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?

 

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