M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy
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Subject: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 1:53 am
Lisa is an attorney and Christy, a fellow professional writer
Michael Jackson was an enigma, to say the least. Much has been written analyzing everything from his psyche to his appearance to his talent, and there are opinions across the board about the allegations of molestation leveled against him during his life. Fan sites abound with opinionated and impassioned statements and articles about his innocence, most of which simply proclaim that he was found not guilty in a court of law. But there are countless details—including FBI files released in December 2009, court records, and public records—that offer a more well-rounded and supportable claim of innocence against all the charges, not just those in the criminal case.
Lisa: I was never a big Michael Jackson fan. However, having been born in the early 1970’s, Michael’s music was always in the background, always there to be heard and enjoyed. On June 25, 2009, the only news I had received was that Farah Fawcett’s long battle with cancer was finally over. When I returned home after work that evening, I logged on to Yahoo and was horrified by the headline “Michael Jackson Is Dead.” I began to text my husband, trying to multitask by running through the news channels at the same time. I watched CNBC, Fox News, CNN, and whatever channel happened to be broadcasting information about Michael’s untimely demise. As the world knows, the media coverage about Michael was non-stop, with everyone seemingly having an opinion about every aspect of Michael’s life and death. After many weeks of following the story, I continued to be struck by the fact that while so many mourned, so many others made cruel jokes. The dichotomy of feelings engendered by this man was fascinating, albeit in a horrifying way.
Back in 1993, when the first allegations were made public, I was in college. I didn’t really read the accounts of what was happening, but I knew the basic allegations, and for some reason, they didn’t sit well with me. Even after the settlement, I didn’t believe that Michael Jackson had committed the alleged acts.
In 2005, I was sucked into the media reports and thought that Michael was going to jail. Again, I did not believe the allegations, but the evidence being reported at the time was so overwhelming that it seemed a foregone conclusion. When he was found not guilty of all 14 counts of the criminal complaint on June 13, 2005, I completely understood why Michael chose to leave his home country.
However, Michael’s death made me want to delve into the evidence of all the allegations against him in order to determine what really transpired in 1993, and then again ten years later. With some apprehension, I plowed into the research. Once I started even the most basic search I was stunned by how little evidence there was against Michael—both in the allegations of Jordie Chandler and the court case of Gavin Arvizo. I was also confounded that so few credible journalists came to the aid of Michael Jackson, reporting anything other than salacious allegations.
Christy: My husband walked into my office in the afternoon of June 25, 2009, and said, “It’s a bad day to be a celebrity.” At my puzzled look, he said, “Farrah Fawcett died. And so did Michael Jackson.” I was stunned. I skipped right over the Farrah Fawcett news; while I certainly was sorry for what she’d endured, her illness was no secret, and in many ways I was grateful that her suffering was over. But Michael Jackson… that caught my attention. Like millions of others, I immediately became glued to the TV and the Internet, trying to discern fact from fiction. After Thriller, I had lost track of Michael Jackson over the years, not really paying attention to his music or to his life—although it was hard to miss the sensational stories the tabloids frequently ran on their covers every time he dared to venture out. But as I listened to the reports, like Lisa, I was struck by how judgmental and unkind so many people were. I asked my husband if he thought Michael Jackson was a pedophile; he didn’t believe so. I didn’t either, but I didn’t know why I didn’t believe so. Neither of us had followed the 2005 criminal trial in any depth, so I thought perhaps that was why we weren’t inclined to believe the worst. My curious nature got the best of me, and I donned my ‘investigator’ hat and went to work. With so much information available at my fingertips, it was pretty simple to dig deeper.
I began with that bastion of celebrity, Vanity Fair. When I began my research, I had great respect for Maureen Orth, a National Magazine Award-winning journalist and widow of Tim Russert, the famous host of NBC’s Meet the Press. I knew Ms. Orth had covered celebrities for VF, and after only a few keystrokes, I had copies of all of her articles on Michael Jackson. As I began to read, a sense of horror came over me. Sentence after sentence screamed, “bias.” I was appalled at the bias in the reporting, the evident lack of concern about concealing that bias, and at the poor writing and editing.
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 1:54 am
A Note About Our Sources
For those who take the time to plow into the formidable amount of material that exists on the allegations against Michael Jackson, the first thing you notice is the lack of evidence. It’s just not there, which we’ll point out in great detail in the following pages. What you’ll also notice is that almost no credible journalists came to his aid during this time.
Throughout this article, we’ve cited various books and publications written about Michael Jackson, including the book that Diane Dimond wrote. While most people agree that Diane Dimond is a tabloid journalist, meeting all the derogatory descriptions inherent in that title, we’ve included her book on Jackson as a reference. The reason? She claims to be the ‘expert’ on the allegations against Michael, saying that she’s spent years researching the topic. It’s interesting to note that we’ve used her extensive research and her book to disprove the allegations that she set out to prove. The irony does not escape us.
Lisa is an attorney, and she put her legal expertise to work here, poring through court transcripts and the recently released FBI files about Michael Jackson. She was able to cull relevant and frequently unreported evidence, and it’s included here. Dozens of books and articles about the allegations also served as source material, and it’s our hope that this article will give readers a well-rounded view of the many false accusations leveled against Michael, as well as the complete lack of evidence behind those allegations.
On the surface, it may seem reasonable that no credible journalists reported anything positive about this case; molesting a child is a heinous crime whose victim is more often than not silenced by the abusing adult. On the other hand, an accusation such as that is almost impossible to overcome; and in Hollywood—where image is the only thing—it’s poison. No one wants to be associated with even a hint of something so scandalous. Not surprisingly, the rich and famous, playing to type, turned their backs on Michael Jackson. Or, if they supported him they did so quietly, not in front of a camera or to a journalist. Even his self-proclaimed biographer, J. Randy Taraborrelli, who attended the trial and must have heard the evidence—or lack thereof—stated that the “testimony had been damning.” In actuality, nothing could have been further from the truth. And the jury happened to notice.
It is our hope that learning the truth will clear the name of one who was devastatingly wronged for doing nothing more than sharing his talent with the world. He wanted to bring love to people wherever he went, and rather than recognize that gift for what it was, the world in which he lived turned it into something dirty and base. Michael Jackson should be vindicated, and it’s tragic that it didn’t happen while he was alive to know of it. But his children are still alive, and their father’s legacy needs to move forward untainted by the false accusations that ultimately led to his demise.
So let’s start at the beginning….
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:27 am
Jordan Chandler (Jordie Chandler)
Michael met Jordie in the summer of 1992 when his car broke down near a Rent-A-Wreck in West Los Angeles, which was at the time owned by Jordie’s stepfather, David Schwartz. June Chandler, Jordie’s mother, testified at the 2005 trial that Jordie had been a fan of Michael Jackson, and that Jordie liked to dress like Michael—wearing a “sparkly jacket” and a single glove—and dance like Michael at parties. So when Michael arrived at the Rent-A-Wreck, David Schwartz was not only happy to help him, but he also asked Michael to wait for his wife to bring Jordie to meet him. Michael acquiesced, and he and Jordie and June met for the first time. June gave Michael their home phone number and suggested that Michael call Jordie. Michael first called the Chandler house one or two months after the initial meeting. At the time of the call, Michael was on a European tour promoting the Dangerous album; that leg of the tour went on hiatus on December 31, 1992.
In February 1993, June, Jordie, and his half-sister Lily, made their first visit to Neverland, with June driving the family there from Los Angeles. The three stayed in one of the guest cottages for two nights and enjoyed the rides and amusements at Neverland. The second trip to Neverland was made a week or two after the first. Jordie, Lily, and June later became regulars at Michael’s Neverland Ranch; this was particularly true when June and David separated.
In addition to trips to Neverland, Michael stayed at Mrs. Chandler’s home approximately 30 nights from the middle of April 1993 through the end of May 1993. The family had also been to Michael’s “hideout” apartment in Century City. She was always present with her son when Michael stayed in her home or when they were at the Century City apartment. The Chandlers also traveled with Michael; June testified to a two- or three-day trip to the Mirage in Las Vegas in March 1993, and she and her children also traveled to Disney World in Orlando and to New York with Michael in April 1993.
It was during the trip to Las Vegas that Michael and Jordie slept in the same bed for the first time. According to June Chandler:
A. I was told Jordan and Michael watched an Exorcist movie.
Q. All right. Did you ever object to Jordie sleeping in Michael’s room on that trip?
Q. And what did you say?
A. “Jordie, when you come home, go to your bed. Go to your own bed. Come to our bed, not to Michael’s bed.” He said, “Mom, I want to stay there.” And I was very upset about that.
Q. Now, this was before the approximately 30 nights that he stayed at your home --
Q. -- in Santa Monica, right?
Q. And you did allow him to stay at your home in Santa Monica, right?
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:31 am
Jordie’s father (June’s ex-husband) Evan Chandler, was a practicing dentist and an aspiring screenwriter. Evan had re-married a woman named Monique, and the couple had a son named Nikki. In April of 1993, Evan did some checking up on Jordie’s new friend, Michael. According to Evan’s April 16, 1993, diary entry, Evan asked his patient Carrie Fisher to contact Dr. Arnold Klein to request information about Michael. According to the diary entry, Dr. Klein said that Michael was perfectly straight and that Evan had nothing to worry about. In May of 1993, Evan began to become friendly with Michael. He evidently liked being Michael’s friend and enjoyed the attendant limelight.
Evan Chandler’s claim to fame was that he co-wrote the movie Robin Hood: Men in Tights with Mel Brooks in 1992. The original concept and some of the imaginative input into the screenplay can be credited to Jordie Chandler, who was 11 years old at the time. Jordie’s input was confirmed by his mother, who suggested that it would have been nice had Evan given his son $5,000 for the work that he contributed to the script.
According to Evan Chandler’s diary dated “May 7 or 8,” 1993:
I went to the house to see Jordie, but they were in such a hurry we didn’t have time to talk. June showed me the $7,000 first-class tickets Michael had sent over [for the trip to Monaco]. I was happy for her—a man was finally treating her good. Jordie looked great and acted the same as always. I had no suspicions. As they drove away I remember thinking how great it would be if June divorced Dave and married Michael. She would finally have a great life with someone who treated her with respect.
On May 9, 1993, Michael and his entourage checked into the Winston Churchill Suite of the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. The group consisted of eight people: Michael; the Chandlers (June, Jordie, and Lily); Michael’s publicist, Bob Jones; and four bodyguards. On May 10, 1993, Michael had dinner with Prince Albert. On May 12, 1993, he attended the World Music Awards with the Chandlers. On May 13, 1993, the group traveled to Disneyland Paris. They returned to California on May 16, 1993.
On May 18, 1993, Michael received two awards for “Black or White” and “Remember the Time” at the 41st BMI Annual Pop Awards Dinner at the Regency Beverly Wiltshire Hotel in Los Angeles. At the time, “Black or White” and “Remember the Time” were the two most performed songs of the year. On May 19, 1993, Michael received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guinness Book of Records at the Guinness Museum of World Records in Los Angeles.
Amidst his busy schedule, on May 22, 1993, to the astonishment of guests, Michael attended Nikki Chandler’s birthday party at the Chandler home. At the time, Evan said, [w]ho wouldn’t want his kid to be Michael Jackson’s pal?” Michael spent the next two nights at the Chandler home, sleeping on a cot in a room with both Nikki and Jordie. Michael stayed at Evan’s house between four and seven consecutive days.
However, it’s important to mention that it was prior to this May 22nd visit that Evan allegedly first questioned Michael about the nature of his relationship with Jordie. In early May 1993, Evan claimed that he asked Michael whether he was having sex with Jordie, which is an interesting way to phrase such a question, given the obvious disparity in age between Jordie and Michael. Despite his alleged suspicions, Evan not only permitted, but he also encouraged, Michael to spend nights at his home and in the same room with both sons Jordie and Nikki.
One has to wonder why Evan would have encouraged the friendship with Michael if he had truly been concerned about the relationship. In fact, Evan did more than encourage; he suggested that Michael build an addition to his house so that Michael could spend even more time with Jordie under the aegis of the Chandler home. Zoning restrictions apparently prevented such an addition, so Evan suggested that Michael purchase a larger home for the Chandlers so that he could stay there regularly. While the exact dates of the housing discussion aren’t known, presumably they occurred after Michael first stayed in Evan Chandler’s home. June confirmed that these statements were true.
By June 1993, Evan had already gone to attorney Barry Rothman and had begun to hatch a plot to extort money from Michael based upon a claim of sexual abuse of Jordie. What remained to be seen was whether June Chandler would be complicit in Evan’s plan.
At the end of June 1993, Jordie was going to graduate from the seventh grade. Originally he planned to attend a year-end dance with his peers. However, he abruptly announced that instead of attending the dance, he had chosen to make plans to spend the evening with Michael. At graduation in June 1993, beginning to lay the groundwork for his plan, Evan expressed his concerns about Jordie’s relationship with Michael. According to June Chandler’s attorney, Michael Freeman, “[s]he thought the whole thing was baloney.” In fact, she told Evan that she and the children had been invited to accompany Michael on his Dangerous tour and would be leaving on August 15, 1993. (Based on Evan’s earlier response to the trip the family took with Michael to Monaco—where he expressed happiness for their good fortune, according to his diary—June had no reason to fear that Evan would take issue with their plans.) But when June made Evan aware of the August 15 date, she inadvertently gave him a deadline by which to enact his plot. Accompanying Michael would mean taking the children out of school and having them taught by private tutors, which gave Evan the premise of saying that Michael was having a negative effect on his family. Evan was later recorded saying, “[Jackson] broke up the family. [Jordan] has been seduced by this guy’s power and money.”
That comment was made during a private telephone conversation with David Schwartz, Jordie’s stepfather, on July 8, 1993. When read in its entirety, this conversation is revealing for a number of reasons. One gets the impression that Evan Chandler felt slighted and ignored—and probably intimidated—by the relationship Michael had with his ex-wife and son. During the conversation, Evan seems to go from being frustrated with being ignored (evidently his phone calls to June and Michael had been unreturned); to feeling “put out” that “they” have been putting him through so much (he doesn’t elaborate on what exactly he’s been put through); to vindictive, saying that after the meeting he had scheduled for the next day between Michael, Jordie, June, Dave, and himself, if they didn’t respond they way he wanted them to, he was going to enact a plan to destroy everyone involved—except himself. At the time, David Schwartz was attempting to determine the reason for the meeting Evan was demanding that they all attend on July 9, 1993. The tape was released to the public on September 2, 1993.
Some of the highlights of the conversation include Evan saying:
I had a good communication with Michael, . . . [w]e 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. During her 2005 trial testimony, June Chandler admitted that she had told the DA in 1993 that Evan said the relationship with Michael was a wonderful means of Jordie not having to worry for the rest of his life. But in 2005, she declined to explain what Evan meant, claiming that she could only offer speculation about his comments.
In the same taped conversation, when asked how Chandler’s confrontation would affect his son, Chandler replied: [t]hat’s irrelevant to me… It will be a massacre if I don't get what I want. It’s going to be bigger than all us put together… This man [Jackson] is going to be humiliated beyond belief… He will not sell one more record. If I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever. June is gonna lose Jordy. She will have no right to see him again.”
After hearing the tape recording, Michael said, “I knew then and there that it was extortion. He said it right on the tape.” Michael then turned the matter over to his attorney, Bert Fields and Field’s investigator, Anthony Pellicano.
Pellicano has been referred to as the “private eye to the stars” In addition to Michael Jackson, his client roster included such names as Chris Rock, Tom Cruise, and Yoko Ono. He liked being known as a tough guy, and he played his role to the hilt. According to Bert Fields, “He came up with stuff that other people didn’t. He did that over and over again. He was just better.” In 2008, law enforcement officials discovered hundreds of hours of illegally wiretapped conversations that Pellicano taped out of a small, secure room he called “the Bat-cave.” In December of 2008, after being found guilty on 78 counts that included wiretapping and racketeering, Pellicano was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. But in 1993, when he was working on the Michael Jackson case, Pellicano was simply viewed as the best private investigator in Hollywood to have on your side. He was savvy, and he had a reputation for getting at the truth.
On July 9, 1993, instead of meeting with Evan Chandler, Dave Schwartz and June Chandler played the tape recording for Pellicano. Pellicano subsequently interviewed Jordie Chandler on July 10, 1993, asking specific questions about whether Michael Jackson had molested him. Pellicano has stated that Jordie repeatedly denied that any acts of molestation had occurred; in fact, Jordie denied that he had ever seen Michael naked. The investigator was satisfied with the interview. Based on his reputation, had Pellicano had reason to believe something untoward had occurred between Jordie and Michael, he would have taken steps to hide it. His nickname in Hollywood is the ‘sin eater.’ He did no such thing, but rather, became Michael’s ally in confronting the extortionist.
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:32 am
To give the reader an idea of the personalities involved in bringing these allegations against Michael Jackson, we need to include a bit of background about Barry Rothman, the attorney Evan Chandler hired. Much material is available on this man and his reputation, but Mary A. Fischer did an exceptional job of painting a vivid picture of Rothman in her 1994 GQ article, “Was Michael Jackson Framed?” Fischer gathered much of her information from Geraldine Hughes, Barry Rothman’s legal secretary during the time of the Chandler allegations. Here is just a portion of what Fischer reported:
Former employees say they sometimes had to beg for their paychecks. And sometimes the checks that they did get would bounce. He couldn’t keep legal secretaries. "He’d demean and humiliate them," says one. Temporary workers fared the worst. "He would work them for two weeks," adds the legal secretary, "then run them off by yelling at them and saying they were stupid. Then he'd tell the agency he was dissatisfied with the temp and wouldn’t pay.
Ms Fischer also reported Mr. Rothman’s brush with the ethics committee. She wrote:
The [California] state bar’s 1992 disciplining of Rothman grew out of a conflict-of-interest matter. A year earlier, a client, Muriel Metcalf, whom he’d been representing in child-support and custody proceedings, had kicked Rothman off a case; Metcalf later accused him of padding her bill. Four months after Metcalf fired him, Rothman, without notifying her, began representing the company of her estranged companion, Bob Brutzman.
The case is revealing for another reason: It shows that Rothman had some experience dealing with child-molestation allegations before the Jackson scandal. Metcalf, while Rothman was still representing her, had accused Brutzman of molesting their child (which Brutzman denied). Rothman's knowledge of Metcalf's charges didn't prevent him from going to work for Brutzman’s company—a move for which he was disciplined.
Evan Chandler was recorded saying about his attorney:
“[t]here 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.”
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 smart and he’s hungry for publicity.
Prior to July 15, 1993, Barry Rothman contacted psychiatrist Mathis Abrams, M.D. and described—in his own words and hypothetically—the relationship between Michael and Jordie. Note that Dr. Abrams did not examine Jordie or Michael and did not speak with Evan Chandler in rendering an opinion. Dr. Abrams did, however, state that if the hypothetical were real, he would be required to report the matter. But based solely upon the attorney’s description to Dr. Abrams, the psychiatrist produced a letter indicating that a “reasonable suspicion exists that sexual abuse may have occurred.”
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:33 am
Evan Implements His Plan
Shortly after learning of June’s plans to join Michael on the tour—and after having had the revealing telephone conversation with David Schwartz cited earlier—Evan asked June if he could keep Jordie for a few days. Even though June had been granted sole custody of Jordie years earlier, the couple had had an amicable visitation schedule up to this point. Evan took possession of Jordie on July 11, 1993, and Rothman made a professional promise to return Jordie a week later. This promise may help to explain why June would have allowed her son to join Evan, given Evan’s increasingly threatening behavior prior to his request. Not surprisingly, given both Mr. Rothman’s reputation and the obvious malicious intent that Evan had expressed in the telephone call, Evan refused to return Jordie after one week as agreed.
While it is unclear exactly when Evan Chandler made his initial demand for $20 million from Michael Jackson, it is implied in his phone conversation with David Schwartz that Evan was planning on making the demand as early as July 9, 1993. Specifically, during the conversation, Chandler said:
Let me put it to you this way: I have a set routine of words that I’m going to go in there that have been rehearsed and I’m going to say. Okay? Because I don’t want to say anything that could be used against me. So I know exactly what I can say. That’s why I’m bringing the tape recorder. I have some things on paper to show a few people — and that’s it. My whole part is going to take two or three minutes, and I’m going to turn around [tape irregularity], and that’s it. There’s not going to be anything said, other than what I’ve been told to say – and I’m going to turn around and leave, and they’re going to have a decision to make. And based on that decision, I’ll decide whether or not we’re going to talk again or whether it’s going to go further. I have to make a phone call. As soon as I leave the house, I get on the telephone. I make a phone call. Say “Go” or I say, “Don’t go yet,” and that’s – the way it’s gonna to be. I’ve been told what to do, and I have to do it. I’m not — I happen to know what’s going to be going on, see? They don’t have to say anything to me. [Tape irregularity “you have refused to listen to me. Now you’re going to have to listen to me. This is my position. Give it a thought.” “Think it over.” I’m not saying anything bad about anybody, okay? I’ve got it all on paper. I’m going to hand out the paper so that I don’t inadvertently [tape irregularity], handing out the paper, “Michael, here’s your paper. June, here’s your paper.”
Rothman had previously warned Evan about the allegations: “[y]ou open your mouth and you blow it, just don’t come back to me.”
In attempting to explain his actions Evan stated:
All I can think about is, I only have one goal, and the goal is to get their attention – so that [tape irregularity] concerns are, and as long as they don’t want to talk to me, I can’t tell them what my concerns are, so I have to go step by step, each time escalating the attention-getting mechanism, and that’s all I regard him as, as an attention-getting mechanism. Unfortunately, after that, it’s totally out of [tape irregularity]. It’ll take on so much momentum of its own that it’s going to be out of all our control. It’s going to be monumentally huge, and I’m not going to have any way to stop it. No one else is either at that point. . . . To go beyond tomorrow, that would mean I have done every possible thing in my individual power to tell them to sit down and talk to me; and if they still [tape irregularity], I got to escalate the attention-getting mechanism. He’s the next one. I can’t go to somebody nice [tape irregularity]. It doesn’t work with them. I already found that out. Get some niceness and just go fuck yourself.
In an apparent attempt to present a fair and balanced approach to the evidence, Diane Dimond was constrained to admit that, before any allegations were made public, Evan’s diary recorded a demand of $20,000,000.
Geraldine Hughes speculates that the discussions between Rothman/Chandler and Pellicano/Jackson at this time focused upon the amount of time Michael was spending with Jordie. It’s feasible that Michael may have felt guilt that the time he spent with Jordie was causing a rift in the family. Financing a film would presumably allow Jordie and Evan to spend time together as they had on Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
By his own words, Evan intimated as much. In the taped conversation referenced earlier, Evan was recorded saying:
MR. CHANDLER: Let me put it to you this way, Dave. Nobody in this world was allowed to come between this family of June, me and Jordy. That was the hard [tape irregularity] be the opposite. That’s evil. That’s one reason why he’s evil. I spoke to him about it, Dave. I even told him that [tape irregularity] the family. MR. SCHWARTZ: When did you talk to him? MR. CHANDLER: About that? MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah. MR. CHANDLER: Months ago. When I first met him I told him that. MR. SCHWARTZ: Yeah. MR. CHANDLER: That’s the law. That’s the first thing he knew. Nobody’s allowed to do that. Now there’s no family anymore.
Dave Schwartz continued to press Evan about his opinions and the following exchange took place: MR. SCHWARTZ: So why do you think he’s not nice? MR. CHANDLER: Why? Because he broke up the family, that’s why. Getting to the heart of the matter, David Schwartz asked, “I mean, do you think that he’s fucking him?” Evan responded, “I don’t know. I have no idea.”
As previously stated, Evan Chandler had been able to procure a report from Mathis Abrams on July 15 1993 through a single discussion between Dr. Abrams and Barry Rothman. However, Jordie had not confirmed that there was anything unusual about his friendship with Michael. That all changed on August 2, 1993.
Almost a year after the Chandlers made their allegations, on May 3, 1994, an investigative reporter from KCBS-TV, in L.A., reported that Chandler had used the drug sodium amytal on his son to pull Jordie’s tooth on August 2, 1993. The reporter stated that while under the drug’s influence, the boy first voiced allegations of molestation. Mark Torbiner was the dental anesthesiologist who assisted Evan Chandler with the procedure. Torbiner introduced Chandler to Rothman in 1991, when Rothman needed dental work. When asked whether he had used the drug on Jordie, he replied: “[i]f I used it, it was for dental purposes.” Evan Chandler has since confirmed that he used the drug, but claimed that it was used solely for dental purposes.
Again, Mary A. Fischer’s GQ article provides some valuable background about the drug:
‘It's a psychiatric medication that cannot be relied on to produce fact,’ says Dr. Resnick, the Cleveland psychiatrist. ‘People are very suggestible under it. People will say things under sodium Amytal that are blatantly untrue.’ Sodium Amytal is a barbiturate, an invasive drug that puts people in a hypnotic state when it's injected intravenously.
Primarily administered for the treatment of amnesia, it first came into use during World War II, on soldiers traumatized—some into catatonic states—by the horrors of war. Scientific studies done in 1952 debunked the drug as a truth serum and instead demonstrated its risks: False memories can be easily implanted in those under its influence. ‘It is quite possible to implant an idea through the mere asking of a question,’ says Resnick. But its effects are apparently even more insidious: ‘The idea can become their memory, and studies have shown that even when you tell them the truth, they will swear on a stack of Bibles that it happened,’ says Resnick.
In an example of sodium amytal use gone awry, in 1990, 19-year-old Holly Ramona sought therapy for depression and bulimia. In the course of psychiatric treatment using sodium amytal, she recovered memories of being sexually abused by her father, a top executive at Robert Mondavi Winery, from age 5 to 16. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Richard Rose, wrote in his notes that the sodium amytal helped Holly “remember specific details of sexual molestation.”
Gary Ramona was charged with repeated rape and sexual abuse of his daughter—including anal intercourse and forced copulation with the family dog. In 1991, he filed his own lawsuit against his daughter’s therapists for planting false memories in his daughter’s mind. In the ensuing trial, Martin Orne, a University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist who pioneered research of hypnosis and sodium amytal, wrote in a court brief that:
the drug is ‘not useful in ascertaining ‘truth’ . . . The patient becomes sensitive and receptive to suggestions due to the context and to the comments of the interviewers.’ Dr. Lenore Terr, a prominent defender of recovered memories and a chief witness for the defense, admitted under questioning that at least one of Holly’s ‘flashbacks’—of being forced to perform oral sex on the family dog—was dubious.
Mr. Ramona’s civil suit was successful. Criminal charges were withdrawn.
During a later interview with psychiatrist Richard Gardner, Jordie Chandler recalled the first time that he told his father about the alleged sexual abuse. His story corroborates the use of sodium amytal by his father. “[My father] had to pull my tooth out one time, like, while I was there. And I don’t like pain, so I said could you put me to sleep? And he said sure. So his friend put me to sleep; he’s an anesthesiologist. And um, when I woke up my tooth was out, and I was all right—a little out of it but conscious. And my Dad said—and his friend was gone, it was just him and me—and my dad said, ‘I just want you to let me know, did anything happen between you and Michael?’ And I said ‘Yes,’ and he gave me a big hug and that was it.”
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:33 am
Evan’s Negotiations Begin
On August 4, 1993, Evan Chandler and his son met with Jackson and Pellicano in a suite at the Westwood Marquis Hotel. In greeting Michael, Chandler gave the singer an affectionate hug, an odd gesture, given that only two days before, Evan had extracted not only Jordie’s tooth, but also a claim that Jordie had been molested by Michael Jackson. Evan then reached into his pocket, pulled out Abrams’s letter (written back in July, based on Rothman’s description of a hypothetical relationship between Michael and Jordie), and began reading passages from it. The meeting lasted less than five minutes and ended with Evan threatening that he would ruin Michael.
According to Anthony Pellicano, it was at this time that Evan voiced his demand for $20 million. Mr. Chandler wanted Michael to set him up as a screenwriter or would accuse him of molestation. The $20 million demand would finance four movies with $5 million for each movie. Such an arrangement would have made Michael Jackson and Evan Chandler business partners. Again, an odd proposition if Jordie had been molested.
Critics have suggested that given Pellicano’s reputation, it was odd that he did not record this conversation. However, the more relevant question here is why, if he was pursuing claims of child molestation, did Evan Chandler’s counsel or the police not attend the meeting? And of course, why would he have hugged his son’s alleged molester? Pellicano later remarked, “[i]f I believed somebody molested my kid and I got that close to him, I’d be on death row right now.”
After Michael’s refusal of Evan’s demand, on August 5, 1993, Evan wrote a retroactive letter to Barry Rothman justifying the pre-suit demand for a financial settlement rather than a trial and “outlining his intention if Michael decided not to pay the $20 million” demand. In the letter, Evan wrote, “I believed that Michael was a kind, sensitive, compassionate person who made a mistake in judgment born out of an honest love for Jordie.” He claimed that he subsequently realized that he was wrong. Interesting that he would place this in a note to his attorney after his personal negotiations failed. Regarding the settlement negotiation attended by Michael, Jordie, Evan, and Anthony Pellicano, Evan wrote that if there was a criminal trial and Jordie were called as a witness, he would eagerly testify.
On August 7, 1993, Evan Chandler brought an action in the family Court seeking a modification of the custody agreement. Evan wanted full custody of Jordie with June Chandler limited to visitation. Further, Evan wanted Michael Jackson’s access to Jordie to be limited. Anthony Pellicano later said that Evan Chandler and Barry Rothman threatened to assert the child molestation claims in the custody action. While access to records in family proceedings is limited to the parties or their attorneys, had such criminal conduct been alleged in the custody matter, the presiding judge would have been forced to report the matter to authorities.
On August 12, 1993, Evan Chandler told June Chandler about his discussions with Jordie and the allegations of molestation. June called Evan that evening to say that she believed Evan had “coerced” Jordie into making these allegations.
In 1992, using U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data on reports of abuse, the Center For Child Abuse/Neglect, National Center For Child Abuse and Neglect determined that of more than 500,000 reported cases, only 128,000 were substantiated. The remaining were unsubstantiated or false. The rate of false claims was exponentially higher in divided families where the child was exposed to influence by a parent in a position of authority. The Los Angeles Times reported, “[i]n 1992, the Orange County Child Abuse Registry received 9,191 suspected cases of child sexual abuse. It is estimated that as many as one-third of these cases arise out of child custody disputes. When the registry receives these types of allegations, it proceeds cautiously, knowing full well that even if the allegation were untrue, the person’s reputation could be irreparably damaged and the life of the child and his or her family could be significantly disrupted.” According to Anthony Pellicano and as detailed in Diane Dimond’s book, the counter-offer on the $20 million demand that Rothman and Chandler made of Michael Jackson was three movies to be financed by Fox Entertainment. One would wonder about the nature of the claims at this time. That is, why would Michael make an offer involving a reputable company like Fox Entertainment if Evan had already made a threat involving child molestation?
On August 13, 1993, Pellicano met with Barry Rothman for another attempt at settlement. After the meeting, Pellicano stormed out and was overhead to say, “[n]o way” . . . “that’s extortion.” However, negotiations continued—with Michael offering three film scripts at $350,000 each—with a promise that major studios would review them. The next day, Barry Rothman made a counter-demand seeking $15 million for a three-movie deal. Through investigator Anthony Pellicano, Michael counter-offered a one-movie deal with financing of $350,000. Anthony Pellicano did record an August 17, 1993 conversation with Barry Rothman. However, neither man mentioned molestation or extortion.
In that discussion, Pellicano says:
Pellicano: If I were his lawyer right now in your position I would say here’s what you should do, ‘look, you should take this deal, get the money, put together a dynamite screenplay, show them that you can do it’ and then say look, ‘if I deliver and this thing is going to make money, I want another deal.’
Rothman: Well that’s a put, I mean it’s an option. . . . But it’s not a guarantee, it’s an option.
It is unknown whether the conversations before the actual August 4, 1993 demand involved any claim of molestation. Rather, as suggested earlier, it may have been that Evan blamed Michael for the breaking up of his family, something Michael may have felt warranted an opportunity for father and son to share time together by co-writing another screenplay. According to Geraldine Hughes, the counteroffer was based upon such concerns and expressly sought to resolve the custody issues and allow Evan Chandler time with his son. Evan Chandler’s comments during the July 7, 1993 telephone conversation certainly imply that he was concerned about the breaking up of his family and less concerned about Jordie. In either case, the initial discussions were clearly not for compensatory damages for causing personal injuries to Jordie Chandler (in other words, for molesting him), but rather for the financing of future screenplays to be authored by Evan and presumably Jordie Chandler. That certainly changed on August 4, 1993, when Evan Chandler disclosed the Mathis Abrams letter.
Since Evan continued his refusal to return Jordie to his mother—as he had agreed to do a month earlier—June Chandler, through her attorney Michael Freeman, brought a motion to have the child returned to her. The motion was done by an emergency application, which is an order to show cause and required an appearance before the Court on August 17, 1993. When a motion is made by this method, the court will typically require the opposing party to demonstrate why an order should not be issued granting the relief sought by the moving party; in this case, Evan Chandler would need to demonstrate why Jordie shouldn’t be returned to his legal home with his mother.
Both Geraldine Hughes and Diane Dimond described the motion as a surprise, which “stunned” Evan and threw a wrench into the works of Rothman.
In his opposing papers, Evan did not claim that there was any child sexual abuse, a fact that would certainly have demonstrated good cause for not returning Jordie. Therefore, the Court ordered that Evan return Jordie to his mother by the evening of August 17, 1993, and refused Evan’s request that June be prevented from allowing Jordie to spend time with Michael Jackson.
Evan then pulled the trigger and implemented the plan he alluded to.
On August 17, 1993, instead of returning Jordie to his mother, Evan took his son to psychiatrist Mathis Abrams where Evan (not Jordie) is said to have re-counted acts of molestation that allegedly occurred to his son at the hands of Michael Jackson. It’s important to remember that these allegations were not placed in the court records in opposition to June Chandler’s motion for the return of her son. Upon hearing the claims, the psychiatrist reported the allegations to the Department of Children and Family Services (“DCFS”), which he was required by law to do. The DCFS reported the claim to police who began an investigation
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:34 am
The Media Gets the Story
Since events reported to the DCFS may be criminal in nature, the two agencies have a close working relationship; the police are at the disposal of the DCFS. Within days of the interview, the DFCS reports were leaked to tabloid reporter, Diane Dimond of Hard Copy. In 1993, Hard Copy was considered, “one of the most aggressively shoddy and dishonest programs on the air.” At the time, Ms. Dimond stated, “[i]t was either going to be a superstar being falsely accused or it was going to be a superstar perhaps guilty of one of the most heinous crimes we know. So either way I couldn’t lose.”
After the 1993 leak, a high-profile unit was created to ensure confidentiality for high-profile persons such as celebrities and politicians.
On August 23-24, 1993, Los Angeles police conducted a search of Neverland ranch and Michael’s Century City condominium. Local news affiliate, K-NBC ran the story noting only that Neverland had been searched. On August 24, 1993, Anthony Pellicano stepped forward to release the details and publicly announce that the complaint arose from an extortion attempt gone awry. According to Barry Rothman’s legal secretary’s August 24, 1993 diary entry, Geraldine Hughes overheard Evan Chandler say, “I almost had a $20 million deal.”
During the search, the sheriffs seized two photographic essay books. The first, called The Boy: A Photographic Essay, was an art book depicting photos taken in 1963 during the shooting of the movie Lord of the Flies. In the book, Michael inscribed, “[l]ook at the true spirit and happiness on the faces of these boys. This is the spirit of boyhood, the childhood I never had. This is the life I want for my children. MJ.” A second book, Boys Will Be Boys, contained the inscription: “To Michael: From your fan, Rhonda. Love XXXOOO ♥ Rhonda - 1983, Chicago.” There was no evidence that Michael had ever opened this book.
It is significant to mention that the mere possession of child pornography is a federal crime. Many states also have criminal statutes for the possession and distribution of child pornography. If the books had been pornographic in nature or substance, prosecution would have been inevitable.
The police also seized videotapes. However, as early as August 26, 1993, the Los Angeles Times was reporting that the videotapes did not demonstrate criminality.
On August 25, 1993, young friends such as Wade Robson were coming to the aid of Michael. Similarly, Michael’s representatives reported the extortion attempts by the accuser’s father. (It’s interesting to note that major media outlets didn’t cover the reports of the people defending Michael Jackson.) Also on August 26, 1993, Geraldine Hughes wrote in her diary that she overheard Evan Chandler state, “[i]t’s my ass that’s on the line and in danger of going to prison.”
At some point, June decided to join Evan Chandler’s efforts against Michael. Michael had ceased speaking to June due to his concerns about Evan’s behavior. Diane Dimond suggests that the change of heart may have been the result of fear that Evan could target her as well if she did not agree with him.
Once the DCFS became involved, Jordie’s parents retained attorney Gloria Allred to protect his interests. On September 3, 1993, she stated that Jordie “is ready. He is willing. He is able to testify. He is looking forward to his day in court.” However, on September 10, 1993, she “suddenly left the case without explanation. Some pundits took that to mean Allred saw no case.” June Chandler recalled that Ms. Allred was the attorney of record for “two seconds.”
Gloria Allred “always was a publicity-seeker, but she also was tough and passionate and smart.” Smart is the operative word here. Allred is not known for walking away from a case that shows real potential; with that in mind, it’s interesting that she chose to walk away from the Jordie Chandler case in 1993.
On September 7, 1993, the LA Police Department contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for its assistance in their investigation of Michael Jackson. Pursuant to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI released its files to the public on December 22, 2009. The FBI files consist of fifty-six (56) pages of materials reflecting their involvement from September 16, 1993 to August 8, 1994, nine (9) pages from September 2, 1993 to October 22, 1993 and eight ( 8 ) pages from October 30, 1995 through January 24, 1997. A thorough review of the FBI file revealed that other than the accuser in 1993 and 2005, both of which shared the same lawyer and psychiatrist, none of the other claims were taken seriously.
On September 14, 1993, attorney Larry Feldman commenced a lawsuit on behalf of Jordan Chandler through his guardian ad litem. The Complaint alleged that Michael Jackson had committed sexual battery upon Jordan Chandler within and without the State of California. The Complaint also made claims against John Does 1-100. [Generally, you may bring a claim against a “John Doe” when you know that someone should be named in a lawsuit, but you don’t have information to identify that person by name. It is unclear to whom the John Does referred in this suit.]
The Complaint sought relief on seven separate causes of action: Sexual Battery, Battery, Seduction, Willful Misconduct, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Fraud and Negligence. In response, Michael’s attorneys asserted a counterclaim of extortion against Evan Chandler. After the civil lawsuit was commenced, the District Attorney opened its own criminal file. Enter Tom Sneddon.
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:36 am
Coming Out of the Woodwork
In an effort to feed the media’s insatiable appetite for a story, the Quindoys and LeMarques, former domestic workers at Neverland, came forward.
“Just three days after the Jackson story broke, ABC’s Primetime sent a freelance producer to Manila to talk to the Quindoys . . . But the network was offering only star power; a chat with Diane Sawyer . . . For this kind of story, money talks.” According to Diane Dimond, the “Quindoys at first wanted $900,000. Where they got that figure I have no idea. It came down to half a million [dollars].” The Quindoys accepted an offer from the News of the World and sat down for an interview with Stuart White. However, after a few days with the Quindoys, News of the World pulled Mr. White from the story and told him to return to his London office. News of the World did not pay the Quindoys, but their story headlined the paper’s cover. As it turned out, just three years before the Chandler story broke, the Quindoys and The Sun had entered into a contractual agreement where, for $25,000, the Quindoys would provides exclusives about Michael’s life at Neverland. The Sun and News of the World were both owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Story.
According to Allan Hall of the Sun, the original interviewer:
The Sun drew up a contract for $25,000 and I spent some time with them in Los Angeles doing the Life and Times with Michael Jackson . . . [They] didn’t have a bad word to say about the guy, not one bad thing . . . Nothing, absolutely nothing. That he was just a kind man with children. They had signed a contract to say they would tell the full and frank account of their lives and clearly, from what later transpired they didn’t, if what they are telling right now is the truth.
They are two people that I would not trust at all. And I think that they have really gone to town to do Michael Jackson down for the mighty dollar. Now, they see money being offered around again and they want some more.
According to Stuart White, “the Quindoys were not, unfortunately, acting totally in good faith.” In fact, the Quindoys appeared on Geraldo on July 24, 1992 praising him.
Another couple, Phillippe and Stella LeMarques also came forward. They had worked for Michael for ten months but ceased that relationship in 1991. However, rather than going directly to media outlets with their tales of abuse to Macaulay Culkin, they retained former porn star, Paul Barresi to act as an agent or go-between to sell their story. Mr. Barresi’s only interest was in the percentage he would recover for the sale of the story.
Mr. Barresi eventually recorded the LeMarques and sold their story for $15,000. He turned the tape over to the District Attorney while cameras from the Globe rolled. He later said, “[t]he first time I heard the story about Jackson, his hand was outside of the kid’s pants. They were asking $100,000. As soon as their price went up to $500,000, the hand went inside the pants, so c’mon.”
On September 21, 1993, officers from the LAPD and Santa Barbara sheriff’s office went to Manila, Philippines to interview former domestic workers Mariano Quindoy and his wife Faye Quindoy regarding claims of child molestation. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) files related to Michael Jackson, the FBI acted as a liaison during this meeting. The police interviewed the Quindoys on September 22nd and 23rd. Although originally scheduled to leave on Saturday September 25, 1993, they returned to Los Angeles on the morning of September 24, 1993.
The Quindoys left Neverland due to disagreements with co-workers and a pay dispute. They claimed that Michael owed them over $283,000 in “overtime” and had tried to get the money from Michael. When he would not pay, they claimed to have seen acts of fondling. Naturally, they failed to report any of this to the police at any time prior to the Chandler story breaking the news. The Quindoys sold their story to the tabloids and never gave sworn testimony.
The FBI files include an inquiry about an alleged prior report that Michael had molested two Mexican boys. However, that inquiry came from an unnamed source and, after a search by the FBI, reports or documents related to the alleged investigation could not be located. Lending to the dubious nature of the report, the unnamed source was writing a book about the allegations and could have been on a fishing expedition to determine what type of information the FBI had.
There was also a report by a passenger who claimed to have observed Michael being overly protective of a young cousin in the FBI files. This is significant because as of the time of this particular report, 1992, the FBI was investigating threats against Mr. Jackson by a Janet Jackson fan/stalker. The ‘witness’ claimed to have heard strange sounds coming from an adjacent room. While it is highly unlikely that she would have been able to hear anything, or for that matter identify the actual parties involved, the fact is, the FBI looked into this claim and determined that it had no merit.
Despite assisting the District Attorney, as early as September 8, 1993, the FBI declined to pursue federal claims against Michael Jackson under the Mann Act.
Congress, as a means to address prostitution and immorality in general, enacted the Mann Act. It has been used to punish the transportation of women across state lines for sexual purposes. Since Jordie had traveled across state lines with Michael, prosecution under the Mann Act would have been viable, had there been any immoral conduct. The authorities may have suggested that the FBI prosecute under the Mann Act due to allegations in the Abrams letter. According to Mathis Abrams’ letter, “the minor is in danger whether the relationship continues or ends…These circumstances create the possibility that there exists negligence towards the child…even as far as prostitution.” In fact, Jordie Chandler claimed that acts of molestation occurred in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Monaco. Yet none of the authorities in any of those jurisdictions investigated or prosecuted him and the FBI declined to prosecute under the Mann Act.
This is particularly relevant when Hard Copy paid Michael Jackson’s former security guards $100,000 for their televised story that they “smuggled” boys for Michael Jackson. Certainly child trafficking is a federal and state offense and the security guards would have been prosecuted as criminals.
Police also traveled on taxpayer dollars to Australia to question Michael’s friend Brett Barnes for a second time. Although Barnes said he had slept in the same bed as Michael, he denied that anything untoward occurred.
The FBI also assisted the London Bureau office in looking into tabloid reports of disc jockey, Terry George, who purportedly had several long distance telephone conversations with Michael Jackson in 1983. During one such telephone conversation, he claimed that Michael masturbated while on the phone. Neither the FBI, under authority of the 1984 Telecommunications Act, or authorities in England pursued the claim. After their son made several long distance phone calls to Michael Jackson, Mr. George’s parents disconnected their phone. While Mr. George stands by his tabloid story, he is an avowed fan and never considered himself a “victim.” He did not report the story until 1993 after the Chandler story broke.
Meanwhile, Michael remained on tour promoting the Dangerous album. His final performance was on November 11, 1993, in Mexico City; at that time, Elizabeth Taylor and her husband Larry Fortensky joined him. On November 12, 1993, Michael announced that he was seeking treatment for an addiction to painkillers. Pepsi Co. severed its relationship with Michael on November 14, 1993; Pepsi claimed that the relationship was severed because Michael’s tour had ended. Disney continued its support of Michael, noting that he was still a hot commodity in November 1993.
Michael’s fans continued their support. Biographer, J. Randy Taraborrelli was quoted saying, “[c]ertainly if the worst-case scenario happens and he’s found guilty of any of these ridiculous charges, it would be the end of his recording career. But, if it’s not true, I have a sense that his fans, who are such an incredibly loyal bunch of people, will still support him. I also have a feeling that this may even bring a new artistic depth to his music that would command respect from critics that he has hoped for.”
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:38 am
The Body Search
As early as October 1993, there was talk of obtaining a warrant for a strip search. According to USA Today, on November 24, 1993 Larry Feldman said he wanted a doctor “to examine [Michael Jackson],” presumably to corroborate the boy’s descriptions of Jackson’s genitalia. Since no acts of penetration were alleged, this was the only way to substantiate the boy’s claims.
In October 1993, while the Jacksons were in Arizona attending the funeral of Joseph Jackson’s father, the police raided the Hayvenhurst home located in Encino. They seized a videotape labeled “Chicks” and were certain that this was evidence of child pornography. Upon returning to their office, the police confirmed that the video contained chicks, as in fowl.
In November, the District Attorney was able to obtain a search warrant allowing Michael Jackson to be photographed in the nude to determine whether descriptions of Michael’s penis and buttocks area matched descriptions provided by Jordie. The Smoking Gun claimed that it had an affidavit by a police officer describing Jordie’s description of Michael Jackson’s penis. There are extensive legal technicalities of that form of double hearsay, but suffice it to say that the affidavit indicated that Jordie’s description included that Michael was circumcised. Jordie also provided details about discolorations on Michael’s penis and buttocks area, presumably the result of his vitiligo. In addition to the affidavit, Jordie drew a picture of what he claimed to be Michael’s genitalia. The drawing expressly stated, “Michael is circumcised.”
The body search took place on December 20, 1993. Prior to the body search, Jackson’s attorneys were not given a copy of the affidavit indicating the reason for “probable cause.” At the time of the search, Michael’s attorney Howard Weitzman requested a copy of the affidavit. It has been reported that in response to the request, Detective Russ Birchim of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, stated, “I don’t think so.” Weitzman laughed and said, “[i]t never hurts to try.”
Michael Jackson requested that everyone leave the room except his physician, Dr. Arnold Klein; his personal photographer, Louis Swayne; Sergeant Gary Spiegel, the sheriff’s office photographer; and the DA’s dermatologist, Dr. Richard Strick.
The first aspect of the body examination that contradicted Jordie’s descriptive affidavit and drawing was the issue of whether Michael Jackson was circumcised. Evan Chandler was Jewish and his son was 13 years old when the affidavit and drawing were created. It is possible that with both Evan and Jordie having been circumcised themselves, Evan had not thought of the possibility that a poor, black child born in Indiana in 1958 would not have been circumcised. In either case, it is simply not possible that someone who provided a detailed affidavit and drawing in which circumcision is expressly identified, would have missed so critical a fact if he had actually seen Michael Jackson’s penis. However, as confirmed during the body search and noted by Dr. Strick, Michael Jackson was not circumcised. This detail is also corroborated in the recently released autopsy report on Michael Jackson.
In addition, it is claimed that Jordie described a spot present on an area just under Michael’s penis. Sergeant Spiegel was a police photographer who had read the affidavit and was familiar with the descriptions. Therefore, he asked that Michael re-arrange his anatomy so that he could view the area in question. Sergeant Spiegel claims that the mark was present. Interestingly, while the photographer himself claimed that the mark was present, that same photographer neglected to take a single photograph or video of the alleged mark. Sergeant Spiegel—a police photographer presumably familiar with what would be required when photographing a body search—explained his inability to capture the spot because he did not have assistants to help him hold flash and close-up photography equipment. One wonders why Sergeant Spiegel and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office would not have had all the resources needed on hand, since all of them had presumably read the affidavit and knew that such a spot would need to be photographed. However, the affidavit is the only evidence that Jordie’s description was remotely accurate.
It is important to rebut the later claims of policemen that Michael Jackson may have bleached his skin in an attempt to remove any conspicuous markings. However, as described above, prior to the viewing, the policemen and District Attorney’s office did not provide Michael Jackson or his attorneys with Jordie Chandler’s affidavit or drawing of what he described to be Michael Jackson’s penis. In addition, he certainly did not re-grow a foreskin. Of course, had the discolored spot existed where Jordie said it would be (just under the penis), how could Jordie have seen it, while at the same time missing the very obvious fact of the lack of a circumcision?
It is also significant to note that Jordie claims that the first sexual act occurred in Morocco after he and Michael took a bath together. Certainly, there was ample opportunity to make an accurate description.
The media perpetuated the erroneous belief that Jordie Chandler accurately described Michael’s genitalia by printing and reporting that the examining physicians stated that the description bore “striking similarities” but was not a definitive match. Of course, there is a gaping hole in that statement.
In October 2009, Geraldo Rivera interviewed Dr. Strick who said, “the genitalia were very oddly colored with dark skin and light skin and I was told later that the description and the photos that were taken absolutely matched what the child had described.” There were only two doctors in the room, Dr. Strick and Dr. Arnold Klein; Dr. Strick was there to make the determination on behalf of the sheriff’s office. The fact that Dr. Strick admitted that he was told that there was a match confirmed that he did not make the determination and contradicted media reports that he had made such a determination. The question remains: who determined that there was a similarity?
In 2005, the answer to that question was Tom Sneddon. In an attempt to introduce the photographs taken from the December 20, 1993, body search into the 2005 trial in order to demonstrate that Michael was not shy, Mr. Sneddon signed an attorney affirmation indicating that he observed Jordie Chandler’s affidavit and drawing of Michael’s erect penis, and determined that it was a match with the subsequently taken photographs. It is significant to note that the photographs were to be introduced solely on the issue of whether Michael’s penis was blemished, not whether the original description was accurate. However, Judge Melville, in an unusual ruling in favor of the defense in this case, denied admission of the photographs, noting that they would be too prejudicial given the defense’s inability to cross-examine Jordie Chandler who refused to testify.
In the 1995 Prime Time Live interview with Diane Sawyer Michael denied that the description matched and Lisa Marie said that when the description did not match, the newspapers only printed a tiny article detailing that fact.
JACKSON: There was nothing that matched me to those charges…Nothing.
SAWYER: So when we heard there was a marking of some kind?
JACKSON: No marking.
SAWYER: No marking?
JACKSON: No. Why am I still here then?
PRESLEY: You’re not going to ask me about that are you? About the markings?
SAWYER: You can volunteer.
PRESLEY: No. The point is when that finally got concluded that there was no matchup, then it was printed this big [she makes the tiny sign with two fingers] as opposed to how big it was, what the matchup was supposed to be.
Diane Sawyer ignored their statements completely.
On December 22, 1993, Michael issued a statement declaring his innocence. In that statement he advised the public that he had in fact undergone a body search during which photographs were taken of his buttocks and penis.
As of January 2, 1994, the District Attorney’s office had spent two million dollars investigating the child molestation claims, a heretofore unheard of use of state funds. Keep in mind that this money was spent over a five-month period, which means more than $400,000 per month was spent on this investigation alone. Did the taxpayers of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara county know this was how their tax dollars were being used?
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:39 am
Settlement: Why Innocent People Agree to Settlements
On January 25, 1994, the L.A. District Attorney’s office decided that it would not probe Chandler’s alleged criminal extortion attempts of Michael Jackson. This decision sets the stage for settlement. The reason for this decision is clear: it would be absurd for a District Attorney to build a case for molestation against a defendant while simultaneously bringing charges against the complainant for extortion.
Notably, few in the media reported Michael’s claims of extortion. USA Today reported “information leaked in the child-molestation case against Michael Jackson and the public record of the unnamed 13-year-old boy’s father’s custody fight raise questions about the accuser’s motivation,” [and] “the media’s failure to treat the alleged extortion plot seriously from the beginning unfairly damaged Jackson’s image.”
Based upon the advice of his friends, Michael Jackson agreed to settle the Chandler lawsuit.
A lot of people think that Michael settled the 1993 suit with money from his own pocket. However, when informed that the money was actually paid by Michael’s insurer, the payout made a lot more sense. While most of the claims filed against Michael were intentional in nature, intentional claims such as battery, willful misconduct fraud, etc. would not have been covered under an insurance policy. The inclusion of a negligence claim guaranteed that Michael’s insurance company would have been involved to fund a settlement. In doing a quick mathematical calculation, we can estimate that in 1993, assuming six attorneys at eight hours a day, it would have cost the insurer over ten million dollars to defend Michael for 365 days. (The 2005 investigation and trial lasted 572 days). In 1993, there was a pending civil suit and a counterclaim where Jackson claimed extortion by the Chandlers. Civil suits can drag on for years. A conservative estimate would be 3-5 years. In addition, it was anticipated that a criminal proceeding would also soon be commenced. Given the diversity of the cases, two legal teams would have been necessary. No insurance company is going to pay twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) annually for defense when it can settle and be done. Keep in mind that this estimate does not include investigators, paralegals or other litigation costs.
While detractors claim that there is no proof that Michael Jackson’s insurance company paid the Chandler settlement, evidence by virtue of an attorney memorandum was submitted to the Court on March 22, 2005. Michael Jackson’s defense attorneys filed legal papers seeking to preclude evidence of the 1993 settlement amount specifically because Michael did not have control over the settlement. The memorandum of law submitted by Tom Mesereau in 2005 stated:
The plaintiff seeks to introduce evidence of the civil settlement of the 1993 lawsuit through the testimony of Larry Feldman, attorney for the current complaining family and attorney for the plaintiff in the 1993 matter. The settlement agreement was for global claims of negligence and the lawsuit was defended by Mr. Jackson’s insurance carrier. The insurance carrier negotiated and paid the settlement, over the protests of Mr. Jackson and his personal legal counsel. It is general practice for an insurer to be entitled to control settlement negotiations and the insured is precluded from any interference. Shapero v. Allstate Ins. Co., 114 Cal. App.3d 433, 438 (1971); Ivy v. Pacific Automobile Ins. Co., 156 Cal. App.2d 652, 660 (1958)(the insured is precluded from interfering with settlement procedures). Under the majority of contracts for liability insurance, the absolute control of the defense of the matter is turned over to the insurance company and the insured is excluded from any interference in any negotiation for settlement or other legal proceedings (emphasis added). Merritt v. Reserve Ins. Co., 34 Cal. App.3d 858, 870 (1973). An insurance carrier has the right to settle claims covered by insurance when it decides settlement is expedient and the insured may not interfere with nor prevent such settlements. 44 Am. Jur. 2d, Insurance, sec. 1392, at 326-27 (rev. ed 2002). It would be unethical for an attorney to make false statements to the Court; and in such a highly publicized case, it would be professional suicide.
Non-lawyers seem to think that an insurance company cannot make you settle a lawsuit. However, insurance is to provide you with an attorney and pay for a judgment up to the policy limits. In fact, the standard language in an indemnity policy provides: “We may, at our discretion, investigate any “occurrence” and settle any claim or “suit” that may result.” Nowhere in that language does a standard liability policy allow you to consent to a settlement made at the insurance company’s discretion. Contrary to popular belief, insurance of this type does not exist to guarantee a day in Court. Therefore, once the insured is sued, the insurer can make any settlements that are in its best interests. Since insurance companies are in the business of making money, settling for less than defense costs is in their best interests. If the insured does not agree to settle within the policy limits, an insurer can rescind the policy for failure to cooperate, leaving the insured without coverage.
If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you may not even realize that a claim was brought against you because it was investigated and settled by your insurance company.
As part of this settlement, all of the parties signed a confidential settlement agreement, not a confidentiality agreement. (The agreement has been widely available online for years.) It is important to mention that the agreement dismissed the first six causes of action without prejudice. When actions are settled with prejudice, all claims asserted in the action are forever barred from being brought again. When actions are settled without prejudice, it allows the plaintiff to revive those claims— should they want to do so—at a later time. Since Jordie was a minor at the time of the settlement, his rights to bring an action against Michael until his age of majority were expressly preserved. Therefore, had Jordie decided to pursue claims against Michael, he would have been able to do so up until the statute of limitations expired. Since he was a minor, the statute of limitations would have been tolled to add additional time for him to achieve the age of majority and bring a suit.
In 1993, the existing law prevented authorities from compelling an alleged victim of child abuse to testify. Therefore, when Jordie Chandler accepted the settlement money, he was permitted to refuse to testify in a criminal matter, and he did so. In fact, he left the state of California, which simultaneously removed him from state’s subpoena power.
However, had he re-commenced his claims, he would then have been compelled to testify in a criminal trial. In other words, the door was left open for Jordie to pursue civil claims against Michael, but had he done so, Jordie would have simultaneously been forced to testify had the state decided to pursue criminal charges.
Referring to the settlement, the Chandlers’ attorney Larry Feldman stated, “nobody’s bought anybody’s silence.” Under the terms of the agreement, the parties were to seek Court approval of the document. In fact, the settlement was not binding until the Court approved of the document. Since it is unlawful to obstruct justice by requiring another’s silence of a crime, the Court could not have permitted a settlement that required Jordie Chandler to refuse to testify or in essence, obstruct justice.
Notably, on January 28, 1994, USA Today printed that Reuters News Service was reporting that, “photos of Michael Jackson’s genitalia do not match descriptions given by the boy who accused the singer of sexual misconduct.” The Orlando Sun Sentinel also reported, “[p]olice photographs of Michael Jackson’s genitals, which the pop superstar said deeply embarrassed him, may end up being his salvation in avoiding criminal charges of child molestation, a source close to the pop star said Thursday.” Therefore, given the totality of the media reports, Jordie’s description did not match the body search. It’s interesting to note that many people who have not learned the facts about Jordie Chandler’s inability to accurately describe Michael’s penis also claim that Michael Jackson settled after the body search because of the description. However, it behooves us to pose this question: If there was going to be a match, why not settle before the body search? Michael Jackson was always a very private person. He had been shy and religiously observant. Why would he allow photographs of his penis to be taken if a settlement could have prevented the body search that so embarrassed him? Remember, the body search was prompted by the Chandlers’ allegations; without their cooperation, there would be no body search. In addition, the Chandlers’ lawyer began asking for a body search a month before the subpoena was issued. Therefore, Michael had adequate notice that the Chandlers would request such a search.
However, if you believed that by allowing the body search you could get the District Attorney to drop the charges if there was no match, wouldn’t you consent to a body search? In my own experience, defendants always think that they can get out of a case by telling the authorities the whole story and showing them the proof. In fact, they have to be told that they cannot win their case by explaining the facts, but they can lose it. Needless to say, Michael Jackson was not the first—and will not be the last—defendant to learn that, even if you show authorities they are wrong, they are not likely to simply abandon a case.
One has to question the motives of the Chandlers. What parent in the whole world would accept money if their child was truly molested? In addition, there would have been absolutely nothing to prevent bringing the civil suit after a criminal trial if Michael had been convicted. According to the civil attorney at the time, quite a bit of money had been spent in preparing the civil case; the obvious risk to the Chandlers and their attorney, had they proceeded with the criminal case prior to the civil case, would have been an acquittal in the criminal case. Such an acquittal would have—as it did for the Arvizos—stopped any movement toward a subsequent civil law suit. This is the only justification we can find for going ahead with the civil suit first: money.
The violation of Michael Jackson’s Constitutional rights was a second aspect motivating the Chandler settlement. The Fifth Amendment guarantees to every American the right not to testify against himself in a criminal matter; however, the District Attorney’s office set a course to deny Michael Jackson those rights. Soon after the Chandler civil action was commenced, Larry Feldman, Jordie’s attorney, made a motion seeking an expedited trial due to Jordie’s age. The would-be prosecutors from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties supported the motion and sought any discovery obtained during that civil action. The discovery would have included a deposition of Michael, something the prosecutors were absolutely barred from obtaining in a criminal matter. In opposing the motion, Michael’s new counsel, Johnnie Cochran, sought to delay the civil action until the criminal statute of limitations expired as to all potential claims. This was a mistake.
As an attorney, if you ask for too much, you’ll usually get nothing. (It’s of note that this same argument has been used to defend the Los Angeles District Attorney’s decision to charge Conrad Murray with only one count of involuntary manslaughter in the homicide of Michael Jackson.) The defense should have merely asked that criminal charges related to Jordie Chandler as complainant be prosecuted prior to the civil action. Such an argument would have also preserved Michael’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. However, this was not done.
In fact, in discussing the tactic, Michael’s business attorney John Branca told Michael, “people here think you’re trying to delay the trial for six years.” Michael said, “[s]ix years? What are you talking about Branca? I don’t want to delay the trial, not even a day.” Michael criticized his defense attorneys for the move.
This became moot when, denying Michael’s right to a speedy trial, the judge granted Mr. Feldman’s motion and on January 14, 1994, ordered that Michael Jackson appear for a deposition in the civil matter between January 25 and February 2, 1994. The judge also set a trial date for March 21, 1994.
Upon reaching a settlement, Jordie Chandler’s attorney publicly stated:
We wish to jointly announce a mutual resolution of this lawsuit. As you are aware, the plaintiff has alleged certain acts of impropriety by Mr. Jackson. And from the inception of those allegations, Mr. Jackson has maintained his innocence. However, the emotional trauma and strain on the respective parties have caused both parties to reflect on the wisdom of continuing with this litigation. The plaintiff has agreed that the lawsuit should be resolved and it will be dismissed in the near future. While Mr. Jackson continues to maintain his innocence, he withdraws any previous allegations of extortion. This will allow the parties to get on with their lives in a more positive and productive manner.
Much of the suffering these parties have been put through was caused by the publicity surrounding this case. We jointly request that the members of the press allow the parties to close this chapter of their lives with dignity.
After the settlement, Evan’s brother, Raymond Chandler stated that his brother and nephew bear Jackson no ill will: “[t]hey all loved him — that was why it was so hard to come to grips with what was going on. It’s too bad to see his career take the hit it did and we all hope he gets it back. They don’t hold any malice in their hearts toward Michael. I think they understand what's happened in his life and how he’s an even bigger victim of abuse.”
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:39 am
Evidence Presented to Two Grand Juries
Jordie Chandler named several other boys who he claimed were also “victims.” Those boys included actor Macaulay Culkin, Brett Barnes and Wade Robson. The Sexually Exploited Child Unit of the LAPD interviewed the boys. None of the boys corroborated Jordie Chandler’s allegations. In fact, the DCFS interviewed Macaulay Culkin who exonerated Michael. But that didn’t stop the Police Departments in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara from searching for evidence after the civil settlement. Among those interviewed were Emmanuel Lewis, Jimmy Safechuck and Jonathan Spence.
DeWayne Wickham quipped in USA Today, “[i]f you haven’t figured it out yet, this case is about money - and nothing else. Having been duped into launching their criminal investigations, [Gil Garcetti] and Sneddon spent tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars looking for evidence while the singer’s accusers remained focused on their money grab.” The District Attorneys scoured the earth—literally—looking for another witness to corroborate molestation claims in 1993 and came up with nothing.
Following the settlement, criminal claims against Michael Jackson were brought to two grand juries. Neither one would indict. It is important to note that grand juries hear the evidence that the prosecution intends to present; typically, there is no cross-examination or questioning, and the defense presents no case at all. Therefore it is the prosecution’s evidence without any opportunity to rebut any of the claims. Even though this one-sided form of evidence was presented to two different grand juries, Michael was not indicted.
On May 2, 1994, the Los Angeles grand jury was disbanded. One juror commented that he did not hear any damaging testimony and the panel was never asked to render an indictment. The FBI followed up and on August 8, 1994 the agent was told that the Los Angeles District Attorney had not yet decided whether he would file charges.
Ultimately, by September 1994, Prosecutors Gil Garcetti (L.A.) and Tom Sneddon (Santa Barbara) were willing to announce that, “after an exhaustive probe involving more than 400 witnesses, including 30 called before grand juries, they were left with only Jackson’s principal accuser, who refused to testify in court and could not be compelled to by law.” Therefore, neither District Attorney would file charges.
The District Attorney found the Quindoys and the LeMarques useless as witnesses. The Quindoys later tried to shop around a book deal. In connection with their attempts to find a buyer, they claimed to have secret witnesses that they withheld from the District Attorney.
The statute of limitations on the case had another five years to expire, which allowed Jordie or Evan to change their minds and offer testimony in support of criminal charges. That never occurred. Once Evan Chandler obtained the money noted in his diary months earlier, if the allegations were true, he did not seek justice for his son.
June Chandler’s former attorney Michael Freeman said, “I think [Michael Jackson] was wrongly accused. I think that Evan Chandler and Barry Rothman saw an opportunity and went for it. That’s my personally held belief. I believe it was all about money, and their strategy obviously worked.”
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Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy Mon May 28, 2012 2:40 am
Settlement Not Enough
In 1996, Evan Chandler sued Michael Jackson, seeking sixty million dollars, claiming that Michael had violated the terms of the confidential settlement agreement by denying the molestation claims. The claims arose from Michael Jackson’s appearance on ABC’s Prime Time Live when Michael and Lisa Marie Presley told Diane Sawyer the molestation charges were “lies, lies, lies, lies.” Evan Chandler claimed that Michael’s statement violated the terms of the settlement agreement and, as if it were possible, damaged his family’s reputation. The May 7, 1996, complaint alleged 16 causes of action including breach of contract, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, slander-libel and conspiracy. Evan Chandler’s suit claimed that when Michael wrote “They Don’t Care About Us,” the song portrayed him in a bad light because the lines “Jew me, sue me” and “Kick me, kike me” referred to him; since he was Jewish, the statements were derogatory. (Of note, Evan Chandler changed his last name from ‘Charmatz’ to Chandler purportedly because he thought it was too Jewish sounding.) The matter was submitted to arbitration. On July 26, 1999, the arbitrator ruled that the confidentiality agreement specifically provided that neither party was guilty of any crime or had committed any wrongdoing. Therefore, Michael did not damage the Chandler’s reputation by declaring his innocence. The Supreme Court in California confirmed the arbitrator’s decision in October 2000. The matter was disposed in June 2001, when the arbitrator ordered Evan Chandler to pay Michael Jackson’s attorneys’ fees.
On August 5, 2005, Jordie and his father were living together in a high-rise luxury building overlooking the Hudson River in New York City when, from behind, Evan hit Jordie with a 12 ½ -pound dumb bell. For good measure, Evan then sprayed Jordie in the face with mace. Jordie obtained a temporary restraining order against Evan under the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:25-17 to -35. The restraints were continued by an order dated August 19, 2005; however, Jordie sought a permanent restraining order against his father. At trial, after Jordie rested his case, Evan’s counsel moved for dismissal pursuant to Rule 4:37-2(b). In dismissing Jordie’s claims, the judge found that the men were members of the same household when the abusive act occurred. The judge also found that the weight could cause serious bodily injury or death. Thus, the judge was satisfied that Jordie had provided evidence, which if believed, would support a finding of aggravated assault. However, despite that finding, the judge refused to issue a final restraining order, reasoning as follows:
I’m persuaded, at this point, that the allegation . . . while serious in and of itself, is not a pattern of abusive and controlling behavior [Emphasis added].
The case was initially dismissed, but on appeal, the appeals court in New Jersey determined that Jordie presented enough evidence to warrant a trial to determine if Evan Chandler represented enough of a danger to warrant a permanent restraining Order. The Appellate Court’s decision was rendered on June 8, 2006 (DOCKET NO. A-0422-05T10422-05T1). In June 2006, Jordie finally obtained a permanent restraining order against his father.
On November 17, 2009, it was widely reported that the body of Evan Chandler was found in his luxury apartment in Jersey City after he missed a doctor’s appointment. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on November 5, 2009. He was cremated without a single friend or family member in attendance. It’s somewhat surprising that someone who claimed he had so much to say about Michael Jackson—and purportedly relished an opportunity to testify against Michael—did not leave a suicide note.
Subject: Re: M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy
M.O.N.E.Y: The Extortion of Michael Jackson By Lisa & Christy