Pt 3: 1993 Investigation Not a Problem for Defense? – MB #254

Pt 3: 1993 Investigation Not a Problem for Defense? – MJEOL Bullet #254
The prosecution has been searching far and wide for other accusers that don’t exist.
One such opportunist may have snuck in under the radar before the release of Jackson’s highly profitable HIStory album

Part 3 | Part 1| Part 2

MARCH 26 2005 — Part 2 included information and old articles confirming that there was no matching description given by the accuser of Michael Jackson’s body, as well as info dealing with the fact that prosecutors could have pursued a “case” against Jackson back in 1993 had they had evidence IF they wanted to.

With the hearing set for Monday March 28 2005 to decide whether or not prosecutors can try to muddy up this current non- “case” with as yet un-cross-examined allegations from back then, it’s amazing to see the kind of chicken-little attitudes that have once again sprung up in the media.

Even some of those who normally display common sense have been drilled with so much nonsense for the last 10 years, that they claim “devastation” if the judge rules in the prosecution’s favor. But it is really their fault? Or is it the fault of the hacks among the bunch who have taken it upon themselves to talk the public into this false notion in the face of a silent Jackson who couldn’t present his side of the situation in any way other than the form that’s about to happen on Monday?

Isuppose these normally fair-minded people can do a bit of research first. A number of other people who are somewhat familiar with how the defense was going to handle the 1993 allegation had Sneddon filed charges back then disagree with the ‘chicken-little’ assessment.

Of course, observers who have been watching this “case” materialize have seen this before. At the start of THIS “case” the same ‘chicken-little’ attitude was running rampant with the media. And what’s happened thus far?

Sneddon’s been chastised for putting on such an incredibly weak case. And 100+ search warrants later, the only thing the prosecution has proven thus far is that Jackson loves to look at naked women.

Earlier the public learned that the defense was prepared to call their own witnesses for this hearing, because they made a request from the judge that if prosecutors were allowed to call witnesses, they were prepared to call other witnesses to talk about what really happened. That either spooked the judge, or he just didn’t want to get into having a mini-trial on Monday, because he said that he would only hear arguments on the issue and would call witnesses when necessary.

But in the grand scheme of things, as revealed recently, Sneddon has been looking for mythical “victims” for a very long time. And the one accuser he needed to work with him, doesn’t seem to want to touch him or this “case” with a 10,000 foot pole.

 __Looking for “victims” that don’t exist__
For the record, more information came out that Sneddon and police flew as far away as Australia in 1999, 6 years after the 1993 investigation, looking for phantom “victims”.

They were more than likely chasing down tabloid leads and looking for imagined accusers with no success. Remember, this was in 1999. And, if you hadn’t noticed, Australia is WAY outside his jurisdiction.

So the prosecution should spare us the ‘oh we haven’t been trying to get Jackson for the past 10 years’ nonsense. Oh yeah, they have. And the defense probably has the information to prove it.

Tom Mesereau dropped this bombshell reportedly during a Nov 4 2004 hearing. Along with confirming that the accuser’s DNA was not found on Jackson’s mattress, Mesereau also talked Sneddon’s desperate search. As reported in the Santa Barbara News-Press article, “Judge: Sneddon can stay on Jackson case” dated Nov 5 2004:

It was also revealed that Mr. Sneddon had traveled to Australia in search of other alleged victims of Mr. Jackson and that an alleged victim from the 1993 case had been interviewed in 1999 by a sheriff’s detective.

Again, no “victim”. Not even an “alleged victim”. He’s got to stop reading those supermarket tabs! Howard Weitzman, one of Jackson’s attorneys in 1993, also talked generally about the ’93 “case” in a Jan 18 2004 interview with Fox’s Geraldo Rivera.

He is barred from discussing the details because of that ridiculous confidentiality agreement, and he doesn’t believe Jackson is a child molester. He also says the “case” back in ’93 could have been tried and won by Jackson’s attorneys. Probably with the exonerating evidence the attorneys and private investigators had collected in ’93 against the accusing father.

When asked his opinion about the previous investigation coming into this “case” he says:

HOWARD WEITZMAN: As I saw, I felt 10 years ago it was a case that could be tried and won. I feel today if that person surfaces again the lawyers, if they’re well prepared and do their job, will be able to dissuade people that the offense took place. Wait and see what happens.

And what if the ’93 accuser decided to enter into this “case” in some way? Well the first scenario would be to testify for the prosecution and stick to his story.

He would have to explain why he and his father chose to take the money and run; why they chose not to cooperate with prosecutors; why his father previously threatened to “ruin” and “destroy” Jackson before the allegation surfaced; why his father was trying to get a $20 M, 4 picture movie deal out of Jackson before the allegations were made; etc.

Evan Chandler is very adept at telling very detailed stories. He co-wrote and associate produced the 20th Century Fox feature "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" with director Mel Brooks.

Reportedly, his name was removed from the credits at some point allegedly due to the backlash they received. At least some of Jackson’s initial team of people knew a lot about Chandler and were preparing for a criminal case before he changed attorneys back then.

As discussed in Part 2 of this special report, love him or hate his guts, Anthony Pellicano (and others) apparently had the goods on the accusing family from 1993.

Pellicano was written about in a book by Geraldine Hughes, called Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations. She writes that Pellicano repeatedly told the media that this allegation came about as a failed extortion attempt and even gave details of the plot in a court document filed at that time.

Digging further through the publicly released information gathered, like that damning audiotape, it also seems that there was a conspiracy against Jackson as well. Hughes writes in her book:

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.

Four, $5 million payments for “writing deals”. And this “request” was all before any allegations were made. I guess if Chandler couldn’t get his money that way, he was going to find another way to get it. As for the conspiracy, Chandler only has his big mouth to blame for that.

Further from Hughes’s book:

Elsewhere on the tape, Chandler indicated he was prepared to move against Jackson: "It’s already set," Chandler told Schwartz. "There are other people involved that are waiting for my phone call that are in certain positions. I’ve paid them to do it.
 
Everything’s going according to a certain plan that isn’t just mine. Once I make that phone call, this guy [his attorney, Barry K. Rothman, presumably] is going to destroy everybody in sight in any devious, nasty, cruel way that he can do it. And I’ve given him full authority to do that."
 
Chandler then predicted what would, in fact, transpire six weeks later: "And if I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I’ve checked that inside out. I will get everything I want, and they will be destroyed forever.
 
June will lose [custody of the son]…and Michael’s career will be over." "Does that help [the boy]?" Schwartz asked. "That’s irrelevant to me," Chandler replied. "It’s going to be bigger than all of us put together.
 
The whole thing is going to crash down on everybody and destroy everybody in sight. It will be a massacre if I don’t get what I want."

He says on the tape it’s “irrelevant” whether or not his “plan” that isn’t just his, helps his son. Oh yeah, that’s evidence of if not extortion, then at the very least, conspiracy.

 
__Sneaking in under the radar?__
Another issue is in regards to an alleged “$2 million” settlement reportedly to the son of a maid who was fired from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch for stealing.

Rumor has it that this is none other than that maid who appeared on a tabloid show back in the early 90s. She, too, rode the wave of the ‘just get it over with’ attitude during that time. This could be who Sneddon means to bring in to testify, as all indications point to the 1993 accuser not cooperating with prosecutors at all.

Most accounts say the recipient of this settlement was this maid, Blanca (or Bianca in certain publications) Francia. She claimed she saw Jackson taking showers with children and witnessed her own son in “compromising positions” with Jackson.

For this story of alleged abuse, Francia was paid $20,000 by tabloid reporter Diane Dimond’s old bosses at the now defunct Hard Copy.

The Santa Barbara News-Press 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 made against Jackson. This was reported by Mary Fischer, writing for GQ magazine in 1994.

In that 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 are often left out of reports recounting what happened back then. There is, unfortunately, always only a recitation of Francia’s initial claims.

Francia’s interview as re-run on Entertainment Tonight last year as well, without any of this follow-up information. If prosecutors want to go there, there could also be testimony regarding who advised Jackson to take the settlement deal to get it out of the way in preparation for what turned out to be hundreds of millions of dollars generated from Jackson’s HIStory CD. Reportedly, the CD had been in the works for years and was released in 1995. Not one to put Jackson’s well-being over their profit margin, certain executives may have more than “suggested” that Jackson settle whatever claim that came up before that album was to be released. Some say Jackson’s current attorneys would not have made the same mistake as some of those in ’93, and Jackson sees 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)

Notice the understated Mesereau uses the words “innocent” and “vindicated”. Does he know something about previous allegations that could blow the prosecution’s “case” sky-high?

Also mentioned in that aforementioned Santa Barbara News-Press article discussed in Part 1, 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. 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))

Another article from E! Online dated March 18 1997 also talks about Jackson’s victory against the former guards, even detailing how he won a countersuit against them for $60,000. And it was a Santa Maria jury who ruled in favor of Jackson. From that article:

Today a jury in Santa Maria, California, sided with Michael Jackson and found that five former employees at his Neverland Ranch were not wrongfully terminated. In what was a complete win for the singer, the jury even awarded Jackson $60,000 in a countersuit that charged some of those employees stole items from the estate. (see Jackson Beats Former Employees)

That countersuit filed by Jackson against them say that they weren’t harassed and quit voluntarily. Two of the parties to the lawsuit where found to have stolen personal documents from Jackson as well as other items — after which they sold to tabloids. More from that report:

The singer’s attorneys filed a countersuit, saying the five quit voluntarily and were not harassed. It also claimed two of the former workers–the maid and a bodyguard–stole sketches, personal notes, hats, toys and candy from the ranch, selling some items to tabloid newspapers.
 
The jury of 10 women and two men agreed with Jackson. They ruled Tuesday there was no evidence to support the allegations brought against Jackson or the six aides mentioned in the lawsuit by his former employees.
 
Jurors also decided that items were stolen and awarded Jackson the 60 grand. "We’re happy to be finally and fully vindicated," said Jackson attorney Steve Cochrane (sic). (see Jackson Beats Former Employees)

An article from Reuters dated July 21 1995 provides a bit more detail about the attorneys’ reply by way of a statement from Jackson then-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” that prosecutors will call to testify in this current “case”?

 

__Feldman’s piece of the pie?__
According to Feldman’s retainer agreement obtained by thesmokinggun (tsg), Feldman got percentages of chunks of the money he secured from Jackson’s insurance company(ies).

The agreement says he got 25% of the first $5M, 20% of the next $5M, etc. All amounts over $15M incurred another 10% fee. And this is before all of the lawyers “fees, cots, and expenses on any sums recovered by way of settlement, or on any award or judgment that may be had.”

And his hand was out in this “case” as well, although he had no choice but to go through Sneddon because of the law changes in California from the first time he got paid. What also came out with reports from NBC last year is that Katz admitted to police that the accuser and brother were referred to him in preparation for a lawsuit Feldman was going to file.

 

__Strange Bedfellows__
There is another issue which may be a ticking time-bomb concerning the close relationship later revealed between Jackson then-attorney Johnny Cochran and Larry Feldman.

Sometime later — after J. Cochran came in, a settlement was reached, and this 1993 allegation was supposedly put to bed – J. Cochran actually hired Larry Feldman to represent him in a domestic dispute. Yeah, you read right.

Jackson’s attorney hired the man he settled the 1993 civil “case” with (see Feldman Represented Johnnie Cochran in Palimony Suit (Nov 24 2003) ). I don’t even want to repeat just yet what a number of observers have speculated about. But defense attorney Victor Sherman appeared on Crier Live Dec 16 2004 and mentioned it. From the show:

VICTOR SHERMAN: Well what I find particularly interesting about this situation is that the lawyers for the boy and the lawyers for Michael Jackson were all friends.
 
So the settlement, in a sense, was among lawyers that knew each other, worked with each other, worked later in years with each other.
 
I think one of the attorneys represented the other attorney. …So, you know it’s all very murky what exactly happened in those days. And I think, I don’t know, but unfortunately it may be that all of the attorneys are going to be involved in – why did they reach a settlement? What was the motivation? What was (sic) the facts behind it?
 
Did they think that Michael Jackson really had a problem? Or did they feel that from a business point of view it was just better to pay the money even thought they didn’t think the charges were founded? So it’s a very complicated case. And I think it could get very interesting.
 
Now, I don’t know how far they’re gonna go into that as to why they reached a settlement…
 
On the other hand, if they attorneys get into the fact that it was a business decision, then we have a different situation. (see Crier Live: James Rogan Authored Prior Bad Acts Bill (Dec 16 2004) | vid)

Mesereau commented in a press conference previously that Jackson has received bad advice from certain attorneys. He also says that Jackson wished he had fought those allegations to the bitter end and vindicated himself.

The introduction or attempted introduction of that 1993 allegation is fascinating because previously, prosecution sympathizers had been telling the public that the prosecution had a “strong case” without the intro of that allegation. I guess now we know they lied.

One from the pro-prosecution crowd, Diane Dimond, has claimed publicly that her “sources” said prosecutors have a “strong case” and didn’t need to bring in the 1993 “case”. Well either someone was lying to her, or prosecutors changed their minds, or someone was using her for PR purposes.

 

__What of this 2003 “case” in comparison?__
The current “case’ has revealed that the accusing family can’t tell a straight story. In relation to 1993, 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 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. In MJEOL Bullet #196, this close connection was discussed. The defense filed a Motion to Compel Discovery in which they essentially outed the prosecution for relying heavily on the 1993 allegation to further this current “case”.

They also revealed that information dug up by the police back then may have contained exonerating information. From that motion:

The prosecution has relied on information from the prior investigation in this case. Moreover, in view of the scope and result of the prior investigation, materials in the possession of law enforcement likely contain or will lead to exculpatory evidence. (see Motion to Compel Discovery)

As a matter of fact, it seems that prosecutors used the ’93 allegation to get “dozens” of search warrants against Jackson beginning in November 2003. The defense says:

The affidavit that has been used in support of the dozens of searches in this case refers to information developed during the prior investigation. The affidavit quotes material used to search Mr. Jackson’s ranch in the prior investigation and summarizes the district attorney’s explanation about how that investigation became inactive without criminal charges. (see Motion to Compel Discovery, pg5 || pg6 of .pdf file)

His attorneys say that the information from 1993 is “necessary to preserve Mr. Jackson’s right to a fair trial.” Now, remember, this is the defense talking.

Thus, they either have information themselves or knowledge of the existence of something was discovered during the 1993 investigation that “will likely” be exculpatory to Jackson. What those things are remains to be seen.

Monday could be interesting indeed if the defense chooses to make it so.

Part 4 of this special MJEOL Bullet will focus on what some have called the DA’s sidekick: Diane Dimond. To be quite blunt, her involvement with this “case” — and trying to bring forth other allegations against Jackson — is simply incredibly creepy and suspicious as hell.

Stay tuned.

-MJEOL

MEDIA
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