will be adding more interviews when I get a chance.
Marion Spence and her son Jonathan became family friends in the mid-80’s. Meeting the Jackson’s, “when my son would play baseball and he [Michael] used to be there with some of his family at the baseball game. Because his brothers children would be playing baseball at the same time. So we got to know them very well and got to know Michael very well,” Marion said.
Elaborating further Marion stated, “We used to go to Havenhurst– to the family house on Havenhurst and Latoya would be there and Janet would be there and Tito, his brother, had a house up in Big Bear and we were invited up there for a weekend. The whole family was nice with us. Very, very nice –his mother would call and say Hi and how’s everything and when are we going to see Jonathan.”
Marion would tell me that although they never toured with the superstar, she and her son did spend a considerable amount of time with Michael, “We went to concerts, we went to Neverland which was wonderful –with Michael. He would send a car for us and we would spend the day together by the pool. Have dinner there in the evening and it was just wonderful. It was just like being in a hotel. We would stay in one of his houses on the estate. He was just a very generous, kind, loving person. I absolutely adored him everybody, I mean I don’t know anybody who didn’t. He was just very nice and I would never say anything wrong about Michael because there just isn’t anything to say. His mother was very nice. His family was very nice to us.”
“Jonathon used to go to Elizabeth’s [Taylor] house with Michael. And Sophia Loren’s house–she lived out here in West Lake or Calabasas and Michael went and they played with her two sons and she would make them spaghetti.” Michael would stop by the Spence family home to visit. Bringing along his chimpanzee Bubbles. “I have photographs of him giving him his banana up in the driveway. When I knew Bubbles he was very playful—Michael loved his animals,” Marion said.
Clearly irritated that anyone would suggest wrongdoing on Michael’s part Marion said, “Michael had a load of kids sleeping in his bed all at the same time. There wasn’t anything funny going on there. He just liked to be around kids and toys. Michael was such a good person. He wouldn’t hurt a fly or anybody or anything. Michael was very kind hearted. The media harps on the tragic because that’s what people want to hear. They’re not interested on the good things too much. Anything that’s a scandal, they’re into it, but really they got the wrong person when they thought about Michael.” Her family did indeed have a long-term friendship with the superstar, confirmed that her son Jonathan was married at Neverland years later.
“Haywood Nelson, who played Dwayne Wade on What’s Happening, told me in the early ’80s that MJ had Lupus. I believe Jermaine told him. I found out when everyone else did about the vitiligo,” said family friend Flo Anthony
“He was a grown man when she [Diana Ross] married Arne Naess and thought she should have given a chance. In fact, when she married everyone was scared to tell MJ. Kidada Jones was a little girl then, and, she ended up being the one who told him,” she said.
Flo Anthony, a close Jackson family friend, gave further insight into Houston’s relationships with the Jackson’s:“I’ve always heard that MJ and Whitney had crushes on each other, but, she had a long-term affair with Jermaine. They even lived together for a summer in New Jersey, so, I doubt if anything was really happening with her and MJ. She also had dinner with him [Michael] at Neverland. He served fried chicken.”
Before screenwriter Paul Hernandez had success with his 2005 Disney film Sky High, he was an aspiring writer new to Los Angeles. Being a comic book fan with aspirations of working in that field, he took on a job at Golden Apple. “It’s a huge store on Melrose,” he explains. “Not only do they have comic books and action figures, but the place really is over the top — movie props, incredibly rare and cool items.” It was common for the store to be frequented by celebrities such as Mark Hamill, John Singleton and Samuel L. Jackson. Yet, Paul was advised one morning that an unnamed celebrity was coming in and to “be cool.”
Later that same day a black SUV pulled up and out popped Michael Jackson, an assistant, and Jordan Chandler. Hernandez was tasked to assist Michael as he browsed the store and said, “Michael was a huge Spiderman fan” and that “Jordan was into the Flash comics and the Flash action figures.” Michael went on to purchase multiples of certain items because “he used them in gift bags for the children that visited Neverland and would ask me, ‘There’s nothing violent, nothing sexual in any of these?’ To ensure that children visiting Neverland weren’t given anything inappropriate.
“It must be something to wake up or get up in the middle of the night and that’s your backyard,” Paul asked, recalling the images of Michael’s home during his live Oprah interview that aired a few months prior. But Michael said, “No, it’s something when you wake up and you see all these children that are never going to get a chance to ride another ride and they’re happy for one day.” Paul told us, “I remember that distinctly because I thought he’s not running this for himself, he’s running this for other people.”
There is an adult book section within the Golden Apple, Paul explained and “Jordan had wandered back there and I said, ‘You really don’t want to go over there — there’s nothing really good over there,’” Hernandez recalled. “Michael then asked, ‘What’s over there?’ and I said, ‘Well it’s like the adult books, the X-rated books.’
Michael said, ‘Jordan, don’t go near that section– that’s where the bad books are.’ I remember he did say ‘bad books,’’ recalled Hernandez, but “Jordan giggled…he acted like he was moving over there and [Michael] said, ‘I’m serious Jordan, if you go near there I’m not going to buy you anything.’ And [Jordan] said, ‘No, no, okay, okay.’”
Michael was a fan of comics and pointed out multiple items that he had interest in. “I remember the comic book I was showing him was called The World’s Finest and when Michael leaned over to pick up a copy I could see behind his ear, it was his left ear. He had scars from the burns, and I recognized what they were because I was burned,” said Hernandez. “When he leaned back up I didn’t catch myself from doing it — I’ll talk to anyone who was burned because I have problems sometimes so I said, ‘Do you still have problems from the burns you got during the Pepsi commercial?’ He turned and looked at me and I said, ‘I don’t mean that in a bad way, I was burned,’ and I leaned down immediately, to let him know why I was asking, and I pulled up my pant leg.”
Michael exclaimed when he saw the burn scars on Paul’s leg and asked, “How did that happen?” and “I told him that both of my legs were burned and that when I was two,” said Paul, who went on to tell him about his horrific childhood incident. Michael “was just devastated — and you could just tell in his face he was just like, ‘Oh my Gosh,’ and he kept saying that over and over again.” Michael told Paul, “I didn’t have it half that bad when it happened to me. At the time I just thought it’s the end of the world and I thought, ‘I can’t believe this, my hair is gone.’ But when I started meeting burn patients I realized I had nothing to cry about, I was lucky.” Michael “talked to me about how he really doesn’t worry about it when he’s wearing a hat and he’s out in public. But on stage he would have to wear I guess little wigs and stuff and when he did spins and things like that he didn’t want people to see he was still scarred up there,” Paul recalled and pointed to this conversation with the superstar as being a particularly poignant moment.
“I have to mention, too, is he wasn’t wearing gloves so you could see the vitiligo on his hands. You could see the spots were his skin was different pigmentation. It reminded me a lot of my uncle because my uncle had it on his arms and it looked like that. The same type pattern and shape. I didn’t think about it when I talked to him.” The two men were talking about superheroes when Paul asked, “Would you ever be in a comic book movie?” (“And this is of course before comic book movies were en vogue,” Paul explained to us.) With that question Michael exclaimed, “Oh yeah I would love to play a superhero!” as he elaborated further, “I think you carry that stuff with you — you know, like moments in movies. When we’re young and we can’t make up our minds what’s right and wrong, it’s always good to have powerful imagery that you’ve seen or you’ve read that sort of guide you in the right direction.” In complete agreement with Jackson on the topic, Paul recalls, “We started talking about black heroes. Now there’s more, but back then you had Black Panther and Black — unfortunately all these guys have that name before it.” Michael went on to say that “he created a character called MidKnight and it was something that he really wanted to do,” said Paul. But, “I think what he said was that they could never get the story to where he approved of it.”
Hernandez stated that this encounter was shortly after,” Michael had just done a short radio interview with Rick Dees to promote his new album” on June 5th 1993. He asked Michael about it because at the end of the interview– Rick asked him, what can people expect from your new album? Are there any secrets? Michael responded (in a high-pitched voice) oh, I have to go Rick… I love you… I love you Rick. Paul asked him, was that really you? Michael just started laughing… so Paul started laughing and Michael says jokingly maybe I should put a song called “I love you Rick” on my next album.
As Michael and Jordan perused the store, “they acted like kids sometimes…like brothers. I remember he would kind put his arm around Jordan and give him noogies and stuff like that, and it was more like somebody who was just looking after a kid, who was just trying to show them a new world.” Hernandez, who now has children of his own, elaborated further by stating, “You can just see in [kids’] eyes like, ‘Wow! I didn’t know this existed!’ and you’re kind of like, ‘Come check this out! Come check that out!’ And that’s kind of how they were. It wasn’t anything weird…and anyway when we were talking about all the superhero movie stuff he was saying how it was good to have memories burned into your subconscious level, these great things you’ve seen as a kid. And it’s true we all carry that.” Before departing the store, “Jordan had gathered up the toys that he had wanted and it wasn’t too much stuff. It was like a little pile of books and anything we stopped on or [Michael] said, ‘Oh, that would be cool to have.’ Jordan would say, ‘Can I get one of those?’ And I remembered Michael corrected him a few times. Like when someone would come up and ask him something. Jordan would go, ‘Yeah,’ and Michael would say, ‘Yes, sir,’ and he would say, ‘Tell them thank you,’ or ‘Tell them please.’ You know, like a father does.”
At this point the demands from Evan had begun and if Michael Jackson had just given into those demands right then, none of what would later happen would transpire. It was Jackson’s refusal to give Evan anything that would hold him hostage to everything else that would unfold – a “plan” Evan tells Schwartz that was under way, and having already been “rehearsed” on what to say the last time he’d seen him, it would seem the plan had been something that had been almost immediate from meeting Michael.
Frank Cascio would reveal, “When I was older, Michael would tell me that Jordy’s father had wanted Michael to invest in a film he wanted to make. Michael initially liked the idea, but his advisers were against it. They dismissed Jordy’s father rather thoughtlessly, and Michael, not one for confrontation, blew him off, too. Michael thought that this, more than anything else, had set Evan Chandler off.”
Artist David Nordahl was at the time working on projects for Jackson within that company and he confirmed Chandler’s demands of his friend had been motivated by his zeal to become a screenwriter: “Sony had given [Jackson] $40 million to start this production company and that little boy’s dad, who considered himself to be show business material because he had written part of a script… And being friends with Michael, and his son being friends with Michael, this guy had assumed that Michael was going to make him a partner in this film production company. That’s where the $20 million figure came from. He wanted half of that Sony money.”
Chandler might have felt that he was capable of writing quality screenplays but others in Tinseltown thought differently.
“There was a screenplay that was passed to me by my friend Richard Jefferies a long time ago, and it’s a horrible screenplay,” says screenwriter Paul Hernandez. “He said you’ve got to read this!…and I can’t remember the title of it but it was about a rock star that OD’d on heroin. Basically the whole movie is this girl finds him and washes him up and she’s a big 80’s fan and she wants him to come back and be as great as he once was. They’re fighting throughout the whole script, and it was really boring. I remember laughing because he finally makes it back — she stuck by him, he cheated on her and all this crazy stuff. He’s finally about to get another shot and it’s this huge concert — it’s his comeback tour. She goes backstage to get him and he’s got this needle hanging out of his arm, he OD’d,” Hernandez laughed hysterically recalling the script. “We all laughed about this script because she walks in and his sunglasses are broken and he never takes his sunglasses off. She takes his sunglasses off to hold him and say ‘Charlie’ or something and there’s no comeback, no nothing . [Chandler] wrote that, Jordan Chandler’s dad wrote that script. I couldn’t get over the fact that he wrote that script and it’s kind of famous around town for being a bad script,” said Hernandez, still laughing.
The Strip Search
There were multiple descriptions of Michael’s genitalia given by Jordan Chandler. The first one was given on September 1, 1993 to Assistant District Attorney Lauren Weiss. Another description dated October 24, 1993 was allegedly given by Jordan to his father Evan. Shockingly, the words “my theory” were written on the document which was supposed to be a description, not a theory. In Ray Chandler’s book All that Glitters he states that Jordan gave an additional description to attorney Larry Feldman on December 14, 1993. It’s interesting that the Chandlers acknowledge that there were additional descriptions given by Jordan.
After the police arrived at Neverland on December 20, it took lawyers an hour to persuade Jackson to leave his bedroom. He was warned that if he refused to cooperate, he’d be arrested and taken away in handcuffs. Michael reluctantly exited his bedroom wearing a robe and was strip searched. His genitalia and body was photographed and videotaped by authorities to compare them with the description Jordan gave of Jackson’s private parts. The singer was described as being angry and hostile over the humiliating search. One of the doctors produced a ruler, at which point Jackson’s doctor intervened. “That’s it,” he said firmly. “Mike, get dressed.”
Present at that search were: Jackson’s head of security Bill Bray, his lawyers Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Howard Weitzman, his personal physician from the Dangerous World Tour David Forecast, his dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein, and his personal photographer Luis Swayne; for the authorities: Santa Barbara D.A. Tom Sneddon, Detective Russ Birchim (for the Santa Barbara Police Department), photographer Gary Spiegel, Detective Sicard (for the LAPD) and Dr. Richard Strick. The doctors, the photographers, and Jackson’s bodyguard were the only ones present during the actual search. Tom Sneddon, along with the two detectives, Dr. Forecast, and Jackson’s lawyers were in another room.
None of Jordan Chandler’s description matched, however. He had consistently said that Michael was circumcised, but he was wrong. Michael Jackson was not circumcised, as was determined by the doctors during the search and mentioned in his autopsy report in 2009. Jordan also incorrectly described the color and location of a spot on Michael’s skin. Michael Jackson had spoken about his skin disorder during his interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 1993, and those close to him had already seen the marks on his skin. Jordan Chandler had made a wrong guess, and Tom Sneddon would later try to cover that mistake by talking about a light background with a dark spot. Jordan’s original description made to police woman Deborah Linden suddenly “disappeared” after the search. In addition, an article entitled “Telltale Splotch” on The Smoking Gun website mysteriously disappeared during the 2005 trial. To the dissatisfaction of Thomas Sneddon, the authorities had to leave Jackson’s house empty-handed after the search. The description didn’t match, and as a result they could not arrest him on probable cause.
According to screenwriter Paul Hernandez, he was associated with a high profile celebrity attorney who had seen evidence in the case. “He knew people working on the case, and they had made a list of things, everything they had taken out of there [Neverland] and he didn’t see the photo’s — he’d read the descriptions of it. But he knew some of the people that were actually raiding Santa Barbara because that’s where he lived. He told me because he knew I had met Michael and was always talking about him being innocent when it first started happening.”
But that attorney questioned Michael’s innocence, “trying to egg me on,” said Paul. The attorney was a “big blowhard kinda guy,” who would describe Michael as being “weird with suspicious motive for wanting to do what he does.” But after consistently razzing Paul and saying, “Your guy’s [Michael] going to jail,” the attorney’s opinion later miraculously changed. “We were at Bel-Air Country Club,” said Paul, who was seated with a family member, actor Johnny Yune, and the attorney. The attorney said, “I don’t think your guy did anything — the things don’t match up.” When Paul questioned why his opinion changed the attorney said, “I spent the weekend at my house and I talked to some friends of mine. None of the descriptions that that kid gave matched up. The kid said Michael was circumcised — he wasn’t circumcised — that he had certain spots and markings — those didn’t exist.” and he said they were worried — the police officers and them were actually concerned that Michael could actually sue them on good grounds because nothing matched.”
Why did the DA go for a grand Jury rather than a preliminary hearing?
That was a strategic decision that only he could answer your question about. I have my views on why he did that. First of all when you charge someone with a felony in California. You have to go by way of grand jury indictment or you file what is called information which is a criminal complaint which will entitle the defendant to a preliminary hearing. Now, both a preliminary hearing and a grand jury are what are called screening devises in the sense that the prosecution has to present enough evidence to prove there is enough to go forward. In a grand jury room you have no judge and you have no defense attorney. You only have the prosecutor and the grand Jury. The prosecutor calls witnesses there never cross examined and the grand jury hears enough evidence to ya know if they agree with the prosecutor return an indictment. It’s a very easy process to get a criminal case going because as I said before you’re in a grand jury room. There’s no judge controlling the proceeding. There’s no judge deciding what evidence is admissible or not admissible and there’s no defense attorney cross examining to test whether the evidence is credible or not. So and also a grand jury is a private proceeding, it’s behind closed doors. It’s not a public proceeding. In a preliminary hearing you have a hearing in open court before a judge. The prosecution has to present enough evidence to convince the judge that there’s a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. Ah….the other term that is often used is probable cause. So there is probable cause that a crime was committed and if the prosecution does that the case keeps going forward. Now if Sneddon had gone in front of a judge for a preliminary hearing it would have been a public proceeding and the witnesses would have been subjected to cross examination by a defense attorney. By going with a grand jury he avoided a public proceeding and avoided cross examination by a defense attorney of these witnesses. There two separate and very different ways to go forward with a criminal case. I think at some point he must have decided –I don’t want these witnesses tested by a defense attorney in open court. I want to see them myself. I don’t want a judge controlling what I ask and I think we have more to gain by the defense not being able to go after witnesses at that stage. That sounds to me like it’s what he probably did.
Why was Sandusky’s grand jury transcript officially released and Michael’s wasn’t? Instead it was leaked ahead of the trial.
Well portions of the transcripts of Michael’s grand jury were leaked. They were appearing in the media and it was very upsetting. They were not released and they were being reported in the media. They certainly were being leaked.
Do you know who leaked them?
No, I have no idea. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Now what happened in Michael’s case was this. You had a grand jury transcript. I made a motion that was granted and the motion I made was –I asked the judge to not allow these transcripts to be publicly released until the naturally arose during the course of the trial. In other words what I said to the judge was look..We have a very poisoned media out there, their very bias against Michael Jackson. He hasn’t even had a chance to appear in court and defend himself. I said the witnesses that appeared before the grand jury were never tested, never cross examined for credibility. They’ve given some very salacious, very disturbing testimony but again, has not been tested and it will prejudice the defense if you release them to the public and we would like them to not be released. We would like them to be basically suppressed until there used in the course of the trial and the judge granted my motion. Now what happened was while the grand jury was meeting information was being leaked because the press was reporting it, which was disturbing. But just as disturbing as that if not more so was that- on the first day of jury selection ABC Good Morning America started showing transcripts. So somebody took all the transcripts and either sold them or leaked them to them. In an obvious attempt to prejudice the defense because that was the first day the jurors were arriving to the court house to be selected. So it was an obvious effort to prejudice the jury pool against us.
Asked about his statements during a seminar in 2005 — About having mothers in the jury pool.
I had a jury consultant who makes her living by doing studies and phone surveys, focus groups, mock trials that kind of thing. To try and advise attorneys how to pick a jury and I have never thought very highly of jury consultants. I think a trial lawyers greatest strength is his or her intuition and intuition comes from experience, It comes from just the way you look at the world and I’ve always thought my intuition as to what jurists to pick –is far superior to any so called objective jury consultant. Jury consultants in America are usually social psychologists or people with a degree in sociology or the social sciences who like to do phone surveys and then plug in a lot of data into a model and they will match age and occupation and race and religion and the part of town you live in etcetera and they’ll correlate all this information to try and come up with the ideal defense juror and the ideal prosecution juror. They will also try to isolate what issue seems to be the most important to each type of ideal juror and to make a long story short. Some studies were done and it was recommended to me that I avoided women and I avoid mothers particularly and without wasting too much time I told the jury consultant. I want women and I want mothers.
Is there a reason why you went against that?
Yes, it had to do with my instinct and my experience in trying cases. First of all I’m defending a very eccentric creative male okay. He doesn’t dress like many men dress. He’s very eccentric, he’s very off beat, he’s very different, he’s a very artistic creative spirit, he dances to his own drummer okay and I have found that women generally speaking are much more accepting and tolerant of that kind of male then many men are. Cause men can be very harshly judgmental, they can be very defensive about what a man supposed to look like, what a man’s supposed to do. In addition when I have defended men who were gay or men whose sexuality was being challenged and I knew these prosecutors were going to be attacking his sexuality. I have always felt that, generally speaking, women are much less judgmental of men whose sexuality is being attacked. Um, much less concerned about whether a man is heterosexual or gay or Bi or whatever you want to call the man. As opposed to heterosexual males who again are insecure about their sexuality, very judgmental of other men and let’s face it they were attacking Michael Jackson’s sexuality in the most harsh and nasty ways possible. They were saying his sexual proclivity was little boys. Zonen asked some questions suggesting he was gay, suggesting he was asexual. They weren’t sure I think in the end what they were attacking but they were trying to vilify him in any way that they could.
And I also felt that because of the way I was going to present the case. I was going to show that Michael Jackson is a protector of children, he’s a champion of children and that would appeal to mothers. So they are saying he was a man that monsterized kids and I was saying he was a man who protected children. One of whose goals was to see that the world paid more attention to our children. Children on every continent, children of every income group, children of every race –of every religion. So putting all of that together I felt again generally speaking I’m not talking about an individual, there were some women I removed. I wanted women rather than men, um..Mothers were fine and we ended up with a majority of women on the jury
Was Sneddon happy with that?
That’s a very interesting question you raised because there’s another major facet to what I’m discussing and that’s the issue of race because we were in a county that was very conservative has very few African Americans and of course that was of great concern to Michael and his family. It was not of great concern to me because the more I got to know Michael Jackson the more I realized he brings all races together he doesn’t divide them. Prominent black family, white children, a Latino child, loved on every continent. He once made a statement that he wanted to adopt a child from every continent and if you were in his home at Neverland you saw paintings of Michael and you would see lines of children from every continent and every ethnic group, every religion, dressed in their native costume following him. So he saw himself as someone who brings all races together. You look at his music “doesn’t matter if your black or white” for example. So my feeling was that when I presented Michael Jackson the human being that he would appeal to anybody of any race and race was not something we really wanted to get involved in. But here’s what I’m getting at –to answer your question. I looked at the other side of the room and I had three white males as prosecutors okay and they had a white male jury consultant and I studied all of these people. Particularly the prosecutors from the time I got in the case and these prosecutors to me were arrogant they were elitist and they felt there was no way they could lose the case and they were walking on air from the moment I meet them they thought they were going to be movie stars on a world stage and they know nothing about the African American community which I have been involved in a lot in my career so my feeling was this – I looked at them, I studied them, I felt them, and I really felt that in their mind they couldn’t loose and that Mesereau knew that and that Mesereau’s only goal was to get a black on the jury who would hang the jury — That’s what I thought their thoughts were. Now did I know for sure? No, I wasn’t inside their brains but that’s what I thought. So what happened we start picking a jury and a black women appears on the first jury panel and they promptly remove her okay and I objected and went to side bar were we talk to the judge and I raise constitutional objection said their removing her because of her race and my objection was denied. Then to my surprise a second black woman appeared on the jury, they promptly removed her, okay. I went to side bar –raised constitutional objection again and they were denied. Then a young black male appeared in the group of alternates. Now, when I say appeared in the group of alternates he wasn’t in the first twelve but he could potentially come up in the ranks depending on how people use their objections. Now, I would have had to use virtually all of my objections to get him on the jury panel and I looked at the prosecutors and I saw that they were just thinking to themselves, Mesereau will do anything to get a black person on the jury, okay. So they started accepting the panel– meaning they would accept the first twelve as the group as far as they were concerned that could comprise the jury without using all of their objections and they kept doing that because they wanted me to use up all my objections to get this one person on the jury. Then they would have all of these objections saved so they could probably run around and remove anyone they wanted for a long period of time and I suspect some of these women they would have removed because there was a bunch of senior citizen white males coming up through the ranks too that I suspect they wanted, well actually, I don’t suspect it, I know it’s true because after the trial I ended up talking to their jury consultant. Who felt they really had misjudged me and how to pick a jury. But never the less, I ended up with half of my challenges remaining accepting the jury as constituted and I saw their jaws drop. I think I had called their bluff and I think they misjudged the way I was looking at gender and race….am I making any sense?
I have a question about Janet, the mother, was there was a sense that Janet had come off badly during the trial. Did you have any sense of how badly she would be before the trial?
Yes, I knew she would be a disaster. I knew she would be an absolute disaster remember we had a pretrial hearing. On this question of whether or not the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s should have broken into prior council’s investigators office and I had a belief that Janet would be disaster for a number of reasons. But it almost didn’t happen because of some incompetent Lawyers who were associated with Michael Jackson. When I started learning about her. I quickly realized that she had committed what looked like welfare fraud and perjury because she settled a case with JC Penney which was based on lies, as you well know. Then filed an emergency application for welfare assistance not long after that. And did not include that settlement in her application which she was asked to do because the applications asks —have you receive any money through lawsuits or settlements blah,blah,blah. So, I wanted to make sure she took the stand. There were some very poor lawyers around Michael Jackson and believe me I can probably can guess who they were. But nevertheless, who wanted to be heroes and had very limited mentalities and I instructed these people, do not report her to the authorities because if you report her to the authorities she may not testify. Under California law you can insert your Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and not testify if you think you’re being criminally investigated or might be criminally charged. But these dumb ass lawyers wanted to be heroes for Michael Jackson and they reported her thinking the case will go away if we report her. Which is just insanity and for a while I found out she refused to testify because of what these other attorneys had done. These are people with limited mentalities limited scope and just um, there were some repercussions to that. You may recall I was not allowed to examine her from her perjured welfare applications where she lied repeatedly–Because of what these lawyers had done and one was fired immediately –and the other person I had a talking too and really got a piece of my mind because my lawyer partner Susan Yu who was the most important lawyer in the case as far as I’m concerned. We were the ones really looking through the evidence and figuring out how to win the case and we knew we wanted her on the witness stand. We didn’t want anything done that would discourage her. Now, she ended up taking the witness stand but I was not allowed to examine her from those perjured welfare applications because of what these other idiots did. She was allowed to assert her Fifth Amendment rights on those issues. The judge told the jury’s she wasn’t going to answer certain questions on issues like that, which didn’t look good either. But nevertheless it wasn’t nearly as damaging as it would’ve been had I been able to cross examine her from her fraudulent welfare applications.
One thing you have to understand when you’re in a case like this so many people are jockeying for publicity, their jockeying for Michael’s attention and the only lawyer I really trusted was Susan Yu. She’s the only one I work closely with. She had a duplex not far from my duplex our assistance had their duplexes in the same area. We had one duplex that we called “the war room” that had about 4000 binders of documents and computers everywhere. We kept things very secretive about what we going to do. We also had a local law firm working with us that did, as far as I was concerned, a lot of routine work that in my opinion was not going to make the difference between winning or losing. I needed them to do the stuff that was less important– so Susan and I could strategize the case. Which is what we did every single day and I told Michael and Randy when I first met Michael down in Florida, I said there’s only one lawyer I insist be on this team and that’s Susan Yu— I said, I won’t do it without her. She’s absolutely brilliant. Nobody’s going to know the facts like her. No one’s going to know the documents like her. She brings a different perspective, than me, to a lot of these issues and we worked very well together—and they both knew about Susan and knew about her reputation as a lawyer and they said we absolutely agree with you. So she’s the only one I worked closely with. We did have local council -they did file motions and do things–there was a lot of resentment towards us by that firm because they were up there and no one considered them to be lead Council but I was always being second-guessed by somebody. I still hear about lawyers who flew to Neverland during the trial to meet with Michael about trying to get involved– and you’re just fighting a million battles in case like that not just in the courtroom …your political battles to get your point across and to remain In the position you’re in and it’s not an easy process.
Why was Oxman still there? Because it didn’t seem like he was helping the case at all?
There were 70 sheriffs and DAs personality at Neverland…..
There may have been more but it was approximately 70
They were there for 13 hours and only had three hours of tape?
A…yes, that’s how I recall it
I found that curious and the fact that Diane Dimond was there, that they released a press release …
I think she was the only media representative aloud, I believe.
Well, I think they informed her before they went I’m Assuming? Because she showed up that morning.
No, I think she was the only one that they permitted. I think that was one of her claims to fame. I could be wrong on that. But I think she….
No, I remember she was just across the road from there as it was happening…
Well, she and Sneddon had a good relationship as I recall.
Yes, a very intense relationship as it seems,lol …
One-time Susan Yu had to call Gordon Auchincloss about a particular matter and he answered the phone, Hi Diane. — She said no…It’s not Diane, its Susan Yu.
The DA kept making comments like –Michael Jackson’s new boyfriend . Why would the DA say something like that if this kids really a victim? They were trying to turn the whole thing into a love affair it was disgusting
These were nasty allegations. Ya know, accusing of somebody of child molestation in America is probably worse than murder. The most horrid allocation you can make against someone and the way they tried this case was very nasty.
Didn’t Star and Gavin both claim that they witnessed Michael naked briefly but with Gavin –or was it Star, they had to keep bringing up this incident. Like he didn’t even remember it, I would think he saw someone parading around without clothes on you would remember it. Is there a reason why this description was given?
I can’t give you reason. They just brought out whatever evidence they thought would help them win. And of course I was challenging all of their evidence and challenging every witness and I’ve never seen so many witnesses lacking credibility in my life to tell you the truth. Practically every day I would go home saying –my God these witnesses are ridiculous.
How do you feel about the way people keep disregarding his not guilty verdict?
It’s very sad because a reputation is worth its weight in gold and you can’t put a price on a good reputation. This was the closest thing to full vindication that you can find in the American justice system this was 14 not guiltys, 10 felony and four a lesser included misdemeanors. Meaning they wouldn’t even convict him on a misdemeanor count. So you can’t get a stronger declaration of innocence in the American justice system than he got. It’s very sad that a lot of people refuse to take into account the evidence or lack thereof than these jury verdicts. This was a very conviction oriented part of California in this courthouse the conviction rate is overwhelming. You get very conservative jurors, a lot of them from the neighboring Air Force Base and they went not guilty 14 times.
I want to ask you a question about Stacy Brown, remember him? Bob Jones’s —
Oh, god forbid–
He claims that after the trial that– you told someone that Michael had forgiven him
I never told anyone that
had forgiven Bob Jones for his book
oh, that he had forgiven Bob Jones for his book? I never told anyone that.
Stacy Brown also claimed that he ran into Michael the day before his testimony and that Michael threatened him
I don’t recall anything like that. Listen, I have very little respect for Stacy Brown.
He claimed he ran into Michael at a bookstore with the kids and he threatened him by handing him a Bible
I wasn’t there I don’t know what happened but I have no respect for Stacy Brown. I was told, I don’t know if it’s true, that Stacy Brown was with Zonen– When Zonen called Gavin Arviso to let him know that Michael had been acquitted. I was told that but I don’t know ..
Did you know that Jordan refused to testify as early as October 2004 according to the FBI memos? Did you try to contact him?
I certainly never tried to contact him and I don’t think my investigators try to contact him. We did contact some people and some people contacted us who claimed that he had told them that it never happened– that the molestation never happened. But I certainly never tried to reach him and no investigator I know try to reach him. Now is a possible someone did during the course of the investigation, I suppose it’s possible but I don’t recall that happening
so the people you had spoken to that were associated with him, they were just school friends?
There were a number of people that called me and also our investigators tracked down a few witnesses one of them was in New York and there were people who claimed to have know him at school and they claimed he had told them that it had never happened
It seems that he remained friends with Safechuck — didn’t he get married at Neverland? (Spence was married at NL)
I don’t remember. I don’t even member making the statement… it’s been a while. I think they were friends.
I think it was that dodgy Filipino couple Quindoy’s
as I recall Safechuck denied it. I think there were credibility problems with the Quindoy’s if they were coming in —arguments over getting proper wages and things like that as I recall
Well the Quindoy’s.. they flew down to speek to them in 93 or 94
You should know this —after the trial, I was asked to speak to the grand jury Association of Southern California. It’s an association of former grand jurors and I gave a talk at lunch about the case and after it a woman came up to me and she said, Mr.Mesereau I want you to know I’m a very conservative person. I’m very pro-law and order and I was on the grand jury in 1993 that investigated these Chandler allegations, and she said, there were major problems with those witnesses. They were very suspicious of these claims. And as you know there was no indictment and 93 two grand jury’s Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. She was on the Los Angeles one. And they tried to claim they were just investigative juries that was a convenient way of trying to argue your way around it I see some people say they weren’t trying to indict that’s a lie. But she said I’m a very conservative person. I’m very pro-law enforcement normally. But she said these witnesses were very suspicious to me, they didn’t seem credible.
The LeMarques were pretty shady– they were in cahoots with Paul Barresi
Oh yeah, you’re bringing up names I haven’t thought of in many years.
Barresi had connection with Schaffel.
Barresi keep trying to call me during the trial and I would return any of his calls.
Well, Barresi was the one who called the press in 2000/ 2001. About Michael and who Mark Schaffel really was…Barresi said he went to Marty Singer or Siegel (MJ attorneys) and the PI Eric Mason– About Schaffel
There was a report that Barresi secretly recorded Mason
Then there’s Schaffel, Barresi – travel agent montgomery -connections in Brazil
Oh, yeah. I haven’t thought about some of these people in a long time. He actually came up to me one time. I was having lunch in Century City near my office and wanted to talk and I refuse. Then I would get messages from him and I never returned them.
Is it true that Sneddon change the law regarding 1108 evidence so third-party witnesses were allowed to testify
When he was president of the District attorneys Association he did push through a number of amendments to make it easier for prosecutors to bring in this kind of evidence and a lot of it is left to the discretion of the judge. I was frankly very surprised that judge allowed them to bring in third-party testimony about boys allegedly being molested without having to bring and the boys themselves. I was quite surprised he was willing to do that. But a lot of it is left to the discretion of the judge.
none of it helped the case– it just solidified how ridiculous the case was, it backfire completely
Well, I was told after it, that this —the former president of the criminal courts Bar Association of Los Angeles told me this was the first time in a felony child molest case that someone had been acquitted on all counts when the brought in that kind of evidence.
It seems that some of the experts were a waste. They had someone from the Secret Service. Someone from the company that manufactured their new fingerprint machine. None of them tested evidence, yet they testified
There was a very unexpected surprise raid of Neverland while I was representing Michael. Randy called me. I had to jump on a helicopter and went right to Neverland and they were looking for DNA. They had an accident reconstruction expert in his bedroom doing all sorts of measurements and calculations and they also had a computer graphics expert doing some investigation as well and they never called either of those experts at the trial either.
what were they looking for?
I think they were trying to find any evidence that would suggest that –if Star was walking up the stairway that he could see what was going on in Michael’s bedroom. I think you looking for anything that might help their case.
Some fans felt that Michael should have tried to prove his heterosexuality by having girlfriends testify
There was no need for that. I mean, the trial was about whether he molested a child. It wasn’t about what his sexuality was. Michael, I can tell you was always very adamant that he was heterosexual, always
The media always try to portray him as gay or asexual
How about all these magazines that he collected…. I think they spoke for themselves.
Have any journalists told you that they had changed their minds about Michael
Well obviously Aphrodite Jones …she had a major, ya know, change. When I first met her about a year later — I happened to bump into her at a art exhibit in Beverly Hills. She told me she was having a change of heart and I didn’t totally believe her and then she started sending me some drafts of her book in the drafts suggested she really was having a change of heart
She was talking to fans during the trial and telling them that, I didn’t know if there was anyone else?
I can’t think of anyone at this point. People aren’t willing to admit they were wrong either. Have you talked to Maureen Orth?
No, good Lord –I was told by — friend of Diane Dimond
Yeah,they used to sit together all the time. There was a sketch artist who sat with them a couple times– who told me that every time I got up to cross examine she said Maureen Orth would go,” I hate him, I hate him!”
I don’t understand why she would fixate on you– why was she fixated on Michael
She just wanted a conviction I guess for whatever reason