This is what TOM MESEREAU, Michael Jackson´s
principal defense attorney in 2005, said about the treatment
Michael used to receive from his former lawyers, the coverage
of court proceedings by the press and the unique practice
of introducing the 1993 hearsay into the 2005 case:
The prosecution was permitted to introduce evidence that
Jackson had settled other claims of child molestation in civil
court. The actual dollar amounts were not admitted (as if anyone
hadn´t heard them!). It was also permitted to introduce
evidence of alleged prior similar acts of child molestation.
Prosecutors were permitted to introduce such evidence extending
back 10 years.
As icing on the cake, the court permitted them to call third-party
witnesses who watched the alleged acts without any requirement
that the actual alleged victims testify.
During the prosecution´s rebuttal, the court permitted
the prosecutors to play a police interview tape of the alleged
victim. Of course, this was rank hearsay. The theory
of admissibility was that I had challenged the demeanor of the
alleged victim and the tape was relevant to rebut.
Five lawyers testified. Three were called by the prosecution
and two by the defense. I have always believed that lawyers
are the easiest witnesses to discredit. Throw them any measure
of flattery and the seeds of arrogance are sown.
We had more good days in this trial than anyone can reasonably
expect. But the public never saw how many prosecution witnesses
were scorched on cross-examination.
The judge imposed a gag order, which I supported. While this
permitted more flexibility in court, it made the trial easily
distorted by self-serving pundits. I would often return to my
duplex, turn on the TV and turn apoplectic at what was being
reported. Quite often, former prosecutors in New York would
wax passionately about how a witness behaved.
Their theatrics were totally lacking in substance or
accuracy. I thought we were winning all along. But the media
reported the very opposite.
And, of course, jealous, shallow legal pundits had a field day
criticizing my performance. To them, God help any lawyer who
engaged in unconventional trial behavior. SUCH HEARSAY MERITED
My reaction to this cauldron was stoicism and a hermit-like
existence. Our team lived in condominiums far from the media
hotels, restaurants and bars. I was in bed at 7:30 most evenings
with a 3 a.m. start. Our staff worked all night updating witness
books and performing other chores. Because they had a key to
my apartment, the door would open virtually every hour with
updated binders appearing miraculously on my stairwell. We lived
like this for six months.
In the wake of his passing, I am haunted by certain late-night
phone calls I received from Michael. Childlike, kindhearted
and terrified, Michael begged me not to allow corrupt enemies
to co-opt my performance. He seemed skeptical about any lawyer
truly acting in an honorable, professional manner.
I repeatedly assured him that my background had more to do with
civil rights than it did Hollywood. THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS
CELEBRITY WAS NOT ACCUSTOMED TO HONEST, DECENT REPRESENTATION.
The 14 acquittals were tantamount to complete legal vindication.
Nevertheless, I write this with a heavy heart. Michael was one
of the kindest, nicest people I ever met. His wistful desire
to heal the world with love, music and artistry clashed horribly
with the barbaric way he was exploited.
The world is a far better place because of him. Meserau
Thank you Helena for your generosity
sharing your investigation!