Michael Jackson's Trials

Michael Jackson's Trials


The Ongoing Trials of The Late Michael Jackson

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Lopez Allegations

Judge Rodney Melville yesterday agreed to allow testimony that Gavin Arvizo once claimed comedian George Lopez stole his wallet.

Jackson's lawyer, Robert Sanger, said that Lopez and Gavin met at a comedy club but later fell out. Sanger said that Gavin then accused Lopez of stealing his wallet and demanded $300.

This, at least according to the game plan of the defence, shows a pattern of the accuser trying to make money out of celebrities.

District Attorney, Tom Sneddon sought, to block the Lopez evidence on the grounds that Gavin tried to resist his father's plan to say there was $300 in the wallet.

Judge Rodney Melville rejected a defence request for a mistrial, after a witness mentioned the name of Jordie Chandler who made sex allegations against Jackson in 1993.

On Thursday, a former housekeeper at Jackson's Neverland ranch mentioned Jordie Chandler who received a multimillion-dollar civil settlement after claiming in 1993 that Jackson molested him.

The defence argued that the testimony violated Melville's ruling that no evidence of past sexual crimes could be admitted, unless the judge said so.

In denying the request for a mistrial, Melville said prosecutors elicited the testimony to establish how much contact Jackson had with boys who visited Neverland, not to suggest any impropriety by the singer.

Judge Melville also set a March 28 date for a hearing on the prosecution request to allow evidence of alleged prior offences into Jackson's trial.

Lien on Neverland

Michael Jackson's creditors are circling above his head, like vultures over a rotting corpse.

It is reported that gay porn producer Mark Schaffel, one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the trial, is going to add a lien on Jackson's Neverland ranch. This confirms the prosecution's claims that Jackson has financial difficulties.

Schaffel, who produced two unaired "rebuttal" videos meant to counter the negative publicity from the 2003 documentary "Living With Michael Jackson", is trying to claim repayment of his $3M in outstanding debts.

These allegedly comprise; $1M for the production of the two videos, and $2M in personal loans, payments and gifts for such famous Jackson friends as Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.

The Jackson camp has declined to comment on the matter, they cite a gag order.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Jordie Chandler

Judge Rodney Melville will hear arguments from the lawyers in the Michael Jackson case, about whether evidence from the 1993 Jordie Chandler case of molestation should be admitted.

The case was never publicly heard, as Chandler accepted a very large payoff from Jackson.

If Judge Melville agrees to the hearing, he will first hear the boy and other witnesses in the 1993 case; before deciding as to whether they should testify before the trial jury.

California law allows testimony from previous cases to be heard in court, to establish whether a defendant's prior conduct suggests a history of child molestation.

Ironically, this legislation was enacted after the dropped 1993 complaint against Jackson.

Stormy Weather

Fritz Coleman, the weather forecaster for KNBC in Los Angeles and a standup comedian, gave testimony at the Michael Jackson trial yesterday.

He told the court that he befriended the Arvizo family, and gave them gifts and helped raise money even though they never asked him for anything.

Seemingly Gavin Arvizo was introduced to Jackson through the owner of a Hollywood club, who ran a comedy camp for underprivileged youth.

Coleman, during his testimony, said that he was very taken with the children and willingly offered to help them.

Coleman, speaking of Gavin, Star and Davellin said:

"I found them personable and polite and charismatic."

Coleman said that he first met them in 1999, when he was teaching a class at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood; the story there was that the family was impoverished, and needed help.

Coleman said that he and a friend, comedian Louise Palanker, bought hundreds of dollars worth of gifts and took them to the family's one-room East Los Angeles apartment at Christmas. Quote:

"I got the feeling this might be the only Christmas they would have,".

When he heard that Gavin had cancer he went to visit him in the hospital. Coleman said:

"He appeared very drawn and pale. This was in the darkest days of his diagnosis when they were not sure he was going to make it. It was very hard to watch..".

Coleman then took part in a fund-raiser and blood drive for Gavin, and made announcements on his TV broadcast urging people to come.

Thomas Mesereau asked whether Coleman was aware that the family had collected more than $100,000 in a lawsuit against J.C. Penney.

Coleman said he didn't know that. He also said that he didn't know he had been mentioned by the mother in the J.C. Penney lawsuit.

Seemingly Janet Jackson (nee Arvizo) had also told Los Angeles police that Coleman was going to help her in a domestic violence dispute with her husband. Something that was "news" to Coleman as well!

Coleman said that he heard at the Laugh Factory that Gavin's father had approached comedian George Lopez, and "was fairly persistent about it. He was becoming a problem."

Mesereau asked Coleman how he knew that the family was needy. Coleman said it was a requirement for families taking part in the Laugh Factory camp.

On his last visit to see Gavin at the hospital, Coleman said, he saw a huge box of gifts from Jackson.

"I remember (Gavin) beaming that this was a gift from Michael,".

Pleasure Island

Kiki Fournier, Michael Jackson's former housekeeper, described Neverland Ranch as a "pleasure island" during her testimony yesterday.

She said that children ran amok, appeared to be drunk and slept in Michael Jackson's private quarters.

Fournier said that children frequently stayed over at Neverland, and would run wild. Fourier, who worked at Neverland between 1991 and 2003, said:

"With the absence of an authority figure, these children became wild, and without their parents there this became like Pinocchio's Pleasure Island.."

Seemingly, on more than one occasion, "children appeared to be intoxicated" she said. During a dinner with Jackson, two or three of a small group of children appeared to be intoxicated she added.

Fournier told the court that children would spend weeks at the ranch, during their school holidays, and would run wild on the property. They would eat whatever they wanted, watch videos, stay up all night and have food fights.

On many occasions, she said, children would refuse to sleep in the bedrooms they had been assigned.

She said:

"Usually they'd get assigned some place to sleep, but sometimes they would stay with Mr Jackson,".

Adding that Jackson would sometimes pick some children over others to spend time with.

Fournier also noted that the childrens' behaviour would change during their stay there, quote:

"The more free rein they had to play, the more wild and destructive they became,".

There are lessons for all parents here; children need boundaries and rules!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Jackson's Past Comes Back To Haunt Him

Judge Rodney Melville, who is presiding over the Michael Jackson trial, has to decide in the near future as to whether to allow evidence from the Jordie Chandler accusations of molestation in 1993 to be admitted to the current trial.

The prosecution team want the jury to hear from Chandler, who settled out of court for millions of dollars in 1993.

In order to decide this, Judge Melville may have Chandler testify at a hearing.

This "miniature trial" could delay the current trial.

Judge Melville will hear initial arguments next week, on allowing the jury to hear the old allegations.

Leno Thinks Jackson is Guilty

It is reported that Jay Leno has told police that he thinks that Michael Jackson is "guilty" of child molestation.

Leno says he once took "one or two" phone calls from Gavin Arvizo, and his mother. Leno reportedly said that they made a pitch for money that sounded like a "script,".

These details come from a transcript of Leno's interview with Santa Barbara County sheriff's officers, that was released by American media.

The transcript contradicts Gavin Arvizo's testimony that neither he, nor his mother ever spoke to Leno.

Quote from Monday's hearings:

"I never spoke to Jay Leno," Gavin said.

"You deny you've ever spoken to him?" Jackson's lawyer, Tom Mesereau, asked.

"Yeah," Gavin insisted.

Leno said to police:

"Even though I think Michael Jackson is guilty, I still went, um, boy, they finally found a mark,".

Gavin admitted calling Leno's phone number a few years ago, but claimed he got an answering machine.

Gavin also denied his mother was present when he made the call, claiming it was a female family friend who was with him.

Leno contradicts this:

"A while back the mother called, 'Oh, my son, he's 12-years-old, oh, he loves you,'".

Leno added:

"I'm not that much of an egomaniac, I don't know why a 12-year-old would be infatuated with a 55-year-old guy who does political jokes ... and I said 'Well, what can I do for you?'..It all sounded very rehearsed to me,".

Leno was then asked by the police as to whether he thought that they were looking for money, Leno replied:

"I think so. It just sounded a little suspicious. ... I don't know if he's reading from a script, but it just sounded coached."

Porn Show

The jurors in the Michael Jackson trial were treated to porn show yesterday, as they were shown Jackson's collection of pornography.

This included magazines, DVDs and books that were seized Jackson's bedroom.

The police witnesses stated that the porn was found in several places; two briefcases in Jackson's bedroom, a box at the foot of his bed, a nightstand, a plastic bag, a computer case next to his bathroom sink, on the edge of his Jacuzzi-style bathtub, in a bathroom closet and on a television.

It included magazines with titles such as "Barely Legal" and "Teenage", along with "Penthouse" and erotic books by well-known photographers.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputy Karen Shepherd testified to finding a book titled "Camp Cove, Photos of Sydney Men," and another titled "Dress up: Playacts and Fantasies of Childhood."

The videotapes included one entitled "Believe It or Not," which depicted a variety of unusual sex acts.

The material is all legal, and Gavin did not remember seeing any one specific item.

One of the police witnesses, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Robel, testified that Gavin Arvizo had told the police that he thought that the singer had molested him five to seven times; however, he could only remember the details of two occasions.

Robel said that Gavin became withdrawn, when he first told police about the alleged abuse:

"He became very, very quiet, folded his arms and sunk down in the chair. At one point in time he got a little choked up."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Pizza Break

The jury in the Michael Jackson trial extended their 10 minute snack break yesterday, by 15 minutes.

The reason that they overruled Judge Melville's strict timetable, known as the "Melville Diet", was because of a free delivery of pizzas from the local pizza parlour "The Olive Garden".

Jackson Prays With Jackson

It is reported that Michael Jackson starts each trial day by praying with Reverend Jesse Jackson.

That at least is the story put out by the minister and Michael Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone Bain.

Bain claims that MJ receives advice from the Reverend on both spiritual and personal issues.

Bain claims that MJ wakes up at about 4:30am, and talks to Reverend Jackson for 15 to 20 minutes by phone.

The Reverend Jackson said in a telephone interview that the entertainer and his family are Jehovah's Witnesses, and the prayer they share is non-denominational.

Reverend Jackson also said that it was unfair that the jury has no black members. He challenged a reporter to imagine a situation in which a white person would be charged with molestation and have a predominantly black jury.

Colour has nothing to do with it, Jackson is either guilty or innocent; making this a race issue is a cheap political stunt by the Reverend.

Religion and politics do not mix.

Gavin Denies The Denial

Gavin Arvizo, the teenage accuser of Michael Jackson, attempted to explain his volte-face in respect of denying to his Dean that Jackson had ever done anything inappropriate to him.

He claimed in court yesterday, that this denial was so that he could avoid the stigma of being known as a victim of homosexual abuse.

Gavin said that after the documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" had been shown, his classmates taunted him as "the kid who got raped by Michael Jackson."

Children can be particularly cruel.

Inevitably there were a number of schoolyard fights, for which he was sent to see Jeffrey Alpert the Dean. He told Alpert that nothing had happened to him, only months later did he tell lawyers and a psychologist that Jackson molested him.

The defence team suggested that this volte-face was as a result of coaching, and pressure from the family to lie.

Some commentators contend that the initial denials are understandable, given the fact that at that age teenagers are remarkably easily embarrassed about their image.

The key to determining who the jury will "side with" will be the performance of Janet Jackson (nee Arvizo) on the witness stand. It is fair to say that, at the moment, her credibility looks "poor" at best.

The jury will have to decide as to whether Gavin was pressured, by his mother, into making this story up for the money.

Gavin gave his opinion of Jackson, who he once called "Daddy Michael" and thought of as being his best friend, now:

"I don't really like him anymore..I don't really think he's deserving of the respect I was giving him as the coolest guy in the world."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Gavin Takes The Stand Again

Gavin Arvizo is back on the witness stand today, in the Michael Jackson trial.

Jackson arrived 20 minutes early; accompanied by his parents, Joe and Katherine Jackson.

He walked without assistance for the first time since Thursday, when his attorneys said he was stricken by a painful back problem that required hospital treatment.

Gavin's Teacher To Take The Stand

It is reported that Gavin Arvizo's former teacher, Jeffrey Alpert, may take the stand in the Michael Jackson trial.

It seems that Gavin told Alpert, from Burroughs Middle School in Los Angeles, that "nothing happened" between him and Jackson.

The prosecutor, Tom Sneddon, and Jackson's defence team held a meeting with Alpert on Saturday.

Alpert's attorney, Thomas Forsyth, reportedly said that the meeting lasted approximately one hour; he expects his client to be called as a witness.

One thing is for sure, the legal community are doing very well out of this trial!

Yesterday Tom Mesereau, Jackson's attorney, cross-examined Gavin about what he told Alpert. Gavin admitted that he said to Alpert:

"Michael didn't do anything to me."

There are some questions as to why this witness only appeared a few days ago. Some speculate that this is not surprising. Gavin did not tell his family, friends or anyone close to him about the alleged molestation until months later; it is allegedly consistent with the embarrassment he may have felt.

Conversely he may just be lying.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Gavin Arvizo Retakes The Stand

Gavin Arvizo retakes the stand today, in Michael Jackson's trial.

It is expected that he will face tough cross-examination from Tom Mesereau, Jackson's attorney.

It is predicted, by "experts", that Jackson's legal team will do everything they can to destroy his credibility. They will focus their efforts on showing that the accusations are a money making scam, created by Gavin's mother Janet Jackson (nee Arvizo).

The defence will try to prove that she controls Gavin. Mesereau has said:

"The mother, with her children as tools, was trying to find a celebrity to latch onto. Unfortunately for Michael Jackson, he fell for it,".

The first twenty minutes of cross examination, on Thursday, between Mesereau and Gavin descended into an argument which Judge Melville chided them both for.

You can expect more of the same today.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Leno Gag Lifted

Judge Rodney Melville has ruled that US talk show host, Jay Leno, can tell jokes about Michael Jackson; this despite the fact that there is a gag order on witnesses talking to the media about the trial.

The lifting of the gag came despite the fact that Jackson's lawyers argued that Leno, who has been subpoenaed as a possible witness, should be subject to the strict gag order just like every other witness.

Leno has been using a substitute to tell jokes about Jackson on his "Tonight Show" on US television.

Melville, on Friday, ruled that Leno could make jokes about Jackson. However, he could not talk about specific aspects of the case about which he might be called to testify.

Melville said:

"I wouldn't have expected him not to tell jokes, I would have expected him to tell good jokes,".

Leno's lawyers had argued that the gag would impinge on his freedom of speech.


"Mr Jackson's assertion that broad restriction on Mr Leno's speech is necessary to protect Mr Jackson's right to a fair trial is specious,".

Judge Melville has allowed Jackson to file a request to issue a rebuttal to a US television show about Jackson, made by British TV journalist Martin Bashir.

Jackson's lawyers have asked the judge to hold Bashir in contempt of court, over a new film about Jackson broadcast in the United States last month.

Stress Meltdown

Michael Jackson is beginning to show symptoms of extreme stress, as demonstrated by an increase of physical ailments and a susceptibility to illness resulting from his molestation trial.

That at least is the view of a Los Angeles psychologist, Robert R. Butterworth Ph.D. He asserts that a "psychological meltdown" is observable in Jackson, as the testimony and the reality of the charges begin to penetrate his psyche.


"Stress has the power to not only disable one emotional equilibrium but it can manifest itself as a breakdown of one physical health. Jackson's back pains, and Flu symptoms both requiring hospitalisation fit the picture of an individual under extreme stress and moving down the path to an possible emotional breakdown."

Butterworth expects that Jackson will have increasing difficulties in keeping his emotional symptoms in check, as the trial proceeds.


"Jackson has lived his entire life in a protective bubble surrounded by sycophants, family and security. He has yet to face the reality of a man alone stripped bare of all his psychological defenses. One wonders if he has the emotional capacity to endure this process, says the psychologist."