In his relatively short life Michael Jackson
had to face the unbelievable number of 1500 suits and give testimony
some 1000 times
His-story: Hold on
People accused him of the craziest things on earth from
stealing their songs and owing them half a million dollars for
working overtime (I wish my salary were that high) to some totally
ridiculous stuff like suing him for the death of a patient moved
by the doctors to another ward when Michael was taken to hospital
for emergency treatment.
Since it is impossible to dwell on all the 1500 cases I suggest
focusing only on the main ones. None of us here are as tough
as Michael Jackson and I bet that getting familiar with only
a few of them will give you a feel of what his life was really
like. For a start let me recommend you an excellent overview
of the major accusations Michael had to deal with which was
made by LisaG at www.michaeljackson.com/us/node/153765
It will give you at least some idea of the amount of malice
and spite Michael Jackson had to face almost non-stop in his
short and cometlike life.
1993 Jordie Chandler
Michael met Jordie and the two quickly became friends
when Michael was 34 and Jordie was 13. Michael met Jordie when
his car broke down near a Rent-A-Wreck then owned by Jordie´s
step-father, David Schwartz. David helped Michael and asked
that he wait his wife, June Chandler to bring Jordie to meet
Jordie, his halfsister Lily and mother June became regulars
at Michael´s Neverland Ranch. This was particularly true
when June and David later separated. Jordie´s father,
exhusband Evan Chandler was an aspiring writer. He also
became friendly with Michael through his son. Evan apparently
liked being Michael´s friend and in the spot light. However,
after several confrontations where Evan acted erratically, Michael
started to avoid Evan. Michael continued his friendship with
Jordie, but would no longer spend time around Evan.
Evan then asked June to keep Jordie for a few days. He actually
had already gone to an attorney and had begun to hatch a plot
to extort money from Michael based upon sexual abuse of Jordie.
He gained June´s cooperation by threatening never to return
Jordie to his mother. While with Evan, who was a dentist, Jordie
was given sodium amytal. The drug used to be used as truth
serum during confessions. However, it has now been discredited
and is known to implant false memories. During that session,
Jordie claimed that MJ had molested him. The acts alleged involved
kissing and touching (masturbation) — allegations that cannot
be proven (or more importantly, disproven) through physical
Before commencing the civil lawsuit, Evan Chandler met with
Michael Jackson and demanded $20 million dollars. Schwartz recorded
Chandler who said that if he goes through with this, there was
no way he could lose. He had hired a mean, son of a b***** lawyer
and would ruin Michael´s life.
After the civil lawsuit was commenced, the DA opened its own
criminal file. Enter Tom Sneddon.
The DA was able to get a search warrant allowing MJ to be photographed
in the nude to determine whether descriptions of MJ´s
penis and buttocks area, provided by Jordie, matched. The Smoking
Gun claimed that it had an affidavit by a police officer describing
Jordy´s description of MJ´s penis.
I won´t get into the legal technicalities of that form
of double hearsay, but I will say that the affidavit indicated
that Jordie´s description included that MJ was circumcised.
MJ was not circumcised. (To me, that detail was the most important
reason that the DA in 1993 would not have been able to proceed
in 1993. Who could have made so integral a mistake if they had
really viewed his penis?)
In addition, it is claimed that Jordie described a dark spot
present on an area at the base of Michael´s penis. The
photographer was a police photographer who had read the affidavit
and was familiar with the descriptions. Therefore, he asked
that Michael re-arrange his (ahem) anatomy so that he
could view the area in question. I got this from a portion of
Diane Dimond´s book that was part of a free preview. She
interviewed the photographer who said that while he saw this
dark spot, he did not get a picture of it! Are you kidding me?
The whole purpose of being there was for him to corroborate
the affidavit. If such a dark spot really existed, why didn´t
he get the picture? Of course, Ms. Dimond does not explain the
issue of circumcision at all in her book.
The media perpetuated the erroneous belief that Jordie Chandler
accurately described MJ´s privates. Lisa Marie said to
Diane Sawyer that when the description did not match, the newspapers
only printed a tiny article detailing that fact.
After the photographs turned out to be a bust, in the civil
action, Evan Chandler decided that he wanted to review MJ´s
finances. He claimed that he was at a disadvantage in litigating
the case because MJ had so much money. At the same time, the
DA decided that it would not pursue criminal charges against
Evan Chandler for extortion. I guess that when you´re
trying to build a case for molestation against a person, you
cannot simultaneously bring charges against the accuser for
MJ apparently cracked under the pressure and went in to drug
rehabilitation even though he was on tour at the time.
Based upon the recommendations of Liz Taylor, Lisa Marie and
his recently retained attorney, Johnny Cochran, MJ was persuaded
to pay the Chandlers. It is relevant to mention that the attorneys
who represented MJ prior to Cochran did not recommend settlement
and had filed a counterclaim against the Chandlers for extortion.
Based upon the advice of his friends, MJ agreed to settle. A
lot of people think that MJ settled the 1993 suit with money
from his own pocket. However, when I’ve explained to people
that the money was actually paid by MJ´s insurer, the
payout made a lot more sense. In doing a quick mathematical
calculation, I’ve estimated that in 1993, assuming 6 attorneys
at 8 hours a day, it would have cost the insurer over $10 million
to defend MJ for 365 days. The 2005 investigation and trial
lasted 572 days. Plus, in 1993, there was also a pending civil
suit and a counterclaim suit where MJ claimed extortion by the
Chandlers. Civil suits can drag on for years. A conservative
estimate would be 3-5 years. No insurance company is going to
pay $20 million annually for defense when they can settle and
be done. My estimate does not include investigators, paralegals
or other litigation costs.
Non-lawyers seem to think that an insurance company cannot make
you settle. However, insurance is to provide you with an attorney
and pay for any judgment. It does not exist to guarantee you
a day in Court. Therefore, once you are sued, the insurer can
make any settlements that are in their best interests. Since
they are in the business of making money, settling for less
than defense costs is in their best interests.
In 2004, Michael Jackson´s defense attorneys filed legal
papers seeking to preclude evidence of the 1993 settlement specifically
because Michael did not have control over the settlement and
both Michael and his legal team objected to the settlement.
If you do not agree to settle within the policy limits, an insurer
can rescind the policy leaving you without coverage.
I question the motives of the Chandlers. What parent in the
whole world would accept money if their child was truly molested?
Besides, there would have been absolutely nothing to prevent
bringing the suit after a criminal trial if MJ had been convicted.
According to the civil attorney at the time, quite a bit of
money had been spent in preparing the civil case. The risk to
the Chandlers and their attorney would have been an acquittal
in the criminal case which would have–as it did for the Arvizos–foreclosed
a subsequent law suit.
As part of the settlement, all of the parties signed a confidentiality
agreement. When Jordie Chandler accepted the money, he refused
However, Mr. Sneddon did not close his file on MJ. The
Police Departments in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara continued
searching for evidence. The DA scoured the earth (literally)
looking for another witness to corroborate molestation claims
in 1993 and came up with nothing. There are reports that even
the people who sold stories to tabloids would not come forward
and testify under oath.
Criminal claims against Michael Jackson were brought to TWO
grand juries. Neither one would indict. It is important to note
that grand juries hear the evidence that the prosecution intends
to present. There is no cross-examination or questioning. Therefore,
it is the prosecution’s evidence without any opportunity to
rebut any of the claims. Even though this one-sided form of
evidence was presented to two different grand juries, Michael
was not indicted.
Evan Chandler subsequently sued MJ for $60 million claiming
that MJ had violated the terms of the confidentiality agreement
by denying the molestation claims. However, the confidentiality
agreement specifically said that neither party was guilty of
any crime or had committed any wrongdoing. The case was tossed
out of court.
Evan Chandler also brought suit when MJ wrote They Don´t
Care About Us. He claimed that the song portrayed him
in a bad light because the lines Jew me, sue me
and Kick me, kike me referred to him. Since he was Jewish,
the statements were derogatory. That suit was also tossed.
1994 Jason Francia
The only other settlement was with MJ´s maid Jason
Francia´s mother. Diane Dimond – then of Hard Copy offered
her $20K for a juicy story. Once paid, she provided a story
about an event when Michael was tickling her son. The story
contradicted her sworn deposition testimony about her employment
by MJ and her personal observations. It appears that in this
tickling event, she later claimed that MJ got too close to her
son´s testicles. She did not come forward with this tale
until money was offered.
Further, once the story was out there with Diane Dimond, she
capitalized with a demand on MJ. Jason Francia´s first
session with a psychiatrist was attended by none other than
Tom Sneddon. Jason Francia was never told that his mother had
accepted money from Diane Dimond until years later when he was
having his own financial difficulties and decided that he wanted
to sue MJ.
Jason Francia´s statement and testimony was presented
to the grand jury in 1994. It did not result in an indictment.
Blanca Francia has wavered on her tale suggesting that her son
has made allegations and has not made allegations. Regardless
of her own wavering, neither police nor a grand jury found Francia
credible enough to proceed with charges.
2003 Gavin Arvizo The Arvizo kids were poor Latinos
who lived in East LA. They spent time at a comedy club and were
exposed to numerous entertainers including George Lopez and
Chris Tucker. Gavin was then diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
He asked to meet Michael Jackson. MJ invited the family to Neverland.
It was apparent that Gavin´s father was abusive to the
entire family. Gavin´s mother, Janet eventually divorced
I won´t go into the background and character of the Arvizos
who, in my opinion, were grifters. However, prior to the MJ
criminal action in August 1998 the Arvizo family was detained
on a shoplifting charge at a J.C. Penney department store in
West Covina, California. According to J.C. Penney, Gavin and
Star Arvizo were sent out of the store by their father with
an armload of stolen clothes, the family was detained and Janet
started a scuffle with security officers.
The shoplifting charge was dropped, but Janet filed a lawsuit
for $3 million, saying that when she was detained she was viciously
beaten by three security officers, one of whom was female.
The psychiatrist hired by J. C. Penney to evaluate Janet Arvizo
found her to have rehearsed her children into supporting her
story and to be both delusional and depressed,
although Janet´s own doctor found her to be only the latter.
More than two years after the original alleged incident Janet
added a further charge that one of the male officers had sexually
fondled her breasts and pelvis area for up to seven
minutes. Star Arvizo and Gavin Arvizo corroborated her
allegations in depositions. Ultimately, the department store
settled out of court with the family for $152,000. The defense
was not permitted to introduce the testimony of JC Penney security
guards Dexter Mason and Paul Krugman to whom Janet Arvizo apologized
one day after the scuffle. However, these young children testified
about sexual acts against their mother and got money out of
It is also noteworthy that Janet and her daughter Davellin Arvizo
testified that David Arvizo sexually abused them during the
Once Gavin started feeling better, it appeared that Michael
started to withdraw from the Arvizo family. Once while at Neverland,
Gavin was told that Michael was not there. However, Gavin bumped
into Michael. Gavin said he was crushed. In addition to the
three Arvizo children, several other children were there including
the brother and sister of Michael´s friend Frank Cascio.
The staffers at Neverland said that the Arvizo children were
obnoxious, messy and rude. However, they were apparently given
the run of Neverland. They knew the security codes to every
part of Neverland and used them to gain access into Michael´s
room, even when he was not there.
MJ agreed to do the Bashir interview in part because Bashir
indicated that he would help promote Michael´s charities
including those in Africa. It was in that televised interview
that the world learned that children slept in MJ´s bedroom.
To me, it is so significant that MJ came on (inter)national
television and said that he allowed children to sleep in his
bed. This was not a salacious detail that came out in cross
examination, but one that MJ freely admitted and reiterated
to Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes.
Strange? Yes. Criminal? No. What criminal would go on national
television and admit that he was committing a crime? If
MJ had understood how people would take such a statement, perhaps
he would not have said it. In fact, he was able to see the program
before it aired. He apparently signed off on it. However, regardless
of how this statement was viewed by the wide world, it came
from his own mouth.
Shortly after the televised interview, in February 2003, the
Department of Children Services interviewed Gavin Arvizo and
found that there was no wrongdoing by MJ. However, the Arvizos
decided to bring a lawsuit against Bashir because, Janet Arvizo
claimed that she did not give anyone permission to have her
children on television. After going to a civil attorney, she
was referred to the same civil attorney who had represented
Jordie Chandler. He recommended that she take Gavin to a psychologistthe
same one that saw Jordie Chandler. Based upon his results, the
Arvizos decided to bring a civil lawsuit claiming molestation.
However, rather than spending time and money conducting an investigation
for a lawsuit, the attorney went to the DATom Sneddon.
That way, the DA would spend taxpayers´ money to conduct
his investigation. Had Tom Sneddon gotten a conviction, the
Arvizos would have gotten an easy payday.
Initially, the Arvizos claimed that the molestation, which included
touching again, something that cannot be easily disproven
occurred before the Bashir documentary. In other words,
while the entire world was focused on what MJ had said about
sleeping in the same room with children and the media was hounding
MJ, that´s when MJ is alleged to have committed these
However, this claim contradicted the statements he had given
to the Dept. of Children´s Services. When the Department
of Children Services report was leaked to the media, the Arvizos
brought a lawsuit claiming that this report defamed them as
it contradicted the molestation claims against Michael Jackson.
In order to avoid his sworn statements in the report, Gavin
later testified that the molestation began AFTER the report
was written, in March 2003. Of note, the Arvizos and MJ were
at Neverland from March 2-March 5 and again from March 9-March
12. The Arvizos never returned.
Rule 1108 of the California Penal Code allows evidence of prior
similar acts even if there was no conviction in the prior incidents.
The judge in the MJ case permitted witnesses to testify that
they saw these acts of molestation without bringing in the actual
Prior to the trial, it was alleged that there were a number
of other victims including Macaulay Culkin, Wade Robson and
Brett Barnes. All three of these men testified for Michael Jackson´s
defense. Diane Dimond claimed that during the investigation,
police also considered that Omer Bhatti was a victim.
Yes, Omer Bhatti, the same guy that the media now claims is
Michael´s Secret Son!
Tom Sneddon again scoured the earth for anyone who could support
his claims against MJ. The only people who supported the claims
were four disgruntled former employees who had sued MJ and lost.
In fact, MJ had countersued and all of the former employees
owed him money from a judgment secured against them. Apparently,
they had stolen items from Neverland. They had also signed a
contract with a media company to give the company stories about
MJ. Under cross-examination by Tom Mesereau, one of the witnesses
stated, I just want to go home.
In 2005, when June Chandler testified for the prosecution, she
denied that she was named in the original Chandler lawsuit and
made statements that Michael was just a big kid. She also said
that Michael treated her and her children like his own family.
Jordie Chandler did not testify. However, according to Tom Mesereau,
he was prepared for Jordie Chandler´s testimony. In an
interview available on Mr. Mesereau´s website, he stated
that he had witnesses who Jordie told that the accusation was
untrue. In fact, Jordie told these witnesses that he would not
speak to his parents ever again for what they made him say.
In fact, June Chandler admitted in 2005 that she had not spoken
to her son in eleven years.
Prosecutors tried to get him in but he would not show up. Friends
said that he told that it had never happened and that he would
never speak to his parents because of what they made him say.
He had in fact gotten legal emancipation from him parents.
Ten search warrants were executed upon MJ for several residences
including Neverland. The police had every opportunity to find
incriminating evidence but found nothing. I would note that
now the deputies are showing photographs depicting various sedatives.
If MJ had so many sedatives, why did he try to give the kids
Jesus Juice? He could have just knocked them out
with the sedatives. Most likely, it´s because these children
did not know about the drugs that were present in the house.
The DA probably left the drugs out of the case because it would
run counter to his theory.
On June 13, 2005, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty
on all of the charges against MJ.
On August 5, 2005, Jordie and his father were living together
in a high-rise luxury building overlooking the Hudson River
in New York City when, from behind, Evan hit Jordie with a 12
½ lb. dumb bell. For good measure, Evan then sprayed Jordie
in the face with mace. Jordie sought a permanent restraining
order against his father. The case was initially dismissed,
but on appeal, the appeals court in New Jersey determined that
Jordie presented enough evidence to warrant a trial to determine
if Evan Chandler presented enough of a danger to warrant a permanent
restraining Order. In June 2006, Jordie finally obtained a permanent
restraining order against his father.
So far, I have read Moonwalk, The Magic…
, the Michael
Jackson Conspiracy and I´m in the process of reading Redemption.
I have also read Mary A. Fischer´s GQ article and have
listened to Mesereau interviews and any other reliable
sources that I can think of. While I will not purchase Diane
Dimond´s book, the portions that I have read on the internet
are enlightening due to Ms. Dimond´s omissions. I intend
to read the transcripts and any other public documents that
I can get my hands on and will let you all know what I find
Thank you Helena for your generosity
sharing your investigation!