DA Got Conned with LeMarque ‘Witness’ Story? — MiniBullet #17
MARCH 31 2005 — Did the District Attorney get conned during the first 1993 investigation with a story reportedly from one of his current witnesses-come-lately? Again, reportedly, the 9 witnesses the prosecutors want to call as a result of this 1108 “evidence” could include one or both of the LeMarques: Stella and Philippe LeMarque.
The LeMarques are ex-housekeepers who worked at Neverland. They also sold their story of allegedly “witnessing” molesation for tens of thousands of dollars. An explosive documentary broadcast overseas includes some shocking on-camera admissions by former porn star turned “private investigation” Paul Barresi.
By the way, you may recognize Barresi in some of the Diane Dimond “reports” about this “case”. She uses him as a source in some of her reports; reports often broadcasted during Court TV’s Crier Live. But Barresi confesses that it was inconsequential to both him and the LeMarques whether or not Jackson was innocent or guilty. They had their hand out and he helped them sell their story. He also took his cut, of course.
The following is a video except from that program followed by a transcript of what was said:
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(showing photographs) PAUL BARRESI: These photographs were taken by a photographer who I had in place outside of the Lemarques’ attorney’s office. We’re having cappuccino, coffee. They’re discussing the money that they’d like to make off of this deal.
(voiceover translation): Stella and Philippe LeMarque were brought forward as key witnesses in the Jackson case. Their stories about Jackson abusing kids ‘accidentally’ ended up at the desk of the DA who handled the case, through a story in the tabloid press. The French couple worked for Jackson for two years, until 1991. When the scandal broke, they turned to their friend, former porn star Paul Barresi. He told them he once sold a story to the National Enquirer for $100,000.
BARRESI: My interest in helping them was that they promised me a percentage of what they got. I was not on any kind of crusade to bring anyone to justice. And whether Michael was guilty or innocent at that point was inconsequential. My interest was strictly for the money, as was their interest too I might add.
KEVIN SMITH: Our job was to go to our various markets around the world and say, look, we have this couple, they are willing to say this, how much are you prepared to pay?
(voiceover translated to English): As a reporter, Kevin Smith tried to buy the story of the LeMarques. He had to do abroad to get more sources for money.
SMITH: Say Australia will say ‘We’ve got $20,000’. For them, it’s quite a cheap story and they’ve got a cracking story for $20,000. But that’s not enough alone to tempt someone like the LeMarques to sell their story. So then you go to Germany, you get another $20,000. Go to Italy, another $20,000. Before you know it, you’re up $100,000, $200,000 dollars. And that is enough for a family to, uh, come forward and talk. I think they must have thought ‘well if that’s so easy, let’s try for a bit more. And then it kept going like this until it got to $500,000 dollars.
BARRESI: We met Stella and Philippe, myself and a correspondent for Inside Edition. By then, I had heard the story probably a half a dozen times. And the only difference is, is this time I had a tape recorder in my belt. I wanted to seize an opportunity to sell their story myself. Monday morning, I got up and I realized what I wanted to do with the tape. I wanted to take it to the District Attorney’s office and turn it over to them as evidence. I knew that the DA would be happy to receive this information with open arms. And, two, I knew how to play the tabloids like a harp.
(voiceover translated into English): By brining the tape to the DA, Barresi would not be charged with illegally taping a conversation. Also, it made the story even more juicy: if the DA and his department [were] dealing with the story, it would become ‘inside information’.
BARRESI: That was the edge that worked well. If my story appeared in the slightest innocuous, they would throw it out the window. So this is one way to do it with grand style certainly. So I called the editor at The Globe and I said ‘I have a tape. I’m on the way downtown to hand it to the District Attorney’. And his words were ‘Let us come with you’. And then I knew I had ’em. The next thought in my mind was I’m gonna ask for $30,000. You always ask twice as much as what you hope to get. He put me on hold and within less than a minute, he came back and he said, ‘well, we can’t give you 30 [thousand dollars], we’ll give you 10 [thousand dollars]. I said ‘make it 15 [thousand dollars]’. He said, ‘you have a deal’.
INTERVIEWER: Could you see the headline coming?
BARRESI: Oh yeah, sure. I could see that money coming too.
(voiceover translated into English): In the end, the DA decided that the stories of the LeMarques and that of the Quindoys (who also sold their story to the tabloids) could not be used. Hear Paul Barresi about the Quindoys
BARRESI: The first time I heard the story about Jackson, his hand was outside the kid’s pants. They were asking $100,000. As soon as their price went up to $500,000, the hand went inside the pants. So, come on.
(unidentified female): When you buy a story, there’s always a shadow of doubt that — are they telling you the truth or are they telling you what you want to hear.
(voiceover translated to English): Paul Barresi ended up making $30,000 on the Jackson story. Proof that everyone who wants to, can be a player in this field.
BARRESI: It’s not unusual to find a former employer or a friend or even a family member coming forward with a story. But to have someone like me, who’s completely detached from it all, is unusual. It’s brilliant.
If the prosecution is going to call people like the LeMarques, they’d be practically writing the defense’s cross-examination for them. It is ridiculous and it may show that the DA’s office is/was being hoodwinked by these people. Or they simply couldn’t care less about whether or not these peoples’ stories are accurate.