Dimond Negligently Reporting 93 Settlement Details?- Bullet #156 Update3

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Dimond Negligently Reporting 93 Settlement Details? – MJEOL Bullet #156 Update#3 Observers: Where’s the Beef? It seems that the 93 settlement agreement wasn’t as black and white as even we claimed. Initially, it looked as if Jackson had agreed to some unknown form of negligence not related to molestation. However, it turns out that he didn’t even agree to that much. There was absolutely no agreement of anything whatsoever; not even negligence. In short, to call the 1993 settlement a ‘molestation settlement agreement’ is erroneous and has no basis in fact at all. Below, you’ll still be able to read our original report. To read about this update in the story–and to read a transcript of a hearing where Mesereau addresses this issue–click over to MJEOL Bullet #166: 93 Settlement Was Not A Settlement for Molestation Claims One has to wonder if tabloid reporter Diane Dimond even read the 93 Settlement document before she broke into regular Court TV programming to talk about the details of her illegally obtained scoop.Starting yesterday, Dimond trumpeted this latest leak as if it were an admission of guilt in the 93 “case”.Nothing could be further from the truth once you read through the actual sealed and supposedly confidential document itself. The rag reporter of former Hard Copy fame has appeared on a number of shows, spinning this document in the stratosphere. But once you cut through all the bull, the unnamed sources, the dramatic pauses and the speculation, you begin to see that the “big scoop” isn’t big at all. It is 11 year old information that has been speculated on for the past….oh, 11 years. In reading through the actual document, you find that NOWHERE is it stated that Jackson admits to ‘negligently’ sexually molesting anyone, as Dimond has implied (or outright said) in earlier reports. In fact “negligently” sexually molesting a minor is illogical. You can’t make a mistake and molest someone. So what exactly was Dimond reading and from where was she getting it? Certainly not from the existing 93 settlement, that’s for sure. The following statement is what Dimond has read to the public as a way to ‘explain’ what negligence Jackson admitted to:

44. Defendant Michael Jackson negligently had offensive contacts with plaintiff which were both explicitly sexual and otherwise.

However, Jackson didn’t admit to this in the 93 settlement agreement. This statement is NOWHERE in the final settlement agreement signed by Jackson. If you weren’t paying close attention, you would think she was reading statement #44 from the actual settlement agreement. Not so. So from where is Dimond getting this illogically worded statement #44? It’s found, solely, in Larry Feldman’s original civil suit and nowhere else. The ONLY claim Jackson agreed to settle under, “negligence”, isn’t defined in the version of the 93 settlement documents. As a way to try to define it, Dimond pulls from Feldman’s original lawsuit; ignoring all of the other information found directly in the actual settlement agreement itself. ‘Negligent sexual behavior’ is NOT the “negligence” talked about in the 93 settlement documents signed by Jackson. Jackson didn’t agree to any ‘negligent sexual behavior’ as claimed by Dimond. Unfortunately, someone should have explained this fact to Dimond before she ‘broke’ this story so she wouldn’t look as inept as she appears to some observers right now. The original lawsuit filed by Feldman has all manners of unchallenged, illogical, and unproven information in it which, as stated above, is where Dimond got that so-called “damning” statement. In the papers, Jackson stipulates that the settlement agreement is not an admission of any wrongful act against the 93 accuser. It also notes that he agreed to settle the claim in light of the impact the civil lawsuit has had or could have on his future income:

2. [b]This Confidentiality Settlement shall not be construed as an admission by Jackson that he has acted wrongfully with respect to the Minor [93 accuser], Evan Chandler, or June Chandler, or any other person[/b] or at all, or that the Minor, Evan Chandler, or June Chandler have any rights whatsoever against Jackson. Jackson specifically disclaims any liability to, and denies any wrongful acts against, the Minor, Evan Chandler or June Chandler or any other person. The Parties acknowledge that Jackson is a public figure and that his name, image and likeness have commercial value and are an important element of his earning capacity. The Parties acknowledge that Jackson claims that he has elected to settle the claims in the Action in view of the impact the Action has had and could have in the future on his earning and potential income. (see document, page 5; thesmokinggun.com version)

There seems to be someone engaging in their own form of editing as well. The Court TV version of the settlement touted by Dimond is a different version than the one currently up at thesmokinggun.com(TSG) website. TSG has the actual names of the parents (Evan and June Chandler), and the accuser (Jordan Chandler), now an adult, without the black lines. It may not be CourtTV’s policy to list the actual names, but all members are adults now and their names have been made public long before now. In the write-up on the information for thesmokinggun.com website, they do a better job at reporting about the actual contents instead of putting as asinine spin on it in the way Dimond has. They bring out some obvious points that Dimond ‘conveniently’ overlooks:

As with most confidential deals, Jackson admitted no wrongdoing, noting that the cash was to settle claims for “damages for alleged personal injuries arising out of claims of negligence” and not for “claims of intentional or wrongful acts of sexual molestation.” The agreement also states that Jackson elected to settle “in view of the impact the action has had and could have in the future on his earnings and potential income.” (see article)

The ‘negligence’—and ONLY negligence—that Jackson agreed to in the 93 settlement could be something as benign as the “emotional distress” on the accuser as a result of his father filing the civil suit because the accuser was spending too much time at Jackson’s home. It could be Jackson settling a negligent claim that he unintentionally alienated the 93 accuser from his father by spending so much time with him. It could be any number of benign actions that would seem to make better sense than the illogical negligence/molestation claim stated in the original civil lawsuit filed by Feldman. For the record, there were 3 categories of claims initially made by Feldman in the original civil suit: molestation, fraud, and negligence. Jackson only settled the case on an undefined “negligence” claim unrelated to sexual molestation. He did not settle the claim on the actual “molestation” or fraud claims themselves. So to be factually accurate, Jackson didn’t settle the “molestation” claims. He settled a “negligence” claim that had nothing to do with molestation. Feldman, the 93 accuser, and his family DROPPED the civil “molestation” claims and accepted the negligence settlement. The document reads:

WHEREAS ______ has made claims against Jackson for bodily injuries resulting from negligent infliction of emotional distress. (page 1)

Emotional distress. Not sexual battery, sexual molestation, fraud or any of the other nonsensical claims made—then dropped—by the family. One thing about these documents is that you don’t have to take my word for it. Read it for yourself. The 93 document posted at the website specifically states:

g. The Parties recognize that the Settlement Payment set forth in this paragraph j are in settlement of claims by Jordan Chandler [1993 accuser], Evan Chandler, and June Chandler for alleged compensatory damages for alleged personal injuries arising out of the claims of negligence and not for claims of intentional or wrongful acts of sexual molestation. (page 7)

It explicitly says that Jackson is only settling this case on alleged claims of negligence and NOT on claims of sexual molestation. It doesn’t get any clearer than that, folks. The truth is in the documentation, not in the interpretation of a tabloid reporter trying to raise her profile. Again, it appears Jackson didn’t settle the claims of “molestation”, but rather they were dropped by the family and were never a part of this 93 settlement agreement. So, all of the reporting over the years that Jackson settled the “molestation” suit is factually incorrect. He did not. The “molestation” claims were dismissed by the accuser and family. The dismissal of the sexual molestation allegation is even addressed further in the 93 settlement document:

a. Forthwith upon the signing of this Confidential Settlement by the Parties hereto, the Minor, through his Guardian ad Litem in the Action and attorneys, shall dismiss, without prejudice, the first through sixth causes of action of the complaint on file with the Action, leaving only the seventh cause of action pending. (page 7)

The “first through sixth cause of action of the complaint” refer to the molestation and fraud charges. Those were dismissed against Jackson. The “seventh cause” is the ambiguous non-molestation ‘negligence’ claim. On the Today Show (June 16 2004) the glorified tabloid reporter again reads the statement from the original and misleading civil suit filed by Feldman. She also adds an entire lump of other unconfirmed information found NOWHERE in the actual 93 settlement document as posted at Court TV’s website. This is from a transcript of the Today show:

“I have also found out, from other very well placed confidential sources, that upon signing this agreement, the boy got like a signing bonus, a seven figure signing bonus. Maybe as much as $2M more dollars. His mom and dad split $3M. Michael Jackson also agreed to pay his attorneys fees—Larry Feldman’s fees of more than $5M. So that’s an extra 10 on top of this $15M (see video)

Again, NONE of the above information is anywhere in the actual 93 settlement documents. None of it. Dimond brings in this information citing unnamed sources unrelated to this document. For all we know, this could be the creative work of someone trying to get into the fray of this case by trying to make it look ‘damning’ to Michael Jackson. As it stands, the only amount of money quoted in the actual document is the approximately $15M to settle the entire case. But you wouldn’t have gotten this impression by listening to Dimond. She stated the information as fact; as if she had documentation about the full amounts paid to attorneys and the accuser’s parents in front of her. And it has since gone to other news organizations with the lie ‘The document states…’ attached to the unconfirmed ramblings of what some observers say is a credibility-poor tabloid reporter. Another bombshell that Dimond forgets to mention is that the 93 accuser and family were NOT stopped from cooperating with prosecutors in the criminal case in 1993 because of this settlement. Unlike what has been reported, there is NO stipulation in the settlement stating that the accuser can’t testify against Jackson in a court of law; NO stipulation that the accuser couldn’t talk to police for a criminal case; and NO stipulation that the accuser cannot pursue criminal charges as a result of signing the civil settlement agreement. Written into the actual 93 settlement agreement is the fact that the accuser is free to reveal information about the allegations as required by law. The fact that the accuser’s family chose not to cooperate with prosecutors once they got Jackson’s money is very telling. But the reason they stopped cooperating is not because of the Jackson settlement. Read this statement from the settlement agreement:

The Minor, by and through his Guardian ad Litem, and Evan Chandler and June Chandler , and each of them individually and on behalf of their respective agents, attorneys, media representatives, partners, heirs, administrators, executors, conservators, successors and assigns, agree not to cooperate with, represent, or provide any information, to any person or entity that initiates any civil claim or action which relates in any manner to the subject matter of the Action against Jackson or any of the Jackson Releases, except as may be required by law. (page 16)

“Except as may be required by law”. So the settlement didn’t stop a criminal case from being pursued against Jackson simply because the civil matter was resolved. IF prosecutors didn’t get any more cooperation from the accuser once they got the money, we now know that it damn sure wasn’t because Jackson settled the 93 civil case. The document even continues to address this issue by stating that the only thing the accuser and family have to do if they are subpoenaed or asked to testify in ANY future claim against Jackson, is to notify Jackson’s attorneys in writing. That’s it. That’s all:

g. In the event the Minor, the Minor’s Legal Guardians, the Minor’s Guardian ad Litem, the Minor’s attorneys, Evan Chandler or June Chandler, or any of them individually…receive a subpoena or request for information from any person or entity who has asserted or is investigating, any claim against Jackson… they agree to give notice in writing to Jackson’s attorneys regarding the nature and scope of any such subpoena request for information, to the extent permitted by law. This notice shall be given before responding to the request…(page 16)

NOWHERE does it state, in the docs posted at Court TV, that Jackson is requiring them never to cooperate with anyone who is prosecuting or making claims against him. Let me reiterate: This means they could have talked to prosecutors, police, and investigators in that first 1993 “case” if they wanted to. This confirms information from many sources close to the 1993 defense who said that the civil case was settled to get it out of the way in preparation for a criminal trial. The criminal trial never happened because it seems that once the accuser’s family got the money, they shot out of there like bank robbers who had successfully completed a heist. And Feldman was driving the get-away car. Also a factor in this is the fact that an insurance company or companies were involved in the 93 settlement. For those who may not already know, insurance companies do not pay out settlements where their clients have committed criminal molestation. It’s simply not done for anyone. They have their own set of investigators as well. So the mere fact insurance companies are involved speaks to there not being an admission of any criminal activity on Jackson’s part, contrary to what Dimond is reporting. One can still be negligent (ie, on the hook for a lack of due care or concern) and get a settlement agreement paid by insurance. The “negligence” Jackson agreed to hasn’t been leaked. But what we now know from the 93 settlement agreement is that it definitely DOES NOT have anything to do with any sexual molestation. The blowhards, tv lawyers, and talking heads who initially flooded the airwaves yesterday and this morning with claims that Jackson admitted he “negligently” molested the 93 accuser were completely wrong. Those who think this documents admits guilt have obviously not bothered to actually read the document. You wouldn’t get questions like “I don’t know how you can negligently molest a boy and at the same time admit to no wrongdoing” if you actually read the document. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as damning as Dimond claims it is, if you actually read the document. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as confusing as the press claims it is, if you actually read the document. How do we know if the information reported is the full factual accounting of what happened? There’s a possibility that the things edited out of the document may have been done so on purpose as a way to get any favorable information on Jackson’s part out of the picture once the document was leaked. Remember, there are some 8 whole pages missing from the version Dimond has, by her own admission. As with a number of things desperately, and probably illegally, leaked to the media, this is beginning to backfire. What looked to be a 1-week story, has quickly become a 1-day story, at least by most in broadcast media. Some editors and producers may be asking “Where’s the Beef?” And why is that? It is because the actual documents don’t seem to fully bear out the information initially reported by Diane Dimond. Once you actually read the documentation for yourself, you begin to understand it. You become more suspicious than ever of the reasons why this was leaked and why some say Dimond has put such a ‘negligent’ spin on it. Even today (June 16, 2004) Dimond appeared on Crier Live to talk about it. And AGAIN there was talk of the ‘negligence’ statement from Larry Feldman’s original suit without clarification that the statement is NOWHERE in the actual settlement agreement, and that Jackson never agreed to be held negligent to anything remotely dealing with sexual molestation. There was also a blaring absence of attorneys on the show today for some reason as well. One would think Crier, a former judge, would read more carefully. I guess that would be too much to hope for on a cable network that touts Dimond as an “investigative journalist”. This could explain why Jackson’s team has been silent, and some say a bit nonchalant, about the contents of the 93 settlement. It takes the proverbial teeth out of the long speculated details. We see that it isn’t as bad as claimed by the media who at one point had the settlement amount set to upwards of $60M. What sources say they, and the number of legal analysis, are furious about is the leaking of this sealed document for the sole purposes of trying to taint the possible jury pool in the current criminal “case” against Jackson (see MJEOL Bullet #155 which addresses how some lawyers blasted the leaking of this information). The following is the statement of Jackson spokeswoman Raymone Bain:

We are under a very strict confidentiality Agreement or “gag” order. If, in fact, the Agreement is the actual Agreement, we are going to abide by the “gag” order, and not comment with regards to it. However whoever released this Agreement, whether it is actual or not, did it deliberately and willfully, with the intent of influencing potential jurors in Mr. Jackson’s present case, which is outrageous, and an act of desperation. (see MJJSOURCE.COM)

Some ask, if Jackson is innocent, why did he settle the case? I would ask if Jackson is guilty, why in hell would the family take the money and agree to drop the molestation claims—even in the civil case—against Jackson? Why would they not cooperate with prosecutors even though the settlement didn’t bar them from doing so? Why did the father try to get $20M from Jackson before any of these claims were taken to any law enforcement official? Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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