Michael Jackson's Trials

Michael Jackson's Trials


The Ongoing Trials of The Late Michael Jackson

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Judge Rodney Melville made a number of rulings yesterday, in addition to the one allowing the defence to attack the mother of Michael Jackson's accuser.

Judge Melville ruled that lawyers may not show the jury the entire "Living with Michael Jackson" documentary, but may use a clip.

The prosecution plans to use a two-minute segment. The first prosecution witness is expected to be the documentary's maker, Martin Bashir.

However, Judge Melville did not immediately rule on a defence request to take the jury to Jackson's ranch. It is reported that one juror and two alternates have already been there.

In another matter, Melville ruled that the defence will not be allowed to raise the allegations about the accuser's mother's extramarital affairs.

It seems that the defence said that it had wanted to show that during the time she was allegedly held captive by Jackson she was in contact with a Los Angeles police officer and an Army officer, whom she eventually married.

The defence also alleged that the mother might have been delusional, at the time she was allegedly held against her will, because she wasn't taking drugs that had been prescribed for her. Judge Melville barred mention of prescription drugs, unless the defence establishes that the woman was supposed to take them and did not.

The trouble with barring mentioning these issues, is that now that it has been widely reported the jury will be well aware of them.

Jackson's Lawyer Outlines Plan

Michael Jackson's lawyer, Tom Mesereau, outlined his planned defence strategy yesterday.

Seemingly he will be aiming to attack the mother of the boy accusing Jackson of molestation.

Mesereau will allege that she gave conflicting court testimony, hid money to collect welfare and got cosmetic surgery with money her cancer patient son had received from celebrities.

Tom Mesereau's road map was outlined, as he sought to admit evidence relating to the credibility of the family of Jackson's accuser; including the lawsuit they filed claiming J.C. Penney security guards beat them, held them against their will and groped the mother after the boy left a store without paying for clothes.

Mesereau told the court that the day after the alleged beating by guards, the mother returned to the store and hugged employees; she the reportedly filed the lawsuit, and later amended it to add the groping claim.

It also seems, according to Mesereau, that the woman testified in the J.C. Penney case that her husband had never hit her; but later alleged, in her divorce, that he had beaten his family for years. She then, for good measure, accused her ex-husband of inappropriately touching her daughter.

Judge Rodney Melville has agreed to allow jurors to hear about the lawsuit, he was left with little choice given the fact that it had been widely reported about for several weeks.

However, Judge Melville criticised Mesereau for the up front level of disclosure ahead of the trial.


"You almost laid out your whole case, not for me, but for other people," referring to the courtroom of observers and reporters.

Seemingly the media trial of the century, will be tried by the media; with the jury as hapless observers.

Friday, February 25, 2005

More Legal Woes

It is reported that the family of a woman who died after being moved out of a trauma room, to accommodate Michael Jackson when he had his "flu like" symptoms, plans to sue both the hospital and Jackson.

Manuela Gomez Ruiz, 74, was transferred out of the main trauma room at the Marian Medical Centre in Santa Maria when Jackson was rushed in last week.

Her family claim that she was taken off a machine ventilator, and her breathing was instead assisted manually by a handpump.

It is reported that Mrs Ruiz was being treated after having a heart attack, but suffered two more that day before she died.

Her daughter-in-law, Anna Ruiz, told reporters that she saw Jackson come into the emergency unit. She said:

"He walked in...When I saw him, he was walking unassisted."

Mrs Ruiz's daughter, Maria Elena Ortiz, who was also in the hospital objected when her mother was moved.

The family claims that the chaos caused by Jackson's arrival distracted staff. They said equipment had to be crammed into the smaller room, and they were limited to two visitors at a time.

Jackson's publicist, Raymone Bain, has issued a statement saying:

"Michael Jackson sends his condolences to the family of the deceased...However, it is outrageous that Michael Jackson's name would be invoked into a situation of which he had no authority or control. It appears that ABC is deliberate in its attempt to circumvent Michael Jackson from receiving a fair trial."

Trial Starts Monday

The final stages of the jury selection, in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, have been completed.

Eight people from Santa Barbara County have been chosen to serve as alternate jurors.

It is reported that this final stage in the jury selection process has been greeted with great relief by all parties.

Today Judge Rodney Melville will hear several motions filed by attorneys, including the recusal of two of the prosecutors to Jackson's financial statements.

The opening statements, for the trial proper, will be heard on Monday.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Jackson's Sartorial Elegance

Michael Jackson, clearly trying to divert his mind away from his trial, took a few minutes yesterday to discuss the intricacies of his wardrobe with reporters.

It has been a feature of his court attire that it always contains some form of emblem, cravat or armband.

He briefly answered a reporter's questions about a chain of sparkling ornaments draped over a gold vest he wore under his black coat. However, he could not identify a deer-like animal on the coat's emblem.

"My wardrobe guy puts it together.." he said.

That's cleared that up then.


In an unbelievable change of pace, the jury for the Michael Jackson trial has been selected.

Well ahead of schedule, the jury was selected yesterday. Judge Rodney Melville said:

"We have a jury..".

The jury consists of four men and eight women, age range 20 to 79. The racial and ethnic breakdown, not that this should matter, is reported to be; seven whites, four Hispanics and one Asian.

Having sworn in the jury, the attorneys then went on to the selection of eight alternate jurors.

The jury selection had been expected to last several weeks, but in fact took only five court days (despite two delays caused by a death and Jackson's illness).

The selection moved at a very fast pace, as the judge imposed tight time limits on how long each prospective juror could be questioned.

My compliments to Judge Melville, he seems to be a man who can well handle the difficult and unusual aspects of this case.

Those of you fascinated by pure trivia may be interested to know that it is reported that the jury consists of:

  • A woman who said her grandson was required to register as a sexual offender because of a crime

  • A woman who said she was related to the pilot of Flight 93, one of the planes that went down on Sept 11

  • A 20 year old man who likes "The Simpsons"

  • A man who is interested in Western art and country music

Now onward and upward!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Jackson Makes It To Court

Michael Jackson managed to struggle into court yesterday, as the jury selection process resumed.

His lawyers added a few more "stars" to the list of witnesses that, seemingly, will add useful testimony on Jackson's behalf.

The additional names added to the list were; Eddie Murphy, Smokey Robinson and Macaulay Culkin.

The remainder of the day as spent dealing with less "glamorous" issues, such as jury selection.

Out of the 242 potential jurors remaining, 20 were dismissed by the end of the day.

The defence motion against Martin Bashir, for continuing to report on Jackson, was quashed by Judge Rodney Melville.

The documentary fronted by Bashir, Secret World, managed to cause some controversy; as there are suggestions that some of the subjects were paid.

Surely not!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Danger of Delays

Michael Jackson's trial resumes today, after last week's delay caused by a "flu like" illness.

It is reported that some of the jurors are already a tad "pissed off" at the delays some 15 days into, what is expect to be, a 5/6 month trial.

Human nature being what it is, the more delays that the Jackson camp throw in the way of the trial, the more likely it is that Jackson will lose whatever goodwill he has with the jury.

I assume that his lawyers are telling him that, and that they will ensure he turns up today.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bashir Contempt Motion

In documents released on Friday, in relation to the Michael Jackson trial, Judge Rodney Melville denied a defence motion to issue a contempt citation against Martin Bashir.

Bashir was the journalist who produced "Living With Michael Jackson" in 2003, then followed it up this week up with two more TV specials; including a two hour programme called, "Michael Jackson's Secret World".

The defence tried to argue that Bashir was in violation of a court gag order prohibiting him, as a witness, from continuing to make public statements on the case.

Bashir argues that, as a journalist, he is exempt from the gag order.

Follow The Money

Michael Jackson is fighting a prosecution attempt to subpoena his financial records, and present expert testimony about his wealth, during his child molestation trial.

Court documents, released on Friday, show that the prosecution plan to show Jackson's actions toward the boy and his family who accused him was motivated by his desire to minimise the effects of the Bashir documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson"; seemingly this documentary, in the view of the prosecution, threatened Jackson's financial downfall.

The prosecution said:

"Michael Jackson certainly was a multimillionaire, albeit with a billionaire's spending habits..His motive in this case was to preserve both his fortune and his reputation, the integrity of which was central to his ability to continue to earn a significant income..."

Prosecutors claim that they need the testimony of a financial expert because:

"the jury cannot accurately judge defendant's assessment of the impact of that documentary on his financial well being without evidence of his financial circumstances, both immediately before news of the documentary's content became public and thereafter..."

The defence contend that the materials are not relevant to the charges, and would deprive Jackson of his right to privacy; quote:

"Mr. Jackson is an international recording artist and a man who has varied and complex business relationships with numerous individuals and entities...The very nature of these types of business relationships is that the parties honor a commitment to their respective privacy...Disclosure would not only compromise the confidentiality of existing contracts but would unfairly restrict Mr. Jackson's ability to enter into pending and future contracts in the entertainment industry.."