The Michael Jackson Allegations
2 weeks ago I was having a talk with some friends of mine, two people I work closely with when it comes to researching stuff for the Jen Saga. One had mentioned how lately they had to purge a bunch of their favorite playlists as so many artists on those playlists have since turned out to be abusers or assholes of every flavor. They mentioned how much they love Thriller, but listening to it just makes them feel guilty now
My other friend comes in talking about how a couple years back he dug deep into the court transcripts and history of every accusation against Michael Jackson and came out of it with a very firm opinion. He says his most controversial one: that Michael Jackson is innocent
I was never a MJ fan, I don't remember a time where MJ was not considered a child abuser. My dad wasn't really a fan, nor was anyone else I knew. So I just accepted the social narrative without thinking much about it. Then in 2019 the documentary Leaving Neverland dropped on HBO, the documentary talks to two men, James Safechuck and Wade Robson, who, over the four hour documentary elaborate in graphic detail the abuse done to them by Michael Jackson.
Everyone was praising this documentary from Oprah to Louis Theroux and I have to admit it was incredibly compelling and disturbed me in a way that few true crime stories have. That sold it for me, MJ was an abuser.
Now I know my friend, he's a huge victim advocate, an abuse survivor himself and a true crime fanatic. Over the years we have discussed dozens of cases and some very morally complex and dubious ones. Never had I seen him come out with such a strong opinion that was so incredibly contrary to my own and the general consciousness. But knowing him, there had to be a reason he believed this with such fervor, so I asked him for his perspective, he then provided me with a three hour long podcast called Reason Bound: Pirates in Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations Reason Bound: #10: Pirates In Neverland: The Michael Jackson Allegations which set me off on the most unexpected journey
I spent the last two weeks watching every documentary I could find, reading every legitimate news source and listening to numerous podcasts. I didn't have a horse in this race, I had never been a Michael Jackson fan, I had nothing to prove, no stakes in his guilt or innocence, I just wanted to find the truth. If anything I have a negative association to Jackson as my abusive ex had been a huge fan, having grown up in the Jackson hey-dey, and there's that, I am a survivor of abuse, I talk about my abusive relationship quite frequently here, but I was also molested as a child. So I really want you to understand here, I am not a Jackson stan in the slightest, I see people that try to talk about Jackson's innocence getting written off as obsessive fans that are blinded by his stardom and nostalgia. That's not me.
I came into this expecting to not have my opinion swayed much, but here I am, a changed person. Nearly everything I thought was true was not, the allegations are flimsy at best and self-defeating at worst
Episode: File 0099: The Ranch of Lost Toys - pt.2
Release Date: May 12 2023
Researched and presented by Cayla
A Case for Innocence
The first thing you will find if you look into the Michael Jackson allegations is that the opinions are incredibly polarizing. You're either in the "he's an abuser, and I won't hear anything to the contrary" camp or "he was framed, "me too" is total bullshit, stop trying to keep the cis-het man down"
It's not a great look when many of the most vocal advocates for MJ's innocence border on alt-right incels. This is not to say that every advocate for his innocence are that way, most of them aren't, but they aren't the ones often found screaming about this online.
I'll be honest, I was really hesitant to even propose this topic, as it is such a polarizing one that people have rabid opinions about one way or another. I have seen the evisceration both sides endure. And I know my gut reaction when my friend first made this statement, and I consider myself a pretty openminded person.
But turns out if you dig past the rabid opinions that get the most clicks, past the media sensationalism, there are some incredibly well researched and well presented journalistic works out there, by well known authors and news organizations, that just never got traction, because no one wanted to hear it.
I watch/read and listened to a lot of things for this and I will include them all in the show notes, but one podcast in particular I praise above all else and is the most thorough and unbiased account I found, a show called "The Michael Jackson Case for Innocence Podcast" At this point the show has 24 episodes, each an hour long and I listened to all of them this last weekend.
The show is presented by a mother and daughter, and all began because in 2019, the daughter was 11 and a massive fan of Michael Jackson when the Leaving Neverland documentary dropped. Mom wasn't an MJ fan, but the sensationalism of the documentary spread far and wide and everywhere she turned she saw condemnations of Michael Jackson, so mom knew she needed to look into this because if this man was truly a predator she would have to have a very hard conversation with her daughter.
Mom watched the documentary but was left with many questions, things didn't add up, the documentary while giving significant attention to the survivors and their families, did not include any contrary opinions. She looked into this further and the deeper she looked, the more she found. Over a 6 month period she read every page of the 13,000 pages of court transcripts, every deposition, every account from every side. She came out on the other side believing Jackson was innocent, much to her and her daughter's relief
But this didn't just wrap this problem up in a nice bow. They knew what they believed and had sources to cite, but the general public was completely sold on the predator narrative. This left her daughter frustrated when she wasn't allowed to put Michael Jackson as her favorite musician on an educational website and when her own peers started to criticize her taste as these opinions filtered down to children. She knew he was innocent, but how to do you explain that concisely? How do you present all the evidence?
This is when mom decided to make a
podcast, something her daughter could link to when someone criticized her about
her favorite musician. Mom completed her research and wrote up the script for
the show and by this point her daughter was old enough to participate and
wanted to, so together they made this show. Now this show had 24 hours to go through every detail and explain all the
information, but we don't have that kind of time and I wouldn't dare try to do
the same when they did such an incredible job, if you want every fact, check
that out, seriously. But for today, I am going to give you the basic overview,
which will hopefully be enough to entice you to do your own research.
If you're like me, you probably don't know a whole lot about Michael Jackson, most of us millennials grew up in a time after his peak fame, well at least his fame for his art. You probably have heard all sorts of rumors, that he bleached his skin because he hated being black, that Lisa Marie Presley was his beard, that he paid off detractors to shut them up.
Man, the media had a field day with MJ, but we'll get to that later. I am not going to go super in-depth into MJ's history as we don't have time, but there's a couple things you need to know
MJ was born August 29 1958, the 8th of 10 children. His family were Jehovah's Witnesses. MJ practically was born into celebrity, as in 1964, at age 5 his father, Joseph Jackson put him in a band with his brothers known as the Jackson Brothers. Which on the surface kind of sounds fun, making music with your family, but was really quite horrible
You see, Joseph Jackson managed the band and he managed it with verbal abuse and a leather belt. His father and brothers repeatedly mocked MJ's appearance calling him "fat nose". While the boys were rehearsing Joseph Jackson would sit in a chair, watching, with his belt in his hand, ready to punish any mistake.
Now MJ's mother says that at the time, whipping (as it was called) was a common discipline for children and wasn't considered abuse. MJ's older siblings say that it was just discipline and kept them in line and out of trouble, but MJ was 6, and today we would very much call that abuse.
MJ became very isolated due to this. Being a JW he was only really supposed to associate with other JWs. Being in a band, one that his dad wanted to make famous, meant all his free time was spent practicing or performing. Because of all this MJ didn't have much of a childhood, the isolation and father's abuse made him incredibly socially awkward and lonely, he had almost no friends, as he didn't have time to make them. He became very self conscious about his appearance (which got worse in his teens when he had horrible acne) and very shy and introverted. It's reported that since he didn't have time to make friends, it was common when he actually got free time, he'd go to the corner store and buy a bunch of candy and then go to where other kids were playing and offer them the candy so that he could hang out with them.
A year later, MJ's vocal and dance talent would get recognized and he became the band's lead vocalist and the name changed to the Jackson 5. By 1966 they were touring, MJ only being 8. In 1968 they released their first single and in 1969 they were picked up by Motown Records. By 1970 at only 12 years old MJ would have his first chart topper "Want You Back" skyrocketed to number one and by 1972 MJ was recording his own solo albums.
In 1979 his fifth solo album "Off the Wall" is what really established MJ as a solo artist, with his first big solo hits like "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough". This album marked his move away from his bubblegum pop image with the Jackson 5 to his edgier and more complex image that would become the King of Pop we all know today. By 1980 he was inducted into the hall of fame as part of the Jackson 5 and by 1984 he was inducted for his solo works. He won is first Grammy in 1981.
MJ quickly became one of the most iconic performers of our time, launching into stardom unlike anyone before him, drawing the awe and attention of musicians like Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger. Everyone knew or want to know MJ.
Yet despite all his fame and popularity, he was self conscious, unhappy and lonely
"Even at home, I'm lonely. I sit in my room sometimes and cry. It's so hard to make friends, and there are some things you can't talk to your parents or family about. I sometimes walk around the neighborhood at night just hoping to find someone to talk to. But I just end up coming home." Michael Jackson : the magic, the madness, the whole story, 1958-2009 : Taraborrelli, J. Randy
"I just don't feel it's time for me to move away from home yet, if I moved out now, I'd die of loneliness. Most people who move out go to discos every night. They party every night. They invite friends over, and I don't do any of those things" Michael Jackson : the magic, the madness, the whole story, 1958-2009 : Taraborrelli, J. Randy
His rise to fame fulfilled his passion for performing, but not just that, enabled him to get away from his abusive father and the messy complex relationship with his family and stand on his own. Despite being considered a sex symbol with his provocative dancing and music, everyone that knew Michael said the same thing: he was just a kid inside
When MJ wasn't performing or writing music his favorite things to do was play video games, read and eat popcorn and watch movies. MJ was making more money than any musician had, to a point he had the highest album royalties achieved, reaching a payout of $2 per album sale, which is ludicrous especially today. At its peak Thriller was selling at 500,000 copies a week, selling 22 million worldwide in its first year, ultimately selling 50 million world wide, and would remain at number 1 in the billboard charts for 37 weeks, even more incredible in the UK it stayed there for 168 weeks. And while some of that money went to the building of his estate: Neverland Ranch which acquired in 1988 and included its own theme park and in house theater. The grand majority of his money went to helping others. In 2000 he was award a Guinness World Record for supporting 39 charities, more than any other entertainer. He received numerous rewards for his humanitarian efforts and performed in dozens benefit concerts throughout his life. Whether it was saving the rainforest, curing cancer or supporting refugees of war, Michael was there, promoting these causes and donating millions.
He was one of first massive black entertainers in the mainstream, bringing diversity to the MTV lineup like never before, inspiring children of color the world over. They saw themselves in him, they saw that it was possible for them to do anything they wanted and MJ was always encouraging and did everything to give back to his fans.
But he always remained humble, still being that shy kid inside, as evident in the few interviews he granted. He was soft spoken and kind. His introversion driven reclusiveness combined with the 90s musician playbook which instructed you to always remain a mystery, made him all the more of enigma to the general public, this would play a big part in the allegations to come. This was a time where if you wanted to find out about a musician, all you had were interviews, if you managed to catch them when they aired our bought the magazine, which he did few of so much that was published was speculation from the tabloids
Above all, the thing Michael loved most in the world was helping children. Michael grieved the childhood he never had and if there was anything he could do help a child have that, he was there in an instant. People talk about Neverland Ranch like it's a dank sex dungeon akin to the playboy mansion, but that was not the case at all. The reason the Neverland Ranch estate was so large and had all these eccentric entertainments, was because this was a place for children to be children.
The estate almost always had families staying there, whether it be his own cousins, nieces and nephews, fans or families recovering from tragedy or illness, disadvantaged or orphaned children. He worked closely with charities like Make a Wish. Once you had an invite to Neverland it was an open invite and you could return whenever you wanted, whether or not MJ was there. The estate was fully staffed, said to have had 60 staff members at one point and it was always busy and the entire house was open to the guests with the exception of MJ's bedroom unless he was there.
One of the many salacious things we hear about is children sleeping in MJ's bedroom, but you have to understand, MJ's bedroom was a two story suite. A place he could get away from everything if he needed to, with multiple beds and bathrooms. It wasn't unusual for whole families to sleep there and Michael was apparently quite happy sleeping on the floor, generously giving up his massive beds for his guests to stay in, but it is true that he shared bed with some of his younger friends, but what's not usually mentioned with that is often the rest of the family was in the bed too or in the same room, just a big sleepover. And it's not like those that slept over were strangers, the permission of the parents were required, and these are parents that had come to see Michael as family.
"I've been there, when his nephews were there, and we all were in the bed, watching television. There was nothing abnormal about it. There was no touchy-feely going on. We laughed like children, and we watched a lot of Walt Disney."
Having spent a childhood so lonely and isolated, Michael cherished the relationships he developed with these families as it gave him a taste of what he missed out on and made him feel less alone, frequently becoming extensions of these families, many of the mothers considering Michael like another one of their children. He also liked that he could give back to these families, enabling them to give their children the best and most magical life they could ask for. It wasn't uncommon for him to take families on tour with him, so that the kids can experience that it's like being on such a massive tour, experience the shows up front and personal and gave Michael a way to unwind from all the stress by having dinner with the family or watching movies.
It's why there are so many pictures of MJ with a child at his side, not pictured is almost always the mother just out of sight or a few paces behind. Yes MJ had many friends that were children, but he was also friends with the entire family. He would have dozens maybe even hundreds of surrogate families over his life time.
"I never did birthdays or Christmases – or sleepovers or none of that simple, fun stuff [in my childhood]. Or going into a shopping market and just grabbing something off the counter, you know all those simple things like going out in society and being normal. That's why when I befriend people it's usually not the celebrities, it's usually the simple normal family somewhere. I want to know what their life is like"
And it was this charity and need for human connection that would ultimately lead to his downfall
Since 1993 there have been four accusers that attempted to take their allegations to court: Jordan Chandler, Gavin Arviso, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. Prior to the first allegation in 1993 nothing of the sort had come out against Jackson, and it's not like he didn't have detractors.
It was no secret that MJ was one of the richest entertainers in the world as he continually broke sales records and had concert tours selling out in minutes. And where there's money, there's grifters. Over the years many tried to take advantage of Michael's kindness and generosity, his staff often considered him naïve, always seeing the best in people, which frequently put him in a prime position to be a target, even his hiring practices were more frequently based on gut feelings about a person versus their accreditations or references. Michael was nonconfrontational, preferring to avoid conflict whenever possible, but when he recognized that someone was using him, he was known to just drop them completely without warning, this behavior would also get him into trouble.
Prior to the child abuse allegations, disgruntled ex employees were known to go to the tabloids for a quick buck, telling whatever juicy tidbit they could think of, whether it be true or not and with all the mystery surrounding Michael, people ate those articles up. From stories of Michael seeking to buy the bones of the elephant man, Joseph Merrick to sleeping in hyperbaric chambers, by 1986 he had earned the tabloid title of "Wacko Jacko" a name he would come to despise. There's strong evidence that Michael himself planted some of the strange stories about himself in efforts to increase the air of mystery around him, being a big fan magicians and circus ringleaders, how they craft illusions to wow and surprise their audiences and it is said this inspired a lot of the strange and eccentric things he did.
But not once prior to the allegations were there claims from these ex house staff members or others of child abuse. But lo and behold after the allegations these same staff members came forward now attesting that they had seen something.
The 1993 Allegations
In 1993 the first allegations about Jackson would come out. I originally wanted to give an overview of all the cases, but there's just so much to the first one that's so incredibly important to everything that happened after and became a playbook for anyone that wanted to accuse Jackson later that I ended up focusing on this one.
In May 1992, Jackson was driving down a busy road when his van broke down, he was spotted by a woman whose husband worked at a car rental joint not far away. She offered to give him a ride to the rental place, but called ahead to let Dave Schwartz, the owner, know that they were coming
Schwartz called his wife, June Chandler and told her to grab her 12 year old, Jordan and hurry down to the shop as Michael was coming in. Jordan was a huge fan of MJ and was ecstatic to meet his hero. Afterwards June gives Michael their home phone number and they part ways.
MJ went on tour, but he kept in contact with the Chandler family over the phone over the next several months. June, Jordan and his half sister Lily, first visited Neverland in August 1992. From then they became frequent guests at the ranch, they often accompanied Jackson on trips, such as to Monaco, Los Vegas and DisneyWorld and June says that Jackson stayed at her house at least thirty times.
June had really appreciated having Michael in her and her son's life. Her husband at the time, Dave Schwartz was a workaholic and almost never home, by the time Jackson came into their lives, they considered themselves separated, though they kept in contact and sometimes he would stay with the family to see his daughter and step-son Jordan. June had separated from Jordan's father, Evan Chandler in 1985, when Jordan was 5, June won primary custody but was always pushing the two to spend time together, though Evan seemed to rarely make this a priority, devoting his time instead to writing a screenplay.
This left Jordan without much of a father figure and Jackson seemed to be filling that role. Jackson was happy to take the family on vacation, to attend family dinners, to do the small things like watch movies, help with homework, play video games and do the goofy fun things that kids liked to do. He was always gentle, kind and patient, a refreshing change from her ex-husband Evan, who had a history of being quick to anger and it's alleged this fiery temper being one of the reasons June had originally left the relationship. June was quoted saying "He's the kindest man I ever met" about Michael
It was common when they visited Jackson for other children and/or families there. They mentioned meeting Brett Barnes, Macauley Culkin, his siblings and his father, Frank and Eddie Cascio, and Wade Robson and his mother Joy. June says that on the second or third time visiting Neverland that Jordan began to ask to sleep in Jackson's room. There were always other boys around and staying in Jackson's room and Jordan wanted to join in on the sleepover, but June refused.
In March 1993 June, Jordan, Lily and Jackson would stay in a hotel in Las Vegas. According to June's testimony on Apr 11 2005. June and her children had adjoining rooms and Jackson had his own suite. On the second night, Jackson and Jordan had stayed up late, watching the Exorcist, Jordan became scared, so Michael said he could stay with him. The two slept in the same bed, fully clothed in pajamas. The next morning Jordan would tell his mom, who had gone to sleep before them the night before.
June was upset, as previously Jordan had asked to sleep with Jackson and she had said no. She told Jordan that he wasn't to do that, that he was to sleep in his own bed. Jordan lamented saying that he wanted to stay with Jackson and June describes him being quite upset at being told no. Jordan would later tell Jackson about the conversation, and Jackson went and spoke with June.
Jackson had become upset that June had implied she didn't trust him. June explained "I've had males in my life that, you know, have disappointed me. How can I have you in my life and you're saying that you're going to take care of us, that you're so wonderful, everything's going to be okay, how am I going to do that?" Jackson explained that he wanted the family to treat him just like a regular person.
That day Michael and Jordie went shopping for a gift for June and found a bracelet at Cartier known as a love bracelet. Love bracelets are a kind of jewelry that closes with a screw-like clasp, requiring a tool to put it on or take off. Jackson wanted to get something that showed June he wasn't going anywhere, something permanent that would remind her how important she and her family were
Upon returning from Vegas the family continued to spend a lot of time with Jackson. June observed when Jackson wasn't working, he was a very lonely person and she speculated that's why he had connected with so many families, so that he wouldn't ever have to be alone. She relented to Jordan's request to sleep with Jackson. Often Jordan wasn't the only one, one or more of the other children whose families had become close to Jackson were frequently there and Jackson's room would just become a large slumber party. She says the first ten times she let Jordan stay with Jackson, she checked on them. She was always welcome to come hang out in the room with them, and the door was never locked, she could visit them anytime. She would sometimes watch tv in the room with them. After never coming across anything troubling she began to let her guard down and checked on them less frequently.
In May 1993 Jackson had been invited to an awards show in Monaco and had asked June's family if they wanted to join them and they did. The trip was going well until both Jordan and Jackson caught the flu and would end up sequestered in their room. June and her daughter tried to enjoy the sights on their own, but June admits she was uncomfortable with how much time the two were spending together during this illness.
Back on American soil, things continued as they had, Jackson frequently staying with June or Jordan visiting him in Neverland. While June was a little concerned with how Jordan always wanted to hang out with Jackson, Jordan wasn't missing any school and was still doing very well, Jackson was always happy to help with homework and was always encouraging Jordan's studies and curiosity about the world. It also seemed since Jackson had been around that Jordan's father had become more interested in spending time with him which was a nice change of pace, which would lead to a couple times where Jordan and Jackson stayed with Evan's family
June remembers saying to Jackson "You're like Peter Pan. Everybody wants to be around you and spend 24 hours. Lily would to except she's not old enough"
In June 1993, June and her family had gone to New York to visit her brother, when she was planning the trip Jackson mentioned he had to go to New York around that time too and had rooms arranged for them at a hotel, telling her he would join them later. Once Jackson arrived in New York he hung out with the family regularly.
One morning June woke up and found two broken lamps. Michael sheepishly tells her that had be practicing his karate moves for the kids and had accidentally kicked the lamps, breaking them, a story that Jordan and Lily corroborated. Jackson said not to worry as he would pay for them.
I bring these little moments up, not just because they show what the relationship was like with this family, but these would also be twisted and used against Jackson later.
While June was very involved in Jordan's life, who wasn't, was his birth father Evan Chandler. Evan dreamed of being a big screenwriter in Hollywood, to make his own movies or sell his stories, but his biggest claim to fame in this regard was a writing credit for the film: Robin Hood Men in Tights. At this point, Evan was three years/$68,000 behind on child support payments and that wasn't the only debts Evan owed, having promised his son a computer for his schoolwork and to give him $5,000 for his help on the Robin Hood Men in Tights screenplay that Evan had wrote and Jordan had conceived the idea for.
Evan was a dentist by trade, but it has been reported that he hated the work, which is why he moved to LA in hopes of finding his big break and was known to take on celebrities earning their loyalty by hooking them up with his anesthesiologist who provided prescription medications for non dental reasons, as reported by Carrie Fisher and numerous other former patients. He had a history of brushes with the law and potential lawsuits over unnecessary dental work, that he somehow always managed to shimmy his way out of.
By 1993 Evan had remarried and had another family, which he reportedly didn't spend much time with either, always busy at the dental office or sequestered away work on his next big script. But when he got word that Jordan had fostered a relationship with Michael Jackson, Evan suddenly became very interested in his son and taking June up on those opportunities to spend time with him.
When Evan first heard about the close relationship Jackson and Jordan had fostered, he told his ex-wife June that he though the relationship was wonderful and that Jordan would never have to worry about anything for the rest of his life.
Evan would go with Jordan to Neverland, and he suggested that Michael visit them at home, which he did a handful of times. Evan began to pressure Michael to build himself a suite on their house, when Michael said zoning wouldn't allow for that, Evan suggested that he just building Evan a whole new house. Evan always seemed to be asking Michael for something
So here was Dr. Chandler telling me how Michael was buying his kid computers and taking him to incredible places and sleeping in the same bed and getting him…WAIT! "Hang on," I said. "I have to interrupt here. Let's just go back a tic, okay?" "Sure," Chandler said. "They're sleeping in the same bed?!" He blinked. "Well, yeah, but my ex-wife is always there, so it's okay, and his stepfather and…and… and…" - Carrie Fisher
When Michael invited June's family on a trip to Monaco, this upset Evan, making him jealous and feel left out and this would be the beginning of Evan's erratic behavior. This seemed to only get worse, when in June 1993, Michael asked June if she and her family were interested in coming on tour with him. This did not help Evan's jealousy and this seems to be big triggering event for what happened next
The Film Project
Evan would turn to Michael and pressure him to fund a $20 million film project. Michael had recently been given $40 million by Sony to start his own film production company, Evan heard of this and wanted in, wanting half of the money, claiming that Michael owed him "for taking his son away". Michael's lawyers told Michael to not even consider it, recognizing this immediately as extortion. The way Evan framed it was that with this film project it would be a way for him to repair his relationship with is son, the one that Michael's presence had so damaged
Later that month at a graduation Evan would confront June, claiming he had suspicions that Michael and Jordan had an inappropriate relationship. June was incredulous, "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, according to several sources, threatened to go public with the evidence he claimed he had on Jackson
June and her husband began to get concerned that he was going to do something, so they set up a recorder to record calls with him, just in case.
The Phone Call
On July 8 1993, Evan called Dave Schwartz, June's husband and having a lengthy chat that would end up being recorded
"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."
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."
"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. Everything's going according to a certain plan that isn't just mine. Once I make that phone call, this guy 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." "
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. …And they will be destroyed forever. June will lose [custody of Jordan] and Michael's career will be over
"This attorney I found, I picked the nastiest son of a bitch I could find, 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."
"It cost me thousands, tens of thousands of dollars — to get the information I got, and I — you know I don't have that kind of money — and I spent it, and I'm willing to spend more."
Schwartz asks Evan directly if he believes Jackson had sexually abused Jordan, Evan admits, "I don't know. I have no idea."
The attorney he is referring to his Barry Rothman. Barry Rothman has a history of being a less than stellar human being
the attorney's credit profile lists 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 the year before this, he was suspended for a year, though that suspension was stayed and he was instead placed on probation for the term.
By the time that he and Evan Chandler hooked up, Rothman was in desperate need of a large cash payout
Did he touch you?
Dave Schwartz naturally took his recording to Michael and his PI Anthony 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 inappropriate had happened and it is alleged Jordan said that his dad just wanted money
The next step in Evan's plan was to get custody of his son. Evan asked June for a week visitation with Jordan, hoping that if he got to spend some time with Jordan it might appease him, June agreed after Evan promised Jackson's lawyer that the boy would be returned. Evan swore he would.
But within in a day of having Jordan (Jul 13), Evan served June with document prepared by Rothman that would prevent her from taking Jordan out of Los Angeles county, meaning they wouldn't be able to go on tour with Jackson. June claims she signed the document under duress, saying that Evan said he would not return Jordan if she didn't
He didn't return Jordan regardless and thus began a bitter custody battle.
It's important to note that Jordan at this point has never claimed that Michael has done anything to him, in the book All That Glitters which was written by Evan's brother Raymond, with Evan's assistance, he states in there that he asked his son if anything ever happened and Jordan says no repeatedly, no matter what Evan threatens, even one time saying he had bugged Jordan's phone and room so "he knew everything" and Jordan still denied this
But this would change on Jul 16 1993, after Evan put his son under sodium amytal for the unnecessary removal of a baby tooth. Sodium amytal was known at the time as "truth serum" but what we do know now that it's not a truth serum but instead makes someone highly suggestable, and can be found at the root of many a false memory allegation.
It's strongly suspected this reputation is what caused Evan to turn to it, pulling the tooth as an excuse to administer the drug. Not only is this devious as all hell, forcing your child to go through an unnecessary tooth removal so that you can make him admit he was sexually abused, which is all is fucked up as is. This drug is also incredibly dangerous.
It had long fell out of favor as an anesthesia drug, with dozens of much safer and effective drugs available. Sodium amytal can also have deadly side effects if not administered properly or if the person turns out to be allergic. It's recommended to only be administered at a hospital with resuscitative equipment available. But Evan had it administered to his son in his dental office. How much money would be incentive enough for you to put your child's life at risk and implant them with lifelong trauma?
KCBS-TV on May 3 1994 would report that Evan had said he used sodium amytal, but later he would claim it was another drug. Regardless, In Evan's book, while he doesn't mention the name of the drug, he does say he had put his son under anesthesia and had this conversation:
- I am going to give you one last chance to save Michael, if you lie to me, I am going to take him down in front of the whole world. It'll be all your fault, because you're the one person that could've saved him. This isn't about me finding out. It's about lying and you know what's going to happen if you lie. So I am going to make this easy for you, I am only going to ask you one question, all you have to do is say "yes" or "no". That's it. Lie and Michael goes down, tell me the truth and you save him
- You won't hurt Michael? Promise you won't tell anyone?
- I swear, no one.
- Ok what's the question
- Did Michael touch your [privates]?
- Jordan hesitates then quietly says "Yes"
Evan says in his book this was all he needed to hear, he hugged Jordan and they never talked about it again, the details didn't matter
So even if we completely remove this drug from the evidence, this conversation alone is coercion. He had repeatedly threatened Michael, saying if Jordan didn't tell him the truth, Michael would be destroyed. Dad wasn't letting up, what would you do if you were 13 and dad kept dogging you about this?
On July 27th, according to a diary by a former colleague of Barry Rothman, 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.
Rothman's secretary at the time, Geraldine Hughes later said in an interview: "I really believe that the whole thing was plotted and planned and the words were given to him [Jordan Chandler] to say because I actually witnessed the 13 year old in my attorney's office without any supervision of his parents and he was kind of snuck in there, it was like no one in the office knew he was in there. He was behind closed doors with my attorney for several hours, and I kind of believe that is where he was being told what to say."
Evan first accuses Jackson
On Aug 4, Evan and Jordan meet with Jackson and Pellicano. Upon seeing Jackson, Evan greets him with a warm hug, which is strange behavior if you think this man is molesting your son. He then presents Jackson with a letter written by psychiatrist Mathis Abrams, which implies that a hypothetical child may be a victim of sexual abuse. This letter had been a response to Barry Rothman who had posed a hypothetical scenario about a young boy who spent a lot of time with a celebrity
It is said that Jordan's gaze shot up in horror, looking at Michael, immediately saying "I didn't say that!"
Evan concluded the meeting telling Jackson "I'm going to ruin you"
On Aug 13 another meeting was held, this time at Rothman's office and Jackson's team made a counter offer to Evan's original demand of a $20 million film deal, offering instead $350,000 screenwriting deal, with hope that this would resolve the custody dispute and give Evan an opportunity to spend more time with his son by writing a screenplay together. This was shot down, Rothman instead asked for 3 screenplays, which MJ's team declines.
On Aug 16, June pulled Evan into an emergency custody hearing. In this custody hearing Evan mentions nothing about his suspicions of child abuse, it is decided that the next day Evan would have to return Jordan.
Reacting quickly, Evan immediately books an appointment for his son with Mathis Abrams, the psychiatrist whose letter was used to threaten Jackson.
Abrams spent 3 hours with Jordan during which he admitted that Michael Jackson had inappropriately touched him, alleging most everything but penetration, which could've been verified by a medical exam. As Abrams is a mandatory reporter, he had to report this accusation to the Department of Children's Services who in turn contacted the police and a full blown investigation on Jackson would begin. This was strategic in many ways, but most importantly if it was the doctor that reported it, Evan couldn't be sued for false allegations, and also with the psychiatrist filing the report, Evan wouldn't have to return Jordan
Although Dr. Abrams dutifully reported the case, ten years later, on December 12, 2003 when Abrams had been called for the second set of accusations, he told CBS News that he did not spend enough time with Jordan to conclude whether the boy was telling the truth or not: "I think that this [children changing their stories] is a possibility in both cases, that there could be coaching, but, again, I wasn't given the opportunity in the initial one to even try to find out."
In an Aug 19 1993 DCS report, June and her husband start to side with Evan "Mother stated that if Jordie had said it, it must be true", She has since said that she was worried if she didn't, Evan would take her to court and sue her for negligence, blaming her for the alleged abuse she let happen
The Allegations Break
On Aug 23 the first reports on these allegations were published and the media frenzy began. Within 24 hours the story was on 73 tv news broadcasts in LA alone. Everything was just rumor at this point until Aug 25, when a person in DCS leaked a copy of the abuse report to Diane Dimond of Hard Copy, a salacious tabloid. Within hours an LA office for a British Newspaper was offering copies of the abuse report for $750 a pop. And journalistic integrity went out the window, newspapers featuring anything to do with Michael Jackson sold like hotcakes, no one cared what was true, just what sold.
KNBC reporter Conan Nolan said "Competition among news organizations became so fierce, stories weren't being checked out. It was very unfortunate."
Reporting on Jackson had always been profitable since his rise to fame, but this, these allegations were unlike anything else, nothing had ever sold papers so fast. 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.
Turningthetablesonthechandlers.com posted snippets of a conversation from 2013 that they had with a tabloid broker
The way I look at it, because of being in the tabloid business years ago is, if you don't see proof it's probably not there. People will say anything about a celebrity to make money. I don't want to be involved in something that's false. I've meet Michael Jackson a couple of times and the guy was not a child molester. I don't care what anyone says and if they think he is they need to bring some kind of proof. Nobody has brought any kind of proof in all these years
Turning the Table on the Chandler Allegations – The 1993 Michael Jackson Accuser
One thing to be aware of about this time is that child abuse accusations were running rampant. This was the last dredges of the satanic panic, which was a time of countless abuse allegations, many later to be found never actually occurred and were memories implanted through "recovered memory" exercises that had become all the rage and even some with sodium amytal at the root of the false memories. We also did not have a strong understanding of just how malleable and suggestible the mind of a child is. If you ask a child the same question enough times, they will eventually change their answer, thinking that their previous answer was wrong, which led to a massive surge of sexual abuse allegations.
Police had told June that Jackson fit the classic profile of a child molester to a T
"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.
According to Michael Borak, a forensic psychiatrist who has evaluated many pedophiles, Michael Jackson's eccentric behavior is "not typical of most offenders. Most offenders are 'normal' people who could be your neighbors, not freaky or weird."
Of course every scenario of suspected child abuse should absolutely be investigated and behavior of abuse victims varies dramatically, so if even asked directly a child may not tell you if they were abused, feeling scared or ashamed. But in particular this was a time of a lot of anxiety as parents realized that maybe letting their children wander off unsupervised wasn't the smartest thing to do, there was an overcorrection and hypervigilance, this is the end of a time where something as innocuous as a game played with pencils and paper would lead children to worship the devil and make blood sacrifices
We were moving away from jumping at fantastical shadows, but we were still jumping, that anxiety had just moved to a new target and that was people in positions of power. This would also be the time that the suppressed sexual abuse cases by members of the Catholic Church began to make news. Parents were scared and wanted to protect their children, so they consumed these stories as if somehow knowing the details they could protect their children from it or recognize if it was happening to them, but in turn also made them incredibly paranoid
Things become really messy after this, but there's basically three things you need to be aware of, now I am not a lawyer, I am just basing this on what I have learned researching these cases, so my understanding of these may not be entirely accurate, so keep that in mind
As Jordan's report of abuse was escalated to the police, law enforcement must begin an investigation into the accusations. This happens regardless of whether or not the Chandlers choose to pursue legal action which at this point they hadn't as Evan was still trying to get Jackson to pay him under the table. If the state finds evidence to support the allegations, the DA could bring the case before a grand jury in hopes of getting an indictment or bring a preliminary trial to court to prove probable cause
If the Chandlers wanted to send Jackson to prison, this is the path they should take, and the path that you would think anyone would pursue if they found out someone had sexually abused their child. But there's two reasons why Evan wasn't rushing into a criminal case:
- criminal cases are very thoroughly tried, all parties are investigated, we already know that both Evan and Rothman had previous tangles with the law, and based on what he said in that phone call alone it is almost guaranteed that if Evan's home, office or his lawyer's office were raided it's very likely something incriminating would be found.
- The other factor is, there's no guarantee that you will get any money out of it, which is clearly what Evan is looking for.
According to Evan's book the reason he didn't pursue a criminal trial was for Jordan, saying a criminal case would just get drawn out forever and he was worried that he would not achieve 12/12 jurors votes of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. He believed that if it went to a criminal case, Jackson's team would just pay off one of the jurors.
It's reasonable for a parent to be concerned about the wellbeing of their child, but if he truly believed Jackson was a predator and had the evidence he claimed he did, by not bringing him to criminal court, it left him free to continue abusing other children. Evan also repeatedly says that he thought that law enforcement and DA were too wimpy to take on Jackson, which is not true. The Santa Barbara DA Tom Sneddon would become obsessed with trying to take Jackson for the next 15 years
In the case that a criminal and civil case are both pending, the criminal case will go first
Civil cases on the other hand are what happens when you sue someone. Usually they're intended for things like inheritance, divorce, child custody or issues with contracts, usually things that aren't straight up illegal or can be resolved with financial compensation. Civil cases tend to be more subjective and not as thorough and only requires 7/12 jurors to convict. Also civil cases usually result in the offending party paying damages.
At this point, Evan had not filed a civil or criminal case
Jackson Residence Raid
On August 21, 22 and 30th, the LAPD would search all of Jackson's residences, while he was on tour on the other side of the world. Jackson was in Thailand for the first leg of his Eurasia and Latin America tour on the day that the allegations broke, and prior to that he had no knowledge Jordan had made a report about him. He would've had no way to prepare his residences for such a search and his staff attests that the raids were a complete surprise. The Los Angeles Times reported on August 27: "The search warrant didn't result in anything that would support a criminal filing."
A common misconception is that child porn was found on neverland ranch. This is not true. Jackson had a huge library, estimated at 18,000 books and it's said that officers reviewed every single one. It is said there are three books out of that entire library that could be considered "suspicious". These were artistic photography books, books you could order on amazon right now and have delivered to your house in a couple hours.
One had pinups of men and women, this one was ignored, as this didn't match the narrative of Jackson a "boy lover". One was gay BDSM pinup book, not porn, just artistic depictions of BDSM lifestyle, with all grown men. And the last was a general photograph book by a famous photographer, this is the one that gets fixated on. In this book is a handful of images of young boys in swim trunks, running around having fun, jumping in lakes etc. I have these images here to show you. This is the "child porn" the tabloids alleged. An absolutely legal photography book
Evan and Rothman were hoping public pressure would be enough for Jackson to relent and pay them off to make this all go away, but instead by late August, Jackson's team would file extortion charges against Evan and his lawyer Rothman. The investigation into these extortion allegations never received the same attention as the allegations against Jackson. No witnesses were subpoenaed, no search warrants were ever issued.
Over the years several parties would come forward to attest their recollections of events that seemed to indicate that Evan was just in it for the money
Frank Cascio who had been a child at the time and had been one of the many families that spent significant time at Neverland, "When I was older, Michael would tell me that Jordy's father had wanted Michael to invest in a film he wanted to make. Michael initially liked the idea, but his advisers were against it. They dismissed Jordy's father rather thoughtlessly, and Michael, not one for confrontation, blew him off, too. Michael thought that this, more than anything else, had set Evan Chandler off." Turning the Table on the Chandler Allegations
Artist David Nordahl was at the time working on projects for Jackson and was involved in Jackson's efforts to start a production company: "Sony had given [Jackson] $40 million to start this production company and that little boy's dad, who considered himself to be show business material because he had written part of a script… And being friends with Michael, and his son being friends with Michael, this guy had assumed that Michael was going to make him a partner in this film production company. That's where the $20 million figure came from. He wanted half of that Sony money."
June and her husband Dave Schwartz met with Jackson and his legal team early on to discuss what they thought Evan was up to. Schwartz who had known Evan for almost ten years and considered him a friend said "Well it's Michael Jackson. I know Evan. It could be money."
"Why not pay [Evan] off and nip the nightmare in the bud while you've got the opportunity? Especially when you know your man is guilty of sleeping with little boys, at least. Not only do you avoid a civil suit, but also more important, you buy your way around the authorities by removing the star witness. Ten, twenty, thirty million? Money's no object" - All that glitters pg 125
I think this says a lot about Evan's mindset, he would happily accept money in exchange for his silence about his child's alleged abuse. He's not wrong in that Jackson had hundreds of opportunities to pay Evan off, he could've done it at any time, starting when he first began receiving threats from Evan in July.
If I were a predator trying to hide my predatorial-ness, that seems like the wisest option, especially when you're Michael Jackson and you had that money (reported to be worth between $300-700 million at this point). Why go through all this? Jackson already had been crucified by the media for years, elaborate stories spun from the smallest threads of truth or by nothing at all.
Looking at Jackson's appearance alone, despite talking about his health issues in public, the tabloids continued to run a myriad of outrageous stories. There's no doubt that Jackson and his team knew that if the media got wind of this, they would be like a dog with a bone. So if you were a predator, why risk it?
Meanwhile if we look at Evan's side who had just initiated a bitter custody battle and then alleged child abuse, this is a classic tactic used in these kinds of cases, the only difference being not only would it help Evan win custody, but it gave him an opportunity to extort Jackson for millions.
We have to remember, that prior to Jackson being in Jordan's life, Evan had wanted almost nothing to do with him since he was five years old. He was also 3 years behind his child support payments, an amount equal to $68,000. Suddenly he's throwing tens of thousands of dollars (according to his own statements) at "this" and demanding custody. In the conversation with June's husband, when he asked if what Evan planned to do would help Jordan, Evan said "it's irrelevant" and repeatedly stressed that Michael could've resolved this at any time.
I can't get around the fact that Evan refused to get police involved or bring his child to a psychiatrist until June took him to court and would regain custody of Jordan the next day. Evan was also a mandatory reporter as he was in a medical professional, and his son allegedly reported that he had been abused in his own dental chair, this was a month before Evan would take Jordan to a psychiatrist. In Evan's book he claims that he wasn't telling anyone because he had promised Jordan that he wouldn't.
It should also be noted that once Evan took Jordan and wouldn't give him back, he refused to allow June speak to her son and the few times he did it was with an audience. According to June's lawyer, June was convinced that Evan had brainwashed Jordan as her son went from aggressively denying any abuse had have occurred, to the point that he refused to call Evan on father's day, because he kept repeatedly asking and his father kept asking Jackson for money and it was getting uncomfortable to be around him.
With Rothman having allegations of extortion against him, Evan had to find a new lawyer. At first he hired Gloria Allred, who immediately went to work pushing the criminal trial, but just as quickly as she was brought on, she was swapped for Larry Feldman who would push a civil trial. (Sept 8)
Larry Feldman would file the civil case against Jackson for damages of $30 million in September 14 1993. The case was for sexual battery, seduction, willful misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress and fraud and negligence
Jackson's team had no doubt that if the civil case went to court, they would win without issue, but it wasn't as simple as that. Jackson's team was waiting for the second shoe to drop, feeling like Evan would file a criminal case any day. There was a concern if they fought the civil case first, the prosecution would then know their defense and use that to tailor their criminal case. Some argued that there was no way they could get an unbiased jury because of the media onslaught rising opinion that Jackson was guilty. This division to settle or not to settle tore Jackson's team apart, multiple lawyers fighting with each other on what was the best approach.
And while his defense squabbled, Jackson's mental state deteriorated, the tole of all the publicity and the heartbreak of a family he once thought he had been apart of having turned on him in such a horrific way, doing a complete number on him. The idea that he could hurt a child, and that anyone would even believe that hurt him deeply, having spent all those years doing everything in his power to help children everywhere. It didn't seem to matter what he said, the press was a runaway train and willing to throw thousands if not hundreds of thousands at anyone that had ever set foot on Neverland ranch that was willing to say something about the King of Pop
Naturally disgruntled ex-employees chose to take advantage of the media's insatiability in this matter
- Stella and Philippe Lemarque, Jackson' ex-housekeepers tried to sell their story to the tabloids asking 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."
- The L.A. district attorney's office eventually concluded that both couples were useless as witnesses
- On Dec 1, Hard Line paid $100,000 to talk to five ex security guards of Michael who were preparing a case for wrongful dismissal against their former employer. Diane Dimond alleges the reason they were fired was because "they knew too much about Michael Jackson's strange relationship with young boys." but this wasn't the case at all as one of these guards would later testify in Jackson's defense
- Jackson's lawyer asked Morris Williams several questions under oath, which resulted in Williams confirming that he himself had never seen Jackson do anything inappropriate with Jordan or any child and the first time he had heard anything about it came from the media.
- A maid, Blanca Francia was paid $20,000 to tell Hard Copy that she had seen Michael taking showers and baths with young boys even witnessed her own son in compromising positions with Jackson. Later, under deposition with Jackson's attorney in 2005, she admitted she had never actually seen Jackson shower with anyone nor had she seen him naked with boys in his jacuzzi, they always had swim trunks on
Note that nearly all of these employees had been let go prior to Jordan and Jackson becoming friends, and none of their stories were specifically about Jordan. But not all ex-employees were out to get Jackson. As this case never went to trial, we don't have records of their depositions though some of these depositions would later come up in other trials
- [Dec 7 1993] Adrian McManus, Jackson's maid for the bedroom suite, said under oath that she trusted Jackson and she would leave her own son alone with him
While Jackson managed to get through the case, it had taken a huge psychological toll on him. In November 12 1993 his publicist announced that he was canceling the remainder of his world tour to go into drug rehabilitation to treat his addiction to painkillers.
The Pepsi Incident
In 1984, Jackson was doing a commercial for Pepsi when a pyrotechnics accidentally set Jackson's hair on fire causing 2nd degree burns to his scalp. The injury was painful and left him with a large bald spot that he would spend the next decade trying to fix with plastic surgery. The methods used were incredibly painful and didn't have the highest chances of success, but ever since then he had to be prescribed painkillers to cope with the after effects of the procedure.
Debbie Rowe would say that the issue was a complicated and painful one for him,
"After the burn, Michael had a huge amount of scarring on the top of his head, on the crown. Because he's black, he developed keloids. Keloids are extremely painful, thickening scars. He didn't want to wear hairpieces anymore, and he needed to have something done with the keloids. We were injecting them, which is extremely painful to have done."
During the stress of the allegations, Jackson found himself turning to his painkillers more than he should've, it's believed he was just trying to cope with everything, but unfortunately it led to addiction
Some in the Jackson camp said that he was barely able to function adequately on an intellectual level between the stress and the drugs and this is one of the many reasons he was pushed to settle, his team worried he was on the verge of complete self-destruction and wouldn't survive if he went to trial. Jackson had always been fragile, as much as he loved performing and loved his fans, everything else about being the King of Pop ground him down, which is why Neverland Ranch was three hours outside of LA, away from all the bustle and busyness.
The criminal investigation would end up involving 12 detectives and the DAs of both Santa Barbara and LA counties. This would almost be impressive if the investigation hadn't be so damn ruthless. Tom Sneddon the DA of Santa Barbara became obsessed with nailing Jackson and would pursue every lead with rabid determination for the next fifteen years
Jordan's testimony was a key piece of evidence in this investigation, their goal was to find additional victims willing to testify and or find corroborating evidence that would support Jordan's story and they were willing to do anything to get it.
During the raid on Jackson's residence, while no evidence was found, they recovered Jackson's address book and law enforcement questioned close to 30 children and their families and not one person said anything untoward happened. Brett Barnes and Wade Robson said they had shared Jackson's bed but that's as close to anything salacious they could find
Among the many people that law enforcement spoke to was Corey Feldman who had met Jackson in 1984 when he was 13 years old
"In fact if anyone wants to go back to 1993 when I was interviewed by the Santa Barbara police department, I sat there and I gave them the names, they're on record, they have all of this information but they were scanning Michael Jackson, all they cared about was trying to find something on Michael Jackson"
Michael was innocent, and that was what the interview was about with the police in 1993. I told him he is not that guy and they said "well maybe you just don't understand your friend" and I said "no, I know the difference between pedophiles and somebody who is not a pedophile because I have been molested, here's the names, go and investigate"
Corey notes that his allegations were never investigated
Square One: Michael Jackson
"Many of the children that Jackson has befriended, including Home Alone star Macauley Culkin, have been questioned by police and have testified that their relationship was perfectly innocent. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of children have visited the star's home. The allegations centre on the evidence of just one boy."
The Daily Telegraph, 1993
The detectives also burnt with the same fever as their DA when hunting this case. It is alleged that they lied to children to try and make them accuse Jackson, some even saying they had naked pictures of these children that proved it happened. Several parents came forward to Jackson's lawyer and told him that the officers had told them unequivocally that their children had been molested, even though the children denied anything happened.
"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 Michael Jackson, not a single corroborating witness could be found." Newsday, 1993,
Coming up empty in the attempt to find any other credible victim, Sneddon began grasping at straws.
In Jordan's conversation with the psychiatrist where he alleged the abuse, he was asked to describe Jackson's genitalia. DA Tom Sneddon, desperate for any evidence, served Jackson with a warrant that required him to submit to a full body exam and have pictures taken to compare against this description. Jackson, who was famously introverted and shy, complied with this request, wanting to show he had nothing to hide and wanted to cooperate in any way possible. On Dec 20 1993 Jackson stripped down in a room full of detectives, a doctor and a photographer. Every inch of his body was photographed and at the end of the day it was found that Jordan's description did not match Jackson's body
First, Jordan said that Jackson was circumcised, which he wasn't. But Jordan also mentioned a very important detail, which was discolored patches on his skin, which he described incorrectly
Over the years Jackson was accused of bleaching his skin, said to have hated being black and wanted to become white, there's no denying that Jackson's appearance did change. His skin did lighten, his nose and chin changed dramatically, and he admitted that he did get a job done on his chin cleft, this was the 90s, which was the height of plastic surgery, everyone in Hollywood was getting drastic feature changing surgeries, but the nose situation was a little different and he adamantly denied all allegations that he was ashamed of his race
In 1983 Jackson was diagnosed with discoid lupus erythematosus, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to develop lesions, leaving behind brutal and discolored scars. A famous example of someone with this condition is the musician Seal. This disorder is painful and makes your skin extremely sensitive to sun exposure, which is why Jackson was always seen with a hat or an umbrella.
In 1979, Jackson tripped during a routine and fell and broke his nose, and the initial surgery was reconstructive. But later the lupus would destroy part of the skin on his nose and had troubles breathing and singing, so he had another procedure to correct this. While the reasons for the nose jobs were medical, Jackson did take these opportunities to reshape his nose and was elated about the fact that after his second surgery, he looked a lot less like his father.
At the same time he was also diagnosed with vitiligo a condition which causes the skin to lose all pigmentation in patches. These two conditions combined wreaked havoc on Jackson, not only was he constantly in pain, but it also dramatically began to change his appearance. Jackson was sensitive about his appearance before this, and this did not help.
Over the years he tried everything to cope with this, starting with makeup but eventually turning towards specialized creams designed for vitiligo sufferers that lightened skin pigment in an attempt to make his complexion more even. Vitiligo tends to be most prominent on the face, hands, wrists, mouth eyes, nostrils and genitalia. Jordan's testimony did include mentions of discoloration, but his description did not match Jackson's body. You would think this would be enough to make this part of the testimony moot, but the DA argued that vitiligo does change and advance and that maybe his body had just changed since the abuse occurred. Though that doesn't explain the circumcision aspect.
On Dec 22 1993 Jackson gave a statement:
There have been many disgusting statements made recently concerning allegations of improper conduct on my part. These statements about me are totally false.
I will say that I am particularly upset at the handling of this matter by the incredible, terrible mass media. At every opportunity, the media has dissected and manipulated these allegations to reach their own conclusions. I ask all of you to wait to hear the truth before you label or condemn me.
I have been forced to submit to a dehumanizing and humiliating examination by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles Police Department earlier this week
It was the most humiliating ordeal of my life, one that no person should ever have to suffer. Even after experiencing the indignity of this search, the parties involved were still not satisfied. They wanted to take even more pictures. It was a nightmare, a horrifying nightmare, but if this is what I have to endure to prove my innocence, my complete innocence, so be it.
Throughout my life I have only tried to help thousands upon thousands of children to live happy lives. I am not guilty of these allegations, but if I am guilty of anything it is of giving all that I have to give to help children all over the world; it is of loving children of all ages and races, it is of gaining sheer joy from seeing children with their innocent and smiling faces, it is of enjoying through them the childhood that I missed myself.
Tom Sneddon needed enough evidence that could sway a grand jury to indict or could be deemed probable cause by a judge. Sneddon would ultimately go before the grand jury twice, choosing to not give the defense an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and avoid the spectacle of a public trial. Because of this the testimonies giving during these juries are not available for public record, though many would be brought up in later trials
January 24 1994 Jackson's team would push him to settle. The amounts given to
the Chandlers was never publicly disclosed, but it's commonly thought that
Jordan received $15-20 million and his parents received $2 million. All threats
by the Chandlers against Jackson disappeared overnight, and while they could've
still pursued a criminal case, they never did.
The official settlement agreements say that Michael Jackson "specifically disclaims any liability to, and denies any wrongful acts against the Chandlers." At another point it is written that the civil settlement is explicitly "for alleged compensatory damages for alleged personal injuries arising out of claims of negligence and NOT for claims of intentional or wrongful acts of sexual molestation."
Many today think settling was a mistake for two reasons.
- The first being that it set a precedence that Jackson would cave under allegations and throw money at the problem.
- The second being, that despite the settlement agreement clearly stating that the settlement was in no way an admission of guilt, the media spin for the next thirty years would be that Jackson paid the family for their silence.
The results of the settlement are public, they were available, it was very easy to find out what occurred and statement that was agreed upon, but no one was interested in that resolution, it wasn't as exciting as the narrative that Jackson was actually a predator that used his money to get away with it. It did not help that the criminal investigation by the state was still ongoing and new salacious rumors were coming out every day as people recognized the big pay outs for telling such stories.
By September 1994 the DA was forced to give up the investigation after a year of aggressive, sometimes unethical tactics to sus out any evidence, they had nothing and Jordan Chandler refused to testify. Sneddon closed the case, but promised he would happily reopen it if Jordan ever changed his mind or anyone else came forward. Despite this announcement confirming nothing could be found, the papers didn't seem to care
The year long battle was over, but what no one yet realized was this was a war and it was only just beginning
Evan and Jordan Post Settlement
Evan sells his practice
Apr 1 1994. Evan sold his half of the practice to a colleague Gerald Mells. In May 1994 after it was reported in the news that Evan had control of Jordan's money, suddenly plenty of ex patients came forward, threatening malpractice suits and even one that claimed that Evan had sexually molested her while she was in his chair and she only recently recovered those memories. The irony there is fantastic, but it doesn't make up for the damage done
Emancipation and Nathalie Chandler
You might think that is the end of Jordan Chandler's story, but it's not. A year after the settlement, Jordan emancipated himself from both parents at the age of 14. While he continued to live with Evan, in June's 2005 deposition she reports having not spoken to Evan or Jordan since the trial settled and this was not by her own choice.
On January 3rd 1995, Nathalie Chandler, Evan's second wife would file for divorce. In later court claims she would say that after the settlement of the Jackson case her husband and Jordan just disappeared. He sold his practice, though he later alleges he had plans to come back once things cooled down but they never did. He left his wife standing with a $20,000 tax bill related to the sale of his practice.
We know that two days after the settlement Ray Chandler, Evan's brother began to shop around a story to publishers that would tell the story of the case and the allegations. Ray being the writer is important, as part of the settlement that Evan signed, he was not allowed to talk about the details of the case
Michael Jackson promises that he would not participate in, create, generate, implement or otherwise cause there to be commercial reference or exploitation of the events [1993 civil case]
but if Ray ghost wrote it, it wouldn't be Evan. This book would not come out for another ten years as no publisher would touch it, but based on the contents of the book itself, it's very clear that a large percentage of the content came from Evan. There are several suggestions that when the settlement was made Evan moved in with his brother to write the book
In the updated claim against her husband in 1998, Nathalie would go on to tell how neither Jordan or Evan have been in touch at all since the case, not even to Evan's own children. He left her with $400,000 in legal fees and three years unpaid child support (when he clearly as the money) and she claims he was living off of Jordan's money. This would be bad enough but she would also claim that when Evan's own mother attempted to talk to her son about spending more time with his children, he flew into a rage and has not spoken to her since, Nathalie alleges this is response to anyone that seems to challenge his lifestyle.
Evan is not a person who has a lot of friends. Since he decided to live with and off of his son Jordan, he has become either a nomad or a recluse. He does nothing to provide for his own living, or that of his minor children. He apparently is satisfied to allow his 18 year old son to support him and has purposefully cut himself off from any other family member who disagree with his behavior
Children kept asking petitioner why respondent and their brother Jordan do not love them anymore and refuse to see them or talk to them when the children They haven't seen their father or their brother for an extremely long time for such young children. As a result or respondent's deliberate and cruel abandonment of his two minor children, both children have been in therapy on a regular basis since 1997 and Nicolas now openly states does not want to have anything to do with his father and he does not trust his father anymore. Although custody and visitation are not an issue in this natter, the children's need for therapy has created a further need for financial assistance. If respondent doesn't want to see or talk to his children, he should at least cover the expenses of therapy resulting from his blatant abandonment of them
Petitioner is well aware of the fact that this court cannot order respondent to love his children nor can it order him to visit with his children. The one thing this court can do is order the respondent to support his children, as outlined in the judgment. They should not have to do without, while their father lives in the lap of luxury
Michael Jackson Was My Lover The Secret Diary of Jordie Chandler
In 1996 Victor Gutierrez publishes the book "Michael Jackson Was My Lover: the secret diary of Jordie Chandler" . The contents depict graphic sexual descriptions of a relationship between Jordan and Michael as well as other boys that Michael was having relations with. The book opens with "In the five months of their relationship Michael Jackson and Jordie Chandler were happy… It was love... In a hundred years maybe such relationships will be accepted by society"
The Chandlers have come out and said that Jordan never kept a diary and if he had and if it had contained descriptions of his abuse it would've been very important evidence against Jackson and Jordan himself testified that none of the contents were true. The book has strong underlying tones of pro pedophilia and in the credits he thanks NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association).
So who the hell is Victor Gutierrez? According to Gutierrez, he had attended a 1986 NAMBLA conference, he says that while there he overheard someone say how great it would be if Jackson was "one of us", that maybe if he was there would finally be acceptance for their "lifestyle". Gutierrez claims the thought inspired him and he became obsessed with trying to prove Jackson was a pedophile.
In 2006, Gutierrez spoke with GQ and in that article it says this
"For the next five years Gutierrez tracked down as many of Jackson's current and former associates as he could. Being Latino himself helped – it was relatively easy for him to strike up friendships with Jackson's El Salvadorean maid, Blanca Francia, who left Jackson's employment in 1991, and the star's Costa Rican PA (personal assistant), Orietta Murdock, who sued him for unfair dismissal in 1992."
In the 2005 trial many ex-employees of Jackson were called in to testify and a surprising amount admitted that they had spoken to Gutierrez before they went to the tabloids and it's strongly implied that he had coached them on what to say.
Gutierrez would also over the years claim multiple times to have evidence that Jackson was a child molester, including photographs and videos, though when he was taken to court by Jackson, he admitted he had no such thing. Jackson won $2.7 million in this case. It's said that Gutierrez fled America to prevent paying this charge. Gutierrez would go on to try and run similar scams against a Chilean politician and his ex wife. In 2008 he would be sentenced to 61 days in jail and ordered to pay approximately $60,000 to the ex-wife, this is the highest damages ever award in a case of this type in Chile
Gutierrez and Evan
Anyways if this is all Gutierrez did I wouldn't be bothering mentioning him while he's a trash human, he's such a footnote in this story, a consistent one that regularly shows up, but a footnote. That was until I came across a really interesting piece of information.
Families that had known Jackson and had been photographed with him, including the Robsons who would be featured in Leaving Neverland claimed in 1992 that Victor had contacted them telling them he believed Jackson was a pedophile. All these families shut him down, but one may have taken that call
In 2005, ten years after Gutierrez's book, Raymond Chandler, Evan Chandler's brother publishes his book "All that Glitters" wherein he talks about the case and the events surrounding it.
The book doesn't contain anything revolutionary, hell in many cases Evan undermines his own story by including stories like how Jordan first admitted the abuse under the influence of an anesthetic and coercive questioning. But most shockingly some of the events described sound eerily like some of the stories described in Gutierrez's book, some almost word for word. In Gutierrez's book there are many claims of "Evan said this" "Evan said that" and included are photos of legal documents and of a drawing Jordan made of Jackson's genitalia that was never made public. Gutierrez would have had to have gotten this from somewhere and the duplication of events is far too prevalent and uncanny for it to be a coincidence.
Now the drawing has scribbles on the side, and among them is the name Orietta, a personal assistant that had been fired by Jackson in 1992, before Jordan would have met Jackson. Gutierrez has boasted about befriending some of the ex staff Orietta included.
I want to take you back to the recording of Evan from before the first trial
"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. Everything's going according to a certain plan that isn't just mine"
MR. CHANDLER: — this guy will certainly get it. That's the next step. And you want to know something? I even have somebody after him if he doesn't [tape irregularity]. But I don't want [tape malfunctioned]. I'm not kidding. I mean what I told you before.
MR. CHANDLER: There are other people involved that are waiting for my phone call that are intentionally going to be in certain I paid them to do it. They're doing their job. I gotta just go ahead and follow through on the time zone. My instructions were to kill and destroy [tape irregularity], I'm telling you. I mean, and by killing and destroying, I'm going to torture them, Dave.
We know that Evan had hired attorney Barry Rothman, but this implies that multiple people were involved in this plan
Turningthetablesonthechandlers.com post snippets of a conversation from 2013 that they had with tabloid broker
Broker: You asked about the Chandlers and the problem came in that lawsuit with the Chandlers when they cooperated with Gutierrez. That's how Michael was able to sue because they had a nondisclosure and once Evan Chandler started cooperating with Victor Gutierrez that put him in violation of the nondisclosure.
During the 93 trial, an alleged victim had come forward to a journalist. The kid lived in Canada, so the journalist flew to Toronto to question the boy. At first his story was very thorough, and he was able to answer questions about Neverland and its staff, but at some point the kid caves under pressure and admits that he made the whole thing up and hadn't even met Jackson before. When asked where this came from the kid tells them it was a man named Rodney Allen
They track down Rodney Allen and he readily admits he's the one that told the kid what to say. Guess where Rodney Allen is today? Serving a life sentence in a Canadian prison for pedophilia.
This might seem disconnected but wait, but hold tight as this is where it gets really bonkers.
Several years after a blog post is published which is a letter directed to Jackson apologizing for all that was said and how horrible the writer felt. It was later confirmed via letter exchange that this blog post had been written by Rodney Allen, but not just that, he admitted that the whole reason he did it was because Gutierrez and Evan Chandler had promised to pay him if he helped their case against Jackson, and he never was paid.
If this is true, that means that Evan was working with Gutierrez in an attempt to frame Jackson. We already know that Gutierrez was reaching out to friends of Jackson in 1992, so it's entirely possible that he is the one that reached out to Evan, as Jordan was photographed several times with Jackson, and may even be the one that put the idea of Jackson abusing his son in his head. Gutierrez was a journalist with tabloid contacts and connections with Jackson's ex staff, who encouraged the staff to go to the tabloids. Gutierrez also had connections with pedophile circles, so he and Evan allegedly hired the now convicted pedophile, Rodney Allen to fabricate another victim, but that fell through.
Why team up with Gutierrez?
We know that Evan had wanted to write a book but couldn't with the gag order, but lo and behold Gutierrez publishes a book the next year, with several sections that are almost exactly the same as the book Evan would later do with his brother.
Not long after the settlement Dave Schwartz, June's husband would take Evan to court. June Chandler makes this declaration
I suspect that defendant has either influenced or been instrumental in keeping alive the public's interest in our lives, much to my dismay and consternation. I believe that he, or those acting on his behalf, have been continually providing the media with information regarding my son, myself and defendant. In particular, defendant and his brother have authored a book regarding our ordeal. While they have purportedly agreed to refrain from publishing the book, they have nonetheless advised me that the transcript mysteriously disappeared from defendant's home. At the same time, a National Enquirer reporter that had been hounding me has suddenly revealed that he has a manuscript.
In 2004 something must've soured between Evan and Gutierrez as Evan's brother called Gutierrez a "sleazebag" and stated he did not endorse his book, now this is eight years after it was published. In August 2004 the Chandler book "All that Glitters" is published.
MR. CHANDLER: There's no reason why they would have to cut me out unless they — unless they need me to be away so they can do certain things which I don't think are good to be doing. And I — and not only that, but I don't even have anything to say about it, okay? [tape irregularity] I think what they're doing and it isn't bad, and so maybe I'm wrong
Jackson v Evan Chandler
After the settlement was reached, Evan went after Jackson again in '95 claiming that his album "HIStory" broke the agreement they'd made to not talk about the settlement. He sought $60million and permission to make his own music album titled "EVANstory" you can't make this shit up. The case naturally got tossed but it shows that Evan wasn't done with Jackson.
Michael Jackson promises that he would not participate in, create, generate, implement or otherwise cause there to be commercial reference or exploitation of the events [1993 civil case]
Much of the suffering these parties have been put through was caused by the publicity surrounding this case. We jointly request that members of the press allow the parties to close this chapter in their lives with dignity so that the healing process may begin [1993 civil case]
Evan writes a declaration (Feb 20 1997]. In it he claims his left is LA dental practice, turning it over to his office Gerald R Mells, with plans to return after some quiet and relaxation. He provided a letter he claims was sent to his patients wherein he states he planned to return. In Spring 1995 Evan decided to return to his profession but learned of Jackson's upcoming press circuit and decided to wait to see what happened. After the interview with Diane Sawyer, Evan claims he received an increase in number and intensity of death threats and harassment against him. He claims the program made it impossible to return to his professional practice or normal life.
Claiming that he cannot conduct a practice that would expose and put both him and his patients at risk.
Multiple filings related to the breaching of this contract were made, with at least one filed with Jordan as the plaintiff and one with Evan as the plaintiff, the defense pushes for this filings to be consolidated. In the end though all of these filings with be dismissed
Meanwhile, In 2003 the next set of allegations would begin and would go to trial in 2004-2005. The prosecution made a motion to be able to bring "prior bad acts" evidence into the case meaning they could take evidence and testimony from the 1993 trial and use it for the 2005 trial, this motion was approved. In September 2004 prosecution sought out Jordan Chandler, who refused to testify and said if they tried to make him he'd legally fight it. It's alleged that he left the country to avoid testifying. Jordan's mother was subpoenaed and testified that she hadn't talked to her son or her ex-husband, Evan in 11 years, not since the trial.
Jackson Acquitted and Evan vs Jordan
On Jun 13 2005, Jackson is acquitted of all 14 charges.
Evan v Jordan
You would think that would be the end but not even a month later Jordan (Jul 6) his father attempted to choke him, sprayed his eyes with mace or pepper spray and had struck him in the head with a dumbbell
"struck [Jordan] on the head from behind with a twelve and one-half pound weight and then sprayed his eyes with mace or pepper spray and tried to choke him". A judge later "found that the weight could have caused serious bodily injury or death".
Evan was originally charged with two counts of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury, un-lawful possession of a weapon and possession of weapons for unlawful purposes.
The charges were later dropped to two counts of simple assault. Harassment, improper behavior (A person is guilty of a petty disorderly person's offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof)
Evan goes after Jordan's Money
On Jul 24 Evan filed a lawsuit against Jordan which had to do with Jordan's trust fund from the original settlement. The case was dismissed with prejudice on March 21, 2007.
On Aug 5 Jordan would receive a temporary restraining order from his father, though his request for a final restraining order was dismissed. At the time of the attack, father and son were living together in New Jersey
Jackson's death / Evan's suicide
Jackson passed away on Jun 25 2009 and on Nov 5 2009 Evan would take his own life
Evan Chandler's will:
Names friend Alan Margulies as Executor of his estate leaving him any and all assets. Along with and all awards and/or settlements received by his estate. Chandler specifically names two lawsuits involving Novartis pharmaceutical and his physicians who prescribed him the cancer treatment drug Zometa/Aredia, for which he suffered side effects.
"I direct that I be cremated and that no family or next of kin be advised of my death."
"For reasons best known between us, I purposefully make no provisions in this, my last will and testament, for any of my children or their issue." He makes no provision for any family members and specifically states that, "no next of kin be granted or given any powers over my estate or my remains."
To sum that up: to humiliate Jackson and get money, Evan kidnapped and drugged his own child with a dangerous anesthetic that makes an individual incredibly suggestible and through coercive questioning, his son admits abuse. Evan, instead of going to the police takes Jackson to Civil Court. He teams up with a morally bankrupt lawyer, connects with a pedophile to help drum up corroborating evidence, including encouraging Jackson's ex employees to go to the tabloids with stories they would later admit in a court of law were fabricated and encouraged by Gutierrez and hiring another pedophile to fabricate another victim. When that fails, Evan is forced to agree to Jackson's settlement as the rabid DA had not found one shred of evidence.
When no publisher was willing to risk publishing the Chandler's version of events, his co-conspirator pedophile writes a horrific and grotesque book that romanticizes child sexual abuse about Evan's own son with portions that appear to have come from the Chandler's themselves. When that didn't work out, Evan goes after Jackson for breaking their agreement to make revenue off speaking on the case, which gets thrown out. Evan would publish his own story with his brother as ghost writer. When Jordan gets another chance to testify against Jackson in 2004, he refuses, and not even a month after Jackson's acquittal, Evan beats the shit out of his son, triggering him to file a restraining order against him. To then end his own life five months after Jackson's death, penniless and estranged from all family.
He ruined the lives of dozens probably hundreds, as this very case is the foundation for every single case that follows and many elements of the story that James Safechuck and Wade Robson would tell in Leaving Neverland seem to be lifted directly from Gutierrez's book.
And most importantly he ruined his son's life who will now spend the rest of his life dodging reporters and fleeing the country every time some asshole decides to take a jab at the Jackson estate. He ruined Jordan's relationship with his hero and drags his son through the mud for his own personal gain, even turning his mother to his side, causing Jordan to feel like he needed to relinquish both those relationships for good.
What was Evan's deal?
It's hard to say, though many reported that Evan had serious anger issues and it's believed that is why both June and his second wife divorced him. Evan also would punch Dave Schwartz, June's second husband in september 1993 while discussing the lawsuit against Jackson in June's lawyer's office. Schwartz would later file a lawsuit against Evan in which he mentioned previous physical encounters with Evan.
In a 1994 deposition June would also mention an incident where an argument between Evan and his second wife, Nathalie would become physical. After Evan's death, reporter Diane Dimond (who was described in Evan's book as his "closest ally" in the media) would claim that Evan had bipolar disorder.
He was known to be explosively jealous and claimed that every woman he ever dated had cheated on him and had this obsession with people lying to him, always thinking people were lying when they didn't tell him what he wanted to hear. It should be noted that like Jordan, when Evan left his second wife, he seemed to have no interest in their kids either, thankfully they seemingly never befriended any celebrities. Whatever it was, at the time of his death, Evan was alone having burnt every bridge he once had,
A relative said: Evan began to develop tremendous mood swings. He was always depressed. He stopped coming to family events because he was afraid of being recognized. That turned into permanent estrangement.
Our last update on Jordan comes from the early 2000s
Josephine Zohny is attending NYU for music business. During an ice breaker event, a man comes up to compliment her Michael Jackson tour shirt, she would later find out this man was Jordan Chandler. Over the years they were mostly acquaintances but Josephine does say that Jordan once told her that he had a poor relationship with his parents, claiming they had used him.
Jordan was going to school for music and was always seen with his guitar, he said he liked to write pop/r&b music just like Michael Jackson. As Jordan had been a minor when he made his allegations, his name wasn't public, so no one knew who he was, Josephine eventually figured it out, but never confronted him about it, not wanting retraumatize him.
Josephine recalls in 2003 when a controversial documentary titled "Living with Michael Jackson" came out that it reignited interest in the 93 allegations, she was having a discussion with some friends about Jackson's guilt, most, certain that he was guilty. Josephine said she thought otherwise, and Jordan Chandler who had overheard the conversation, chimed in saying that he didn't think Jackson was capable of doing anything like that. Josephine reports hearing Jordan say similar things over the next couple months
Josephine loses touch with Jordan after school.
Little is known about what happened to Jordan after this, but he is alleged to be going under a different name now and seems to be doing well, may have even reconnected with his mom
Statements from Other Families
"He was wonderful and we treated him as part of our family," said Dominic's wife Connie. Jackson grew so fond of the family he occasionally spent Christmas and other holidays with them. Including one Halloween where he dressed up with the children –wearing blue scrubs and a surgical mask. "I love to trick or treat," revealed Jackson. "I love dressing up like some kind of monster… and knocking on doors. Nobody knows it's me and I get candy!"
One of Michael's favorite activities while staying with the Casio family was helping to clean the house. "He took my garbage out one night. He loved doing things like that, said Connie.' He tried to clean up the house …his way of cleaning," she laughingly said.
"Every time he came to our house, he begged her to make a turkey dinner, complete with mashed potatoes, yams and cranberry sauce. Michael loved cranberry sauce. And always peach cobbler for dessert," said Frank. "He would always make sure that before every meal that we said our prayers, you know, said grace. And even afterwards we'd all sit down and go through and just talk about what we're thankful for" Eddie explains.
"Michael is one of the most important people in my life. He was my best friend. We were strongly connected because he knew what I was going through. Stress, abuse, an oppressive family. He was always present and understanding. " Macaulay
"I'm gonna begin with the line — it's not a line, it's the truth — he never did anything to me," Macaulay Culkin told Esquire. "I never saw him do anything. And especially at this flash point in time, I'd have no reason to hold anything back. The guy has passed on. If anything–I'm not gonna say it would be stylish or anything like that–but right now is a good time to speak up. And if I had something to speak up about, I would totally do it. But no, I never saw anything; he never did anything."
"Here's a good Michael Jackson story that doesn't involve Michael Jackson at all: I ran into James Franco on a plane," Macaulay Culkin told Esquire in a new interview. "I'd bumped into him two or three times over the years. I give him a little nod as we're putting our bags overhead. Hey, how you doing? Good, how ya doing? And it was right after the Leaving Neverland documentary came out, and he goes, 'So, that documentary!' And that was all he said. I was like, 'Uh-huh.' Silence. So then he goes, 'So what do you think?' And I turned to him and I go, 'Do you wanna talk about your dead friend?' And he sheepishly went, 'No, I don't.' So I said, 'Cool, man, it was nice to see you.'"
"He enjoyed my youthfulness. He liked being a kid with me," he told Marc Maron during a 2018 interview. "It never struck me as odd. I never felt uncomfortable. That was just the way he was."
Excerpts from "Lost Boy" by Kit Culkin, Macaulay's father (2005)
"Michael's bedroom (an enormous room with alcoves and dressing rooms and a fireplace and French doors leading out to a private garden, as well as a stairway leading to the entire upstairs) was almost always an open place to hang out in, as was most all of the rest of the house. My children would sit on the bed, as would I, to play cards or checkers, or watch television or whatever, but then we would do so most everywhere else also. They might of occasion fall asleep there, just as they might of occasion fall asleep most anywhere else, and at most any daylight hour. While they had a bedtime, I rarely enforced it, as they were, after all, at Neverland to play
"Let's be 100% clear here I was never a victim. My big Bro Michael has been nothing but kind and a role model to me and my family. I suggest you pick a subject you really know because obviously you don't know Michael and you don't know me. Spread peace not false rumors." Emmanuel Lewis
Marion Spence , "Michael had a load of kids sleeping in his bed all at the same time. There wasn't anything funny going on there. He just liked to be around kids and toys. Michael was such a good person. He wouldn't hurt a fly or anybody or anything. Michael was very kind hearted. The media harps on the tragic because that's what people want to hear. They're not interested on the good things too much. Anything that's a scandal, they're into it, but really they got the wrong person when they thought about Michael." Her family did indeed have a long-term friendship with the superstar, confirmed that her son Jonathan was married at Neverland years later.
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