Aphrodite Jones - author of the Michael Jackson Conspiracy book
Aphrodite Jones, With five bestselling crime books under her belt, has become a highly recognized authority on true crime. Jones has made more than one hundred television and radio appearances and has been quoted in articles that have appeared in the "Los Angeles Times", "New York Post", "Daily News", "The Hollywood Reporter", and "USA Today". She is the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Cruel Sacrifice", and her account of the Brandon Teena story, "All She Wanted", became an international bestseller and was transformed into the film "Boys Don't Cry".
In June 2005, when Aphrodite Jones made her last appearance on The OReilly Factor related to the Michael Jackson trial, she experienced a striking moment of clarity:
"As I made one of my last public comments on the case, she remembers, I realized that I had become one of the media bunch who had predetermined the outcome of the trial, wrongly. Many people around me were so sure of Jacksons guilt. Many reporters had slanted TV and radio coverage to suit the prosecution, and I was one of those folks who had followed that dangerous trend.
Now, in a new book, Michael Jackson Conspiracy, Jones is setting the record straight. Aphrodite Jones´s most daring book ever examines the case against the world´s No. 1 entertainer: Michael Jackson.
Inspired by Jones´s courageous writing, Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr., Jackson´s high profile attorney, has written a powerful foreword for Michael Jackson Conspiracy.
With the kind of behind-the-scenes insights that you have come to expect from Aphrodite Jones, Michael Jackson Conspiracy will shock you. Jones provides a fresh look at the man who has been at the center of so much success and controversy.
What emerges from Michael Jackson Conspiracy is an image of the vulnerability of the most powerful entertainer in the world.
All of the myths you have been lead to believe will be shattered.
Everything you have come to know about Jackson will be upturned after you read Michael Jackson Conspiracy.
A book which will forever influence the way trials are reported, Michael Jackson Conspiracy will also move you with emotion. And it will help you complete the picture of the most fascinating entertainer in the world.
To anyone who wants to learn what happened in the Michael Jackson courtroom, this is the book to read. Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr., Michael Jackson´s leadcounsel
Aphrodite Jones provides the detail that we never got in the news media and vividly captures the phenomenon that was the Michael Jackson trial. It´s a deeply researched, intense account that keeps you anxiously awaiting the next scene. Roy Black, criminal defense attorney and NBC legal commentator
Michael Jackson Conspiracy Review
Monday, March 8, 2010
I watched the Oscars last night and was enjoying the show, when suddenly, the moment for remembering past stars and entertainment execs came upon us. As the images popped on screen, and James Taylor performed, I started to hold my breath a bit, wondering if Michael Jackson would be acknowledged. He did have Thriller, perhaps the greatest video of all time, and then there is THIS IS IT. But still, I felt the Academy might snub him. It´s funny to think that I would worry about Michael so much, yet I do And I know that many of his fans worry about Michael, because of all the allegations and rubbish that he was dealt in his lifetime, and the tarnish that still exists on his legacy.
Many of us still fight for his name, even though his brilliance as an entertainer is now being acknowledged. Many of us try to break through the media wall to get to our friends and family who still have their doubts about MJ, who seem permanently brainwashed by the media bombardment of the past 20 years. I will say one thing: Michael was a King of great magnitude he was not only the King of Pop.
As the Academy reminded us last night during the Oscars, MJ was a King of Arts and Science as well. For many of us, those attributes mean so much. But even more, I think his fans remember Micheal for something people rarely acknowledge: Michael was a King of kindness. That may seem corny that may seem stupid to say but I watched his humility and chronicled his kind deeds worldwide.
And my own tribute to Michael, as I try to remember everyday of my life, is to learn from him. Actually, it´s quite difficult to mirror the Man in the Mirror. It´s hard to be more loving, to be more forgiving, and to show acts kindness to strangers. Yet Michael did this everyday, even in the face of public humiliation and mockery. I may be taking a chance of being too mushy with these remarks, but I just need to say to Michael, THANK YOU for setting the bar so high.
True Crime with Aphrodite Jones
True Crime with Aphrodite Jones is a new series for Investigation Discovery that features Jones delving into some of the most heinous murder cases and crimes of our time.
Thursday (4/29): Here it is the Michael Jackson Serie
It starts with Michael Jackson´s sudden death which made the world hold its breath. Tom Mesereau says: All these people are coming our of woodwork now trying to pretend that they loved him, cared about him and I happen to know that many of these people refused to get involved at all. There are a number of celebrities professing their great love for him. I know that we approached them and they refused to cooperate. They didn´t want to get involved.
Did you ever think Michael Jackson was capable of molesting a child?
These attacks struck at the core of Michael Jackson. Tom Sneddon was obsessed to the point of absurdity the feeling about him was that one way or another he´ll get him before he retires.
When Tom Mesereau took that case his colleagues thought it was unwinnable. People believed he was crazy. But it didn’t take him long to figure out that these claims were complete fabrication.
Four years later after the trial Michael Jackson is dead. The Los Angeles County Coroner rules Michael Jackson´s death as homicide caused by acute intoxication following lethal levels of sedatives combined with anesthetic propofol. For Mesereau the cause of Michael´s death goes beyond what happened the day Jackson died. Those events simply represent the culmination of 16 years of torture that Jackson endured. That period begins with a separate case back in 1993.
Those who knew him believe that Jackson had solid values and was sincere.
Joanne Horovitz: He was genuinely a nice person
Pearl Jr.: He wanted to hang around kids because they were fun. They didn´t want anything from him. When he was a kid he was a grown-up, and when he was a grown-up he was a kid
Frank Dileo: Every city we went to [while on Bad tour] we went to a children´s hospital and bought them a piece of equipment. Every city! They had a little boy there who was dying. I cried. I couldn´t take it. Michael came over and put his arm round me and said: You have to understand, Frank, this is our job. Not on the stage. This is our job to make somebody feel good.
It is at this time in 1992 Michael Jackson would have a chance encounter that would change his life forever
Tom Mesereau believes the Chandlers had a hidden agenda. They did want a lot of closeness with Michael Jackson. Almost everybody who met him thought they were going to profit in some way. That was one of the sad facts of Michaels life that he felt that virtually everybody who approached him wanted something. I think it resulted in some lack of trust, some isolation and some loneliness.
As the story of Jordan Chandler evolved Michael Jackson was humiliated in a series of events. What does Tom Mesereau think of his consent to go into a settlement agreement with the Chandlers?
I think it was a big mistake. He should have fought and won. Michael Jackson was advised by his business consultants and people in his music business to pay whatever it took to get rid of it. The idea was that they had bigger fish to fry and he had a glowing future in front of him. It was a mistake because it sent a message to others why work if you can sue Michael Jackson?
In 2002 Jackson decides to allow British documentar film-maker Martin Bashir to set the record straight and redeem his public image. Bashir convinces Michael he should be trusted to make a film chronicle of Jackson´s life to show the world he is misunderstood. Michael gives unprecendented access to his private life allowing Bashir and his film crew to follow him for 8 months.
Jackson confidently looks forward to the premiere of Living with Michael in 2003, but the film is not what Jackson expected or was promised.
Martin Bashir is an interesting example of a man who made his name off the back of Michael Jackson. He promised him to help him create an internation children´s holiday that Michael wanted so badly. Instead Michael was used, manipulated and undermined by Mr. Bashir.
Tom Sneddon now resurfaces. The prosecution were alleging that Michael Jackson didn´t molest the boy before or during the documentary, but AFTER it Tom Sneddon IS obsessed to the poing of absurdity he passes a law in the State of California designed especially for Michael Jackson:
Tom Mesereau: The Arvizos were targeting celebrities and they ended up with the most gently, kind-hearted celebrity of all Michael Jackson. Michael wanted to heal this child´s cancer.
Now Jackson faces ten felony charges plus four minor ones. News networks generate huge ratings as they report the salacious details of his every move. He never wavers except the day when he got sick and went to hospital and that is the famous pyjama day. Tom Mesereau: That was my responsibility. I am at fault for that
The defense is slowly picking apart the prosecution case. Dates are not lining up. Michael´s defense team is discrediting all the prosecution´s key witnesses.
After a week of deliberations the jury acquit Michal Jackson of all 14 charges. Yet many in the media continue to portray him as a guilty man. The media was disappointed because it wasn´t the story they wanted to run. They were embarassed and didn´t know what to do. No one said: Oh, my goodness, we´re sorry. Let´s make the record straight now. In fact they ignored the not-guilty verdict:
The trial destroyed Michael Jackson. He never recovered from it. All he wanted now was to get some sleep. It turned out to be the wish that took his life.
He deteriorated physically during that trial. He was having trouble sleeping. He was having trouble eating. He was terrified of the effect on his children of all of this.
Five and a half months of your life of being exploited like that day after day that has to take away your spirit. It has taken its toll on him, his health and his whole way of thinking.
Michael Jackson did more good to more people around the globe than any entertainer ever. And at the end of the day that trial had an effect on Michael Jackson that was so profound that he never came back
APHRODITE, unlike all these cowards you are a really brave girl. And you´ve done a really good job! BIG THANKS to you and the people who cooperated with you. We have a long way to go. It is both hard, dangerous and honorable to be the first. But the TRUTH is worth all the hardship. God bless you.
* * *
The UK journalist Charles Thomson adds top important details to the 1993 story:
This documentary is not a definitive guide to the allegations against Jackson. The 2005 trial alone lasted four months and could warrant a six part TV series of its own. By condensing both rounds of allegations against Jackson plus his death into an hour-long show, programme makers have omitted a wealth of key information.
The 1993 case is all but skipped over. Claims made by Evan Chandler are stated as fact rather than conjecture and the ample evidence undermining the Chandler family´s case is not mentioned at all.
The show also fails to mention the enormous legal reason behind the settlement of the civil suit in 1994. Tom Sneddon had so little evidence to support his case in 1993 that two separate grand juries refused to allow him to bring charges against Jackson. The upshot of this was that the civil trial wound up scheduled ahead of any potential criminal trial. This was a violation of Jackson´s fifth amendment as it would severely undermine his right to a fair trial.
Holding the civil trial in advance of a criminal trial would give the prosecution unqualified access to Jackson´s defense strategy. If Jackson cited an alibi in his civil trial, Sneddon could go back to the office and change the dates on the criminal charges. If Jackson called witnesses to corroborate his version of events, Sneddon could go back to his office and mould his case around their testimony. He could tailor his case exactly to the defense strategy, making it impossible for Jackson to win a criminal trial. The only way Jackson could guarantee himself a fair criminal trial was to make the civil trial go away.
The settlement agreement included a clause specifically stating that settling the civil suit did not prevent the Chandler family from testifying in a criminal case.
Jackson was prepared to fight the allegations in court but he was not prepared to forfeit his right to a fair criminal trial by wasting his defense on a civil suit.
The Chandlers´ decision not to testify in the criminal case was entirely their own and is perhaps the best indication of what they were really about.
None of this was mentioned in the show´s discussion of the 1993 case.
Read more: Preview True Crime with Aphrodite Jones
Aphrodite Jones´ interview about Michael Jackson On Ustream - He died trying!
Below is a link to Aphrodite´s USTREAM interview recorded on April 29, 2010 about the ridiculous Arvizo case, Michael´s last concerts and film, and other issues related to his life and death. The main thing to note about the interview is that it is honest and brave:
You can watch it here
Some quotes (please correct me if I didn´t get all of them right):
Michael Jackson needs admirers because he had too much of detractors for too many years
I wrote the book Michael Jackson Conspiracy in 2006 right after the trial. It came out in 2007. At that time no one was questioning the media.
Did Michael Jackson endorse the book? Was he aware of Michael Jackson Conspiracy being published? No and No. I was very upset about that until the book came out. I now realize that had Michael Jackson endorsed the book, had he had given his blessing I would have been accused of being in day (wrong word? correct my English please!) with Michael Jackson on the project. That would have taken away the validity and authenticity of what I did. He had nothing to do with the book.
More and more people are questioning the veracity of what they´ve been told.
Martin Bashir made his name on the blight of Michael Jackson. When the trial against him started it started with that documentary. It was actually a piece of evidence we watched in the courtroom… He created a context in which it looked like Jackson had some interest in that young boy while what we saw was a boy in a wheelchair with no hair and skinny little body. He did all he could for that family out of the goodness of his heart. He helped a cancer patient.
They claimed that after the documentary aired that Michael Jackson decided to molest their son, not before!
Janet Arvizo was completely insane. Everybody in the court was rolling their eyeballs each time this woman opened her mouth. Her stories contradicted each other.
No one corrected the misreporting of the Michael Jackson trial. They made it seem he was acquitted because the jury were star-struck. No, they were not interested. These people were selected by two teams of experts.
It killed Michael Jackson spiritually. Michael should have had psychological help, a counsellor, someone he can go to after he was through with that ordeal because he was taxed, he really needed somebody to help him. Seeing himself betrayed by all the people he knew [after that] you can´t trust a counsellor or therapist who is trying to help you go through the pain of it.
After he died it occurred to me why Michael Jackson was interested in a comeback to the extent that he agreed to 50 concerts. He had been so trashed by the media that he tried to outdo himself and he died trying.
He was still being accused even after being acquitted. Wild allegations continued to come out.
HOW MUCH CAN ONE PERSON TAKE?