Settlement Not Enough (June 24 1996)

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Settlement Not Enough

USA Today June 24, 1996
by DeWayne Wickham

Father, who accused singer of molesting son and is now suing again, ought to get a life. Los Angeles- Remember Evan Chandler? He’s the Beverly Hills dentist who several years ago accused pop music superstar Michael Jackson of sexually molesting his then 13-year-old son.

Instead of trying to put Jackson in jail, Chandler sought to pick his pocket. The civil suit he filed in 1993 was settled out of court, reportedly for more than $10 million.

Now Chandler is hoping for another visit from the tooth fairy. The former dentist to the stars is back in court. And this time he’s not just suing Jackson. Chandler also has named the pop music star’s ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, the Sony Music Corp., the Walt Disney Co. and some 300 unnamed persons as co-conspirators.

Aided and abetted by this cast of characters, Jackson violated the terms of their confidential 1994 agreement, Chandler says. How?

By denying – in words and song – that he sexually abused the young boy. He did so last year during an interview on ABC with Diane Sawyer, Chandler charges, and again in his latest album. And for that Jackson must pay. How much?

Chandler, who between root canals co-wrote the screenplay for the movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights, wants at least $60 million to settle his latest complaint against the pop music king. He also wants an album.

Not a copy of HIStory, the Jackson album he cites in his suit. Chandler wants a court order "to allow him to publish and cause to be distributed to the public for sale" his own musical composition – something he calls "EVANstory." And, yes, he wants to be taken seriously. Hmmmm.

But, of course, he blew his chance for that when he chose to press his child-abuse charge in a civil, rather than criminal, court. How many parents who really believe some guy was molesting their child would pass up the chance to put him in jail?

Who would seek a financial payoff in lieu of a criminal prosecution? If Michael Jackson is a child molester, he belongs in jail. And if Evan Chandler has any evidence to support the charge that Jackson "sexually molested and assaulted" his son, he should give it to a prosecutor – not try to use it to launch his own recording career.

When Chandler and Jackson reached their out-of-court settlement, lawsuit lawyers for both men announced the deal in a joint, one-page statement. Twice in that document Jackson asserted his innocence.

Now, two years later, Chandler claims such a denial is a violation of the agreement. Some of these denials, Chandler contends, are buried in the lyrics of several of the songs on Jackson’s HIStory album. What is he talking about? Well, in one song Jackson sings: "Somebody’s out, somebody’s out to use me, they really wanna use me, they falsely accused me."

Chandler believes these words are targeted at him. Maybe. Maybe not. In recent years Jackson has been dragged into civil court by a Denver songwriter who accused him of stealing his lyrics and a woman who said he fathered her child.

Maybe he was talking about them. Or maybe – like most songwriters – he wasn’t talking about anyone in particular. And remember the recent controversy over Jackson’s use of terms like "Jew me, sue me" and "kike me, don’t you black and white me" in a song on the HIStory album?

Well, Chandler, who is Jewish, suggests in his lawsuit that they were aimed directly at him. Now he wants a chance to fire back with his own repertoire of songs. Evan, get a life. The statute of limitations for your child-abuse charge expires in three years.

If Michael Jackson did the unspeakable to your boy, give prosecutors the evidence they need to put him in jail. Source: Wickham, DeWayne.

"Michael Jackson Sequel: Settlement Not Enough." USA Today. 24 Jun. 1996: Pg. 14A (Note: the arbitrator in the aforementioned suit against Michael claiming breach of agreement ruled in Michael’s favor as seen in the August 20, 1999 article Jackson Scores Another Court Win.

Note: the statute of limitations expired August 17, 1999 closing irrevocably the investigation against Michael Jackson.)

Wickham, DeWayne. "Michael Jackson Sequel: Settlement Not Enough." USA Today. 24 Jun. 1996: Pg. 14A.

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