Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Month in Review: A Letter for Michael

Once again, we’ve come to the end of the month, but pleasantly I remind you of that thee good things that happen during October within the Michael Jackson community most definitely outweigh the negative ten-fold.

On the bright side of things, we were notified of the release of Michael Jackson’s Vision (hitting stores everywhere Nov 22) and with bated breath wait for the compilation of every short film/ music video Michael Jackson has ever produced. On the headache side of things, we got notice of an interview between Oprah and Lisa Marie Presley revealing some shocking revelations to those outside of the Michael Jackson community; for us it was old news to be reminded that the marriage between she and Michael was legit. And not only that interview sparked some backlash, but rumors swirling of an interview with Katharine and Joseph airing sometime next month have been fueling some rage amongst message boards and forums alike, given Oprah history in aiding in the defamation of Michael. And to top things off, Taj Jackson confirmed that Oprah spoke to Michael’s children:  a taboo in our community. But rest assured, the family is aware of her previous history when it comes to Michael. Furthermore, Oprah is reminded daily by fans all over the globe that if she exploits these children the way we expect her to, she will be in for a nightmare ahead.

But bigger than those previously mentioned, and most importantly, we reached a milestone in the fight to restore Michael Jackson’s name. Through the efforts of those at Uncover MJ’s Name, splendid news overwhelmed us with joy when we learned Michael’s name was officially restored to the Gardner St. Elementary School and once again, hangs proudly above the doors to the auditorium. To put the icing on the cake, a ceremony will be held in December to re- induct Michael’s name as apart of the school.

To remind you once again why it is I do these end of the month letters for Michael, is to remind you of the things we can get done being together and working as a whole. The Uncover MJ’s Name Campaign is a perfect example of what can be accomplished if we really practice Michael’s messages instead of just preaching it to those outside of our Michael Jackson Community. Remember, Love is Michael’s Message.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6TzvE6b_lM

Happy Halloween!



THIS IS IT: One Year Ago Already?

Looking back on the year, I’ve learned quite a bit, and because of my new-found knowledge, you could say I’m an even more devoted MJ fan. Being able to experience TII is one of those films you never forget; in fact, you could say it’s one of those things that made me fall even more in love with Michael Jackson.

Believe it or not, this past Thursday marked the anniversary of the premier of the top grossing music documentary of all time- This Is It.  Leading up to the premier was one of the most mind-boggling and exciting experiences for my anxious, imaginative self. The closer and closer it got to the premier of the film, the even more excited, curious, and  impatient I became. The day after it premiered, it seemed as if I dreamed of being apart of the making of the film for the rest of the year. And yet everytime I listen to This Is It, I imagine myself as that girl whose hips he held and the girl whose face he sang inches away from. I can only imagine what it would have felt like just to be in front of that stage!

Many beautiful things came from TII. The relatively new coined vernacular, courtesy of our MJ, was a phenomenon aside from the film itself.  First up is the favorite, “It’s all for Love.” There were many times this particular phrase was used; it was mostly used in the same tone and solely by Michael. One particular incident involved the acknowledgement of disapproval. In this scene Michael conveys his disappointment by lovingly attaching this phrase to his correctional directions after music was triggered too early. That doesn’t go to say he was the only one to show love throughout the film; you could clearly see the love come full circle in the way he gathered in prayer with his crew and when his dancers cheered for him as he broke out his slick moves like a true master at work.

Of the scene mentioned earlier involving Michael’s loving choice words, I alluded to the another phrase which was also used throughout the film- “You gotta let it Simmer.” Meant as a warning for the sound crew, Michael would use this expression to scold those who started the music too soon. It seemed as though Michael was trying to make them aware of the moments where he would like a little anticipation inserted, or in other words “the value would be greater” if you  make the audience wait a little before blowing their minds.

Aside from the terminology, there was the master’s mind at work. It wasn’t only in the way that Michael commanded the stage, but how he was active in virtually every aspect of the production of THIS IS IT. Knowing every tempo, every key of every song, is not a characteristic you find or that’s acknowledged in many of today’s artists. THIS IS IT showed you the genius that goes on in Michael’s world; and the history making process that appears to come so naturally from him. It is films like these that make me appreciate Michael because everything in that movie was him, was his message, was real. There’s absolutely no flaw or fabrication of his character.

A seminal moment in the film occurred when all the staff was gathered in a circle for prayer. Relaying his message of putting back love into the world, it was as if Michael was teaching  his crew members and staff that this is what it means tobe a true genius, and that what he does is ultimately for the purpose of bringing together people of all demographics. Not only was this illustrated in the way Michael carried himself, but in the way he spoke about the earth and how it needs to be healed from the destruction we as a people cause to it in the beginning of Earth Song and in his poem Planet Earth:

Planet Earth, my home, my place
A capricious anomaly in the sea of space
Planet Earth, are you just
Floating by, a cloud of dust
A minor globe, about to bust
A piece of metal bound to rust
A speck of matter in a mindless void
A lonely spaceship, a large asteroid

Cold as a rock without a hue
Held together with a bit of glue
Something tells me this isn’t true
You are my sweetheart, soft and blue
Do you care, have you a part
In the deepest emotions of my own heart
Tender with breezes, caressing and whole
Alive with music, haunting my soul.

In my veins I’ve felt the mystery
Of corridors of time, books of history
Life songs of ages throbbing in my blood
Have danced to the rhythm of the tide and flood
Your misty clouds, your electric storm
You’e turbulent tempests in my own form
I’ve licked the salt, the bitter, the sweet
Of every encounter, of passion, of heat
Your riotous color, your fragrance, your taste
Have thrilled my senses beyond all haste

In your beauty I’ve known the how
Of timeless bliss, this moment of now.

Planet Earth, are you just
Floating by, a cloud of dust
A minor globe, about to bust
A piece of metal bound to rust
A speck of matter in a mindless void
A lonely spaceship, a large asteroid

Cold as a rock without a hue
Held together with a bit of glue
Something tells me this isn’t true
You are my sweetheart, gentle and blue
Do you care, have you a part
In the deepest emotions of my own heart
Tender with breezes, caressing and whole
Alive with music, haunting my soul.

Planet Earth, gentle and blue
With all my heart, I love you.”

Whatever your reason for watching THIS IS IT time and time again, I think I speak for all fans when I say it was a dream come true to be let into his world of creation.

Does ‘The American Dream’ Have to Die With Michael Jackson?

Reading, as I do, for any descent articles to write about, I came across a very poignant article expressing exactly what the title warns: Does the American Dream have to go with Michael Jackson?

(I was originally going to write about today being the Anniversary of the premier of THIS IS IT, but as I’m pressed on time, I chose otherwise. Nevertheless, you can expect a post pertaining to that tear jerker of a documentary that I just can’t get enough of sometime this weekend.)

In all the recent hype surrounding the LMP and O interview, below is definitely a slap against the back of the head saying, “wake up idiots, what you’re doing only makes you look stupid!” Spread this article to those you believe could use a good slap on the head as well. It’s worth it!

What does our silence about the attacks on one of the most visible achievers of the American Dream say? Are we not forfeiting our children’s future into the hands of bullies? Is it not time for us to speak up about the damage opportunistic journalism is doing to our culture?

Last year, the news of pop-superstar Michael Jackson’s premature death shocked the world. As I am a classical music fan, not a connoisseur of pop music or any of its stars, Jackson’s death did not immediately evoke any particular emotion in me. I just let it go.

But as the days went by, and as I passively soaked in more and more news reports on Jackson’s death, I

began to feel increasingly uncomfortable. A man had passed away: What need was there for the media to so eagerly show humiliating images of how Jackson would have looked on his death-bed? I was prompted to look into the case more thoroughly.

After more than a year, although I am not now nor ever will be a Michael Jackson fan, and despite my sometimes skeptical view of the frenzied remarks often made by Jackson’s hard-core followers, I feel the need to say this:

To keep the American dream alive for our children, we should stop abusing our talented and creative spirits out of jealousy and misunderstanding.

Jackson had to deal with the media condemning him as strange, weird, and even labeling him a freak, both figuratively and literally. My opinion about this is clear: Though at times, to subjective eyes, Jackson might have looked ‘different,’ half of this eccentricity was due to the fact that he was born to be an artist inevitably different from others because of his imaginative and creative nature, and half because he was forced into being so unconventional by a degree of media pressure few, if any, have ever experienced. Being different from others does not equate being harmful to others. As long as one does not violate others’ human rights, one has the right to be him or herself. In a society that prioritizes human rights and freedom, I find no justification for attacks on people who are perceived to be ‘different.’ These kinds of attacks are especially sordid when they involve the spreading of knowingly false rumors for financial gain. After Jackson’s acquittal on alleged child related charges in 2005, several journalists, such as Aphrodite Jones, came forward to confess that most of the media in attendance intentionally put objectivity aside in covering the Michael Jackson case by fragmenting the facts divulged in court, reporting only anti-Jackson information.

*The human race has quite often owed its scientific or artistic progress to the “weird” and the “eccentric.” Let us consider, for example, Galileo Galilei, who was charged for openly discussing Copernican theory, a concept seen as sinful and roundly condemned at that time; later, of course, this theory went on to become the accepted standard of scientific understanding of the universe. We might also stop to consider how treasonable the very idea of democracy once was, how dangerous the aristocracy felt it to be; later, democracy became the world’s prevailing political philosophy. We can also remember that the concept of equality between : women and men, different ethnicities, or diverse religions, was derided when it emerged. Also, had she not thought differently from others, might Mother Teresa not have been a stay-at-home mom instead of traveling to India and risking her life for humanity?

Keeping the history of these exceptional ideas and people in mind, I can almost guarantee that if one had killed all the “weirdoes” among our Australopithecine ancestors 3.5 million years ago, our species might not have made it to the 21st Century. We might very well have just remained a much more primitive species, one without the use of fire and the wheel, let alone an orchestra, democracy, or computers. Is it not, after all, diversity that allows for evolution?

In other words, “weirdness” is sometimes the inevitable result of an exceptional imaginative ability that sees no boundaries in search of all the creative possibilities. As long as such individuals do us no harm, we should let them be. It is our duty to be respectful of those who are different not only because every human being is entitled to freedom, but also because diversity is at the root of human survival.

To those who regard Jackson’s soft voice altered skin tone or facial appearance as weird, I would simply say this: You are revealing your own nature, at best : narrow-minded or obtuse ; at worst – unkind and bigoted. Nobody’s holy scripture deems it acceptable to criticize the physical appearance of people who have contributed so generously to the voiceless.

To those who think that the Jackson’s spoken voice was peculiar, I would say that I see no significance in it. The spoken voice cannot be uncoupled from the singing voice that so many lauded. It might also be helpful for you to consider this information in order to broaden your understanding of the global context: there are countries where people respect those who speak softly, in a calm, non-aggressive manner. The American standard, where a loud voice seems necessary to assertiveness, is not the only standard in the world.

To those who criticize the ‘King of Pop’ for purchasing Neverland, I pose this question: Would you have survived without buying a Neverland-sized residential property if you were in reality never able to explore any place alone without being horded by an ensuing media and public frenzy whenever you stepped out of your front door? A huge residence with a vast garden might have been the only possible way for this worldwide megastar to relax and enjoy some fresh air without constant intrusion from the public. After all, Jackson earned his money though incredible hard work and a perfectionist work-ethic. In light of his Guinness record-making support of no less than 39 charities, it may very well be hypocritical to criticize his spending habits.

Having demonstrated that there is nothing inherently wrong with living unconventionally, the question now turns to whether or not Jackson ever harmed anyone with his behaviors. Here I will discuss the child related allegations leveled against him. —

In discussing the two instances of allegations Jackson was faced with, I would like to focus my attention primarily on the 1993 case due to the fact that the more recent (2003-2005) accusations ended with Jackson receiving a full legal acquittal on all counts, the extremely low credibility of the accuser’s mother playing a significant factor in this exoneration. In other words, Jackson was found not-guilty so I believe we must discount this case.

Considering that the laws of most U.S. states set down one’s right to sue anyone without being counter-sued solely in retribution for one’s lawsuit, this means that one can safely sue anyone they wants to sue. Thus, the extortion of popular and wealthy persons is an increasingly attractive ploy for those seeking a quick buck. Fast and easy money may once have come at a personal price, that being distrust from one’s community. But, with cities growing ever larger and more impersonal, an individual’s local reputation is of gradually thinning importance, resulting in more room for thievery. To some mischief minded, the risk of exposure as an extortionist might thus seem lower when compared to the potentially enormous financial benefits of a scam. As a result, a millionaire, especially one whose professional value is greatly magnified by popularity, is more vulnerable than ever. According to the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, in 1998, 71% of the abuse reports were revealed to be false or unfounded. The false accusation rate even rises to over 90% when a custody battle and money is involved (as was the case between the plaintiff’s parents in the 1993 allegations against Jackson, who was a friend of the child’s mother). In the 1993 case, the charges never went to trial but were settled out of court.

The record illustrates that the financially troubled accuser’s father had previously approached Jackson’s representatives with a monetary request well before he sued for the alleged molestation, demonstrating that he would have refrained from filing suit in exchange for money. Would any parent with real care for the well-being of his or her children make such a deal?

As evidence for my position, I present the recorded phone conversation in which the accuser’s father is heard to say that everything [is] going “according to a certain plan,” that he would win “big time” and that Jackson would be ruined forever. These words sounds far more like the words of a mercenary than those of a father concerned with justice for his son.

It should also be emphasized that Jackson was never indicted on the 1993 allegations, even after an intensive 13-month investigation including interviews with over 400 witnesses in and out of the country, extensive searches of his residential properties, and even a 25 minute full-body examination in which Jackson had every part of his body photographed, videotaped and examined. And in the six years before the statute of limitation had expired, no criminal charges were ever filed. After the District Attorney’s office spent millions of tax payer dollars in hot pursuit of the singer, had they found any evidence of molestation, they would have been certain to indict Jackson. Civil settlement does not prevent criminal indictment. The 13-year-old boy at the center of the allegations refused to testify criminally and his father, the main individual behind the allegations, committed suicide within months of Jackson’s death.

Having discussed the mischaracterization of what people might dismiss as “weird,” and having made plain the falsity of the allegations made against Jackson, accusations that in my view look suspiciously extortionate, I would now like to consider the moral impact that Jackson might have had on our society.

Regarding integrity, Jackson’s deeds and lifestyle, apart from the media’s fabricated stories, remained consistently appropriate. In fact, his decency made him look almost old-fashioned, even when he was young, when compared with many entertainers’ indulgences in sex, alcohol, and drugs. Interviews with Jackson indicated that he felt it highly inappropriate to remark publicly on his sexual life. This, as far as I am concerned, is an example of his dignity and modesty. However, this very reserve may ironically have fueled baseless speculation about Jackson’s sexual orientation. I wish to ask : is publicly questioning a person’s sexual life not way more inappropriate than that person’s choice of silence out of a desire for privacy regarding the same? The fact that Jackson was not involved in a multitude of sex scandals with women, a fact which should normally invite respect, seems unfairly to have been justification for the media to pathologize Jackson. It is beyond ridiculous to construct the lack of lasciviousness and scandal as itself scandalous and suspect.

Many people have also remarked that Jackson did not curse at all, especially when he was younger. Only after suffering numerous hate campaigns founded on falsehoods did he insert a very small amount of profanity into his songs, in response to a world which had betrayed him so deeply. Even then, his use of profanity stayed away from vitriolic attacks , but came across more as an artistic expression of deep anguish.

Jackson also faced many accusations regarding his appearance. But, turning this around, what might this suggest about those themselves who so scrutinized the way he looked? What does it say about their own biases ? And about the people who claimed to know details about every surgical procedure Jackson allegedly had, calling him a freak without even having seen him actually ?

After the 2003 allegations, the media repeatedly and mockingly displayed pictures of Jackson in an emaciated state, not out of concern for his well-being, but seemingly simply in order to label him a freak. It may very well be argued that Jackson was indeed beginning to look fairly thin, but doesn’t taking somebody’s tired physical appearance as direct evidence of inner abnormality only reveal our own superficiality ? Maybe , just maybe anyone else would have looked equally fatigued had they suffered the anguish of having to relentlessly fight vicious and false allegations.

On the topic of morality : Which is more admirable, giving people hope by regularly visiting and donating to hospitals and orphanages, or telling scandalous stories based on speculation or lies? Which is more despicable, pursuing an exceptionally rigorous dedication to artistic perfection, or giving in to jealousy and greed to bring down an artist? The tabloid press, of course, uses this strategy on most celebrities and public figures. One might argue that Michael Jackson had learned to use the press as cynically as it used him, that he , especially in the early days, once believed that “all publicity is good, even bad publicity,” because it keeps their names in people’s minds. One might even go so far as to say that Jackson purposely flaunted his eccentricities to generate press. He did, after all, have a fine artistic sense of the dramatic, with drama selling newspapers. And Jackson always managed to keep his fame burning bright, even when he was not producing any new songs. As elaborated below, my issue, however, is not with Jackson’s handling of the media. Rather it is about what the media’s handling of Jackson says about societal norms and ethics.

Critics have accused Jackson of not opposing false information adamantly enough. Pondering that charge, I suspect that having been abused by the media intrusiveness from his early days in the spotlight, Jackson might have come to feel vulnerable and victimized. Having been taught by his parent always to be nice to the media and to his fans, he might have felt he should not defend himself too vigorously for fear of losing his popularity. Furthermore, had Jackson taken the time to fight every rumor thrown his way, he would not have had time to be Michael Jackson, the artist as he did explain to a close friend. In the end ,we must ask ourselves, who is more faithful and true, a person who calls someone a freak without knowing him personally and without possessing any evidence of wrongdoing, or a person who shows patience and courage in the face of hostility and simply expresses who he really is by letting his work speak for itself?

Some might argue that the attacks Jackson had to suffer from the media and from consumers can be justified as a natural price to pay for the fame and fortune. No, I say. That is too high a price being charged from a human being. Those attacks had exceeded all justifiable limits, And I wish to note that he was not paid to endure pain, but for his relentless efforts and dedication to his craft.

We first explored “weirdness” as necessary and beneficial diversity, specifically addressing the fact that Jackson’s physical appearance and spoken pitch seem irrelevant to his achievements. We then found that allegations of unethical behavior on Jackson’s part were in truth baseless. Then we analyzed Jackson’s non-aggressive stance during TV interviews, not as demonstration of guilt but as a sign of decorum. Lastly, we found that the cost of fame seems an insufficient justification for the extraordinary personal attacks Jackson went through.

We will now consider the implications of the behavior of the media and the public during the course of Michael Jackson’s career. The American media have disgraced themselves by displaying to the world the schoolyard bullying of a talented and creative soul with great philanthropic achievements . Now consider how this public bullying of a legendary figure might present itself to a new generation of youth, how it might play out in their minds and affect their morale … Might this type of public bullying not discourage the youngsters of today from pursuing their own creativity, their own inner diversity, for fear that they themselves might incur such abuse ?

The coverage of Michael Jackson’s life poses among others, these questions to America: Does fulfilling the American Dream require that one subject oneself to unending media intrusion, to lies about oneself for the sake of selling newspapers, and where one unproven accusation is enough to be convicted in the court of national opinion ? Do you want your children to live in a world where pursuing the American Dream involves the risks of a nightmare of mistrust and abuse?

I refer again to the journalists who later admitted their purposely distorted biased reporting on the Michael Jackson child molestation cases. If we recall for a moment the enormous number of journalists who surrounded the Santa Barbara County courthouse, one can surmise that the handful of journalists who came clean about their deception make up only the tip of the iceberg.I suspect that there were hundreds more who remained silent and who knowingly bent the truth to sell papers.

I also suppose that there are thousands of people who, having received one-sided information, once believed Jackson to be a freakish criminal, but who, after his death and the revelation of new information, have come to see him just as one of us, a burdened human being and a caring parent, as well as a uniquely talented artist and a devoted philanthropist. Perhaps these now better-informed members of the public have come to doubt the veracity of the media itself, not just when it comes to Michael Jackson, but in general.

I speculate that there is a pervasive notion that it is safer to say nothing when it comes to Michael Jackson for fear of being promptly stigmatized. However, we need to address the implications of such silent behavior. What does our silence about the attacks on one of the most visible achievers of the American Dream say? If we play it safe, we are forfeiting our children’s future into the hands of bullies. It is time for us to speak up about the damage opportunistic journalism is doing to our culture. As Edmund Burke once penned, “all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Read more: http://education.ezinemark.com/does-american-dream-have-to-die-with-michael-jackson-16b169402f1.html#ixzz13UmonjL9
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives

LMP on Oprah

I must admit, I didn’t watch the interview. I just couldn’t bring myself to do so; to watch a woman (Oprah) who, on more than one occasion, bashed the innocent man who, at least, gave her the highest ratings of the 90’s be dragged through the mud, again! I know I am not alone when I say “I’ve had Enough!”

But in all fairness to you, since I didn’t originally plan on watching LMP on Oprah in the first place, I’ve provided you with links ( http://www.mj-777.com/?p=6033 and http://allforloveblog.com/) to blogs which I highly respect, including one which didn’t view it with “tunnel vision,” or so to speak. I contemplated writing on the matter based off of other people’s perceptions, ideas, thoughts, and feelings, but went against that, and figured you can surely decide for yourselves what you though of the interview.  (Sorry if I come off a little narrow-minded, but I’m fed up with Oprah and her shenanigans! When it comes to Michael, she doesn’t vary from the trashy medialoid script.)

However, if you are not completely aware of the previous actions of Oprah’s which make her the expletive that I and many others think of her as, well then you’re in for an…awakening!

As I’m sure you are already familiar with, Michael agreed to do an interview with Oprah in February of ’93.  At the time, he’d just released Dangerous, his fourth solo album (as an adult), and even allowed the world premiere of Give Into Me to be shown towards the end of the interview.  Being that this was his first interview with Oprah, it was highly unnecessary of her to be prejudiced during this point. During her questioning, she was getting into to some areas that, for many were questionable themselves. She even made it a point in her interview with him to publicly embarrass him in front of millions worldwide- asking Michael why he grabbed his crotch, if his father ever beat him, and if he had ever had sexual relations with a woman. While it is one thing to ask a man about his sexuality when it is absolutely no one’s business (except for his), it’s another for her to ask if he was a virgin during a live interview which was watched around the globe by millions!

 Surrounding this interview, this, as we know of, was her first and only personal account with Michael. She didn’t know him them and she never has. So why is it necessary for her to continue to pretend and let others perceive she has or ever did? And why the hell does she keep comparing herself to him if he’s such a bad person?!?!

Fast forward to the early 2000s and we see a more disrespectful and ungrateful Oprah as seen in these examples below:

The day after “Living With Michael Jackson” aired, Oprah’s original plan was to discuss something else, but she couldn’t resist talking about Michael. She started the show by saying something like, “This show is not going to be about Michael Jackson but OMG, did you all see the documentary yesterday?” Of course, then she and her audience talked about Michael the entire show. She turned straight to the camera and directed a personal message to MJ and said, “Michael if you were my brother, I would say to you that it’s not appropriate to have kids sleep in your bed.”

She then invited guests on her show to get them to malign Michael & she’d laugh heartily at their disrespect during the trial. She asked several people about their opinions about the trial and MJ, when Michael wasn’t even the topic of the show.

1)As Randy Jackson had stated, during jury deliberations, she had a show about pedophilia. This kinda interesting because the old woman, the one who said she was an Oprah fan was the one who slowed down the “jury deliberation process”.

2)She had a show about unrelated men who share intimate relationships with one another (a deep closeness, no sex) yet continued to insist they were heterosexual. Something like that anyway. One of the men said he often shared a bed with one of his friends (again, no sex) and Winfrey laughed and said, “You’re sounding like Michael Jackson.”

3) When she had Jay Leno on her show, she asked him, what kind of jokes do you tell on your show.” He said , of course, Michael Jackson jokes”. She went on to ask about his trial experience. When he talked about “wanting to crack a  few jokes” during his testimony, she ended the conversation.

4) Larry King once asked her if she felt sorry for Jackson. She smiled slightly before saying no. (If that’s the case, then why would she feel she would end up like him and didn’t “want to end up like Michael Jackson”?) 

5)She had chris rock on her show for his movie “I think I love My Wife” where she pointed out a particular scene where the main characters (all black) discuss (and insult) Jackson, his father, and his case. After that she asked her audience if “white people do this?

Later, she kinda cheered  on chris rock and let him crack some jokes about Michael, and wanted more and more, but chris rock eventually stopped and said something like “The trial is bigger than we think, there are so much more behind it.”

5) During her interview with LMP , she pondered if Jackson used Presley and joined her in her belief that Jackson took advantage of her tendency to feel sorry for the misunderstood. Winfrey claims she was the same way and that Jackson “sucks you in” with this “I’m so misunderstood” thing.

6) On an episode of Body Dismorphic Disorder (an emotional disorder that makes “normal” looking people feel as if they are grotesquely ugly) Winfrey stated- after quickly pointing out that she interviewed him before his “sexual abuse problems” – that before the interview, Jackson was insistent upon controlling the editing. Of course Winfrey was insistent upon controlling the editing and wasn’t going to give way to Jackson. While going through childhood photos, she said Jackson kept hiding his face and saying “Oh, oh I’m so ugly.” Winfrey says she didn’t know if he was serious about that or if it was a tactic to try to get her to relinquish the control of the editing. She showed a picture of  Jackson at age 14 stating that she thought he looked “fine this way” then went to compare a professionally taken picture of a fourteen year old Jackson to a news photo of Jackson during the trial (amid eews from her audience) she proceeded to say that she thought he must have BDD.

About the body dismorphic disorder, she had another show about a woman who had been diagnosed with this very disorder. She was obsessed with plastic surgery and must have had a dozen procedures done to her entire body. In her video segment, she said she liked Jackson’s small nose and various other parts of different celebrities. Then she went on to talk about everything she had tucked and raised and cinched and so on to achieve these looks she so admired. Not to mention the regular visits for botox injections. After her video segment, Winfrey zeroed in on her admiration of Jackson’s nose. “So you like Michael Jackson’s nose?” Winfrey asked incredulous. She didn’t mention anyone else.

7) Another episode of her show dealt with business parents. One father said he admired the Jacksons and wished for his entertainer children to be just like them. Oprah looked very applied and kinda turned to her sidekick therapist “Dr. Robin” to talk sense into this man. Dr. Robin then told the man how wrong he was because one of the Jacksons is obviously “struggling” and he shouldn’t want his children to end up like them.

8 ) She had a slumber party with a bunch of little girls at her house once and promoted it all over her show as though it were the best thing in the world. This was after she had said she “would never put herself in a vulnerable situation like Michael Jackson had done with kids”. So, it is okay for Oprah to be in a room with little girls in their bed playing and talking, but not for Michael?  (Again, why does she feel the need to keep comparing herself to him? There are absolutely no grounds for that. Michael was a much better person than she will clearly ever be.)

9) She also chastised Jackson in a way when Jon Stewart was on her show talking about him dancing on top of the SUV. Stewart called him an idiot while she said she heard- not confirmed- that Jackson compared himself to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and that she thought that was wrong. She didn’t state where she heard that yet all we know she was talking about the Jesse Jackson interview that she made obvious she didn’t bother to listen to otherwise she would have known that wasn’t what Jackson was doing.

If you had the misfortune of catching “Oprah Remembers Michael Jackson” episode last year, it seemed to me a little self-centered. Yeah, I know it’s her show and all, but she was supposed to be talking about his good nature, fun-loving, wise, and kind self wasn’t she? Afterall, she was remembering him.

At least three times during her breaks between the interview where she would give her useless two cents, she was bent on stating that “this was before any allegations” as if he was only worth anything before then. PUH-LEEZ! She was worth more interviewing him! That, to me, says one thing- she must be ignorant as hell to inadvertently admit she doesn’t know that facts and hasn’t taken the time to investigate these claims herself. Instead, she bought into the hype of the medialoids; becoming a demon, and just as the rest of them, she gave in to the media’s agenda and spread the idiotic nonsense to keep her fan base (Afterall, she’d be nothing without those ratings). If she’d bothered to look into things herself, maybe, just maybe, she could have been one of those people who remained a trailblazer instead of eating the shit that was presented to her as substance and “proof of his guilt”.

Am I the only one who finds it questionable that after it taking so long to finally acknowledging his death, she does it by talking about her hair and how she stuffed her face with free candy? Not once does she offer condolences, tell what he meant to her, or anything. Give credit where credit is due O! You know if it weren’t for true hard-working, talented, genius trailblazers like Michael Jackson, you wouldn’t even be where you are today. (Stuff that in your mouth and eat it.)

Part 1

Part 2

and Part 3

Analyzing The Media’s Hypocrisy In Reporting On The Michael Jackson Settlement Cases Vs. The Settlements of Other Celebrities- Pt. 4

I figured I would just cut to the chase, and let you get on with your reading…
Part 5 coming soon!

Analyzing The Media’s Hypocrisy In Reporting On The Michael Jackson Settlement Cases vs The Settlements Of Other Celebrities

By: Dave Edwards

Now, let me segue into other high profile individuals who have settled multi-million dollar lawsuits out of court, and have been “forgiven” by the media.  The first is two-time Superbowl Champion quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, followed by Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, political commentator Bill O’Reilly, and college basketball coach Rick Pitino. Afterwards, I will end with our most under-reported settlement scam artist, Janet Arvizo!

Ben Roethlisberger

On July 17th, 2009 Roethlisberger was hit was a civil lawsuit that was filed by a woman named Andrea McNulty, who worked at a Harrah’s hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  She claimed that she was sexually assaulted on July 11th, 2008 inside of Roethlisberger’s room after he requested that she fix his broken television.  The police were never notified, and physical evidence was not collected. (A huge red flag should be waving over your head right now!)  She asked for monetary damages of $440k. The civil suit also names eight Harrah’s officials as defendants, alleging they orchestrated a “cover-up” of the incident. The suit says she suffered depression, was hospitalized, and forced to take leave from her job in the year after the incident. Roethlisberger denied all accusations, countersued her for extortion, and vowed not to give in to her demands.

Now, hold up! Wait a minute! Let’s look at those dates: she was allegedly assaulted in July 2008, and made no attempt to notify authorities to seek justice, but she filed a civil lawsuit in July 2009? Based on those facts alone, do you think Ben is guilty? I sure don’t! (Although I’m not too sure about that second accusation!) What kind of rape victim puts money ahead of justice?

Now, here’s where things get suspicious: in September 2009, McNulty made Roethlisberger a settlement offer that she thought he couldn’t refuse: she would drop the civil suit if he admits to raping her, apologizes, and gives $100,000 to the Committee to Aid Abused Women, which is a non-profit agency in Reno that helps victims of domestic violence. (That’s not a typo!  I’m not kidding around!  She really made that offer to him!)

Needless to say, Roethlisberger flatly rejected her offer!

Now, fast forward to March 2010, and Roethlisberger is charged with another sexual assault.  He was bar-hopping with friends and bodyguards when he invited some young ladies into the VIP section of a bar, and somehow he ended up alone in a bathroom stall with one of them (who was drunk), and the next thing you know he’s facing another allegation.  After several weeks of investigation, the district attorney decided that he would not prosecute Roethlisberger due to his lack of faith in his ability to prove his guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”.  He could not find any probable cause against Roethlisberger, and as a result no arrest was made. (Gee, does that sound familiar? Kinda like how Sneddon couldn’t arrest MJ due to lack of probable cause!)

In his press conference, he alluded to the fact that a few weeks prior to his decision not to press charges, the accuser had a change of heart, and decided not to continue cooperating with police, and that has led some to speculate that she and Roethlisberger negotiated an out of court civil settlement.  This is very similar to both Blanca Francia and Kobe Bryant (coming up next!), because in all three of these cases, the criminal case first collapsed (or in the case of Jason Francia, it never existed in the first place), and subsequently a potential civil suit was settled out of court. This article talks about this in more detail, and the author compared Roethlisberger to MJ by saying that these types of settlements create a suspicion of guilt. (In my opinion, out of court settlements only create “suspicion” to people who are too lazy to do any research, and who pre-judged the defendants as being guilty anyway!)

Now, let’s get back to the first accuser.  Obviously, after seeing this current chain of events, she flip flopped and rescinded her settlement offer to Roethlisberger because he’s now viewed as “vulnerable”. Her initial demand was to have the $100k donated to charity, but I think that now she wants to continue with the lawsuit so that he settles and pays her the money instead! And with all of the negative publicity that he has been through over the last year, nobody could blame him for just settling and moving on with his life. I’m sure I would do the same if I was in his position because I wouldn’t want the media spotlight hanging over my civil trial, and having my dirty laundry aired in public, etc.  But if Roethlisberger decides to fight the suit, then good for him!  At least he doesn’t have to worry about a criminal trial!

Personally, Andrea McNulty reminds me a lot about Evan Chandler. They both made outrageous demands that they couldn’t have possibly thought would have ever been met. (Andrea wanted Roethlisberger to publicly admit wrongdoing, and Evan wanted to record a rebuttal album! Are you kidding me?) And they both had no intentions of ever seeking justice through a criminal trial (and Evan only reluctantly told his shrink to notify the authorities when he learned that June Chandler regained custody of Jordie).  In fact, here is Evan’s recollection of the “gut-wrenching” decision that he had to make, from “All That Glitters”, pages 119-121:

In a phone conversation the night before Freeman’s request was to be heard in court, Barry counseled Evan that unless he was willing to walk into the courtroom and accuse Michael of molesting Jordie, he didn’t have a prayer of winning; June had legal custody and that was all she needed to get Jordie back.

 

“How long will I have?” Evan asked.

 

“One, maybe two days.”

 

“What if I refuse to give him back?”

 

“If you don’t give him back the sheriff will come take him.  And he may arrest you, too.”

 

Accusing Michael of molestation was a can of worms Evan did not want to open.  He doubted anyone would take Jordie’s word over Michael’s, especially If June took Michael’s side. And she’d have to; otherwise she’d be implicating herself.  But it was Jordie’s fears over the prospect of going to court that weighted heaviest on Evan’s mind.

 

At the same time, Evan knew that as soon as June had Jordie back in her clutches she’d be on a plane to join Michael, who was already out of the country.  Evan believed with absolute certainty that if Jordie went on tour with Michael he’d suffer severe psychological damage.

 

“I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t,” Evan lamented to Barry.  “What if I take him out of California and hide for a while?  Maybe that’ll buy you some time to come up with the necessary appeals.”

 

“Appeals!” the attorney exclaimed.  “Are you nuts!  You’ll be a fugitive in the eyes of the law.  You’ll end up in jail and guarantee June permanent custody.  You can forget about any appeals.”

 

Confused and saddened, Evan thanked Barry for all his help and hung up.

 

“What’s the matter, Pops?” Jordie asked.  He’d been standing next to his father while he talked to Barry.

 

“They’re going to make you go back tomorrow, Jordie. Barry says we have no choice.”

 

Uh-uh! No way!  I’ll run away first.”

 

Buoyed by his son’s feistiness, Evan made him a promise.  “If that’s the way you feel, then I’m with you.  But we’ve got one move left.  If it doesn’t work, then we’ll go.”

 

For the past six weeks the two sides had gone back and forth, each trying to outmaneuver the other in what Evan called “the chess game from hell.” Now he found himself checkmated. “They left me no choice.  The only move I had left was to kick over the table before they took the king.”

 

Evan dialed the number.  “Do you remember me?” he asked.  “I’m the one who came to your office and told you about my son.”

 

“Yes,” Dr. Abrams replied.  “I remember very well.”

 

It was the one thing Evan had tried so desperately to avoid.  Once he supplied the names, the psychiatrist would have no choice but to file a report with the authorities, who would then assume full control.

 

“The thought of placing Jordie in the hands of a government agency was frightening,” Evan commented. “Almost as frightening as returning him to June and Michael.”

 

Evan took a few seconds to think before embarking into the unknown; then he took a deep breath.  “My name is Evan Chandler.  My son’s name is Jordie Chandler.  The adult male is Michael Jackson.  Can you help me? Please!”

 

Other than the knowledge that Michael had touched Jordie’s penis, Evan had never asked his son about the sex.  But Dr. Abrams would, and Evan hoped he would be convinced of the truth and be willing to appear at the court hearing the following morning as an expert witness. “I’m sorry,” Dr. Abrams said.  “I can’t see him today.  But don’t worry; bring him in first thing in the morning.”

Despite the DA’s tacit admission that Roethlisberger’s actions were not entirely wholesome on the fateful night, the media has pretty much let the story die down. You don’t see ESPN’s legal analysts publicly calling him a “rapist” or “predator”, and once he serves his four game suspension and starts winning games again, nobody will even remember this dark episode of his life.

NFL Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin faced a similar situation earlier this year as well.  In February 2010, he was hit with a $1 million dollar civil lawsuit from a woman who claimed that he raped her in July 2007.  Yes, that’s right, July 2007! Unlike the Roethlisberger case, the police were notified, but not until two weeks after the alleged assault, and the accuser signed a “waiver of prosecution,” which basically means that the accuser wanted to “put it behind her and not have it be splashed all over the newspapers.”

Irvin was approached by the accuser’s lawyer shortly before he was to appear on last season’s “Dancing With The Stars”competition. Irvin was told he must pay the woman $1 million, or a lawsuit would be filed to coincide with the Super Bowl, which was being played Feb. 7, 2010 in Miami. Irvin’s lawyer called the lawsuit “civil extortion,” saying the woman’s entire story is false.

Irvin has filed a $100 million dollar countersuit against the woman after her lawsuit was made public, claiming, among other things, civil extortion and defamation. It’s obvious that Irvin refused her demand outright, but he did attempt to “negotiate” with her in order to avoid the negative publicity, which is something that he couldn’t afford after numerous arrests during his career. The accuser first asked for the $1 million that she originally demanded, then dropped it to 800k. If you’re wondering why Irvin would even attempt to “negotiate” with someone who is obviously extorting him, look no further than this:  as a result of the negative publicity stemming from the civil lawsuit when it was filed (combined with his checkered past), Irvin was FIRED from his ESPN Radio job! Irvin felt that it was tangibly cheaper to pay a settlement, and by doing so it would have saved his reputation (whose worth is intangible!) from being further sullied!

On a positive note, Irvin will not face criminal charges due to the fact that the accuser waited so long to report the alleged assault that no physical evidence could be found.

It seems like this accuser used the Blanca Francia “playbook” by threatening a civil lawsuit against Irvin right before the Super Bowl, the same way Francia threatened MJ with her lawsuit right before HIStory was released.  The difference is that MJ’s negotiations with Blanca were successful, and as a result the lawsuit was never filed, but Irvin’s negotiations failed. As of now, the lawsuit is still pending, and I have yet to hear Irvin publicly called a rapist by any media pundits!

Kobe Bryant

Michael Irvin

On the night of June 30th, 2003, Bryant checked himself into a hotel room in Eagle, Colorado.  He met a young female employee, who gave him a tour of the hotel, and later that night they had a sexual encounter.  To make a long story short, she felt that she was raped, while Bryant felt it was consensual, and you know how that goes!  On September 1st, 2004, after over a year of investigating, the District Attorney was forced to drop the case after the accuser refused to testify.  Ironically, she filed a civil lawsuit against Bryant BEFORE the police had completed their investigation. (Wow, does that sound familiar?) Here is attorney Jonna Spilbor’s take on it:

Another development in the case is that, as noted above, the accuser has sued Bryant for sexual assault. She is seeking monetary damages – including punitive damages.

 

The fact of the suit is not surprising – especially since Bryant is a high-profile, deep-pockets defendant. But the timing of the suit is surprising indeed, especially since the statute of limitations on the civil suit is nowhere close to running out.

Generally, victims wait until a criminal conviction before suing. There are several reasons why. A guilty verdict in the criminal matter – where the burden of proof is far greater – makes a civil case much easier to prove. Indeed, once convicted, a defendant will often capitulate, paying a large settlement because he knows he won’t win the civil case.

 

So why is this an exception to the rule? Why did the accuser jump the gun on the civil suit? Unfortunately, none of the explanations is good for either the prosecution or the accuser.

 

The accuser and/or the prosecution may have wanted to get her story out there — to taint the jury pool, and provide some much needed counter-spin. Or she may anticipate a loss at trial, or a dismissal – and she may understand that an acquittal might destroy her civil case, and even a dismissal might hamstring the case.

Let’s be blunt: If the accuser expected a conviction, she’d have waited to sue. And if even the alleged victim herself doesn’t expect a conviction, how likely is it that a jury will vote unanimously for one?

 

For the prosecution, the filing of the civil suit is more bad news. The defense has argued, and intends to keep arguing, that the accuser is lying to make money.

And the theory has some legs. Already, the accuser has received nearly $20,000, the maximum amount allowed to a crime victim in Colorado, from the state’s victims’ compensation fund. Doubtless, the defense attorneys will make much of this fact at trial.

 

Now that the victim has sued to get even more money, jurors may wonder: How much money does she want? And how much role is her claim for cash playing in this case?

On March 2nd, 2005 Bryant and his accuser settled their civil lawsuit out of court. Andrew Cohen, another “unsung hero” of the legal community, gave his analysis on the settlement. Notice how he references MJ’s case as well:

The immediate catalyst for the deal was Bryant’s scheduled pre-trial deposition, which was supposed to take place last Friday but which was mysteriously postponed at the last minute. As soon as the deposition was scheduled, as soon as a date for it was fixed, this settlement was a cinch; as sure a thing as Jack Nicholson sitting courtside at the Staples Center. Bryant’s attorneys and handlers never were going to permit him to face questions, under oath, about any other “relationships” or “encounters” or “hookups” or whatever he may have had with any other young women while traveling on the road for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Naturally, I have no idea whether Bryant engaged in any such dalliances. During the criminal trial, there were strong hints, from media reports and otherwise, that perhaps there were other women who might have been able to talk about a pattern of behavior on the part of Bryant that might have been relevant in that case. Now we will never know. But what we do know is that Camp Kobe understood that the star’s already tattered reputation would get even shakier were he to be deposed in the civil case.

That’s because no one believes that Bryant’s testimony, whatever it would have been, would have remained private and sealed and closed to public scrutiny for long. In the Michael Jackson case, grand jury transcripts that never should have seen the light of day were posted on the Internet long before the King of Pop’s trial. Does anyone believe it would have been different with Bryant’s deposition transcript? I bet we would have seen details emerge within days or even hours of the end of Bryant’s testimony. And I’m sure that Bryant’s attorneys would not have taken that bet.

 If anything, there would have been more pressure, and more incentive, to leak portions of the Bryant transcript than there was to leak the Jackson grand jury material. Virtually everyone knew before the transcripts were posted what the Jackson case was about; virtually no one knows what Bryant would have said when asked about other hotel stays, in other towns, at other times. And once that information was released publicly, once it was leaked the way it seems always to be leaked these days, the damage to Bryant’s reputation would have been cemented into place no matter how the civil case turned out.

Cohen is trying to make the argument that regardless of the outcome of the case, it was in Kobe’s best interest to settle.  He couldn’t afford to have his personal life splattered all over the tabloids by being asked under oath about his other mistresses, the same way MJ’s lawyers didn’t want him being asked about his habit of sharing his bed with children who are not his own.  By settling, Kobe was able to just put the ugly episode behind him once and for all, the accuser was paid millions of dollars, and in retrospect both parties made the right decision. Since settling the case in 2005, Kobe has led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, winning the last two. He signed a seven year, $136 million dollar contract to remain with the Lakers, and – as a result of avoiding the negative publicity that a civil trial would have brought – he was able to regain his endorsements with Nike, Coca-Cola, etc.  In fact, in a recent poll, Kobe moved up into a tie with Tiger Woods as America’s favorite athlete. (Or, you could argue that Tiger Woods moved down in that poll into a tie with Kobe, based on his recent sex-capades!)

As a result of the civil settlement, and with the media’s complete compliance, Kobe was able to regain his reputation and his popularity! He is now officially considered the most marketable player in the NBA, especially with LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in such a shameless display of selfishness! When was the last time you heard a sports columnist refer to Kobe as a “rapist”? When was the last time you heard a legal analyst say that Kobe “bought the silence” of his accuser? Kobe’s story is a prime example of what Sony and MJ’s insurance carrier were hoping for when it settled, but as we all know the media never stopped spinning it as a sign of guilt. In a way, you could make the argument that the accuser “legally extorted” the money from Kobe, but obviously Kobe was all too willing to pay. It would have been too costly to prove his innocence!

 

UPDATE: Even Greater News! Officially Uncovered is Michael Jackson’s Name From the Gardner St. School Auditorium!

After 7 long years, Michael Jackson’s name above the Auditorium at Gardner St. School is officially uncovered.

10-15-10 Marks a wonderful victory for Michael's advocates all over the globe.

Earlier, on friday morning, Jennifer Marino of the Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign recieved notice that Michael’s name was uncovered and now, once again, headlines the auditorium. With the great news fresh, Ms. Marino then notified Jodi Gomes, family friend of the Jacksons, who then passed word to Mrs. Jackson, so that a proper statement could be produced. 

What was originally supposed to be a surprise until the official press release by Mrs. Jackson was made public Friday evening, and unofficially leaked without exact knowing as to the party or parties responsible. With the cat out of the bag, Katharine and Taj Jackson confirmed the reports with this official statement:

 “On behalf of my Grandma, we are thrilled that the “Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign has come to a happy conclusion. Here is a direct quote from my Grandma…

“After a number of heartfelt conversations between me, my grandson Taj, family friend Jodi Gomes, and LAUSD, I am overwhelmed that the school will proudly bear my son’s name on its auditorium once again. This could not have been done without the tireless dedication of my son’s fans and specifically the… wonderful members of the “Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign”. I look forward to my joint statement with the school in the coming days and thank you from my heart. Michael would be proud.” – Katherine Jackson

 

Soon after, the official press release followed:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    NEWS RELEASE�
Contact: Robert Alaniz                                                            October 15, 2010
(213) 241-6766                                                                       #10/11-089
MICHAEL JACKSON’S NAME ON DISPLAY AGAIN AT GARDNER SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
Elementary School’s Most Famous Alum Recognized for His Musical Legacy
Los Angeles­The silver, foot-high letters gleam once again, proclaiming The Michael Jackson Auditorium at Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood.  It is the last public school attended by Jackson­then an 11-year-old sixth grader ­ who was the lead in a singing group with his brothers.  Three months after school started, Motown released their debut album “Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5.”  And, the young entertainer was on his way to becoming an international star.
 
“It’s important for the District to value the artistic impact and humanitarian contribution that will be the lasting legacy of Michael Jackson,” said Los Angeles School Board member Steven Zimmer. I’m happy that we will be recognizing and appreciating Michael’s LAUSD moment.”
The sign was originally unveiled at the then newly-refurbished auditorium in 1989.  However, when the King of Pop was charged with child molestation, the sign was covered with layered board.  For the record, the entertainer was never convicted.  After his death last year fans began a campaign to have his name revealed.
At the direction of Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines, the tribute was uncovered today.
“In recognition of Michael Jackson’s musical legacy and contribution to modern culture I have directed our maintenance and operations department to remove the layered board covering the tribute to Mr. Jackson at Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood,” said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines.

  So there it is, ladies and gentlemen. TRIUMPH. VICTORY. Could it be this was all in DESTINY’s plan? Cetainly feels like it. For this momentous occasion, I proudly congratulate all who partook in making this happen. Much love to the Uncover Michael Jackson’s Name Campaign, the Jackson Family (and friends) and Michael Jackson’s Fan-mily!

As you can agree, Thank You’s are in order. If you feel as though your happiness and gratitude should be known to the Principal at Gardner St. School, Kenneth Urbina, here is the address:

Gardner Street Elementary School
7450 Hawthorn Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046-2802
(323) 876-4710
(323) 878-0954 Fax

And the LAUSD, whose ultimate decision this was:

Los Angeles Unified School District

 BOARD OF EDUCATION

333 South Beaudry Avenue, 24th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90017

Telephone:213-241-6389

 I know our efforts are approved with a smile from the one and only himself up above! Can You Feel It!?

O Happy Day!

Good News! Progress for the Gardner St. School Campaign (and Fans Worldwide)

For those of you unaware, prepare yourself for some exciting news! As of yesterday, the Gardner St. School voted YES to uncovering Michael’s name from their building!

However, there is still one major road block in the effort to permanently remove the covering which honors the most honorable.  A notification via MichaelJackson.com passes along what will soon be going down:

Good morning supporters,

I just had another wonderful conversation with Mr. Urbina, the Principal of Gardner Elementary School. First I must thank him greatly for all his support he has shown us from the beginning. He was in support of this before we even contacted him. He is also just a wonderful man and has been nothing but kind, helpful, and a pleasure to talk and work with. I just can not say enough about him.

He did tell me the school just had a Back to School night and they took a vote on having the sign uncovered. Great news!!! They voted on YES!!! We thank the school PTA, Teachers, and Parents for their support in this matter. This is really big!!

He also said he did speak to Mr. Cortines, the Superintendent of the LAUSD yesterday. He is anxious to hear what we have to say on the 19th. But I will say the 19th will be big!!

Listen everyone, let me just say that this WILL be done. Our patience and peserverance WILL pay off.

Mr. Urbina also said he was inpressed with how we have conducted ourself in our campaign and comends us all. I have full confidence that all of our hard work and your support will not be in vain. Michael Jackson’s Name WILL BE UNCOVERED!!!

Also just to remind everyone I did post earlier that we were in a TMZ article today. The writer has contacted me and IS a Michael Jackson fan and supports us! I wrote him back my feelings on TMZ, lol, but thanked him for the nice article which was all true. I asked him to mention the campaign’s actual name too.

So much happening that is ALL GREAT!!! So once again, I will tell you all , MICHAEL’S NAME WILL BE UNCOVERED!!!

I really appreciate all of your help and really have much love for you. We would not be where we are today without all of the supporters around the world. Be proud to be part of a wonderful campaign to clear Michael’s name and have it UNCOVERED once and for all!!! We are making HISTORY her for Michael Jackson. Feels great to be apart of it.

Much LOVE, Jennifer Marino

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=166379040040125

In Case You Didn’t Know:

On October 11, 1989, the ceremony which gave thanks to Michael, occurred at Gardner St. School in Los Angeles, Ca. It was on this day, that Michael’s name would be unveiled for the world to see how much Michael meant to that school.

As you know, in the aftermath of the extortions of Michael, the school decided to cover up his name- despite his acquittal. (It’s outrageous his name was even shadowed at all. How dumb does that make the school look? Moving on…) For six years now, his name has remained covered.

To get the full story, click here: http://www.laindependent.com/news/local/hollywood/59567827.html

Analyzing the Media’s Hypocrisy in Reporting on the Michael Jackson Settlements Cases Vs. the Settlements Cases of Other Celebrities- Pt. 3

Part 3 exposing the media’s hypocrisy begins with the Francia settlement.

Analyzing The Media Hypocrisy In Reporting On The Michael Jackson Settlements vs The Settlements of Other Celebrities

By: Dave Edwards

Blanca & Jason Francia Civil Suit

Now, let’s discuss the other “victim” of MJ, Jason Francia.  He is the son of Blanca Francia, who worked as a maid atNeverland until she was fired in 1991 for trying to steal a watch, rifling through MJ’s wallet, and for tardiness.  After the 1993 scandal hit the airwaves, Blanca was courted by Diane Dimond to do an exclusive, “tell-all” interview about her experiences at Neverland. She lied and said that she witnessed MJ showering naked with young boys on a number of occasions, and as a result she “quit in disgust”. She was paid $20k by Hard Copy for her salacious lies, but she was forced to recant them while under deposition by MJ’s defense team. Blanca admitted she never saw Jackson shower with anyone nor had she seen him naked with boys in his Jacuzzi. They always had their swimming trunks on, she acknowledged.

Blanca’s son, Jason, often accompanied her to work at both Neverland Ranch, and at MJ’s “Hideout” condo in Century City.  Oftentimes, he and MJ would engage in tickling games, and other forms of innocent horseplay.  This horseplay would be exploited by aggressive police looking to force Jason into making an accusation.  He was interrogated by cops after the scandal broke, and he initially denied any wrongdoing by MJ, and Blanca was very uncomfortable with the way he was being interviewed.  He had been lied to by police to solicit an allegation against Jackson. They told him that Jackson was “molesting Macaulay Culkin, and that Corey Feldman was a drug-head who would probably die early because he hung out with Jackson”. They wanted Francia to “help them” help the kid who was being abused (Jordie Chandler).  Here is a brief transcript of the police interview:

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: Macauly 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.

Though he denied any abuse, he was pressured to make up allegations that he was touched inappropriately during the tickling games. Diane Dimond stayed in touch with Blanca, and when she decided to pursue a settlement just as Chandler did (after the criminal case was closed in September 1994), Dimond was there to offer her “assistance”. When MJ’s lawyers objected to any form of settlement, Diane Dimond aired a special report about the demands made by Blanca’s lawyers in December 1994 on Hard Copy in order to pressure MJ’s team with negative publicity. Sony, which was about to release MJ’s new “HIStory” album, intervened and compelled his lawyers to settle for a mere $2 million so as not to sabotage their multi-million dollar marketing campaign for “HIStory” with negative publicity, irrespective of the facts.

This settlement was not an admission of guilt, but was meant to avoid negative publicity. Period. The MJ haters who try to use this as a sign of guilt would have said “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” if the allegations had gone public. If he had gone to civil court and was acquitted, they would have called it “celebrity justice”, so MJ took Sony’s advice and just chose the lesser of two evils.

When Mesereau cross-examined Jason in 2005, he asked him if he remembered how he initially denied to police that he had been molested.  Here is a brief transcript of the cross-examination:

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

A. No.

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

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

Q. Do you remember anything you said in that interview at the moment?

A. Not really. (4908-4909 (20-15))

In this excerpt, Jason is asked if he remembers making up a story for the police, and of course he all of a sudden became a victim of amnesia! Even after he was given official transcripts of his interview, he refused to acknowledge what he said!

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.

Jason’s testimony was so awful under cross-examination that some of the jurors actually LAUGHED at him during a break! Their laughter was overheard by some members of the media who subsequently reported their behavior to Judge Melville, hoping to get them kicked off of the jury for misconduct. Here is some analysis of the story by MSNBC’s Dan AbramsAnd here is analysis of Jason’s laughable testimony by Mike Taibbi, one of the few journalists who was actually fair to MJ throughout the trial. How he was able to keep his job at MSNBC is beyond me! He must have tenure! Also, in that video they show Blanca Francia’s ugly face!

Here’s another example of finding a diamond ring in a pile of feces! This excerpt from “Unmasked” includes the interview of two former Neverland housekeepers who blasted Blanca Francia for lying, and vehemently defended MJ.  Halperin’s analysis of their interview is dead on! I couldn’t have said it better myself! From pages 71-72:

Meanwhile, two other former Neverland housekeepers came forward to discredit Francia’s allegations, telling CNN that the stories were made up.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” declared Shanda Lujan, who worked at Neverland for almost a year. “I mean, there’s just no way that Michael could do that. Michael’s just not that type of person.”

Francin Orosco worked for Jackson for two years and also said Jackson was incapable of the kind of behavior he was being accused of.  ”I think it’s pure lies. I think it’s just pure lies. It’s disgusting what they – what they could accuse somebody of for, and I think it’s just all for money.  Michael could never do something like that. Never, ever.”

Both Orosco and Lujan claimed that Francia had actually been fired because of a bad attitude and was obsessed with the pop superstar.

“You could tell a lot that she had a little crush on him.  And very jealous of the other housekeepers and didn’t want no one close to Michael.  There was….there’s a lot of jealousy there,” said Orosco.

“He was great with kids,” added Lujan.  ”I mean, you know, if….I think he would be a very good father.  I mean, he’s just wonderful with them.”  The former maids said their ranch chores involved entering Jackson’s room at times, but that they had never seen anything suspicious.

Most notable about their statements was that at the time of their interviews, each of the two women were no longer on Jackson’s payroll and were not paid for their interviews, and therefore had no incentive to lie.

Finally! There really are Neverland employees who are actually honest and have integrity!  I almost thought that the term “honest Neverland employee” was an oxymoron, until I read that interview!

Here is the testimony of attorney Kris Kallman, who represented Blanca & Jason Francia during their settlement negotiations against MJ in 1995. (When you open the link, scroll down and open the link in his name to see his testimony.) He confirms that the settlement was NOT an admission of guilt, it did NOT prevent the Francias from testifying in court (obviously!), and that there was unique language added to it to reinforce MJ’s innocence.

 

(I know that this testimony is long and monotonous, but bear with me! I wanted to include it to give readers the complete scope of Kallman’s explanation of the Francia settlement.)

Sneddon’s Direct Examination of Kris Kallman

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.

25 Douglas?

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

10 individuals?

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;

15 foundation.

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;

23 foundation.

24 THE COURT: The answer is stricken.

25 Sustained.

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

3 agreement?

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

23 ago.

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

9 strike.

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

 

5 Francia?

 

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.

Mesereau’s Cross Examination of Kris Kallman:

 

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

20 there.

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,”

23 correct?

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

3 recollection.

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

26 be.

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

18 foundation.

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

5 answer.

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

16 City.

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

 

18 team.

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;

23 irrelevant.

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.

UPDATE October 8th, 2010

Here is a story from September 1993, when MJ visited Russia for his first concert there.  It gives a timeline of events up through September 1993.  Even in the early stages of the scandal, the media was reporting that “hush money” could be paid to Evan Chandler, and this was mentioned @ 4:14.

@ 4:45 you hear Pellicano playing a tape of Rothman saying that he would be “amazed” if MJ didn’t “take this deal” because it would be a “great move” for him.

@ 5:12 you see LaToya giving a less than supportive statement about MJ’s innocence, which as we all know was only a prelude of things to come! I wonder if Jack Gordon “forced” her to say this too?

And for pure comic releif, at 5:21 you see Gloria Allred (BEFORE she cut her hair! LOL!) stating that Jordie is “ready, willing, and able” to testify, yet a few days later she was FIRED!!! (Which I described in the article.)

Finally, @ 7:30 the reporter quoted the LAPD as saying that they “won’t be bullied into prosecuting Jackson!!”.  We all know that was a total farce, especially with the desperate attempt that Garcetti made to have the law changed so that he could FORCE Jordie to testify!  He was so desperate to prosecute Jackson that he didn’t HAVE to be bullied!

Analyzing the Media’s Hypocrisy in Reporting on the Michael Jackson Settlement Cases Vs. the Settlement Cases of Other Celebrities- Pt. 2

Today I bring you part 2 exposing of the hypocrisy within the media regarding Michael Jackson. This report is so eye opening, you are going to want to share it as much as possible. Just a reminder, there a quite a few parts, so I’ll try to break it up with some more uplifting stories here and there. Thanks again to AllForLove and Dave Edwards.

Analyzing The Media’s Hypocrisy In Covering The Michael Jackson Settlement Cases vs The Settlement Cases Of Other Celebrities-Pt2

By: Dave Edwards

Jordie Chandler Civil Suit

Larry Feldman filed the civil suit on September 13th, 1993 (after he and Evan Chandler fired Gloria Allred for wanting to seek justice instead of money, which is discussed later in greater detail). MJ’s legal team then filed a motion to have the civil case delayed until after the statute of limitations in the criminal case expired in 1999. This is considered a legal blunder by many experts because in a child molestation case, the victim’s memory tends to fade over time, so the judge felt that a six year wait was too long, and thus denied their request. They should have merely asked that the civil trial be delayed until after the criminal trial. But I think their rationale for asking for the civil trial to be delayed until after the statute of limitations expired is that they felt there was a possibility that the Chandlers would refuse to testify in court (since MJ’s legal team knew they were extorting MJ anyway), and they wanted to be sure that in case they changed their mind or were forced to testify in criminal court (this possibility is discussed later on), that MJ’s civil case testimony couldn’t be used against him. They used the case of Pacers, Inc. v. Superior Court to make this point, In this case, “the Court of Appeal directed the trial court to stay the proceedings in the civil action until after the expiration of the statute of limitations in the criminal action”.  (Please read section IV for an explanation for this rationale.)  Here is a brief excerpt:

“An order staying discovery until expiration of the criminal statute of limitations would allow real parties to prepare their lawsuit while alleviating petitioners’ difficult choice between defending either the civil or criminal case.”

 

“This remedy is in accord with federal practice where it has been consistently held that when both civil and criminal proceedings arise out of the same or related transactions, an objecting party is generally entitled to a stay of discovery in the civil action until disposition of the criminal matter.”

Now, after their request was denied, MJ’s legal team had no choice but to prepare for the civil trial.  MJ was determined to clear his name in court, but his legal insurance carrier forced him to settle the case.  Now, you may say to yourself “Why would the insurance carrier even want to settle, and how were they able to make MJ settle against his wishes?” The insurance carrier settled because, in addition to not wanting to expose MJ’s defense strategy before his criminal trial, they were also concerned about the negative media coverage of having back to back civil and criminal trials, airing MJ’s “dirty laundry” in public (i.e., imagine Sneddon asking the following: “Mr. Jackson, do you think it’s appropriate for a 35 year old man to share a bed with other people’s kids?”), and they were concerned about MJ’s health as well (remember, he had just come out of rehab for pain killers).

Another theory as to why the insurance company settled is because they may have been pressured by Sony Records, and other entities that depended on MJ to make them millions in profits, based on record sales, concerts, etc.  On September 17th, 2004 Mesereau issued a statement in response to numerous lies that were being peddled by the media about the number of settlements that MJ had in the 90’s, and that they were not an admission of guilt. Here is an excerpt:

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.

Michael Jackson also expressed his regret over settling those false claims out of court when he issued his own press releases in June and September 2004.

The reason that they were able to pay the settlement without his consent is because insurance companies always do a cost-benefit analysis before going to trial.  If they feel that it is cheaper and more expedient to settle, then they have every right to do so without the consent of the insured, and the settlement cannot be used as evidence of guilt in either criminal or civil court.  This right has been upheld by the numerous court cases that are listed in Mesereau’s objection to Sneddon’s request to use the settlement as evidence of guilt in the 2005 trial.  Here is an excerpt from that document:

Page 2, Lines 20-27

Mr. Jackson was not liable for any of the claims compromised by the settlement agreement, and plaintiff cannot present evidence of the nature, source, individuals, or companies who actually paid the settlement amounts evidenced by the settlement agreement.  Because insurance companies were the source of the settlement amounts, and the insurance companies make the payments based on their contractual rights to settle the proceeding without Mr. Jackson’s permission, the settlement does not constitute an admission (of guilt) and cannot be used to create such an impermissible inference to the jury.  Introduction of the document would be improper because the settlement payment from a third party with the contractual right to make the settlement regardless of Mr. Jackson’s wishes is irrelevant to any issue of this proceeding.

Here are some excerpts from Ian Halperin’s “Unmasked” that include an interview with an insurance lawyer who further explains how settlements work.  (And yes, I know you guys are rolling your eyes at the thought of actually reading “Unmasked”, but this excerpt shows what MJ fans can learn when we read tabloid trash like this!) From page 100:

Even if Jackson’s insurance company forced the settlement, doesn’t it mean that they thought Jackson would lose?

“Not at all,” explains insurance lawyer Lewis Kaplan.  “Insurance companies almost always settle.  That’s what they do.  It’s not an admission of guilt. It’s an attempt to avoid a long, costly legal process and one where there’s always a risk.  You never know what a jury might do. In this case, with the defendant worth hundreds of millions of dollars, settling is a no-brainer.  Of course they would settle.”

And before I forget, let me quote the Confidentiality Agreement between MJ and the Chandlers, which explicitly states that this settlement does not preclude them from testifying in court:

“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… 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 Releases 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.”

If there was any “hush money” paid out, then Sneddon would have immediately charged MJ with obstruction of justice, which is defined as “all unlawful acts that people partake in to obstruct, hinder, or delay the administration of justice.” It includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:  bribing witnesses, threatening or intimidating jurors, resisting arrest, and aiding & abetting a criminal.

So Sneddon could have subpoenaed Ray, Evan, and Jordie in 2005 (in fact, he subpoenaed June Chandler), but chose not to.  Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that he didn’t trust their testimony?

Now, let’s look at an even better source who will confirm that the settlement wasn’t “hush money”: Larry Feldman!

Here’s his statement on the settlement:

Larry R. Feldman, the boy’s lawyer, has not said whether his client would be willing to testify in a criminal case. Although he has said that “nobody bought anybody’s silence” with the civil settlement, he also repeatedly has stressed that psychologists believe the best thing for the boy would be to get on with his life rather than to keep dealing with the allegations.

So Feldman says that the psychologists believe that it would be best for Jordie not to testify in criminal court, but they had absolutely no problem with Jordie testifying in civil court or giving a deposition (which is what he would have had to do if MJ’s insurance had not settled).

Here’s another excerpt from “Unmasked” that debunks the “MJ paid him off” myth. From pages 101-104:

In the fifteen years since Michael Jackson settled the civil suit with Jordan Chandler, a dangerous myth has grown – the myth that the settlement prevented Jordan Chandler from testifying against Jackson in a potential criminal case.  In fact, there is not a word in the settlement documents that precludes Chandler from giving testimony against Jackson. Jordan’s own lawyer, Larry Feldman, made that clear following the settlement.

 

“The plaintiff has agreed the lawsuit should be resolved,” Feldman declared.  “Nobody has bought anyone’s silence. He is allowed to testify against Mr. Jackson in a criminal proceeding.”

 

Yet there have been literally tens of thousands of media accounts implying that it was the settlement that prevented a criminal prosecution. Among the worst offenders in this regard is Diane Dimond, whose reporting encouraged this myth.

 

“It soon grew increasingly clear to both Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon that without the testimony of Jordan Chandler, or some other complainant, they could not win a case against Michael Jackson,” she writes.

 

Either district attorney could have subpoenaed Jordan to testify.  Jordan had already signed a lengthy affidavit detailing the abuse that had occurred.  But the fact is that if Jordan had appeared in a criminal trial, he could have been cross-examined under oath, under threat of perjury. If justice was the object, and not money, why not testify?

 

It is a question that would arise again a decade later when another boy would level similar abuse charges against Michael Jackson.  Sneddon and Garcetti badly needed Jordan Chandler to establish a pattern.

 

For now, Sneddon and Garcetti were getting increasingly desperate. Each had convened his own separate grand jury to hear evidence.  But that evidence was getting sparse.  They had both conducted their own thorough investigations into most of the so-called witnesses who claimed they could corroborate stories of Jackson’s abuse.  Although the ragtag assortment of disgruntled former employees made sensational guests on Hard Copy, the district attorneys had evidently discovered that their testimony and credibility were next to worthless.

 

For another five months after Jordan settled, two grand juries – one in Los Angeles, one in Santa Barbara – continued to hear evidence, sparse thought it may have been.

 

For Garcetti’s jury, that evidence was slim pickings.  Grand jury testimony is secret, but among the witnesses called was Jackson’s mother, Katherine, who presumable offered nothing of substance. Sneddon called the former maid, Blanca Francia, some parents of Jackon’s former “special friends,” and Janet Jackson’s former husband, James DeBarge.

 

Besides Francia, the only grand jury witnesses with the potential to inflict real damage were a group of security guards that had once worked for Jackson – later knows as the Neverland Five.  The five claimed to have damning information that could corroborate many of Jordan Chandler’s claims. It’s impossible to know what his group told the grand jury, but in later years, when the five former employees filed a lawsuit against Jackson, their credibility would be so tarnished that it’s hardly surprising their stories made little impression on the jurors.

 

After another eight months and countless millions of dollars spent attempting to solidify the case against Jackson, Garcetti and Sneddon held a joint news conference on September 21, 1994.  They announced that they wouldn’t be filing criminal charges against the singer.  In announcing the conclusion of the investigation, they failed to mention that they hadn’t found a single piece of supporting evidence or credible witness to secure an indictment.  Instead, Garcetti would once again perpetuate the myth that the case had stalled because Jordan wouldn’t cooperate.

 

“After about thirteen or fourteen months of investigation, this is our conclusion,” he told the assembled media.  “We have a very important witness who has told us ‘I’m sorry. I do not want to and will not testify.’ And I’m telling you that if he steps forward a month from not, two months from now, and says ‘Now I want to testify,’ we would reevaluate our case at that time.”

 

Later the same day, Jackson issued his own statement: “I am thankful that the investigation has reached a conclusion.  I’ve continually maintained my innocence.  I am grateful to all of my family, friends, and fans who have stood by me and also believe in my innocence.”

What the media and MJ haters don’t seem to understand is this:  If MJ was truly guilty and wanted to “pay off” the Chandlers, then why didn’t he pay them before he was forced to undergo that embarrassing strip search? Why didn’t he pay them in August 1993 before the scandal went public?  In “All That Glitters”, Ray Chandler admits to you, in no uncertain terms, that Evan would have swept everything under the rug had he been given the $20 million dollar film deal that he demanded from MJ!!! From page 128:

“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.”

Here’s another excerpt that confirms that they never wanted to prosecute MJ at all; they only wanted money! From page 167:

“By the conclusion of the meeting, June and Dave, like Evan before them, had no doubts about switching from Gloria Allred to Larry Feldman.  The choice came down to either waging an all-out media campaign to pressure the DA to seek a Grand Jury indictment, or conducting subtle, behind-the-scenes negotiations toward a quick, quiet and highly profitable settlement.  Avoiding the trauma that a lengthy criminal or civil lawsuit would bring to the entire family, especially Jordie, was a no-brainier.

Now, here’s a bombshell development that I recently discovered while researching this article.  Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti was so desperate to get the Chandlers to testify in criminal court that he tried to get the law amended so that he would IMMEDIATELY be able to FORCE them to testify!  If your son was molested, would the cops have to “force” you to testify? Of course not!

Unfortunately his attempt was unsuccessful, and the Chandlers were able to take the money and run!  This story totally obliterates that lie that Ray Chandler spewed about the Chandlers not testifying because they wouldn’t be put in the witness protection program. If the Chandlers had truly needed protection, Sneddon and Garcetti would have hired the Secret Service to protect them!  Read the “Officials Desperate to Nail Jackson” article for more info. Here’s an excerpt:

The child sex abuse case against Michael Jackson has taken a new – and ugly – turn.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties are scrambling to salvage what’s left of their criminal investigations into sex abuse allegations against the pop music star.

Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti urged state legislators last week to amend a law that now prohibits forcing people who say they have been sexually assaulted to testify in criminal proceedings.

If passed, the change would take effect immediately and allow Garcetti to compel the 14-year-old boy with whom Jackson reached an out-of-court settlement last month to testify in any criminal trials growing out of his widely reported charge that the superstar sexually abused him.

So if the confidentiality agreement explicitly states that the Chandlers’ could testify in court if they wanted to, and if Larry Feldman explicitly stated that “nobody bought anybody’s silence”, then you would think that the media would report that it was the Chandlers who CHOSE not to testify, right? WRONG!

Let’s look at what that Maureen Orth had to say about the settlement in her June 2005 Vanity Fair column, C.S.I. Neverland:

Michael Jackson has finally wound up in a courtroom facing charges of pedophilia, a disaster people had warned him for years was coming. In 1993, police in California investigated claims that he had molested a 13-year-old boy, whose silence Jackson bought for $25 million. Another boy, the son of one of his former maids, has now testified that Jackson started groping him when he was seven. The boy’s mother received $2.4 million for their silence.

Maureen Orth just contradicted herself! How can she say that MJ bought the silence of Blanca and Jason Francia, when they both testified in court?! Well, maybe it’s because she’s not a lawyer with years of experience, right? She’s just some hack journalist writing a poorly researched article that is literally filled with information derived from tabloids and other untrustworthy sources, right? Surely, a lawyer would never say that a defendant “bought the silence” of an accuser, right? Wrong! I’ll give you a few examples later on in this article!

Another example of a hack journalist who has tried to insinuate that MJ “got away with it” in 1993 is Martin Bashir, someone so despised in his home country that he was voted the 5th worst Briton of all time in a 2003 poll.   During his infamous crock-umentary “Living With Michael Jackson”, he stated the following to MJ:  “The reason that’s been given as to why you didn’t go to jail is because you reached a financial settlement with the family.” Let’s analyze that statement for a moment:

Bashir is insinuating that MJ “bought his freedom” by settling the civil lawsuit.  But, as I’ve stated earlier whilediscussing the differences between criminal and civil law, you CANNOT be sentenced to prison if found liable in civil court!  You can only be ordered to pay monetary damages! And as I’ve also stated earlier, the Chandlers had no desire to testify in criminal court, so Bashir and the rest of the lamestream media should be blaming The Chandlers for MJ not going to jail if they really feel he’s guilty!  I don’t think I’ve EVER heard any MJ hater criticize the Chandlers!!

(Bashir’s settlement interrogation begins at 3:48)

This is what MJ should have done as soon as Bashir started interrogating him about the settlement, as well as the plastic surgery, sleeping arrangements of children, et cetera!!!

Here is so-called comedienne Joan Rivers’ take on the settlement!  In this audio clip, she claims that she and MJ shared the same manager, and he showed her a check for $35 million dollars that was paid to the Chandlers.  This is wrong on so many levels that I won’t even try to address such an outrageous claim.  It’s one thing to say this in her lame standup comedy routine, but another thing to say it in an interview, and expect to be taken seriously!  I guess MJ must be the most irresponsible celebrity ever when it comes to managing his “hush money” checks, because his sister Latoya also claimed to have seen his checks as well!

http://www.hollywoodoutbreak.com/2010/07/02/joan-rivers-can-we-talk-about-michael-jackson/

In this video, beginning at 1:50, Latoya recanted what she said at the press conference, claiming that she was threatened into reading what was put in front of her, and having to “act” like she believed what she was saying to avoid getting beat by her abusing ex-husband.

But this article from Time magazine is probably the most egregious example of the media’s distortion of the settlement. It explicitly states that there was an “unwritten agreement” between MJ and the Chandlers that Jordie wouldn’t testify, which implies that had it not been for the settlement, they would have testified in criminal court. If the Chandlers truly wanted to testify in criminal court, then they would not have sued MJ in the first place! Here’s an excerpt:

The other glove finally dropped. Last week representatives of Michael Jackson and the 14-year-old boy who accused him of sexual molestation agreed to settle the boy’s civil suit. No promises were put in writing — and no judge would tolerate such promises — but it was understood that the boy will not testify in pending criminal investigations of Jackson being pursued by the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara district attorneys. Meanwhile, the star gets to maintain his innocence. The price tag was estimated between $15 million and $50 million — part paid in cash, part to be fed into a trust fund for the boy.

And one last thing to think about regarding this “hush money” nonsense:  why would MJ, or any other defendant for that matter, pay millions in hush money when there is NO INCENTIVE WHATSOEVER for the accuser to remain silent?  If MJ’s settlement really was “hush money”, and the Chandlers accepted it, and then had a change of heart and testified anyway, what legal recourse would MJ have against them? Could he sue them for breaking their word? Of course not! It is illegal to bribe someone to not testify, and MJ would have been completely out of luck. Not only would the Chandlers testify against him, but they could say “Hey, he paid me all this money to be quiet! Look at my bank statements!”  If MJ was guilty, and wanted to silence the Chandlers, then instead of offering money, he would have THREATENED THEM!!!  Think about this: do drug dealers and gang bangers “pay off” witnesses to their crimes to keep them silent! NO!!!  They threaten to kill them, and that’s the number one reason why so many inner-city murders go unsolved.  And if the Chandlers truly wanted to testify, but were threatened by MJ’s entourage, then they would have asked for and receive all the protection that they needed, and Sneddon would have gleefully announced to the world that MJ was threatening them. Hopefully that scenario should put an end to this “hush money” garbage once and for all!

Now, here is another example of an insurance carrier settling lawsuits without the consent of the insured. You guys are going to laugh out loud, because the person who was forced to settle was none other than Evan Chandler!  Not only was he frivolously sued for medical malpractice by several former patients after he received the settlement, but he was also falsely accused of molesting one of them too! Oh, the irony! From “All That Glitters”, page 226:

“After the media announced that Evan controlled his son’s fortune, several of Evan’s patients all of a sudden threatened malpractice suits against him. Most of these claims were so frivolous they died a quick death. One or two were paid because the amount was so small it was more costly for the insurance company to defend than to fight. And one went to trial, but was dismissed when the plaintiff, knowing she was losing, attempted, in the middle of the case, to admit new evidence that a repressed memory had surfaced of her being sexually molested while under sedation in the dental chair.”

I wonder if MJ haters would assume that Evan was guilty of medical malpractice, based on the settlement with his former patients? Or if he was guilty of molestation, but “bought his way out of it” with the money that he extorted from MJ?

 

Analyzing the Media’s Hypocrisy in Reporting on the Michael Jackson Settlement Cases Vs. The Cases of Other Celebrities

If you haven’t already got wind of this incredibly tell-tale multi part report on the hypocrisy of the media, now’s your chance to review the sick and twisted methods behind the media’s distortion of truth when it comes to Michael Jackson versus other celebrities.

Of course, credit is due to AllForLove Blog, where I was made aware of this explosive article, and kudos to Dave Edwards for his hard work!

Analyzing The Media’s Hypocrisy In Reporting On Michael Jackson’s Settlemen Cases vs The Settlemets Of Other Celebrities

By: Dave Edwards

As we all know, years of biased media coverage is the number one reason why so many people have a negative opinion of Michael Jackson. The media built him up in the 1980’s, and then tore him down without apology from 1993 through his death (and even after his death!).  There have been so many lies peddled about MJ throughout the years in regards to skin bleaching, plastic surgery, the paternity of his kids, his health issues, his sexuality, and his drug use, among other things.  But the most damaging lie that has been deliberately disseminated to the public is that MJ “paid hush money” to the Chandlers in 1993 (and the Francias in 1996) in order to prevent them from testifying in criminal court.  How many times have you heard someone say the following: “MJ must have been guilty because there is no way an innocent man would choose to settle a lawsuit!” I will use this column to totally debunk that myth, and compare MJ’s settlement to the settlements of other celebrities and point out the media’s hypocrisy in the way that they cover them.

First, let’s look at the biggest misconceptions that the general public has about the 1993 case.  They think that the following events happened in this order:

1. Jordie Chandler willingly confessed to his father Evan that he was molested by Michael Jackson.

2. Evan Chandler immediately called the police in a pursuit of justice.

3. The police began their investigation, and obtained a description of MJ’s penis from Jordie that matched.

4. MJ panicked when he realized that the description matched and decided to pay $20 million in “hush money” to silence them in criminal court.

5. The hush money prevented them from testifying, which shut down the criminal investigation, thus allowing MJ to “get away with it”.

6. The Chandlers went on to live happily ever after. Everyone is still alive, living together under one roof, and is on speaking terms. The Chandlers wanted to testify against MJ in 2005, but were afraid that they would have to pay back MJ’s hush money.

Those assumptions are totally false!  This is what happened:

1. MJ had a falling out with Evan, probably over MJ’s refusal to hire him or finance his screen plays.

2. Evan concocts a plan to extort money from MJ by threatening to accuse him of molesting Jordie.

3. Evan and Dr. Mark Torbiner give Jordie a drug (possibly sodium amytal) during a dental procedure, after which Jordie is coerced into claiming molestation.

4. Evan meets with MJ and demands a $20 million film deal, and is flatly denied.

5.  June Chandler wins a court order to regain custody of Jordie, and SOLELY AS A RESULT OF THIS COURT ORDER Evan calls a psychiatrist (instead of reporting it to the judge who ordered the transfer) and reports MJ’s molestation, who then subsequently reports this to the police

6. In Sept. 1993, Evan hires Larry Feldman and files a civil lawsuit against MJ, and they successfully argue that it should go to court before the criminal trial. MJ’s request to have the civil case delayed until after the criminal case is denied.

7. MJ is strip searched, and the description does NOT match, and as a result MJ is NOT arrested.

8. Subsequently, Evan’s attorney Larry Feldman unsuccessfully tries to have the photos barred from the civil trial so that MJ cannot use them to help clear his name.

9. MJ’s insurance carrier settles the civil suit WITHOUT his consent, and the Chandlers sign a confidentiality agreement that EXPLICITLY states that they can testify in criminal court if they so desire. All of the Chandlers refuse to cooperate with the criminal investigation after receiving their settlement money, this perpetuating the myth that they were “paid off”.  Ray Chandler is unable to secure a book deal to publish “All That Glitters”, which was ghost-written by Evan Chandler and describes their decision to choose money over justice!

10. In Sept. 1994 the criminal investigation ends after two grand juries refuse to indict MJ, but Sneddon stubbornly allows the case to remain “open, but inactive”, instead of closing it altogether.

11. In the years after the settlement:

  • Jordie legally emancipated himself from his parents (most likely in 1996)
  • Evan sued MJ again for $60 million and the right to record a “rebuttal album”  in 1996 and lost
  • Ray Chandler self-published “All That Glitters” in 2004
  • Geraldine Hughes, the sole legal secretary for Evan’s lawyer Barry Rothman, published “Redemption” (which reveals previously unknown exculpatory evidence about the 1993 case) in 2004
  • All of the Chandlers (except June) either threatened or actually took legal action to avoid testifying against MJ in 2005
  • Evan tried to murder Jordie after the trial in August 2005
  • Evan eventually committed suicide in November 2009

 

The media has been very clever in distorting the truth about the settlement by intentionally omitting the fact that MJ settled a CIVIL LAWSUIT, and that the Chandlers could have still testified.  By omitting those facts, the general public – the overwhelming majority not knowing a clue about civil law — believes that MJ “bought” his way out of the criminal case, and somehow he had some sort of legal recourse against the Chandlers if they would have testified against him. What’s truly disappointing is the fact that it’s not only phony baloney journalists like Diane Dimond and Maureen Orth that promote this garbage, but legal analysts like Nancy Grace, Sunny Hostin, Gloria Allred, and Geoffrey Fieger as well! (I’ll introduce you to Fieger later on in this article!). Not only have adults been duped into believing that the settlement was a sign of guilt, but even fifth graders have been fooled!

What if a chemist with a Ph.D. from Harvard lied to you and said that water is composed of H3O?  His colleagues would consider him a quack, but he’d probably convince people who aren’t familiar with chemistry that he’s telling the truth, based on his education and his expertise.  Everyone knows that the chemical makeup of water is H2O (two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom), and that is one of the basic fundamentals of chemistry.  Similarly, settling a civil lawsuit out of court is not an admission of guilt, and that is one of the basic fundamentals of civil law, yet time and time again these legal quacks have deliberately LIED to the general public in order to convict MJ in the court of public opinion. So I will spend the next few pages explaining the core principles of criminal and civil law, and pointing out the differences between the two.

Civil Law vs. Criminal Law

Let’s start with the biggest distinction between a criminal and civil case. This is basic law school 101! In a criminal case, the state brings charges against the defendant, and he has no choice but to stand trial if the state decides to prosecute. (For example, MJ’s 2005 trial was known as “The People of the State of California v. Michael Joseph Jackson”). A criminal case CANNOT be settled out of court!

In a civil case, the plaintiff sues the defendant, and the case can be settled out of court by both parties, or dismissed without trial by a judge. The vast majority of civil lawsuits are frivolous. In fact, 97% of all civil lawsuits are either settled or dismissed!! (The lawsuit filed against MJ by the Chandlers was titled “J. Chandler v. Michael Joseph Jackson and John Does 1 through 100.)

Here are some basic differences between the punishment meted out, and the burden of proof required to get a conviction in criminal and civil court, respectively:

1. Punishment

Criminal law

In criminal law, a guilty defendant is punished by either (1) incarceration in a jail or prison, (2) fine paid to the government, or, in exceptional cases, (3) execution of the defendant: the death penalty. Crimes are divided into two broad classes: felonies have a maximum possible sentence of more than one year incarceration; misdemeanors have a maximum possible sentence of less than one year incarceration.

Civil law

In contrast, a defendant in civil litigation is never incarcerated and never executed. In general, a losing defendant in civil litigation only reimburses the plaintiff for losses caused by the defendant’s behavior.

So-called punitive damages are never awarded in a civil case under contract law. In a civil case under tort law, there is a possibility of punitive damages,  if the defendant’s conduct is egregious and had either (1) a malicious intent (i.e., desire to cause harm), (2) gross negligence (i.e., conscious indifference), or(3) a willful disregard for the rights of others. The use of punitive damages makes a public example of the defendant and supposedly deters future wrongful conduct by others. Punitive damages are particularly important in torts involving dignitary harms (e.g., invasion of privacy) and civil rights, where the actual monetary injury to plaintiff(s) may be small.

One can purchase insurance that will pay damages and attorney’s fees for tort claims. Such insurance coverage is a standard part of homeowner’s insurance policies, automobile insurance, and insurance for businesses. In contrast, it is not possible for a defendant to purchase insurance to pay for his/her criminal acts.

While a court can order a defendant to pay damages, the plaintiff may receive nothing if the defendant has no assets and no insurance, or if the defendant is skillful in concealing assets. In this way, large awards for plaintiffs in tort cases are often an illusion.

Notice how civil (and not criminal!) defendants can purchase insurance to pay for legal fees and any damages that are subsequently awarded to the plaintiff in the event of a conviction. That is EXACTLY the type of insurance that MJ had, and in fact he’s probably had that type of insurance since he was a member of the Jackson 5.  Being a celebrity in the public spotlight, it was only inevitable that MJ would sue and be sued throughout his career (and boy did that ever come to fruition later on in his life!).  So those insurance premiums were a smart investment, as opposed to being uninsured and having to pay all of the legal fees and damages himself.

2. Burden of Proof

Criminal law

In criminal litigation, the burden of proof is always on the state. The state must prove that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is assumed to be innocent; the defendant needs to prove nothing. (There are exceptions. If the defendant wishes to claim that he/she is insane, and therefore not guilty, the defendant bears the burden of proving his/her insanity. Other exceptions include defendants who claim self-defense or duress.)

In criminal litigation, the state must prove that the defendant satisfied each element of the statutory definition of the crime, and the defendant’s participation, “beyond a reasonable doubt.” It is difficult to put a valid numerical value on the probability that a guilty person really committed the crime, but legal authorities who do assign a numerical value generally say “at least 98% or 99%” certainty of guilt.

Civil law

In civil litigation, the burden of proof is initially on the plaintiff. However, there are a number of technical situations in which the burden shifts to the defendant. For example, when the plaintiff has made a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the defendant to refute or rebut the plaintiff’s evidence.

In civil litigation, the plaintiff wins if the preponderance of the evidence favors the plaintiff. For example, if the jury believes that there is more than a 50%probability that the defendant was negligent in causing the plaintiff’s injury, the plaintiff wins. This is a very low standard, compared to criminal law. In my personal view, it is too low a standard, especially considering that the defendant could be ordered to pay millions of dollars to the plaintiff(s).

Another distinction between criminal and civil trials are the number of Constitutional Rights that are afforded to defendants in criminal trials, but don’t apply to civil trials.  For example, the Fourth Amendment protects against illegal search and seizure, the Fifth Amendment guarantees criminal defendants the right to not self incriminate (i.e. “pleading the Fifth”), and the Sixth Amendment guarantees a right to a speedy trial. Here are some examples of how these three amendments differ between criminal and civil trials:

A.) In criminal law, police generally must first obtain a search warrant in a proceeding showing a “neutral and detached” magistrate that there is “probable cause”, before searching or seizing items from a person’s houseSpinelli v. U.S., 393 U.S. 410 (1969); Aguilar v. Texas, 378 U.S. 108 (1964); Johnson v. U.S., 333 U.S. 10 (1946). (For example, Sneddon had to get a search warrant before he was able to perform the strip search on MJ.)

In civil law, an attorney may request documents or a visit inside a building. (Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34). In civil law, an attorney may demand information from the opposing party about any matter that is relevant to the case, provided that information is not privileged. In civil law, an attorney may properly demand information that would be inadmissible at trial, if such demand “appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence”. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1). An attorney may even take the deposition of nonparties in a civil case, and require them to bring documents with them. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30, 34(c).

B.) In a criminal case, the suspect or defendant has the right to remain silent during questioning by police and prosecuting attorneys. In a criminal case, the defendant may choose to refuse to be a witness, and the jury may infer nothing from the defendant’s choice not to testify. However, in a civil case, the defendant must be available and cooperative for depositions and testimony as a witness in the trial. In fact, the defendant in a civil case in Federal court must voluntarily provide his/her opponent with a copy of documents “in the possession, custody, or control of the party that are relevant to disputed facts alleged with particularity in the pleadings.” [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(B)] Further, the defendant in a civil case must voluntarily provide names of people who are “likely to have discoverable information relevant to disputed facts alleged with particularity in the pleadings.” [FRCP 26(a)(1)(A)] In other words, the defendant in a civil case must help his/her opponent collect evidence that will defeat the defendant. And, at trial, if a party invokes their fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination, then the judge will instruct the jury that they may make an adverse inference against the party who refused to testify.

C.) There are often several years between the filing of a complaint in a civil case and the trial. (So much for  the notion of having a “speedy trial”! For example, Evan Chandler sued MJ for $60 million in 1996 for violating the Confidentiality Agreement, but the case wasn’t thrown out until 2000).

Let’s look closely at the Fifth Amendment for a moment.  In a criminal case, a defendant can refuse to testify entirely, or refuse to answer certain questions, and it CANNOT be used against him in determining his guilt. (For example, MJ did not testify in his 2005 criminal trial, and we all know the outcome of that case!)  However, in civil trials the defendant MUST testify, or else it will be used against him.  Now let’s say that MJ had a civil trial in 1994.  If he would have plead the fifth (either on the witness stand, or in a deposition), which is what his lawyers wanted him to do, the jury could have legally perceived it as a sign of guilt.  Combine that with the lower burden of proof, and the chances of MJ being found liable would have increased exponentially. Conversely, if he would have testified in civil court, then his defense strategy would have been exposed to Sneddon and Garcetti before the criminal trial. This is exactly why Larry Feldman and Robert Shapiro wanted to sue MJ before the criminal trial, so that it would put him in a position where his best option would be to settle, which is what they wanted in the first place! Here is Shapiro’s advice to Evan Chandler about suing MJ first instead of prosecuting him, from “All That Glitters”, pages 160-161:

“If there’s a hung jury, sure, it could be retried, but time goes on.  The real risk is if there’s an acquittal.  In that case, prevailing at a civil suit afterwards becomes a real uphill battle.

 

Now the alternative is for you to bring a civil suit first.  And the first thing we would do is schedule a deposition of Michel Jackson, placing him in an extremely uncomfortable position because everything he says could be used against him in a criminal case.  And if he takes the Fifth Amendment to avoid that, it can be used against him in your civil case. So immediately, he’s in a real bad spot.

 

But there’s a third alternative.  If we went to the other side and said, ‘Listen, a trial for Michael Jackson is a disaster, he can’t win.  Because even if he’s acquitted, when the public hears what this boy has to say, you will have no endorsements, you will have no contracts, you are virtually finished.’  If we say that, it is my belief we have control of the situation, we have power.

 

However, if this matter is pushed too far and somebody starts screaming there should be a grand jury or the DA is not handling this correctly, then we lose all control. Garcetti will have to go to the Grand Jury, even if he doesn’t want to.  And if the Grand Jury returns and indictment on a case the DA can’t win, especially against a superstar, then you’re all screwed.”

As you can see from Shapiro’s analysis, MJ was in a lose-lose-lose situation! 1.) If he submits to a deposition, it will be used against him in the criminal trial.  2.) If he takes the Fifth, it can be used against him in civil trial. And 3.) if he’s acquitted in criminal court, his image will be forever tarnished from the salacious headlines that the media is going to exploit for ratings (which is what they did in 2005).  The media would say that his “celebrity status” got him off, or that the jurors were “too star-struck to convict”, or “he got off on a technicality”, or some other nonsense in order to undermine the verdict. (This conversation between Shapiro and Evan Chandler took place before MJ’s failed attempt to get the criminal trial scheduled before the civil trial, so that’s why the third alternative is listed as a possibility.)

For those of you who may say, “Well, if he’s that innocent, then why should it matter if the DA’s know his defense strategy? He should have just told the truth and he would’ve been acquitted, right?” This is what MJ (and many of us) would have naively thought, but as we all know the justice system is not perfect, and MJ couldn’t afford to have his defense strategy exposed to Sneddon or Garcetti!  Guilty people get acquitted every day, and innocent people get convicted every day! The reasons are because defense lawyers can raise enough reasonable doubt to get an acquittal (such as in the OJ Simpson case), and prosecutors can prejudice the jury to convict an innocent man by using irrelevant, inflammatory evidence. They also engage in prosecutorial misconduct as well!

Here’s an example: what if I told you that a prosecutor used a famous celebrity’s tattoo as a sign of his guilt, and as a result that celebrity was sentenced to jail? That would sound crazy, right? Well, it happened!

The celebrity who was literally sentenced to jail based on the fears and prejudices of the jury was the late, great Tupac Shakur, the top selling rapper of all time.  In addition to his amazing musical career, he also starred in several movies, including 1993’s “Poetic Justice”, alongside Janet Jackson. He and a few members of his entourage were arrested and charged with sexual assault and possession of illegal firearms in November 1993 after a female groupie had a falling out with him in his hotel room.  On November 30th, 1994 Shakur gave an interview outside of the courthouse where he was on trial. (Ironically, his friends never stood trial. Could it be because Shakur was a victim of malicious prosecution due to his fame?

Here is a breakdown of his interview:

  1. After listening to the prosecutors’ closing arguments, Tupac admits to feeling drained after hearing the prosecutor twist the truth around.  He states how the trial is about peoples’ “innermost fears” about “loud, rap music, tattoo having thugs”, and “anyone with a Thug Life tattoo is guilty”. This is similar to Sneddon (and the media’s) attempts to try to prejudice the jury by making the trial about MJ’s weirdness, bizarreness, creepiness, plastic surgery, hyperbaric chambers, skin bleaching, and implying that “any grown man who shares a bed with children is guilty!”
  2. Tupac blasts the media for their biased, pro-prosecution coverage.  They don’t’ report the exculpatory evidence (for example, the lack of any DNA, semen, or fingerprints found on the crime scene), and they always use the prosecution’s quotes in their coverage in order to convict him in the court of public opinion. He asks for the media to “PRINT THE FACTS” and says that his life is RUINED by the bad press and he lists some of the business opportunities that he has lost.
  3. Tupac then goes on to once again blast the media for “building him up and then tearing him down”, and claims that the whole trial is just about his image.  This is EXACTLY what the media did to MJ: they built him up in the 80’s, and tore him down from 1993 until his death using his “Wacko Jacko” image!

 

You can see, the media’s treatment of Tupac in 1994 was only a prelude to what they would do to MJ in 2005! Unfortunately, due to Shakur’s thug image, violent lyrics, baggy pants, and the “Thug Life” tattoo on his stomach, the jury’s prejudices outweighed their common sense, and this is why an innocent man was sentenced to jail!

Sneddon knew that the only way he could convict MJ was to prejudice the jury, the same way that Tupac’s prosecutor knew that was his/her only shot at a conviction. (And it worked!)  This is why Sneddon and Garcetti helped enact California Penal Code 288a, which does not require the alleged victim to be present or corroborating evidence to be provided. It only requires that an accusation be made and that the jury decides whether or not to believe the accusation, thus capitalizing on prejudices against MJ. (If the page asks you to log in, just keep pressing cancel until box disappears, and then do a search of “288”).

Sneddon and Garcetti knew that MJ had a habit of not only letting children sleep in his bed, but that he often slept in bed with them (with their parents’ full consent and knowledge), and if a child could level an accusation that MJ molested him/her while they slept in the same bed, then that would severely prejudice the jury against MJ.  Can you imagine if Congressman Peter King was on the jury? (He defended his vicious statements by saying that even if MJ didn’t physically molest any children, that he “molested their psyche” by convincing them that sharing beds is acceptable behavior.) In fact, after the trial, juror (and eventual traitor) Ray Hultman said that he believed that MJ molested children in 1993, and that he has a hard time respecting someone who admits to sleeping with young boys.  That prejudice against MJ may have influenced him to flip flop and accept the blood money he was offered by that sleazy book publisher.

Sneddon had the same intentions when he tried get the details of the 1994 settlement admissible in court as evidence, and when he enacted California Evidence Code §1108 in the 1990’s, hoping to prejudice the jury with the testimony of June Chandler, the Francias, and the “Neverland 5” (the former employees who owed MJ millions in legal fees). Mesereau tried to have their testimony excluded because he thought they would jeopardize MJ’s presumption of innocence in the current trial (and not because he thought MJ was guilty in 1993! In fact, Mesereau subpoenaed Raymond Chandler,  so that shows how much faith he had in MJ’s innocence. The link is found later in this article.) Legal analyst Jonna Spilbor thoroughly criticizes this unfair and prejudicial evidence in this article. It is also discussed in this article as well.

The reason that sleazy prosecutors like Sneddon and Garcetti oftentimes maliciously prosecute high-profile defendants is because, as a district attorney, you occupy two of the three most dishonest jobs known to mankind: a lawyer and a politician!!  (The third most dishonest job is a used car salesman!) District attorneys are ELECTED by their constituents, and if they can get a high profile conviction, then their popularity in the community will skyrocket, and a thriving political career can be launched on a “tough on crime” platform. Many DA’s run for multiple terms UNOPPOSED, which is dangerous because they develop a sense of entitlement! Sneddon was elected to 5 terms without any challengers, so he practically had a monopoly on the DA’s office, and thus he was able to establish a “good ole’ boys” network with the rest of his cronies! His vendetta against MJ was (in my humble opinion) fueled in part by his desire to use a conviction as a launching pad into political office, such as running for Governor of California, or Attorney General.

Another scumbag DA who maliciously prosecuted innocent people is former DA Mike Nifong, who almost railroadedthe three Duke Lacrosse players to jail on a phony rape charge.  He knew they were innocent, but he saw a conviction as a political weapon, and he engaged in prosecutorial misconduct that was so egregious that even Sneddon would be proud! For example, investigators found no DNA evidence, but Nifong “misled the public by suggesting condoms were used by the alleged attackers and that there was no DNA evidence discovered for comparison purposes”.  The reason this is so flagrant is because the accuser claimed that her attackers did not wear any condoms!  So Nifong enabled and encouraged her lies by covering up for her! (The same way Sneddon enabled and encouraged the Arvizos by changing the molestation dates to get an indictment.) Fortunately, the Attorney General of North Carolina investigated him, and his misconduct was punished with disbarment, and the three players filed a $30 million dollar civil lawsuit, claiming that Nifong’s sole motive was to “win support for his reelection bid”, and that Nifong told his campaign manager that the case would provide “millions of dollars’ in free advertising” for his campaign. The icing on the cake is when Nifong lost the suit and had to file bankruptcy!

Now, back to MJ: any defense lawyer who is willing to expose their client’s defense strategy, especially with charges as serious as molestation, should have their law licenses revoked!  What if the Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints played the St. Louis Rams (who went 1-15 last year), and the Saints players felt so confident that they faxed the Rams players a copy of their playbook before the game.  Just imagine how Saints coaches would feel if they found out? They would accuse the Saints players of underestimating their opponent by revealing their strategy! That analogy applies to MJ’s defense lawyers.  In fact, MJ’s first attorney, Mark Geragos, publicly stated MJ’s defense strategy by declaring that he had a “concrete, iron clad alibi”, and as a result Sneddon altered the dates of the molestation in 2005 after he realized that, according to the original timeline, MJ started molesting Gavin while he was being investigated by the DCFS. When MJ was indicted, the timeline changed, and MJ started molesting Gavin after he was cleared by the DCFS! This just goes to show that no matter how innocent your client is, you never expose your strategy to the prosecution!