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The jury is not still out on Jacko's guilt or innocence when it comes to child molestation. The facts below should put to rest any doubt that this man endangered the lives of children, including his own. Why then is America, and the world, acting as if he was merely an eccentric genius, as opposed to a child predator with multiple victims?

Finding a balanced view on Michael Jackson is nearly impossible. Mostly because America, and the world, know collectively little about child sexual abuse, it's scope, and those who commit it. Society is often quick to condemn child predators (send them to jail for life! put them on an island! castrate them!) but when faced with actual predators who they might actually like, their responses are woefully opposite.

Such is the case of Michael Jackson.

Most people continue to say that he wasn't convicted, and nobody really knows what happened. The kids' families were looking for money. If you weren't there, how can you point the finger? Well... I wasn't there, and I am pointing the finger. Michael Jackson was a sex offender. He got away with it. Play his music if you like, but bury him, and forget about him. The world is better off without him.

In 1993, during the first molestation trial, the young boy victimized by Jackson accurately described, under oath, exact details about Michael Jackson's penis:

With Los Angeles Police Department detectives weighing his claims, Chandler gave them a roadmap to Jackson's below-the-waist geography, which, he said, includes distinctive "splotches" on his buttocks and one on his penis, "which is a light color similar to the color of his face." The boy's information was so precise, he even pinpointed where the splotch fell while Jackson's penis was erect, the length of the performer's pubic hair, and that he was circumcised.

It wasn't long after law enforcement's photo session that Jackson agreed to settle Chandler's civil claim for north of $20 million.

Read whole article here

Need more? Jackson's own sister, LaToya said in a press conference in 1993: "I can't remain silent. I will not be a silent collaborator in his crimes against small, innocent children." She later went on to say that she knew that Michael had brought young boys to his house to molest them, and that she knew that he had fondled them. She indicated that other family members knew as well, but kept silent.

Need even more?

The lead investigator on Jackson's 1993 case found that Jackson had a secret alarm installed in his hallway to alert him if anyone was walking down the hall toward his bedroom:

DWORIN: Jackson's bedroom suite was off to one side of the house. And it's reached by a hallway. And when an individual walks down that hallway, it sets off an alarm within Jackson's bedroom. Now an alarm is both a buzzer, I believe, as well as a musical tone.

HARRIS (on camera): The reason for that alarm?

DWORIN: You can guess anything you want to guess. My feeling was it's a warning that someone was approaching Jackson's bedroom door.

HARRIS: So that?

DWORIN: If something improper was happening, it would stop. But then we don't know.

Read the whole transcript here-  and scroll down.

Now, the most recent molestation case ended in a not guilty verdict. The boy in that case never sought any money from Jackson. And for those (and there are many of you) who say "well, he was found not guilty by a jury of his peers", does the same go for OJ? I guess he didnt' brutally stab his wife Nicole and her waiter friend to death in a jealous rage. It must have been those columbian drug lords again. Maybe they molested the kids in MJ's bed while he was tinkling in the bathroom....

And as far as that jury goes in 2005, most of them said they believed that Jackson had molested kids in his life, but they felt that the evidence in this particular case did not warrant a conviction.

He did it! what more do you need? Some people have said that if I wasn't there, how do I know? That is a classic denial when it comes to child sexual abuse. THe vast majority of sexual molestation of children occurs in one-adult, one-child situations. Molesters of children do that purposely to break down the child's defenses, and to minimize the chances of a witness, also, it's the adult's word against the childs.

Jackson isolated his victims. He preyed upon young boys, some who had cancer. He set his house up like an amusement park to lure children. He even used alcohol to break their defenses down. Court documentation shows that witnesses testified that JAckson gave children wine, callilng it "Jesus Juice". Why was he giving 10 year olds wine????

This is NOT circumstantial evidence. It is actual. And conclusive.

And then Jackson in his own words. He admitted to sleeping in bed with little boys who weren't his own. He saw nothing wrong with it. He claimed he would sleep on the floor, but that's not what 3 of his victims said. And yes, the parents of some of those kids exercised EXTREMELY poor judgement in allowing their kids to sleep over his house, and multiple times. BUT HAVING A CRAZY MOTHER WITH NO JUDGEMENT DOESN'T MEAN THE KIDS WEREN'T MOLESTED, IN FACT IT'S MORE LIKELY THEY WERE IN DANGER BECAUSE THERE WERE NO SANE ADULTS TO KEEP THEM SAFE!

Jackson, like all predators, relied on the ignorance of the rest of us to get away with his crimes. He relied on the disbelief we have when it comes to child sexual abuse. He relied on the silence of his victims, their weekness, and the reality that mostly, when children do come forward, they are not believed. He manipulated them, he hurt them, and he threatened them.

The lead investigator in the 1993 case said that he had interviewed over 4000 victims of child sexual abuse in his life, and that he absolutely believed the allegations against Jackson.

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthdays, and this will continue as long as the public looks the other way. For more information and statistics on sex abuse, click here.

So, the world mourns the loss of Michael Jackson. They say he had his demons. They call him eccentric, even a little crazy. But no one dares, not on CNN, not on MSNBC, not on FOX, no one dares call him what he was. A child molester. A neglector of his own children (hanging a baby over a balcony in Germany got him photographed, in the US, it would have gotten him charged with parental neglect).

Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton, stalwarts of civil rights, continue to heap praises on Michael Jackson, calling him a great human being and a great American. Where is their concern and sympathy for the child victims that he harmed? Or, collectively, for all children victimized by sex abuse? Child sexual abuse needs to be seen as a civil rights issue, then this country will take it seriously, and will work to eradicate it. The hypocryisy of Jesse Jackson, Sharpton et al. when it comes to THIS civil rights issue is truly disappointing, but not unexpected.

Child abuse IS a civil rights issue. Kids are abused, neglected, and molested simply because of their age, and their dependence on and relationship to their attackers. Collectively, we are all at fault, becuase we look the other way. We sometimes look the other way when a relative has "poor boundaries" with children, and we collectively look the other way when we memorialize, and idolize, Michael Jackson.

On the front page of the NY TIMES today, a photograph of a sign in London read "AT THIS POINT OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH MICHAEL'S CHILDREN, FAMILY AND FRIENDS". My thoughts are with his victims, and the millions of other victims of child abuse, most of them forgotten, silent, and often never believed.

Good riddance, Michael Jackson.

Originally posted to tigtan on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 01:58 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Without reading, just shut up. n/t (12+ / 0-)

    "In a world filled with hate,anger,despair and distrust, we must still dare to hope, comfort,dream and believe." MJ

    by publicv on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:03:25 PM PDT

  •  I guess it will always (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, sethyeah

    be a mystery.

    I don't have a sig line.

    by NMDad on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:13:45 PM PDT

  •  I feel your diary title is disgusting........nt (29+ / 0-)

    They tortured people to get a false confession of a link between Saddam and 9-11. Investigate. Prosecute. Incarcerate.

    by Rumarhazzit on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:14:14 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for this couragous diary! (16+ / 0-)

    I will no doubt get HR-ed for this comment, but I don't care.

    I agree with what you write.

  •  Here is the number that people are going to miss: (26+ / 0-)

    1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys

    That number is well established, and every time I've been in circumstances to discuss it with folks it has proven to be a pretty close description of the group. It is odd that pedophilia by Roman Catholic priests consistently stirs outrage here, but you will not likely get many who see it from your perspective.

  •  A bit of compassion is in order (20+ / 0-)

    because whatever he may have done to children, I can all but guarantee was done to HIM by his father and/or other caretakers when he was a child. That's what makes sexual/physical child abuse so pernicious - it's the 'gift' that keeps on giving.
    Diary title is offensive.

    Cheney tortured detainees to elicit false justifications for invading Iraq.

    by ericlewis0 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:18:10 PM PDT

  •  I'm No Fan of His Music Really (31+ / 0-)

    but the public turned against him two decades ago.  He spent years and years and years with the reputation as a child molester.  He will still be known as one, even though he wasn't convicted.

    He also spent a lot of money on charity for kids.  I don't know what his deal was.  I can only guess that he had an amazing amount of issues in his past and he dealt with them in really odd--and possibly, possibly, abusive ones, too.  

    But, honestly, is this necessary?  The guy was a victim himself.  His music made a lot of people happy, but was also a very tragic figure in many ways.

    Ahhh . . . It's nice to feel like we're a cool country again.

    by Grumpy Young Man on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:18:57 PM PDT

  •  he was a complex, brilliant, tortured man (27+ / 0-)

    whose internal agonies may well have made an awful alliance with his fame and power to have brought him to make some terrible choices.

    that said, i'm no fan of this diary. pissing on graves is a shitty hobby.

    I'll give you this here wedding ring when you take it from my cold, dead hand.

    by homo neurotic on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:19:07 PM PDT

  •  These kid's parents are werewolves (11+ / 0-)

    Whether or not Jackson did molest these kids are secondary to the irresponsibility of the parents involved.  Who leaves their kid alone with a grown man to spend the night?

    -7.25 -8.15 "I can be most colorful and inventive when I am angry." c.moore

    by mydailydrunk on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:22:34 PM PDT

  •  Tipped to offset HR (7+ / 0-)

    Not HR-worthy, I don't think.

    Pissing on graves might not be dignified, but blanket hagiography that ignores particularly awful accusations which many feely were unfairly escaped is no more dignified.

    There have been plenty of gilted eulogies - there is a case for having the other side presented, and the vehemence is (I suspect) out of genuine anger rather than trollishness.

    Not an endorsement of the views of the diarist (I am undecided) but not HR-worthy IMO.

    "Gambling is a principle inherent in nature" Edmund Burke

    by Morus on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:29:19 PM PDT

  •  A person can be mixed ... (12+ / 0-)

    I'm certainly for greater recognition of child abuse.  But that's not license to say "good riddance" to Michael Jackson, or anyone else.

    There are no unalloyed saints - and certainly MJ was very very far from sainthood.  But a lot of people who are good at some things are also evil in some ways.

    Be that as it may, I wouldn't say "good riddance" to anyone - not even to people who are fairly unalloyed evil.  When Osama bin Laden dies, I won't say "good riddance".  He's a human.  I won't celebrate when any human dies.

    I'll relate this story that my rabbi told.

    When the Jews were escaping from the Egyptians, and the seas parted for them and then drowned the Egyptians, the angels started to cheer.  God roared

    How can you cheer when my children are dying?

    Further, by couching your diary in these terms, you make it harder for people to see your real point - that we need greater recognition of child abuse.

  •  I suspect that MJ never really matured, was (8+ / 0-)

    never really an adult - a sadly extreme case of Peter Panism. As such he could only relate emotionally and sexually with children.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:31:22 PM PDT

  •  What's your point? (13+ / 0-)

    What makes you think you can prove what the prosecutors couldn't?  And IF he did it:

    1. it can't be undone
    1. he can't do it again

    I'm just really not getting the point of this diary.

  •  the jury has the final word (5+ / 0-)

    i didn't hear ALL the testimony or view the ALL evidence, and neither (by your own admission) did you.

  •  Hrm. (7+ / 0-)

    Why then is America, and the world, acting as if he was merely an eccentric genius, as opposed to a child predator with multiple victims?

    Why is this an either/or proposition?  He was likely an abuser who nonetheless initiated a dramatic shift in the landscape of American pop culture.  I think most people understand this.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:46:47 PM PDT

    •  I really dislike that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, Lost and Found

      The stigma it carries is too great in the absence of at least a civil judgment to that effect.  And this isn't about Jackson; this is about judgment before the facts are in when dealing with very serious allegations of criminal wrongdoing.  

      What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

      by Alec82 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:23:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a fair point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But I think that it's - for better or worse - completely woven into his mythos by now.  I suspect that the next couple of years will involve any number of questionable tell-all books, interviews, and information, and there's no knowing where the dust will settle.  Likely as not he'll remain a controversial figure for as long as any of us are alive, after which only his musical heritage will remain.  That's pretty much how it works.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:37:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Youth and Money obsessed American Culture.. (7+ / 0-)

    This is not an apology nor a condemnation, but a step back, perhaps, to start to make use of the life that Michael Jackson lived, and how we can view it with a certain detachment, and a possible view of American culture in this era.

    There is a lot of evidence that Jackson saw himself as a young boy, within his self-image. This is a perceptual problem, certainly, and it did lead to behavior problems and probable criminal activity.

    And yet, is it so unusual? We expect people to grow up and grow old, and then we send the message over and over again, in image, word and music, that youth is the only fun part of life, that excitement and growth are for the young, that being carefree and unburdened by strict prescriptions are the only time in our lives when we are really happy. I know many people who spend most of their money, time and concern trying to "preserve youth," against all odds and all reality. Are these millions so different?

    Why is this attitude so pervasive? If one accepts that we truly believe we can BUY anything we want with enough money, we can see that Jackson's attitude was not so strange. It was predictable in its dysfunctionality and eventual criminality.

    Our cultural messages are mixed to the point of total contradiction and confusion.  I spend a lot of time teaching literature to young people who cannot believe that Middle age is a great time of life, superior to youth in many ways, at least equal, if different. And old people tell me that old age is not totally wonderful, but better than middle age in many ways. This message is entirely absent from the dominant culture.  

    If there is any reason for Michael Jackson's "strangeness" to be considered and pondered at this moment, it is his lesson to us as an artist, a mirror he held up to us, that as long as we obsess about our looks, our youth and our ability to pay for anything we desire, we will be self-destructive. Our commercial culture guarantees not just a personality like  Michael Jacksons, but millions of others who exhibit the same dysfuntional and difficulty with reality, all the same symptoms.

    Michael Jackson did not entirely create himself. No one does. We are all a product of the bad and good ideas around us, constantly reinforced. We adopt the useful and approved ideas, especially as it relates to gaining money and seeking approval and love.  At this critical time, I think Michael Jackson's problems are our culture's problems.

    I firmly believe this is why this death is hitting people so hard. They see what Michael Jackson's last act is teaching about what to believe and how to act.
    Even Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer might agree at this point. This culture needs to get off the youth and money and power and fame obsession. It is a self-destructive attitude, because it destroys youth, accomplishment and power for good.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 02:51:44 PM PDT

    •  I hope the person who wrote this ugly (11+ / 0-)

      diary endure the beautiful well wishes and out pouring of love to Mr. Jackson until his hate devour him. Yes the the majority of people in the world will miss Michael Jackson, and agree with  the findings of the jury, that he was not guilty. Your hatred won't change that fact, deal with it.

      •  Sorry you misunderstood (5+ / 0-)

        Legal Guilt or innocence is not the point of thinking about his artistic message. Artists have always defied the will of the public mores and sensibilities for their art, and to be able to hold up a mirror, as Michael's famous song, to all of us.

        He was a prisoner of the ideas of our times, as we all are. His life and art cannot be denied. The message of what it was needs to be considered, as brilliant an artistic statement as he crafted over his lifetime.

        He saw the crippling effects of blind pursuit of youthful fame and mass marketed talent for money, and yet, he knew no other life, and we all benefited from his genius. I am sorry he is gone. In old age, he would have created more artistic statements of genius.

        In a future world, people will still listen to him and his message of love and hope for world peace, and a warning to how to live life free from harm and blind ambition, in order not to pass along that harm to the next generation.  

        Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

        by OregonOak on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:15:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about Jordan Chandler? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bebacker, jayden

        After Jordy was able to accurately describe Jackson's erect penis to officers of the court, Jackson suddenly paid his family $22 million to make the suit go away:

        As for the Denver jury, the diarist has already mentioned that while the jury condemned the prosecution for botching its case so badly that they couldn't vote to convict Jackson in that particular instance, they did indeed believe him to have molested children.  Read Matt Taibbi's coverage in Rolling Stone for more on this -- Taibbi was the only journalist in America to accurately cover this case.

        Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

        by Phoenix Woman on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:15:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  so then you also agree with that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman

        same jury who said that he was a child molester?

  •  He's dead. (6+ / 0-)

    I doubt he's within earshot of your outrage.  I couldn't give two hoots about Michael Jackson.  But this diary strikes me as pointless.

    Don't tell me about the "new politics" if you're an asshole.

    by Ms Johnson on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:20:57 PM PDT

  •  I spent most of my life in various child (15+ / 0-)

    protective services and am outraged by any form of child abuse.
     But I am as convinced of the opposite opinion as diarist is of his.  I read everything about those trials and followed them closely, and never felt those cases had any validity.  Without going into detail, those cases were a mess and raised suspicions and doubts in the veracity of the charges all over the place.  And I pay attention to those who knew him best, I listen to what they have to say about him, and I will never believe that he did anything sexually abusive to children.  All describe him as gentle and childlike, who considered himself as some kind of savior of children and world healer.  He was a complicated, psychological study, a tragic figure in so many ways, forever stuck in some kind of arrested development and longing for the childhood he never had.  
     And neither of us has the final word on this, because neither of us was present.  But this is what I believe wholeheartedly, as much as you, diarist, believe the opposite.  

    •  This comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is a fine counterpoint.  Maybe I reflexively revert to our justice system's history with race, but I always found the public part of the case and the media's coverage heavy on bias towards the prosecution.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I honestly don't know, but I think it's important that someone else who has more knowledge of the trial than I provides their perception and conclusions even if it doesn't square with the diarists.

  •  It's hard to know what to make of LaToya's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, marykk, JW in Dallas

    statement that he abused children. She later claimed to have been coerced to make it by abused husband Jack Gordon, whom she late divorced.

    i can't watch [Obama] speak on tv for more than 5 minutes or else what he's saying starts to make sense to me. It's very scary.

    by Kimball Cross on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:22:05 PM PDT

  •  The sad thing is that MJ probably had (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a serious mental issue which was never made public. I'm not saying that his fascination with boys was okay. It wasn't, but was this fascination because he was a 40+ year old child abuser or a man that still had the mentality of the children he might have done this to.  

    I would imagine we will find out shortly.

  •  Great artists get special treatment (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotster, eXtina, publicv, cbyoung, JW in Dallas

    Their contributions to society must be taken into consideration. And the presumption of innocence must always rule. Jacko had both highly motivated civil and criminal experts after him. They couldn't bring him down.

    His works and his deeds remain. Good, bad, and ugly. Perhaps history will fill in details. Perhaps, as so far with OJ, thy will not.

    Spitefully attacking a dead man changes nothing in the real world. Nothing you wrote will change anyone's mind. If you want to vent, fine. The rest of us will put on some old Jackson 5 and let it go.

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:29:46 PM PDT

  •  whoever reced and tipped this diary (8+ / 0-)
    can go fuck themselves.

    what the hell is wrong with people?

    by GlowNZ on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 03:35:26 PM PDT

  •  How come there are so many people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    wrongly accused and convicted of child molestation?

    •  Lots of famous cases, innocent people (6+ / 0-)

      convicted by lies of accusers.  It became an epidemic for awhile.  It sent a shock wave through all childcare establishments, everyone afraid to even touch the children in their care.  New warnings were sent out, to not hold preschoolers in their laps etc., it became preposterous.  And it became a way for some as a way of "getting even" with those with whom they had petty grievances. And in more famous cases, for monetary gain.  

  •  michael jackson is not dead (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Top Story:

    King Of Pop Is Alive & Well & Recovering From World's First Reanimation

    "Beverly Hills plastic surgeon saves Jacko's life."

  •  Everyone is so good at judging others (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    get in line pure stone throwers!

    Michael Jackson was a tragic human being. Not by choice.

  •  Thanks for this diary... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Wee Mama, JSW from WA, bebacker, johnva

    ..I was not going to pile on the guy the day of his death, but I like you have been thinking about how many children will now not be molested because of Jackson's untimely death.

    Until I read your diary, I had forgotten about the "Jesus Juice" & all the other sick shit this guy  perpetrated.

    Now we get to sit back & wait for his real children to become old enough to write tell-all books about  daddy Jacko.

    •  Reminds me of something Shakespeare said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The evil that men do lives after them while the good is oft interred with their bones.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 06:19:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do not know if he was a child molestor or not (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, penguinsong, eXtina

    If he was, then I am very sorry for his victims. Very sorry. But I still loved his music since I was 7 and he was 8.  I know I am not a perfect being and I know that he was not as well.

    Through the years I have felt joy and sadness about Michael Jackson, but the love never wavered.  I believe he gave up much in his life compared to the happiness that he gave millions.

    I think it is a crime to have him work like he did from 5 years old.  He existed in a bubble that none of us can imagine.  Does that excuse his his molestation allegations, no.  But 'good riddance' is not at all something that the man deserves.

    He had demons to fight and maybe sometimes, he just did not win against them.  Doesn't make me hate him, just makes me sad that his life was not as perfect as what I felt he gave us.  

    Rest in Peace Michael Jackson

  •  So 20 percent of us are permanently damaged (0+ / 0-)

    The diarist makes no distinction between the creepy, pathetic behavior of Jackson getting "naturist" with a kid, and the violently forced rape of an abducted child. It's all the same.
    The idea that a ten year old boy could be irreparably harmed by the mere sight of a grown man's erection is ludicrous. Sometimes child right's advocates come too close to the absolutism of anti-abortionists. I know people will get all high-and-mighty about that statement, but a sense of proportion is missing here.
    If  Jackson tied a boy down and left him with a bleeding anus, he should've gone to jail for the rest of his life. But if, as seems more likely, he "courted" children in a disturbing but non-coercive way, he needed help.
    If the 20 percent of us seemingly functional but secretly damaged could be given this choice:
    A) go back in time and change events so that your abuse didn't happen, and keep your life as it is now unchanged, or
    B) Keep the memory of your abuse and 20 million dollars,
    I wonder how many would take choice A?

    •  False choice. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JSW from WA, lilyvaldem, sophically

      If I went back in time and changed it so that the abuse didn't happen, my life would be quite dramatically different. And, no, I wasn't of the "bleeding anus" variety.

      And yes, I would do it in a heartbeat.

      Please don't minimize the seriousness of sexual activity with young children, no matter how "non-violent".

    •  It is your assertion (0+ / 0-)

      that "20% of us are permanently damaged". Please give any evidence that this it correct. Hint: follow-up studies show that the majority of sexually abused children move on with their lives and do not consider themselves perpetual "victims".

      You also seem to be confused about the nature of child sexual abuse. The overwhelming majority of cases are family members, not kidnap victims.

      If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

      by Angela Quattrano on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 05:44:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is the diarist's assertion (0+ / 0-)

        based on the claim that "1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthdays."
        To be fair, I freely extrapolated from that and the gist of the post.
        I merely wanted to point out that the hysterical tone was superficial and judgmental. There is a difference between repugnant and criminal.
        You are mistaken that I claim that the majority of cases are kidnap victims. I didn't say that.
        I don't condone child abuse. I failed to make my point. I regret making my comment.

  •  just gotta kick him some more - huh? (0+ / 0-)

    When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.- Dom Helder Camara,

    by wahine on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 04:35:10 PM PDT

  •  Some of you people are ignorant.. (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    rhatermike, penguinsong, Philly Quaker, Adept2u, wahine
    Hidden by:

    For a community who claims to be fact based, clearly you aren't and are EXTRMEMELY hypocritical and chose to deamonize someone based on unfounded ALLEGATIONS based off on NO evidence!! Whenever someone is convicted of something as rape or molestation there is usually lots of other people who COME out the woodwark to say that the same thing happened to them or that there was uncomfortable behavior happening.. In fact the OPPOSITE has happened everyone EVERYONE who ever knew Michael and ALL the kids he knew all said that he never would have done anything like that. After all the tests they've taken on Michael from his private areas ( penis, etc) they NEVER found anything, no pornography, NOTHING! Not to mention that years later the child of the 1993 case admitted that he made it up because his abusive father made him do it for money and guess what Vanity fair wrote about it yet it got NO coverage on the news.. And the letoya  so called " fact" is also unfounded considering letoya said she only made it up because of her abusive husband... And that's been the pattern with ALL these allegations of Michael, it's all been LIES. And the secnd trial was a sham and obvious untrue, the alleged victim could never keep their story straigh and after hours and hours and weeks of investigating jackson was found innocent.. jackson was different indeed and that's what people use against him to convict him in their minds of such henious acts..He never had a childhood and said that because he experienced some horrors growing up he wanted to make the lives of children better which is why he had such a connection to them and ALSo because he said that children weren't mean to him and didn't judge him... He had issues YES but he would NEVER abuse a child or harm anyone! And everyone will tell you that about Michael jackson! And some of his erractic behavior didn't help people's perception but being demonized and shunned and losing everything ultimately lead to his death.. Performance was all he knew! And just because someone pays a settlement doesn't make them GUILTY.. Before you talk about people that are judgemental take a look in the mirror! You didn't know anything about his life, the media didn't and no one cared to find out because it was just better labeling him different or crazy...  Listen to his song childhood :

    Have you seen my Childhood?
    I'm searching for the world that I come from
    'Cause I've been looking around
    In the lost and found of my heart...
    No one understands me
    They view it as such strange eccentricities...
    'Cause I keep kidding around
    Like a child, but pardon me...

    People say I'm not okay
    'Cause I love such elementary things...
    It's been my fate to compensate,
    for the Childhood
    I've never known...

    Have you seen my Childhood?
    I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
    Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
    Of conquest and kings on the throne...

    Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
    Look within your heart then ask,
    Have you seen my Childhood?

    People say I'm strange that way
    'Cause I love such elementary things,
    It's been my fate to compensate,
    for the Childhood (Childhood) I've never known...

    Have you seen my Childhood?
    I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
    Like fantastical stories to share
    But the dreams I would dare, watch me fly...

    Before you judge me, try hard to love me.
    The painful youth I've had

    Have you seen my Childhood

    Also two articles that I've had saved that the media continues to ignore and will never speak of, tell the truth:

    2007 AUGUST 22
    tags: evan chandler, gavin arvizo, jordan chandler, michael jackson trial, tom sneddon
    by the floacist

    Was Michael Jackson Framed?

    The Untold Story
    Mary A. Fisher
    GQ, October 1994

    The untold story of the events that brought down a superstar. Before O.J. Simpson, there was Michael Jackson — another beloved black celebrity seemingly brought down by allegations of scandal in his personal life. Those allegations — that Jackson had molested a 13-year-old boy — instigated a multi million-dollar lawsuit, two grand-jury investigations and a shameless media circus. Jackson, in turn, filed charges of extortion against some of his accusers. Ultimately, the suit was settled out of court for a sum that has been estimated at $20 million; no criminal charges were brought against Jackson by the police or the grand juries. This past August, Jackson was in the news again, when Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’s daughter, announced that she and the singer had married.

    As the dust settles on one of the nation’s worst episodes of media excess, one thing is clear: The American public has never heard a defense of Michael Jackson. Until now.

    It is, of course, impossible to prove a negative — that is, prove that something didn’t happen. But it is possible to take an in-depth look at the people who made the allegations against Jackson and thus gain insight into their character and motives. What emerges from such an examination, based on court documents, business records and scores of interviews, is a persuasive argument that Jackson molested no one and that he himself may have been the victim of a well-conceived plan to extract money from him.

    More than that, the story that arises from this previously unexplored territory is radically different from the tale that has been promoted by tabloid and even mainstream journalists. It is a story of greed, ambition, misconceptions on the part of police and prosecutors, a lazy and sensation-seeking media and the use of a powerful, hypnotic drug. It may also be a story about how a case was simply invented.

    Neither Michael Jackson nor his current defense attorneys agreed to be interviewed for this article. Had they decided to fight the civil charges and go to trial, what follows might have served as the core of Jackson’s defense — as well as the basis to further the extortion charges against his own accusers, which could well have exonerated the singer.

    Jackson’s troubles began when his van broke down on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles in May 1992. Stranded in the middle of the heavily trafficked street, Jackson was spotted by the wife of Mel Green, an employee at Rent-a-Wreck, an offbeat car-rental agency a mile away. Green went to the rescue. When Dave Schwartz, the owner of the car-rental company, heard Green was bringing Jackson to the lot, he called his wife, June, and told her to come over with their 6-year-old daughter and her son from her previous marriage. The boy, then 12, was a big Jackson fan. Upon arriving, June Chandler Schwartz told Jackson about the time her son had sent him a drawing after the singer’s hair caught on fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. Then she gave Jackson their home number.

    "It was almost like she was forcing [the boy] on him," Green recalls. "I think Michael thought he owed the boy something, and that’s when it all started."

    Certain facts about the relationship are not in dispute. Jackson began calling the boy, and a friendship developed. After Jackson returned from a promotional tour, three months later, June Chandler Schwartz and her son and daughter became regular guests at Neverland, Jackson’s ranch in Santa Barbara County. During the following year, Jackson showered the boy and his family with attention and gifts, including video games, watches, an after-hours shopping spree at Toys "R" Us and trips around the world — from Las Vegas and Disney World to Monaco and Paris.

    By March 1993, Jackson and the boy were together frequently and the sleepovers began. June Chandler Schwartz had also become close to Jackson "and liked him enormously," one friend says. "He was the kindest man she had ever met."

    Jackson’s personal eccentricities — from his attempts to remake his face through plastic surgery to his preference for the company of children — have been widely reported. And while it may be unusual for a 35-year-old man to have sleepovers with a 13-year-old child, the boy’s mother and others close to Jackson never thought it odd. Jackson’s behavior is better understood once it’s put in the context of his own childhood.

    "Contrary to what you might think, Michael’s life hasn’t been a walk in the park," one of his attorneys says. Jackson’s childhood essentially stopped — and his unorthodox life began — when he was 5 years old and living in Gary, Indiana. Michael spent his youth in rehearsal studios, on stages performing before millions of strangers and sleeping in an endless string of hotel rooms. Except for his eight brothers and sisters, Jackson was surrounded by adults who pushed him relentlessly, particularly his father, Joe Jackson — a strict, unaffectionate man who reportedly beat his children.

    Jackson’s early experiences translated into a kind of arrested development, many say, and he became a child in a man’s body. "He never had a childhood," says Bert Fields, a former attorney of Jackson’s. "He is having one now. His buddies are 12-year-old kids. They have pillow fights and food fights." Jackson’s interest in children also translated into humanitarian efforts. Over the years, he has given millions to causes benefiting children, including his own Heal The World Foundation.

    But there is another context — the one having to do with the times in which we live — in which most observers would evaluate Jackson’s behavior. "Given the current confusion and hysteria over child sexual abuse," says Dr. Phillip Resnick, a noted Cleveland psychiatrist, "any physical or nurturing contact with a child may be seen as suspicious, and the adult could well be accused of sexual misconduct."

    Jackson’s involvement with the boy was welcomed, at first, by all the adults in the youth’s life — his mother, his stepfather and even his biological father, Evan Chandler (who also declined to be interviewed for this article). Born Evan Robert Charmatz in the Bronx in 1944, Chandler had reluctantly followed in the footsteps of his father and brothers and become a dentist. "He hated being a dentist," a family friend says. "He always wanted to be a writer." After moving in 1973 to West Palm Beach to practice dentistry, he changed his last name, believing Charmatz was "too Jewish-sounding," says a former colleague. Hoping somehow to become a screenwriter, Chandler moved to Los Angeles in the late Seventies with his wife, June Wong, an attractive Eurasian who had worked briefly as a model.

    Chandler’s dental career had its precarious moments. In December 1978, while working at the Crenshaw Family Dental Center, a clinic in a low-income area of L.A., Chandler did restoration work on sixteen of a patient’s teeth during a single visit. An examination of the work, the Board of Dental Examiners concluded, revealed "gross ignorance and/or inefficiency" in his profession. The board revoked his license; however, the revocation was stayed, and the board instead suspended him for ninety days and placed him on probation for two and a half years. Devastated, Chandler left town for New York. He wrote a film script but couldn’t sell it.

    Months later, Chandler returned to L.A. with his wife and held a series of dentistry jobs. By 1980, when their son was born, the couple’s marriage was in trouble. "One of the reasons June left Evan was because of his temper," a family friend says. They divorced in 1985. The court awarded sole custody of the boy to his mother and ordered Chandler to pay $500 a month in child support, but a review of documents reveals that in 1993, when the Jackson scandal broke, Chandler owed his ex-wife $68,000 — a debt she ultimately forgave.

    A year before Jackson came into his son’s life, Chandler had a second serious professional problem. One of his patients, a model, sued him for dental negligence after he did restoration work on some of her teeth. Chandler claimed that the woman had signed a consent form in which she’d acknowledged the risks involved. But when Edwin Zinman, her attorney, asked to see the original records, Chandler said they had been stolen from the trunk of his Jaguar. He provided a duplicate set. Zinman, suspicious, was unable to verify the authenticity of the records. "What an extraordinary coincidence that they were stolen," Zinman says now. "That’s like saying ‘The dog ate my homework.’ " The suit was eventually settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

    Despite such setbacks, Chandler by then had a successful practice in Beverly Hills. And he got his first break in Hollywood in 1992, when he co-wrote the Mel Brooks film "Robin Hood: Men in Tights". Until Michael Jackson entered his son’s life, Chandler hadn’t shown all that much interest in the boy. "He kept promising to buy him a computer so they could work on scripts together, but he never did," says Michael Freeman, formerly an attorney for June Chandler Schwartz. Chandler’s dental practice kept him busy, and he had started a new family by then, with two small children by his second wife, a corporate attorney.

    At first, Chandler welcomed and encouraged his son’s relationship with Michael Jackson, bragging about it to friends and associates. When Jackson and the boy stayed with Chandler during May 1993, Chandler urged the entertainer to spend more time with his son at his house. According to sources, Chandler even suggested that Jackson build an addition onto the house so the singer could stay there. After calling the zoning department and discovering it couldn’t be done, Chandler made another suggestion — that Jackson just build him a new home.

    That same month, the boy, his mother and Jackson flew to Monaco for the World Music Awards. "Evan began to get jealous of the involvement and felt left out," Freeman says. Upon their return, Jackson and the boy again stayed with Chandler, which pleased him — a five-day visit, during which they slept in a room with the youth’s half brother. Though Chandler has admitted that Jackson and the boy always had their clothes on whenever he saw them in bed together, he claimed that it was during this time that his suspicions of sexual misconduct were triggered. At no time has Chandler claimed to have witnessed any sexual misconduct on Jackson’s part.

    Chandler became increasingly volatile, making threats that alienated Jackson, Dave Schwartz and June Chandler Schwartz. In early July 1993, Dave Schwartz, who had been friendly with Chandler, secretly tape-recorded a lengthy telephone conversation he had with him. During the conversation, Chandler talked of his concern for his son and his anger at Jackson and at his ex-wife, whom he described as "cold and heartless." When Chandler tried to "get her attention" to discuss his suspicions about Jackson, he says on the tape, she told him "Go  yourself."

    "I had a good communication with Michael," Chandler told Schwartz. "We were friends. I liked him and I respected him and everything else for what he is. There was no reason why he had to stop calling me. I sat in the room one day and talked to Michael and told him exactly what I want out of this whole relationship. What I want."

    Admitting to Schwartz that he had "been rehearsed" about what to say and what not to say, Chandler never mentioned money during their conversation. When Schwartz asked what Jackson had done that made Chandler so upset, Chandler alleged only that "he broke up the family. [The boy] has been seduced by this guy’s power and money." Both men repeatedly berated themselves as poor fathers to the boy.

    Elsewhere on the tape, Chandler indicated he was prepared to move against Jackson: "It’s already set," Chandler told Schwartz. "There are other people involved that are waiting for my phone call that are in certain positions. I’ve paid them to do it. Every thing’s going according to a certain plan that isn’t just mine. Once I make that phone call, this guy [his attorney, Barry K. Rothman, presumably] is going to destroy everybody in sight in any devious, nasty, cruel way that he can do it. And I’ve given him full authority to do that."

    Chandler then predicted what would, in fact, transpire six weeks later: "And if I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I’ve checked that inside out. I will get everything I want, and they will be destroyed forever. June will lose [custody of the son]...and Michael’s career will be over."

    "Does that help [the boy]?" Schwartz asked.

    "That’s irrelevant to me," Chandler replied. "It’s going to be bigger than all of us put together. The whole thing is going to crash down on everybody and destroy everybody in sight. It will be a massacre if I don’t get what I want."

    Instead of going to the police, seemingly the most appropriate action in a situation involving suspected child molestation, Chandler had turned to a lawyer. And not just any lawyer. He’d turned to Barry Rothman.

    "This attorney I found, I picked the nastiest son of a  I could find," Chandler said in the recorded conversation with Schwartz. "All he wants to do is get this out in the public as fast as he can, as big as he can, and humiliate as many people as he can. He’s nasty, he’s mean, he’s very smart, and he’s hungry for the publicity." (Through his attorney, Wylie Aitken, Rothman declined to be interviewed for this article. Aitken agreed to answer general questions limited to the Jackson case, and then only about aspects that did not involve Chandler or the boy.)

    To know Rothman, says a former colleague who worked with him during the Jackson case, and who kept a diary of what Rothman and Chandler said and did in Rothman’s office, is to believe that Barry could have "devised this whole plan, period. This [making allegations against Michael Jackson] is within the boundary of his character, to do something like this." Information supplied by Rothman’s former clients, associates and employees reveals a pattern of manipulation and deceit.

    Rothman has a general-law practice in Century City. At one time, he negotiated music and concert deals for Little Richard, the Rolling Stones, the Who, ELO and Ozzy Osbourne. Gold and platinum records commemorating those days still hang on the walls of his office. With his grayish-white beard and perpetual tan — which he maintains in a tanning bed at his house — Rothman reminds a former client of "a leprechaun." To a former employee, Rothman is "a demon" with "a terrible temper." His most cherished possession, acquaintances say, is his 1977 Rolls-Royce Corniche, which carries the license plate "BKR 1."

    Over the years, Rothman has made so many enemies that his ex-wife once expressed, to her attorney, surprise that someone "hadn’t done him in." He has a reputation for stiffing people. "He appears to be a professional deadbeat... He pays almost no one," investigator Ed Marcus concluded (in a report filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, as part of a lawsuit against Rothman), after reviewing the attorney’s credit profile, which listed more than thirty creditors and judgment holders who were chasing him. In addition, more than twenty civil lawsuits involving Rothman have been filed in Superior Court, several complaints have been made to the Labor Commission and disciplinary actions for three incidents have been taken against him by the state bar of California. In 1992, he was suspended for a year, though that suspension was stayed and he was instead placed on probation for the term.

    In 1987, Rothman was $16,800 behind in alimony and child-support payments. Through her attorney, his ex-wife, Joanne Ward, threatened to attach Rothman’s assets, but he agreed to make good on the debt. A year later, after Rothman still hadn’t made the payments, Ward’s attorney tried to put a lien on Rothman’s expensive Sherman Oaks home. To their surprise, Rothman said he no longer owned the house; three years earlier, he’d deeded the property to Tinoa Operations, Inc., a Panamanian shell corporation. According to Ward’s lawyer, Rothman claimed that he’d had $200,000 of Tinoa’s money, in cash, at his house one night when he was robbed at gunpoint. The only way he could make good on the loss was to deed his home to Tinoa, he told them. Ward and her attorney suspected the whole scenario was a ruse, but they could never prove it. It was only after sheriff’s deputies had towed away Rothman’s Rolls Royce that he began paying what he owed.

    Documents filed with Los Angeles Superior Court seem to confirm the suspicions of Ward and her attorney. These show that Rothman created an elaborate LAST WARNING! of foreign bank accounts and shell companies, seemingly to conceal some of his assets — in particular, his home and much of the $531,000 proceeds from its eventual sale, in 1989. The companies, including Tinoa, can be traced to Rothman. He bought a Panamanian shelf company (an existing but nonoperating firm) and arranged matters so that though his name would not appear on the list of its officers, he would have unconditional power of attorney, in effect leaving him in control of moving money in and out.

    Meanwhile, Rothman’s employees didn’t fare much better than his ex-wife. Former employees say they sometimes had to beg for their paychecks. And sometimes the checks that they did get would bounce. He couldn’t keep legal secretaries. "He’d demean and humiliate them," says one. Temporary workers fared the worst. "He would work them for two weeks," adds the legal secretary, "then run them off by yelling at them and saying they were stupid. Then he’d tell the agency he was dissatisfied with the temp and wouldn’t pay." Some agencies finally got wise and made Rothman pay cash up front before they’d do business with him.

    The state bar’s 1992 disciplining of Rothman grew out of a conflict-of-interest matter. A year earlier, Rothman had been kicked off a case by a client, Muriel Metcalf, whom he’d been representing in child-support and custody proceedings; Metcalf later accused him of padding her bill. Four months after Metcalf fired him, Rothman, without notifying her, began representing the company of her estranged companion, Bob Brutzman.

    The case is revealing for another reason: It shows that Rothman had some experience dealing with child-molestation allegations before the Jackson scandal. Metcalf, while Rothman was still representing her, had accused Brutzman of molesting their child (which Brutzman denied). Rothman’s knowledge of Metcalf’s charges didn’t prevent him from going to work for Brutzman’s company — a move for which he was disciplined.

    By 1992, Rothman was running from numerous creditors. Folb Management, a corporate real-estate agency, was one. Rothman owed the company $53,000 in back rent and interest for an office on Sunset Boulevard. Folb sued. Rothman then countersued, claiming that the building’s security was so inadequate that burglars were able to steal more than $6,900 worth of equipment from his office one night. In the course of the proceedings, Folb’s lawyer told the court, "Mr. Rothman is not the kind of person whose word can be taken at face value."

    In November 1992, Rothman had his law firm file for bankruptcy, listing thirteen creditors — including Folb Management — with debts totaling $880,000 and no acknowledged assets. After reviewing the bankruptcy papers, an ex-client whom Rothman was suing for $400,000 in legal fees noticed that Rothman had failed to list a $133,000 asset. The former client threatened to expose Rothman for "defrauding his creditors" — a felony — if he didn’t drop the lawsuit. Cornered, Rothman had the suit dismissed in a matter of hours.

    Six months before filing for bankruptcy, Rothman had transferred title on his Rolls-Royce to Majo, a fictitious company he controlled. Three years earlier, Rothman had claimed a different corporate owner for the car — Longridge Estates, a subsidiary of Tinoa Operations, the company that held the deed to his home. On corporation papers filed by Rothman, the addresses listed for Longridge and Tinoa were the same, 1554 Cahuenga Boulevard — which, as it turns out, is that of a Chinese restaurant in Hollywood.

    It was with this man, in June 1993, that Evan Chandler began carrying out the "certain plan" to which he referred in his taped conversation with Dave Schwartz. At a graduation that month, Chandler confronted his ex-wife with his suspicions. "She thought the whole thing was baloney," says her ex-attorney, Michael Freeman. She told Chandler that she planned to take their son out of school in the fall so they could accompany Jackson on his "Dangerous" world tour. Chandler became irate and, say several sources, threatened to go public with the evidence he claimed he had on Jackson. "What parent in his right mind would want to drag his child into the public spotlight?" asks Freeman. "If something like this actually occurred, you’d want to protect your child."

    Jackson asked his then-lawyer, Bert Fields, to intervene. One of the most prominent attorneys in the entertainment industry, Fields has been representing Jackson since 1990 and had negotiated for him, with Sony, the biggest music deal ever — with possible earnings of $700 million. Fields brought in investigator Anthony Pellicano to help sort things out. Pellicano does things Sicilian-style, being fiercely loyal to those he likes but a ruthless hardball player when it comes to his enemies.

    On July 9, 1993, Dave Schwartz and June Chandler Schwartz played the taped conversation for Pellicano. "After listening to the tape for ten minutes, I knew it was about extortion," says Pellicano. That same day, he drove to Jackson’s Century City condominium, where Chandler’s son and the boy’s half-sister were visiting. Without Jackson there, Pellicano "made eye contact" with the boy and asked him, he says, "very pointed questions": "Has Michael ever touched you? Have you ever seen him naked in bed?" The answer to all the questions was no. The boy repeatedly denied that anything bad had happened. On July 11, after Jackson had declined to meet with Chandler, the boy’s father and Rothman went ahead with another part of the plan — they needed to get custody of the boy. Chandler asked his ex-wife to let the youth stay with him for a "one-week visitation period." As Bert Fields later said in an affidavit to the court, June Chandler Schwartz allowed the boy to go based on Rothman’s assurance to Fields that her son would come back to her after the specified time, never guessing that Rothman’s word would be worthless and that Chandler would not return their son.

    Wylie Aitken, Rothman’s attorney, claims that "at the time [Rothman] gave his word, it was his intention to have the boy returned."However, once "he learned that the boy would be whisked out of the country [to go on tour with Jackson], I don’t think Mr. Rothman had any other choice." But the chronology clearly indicates that Chandler had learned in June, at the graduation, that the boy’s mother planned to take her son on the tour. The taped telephone conversation made in early July, before Chandler took custody of his son, also seems to verify that Chandler and Rothman had no intention of abiding by the visitation agreement. "They [the boy and his mother] don’t know it yet," Chandler told Schwartz, "but they aren’t going anywhere."

    On July 12, one day after Chandler took control of his son, he had his ex-wife sign a document prepared by Rothman that prevented her from taking the youth out of Los Angeles County. This meant the boy would be unable to accompany Jackson on the tour. His mother told the court she signed the document under duress. Chandler, she said in an affidavit, had threatened that "I would not have [the boy] returned to me." A bitter custody battle ensued, making even murkier any charges Chandler made about wrong-doing on Jackson’s part. (As of this August [1994], the boy was still living with Chandler.) It was during the first few weeks after Chandler took control of his son — who was now isolated from his friends, mother and stepfather — that the boy’s allegations began to take shape.

    At the same time, Rothman, seeking an expert’s opinion to help establish the allegations against Jackson, called Dr. Mathis Abrams, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist. Over the telephone, Rothman presented Abrams with a hypothetical situation. In reply and without having met either Chandler or his son, Abrams on July 15 sent Rothman a two-page letter in which he stated that "reasonable suspicion would exist that sexual abuse may have occurred." Importantly, he also stated that if this were a real and not a hypothetical case, he would be required by law to report the matter to the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services (DCS).

    According to a July 27 entry in the diary kept by Rothman’s former colleague, it’s clear that Rothman was guiding Chandler in the plan. "Rothman wrote letter to Chandler advising him how to report child abuse without liability to parent," the entry reads.

    At this point, there still had been made no demands or formal accusations, only veiled assertions that had become intertwined with a fierce custody battle. On August 4, 1993, however, things became very clear. Chandler and his son met with Jackson and Pellicano in a suite at the Westwood Marquis Hotel. On seeing Jackson, says Pellicano, Chandler gave the singer an affectionate hug (a gesture, some say, that would seem to belie the dentist’s suspicions that Jackson had molested his son), then reached into his pocket, pulled out Abrams’s letter and began reading passages from it. When Chandler got to the parts about child molestation, the boy, says Pellicano, put his head down and then looked up at Jackson with a surprised expression, as if to say "I didn’t say that." As the meeting broke up, Chandler pointed his finger at Jackson, says Pellicano, and warned "I’m going to ruin you."

    At a meeting with Pellicano in Rothman’s office later that evening, Chandler and Rothman made their demand – $20 million.

    On August 13, there was another meeting in Rothman’s office. Pellicano came back with a counteroffer — a $350,000 screenwriting deal. Pellicano says he made the offer as a way to resolve the custody dispute and give Chandler an opportunity to spend more time with his son by working on a screenplay together. Chandler rejected the offer. Rothman made a counterdemand — a deal for three screenplays or nothing — which was spurned. In the diary of Rothman’s ex-colleague, an August 24 entry reveals Chandler’s disappointment: "I almost had a $20 million deal," he was overhear telling Rothman.

    Before Chandler took control of his son, the only one making allegations against Jackson was Chandler himself — the boy had never accused the singer of any wrongdoing. That changed one day in Chandler’s Beverly Hills dental office.

    In the presence of Chandler and Mark Torbiner, a dental anesthesiologist, the boy was administered the controversial drug sodium Amytal — which some mistakenly believe is a truth serum. And it was after this session that the boy first made his charges against Jackson. A newsman at KCBS-TV, in L.A., reported on May 3 of this year that Chandler had used the drug on his son, but the dentist claimed he did so only to pull his son’s tooth and that while under the drug’s influence, the boy came out with allegations. Asked for this article about his use of the drug on the boy, Torbiner replied: "If I used it, it was for dental purposes."

    Given the facts about sodium Amytal and a recent landmark case that involved the drug, the boy’s allegations, say several medical experts, must be viewed as unreliable, if not highly questionable.

    "It’s a psychiatric medication that cannot be relied on to produce fact," says Dr. Resnick, the Cleveland psychiatrist. "People are very suggestible under it. People will say things under sodium Amytal that are blatantly untrue." Sodium Amytal is a barbiturate, an invasive drug that puts people in a hypnotic state when it’s injected intravenously. Primarily administered for the treatment of amnesia, it first came into use during World War II, on soldiers traumatized — some into catatonic states — by the horrors of war. Scientific studies done in 1952 debunked the drug as a truth serum and instead demonstrated its risks: False memories can be easily implanted in those under its influence. "It is quite possible to implant an idea through the mere asking of a question," says Resnick. But its effects are apparently even more insidious: "The idea can become their memory, and studies have shown that even when you tell them the truth, they will swear on a stack of Bibles that it happened," says Resnick.

    Recently, the reliability of the drug became an issue in a high-profile trial in Napa County, California. After undergoing numerous therapy sessions, at least one of which included the use of sodium Amytal, 20-year-old Holly Ramona accused her father of molesting her as a child. Gary Ramona vehemently denied the charge and sued his daughter’s therapist and the psychiatrist who had administered the drug. This past May, jurors sided with Gary Ramona, believing that the therapist and the psychiatrist may have reinforced memories that were false. Gary Ramona’s was the first successful legal challenge to the so-called "repressed memory phenomenon" that has produced thousands of sexual-abuse allegations over the past decade.

    As for Chandler’s story about using the drug to sedate his son during a tooth extraction, that too seems dubious, in light of the drug’s customary use. "It’s absolutely a psychiatric drug," says Dr. Kenneth Gottlieb, a San Francisco psychiatrist who has administered sodium Amytal to amnesia patients. Dr. John Yagiela, the coordinator of the anesthesia and pain control department of UCLA’s school of dentistry, adds, "It’s unusual for it to be used [for pulling a tooth]. It makes no sense when better, safer alternatives are available. It would not be my choice."

    Because of sodium Amytal’s potential side effects, some doctors will administer it only in a hospital. "I would never want to use a drug that tampers with a person’s unconscious unless there was no other drug available," says Gottlieb. "And I would not use it without resuscitating equipment, in case of allergic reaction, and only with an M.D. anesthesiologist present."

    Chandler, it seems, did not follow these guidelines. He had the procedure performed on his son in his office, and he relied on the dental anesthesiologist Mark Torbiner for expertise. (It was Torbiner who’d introduced Chandler and Rothman in 1991, when Rothman needed dental work.)

    The nature of Torbiner’s practice appears to have made it highly successful. "He boasts that he has $100 a month overhead and $40,000 a month income," says Nylla Jones, a former patient of his. Torbiner doesn’t have an office for seeing patients; rather, he travels to various dental offices around the city, where he administers anesthesia during procedures.

    This magazine has learned that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is probing another aspect of Torbiner’s business practices: He makes housecalls to administer drugs — mostly morphine and Demerol — not only postoperatively to his dental patients but also, it seems, to those suffering pain whose source has nothing to do with dental work. He arrives at the homes of his clients — some of them celebrities — carrying a kind of fishing-tackle box that contains drugs and syringes. At one time, the license plate on his Jaguar read "SLPYDOC." According to Jones, Torbiner charges $350 for a basic ten-to-twenty-minute visit. In what Jones describes as standard practice, when it’s unclear how long Torbiner will need to stay, the client, anticipating the stupor that will soon set in, leaves a blank check for Torbiner to fill in with the appropriate amount.

    Torbiner wasn’t always successful. In 1989, he got caught in a lie and was asked to resign from UCLA, where he was an assistant professor at the school of dentistry. Torbiner had asked to take a half-day off so he could observe a religious holiday but was later found to have worked at a dental office instead.

    A check of Torbiner’s credentials with the Board of Dental Examiners indicates that he is restricted by law to administering drugs solely for dental-related procedures. But there is clear evidence that he has not abided by those restrictions. In fact, on at least eight occasions, Torbiner has given a general anesthetic to Barry Rothman, during hair-transplant procedures. Though normally a local anesthetic would be injected into the scalp, "Barry is so afraid of the pain," says Dr. James De Yarman, the San Diego physician who performed Rothman’s transplants, "that [he] wanted to be put out completely." De Yarman said he was "amazed" to learn that Torbiner is a dentist, having assumed all along that he was an M.D.

    In another instance, Torbiner came to the home of Nylla Jones, she says, and injected her with Demerol to help dull the pain that followed her appendectomy.

    On August 16, three days after Chandler and Rothman rejected the $350,000 script deal, the situation came to a head. On behalf of June Chandler Schwartz, Michael Freeman notified Rothman that he would be filing papers early the next morning that would force Chandler to turn over the boy. Reacting quickly, Chandler took his son to Mathis Abrams, the psychiatrist who’d provided Rothman with his assessment of the hypothetical child-abuse situation. During a three-hour session, the boy alleged that Jackson had engaged in a sexual relationship with him. He talked of masturbation, kissing, fondling of nipples and oral sex. There was, however, no mention of actual penetration, which might have been verified by a medical exam, thus providing corroborating evidence.

    The next step was inevitable. Abrams, who is required by law to report any such accusation to authorities, called a social worker at the Department of Children’s Services, who in turn contacted the police. The full-scale investigation of Michael Jackson was about to begin.

    Five days after Abrams called the authorities, the media got wind of the investigation. On Sunday morning, August 22, Don Ray, a free-lance reporter in Burbank, was asleep when his phone rang. The caller, one of his tipsters, said that warrants had been issued to search Jackson’s ranch and condominium. Ray sold the story to L.A.’s KNBC-TV, which broke the news at 4 P.M. the following day.

    After that, Ray "watched this story go away like a freight train," he says. Within twenty-four hours, Jackson was the lead story on seventy-three TV news broadcasts in the Los Angeles area alone and was on the front page of every British newspaper. The story of Michael Jackson and the 13-year-old boy became a frenzy of hype and unsubstantiated rumor, with the line between tabloid and mainstream media virtually eliminated.

    The extent of the allegations against Jackson wasn’t known until August 25. A person inside the DCS illegally leaked a copy of the abuse report to Diane Dimond of Hard Copy. Within hours, the L.A. office of a British news service also got the report and began selling copies to any reporter willing to pay $750. The following day, the world knew about the graphic details in the leaked report. "While laying next to each other in bed, Mr. Jackson put his hand under [the child's] shorts," the social worker had written. From there, the coverage soon demonstrated that anything about Jackson would be fair game.

    "Competition among news organizations became so fierce," says KNBC reporter Conan Nolan, that "stories weren’t being checked out. It was very unfortunate." The National Enquirer put twenty reporters and editors on the story. One team knocked on 500 doors in Brentwood trying to find Evan Chandler and his son. Using property records, they finally did, catching up with Chandler in his black Mercedes. "He was not a happy man. But I was," said Andy O’Brien, a tabloid photographer.

    Next came the accusers — Jackson’s former employees. First, Stella and Philippe Lemarque, Jackson’ ex-housekeepers, tried to sell their story to the tabloids with the help of broker Paul Barresi, a former porn star. They asked for as much as half a million dollars but wound up selling an interview to The Globe of Britain for $15,000. The Quindoys, a Filipino couple who had worked at Neverland, followed. When their asking price was $100,000, they said " ‘the hand was outside the kid’s pants,’ " Barresi told a producer of Frontline, a PBS program. "As soon as their price went up to $500,000, the hand went inside the pants. So come on." The L.A. district attorney’s office eventually concluded that both couples were useless as witnesses.

    Next came the bodyguards. Purporting to take the journalistic high road, Hard Copy’s Diane Dimond told Frontline in early November of last year that her program was "pristinely clean on this. We paid no money for this story at all." But two weeks later, as a Hard Copy contract reveals, the show was negotiating a $100,000 payment to five former Jackson security guards who were planning to file a $10 million lawsuit alleging wrongful termination of their jobs.

    On December 1, with the deal in place, two of the guards appeared on the program; they had been fired, Dimond told viewers, because "they knew too much about Michael Jackson’s strange relationship with young boys." In reality, as their depositions under oath three months later reveal, it was clear they had never actually seen Jackson do anything improper with Chandler’s son or any other child:

    "So you don’t know anything about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?" one of Jackson’s attorneys asked former security guard Morris Williams under oath. "All I know is from the sworn documents that other people have sworn to."

    "But other than what someone else may have said, you have no firsthand knowledge about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?"

    "That’s correct."

    "Have you spoken to a child who has ever told you that Mr. Jackson did anything improper with the child?"


    When asked by Jackson’s attorney where he had gotten his impressions, Williams replied: "Just what I’ve been hearing in the media and what I’ve experienced with my own eyes."

    "Okay. That’s the point. You experienced nothing with your own eyes,
    did you?"

    "That’s right, nothing."

    (The guards’ lawsuit, filed in March 1994, was still pending as this article went to press.)

    [NOTE: The case was thrown out of court in July 1995. Read the details

    Next came the maid. On December 15, Hard Copy presented "The Bedroom Maid’s Painful Secret." Blanca Francia told Dimond and other reporters that she had seen a naked Jackson taking showers and Jacuzzi baths with young boys. She also told Dimond that she had witnessed her own son in compromising positions with Jackson — an allegation that the grand juries apparently never found credible.

    A copy of Francia’s sworn testimony reveals that Hard Copy paid her $20,000, and had Dimond checked out the woman’s claims, she would have found them to be false. Under deposition by a Jackson attorney, Francia admitted she had never actually see Jackson shower with anyone nor had she seen him naked with boys in his Jacuzzi. They always had
    their swimming trunks on, she acknowledged.

    The coverage, says Michael Levine, a Jackson press representative, "followed a proctologist’s view of the world. Hard Copy was loathsome. The vicious and vile treatment of this man in the media was for selfish reasons. [Even] if you have never bought a Michael Jackson record in your life, you should be very concerned. Society is built on very few pillars. One of them is truth. When you abandon that, it’s a slippery slope."

    The investigation of Jackson, which by October 1993 would grow to involve at least twelve detectives from Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, was instigated in part by the perceptions of one psychiatrist, Mathis Abrams, who had no particular expertise in child sexual abuse. Abrams, the DCS caseworker’s report noted, "feels the child is telling the truth." In an era of widespread and often false claims of child molestation, police and prosecutors have come to give great weight to the testimony of psychiatrists, therapists and social workers.

    Police seized Jackson’s telephone books during the raid on his residences in August and questioned close to thirty children and their families. Some, such as Brett Barnes and Wade Robson, said they had shared Jackson’s bed, but like all the others, they gave the same response — Jackson had done nothing wrong. "The evidence was very good for us," says an attorney who worked on Jackson’s defense. "The other side had nothing but a big mouth."

    Despite the scant evidence supporting their belief that Jackson was guilty, the police stepped up their efforts. Two officers flew to the Philippines to try to nail down the Quindoys’ "hand in the pants" story, but apparently decided it lacked credibility. The police also employed aggressive investigative techniques — including allegedly telling lies — to push the children into making accusations against Jackson. According to several parents who complained to Bert Fields, officers told them unequivocally that their children had been molested, even though the children denied to their parents that anything bad had happened. The police, Fields complained in a letter to Los Angeles Police Chief Willie Williams, "have also frightened youngsters with outrageous lies, such as ‘We have nude photos of you.’ There are, of course, no such photos." One officer, Federico Sicard, told attorney Michael Freeman that he had lied to the children he’d interviewed and told them that he himself had been molested as a child, says Freeman. Sicard did not respond to requests for an interview for this article.

    All along, June Chandler Schwartz rejected the charges Chandler was making against Jackson — until a meeting with police in late August 1993. Officers Sicard and Rosibel Ferrufino made a statement that began to change her mind. "[The officers] admitted they only had one boy," says Freeman, who attended the meeting, "but they said, ‘We’re convinced Michael Jackson molested this boy because he fits the classic profile of a pedophile perfectly.’ "

    "There’s no such thing as a classic profile. They made a completely foolish and illogical error," says Dr. Ralph Underwager, a Minneapolis psychiatrist who has treated pedophiles and victims of incest since 1953. Jackson, he believes, "got nailed" because of "misconceptions like these that have been allowed to parade as fact in an era of hysteria." In truth, as a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study shows, many child-abuse allegations — 48 percent of those filed in 1990 — proved to be unfounded.

    "It was just a matter of time before someone like Jackson became a target," says Phillip Resnick. "He’s rich, bizarre, hangs around with kids and there is a fragility to him. The atmosphere is such that an accusation must mean it happened."

    The seeds of settlement were already being sown as the police investigation continued in both counties through the fall of 1993. And a behind-the-scenes battle among Jackson’s lawyers for control of the case, which would ultimately alter the course the defense would take, had begun.

    By then, June Chandler Schwartz and Dave Schwartz had united with Evan Chandler against Jackson. The boy’s mother, say several sources, feared what Chandler and Rothman might do if she didn’t side with them. She worried that they would try to advance a charge against her of parental neglect for allowing her son to have sleepovers with Jackson. Her attorney, Michael Freeman, in turn, resigned in disgust, saying later that "the whole thing was such a mess. I felt uncomfortable with Evan. He isn’t a genuine person, and I sensed he wasn’t playing things straight."

    Over the months, lawyers for both sides were retained, demoted and ousted as they feuded over the best strategy to take. Rothman ceased being Chandler’s lawyer in late August, when the Jackson camp filed extortion charges against the two. Both then hired high-priced criminal defense attorneys to represent them.. (Rothman retained Robert Shapiro, now O.J. Simpson’s chief lawyer.) According to the diary kept by Rothman’s former colleague, on August 26, before the extortion charges were filed, Chandler was heard to say "It’s my ass that’s on the line and in danger of going to prison." The investigation into the extortion charges was superficial because, says a source, "the police never took it that seriously. But a whole lot more could have been done." For example, as they had done with Jackson, the police could have sought warrants to search the homes and offices of Rothman and Chandler. And when both men, through their attorneys, declined to be interviewed by police, a grand jury could have been convened.

    In mid-September, Larry Feldman, a civil attorney who’d served as head of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association, began representing Chandler’s son and immediately took control of the situation. He filed a $30 million civil lawsuit against Jackson, which would prove to be the beginning of the end.

    Once news of the suit spread, the wolves began lining up at the door. According to a member of Jackson’s legal team, "Feldman got dozens of letters from all kinds of people saying they’d been molested by Jackson. They went through all of them trying to find somebody, and they found zero."

    With the possibility of criminal charges against Jackson now looming, Bert Fields brought in Howard Weitzman, a well-known criminal-defense lawyer with a string of high-profile clients — including John DeLorean, whose trail he won, and Kim Basinger, whose Boxing Helena contract dispute he lost. (Also, for a short time this June, Weitzman was O.J. Simpson’s attorney.) Some predicted a problem between the two lawyers early on. There wasn’t room for two strong attorneys used to running their own show.

    From the day Weitzman joined Jackson’s defense team, "he was talking settlement," says Bonnie Ezkenazi, an attorney who worked for the defense. With Fields and Pellicano still in control of Jackson’s defense, they adopted an aggressive strategy. They believed staunchly in Jackson’s innocence and vowed to fight the charges in court. Pellicano began gathering evidence to use in the trial, which was scheduled for March 21, 1994. "They had a very weak case," says Fields. "We wanted to fight. Michael wanted to fight and go through a trial. We felt we could win."

    Dissension within the Jackson camp accelerated on November 12, after Jackson’s publicist announced at a press conference that the singer was canceling the remainder of his world tour to go into adrug-rehabilitation program to treat his addiction to painkillers. Fields later told reporters that Jackson was "barely able to function adequately on an intellectual level." Others in Jackson’s camp felt it was a mistake to portray the singer as incompetent. "It was important," Fields says, "to tell the truth. [Larry] Feldman and the press took the position that Michael was trying to hide and that it was all a scam. But it wasn’t."

    On November 23, the friction peaked. Based on information he says he got from Weitzman, Fields told a courtroom full of reporters that a criminal indictment against Jackson seemed imminent. Fields had a reason for making the statement: He was trying to delay the boy’s civil suit by establishing that there was an impending criminal case that should be tried first. Outside the courtroom, reporters asked why Fields had made the announcement, to which Weitzman replied essentially that Fields "misspoke himself." The comment infuriated Fields, "because it wasn’t true," he says. "It was just an outrage. I was very upset with Howard." Fields sent a letter of resignation to Jackson the following week.

    "There was this vast group of people all wanting to do a different thing, and it was like moving through molasses to get a decision," says Fields. "It was a nightmare, and I wanted to get the hell out of it." Pellicano, who had received his share of flak for his aggressive manner, resigned at the same time.

    With Fields and Pellicano gone, Weitzman brought in Johnnie Cochran Jr., a well-known civil attorney who is now helping defend O.J. Simpson. And John Branca, whom Fields had replaced as Jackson’s general counsel in 1990, was back on board. In late 1993, as DAs in both Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties convened grand juries to assess whether criminal charges should be filed against Jackson, the defense strategy changed course and talk of settling the civil case began in earnest, even though his new team also believed in Jackson’s innocence.

    Why would Jackson’s side agree to settle out of court, given his claims of innocence and the questionable evidence against him? His attorneys apparently decided there were many factors that argued against taking the case to civil court. Among them was the fact that Jackson’s emotional fragility would be tested by the oppressive media coverage that would likely plague the singer day after day during a trial that could last as long as six months. Politics and racial issues had also seeped into legal proceedings — particularly in Los Angeles, which was still recovering from the Rodney King ordeal — and the defense feared that a court of law could not be counted on to deliver justice. Then, too, there was the jury mix to consider. As one attorney says, "They figured that Hispanics might resent [Jackson] for his money, blacks might resent him for trying to be white, and whites would have trouble getting around the molestation issue." In Resnick’s opinion, "The hysteria is so great and the stigma [of child molestation] is so strong, there is no defense against it."

    Jackson’s lawyers also worried about what might happen if a criminal trial followed, particularly in Santa Barbara, which is a largely white, conservative, middle-to-upper-class community. Any way the defense looked at it, a civil trial seemed too big a gamble. By meeting the terms of a civil settlement, sources say, the lawyers figured they could forestall a criminal trial through a tacit understanding that Chandler would agree to make his son unavailable to testify.

    Others close to the case say the decision to settle also probably had to do with another factor — the lawyers’ reputations. "Can you imagine what would happen to an attorney who lost the Michael Jackson case?" says Anthony Pellicano. "There’s no way for all three lawyers to come out winners unless they settle. The only person who lost is Michael Jackson." But Jackson, says Branca, "changed his mind about [taking the case to trial] when he returned to this country. He hadn’t seen the massive coverage and how hostile it was. He just wanted the whole thing to go away."

    On the other side, relationships among members of the boy’s family had become bitter. During a meeting in Larry Feldman’s office in late 1993, Chandler, a source says, "completely lost it and beat up Dave [Schwartz]." Schwartz, having separated from June by this time, was getting pushed out of making decisions that affected his stepson, and
    he resented Chandler for taking the boy and not returning him.

    "Dave got mad and told Evan this was all about extortion, anyway, at which point Evan stood up, walked over and started hitting Dave," a second source says.

    To anyone who lived in Los Angeles in January 1994, there were two main topics of discussion — the earthquake and the Jackson settlement. On January 25, Jackson agreed to pay the boy an undisclosed sum. The day before, Jackson’s attorneys had withdrawn the extortion charges against Chandler and Rothman.

    The actual amount of the settlement has never been revealed, although speculation has placed the sum around $20 million. One source says Chandler and June Chandler Schwartz received up to $2 million each, while attorney Feldman might have gotten up to 25 percent in contingency fees. The rest of the money is being held in trust for the boy and will be paid out under the supervision of a court-appointed trustee.

    "Remember, this case was always about money," Pellicano says, "and Evan Chandler wound up getting what he wanted." Since Chandler still has custody of his son, sources contend that logically this means the father has access to any money his son gets.

    By late May 1994, Chandler finally appeared to be out of dentistry. He’d closed down his Beverly Hills office, citing ongoing harassment from Jackson supporters. Under the terms of the settlement, Chandler is apparently prohibited from writing about the affair, but his
    brother, Ray Charmatz, was reportedly trying to get a book deal.

    In what may turn out to be the never-ending case, this past August, both Barry Rothman and Dave Schwartz (two principal players left out of the settlement) filed civil suits against Jackson. Schwartz maintains that the singer broke up his family. Rothman’s lawsuit claims defamation and slander on the part of Jackson, as well as his original defense team — Fields, Pellicano and Weitzman — for the allegations of extortion. "The charge of [extortion]," says Rothman attorney Aitken, "is totally untrue. Mr. Rothman has been held up for public ridicule, was the subject of a criminal investigation and suffered loss of income." (Presumably, some of Rothman’s lost income is the hefty fee he would have received had he been able to continue as Chandler’s attorney through the settlement phase.)

    As for Michael Jackson, "he is getting on with his life," says publicist Michael Levine. Now married, Jackson also recently recorded three new songs for a greatest-hits album and completed a new music video called "HIStory."

    And what became of the massive investigation of Jackson? After millions of dollars were spent by prosecutors and police departments in two jurisdictions, and after two grand juries questioned close to 200 witnesses, including 30 children who knew Jackson, not a single corroborating witness could be found. (In June 1994, still determined to find even one corroborating witness, three prosecutors and two police detectives flew to Australia to again question Wade Robson, the boy who had acknowledged that he’d slept in the same bed with Jackson. Once again, the boy said that nothing bad had happened.)

    The sole allegations leveled against Jackson, then, remain those made by one youth, and only after the boy had been give a potent hypnotic drug, leaving him susceptible to the power of suggestion.

    "I found the case suspicious," says Dr. Underwager, the Minneapolis psychiatrist, "precisely because the only evidence came from one boy. That would be highly unlikely. Actual pedophiles have an average of 240 victims in their lifetime. It’s a progressive disorder. They’re never satisfied."

    Given the slim evidence against Jackson, it seems unlikely he would have been found guilty had the case gone to trial. But in the court of public opinion, there are no restrictions. People are free to speculate as they wish, and Jackson’s eccentricity leaves him vulnerable to the likelihood that the public has assumed the worst about him.

    So is it possible that Jackson committed no crime — that he is what he has always purported to be, a protector and not a molester of children? Attorney Michael Freeman thinks so: "It’s my feeling that Jackson did nothing wrong and these people [Chandler and Rothman] saw an opportunity and programmed it. I believe it was all about money."

    To some observers, the Michael Jackson story illustrates the dangerous power of accusation, against which there is often no defense — particularly when the accusations involve child sexual abuse. To others, something else is clear now — that police and prosecutors spent millions of dollars to create a case whose foundation never existed.

    Mary A Fischer is a GQ senior writer based in Los Angeles.

    "Love the life you live. Live the life you love."- Bob Marley

    by sillycilla on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 04:37:18 PM PDT

  •  That linked transcript is not from testimony, (6+ / 0-)

    it's from a news interview.  Does anyone have direct and cross examination transcripts from the trial?  Otherwise, it's much closer to tabloid rumor. I would read the trial transcript before asserting what the child actually said on the stand. There is no conviction in this case and prosecutors work very hard to get them if there is evidence.      

    I don't automatically accept a child's testimony as true, anyway. I was coerced to testify against my mother several times (not for abuse) in a long custody battle when I was a child, and I was thoroughly brainwashed.  What I said on the stand was what my father trained me to say, not what was the truth.  He was a powerful "Christian" man and I had no idea at the time how to tell the truth. Kids are completely maleable and rarely independent enough to resist pressure from many kids of abusers, even their own families.  I am convinced that MJ was a narcissistic bore but I have no idea what his sexual urges were.  I am also convinced that most people around saw him as a bottomless source of money.

    "War is the calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings". Harry Patch, age 109, WWI veteran.

    by skwimmer on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 04:47:52 PM PDT

  •  I don't get why we have to feel one way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lilyvaldem, eXtina, johnva

    or the other.

    OJ Simpson was a brilliant running back. And probably a murderer.

    Michael Jackson was a brilliant entertainer and singer. And maybe a pedophile.

    Ronald Reagan was a great actor but a lousy president. Okay, maybe that one doesn't work. :)

    So why do I have to pick one or the other. I can acknowledge the flaws AND the brilliance. That does not mean I countenance the flaws or argue that the brilliance somehow overcomes them.

    I can celebrate Michael Jackson's -- or OJ's, for that matter, talent, but it doesn't mean I don't think either should have dodged prison.

    It doesn't mean I think either is a paragon of humanity. It just means I think they both had talents that the vast majority of us don't have.

    But I'm not going to say we shouldn't speak ill of someone just because he or she is dead.

    It still chaps my ass that Jim Valvano is considered some kind of hero because he died. Hell, they even have a cancer theme for him: Never give up.

    But Jim Valvano was a cheater everywhere he coached: from Iona to NC State,

    People die every day. Assholes die every day. The fact that they died doesn't mean they weren't assholes when they were alive. And I think it's a little prissy to say that nothing bad can be said about the dead.

    It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. -- Thomas Jefferson

    by AtlantaJan on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 05:55:33 PM PDT

    •  I agree with this. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm against prohibitions on breaking "taboo" in general, and I think it's generally good for society to reexamine such things periodically. I don't think this "don't speak ill of the dead" taboo really makes sense when it comes to a flawed, complex character like MJ. If people can praise the aspects of him they liked, it's equally valid for other people to express the things they didn't like. I don't think the good should be privileged above the bad in any way just because he's dead. Might help that I don't really believe in any sort of afterlife; is that why people get upset by diaries like this? I dunno, because I really don't understand why this drew 20 HR's.

  •  What a waste. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know that MJ was a very disturbed and very confused man.  It's sad that he endured the childhood that he had and that the incidents involving the children have cast a shadow over him.  I agree that he did some terrible things.  Most likely due to him not knowing better.   The reason MJ's death hit me is because when I was 3 years old when my mother bought a copy of "Thriller".  It was my first musical experience.  It will always have sentimental value for me because of that.  And while some Jackson did some things that were bad, I can't help but look at him as a scared, confused man who never got passed his own issues.  It's sad.  Really really sad.  

    If you listen to fools, the Mob Rules

    by CO Democrat on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 06:00:38 PM PDT

  •  you're an ass. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 06:51:41 PM PDT

  •  I must admit his being acquitted gives me pause (0+ / 0-)

    at least to the idea that everyone should know for sure that he was a child molester.  Maybe, maybe not.  

    Gov. Sanford is hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Franco is home nursing a head cold.

    by Inland on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 06:53:53 PM PDT

    •  No. The jury said he molested kids... (0+ / 0-)

      they just couldn't decide on the current particular verdict. So stop using the idea the a conviction equals guilt. If you think that it's not real, than what you are saying is that a 13 year old boy withstood trial, made up everything, and magically guessed where the white spots were on Jacksons' dick.

      Think again.

      •  I'll take the jury's word that its not certain. (0+ / 0-)

        You're demanding certainty and I think that's a little presumptuous for a person who wasn't there for the alleged molestation or the trial.  

        Gov. Sanford is hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Franco is home nursing a head cold.

        by Inland on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 11:37:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Respond to the fact that the kid saw him naked (0+ / 0-)

          And people are usually NOT there for sex abuse... so....????? And answer this... is OJ guitly or innocent?

          •  Apparently he's not credible. (0+ / 0-)

            Why, do you know him?  

            And answer this... is OJ guitly or innocent?

            I don't know. I wasn't there.  Let me are going to tell me he's guilty and that we all know it because some kid says he saw him do it.

            Gov. Sanford is hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Franco is home nursing a head cold.

            by Inland on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 06:45:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  are you nuts? (0+ / 0-)

              Yes, OJ was guilty. The bloody bruno mali footprint in his shoe size was the dead give away, among other things. Yes, even OJ as much as admitted it in that last book of his. Are you nuts?

              Yes, I believe the child. Unless of course you think that 2 children, one 11 and one 13, 12 years apart, were such AMAZING actors that seperate policeman and district attorneys believed their evil lie. And their parents were great actors as well.

              And these kids were such great actors that Jackson was so afraid he would get wrongly convicted, he paid the kid off with over 20 million dollars. I don't have to have been there to know you don't shell out that kind of dough under those circumstances unless you were afraid you'd get convicted. So those kids must have been incredible actors. You're right.

              •  Me and the jury, all nuts. (0+ / 0-)

                I guess you're never going to explain how twelve people, who unlike you were actually there to hear the evidence and judge the witnesses, managed to find a reasonable doubt.  That's good enough for me to have a doubt.  Now, you don't know these kids, or their parents, or the police or prosecutors who believed them.  You've just decided to buy it all.  I'm simply going to leave it in the realm of uncertainty.

                Gov. Sanford is hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Franco is home nursing a head cold.

                by Inland on Sun Jun 28, 2009 at 07:42:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You still haven't dealth with... (0+ / 0-)

                  the allegations from the first trial. The one where the kid described his penis. In detail. The one where, after the LAPD took pics of Jackson, showing the kids description to be accurate, Jackson gave the child's family 20 million dollars to shut the  kid up. That evidence was enough to convince more than half of your 2005 jury that Jackson HAD molested children in his life.

                  And again, my quetion about OJ? Is he innocent, becuase a jury failed to convict?

                  Get a brain. Thanks.

                  •  Sorry about your obsession (0+ / 0-)

                    but anyone could have put anyone on the stand to prove anything.  I suppose you're saying you could have done better.  Because "get a brain" is always so convincing, I guess.

                    Good luck with your obsession regarding blacks you fear got away with something.

                    Gov. Sanford is hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Franco is home nursing a head cold.

                    by Inland on Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 05:22:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What? (0+ / 0-)

                      So.... why did LaToya say she couldn't keep silent any longer? Was she too obsessed with blacks she felt "got away with something?"

                      and as far as your "point" that anyone can be made to say anything on the stand.. is that your argument? That the kid was such a good actor that Jackson paid him 20 million dollars? That's one good actor.

                      So let me get this straight- the kids lied (all three of them, over a period of 10 years); the parents of the kids lied; the entire district attorney's office was lying; the police department lied; the lead deteictive who has investigated over 4000 cases of child sexual abuse lied; the jury in 2005 lied when some of them said that they believed Jackson HAD committed sexual abuse against children. All of these people lied, and Michael Jackson just threw 20 million dollars in the garbage for no reason at all.

                      This is not an obsession, it is  a response to a very lopsided media take on this issus. read the comment below by "thinkaboutvictims".... he/she is saying it much better than I am.


  •  I disagree, but I don't think it's troll-worthy! (0+ / 0-)

    Diary uprated because the diarist has a point, and it's not intended as a trollish diary.

    "There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order." --- Ed Howdershelt (Author)

    by SciMathGuy on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 07:42:07 PM PDT

  •  This Coverage Upsetting Victims Of Child Abuse? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The question is not a debate whether Jackson was a paedophile or not, but with many victims of child sex abuse being aware he may have been, how would that make victims and family & friends of victims feel when they see the over the top coverage with people mourning for the portrayed god/"King Of Pop"?

    Isn’t it a complete show of disrespect, ignorance and dismissal for victims of child sex abuse? Their life long effects and struggles and putting his musical talent first, reveering him.

    If equal time was given for those with opposing views, that would be one thing, but have come across a few concerned people on the media (possibly victims or family/friends of victims of child sex abuse) speak negatively about Jackson only to be shut up straight away or have their messages deleted. Again they don't get a voice.

    Do adult family members of Jackson and his fans feel more sorrow for Jackson or his victims (what some accused him of)? It is coming across as only consideration and sorrow for Jackson, which leads on to the question, is positive Jackson coverage upsetting and affecting victims of child sex abuse?

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