Pathetic Accusations from Schaffel as his Case Crumbles – MB#312

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Pathetic Accusations from Schaffel as his Case Crumbles – MB#312 JULY 10 2006 – Marc Schaffel’s testimony in the suit/countersuit civil trial against Michael Jackson held in Santa Monica, California left much to be desired. Particularly, any type of verified documentation showing that he gave Jackson any loans anywhere near the amount he initially claimed he did. After a key ruling from the judge in the case, and probably seeing that Jackson’s attorney was tearing their “case” to shreds, Schaffel and his attorney slashed the amount of money they are trying to get by more than half. Now Schaffel only wants $1.6 million instead of the $3.8 million he originally sought. The attorney cross-examining Schaffel on Jackson’s behalf cornered Schaffel about monies he allegedly gave to Jackson. Possibly seeing his case crumble before his eyes, Schaffel played the ‘boy’ card by making an asinine, last minute allegation of helping Jackson adopt boys in Brazil. You can’t make this stuff up, people! If you haven’t heard by now, Schaffel is alleging that he loaned Jackson millions of dollars and wasn’t repaid. Jackson is countersuing Schaffel, alleging he engaged in self-dealing, concealing funds, commingling funds, misappropriating funds, and wrongfully profiting from being associated with him. According to L. Londell McMillan, one of the most respected attorneys in the business, this trial is part of Jackson’s new approach to fight against those who are seeking use dishonest claims to take advantage of him. Some were wondering when Schaffel would try to pull something like this. I had always thought that once he realized he was up the creek without a paddle, and possibly on the hook for a judgment against him, he would use a bald-faced lie related to kids to smear Jackson. Even his own attorney admitted he was stunned when Schaffel blurted that out on the witness stand under cross-examination, according to reports from the Associated Press (AP). Apparently Jackson’s attorney struck a nerve. According to some observers, “pathetic” was not a good color on Schaffel. Some observers balked when reading the latest reports about Schaffel’s courtroom outburst. Others were making fun of Schaffel, saying that the only person looking for ‘boys’ in Brazil was Schaffel himself. He has a history of producing gay porn films. More on that later. Let’s back up for a moment. Previous reports about Schaffel during the time Jackson was battling false allegations in Santa Maria in 2005, painted him as a meticulous records keeper who had documentation and audio tapes on a number of different subjects. Thus, some observers find it more than a coincidence Schaffel has no receipts, records, audio, contracts or anything to show that he loaned Jackson millions of dollars, let alone having any paperwork showing that Jackson agreed to pay him anything relating to cash received. Heck, I can claim somebody owes me $3.8 million, but I can’t prove it because I didn’t get a receipt or a signed promissory note. I would be laughed out of court. At the end of the day, Schaffel may be slapped with a judgment against him instead of walking out with money he isn’t owed. Apparently, the only proof Schaffel has provided the court of his claims is his word. His word means squat to a number of people who say Schaffel swindled them out of thousands of dollars. For example, ThinkFilms CEO, Joe Becker, who was to direct the charity video for ‘What More Can I Give’, called Schaffel “the crook Schaffel” during a Court TV report in August of 2004. He said Schaffel ran out without paying them $120,000 (see CrierLive: Dimond trying to Destroy Marc Schaffel Aug 25 2004). Some observers say they don’t simply flat out believe Jackson was taking millions of dollars of Schaffel’s money. In a taped deposition played for the jury, Jackson talks about the issue of whether he had taken money from Schaffel. He is heard on the tape saying, “I would never ask him for his money. That’s ridiculous. I would never,” reported the (AP) (see Michael Jackson tells his side by video in suit over alleged debt). As per Jackson’s deposition, the proud entertainer said that he works for what he gets and wouldn’t beg for anyone else’s money, especially for trivial things like going shopping. From the AP report dated July 7 2006, titled “Michael Jackson tells his side by video in suit over alleged debt”:

“Nobody just gives me money,” he said. “I would expect it if it is mine. I wouldn’t just take it from somebody. That’s not right and I work for what I get. Don’t make like I’m begging from anybody. I have pride.” He also laughed at one point when King suggested that Schaffel had given him $375,000 to go shopping. “It sounds spoiled, but it doesn’t sound like me,” Jackson said. “Give me $300,000 to go shopping? That’s not me. I am sorry.” (see Michael Jackson tells his side by video in suit over alleged debt)

Jackson further said that he had invested $2 million to be placed into the bank account for the Schaffel-created company Neverland Valley Entertainment. This money was for the production of the charity song ‘What More Can I Give’. Mundell got Schaffel to admit that he controlled that account. He also confirmed that Jackson never made a withdrawal from the account nor did he so much as have checks for the account. And, again, Schaffel – the meticulous record keeping Schaffel – conveniently makes claims that he’s owed all of this money from various loans for which he has no paperwork or documentation. Jackson’s lawyer also pointed out to jurors that there were discrepancies in ledgers submitted by Schaffel to the court, according to the AP ( Jackson lawyer targets lack of documentation for money claims UPDATED). __Tale of the tapes show Schaffel not getting the job done__ Based on phone messages played in court, one of the only points proven by the tapes is that Schaffel wasn’t getting the job done. Jackson worked hard to craft a beautiful piece of music which he wanted to use to help people. One of the causes was to help in any way possible after the Sept 11 2001 attacks. According to urgent messages left by Jackson, Schaffel wasn’t making his promised part of the deal happen quickly enough. At one point the King of Pop is heard saying forcefully about releasing his charity song, “I don’t want someone else beating us to it then we come in second. Do it now. Do it now, ok?” (see Rita Cosby Live and Direct – Leo Terrell + Brian Oxman transcript) He had already finished the song. And based on the taped messages, he was trying repeatedly to make Schaffel get off his slow ass and get the short film based on the song completed. As revealed above, the guy who was supposed to be involved in the making of the short film for the charity song now calls Schaffel “the crook Schaffel”. Needless to say, Schaffel didn’t follow through and the people who were supposed to support the project used Schaffel’s background to back out of releasing the song. __How did Schaffel get back into the fold?__ Business ties to Schaffel were cut in 2001 when Jackson’s team found out Schaffel has produced reportedly dozens of gay and porn videos. However, he was in some way involved in making two specials which aired on the Fox network in Feb 2003. Some pundits have questioned how Schaffel got back into the fold after Jackson distanced himself in 2001. Now comes word that Schaffel was hired by someone else working for Jackson in 2003 to play a minor role in the production of those two Fox video specials “Take Two…” and “Private Home Movies…” Jackson was asked about this point during the deposition. From AP report dated July 7 2006 titled “Michael Jackson tells his side by video in suit over alleged debt” quotes Jackson:

Asked how Schaffel wound up back in his employment in 2003 when he produced two TV specials that aired on Fox, Jackson said, “I didn’t directly rehire Marc Schaffel. It was somebody in the organization who obviously did.” Of Schaffel’s role in the productions, he said, “He was more in the background … he didn’t direct it.” (see Michael Jackson tells his side by video in suit over alleged debt)

Schaffel’s business ties with Jackson may have been severed, but Schaffel retained his connections to certain associates who still worked for Jackson. Some observers say Schaffel may have gotten involved in these projects by delivering Debbie Rowe. There is some question as to how Schaffel was able to get Rowe to do a sit down interview – shot in his house – which aired as part of the “Take Two…” special. Some have speculated that he was making promises to Rowe, unbeknownst to Jackson, about possibly seeing Jackson and his children again. Rowe had previously terminated her visitation, custody and parental rights to Jackson’s children. But, according to some, she still wanted some form of contact with Jackson himself. Even Jackson’s former attorney, David LeGrand, was asked about Schaffel during the 2005 trial. LeGrand opened investigations into a number of Jackson associates of whom he and others had grown highly suspicious. He told the jury in that 2005 trial he grew suspicious that Schaffel “was seeking to benefit from Mr. Jackson or being – in relationship to Mr. Jackson”. More fromhis testimony:

LEGRAND: I had a fair amount of involvement with Mr. Schaffel at the very beginning of the development of the “Take 2” production. And I was constantly trying to get Marc Schaffel out of the loop. I was trying to avoid his involvement or minimize his involvement in Mr. Jackson’s affairs, and it was a struggle. (pg 10046, lines 9-25)

The struggle may have ensued because Schaffel retained ties to Ron Konitzer, one of the two German business managers in control of Jackson’s business at the time. Konitzer was seen having lunch with Rowe and Schaffel in that now infamous video taken of the three of them eating at the popular Ivy restaurant. However Schaffel managed to weasel his way back into Jackson’s business, it’s safe to say it wasn’t Jackson who asked him back. According to Jackson’s deposition, the only reason he didn’t fire Schaffel face to face was because he didn’t want to embarrass him by showing Schaffel the reason for his disassociation: a video tape uncovered by Jackson’s attorney of Schaffel directing two men in a porn flick. __When desperate, throw in a vague reference to a ‘boy’__ By many accounts, Schaffel’s “case” against Jackson for millions of dollars is evaporating before their eyes. The amount of money they asked for has already been cut down to less than half. Attempting to talk his way out of hard questions from Jackson’s attorney, he played the ‘boy’ card. On the stand July 7, the accused swindler and crook claimed he was once dispatched to Brazil to help Jackson adopt boys in Brazil. The outburst came much to the shock of Schaffel’s own attorney, Howard King. The pathetic allegation came out of the blue while undergoing hard questions about his gay porn background and the reason why he was in South America. Nobody, not even Jackson’s attorney, had ever heard this allegation from Schaffel before. Some observers jokingly said that Schaffel had a “Janet Arvizo moment” on the stand. Arvizo made all kinds of loony claims out of the blue too, much to the shock (and horror) of prosecutors in the 2005 trial; one such claim was that her family could be sent away by Jackson’s people in a hot air balloon! This claim about Jackson sending him to adopt Brazilian boys is about as ludicrous as Arvizo’s hot air balloon theory. Jackson’s attorney called it an attempt to smear his client. From the AP report:

Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mundell, said outside court that he had never heard the allegation during all of the pretrial investigations. “It was an effort to smear Mr. Jackson with a remark that could be interpreted to hurt him in light of the case against him last year,” Mundell said. Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges last year in Santa Maria. (see Man suing Jackson abruptly claims star sought to adopt boys)

It does seem like the only one who may have been looking for ‘boys’ in Brazil was Schaffel. Mundell and his team of investigators already know about some of Schaffel’s dealings. Mundell asked the alleged crook if he himself went to Brazil to recruit talent for his porn videos and asked him if he had an interest in the company known as “Latinboys”. He must have really struck a nerve! Schaffel got incredibly riled, denied it, then, out of the blue, peevishly claimed Jackson wanted to “adopt some boys”. If the defense will later impeach Schaffel’s testimony with other witnesses during their presentation of their case, he could be proven to have committed perjury on the stand with regard to this issue. Based on the opinion of Defense attorney Courtney Anderson, who appeared on Nancy (dis)Grace’s show July 7 2006, Schaffel’s vague little accusation could backfire. Anderson said in light of his full acquittal and the facts surrounding that 2005 trial, Jackson came across as sympathetic in the deposition video played for jurors. From her appearance on the show:

ANDERSON: I think last year with the resolution of his criminal trial, many people felt that he was taken advantage of by these unscrupulous people who were greedy and out to cause him harm. And I think this case falls right in line. … Obviously, with the acquittal he had last year, obviously he was taken advantage of by that family. At least that’s what the jury believed. And if that could happen to him in that situation – people came into his home and took advantage of him – then certainly I could believe in a civil jury that this, in a business situation that this person [Schaffel] came into his life pretended to be an appropriate associate. …So I think in light of the big picture, I think a lot of people are going to believe that yes, he is taken advantage of. (see Nancy Grace: Oxman, Anderson, King, Moret RE: Schaffel (July 7 2006))

Anderson certainly isn’t alone. Schaffel and his attorney may be hoping that these are dumb jurors who want to somehow punish Jackson for being acquitted in 2005. From the way the trial has gone so far, say many observers, Schaffel is going to be sorely disappointed, especially by making the pathetic claims about boys in Brazil. And, by the way, he has no documentation of that either. Surprise, surprise. __$300,000 dispute__ Schaffel claimed he loaned Jackson $300,000. He claimed the money, in cash, was delivered to “Mr. X” in Argentina after being withdrawn from a Brazilian bank account. What’s weird about the Schaffel allegation is that, according to the AP, he said this $300,000 delivery trip took place in “2001” (see Man suing Jackson abruptly claims star sought to adopt boys). However, he also testified that Jackson was dealing with the Arvizo allegations at the time. The problem with that claim is that the Arvizo allegations didn’t occur until 2003. The AP quotes Schaffel as saying “The criminal case was at hand and it was a sensitive time. It was a very, very private transaction of a very sensitive nature…” when talking about that $300,000. So how in hell is he delivering money to anyone in Argentina in 2001, but keeping it secret because of allegations which didn’t occur until 2003? Is Schaffel simply lying or did the AP misquote him? As if that weren’t enough to raise questions, at one point, he claimed he initially took that same $300,000 from an account in Budapest, according to the AP, and then went to Brazil to buy a condo (see Jackson lawyer targets lack of documentation for money claims). And, again, Schaffel provided no documentation that Jackson had anything at all to do with whatever he was doing down in South America with $300,000. No receipts, no signed papers, no phone conversations, nothing. For all the public knows, Schaffel swiped that money from the Neverland Valley Entertainment bank account he controlled, and hid it in a secret non-U.S. bank account for his own personal use. Jackson was asked specifically about this issue during his deposition. He said he never asked Schaffel to make any payments to anybody in South America which he didn’t want people to know about. The AP reports about Jackson’s surprised tone as he was asked about it by Schaffel’s attorney during his taped deposition. It is simply one of those claims which conveniently lacks any type of documentation whatsoever of Jackson’s involvement. As a result, those “Jackson crack-heads” have sought to make the $300,000 mystery what they want it to be, instead. If you listen to one hack, the $300,000 was in preparation to send the Arvizo family to Brazil. If you listen to another hack, the $300,000 was to pay off the mysterious family of some phantom ‘boy’. It’s times like those when you wish they would all just pick one lie and stick with it. It’s always easier for these types of people to make an ass of themselves by attempting to increase their syndication, circulation or TV face time, all while providing a disservice to those of us who really want to know what’s going on with the civil case. What’s most disgusting about this sort of reporting is that before any of them engaged in speculation: 1) None of them sought to validate that Jackson had anything to do with Schaffel moving $300,000 around and 2) None of them would ever make room for the possibility that Schaffel is a “crook” and is outright lying about this money. It serves their collective agenda better to keep things as vague as possible so that they can use it to go off into the stratosphere with speculation which has no basis in truth. __Schaffel telling more tales?__ At one point during his testimony, Schaffel claimed he loaned Jackson half a million dollars after the 9-11 attacks. According to the AP, Schaffel claimed Jackson took a bus across country and called in route saying that he needed money to “find shelter underground”, (see Jackson lawyer targets lack of documentation for money claims ). However, Jackson was interviewed for the March 2002 issue of Vibe Magazine where he was asked about Sept 11. He told Vibe that he and his family — his kids — “hid” in New Jersey after the attacks. His other family members are the ones who took a bus cross-country to get back to California after the attacks. He told the magazine in 2002:

JACKSON: …I screamed down the hotel hallway to all our people. Everybody get out, let’s leave now! Marlon Brando was on one end, our security was on the other end. We were all up there, Elizabeth Taylor was at another hotel. We jumped in the car, but there were these girls who had been at the show the night before, and they were banging on the windows, running down the street screaming. Fans are so loyal. We hid in New Jersey. It was unbelievable-I was scared to death. (see Vibe Mag: MJ Interview (March 2002))

If Jackson was in New Jersey how could he be on a bus calling Schaffel for half a million dollars? Or showing up at his house in a bus asking for money? __Spin draws the ire of some observers__ Some pathetic, glorified tabloid reporters only seem to be of value when broadcast, cable and online entities want to get a steaming cup of bull$hit about Jackson straight from the horse’s mouth. One such person, Diane Dimond, took the airwaves last week to spread what her mysterious “unnamed sources” have told her. The way this subset of the media is trying to spin this civil case has drawn the ire of some observers who have spoken publicly about it. Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell responded very vocally about the situation. He appeared on the now cancelled MSNBC show Rita Cosby Live & Direct July 6 2006. Terrell was disturbed at how people, like Dimond, appeared to be using this case and Jackson in general, to further their careers. On the speculation about Schaffel particularly, he said he doesn’t think Schaffel has anything salacious on Jackson at all and is trying to hustle him. From his appearance:

COSBY: Leo, do you think Marc Schaffel has something on Michael Jackson? TERRELL: No. But he has a lot of gossip to sell. He wants to go on the TV circuit. He wants to sell books. He wants to make money. He wants to hustle Michael Jackson. He is enjoying 15 seconds of fame right now. When this trial is over, he‘s over. (see Rita Cosby: Transcript 7-6-06)

Ouch. But I can’t say I disagree with his assessment. Terrell is spot-on with the want of these people to sell books. Schaffel has previously told Entertainment Tonight that he and fired spokesperson Stuart Backerman were going to write a book about Jackson. Backerman was fired by Mark Geragos and reportedly had an office in Marc Schaffel’s Calabasas house. You can insert your own speculation here as to why. Schaffel’s possible book about Jackson was not the only thing coming under fire from Terrell. He also inferred that Dimond, who has written her own ridiculous Jackson book, wanted to make her career off of Jackson. More from Terrell:

TERRELL: …There‘s people—people on your show, people that just came on your show, who want to bring him down. Some people want to make their careers off Michael Jackson. And it drives me sick. Why? What has this man done to certain people? Certain people want to create a career off this man, and that‘s what makes it sickening. (see Rita Cosby: Transcript 7-6-06)

Terrell certainly is not the only one who thinks Dimond has long since sought to use the megastar to advance her career. She got a boost at Court by going to the head of the network and promising him a big story. That big story was the beginning of Tom Sneddon’s second run at trying to get Jackson convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. It was also the beginning of Court TV’s metamorphosis into Hard Copy reincarnated…at least on the topic of Michael Jackson. She had advanced knowledge that Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was going to be raided and positioned herself with a camera crew in front of the gates to capture footage of the police as they were arriving. Hard Cop..uh, I mean, Court TV fired her..uh, I mean, refused to renew her contract after Jackson’s total acquittal, and after months and months of criticism for their unbalanced reporting about the trial. That wasn’t her first time she’s brought criticism to her employers. She also used the 1993 allegation to her advantage when working for the now defunct tabloid show Hard Copy. Hard Copy became a dumping ground for a number of people with unfounded allegations to level against Jackson. Some, if not all, were paid for their tales of Neverland. And who was right there to interview them? Dimond. As if that weren’t enough, she once flew her attention-hungry a$s to another country to get a young kid on camera to make an allegation against Jackson. After she got his allegation on tape for Hard Copy, she took him to the police station to make the accusation against Jackson; cameras rolling up until he was taken to be interviewed by police. Unfortunately for her, the kid confessed to Toronto police that he had lied about being abused, lied to Dimond, and revealed had been fed detailed information about Neverland from a bitter ex-Neverland employee. This subject was covered extensively in MJEOL Bullet #141: Tabloid Reporter at Neverland before Police Raid?, specifically the “A History of Suspicious Involvement?” part. She is also the only tabloid reporter I’ve ever seen pawing a pair of dirty old draws (underwear) said to belong to Jackson. Her intent seemingly was to help prosecutors. It backfired and made her look like a biased nutjob ( Did Jax reporter brief DA?), even reportedly to some of her fellow reporters. So, when Terrell railed against people who want to bring Jackson down, he is seemingly not only basing his position on the opinions of others, but also on their actions as well. They cross the line when they try to create a story instead of just reporting what’s true. The line is also crossed when they seek to increase their job status with the help of hateful plaintiffs and malicious jackasses who are going after Jackson for money they aren’t owed or accusations which never happened. Jackson’s defense attorney will continue to present Jackson’s case when case resumes today, July 10 2006. The public may hear from a number of witnesses including the forensic accountant hired to pour over the books and make sense out of what is owed to whom and how some of Jackson’s money seemed to grow legs and walk off with Marc Schaffel. Maybe Schaffel can claim he was ordered by Jackson to kidnap some money and send it to Brazil? But then again, he probably wouldn’t have any documentation for that either. Good grief. -MJEOL

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