20 business in 1992, had Jordan ever expressed, to your
21 knowledge, some admiration for Mr. Jackson?
22 A. Oh, very much so, yes.
23 Q. How did he display that admiration?
24 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
25 MR. SNEDDON: I didn’t ask for a statement,
26 Your Honor. I asked for a display.
27 THE COURT: All right.
28 He’s not asking for anything that was said. 5603
1 Do you understand the question?
2 THE WITNESS: Would you repeat the question,
4 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Yes.
5 How did your son Jordan, prior to this
6 meeting that occurred at David Schwartz’s place of
7 business, express — display his admiration for Mr.
9 A. He had a little sparkly jacket that he would
10 wear to parties. He would have a glove like Michael
11 Jackson, and dance around like Michael Jackson.
12 Q. And this was all before he met Mr. Jackson?
13 A. Before he met Michael Jackson, yes.
June and Jordie arrived at the shop to meet Michael. June, who was a former model, was described by everyone that knew her as a very attractive Eurasian woman, and her marriage with her 70 year old husband was not going well at the time (they eventually divorced) and Mr. Schwartz had already moved out. According to the people who were present at the scene, Jackson was quickly taken by her as she introduced herself to him.
Wade Robson’s mother testified at the 2005 trial that June was after Michael. She said “My impression of her is she was a gold-digger“. She also stated she felt June Chandler tried to use Michael and that she would order the staff around like she owned it. Even Evan Chandler had noticed that, as it is revealed from his taped conversation with Jordan’s stepfather, David Schwartz. This conversation is listed in the full transcript that is included as exhibit no 10 in the case no SC 031 774 (Schwartz vs. Chandler-David Schwartz sued Evan Chandler because in late 1993 during a meeting in Larry Feldman’s office David yelled at Evan Chandler that “this is all about extortion”, and Evan lost it and hit David). Also it is revealed from June’s testimony that she had a conversation with Michael about trust issues, telling him that men in her life had let her down and she had a hard time trusting someone. That’s not exactly a friendly conversation.
June introduced Jordan to Michael and she informed him that they had seen him before, while eating at an L.A. restaurant but they didn’t approach him. She also informed him that when he was hospitalized for his Pepsi burn accident in 1984, Jordan, who was 4 at the time, sent a letter and a picture of himself to the Brotman Memorial Hospital. The letter included their telephone number. In reality, it was June who wrote the letter and gave it to MJ’s bodyguards in the hospital including the picture and her telephone number. She was trying to meet Michael for a long time before May 1992. Thousands of fans all over the world had bombarded the hospital with letters and phone calls and extra staff was hired from the hospital to handle the fans’ reaction. Former US president Ronald Reagan was among the people who sent MJ a letter to wish him well. The Pepsi commercial accident made big headlines worldwide in newspapers, magazines, shows and TV news at the time. Michael Jackson called the Chandlers back to thank Jordan for his letter, as he used to do throughout his life on numerous occasions, given the well- known and amazing attachment he always had with his fans. He also suggested that Jordan should participate in an audition for one of his commercials at the time. Jordan did participate but he wasn’t selected and he didn’t meet Jackson. In 1989, Frank Dileo contacted June to offer her tickets for the BAD concert in Los Angeles. MJ has offered tickets to his fans of all ages, races, social status and sex, hundreds of times in his career, a fact well documented over the years going back to his Jackson 5 days. June and Jordan attended the concert and tried to meet MJ backstage, but with no success.
After June explained to MJ how huge a fan Jordan was, she wrote down her telephone number and handed it to him, suggesting that he should call Jordan sometime. David Schwartz seconded that, adding that Jordan was his biggest fan. That was the second time June was offering Jackson her phone number. June verified the Rent-A-Wreck incident in her 2005 trial testimony. From her direct examination by Sneddon:
“5 Q. And do you recall how long you were with Mr.
6 Jackson and Jordan that day?
7 A. Briefly. Five minutes. Ten minutes.
8 Q. And did — was there any information
9 exchanged between you and Mr. Jackson that day?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what was that?
12 A. I said, “If you would like to see Jordie or
13 if he could call you or if you’d like to speak to
14 him, here is our number, and you can give him a
16 Q. And you gave that to Mr. Jackson?
17 A. Yes, I did.
Jordan described the pressure on Jackson to take the phone number and call him in his interview with Dr. Gardner on October 6, 1993:
-My stepfather took him [Michael] outside to choose a car for him to use. And I guess when my stepfather was outside he said, ‘You don’t have to pay for the car if you just take Jordie’s number and give him a call’.
– Why would your stepfather say that?
– Because my stepfather knows I was interested in Michael Jackson and his music.
– And this was in your presence?
– No. I was told this by my stepfather.
Mel Green, who was also present, had the following to say in his interview with Mary Fischer for her 1994 GQ article on the case: “It was almost like she (June) was forcing [the boy] on him,” “I think Michael thought he owed the boy something, and that’s when it all started.”
According to every available given fact coming from the parties involved, including the Chandlers themselves, it is unquestionable that they forced themselves on Michael Jackson, not vice versa, as the media still likes to falsely present it. They offered their phone number twice without Jackson asking for it, they pressured him to call because Jordan was his biggest fan, David called June to bring Jordan, they brought him to David’s shop, and they tried to meet him before May 1992.
Jackson befriended the Chandlers-like he did with many other families that approached him over the years- inviting June, Jordan and Lily to Neverland in February 1993. June invited him many times to her house as well. During the same period of time, MJ had a friendly relationship with others including the Culkins, Cascios, Robsons and Barnes. June lived with her son Jordie, her daughter Lily, and a live-in housekeeper. Mr. Schwartz had already moved out by then. Sometimes they were joined by Evan Chandler when Michael was there. In her trial testimony, June said that MJ never stayed there 30 days in a row after the trip to Monaco, as the media falsely reported. June testified that could be a week or two only. From her testimony:
“Q. After you got back from Monaco, did Michael Jackson spend nights at your home?
Q. Were the 30 nights you’ve described after you got back from Monaco?
Q. How many nights after you got back from Monaco do you think Michael Jackson stayed at your home?
A. Oh, perhaps a week or two.
Q. And this was a point where you were getting upset that your son wanted to spend all of his time with Michael Jackson, right?
Given the timeline we know from the Chandlers, and the business schedule of MJ, those 30 days are somebody’s fabrication. June’s 2005 trial testimony and MJ’s overloaded schedule refute it even for the period prior to Monaco. It couldn’t have been in Mr. Chandler’s house either because June Chandler said Michael stayed at Evan’s on one or two occasions for 4-7 days. Jordan Chandler gave an even more confusing and contradictory timeline to Dr. Gardner. It seems that no one was able to keep his story straight. Jordan’s confused memory was also noted in the DCFS report.
She also said that it was her son and not Jackson who requested her permission to sleep in MJ’s bedroom during their 3d visit at Neverland.
Evan Chandler felt uncomfortable about the fact that Michael Jackson had begun to take his place in Jordan’s life. He discussed it with June and David. Michael Freeman, June Chandler’s lawyer, said that Mr. Chandler felt that he was left out. David Schwartz also felt that he had lost his wife because of MJ (although there were marital problems before that) and he didn’t like the fact that Michael was buying presents for June. In fact Michael Jackson had a very old habit of buying jewellery for women he liked, dating back to his elementary school years, when he used to steal his mother’s jewellery to give them to teachers he liked. He talks about it in his autobiography, and so does his mother in her book. He kept that habit throughout his life, which is a very well-known fact about him. Evan reportedly didn’t have much of a great relationship with Jordan, as he was $68,804 behind in child support.
The National Enquirer tabloid wrote an article after Michael’s trip to Monaco under the title “Michael’s new adopted family” and everybody was wondering who that beautiful woman was next to Michael. The media played constantly the footage of Michael, June, Lily, and Jordan and presented it as if Michael and June were having an affair. Evan Chandler and David Schwartz were not amused and they discussed this issue.
Evan finally met Michael and according to his side of the story he had already been suspicious about Michael and Jordie’s relationship, although he never provided any explanation for this. When the allegations were made public, J. Randy Taraborelli said that Jackson’s staff were investigating Evan Chandler since May 1993, and they refused to give in to Chandler’s request because the allegations were false. The interesting thing here is that May 1993 is the time where Michael Jackson was seen in public with the Chandlers and the media picked it up.
Having said that, one can only wonder why Evan invited Michael to stay in his house (he had expressed his suspicions before the invitation by asking his patient Carrie Fischer, who knew Dr. Arnold Klein, for information on MJ. Dr. Klein answered that Michael was a nice guy acting like a big child, and that he was perfectly straight), why he asked him to build them a new wing so he can spend more time there, and if MJ could possibly buy them a bigger house.
How did Mr. Chandler come up with that suspicion in the first place? June Chandler never suspected Michael of anything and she was very clear about it both in 1993 and 2005. Jordan Chandler never said anything like that to his father at the time and he even denied the allegations when he was questioned in July 1993. David Schwartz didn’t agree with Evan either and even accused him of extortion. So where did that accusation come from? For the record, at no time did Evan Chandler ever claim to have witnessed any sexual misconduct on Jackson’s part. Did someone approach, manipulate and use Mr. Chandler by planting the seeds of molestation in Mr. Chandler’s head, after seeing the family in the news in May 1993? Was someone around Evan Chandler before he even had any thoughts and ideas of misconduct?
On July 7, 1993, Evan Chandler filed papers for modification of the custody agreement. For everything that was about to follow, Mr. Chandler first needed to have the custody of Jordan. During a July 8, 1993 taped conversation with David Schwartz, Evan said that he was angry because MJ stopped telephoning him and he stopped being his friend. He also said that he recently informed Michael about what he wanted from their relationship. When referring to the same event, Michael Jackson said that Chandler asked him to fund movie projects for 20 million dollars making him a partner to his Sony deal. This is corroborated by painter David Nordahl in his interview with Deborah L. Kunesh (2010):
“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 to be show business material, because he had written part of a script….after that he 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. Michael listened to his business advisors and they all told him to keep his mouth shut and to go on to Korea, go on with your tour, you’re in the middle of a tour. We’ll take care of it….”
It was also mentioned in Los Angeles Times dated August 28, 1993:
“Film industry sources have said that the boy’s father sought a $20-million movie production and financing deal with Jackson. Although the boy’s father has not commented publicly about that charge or any other aspect of the case, he has told friends that the extortion allegation is untrue.”
Evan’s request for partnership in movies was not a secret in film industry circles. According to his brother, Ray Chandler, he discussed it with his wife Natalie. In this conversation Evan Chandler says that Jordan asked for Michael to give him a job in his movie productions. Chandler had faced serious professional problems, and there was a period where his license was suspended. He had also been sued by one of his clients. He wanted to become a movie writer and quit his job, and in 1992 he co-wrote the script for Mel Brook’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights. From Los Angeles Times article dated June 13, 1993:
You’ve all heard of script doctors. Well, here’s a new one: script dentists.
Beverly Hills dentist Dr. Evan Chandler–the man who’s entrusted to care for Sherry Lansing’s, Christian Slater’s and Valerie Golino’s teeth, among others–found a new patient in his chair one morning interested in listening to a couple of his movie ideas. The patient was screenwriter J. David Shapiro; the idea actually came from Chandler’s then 11-year-old son, Jordie. The conversation took place post-“Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” and resulted in a writing partnership that has become “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”
“Evan Chandler’s son turned to his father and said, ‘You know, Dad, you know what would be a great thing, a spoof of Robin Hood,‘ ” recalls the King of Parodies, Mel Brooks, who liked the duo’s screenplay send-up of the 1991 hit that starred Costner as the chivalric arrow-slinging hero who stole from the rich to give to the poor and decided to make it his next movie. “It didn’t hurt that the man’s in a lot of show-biz mouths,” he said, acknowledging his connection to Shapiro through a mutual friend who works for Brooksfilm.
Brooks also gives a nod to the kid despite the fact he’s in a Writers Guild arbitration with his father and Shapiro over who should get what screenplay credit. Brooks says they should get story credit and he and Shapiro screenplay credit. Chandler would not comment for this story. (Consideration is being made whether to give Jordi some recognition in the end crawl credits.)
“Even though the kid was 12 or 14 years late, it was still a good idea,” said the spoof-meister of such genre lampoons as “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein.”
Evan and Jordan Chandler were capable of writing a Hollywood script. That is a fictional story, which could become a movie. The idea was Jordan’s, and he participated in the writing of the script. Anyone who has seen “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” knows that it is filled with sexual jokes and innuendoes. June Chandler had an argument with Evan Chandler because he didn’t give his son part of the money for the script. She said he owed him $ 5,000 dollars.
At the time, June, David and Michael were a team against Evan Chandler. June and David tried to warn Michael about Evan but unfortunately he didn’t take them seriously, saying that these kind of things happen to him all the time, and people were always trying to get money out of him, which is a very common problem for celebrities.
Evan Chandler also said the following on the tape (excerpts from the transcripts dated early July 1993):
20 MR. CHANDLER: Let me put it to you
21 this way: I have a set routine of words that I’m
22 going to go in there that have been rehearsed and
23 I’m going to say.
24 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
25 MR. CHANDLER: Okay? Because I don’t
1 want to say anything that could be used against me.
2 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
3 MR. CHANDLER: So I know exactly what I
4 can say. That’s why I’m bringing the tape
6 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
7 MR. CHANDLER: I have some things on
8 paper to show a few people –
9 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
10 MR. CHANDLER: — and that’s it. My
11 whole part is going to take two or three minutes,
12 and I’m going to turn around [tape irregularity],
13 and that’s it. There’s not going to be anything
14 said, other than what I’ve been told to say –
15 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
16 MR. CHANDLER: — and I’m going to turn
17 around and leave, and they’re going to have a
18 decision to make.
19 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
20 MR. CHANDLER: And based on that
21 decision, I’ll decide whether or not we’re going to
22 talk again or whether it’s going to go further.
23 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
24 MR. CHANDLER: I have to make a phone
25 call. As soon as I leave the house, I get on the
2 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
3 MR. CHANDLER: I make a phone call.
4 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
5 MR. CHANDLER: Say “Go” or I say,
6 “Don’t go yet,” and that’s –
7 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
8 MR. CHANDLER: — the way it’s gonna to
10 I’ve been told what to do, and I have
11 to do it.
12 I’m not — I happen to know what’s
13 going to be going on, see? They don’t have to say
14 anything to me. [Tape irregularity] “you have
15 refused to listen to me. Now you’re going to have
16 to listen to me. This is my position. Give it a
18 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
19 MR. CHANDLER: “Think it over.”
20 I’m not saying anything bad about
21 anybody, okay? I’ve got it all on paper.
22 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
23 MR. CHANDLER: I’m going to hand out
24 the paper so that I don’t inadvertently [tape
25 irregularity], handing out the paper, “Michael,
1 here’s your paper. June, here’s your paper.”
2 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
3 MR. CHANDLER: “Compare papers. Read
4 this whole thing. This is my feelings about it.
5 Do you want to talk further? We’ll talk again.”
6 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
7 MR. CHANDLER: “If you don’t” [tape
8 irregularity] — but, see, all I’m trying to do
9 now, they have forced me to go [tape irregularity]
10 on paper and give it to them to read –
11 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
12 MR. CHANDLER: — because [tape
13 irregularity]. I mean, isn’t that pitiful?
14 Now, why would they want to cut me out,
15 to go this far, spend this much money, spend so
16 much time in my life crying, being away from my
17 practice, not paying [tape irregularity] everybody
18 else? Why would they want to put me through that?
13 MR. CHANDLER: Well, I have to count
14 the days because I can’t let it go on forever.
15 By the way, they’re going on tour on
16 August 15th. They’re going to be gone. They’re
17 going to be out of the country –
18 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
19 MR. CHANDLER: — for four months.
20 MR. SCHWARTZ: Is that bad?
21 MR. CHANDLER: Well, I’m not going to
22 be able to communicate with them about this when
23 they’re gone, am I?
24 MR. SCHWARTZ: I mean, but you think
25 that –
1 MR. CHANDLER: By the way, they’re not
3 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
4 MR. CHANDLER: They don’t know that
5 yet, but they are not going.
17 MR. CHANDLER: — to give it one more
18 try, and that’s the only reason, because this
19 attorney I found — I mean, I interviewed several,
20 and I picked the nastiest son of a bitch –
21 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
22 MR. CHANDLER: — I could find, and all
23 he wants to do is get this out in the public as
24 fast as he can, as big as he can –
25 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
1 MR. CHANDLER: — and humiliate as many
2 people as he can, and he’s got a bad [tape
3 irregularity] –
4 MR. SCHWARTZ: Do you think that’s
6 MR. CHANDLER: — (simultaneous,
7 inaudible) he’s costing me a lot of money.
8 MR. SCHWARTZ: Do you think that’s
10 MR. CHANDLER: I think that’s great. I
11 think it’s terrific. The best. Because when
12 somebody — when somebody tells you that they don’t
13 want to talk to you –
14 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
9 MR. CHANDLER: It’s true. I mean, it
10 could be a massacre if I don’t get what I want.
11 But I do believe this person will get what he
13 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
14 MR. CHANDLER: So he would just really
15 love [tape irregularity] nothing better than to
16 have this go forward. He is nasty, he is mean –
17 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
18 MR. CHANDLER: — he is very smart
19 [tape irregularity], and he’s hungry for the
20 publicity [tape irregularity] better for him.
21 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
22 MR. CHANDLER: And that’s where it’ll
23 go –
24 MR. SCHWARTZ: You don’t think everyone
1 MR. CHANDLER: (Simultaneous,
2 inaudible) totally humiliate him in every way –
3 MR. SCHWARTZ: That — everyone doesn’t
4 lose in that?
5 MR. CHANDLER: That’s not the issue.
6 See, the issue is that if I have to go that far –
7 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
8 MR. CHANDLER: — I can’t stop and
9 think “Who wins and who loses?”
10 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
11 MR. CHANDLER: All I can think about is
12 I only have one goal, and the goal is to get their
13 attention –
14 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
15 MR. CHANDLER: — so that [tape
16 irregularity] concerns are, and as long as they
17 don’t want to talk to me, I can’t tell them what my
18 concerns are, so I have to go step by step, each
19 time escalating the attention-getting mechanism,
20 and that’s all I regard him as, as an
21 attention-getting mechanism.
22 Unfortunately, after that, it’s totally
23 out of [tape irregularity]. It’ll take on so much
24 momentum of its own that it’s going to be out of
25 all our control. It’s going to be monumentally
1 huge, and I’m not going to have any way to stop it.
2 No one else is either at that point. I mean, once
3 I make that phone call, this guy’s just going to
4 destroy everybody in site in any devious, nasty,
5 cruel way that he can do it. And I’ve given him
6 full authority to do that.
7 To go beyond tomorrow, that would mean
8 I have done every possible thing in my individual
9 power to tell them to sit down and talk to me; and
10 if they still [tape irregularity], I got to
11 escalate the attention-getting mechanism. He’s the
12 next one. I can’t go to somebody nice [tape
13 irregularity]. It doesn’t work with them. I
14 already found that out. Get some niceness and just
15 go fuck yourself.
16 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
17 MR. CHANDLER: Basically, what they
18 have to know, ultimately, is that their lives are
19 over, if they don’t sit down. One way or the
20 other, it’ll either go to the next step or the
21 [tape irregularity]. I’m not stopping until I get
22 their attention.
24 MR. CHANDLER: The other times I tried
25 to tell them that I needed to talk to them, all I
1 got was, “Go fuck yourself. We’re not talking to
3 So now I had to let them know and make
4 sure that they know they’d [tape irregularity]
5 they’re gonna get hurt by it, so (inaudible) — I
6 had to make [tape irregularity] if they don’t sit
7 down and talk to me they’re gonna get hurt. They
8 can’t keep telling me to go fuck myself anymore.
9 They have to talk. I want to talk to them. I
10 don’t want to hurt anybody. They’re forcing me to
11 do it. They’re forcing me to do it by refusing to
12 sit down and talk to me. That’s all I ask for.
13 “You sit down and you talk to me [tape
14 irregularity] side of the story, I’ll listen to
15 yours, we all sit down and see how it could be
17 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah. So that’s
18 there –
19 MR. CHANDLER: That’s all I ask for.
21 MR. SCHWARTZ: But when you say
22 “winning,” what are you talking about, “winning”?
23 MR. CHANDLER: I will get everything I
24 want, and they will be totally — they will be
25 destroyed forever. They will be destroyed. June
1 is gonna lose Jordy. She will have no right to
2 ever see him again.
3 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
6 MR. SCHWARTZ: Does that help –
7 MR. CHANDLER: — Michael the career
8 will be over.
9 MR. SCHWARTZ: Does that help Jordy?
10 MR. CHANDLER: Michael’s career will be
12 MR. SCHWARTZ: And does that help
14 MR. CHANDLER: It’s irrelevant to me.
5 MR. CHANDLER: That’s silly. No.
6 Michael has to be there. Michael has to be there.
7 He’s the main one. He’s the one I want.
25 MR. CHANDLER: Let me put it to you
1 this way, Dave. Nobody in this world was allowed
2 to come between this family of June, me and Jordy.
19 I go through with this, I win big time. There’s no
20 way that I lose. I’ve checked that out inside out.
21 MR. SCHWARTZ: But when you say
22 “winning,” what are you talking about, “winning”?
23 MR. CHANDLER: I will get everything I
1 MR. CHANDLER: You know, you gotta
2 forgive me for one thing, but I have been told by
3 my lawyer that if I say one thing to anybody –
4 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah. Okay.
5 MR. CHANDLER: — don’t bother calling
6 him again. He said this case is so open [tape
7 irregularity] “You open your mouth and you blow
8 it,” he said, “just don’t come back to me.”
9 MR. SCHWARTZ: Okay. I respect that.
11 MR. CHANDLER: Not that I don’t trust
12 you or anything –
24 MR. SCHWARTZ: But why not? Why
25 couldn’t we go talk it over –
1 MR. CHANDLER: Because the thing’s
2 already — the thing has already been set in
4 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
5 MR. CHANDLER: It’s happening at 8:30.
6 8:36 tomorrow –
7 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
8 MR. CHANDLER: — it’s out of my hands.
9 I do nothing else again –
10 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
11 MR. CHANDLER: — after 8:36 tomorrow.
12 It’s all been automatically set in
14 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
15 MR. CHANDLER: I’m not even in contact
16 anymore –
17 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
18 MR. CHANDLER: — with this person.
19 This thing is –
20 MR. SCHWARTZ: Let me ask you this,
22 MR. CHANDLER: (Simultaneous,
23 inaudible) 8:36, unless I call in –
24 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
25 MR. CHANDLER: — and tell him not to
1 do it.
2 MR. SCHWARTZ: So why don’t you call
3 and say not to do it?
4 MR. CHANDLER: Because I’m not going
6 MR. SCHWARTZ: Why? Why wouldn’t you
7 go with me? I mean, we trust each other. We
8 respect each other. Why couldn’t you go with me
9 and we’d decide together?
10 MR. CHANDLER: Because I don’t want to
11 talk to you about it.
12 MR. SCHWARTZ: Why?
13 MR. CHANDLER: I want to talk to June
14 and Jordy and Michael –
14 MR. CHANDLER: (Simultaneous,
15 inaudible) Michael Jackson — Michael Jackson’s
16 career, Dave. This man is gonna be humiliated
17 beyond belief. You’ll not believe it. He will not
18 believe what’s going to happen to him.
19 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
20 MR. CHANDLER: Beyond his worst
21 nightmares. [tape irregularity] not sell one more
23 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
24 MR. CHANDLER: That’s for sure. And I
25 mean I’m [tape irregularity] it just has to happen
1 in order to get — to keep [tape irregularity] and
2 it doesn’t have to happen if they show up tomorrow.
3 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
4 MR. CHANDLER: But if they don’t show
5 up — and I’ve made it very clear — I’ve tried to
6 make it really clear on that answering machine,
7 “This is the last chance to talk. If you talk, we
8 have a chance. If we don’t talk, it’s all over.”
9 It’s out of my hands. I mean, what
10 else can I do?
20 MR. CHANDLER: Then why don’t you just
21 back me up right now and let’s get rid of Michael
5 MR. CHANDLER: There are other people
6 involved that are waiting for my phone call that
7 are intentionally going to be in certain
8 positions –
9 MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.
10 MR. CHANDLER: — [tape irregularity].
11 I paid them to do it. They’re doing their job. I
12 gotta just go ahead and follow through on the time
14 MR. SCHWARTZ: Um-hmm.
15 MR. CHANDLER: I mean the time set out.
16 Everything is going according to a certain plan
17 that isn’t just mine. There’s other people
18 involved –
A small part of the taped conversation between Evan Chandler and David Schwartz was played by Pellicano in a news conference, after the allegations were made public on August 30 and September 1, 1993.
If Evan Chandler indeed suspected that something wrong was happening, then why didn’t he go to the police? Why did he try hard to make them listen to him and give him the attention he needed? Why did he say that the issue could be resolved? Resolved in what way? And what was the issue, since June and Jordan discredited him at that point? Why did he hire a lawyer that could get what he wanted, and why was Evan rehearsed on what to say so not to say anything that could be used against him? What did he want? And why was he afraid that this could be used against him? What was the plan he was talking about that wasn’t just his?
Mr. Chandler sued June Chandler and David Schwartz for invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy because they taped him and released the audio. The mother said that they were being sued by Evan Chandler to avoid payment of child support and they filed a cross-complaint against Evan Chandler. In that cross-complaint David Schwartz stated that he did not think Michael Jackson had molested his stepson. The stepfather also sued Evan Chandler for brain damage, two counts of assault, and two counts for battery.
The paper Mr. Chandler refers to in the taped conversation as evidence, is the letter that Dr. Mathis Abrams, a psychiatrist, sent to Barry Rothman (the nasty lawyer Evan picked up). Barry Rothman was an entertainment lawyer of questionable character that had been accused for fraud, had a temper, owed people money, and had filed for bankruptcy in November 1992. He was also the lawyer of a client who accused her ex – husband for molesting their child while Mr. Rothman worked at the father’s company at the same time. As a result of his work on this case, he had some experience regarding child abuse accusations. It should be noted that Rothman, with respect to this case, was accused of conflict of interest.
Rothman called Dr. Abrams and presented him with a hypothetical incident. The psychiatrist didn’t meet with anyone at the time. Based on this hypothetical scenario by Barry Rothman, he sent back a letter stating ”reasonable suspicion exists that sexual abuse may have occurred”. This was the letter Evan Chandler used as a bargaining tool for the $20 million dollar demand in his meeting Michael Jackson on August 4, 1993, and he is referring to it in the conversation as “evidence”.
Mr. Chandler also repeats many times how crucial it is for him to be listened to and not ignored, otherwise he will go crazy. He also said that he cried hysterically over the phone to June because he was losing but she didn’t care about his feelings. He is complaining that Michael Jackson, who has money and power, impressed his family and now is a role model for Jordan, replacing him. He also concluded that if it weren’t for MJ, June and Jordan would still be in his life. In the phone calls he appears to be clearly jealous of the superstar. The transcript is full of grandiose statements and threatening behavior. Through the years it became known that he was bipolar, receiving medical treatment for the serious mental disorder, and that he wasn’t always very compliant with his medical treatment. He also had a well known temper, and violent behavior, which is one of the reasons June divorced him. He tried to kill his son Jordan in August 2005, he hit David Schwartz, he spoke about violent behavior in the transcripts, and here is what Jackson’s biographer J. Randy Taraborelli had to say about him after he committed suicide in November 2009:
“I met him several times in the 1990s. I had lots of secret meetings with Evan Chandler, trying to get to the bottom of what was going on. I was pretty young, sort of green and wish I had my present level of expertise to be able to have applied back then. I have stories about that guy that I have never even published. He was about as inconsistent as they come. He was so determined to get me on his side, I thought he was just a tad scary. If you read my book you sort of get how I felt — feel — about him. When it came out, he called me screaming at me for not just buying his story 100%.
He actually threatened me, and I thought… okay, pal, now I know who you really are. I wish it had all been handed differently. To be honest, I wish MJ had never settled, and I told Michael that several times. But… he felt he had to save his life, and I understood that, too. He really was in bad shape. However, I wish it had gone to trial so we could have had real evidence presented in a court of law – like the Arvizo nonsense — and then really been able to sort through it and come to some real decisions. It all seems so useless now, though, doesn’t it? And such a shame.”
Taraborelli, in his 2010 edition of Michael’s unauthorized biography, also writes that Evan Chandler called him after his 2003 edition was published and said “You owe me. If I ever see you again, it’s not going to go well for you. You’d better hide because I am coming for you”.
According to the court documents filed in 2006 (in which Jordan Chandler sued his father and he obtained a permanent restraining order against him), Evan Chandler hit his son from behind with a 12.5 pound weight, which means there was no self-defense involved. Then he maced him in his eyes and tried to choke him. The date of the incident is more than interesting. August 2005; Michael Jackson was acquitted on all counts on June 13, 2005. But the media, who have been negatively criticized for their unethical, unprofessional, and biased tabloid coverage, continued to lie about the singer. Did Jordan decide to speak up for Jackson and did Evan Chandler lose it again? Had Jordan defended MJ, Evan could have faced charges. Jackson’s 2005 lead defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, repeatedly said in public that he had witnesses to testify that Jordan had admitted the 1993 case was his father’s set up plan against Jackson and he was innocent of the allegations. These witnesses were Jordan’s friends. In fact, Jordan Chandler has been very talkative about it during his period in college, but the media didn’t find it convenient for their agenda to report it.
MESEREAU: Now the one you’re talking about never showed up. He’s the one who got the settlement in the early 90s. And my understanding is prosecutors tried to get him to show up and he wouldn’t. If he had, I had witnesses who were going to come in and say he told them it never happened. And that he would never talk to his parents again for what they made him say. And it turned out he had gone into court and gotten legal emancipation from his parents. His mother testified that she hadn’t talked to him in 11 years. So, you know, there was a problem there as well.
(Harvard University , November, 29 2005)
Josephine Zohny was one of the potential witnesses for the defense in the 2005 trial, and her name can be found in the witness list. What she had to say was this: during a conversation regarding Michael Jackson’s allegations, Jordan Chandler expressed the belief that the singer was innocent, and when he referred to his father, he said that he had a poor relationship with him, and he made him do things he didn’t want to do.
The prosecution in the 2005 trial never opened the door for the defense to bring witnesses regarding the 1993 allegations. The defense’s role is to rebut the prosecution; they are not the ones who introduce subjects or witnesses to the trial. Jordan Chandler never came to testify against Jackson and his mother, who testified, did not accuse the singer of anything.
June, Michael and Jordan never showed up in that July meeting Evan was desperately asking for.
Geraldine Hughes was Barry Rothman’s legal secretary that witnessed the plot for extortion that took place in Rothman’s office. She was there when Evan Chandler had meetings with Rothman way before any allegations were made and she met Jordan as well in that very office. She described Jordan as being cool, while Evan was stressed, and Jordan was trying to calm him down. Hughes describes the plot/plan in detail in her book Redemption, in which she kept a calendar with a chronological order of the events. In the book she states that her calendar can stand the scrutiny of a forensic ink dating test. When her book was released neither Rothman nor Evan sued or challenged her. She offered her testimony to the defense during the 1993 investigation, but no trial ever took place. Among numerous things she offers in the book are overheard statements that she wrote down such as:
“It’s my ass that’s on the line and in danger of going to prison” Chandler yelling at Rothman after the allegations had made it to the public. He said that on August 24 1993 and it was the day Pellicano publicly mentioned the extortion.
Chandler to Rothman “I almost had a twenty million dollar deal”.
Rothman to Chandler telling him over the phone that they had “to meet over the weekend” before speaking to the investigator “to make sure our stories are the same”.
Rothman to Chandler “we just have to stick to the plan, we cannot deviate from the plan”.
Pellicano to Rothman before the allegations “No way-that’s extortion”.
On July 9, 1993 June and David met with MJ’s private investigator Anthony Pellicano and played him the tape that David had made of his conversations with Evan Chandler. Michael’s lawyer Bert Fields was also present in that meeting and he represented June as well, according to her testimony. (For the record, Evan sued David for recording him and David said he did it because Evan has been violent and threatened him, and he needed evidence for his lawsuit against him). Bert Fields later said he was very concerned after hearing the tape because it sounded like extortion. The singer had already heard the tapes and he was very angry. Among other things, he said “Tell Evan that Michael Jackson said he can go to hell”.
Anthony Pellicano arranged a meeting to talk to Jordan Chandler the next day. June Chandler confirmed the meetings with Pellicano in her 2005 testimony, acknowledging the fact that Pellicano was representing her too at the time, along with Bert Fields. She was on Michael Jackson’s side against her former husband. Pellicano questioned Jordan for over an hour, asking him directly if anything inappropriate ever happened. Jordan Chandler’s answer to all of these questions was NO. Pellicano in his various media appearances at the time, talked about that day. Paul Baressi handed to Aphrodite Jones portion of the transcripts from the Jim Mitteager tapes, which were well known to the media. Mitteager was a reporter for The Globe tabloid, and he recorded his meetings with the parties involved in the 1993 case while interviewing them. Many famous journalists have listened to these tapes, and when he died his widow gave them to Baressi. Parts of these transcripts were handed over to FBI for the case against Pellicano (in 2006 he was arrested on illegal wiretapping, among other charges). Here is an excerpt handed to Jones that can be found in her official site:
PELLICANO: You have to understand something. I have nine kids. Michael [Jackson] plays with my baby. They crawl all over him. They pull his hair. They pull his nose. Sometimes he wears a bandage across his face. If I let my own kids (unintelligible) do you think there’s a chance?
MITTEAGER: Well, all things being equal, I would say, no.
PELLICANO: Not only that. If you sat this kid [Jordie Chandler] down like I did, as a matter of fact, he couldn’t wait to get up and go play video games. I said, “you don’t understand how serious this is. Your dad [Evan Chandler] is going to accuse Michael of sexual molestation. He going to say all kinds of stuff.” He [Jordie] says, “Yeah, my dad’s trying to get money.” As a matter of fact, I (unintelligible) for 45 minutes. Then I tried tricking him. I mean, I want you to know, I’m a vegetarian. I picked this kid with a fine tooth comb. So we’re there (unintelligible) with this kid… and If you sat down and talked to this kid, there wouldn’t be any doubt in your mind either. And I said Michael is all upset. We went over and over. I tried to get him to sit down and he wants to play video games while I’m sitting there. I’m sitting there with the kid’s mother [June Chandler] and David Swartrz walks in and (unintelligible) what’s this all about? And [Barry] Rothman(unintelligible)asking questions. There is no question that Rothman (unintelligible) what this is all about.”
This would not be the only time Jordan Chandler would confirm the extortion. Jordan mentioned the extortion in the Child Services report on August 17, 1993. Excerpt from the report:” Minor stated he and his father met with Michael Jackson and attorneys for father and Mr. Jackson and confronted him with allegations in an effort to make a settlement and avoid a court hearing”. Almost everyone in the media had illegally obtained this report but they chose not to mention this part with the exception of a few (non-tabloid of course) newspapers like The Times and USA Today. And there is another mention of the extortion from Ray Chandler, Evan Chandler’s brother, in his book.
“Had Michael paid the twenty million dollars demanded of him in August, rather than the following January, he might have spent the next ten years as the world’s most famous entertainer, instead of the world’s most infamous child molester.”
Evan Chandler also admitted the extortion in his diary in his own words and it was read in public in May 1994. They all refer to the August 1993 meeting where the extortion took place. Their references are consistent with what Michael Jackson was telling all along, including the exact amount of money. The Chandlers self-admitted the extortion with Jordan doing it twice, even admitting that he was aware of his father’s plan. David Schwartz also referred to the extortion in a late 1993 meeting in Larry Feldman’s office.
June agreed to let her ex-husband have custody of Jordan for one week beginning July 12, 1993, as Evan Chandler requested. After this, he demanded that June sign a stipulation were he asked her not to move Jordan outside L.A., not to let him meet Michael Jackson, allowed her 2 days of visitation per week, that all child support obligations from Evan be paid in full, and that no further child support would be paid as long as he maintained Jordan’s custody. June Chandler signed it because as she said, Evan threatened not to return Jordan as it was agreed on June 18, 1993, unless she signed the stipulation. Why did Evan need to take such extreme measures for Jordan not to meet Michael? If Jordan was molested he would avoid Jackson himself. Instead he was more than happy to visit Michael, and he was missing the scheduled visits with his father. All the people (parents and children) that saw Jordan at Neverland said to police that he looked cool, he didn’t avoid the singer, and he wasn’t afraid of him at all.
And there is also the Monaco trip in May 1993. Supposedly the alleged molestation occurred there as well. Fortunately, the World Music Awards were televised on May 12, 1993. During the whole event coverage the camera zoomed numerous times at the star of the night, Michael Jackson. We could see Lily seating on his lap, Jordan and Lily pushing each other to sit with Michael throughout the night, Lily at some point was sitting in Linda Evans’ lap, June was seating in the row behind them, and Jordan at some point is sitting in Michael’s chair, but not on his lap (Michael is moving and dancing to the song, but Jordan is still. That means he was on the seat). Jordan is comfortable with MJ, he was in a great mood and he was singing and smiling throughout the whole event. This is a weird behavior for an alleged molestation victim. In almost all video footage and photos from that trip Michael is holding Lily in his arms. Also Michael Jackson’s longtime friend and music producer Teddy Riley had this to say about meeting Jordan Chandler at Neverland:
“I can only say for myself that it’s not true (the allegations) because I have met this little boy and he’s been with Michael along with my daughter, and I’ve never seen anything occur, such as something stupid like that. I think it’s a money thing. I’ve been a friend of his for over ten years and I’ve never never witnessed… I mean he’s been with my daughter, my daughter was three years old, and we stayed with him and had so much fun. He’s just a fun guy”.
Evan Chandler didn’t return his son to his mother even after she signed the stipulation. Rothman and Chandler were notified that an Ex Parte hearing would be held on August 17, 1993, for the immediate return of Jordan Chandler to his mother’s custody. Between July 12 and August 17, Evan had plenty of time to deal with his plan. Actually he had been negotiating with Michael Jackson’s camp since August 4, 1993. If MJ had given in to the extortion, Evan Chandler would have never accused him of child molestation. The whole ordeal would have been avoided. Instead MJ was armed with lawyers and investigators and didn’t pay Chandler, though he could have stopped everything right then and there. Ray Chandler confirmed the extortion by saying that if MJ had paid Evan the money he asked, he wouldn’t have accused him, and Evan Chandler said in the tape that if MJ showed up at the meeting and talked to him, nothing would happen. Evan Chandler also confirmed it in his diary.
Evan Chandler had another chance to report to the judge his suspicion of child abuse in the Ex Parte hearing. June would lose custody and Jordan would be safe. Of course Evan Chandler again didn’t report anything and the Court ordered that he should immediately return his son to his mother and that the stipulation would be overturned. It was clear that Evan Chandler was holding off reporting the allegations as part of his plan.
On August 17, 1993, instead of obeying the court’s order, Evan Chandler took his son to see the psychiatrist Dr. Abrams (who wrote his letter based on Evan’s hypothetical) who was obligated by law to report the allegations to the authorities. Ms. Hughes was the one that typed the letter for Barry Rothman to Evan Chandler advising him how to report child abuse through a third party without liability to the parent. The informative letter was sent to Evan Chandler on July 27, 1993. He had been very open about his plan that wasn’t just his as early as July 8, 1993, on the taped conversation.
“There is no way I can lose. I’ve checked that inside out”
Pay close attention to the dates. Evan has been referring to his plan as early as July 8, 1993 (that we know of). Rothman sent him the letter about Third Party Disclosure on July 27, 1993. Jordan Chandler hadn’t accused Michael Jackson of anything at that time. He was even questioned on July 10, 1993, where not only did he deny everything, but he confirmed that he was aware of his father’s plan. Up to that point Evan never contacted the police, but he was desperate to carry out his plan, make his negotiations, and force people to listen to him. The only person accusing Michael Jackson of molestation was Evan Chandler.
On August 2, 1993, during the week that Evan had temporary custody of Jordan, he extracted his son’s tooth using the questionable drug sodium Amytal. This is a psychiatric drug that is used to amnesia adult patients, and it certainly has nothing to do with the extraction of a child’s tooth. Prior to the 1993 case there was another case involving accusations under the influence of that drug (The Gary Ramona case). The defendant was acquitted, and various medical experts testified that the plaintiff’s accusations must be viewed as unreliable because of the drug. Courts, based on scientific research by medical experts and previous cases, have ruled that information obtained from narcoanalysis is inadmissible.
Mark Torbiner, a dental anesthesiologist, was present at this procedure (he was the one that introduced Evan Chandler to Barry Rothman). According to Evan Chandler himself, (in a phone interview that was aired on TV after Harvey Levin reported the story of the drug use on May 3, 1994 for KCBS-TV), when Jordan woke up under the influence of that drug, only then did he come up with allegations against Michael Jackson. That story was repeated again by Jordan for psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gardner on October 6, 1993. The transcript of that interview was made public and the full tooth story is mentioned:
“My father had to pull my tooth out one time, like, while I was there. And I don’t like pain, so I said could you put me to sleep? And he said sure. So his friend put me to sleep; he’s an anaesthesiologist. And um, when I woke up my tooth was out, and I was alright – a little out of it but conscious. And my Dad said – and his friend was gone, it was just him and me – and my dad said, ‘I just want you to let me know, did anything happen between you and Michael?’ And I said ‘Yes,’ and he gave me a big hug and that was it.”
The California Court of Appeal on August 17, 1997 for the Ramona case: “sodium amytal is, in some aspects, even more problematic than hypnosis in its effects of producing false memories and confabulations. If the patient is concerned about sexual matters, he or she will tend to recall sexual experiences. This is likely to forever distort the memory of the subject.”
But there is one thing missing from Jordan’s interview with Dr. Gardner, and that is Dr. Gardner’s report. Not only was it never mentioned, but we know from Dr. Katz’s (the psychologist who interviewed the Arvizos) testimony in 2005 that he entered the 1993 case when Larry Feldman asked him to review the tapes of that interview and give him his feedback. From the 2005 transcripts, Dr. Katz’s testimony:
13 My work was to review the videotapes that
14 were made between the victim –
15 Q. No, I’m — go ahead.
16 A. — and Dr. Richard Gardner.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. And to review those tapes, those videotapes,
19 and to view them and analyze them to give my
20 feedback to Mr. Feldman.
Larry Feldman sent Jordan to Gardner, and he was the civil attorney for Evan Chandler in his lawsuit against Jackson. Why would Mr. Feldman need another report for that interview? Why didn’t he like Dr. Gardner’s report on Jordan Chandler and his story? Why was there no mention of Dr. Gardner’s outcome? Dr. Gardener was an expert in false child abuse allegations.
We now know from Feldman and Katz that they knew each other because Feldman’s wife is a psychologist and she knew him from the McMartin case. Dr. Katz was the one that assessed 400 children and determined that 369 of them have been sexually molested. The story turned out to be completely false and the children were highly coerced and manipulated in the interviews. From the 2005 trial transcripts Dr. Katz cross examination:
3 Q. Were you involved in that case in any
4 professional way?
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. How were you involved?
7 A. I was the director of training and
8 professional education at the Children’s Institute
9 International, and that’s the agency that initially
10 interviewed all the McMartin children.
11 Q. And were you involved in that case for a
12 number of years?
13 A. Well, my involvement was that I was director
14 of the program. And Kee McFarland, who was the
15 woman who interviewed the children, actually worked
16 under me. But I was not — I did not directly
17 interview the children’s parents.
18 I did interview — my involvement with the
19 McMartin case was, I did do assessments. I was
20 asked by the Department of Children & Family
21 Services to assess the children of the alleged
22 perpetrators to see if they had been molested.
23 Other than that, I had very little involvement
24 directly with the case.
25 Q. Is it your understanding that that was
26 perhaps the longest and largest criminal case in the
27 history of Los Angeles County?
28 A. I think it was.
So Larry Feldman knew how easily Dr. Katz diagnosed sexual molestation. No wonder why he chose him when Dr. Gardner’s report didn’t serve Mr. Chandler’s plan. Yet it was the same Dr. Katz who, in a taped conversation dated June 2003 with sheriff’s investigator Paul Zelis of Santa Barbara Police Department, said the following about Michael Jackson:
“And, you know, he doesn’t even really qualify as a paedophile. He’s really just this regressed 10-year-old.”
“Yeah, yeah, I agree,” replied Zelis.”
The expert who sees sexual abuse everywhere around him said that and Zelis agreed.
August 2, 1993 was the first time Evan Chandler allegedly heard his son saying he was molested by the singer. So what was the story with Evan accusing MJ prior to that? And why didn’t Evan report the abuse? Why didn’t he mention it on August 17, 1993 at the Ex Parte hearing for custody? Apparently, it was not part of the plan. The allegations begun to form only after Jordan was removed from his mother and was isolated under his father’s control. Up to this point, the only person accusing Jackson of molestation was Evan Chandler and nobody else.
On August 4, 1993, there was a meeting which is described by Pellicano in his interview to Mary Fischer. The same was repeated for Randy Taraborelli who had interviewed everyone involved in the case. From the 1994 GQ article:
Chandler and his son met with Jackson and Pellicano in a suite at the Westwood Marquis Hotel. On seeing Jackson, says Pellicano, Chandler gave the singer an affectionate hug (a gesture, some say, that would seem to belie the dentist’s suspicions that Jackson had molested his son), then reached into his pocket, pulled out Abrams’s letter and began reading passages from it. When Chandler got to the parts about child molestation, the boy, says Pellicano, put his head down and then looked up at Jackson with a surprised expression, as if to say “I didn’t say that.” As the meeting broke up, Chandler pointed his finger at Jackson, says Pellicano, and warned “I’m going to ruin you.”
Anthony Pellicano also said about that meeting where both Evan and Jordan Chandler hugged Michael Jackson: “If I believed that somebody had molested my kid and I got that close to him, I’d be in the death row right now”.
That same night Rothman made the $20 million dollar demand to Pellicano.
On August 9, 1993, Rothman met with Pellicano, who, according to Geraldine Hughes, yelled at Rothman “no way, that’s extortion!”. Pellicano later sent a fax to Rothman stating that Michael Jackson didn’t do anything wrong and he will not pay the money requested. They met again on August 13. The recorded conversation with Barry Rothman was all about money, and molestation was not mentioned. Mr. Rothman was very careful in the conversation, as Pellicano was very famous for taping people. When Pellicano brought up the $20 million demand made by Rothman ($5million each for 4 movie deals), the lawyer answered “we’re past that point”. Barry Rothman certainly did not sound like he was hearing the extortion issue for the first time.
Did Jordan participate in the plan to please his father during the bitter custody battle? Did Evan really give the drug to Jordan? Torbiner, who was supposedly present and administered the drug, was reluctant to speak about that day, saying only the confusing “If I used it, it was for dental purposes”. But the medical experts and the drug’s instructions refuted Torbiner, because it can’t be used for dental purposes and it can’t be used on minors. We know that Jordan was aware of his father’s plan in July 10, 1993, and he denied any allegation against Jackson. The choice of Jordan’s words when he was approached in 2005 to testify in the trial is more than interesting. He told the FBI that he wasn’t interested in testifying against Jackson, and threatened to take legal action if Sneddon tried to subpoena him, and he said “I have done my part”.
What was his part? Did he participate in his father’s plan instead of being manipulated during anaesthesia? Why is Torbiner silent? According to Jordan Chandler, Torbiner (who has a proven questionable professional past because he illegally drugged people) was not present in the scene between Jordan and his farther, a very convenient move because there was no witness. And just why did the anaesthesiologist leave before the patient’s full recovery, especially after having given him a dangerous drug for which there are no legal doses for someone of Jordan’s age? Evan Chandler even tried to frame Jackson in his home in May 1993 where he invited him despite his suspicions, brought Torbiner to drug him when he complained about a headache, and put him to sleep in Jordan’s bedroom. Evan Chandler did have controlling behaviour, he was violent, he was mentally ill, he was jealous of Michael Jackson, he wanted to become a screenwriter and quit his job as a dentist, he was hungry for money and he did have a plan. And Torbiner’s role is very mysterious. The timeline, the contradictions and the events surrounding the case always spoke loud enough for themselves.
Evan Chandler covered everything the best possible way. He was never going to be accused of perjury because it was Dr. Abrams who reported the allegations, not him. And it was not his fault that Jordan came up with allegations under the drug’s influence. Jordan had already changed his story, which makes him an incredible witness, plus he changed it under the drug’s influence, so legally he couldn’t be blamed, or be believed. Evan made sure that his son could not be a credible witness and he could never be competent to stand trial. Not one of the Chandlers was going to be accused of perjury. Yes, it was indeed a good plan. Remember Evan’s words:
“There is no way I can lose. I’ve checked that inside out”
On August 17, 1993, Dr. Abrams reported the allegations to the Los Angeles Child’s Services Department, who in turn informed the police. Police issued search warrants for Jackson’s Neverland and Century City condo on August 21 and 22, 1993. Dr. Abrams was not an expert in child abuse, and in the Child Services report it is mentioned that he “thought” there was misconduct. Michael Jackson was in Thailand for the kickoff of the second leg of Dangerous World Tour and he was out of US since August 20.
A freelance reporter, Don Ray, first broke the news on Monday, August 23, 1993 to KNBC channel 4, and Conan Nolan reported this information at 5pm. He said that police conducted a search in Jackson’s premises as a result of allegations made by a woman who claims her child was abused at one of the singer’s houses. A report was also carried later that day on KNBC-TV’s New York sister station, WNBC. The other networks reported the news on August 24, 1993.
They rushed to report poorly researched information because ratings could not wait. In fact, it was Evan Chandler that accused MJ, not June Chandler, and the allegations were reported by Dr. Abrams. Don Ray would later reveal that he got a call from a source inside the police on August 22, 1993 that informed him about the raiding. He tracked down the locksmith who accompanied the police officers and that’s how he broke the story. The locksmith said he hoped they didn’t find what they were looking for. Don Ray would later say that he was embarrassed to be a journalist because the way his colleagues covered the case and lynched Michael Jackson, and he felt bad for breaking the news. He said that he chose not to report the nature of the alleged abuse. Was it a coincidence that this source from the police chose to reveal the story to Don Ray on the eve of the opening of the singer’s tour?
Tabloid reporter Diane Dimond said that her boss called her in his office to watch KNBC’s coverage and he put her on the story. Burt Kearns would later write in his book Tabloid Baby that he got a fax of the Child Services report and he gave it to Ms. Dimond to report it. He had served as the managing editor of the tabloid shows Hard Copy and A Current Affair, and the majority of the shameful coverage came from those two programs, which have been characterized as tabloid trash programs. Hard Copy has also been labeled as one of the sleaziest tabloids, and its anchors Diane Dimond, Terry Murphy, and Barry Nolan were labeled as “the most repulsive things you could see in your living room with less than six legs”. NBC’s “Dateline” has been accused for copying these tabloid shows. Diane Dimond has been negatively criticized for her biased reporting on Michael Jackson, her conduct with the prosecution, and her inaccurate stories. She has described herself as “a shark always moving in the water”, and Ishmael Reed and Broadcasting & Cable referred to her as the “Michael Jackson stalker”. She has been behind every discredited “tell all” story, and she bought an autographed hat of the singer in a Hollywood auction for $1,200 dollars. “I just had to buy it. I wanted to touch it and put it on”. Her involvement is considered suspicious by many people since “tell all witnesses” were telling all only in her show and she was around individuals of dubious character and activity who were after Michael Jackson.
That same night Los Angeles Police Cmdr. David Gascon confirmed that an investigation had begun a week ago, but he didn’t disclose details. He said that the investigation was at an early stage, and that Chief Williams “is very concerned that the investigation is done objectively and with absolute fairness to everyone involved” He added that the Jackson camp is fully cooperating with the detectives. It turned out that Chief Williams was not that concerned.
The LAPD proved to be the greatest source of leaks of confidential information, and the events that followed actually demonstrated that Chief Williams and his department did not conduct a fair investigation on both sides. They were extremely unfair to Michael Jackson. In the days to follow, Michael Freeman (June Chandler’s lawyer) would meet with the Child Services Department and tell them that he was very upset about the leaks, and employees from the police and DCFS would later say that they were afraid of being fired, and everyone was destroying copies kept on their desks. Judge Tucker issued an order reminding the LAPD and LA Child & Family Services that leaking confidential information without the court’s approval is against the law.
Pellicano appeared also on the news the same day and said that this is the result of an extortion attempt that went awry. He didn’t disclose the nature of the allegations.
The media outlets were erroneously repeating the false rumor that the mother accused Jackson and filed the report. They never checked anything; they were reporting this story as they always used to do when it comes to Michael Jackson. The mother never accused him of anything; Evan Chandler did, and Dr. Abrams reported the allegations. The media were too unprofessional to wait for an official confirmation, and they were feeding their audience with inaccuracies.
On August 24, 1993, the official confirmation of the nature of the allegations came from the Jackson camp through Anthony Pellicano, who also said it was the result of a $20 million failed extortion. Pellicano would later say that he received a call after the raid informing him about the incident, and he realized that Evan Chandler had materialized his threats. The Jackson family issued a statement in support of Michael (they would repeat their statements of support and TV appearances through the whole ordeal-La Toya Jackson and her husband Jack Gordon also supported Michael, but this would later change when Gordon realized that he could make money from the story) and Howard Weitzman (the criminal lawyer hired for the case) read Michael Jackson’s statement:
- “I am confident the (Police) Department will conduct a fair and thorough investigation and that its result will demonstrate that there was no wrongdoing on my part. I intend to continue with my world tour, and look forward to seeing all of you in each of the scheduled cities. I am grateful for the overwhelming support of my fans throughout the world. I love you all. Thank you. Michael.”
Michael Jackson would vehemently deny the allegations for the rest of his life.
June Chandler’s lawyer, Michael Freeman, told CNN’s Larry King that she was not part of any extortion attempt and she knew nothing about the allegations, until police informed her. He added that she was shocked to hear the news. He would later say that the police officers told her with serious facial expression that the singer fits the “classic profile of a pedophile”. That scene could easily be a part of a spoof movie. The police officers, who lied to Mrs. Chandler, were ignorant enough not to acknowledge the fact that there is no such thing as “classical” profile in science. They also didn’t know that Jackson was nowhere near in what is described as “similar characteristics among perpetrators”. They were totally unqualified to make such statement and this would be only the beginning of a questionable behavior displayed by police. Police officers are not allowed to call names or put labels on the subjects of an investigation, let alone diagnose that subject. This particular naive incident was picked up and laughed at, in the news coverage outside US.
KNBC-TV reported that detectives seized property, including videotapes and photographs. This was falsely presented as “evidence” by the lazy, sensationalist tabloid media. What evidence? There was no evidence of anything at all, and as a result Jackson was never arrested.
The fact that police issued warrants based on an unsubstantiated claim of Jordan Chandler raised a lot of questions at the time. They had nothing to corroborate his story and the search did not result in anything incriminating for the singer. In order to request a search warrant, police need to prove they have a probable cause that a crime has been committed, and they didn’t have such a thing.
An explanation was offered to the Los Angeles Times:
“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. Last year the Police Department investigated 4,213 child abuse reports, resulting in 1,219 arrests.
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.
In Los Angeles, child abuse reports normally are called in to police or the Department of Children’s Services, which cross-references their cases. While Children’s Services investigates to determine if a child is in danger and should be removed from a home, police typically undertake a parallel investigation only if there is reason to suspect criminal activity.
Search warrants–such as those that were served Saturday on Jackson’s homes in Century City and Los Olivos–are not uncommon in child abuse investigations. “Legally, a search warrant can be used very liberally with an allegation of abuse,” Tilton-Durfee said.
Barry Tanlow, a criminal defense attorney and expert in search warrants, said to Adam Sandler of Daily Variety:
- “It’s wrong to draw some kind of conclusion that Jackson is guilty based on the fact that a search warrant was issued. There are rubber-stamp magistrates who routinely approve search warrants. They will sign anything stuck in front of them”
Police sources told The Times:
- “There is no medical evidence, no taped evidence; the search warrant did not result in anything that would support a criminal filing”
Some lazy media reporters unsuccessfully tried to create innuendo by falsely presenting the chauffeur’s story but their effort died out soon after Gary Hearne’s recorded deposition. Mr. Hearne said he was instructed to remove a briefcase from the Century City condo after the police had completed their search. He also said he never opened it. Police sources put an end to the tabloids’ imagination.
In the meantime, the singer received overwhelming support from his fans all over the world who were calling TV and radio stations to support him even if he was not the topic of discussion in the show. Parents were calling because their kids wanted to express their support. The author of this article was one of the MTV callers. Two 10 year olds, Jeremy & James Alsop, wrote a letter of support to the singer and they made it a song called “ Michael”. The video clip was played at MTV News and it was characterized by Lisa l’Anson as “brilliant”. J. Randy Taraborelli strongly supported Michael Jackson numerous times calling the allegations “bogus” and so did MTV, Sony and Pepsi (Pepsi would later announce that because the Dangerous tour had ended, that the contract had expired but the fans who felt that the company tried to distance itself from the singer openly boycotted their products, and as a result Pepsi sales dropped). Tommy Mottola was the new appointed manager of Sony Music Entertainment, replacing Walter Yetnikoff, and he was criticized for not supporting the singer like Yetnikoff would have done.
Non-tabloid magazines and music magazines had supportive covers and tributes, and program directors of radio stations stated that people were constantly asking for his music. In their various interviews they also said that Jackson had such a huge contribution to music that they could not turn their backs on him just because of an unsubstantiated claim without any evidence to support it, no trial and no conviction. They also asked the media to replace their ridiculous coverage with objective coverage, and they reminded them that it’s not their job to decide if Jackson was guilty or innocent. They pointed that callers were strongly complaining about the tabloid coverage and Jackson’s treatment in the media. People were also writing to newspapers to complain about the salacious coverage, and were calling MTV to leave messages of support. Orlando Sentinel wrote about readers’ reaction “Even people who don’t like the man’s music or his lifestyle couldn’t believe the allegations that the pop star molested a 13-year-old boy”. There was an increase in MJ’s album sales. Anyone who actually followed the 1993 case, and was following the singer years prior to that, knows that the allegations broke into a period where the entire planet was in Jacksonmania.
Numerous celebrities publicly defended him, including Elizabeth Taylor, who also flew with her husband to meet him on the tour. Frank Dileo (his ex-manager who was fired in 1990) and John Branca defended MJ by giving interviews to Rolling Stone. Dileo said “I would trust my own children with him and have. He lived in my house in Encino for seven months. There is no way he did that; it’s not in his nature”. Dileo defended Jackson in 2005 as well. Michael Jackson’s habit of staying in other people’s houses was well known. And thousands of children have interacted with Michael Jackson through the years, and they all had only good things to say about him. Macaulay Culkin’s father would later say that when he asked his children what they wanted to do for the day, they answered that they wanted to go to Neverland. He also said that Jackson treated all of his children equally (both boys and girls), and that his daughters were never left out of the games. He added that the singer felt very comfortable around his family like “one of them”. Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who has represented numerous celebrities, said that he has seen Michael with children and he would trust his child with him. In a 2009 interview Allan Scanlan, who operated the amusement park at Neverland Ranch for over 15 years, had only good things to say the ranch’s owner and his relationship with children. Bob Good is one of the many people who have met the singer when they were youngsters and, like all the rest, he has defended Jackson, and even offered himself as a character witness in the 2005 trial.
Michael’s fans were protesting worldwide in support of his innocence. Award-winning actor Maximilian Schell paid to take out an ad in the Hollywood Reporter in order to publish his supportive letter to Michael Jackson. He also appeared in a news conference where he talked about it and presented the handwritten letter to the media.
William G. Steiner, former director of the Orangewood Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization serving abused and neglected children, said that “charges like those against Michael Jackson present significant problems, especially in custody battles. The singer deserves our presumption of innocence. And real victims of abuse deserve our support”. He went on to say:
- “Michael Jackson is particularly vulnerable. Any public figure or individual who works around children or associates with them is not immune from such an accusation, which from time to time is unfounded. Personally, and at the risk of alienating my own children, I think Michael Jackson is an oddball, albeit a most talented oddball. There’s a childlike quality to him. It is not surprising to me, therefore, that Michael Jackson would feel comfortable surrounded by children. Perhaps he has good altruistic reasons for paying so much attention to children and he most certainly might not be a pedophile, but frankly I think that he is probably pretty lonely and, to some extent, lives in his own fantasy world”.
He added that while the media are too busy scrutinizing Jackson, real perpetrators get away. A careful look at the news during that period reveals that there were numerous molestation stories in US, especially in California, involving priests, parents and teachers. At the same time, Woody Allen was accused of molesting his adopted daughter, but he wasn’t scrutinized like Jackson.
LAPD would continue not to elaborate on the case because as they said they didn’t want to feed any wild speculation. With no confirmed and accurate information, and with no evidence, the tabloids would continue to create stories. The press kept repeating the unsubstantiated claims from the illegally obtained report, and failed to mention the extortion description which was in the very same document. Not only did they have no right to display such twisted behaviour, but their biggest problem was that they were internationally criticized for their tactics, and the world witnessed the mishandling of the case by police and media, as well as their undeniable effort to tarnish Jackson’s public image.
The sad consequence of this subculture was that many of these tabloid reporters would later brag about their unprofessional and shameful behaviour. Those very tabloid reporters whose “coverage” has been discredited countless times would continue to lie before an audience forever. And the audience never bothered to look at the facts. People were cognitively disabled from the filthy coverage, and to this day they continue to run with false rumours, displaying their ignorance here and there. Several newspapers attacked CBS’s This Morning anchor Paula Zahn for the decision to call tabloid reporter Diane Dimond of Hard Copy.
“During all the coverage of Michael Jackson’s supposed molestation of this teenage boy, I turned on ‘CBS This Morning’ and saw Diane Dimond being interviewed by Paula Zahn. And I remember thinking, ‘This is a seminal moment in the regression of TV journalism.” – Los Angeles times TV critic Howard Rosenberg.
They were very worried that the tabloid reporters were given air time on mainstream news. The Salt Lake Tribune characterized the CBS incident “a seminal moment in 1993’s incestuous media process”. The international reporting about tabloids being used as “sources” in America was much more condemning. This sad truth was also revealed in the FBI files, where we can see the tabloid covers in their reports, and they had to spend money and time to check every crazy person’s claim. They found nothing credible in these claims, and this is a very disturbing situation for police when a case makes it to the news, and it involves mentally unbalanced people who are trying to get involved in an investigation in order to feel important for 5 minutes.
Burt Kearns, who played a fundamental role in tabloid TV, would later reveal:
“Here’s how it worked: Say someone in the office heard-or decided to start-a rumour that Michael Jackson was caught en flagrante with his llama. The assignment editor in New York would call the L.A. office to check it out. If the story turned out to be unconfirmable-or untrue-it wasn’t necessarily shot down or declared dead. If the story was good enough, some tabloid vet in New York would then feed the deflated tem to one of the many British tabloid newspaper journalists encamped in Los Angeles. The Brit, would seize upon the rumour, pay someone as a supposed “unnamed source” to confirm it, then write the story as a gospel for one of the outrageous London tabloids. The story would next be faxed from L.A. to London, published in England, then faxed back to A Current Affair office in New York, where the staff would do a quick day-of-air story on what they knew never happened in L.A. The story would include a shot of the British newspaper headline to show they were only reporting “what the world is talking about”. So a story that was generated in New York City, shot down in Los Angeles, concocted for England, published in London, and sent on its way back to New York City, would now air across America. The Fox lawyers would okay the story because it was attributed to the London papers”.
Kearns added that it was no wonder why Jackson would need more of his prescribed pills and that tabloid TV treated its viewers like “fucking morons”.
Greta Van Susteren reminded everyone during her appearance on CNN that a reporter’s job is to present only proven facts, not rumours and opinions. The media critic of L.A. Times said that the Jackson story has obliterated the line between the tabloid press and the so-called respectable media. The New York Times refused to continue writing about the story until factual evidence on the case would come out from official sources. Actually, New York Times only covered the facts that were verified from official sources, and they didn’t report anything that came from tabloids. The well respected French newspaper Le Monde wrote that the singer had been convicted by the press based on rumours, and not on facts coming from the police investigation. Le Monde only covered the facts and not the rumours, while at the same time criticizing the tabloid press, along with so many other international newspapers of that status. Barbara Reynolds of USA Today, appeared on CNN’s Mary Tillotson to say that the press was not fair on Michael Jackson and they spent too much time presenting the un-cross examined allegations of Evan Chandler as the truth, even though Michael Jackson was not charged with a crime, and even though it was already known that this person wanted something from Jackson. She went on to say that suddenly the press forgot who Michael Jackson was, and they spent little time presenting the other side of the story in which numerous children and their families were defending the singer.
The hysteria at that period of time in America, where everyone thought their neighbour was a child molester, and anyone could be easily accused, was also mentioned. In fact, during the ‘90s this issue had turned into an epidemic, leading to many false accusations.
At the time it became known that the social workers never interviewed Jordan’s mother, father and sibling because the LAPD sergeant Thomas Felix, asked them to stop their investigation.
Having found no incriminating evidence at all, police began interviewing everyone that was close to the singer, using phone numbers found in an address book they seized from the Century City condo. A police source told the Times that “they are even interviewing friends of friends to see if they were told anything”.
Again, this was falsely presented by tabloid reporters as more people that came forward. In reality, nobody came forward; the police tracked them down, asked them to be interviewed and they all defended Jackson. Many of those kids appeared on TV to publicly defend the singer (Bret Barnes and Wade Robson among them), and did the same thing in the 2005 trial. Families that befriended Jackson continue to defend him to this day.
Another tabloid myth was that Jackson was planning to surrender. Actually the only thing he was planning was his concert that night. Howard Weitzman immediately discredited them: “There is no plan for him to surrender because there is no reason for him to surrender“. Such wishful fantasies of the media never materialized.
In the meantime, the investigation for the extortion claims had begun. Given the fact that Jordan Chandler described the incident in the Child Services report for Ms. Rosato, one can only wonder what kind of investigation was conducted. Evan Chandler and Barry Rothman refused to be interviewed by the police for the extortion claim. How suspicious is that? At the same time Jackson was fully cooperating for the molestation investigation. Rothman filed a lawsuit for defamation of character against Jackson, Fields, Pellicano, and Weitzman because he had to leave Chandler’s representation, since there was an extortion investigation on him. The sad truth is that police did a lousy job investigating the extortion. They didn’t spent the same time, the same amount of tax payers money, they didn’t have the same rage, they didn’t issue search warrants for Rothman and Chandler, they left them alone when they refused to cooperate, they didn’t call a Grand Jury hearing as they did for Jackson, they didn’t fly all over the world to find “potential victims”, and they didn’t question every human being that knew them engaging in questionable and inappropriate techniques like they did for the singer. The extortion was the most plausible explanation and they did nothing to investigate it. Chief Williams failed in his promise to be fair to Michael Jackson. The extortion was not equally investigated and the authorities were obsessed and biased against Jackson. This was also noticed and criticized internationally. The national coverage was (and is) another story by itself.
A reader wrote to Los Angeles Times:
“It is appalling to see the way in which the local television news reporters are covering the allegations against Jackson. After leading every newscast with stories and side stories about the investigation, several stations have taken the high-and-mighty position of criticising the British press for revealing the names of the accusers. Since the local stations are so eager to reveal the name of someone accused of child molestation, why they won’t reveal the names of those accused for extortion? At least the British press is consistent”.
DeWayne Wickham of USA Today, criticized his colleagues for biased and inaccurate coverage, for not including the extortion mentioned by Jordan Chandler in the DCFS report, and for presenting only the graphic unsubstantiated and uncross-examined allegations. He added that accusing Jackson, whose affection of children is known worldwide, for a sex offence is something similar to claiming the Pope has broken his vow of celibacy. It was obvious that an internationally condemned offense was used to bring down an international superstar. Charles Madigan of The Chicago Tribune attacked the media and wrote that Jackson is “drawing hungry sharks”. Reverends Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan asked from the media to exercise some judgement and not destroy somebody through innuendo.
Police officers told The Times that they had a hard time controlling the information presented by the media because tabloids were paying people to come up with stories. They also told Daily Variety: “With denials and conflicting statements all around, and no physical evidence to link anyone, we may have a hard time developing a case that the D.A. can file on. Everybody’s stories have holes in them”. Who told them they had to develop a case? Did they forget what their job was? It never crossed their biased mind that maybe Jackson was innocent. They were not psychologically ready to deal with it. Their job was to find the truth and seek evidence, not to nail Michael Jackson. It was obvious that their objectives were somehow lost during the procedure.
The singer was already experiencing symptoms of stress and was hospitalized twice for exhaustion, dehydration, and migraines, and had to cancel some concerts. He kept releasing taped statements for his fans declaring his innocence and informing them about his health problems.
Police issued a third search warrant for The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. They said they did it to corroborate information. That was a desperate move because it was no secret that June, Jordan and Lily had accompanied Jackson there, and in fact they could all describe the colour of the carpet. According to the waiter, Chad Jahn, who served them in Mirage’s Chinese restaurant, Jackson and Jordan swam with dolphins in the hotel’s marine centre. He also said ”They talked in whispers and laughed like a father and son”.
On August 28, 1993 the Los Angeles Times referred to a man who called them to brag that he went to the police to tell them that he had interviewed some of the youngsters that were also interviewed by the police. He said he had interviewed them for a book that he had been working on for years. The well-known liar who has been discredited by anyone involved in the case, and who has been characterized by Ray Chandler as sleazebag is Victor Guttierez. He was sued by Michael Jackson for his lies, and had to pay him $2.7million dollars. He had to flee the country to avoid payment and declared bankruptcy.
Out of nowhere, a man suddenly appeared and begun making rounds to the tabloids. Ernie Rizzo made “statements” all over the place but it soon turned out that he was a complete scam. He contacted the press saying that he was an investigator working for Evan Chandler. At the same time he contacted the Chandlers saying that he was an investigator for tabloid show Hard Copy. When he was discredited by Evan Chandler he told the press that he was working for June Chandler. When this was discredited too he again said that he was working for the father but it was a “secret”, and that’s why nobody would confirm it! The man was a complete joke. Evan Chandler’s attorney, RichardHirsch, made several public statements about Rizzo and his lies on several occasions, while Rizzo kept changing his story:
- “Mr. Rizzo is not working for or authorized to speak for the family”- “I have notified Ernie Rizzo that he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the father or the family. At this point, he is not retained by anyone connected to the case”-“He is vacationing in California and is free to say anything he likes, just like any other tourist. But that’s all he is, a tourist”.
Ernie Rizzo was so desperate to remain in the news and connect his name to a famous case that he again contacted the press (not the police) and said that someone sent him on an alleged agreement between the mother of a teenager and the “Michael Jackson Organization”, allegedly signed on July 7, 1992 for $600,000. Rizzo said he believed there was a 50-50 chance that it could be real. In reality it was 0% real. The Jackson lawyers called it a phony. Not only had none of Jackson’s lawyers participated in such procedure, but it was written in plain paper with the title General Agreement, it was not written in legal terminology, it contained no real signatures, and there was no such thing as a “Michael Jackson Organization”. The police checked it and did not find any merit in it. Bert Fields sued the Globe tabloid for $10 million dollars. This would only be the beginning of how far troubled people would go to attach themselves to an international story and gain publicity and a few bucks. Many people would come out of the woodwork to claim all sorts of things for tabloids after the 1993 story was made public. Poverty and greed can create all sorts of “memories”. Actually, tabloid reporters would refer to it again in 2005, hoping that the public would not remember the false story from September 1993. The fake September 1993 General Agreement story actually came from a stringer with a shady past who tried to fool Jim Mitteager into buying it. Here is an excerpt of Roger Friedman’s further research on the story, which was already proven false back in 1993. Excerpts of Friedman’s article that was published on March 25, 2005:
Mitteager, at least in the case of Jackson, relied heavily on a sketchy stringer named Taylea Shea. Her veracity consequently became integral to a lot of tabloid reporting at the time.
Shea, who seems to have gone by a number of aliases and had a long list of addresses and phone numbers, could not be contacted for this story, despite many tries.
Neighbors at the Los Angeles address at which she lived the longest do not remember her fondly. They recall a hustler and con woman who was always on the take.
“She should be in jail, if she hasn’t been already,” one former friend and neighbor said.
On one tape, Shea reads what sounds convincingly like a legal document drawn up between Jackson and a 12-year-old boy named Brandon P. Richmond, who is represented by his mother, Eva Richmond.
Brandon, according to the document, received $600,000 from Jackson. He and Jackson would no longer have any contact with each other.
Shea read the document, which is dated July 1992, to Mitteager the following year.
This would have been a blockbuster, if true, because it would make Brandon, not the differently-named boy who settled with Jackson in 1993, the first of Jackson’s accusers.
Shea also says on the tape that the legal document came from the offices of famed Hollywood lawyer Bert Fields, Jackson’s attorney at the time.
No reason is given why Jackson and Brandon Richmond should be separated. The implication, however, is clear.
The Globe published the story without using names. Over time, it was assumed that Brandon P. Richmond was in fact Brandon Adams, a boy who had appeared in Jackson’s “Moonwalker” video.
Discussions on the tapes indicate that the tabloids also believed the two Brandons were one and the same. But there’s a problem with Shea’s story: Nothing adds up.
For one thing, a source close to Fields says the document uses language uncommon to their usual agreements.
Then there’s the actual family.
According to the Adamses, whom I met in January, they don’t know an Eva Richmond.
Brandon Adams’ mother is named Marquita Woods. And Brandon’s grandmother assures me she knows nothing of a $600,000 payment. The family has lived in a modest home in Baldwin Hills, Calif., for 30 years.
Brandon Adams, who is now 25, is a struggling actor. He appeared in “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and the indie film “MacArthur Park,” and is currently working on building a music career.
“I wish I had $600,000,” he said. “I’m broke.”
The Adamses pointed out that Brandon never visited Neverland, just the Jackson family home in Encino.
For a short time they were friendly not only with the Jacksons, but with Sean Lennon and his mother Yoko Ono, who were also part of “Moonwalker.” But the relationship seems to have ended well before Taylea Shea’s big scoop.
Was Shea simply lying to Mitteager to collect a big fee? It would seem so.
Curiously, nobody I spoke with who worked at the tabloids could remember Shea. And her own alleged main source — an attorney then associated with the office of Larry Feldman, the first accuser’s lawyer — insists vehemently that she did not know Shea and had little knowledge of the case anyway.
The poor stringer thought that since Michael Jackson was rich, he would have an organization. Was Larry Feldman’s office involved in spreading false stories about Michael Jackson to press for a settlement and end the tabloid madness, or was Taylea Shea lying about it as well?
Ernie Rizzo had nothing to do with the 1993 allegations and was not anywhere near the parties involved. It was also soon revealed that he had an antagonistic relationship with Anthony Pellicano from a previous case, and he entered the scene out of revenge. For the years to come, “reporters”, would use him as a “source”, only proving their lack of credibility.
Meanwhile, Gloria Allred (who is known for trying cases in the media) was hired as an attorney by Evan Chandler, and she held a news conference on September 2, 1993 at the Regent Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel. She said: “My client wants the truth to come out. He is ready, he is willing, he is able to testify”. But the truth was very far from that statement. Evan Chandler didn’t want his son to give a deposition under oath, under cross-examination, and under the threat of perjury. And he never did. Their legal actions from that point on would prove that they had no plans to enter a courtroom. A few days after that statement, Gloria Allred was fired and refused to comment. Gloria – my client wants the truth to come out – Allred, was immediately replaced by Larry Feldman, a civil lawyer who filed a lawsuit against the singer on September 14, 1993 (it was later reported that it was a $30 million dollar lawsuit). Jackson’s lawyers filed their answer to the civil complaint denying the allegations. Larry Feldman was the one that fired Gloria Allred through a letter.
The Chandlers were alleging that Jordan was molested by Michael Jackson and nobody else. But in the lawsuit they included as defendants Does 1 through 100 as well. For example, if you were in a train accident your lawyer can sue the rail company plus Does, which would be the company that owns the rail, the companies that maintain the rails, people that were working that day on the train, etc. But molestation is a very specific situation. Was Jordan molested by others that could not identify? The Chandlers never alleged such thing. By suing all of Michael Jackson’s business entities they only showed their greed and nothing else. Jordan Chandler was not molested by Jackson’s business interests, and by suing them they were putting pressure for a settlement involving the companies that held these interests. It was all about money.
June Chandler, in her 2005 testimony, said that Ms. Allred was their lawyer for 2 seconds and she laughed. Larry Feldman is still laughing at Ms. Allred, as it’s revealed from his September 2010 speech on the case for the Frozen in Time seminar. See, he has every reason to find it funny, because he wasn’t the one to scare Evan Chandler with justice statements.
Mr. Feldman immediately starting manipulating the media: “The child is getting crucified; everyone is batting this kid around in the newspaper”. This was a lie and the only one crucified in the press was Michael Jackson. This would be the beginning of a series of false statements and innuendoes by the lawyer, who has since admitted that the media frenzy on the singer helped him push the settlement of the civil case on Jackson’s lawyers.
The day he filed the lawsuit, he also said something interesting in his effort to justify the action. He said that the on-going criminal investigation on Michael Jackson will take a long time to be completed so the lawsuit was meant to speed up the process. He also said that he didn’t even know if all these would lead to an indictment. How did he know that the criminal investigation would take a long time to be completed? The investigation could end the same day, the next month or the next year. Did Mr. Feldman know the truth? It was already known that the authorities had nothing on the singer no matter how hard they tried.
Another interesting thing comes from Ray Chandler. He said that getting a conviction against Michael Jackson would be impossible without a second victim. Why would it be impossible? Wasn’t Jordan telling the truth? Wasn’t he considered a credible witness? How did they know that there was no second victim? The answer is simple. They knew Michael Jackson was innocent. That’s why Jordan Chandler had to name every other kid at Neverland because he “thought” they could have been molested. They desperately needed someone to corroborate his story. As it was previously mentioned, the raid didn’t result in anything incriminating for the singer, and all the other kids defended Jackson.
Mr. Hirsch, the father’s lawyer, said that both parents stand behind that lawsuit. But June Chandler in her 2005 testimony would distance herself from the legal action. She would deny suing Jackson saying that Jordan Chandler’s family did it.
Mr. Mesereau: Q. When you sued Michael Jackson, you sued through Larry Feldman, true?
June Chandler: A. I did not sue Michael Jackson. Jordan Chandler and his family were — that was his family. We did not sue Michael Jackson.
When she was reminded on the stand that her name was in the lawsuit she said that it was Evan Chandler’s idea. June Chandler’s lawyer at the time said that Ms. Chandler was afraid that Evan Chandler would accuse her of negligence if she didn’t comply with his strategy. After a while Michael Freeman resigned in disgust, saying later that “the whole thing was such a mess. I felt uncomfortable with Evan. He isn’t a genuine person, and I sensed he wasn’t playing things straight.”
Mr. Hirsch also said that the father and his son have been interviewed by the police on several occasions regarding the criminal investigation on Jackson. We know two of those dates from Tom Sneddon: September 1, 1993 and December 1, 1993. Detectives Deborah Linden and Rosibel Feruffino were present, and he was questioned by Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weis.
At this point, it was time for a Filipino couple to claim some money and fame in the media frenzy. Mark and Faye Quindoy worked at Neverland as housekeeper and cook from 1989 until 1991. They left their employment claiming that they were owed $500,000 dollars (!), and they filed a lawsuit for that reason. After the publicity of the scandal, they said they left because they “couldn’t stand what they were observing”. But in 1992, they had only good things to say about Jackson in the Geraldo Rivera show. When they were asked why they didn’t go to the police but they decided to speak to tabloids after the allegations and after the tabloids were paying for stories, they provided this naive and ridiculous answer: “we were just witnesses not victims”! Mark Quindoy was a lawyer in his country… They held press conferences promoting their diary, talking about serious allegations with a stupid smile on their face while bragging about it. They were shopping for a good deal. After seeing them on tabloids, detectives Sicard and Linden flew to Manila (on taxpayers money) to interview the couple, and found them worthless as witnesses. Quindoy’s nephew, Glen Veneracion, came forward to discredit them. He said they were opportunists that would do anything for money. He also said that they only had good things to say about Michael Jackson, and now they were jumping into the bandwagon. He gave information about his uncle and aunt to Jackson’s lawyers and offered himself as a witness for Jackson. The Quindoy’s diary invention would give ideas to other crooks later on. It also emerged that the Quindoys had a contract with a tabloid 3 years ago to sell information on Michael Jackson.
The cultural decadence displayed by the tabloids made the police’s job difficult.
After the Filipino couple, Philippe and Stella Lemarque (ex-Neverland employees who were fired in 1991) crawled out and contacted former porn star Paul Baressi to help them sell their stories and make the negotiations for them. Stella was dating Baressi prior to her marriage, and knew his connections to tabloids. They sold their story (describing Culkin’s fondling by Jackson) to a British tabloid for $100,000, and when the price became $500,000 the story changed. At the time the Lemarques had a $455,000 debt. The child star would discredit them and would later defend Michael Jackson in his 2005 trial. He is the godfather of Prince and Paris Jackson, and he spoke in Michael’s defense on Larry King Live on May 24, 2004. Macaulay Culkin’s father, Kit Culkin called the Lemarques a “predator pair”. Mr. Culkin not only discredited them, like his son, but he also said something that was corroborated by all the other parents and Neverland staff: that there were always parents present having access everywhere in the house and also the staff was looking after the kids. Baressi was recording the couple as they were making up stories according to the price. He would later explain in detail how he manipulated the media by involving the authorities so he could sound more credible and ask for a better price. He admitted that he didn’t care if the story was true, as long as he had a good percentage from the deal, and he was giving different versions of the fictional story to tabloids to decide which fairy-tale they liked more. The Lemarques had a long history of cashing in on Michael Jackson, and they were negotiating with the National Enquirer in 1991 to sell stories for Jackson, such as Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding at Neverland. They even asked the tabloid to cover their expenses if Jackson sued them. Philippe Lemarque later ran a porn site called Virtual Sin.
The media frenzy continued, and Dr. Bonnie Maslin (clinical psychologist) appeared on Geraldo Rivera to remind everyone that you must know a person before making any allegations as to if they are capable of such act, adding “I’ll ring the neck of any professional who answers that question. Because what you are doing is applying armchair psychology to a person you simply don’t know. You’re taking gossip and turning into fact”. Dr. Maslin was more than right, but in the years to come people would continue to watch TV caricatures playing psychologists and psychiatrists making totally incorrect judgemental statements and hilarious correlations that scientifically do not exist.
In the meantime, the molestation allegations were investigated by Los Angeles D.A. Garcetti, Santa Barbara D.A. Sneddon, the LA Department of Child and Family Services, Lauren Weis-the head of LA County District Attorney’s Sex Crime Unit, and the FBI. As a result of this massive investigation, nothing incriminating was ever found, there were no credible witnesses, and no charges were filed. A 4th search warrant was issued, this time for Jackson’s family home in Encino, which again resulted in nothing incriminating.
There was not such a thorough investigation for the extortion allegations though. The authorities never took it seriously and it didn’t serve their purpose either. By that time (November 1993), it was obvious-at least outside the US- that they were fixated on Jackson and they could not continue the molestation investigation if they gave merit to the extortion allegations. Miraculously, nothing was leaked from the extortion investigation. The leaks only concerned Jackson.
On Friday, November 12, 1993, Michael Jackson cancelled the remaining concerts of his tour, informing his fans through a taped statement about his addiction to prescribed medication:
- ”My friends and doctors advised me to seek professional guidance immediately in order to eliminate what has become an addiction. It is time for me to acknowledge my need for treatment in order to regain my health. I realize that completing the tour is no longer possible and I must cancel the remaining dates. I know I can overcome the problem and will be stronger from the experience. As I left on this tour, I had been the target of an extortion attempt, and shortly thereafter was accused of horrifying and outrageous conduct. I was humiliated, embarrassed, hurt and suffering great pain in my heart. The pressure resulting from these false allegations coupled with the incredible energy necessary for me to perform caused so much distress that is left me physically and emotionally exhausted. I became increasingly more dependent on the painkillers to get me through the days of the tour. Elizabeth Taylor, my close friend, has been a source of strength and counsel as this crisis came about. I shall never forget her unconditional love and encouragement in helping me through this period”.
Elizabeth Taylor held a news conference to inform the public that she had sent MJ to a rehabilitation clinic after witnessing his condition but didn’t say where. It later came out that the clinic was in London.
Larry Feldman, in his well-known and self-admitted game with the media, tried to compensate by interpreting the singer’s hospitalization as an excuse to remain out of the country. Many people were not able to see the facts and read between the lines. As Howard Weitzman correctly put it, if Jackson needed an excuse to remain out of the country, he would have stayed on his tour. There was no arrest warrant, no charges and no legal reason for him to be in US. He had the right to be anywhere he liked and he didn’t need any excuse for it nor could he be labelled a fugitive. Jackson’s personal physician, David Forecast, had provided a sworn declaration backing up the statement that the singer was under treatment for drug addiction (filed on November 23, 1993 for case no SC 026225). Another declaration was filed the same day from lawyer Eve Wagner for the same case, who said that while he was deposed in Mexico for the copyright case, he was glassy eyed, could hardly stay awake, had slurred speech, and was unable to focus on the issues. Bert Fields said that the singer “was barely able to function adequately on an intellectual level”, a statement that Michael didn’t like because it made his fans sad. The video of Jackson’s deposition in Mexico for a copyright case (which he won) proved that he was incoherent and under medication.
It was reported in November 1993 that Jordan Chandler had given a description of the singer’s genitals, and Feldman at that point declined to comment. Howard Weitzman said he was not aware of any search warrant regarding the issue and added “You got to be kidding me. Mr. Fields is going to depose this young man at the appropriate time. And we are not concerned about those issues in this case. We don’t believe it. Period”. It would later emerge that the description was false, and as a result Michael Jackson was not arrested after the search, as he would have been if it matched.
On November 23, 1993, Mr. Feldman gave a news conference outside the courthouse, (after Judge Rothman had denied the defense’s motion to delay the civil trial), and among other things he said that he wanted a medical examination of Jackson’s body, and that he was in the process of requesting it. In the same news conference Howard Weitzman said that the Santa Barbara D.A. didn’t give him copies of the seized material, and that this was unusual. Thomas Sneddon Jr. would continue his unusual behaviour in 2003-2005 as well. Mr. Fields stated in the conference that based on the evidence they were confident that they would prevail in the civil trial and in a potential criminal one. Mr. Weitzman added (he was questioned about it from reporters) that he was only aware of investigation on Chandler’s claims and nobody else’s.
The Times had obtained a letter that Mr. Fields sent to Police Chief Willie Williams when parents of children told him what happened during the police interviews. He sent it on October 28, 1993:
- “I am advised that your officers have told frightened youngsters outrageous lies, such as “we have nude photos of you”in order to push them into making accusations against Mr. Jackson. There are of course no such photos of these youngsters and they have no truthful accusations to make. But your officers appear ready to employ any device to generate potential evidence against Mr. Jackson”.
Howard Weitzman added that police were trying to trick people into making untrue accusations because they had no evidence. Chief William answered that he was satisfied with his officers’ investigation, but this news caused negative reaction from international media.
Instead of following the legal actions that revealed many interesting things, the media were trying to figure out where Jackson was hospitalized.
This time they were offering air time to another scam, Reynoza. This guy fooled them by asking people to believe that he had met Jackson 10 years ago, never had communication with him these 10 years but all of a sudden, in the middle of this ordeal and while under treatment and investigation, Michael Jackson not only chose to call him out of all the people in his life, but he also informed him about his future plans, saying that he was never coming back. Of course we know that Jackson did come back. While he was repeating his fairy-tale, it was reported that Jackson’s plane had landed in the US. For the record, Michael Jackson didn’t know who he was. Raynoza had scheduled an interview for USA Today, but when he found out that the paper does not pay for interviews he cancelled it. After manipulating the media for his few minutes of fame, he would later do the same thing for O.J. Simpson’s case, alleging he could be a witness. The judge found him unreliable and he was characterized as a known liar from the Michael Jackson case.
Jackson’s lawyers had argued that the civil trial should be put on hold until the criminal proceedings would be concluded. The criminal proceedings/investigation could lead to an indictment and a criminal trial –or not – and they could end at any time from this point until the statute of limitation expired. Michael Jackson was asking for justice while the Chandlers were asking for money, while doing everything in their power to avoid justice! Jackson’s lawyers had been fighting for this since October 29. Michael Jackson was willing to be tried in a criminal court, the Chandlers were not. The judge ordered that no interviews be conducted in connection with the civil case until after his decision on November 23. The media either did not understand the legal actions and their significance, or they misinformed the public on purpose. They falsely reported that Jackson was trying to delay the civil trial. In reality, they asked for it to be held until the criminal investigation was completed. And the criminal investigation could be completed at any time, even the next day.
The media and many brainwashed members of the audience failed to notice the difference between a civil and a criminal trial, and failed to understand the meaning of the motions. That’s the standard procedure in every similar case because of double jeopardy (Fifth Amendment right). For the record, in a civil trial the defendant will never go to prison if he loses the case – he will only pay money. Civil trials are for money, not for justice, and the defendant cannot be sentenced to prison.
Larry Feldman argued that this delay of the civil trial (money not justice) could have an impact on Jordan’s memory. But that’s why we have depositions. Jordan Chandler could have given a deposition that could be used in the criminal proceeding and civil trial as well. He didn’t even have to be physically present, and there would be no problem with his memory at all. The problem is that a deposition involves cross-examination and the threat of perjury.
Jordan Chandler never gave a deposition.
Bert Fields stated loud and clear that Michael Jackson wanted to testify and clear his name in the criminal proceedings before the civil trial, a constitutional right that we all have. Nobody wondered why a “guilty” person would insist on a criminal trial that could put him behind bars, and his defense attorneys were fighting to have the motion granted! Unfortunately, on November 23, 1993 Judge Rothman denied the defense’s request as premature since no charges had been filed against the singer at that point, ordered Jackson to give a deposition for the civil trial by January 31, 1994, and set the civil trial for March 21, 1994. In such case, the only way for the defendant to have a fair criminal trial (if the investigation could lead to one) would be to make the civil trial go away.
Because of the filthy coverage, the doctor that was treating Jackson for the addiction issued a statement. Dr. Beauchamp Colclough stated that the singer was not hiding and that he was not undergoing treatment for any condition other than his drug addiction. Jackson’s lawyers invited Larry Feldman to visit MJ in the clinic and witness his condition, but he declined.
It was time for the infamous “Hayvenhurst 5” (five ex-Hayvenhurst employees) to crawl out for money and revenge. These guards (not personal bodyguards) were Leroy Thomas, Morris Williams, Donald Starcks, Fred Hammond and Aaron White. The Quindoys’ and Lemarques’ filed a copycat suit against Michael Jackson, claiming that they were fired on February 1, 1993 because they knew too much (case no BC093593 filed November 1993 in Los Angeles). Of course they never reported anything to the police, and they went to the tabloids to sell their stories, like all the rest. Not creative and very boring, but the tabloids bought it and sold it to their audience. In fact, this was their second lawsuit. They filed for the first time when they were terminated (their lawsuit was dismissed), but they didn’t mention any salacious recollections. Their second lawsuit took place after the 1993 allegations broke, and this had a different effect on their memory. Their lawyer was Charles Mathews. Bert Fields vehemently denied the allegations and said “That never happened. Nobody ever has been fired for anything they know or not know about Michael Jackson”. Actually it turned out that this was their second filing because their first one was rejected and didn’t include such knowledge. It also turned out that they were working for the Jacksons, and not for Michael Jackson, and that he wasn’t the one that fired them. It also came out that when they were fired, Morris Williams called journalist Florence Anthony (Michael Jackson’s friend) and asked her to help him contact MJ. He told her that he knew that Michael Jackson didn’t know he had lost his job, and knew that he could help him get it back. So much for the guards’ credibility. MJ did help him get his job back, but then he was fired again. Williams was dismissed from the suit early, on the grounds that his release was valid. In reality the guards were replaced by a security company that was less costly to the Jacksons, and this company provided guards, paying for their vacations and insurance costs. As usual, it also turned out that the guards were paid from tabloids for their stories (Hard Copy gave them $150,000) and they admitted they needed that money for their lawsuit. The Jackson family discredited their claims, and so did other guards that were working with them, and had also been fired too. They called in to shows in order to discredit the 5 ex guards, and said they were lying to gain money, and that Jackson never had inappropriate behaviour with anyone. The 5 guards were also selling secrets of the Jackson family’s relationship with Michael Jackson, but this was not a secret at all, and it had been reported by J. Randy Taraborelli a long time ago. Leroy Thomas said that MJ asked him to go to his private bathroom and destroy a picture of a nude youngster. He asked people to actually believe that Jackson, who hadn’t lived in Encino for years, who wasn’t their employer, suddenly decided to trust one of them, gave him his key, and then created himself a witness instead of destroying the photo himself! Leroy Thomas enjoyed seeing his face on TV so much that he made the mistake of taking a lie detector test for Maury Povich’s show. Leroy Thomas failed the lie detector in his naked picture fairy-tale. His motivation became more obvious when he announced that he was working on a book about Michael Jackson. Actually the guards, when questioned, said they never witnessed inappropriate behaviour, and they had a different story for police than the one they gave to the tabloids. From William’s 1994 deposition:
“So you don’t know anything about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?” one of Jackson’s attorneys asked former security guard Morris Williams under oath.
“All I know is from the sworn documents that other people have sworn to.”
“But other than what someone else may have said, you have no firsthand knowledge about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?”
“Have you spoken to a child who has ever told you that Mr. Jackson did anything improper with the child?”
When asked by Jackson’s attorney where he had gotten his impressions, Williams replied: “Just what I’ve been hearing in the media and what I’ve experienced with my own eyes.”
“Okay. That’s the point. You experienced nothing with your own eyes, did you?”
“That’s right, nothing.”
In September 1994, during his civil trial Jackson was allowed to plead the Fifth regarding questions of child abuse due to the on-going criminal investigation. During the trial several tabloid “witnesses” paraded, and they had no effect on the jury. It came out that they were all paid from tabloids for their contradictory stories. Ralph Chacon and Adrian McManus testified to help their friends. It came out that they had joined forces and they were selling stories to the media. Ralph Chacon, who could not pay his rent at the time, was bragging to his neighbours and landlady in 1994 that he was about to become rich by being a star witness in the civil trial against Jackson. Adrian McManus was deposed on December 7, 1993 regarding Jordan Chandler’s case. She said she never witnessed sexually inappropriate acts by Michael Jackson and that she would leave her own son with him. When McManus decided to make some money too and joined the guards’ lawsuit, she changed her story in a December 2, 1994 deposition. A co-worker of McManus, Francine Contreras, labelled her a liar and a thief in her 2005 testimony. Among other things, she said that Adrian McManus never told her anything negative about the singer and that she had witnessed the maid stealing on the job. Before the civil lawsuit the former employees didn’t have anything bad to say about Jackson.
The civil trial for the wrongful termination lawsuit was thrown out in July 1995.
The timing that all these former employees chose to recover their memory and sell their stories to the tabloids was highly questioned.
At the time it became known that Jackson was closing another multimillion dollar deal, this time with EMI, and that he owned the largest independent publishing company in the world. People again heard that Jackson was becoming richer which helped them recover their “memory” for money.
In another humiliating moment for tabloids, the London Daily Express printed an imaginary interview with Jermaine Jackson, and they were publicly discredited when it turned out that Jermaine never gave an interview to the tabloid, and he threatened them with a $200 million dollar lawsuit. The interview was the tabloid writer’s hallucination. Jermaine also talked about it when he gave an interview with his mother to Jim Moret of Showbiz Today, and added that his lawyers took care of it.
Meanwhile, the police (while exercising their fifth search warrant ) seized MJ’s medical files to see if Jordan’s description was accurate. The media frenzy kept going, and a reader wrote to the Los Angeles Times “What is it about this guy that makes reporters and anchor-persons lose their journalistic integrity and self-respect?”
Mr. Fields, continuing his effort to put the criminal proceedings first, told Judge Rothman that a Santa Barbara Grand Jury was about to indict Jackson. But the information was wrong and was denied by Santa Barbara officials. Mr. Fields had to admit that he misunderstood the information given to him by Mr. Weitzman, who had learned that subpoenas were issued for two people to attend a Grand Jury hearing in Santa Barbara County, but nothing further than that. Howard Weitzman was very upset by Mr. Fields’ action and so was Michael Jackson. There was a very big disappointment from the Jackson family, and from Elizabeth Taylor, about the way Michael’s lawyers were handling the case. Ms. Taylor had requested from her lawyer, Neil Papiano, to monitor the situation. They didn’t like the fact that the most important motion, to put the criminal proceedings first, has been lost and they thought that the singer’s public image was mishandled.
Michael agreed to be deposed for the civil case on January 18, 1994 The Los Angeles Times wrote on December 4, 1993:
Michael Jackson has agreed to be deposed January 18 about allegations that he sexually molested a 13-year-old boy, lawyers on both sides of the case said Friday.
Jackson’s attorneys have said he is eager to tell his side of the story under oath, but they also have warned that they may oppose efforts to take Jackson’s deposition [in a civil suit] if criminal charges are filed against the entertainer or are still under consideration when the date for his deposition arrives.
In a hearing last month, Superior Court Judge David Rothman ordered Jackson’s deposition [in a civil suit] scheduled before the end of January. But Rothman also noted that he might reconsider that order if Jackson is indicted on criminal charges.
Bertram Fields, one of Jackson’s lawyers, said Friday that the entertainer might request a change in the deposition date if there are significant changes in the status of the criminal investigation before the end of January [indictment]. “If things change in the criminal case, we would reconsider the whole question of the civil case. We want the criminal case to go first.”
Michael Jackson’s intention was more than clear: Justice. And he was willing to risk his freedom because if he was found guilty it would mean that he could go to prison long before the statute of limitations expired. Larry Feldman fought that and asked for money only. When Mr. Feldman filed the civil lawsuit against the singer in September, Anthony Pellicano said that since they couldn’t take the money through extortion they tried another way.
Actually, if a civil trial took place after a criminal one, Mr. Feldman wouldn’t need to lay a finger on the case nor spend money to gather evidence because the government would have done it for him. Written and recorded depositions from the criminal proceedings could be used so no one would forget, and their only witness did not have to be physically present. Why did he fight against it? The criminal proceedings mean justice and it was Jackson’s request. Why didn’t the Chandlers want that?
In September 2010, Mr. Feldman was a panelist at the Frozen In Time seminar, and he made fun of the press’ inability to understand what was legally going on. He also said that although no one understood what that 6 year story was all about, everyone “loved it and picked it up”. Actually, it turned out that tabloid reporters could not understand legal terminology, and everyone was manipulating words and terms, thus misinforming the public. Mr. Feldman also said in 2010 “And how I would watch on television with my mouth open where people, real prominent lawyers, would be on television, on the Today Show, on ABC, talking about this Michael Jackson case, and they had no idea what the facts were, what they were talking about, except that they were talking, and they were very happy to be talking.”
John Branca, one of Jackson’s long-time lawyers, informed him about the media’s naïve reaction and recalled the scene for J. Randy Taraborelli:
JB: “I don’t want to start more trouble but you know people here think you are trying to delay the trial for six years”.
MJ: “Six years? What are you talking about Branca? I don’t want to delay the trial not even a day”.
Then John Branca explained to him Bert Field’s motion and Michael answered:
“No way Branca, that’s not what I want. I am not guilty. I want this over with. What’s Bert doing? No wonder everyone thinks I am running scared”.
Michael Jackson, knowing he was innocent and being very upset with the allegations, wanted to fight, as he clearly stated in his two televised messages on the issue. At the time he believed, as we can see from his very first statement read from Howard Weitzman, that since he was innocent the police would eventually discover it. Probably he didn’t know about the police’s biased investigation and their efforts to nail him.
On December 8, 1993, Jack Gordon (La Toya’s husband and manager) thought it was time for him to cash in as well, so he changed his story. La Toya, who had been seeking opportunities for publicity as long as we’ve known her, told reporters at a Tel Aviv news conference that her brother could be guilty, but on the Today show she added that she was not able to provide any proof, and she said that she never witnessed anything inappropriate. Jack Gordon kept scheduling TV appearances for which they were highly paid. La Toya appeared to know too much considering the fact that she was estranged from her family years ago after her marriage, and MJ hadn’t spoken with her since her Playboy cover. The tabloids didn’t pay much attention to them because they could create their own stories, and they didn’t need the couple. LaToya and Gordon desperately looked for a good deal but the tabloids had already paid others to make up stories.
The Jackson family immediately gave a joint interview and strongly rejected the couple’s claims. Joe Jackson accused Gordon of brainwashing his daughter. They kept publicly bashing La Toya and Gordon on every single chance, and Howard Weitzman made a public statement to discredit her as well. Katherine Jackson kept calling them liars, blaming Jack Gordon for the fictional story. When La Toya left Gordon, she revealed that it was all her husband’s idea, and he forced her to make false allegations about her brother by giving her a script to memorize. She also said that he forced her to shoot the Playboy photos, the erotic videos, and write a tell-all book about her family. She talked about her abusive relationship in great detail in many interviews, and also said that he was threatening to kill her, Janet and Michael if she didn’t comply with his wishes. She described how she was able to escape with the help of her brother Randy Jackson. Gordon’s abusive behavior towards La Toya made headlines when he hit her in 1990, and the photos of her bruised face made rounds in the news. He also hit her in 1993, and his bodyguards didn’t let her contact her family. The FBI was interested in Gordon’s criminal behaviour, and he was investigated for Mafia connections. After the divorce he kept stalking and threatening La Toya, and he wrote a fictional book about the Jacksons. The entire family, including La Toya, discredited him. When he died, La Toya sent her bodyguards to check his funeral and verify that he was dead because he had faked his death before, and she was still afraid of him. It took Michael Jackson several years to forgive his sister.
In December 1993, while the singer was still under medical treatment, the president of the LA. Police Commission told CNN that the LAPD is investigating only Jordan Chandler’s claims. That statement refuted (again) the tabloid reporters who falsely speculated that “new accusers’ claims were under investigation”. Various reporters would keep proving that they could not be trusted because they publicly pondered if Jackson was going to be charged “for molesting young boys”. Among them were several passionate but totally ignorant ladies who appeared on CNN & Company and didn’t know what they were talking about. Their poor memory and poor understanding of the case confused them, and they forgot that the case was about Jordan Chandler and nobody else.
It also came out that in 1993 the National Enquirer tabloid offered $200,000 to Ronald Newt Sr. to lie and say that something happened between his kids and Jackson. Mr. Newt refused to lie and he wrote “no good sucker” where his signature was supposed to go. Mr. Newt’s son talked about what he was told at the meeting: “Say he touched you. All you have to do is say it. But you might have to take the stand. You might have to go on ‘Oprah’ in front of all these people. You have to be prepared for this thing. Just say it. And we’ll give you money”. Jim Mitteager brought them the contract, which was signed by the tabloid’s editor, David Perel. Jim Mitteager taped the conversation, as usual, and it’s included in the famous Mitteager tapes. These tapes prove how the tabloids created false stories about Jackson. Had Mr. Newt agreed to lie for money, we would have another tabloid story and another phantom victim for Michael Jackson. Johnnie Cochran referred to the incident in his April 1994 interview for Ebony. Many friends, doctors, relatives, and members of Jackson’ staff have publicly said that the media offered them money to lie about the singer throughout the years. They also said that publishers asked them to write salacious lies, otherwise there were not interested in publishing their books.
It was Blanca Francia’s turn to cash in and get $20,000 from Hard Copy for her story. She copied the Quindoys, Lermaques and the “Hayvenhurst 5 “. Ms. Francia worked for Michael Jackson from 1986 until 1991, and she too claimed that she quit her job in disgust. Her credibility was destroyed when it emerged that she was actually fired because she was stealing from the house. On the tabloid show Hard Copy she was presented as someone close to Jackson but it also turned out that Blanca Francia hardly knew Michael Jackson. She claimed that she was able to see the singer showering and a youngster was present. That youngster was Wade Robson, who had already publicly defended the singer, and he discredited Francia’s story when he was interviewed by the police. He was also a defense witness in the 2005 trial. In other words, she wanted people to believe that the world’s most private person was leaving his door open while showering so Blanca Francia could see him and sell her story to tabloids. She went as far as saying that she suspected molestation of her own son. The maid was dreaming of a $20 million lawsuit against the singer, after having seen what the Chandlers were capable of. After the airing of her Hard Copy interview, Francia complained that her interview had been edited in such way that she appeared to say things that she actually never said. After her tabloid interview, the maid was questioned by the police and was deposed for the civil trial. Under oath she said that she never saw Jackson naked with anyone and blamed Hard Copy for making her embellish her story.
Francia was discredited by a former security guard, Larry Glenn, who said that Jackson never had improper behaviour with anyone and never saw Jackson without his clothes on. Another maid, Shanda Lujan also refuted her: “I think it’s ridiculous. He was great with kids. I think he’d make a good father. He’s just wonderful with them”. Lujan’s duties involved entering Jackson’s bedroom as well. Francin Orosco, another maid, blasted Francia too for her lies and said “you could tell a lot that she had a little crush on him, very jealous of other housekeepers. She didn’t want no one close to Michael. There’s a lot of jealousy there”. They appeared on Larry King Live (December 23, 1993).
It also became known that Francia was very much involved with the tabloids. So involved that she used a National Enquirer reporter, Lyndia Encinas, as a translator so the reporter can be with her during her police interview. Francia sold her story to National Enquirer as well. The Mitteager tapes reveal an interesting conversation dated January 1994 between the tabloid’s editor David Perel and reporter Jim Mitteager about news on the Francia story from their reporter (the story by Lyndia Encinas was about to appear to the tabloid). Excerpts from Roger Friedman’s article on the issue who presented parts of the tapes:
“No. Just hope the cops don’t freak out when they see the story.”
“They sort of know what’s coming,” Perel replied.
Also the Globe tabloid’s editor is talking to Mitteager about the created stories:
“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. The big offers. It’s the biggest story since [Elvis] Presley‘s death.”
Blanca Francia had told the investigators in 1993 and 1994 that her son had repeatedly denied he was molested. She also complained because the sheriff’s deputies were calling her son Jason and having meetings with him while she was not present. She said it made her feel uncomfortable, and that she didn’t know what the deputies were talking about with her son. After her complaint the investigators arranged separate meetings for the maid and her son with a therapist, on taxpayers’ money of course. The D.A. was present during Jason’s sessions, something which is NOT allowed in therapy. The transcript from Jason Francia’s interview with police reveals that they lied to him, they asked leading questions, and that the other kids that complained about police’s behaviour were right:
Det. Neglia: I realize how hard this is. I realize how painful it is to think of these things you tried so hard not to think about but you are doing fine. And you are also helping the kid that he is bothering now.
Jason Francia: What do you mean he’s bothering?
Det. Birchim: He’s doing the same thing.
Jason Francia: Macaulay Culkin.
Det. Neglia: Only he’s getting a lot more into it. Like your mother pulled you out of there. Macaulay’s mother is not going to pull him out of there. They are feeding him.
Det. Birchim: He’s doing worse stuff.
Det. Neglia: It’s much worse with him.
Of course they were lying, and Macaulay Culkin had discredited them repeatedly. Moreover, one officer, Federico Sicard, told attorney Michael Freeman (June Chandler’s lawyer) that he had lied to the children he’d interviewed and told them that he himself had been molested as a child.
Once again, from the same police interview transcript during Jason’s 2005 cross examination:
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.
Jason Francia, in his 1994 deposition under oath, said that the investigators pressured him to come up with stories. When he was cross-examined about it in 2005 he had amnesia:
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?
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. Do you remember anything you said in that interview at the moment?
A. Not really.
In another part of his interview with the police he tried to make up a story. When Tom Mesereau in 2005 pulled out the transcript, Jason Francia was hit with amnesia again:
Q. — 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.
Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I show you the transcript?
A. No. But — you could bring it over.
Q. Well, I can’t unless you’re willing to see if it refreshes your recollection.
A. Okay. Bring it over. I’ll give it a shot. I’ll read it just to see if it refreshes my memory.
Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Have you had a chance to
23 review those pages –
24 A. I have.
25 Q. — of your transcript?
26 Do they refresh your recollection about what
27 you said on that subject?
28 A. No, it does not. 4942
1 Q. It doesn’t.
2 A. Sorry.
“Research over the last several years dramatically demonstrates the importance of properly interviewing child witnesses. Interviewers with pre-existing biases who ask leading, suggestive, questions risk confirming their beliefs and getting false information. There is now a clear consensus in the scientific community about how children must be interviewed in order to get accurate, uncontaminated, forensically useful information. Unfortunately, field interviewers aren’t using these techniques. Instead, they readily slip into undesirable behaviours that risk compromising the integrity of the interview and the reliability of the information the child gives them”.
Hollida Wakefield, American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 2006
The issue of these unacceptable techniques was brought up in the 2005 trial, and one of the investigators had to admit under cross examination that this was not what they were taught in police academy. In addition, the tape of the Gavin Arvizo’s (2003 accuser) police interview explicitly proves that the investigators engaged is such ridiculous techniques and one of the jurors, Paul Rodriguez, said that the police tried to make Gavin come up with allegations. Anyone who has seen this tape has noticed the amateuristic behaviour of the police officers, and the leading questions.
Jason Francia’s 2005 testimony was so ridiculous that the jurors were overheard by media members laughing at him repeating parts of his testimony during their break, after they have heard his testimony. Their behaviour was reported to Judge Melville. Paul Rodriguez, the jury foreman of the 2005 trial had this to say to Nancy Grace about Jason Francia after the verdict on June 13, 2005:
GRACE: Mr. Rodriguez, did you believe the boy that came in that is now a youth minister (Jason Francia) that stated Jackson molested him in the past?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, we got a little problem with that because he had no idea where some of his money came from, and he didn’t want to talk to his mother. And so those kind of things that we kind of didn’t focus on, but it did keep — we kept that in the back of our minds.
GRACE: So would it be safe to say you did not believe him?
RODRIGUEZ: Yes, we had a hard time believing him.
GRACE: Yes. What about the one kid that became a youth minister, who stated plainly Jackson molested his — fondled his genitals?
RODRIGUEZ: Again, like you said earlier, you know, about his scenario or his testimony, it was hard to buy the whole story, when he acted like he knew nothing about it. I mean, he acted so much like the mother of the other accuser (June Chandler), you know, he just didn’t seem that credible.
He didn’t seem to convince us, like we wanted to be convinced. And he just — he was leaving too many little loopholes in his statements.
Blanca and Jason Francia had been interviewed by the police in 1993, and were deposed in 1994 for the Grand Jury hearings in the context of the criminal proceedings regarding the Chandler’s case. As a result, Michael Jackson was not charged with a crime. Blanca and Jason Francia, who had given different stories according to who was asking them and were paid by tabloids, were not credible witnesses. Jason Francia told a reporter in 2004 that Michael Jackson never had improper behaviour, he was always good to him, and bragged about being in Neverland. In fact, Jason Francia cannot even be considered an alleged victim because there was never an investigation for him, and charges were never filed.
It was also revealed in 2005 that Corey Feldman was interviewed in 1993 by Sgt. Deborah Linden and Detective Russ Birchim, and the tapes reveal the shameful behavior displayed by the police in Michael Jackson’s case. Although he completely denies any abuse, they keep pressuring him, and Feldman went as far as telling that he knows how abuse is because he has been a victim and he knows the difference. He even named his abuser but since it was NOT Michael Jackson the police investigators didn’t care! Parts from his 1993 police interview from the tapes:
- “I myself was molested so I know what it’s like to go through those feelings, and believe me, the person who molested me, if this was him that did that to me, this would be a different story because I would be out there, up front, doing something immediately to have this man given what was due to him.” –“You don’t know how many times I have racked my brain and gone, ‘is there something I’m forgetting? Is there something that, you know, I’m thinking didn’t happen but it really did?’ If I could find something I would love to be able to tell you, but nothing happened.”
Corey Feldman also appeared on Larry King Live on November 21, 2003, and repeated that Jackson never acted inappropriately with him and that he had never seen him acting inappropriately with any other kid at Neverland. It also turned out that Corey Haim was not a “victim” of Michael Jackson either, no matter how hard the police “investigators” tried to make all these people come up with stories so the prosecutors can justify the huge loss of the taxpayers’ money. They had interviewed everyone that knew the singer, and they came up with nothing.
In early December, Maureen Orth appeared on Larry King to promote her article on the allegations that would appear on the January 1994 issue. J. Randy Taraborelli was there to defend Michael Jackson against Orth’s article, and Katherine Jackson called, being furious, to blast Orth as well. Maureen Orth looked uncomfortable under Katherine’s attack.
On December 10, 1993, Michael Jackson returned home, proving the tabloids wrong once again. He was accompanied by the Cascios, who would remain his friends until his dying day, and they would support him in 2005. During a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Cascio parents said that they had to explain to their kids in 1993 what was going on because they couldn’t understand it. Ms. Winfrey, who does not have a clue about Michael Jackson, would advertise the Cascios’ interview referring to them as a family whose relationship with Michael Jackson was a secret. This is the classic way that the media fools their audience. It was not a secret because we know it since 1993 and Frank Cascio gave an interview on June 2005 to defend Jackson when he no longer had the gag order.
When Michael Jackson came back home, Hard Copy falsely reported that the singer was selling Neverland, proving again that they didn’t research their stories. In reality it was a nearby property for sale that had nothing to do with Jackson.
On December 13, 1993, Jackson’s lawyers asked for a gag order so that the media could not get any additional information, and they also asked that Larry Feldman be barred from providing information about the civil case to the D.A. Johnnie Cochran Jr., the new lawyer on board (for Jackson), said “we have to protect Michael Jackson’s right to a fair trial. This case cannot be tried through press conferences”. He added that they had concerns that the D.A. would try to use the civil case to indict MJ: “the D.A.’s office has all the power and all investigators. They can talk to witnesses themselves. Why would they piggy-back on depositions on this case?” Mr. Feldman would acknowledge in his 2010 speech the importance of the singer’s Fifth Amendment right and the fact that the defense’s legal actions were moving around it.
Johnnie Cochran Jr. announced that the singer was back and ready to establish his innocence. The LAPD didn’t announce the status of the investigation at that point, but Reuters reported they would announce their decision to file or not charges in early 1994.
On December 20, 1993, leaders of the Western Regional N.A.A.C.P. blasted media for their coverage on Michael Jackson, and they reminded everyone that media have a long history of trashing black people. They also sent a letter to Los Angeles D.A. Gil Garcetti and to L.A. Police Chief Willie Williams questioning the handling of the criminal investigation. Parts of the letter included “What is the agenda of your investigation team? Why are some facts of the investigation being ‘leaked’ and others not? Is this investigation being carried out in an ethical manner?”. They also said that the tabloid coverage was biased and racist and if there are charges to be filed those charges will be filed in a courtroom not in a newsroom. And if there is someone to judge the case it will not be the news anchor but someone appointed at the bench.
On December 21, 1993, it was announced that Bert Fields and Anthony Pellicano were no longer members of Jackson’s team. While Mr. Fields was fired by Michael Jackson, Anthony Pellicano said it was a mess and he didn’t agree with the new team, so he decided to leave and continued to defend MJ’s innocence. Actually the only new member was Mr. Cochran, and when he came on board it was clear that he didn’t object to a settlement like Fields and Pellicano. For the record, Johnnie Cochran Jr. was a long time friend of Larry Feldman’s, and Mr. Feldman once represented him in a case. Mr. Fields would later say “They had a very weak case, we wanted to fight. Michael wanted to fight and go through a trial. We felt we could win.” A member of the Jackson team told The New York Times that the singer was surrounded by “advisers and leeches” that made him distant and unapproachable. Both of his ex-wives would refer to these leeches, and so did his friends. One of the people representing Jackson at the time was Carl Douglas, who worked for Mr. Cochran and was member of the defense team. Mr. Douglas, when he was called to talk about the case at the Frozen In Time Seminar, appeared to care more about the fame that came from the case than defending Jackson, and bragged about being able to visit Neverland, working with Johnnie Cochran, and buying a new car with his payment as member of Jackson’s team. Did the new team have Jackson’s best interest in mind?
In the meantime, there were rumours that the authorities were investigating possible molestation of Blanca Francia’s son. In reality, the authorities were trying to make Jason Francia come up with a story and there wasn’t an investigation for him nor were charges filed.
The authorities informed Jackson’s lawyers that they would continue the investigation at least through February and it was reported that Michael Jackson was spending $100,000 dollars per week for his defense. His lawyers lost key motions that would have delayed the civil case until after the disposition of the criminal case. They had also lost the motion to prevent Larry Feldman from turning over the civil case information to prosecutors. It was clear that Larry Feldman was pushing for a settlement like every other smart lawyer would do. If he cared for justice and not for money he would agree not to disclose information to the D.A. By violating the singer’s right to a fair trial, he was leaving the Jackson lawyers with no choice. Mr. Feldman would later refer to the significance of the 5th Amendment right, and its effect on the defense’s decisions about the civil case: “then we filed a motion right away to get a speedy trial.” And “there was a criminal case behind the civil case, and they had to defend him worrying about his Fifth Amendment rights.”
Mr. Feldman elaborated more on this when he discussed the settlement of the civil lawsuit in 2010:
- Yes, [it was] a total voluntary agreement. To put it into context, at the point this case settled, a lot of witnesses had been deposed, but Michael Jackson had not been deposed (for the civil case), and at some point in time Michael Jackson was going to have to decide whether he was going to take the Fifth Amendment, which he didn’t, or whether he was going to let us depose him. And there was a lot of procedural maneuvering by the defense to try to keep putting that decision off. And as that decision and their moves were not able to accomplish what they wanted, which was never to have Michael Jackson take the Fifth Amendment.
People like Mr. Feldman, who are not ignorant about the law and the facts of the case, know very well that in a civil trial if the defendant pleads the Fifth, it is legal suicide. Civil trials are very different from criminal trials. Mr. Feldman understood very well that Michael Jackson wanted to be deposed for the criminal proceedings first and used that weak spot to pressure for a settlement.
Larry Feldman also said
- “The defense, with all due respect to them, had to worry about not just defending Michael Jackson in civil court, but more importantly they knew there was a criminal case behind the civil case, and they had to defend him worrying about his Fifth Amendment rights”.
Larry Feldman had to fight hard for it because on January 11, 1994, Jordan Chandler would reach 14 years of age, and that meant that he would no longer be entitled to trial within 90 days. In that case the criminal case would come first and Mr. Feldman didn’t want that, so he used Jordan’s age to pressure the judge:
- “If we could get Michael Jackson to answer the complaint before the boy turned 14 years of age, then we would be entitled to a trial in 90 days. That was the selling point to the district attorney to give me a chance to see if we could get this under or 120-day speedy trial. We filed the complaint, they answered the complaint for whatever reasons, and then we filed a motion right away to get a speedy trial”.
On December 22, 1993, Michael Jackson released a live statement from Neverland Valley Ranch. Kamau Omowale, spokesman for Johnnie Cochran, informed the media and said “I don’t know whether he is going to read the statement or whether he has memorized it, but it will definitely address the boy’s allegations”. The Los Angeles Times wrote “the entertainer’s announcement was treated with the gravity of a presidential news conference” and it was also reported by Jim Moret of CNN as “demonstrating media power normally reserved for world leaders”. All seven Los Angeles broadcast stations interrupted their programming to carry the statement live which was also shown worldwide. At 3.00 PM EST, Michael Jackson, through this strong and emotional statement, informed the audience about his health, vehemently denied and blasted the allegations (which he called disgusting), asked the public not to treat him like a criminal, angrily blasted the media coverage, and described the body search he had to endure to prove his innocence. Michael Jackson was fighting back.
The body search was conducted on December 20, 1993, and was officially confirmed by Jackson himself in his Neverland statement. The dissatisfaction of the parties, which the singer referred to in his statement, came from the fact that the authorities had to leave his house empty handed after the search because the description didn’t match, and as a result they could not arrest him on probable cause.
Present in that search were: Jackson’s bodyguard Bill Bray, his lawyers Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Howard Weitzman, his personal physician from the Dangerous tour David Forecast, his dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein, and his personal photographer Luis Swayne; for the authorities: Santa Barbara D.A. Tom Sneddon, Detective Russ Birchim (for SBPD), photographer Gary Spiegel, Detective Sicard (for LAPD) and Dr. Richard Strick. The doctors, the photographers, and Jackson’s bodyguard were the only ones present during the actual search. Tom Sneddon, along with two detectives, Dr. Forecast and Jackson’s lawyers were in another room. The singer was described as being angry and hostile.
In a desperate move after realizing that Jordan’s description didn’t match, and an arrest could not be made, Larry Feldman asked the court to obtain Jackson’s photographs so his client can have a look and make a second description. Here is what he asked in his multiple choice motion: a) to obtain the photos so that Jordan Chandler could make a second description and then Michael Jackson could undergo a second search b) in case that could not happen he asked for the photos to be excluded from evidence in the civil case.
Tom Sneddon, in his own desperate move after the negative results of the body search, went back to Jackson’s medical records to check if he could find what he was looking for there. Again he left empty handed.
Jackson’s lawyers said that the police didn’t give them the affidavit they used to get the search warrant, and when they asked for it they got one full of blanks. They also said that the search warrant of that kind was unusual. That was suspicious enough from the very beginning, and combined with Mr. Feldman’s motion after the body search result was known, it was clear that Michael Jackson was being set up. It was outrageous and few people noticed it because the majority of the audience never followed the case and they were too busy believing their favourite tabloid anchor. The affidavit had the probable cause, which means that they would search for something very specific, but the problem was that the description was so general that they tried to tailor it and could not present the affidavit.
Jordan Chandler made a funny drawing for the police and he wrote “my theory” on it. What theory? Was he making it up? It was supposed to be a description, not a theory. Jordan said Michael was circumcised, but he was wrong. Michael Jackson was not circumcised, and it was determined by the doctor. A naïve guess, given the fact that Evan and Jordan were Jewish and they probably assumed that all men are circumcised. Jordan also talked about a “white spot similar to the colour of his face”. Tom Sneddon talked about a “dark blemish”. Nice try! Michael Jackson talked about his vitiligo disease during his interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, and everyone that knew him had already seen the marks. Jordan Chandler made a wrong guess, talking about a dark background with a light spot, and Tom Sneddon would later try to cover that mistake by talking about a light background with a dark spot. No wonder Michael Jackson was not arrested that day. And no wonder why Jordan’s original description made to police woman Deborah Linden suddenly “disappeared” after the search.
Dr. Richard Strick, who was the doctor hired by the police to determine if Jordan’s description was a match or mismatch, dropped a bombshell in 2009. During an interview with Geraldo Rivera he revealed that he was told there was a match. We know there was not a match and that’s why Jackson was not arrested. Dr. Strick was there to determine if there was a match, which means that someone didn’t let him do his job, or someone questioned his findings. That someone was no other than Tom Sneddon, who was not present during the search (he was in the house but in another room), and flatly admitted in 2005 that he was the one that arbitrarily made that decision, hoping that the public would not remember the inconsistencies, and that no one would notice that the district attorney is not a medical expert, and it was not his job to decide anything about it. He did that when he was losing the 2005 trial, and he tried to lynch Michael Jackson both inside and outside the courtroom.
After the devastation that they suffered after not being able to arrest Jackson, the authorities had the audacity to claim that somebody saw a dark spot but they didn’t photograph it. So we had to believe that though the reason for the search was this, the police somehow didn’t take a picture. Apart from exposing the biased investigation it doesn’t have any other significance because Jordan didn’t talk about a dark spot anyway. When Tom Sneddon was losing the 2005 trial and tried to save face, he got a response from Tom Mesereau in a filed motion that a description (not the original one with light splotch) without the photographs, and photographs without the description mean nothing. Tom Sneddon never presented the Linden Affidavit in his filed motion because there was not a correct description in it.
In late January 1994 USA Today and Reuters cited law enforcement sources confirming that “photos of Michael Jackson’s genitalia do not match description given by the boy who accused the singer of sexual misconduct”. Lisa l’Anson reported it for MTV News (MTV Europe). Though the news was reported internationally, little attention was paid in US.
Michael Jackson and his then wife Lisa Marie gave an interview to Diane Sawyer for ABC’s Prime Time Live on June 14, 1995. Michael, who knew more about his case than the pundits, gave the best answer himself:
Diane Sawyer: How about the police photographs, though? How was there enough information from this boy about those kinds of things?
Michael: The police photographs?
Diane Sawyer: The police photographs.
Michael: That they took of me?
Diane Sawyer: Yeah.
Michael: There was nothing that matched me to those charges, there was nothing.
Lisa Marie: There was nothing they could connect to him.
Michael: That’s why I’m sitting here talking to you today. There was not one iota of information that was found, that could connect me
Diane Sawyer: So when we’ve heard the charges
Michael: There was nothing
Diane Sawyer: …markings of some kind?
Michael: No markings.
Diane Sawyer: No markings?
While Tom Sneddon was trying to lynch Michael Jackson in the public, he failed to explain why the singer was able to sit and talk to Diane Sawyer.
Michael Jackson’s lawyers (Cochran & Weitzman) appeared on Larry King Live right after the live Neverland statement on December 22, 1993, and brought up the possibility that Jordan Chandler had been put up to make the allegations, and they also revealed that at one point he had recanted his allegations to an investigator. They said that the paid tabloid witnesses did not say anything incriminating in their depositions and they recanted their tabloid stories. They also appeared on the Today show the next morning and again disclosed that all witnesses that had been questioned said that the singer never did anything improper, and that Hard Copy had tricked them. They met on December 14, 1993 with Larry Feldman, Deputy D.A. Lauren Weis and Judge David Rothman to discuss the case and they were informed about the investigation. Larry Feldman would later reveal how disturbed he was when he found out that one of his potential key witnesses had been paid $15,000 from Hard Copy. That’s all Mr. Feldman had; people that contradicted their stories and were paid from tabloids. These people that were interviewed by the police, testified in front of two Grand Juries, in front of a jury in a civil trial, and in the 2005 criminal trial, and nobody believed them. And Mr. Feldman had to rely on these people while we all thought that Jordan Chandler was his key witness. That admission was interesting to say the least.
Johnnie Cochran Jr. told JET magazine “They (Hard Copy) want ratings. Any similarity between the truth and Hard Copy is purely coincidental”.
In late December it became known that Court TV intended to televise the civil trial, contributing to the media circus surrounding the case.
On December 28, 1993, after Michael Jackson’s televised message from Neverland, Larry Feldman tried to reduce the PR damage. He filed a declaration on Jordan’s behalf about the alleged molestation as an addition to his already filed civil lawsuit. This declaration was “somehow leaked” to the press. Few people noticed the details: It was written in an official and adult language, and it did not come directly from Jordan Chandler. There was nothing new in the declaration – it was the Child Services report repeated. The signature under the name “J. Chandler” does not match Jordan’s handwriting (we have already seen his letters from the drawing that was attached as Exhibit 1 to Detective Ferrufino’s report in LAPD Case No. 930822245). Jordan Chandler could not sign anything because he was a minor. Tabloid reporters with limited perception referred to this declaration as a “deposition”. They didn’t know the difference between a declaration and a deposition and they were totally ignorant about the case. Jordan Chandler never gave a deposition. Johnnie Cochran Jr. had to call in one of the shows to inform them about their mistake.
Larry Feldman also asked to see Jackson’s financial records (another indication that the case was all about money), and he also asked to see the defense’s evidence for the civil case: “He is a millionaire hundreds of times over whose assets are tied up in intangibles. Plaintiff will need the three months remaining before the trial to be able to track down these assets and come up with an approximation of their worth”. One of the singer’s associates told J. Randy Taraborelli “once Feldman started demanding information about his bank accounts, we knew the game was over. You can take pictures of Michael’s dick and he is not gonna like it. But once you start trying to figure out how much money he has, that’s when he stops playing around”. These were characterized as unusual requests. Larry Feldman knew or correctly assumed that Michael Jackson would not be amused. Somehow Jackson’s financial records would end up in tabloids like all the rest. Malcolm Boyes, producer of the tabloid show Inside Edition, had this to say about Feldman’s motion referring to Jordan’s declaration leak: “The media ran with it and it helped Feldman push the settlement”. Larry Feldman had to keep the unsubstantiated allegations in the public’s mind.
A Santa Barbara Grand Jury had begun hearing witnesses since December 1993, and when Harvey Levin of L.A.’s KCBS-TV made the report, Howard Weitzman said he didn’t know anything about it. Santa Barbara officials didn’t confirm or deny its existence at that point but it later became known that the report was correct.
On January 22, 1994, the NAACP awards aired and Michael Jackson, who was there as a presenter, took the chance to declare his innocence again.
Also on January 22, 1994, there were rumours that the civil dispute was near a settlement. At that point Larry Feldman had stopped spreading innuendo in the media because his goal had been achieved. Larry Feldman fought hard for that settlement, and that’s what civil lawyers do. He fought in every legal and PR way he could think of, and he certainly deserved his payment. It was his personal achievement. A New York attorney told Time magazine “Feldman publicized, publicized, publicized, and then got the big settlement”.
The tabloids, instead of researching the correct amount, began throwing ridiculous amounts coming from their imaginations. On the other hand, several newspapers reported that people close to the singer had called these amounts “preposterous”, and they said the amount would be closer to $5 million.
On January 24, 1994, the Los Angeles D.A. announced, through his spokesperson, Mike Botula, that no action was planned regarding the criminal investigation of the extortion allegations. Was the timing a coincidence or was Michael Jackson being punished for not allowing the prosecutors to build a case from the civil one? If they had a case they would have filed charges during their six month investigation. For the record, there were never “leaks” for the extortion investigation, no search warrants, no Grand Jury, and no interviews of the alleged suspects and their friends. In that announcement the D.A didn’t announce their detailed actions as they would do for Jackson months later. Why? The extortion investigation still remains a mystery. When Mr. Botula was questioned by reporters about the rumours of a settlement in the civil case, he answered that the negotiation of an out of court settlement is not against the law.
That same day Jordan’s parents resigned as guardians, and a retired appellate court judge (Jack Gersten) was appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem for him.
With the settlement rumours mounting, the tabloids went ballistic. They would make any kinds of laughable speculation in order to capture their audience’s attention. They were about to lose their everyday coverage and they were terrified. Many people actually made a living and built a “career” as Michael Jackson detractors.
A few voices of reason (not from the tabloids of course) pointed out the obvious: the case was over exposed and was hurting the singer’s career and future income. He was tried and convicted from the filthy tabloids, and he could not have a fair trial. He had also lost key motions, and as a result he could not be deposed for the criminal proceedings first because his Fifth Amendment right had to be secured. If Michael Jackson wanted to “pay off” the Chandlers, he would have done it in July or August 1993 when he had the chance, and nobody would have ever heard of the Chandler’s story.
Unfortunately many misinformed people failed to notice important facts before they humiliated themselves with their baseless “theories”: Jackson had no other legal option to secure his Fifth Amendment right. Given the fact that the case involved a minor, the police were investigating him anyway, and this had nothing to do with the civil case. And they had investigated him for 6 months with 6 search warrants (including the body search), conducted numerous interviews (even with the tabloid paid tell all witnesses), impanelled two Grand Juries,and Jordan Chandler had already been interviewed by the police. The story had been leaked to the press since August 23, 1993. As a result of this investigation Michael Jackson was not arrested and no charges were filed against him. All of this took place 6 months before the settlement. There was nothing for him to “buy out”. He was not being prosecuted; he was being sued and he never faced jail in 1993. Any statement to the contrary only shows complete ignorance on the case and lack of common sense.
Michael Jackson’s Fifth Amendment right was the only priority because of the on-going criminal investigation, but the tabloid pundits had a limited perception. No wonder Larry Feldman laughed at their ignorance. In reality, these ignoramuses helped him achieve a settlement. In fact, Michael Jackson could not participate in any civil trial regarding molestation allegations for that very reason, and that means that he could not even file a lawsuit for slander against anyone who would come up with stories.
The singer, through his legal actions, proved that he wanted to be deposed first for the criminal proceedings. Jordan Chandler, through his lawyer’s motions, fought against it and proved that he wanted to avoid justice, and only asked for money. Every legal move the Chandlers made was only about money, and the allegations which were followed by the civil suit occurred after Jackson refused to pay the $20 million in August 1993.
Jordan Chandler could never be a credible witness, and that’s why he avoided the deposition long before the settlement of the civil case. Jackson’s lawyers had publicly stated how eager they were to cross examine him. He had changed his story under the influence of a drug (sodium amytal), he said he was aware of his father’s plan, and there was no one corroborating his story. All of the other kids (including their parents) defended Jackson and the tabloid “witnesses” didn’t say anything incriminating to the authorities. The search warrants and the six month investigation did not result in anything incriminating either. The case was weak before the settlement. All of the discredited rumours were more than enough for the tabloids, but they would make little impression before a jury.
In 2004, during the secret Grand Jury proceedings for the Arvizo case (where no judge and no defense lawyers were present), in which “you can indict a ham sandwich”, there was wishful speculation in the tabloid press that maybe Jordan Chandler would be called to testify. Though people who had not spoken to Jordan, including his uncle Ray, speculated that he would flee the country, Jordan was photographed skiing in the US with his girlfriend. And the FBI files reveal that he was not interested in testifying against Jackson; in fact, he threatened to take legal action to fight a subpoena to testify against Jackson. On March 21, 2004, on Fox Live with Rita Cosby, prosecutor John Kelly was asked what value it would have to the Arvizo case:
RITA COSBY, HOST: John, I wanna start with you. How important is this first boy’s testimony to the case?
JOHN KELLY, PROSECUTOR: No value whatsoever. I mean
COSBY: No value? Why is that?
KELLY: Well, first of all, if they can’t get indictments, secure an indictment without bringing up some testimony from 11 years ago, the prosecution is in big trouble. Secondly, If they’re gonna bring him in to show some pattern or course of conduct, and they don’t have anything between 11 years ago and now, it’s gonna be inadmissible, and they’ll probably move to quash the subpoena in the first place. And thirdly, you gotta remember this boy literally took the money and ran 11 years ago and he’s not gonna give any helpful testimony to bring himself back into this right now.
In the same episode defense attorney Mel Sachs said “Also the general rule is that uncharged crimes cannot be brought in against a defendant in court and there’s a balancing test: does the prejudicial effect outweigh the probative value. And here, this is highly prejudicial and inflammatory”.
James Rogan, a law professor, judge of the Superior Court of California, and one of the authors of the Prior Bad Acts Law, talked about the fact that prosecutors still could have pursued the 1993 allegation had they had a strong case on Crier Live, December 16 2004:
JAMES ROGAN, May I add one thing to that, Catherine, if I may?
CATHERINE CRIER: Yeah. Go ahead.
ROGAN: One other thing that if I were the defense attorney, I’d try to delve into this: just because there was a settlement, it still didn’t preclude a criminal charge from being brought.
The prosecution still could have subpoenaed witnesses, could have ordered a judge to have them testify. What does that say about the prosecution back in 1993 looking at that case and making a determination whether there was enough to prove it?
And so, there’s gonna be – I think there’s gonna be enough ammunition on both sides and really ultimately it’ll be a question for the jury if it goes to who’s credible and who’s believable.
In that same episode, defense attorney Victor Sherman commented on the fact that Larry Feldman and Johnnie Cochran Jr. were friends:
VICTOR SHERMAN: Well what I find particularly interesting about this situation is that the lawyers for the boy and the lawyers for Michael Jackson were all friends. So the settlement, in a sense, was among lawyers that knew each other, worked with each other, worked later in years with each other. I think one of the attorneys represented the other attorney. So, you know it’s all very murky what exactly happened in those days. And I think, I don’t know, but unfortunately it may be that all of the attorneys are going to be involved in – why did they reach a settlement? What was the motivation?
What was the facts behind it? Did they think that Michael Jackson really had a problem? Or did they feel that from a business point of view it was just better to pay the money even thought they didn’t think the charges were founded?
So it’s a very complicated case. And I think it could get very interesting. Now, I don’t know how far they’re gonna go into that as to why they reached a settlement…On the other hand, if they attorneys get into the fact that it was a business decision, then we have a different situation.
Howard Weitzman, Jackson’s lawyer from 1993, appeared on Geraldo Rivera on January 18, 2004, to discuss the issue:
HOWARD WEITZMAN: As I saw, I felt 10 years ago it was a case that could be tried and won. I feel today if that person surfaces again the lawyers, if they’re well prepared and do their job, will be able to dissuade people that the offense took place. Wait and see what happens.
In the same interview to Rivera, Mr. Weitzman said that the Chandlers never filed a criminal complaint. They only filed a civil one. He also said that he didn’t agree with the settlement, and he knew they could win the civil trial. That leaves only Johnnie Cochran – who was Feldman’s friend – as the only person in the Jackson camp who wanted to settle.
In 1993, Bert Fields said he was eager to cross examine Jordan Chandler. Tom Mesereau said the same thing in 2005, and he made it clear that 1993 was not a problem for the defense. Jordan Chandler never appeared in court, nor did Evan Chandler, and Tom Sneddon didn’t even subpoena them. Sneddon had Ray Chandler in his witness list, but Ray Chandler never appeared in court. The defense (Michael Jackson) subpoenaed Ray Chandler to present his book documents in the trial and be cross examined, and he showed how strong his “revelations” were by fighting back the subpoena and failing to appear in court.
For years, TV pundits who knew nothing about the case and presented wishful thinking for their own personal reasons, would refer to the perfectly legal resolution of the civil case as “hush” money, failing, as always, to explain themselves and present the facts. They forgot that the criminal investigation was already weak, and Jordan Chandler didn’t give a deposition before the settlement, and he never intended to give one. Although he had been interviewed by the police long before the settlement, nothing happened to Michael Jackson.
The settlement of the civil case
On January 25, 1994, the lawyers of both sides went to court to submit the settlement, and the judge had to review it and approve it.
The terms of settlements are always confidential, and the court encourages people to settle because trials are both time -and money -consuming. In the eyes of the law, people who settle their civil disputes are not considered guilty, and civil trials have nothing to do with justice. They deal with liability and the defendant cannot be sentenced to jail. In fact, the majority of civil disputes result in settlements, and a civil lawyer’s job is to achieve a lucrative and quick settlement.
Both lawyers gave the following statements to the press after they left the court on January 25, 1994:
LARRY FELDMAN’S STATEMENT– Attorney for PLAINTIFF Jordan Chandler
“We wish to jointly announce a mutual resolution of this lawsuit. As you are aware the plaintiff has alleged certain acts of impropriety by Mr. Jackson and from the inception of those allegations Mr. Jackson has always maintained his innocence. However the emotional trauma and strain on the respective parties have caused both parties to reflect on the wisdom of continuing with the litigation. The plaintiff has agreed that the lawsuit should be resolved and it will be dismissed in the near future. Mr. Jackson continues to maintain his innocence and withdraws any previous allegations of extortion. This will allow the parties to get on with their lives in a more positive and productive manner. Much of the suffering these parties have been put through has been caused by the publicity surrounding this case. We jointly request that members of the press allow the parties to close this chapter in their lives with dignity so that the healing process may begin.”
JOHNNIE COCHRAN’S STATEMENT-Attorney for DEFENDANT Michael Jackson
“In the past ten days the rumours and speculation surrounding this case have reached a fever pitch and by-and-large have been false and outrageous. As Mr. Feldman has correctly indicated Michael Jackson has maintained his innocence from the beginning of this matter and now, as this matter will soon be concluded, he still maintains that innocence. The resolution of this case is in no way an admission of guilt by Michael Jackson. In short, he is an innocent man who does not intend to have his career and his life destroyed by rumour and innuendo. Throughout this ordeal he has been subjected to an unprecedented media feeding frenzy; especially by the tabloid press. The tabloid press has shown an insatiable thirst for anything negative and have paid huge sums of money to people who have little or no information and who barely knew Michael Jackson. So today the time has come for Michael Jackson to move on to new business, to get on with his life, to start the healing process and to move his career forward to even greater heights. This he intends to do. At the appropriate time Michael Jackson will speak out publicly as to the agony, torture, and pain he has had to suffer during the past six months. Thank you very much”.
When Mr. Feldman was asked additional questions after the statement, he said that his client was “very happy with the resolution of this matter” and that “nobody has bought anyone’s silence”. He also said that he is allowed to testify against Jackson in the criminal proceedings. Larry Feldman, referring to the settlement achievement, added that he is proud of what he did. Los Angeles D.A. Gil Garcetti said that the criminal investigation was on-going and irrelevant to the resolution of the civil case. Larry Feldman also stated that he had already given to prosecutors all the evidence they had. Again no charges were filed against Michael Jackson.
Anthony Pellicano said the following after the announcement of the settlement: “I have maintained Michael Jackson’s innocence from the very start, and I still maintain that he is innocent”. He added that the case was all about money from the beginning. Pellicano proved to be right because indeed after the settlement Evan Chandler quit his job.
Michael Freeman, June Chandler’s lawyer who quit in disgust, said to J. Randy Taraborelli that he believed in Michael’s innocence and added “I think he was wrongly accused. I think that Evan Chandler and Barry Rothman saw an opportunity and went for it. That’s my personal held opinion. I believe it was all about money and their strategy obviously worked”.
The Los Angeles Times commented on tabloids’ reaction:
“Just when the media has another great trial to look forward to, Michael Jackson goes and ruins it all by throwing cash at the 14-year-old boy whose lawsuit alleged that the entertainer had sexually molested him. Just when everyone was revving up. Just when the adrenaline was flowing. Now, this is no knock on Tonya Harding but, quite frankly, she’s no Michael. Who wants to fly over an ice rink? Michael, Michael, Michael. Do we deserve this kick in the pants?
On Wednesday night’s “Hard Copy,” you could see the sorrow and disappointment in the eyes of Diane Dimond’s, eyes that previously had danced with excitement at each mention of Michael Jackson, at each alleged deviant fusion of him with his accuser and other young boys. Her relentless reporting for “Hard Copy” had made her Michael’s tabloid Boswell, so renowned for insider poop that at one point she was interviewed about the case on “CBS This Morning.”
But this time, all she had for inquiring minds was a measly brief update, the usual money talk, an unsatisfying few words that hung in the air like a somber obituary for a story that she and her like-minded media lizards had slaved and slithered so hard to distort and hyperbolize. No wonder she seemed deflated”.
Legal analysts warned that Michael Jackson’s fame and wealth can make him a magnet for false claims and extortion attempts, especially now that they saw someone achieving it. They were right and it happened again. Several disturbed people later tried to copy the Chandlers, but with no success.
It was reported right after the settlement that Michael’s insurance carrier actually paid the settlement, and not Michael Jackson. The news at the time mentioned TIG Insurance, the Transamerica subsidiary that held Jackson’s personal liability policy. Insurance carriers are not parties of the lawsuit and they are not named in a settlement agreement. Tom Mesereau’s filed motion in 2005 verifies that the settlement was indeed paid by Jackson’s insurance carrier.
In 2004, tabloid reporter Diane Dimond obtained the settlement document and proudly put it out for all of us to see in an effort to taint the jury pool. Michael Jackson released a statement to address the effort of the press to use that in order to further lynch him, and he a called it “an act of desperation”. Diane Dimond inaccurately “explained” the settlement document to her audience, and a lawyer’s reaction was “she didn’t understand what she was reading”. Actually she was reading from the 1993 lawsuit and not from the 1994 settlement. The terms are confidential, a word she did not understand and certainly didn’t respect. Many legal observers questioned the timing of this leak.
Michael Jackson’s press release on June 17, 2004, concerning the leak:
“I respect the obligation of confidentiality imposed on all of the parties to the 1993 proceedings. Yet, someone has chosen to violate the confidentiality of those proceedings. Whoever is now leaking this material is showing as much disrespect for the Santa Maria Court’s “gag order” as they are a determination to attack me.
No action or investigation has been taken to determine who is leaking this information or why they are permitted to violate the law in such a manner. I respectfully request that people see these efforts for what they are.
These kinds of attacks and leaks seek to try the case in the press, rather than to a jury who will hear all of the evidence that will show that I did not, and would not, ever, harm a child.
I have always maintained my innocence, and vehemently denied that these events ever took place. I reluctantly chose to settle the false claims only to end the terrible publicity and to continue with my life and career.
I ask all of my neighbours in Santa Maria, the people whom I give my loyal trust and admiration, to keep an open mind, and give me a chance to show that I am completely innocent of these charges. I will not let you down”.
Former San Diego District Attorney Paul Pfingst commented on the language in the settlement agreement and how it looks as if the wording was such that an insurance company could foot the bill. He appeared on MSNBC June 15, 2005:
PFINGST: First, it appears as though the settlement was in part paid for by insurance and you can tell that by the wording of the settlement. It seems to show that there was insurance money as part of the settlement. The second is that if you’re Michael Jackson’s team and you’re selling a lot of albums, settling a case for $15M or $20M dollars might actually make money by allowing you to sell albums for $40M, $60M or $100 M dollars.
But will this [settlement agreement] at the end of the day get in front of a jury in a criminal trial? No.
Tom Mesereau, in his filed motion concerning the settlement during the 2005 trial, wrote: As the court knows better than I do, civil settlements of this nature are often done where the negligence claim is settled so that insurance companies can fund the settlement. There was never any admission by Mr. Jackson that he ever did anything negligent or anything wrong at all. There was a public comment in the media, again, about this 11 year old case to the effect that somehow he admitted negligence, which was completely false. It was a technical legal way of settling a case so insurance companies could fund a settlement and he could get on with his personal life and business life.
The settlement document itself
The real amount was $15,331,250 dollars and not the usual $20 or $25 million that people who are ignorant about it mention to this day. Considering the fact that the leak came from Jackson’s detractors, we understand that paragraph 3 is full of blanks because it probably supports that the actual amount was indeed $5 million, as it was reported before the settlement. According to the Retainer Agreement Larry Feldman was paid from this money (approximately $5 million). June and Evan Chandler were also paid from this amount (approximately $3million), plus the settlement was taxed. This would leave an amount close to $5 million for the plaintiff, which was paid in installments over a period of years, which is the way that insurance companies pay. The last installment was paid in 1999.
Michael Jackson (and his insurance carrier) could for NO reason fail to pay, otherwise it would be considered a breach of the settlement, and he could be sued for it:
“Any failure by Jackson to make any of the payments provided in paragraph 3 when due shall be deemed a Material Breach of this Confidential Settlement”. “Jackson’s obligation to make the Settlement Payment as provided in this paragraph when due is absolute; notwithstanding any claimed or actual breach of the Confidential Settlement and notwithstanding any other claims that Jackson may assert or have against any party to this Confidential Settlement … Jackson shall not withhold any portion of the Settlement Payment.”
Michael Jackson settled over claims of negligence and NOT for molestation allegations, and he declares his innocence in the document. The wording for negligence is the standard used in every settlement.
“The parties recognize that the Settlement Payment set forth in this paragraph 3 are in settlement of claims by Jordan Chandler, Evan Chandler and June Chandler for alleged compensatory damages for alleged personal injuries arising out of claims of negligence and not for claims of intentional or wrongful acts of molestation”.
“Forthwith upon the signing of this Confidential Settlement by the Parties hereto, the Minor, through his Guardians ad Litem in the Action and attorneys, shall dismiss, without prejudice, the first through sixth causes of action of the complaint on file in the Action, leaving only the seventh cause of action pending”.
The seventh action pending is negligence, and he rejected the molestation allegations.
“This Confidential Settlement shall not be construed as an admission by Jackson that he has acted wrongfully with respect to the Minor, Evan Chandler or June Chandler, or any other person. Jackson specifically disclaims any liability to, and denies any wrongful acts against, the Minor, Evan Chandler or June Chandler or any other persons”.
Both parties could not talk to the media but they could talk to the authorities:
-“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. The parties acknowledge that Jackson claims that he has elected to settle the claims in the action in view of the impact the action has had and could have in the future on his earnings and potential income”.
“The Minor, by and through his Guardian ad Litem, Evan Chandler and June Chandler, and each of them individually and on behalf of their respective agents, attorneys, media representatives, partners, heirs, administrators, executors, conservators, successors and assigns, agree that they will not at any time in the future make any engagement, enter into any contract, agreement, commitment, understanding or other obligation, with any media, including, without limitation, any publishing, print, news, television, motion picture, cable, video, multimedia, software, recording, broadcast, radio or any other media, for purposes of or relating to the commercial exploitation by Jordan Chandler, Evan Chandler, June Chandler or the Minor’s attorneys of record in the Action of any story, documentary, docudrama, publication, magazine, tabloid, book, article, motion picture, television program or picture, “movie-of-the-week,” serial, miniseries, recording, record, audiotape, compact disc, videotape, program, television or other public or private appearance, interview or broadcast, related to Jackson in any capacity”
“The Minor, by and through his Guardian ad Litem, and Evan Chandler and June Chandler, and each of them individually on behalf of their respective agents, attorneys, representatives, partners, heirs, administrators, executors, conservators, successors and assigns, agree not to cooperate with, represent, or provide any information, to any person or entity that initiates any civil claim or action which relates in any manner to the subject matter of the Action against Jackson or any of the Jackson Releasees, except as may be required by law”.
“In the event the Minor, the Minor’s Legal Guardians, the Minor’s Guardian ad Litem, the Minor’s attorneys, Evan Chandler or June Chandler, or any of them individually or on behalf at their respective agents, attorneys, media representatives, partners, heirs, administrators, executors, conservators, successors and assigns, receive any subpoena or request for information from any person or entity who has asserted, or is investigating, any claim against Jackson or the Jackson Releasees or the Action or the Claims, they agree to give notice in writing to Jackson’s attorneys regarding the nature and scope of any such subpoena request for information, to the extent permitted by law. This notice shall be given before responding to the request in any manner other than objections or a refusal to respond and shall be given no later than five days following the receipt of the request”.
June Chandler confirmed the validity of this clause during the 2005 trial, when she testified 11 years after the 1994 settlement. She had no restrictions whatsoever to talk to authorities and testify in court like all the other parties involved in the perfectly legal settlement. From her direct examination by Tom Sneddon:
Q. With regard to those conversations, the first conversation we had, do you recall the substance of that conversation?
A. That I would be subpoenaed and for — testifying.
Q. And did I indicate to you that I wanted to talk to you, to do an interview with you?
A. That we would be speaking later on, yes.
Q. Okay. And did you — did you have to check with somebody to make sure that was okay because of the confidentiality agreement?
Q. And who was that?
A. Larry Feldman.
Q. So is that one of the phone calls that you had with Mr. Feldman, was to make sure –
Q. — to make sure it was okay for you to talk to me?
Michael Jackson called them liars, and the Chandlers signed it. Michael Jackson declared again his innocence and the Chandlers could not speak to the media. They could only speak in court. No one prevented them from speaking in a criminal court, and they could do it and still keep the money. The resolution of the civil case had nothing to do with the criminal proceedings, otherwise it would be an obstruction of justice, and they all would go to jail (including the judge that reviewed it). Michael Jackson was asked by Larry Feldman to drop the allegations of extortion in order for a settlement to be reached.
They took the money that they were asking for since August 1993 and RAN.
Had Jackson not settled the civil case, he would have put his defense strategy in jeopardy by revealing his exculpatory evidence to the prosecution. When Tom Sneddon discovered the exculpatory evidence in the 2003 Arvizo case, instead of dropping it, he changed the dates, set it up, and misled the grand jury.
The 2005 defense’s motion to Compel Discovery on page 6 reveals that the prosecution withheld exonerating evidence not only for 2003 case but for 1993 as well:
“Mr. Jackson’s right to receive exculpatory information from the prosecution also requires production of materials from the prior investigation. Law enforcement unquestionably developed information rebutting allegations of misconduct from the many people who testified before the grand juries or submitted to informal interview”.
“The prosecution has relied on information from the prior investigation in this case. Moreover, in view of the scope and result of the prior investigation, materials in the possession of law enforcement likely contain or will lead to exculpatory evidence”.
“The affidavit that has been used in support of the dozens of searches in this case refers to information developed during the prior investigation. The affidavit quotes material used to search Mr. Jackson’s ranch in the prior investigation and summarizes the district attorney’s explanation about how that investigation became inactive without criminal charges”.
It was the defense (Michael Jackson) that was asking for the 1993 evidence to be brought in. During the Arvizo case it was reported that Anthony Pellicano had given all he had from the 1993 case to the FBI. The problem was that FBI gave them to Tom Sneddon.
Right after the settlement, the Chandlers were looking for more money. Ray Chandler approached publisher Judith Regan to shop a book deal. It was reported in early February 1994 and Judith Regan also talked about it on SIRIUS XM:
When this effort didn’t succeed the Chandlers gave Evan’s diary to Hard Copy in May 1994. They managed to fish a book deal with the proven liar Victor Gutierrez. When he tricked the Chandlers and published a pornographic book with his own fictions (it was banned in US) falsely turning Evan Chandler’s diary into Jordan’s, the Chandlers detached themselves and Ray Chandler called him a “sleazebag”. Ray Chandler published his own book, and legal experts noticed the trap he created for himself in 2004. In his effort to taint the jury pool and make some money he ended up being a witness for the defense. When Ray Chandler was asked from Jackson’s lawyers to present his stories in the 2005 trial he fought back the subpoena and never showed up. Ray Chandler gave an interview to Entertainment Weekly in June 1995 in which he said that the Chandlers love Michael and they bare him no ill will. Would a family of a real victim talk like that about a real abuser? He went on to say that there was no evidence against Jackson, and they only had Jordan’s words and nothing else. When he was asked why they settled, he answered “because they weren’t sure they would get any more money after a trial and they wanted the ordeal to end”.
Jordan Chandler went to live with his stepmother Natalie, who had divorced Evan Chandler. Several years later, reports would present Jordan as a shrewd businessman.
Retailers reported that Michael Jackson didn’t suffer any drop in his sales, and to this day he remains the most popular celebrity in the planet.
Evan Chandler had an interesting experience that was similar to that of Michael Jackson’s. He was sued by a model for malpractice regarding a dental procedure and the model’s claim was rejected. That happened prior to Evan Chandler’s settlement with Michael Jackson. When the model heard on the news that Mr. Chandler had money, she then remembered to sue him for sexual harassment. Though from the timing and the changed story it was obvious that the model made it up, Evan Chandler’s insurance carrier settled with her.
The aftermath and the on-going criminal investigation
A Santa Barbara Grand Jury began hearing testimonies in the context of the criminal investigation in early February 1994. Law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times that neither Michael Jackson nor Jordan Chandler had been called to testify. There was speculation at the time that while Gil Garcetti would not file charges without having any evidence to support his case, the Santa Barbara D.A. Tom Sneddon, who had the reputation of being aggressive, would try his best even with a weak case. Michael Cooney, an attorney who knew Sneddon well, said about the prosecutor: : ”Tom Sneddon is a very determined individual who will go further than almost anyone to prove something which he feels needs proving. Ones he decides action is worth taking, he will pursue it to the very end”. Steve R. Balash, who worked with Sneddon, the “Mad Dog”, also said about him: ”If you wanted to go to central casting to pick out a prosecutor, you’d pick Sneddon. He’s got a lot of power, and when he targets someone, it’s a battle.” Tom Sneddon has been accused of malicious prosecution, false allegations, personal vendettas and abuse of power by many other people.
It was rumoured that if the Santa Barbara Grand Jury found the evidence insufficient to indict Michael Jackson, the Los Angeles D.A. “would drop the political hot potato without career repercussions”. Gil Garcetti’s predecessor, Ira Reiner, had to leave office under the stigmatization of the McMartin Preschool case (the false child abuse allegations that Dr. Stanley Katz had diagnosed). Gil Garcetti said in 2004 that he primarily reserved the grand jury for cases with uncooperative witnesses or for difficult or high-profile cases in which he wanted to test the evidence before bringing charges.
USA Today wrote “Prosecutors in L.A. and S.B. counties are scrambling to salvage what’s left of their criminal investigations into sex abuse allegations against the pop music star”. Gil Garcetti was reportedly trying to change the law so minors who alleged they were abused could be forced to testify. The newspaper characterized their actions as desperate and referred to Blanca Francia’s concerns about investigators’ misconduct with her son who had repeatedly denied any abuse. It was quite obvious that the investigators were trying to create “victims” out of nowhere.
In the meantime Jackson’s lawyers asked for the photos of Michael’s body search, but Judge James M. Slater refused and said they were safely stored in a local bank. So safely stored that Geraldo Rivera had seen them, and there was a call made to the National Enquirer by someone who was trying to sell them the photos for $3 million. The rumours that the tabloids had the photos had been circulating since January 1994, and Jackson’s fans in Europe had started a campaign by gathering signatures so the photos would not be published.
In mid-February 1994 PBS aired the documentary “Frontline: Tabloid truth, the Michael Jackson Scandal”. The PBS correspondent, Richard Ben Cramer, followed the tabloid frenzy from behind the scenes when the scandal broke. He provided a great insight on how tabloids obstructed justice by interviewing con artists who were paid for their stories. It pointed out that the real news in Jackson’s case was poisoned by Hard Copy, A Current Affair, National Enquirer, and the blood thirsty London tabloids. These dubious characters who were motivated by money even made non-tabloid reporters lose their credibility. The New York Times revealed that Diane Sawyer went to Manila to interview the Quindoy couple. The newspaper negatively criticized her decision and they said that she started connecting herself to tabloids, and that was very dangerous for her reputation. It also came out that people who worked for tabloids were hired later for big networks. Checkbook journalism displayed by the tabloids was characterized as “disservice to truth and disservice to justice”, and its dubious impact on mainstream media was stressed. Diane Dimond was mocked by the non-tabloid press, and was characterized as a “tabloid princess” who made a name for herself by exploiting Michael Jackson. The Dayton Daily News wrote that “the trend toward tabloidization of news in America may be irreversible”. Hard Copy was severely criticized for the salacious coverage and the paid stories.
The sad reality is that Tom Sneddon’s §1108 evidence (enacted in 1995) based on hearsay “witnesses” came from tabloids like Hard Copy & National Enquirer, and they didn’t have any effect on any kind of jury that they were presented to (two Grand Juries, one civil trial, one criminal trial, and the police interviews in 1993 where they blamed the tabloids for their fictional stories), and the prosecutor could not use them to file charges. Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola University School of Law, told News Press on 2004 regarding Sneddon’s action “The problem for the prosecutor is he’s always going with a one-victim case. The one witness you want to hear from in the prior case is the alleged victim. Part of the problem is that if you only bring in the other witnesses, it’s going to look like window dressing. The defense will say they don’t have the evidence so they’re trying to distract you with peripheral witnesses who have their own agenda”.
Most observers said that Judge Melville should not allow testimony from third parties who were making accusations about people who never accused Jackson and could not speak for themselves. Tom Mesereau, from morning session transcripts, on March 28, 2005, said:
Nowhere can we find they are just willy-nilly bringing in third-party witnesses to say they saw something without bringing the alleged victim in. Yet that is exactly what 99 percent of the evidence they plan to bring in is. And I submit the potential for prejudice there is overwhelming. They probably couldn’t win a civil case if they were pursuing a civil case based on nothing but third parties.
Who are their main witnesses? Their main witnesses sued Mr. Jackson in the mid ’90s, and for the first time Mr. Jackson decided, “I’m tired of settling these stupid cases, I’m actually going to defend this one.”
It resulted in the longest civil trial in the history of this courthouse. And the Court, I’m sure, knows a lot more about that case than I do. At numerous times during that six-month trial, the trial Judge made findings that the plaintiffs were lying, not being candid, changing their stories, even leaving the bench on a couple of occasions. And when the dust settled, the jury returned a verdict for Mr. Jackson, awarded Mr. Jackson damages, because the plaintiffs had stole from him.
The Judge then awarded not only costs, but legal fees, and in the end Mr. Jackson obtained a judgment for over a million dollars against these lying plaintiffs
They want the Court to allow these lying plaintiffs to come in now again and try and testify to improper acts, when there is no alleged victim they intend to call. That’s just plain wrong. And if they suggest it wouldn’t be time-consuming to litigate that issue, all the Court has to do is look at the six-month trial and its length to know that’s not true, because they sold stories to tabloids, they were caught lying, and they had a big judgment against them.
Now, the fourth alleged victim is Jason Francia. Jason Francia and his mother were interviewed by the sheriffs and a deposition of the mother was taken.
Money was paid to settle that case, again because Mr. Jackson didn’t want the press, didn’t want his family going through it, and wanted to pursue his music career.
There never was a criminal prosecution, even though the alleged victim was interviewed by the Los Angeles District Attorney and the Santa Barbara District Attorney together. And after their interview with Jason Francia – which was so wishy-washy about what happened, they never decided to pursue a criminal case, because there wasn’t one.
We have that taped interview – the mother, in a civil deposition in the Chandler litigation, began by saying she saw something and ended by saying she saw nothing. And indeed, stories were sold to tabloids, and money was paid to settle. He appears to be the only alleged victim they want to bring in.
Macaulay Culkin’s father also criticized Sneddon’s desperation and his weak case against the singer, as well as his decision not to even interview his son about the alleged molestation that several former Neverland employees claimed to have witnessed. Legal analysts also argued that it was wrong on the law and unfair to the defendant, violating his Sixth Amendment right. They added that they were proven untrustworthy by the prosecutor himself, who never filed charges for them, and there was never a conviction. They stressed that it was a blatant Confrontation Clause violation. All the imaginary alleged “victims” testified for Jackson’s defense, and Sneddon was left with his hearsay, having to explain why he called his tabloid “witnesses” and not the alleged “victims”. At the end the jury didn’t believe the “witnesses”, and Jackson was acquitted despite the official tainting.
Susan Drake, one of the 2005 trial jurors said to Larry King on June 23, 2005, after the exonerating verdict:
KING: Was there a chance you would have convicted anything guilty, Susan, on one of the minor counts?
DRAKE: Nothing. I went in there with a courage to convict a celebrity. Because I really believe in doing what is right. And witness after witness I was more convinced of the innocence, because of the motivations of financial gain and revenge, it was just amazing the way it was laid out.
During the month of April 1994, two Grand Juries (one from Santa Barbara, and one from Los Angeles) continued to hear testimonies, and were presented with the prosecutors outcomes of the criminal investigation. Some of the people who testified were Katherine Jackson, Miko Brando, Norma Staikos, Blanca Francia, Bob Jones, Anthony Pellicano, the rest of the “tell-all” tabloid witnesses, Janet Jackson’s ex-husband, and others that were not named in the press. While the two Grand Juries were in process, a source from the police investigation told Daily Variety that there was nothing that could incriminate Jackson. In the meantime it was reported that the prosecutors continued to meet with Jordan Chandler.
Both Grand Juries decided there was no case against Michael Jackson, and were disbanded in 1994 without issuing an indictment for the singer. One juror told CNN in May 1994 that he didn’t hear any damaging testimony and the only thing Michael Jackson could be found guilty of was bad judgement. The same was repeated in the Santa Barbara News Press in March 2004 when the paper interviewed members of the 1994 Santa Barbara Grand Jury who said that there were never shown enough evidence to issue an indictment. Michael Jackson’s 2005 lead defense attorney said on November 29, 2005, in his speech at Harvard University: “Sneddon had convened a grand jury in the early 90’s to try and get an indictment and he failed. And I have since spoken to someone who was on that grand jury quite recently from Los Angeles. She was on a Los Angeles grand jury that was convened at the same time. And they had real problems with these accusations. And the real problems were the sense that people were trying to get money out of Michael Jackson by generating these charges”.
On May 9 and 10, 1994, tabloid show Hard Copy invited as guests the paid tell all ex-employees, in an effort to exploit the story. This time excerpts from Evan Chandler’s diary were read. It was more than clear that Evan Chandler was still trying to cash in and he was breaching the terms of the settlement. Mr. Chandler confirms the $20 million and extortion and admits that when Jackson didn’t pay he then sent Jordan to Dr. Abrams, knowing that he was obligated by law to inform the police. The New York Amsterdam News criticized the tabloid for not pointing Mr. Chandler’s manipulations and accused the show for lack of fairness and objectivity.
On August 16, 1994, Jordan’s stepfather David Schwartz decided that he was left out of the game and it was time for him to earn some money from the singer. Mr. Schwartz, who was experiencing financial troubles for quite some time, and had even asked from June Chandler to persuade Michael Jackson to lend him millions of dollars (prior to the allegations), filed a lawsuit against Jackson for monetary compensation because he and his 6-year-old daughter Lily were “very traumatized by the allegations”. June Chandler, in her 2005 testimony, had a hard time recalling that everyone around her was desperate to profit from Michael Jackson. The motivation of money was so obvious that they could do nothing to hide it. David Schwartz hired Danny Davis as a lawyer. Danny Davis successfully represented the lead defendant in the McMartin Preschool case (in which false child abuse allegations where diagnosed by Dr. Katz). What a coincidence. Howard Weitzman’s comment was “this lawsuit is frivolous and another attempt to take advantage of Mr. Jackson’s notoriety and fame in order to try to extract money from him”. David Schwartz was the one who tried to alert Michael Jackson about Evan Chandler’s plan in 1993, and had accused Chandler of extortion.
On September 21, 1994 an official statement was made by Tom Sneddon and Gil Garcetti regarding the status of the investigation. They said they interviewed over 400 people, including children that denied any inappropriate contact, and 30 of these people testified in 2 grand juries. In their joint statement they admitted they had no evidence against Michael Jackson and therefore they could not file charges. Their only witness informed them on July 6, 1994 that he didn’t want to testify, and they quoted him “I am sorry, I do not want to and I will not testify” (Jordan Chandler would repeat the same thing in 2004 to Ron Zonen and the FBI agent). They said that if he decided to testify they would go forward with the case. They also said that the tabloid witnesses were interviewed as well, but they were not credible because they were paid for their stories. These people never said they witnessed molestation anyway.
After the settlement, the prosecutors continued to meet with Jordan and it was not until July 1994 that he informed them of his refusal to testify. Since the investigation had begun they had plenty of time to file charges if they had any incriminating evidence.
Gil Garcetti gracefully admitted that the 18-month investigation didn’t lead to anything incriminating. Tom Sneddon was too embarrassed to admit that the witch hunt, with the 6 search warrants, 2 grand juries and hundreds of witnesses lead to nothing. He referred to Jordan Chandler as “primary alleged victim” but the problem is there are no primary, secondary and tertiary alleged victims. Either you have an alleged victim or you don’t. He went on to say that they discovered an alleged victim that denied any wrongdoing. How this individual became an alleged victim without admitting any wrongdoing was not explained. He also referred to another phantom alleged victim that conveniently was not in US at the time and was receiving therapy. The part where Mr. Sneddon tried to convict Michael Jackson in the court of public opinion is very confusing in its wording, and it doesn’t match with what he presented as phantom victims in his 1108 during the 2005 trial. The only one that received therapy was Jason Francia, and that was because his mother had questioned police’s techniques. He was also the one that denied any wrongdoing. On December 16, 1994 Hard Copy referred to Blanca Francia and her son asking for a settlement (thus copying the Chandlers after the police interviews and the grand jury depositions where nobody believed their story) and they used a clip of Sneddon talking about the alleged victim being on therapy. It was more than clear that Tom Sneddon mixed the story of Jason Francia to make it sound like a third alleged victim. The only person who was visited by authorities outside of the USA was Bret Barnes, who had publicly defended Jackson in 1993, and also defended him during police interviews in 1993-1994 and as a defense witness in the 2005 trial.
Tom Sneddon’s inappropriate behaviour was characterized as “a cheap shot at Michael Jackson” by USA Today, and the newspaper pointed out that the case was all about money from the very first day. While Mr. Sneddon had a hard time admitting that he spent the tax payers’ money on a witch hunt, Gil Garcetti tried to correct him after the press conference in the question and answer session with the media by saying the following: “Michael Jackson is presumed to be innocent as any citizen in this room is if they are not convicted with a crime. We are not charging Michael Jackson with a crime”.
Michael Jackson, who evidently had more class than Santa Barbara’s D.A. said the following: “I am thankful that the investigation has reached a conclusion. I continually maintained my innocence. I am grateful to all my family, friends and fans who have stood by me and also believed in my innocence. Lisa Marie and I look forward to getting on with our lives, raising a family, and will never forget the unending outpouring of love from all over the world. God Bless you”.
After the joint statement, Gil Garcetti said that it took them a long time to come to a conclusion because they “do not just willy-nilly go and charge someone after you get some initial information”. Mr. Gascon, the chief spokesman for the LAPD, said that they conducted the investigation, gave their information to the district attorneys, and made their decision. Ivy Mondy of the Department of Children’s Services, which was also investigating the case, said “we thought there would be a lot of attention given to this case because of who is involved, but when you get down to the facts of the case, you can’t always proceed”. That was an interesting remark.
In October 1994, Mary Fischer published her article “Was Michael Jackson framed? The untold story” in GQ magazine. The article was nominated for National Magazine Award. She had interviewed many people involved in the case and although we now know more about the story, her revelations were very important in 1994. She appeared on The Today Show, CNN, KCBS-TV, CBS Morning News, and Entertainment Tonight to talk about her article. She was also interviewed for PBS’ documentary on the 1993 case before the publication of her report. In her article she concludes “To some observers, the Michael Jackson story illustrates the dangerous power of accusation, against which there is often no defense—particularly when the accusations involve child sexual abuse. To others, something else is clear now—that police and prosecutors spent millions of dollars to create a case whose foundation never existed”.
When Michael Jackson was arrested in 2003 for the Arvizo case, she was a guest on Greta Van Susteren’s show on November 25, 2003 and she defended her 1994 article and said that the current case was suspiciously similar to the 1993 case with the same people involved.
In 2004 she also appeared on MSNBC, FOX, and CNN for the same reason. In June 2009, she gave permission to a blogger to reprint her article (http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread477059/pg1).
On December 16, 1994, an orchestrated effort was displayed from tabloids to keep the story on their shows. Hard Copy reported that Blanca Francia and her son were seeking a settlement from Michael Jackson. This happened after Jackson’s lawyers rejected the proposal and Blanca Francia then asked for a little boost from tabloids to pressure Jackson. The maid was after her own concept of the American dream, and decided to copy the Chandlers’ playbook. The story was also reported in late January 1995 from British tabloids and New York Daily News. Blanca Francia, who blamed Hard Copy in 1993 for editing her interview, who was paid for the story, who told the police and grand jury she never witnessed anything inappropriate, who said her son denied any molestation, and who was now trying to cash in. She filed a civil complaint, not a criminal one, and found herself a civil lawyer to copy Larry Feldman. Sony, who was about to release Jackson’s “HIStory” album, intervened to save their multi-million dollar campaign from negative publicity. The maid had carefully chosen the timing to achieve her goal and ask for money. Jackson finally agreed to a settlement, which was not an admission of guilt, and did not prevent the Francias from testifying in court and talking to the police (they had already done it 2 years ago) and he added a unique paragraph (which was not the standard language for settlement agreements) to declare his innocence, and the reason for settling the case. Francia’s lawyer ,Kris Kallman, testified in 2005, along with both Blanca and Jason Francia. Mr. Kallman said that the settlement was reached either in 1995 or 1996. From Kris Kallman’s 2005 direct examination from Tom Sneddon:
Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Who was the individual that
12 the Complaint was directed towards?
13 A. Mr. Jackson.
14 Q. At some point in time, did you have contact
15 with individuals who were representing Mr. Jackson
16 over the proposed filing of the criminal — of the
17 civil complaint?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And who did you make contact with?
20 A. Initially our contacts were with Johnnie
21 Cochran and his associate, Carl Douglas.
22 Q. Do you recall approximately when it was when
23 you first made contact with Mr. — or when contact
24 was made between you and Mr. Cochran and Mr.
26 A. It was either late ‘94 or early ‘95.
27 Q. Did you, after your conversations with those
28 individuals, file the civil lawsuit? 4953
1 A. No.
2 Q. At some point in time later, were you then
3 dealing with other lawyers with regard to the
4 proposed filing of that civil lawsuit?
5 A. Yes. At some point, Mr. Jackson’s
6 representation was assumed by a lawyer named Zia
7 Modabber, and a lawyer named Howard Weitzman.
8 Q. And do you recall approximately when it was
9 that you then began contact with those particular
11 A. I believe it was in mid 1995.
12 Q. And the purpose of those contacts?
13 A. Well, the –
14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague;
16 THE COURT: Overruled.
17 You may answer.
18 THE WITNESS: The purpose of the contacts
19 was that they knew that we had a Complaint that we
20 were about to file in Santa Barbara County Superior
21 Court, and they didn’t want us to do that.
22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay;
24 THE COURT: The answer is stricken.
26 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: As a result of the
27 conversations between these individuals, did you
28 pursue your lawsuit? 4954
1 A. Well, we never filed the lawsuit.
2 Q. Did you reach an agreement, a settlement
4 A. Yes, we did.
5 Q. Did you reach a settlement agreement in
6 which Jason Francia received monetary compensation
7 from Mr. Jackson?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Did you receive — did you reach an
10 agreement in which Blanca Francia received monetary
11 compensation from Mr. Jackson?
12 A. Yes, we did.
13 Q. During the time that you were
14 representing — during the time that you had
15 prepared a Complaint ready to be filed and you were
16 in contact with attorneys representing Mr. Jackson,
17 can you give the ladies and gentlemen of the jury an
18 idea of how old Jason Francia was at that particular
19 point in time?
20 A. Well, he was about 14 years old. He’s 24
21 now, as I understand it, and we’re talking about
22 things that happened just about exactly ten years
24 Q. And in your position as a civil litigator,
25 at the time that an individual is of minority, at
26 the age of 14, how do you deal with representing a
27 person like that?
28 A. Well, a child – 4955
1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague;
2 foundation; relevance.
3 THE COURT: Overruled.
4 You may complete your answer.
5 THE WITNESS: A child, under California law,
6 under the age of 18, is not permitted to enter into
7 a contract. I suppose he or she could, but it
8 wouldn’t be enforceable. So the only way a child
9 can act legally is through a guardian ad litem. And
10 it’s normally the parent and normally the mother.
11 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Was that the case in this
12 particular instance?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, during the course of the time that you
15 were involved in obtaining a settlement from Mr.
16 Jackson on behalf of the Francias, did you deal
17 personally with Jason at any time?
18 A. Yeah. Sure.
19 Q. In what respect?
20 A. Well, I knew who he was, I met with him. I
21 met with he and his mom. He was a teenaged boy, and
22 a nice young man.
23 Q. Now, at some point in time was Jason
24 required to sign some kind of documents in
25 conjunction with the settlement?
26 A. Yes. When he turned 18, part of the
27 condition was that he sign a confidentiality
28 agreement. 4956
1 Q. Now, with regard to the confidentiality –
2 and to your knowledge, did he sign that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And with regard to the confidentiality
5 agreement, did it have a provision that required
6 notice to Mr. Jackson in the event that Jason
7 Francia talked to anybody?
8 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; move to
10 THE COURT: Overruled.
11 You may answer.
12 THE WITNESS: I believe so, yes.
13 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And what was the
14 requirement notice in the confidentiality agreement
15 with regard to notice to the defense?
16 A. I believe it’s five days.
17 Q. And were you at some point contacted by Mr.
18 Zonen of our department with regard to interviewing
19 your — Jason Francia?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And in that particular case, did you
22 indicate to Mr. Zonen that you would have to do
23 something before you could agree with that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what was that?
26 A. Well, I’d have to notify somebody on Mr.
27 Jackson’s legal staff that they wanted to talk to
28 him. 4957
1 Q. And did you do that?
2 A. Yeah. Yes. Excuse me.
3 Q. And did you then grant permission for Mr.
4 Zonen to have a conversation with your — with Jason
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, were you present during the
8 conversations between Jason Francia and Mr. Zonen?
9 A. I don’t think so. I think I was there, and
10 then I think I had to go to another court or
11 something like that. I don’t remember being an
12 integral part of any of those — if there was more
13 than one, I don’t even know.
14 Q. And I’m talking about the conversations that
15 occurred after you gave notice to the defense in
16 this case, or gave notice to Mr. Jackson. To your
17 knowledge, was Mr. Cannon present?
18 A. I believe so. At least for part of it.
19 Again, I’m not certain.
20 Q. Do you remember when it was that you
21 finally — the year that you finally reached a
22 settlement agreement with Mr. Jackson?
23 A. Yes. It’s been a long time. But it was a
24 big deal. And I do remember –
25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;
26 move to strike.
27 THE COURT: The answer is stricken.
28 Nonresponsive. 4958
1 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Just –
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what year was that, approximately?
4 A. It was either ‘95 or ‘96, I believe.
Cross examination from Tom Mesereau:
Q. Yes. Okay. Now, the prosecutor asked you
13 some questions about provisions in the settlement
14 agreement, okay? And one of the issues that was
15 carefully negotiated by the people representing Mr.
16 Jackson was that he deny any wrongdoing in that
17 agreement, right?
18 A. Again, the best evidence of that would be
19 what’s in the agreement. I don’t remember what’s in
21 Q. Okay. Well, let me — the prosecutor read
22 you a provision, asked you about it.
23 Let me ask you about this: There was
24 language in that agreement that said, “The parties
25 acknowledge that Jackson has elected to settle the
26 claims solely in view of the potential impact any
27 litigation could have in the future on his
28 reputation, earnings and potential income, and not 4968
1 because of any alleged wrongful conduct on his
2 part,” right?
3 A. If you’re asking me if that’s in the
4 document, I’ll have to take your word for it. You
5 don’t need to show it to me. It sounds pretty
6 standard to me.
7 Q. The agreement further said — excuse me, let
8 me rephrase that.
9 Both agreements, the one involving Jason and
10 the one involving Blanca, his mother, both had
11 language which said, “This agreement shall not, in
12 any manner, be construed as an admission by Jackson
13 that he has acted wrongfully with respect to
14 Francia, Blanca, or any other person, or at all, or
15 that Francia or Blanca have any rights whatsoever
16 against Jackson or Jackson’s releasees.” Sound
17 familiar to you?
18 A. It sounds like standard language in
19 virtually every release that I deal with. But, yes,
20 it does sound familiar.
21 Q. Actually, there’s a whole separate paragraph
22 entitled, “Denial of Claims by Mr. Jackson,”
24 A. Don’t know.
25 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I show
26 you a copy?
27 A. It would.
28 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach, Your Honor? 4969
1 THE COURT: Yes.
2 THE WITNESS: It does refresh my
4 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. And do you recall
5 that language being in both agreements?
6 A. I believe so, yes, sir.
7 Q. Okay. In addition to the language that I
8 have read, there’s further language which says,
9 “Jackson specifically disclaims any liability to,
10 and denies any wrongful acts against, Francia,
11 Blanca or any other person and may continue to do so
12 publicly, to the extent reasonably necessary, to
13 respond to any inquiries in this regard.” Right?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. It said further, “The parties acknowledge
16 that Jackson is a public figure, and that his name,
17 image and likeness have commercial value and are an
18 important element of his earning capacity.” Right?
19 A. That’s true.
20 Q. And that language was in both settlement
21 agreements, the one involving Blanca Francia and the
22 one involving Jason Francia, correct?
23 A. I don’t remember that. I will take your
24 word for it. You don’t need to refresh my
25 recollection. It sounds like it should be or would
27 Q. Now, Mr. Kallman, provisions in which a
28 settling party denies liability are fairly standard 4970
1 in settlement agreements, right?
2 A. True.
3 Q. But the language that I just read to the
4 jury is not standard language in a settlement
5 agreement, is it?
6 A. This is not a standard case, or was not.
7 And no, you’re right. These were carefully drafted
8 by a team of lawyers, and we agreed to the terms.
9 Q. And the reason those terms are different is
10 because Mr. Jackson is an unusual individual in
11 terms of his need to preserve his reputation and
12 public image so he can earn a living, right?
13 MR. SNEDDON: Calls for speculation on this.
14 It wasn’t drafted by him. No foundation.
15 MR. MESEREAU: I think it was drafted by
16 this witness.
17 THE COURT: All right. I’ll sustain a
19 MR. MESEREAU: Okay.
20 Q. When you settled these matters – and I’m
21 talking about matters involving Michael Jackson,
22 Blanca Francia, and Jason Francia – you put in
23 language involving denial of claims by Mr. Jackson
24 that was not standard language in a typical
25 settlement agreement, right?
26 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, I’m going to
27 object to the question as lack of foundation; that
28 he put the language in there. 4971
1 THE COURT: Well, that was the foundation I
2 was looking for.
3 So I’ll allow you to answer the question as
4 long as you understand the limitations of your
6 THE WITNESS: Well –
7 THE COURT: If you put the language in.
8 THE WITNESS: I didn’t draft that agreement.
9 THE COURT: Okay.
10 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did lawyers from your
11 office draft the agreement?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Who drafted the agreement?
14 A. Somebody in Mr. Modabber’s office, the
15 Katten, Muchin, Zavis & Weitzman firm in Century
17 Q. Did you have any input into the language in
18 the agreement?
19 A. Only to review it. And if there was
20 language we found objectionable, we could strike it,
21 I suppose.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. But they wanted that in there, and I didn’t
24 find it objectionable.
25 Q. Okay. Now, you made a statement, I believe,
26 in response to the prosecutor’s questions, that if
27 someone from law enforcement wanted to speak to your
28 client, you had to first notify representatives of 4972
1 Mr. Jackson, true?
2 A. True.
3 Q. That — really, that language is not in that
4 agreement, is it?
5 A. I don’t know.
6 Q. Then why would you say it?
7 A. Because that’s part — in one of the
8 agreements, I have to give notice to the defense
9 team. And I’ve given notice once to Mr. Sanger.
10 And then when I got subpoenaed on Friday, I gave
11 notice to Mr. Modabber down in Los Angeles.
12 Q. But the notice you’re supposed to give to
13 the defense team does not involve requests by law
14 enforcement to speak to your client, does it?
15 A. I assume that anybody from law enforcement
16 that wants to talk to my client, there was a
17 requirement to notify somebody from the defense
19 Q. Nowhere in those settlement agreements is
20 there language to that effect, is there?
21 A. I have no idea.
22 MR. SNEDDON: Object as immaterial;
24 MR. MESEREAU: The prosecutor brought it up
25 on direct, Your Honor.
26 THE COURT: The objection is overruled. And
27 the answer came in as, “I have no idea.”
28 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: It would be against public 4973
1 policy for a civil litigator to put language in a
2 settlement agreement precluding anyone from
3 cooperating with law enforcement, wouldn’t it?
4 A. In my opinion, yes.
5 Q. Lawyers are not allowed to have language
6 like that in settlement agreements, right?
7 A. Wrong.
8 Q. Pardon me?
9 A. No. It’s a notice requirement. It’s not a
10 preclusion requirement.
The lazy “journalists” who had no idea about Michael Jackson in general, would refer to that settlement as something new that had emerged during the 2005 trial. In reality it was very old news since 1995, but their stories were poorly researched, as usual.
Michael Jackson again released a statement on September 3, 2004, to talk about the settlements:
“It is unfortunate that yet, again, I must respond to untruths and sensationalism. Years ago, I settled with certain individuals because I was concerned about my family and the media scrutiny that would have ensued if I fought the matter in court. These people wanted to exploit my concern for children by threatening to destroy what I believe in and what I do. I have been a vulnerable target for those who want money”.
His defense attorney Tom Mesereau in a press conference dated September 17, 2004 said on the same issue:
“Mr. Jackson has been a target of frivolous lawsuits throughout his career. To date, well over a thousand ridiculous lawsuits have been filed or threatened against Mr. Jackson for all kinds of reasons by those who sought to obtain money by exploiting his achievements and love for people.
None of these claims involved allegations that he ever harmed a child. However, they involved, for the most part, creative and outrageous attempts to take money from Mr. Jackson. Throughout his career, Mr. Jackson’s desire to create and help our world has been subjected to efforts to exploit, undermine and take advantage of this wonderful human being.
Mr. Jackson has been repeatedly advised by those who stood to make fortunes in his business affairs to pay money, rather than face certain false allegations. As a result, many years ago, he did pay money, rather than litigate, two false allegations that he had harmed children.
People who intended to earn millions of dollars from his record and music promotions did not want negative publicity from these lawsuits interfering with their profits.
These two false allegations must be placed in a proper perspective. Mr. Jackson has interacted with millions of children. Many millions of children around the world love Michael Jackson and never alleged that he harmed them in any way.
Those who wanted to profit from his good deeds and vulnerabilities were also threatening to destroy his ability to raise his own children and to champion the welfare, integrity, humanity and interests of children around the world. Michael Jackson occupies a world where his privacy is continually violated.
Michael Jackson now regrets making these payments. Nevertheless, these efforts to settle are now being used against him regardless of the merits or the truth behind them. These settlements were entered into with one primary condition. That condition was that Mr. Jackson never admitted any wrongdoing.
Mr. Jackson always denied doing anything wrong. Mr. Jackson had hoped to buy peace in the process. He was advised that while these sums of money appeared large, they were actually very small compared to money he could make in music. Mr. Jackson has earned well over one billion dollars in his career. Placed in this perspective, they were very small sums, indeed.
Greed begets greed. Mr. Jackson now realizes that the advice he received was wrong. He should have fought these actions to the bitter end and vindicated himself. The recent publicity about these settlements is unfair and damaging to him, his family and his dedication to the world’s children. The false charges he is facing will be battled in a court of law within our justice system. He is innocent and will be vindicated”.
On January 9, 1995, Diane Dimond, while using Victor Gutierrez as a source, reported a false story during her interview on the “Klen and Barkley show” of KABC-AM radio. She said that a videotape existed of Michael Jackson engaging in unlawful conduct with a minor. She also said that Gutierrez had met with the kid’s mother in a hotel, showed her the tape and then the mother went to LAPD to report it but the police didn’t care (!). Then she said something that was contradictory to the previous report; that the investigators were looking for the tape, and that the investigation on Jackson was reopened.
Right after the show, Jackson’s lawyer Howard Weitzman, sent the following letter to Paramount Pictures:
“I learned earlier today that Diane Dimond, one of Paramount’s Hard Copy reporters, was on KABC talk radio this morning and indicated that an untrue and defamatory story about an alleged videotape depicting Michael Jackson engaging in sexual relations with a minor was true, and that she believed such a tape existed. I understand that Ms. Dimond also made claims that the Los Angeles and/or Santa Barbara District Attorneys’ offices are reopening their criminal investigation of Mr. Jackson, based on the purported existence of this videotape. Please be informed that Ms. Dimond’s claims regarding the existence of such a videotape are untrue and defamatory, as are her claims regarding the reopening of any criminal investigation concerning Mr. Jackson.”
He also called Hard Copy to warn them that they were repeating a false report. But Hard Copy ran with the false report the same night, and so did two British tabloids. After that, Howard Weitzman said again “this week several tabloid shows and magazines, along with certain individuals, publicly alleged a videotape existed of Michael Jackson engaging in unlawful conduct. No such tapes exist”.
Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, issued a statement after the false tabloid report: “We have not reopened the investigation. We have heard about the alleged tape. We have not seen it and we don’t have it. Prosecutors were not involved in a search for such a video”. (Sandi Gibbons is also the one that made the statement outside the courthouse on January 25, 2011 regarding Conrad Murray’s trial on behalf of the Los Angeles district attorney).
Michael Jackson issued a statement as well:
“Enough is enough! I will no longer stand by and watch reckless members of the media try to destroy my reputation. I intend to protect myself and my family. I have instructed my attorneys to file lawsuits against those persons who continue to spread vicious lies and rumors about me in their attempts to make money, benefit their careers, sell papers or get viewers to watch their programs”.
Michael Jackson filed a $100 million lawsuit against everyone involved for slander. “The plaintiff is compelled to defend himself because Dimond, Hard Copy and the other defendants appear more concerned with their ratings than they are with the accuracy of their broadcast or the harm caused their victims”.
The D.A. of Santa Barbara, Tom Sneddon, in an unusual move for a prosecutor, involved himself in the lawsuit to save his friend Dimond. He issued a declaration for the judge that he concluded that no such tape exists but according to his “memory and belief” he came to that conclusion after Dimond’s report, and as a result she could not be held responsible for malice. Not only was this highly unusual, but Tom Sneddon had nothing to do with this because it was not in his jurisdiction. The case belonged to the Los Angeles D.A. and LAPD, and Sandi Gibbons had already refuted the tabloid reporter. Diane Dimond was saved from the lawsuit because the court ruled that no malice was proved on her part, and that she only stated her opinion ,and did not present the false story as a fact. The court probably didn’t know that this was her tactic-presenting her opinion as a fact. After that, she owed Tom Sneddon for saving her and she exercised a biased, pro-prosecution slant to her coverage, and continued to report false stories during 2003-2005, for which she was negatively criticized. Court TV, the now defunct cable news channel that hired her for the trial’s coverage, was accused of becoming a tabloid for hiring someone who had a conflict of interest. Her ex -boss at Hard Copy, Burt Kearns wrote the following in 2005: “Throughout the recent investigation and trial, Diane acted more like a prosecutor than a reporter. But she doesn’t have the smarts of a Nancy Grace. She was a clown in the circus and played the role to the hilt. Her performance in the Jackson case probably ended her hopes of ever again being taken seriously as a journalist, but it did get her a book deal”.
Gutierrez, the proven liar, told detective Gonterman that the mother was Margaret Maldonado, Jermaine Jackson’s ex-wife. Margaret Maldonado discredited Gutierrez, whom she had never even met. Gutierrez also said that L.A. district attorney Gil Garcetti had seen the tape, a lie that was refuted by the prosecutor. The investigation concluded that the tape story was a lie and Superior Court Judge Reginald Dunn ordered Victor Gutierrez to pay $2.7 million to Michael Jackson for defamation. “Jurors told us that they not only wanted to compensate Mr. Jackson and punish Victor Gutierrez, but to send a message that they are tired of tabloids lying about celebrities for money”, Jackson’s attorney Zia Modabber told the Associated Press. Much to his disappointment, Gutierrez’s lawyer had to repeat the jurors’ message as well. Gutierrez declared bankruptcy and left the country. Zia Modabber said in an interview after the verdict that people think that Michael Jackson is an easy target because he is rich, and he settled a previous civil case. She said that Michael Jackson is determined to defend himself in court and win so people’s dreams of making money out of the singer are over. She talked about people suing celebrities, which is a very common situation “Unfortunately, anybody can walk into a courthouse with a couple of hundred dollars and file a lawsuit. And if you happen to be suing Michael Jackson or any other celebrity for that matter you are going to find yourself all over TV and you can tell the whole world about your scandalous accusations and people are going to listen to you”.
Margaret Maldonado wrote in her book about Gutierrez’s scam and how she learned about it:
“I received a telephone call from a writer named Ruth Robinson. I had known Ruth for quite a while and respected her integrity. It made what she had to tell me all the more difficult to hear.
“I wanted to warn you, Margaret,” she said. “There’s a story going around that there is a videotape of Michael molesting one of your sons, and that you have the tape.”
If anyone else had said those words, I would have hung up the phone. Given the long relationship I had with Ruth, however, I gave her the courtesy of a response. I told her that it wasn’t true, of course, and that I wanted the story stopped in its tracks.
She had been in contact with someone who worked at the National Enquirer who had alerted her that a story was being written for that paper. Ruth cross-connected me with the woman, and I vehemently denied the story. Moreover, I told her that if the story ran, I would own the National Enquirer before the lawsuits I brought were finished. To its credit, the National Enquirer never ran the piece.
“Hard Copy,” however, decided it would. “Hard Copy” correspondent Diane Dimond had reported that authorities were reopening the child molestation case against Michael. She had also made the allegations on L.A. radio station KABC-AM on a morning talk show hosted by Roger Barkley and Ken Minyard. Dimond’s claims were based on the word of a freelance writer named Victor Gutierrez. The story was an outrageous lie. Not one part of it was true. I’d never met the man. There was no tape. Michael never paid me for my silence. He had never molested Jeremy. Period.”
It turned out that Gutierrez was trying to advertise his fictional book that contained pornographic fairytales of a person with a sick fantasy. Not even the tabloids were able to believe him, let alone Tom Sneddon. During a 2003 interview with a Chilean tabloid, Gutierrez went on with his hallucinations, saying that Tom Sneddon had contacted him about being a potential witness in the Arvizo case against Jackson. His lies and fantasies ended again when the tabloid received a phone call from Sneddon’s office that refuted the lie. The truth is far more disturbing because Gutierrez is not only a proven liar with a sick fantasy, but he is a self-admitted advocate of pedophilia, and he has attended these sick paraphiliacs’ conferences. The other disturbing fact is that he had admitted stalking Michael Jackson since 1986 (before the allegations), and writing a book about allegations that had not even been made. The most terrifying thing is that he met with Norma Salinas (Evan Chandler’s maid) as well as Jackson’s ex-employees, including Blanca Francia and Orietta Murdoch (Jackson’s ex secretary who didn’t say anything bad about him) before any allegations were made by Evan Chandler. The people he approached coincidentally spoke with Diane Dimond. Through Norma Salinas he met Evan Chandler, before the 1993 allegations. This was the man that NBC paid in 2004 to produce a program for the Arvizo case. The proven liar with the questionable past and suspicious involvement was used as a “source” for the tabloids. He repeated his lies for a German newspaper in 2005. The particular newspaper has been accused of promoting pedophilia. The fact that real predators, and people who support them, tried to use Jackson’s well-known known affection for children in order to normalize their sickness is abominable.
In 1995, while there was a lawsuit pending against her, Diane Dimond aired another story about a “phantom victim”. For this story she had to fly to Canada, and her producer had to pay the expenses for the show, so she had to bring a story back regardless of the result. The story was about a Canadian street kid that claimed he had been molested by Jackson, and he was able to offer a detailed story like every other liar can. The detective that questioned him said he sounded believable, and this could be another allegation on Michael Jackson. The only difference was that the police investigators in Canada actually did their job and discovered the lie. The kid was coached to lie by Rodney Allen, and he was the man that had been sending all the letters to Hard Copy making it seem as if different people were writing about being “victims”. The kid was arrested, and Rodney Allen was later arrested and convicted of pedophilia. What a coincidence!
Police investigators in the US only investigated Jackson and nobody else, and when they found nothing they didn’t bother to conduct a thorough investigation for the other side of the story as they should have done. They didn’t investigate all these people who were suspiciously connected to each other, and were popping up every time there was a story on Michael Jackson. On the other hand, the Canadian police did a better investigation without being biased against the singer, and they were able to uncover the truth.
On June 14, 1995, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley Jackson gave an interview to Diane Sawyer of ABC’s Prime Time Live. He was asked about the 1993 case and he again declared his innocence. His album “HIStory, Past, Present & Future Book 1” was released on June 16, 1995. In that album Jackson appears very angry about the false allegations and he mocks Tom Sneddon for his malicious prosecution.
He would later mock him again in his short film Ghosts in 1997 by playing the mayor (Sneddon) who wanted the maestro (Jackson) out of his town. And Tom Sneddon would punish him with the 2003 fabricated Arvizo case and with further public lynching.
In 1995, five former Neverland employees followed the example of the “Hayvenhurst 5”. Kassim Abdool, Ralph Chacon, Adrian McManus, Sandy Domz and Melanie Bagnall filed a $16 million lawsuit against Michael Jackson (Case No. SM 89344), having Michael P. Ring as an attorney. They alleged they were harassed and threatened by security guards, and fired or forced to quit in 1994. Melanie Bagnall even alleged she was sexually harassed by a guard named Andrew Merritt (in the trial Merritt was not found liable of sexually harassing her). The judge refused Court TV’s request to televise the trial. The plaintiffs had sold their stories to the tabloids instead of going to the police. The civil case went to trial in September 1996, along with Michael Jackson’s cross-complaint. The singer’s countersuit said two of the former workers stole sketches, personal notes, hats, toys and candy from the ranch and sold some items to tabloids. Michael Ring was fined $28,350 for hiding evidence from Jackson’s lawyers during pre-trial fact-finding in March 1997. He was fined $10,000 previously for concealing facts. The trial lasted six months and the plaintiffs were sanctioned (approximately $66,ooo) for lying in court and contradicting their own testimony given the previous days. The Honorable Judge Zel Canter in one instance left the bench saying he was disgusted. On March 1, 1996, Michael Jackson was deposed for the civil case and a three minute video was released from News of the World tabloid in 2009. On March 18, 1997, the jury rejected the wrongful termination lawsuit and awarded Jackson $60,000 in damages. The plaintiffs were also ordered to pay a $1.4 million judgement in attorney fees and court costs to Michael Jackson.
“Today a jury in Santa Maria, California, sided with Michael Jackson and found that five former employees at his Neverland Ranch were not wrongfully terminated. In what was a complete win for the singer, the jury even awarded Jackson $60,000 in a countersuit that charged some of those employees stole items from the estate. The singer’s attorneys filed a countersuit, saying the five quit voluntarily and were not harassed. It also claimed two of the former workers–the maid and a bodyguard–stole sketches, personal notes, hats, toys and candy from the ranch, selling some items to tabloid newspapers. The jury of 10 women and two men agreed with Jackson. They ruled Tuesday there was no evidence to support the allegations brought against Jackson or the six aides mentioned in the lawsuit by his former employees. Jurors also decided that items were stolen and awarded Jackson the 60 grand. “We’re happy to be finally and fully vindicated,” said Jackson attorney Steve Cochrane”.
At least 2 of the employees declared bankruptcy, and when they testified in the 2005 trial, they admitted that their attorney advised them to sell salacious stories to tabloids, by using a media broker, so they can pay their legal expenses. Maid Adrian McManus admitted that she knew nothing about Jackson’s sex life with Presley but nevertheless signed contracts to sell fictional stories. Howard Weitzman said after the ruling: “Michael Jackson is thankful for the court’s ruling, he has consistently maintained that he has not engaged in wrongful conduct with any minors. The stories told by these guards on various tabloid shows, for which they were paid, were false”.
Matt Taibbi, referring to these people being called by the prosecution in the 2005 trial, summed it up for Rolling Stone on June 30, 2005:
“The first month or so of the trial featured perhaps the most compromised collection of prosecution witnesses ever assembled in an American criminal case — almost to a man a group of convicted liars, paid gossip hawkers or worse. The early witnesses against Jackson included a bodyguard who missed court because he was in custody facing charges stemming from a series of armed robberies, including holding up a Jack in the Box at gunpoint; a former Neverland maid who’d stolen a sketch Jackson had made of Elvis Presley and sold it to the tabloids for thirty grand; another former employee who’d lost a wrongful-termination suit against Jackson and had to pay part of a $1.4 million settlement as a result; a housekeeper whose son claims he was molested sold stories about Jackson to Hard Copy; and a Neverland chef whose off-duty hobbies included a porn site called Virtual Sin that featured “hours of live sex.”
J. Randy Taraborelli, who was a CBS news analyst during the 2005 trial, said that he had interviewed many of these Neverland employees but didn’t quote them in his book, because they had financial motives to lie: “If these people did not have this baggage and if their stories ended with ‘And then I called the police,’ my reaction would be ‘Oh my God’. But if you really saw these things, a normal person would call the police; you don’t call the National Enquirer.”
These people were exposed for the second time when they testified in the 2005 trial and, the jurors didn’t believe them either. They also heard that other jurors in 1997 found them to be a fraud.
In 1996, another former employee, Jerome Johnson, decided to copy the “Hayvenhurst 5” and the “Neverland 5”. The bodyguard alleged he was unjustly fired in April 1995. His lawsuit was thrown out of the court by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Horowitz on May 13, 1997.
On May 7, 1996, Evan Chandler proved again it was all about money. He sued Michael Jackson, his wife Lisa Marie, ABC, Sony, Diane Sawyer, Howard Stern and 300 John Does, including Mary Fischer for her 1994 GQ article (it was reported at the time that she was deposed and that she revealed her sources). He said Jackson breached the settlement’s confidentiality and the others helped him and he asked for $60 million. He also asked the court’s permission to sing about the 1993 allegations by releasing an album called “EVANstory”! Evan Chandler, with that ridiculous request, actually admitted it was always his story, and his allegations. And why would he relate to songs with lyrics like “somebody’s out, somebody’s out to use me, they really wanna use me, they falsely accused me” and “you’ll do anything for money”? Did he falsely accuse Michael Jackson for money?
USA Today wrote “father, who accused singer of molesting son and is now suing again, ought to get a life”. Evan Chandler forgot that Michael Jackson declared his innocence inside the settlement document that he happily signed, and his declaration of innocence was also mentioned twice in the joint statement of Larry Feldman and Johnnie Cochran after the settlement.
The three arbitrators of the settlement document (retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Bonnie Martin, retired state Supreme Court Justice Edward Panelli, and retired Fourth District Court of Appeal Justice John K. Trotter) determined that there was not a breach of the settlement agreement “because the complained-of activities involved Jackson’s own public image, his music and his new album, not the plaintiffs”. They also said that Jackson could not be deemed by the settlement agreement to be barred for proclaiming his innocence in a public forum such as a TV interview: “In the present case, the arbitrators’ finding of no wrongful conduct based on their interpretation of the agreement did not conflict with any explicit and mandatory term of the agreement”. Evan Chandler’s lawsuit was thrown out of court.
Tom Sneddon and Gil Garcetti changed the law regarding child molestation allegations so an individual could be indicted with no evidence, based only on the claims of the alleged victim. The prosecutors would also be allowed to bring hearsay witnesses for these cases even though the defendant had no convictions about the alleged hearsay acts. Everything was ready to set up Michael Jackson in 2003.
In retrospect, we know that, like the singer said, the truth prevailed and Jackson was exonerated. Tom Sneddon was so desperate that in 1993 he even tried to prosecute Jackson under the Mann Act, a racist law, even though June Chandler was always present on the trips. The only thing Sneddon was able to prove was Jackson’s innocence. He left no stone unturned, he travelled the world, he did things beyond his jurisdiction, he changed the law, he tried to falsify evidence and create victims because he had nothing but his rage against Michael Jackson. Tom Sneddon, through his actions, proved the singer’s innocence himself.
When Sneddon tried to create victims in the 2005 trial ABC News wrote: “Mesereau told the judge that the defense would put on a “mini-trial” on each allegation that is allowed in. “You can’t stop the defense from putting on a full-blown defense and I mean just that,” the defense attorney warned”. The prosecutor did not have any victims. All he had was Jason Francia, who both he and his mother had denied allegations, and he was then forced on record to create a story for the police, and his mother was paid from tabloids and asked Jakson for money. Tom Mesereau did put a full blown defense for these fictions as well, and still won the case.
The statute of limitations on the criminal case against Michael Jackson was set to expire on August 17, 1999. But not for Tom Sneddon, who did nothing usual and normal regarding Jackson. It was extended for 2 years, and the excuse was that the singer was out of the country for his History tour so the clock stopped.
In reality, the clock would forever stop for Tom Sneddon on June 13, 2005 at 2:25 pm PDT inside a Santa Maria courthouse in which he presented (for 5 months) to a conservative, pro-prosecution jury (which consisted of non African Americans) his 1108 hearsay-nonsense about 1993, and the fabricated and laughable Arvizo case, for which he had no evidence and no case, exactly like in 1993. The 12 jurors put an end to the twelve years of Sneddon’s vendetta against Michael Jackson. And they did it live.
Evan Chandler committed suicide in November 2009, and it was reported that no one attended his funeral.