Michael Jackson's Trials

Michael Jackson's Trials


The Ongoing Trials of The Late Michael Jackson

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Burdens Of Celebrity

Michael Jackson feels that celebrity status has led to his present difficulties, in as much as some people seem to be determined to "get him".

In, what seems to be to me to be, a contradiction; he has decided to air his grievances on TV today, thus generating more publicity about his problems.

Jackson will appear on the Fox News Channel, talking to Geraldo Rivera. He will say:

"The bigger the star, the bigger the target...".

Adding that:

"I'm saying the fact that people come at celebrities, we're targets...".

However, because of the gag order, he does not specifically mention his trial. Instead he lambasts reports about his life:

"It's like looking at a fictitious movie. Because it's fiction. It's like watching science fiction. It's not true...".


"I know eventually, the truth will prevail and I'm about truth," he said. "I've become immune in a way too. I have rhinoceros skin, but at the same time I'm human. So, anything can hurt like that, but I'm very strong....".

The rationale, I assume, is that this will bolster his public image. That is all well and good. However, it is the jury that will be deciding his fate; not the public.

The trouble with celebrity status, in my view, is that it is not a one way street designed purely for the benefit of the celebrity. Precisely how much money, and fame, do celebrities need before they decide enough is enough and retire gracefully?

Debbie Rowe Declaration

The declaration by Debbie Rowe's lawyer, in her child custody battle with Michael Jackson, can be viewed here; Debbie Rowe declaration.

Monday Cancelled

Monday's questioning of potential jurors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial has been delayed, because of the illness of Tom Mesereau's (his lawyer) sister.

The court released a statement as follows:

"Due to the grave illness of Mr. Mesereau's sister neither he (Michael Jackson) nor the defendant will be in court on Monday..".

However, the prospective jurors must still turn up as scheduled Monday morning for the launch of the second phase in the selection process.

They will not have a terribly arduous day; as they will merely be assigned random jury numbers, before being sent home.

The only possible day next week, when there may be a hearing, is Thursday; however, this has yet to be confirmed.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Hollywood director Brett Ratner, and actor Chris Tucker will reportedly testify at Michael Jackson's trial.

They allegedly met Jackson's accuser, and his relatives, before Jackson had met him.

Seemingly Tucker flew the family back and forth between Miami and Jackson's Neverland Ranch, in California in 2003.

Ratner and Tucker are expected to be supportive to Jackson, labelling the accuser's family as "gold-diggers".

Praise for Jackson

We each of us hurt those that we love; the brave man with a sword, the coward with a kiss.

Seemingly Debbie Rowe opted for plan "B", in respect of her relationship with Michael Jackson.

Debbie Rowe gave up her parental rights to her 2 children in 2001, at that time she lavished praise upon Michael Jackson; she called him "a brilliant father", and said it was in the childrens' "best interest" to be with him.

She told a judge, at that time, that she hadn't seen the children; Prince Michael and Paris for at least a year, and wanted to gracefully exit their lives for good.


"These are his children. I had the children for him to become a father. Not for me to become a mother. You earn the title of parent. I have done absolutely nothing to earn that title..".

"Michael is a wonderful man ... a brilliant father. As their mother, it is (in) the best interest for the children".

For good measure, she then went on to say:

"When I was seeing them every 45 days, it felt like an intrusion on their life and they're going to have enough intrusions as it is..".

However, "plus ca change", since late 2003 Rowe has been fighting to get them back.

Doubtless there will be movie about this, in the months to come.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


The settlement that Michael Jackson's ex wife, Debbie Rowe, signed ending her marriage to Jackson will be unsealed and made public.

Rowe is fighting a custody battle for her's and Jackson's children; Paris and Prince Michael.

Originally Jackson's lawyer, how many legal battles does Jackson actually have on his plate?, had been trying to seal the confidentiality agreement signed between Rowe and Jackson. However, yesterday, the motion was dropped.

Seemingly the agreement, made between Jackson and Rowe, prevents Rowe from commenting on Jackson's personal life; eg his alleged drug use and sexual behaviour.

Failure to comply, will land her with a large bill.

Rowe will appear at Jackson's child molestation trial, I assume she will have to comment on Jackson's private life there.

Defence Frets

Michael Jackson's defence team are fretting that there are not enough questions, in the 7 page questionnaire, about how the potential jurors feel about Jackson.

The questionnaire has been given to the 250 potential jurors to complete, and will be used in the next stage of juror elimination by both the prosecution and defence teams.

Fret they may, but Judge Rodney Melville is keeping to his strict timeframe; the trial resumes Monday.

Jurors Open Their Mouths

In a remarkable display of indiscretion, two potential jurors have "open their yaps" to the press; telling the world what it was like to be in the jury pool.

The procedure, apparently, went something like this:
  • The potential jurors were shown 10 minute video about court procedures

  • They were then told that they would be on the Michael Jackson case

  • The potential jurors then filed into the courtroom, facing Michael Jackson and his lawyers

  • All 250 eligible jurors filled out a seven-page questionnaire that asked among other questions; if they had any relationship to Michael Jackson, with any law enforcement officers, or if they had any experience with child molestation

  • Those that did not seek deferrals were asked to return on Monday for a further session
Whilst what they have said to the press is inconsequential; it nonetheless seems, to my view, to be a breach of confidentiality and trust.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Greed and Opportunism

The defence team in Michael Jackson's trial are pushing to have details of prior litigation brought by "Jane Doe", mother of Jackson's accuser, made public.

They argue that "Jane" is a "liar" and a greedy opportunist; who has a history of launching lawsuits, aimed at extorting money from people.

It is reported that "Jane" obtained $137K from a United States department store which she sued in 2001, she claimed that security guards had assaulted her and her two sons.

"Jane" and her family also reportedly sued Los Angeles child welfare officials, seeking financial damages over the leak of a confidential memo; this said a departmental investigation had found there was no evidence to suggest Jackson had sexually assaulted the boy.

It is also reported that the defence team want to raise issues concerning "Jane's" medication, and alleged extra marital activities.

Needless to say the prosecution team, keen not to destroy the credibility of their witness, want this evidence blocked.

Judge Rodney Melville will consider the request at a hearing, on February 10.

Sounds like this is going to get nasty.

An Elegant Sufficiency

Judge Rodney Melville, presiding over the Michael Jackson trial, said yesterday that he had a sufficient pool of about 250 prospective jurors; who were willing to sit through the expected six month trial.

This means that jury selection is moving on more quickly that originally expected.

Next Monday, prospective jurors will be individually questioned by the defence and the prosecution teams. The ultimate goal is to find a jury of twelve, with eight reserves.

The Stealth Juror

Celebrity status carries its own risks and rewards, as Michael Jackson will discover during his trial.

One aspect of the risk/reward issue is the nature and stealth agenda of the potential jurors.

Michael Jackson returned to court yesterday, wearing black and giving a V for victory sign.

It seems that the "celebrity status" of this trial is already manifesting itself with regards the jury.

Normally, when selecting from a jury pool, you can expect a drop out rate of people who don't want to serve of around 75%. However, in this case, over half (176 out of 350 to date) have said that they are willing to sit on the jury for the next 6 months.

The key task, for both the defence and prosecution teams, will be to "weed out" those potential jurors with a hidden agenda; these are known as "stealth jurors".

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Moby Lambasts Jackson Video

Moby launched a broadside at Michael Jackson's video appeal, calling it the creepiest thing he's ever seen.

Speaking as a guest on the return of TRL last night, Moby lambasted Jackson's video in which he asked for "a fair trial like any other American citizen."

Seemingly Moby saw a clip of the video on MTV News, as he sat in the TRL green room.


"That video was terrifying...That was the creepiest thing I've ever seen. That was so scary!"


"He (MJ) looks like Elizabeth Taylor hit by a truck. Does he know how terrifying he is? Does he know that kids have nightmares about him? It's really scary."

Call me cynical, but I suspect the vehemence of his attack may have something to do with wishing to make the headlines.

The Process of Jury Selection

The jury selection, in the Michael Jackson trial, has now started.

Step one is for the 750 potential jurors to attend court, this process will be staggered Monday through Wednesday this week.

Judge Rodney Melville will question each of them, individually, to see if they are suitable candidates for the 12 person jury.

Since the trial will last around 6 months, those who have major job commitments or health issues will be excluded.

The next stage will be the "questionnaire" which consists of 7 pages; it is expected to include questions on their views about Jackson, and knowledge of the case.

The prosecution and defence teams will then eliminate candidates, based on their questionnaire responses.

The final pool, remaining, will return to court for more questioning. Judge Melville will be looking for a primary team of 12, with a substitute bench of 8.

The King Attends Court

Michael Jackson arrived at court yesterday, for the first day of his trial. However, it will be a while before he will take the stand, as it is estimated that jury selection will take a month.

Jackson wore white, and was shielded by his ever present umbrella; he waved to a phalanx of supporters, as he walked into the courthouse.

Before his arrival there was some impromptu "street entertainment", as fans danced and sang a Jackson song mocking the district attorney; for good measure, and in the spirit of tolerance, they heckled a woman who held a sign supporting the alleged victim.

I doubt that this will help Jackson very much.

Jackson's parents gave an interview before the trial, saying that they thought that the accuser was just after Jackson's money.

Katherine Jackson, speaking about the accusations, said:

"I know my son, and this is ridiculous..".

Judge Rodney Melville summoned 300 people to court, for round one of jury selection yesterday. Today another 300 will come to court, followed by another 150 on Wednesday.

Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, said that Jackson's "spirits are great.." and denied that he was suicidal.


"He has the support of his family, his children, his friends...You're going to see a Michael Jackson who is going to be here today who is very serious, very businesslike and very serious..." .

That would be wise, given the fact that in one of his earlier court appearances Jackson danced on the roof of an SUV; this little performance impressed no one.

Over 1,000 applications for media access have been submitted from countries including; the USA, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Canada and Mexico.

Monday, January 31, 2005

A Message From Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson has released a video, sanctioned by Judge Melville, in which he claims that allegations made against him are "disgusting and false".

He says

"Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court."

He goes on to say:

"In the last few weeks, a large amount of ugly, malicious information has been released into the media about me. Apparently, this information was leaked through transcripts in a grand jury proceeding where neither my lawyers, nor I, ever appeared. The information is disgusting and false..."


"Years ago, I allowed a family to visit and spend some time at Neverland. Neverland is my home. I allowed this family into my home because they told me their son was ill with cancer and needed my help. Through the years, I have helped thousands of children who were ill or in distress..."

You can view the video message, by visiting Michael Jackson's Video Message.

Spearmint Rhino On Alert

The business owners of Santa Maria know which side their bread is buttered, and fully intend to take full advantage of the media circus that has descended upon the town to cover the Michael Jackson trial.

Coffee Diem bistro, will be charging £265 a day for internet use during the trial.

Meanwhile the ladies at the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen's Club, which offers full-nudity dancers, have been put on red alert. They have already notched up an increase in takings of 25% during the pretrial hearings.

The normal posse of 13 dancers will be increased to 35, to accommodate the demands of the media.

Those representatives of the media who have a penchant for Jack Daniels, may be disappointed; rumour has it that supplies are already running low.

As to whether the ordinary citizens of Santa Maria are happy about the invasion, well that remains to be seen.

Killing The Golden Goose?

It seems that the media are more than a little concerned that the authorities, in Santa Maria, may be "killing the golden goose"; by the excessive media fees being charged to be "in situ" during the Michael Jackson trial.

The main fee being charged by Santa Barbara County to the TV and newspapers, is the $800K "pay for viewing" fee.

No unreasonably the local officials point out that if the costs of holding this "mega trial" are not recouped, then the local taxpayer will be footing the bill.

The media point out that this could be the "thin end of the wedge", in that free access to trials may be blocked in the future; by the arbitrary imposition of a "viewing tax".

The costs per day, pretrial, run at around $125 per court day for each newspaper and $300 for each national television outfit. So far, Santa Barbara County had collected $114K for pretrial coverage.

The costs per day of the trial itself are $7500, and are broken down as follows:

-$4,300 for 6-7 sheriff's deputies to manage the press
-$1,200 for maintenance workers, custodians and management
-$2,000 for barriers etc

Additionally, Santa Maria expects to take in $36K a month renting parking and office space to national media outlets.

Local hotels will do well, as their rooms are booked solid; local bars and restaurants may reasonably expect good times in the next few months. Journalists are, by nature, a thirsty and hungry tribe!

However, let us not shed too many tears for the media; they will make a considerable fortune from sponsorship and selling on their stories.

Neverland Vigil

Fans of Michael Jackson stood outside of Neverland yesterday, proclaiming their faith in his innocence.

The fans came from around the world; Switzerland, USA, Britain, Holland and Spain to name but a few countries.

Seemingly they intend to stay there until their money runs out.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Jackson's Parents to Take Children

Michael Jackson's parents have agreed to take custody of his three children, if the case goes against him and he is jailed for child molestation.

Joe and Kate Jackson are prepared to look after 7 year old Prince Michael, 6 year old Paris and 2 year old Blanket.

Kate Jackson said:

"We're the grandparents. We're taking them...Oh yes. But I'm not looking for anything to go wrong."

Vigil of Faith

The first of several "vigil's of faith", in support of Michael Jackson, are being held today in Santa Maria at 4:30PM local time.

It will start at the baseball diamond, near the courthouse, it will then move around the courthouse. The organisers then expect it to finish in front of the courthouse, where a candlelight vigil will take place.

To my view it is fair enough, and indeed decent, to show support for someone that you care about facing trial. However, using religious symbolism eg candles and terms such as "vigil of faith" is to my view unwise; Michael Jackson is, despite what some fans may wish to believe, human.

Santa Maria

Santa Maria is playing host to Michael Jackson's trial, billed as a lifetime event that the whole world will be watching.

Santa Maria is located in California's central coast, and is renowned for its vineyards and strawberry fields. The largest employer is Vandenberg Air Force Base, providing 5000 people with regular work.

Normally the 1100 hotel rooms are deemed to be more than adequate. However, not surprisingly, these have been fully booked for months.

Around 30 police officers have been assigned to keep the Jackson entourage, fans and media scrum in order during the trial.

It is estimated that police overtime will cost around $40K per month. Around 90% of this should be covered by a contract being negotiated with the media and other organisations.

The media are being charged $7500 per day for costs of staff, barricades and toilets.

It is likely to be "a bit of a squeeze" in the courtroom, as it has only 120 seats; split 50/50 between the public and the media.

A Once in a Lifetime Event

Michael Jackson's trial starts tomorrow, many believe that this will be a once in a lifetime event.

The prosecution are on record as saying:

"It is no exaggeration to say that this may be the most reported criminal trial to occur in our lifetimes.." .

We shall see.