1993 Investigation Not a Problem for Defense? – MJEOL Bullet #224

What makes the news media think Jackson or his defense team is scared of the possibility of the 1993 accuser being called to testify in the current “case”, if it makes it to trial?

In a recent article by the Santa Barbara News-Press, Dawn Hobbs cites “sources close to the case” as saying the 1993 accuser was contacted in an attempt to obtain testimony from him against Jackson. Jackson’s defense team may finally be able to cross-examine and knockdown those allegations as well.

So, some observers have asked two highly provocative questions: 1) Does the defense want to be able to cross-examine the 1993 accuser to clear Jackson of those claims as well? and 2) What would happen if the 1993 accuser was actually more helpful to the defense than to the prosecution since he is an adult and is no longer under the control of his father?

This entire situation started when Even Chandler, the 1993 accuser’s father, filed a lawsuit against Jackson alleging molestation on Jackson’s part. The plot was furthered by Barry Rothman, Chandler’s very first “shady” attorney.

Rothman is the one that first executed the plan of having an accuser see a shrink and having the shrink—obligated to report things like abuse allegations—alert the proper authorities. Thereby, the parent is off the hook and the shrink is off the hook if the scam doesn’t work.

 The events revolving around the 1993 allegation have been discussed at length and have been written about in a recent book by Geraldine Hughes entitled Redemption: The Truth about the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations.

Hughes was the legal secretary for Barry Rothman during that time. In Hobbs’s article, she states “a family friend” told the paper that the ’93 accuser indicated he wanted to testify once at trial.

Most observers say this “family friend” may be none other than the accuser’s estranged Uncle, Ray Chandler. Chandler hasn’t seen nor heard from the ’93 accuser in years. And Hughes has said he was nowhere around during that time. But the larger question is what makes these pseudo-soothsayers think the defense is at all worried about testimony from the ’93 accuser?

By all indications, if you think the current “case” is weak, the one in 1993 was even weaker. Prosecutors couldn’t so much as get the ’93 accuser to testify in front of either of the grand juries convened at the time; neither before nor after a settlement was reached.

 

__1993 Settlement__
As learned from articles written about the “case” at the time, the 1993 settlement didn’t and wouldn’t stop criminal proceedings from going forward if prosecutors really had any evidence against Jackson.

To top it off, as reported during the time, none of the descriptions the accuser gave of Jackson’s body matched the photos taken of Jackson. The prosecution’s ability to proceed with a criminal case if there was real evidence was also confirmed by the ’93 settlement agreement itself.

Although tabloid reporter Diane Dimond may have obtained it legally, whoever actually leaked the sealed court docs to her did so illegally.

As discussed in MJEOL Bullet #156: Dimond Negligently Reporting 93 Settlement Details?, written into that settlement agreement is the fact that the ’93 accuser was free to reveal info about the allegations as required by law.

In fact it is the accuser’s family who chose not to cooperate with prosecutors after they got their hands on money paid by Jackson’s insurance companies. The only thing the accuser’s family had to do was notify Jackson’s defense team before they testified at any possible criminal trial.

Found in that settlement agreement is the following passage, which didn’t prohibit the ’93 accuser from testifying against Jackson at 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) (see thesmokinggun.com)

Nowhere in the agreement did it state that Jackson is requiring that the accuser never cooperate with prosecutors or anyone who’s prosecuting any claim against him. That’s why the possibility of the ’93 accuser’s testimony is being bandied about now.

During a pre-trial hearing, Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau said in court that the notion of Jackson admitting to doing anything untoward by settling a complaint is completely false. He also explained how the language in the settlement was as such so insurance companies could fund the settlement:

As the court knows better than I do, civil settlements of this nature are often done where the negligence claim is settled so that insurance companies can fund the settlement. There was never any admission by Mr. Jackson that he ever did anything negligent or anything wrong at all. There was a public comment in the media, again, about this 11 year old case to the effect that somehow he admitted negligence, which was completely false. It was a technical legal way of settling a case so insurance companies could fund a settlement and he could get on with his personal life and business life. (see transcript)

Add this information to the fact that the defense made prosecutors hand over all of their info from the 1993 investigation, and it is very interesting to see speculation about possible testimony at this time.

 

__Evidence of Extortion__
From a variety of sources come details that not only was Jackson’s first set of 1993 attorneys and private investigator prepared to go to trial if necessary, but that they had ample amounts of extremely damaging proof the ’93 allegation began as a result of a failed extortion attempt. One of those sources, Geraldine Hughes, cites in her book the following:

Anthony Pellicano stated repeatedly to the news media that the entire child molestation allegation was an elaborate extortion scheme by Mr. Rothman [the 93 accuser’s first attorney] and Dr. Chandler [the 93 accuser’s father] to extort money from Michael Jackson.
 
Throughout the entire ordeal Mr. Pellicano never changed his opinion. In a declaration filed by Mr. Pellicano in opposition to a Motion for Trial Preference and in support of Michael Jackson’s Motion for Stay of Discovery and Trial, he stated that Dr. Chandler and Mr. Rothman demanded twenty million dollars in the form of four—five million dollar payments for writing deals for Dr. Chandler’s services.
 
Mr. Pellicano further stated that Dr. Chandler said he would ruin Michael Jackson if he didn’t get what he wanted and that he believed Dr. Chandler, directly or indirectly, found a way to make his claims public in retaliation for Michael Jackson not meeting his demand. (see Redemption Excerpt : The Extortion Investigation )

The result of Jackson changing attorneys, says Hughes, had the adverse affect of the ’93 “case” not going to trial. Thus, all of the info/proof dug up on the ’93 family didn’t get to see the light of day at that time:

…The unfortunate aspect of changing attorneys and not going to trial was that all the initial investigation work that Mr. Fields and Mr. Pellicano had dug up never made its way into the courtroom. Mr. Pellicano had gathered incriminating evidence against Dr. Chandler and Mr. Rothman which could have won Michael Jackson a victorious outcome in court.
 
However, Michael Jackson was not willing to endure the public scrutiny of his private life and affairs. It was my contention that had Michael Jackson gone to trial, he would have won. Mr. Fields and Mr. Pellicano had the ammunition to win. page 106 (see Redemption Excerpt : Important Information from ‘Redemption’)

 

__What of this 2003 “case”?__
In this “case”, the defense has already had to force reluctant prosecutors to surrender boxes of material from the ’93 investigation. At first prosecutors claimed they didn’t know whether or not they were going to use the 1993 investigation.

It was learned through recently released court documents that prosecutors had already heavily used the 1993 investigation and speculation from the “case” to get search warrants for Neverland and “dozens” more warrants as well.

As discussed in MJEOL Bullet #196, the defense asked current judge Rodney Melville to make prosecutors turn over the documents as well as exonerating evidence undoubtedly found during that investigation. The public also discovered, from the defense’s Motion to Compel (see court doc) that prosecutors extensively relied on speculation about the 1993 “case” during the grand jury process in THIS “case”.

The defense writes that the affidavit used for a great number of search warrants refers directly to exonerating info developed during the ’93 investigation:

Mr. Jackson’s right to receive exculpatory information from the prosecution also requires production of materials from the prior investigation. Law enforcement unquestionably developed information rebutting allegations of misconduct from the many people who testified before the grand juries or submitted to informal interview. (see (see Motion to Compel Discovery, pg6)

In addition, through court docs, the public discovered the defense had been asking for months that prosecutors turn over the material from that ’93 investigation.

Sneddon had bragged to a newspaper that there were 5 boxes of material that he was very familiar with. But prosecutors stalled for as long as possible in handing if over. Initially they disingenuously claimed in court that the 1993 investigation was “irrelevant.”

The public is aware now about the heavy reliance on speculation from that “case” to further this current one; about the leeway Feldman was given during the grand jury process to convince the jury to hand down an indictment; and about the odd behavior of prosecutors who act like they were doing Jackson a favor by not filing charges against him, even though they allegedly had “substantial evidence”. Yeah right.

For months, those sympathetic to prosecutors have been saying the prosecution didn’t need to use the ’93 investigation, and that they think they have “a strong case” which could “stand on its own.” Some observers have called this an outright lie.

With that said, why do some reporters think the defense is worried about whatever the ’93 accuser would say in court? Jackson has been very good at keeping a lid on whatever exonerating information they found back during the 1993 investigation. Thus, prosecutors will have no chance of changing their “case” to nullify Jackson’s exonerating material like they tried to do with this 2003 “case”.

Remember changing charges? Changing number of counts? Changing timeline? Some observers argue if the ’93 accuser continues to assert that Jackson did any wrongdoing, the defense may seriously want to cross-examine him themselves anyway. If they dispose of the claims of 1993 and show that accuser is/was lying, it would have a crippling affect on the prosecution.

Others, however, have suggested an entirely different scenario. They assert that prosecutors may not be able to get the ’93 accuser to cooperate with this “case” because he, an adult now, is no longer going along with the plan to falsely accuse Jackson.

They say this may be the ultimate reason why prosecutors couldn’t get him to testify in front of the grand jury earlier this year, nor involved in any other aspect of this “case”. This type of outcome certainly isn’t uncommon. Recently in an unrelated case, four children—now grown men—admitted they were never molested by a man named John Stoll.

Stoll spent 20 years in prison based on the false accusations of those children coupled with alleged massive misconduct of police and prosecutors in Stoll’s case. The young men grew up and finally had to admit they lied under oath as children because of threats, lies, and badgering by police and prosecutors.

They testified at a hearing in support of Stoll and told the truth of what happened. Not that Jackson’s “case” and Stoll’s case are comparable in any way other than false allegations, but it would be interesting to hear what the ’93 accuser has to say.

One could bet that the media, the public and the prosecution would have a collective nervous breakdown if the ’93 accuser ended up being a witness for Jackson’s defense in this current “case”. Or if attorneys show that Jackson was in fact innocent in 1993 as well through cross-examination.

 

__Sneaking in under the radar?__
Another issue is in regards to a reported $2 million settlement reportedly to the son of a maid who was fired from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch for stealing. She, too, rode the wave of the ‘just get it over with’ attitude during that time.

Most accounts say the recipient of this settlement was this maid, Blanca Francia. Francia was also paid $20,000 for her story of alleged abuse by tabloid reporter Diane Dimond’s old bosses at the now defunct Hard Copy.

Hobbs reports that this $2 million settlement was the result of an alleged “inappropriate touching” allegation, and that he didn’t want to testify because the 1993 accuser didn’t testify. How convenient.

What she leaves out is that during cross-examination of Francia’s testimony for a deposition by Jackson’s attorneys at the time, the former maid was shown to be lying about allegations she had made against Jackson.

This was reported by Mary Fischer, writing for GQ magazine in 1994. In an exhaustive article for GQ magazine, titled “Was Michael Jackson Framed? The Untold Story” (Oct 1994), she reports about the maid’s under oath admission:

Next came the maid. On December 15, Hard Copy presented “The Bedroom Maid’s Painful Secret.” Blanca Francia told Dimond and other reporters that she had seen a naked Jackson taking showers and Jacuzzi baths with young boys. She also told Dimond that she had witnessed her own son in compromising positions with Jackson — an allegation that the grand juries apparently never found credible. (see Was Michael Jackson Framed? The Untold Story)

They were not credible for a number of reasons with the number one reason being that she admitted under oath she lied. Fischer writes about the sworn testimony under questioning from Jackson’s lawyers:

A copy of Francia’s sworn testimony reveals that Hard Copy paid her $20,000, and had Dimond checked out the woman’s claims, she would have found them to be false. Under deposition by a Jackson attorney, Francia admitted she had never actually seen Jackson shower with anyone nor had she seen him naked with boys in his Jacuzzi. (see Was Michael Jackson Framed? The Untold Story)

These damaging details were left out of Hobbs’s report although there was mention that Jackson’s attorneys may question the credibility of these claims.

There is, unfortunately, only a recitation of Francia’s initial claims in Hobbs’s report. Francia’s interview was re-run on Entertainment Tonight earlier this year as well, without any of this follow-up information.

Some say Jackson’s current attorneys would not have made the same mistake as those in ’93, and Jackson seems to now see that the cost of ‘getting it over with’ is him having to endure shysters who are using the 1993 allegation as a blueprint. From a statement released by Jackson September 17 2004:

Greed begets greed. Mr. Jackson now realizes that the advice he received was wrong. He should have fought these actions to the bitter end and vindicated himself. The recent publicity about these settlements is unfair and damaging to him, his family and his dedication to the world’s children. The false charges he is facing will be battled in a court of law within our justice system. He is innocent and will be vindicated. (see MJJSOURCE.com)

Also mentioned in the Santa Barbara News-Press article is the possibility of other former employees, bodyguards and a limo driver perhaps contacted by prosecutors to testify. What the report leaves out is that former employees seeking money “came out” and testified back in 1993 as well.

Notably, the bodyguards–who also appeared on and was paid by Hard Copy—made claims ultimately deemed to be without merit. The October 1994 GQ article details some of the sworn testimony of these bodyguards:

Purporting to take the journalistic high road, Hard Copy’s Diane Dimond told Frontline in early November of last year [1993] that her program was “pristinely clean on this. We paid no money for this story at all.” But two weeks later, as a Hard Copy contract reveals, the show was negotiating a $100,000 payment to five former Jackson security guards who were planning to file a $10 million lawsuit alleging wrongful termination of their jobs. On December 1, with the deal in place, two of the guards appeared on the program; they had been fired, Dimond told viewers, because “they knew too much about Michael Jackson’s strange relationship with young boys.” In reality, as their depositions under oath three months later reveal, it was clear they had never actually seen Jackson do anything improper with Chandler’s son or any other child:

“So you don’t know anything about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?” one of Jackson’s attorneys asked former security guard Morris Williams under oath. “All I know is from the sworn documents that other people have sworn to.” “But other than what someone else may have said, you have no firsthand knowledge about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?” “That’s correct.” “Have you spoken to a child who has ever told you that Mr. Jackson did anything improper with the child?” “No.”

When asked by Jackson’s attorney where he had gotten his impressions, Williams replied:

“Just what I’ve been hearing in the media and what I’ve experienced with my own eyes.” “Okay. That’s the point. You experienced nothing with your own eyes, did you?” “That’s right, nothing.”

(see Was Michael Jackson Framed? The Untold Story)

These guards later filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Jackson in March 1994. The suit was thrown out of court in July 1995. An Associated Press article titled “Judge Dismisses Guards’ Case Against Michael Jackson” dated July 22 1995 talks about the suit:

A lawsuit by four ex-guards who claim Michael Jackson fired them because they knew about his alleged trysts was thrown out of court on Friday. (see Judge Dismisses Case Against Michael Jackson (July 22 1995))

An article from Reuters dated July 21 1995 provides a bit more detail including a statement from then Jackson attorney Howard Weitzman:

“Michael Jackson is thankful for the court’s ruling,” Jackson’s attorney Howard Weitzman said in a statement. “He has consistently maintained that he has not engaged in wrongful conduct with any minors. The stories told by these guards on various tabloid shows, for which they were paid, were false.” (see Judge Dismisses Case Against Michael Jackson)

Are these the type of “1993 witnesses” cited in Santa Barbara News-Press article that prosecutors will call to testify in this current “case”?

Honestly, articles like these appear to be more like a failed scare tactic than anything else. This article is also in direct contradiction to reports from Dimond who has claimed publicly that her “sources” say they have a strong “case” and don’t need to bring in the 1993 “case”.

Well either someone’s lying to her, prosecutors changed their minds, or someone is using her for PR purposes. By all accounts, Jackson’s attorneys—outside of making sure prosecutors follow the law—seem ready for whatever; be that a trial, a preliminary hearing (if the Appeals Court tosses the indictment or the Miller raid) or…whatever.

Stay tuned.

 

-MJEOL

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