Tabloid Reporter at Neverland before Police Raid? MJEOL Bullet #141 It has come to the attention of many people that tabloid reporter Diane Dimond has been more involved in this casethe reporting of it, the bringing about of these charges, and the knowledge of the investigationthan a great number of people have realized up until now. We already know that Dimond went to Court TV chairman and CEO Henry Schleiff asking for money concerning a big story she was working onmonths before Jacksons home was raided. The Associated Presss David Bauder reported that Dimond told Schleiff she was working on a great story and asked him to provide money and manpower to help dig it out. Dig it out, indeed (see Bauder article). In an article from The HollywoodReporter.com, dated Nov 20 2003, Andrew Wallenstein reports that Dimond was the first to report news of the raid. In fact, she was the first reporter at Neverland even before the police made it there; ready and waiting, with her camera crew to catch the scene. The report states:
Dimond flew from New York to Santa Barbara on Tuesday [Nov 18 2003], arriving at 2 a.m., enough time to get three hours of sleep and have one of her two camera crews stationed at Neverland when the police arrived at 6 a.m. She was at the local police station with the other crew when the raid commenced just in case Jackson was arrested, but she soon sped back over to Neverland. (see article)
Not only was she apparently tipped off by someone in either the district attorneys office or the sheriffs department, but she was given so much specific information that she executed a plan to have two camera crews ready: one to catch the raid at Neverland, and another for when Jackson was to be arrested and taken to the police station. What? No one has so much as asked one question about how she knew to be there at that time, who gave her this information, and for what purpose was it given to her. The second crew at the police station came up empty because Jackson wasnt at Neverland when the raid started. This in itself of further evidence that Sneddon was allowed to get the search and arrest warrants at the same time, since Dimond broke news that police sources said that had Jackson been at Neverland during the time they ransacked his home, they would have arrested him on the spot. This situation is a reminder of comments from Gary Dunlap. Dunlap is currently suing district attorney Tom Sneddon and others in federal court for $10M for violation of civil rights, prosecutorial misconduct, conspiracy, racketeering, and witness tampering. In an interview with MJJF Radio (hear audio), Dunlap says Sneddon and the sheriffs department have often used the media in local cases to publicly embarrass the person whose business or residence they are searching:
And they had a number of police cars surrounding my building and they had a member of the press and a photographer from the local paper taking pictures of breaking into my office. So that the next day there was a headline, Dunlaps Office Raided by FBI and Local Police They were already in my home when I came in from a court appearance in Santa Maria. But when I was waiting for them to finish up in my home, they were in my office doing the same thing, breaking into my office with the press present. So that, thats improper. I mean, they arent supposed to do that. But they do it anyway. They do it because they can get away with it, and theyve always gotten away with it, and nobody can stand up to them. (see transcript)
Could Dimond being stationed outside Neverland before the raid be just another illustration of what Dunlap is saying? When confronted by her actions–before and during the Neverland raidby Brian Oxman (Jackson family attorney), she claimed that the district attorney wasnt her source even though he would be one of the extremely small number of people who would have known the exact date and time of the raid. The following is from a Nov 19 2003 transcript of CNNs Paula Zahn Now:
BRIAN OXMAN, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: The Jackson family is extremely upset by all this commotion and the storm which is going on. And there’s no question about it that they view it with concern. But what we saw today is even of greater concern and that is a press conference where the District Attorney is really leaking information utilizing Ms. Dimond as the source. She tells us about alcohol, no one else knows about that… DIMOND: I resent that untruth. BROWN: Diane, we’ll get to you, thank you. OXMAN: It is wrong. It’s absolutely wrong. We’re hearing about when this child is through Diane Diamond. We’re hearing about the allegations. DIMOND: You are absolutely incorrect and you’re embarrassing yourself by what you’re saying. OXMAN: It is wrong. It is not the ethical way by which a prosecutor proceeds to have a journalist accompany them to a search of Neverland Ranch. The prosecutor has stars in their eyes of Hollywood. And when they have these kinds of stars of publicity, they are blinded by the light. And I think that’s what is going to happen here and that’s exactly what happened here. (see transcript)
Apparently for months, she was given or was seeking information about this investigation, and was tipped off hours before the raid so that she could be there, ready to roll camera and report her ill-gotten scoop. She has also, since, proclaimed to have met the accuser and presumably the mother. The questions that arise, of course, are when and how did she get in contact with them. We know from an earlier report that current district attorney Sneddon was trying to get in contact with the family as early as Feb 16 2003. So when did Dimond track down the family? Since she was so uh, resourceful could she have aided prosecutors in finding them? She has, since, aided prosecutors in tracking down a pair of dirty old underwear which may or may not even belong to Jackson (see Newsflash: Unidentified, Old Underwear is not Evidence MJEOL Bullet #137). But the point is that she has gone to the other side of the country, found what she thought was evidence in the so-called case against Jackson, and called up her old buddy Sneddonwho sent officers there to pick up those dirty old draws. Dimond is already involved in another investigation revolving around Jackson; namely the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping case. Pellicano was one investigator hired by Jacksons 1993 attorneys for that civil case. Allegedly, her phone is one of the ones Pellicano is accused of tapping during that time. According to that Hollywood Reporter.com article:
Dimond’s involvement in the Pellicano wiretapping case has put her in the uncomfortable position of being both a subject and a reporter on a continuing investigation. Should she be called before the grand jury, Dimond would likely have to abstain from reporting on the Pellicano case.
The real question, though, is why would she be a target of investigation for Jacksons defense team? What role did she play in that 1993 case? Was she somehow intimately involved in that investigation as well? Was she tipped off by prosecutors that they were investigating Jackson in 1993 months before she publicly broke that news too?? Reports say she has actually admitted to having met the 1993 accuser as well as this current one. Sources say Dimond has long since been a mouthpiece for the prosecution since that 1993 case. Many observers have noticed the rather close relationship between the mediain particular, Dimondand the district attorneys office. She was one of the lucky reporters to get a sit-down interview with Tom Sneddon, which Court TV aired soon after that first unprofessional press conference given by Sneddon and Sheriff Jim Anderson. CNNs Art Harris, another prosecution sympathizer according to sources, was the other. The Bearer of False Information? Dimond has an extensive history in spreading information that later proves not to be credible. During the 1993 case, she spread the lie that there was a video of Jackson molesting a young boy. She went on at least two different media outlets to spread this fabrication, as if it were fact. Her source, Victor Gutierrez, was successfully sued by Jackson. Instead of paying up, he fled the country. Dimond narrowly escaped culpability by basically placing the entire blame on Gutierrez and cowering behind the journalists mantra in which they take no personal responsibility in reporting unconfirmed or untrue information. She was also one of the only reporters claiming that the police found love letters from Jackson to the accuser at Neverland. Beside the obvious question like why the hell would letters from Jackson to the accuser be in Jacksons home, more questions were asked about that false story. Ever wonder why one no longer hears reports about those love letters Dimond swore existed? Well, thats because they dont exist according to reports. Appearing on Larry King Live Nov 24 2003, Dimond swore that these love letters existed even though she had never seen them nor read the contents of them:
KING: Do we — hold it! Does anyone here — does anyone here — anyone — know of the existence of these letters? COCHRAN: I don’t. I mean, I think that’s… DIMOND: Absolutely. I do. COCHRAN: … again, speculation. DIMOND: I do! COCHRAN: I don’t know of this. KING: Hold it! COCHRAN: I’ve never seen them. The only… DIMOND: I absolutely know of their existence! KING: Diane, have you read them? DIMOND: No, I have not read them, but I absolutely know that that… COCHRAN: So how do we know? DIMOND: … was tops on the list of the DA and sheriff’s department, things to look for inside Neverland. (see transcript)
The story, in its fraudulent form, was started by a London tabloid and was snatched up as fact by those who were too lazy to ask for corroboration. It was later reported that the letters they found were fan mail written from fans to Jackson. Dimond has participated in spread misleading information, whether on purpose or by mistake. In MJEOL Bullet #113, it was reported that she appeared on Crier Live (March 22 2004). During the program, she made a number of statements about what some consider complete fabrications (see video). For example, she claimed that the 1993 accuser and the current accuser didnt speak to the same psychologist. She told Crier:
For example, this Dr. Katz who is the one who had several sessions with the boy and then went to the district attorney I keep hearing reporters over and over say oh well, you know, thats the same psychologist or psychiatrist that did the first accuser, and you know they got the same lawyer. Not true. Not true.
We now know that the psychologist, Stan J Katz, did in fact admit to seeing both accusers based on documents from the Santa Barbara police investigation quoting what he himself told the police. According to that Santa Barbara investigation documents, Katz says about the 1993 investigation:
I actually do know about that case I worked on that one too. (see video)
Katz was referring to the 1993 case where another family asked Jackson for money before claiming that he molested their son. So, why is Dimond claiming that Katz was not involved in both cases when he has already stated that he is? What does she, and her prosecution sources, have to gain by misleading the public about this case? This isnt the only thing which Dimond seems to get completely wrong. Before money lawyer Larry Feldman and his shrink (Stan Katz) became involved in that 1993 case, another psychologist (Mathis Abrams) and lawyer (Barry Rothman) were involved in reporting the alleged abuse to authorities. Once they were dropped from that case by that boys father, in comes Feldman and Katz. This is not what Dimond told the viewers of that March 22nd show, however. She claimed:
The first boy, the first accuser came out in 93; saw a Dr. Abramson. This accuser never saw Abramson, he only saw Katz.
This isnt true. As stated above, the first boy never saw a Dr. Abramson (see GQ: Was Michael Jackson Framed?) . A little side info: To partly corroborate his brief role in the 1993 case, Abrams has since commented on it. In a CBSNews report from Dec 12 2003, he says:
I think that [children changing their stories] is a possibility in both cases, that there could be coaching, but, again, I wasn’t given the opportunity in the initial [1993 case] to even try to find out.”
Dimond even denies that each psychologist in both cases were brought in by Feldman. She says told Crier:
CRIER: But were both accusers referred to their treating psychologist/psychiatrist by Feldman? DIMOND: No. Larry Feldman is a common attorney. But the first boy was uh, found his psychologist/psychologist through a completely different attorney.
Well we now know that this isnt exactly the case. Katz, who did see both accusers, really was brought in by Feldman as preparation for a civil suit Feldman was going to file against Jackson in 2003. Katz revealed this information to Santa Barbara police:
Mr. Feldman actually referred these kids to me because they had come to him in this lawsuit Feldmans going to file.
The civil suit was stopped by current district attorney Sneddon, and could explain why he arrested Jackson so early on in this process. Because of a new California law, if Jackson is in the criminal system, all civil suits will halt until criminal proceedings have been resolved. This means civil prospects are not supported by prosecutors unless the people making the allegation (the family) cooperate with the criminal prosecution of the accused (Michael Jackson). And to get prosecutors to support any civil proceedings, the accuser/family has to tell them what they want to hear. The accuser and his family have no other choice but to work with prosecutors now. This is not information shared by Dimond with the viewers on that March 22nd show. Maybe it just slipped her mind? Maybe not. A HIStory of Suspicious Involvement? The tabloid reporter was also involved in yet another allegation about molestation which completely blew up in her face while she was working on the story. Between the 93 case and this current case, she actually tracked down, met, interviewed, and videotaped a young liar from Canada claiming that Jackson had sexually molested him. The story was a fake in which she was all too willing to participate at first. As reported on MJEOL Bullet #54, it turned out, the kid was being fed extremely detailed information from a reportedly Jackson-obsessed man named Rodney Allen, who felt it was his mission to make Michael Jackson pay for some imagined wrong done to him. Rodney Allen, the guardian writing the letters to Dimond via the now defunct tabloid show Hard Copy, admitted on camera he fed the information to the child and made the kid lie over and over again to both Dimond and the authorities in the beginning. After the kid was questioned individually for hours by the Santa Barbara and Toronto police, he finally admitted he lied about the entire situation from beginning to end. It could have turned into another international scandal akin to this current one:
(begin videotape) Diane Dimond, Hard Copy: I care about this one kid who gave me all sorts of information about Neverland, about Havenhurst, about Disneyland, about Michael Jacksons body. Where did he get all that information? Allen: He got it from me. Dimond: You planted all this stuff in this kids head? Allen: I didnt plant it in his head. He was asking questions. I answered them the best I can. I told him what I could tell him about the place because I want Michael to face it. Dimond: So this kid is an A-1, number one liar? Allen: Professional. (end videotape) Dimond voiceover: The whole story was a scam. A Toronto street kid meets a man obsessed with the Michael Jackson case, and the results could have been an international scandal. Meanwhile, back at the police station the boy finally broke down. He admitted that he and Rodney Allen had made up the whole story. (begin videotape) Dimond: The young boy was lying? Det. Darryl Campbell: Thats my belief. And as a result of that, he was charged, yes. Dimond: Can you tell us what he was charged with? Campbell: Public mischief. (end videotape) Dimond: Well the boy is still in custody tonight. And police continue their investigation of Mr. Rodney Allen. (see video report)
This unbelievable story, and the actions of this reporter to help create itwith her tracking this kid down, making/asking him to do an on-camera interview for her tabloid TV show, and then taking him to the policeis more than just reporting on the story. Some say she seemed to have injected herself into that situation because she was eager to get a scoop. However, it does make one wonder about the extent of her involvement, if any, with this current accuser in light of the fact that she has already displayed a complete willingness to go out and find accusers (credible or not) against Jackson. No checks and balances among reporters? For a substantial period of time, Dimond via Court TV was the only peson in the media privy to such information as the search and arrest warrants. No other media outlet could independently confirm any of the data she was initially reporting because her sources were either straight from the DAs office or the Sheriffs department. And she may have been chosen to deliver this info to the public. It does appear very odd, in retrospect, that she has all of this information before the news of the story broke through other means. Just good reporting? Maybe maybe not. There has yet to be reports questioning how this current investigation and case has proceeded, who was involved, and what role they played in bringing these charges. Couple this with the, some say, rather suspicious involvement of the medianamely Diane Dimondsince the case broke, and we have a situation where underhanded and back-alley dealings could come back to haunt the people involved in this situation since its inception. -MJEOL