Defense Rips into Prosecution Allegations – MJEOL Bullet #249

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Defense Rips into Prosecution Allegations – MJEOL Bullet #249 MARCH 1 2005 — Opening statements began yesterday (Feb 28 2005) in what’s looking more and more like a non-existent “case” against Michael Jackson—with the prosecution doing their best to make jurors lose sight of the logic of the allegation and to focus on the salacious quality of the claims. However, by a great number of courtroom accounts, current district attorney Tom Sneddon left many scratching their heads. Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau didn’t mince words during the first part of his opening statement. Even some pro-prosecution media finally had to admit that this family is a family of grifters because Sneddon all but called them such. This realization comes after publicly fighting with the likes of Jackson fans, Geraldo Rivera, Steve Harvey, and a number of outspoken people who have been trying to tell them about this family’s history. A past so assorted and disturbing you would think Martin Bshir would have had a more meaningful “documentary” had he just following this family around for over the course of 8 months. The judge ruled early that the family’s names can be use in open court. Since that ruling, the name ban at MJEOL will be lifted. All of the names of the family have already been published in reports made before this “case” materialized anyway. With that said, Gavin (the accuser), Star (his brother), Davelin (the sister) and Janet Arvizo (also spelled Arviso in some publications) left a very long list of scammed celebs before they hit what they ridiculously thought was the Jackpot. What they may have found instead is a pissed off Jackson, tired of being a media piñata for the past 11 years for something he didn’t do. The reason why this “case” exists may be because this family thought Jackson would roll over and continue to give them everything they wanted. When that cash machine was turned off, voila! Out came these allegations; mysteriously damn near coming to the fore the same way they materialized in 1993: with the help of a lawyer by way of a mandatory reporter, a psychologist (Stan Katz). Was 1993 a blueprint they followed with the help of a greedy lawyer? Among some of the more enormous bombshells include the fact that the mother lied and coached her children to lie under oath in a previous case against JC Penney. The family also had run-ins with everyone from Jay Leno, George Lopez, Jim Carey, and Adam Sandler to Mike Tyson. These run-ins sometimes ended acrimoniously. One of those encounters was with Jay ‘can’t tell a funny joke to save my life’ Leno. The accusing family tried to get money from Leno….big shock. The defense told of one occasion where the accuser was talking to Leno on the phone and Leno heard the mother coaching him on what to say in the background. He felt that something just wasn’t right about this family. From a report from the Chicago Tribune titled “Opening arguments Clash over Motivations of Jackson, boy’s mother” dated Feb 28 2005:

On one occasion, according to the lawyer, the boy called Jay Leno about his plight, but Leno became suspicious when he heard the boy’s mother in the background telling her son to say “I love you” and “I watch you late at night.” Leno then called police, Mesereau said. (see Opening arguments clash over motivations of Jackson, boy’s mother )

The media coverage of details about the defense’s arguments seem purposely not as in depth as the way the media covered the prosecution’s salacious and currently unproven allegations, so the details are bit sketchy. But at some point, Leno was in touch with the Santa Barbara sheriff’s department specifically talking about this family. Leno told them, reportedly, that this mother was “looking for a mark”, meaning she was looking for someone of which they could take advantage. So much for those ridiculously snide public remarks of Leno not knowing why he’s on the defense’s witness list in relation to this family. The family tried to scam another very famous comedian, and when the plan didn’t work, the mother accused him of stealing from them. No, that’s not a typo. That comedian, George Lopez, was hit up for money by these grifters. When he refused, the mother accused him of stealing reportedly $300 out of the accuser’s wallet. Seriously. What’s interesting is that Lopez made a very cryptic comment about this “case” when the news of it first broke. Observers report that he commented to one of the entertainment shows “there’s a lot that’s gonna come out about this family.” Well, he certain wasn’t kidding. A woman whose name is reportedly Louise Pollanker (sp?) was also scammed by this family to the tune of $20,000.00 The family gave this woman a sob-story, after which she forked over two checks for $10,000 each, to build a room for the boy to supposedly recuperate from cancer. But at one point the woman went to view this room only to find out that the money wasn’t spent on the room. They had “stiffed” the contractor and had used that money to buy “a big screen TV and other electronic equipment.” And if Mesereau brought this out in court, you can believe that he has documentation and probably testimony from the woman to prove it. Mesereau called the allegations leveled against Jackson by Sneddon completely “bogus.” The point which jumped out at a number of people is the lousy and highly problematic timeline. Mesereau laid out a litany of other felonious behavior by this family as well. From the Chicago Tribune article:

“Can you imagine a more absurd time?” Mesereau told the jury. “The media were everywhere.” Mesereau said the mother had enrolled the boy and two other children in dancing school with the hope of them becoming performers some day. The attorney said the mother approached several performers and comics about her son’s cancer and sometimes successfully raised money – even though all the boy’s medical bills were being paid by insurance belonging to her then-husband, now her ex-husband, a grocery worker who is a Teamster. (see Opening arguments clash over motivations of Jackson, boy’s mother)

Mesreau ran down a list of charges the family racked up on Jackson’s dime including thong underwear (eeww), manicures, pedicures and leg waxing. More from that Feb 28 2005 Tribune report:

The defense attorney then read a long list of items that the boy’s mother purchased at Jackson’s expense: thong underwear, bras and trips to a salon that included pedicures, manicures, leg wax and lip wax. In all, Jackson picked up bills totaling $3,312.05, Mesereau said. (see Opening arguments clash over motivations of Jackson, boy’s mother)

And this was all while they claimed to had been held hostage/kidnapped/threatened/etc. This family was very busy indeed. __Having ‘WTF’- moments already….__ There were some obviously refutable points made by Sneddon in his opening statements that a number of people noticed, based on what turned out to be a mistake in the reporting from a court TV backed website. According to a report “the smoking gun” (tsg), it gave the impression that Sneddon didn’t seem to know the name of Michael Jackson’s children. The following is from their report:

The singer even directed a lurid comment at his three year old son, who was on the bed, apparently sleeping. “Paris,” he said to the boy, “you’re missing a lot of XXXXXX”. (see TSG)

This was what tsg had posted on their website at the time. The problem with this is that Jackson doesn’t have a SON named “Paris”. His daughter’s name is Paris. tsg has since corrected their mistake, but that certainly would have been an enormous gaffe. Another point Sneddon unsuccessfully attempted to make was that the family didn’t file a civil suit. Big woop! She has until the accuser turns 18, plus a year, to file a civil suit. The accuser himself can file a lawsuit when he turns 18. However, there may be evidence that the original plan was to file a civil suit before Sneddon got to the lawyer and struck a deal. The quote from tsg says:

…Sneddon said that the woman has never considered filing a lawsuit against the performer. (see tsg)

Well, we know from previous reports that Sneddon may be misleading the jury because sources close to the family, mind you, told the Santa Barbara News-Press that Sneddon and the family’s lawyer struck a secret deal not to file a civil suit until criminal proceedings were over. The January 29 2004 article titled “Sneddon reportedly asked boy’s family not to file civil suit during criminal case” included the following admission:

As he launched his investigation against Michael Jackson, District Attorney Tom Sneddon reportedly sought assurance that the family of the boy accusing the entertainer of child molestation would not make a multimillion-dollar deal like another young accuser’s family did a decade ago. A source close to the boy’s family in the current case told the News-Press on Wednesday that Mr. Sneddon asked the attorney representing the family to “solemnly swear” not to file a lawsuit against Mr. Jackson during the criminal investigation and prosecution of the singer. (see Sneddon reportedly asked boy’s family not to file civil suit during criminal case (Jan 29 2004))

So he may have conveniently not told the jury that the real reason there’s been no civil suit is because of his little side deal with this family. Psychologist Stan Katz told police that a civil suit was definitely in the works. NBC’s Mike Taibbi broke the story about what Katz told the sheriff’s department. Katz is Larry Feldman’s favorite shrink. The accuser told the allegation to Feldman, who then brought in Katz to verify what he (Feldman) had already been told. Katz testified at a pretrial hearing in this so-called “case”. Some of his testimony was detailed in an Associated Press (AP) report dated August 17 2004 titled “Lawyer: Psychologist’s patients on both sides of Jackson case.” From that article:

Katz said of Feldman, “He asked me to interview the minors (referring to the boy and two siblings) to determine the veracity of the comments they made to him.” (see Lawyer: Psychologist’s patients on both sides of Jackson case)

Now, this is Katz’s testimony. So this family had already made molestation claims to Feldman, the lawyer. Feldman gets Katz involved. He doesn’t go to the police. He hooks in Katz in preparation for a lawsuit against Jackson. But there’s a problem: the L.A. Department of Child & Family Services’s “unfounded” ruling (see DCFS memo). In an effort to get that ruling changed so they could pursue this civil suit, which Sneddon is trying to claim wasn’t even in the works, they went to Sneddon to get him involved. Sneddon, obviously seeing his opportunity, took it and ran with it. Specifically talking about this accusing family, Katz told the sheriff’s department:

Mr. Feldman actually referred these kids to me because they had come to him in this lawsuit…Feldman’s going to file. (see Abrams Report: SB Sheriff’s Dept 1st Investigation (March 12 2004))

Also revealed in the sheriff’s notes is the fact that Katz brought up the subject of money. He reportedly tells the sheriff he spoke to the boy about money, saying:

“Look, if you go ahead with this civil lawsuit, your family will get money if they win…”

These are only two examples. All this to say that Sneddon may not have been as honest as he possibly could have. And believe me when I say that the media’s overall silence on defense coverage, in comparison to the coverage when Sneddon was making his statement, speaks volumes. We’ve been attempting to get direct quotes and full details, not just generalized overviews of what the defense has said so far. What some observers have suggested is that the media won’t do their jobs to cover the defense’s side of this “case”. It appears that Jackson isn’t as “guilty” as they thought he was. Or at least they may need to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate their collective stand on their Jackson coverage. Keeping the facts from the public isn’t going to make the prosecution’s case any strong…..unfortunately for them. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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