Accuser Transforms Under Cross-Examination – MJEOL Bullet #252

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Accuser Transforms Under Cross-Examination – MJEOL Bullet #252 First short day of cross-examination of accuser shows combative accuser MARCH 14 2005 — What a difference a few questions make. Michael Jackson’s accuser, Gavin Arvizo, began cross-examination (cross) late Thursday, March 10 2005 by Michael Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau. Some observers claim that the accuser, under direct examination, came off as “engaging” and “well spoken” if not a little upset. But under cross, just in those approximate 30 minutes of defense questions, he suddenly transformed into an insincere, combative young adult with an undertone of vengefulness. Cross is scheduled to continue today in court as Mesereau will have his first full day to thoroughly ask the accuser questions that the prosecution has, up until now, been able to avoid. He has reportedly already contradicted earlier testimony from his sister and brother. For example, the accuser and his brother have different recollections of what they claim was the first time Jackson allegedly “abused” the accuser. The accuser and his sister have two different recollections of where and when she was allegedly given alcohol. He says vodka in the kitchen, she says wine in the wine cellar. Good lord. One shocking revelation that not too many people are aware of is the fact that two of the alleged “co-conspirators” took the family – evidently by their request – to meet with Jamie Masada and civil attorney Bill Dickerman at the Laugh Factory, a comedy club owned by Jamie Masada. Now, remember what the prosecution is alleging. They’re claiming that the family was kidnapped and held hostage during that timeline. They went to meet with these two after they had left the Calabasas Inn. From the transcript of the cross-examination:

1692 1 Q. And you’ve already left the Calabasas Inn 2 and gone by The Laugh Factory and met with an 3 attorney, right? 4 A. I believe so. 5 Q. So after you meet with an attorney, you 6 suddenly come up with a story that you were 7 masturbated by Michael Jackson, correct? 8 MR. SNEDDON: Object. Argumentative, Your 9 Honor. 10 THE WITNESS: No, because — 11 MR. SNEDDON: Excuse me. 12 THE COURT: Overruled. 13 You can go ahead and answer. 14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Correct? 15 A. No, because I did not tell the attorney 16 anything about what Michael was doing. 17 Q. But you’re saying it started after — 18 A. Yes, I did not tell the attorney anything 19 about alcohol or anything like that.

Apparently they weren’t so kidnapped that they couldn’t meet with a civil attorney…and be driven to that appointment by the alleged kidnappers themselves. Also during cross, Mesereau pins down the chronology of events that happened during the prosecution’s asinine “abuse”/“kidnapping” allegation:

1692 20 Q. Okay. Okay. Vinnie takes you, your mom, 21 and Star to The Laugh Factory on Sunset, correct? 22 A. Yes. 23 Q. You and your mom get out of the car, right? 24 A. Yes. 25 Q. You go into The Laugh Factory on Sunset, 26 correct? 27 A. Yes. 28 Q. You meet with Jamie Masada and an attorney 1693 1 named William Dickerman, correct? 2 A. Yes. 3 Q. You have a meeting with the two of them, 4 right? 5 A. Yes. 6 Q. You come back, you get in the car, right? 7 A. Yes. 8 Q. You go back to Neverland, right? 9 A. I think we did. 10 Q. And then you leave Neverland again, right? 11 A. I don’t know. I think. I guess.

Huh? You meet with an attorney in the middle of your kidnapping? And that attorney doesn’t call the police? Let me say it again, they meet with a civil lawyer in the middle of a kidnapping, and neither the lawyer nor the family contacted that police?? That makes absolutely no sense at all. Linda Deutsch of the Associated Press appeared on Fox’s On the Record w/ Greta van Sustren March 10 2005. She says the accuser and Mesereau were “sparring” and she mentions the fact that they had seen an attorney. From the show:

LINDA DEUTSCH: …He accused him of seeing lawyers first and once he saw lawyers, suddenly he was back at Neverland saying there was inappropriate touching. (see Greta van Sustren: Accuser cross-examined (March 10 2005))

It does seems quite odd, to say the least, that they would meet with an attorney before they return to Neverland. This begs the question of whether they went to Neverland intentionally planning to make an allegation in the future and just needed to set things up before they left for the final time. Another interesting exchange between Mesereau and Gavin Arvizo concerned what he told to who, and when. He says the only person he ever alleged inappropriate touching to was Dr. Stanley Katz, Larry Feldman’s favorite shrink (partner in crime?). From the transcripts:

1693 12 Q. And not long after your meeting with the 13 attorney, you say that Mr. Jackson inappropriately 14 masturbates you, true? 15 A. No, because I didn’t really say it right 16 after I met him. I didn’t. 17 Q. It was a while after you met him, right? 18 A. Yeah. 19 Q. That’s when the inappropriate touching 20 starts? 21 A. I didn’t — the only person I said it to was 22 to my psychologist, Dr. Katz, and the officer, Steve 23 Robel, and Paul Zelis, that’s —

Well this may not be true. Stan Katz testified in a pretrial hearing earlier that he was brought in by Feldman to test the veracity of what was already told to him (Feldman). An Associated Press report dated August 17 2004 talks about some of what Katz testified to in that pre-trial hearing. From the article titled “Lawyer: Psychologist’s patients on both sides of Jackson case”:

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)

Evidently they told Feldman something that would cause him to call in a psychologist. It’s doubtful that he would call in a psychologist – the same one who talked to the 1993 accuser at one point – for no reason. So if Feldman is called to the stand and he contradicts the accuser’s testimony, it is sure to make the jurors question it as well. This was also confirmed in a Santa Barbara News-Press article dated August 18 2004 titled “Jackson’s accuser, gumshoe may share psychologist.” From that article:

It was also revealed Tuesday that the boy’s family’s second civil attorney, Larry Feldman, may have been the first to hear the boy’s accusations. Mr. Feldman, who brokered a multimillion-dollar settlement in a 1993 child molestation case against the entertainer, called Dr. Katz, who was also involved in the 1993 case that never made it to trial, and asked him to speak with the boy. “He asked me to interview the minor to determine the veracity of these comments they had made to him,” Dr. Katz said. (see Jackson’s accuser, gumshoe may share psychologist (August 18 2004))

So has the accuser been caught in another lie? The accuser testified under oath in a JC Penney case which helped the family get $150,000 settlement from the company. He says that he never lied under oath in that case. And you can almost see Mesereau setting him up to be impeached on that later. From the transcript:

1695 15 Q. Well, you had an attorney representing you 16 in the J.C. Penney case, correct? 17 A. I think so. I’m pretty sure. 18 Q. You testified under oath in that case, 19 correct? 20 A. Yes. 21 Q. Did you tell the truth under oath in that 22 case? 23 A. Of course. 24 Q. Didn’t tell one solitary lie? 25 A. No.

The accuser also claimed that Jackson didn’t do much from him when he had cancer, if you can believe that. He claims that Jackson was trying to avoid him. From the transcript:

1696 17 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Now, you told the jury 18 yesterday that Michael Jackson didn’t do much for 19 your cancer, correct? 20 A. Yes. 21 Q. Was that a true statement? 22 A. Yeah, because I didn’t see him much. He 23 would tell me that he wasn’t there, when he was 24 there at the ranch. And it made me really sad, 25 because in my mind, he was my best friend in the 26 whole world, and my best friend was trying to avoid 27 me while I had cancer.

Ok. This flies in the face of the prosecution’s ridiculous “grooming” theory. Last time I checked, you’d actually have to want to be around a kid in order to do that. The accuser continues:

1696 28 Q. Did Michael Jackson call you at the hospital 1697 1 while you had cancer? 2 A. Yes, he called me and invited me up to the 3 ranch. 4 Q. He talked to to you a lot in the hospital, 5 didn’t he? 6 A. No. 7 Q. Do you remember telling the police in your 8 first interview — you were asked the question, “And 9 did you talk to him a lot while you were in the 10 hospital?” 11 “A. I talked to him a lot. Like, he would 12 call and I’d call him and stuff, and we’d just 13 talk about, like, video games.” 14 Do you remember that? 15 A. Yeah. I probably meant lengthy conversation 16 as in time. 17 Q. You were then asked, “How often did he call 18 you?” 19 “I don’t know. But I think it was probably 20 at least three times a week or something.” 21 Do you remember that? 22 A. Yeah. Including outside of the hospital. 23 My grandmother’s house.

What would be the point in him lying about how many times Jackson called him or how Jackson didn’t act like a real friend when he had cancer? It is this type of vengefulness that jurors may pick up on and put them off. He does appear to be more angry that Jackson was trying to “avoid” him than anything else. The omnipresent Laurie Levinson was quotes in the March 10 2005 CBS article titled “Aggressive Questioning of Jackson Accuser”:

“He gave Mesereau what he was looking for,” said legal analyst Laurie Levenson. “He gave Mesereau a boy who’s mad at Michael Jackson, and he’s going to get back at him.” (see Aggressive Questioning of Jackson Accuser – CBS)

Levinson wasn’t the only one to pick up on this tone. Linda Deutsch, in her appearance on On the Record March 10 2005, talked about what happened in court. Of the accuser’s assertion that Jackson didn’t do much for him, Deutsch says Mesereau listed at least 13 different things that Jackson did for the accuser. From the show:

LINDA DEUTSCH: I was gonna point out that one of the things that Mesereau did quite effectively was he picked on one thing the boy had said — which was basically he said that Michael Jackson wasn’t all that nice to him when he had his cancer; didn’t do much for him. Mesereau ticked off 13 points of things that Jackson did for him. From flying him around in private planes, chauffeuring him around in a limousine and a Rolls Royce. Giving him full access at Neverland and to all of the things it offered: the amusements and the zoo. And he said, ‘ You stayed at Neverland for free didn’t you?’ And the boy said, ‘Well, everybody stays ay Neverland for free.’ (see Greta van Sustren: Accuser cross-examined (March 10 2005))

The panel, which included CJ’s Harvey Levin and Ted Williams, also talked about a type of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation with the accuser’s testimony. Under direct questioning by the prosecution, he behaved one say. But under cross, he behaved quite differently. From the show:

HARVEY LEVIN: … Instead a half hour before it’s over, he surrenders the courtroom to the defense lawyer. And as Linda [Deutsch] said, this boy suddenly turns into a different person. He rises up and almost acts adult-like. And the problem here, Greta, is that the defense is saying this boy acts like an adult because he is in concert with his mother to fleece Michael Jackson out of a lot of money. And when he suddenly changes his character and acts like an adult and doesn’t show that innocence, I think it plays right into Mesereau’s hands. So I have a feeling ultimately they were happy with the way it ended. (see Greta van Sustren: Accuser cross-examined (March 10 2005))

And indeed there are witnesses who are reported to testify that these kids were very rowdy and far from innocent little lambs. Ted Williams, also appearing on the Fox show, spoke briefly about the two faces of this accuser:

TED WILLIAMS: It’s all about credibility. Look, Mesereau today on the stand did an attack, according to Jim Hammer. And I think that he did the right thing because what he’s showing the jury is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in this kid. And I don’t believe that this kid is as naïve as he come across… and even though this kid had cancer, and we understand that, I question the naiveté. (see Greta van Sustren: Accuser cross-examined (March 10 2005))

Mesereau isn’t the first to out this ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ personality. Remember, Brett Ratner talked about this kid once telling him to go to hell on the set of Rush Hour 2. Ratner is quoted in a Fox news article dated Feb 24 2004 titled “Rush Hour Actor, Director: Inside Info on [Jackson].” He says this kid, years ago, was telling him how to direct his movie and cussed him out. From the article:

Ratner recalled for me what it was like to make the hugely successful comedy with a 12-year-old boy by his side. (Calls to Tucker were not returned.) “[The boy] would sit in my director’s chair. When I told him to get up, he’d tell me to go to hell.” Ratner said, “He used to tell me, ‘Brett, I don’t like the last shot’ while he was watching us make the movie. He’s telling me how to make my movie! He’s more street smart than I was at that age. If someone tried to fondle him, he’d punch them in the face. He’s an adult. I think the jury will see that.” (see ‘Rush Hour’ Actor, Director: Inside Info on [Jackson] – Fox)

They certainly got a small taste of it under cross-examination Thursday (March 10 2005). On top of this is more information outed by the Court TV-backed website thesmokinggun (tsg). They came upon a police report where the accuser, Gavin Arvizo, told investigators that he knew more about sex than Jackson did. That Jan 19 2004 police interview with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept. included the allegation that Jackson would try to give the accuser advice about “the birds and the bees”. Quite frankly, as wild as these kids were, some wouldn’t blame Jackson if he did. And with the defense now seeking to introduce evidence of past sexual misconduct of “complaining witnesses”, it could play more of a role here than we currently realize. However, the accuser says Jackson allegedly didn’t know much. Now, this is the accuser saying that his alleged sexual abuse didn’t know much about sex. Huh?? From a tsg report dated Feb 27 2005:

At the interview’s conclusion, a detective asked the child about conversations he had with Jackson about girls and any related guidance offered by the performer. The boy, who was 13 at the time of the alleged molestation, replied that Jackson would “always, like, try to give me” advice about “the birds and the bees.” However, the boy told investigators, “He didn’t know much. I knew more than he did.” (see Teen Accuser Flippant, told police he knew more about sex than Jackson – TSG)

This is far from the picture prosecutors tried to paint. It also, again, doesn’t jibe with the prosecution’s allegation of a sexual predator. It’s ridiculous. Cross-examination will continue today (March 14, 2005) and who knows what bombshells they could drop today about what really happened at the time this kid was claiming to have been allegedly molested and held hostage. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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