Michael Jackson's Trials

Michael Jackson's Trials


The Ongoing Trials of The Late Michael Jackson

Saturday, March 05, 2005

A Cunning Stunt

Jay Leno has found a cunning way to keep "taking the Michael" out of Michael Jackson, while not violating the judge's gag order.

Leno is listed as a defence witness and, as such, is subject to the blanket gag order imposed last year.

Leno solution is simple, he has called in a substitute. He has asked "Everybody Loves Raymond" co-star, Brad Garrett, to tell the Jackson jokes for him.

Garrett appeared on Leno's show last night, and told a few one-liners that Leno had written.

An excellent solution, in my opinion, kudos to Leno for coming up with it.

Home Movies

On Friday the jury in the Michael Jackson trial were forced to endure watching the equivalent of a ghastly home movie.

This was in fact a video of the Arvizo family, in which mummy Arvizo described Jackson in very warm terms; calling him an ideal father figure, who made them happier than they had ever been.


"He spreads his wings. He makes sure my kids are safe and happy -- happiness they have never had..He's a true family man. He is an ideal family man, and I appreciate him with all my heart."

I commend the jury for not instinctively reaching for their sick bags at this juncture.

The saccharine coated video extolling the virtues of Jackson was recorded in the weeks following the February 2003 broadcast of a British documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson".

The prosecution allege that Jackson's advisors panicked, as the worldwide furor over the documentary by Martin Bashir threatened to sink Jackson's and his motley crew; the prosecution say that they coerced the Arvizo family into praising Jackson on the tape, they even supplied the script of what they should say.

Should the latter point about the script be true, then at the very least the Jackson team are guilty of creating a movie of nauseating hyperbole and should be punished accordingly

The videotape is in essence mummy Arvizo's testament to Jackson. In it she praises Jackson as a humble, giving man, who was important to her son's recovery from cancer and helped the family at a time when no-one else would.


"Every door was closed to us, and Michael said, 'All of my doors are open'..".

She states that Jackson's involvement in their lives was "a wish come true."

Gavin also makes an appearance in the movie, saying that Jackson:

"treats me like he's my father..If you hear something bad about Michael, its not true, because Michael is such a loving man,".

After the tape, the jury then heard again from Davellin Arvizo, Gavin's sister, speaking of her brother she said:

"He didn't want to be hugged. He didn't want to be kissed..It just hurt because I'm his older sister."

She described how she had seen Jackson hugging her brother, and kissing him repeatedly on the head and the cheek.

Elvis Attends Trial

Those of you who thought that the "King" was dead, are much mistaken; he is alive and well, and attending the Michael Jackson trial.

Elvis, or to give him his more usual name, Matthew Tuttle dressed as Elvis and stood outside of the courthouse last week holding a sign reading "Jailhouse Rock Michael".

On Wednesday he was lucky enough to win the lottery of who could be allowed to sit inside the courtroom.

Seemingly Tuttle went to the trial to impress his grandchildren, and because Jackson was briefly married to Elvis' only child, Lisa Marie Presley.

Tuttle works in Las Vegas, as an "Elvis tribute artist."

He is down to earth in his views of the trial, quote:

"It's like a media circus...There's definitely a party atmosphere, like Mardi Gras. And there's a bunch of religious wackos, too. It's like a mecca, a pilgrimage, for all of his fans."

Seemingly other tribute artists gather outside the courthouse, to do the moon walk and Jackson's signature crotch grab.

Tuttle didn't wear his costume when he went inside the court, as that is not allowed. His observations about Jackson are telling:

"He was like a little kid eating candy, stretching. He couldn't sit still...He's very shy in person. I thought he'd be more charismatic, but he's like a shy little girl."

Tuttle was a criminal defence attorney, but gave it all up to play tribute to Elvis.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Jay Leno Gagged

It seems that the chat show host, Jay Leno, may have to stop making jokes about the Michael Jackson trial.

Leno was subpoenaed for Jackson's trial, and Judge Rodney Melville issued a gag order barring anyone involved in the case from discussing it outside court.

This means that Leno could be barred from making "Tonight Show" jokes about the trial.

However, he may be able to claim constitutional protection under the First amendment.

Jamin Raskin, a law professor at American University in Washington, is quoted as saying:

"The court, in order to avoid a Constitutional showdown, would try to draft a very carefully worded gag order that would allow him to make fair comment on the public aspects of the case,".

It is not clear as to whether Leno has changed his monologue's contents.

In a motion filed on behalf of Leno, attorneys said the court couldn't have intended the order to limit "public personalities" from commenting on the case.

It seems that applying the order to Leno would be "prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment and the California Constitution", the motion argues, and it asks the judge to clarify or lift it.

Jackson's Court Days

Despite the fact that court does not sit until 8:30, Michael Jackson reportedly starts his day at 4:30. This gives him time to dress in whatever court costume his dressers have selected for him.

Court lasts from 8:30 to 14:30, with no break for lunch only 3 rest breaks.

Jackson reportedly munches on snacks during the day, some of which are brought in by picnic basket.

In the evening it is said that he has dinner with his children, before a strategy meeting with his lawyers.

Inside Neverland

Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch was described in his trial yesterday.

Seemingly it is overflowing with artefacts including; mannequins of young boys, a grand piano and a model of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.

The police video of their search of Neverland was shown to the jury. It showed a hallway filled with white statues of half-naked cherubs and giant paintings; moving into Jackson's bedroom it showed the room crammed with cut-outs of film stars, a life-sized mannequin of a boy and the model of Gollum.

Bizarrely, at the entrance to Jackson's suite, there was a red and gold throne with a mannequin of a young boy with his legs in the air.

Above Jacksons' giant bed, adorned with a sparkly cover, was a version of The Last Supper featuring Jackson.

The room also contained a cot, televisions and photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Temple, Spiderman and Incredible Hulk paraphernalia.

There was cardboard cut-out of two children kissing. On a grand piano there were two more mannequins, a picture of Peter Pan and one of Jackson and a young boy with cherubic curls resting his chin on the star's shoulder.

The video also showed "The Toy Room", this was filled with life-size models of fantasy characters such as Darth Vader, Batman and other superheroes.

There was a room with a model castle and a "Doll Room"; this contained dolls of all sizes, including a baby doll and a boy scout on a podium. There was also a four poster bed and a lace curtain draped cot in the room.

Not excatly decorated in the Martha Stewart style is it?

Arvizo's Sister Speaks

Gavin Arvizo's sister Davellin, Arvizo is Jackson's accuser, took the stand yesterday in Michael Jackson's trial.

She told the jurors about the making of the TV documentary that triggered the case, a children's drinking party with Jackson, changes in her brother's behaviour and death threats.

She spoke about private jet trips, stays in luxury hotels and at Jackson's Neverland ranch and plans by the Jackson's associates to send them to Brazil.

However, she did not state that she witnessed any molestation of her brother.

She did say that he became "weird."


"Me and my brother are very, very close...During all this he didn't want to talk to me. He didn't want to be near me."

Jackson said that it was "Interesting, frustrating," to see her.

She said that at Neverland she often saw people with cups coming and going from a cellar, through a door hidden behind a jukebox. One day she decided to follow her two brothers behind the door.


"When I walked into the wine cellar I saw Michael Jackson pouring wine into cups..I drank some and then I went upstairs and left it on the counter,".

She told the jury that on February 6 2003 Jackson had her family flown by private jet to a Miami resort, where he told them not to watch the documentary that would be aired that night.

On the flight home, she said, Jackson shared a soda can with Arvizo and gave him a watch and a jacket.

She told the jury about the making of the documentary, "Living With Michael Jackson", by British journalist Martin Bashir.

She said that Jackson greeted them, when they arrived, and that he took her brother aside for 5 to 10 minutes for a private talk.

She takes the stand again today.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Jackson's Latest Award

It is reported that Austrians are a tad puzzled by Michael Jackson's decision to wear the Golden Medal of Honour for Services to Vienna, on his blazer, whilst attending his trial.

Jackson has not been awarded this medal by the Austrian government; Jackson is 46, and you have to be at least 50 to receive this honour.

Aside from that it is normally only awarded to architects, artists and writers.

It seems Jackson has awarded himself this prestigious honour.

However, I understand that it is not a crime for him to wear the medal; one less court case to worry about.

Jackson on Jackson

Jesse Jackson has waded into the Michael Jackson trial.

He has stated that Michael Jackson will not a get a fair trial, because no member of the jury is black.

In my view, playing the race card in this trial is merely playing to the gallery. I suspect that Jesse Jackson made his comments for his own personal political ends, rather than because he genuinely believes them.

The question of the fairness of the trial will be down to people's perceptions of Michael Jackson the "eccentric" celebrity, not Michael Jackson the African American.


Today Michael Jackson's trial is expected to focus on Neverland, which prosecutors have said is used as a lure for impressionable young children.

Albert Lafferty, from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, will appear today. He was responsible for photographing and videotaping a November police raid of Neverland.

The Enemy Within

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.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Bashir Might Face Contempt Charge

The British journalist, Martin Bashir, might be prosecuted for contempt of court after refusing to answer questions yesterday during Michael Jackson's trial.

His documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" is the centre of the case against Jackson.

After Bashir took the stand, the documentary was shown to the jury.

Jackson was seen to wipe his eyes with a tissue during one part of the programme, in which he said that his children are his reason for living. He also appeared agitated when Bashir was in the witness box, putting his arms out as if to tell him to speak up.

Jackson was shown holding hands with boy, Gavin Arvizo, who accuses him of abuse. Arvizo says the Thriller star is perpetually childlike and understands children.

As Bashir was being questioned, Bashir's lawyer Theodore Boutrous invoked California's shield law for reporters and the First Amendment; saying that as a journalist Bashir did not have to answer questions about unpublished materials.


"We today invoked the California shield law, which is part of the constitution, and it protects the independence and autonomy of journalists who report the news, and gather the news...The judge has taken our objections under consideration and has also indicated that the defence may be allowed to call Mr Bashir as a witness in their case, but only if they meet the standards of the constitution and of the First Amendment."

As Jackson left court, reporters asked him how he was feeling.

He said "good," then added "angry."

Jackson To Take The Stand

Tom Mesereau, Michael Jackson's lawyer, yesterday said that Jackson would tell the jury how Gavin Arvizo his accuser had run wild at his Neverland Valley ranch; drinking wine and looking at porn, while his mother tried to extort money.


"Ladies and gentlemen, it's going to be a long trial and you are going to hear lots of evidence..We are extremely confident that when you do, you are going to find Michael Jackson absolutely not guilty of any of this."

Mesereau said that Jackson would describe his growing suspicions about Arvizo's family.


"Michael Jackson will tell you one time at Neverland he got a very bad feeling about these people.I've got to get away. I love helping these children, but I've got to get away."

Day two of the trial saw Jackson accompanied by his mother, Katherine, and his brother, Randy.

He Didn't Do It

The jury at the Michael Jackson trial was shown Martin Bashir's "Living With Michael" documentary on Tuesday. In it he is shown holding hands with the 13-year-old boy, Gavin Arvizo, who is accusing him of child molestation.

The first witness called to the stand, by the defence, was Martin Bashir. Bashir adopted the "shield" strategy, which is designed to protect journalists from being involved in court cases, and refused to answer defence questions.

Bashir refused to answer question after question; Jackson's lawyer repeatedly asked the judge to strike his film from evidence, and find Bashir guilty of contempt of court.

Mesereau asked Bashir as to whether he had been honest with Jackson over his motives for making the documentary, or if he had promised the singer editorial control.

Tom Mesereau, for the defence, said that no DNA evidence was ever found in Jackson's bedroom. He noted that Arvizo had free run of the Neverland estate. He said that Arvizo and his siblings were "out of control", they broke into Jackson's wine cellar and got drunk.

He said they even broke into the locked ferris wheel, in Neverland, they got to the top then started to throw things on the people and elephants below.

Mesereau, for good measure, then said that Arvizo's mother made full use of the trappings of Jackson's wealth. Seemingly she would enjoy limousine rides and salon visits, even during the time she claimed the family was being held against their will.

In other words, he didn't do it; and the charges are made up.


There has been some activity backstage at the Michael Jackson trial, during the last couple of days.

Actor Gary Coleman made a brief appearance outside the Santa Maria Court on Monday morning. He was recording scenes for a comedy radio show, and doing interviews dealing with Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial.

He spent about 15 minutes interviewing supporters of both Jackson and the alleged 13-year-old victim, while attracting a lot of media attention.

Meanwhile in a press conference, near the entrance to the Santa Maria Court Complex, state Sen. Abel Maldonado and Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson introduced a new bill aimed at reimbursing the county for security costs due to the lengthy trial.

The bill, SB 827, asks for a full reimbursement for expenses incurred by the sheriff's office.

Maldonado said:

"All you have to do is look around you to see what we're going through. This puts constant strains on the budget..".

The precise cost to the state has not been quantified, as the length of the trial remains unknown.

Maldonado noted that although he was happy to see people staying in Santa Maria hotels, and eating at local restaurants, the increased revenue from the sales tax would not be enough to make up the total cost to the county.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Sartorial Elegance

Michael Jackson walked into the courthouse yesterday, as a phalanx of reporters and photographers watched. Surprisingly, there was no large crowd of fans to support him; merely two people demonstrating in support of the prosecution.

Despite the seriousness of the charges, Jackson will not neglect his image during the trial.

He has a hair and makeup artist prepare him, and a wardrobe assistant helps him pick his court attire.

The show must go on!

Would You Adam and E!'ve It?

The cameras have been banned from the courtroom for Jackson's trial, but that does not deter E! Entertainment Television.

Transcripts of the trial are being e-mailed to E! at the end of every day. E! will then use actors, at its Los Angeles studio headquarters, to recreate about 15 minutes of the trial each day.

Edward Moss, a professional impersonator, will play Jackson.

The re-enactments of the previous day in court will be part of a half-hour E! show that includes trial analysis by legal experts, including a partner in the law firm that represented O-J Simpson.

It's not the first venture of its kind for E! The channel also re-created parts of the civil trial against O-J Simpson.

A Picture of Dorian Gray

Much like Oscar Wilde's character, Dorian Gray, Michael Jackson is being portrayed by the defence and prosecution in diametrically opposing forms; either he is a good looking kindly man who loves children and animals, or else he is an evil monster luring children into his dark and tortured world.

Thus begins Michael Jackson's trial, the jury will have to decide which is the real Michael Jackson.

Defence attorney Thomas Mesereau opened by saying:

"The prosecution presented a picture of Neverland as a haven for crime. It is not. ... He created Neverland for particular reasons. He wanted a place for children to come and be free and spontaneous and enjoy themselves."

District Attorney Tom Sneddon suggested that Neverland designed to entrap children, quote:

"The private world of Michael Jackson will show that instead of reading them Peter Pan, he's showing them sexually explicit magazines. ... Instead of cookies and milk, you can substitute wine, vodka and bourbon..".

Sneddon went on to say that Jackson showed the boy sexually explicit material, groping him, and of a conspiracy involving Jackson's associates and a threat to kill the boy's mother.

"(The accuser) will describe to you his sexual experiences with Michael Jackson. He will do it here in open court and he will do it with the whole world watching..".

Jackson is accused of molesting the boy, who was 13 at the time and cancer patient, at his Neverland ranch in early 2003. It is alleged that he gave him alcohol and conspired to hold him and his family captive.

Mesereau rebutted, saying that the mother of the accuser fraudulently claimed to many people that she was destitute and that her son needed money for chemotherapy. In truth, he said, the boy's father was a member of a union that covered his medical bills.

Mesereau alleged that the mother went to a number of celebrities looking for money including; comedian Jay Leno, comedian George Lopez and Los Angeles TV weatherman Fritz Coleman, who staged a fund-raiser for the child at a comedy club.

Mesereau said:

"At the fund-raiser, there was (the boy) in the lobby of the Laugh Factory with his hand out, prodded by (his mother)..".

Adding that:

"The most vulnerable celebrity became the mark, Michael Jackson,".

Mesereau alleged a history of fraud by the mother against others including; J.C. Penney, which paid her $152K to settle claims arising from a brush with security guards when her son left a store with items that had not been paid for. The mother claimed they were battered, held against their will and that she was groped.

Mesereau said that an employee of a law firm that represented the mother in the J.C. Penney suit has come forward, and will testify that the mother admitted lying. The employee didn't come forward before because the mother said her husband had a cousin in the Mexican Mafia and she feared for her life, Mesereau told the jury.

At the beginning of the trial Judge Rodney Melville read the indictment, naming for the first time the five Jackson employees and associates described as unindicted co-conspirators: Frank Tyson, also known as Frank Cascio, and Ronald Konitzer, Dieter Wiesner, Marc Schaffel and Vincent Amen.

Sneddon brought up the February 2003 TV documentary "Living With Michael Jackson," in which Jackson was holding hands with the boy and saying he allows children to sleep in his bed.

Sneddon said:

"Jackson's world was rocked........it was a train wreck."

Sneddon alleged that Jackson intended to use the boy as part of a comeback attempt, by discussing in the documentary how the singer helped him through his cancer; and that Jackson coached the boy about what to say.

The prosecutor described the alleged molesation of the boy by Jackson; Jackson told the boy that masturbation was normal, then reached into the boy's underpants and masturbated the boy and himself. This happened twice, with Jackson trying to move the boy's arm toward his own genitals the second time but the boy resisted.

It was alleged that Tyson told the family they were in danger and "this is not the time to be out there alone. This is not the time to turn your back on Michael."

The indictment said Tyson told them that "staying even one night alone is not safe."

The indictment stated that between February and March 2003, Tyson threatened the accuser, saying:

"Michael could make the family disappear...I could have your mother killed."

Sneddon alleged that when the boy and his family first visited Neverland, Jackson told the boy to ask his mother if he could sleep in Jackson's bedroom. He said Jackson then showed sexually explicit Web sites to the boy and his own son, Prince Michael, on that visit.

Searches of Neverland turned up sexually explicit DVDs and magazines, including 1960's nudist periodicals with pictures of naked children, and correspondence from the accuser addressed to "Michael" or "Michael Daddy,".

Some magazines had the fingerprints of Jackson, others had the prints of the boy and his brother, and one had prints from both Jackson and the accuser, he said.

And so it begins, the jury must decide which is the real Michael Jackson.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Trial Starts Today

Michael Jackson's trial starts today, in case your were not aware of that.

Now the actual details of the allegations will actually be revealed, much of the information regarding the trial has been subject to a gag order.

The trial kicks off at 8:30 local time. Judge Rodney Melville has warned the jury, and the reserve team of jurors, to avoid talking about the trial.

He is acutely aware of the dangers of holding such a high profile trial, quote:

"There's a real danger of jury misconduct in a case of this nature...It is extremely important that you follow the admonitions and not talk to anyone about this case. It's critical."

Neither is Judge Melville going to tolerate any delays:

"I don't want to see delays based on lack of co-operation. I will not abide not having witnesses ready."

Jackson's lawyers have said that they intend to call more than 350 witnesses, including well know name such as; Eddie Murphy, Diana Ross, Macaulay Culkin, Smokey Robinson, David Blaine, Larry King, Jay Leno and Uri Geller.

The trial could last up to six months. If convicted, Jackson could face up to 21 years in prison.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Mystery Witness

It is reported that there was an unusual weekend legal session yesterday, in the Michael Jackson case, as a mystery witness was deposed by both the prosecution and defence.

Seemingly the mystery witness is a paralegal who worked for the attorney representing Jackson's accuser's mother, when their family sued JC Penney and won a $137K settlement in October 2001.

It is further reported that the paralegal has claimed that the accuser's mother lied under oath, and fabricated the charges against JC Penney security guards.

It seems that the bruises that she said were inflicted by the guards, were actually inflicted by someone else.

Additionally, it is reported, that the woman allegedly coached her son to lie during his deposition against JC Penney.

The woman is reportedly denying these allegations.

Judge Rodney Melville will review the deposition on Monday morning, before the opening statements in the Jackson trial.