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On the Jackson Front

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Times are tough for Michael Jackson: a grand jury says he has to stand trial, his career is in limbo, and tawdry details came out about the charges against him.

The grim details:

    US broadcaster ABC has revealed details of what it says is a police report on child abuse allegations against entertainer Michael Jackson.
    It quotes a psychologist’s interview with the two boys at the centre of the case which has still to go to trial.

    Mr Jackson allegedly twice gave one boy so much wine he passed out and then touched him in an “inappropriate manner”, ABC reports.

    ….He is accused of molesting a boy, who is identified in court papers only as John Doe, between 7 February and 10 March 2003.

    Psychologist Stan Katz interviewed the alleged 12-year-old victim and his nine-year-old brother at the request of the family’s lawyer, and the notes were passed to Santa Barbara police for their report.

    According to ABC’s revelations on Tuesday, the elder boy, a cancer-sufferer, cried when asked about the alleged molestation and it was mainly the younger brother who gave the psychologist details of what allegedly happened.

    According to the leaked report:

    *The 45-year-old pop star reportedly gave the elder boy wine to drink and on at least two occasions the child passed out

    *He reportedly touched the boy inappropriately after he had passed out.

    *He reportedly surfed the internet on a laptop computer with the boy to find images of naked women and asked him to tell people, if they asked, that they had been watching The Simpsons.

    *”Jackson once stood in front of them naked for a moment, as they were watching TV,” Mr Katz was quoted as saying.

    *Mr Jackson reportedly played with a mannequin of an 8- or 9-year-old girl in a sexually suggestive manner in front of both boys.

    The pop star has dismissed the allegations against him as a “big lie”. [BBC]

The alleged mannequin fondler pleads for privacy:

    On Wednesday a grand jury in California found there was enough evidence to force the singer, 45, to face trial.

    Mr Jackson, who is staying in Florida, wrote on his website: “There are helicopters hovering above my residence, reporters staking out, and photographers lurking behind bushes.” He is expected to enter a “not guilty” plea at a court hearing on 30 April.

    ….I am respectfully requesting that media organisations please respect my privacy and that of my children,” he said.

    “I greatly appreciate your cooperation.” [BBC]

The MJJ Source site also mentions a candlelight vigil coming up Thursday:

    MJJsource has learned that there will be a Fan Sponsored & Organized Candlelight Vigil in support of Michael on Thursday, April 29th at 7PM. It will take place at the Neverland Gates on Figueroa Mountain Road. It is requested that fans bring their own candles and be extra careful with them. If you have any questions, please contact Faze at The_Faze@hotmail.com

    The organizers are also asking the fans to gather at the Court House in Santa Maria no later than 8AM on April 30th. They ask that the fans look out for the truck carrying the support banners, sent from 50 different countries, and give them a hand in displaying them!

    Michael is so appreciative of all the love and support of his fans. He is aware of all of their efforts and sends his deepest thanks

The NY Times looks at the career angle:

    Since November 2003, when he was first accused of sexually abusing a boy earlier that year at his Neverland ranch north of Santa Barbara, Mr. Jackson has completed several business deals that were in place at the time. They include a CBS entertainment special in January and the release of “Number Ones,” a Sony Music CD of his No. 1 hits.

    But several potentially lucrative business deals that were in the offing have since evaporated, and those formerly involved say the arrangements cannot be revived unless Mr. Jackson is cleared of all charges.

    “Given all the circumstances, it’s only natural that many deals that were envisioned cannot be executed at this point,” said Ronald Konitzer, one of several former business advisers to Mr. Jackson who have not had access to him since the scandal erupted and Leonard Mohammed, a leader of the Nation of Islam, took charge of Mr. Jackson’s affairs.

    ….Mr. Konitzer was part of a group that had developed MJ Universe, a 10-year multitiered plan to revive Mr. Jackson’s business empire. The plan would have leveraged his name as a brand to be allied to electronics and high-technology companies like cellphone networks and video entertainment businesses.

    The venture also included a plan to create a movie studio with a Canadian investor, a project that has now evaporated, Mr. Jackson’s former advisers said.

    Similarly, investors who were looking to ally themselves with Mr. Jackson to buy Sony’s half of a music catalog that he owns with Sony (it includes the Beatles’ work) have distanced themselves. Among the investors, the former advisers said, are foreign business executives, including a group in Bahrain, and Don Hannah, an investor leading a venture capital group based in Arizona.

    Charles Koppelman, who manages Mr. Jackson’s music affairs, said Mr. Jackson was continuing to record from Los Angeles, where he now lives. “There are things I’m waiting to hear, some tracks that are done,” he said.

    Mr. Jackson’s recording deal with Sony, with which he has had a business relationship since 1975, will end with the release of a boxed set of his music sometime next year, Mr. Koppelman said. Sony Music’s retail Web site, www.sonymusicstore.com, now also offers for sale “The One,” a DVD of Mr. Jackson.

    ….”The charges on the table here are directly connected to the business challenges,” he said. “But the objective here is to get acquitted in court, period. The objective is not to return to 1984 and be big again. That is not on the table.”

UPDATE
Jackson dumps lawyers:

    Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman have given no reason for the decision but said they “both wished Michael well”.

    The singer will now be represented by another well-known criminal defence lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, when he appears in court on Friday.

    Until recently Mr Mesereau represented the 1970s TV star Robert Blake in his murder case.

    But they parted company in February, citing “irreconcilable differences”.

    Star lawyers

    The BBC’s Peter Bowes in Los Angeles says Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman have a reputation for being the best in the business.

    Both lawyers have worked with high-profile entertainers before but they say they will no longer be representing Michael Jackson.

    “Based on recent developments and discussions with various persons in the Jackson camp, it became clear that it would be best if Mark and I decided to step down,” Mr Brafman said

    Mr Geragos stood for Robert Downey Jr on drugs charges and was thought to have been instrumental in Winona Ryder escaping jail at her high-profile shoplifting trial.

    The lawyer has also acted for former US President Bill Clinton’s brother Roger in a drink-drive case, and had kidnap and arson charges dismissed against hip-hop star Nate Dogg. [BBC]

The BBC has a profile of Mesereau:

    Until recently Mr Mesereau represented the 1970s TV star Robert Blake in his murder case, but the pair parted company in February, citing “irreconcilable differences”.

    Mr Mesereau took over the case in November 2002 after Mr Blake’s previous lawyer, Harland Braun, quit over a television interview the actor planned to give.

    ….”I’m deeply deeply grateful to him. Mr Mesereau saved my life. He saved my daughter’s life. I wish him all the best,” said Robert Blake.

    Regular churchgoer

    Mr Mesereau’s other high profile clients have included heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, whom he represented during a 2001 criminal investigation, and US newsreader Larry Carroll who was acquitted over charges of fraud.

    Mr Mesereau, who studied at Harvard and the London School of Economics, is also recognised for his notable courtroom victories defending clients facing the death penalty in Alabama and Mississippi.

    A regular churchgoer, Mr Mesereau volunteered his trial services in the death penalty cases without charge. He also provides free legal advice to the underprivileged at the First A.M.E Church in Los Angeles.

    Born in 1950 into a military family in West Point, New York, Mr Mesereau has been widely praised for his forceful courtroom demeanour.

    ….His diplomatic, yet assertive manner helped him secure bail for Robert Blake last year, leading Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, Lloyd M Nash, to call him “one of the finest lawyers I have ever seen”.

    Former federal prosecutor John Potter, who faced Thomas Mesereau in court in a previous case, told the Los Angeles Times he conveys “a sincere and deep-rooted belief in the innocence of his clients”.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.gwbush.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    I doubt he’ll be convicted of anything. I think he made a smart move in firing his current legal team.

    But his career is finished, regardless…

    As an aside, what kind of sicko sleeps with little kids who aren’t his own? I mean, he may be innocent of the charges against him, but Jesus, what a weirdo…

  • sheri

    Wouldn’t a child drunk enough on wine to pass out be puking? On the other hand, why would a child lie about things of this nature?

    I do not envy the jurors on this one.

  • Eric Olsen

    Sheri, it’s pretty hard to tell where “falling asleep” ends and “passing out” begins. I would think a child could easily fall asleep under the infulence of alcohol befoer reaching the point of throwing up.

    Ultimately I doubt he’ll be convicted also, but I thought the same thing about Martha Stewart, but I agree that he is pretty well done in terms of career and while I have no idea if he is innocent or guilty of these charges, there is no question he brought the scrutiny on himself with extremely unsavory behavior to which he freely admits

  • Eric Olsen

    UPDATE, As RJ mentioned, Jackson fired his lawyers over the weekend and hired Thomas Mesereau.

  • EUGENIA BEMIS

    I THINK HE IS QUILTY. ALL THE CLUES ARE THERE. IF A PERSON IS NOT FAMILIER WITH MOLSTING OF CHILDREN THEN IT CAN BE OVER LOOKED. I DON’T BLAME HIS FAMILY FOR NOT WANTING TO BE LIEVE IT OF JACKSON. ITS UP TO THE JURERS. BUT I HOPE HES FOND QUILTY. THEY ARE NEVER CURED AND THEY WILL GO ON TO DO IT AGAIN & AGAIN. THEY DON’T THINK THEY DO ANY THING WRONG. HOPFULLY JUSTICE GETS SREVED.

  • Karen

    OMG!
    Ewwwwwwwwwww! I was a big fan of Micheal Jackson when he was younger. I mean c’mon even LisMariePresley said that she found some incriminating evidence on Micheal Jackson. She found pornography of children in his house for God sakes in a room !! I don’t know if people remember that incident! ALl I know is that if people even movie stars comit the crime they should be punished. Let crime fit the punishment no matter who you are.. Just so our kids will be safe.People open your eyes! He is guilty!! What if it happenned to your child????????

  • Sarah

    I think MJ is INNOCENT. The guy is very child like, I dont think MJ has even had Sexual Intercourse, I dont think he would know how. MJ just loves Children and is completely dedicated to his own, have you seen that man with his kids? He adores them and they adore him.
    Micheal was accused of Molesting Jordan, what NORMAL PARENT would let a molester pay them off??? I certainly wouldnt, No money in this world would stop me from seeing justice done. They were very sick parents to take money for something that cruel, IF it was TRUE???
    Also what parents after this accusation even if it wasnt true would let there Son/Daughter actually stay the night at Neverland anyway?
    Also Tom Sneddon will stoop to anything to get a conviction against MJ. I think he is the Sick one, and he is pathetic, he needs to get a life and a new case, Leave MJ alone!

  • andrea

    micheal jackson is definetly not guilty. he is just a guy who never had a childhood who is now living it and i think it is pafetic that he can’t be allowed peace to live his life. the justice system have always been out to get him and as for the childrens parents if he was that bad why leave your children with him

  • Eric Olsen

    andrea, I agree to a certain extent with your logic that the parents who have entrusted their children to Jackson, especially following the glaring red flag of the ’93 settlement, share some of the culpability, but only he is to blame for whatever he did, assuming he did something.

    How do you know he is “definitely not guilty”? YOu and Geraldo must know something I don’t.

  • http://www.templeofdagon.net Marty Dodge

    His career is definetely toast, but I have to disagree with Geraldo that he is going to get away with this stuff. As several commenters have already said, if this were anyone else but Michael they would be rotting in jail already.

  • Eric Olsen

    most likely so Marty: his money has enabled this lifestyle and protection against the prying eyes of the world, but that can only last so long

  • http://mike.shelikesit.net mrbenning

    This is definitely one for the courts. If what I’ve read in The Smoking Gun is even close to the truth, both parties have reasons to be ashamed.

    Mr. Jackson shouldn’t go to such great lengths to defend himself. It makes him like like a ten-year-old sweeping his mess under his bed and then claiming his room is clean. Paying people off is the quickest way to get them to shut up, but also the shadiest way to cover your tracks. Also, the supposed dumping of the boy’s urine to avoid facing testing results seems kind of strange (this one I’m not sure if I buy).

    The mother of the children stayed at the ranch in a guest house while her boys slept in Michael’s room. Even if he did molest them, she’s should have a nice case of child endangerment on her hands. To top it off, even though Michael’s not the sanest man in America, attempting to kidnap a child and drag him to another country seems pretty drastic. It’s been my opinion for some time that a move out of the country to avoid legal attention would be pretty easy for him. Why would he kidnap someone, let alone a whole family before doing it?

    Like I said, leave it to the courts. It seems the answer is probably more complicated than any internet-found evidence could corroborate.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.blogspot.com Lono

    Definately not guilty? Well, we know this much: he was giving kids wine and booze. he was sleeping with them (I didn’t say sex), and they found all kinds of porn when they searched his room.

    molestation or not, dude is guilty and gross and done for forever.

  • kate

    in all honesty i have to say, just leave the poor dude alone.if there is no absolute proof just keep out of his buisseness. this guy going against him will be the first of many if he wins the case because papers will be paying a small fortune for the scoop. he has brought micheals life out into othe public when he had absolutly no reason to try and humiliate him the way he has!!

  • Eric Olsen

    what is “absolute proof,” Kate?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Personally, I had no plans to get into Jackson’s buisseness.

    But that’s just me.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Wise up, EB. “Buisseness” is Old French for “pants.”

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Yep, CC, I got no business in that buisseness either, no how.

  • Eric Olsen

    but as always, regarding these specific charges, guilty until proven … , wait, check that: innocent until proven guilty

  • William

    I knew the whole time that Micheal Jackson was innocent. The accuser is my cousin(Jon Doe) and he told me it was all a lie but my aunt just wanted money.