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
Howard Bloom Phone conversation May 2, 2013
Howard: It seems to me the more you can collaborate with each other–the more you can drum up a mailing list. A mailing list of people that are interested in Michael Jackson and if you build that you might begin the beginning of a movement because Michael –to try not to get gushy about it but, Michael was the closest to a saint I could imagine on planet earth. As a matter of fact, I never, ever imagined a person like him could exist in my life …and Paula I worked with a lot of very famous people. With Prince and Bob Marley and Bette Midler, ACDC and Aerosmith, Kiss and Queen. I work these days with…I’m not doing public relations anymore my background is really science and that’s why I was in this pop culture business to begin with. But I work with people like Buzz Aldrin the second man on the moon and Edgar Mitchell the sixth man on the moon. Most people are just regular humans, nice humans, very very smart humans, humans that you could admire for many of their qualities. But Michael was beyond anything that any of these other people that I know were famous and powerful. I mean, I spent time with Henry Kissinger and Nancy Kissinger about six months ago, seven months ago. Michael was not—he was beyond human and beyond human and beyond human in the best of all possible ways. His love of the people he considered to be his charge in life, his particular responsibility in life–his kids (children of the world) he lived and died for them. In fact, he did lay down his life for them.
Paula: Wow, the whole thing is just…
Howard: Well, it’s hard for me to explain yeah know. How in the world do you meet somebody who strikes you as beyond the human norm in every conceivable way—you never imagine it. So if it happens how do you describe it? So if there was ever anyone to be admired on planet earth during my time it was Michael for his utter commitment –it wasn’t just a utter commitment, commitment sound like a grim, harsh and unfriendly word –um, he had a quality of awe and wonder that went beyond anything I had ever seen before and that’s very special for me because as a scientist. At the age of ten when I got glommed into science and science became my religion. The first two rules, the laws of science that I learned and those two rules are the truth at any price including the price of your life and look at things right under your nose like as if you’d never seen them before and proceed from there, look at things around that you and everybody around take for granted and proceed from there…and Michael lived the truth at any price including the price of your life every day. Even though that truth for him involved giving people surprise and he was – I mean the second source rule for science is courage and law. Science is amazement, astonishment, surprise and Michael was given a capacity for astonishment, aw and surprise beyond anything I had ever experienced or imagined experiencing in another human being and he felt it was his absolute obligation since god had given him that gift and to give that gift to as many of his fellow human beings as possible and in particular his kids. I don’t mean his children I mean kids.
Paul: Children of the world
Howard: Yeah, so that was his life. That was his entire life Paula, it wasn’t a sideline it wasn’t something he did during certain hours of the day. It was something he did every waking and sleeping hour. That was his life.
Paul: yeah, I think there was an article –and I know that you’re not particularly fond of Frank Dileo, but I think he made a comment to the effect—Michael told him that his work with the children, he considered that his first and foremost job not the singing, dancing –record sales.
Howard: The singing and dancing was there to convey the quality of aw, wonder and surprise. Now, Frank Dileo is one of the stupidest men on planet earth and I loathe the fact that a man of that incredible lack of intelligent could be around Michael and that he could be used. He was being used as a patsy by very smart very powerful people. Frank’s idiocy drove me crazy
Paula: Frank was being used? Or They were using Frank to get to Michael?
Howard: People were using Frank to control Michael. Frank wasn’t the only one they were using, lol –Nooo, these are very smart people Paula. They weren’t just using one man they were using a whole set up around Michael to control Michael and Frank was just a part of it. And it was tremendously advantageous to have somebody so flamboyantly dumb. But Frank once said to me, “I’m not supposed to tell you this but every night before Michael goes on stage. He has us find two kids who are dying of cancer and want anything more in the world to meet Michael Jackson. He meets with those kids in whatever town he’s in, just before he goes on stage and spends 45 minutes with them.”
Paula: I’ve heard that before and…
Howard: Well for Frank to tell me that was extraordinarily kind and it was something I really, really needed to know. Because Michael became so fucking special.
Paula: He went and visited with children at children’s hospitals when he was on tour.
Howard: He took his responsibility—it wasn’t that he took his responsibility to children seriously. I think what was going on and I think you heard this in the interview from drop box. I think what was going on was this– Michael had no childhood. He was a performer from the time he could walk, talk and sing. At the age of five he was performing at the Apollo Theater, he was performing before kings and queens—literally. He never had a chance to have a childhood he went directly to adulthood, do not pass go. Well in studies with laboratory rats it’s demonstrated that the same way you could have sleep deprivation –keep a lab rat or a human up for five or six days straight. When you let them go and do what they want they’ll catch up on all the sleep that they missed while suffering from sleep deprivation. There’s something called play depravation with rats. If you keep baby rats from play that’s an indispensable part of childhood. Once they’re out of your control, you’re not stopping them from playing anymore, even if there adults they’ll put in all the time playing that they missed and Michael had no childhood and I think that childhood was bottled up inside of him Much like the way play was bottled up in the rats –( his other phone rings) —
Paula: Um,I…(cut me off)
anyway—I think because Michael had no childhood his identification with children was very profound and I saw that love –and again you probably heard that on the tape –are you still there?
Paula: Yeah, I’m still here I’m listening.
Howard: Okay because the phone is doing strange things after that other phone call. He took his kids very seriously. They were his life they were absolutely his life. Again, it went back to the basic principle of Michael Jackson’s life …I’ve been given an enormous gift, a stunning gift. So, I have to give an equally stunning gift. The ability to be stunned that’s the gift I have to give.
Paula: (MJ said he didn’t have it so bad when visiting severely burned children–almost sounded therapeutic for him in a way) Michael had a strange way (bad choice in words) of looking at these kids that had diseases and disabilities—As if – as bad as my childhood was, these children have it worst then me.
Howard. He and I never talked about his childhood. I would imagine that he would not refer to his childhood as bad. Look, how many humans get to sit back stage or stand back stage while James Brown is performing at the Apollo Theater during one of his most extraordinary and explosive performances.
Paula: Well, I think his relationship with his father wasn’t exactly the greatest. I’ve heard other individuals, Sam and Dave –the musical group. They said the father used to lock him in closets and was very verbally and physically abusive to him.
Howard: Wow, Michael never got into any of that, so I don’t know anything about that. Except –there was a reception that was in California, I’m not sure. It was at a reception to help kick off the Victory tour and all of the father’s backers were there. Meaning all of the mafia style guys that the father was forced to rely on because blacks in his day were forced to do that –that was the only source of money for black managers, black entertainers and then I walked up to their father and was introduced and I stared into his eyes and this is the only time in my life this has ever happened to me. I swear I saw the fires of hell in his eyes.
Paula: That man has a terrible aura about him.
Howard: So, at that moment I realized that I could never work with this man. When the brothers wanted me to work with Janet, because they considered me that family publicist, I spent three hours with Janet. It was amazing but she said her father was managing her and I said I can’t work with you if your father is managing you and she kept saying I’m leaving my father, I’m getting new management. We talked on the phone over and over again but it never happened. She never left him and I could not imagine working with him. I knew I would get screwed and I knew I would never get paid but …..I just couldn’t imagine it.
Paula: Well, Frank and the father were both friends with that indie guy…um, Joe Isgro. I’m not sure if I’m saying his name right.
Howard: I don’t know I’m not familiar with the name.
Paula: Did you ever read that book…It’s called “Hit Men” There is a book out actually it came out in the early 90’s.
Howard: Is that by um, um…who is it by?
Paula: Fredric…hold on…Fredric Dannen
Howard: I worked with Tommy Motola who had a reputation for being mafia connected but I don’t think he ever, ever was ….. and working with black acts you ran across mafia figures and the reason was back when the Jackson’s were getting started — Look their dad is brilliant, there’s something brilliant about their dad with what he accomplished. Amazing, amazing amazing things and he accomplished them at a time when black persons, male or female, weren’t taken seriously as a business person and because they were not taken seriously as business people they could not get money from legitimate sources. There were sources however that would source them, the mafia. So, it wasn’t just Joe who was tossed into the hands of the mafia I have another client who when she was 16 years old —First of all she was black, secondly she was female. When she was on the rise when she was a teenager nobody would fund a black person in business or more importantly women were not allowed anywhere near a control room. They were not allowed to produce records period. And this 16-year-old had the audacity to write her own song, go into the studio, be her own producer –that was unheard of. The only people who would back her were the mafia and she continued to succeed for decade after decade after decade with project after project after project but who were the people behind her financially. Always the mafia and not because that was her choice but because that was the only choice when she was on the rise. Her name was Sylvia Robinson and her initial hit was with a duet, she created it herself, called Mickey and Sylvia. That was her song- she produced it –the song was called “Love is Strange.” It was a hit and she went on in the 70’s I think it was to…she was middle aged by then to release two albums on Butta records with Park Katz(sp) the president of Butta records and they both went platinum. Middle aged black women who aren’t already up there and known getting double platinum records or platinum that’s ridiculous, that’s impossible that doesn’t happen and she came to me in 1981 and she discovered this new musical form and nobody wanted to have anything to do with it .She thought it was valid and she wanted me to work with it and demonstrate it was valid and I love working with outlaw propositions with things that are valid that the people despise and the new thing that she had found was called rap music. I was told by a record executive that I liked and respected who knew how to do things in the corporate way. He knew how to dress in the corporate way, he knew how to ride the corporate ladder and he said look Bloom I like you and you work very hard to achieve what you achieve and you gained a major stature in this business but this music that you’re becoming associated with –its shit. You know its shit, I know its shit. Not only is it shit –it’s only going to last six months and when it blows up in six months, you’ll be left with shit all over your face. Save your reputation, get out of it. The music he was talking about was rap music
Paula: Michael didn’t think it would last either
Howard: That was 1981 right– Rap should have disappeared a long time ago right. But that was the general attitude. So, when Sylvia asked me to go to bat for her of course I went to bat for her. But none the less Michael still needed people to go to bat for him. When I first said yes to the brothers — you heard the story if you listened to that drop box tape—I went to say no to them…
Paula: Who was the person who initially called you, do you remember?
Howard: Oh god, um …it was the two managers Larry…what was Larry’s last name. Larry worked with Kenny Logins and I’ve looked for him and I haven’t been able to find him because I owe him a debt of gratitude because we worked very closely together. Larry Larson that was his name and they had another one who was extensively one of their managers, I can’t remember his name they were both very nice people
Paula: And they were working with the brothers?
Howard: They were working with the brothers but very nice people are not necessarily able to cut it up against the type of people who were, who were…how would you put it. They had Michael in a perceptual prison and they didn’t care if the headlines on him turned negative because they could make money with positive headlines and negative headlines. They didn’t give a crap they didn’t understand him or want to understand him because it would get in the way of their making money off of him and getting power by being associated with him. At least that’s my opinion
Paula: Wow, the whole thing is just very, very sad. Michael got rid of his old management and took on Dileo and as much as I think Dileo could come across as a little obnoxious and pompous. I think at times he did really like Michael but allowed his mob friends or other shady people control what was going on. At least that’s what it sounds like
Howard: It wasn’t mafia people. It was normally very above board reasonably well known very powerful people in the industry. It wasn’t mafia it was people who were smarter than the mafia, lol
Paula: Oh, so it was people within the record industry.
Howard: it was one of the smartest people I have ever known who I believe was behind it. Um, smart it depends on your moral compass.
Paula: Branca brought in um…I’m trying to find an excerpt in this book because you brought up Branca too.
Howard: He was part of the process that was used.
Paula: He (Branca) brought in Irving Azoff from MCA. He brought him in as a consultant on the Victory tour.
Howard: That’s right except that it wasn’t so much Branca that brought in Irving meaning he was Irving’s person. Irving was the guy behind everything
Paula: Oh, so you think Irving was behind what was going on?
Howard: (Talking about being hired by the Jacksons)
In my opinion because it was an exacting story. I walk into a room with the Jackson’s at the Helmsley palace determined to say yes (I think he meant to say no) and the instant the door opens I got an eighth on an inch glimpse with their backs literally up against the wall. I realized these guys were in serious trouble and if they were in serious trouble, they needed me and I wasn’t going to say no. That I was going to say yes and it took me 15 years of thinking it through, processing it to realize what the Jackson’s body language was telling me and why I was saying yes instead of no. It wasn’t just that the Jackson’s were in trouble their brothers fucking soul was at stake and I had to needed to enter a game to save Michael’s soul. It was dungeons and dragons and I lost the game and Michael spent 25 years of a 50-year life being crucified and I really wish Paula that I had not lose that game. So, there’s an obligation that’s unfulfilled here and it’s to redeem Michael after his time so that he lasts for a long time to come. That’s not necessarily a mission I have time for, I have my own career.
Paula: Believe me I understand.
Howard: It’s an unfulfilled mission so if you guys are able to pull it off — I’ll help you
Paula: I think some people have turn around but I think it may take a little while.
Howard: People started turning around long before anybody realized it. I’ve been flown to Moscow, Amsterdam, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Sol Korea, and Shangdu China because of my own work and when I was in Amsterdam I was amazed. I walked down the street, the doors to the shops were open it was spring, every single shop was playing Michael Jackson on its sound system. I was sick in bed for 15 years and separated from the rest of humanity and when I finally became healthy again and got able to get out of my house. I started working at a place called the Tea lounge this great big café and every time I meet people in their 20’s or 30’s and mentioned Michael Jackson. It was at a time, 2003, when we were not supposed to like Michael Jackson. Every one of them said how they had grown up on Michael Jackson — Michael was an indispensable part of their lives. Michael and Prince so there is a positive sense of Michael Jackson, there is a sense that Michael Jackson was not what he was being portrayed to be, there is a sense that Michael was something beyond what they can express. Lurking in the hearts of hundreds of millions of human beings and if you can tell them why they were right …you will catch a wave.
Paula: I think a lot of it (negativity) was a pack mentality caused by the press.
Howard: No, it was different.
Howard: Here’s the basic thing Michael when he sold 36 million albums became huge. He was selling two times greater than the previous greatest ever who was Peter Frampton, who sold 18 million albums. He was an amazing phenomenon and of course his celebrity had been building ever since he was five years old. So he had 20 years or more of celebrity behind him and he became so enormous that one day the Boston Herald American –there were two newspapers in Boston at that time. The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald America and the Boston Herald America’s publisher decided to do something trashy. At least considered trashy in journalistic terms at the time. They decided to put Michael Jackson on the cover and his journalists, his reporters went up in arms. The idea of putting a celebrity on the cover of a newspaper! News is news celebrity stuff is trash we do not run trash in a legitimate newspaper. Well, that day the Boston Herald American which normally sold something like 20 thousand copies less than the Boston Globe sold 35 thousand copies more than the Boston Globe. So the publisher came in the next day — took his music critic and said you I’m giving you your own office, I’m giving you your own secretary from now on you have to give me a Michael Jackson story every single day and when the Boston Globe saw that. Somebody went into their music critic and said you — you now have your own office and own secretary. You have to give me a Michael Jackson story every single day. The same thing happened all over the country because Michael represented sales and the result was –when we did our opening press conference for the tour in New York and our opening press conference for the tour in LA. We had 3,150 press people! in my previous experience if we had 10 press people at a press conference it was a big deal. 3,150 that was inconceivable. That was the level of press that the president gets and they had produce a story every day. Well, if they can’t find a positive story but are feed a negative story run with the negative story. Plus, negative stories sell more papers than positive stories. If it bleeds it leads and that’s what set Michael up for crucifixion. So the press bares a great deal of guilt
Paula: Oh, they do.
Howard: And it should be made to know it one day…because you can’t get away with killing people.
Paula: There are a few that we are going to go after. Diane Dimond… (Cuts me off)
Howard: You should start with– oh what’s his name not Michael Goldman it’s um, a nice Jewish name Michael Goldberg. Start with Michael Goldberg he started the process, he was pushed– he was given inside information with which to begin the crucifixion by somebody trying to manipulate Michael Jackson.
Paula: Who do you think that was?
Howard: Um, his name is and again this is a guess. He name was Larry Solters.
Howard: And he was the right-hand man to guess who?
Paula: His son worked for Irving too. his son Larry?
Howard: Yeah, Larry not the father Lee Solters. I suspect Larry was the one who leaked these contracts to um…the first nail in Michael’s wrist came from Don King. Somebody managed to give a spin to Rolling Stone on how to perceive the fact that Don King was promoting the tour.
Paula: The father brought Don King in because he liked to have other black…
Howard: yes, the father brought Don King in exactly.
Paula: And Michael called him a crook.
Howard: Don King was his (Joe’s) kind of person and remember Don King was a great promoter. Don King had taken a dying sport, boxing, and he made it exciting and brought it to a whole new generation of fans. He accomplished remarkable things but what Rolling Stone zeroed in on was –October 1983 or something like that maybe 1982. What Rolling Stone zeroed in on was that Don King had been sent to jail for manslaughter. That Don King had killed someone and they focused on that and by focusing on that they began the process of making the Jackson tour look bad. They began a press habit of looking for negative stories. You know the press is a very reflective lot if you manage to drive home a certain reflective response to something. They will stick with that reflective response without ever re-examining it. Without ever asking, is this true or not? So that started the negative press but the next thing was very deliberate somebody leaked contracts to Michael Goldberg.
Paula: Michael worked for Rolling Stone (31.30)
Howard: Yes, he was an investigative reporter for Rolling Stone. Somebody knew that if you started a ball rolling at Rolling Stone you could get it rolling at AP at UPI at ABC, NBS, CBS, The New York Times, The Washington post–they knew how the press worked. They knew if they got the lead sheep in the heard the rest of the sheep would follow. The lead sheep at that point was Rolling Stone when it came to music and they leaked the contracts and they leaked an interpretation of the contracts and the interpretation was –the Jackson’s are broke, the only way of making money to sustain their life style is to make as much money as they possibly can off this last tour with their brother and as a consequence when everybody else is charging 12.50 for a ticket they were planning to charging 18.50 a ticket. They don’t care about screwing the public and they’re not hiring anybody we know to work on this tour. So this tour is going to be amateur reel and because it’s going to be so big it going to be catastrophic The lighting stands 70 feet high are going to fall on the heads of the crowd and kill people, the stage is going to collapse and kill people, security is going to be amateur and kill people it’s going to be the deadliest concert tour in history. That was the angle they leaked and as I told the girls from German when your lawyers draw up contracts…have you ever had a lawyer draw up a contract?
Howard: The sweetest lawyers in the world will give you contracts that sound like they were written by rabid Doberman pinchers. That attack your partner, that try to corner him or her—that are hideous and then your job as the client is to do your best to reign in your attorney. Which is exactly what the Jacksons did with the contacts. They would look at the contracts that their attorneys sent them and would say this is not fair, this is not fair to the promoter and they would get changes in the contracts. I suspect the contracts that were leaked to Michael Goldberg were the very first contacts when the lawyers were really going crazy like what I was talking about.
Paula: well, they had separate attorney’s…Michael and the brothers
Howard: But they had contracts that were going to the promoters and were the whole kit and caboodle with the Jackson’s
Paula: Okay, and do you know who drafted them, was it Branca?
Howard: Peter Pertono was involved in some respect. I’m not sure in what respect, he’s a very sweet guy but as I said the sweetest attorney’s in the world will write the most rabid contract’s you’ve ever seen and you have to calm them down, which you do. So, if you leak those rabid contracts to the press those tend to support your thesis that the Jackson’s are in it to ripping people off. There’s a reason the Jackson’s were charging 18.50 a ticket and no one was allowed to tell the press why because Michael gets amazement out of just about everything he sees and he wanted kids to have that quality of absolute surprise and amazement. So, he didn’t want them to know anything about this tour. He wanted them to have the lowest possible expectations. So that when they saw what he was doing they’d be stunned…stunning, astonishing, giving people amazement that was Michael’s job in life.
Paula: So, a lot of it went to special effects and the staging
Howard: yeah and he had 110 people signed to work on this tour. They were all highly professional they were beyond that. They were highly creative and they all had to sign non-disclosure agreements. That’s why nobody could find who was doing the lighting, the sound, the stage and it opened the way for this rampage of outrageous stories about how this tour was going to kill people. Who was the lead sheep starting these stories? Rolling Stone, Michael Goldberg and Dave Marsh.
Paula: Rolling Stone had never been nice towards him. Did you see the newest book that came out by Randall Sullivan? He was a Rolling Stone writer.
Howard: But the point was, pay attention, it was Dave Marsh and Michael Goldberg now who knows that a) Dave Marsh and Michael Goldberg were like pebbles on top of a hill placed precisely so that you could start an avalanche. Who knows that kind of thing and who knows Dave Marsh and Michael Goldberg. Who has those inside relationships? Paula: The record labels… Howard: with these top guys whose father who was probably the finest publicist of his age. The father was, Lee Solters, an extraordinary publicist–one of the best ever.
Paula: I only have a small blurb about him in that book I told you about and it said he was a PR man for Irving.
Howard: It said he was a PR guy for Irving –Lee or Larry?
Howard: He was the right-hand man for Irving.
Paula: and apparently he tackled a camera man for NBC who was doing a story on Indie promoters called “The New Payola” and mob men. There was some connection to Dileo.
Howard: Interesting. That’s a dangerous thing and I wouldn’t you know… Irving is brilliant. Irving is fucking brilliant
Paula: How come Yetnikoff didn’t know anything?
Howard: I would imagine he (Irving) had any kind of contact he needs to accomplish his goals
Paula: And why was he so intent on making Michael look bad …to bring up his own record sales?
Howard: No, I think that causing trouble by– causing trouble which he did with Larry because I think Larry had the relationship with Dave marsh and with Michael Goldberg, Larry Solters. By using Larry to cause trouble he set up a situation where John Branca could walk into a room with Michael and say Michael look you’ve got serious trouble here and there’s only one guy who knows how to handle trouble like this …and guess who the one guy would be? Irving and that’s how he got his 750,000 consulting fee. In my opinion
Paula: okay, now I get you
Howard: Once the pebble was rolled down the hill who cared about the avalanche.
Paula: How come Yetnikoff didn’t know anything about this or was he too messed up to care? Because I know he had a problem with drugs and alcohol towards the end. Howard: Who? Yetnikoff, Walter
Howard: Oh, Walter well I never knew Walter. I would imagine especially, I’ve heard of his book I haven’t read it but I would imagine Walter was part of the cocaine brigade I know that he and Tommy Mottola were very good friends. I know they were rivals, I know if Tommy got a five million dollar this– Walter had to get a ten million dollar that – and if Walter got a 10 million dollar this Tommy had to get a 15 million dollar something or other. But I don’t know, I really don’t know what Walters relationship was with Irving I have no idea.
Paula: From what I’m reading it seems they were friendly and the only person that Walter really didn’t care for was David Geffen.
Howard: Oh, that could be, that could be. I would imagine that David ran in an entirely different crowd. He was gay and he was more Broadway oriented and stuff like that. But one way or another these games were being played around Michael with his life and nobody cared. Certainly, Irving didn’t care and I get the impression for some reason the more trouble there was in Michael’s life the happier Irving was—I don’t know exactly why that would be but when Michael died John Branca did a press conference and at 3 months after Michaels death, 4 months after Michaels death. I don’t have the exact figure and said Michael’s estate has just doubled in value so Michael’s death was worth money
Paula: I mention that the German girl are in contact with some of the same people we are. I was told that he went on tour too early after his burn and it had gotten infected (41.49)
Howard: (infections) This was on the tour?
Paula: Yeah, she said he went on the tour too early and had infections.
Howard: Well, I didn’t know about any health problems on the Victory tour at all. Everybody was kept in the healthiest of possible conditions. They take the top two floors, they take two different hotels and one hotel you’d have the touring crew –In another hotel you’d have people like me people who worked with the Jacksons directly and they take their top two floors of the best hotel at any given city. They had their own cook and their own cook was making organic food which was very important because when your operating on tour hours a grocery is not available. So, when you’re finally free to eat having your own cook is very good. So, everything is very healthy, the atmosphere was very healthy, everyone was terrific.
Paula: He was vegetarian for while two. Was he very spiritual? And into holistic medicines?
Howard: I don’t know. He didn’t talk about that what we talked about was his kids. We talked about the kids for whom he was performing. We talk about incidents together and one was when they were picking their album cover and the story of that is in that tapes from the German girls and the second major incident was when I got a called at four o’ clock in the afternoon in New York saying Michael’s about to cancel his tour. You have to be here at 11 o’clock tonight, Michael’s about to cancel his tour and you’re the only one to listen to and they used me to make sure that Michael did not cancel his tour because it was true because at that point apparently I was the only Michael would listen to and the story is in that tape. I mean it’s basically –Michael believes with absolutely every bone of his body and every cell of his being that his job is to bring surprise and astonishment to his kids and he won’t let anything fuck with that. And I believe that every cell of my body that I’m working for you and your Michael Jackson I have to make sure you succeed in doing what you were wanting to do and if you made a decision is going to screw you, a decision that’s going to take you away from those kids then I am going to oppose you with every cell of my being and I’m going to save you because that’s what you hired me for. So you have two people with absolute determination going up against each other on different sides of an argument and I won. But I didn’t win; I won on Michael’s behalf. I kept him from making a big mistake that would do him a lot of harm. Basically it was like having two Moses is up against each other, each one parting the Red Sea in a different direction and that’s how I got to see there’s this line in the interview about…uh, Paula I could see it was as if Michael’s ribs were opening like gates of gold and I could see 10 thousand of his kids inside of him. I saw how powerfully he felt about those kids. It was one of those things I will never ever forget
Paula: It really takes a lot of strength of heart to do what he did and I remember…
Howard: and he had it, he had it. Boy did he have it! He was amazing! I can tell you this with my own experience right now. I’m about to turn 70 in two months. I was my own artist I write books. One of those books, a genius award winner praised my latest book. A critic said, is this a great book like Newton’s Principia and Charles Darwin’s Origins of The Species. So some extraordinary things have been said about me. I’ve been called the anti-Newton and Charles Darwin of the 21st century. I’m about to turn 70 — I actually reached a peak as to the amount of push-ups I can do in a row 280, that’s ridiculous. So why I’m able to do 280 push-ups at the age of nearly 70 and what does that do with Michael Jackson. I am able to do them because I’m doing things that I love and the things that I think are most important to humanity, period. Michael was that way too he’s so far beyond me it’s ridiculous and if you’re doing what you know needs to be done it gives you energy and when you get feedback look at all the feedback Michael got from his audience. People didn’t start to turn on him until Irving started manipulating things. Until Irving turned the press negative and once the press gets a habit keeps that habit forever… and the habit was being negative on Michael and if you ever get the press to admit a mistake it will be a miracle. But I hope it happens because they killed a man for 25 years they were murdering him ….by instigation from Irving. The man who killed Michael Jackson was Irving Azoff not his doctor.
Paula: Now I’m depressed
Howard: Well, it was a hideous– hideous thing to see. And the reason for resurrecting Michael is because Michael had more to offer humanity than anybody else I’ve ever seen in my life and still does and again in the German interview I tried to tell the girls from Germany once you set a new standard things that were formally impossible for people will come easy back when I was a kid no one had ever run a mile in under four minutes and it was thought impossible for a human ever to run a mile in under four minutes and then a guy named Roger Bannister had a whole team of people began analyzing every bit of his stride every little movement of his ankles and his feet to figure out how absolutely maximize his energies and he reached the four-minute mile. The impossible barrier he’d broken it. Once he broke it all kinds of people began to break it for 2.5 million years we humans have been on this planet without being able to break the four-minute mile but once one person did – It raise the standard and other people began living up to that standard. Michael was that kind of standard. The kind of standard for amazement, commitment, honesty, courage, care about his fellow human beings– most of all for astonishment and the value of life… and if we can get that across somehow will elevate the bar for all humanity the way Roger Bannister elevated it for runners… and if we die without having absolved Michael — without having demonstrated what he really was, we will have robbed humanity… does that make any sense?
Howard: Well listen to that whole tape ( German fans interview) because it’s got a lot of information in. It’s one of the most extraordinary interviews I’ve ever done.
Paula: It seems that the brothers were divided when they started out on that tour…
Howard: No, they weren’t divided. What had happened was Jermaine had going off on his own. He was dedicated to his own career but that was the only division. The brothers were very united.
Paula: Okay, because the information was that Michael didn’t want to go on tour with them initially.
Howard: I don’t know. Um, it’s hard for me to say. I know when we had our confrontation over canceling the tour or not canceling the tour… it wasn’t a confrontation I don’t know how to describe it. In a sense it was a collaboration… wait I’m dropping things here, hold on bare with me…um, so there we are we’re sitting in this trailer outside a big studio lot in LA where the brothers are rehearsing for the tour. And they are rehearsing at a studio lot because the stage was so huge that was about the only place he could find room for it and Michael and I were sitting there and Michael explains why he wants to cancel his tour and he says look– and in his own way he says, I owe my audience the most amazing performance I could absolutely give them. I owe them the most astonishing experience I can possibly give them. Those are my kids that’s what I owe them and my brother Jackie is the best choreographer, best dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. That is what Michael tells me about one of his brothers… and my brother Jackie has just come down with a bone splint in his knee and without him the show will not be the most amazing show that people have ever seen in their lives and I will not go out and cheat my kids. I will not go out until I can give them the absolute best so I want to wait a couple of weeks or a couple of months until my brother Jackie’s knee is better. What does that tell you about how he felt at least about his brother Jackie? Michael was a very discerning critic of dance. He grew up idolizing Fred Astaire, he grew up watching James Brown, he grew up fusing their movements, he grew up creating his own form of dance… if he says that his brother is the best dancer and best choreographer he’s ever seen in his life that’s not just a random statement. It means he believes that. I don’t know how he felt about the other brothers we never discussed it.
Paula: I thought Jackie’s Leg was broken… that his wife hit him with a car?
Howard: No, No it was just a bone splint. At the same time another one of my other artists came down with the same thing. It’s common in athletes and people that use their knees a lot
Paula: Just out of curiosity… I always felt that he was friends with Prince. There was this big thing in the press for the longest time about…
Howard: No, No
Paula: that they were rivals? (54.40)
Howard: I was with Prince at that point since 1981, people tried to pry me away from Michael –look I was a danger and they used me when I had my close relationship with Michael but then they wanted me out of the picture as rapidly as possible. Because I was a danger I could see what was going on. It was taking me time to figure it –it took me six months to figure it out but that’s a risk and they wanted Michael surrounded by John Branca who was a puppet and Frank Dileo who was an idiot and not by Howard Bloom was trying to figure out what was going wrong and stopping it. I had already gotten a gag order on Don King. I’m fairly fearless look Don King could kill people. Going for a gag order on Don King that can be dangerous. Who cares if it’s the right thing to do, is the right thing to do period. They didn’t want a person like that around…. and um, what was I telling you– what was the question?
Paula: Did he get along with Prince?
Howard: Yeah, so at one point there was a meeting that was taking place, God knows, at a top floor of the Helmsley Palace or something like that or CBS and they convinced Michael or worked to convince Michael that I was a plant, I was a spy sent by Prince to undermine him so Prince could be the number one artist in the world. That’s ridiculous Prince wanted to be Prince he didn’t want to be Michael Jackson. And Michael Jackson didn’t want to be Prince but they did manage to work up some paranoia on Michael’s part and the brothers’ part about that. When I was with them they didn’t know each other they’d never meet and Prince was brand-new he was just obtaining his stardom and Michael had been there for a long time.
Paula: There’s footage of them performing together with James Brown. I guess it’s the early 80s
Howard: That footage cannot be early 80s. It couldn’t have been any earlier than 1985
Paula: Okay, because they always portrayed those two as always sort of having this rivalry going on and they didn’t like each other. I kinda thought that was made up in the press a little bit.
Howard: they did not have a rivalry it was manufactured. People were using that to manipulate Michael that’s all.
Paula: were you ever able to tell Michael what was going on? Or you left without him knowing
Howard: No, I had lost sufficient contact by then. The brothers told me about it.
Paula: So, Irving had you pushed out I guess
Howard: Oh yeah. By the end of the summer they had me banned from the tour. On one occasion I did go against Michael. I very seldom went against my artists I always fought on behalf of their desires not just their interests but in this case Michael’s desire was self-defeating. It is very important for a black artist to maintain a black base. When a base feels like it’s been abandoned it turns on you and that can be very, very bad for your career so one thing I worked very hard at was to make sure that the black base knew that the Jackson’s care about them and the Jackson’s did. When they were writing their contracts with promoters, they wanted some money to go to starving kids in Africa and they wanted at least 100 seats set aside for kids that were too poor to be able to afford tickets. That was just the Jackson’s that was their way of doing and thinking and feeling period. It was 20 years after the civil rights movement had succeeded and a lot of blacks still were not registered to vote and the NAACP had a voting driver and they wanted to set up booths outside of each of the Jackson’s dates that was a perfect way to cement… first of all it was a good thing to do just out of sheer human goodness, it was the right to do just out of sheer human rightness but also it was a way of cementing a connection with the black base. So I said yes without consulting anybody and then people worked on Michael because he was a Jehovah’s Witness and because voting is apparently not allowed among Jehovah’s witnesses and they tried to get him to turn against me on that but he didn’t. He went to… the NAACP was having a convention in LA and without any difficulty Michael agreed to go to that convention to be with Benjamin Hooks who was the legendary head of the NAACP. Michael didn’t give me any trouble about it. We were in the van together going to this thing even though it defied his religious principles but you could work… I mean if you wanted to set up an enemy between people and you wanted to alienate Michael from somebody like me — you could work on little things like that and God knows what other things you could make up. Remember these people are not honest they had no obligation to honesty whatsoever. They only had an obligation to their own self interests.
Paula: It had to be hard for him to know who to trust. It seems like he trusted a lot of the wrong people
Howard: Well, Michael was like… okay, when I was a little kid my role model was Albert Einstein and Albert Einstein when he was in Princeton New Jersey they basically built an Institute for advanced study around him and when he was in Princeton Albert used to walk out of the house get two blocks away from the house on his way up to Princeton and all of a sudden his wife would come running up behind them shouting Albert! Albert! You forgot something. And in her hands would be his pants, his shirt and his shoes because Einstein had walked out of the house in his pajamas. Why did he walk out of the house in his pajamas? Because Einstein was trying to solve the problem of God’s own language in the universe the geometry of the universe and it took his whole brain. He didn’t had the cells left over that you and I have to remember to put on his pants. Michael was like that is whole brain was dedicated to astonishing his kids and he didn’t have the brain stuff left over for making judgments about what were good business people and who were not good business people. So he had terrible taste in business people — absolutely appalling taste in business people. Unfortunately, that was part of his undoing– you’re right he trusted the wrong people.
Larry Larson was a good person who is working with the brothers but he was a good person who didn’t have the kind of scope that Irving has. Look Irving now owns the, he basically owns the American concert booking business. Which is the most important part of the music business and remains very profitable today. He basically owns, I think, the biggest merchandising company in the music industry. He owns Ticketmaster. Of course he has his management firm which is where he started out. I don’t know what, he was in charge of Universal…….I haven’t followed him closely so what I’m saying could have sloppy error’s in it. But he was in charge of Universal music and Universal music has basically gobbled up everything in sight. Irving is the king of the music industry and part of his brilliance is his silence. Part of his brilliance is he stays in the shadows so you can see what he’s doing and he certainly stayed in the shadows with Michael. He simply manipulated people around Michael in order to get to Michael.
Paula: Oh, do you have any inkling as to why Dileo was fired?
Howard: When was he fired?
Paula: he was fired after you left in 1989– at the end of the Bad tour
Howard: Oh, I have no idea. I have no idea at all
Paula: because they were different rumors going around. Michael was secretly taped by a woman named Glenda Stein…
Howard: What was the name? Stein
Paula: Stein was her last name first name Glenda
Howard: Oh Glenda – not Linda.
Paula: Her husband and children befriended Michael and apparently at one point the husband thought she was having an affair with him. And secretly recorded a bunch of conversations she was having with Michael –and sold him down the road. But Dileo’s name came up and he said that he got rid of Dileo because he was too controlling.
Howard: That’s weird. Dileo is self-bumbling, how could he control anything.
Paula: I spoke with somebody else, who is a journalist, who’s very pro-Michael and she’s friends with people at Motown and she said Michael got rid of him because it had something to do with ticket sales. She said I don’t think he was stealing it had something to do with ticket sales but didn’t remember exactly what it was.
Howard: Well there was a rumor that… I believe this is on the Jackson tour it certainly on some tour. It was big because people were taking big blocks of tickets like Don King was taking big blocks of tickets and that was one of the ways they were making money – was through taking big lots of tickets. But remember I was banished from the tour in something like August and whatever year it was – 1983. So, I lost my direct contact with Michael and eventually lost contact with the Jackson’s when it that was all over. God knows what they think of me, I don’t know. We were close as possibly could be. Randy and I–I don’t know what hanging out is, I’m a scientist nerd— I don’t do human things but I suspect what I was did with Randy would’ve been called “hanging out” and I loved them and I was utterly committed to them but we lost contact and then in 1988 I got sick. I needed to go back to my science anyway I needed to get on to be an author. But I get very very sick and for 15 years was in bed
Paula: oh well, how are you now by the way? ( 106.5)
Howard: I’m well 280 push-ups. I walk 3 miles a day and I travel to Amsterdam and Moscow and Paris and places like that so I think I’m better than I’ve ever been in my life ever. But the fact is I lost contact with all of the people in the music industry that I had known. All of them, which is very strange considering how intense I was– how intensely committed I was to them and how much I love them and I love them for letting me into their world. It wasn’t my world, my world was Einstein and Big Bang theory and the steady state theory and Quarks and stuff like that. So at any rate I don’t have any contact with them anymore. I briefly opened re-opened contact with the person I’d given to them as their photographer Harrison Funk on Facebook, but I don’t have the time I have my own career to build and it takes a lot of time. I’m working– I have a vision for the next hundred years of life that I’m debuting at the national space society’s annual meeting and it’s been officially adopted as a visual expression of something they’ve work on for 12 years. Their vision for space exploration or for space settlement. I’ll be meeting at the convention with Dr.APJ Kalam. He’s the 11th president of India, he’s a rocket scientist, he’s put their entire program on the map and he has said that one of my book is a visionary creation and I’ll be meeting with Bob Walter (?) with whom I’ve been working with and sort of kidnap me to work in the space industry and I was on Saudi television yesterday doing commentary on Geo-political affairs. So I have my own career and I have to be my own Michael Jackson (lol)…to the best of my limited abilities
Paula: (lol) Better you than me I’m not good at the sciences
Howard: So I’ve been out of touch with them and haven’t had time to pursue them and I do love them and I’ll love them until I’m shoveled underground. But there’s no time for me to chase them
Paula: you mentioned a woman that was on tour with him. He described her as a gorgeous woman with children (109.15)
Howard: very much in the role you just outlined. Where the person whose kid and family became close to Michael and who suspected the wife was having an affair with him. Michael had someone like that on tour with him. A married woman who was in her 40s and very good looking. I mean not glamorous but a very handsome looking woman and she had the room right next to Michael’s and her family had somehow given her permission to go out on the road with him and he found it very comforting to have her
Paula: how many children did she have?
Howard: I don’t know I have no idea
Paula: do you remember her name? Or what she looks like?
Howard: No, not at all.
Paula: I’m trying to figure out who was because we know most of the families that he was friendly with. I don’t think it was Glenda because in my opinion she wasn’t all that attractive
Howard: well this woman was attractive. She wasn’t gorgeous but she didn’t make herself out to be that’s not how she did her makeup and her hair. She did her makeup and her hair to be respectable but upbeat and good looking
Paula: Was she a black woman or a white woman?
Howard: She was white.
Paula: I can think of who it would have been.
Howard: I can’t either
Paula: Emmanuel Lewis would have been around but obviously…
Howard: I don’t remember seeing Emmanuelle Lewis on the road at all. I would have seen him because I was on those top two floors what’s where I was housed too
Paula: What about Bill Bray?
Paula: Bill Bray –do you know who any of the security people were?
Howard: No, I don’t know. I haven’t heard the name.
Paula: Bill Bray was his head of security for years and years and years. He passed in…ah, it was right after the trial and Michael was devastated over it. I just wasn’t sure if…
Howard: No, I spent time with his security people but didn’t know them by name. We had this one incident that was amazing one day. The Jacksons were in New York they were going to play at the Meadowlands and I got a call saying you have to be over here at the hotel immediately something is going on. And it turns out that the hotel– all of the hotels were always staked out by the paparazzi because all the paparazzi were trying to get pictures of Michael and the Jacksons countered this by leaving from the laundry exit instead of the regular exit and leaving in a van. Now these days vans are common as superstar vehicles. Those days no superstar would be caught dead in a van. So vans looked like they were laundry. The paparazzi a guy from the daily news and his partner had decided to stake out the laundry exit. So they struck gold, they noticed –they saw the van and realized it was the Jackson’s they chased him all the way across town to 11th Ave. 11th Avenue is a divided highway—um, when the Jacksons were driving down 11th Avenue it was like a scene out of cops and robber’s television show. The car with the two Daily News reporters kept trying to catch up with the Jacksons to head them off to do one of those maneuvers were you go horizontal straight across the road. Where you use your car as a roadblock so they were trying to do that to the Jacksons and the Jacksons van kept pulling ahead so it was impossible for the photographers to get ahead of them. Finally the photographers took their vehicle jumped the barrier went into the lane going in the opposite direction. Paula they could have killed an entire family, it was a Sunday afternoon if they had had a head-on collision they could have killed a family– and then jumped back again across the divide to cut the Jacksons off now the Jacksons received hundreds of death threats, constantly. Their security guards were constantly going through the death threats and keeping them from Michael so they wouldn’t upset him. So they had no idea, the security guys, had no idea who this was and what the motivation was and whether this might possibly be one of those people who made death threats, who were interested in killing Michael. So they got out of their van with tire irons in their hands and the photographers reached into their car– got out of their car and when they saw the tire iron reached into their car and pulled a pistol and they were chased off by the security guys. They immediately called into their office and said they had been threatened by Jackson security guards, they had been beaten up by the Jackson security guards. Once the press gets into a certain kind of story they repeated over and over and over again and stories about the Jacksons bullying people, the Jackson’s security guards bullying people was very saleable at the time so I got together all the people who’d been involved at the hotel. I got the whole story down to every last detail and track down the …I guess it was the New York Post, Daily News I can’t remember. But I tracked down the publisher of the paper I found him on a golf course and I told him look you are about to run a story that says the Jacksons security guards beat up your photographers but here is what actually happened. Your photographers were carrying a gun illegally, one of them was out on parole for carrying a gun in the past they were intimidating the Jacksons, they were threatening to destroy the lives of their fellow human beings to get a picture and if you feel obligated to run this headline which isn’t true, which is totally fallacious. I will be obligated to run the truth which will make your paper look horrible absolutely horrible. And the publisher backed down and the story never ran. So that’s the kind of predation on the Jacksons once that first newspaper in Boston sold 35,000 copies more than its competitor by putting Michael on the cover. Michael was set up by vampires. Irving was one of them—in my humble opinion. I had to use detective work to figure out what was going on, my own detective work
Paula: Rolling Stone journalist David Marsh seemed to have it in for Michael…
Howard: David Marsh and Michael Goldberg were the two guy’s .Who apparently, it looks like Larry Solters was giving them information in order to pull all of this off
Paula: David Marsh wrote a book about Michael in ’84 or ’85 talking about his down fall
Howard: David Marsh wrote a book about Michael! What a ghoul. Dave Marsh is a monster. I have a hard time picking my words monster is not an accurate word. The guys is a bastard…I worked with him very closely he got me fired from a job. I’d never been fired in my life. That’s the only time I’ve ever been fired– so that he could get his girlfriend into the job. You don’t do that with people’s lives um, but you do, some people do. I did forgive him and later when Tipper Gore and Susan Baker and the senators wives started to attach rock and roll using ammunition they had gotten from the right wing religious fundamentalists Dave and I both hate censorship so we made up. We got together for lunch, made up and worked together for years but what Dave was doing to Michael Jackson was appalling.
Paula: do you think he was just looking for headlines or someone was paying him?
Howard: Nobody had to pay him no. You couldn’t manipulate journalists that way thank goodness they were impervious to that. He was looking for headlines and he got it. Look, he was on ABC TV morning news so was I. He went on first with all his allegations about the lighting system falling down and the stage collapsing, the security being incompetent, gangs killing people –he made his case. And when they had me on and I made the opposite case… I didn’t know about those 110 people Michael had hired because Michael didn’t want me to know. He wanted to surprise his audience
Paula: Did you read that new book by Randall Sullivan—he was another Rolling Stone writer
Howard: No, I read books about um…science stuff
Paula: I tell him a little bit about Randall’s book. No vitiligo, prosthetic nose …BS, BS
Howard: Michael was so, in his presentation in everyday life– He was so normal it was ridicules. The first time I had meet him we were at Marlon’s pool house—“we” meaning myself and the brothers. There was a big billiard table in the middle of the room and arcade games around the side of the room it was probably a 40 by 40 foot room or 30 by 30, something like that. And then Michael appeared outside the screen door and so I went over and I put my hand out. He was about to walk through the door and I said hi, I’m Howard and expected him to shriek back like a bubble baby in horror from the touch of other humans but that didn’t happen at all. Not a bit, he put out his hand he shook my hand it was not a terribly firm handshake. But it was not a limp hand shake either it was just in the normal range. Soft and normal range and said Hi I’m Michael. That was it, it was so normal it was ridicules. There was nothing weird about him at all. Extraordinary yes but not weird. Not pretentious just a human.