Ann Gabriel (real name Ann Kite and president of the webcaster alliance), a public relations specialist, gave testimony at Michael Jackson's trial yesterday.
She said that the Michael Jackson's team of handlers including; a high-profile lawyer, a gay porn producer and a man with reputed mob ties, seemed to be working against Jackson's interests in the fallout of the damaging 2003 documentary about Jackson.
The testimony augmented the defence's contention that Jackson's "colleagues" were acting without his knowledge, for their own selfish reasons.
Defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau probed every statement Gabriel made to investigators about the 6 day period, in February 2003, when she was working as a crisis manager for Jackson.
Gabriel, who has never met Jackson, told the jury that her contact with some his media people led her to believe that they had a vested interest in letting the media storm about Jackson develop.
It seems that some of them, according to Gabriel, including five unindicted alleged co-conspirators were making a profit from a cut of a "rebuttal video" that Jackson's production company sold to the Fox network for $3 million.
The prosecution contend that the molestation occurred after the rebuttal video was produced.
The indictment charges that, with Jackson's knowledge and approval, Schaffel, Frank Tyson, Vincent Amen, Dieter Wiesner and Ronald Konitzer conspired to keep the accuser and his family hidden and then fly them off to Brazil; until the media frenzy, over Martin Bashir's "Living with Michael Jackson" documentary, subsided.
Gabriel testified that she was surprised when David LeGrand, a lawyer on Jackson's payroll, called to express concern that the accuser and his family had left the ranch unnoticed.
Gabriel, who worked for Jackson from Feb. 9 through Feb. 15, 2003, was then fired. She believes that was because she was working proactively as a publicist, while the men closest to Jackson seemed to be working in the opposite direction.
It seems that Mark Geragos, a lawyer who for a time represented Jackson, called a tabloid television show and demanded that Gabriel not be allowed to appear on air; that is at least Gabriel's take on the events.
She went on to say that Geragos then wanted her to sign a confidentiality agreement, that indicated she was working as a private investigator; she refused.
After being fired, Gabriel seemingly stayed in touch with LeGrand. He told her that Jackson's media handlers had gotten what they wanted for their rebuttal video from the accuser's mother.
"He said they no longer had to worry about [the mother]. They had her on tape and they were going to make her look life a crack whore..".
Mesereau raised many objections to Gabriel's testimony; these were mainly overruled.
Judge Melville gave Mesereau a shape warning over Mesereau's attempts to get Gabriel to repeat her testimony:
"Mr. Mesereau, I want to ask you to look at the jury and realize they are tired of hearing this...You asked that same question 10 times today. You need to grasp the evidence and not keep repeating it."
If Gabriel's testimony is accurate, at the very best, it shows that Jackson's judgement in respect of those who he associates with is highly questionable.
People are judged by those that they associate with.
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