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Home / News Archive / News April 2004

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Michael JacksonStatement Of Mr. Michael Jackson Outside Court House. 30-04-'04

Michael Jackson makes an open-air thank-you speech in Santa Maria, California, for his loyal admirers and supporters and the Santa Maria community. He declares:

“I wish to thank my family, my friends and my fans, who continue to support me during this difficult time. Thank you so much for your calls, your letters and your prayers. I have the best fans in the world, and I cannot express how much your support means to me. Thank you all for your love, faith and confidence.

“I want to thank the community of Santa Maria for your kindness and support. This community means a lot to me. It is the place of my home. My children were born here and many of my employees were born and raised here, and continue to live here.

“As I have repeatedly said, I am completely innocent of these false charges, and I am ready to fight for my innocence. I have complete confidence in my defence team, and believe that at the end of these legal proceedings, I will be fully exonerated by a jury of my peers.

“I plan on spending the rest of the day here with my family, and ask that you respect our privacy.”

Source: Raymone K. Bain; MJJSource / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson at Courthouse - ArraigmentThe King Of Pop Pleads Inccocent To Charges. 30-04-'04

Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty Friday to an indictment charging him with child molestation and a conspiracy count alleging child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

The indictment also included four counts of lewd acts involving a minor child, one count involving an attempted lewd act upon a child and four counts of administering an intoxicating agent.

The alleged child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion are not individual charges. Rather they are alleged as the circumstances leading to the conspiracy count.

After being given copies of the indictment, Jackson and his attorneys went into a room adjacent to the courtroom to read it.

The indictment, issued in secret earlier this month, replaces charges filed by prosecutors that alleged seven counts of lewd or lascivious conduct involving a child under 14 and two counts of administering an intoxicant to a child under 14. It was not immediately known whether the new charges involved the same child or others.

With an indictment, prosecutors don't have to put on a preliminary hearing in front of the judge to show there is enough evidence to put the pop star on trial.

Jackson, who was scolded by the judge for being late to his previous arraignment, arrived 40 minutes early. He waved to several hundred fans as he entered the courtroom under an umbrella.

The size of the crowd was smaller than at his first arraignment, and there was no sign of the Nation of Islam bodyguards who accompanied him then.

Police Chief Danny Macagni said 42 of Santa Maria's 107 police officers were assigned to the courthouse, along with about 50 sheriff's deputies.

Thomas Mesereau Jr., a veteran criminal defense attorney, took over the case last weekend after Jackson decided to remove Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman, the two high-profile lawyers who had been directing his defense. The star said he wanted lawyers who could devote full time to his case.

The Mesereau team includes his law partner Susan Yu and two longtime Jackson attorneys, Steve Cochran and Robert Sanger.

Precautions were taken by the city to prevent a repeat of Jackson's Jan. 16 arraignment when he danced on an SUV as he left in a throng of 3,000 fans. The courthouse resembled a fortress ready for a siege with chain-link fences and metal barricades to hold back the crowd.

A website for Jackson fans encouraged them to show up and demonstrate support for their idol. A hotel in nearby Solvang gave fans a special rate.

In Los Angeles, about 75 fans boarded a bus for Santa Maria early Friday. They waved signs reading "Caravan for Justice" and "Return of the King," and chanted "What time is it? Jackson time!"

"I'm showing my grandsons there is a way to protest, a way to show your love and a way to show your support," fan Cathy Youngblood said.

On Thursday night, several dozen fans gathered outside the singer's Neverland Ranch about 30 miles from the courthouse for a candlelight vigil. Some wore black "Free Michael" T-shirts, and one dressed as the singer.

Pedro Rivero, a 22-year-old from Madrid who said he had met Jackson "too many times to count," said he had a feeling he needed to be at the arraignment.

"Everything that's happening is so unfair," said Rivero. "He's just so genuine, so pure."

Source: Santa Maria Times / Billie Jean


Expected Behavior For Fans Attending The Arraignment, Friday April 30th. 29-04-'04

MJ FansThank you so much for taking the time to support Michael by being in Santa Maria on Friday for the arraignment. We do know that it will be a stressful time for everyone who cares about Michael. Michael believes that he has the best fans in the world, and your support means so much to him. He deeply thanks you for your love, faith and confidence.

The intense seriousness of this procedure must be uppermost in your minds, as it is in Michael's. The authorities that will be present in Santa Maria will expect organization and cooperation from the fans. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, which monitors the courts complex, will send about 50 deputies to the site Friday, according to sheriff's Cmdr. Bill Byrne. School resource officers and detectives are among more than 40 city police personnel who will also monitor the area around the Santa Maria Courts Complex, according to Chief Danny Macagni.

There will be no pedestrian access to Miller Street near the courts complex this time, though the street will remain open to vehicle traffic.

Chief Macagni has stated that anyone who attempts to cross a police barricade or a fence at the site will be arrested on suspicion of disobeying police officers' orders.

On Friday, fan access to Jackson will be restricted by a fence running along Miller Street.

MJJSource requests that you best show your support by following the directions you will be given and remaining in the special area for fans.

Please be aware that the authorities will arrest anyone that is out of order. Do not chase Michael's caravan or try to get past the secured area. Once again, this is a very serious matter and deserves serious behavior.

For those who will be riding to Santa Maria on busses, please plan to bring a bagged lunch and plenty of drinking water. For more information about the fan sponsored chartered busses, please call toll free: 1-888-755-8522. At the prompt, dial extention 101. You will receive up to the minute, updated recorded information.

Honor Michael by showing nothing less than your best behavior and your respect for this court procedure.

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean


Jackson Hires New Security Staff. 29-04-'04

Michael Jackson has hired a private security firm to look after him, after ditching his minders from the controversial Nation of Islam.

The troubled pop superstar is due back in court in Santa Maria, California tomorrow (April 30) for another hearing ahead of his December (03) trial on child molestation charges.

But his legal team have been forced to swiftly recruit new minders for the court date - after Jackson this week severed his ties with the black religious group.

According to sources close to Jackson, the Nation Of Islam - who provided security for Jackson's entourage at his arraignment in January have been replaced by a private security firm who will maintain a "low-key" appearance.

Michael Jackson Security Staff
Michael Jackson has hired a private security firm to look after him.

Police will also turn out in Santa Maria in force to control what is expected to be a large crowd.

Jackson will tomorrow hear the charges a grand jury returned in a sealed indictment against him last Wednesday (April 21).

The grand jury was investigating nine felony charges brought against Jackson - seven counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 and two counts of giving the child an intoxicating agent. The singer pleaded not guilty to those counts in an initial arraignment in January.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Jackson Misses His Own Premiere. 28-04-'04

Troubled superstar Michael Jackson missed the premiere of his new movie 'Miss Castaway' in Hollywood on Tuesday night (April 27).

Michael who will be arraigned on child molestation charges tomorrow (April 30), plays an alien in the new movie, which also stars Eric Roberts.

Director Brian Michael Stoller says, "It was smart for him not to come because he would just be mobbed."

Miss Cast Away
Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls is a American parody anarchic comedy film written and directed by Bryan Michael Stoller, produced on a $2 million budget. It features Michael Jackson in his final scripted film performance.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Willie Scott
Willie Scott designs Michael's outfits for the upcoming trial.

Jackson Calls On Farrakhan's Designer. 28-04-'04

Michael Jackson has hired controversial religious leader Louis Farrakhan's personal designer to make custom made outfits for every day of his child molestation trial.

Michael who has been surrounded by advisers from Farrakhan's the Nation of Islam sect in the build up to his high-profile trial - is such a fan of the leader's style, he's hired Willie Scott to provide his court clothes.

Scott says, "Michael always complimented Farrakhan on his clothes and (his son) Josh Farrakhan told him to get in touch with me right away.

Scott, who also designs outfits for pop veteran Prince, was given just three days to create the attire worn by Jackson at his first court date on 16 January, but still managed to stitch together "something conservative with some flair".

Jackson, 45, faces seven counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, and two counts of purposefully intoxicating the boy with alcohol in order to molest him at his Neverland Ranch near Santa Barbara, California.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Neverland RanchMichael Plans A Return To Neverland. 28-04-'04

As new details emerged about the shake-up in the Michael Jackson defence team, the pop star told a confidant he plans to return this week with his children to live at his Neverland Valley Ranch once again.

This information comes directly from the civil attorney, Brian Oxman. Michael had felt that his home had been violated following the police raid on the 2,700 acre estate and vowed that he would never return. He's been living in a Beverly Hills mansion since and took trips with his children to Colorado and Disney World in Florida.

Now, however, it appears that Michael is ready to reclaim his beautiful home. "He said he wasn't going to be driven away any more....

His words were, 'This is where my children were born. This is where I want them to be.' He wants to go home.

Source: News Press / Billie Jean


Bankruptcy
Michael is facing imminent bankruptcy?

Jackson's Fortune Is Not Under Threat. 28-04-'04

Michael Jackson's financial confidant has rubbished reports the pop superstar is facing imminent bankruptcy, insisting the costs of his child molestation case pose no threat to his multi-million dollar fortune.

Michael who's facing seven counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, and two counts of purposefully intoxicating the boy with alcohol in order to molest him - is expected to pay out $27 million (GBP15 million) on the trial.

But Charles Koppelman, a trusted Jackson advisor who was instrumental in renegotiating the singer's debts, has slammed allegations the case will financially ruin his client.

He says, "Everything's in good shape. He's in no financial straits as far as I'm concerned."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson: Innocent, Until Proven Guilty. . .? Book Is Released. 27-04-'04

Innocent, Until Proven Guilty...? Book CoverMichael Jackson is now in: "The court of public opinion."However, soon he'll be in: "A COURT OF LAW."Who under the determination of being either: "NOT GUILTY" or determined "GUILTY" of the alleged charges against him.

This book 'Innocent, Until Proven Guilty...?' is today released and brings out unthought of points, and prospectives, based upon common-sense.Plus, reveals: "NEW INFORMATION,"based upon a logical analysis and prospective of the unrecognized, unrealized, undiscovered, unobvious situations and circumstances about: "THE MICHAEL JACKSON CASE"! some and the questions this book asks, and tries to answer are: will Michael Jackson have enough evidence for his defense?

Do the two separate cases have similar comparisons? Were Michael Jackson's arms bruised because of his handcuffs? Can Michael Jackson get: "TRUE JUSTICE" in our current court system? Could: "the case of michael jackson have a defense, to his case his defense attorneys, may have not yet thought of? is it possible that: "the michael jackson case," could help change: "the justice system in america, and in other democratic forms of governments throughout the world? you won't know until you read the book!

Publisher: AuthorHouse
Author: Ron Stewart
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9781418412258
Printed: ?
Guide price: 18 €

Order the book here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Michael Fires The Nation Of Islam. 27-04-'04

Michael Jackson is ending his relationship with the Nation of Islam, sources tell Fox News. Jackson has apparently decided, in the wake of firing his lead attorneys over the weekend, to also get rid of his controversial recent "business manager" Leonard Muhammad, son in law of Louis Farrakhan.

The change in Jackson's camp reflects the sudden rise to power of Michael's brother Randy, and his own advisor, Brian Oxman who have gained leverage with the singer of late. It was Randy and Oxman who engineered the hiring of Thomas Meserau as Jackson's new lead attorney in his child molestation case.

Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam stand stand outside the Santa Maria Courthouse, where they provided extra security for singer Michael Jackson on January 16th, 2004 in Santa Maria, California.

One of Meserau's requirements in taking the job was that Jackson rid himself of the NOI. But it won't be so easy to get rid of Muhammad. According to my sources, he is resisting Jackson's decision. "He won't go without a fight," says a source.

The big question is: How will all these changes affect Friday's arraignment in Santa Maria?

Source: Fox News / Billie Jean


Ben BrafmanBen Brafman Understands Jackson's Decision. 27-04-'04

Top attorney Ben Brafman is convinced he was removed from Michael Jackson's defence team because he refuses to be "a yes person".

Jackson let both Brafman and Mark Geragos go over the weekend (April 24/25), just days before he faces an arraignment hearing in Santa Maria, California (April 30) on child molestation charges.

Brafman insists he wasn't shocked by his former client's decision.

He says, "I knew it was going to happen at some point. "I think people who know me know that I'm very serious about my work. I'm not a yes person. I say what I think."

But Brafman insists Jackson's decision wasn't preempted by Nation of Islam officials.

He adds, "I don't see that at all. It was all about security and scheduling.

"They've all treated me with great respect and we wish him (Jackson) well. I hope this case works out and I really hope he's exonerated."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Statement Of Michael Jackson Regarding Termination Of Attorneys. 26-04-'04

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson releases the following statement with regards to the termination of Mark Geragos, Esquire, and Benjamin Brafman, Esquire: “I have terminated the services of Attorneys Mark Geragos, Esquire, and Benjamin Brafman, Esquire, effective immediately.

I have hired Los Angeles attorney, Thomas Mesereau, a well-regarded Criminal Defense attorney, who will be working, as lead attorney, with my long time attorney, Steve Cochran. Prominent Santa Barbara attorney, Robert Sanger, will also remain on the team. Let me make it clear, I have not replaced my defense team, I have replaced the lead attorneys. And, contrary to reports, this is a decision that I have personally made. “It is imperative that I have the full attention of those who are representing me. My life is at stake.

Therefore, I must feel confident that my interests are of the highest priority. I am innocent of these false charges, and will aggressively seek to clear my name. I feel very confident that when I am able to defend myself, I will be exonerated by a jury of my peers. “I would like to thank Messrs. Geragos and Brafman for the work they have done, and I wish them well.”

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean


Michael's Fans Organize A Candlelight Vigil At Neverland. 25-04-'04

There will be a Fan Sponsored & Organized Candlelight Vigil in support of Michael on Thursday, April 29th at 7PM.

It will take place at the Neverland Gates on Figueroa Mountain Road. It is requested that fans bring their own candles and be extra careful with them. If you have any questions, please contact Faze at The_Faze@hotmail.com

The organizers are also asking the fans to gather at the Court House in Santa Maria no later than 8AM on April 30th.
They ask that the fans look out for the truck carrying the support banners, sent from 50 different countries, and give them a hand in displaying them!

Michael is so appreciative of all the love and support of his fans. He is aware of all of their efforts and sends his deepest thanks.

Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch
Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch – 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos, California.

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean


Thomas Mesereau
Thomas Mesereau, the new lawyer for Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson Replaces Lawyers. 25-04-'04

Michael Jackson has ditched the two lawyers representing him in his child molestation case.

Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman have given no reason for the decision but said they "both wished Michael well".

Michael will now be represented by another high-profile criminal defence lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, when he appears in a Santa Barbara, California court on Friday (April 30).

Until recently Mesereau was defending actor Robert Blake - who stands accused of murdering his wife Bonnie Lee Bakely - but they parted company in February (04), citing "irreconcilable differences".

Although Geragos and Brafman have confirmed they're no longer working for Jackson, neither have offered any explanation for their sudden departure.

Brafman says, "Based on recent developments and discussions with various persons in the Jackson camp, it became clear that it would be best if Mark and I decided to step down."

Jackson, 45, faces seven counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, and two counts of purposefully intoxicating the boy with alcohol in order to molest him at his Neverland Ranch near Santa Barbara.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Statement Of Michael Jackson. 23-04-'04

"As I release this statement, there are helicopters hovering above my residence, reporters staking out, and photographers lurking behind bushes, running rampant around my compound. “I am respectfully requesting that media organizations please respect my privacy, and that of my children. “I would greatly appreciate your cooperation. “Thank you.”

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean


South Park Pokes Fun At Jackson. 22-04-'04

Michael Jackson faced more ridicule in America last night (April 21) after the creators of irreverent cartoon TV series South Park portrayed him as a weird recluse living in Colorado.

The self-styled King of Pop disguises himself with a moustache, calls himself Mr Jefferson and befriends the children of South Park, luring them back to his home for play sessions and sleepovers.

The hilarious episode of the American series also features his mask-wearing son Blanket, who is ignored by his dad when the other kids come to play.

The show takes a topical twist when South Park regular Kyle dreams about pal Cartman kissing Jackson's character during a sleepover.

And, while local police try to find Jackson's alias - to "frame him" on child molestation charges - the kids of South Park decide to rescue Blanket from the clutches of his weird dad, as the cartoon superstar's surgically-enhanced features start to disintegrate.

South Park
'The Jeffersons' is episode 117 of the Comedy Central animated series South Park.

The episode, in which the pop star dresses up as Robin Hood and joins the local kids in a singing session from up high in his "wishing tree", ends with a ghoulish, skeletal Jackson accidentally killing unlucky South Park regular Kenny and confronting police on his lawn.

The kids of South Park then prompt Jackson to mend his ways and become more of a father to Blanket and less of a grown man desperately trying to relive his childhood.

The cartoon pop star then agrees to give all his money away to charity, prompting police to give up their case against him because he's no longer a "rich black man".

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Rabbi Shmuley BoteachJackson's Rabbi Friend Speaks Out. 22-04-'04

Michael Jackson's most famous spiritual adviser fears the King of Pop is heading for a messy end, and fears his former friend's life will be "cut short" like Elvis Presley's.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach spoke out during an appearance on this morning's American Morning show on CNN, insisting he's worried about the troubled pop star as he faces a legal battle after being indicted on child molestation charges.

Boteach said, "Michael's life is in serious decline even without this indictment. He has not sort of gotten that there has to be major changes."

Boteach insisted his old friend is innocent of the seven counts of child molestation filed last year (03), but Jackson needs to be more aware of what's happening around him.

He added, "My criticism of Michael is his self-absorption; the whole celebrity thing where he needs to feel like he's worshipped."

Boteach went on to reveal he quit as Jackson's adviser when he realised other forces close to the singer were advising him to ignore the Jewish guru's concerns for his spiritual well being.

The rabbi adds, "My great fear... was that he would not live long. My fear was that Michael's life would be cut short.

"When you have no ingredients of a healthy life; when you are totally detached from that which is normal, and when you are a super-celebrity you, God forbid, end up like Janis Joplin, like ELVIS... Michael is headed in that direction."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Jermaine JacksonJermaine: Michael Will Convert To Islam. 22-04-'04

Michael Jackson is likely to convert to Islam in the near future, according to his older brother and fellow Muslim Jermaine.

Michael is currently studying the Arabic religion's teachings as he awaits trial on charges of child molestation, and devoutly-religious Jermaine is certain he is finding spiritual help in holy book the KORAN.

And Jermaine - who converted to Islam in the late 1980's - believes the religion will offer scandal-plagued Michael the inner peace he is looking for.

He enthuses, "Michael is reading, he is studying. It's just a matter of time."

In recent months Michael has been surrounded by advisers from controversial religious group the Nation of Islam.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Case Almost Collapsed. 22-04-'04

The legal push to put Michael Jackson behind bars on seven counts of child molestation almost fell apart earlier this month - when the pop star's teenage accuser told prosecutors he no longer wanted to go ahead with the case.

The Grand Jury, which indicted Jackson on Wednesday (April 21), quizzed young Gavin Arvizo two weeks ago and the experience was almost too much for the cancer sufferer to take.

American scandal show Celebrity Justice has learned the boy and his mother were so distraught after testifying that they told their attorneys they were thinking of dropping their charges.

Santa Barbara, California, District Attorney Tom Sneddon tried to convince the family to press on with their case in vain, but it was attorney Larry Feldman who persuaded the Arvizos that their efforts were worth it.

Feldman has been an adviser to the family since the beginning of the case.

Celebrity Justice producer Harvey Levin says, "We've heard that Feldman calmed the mother and son down and got them recommitted to the case."

According to insiders, the family are now fully committed and "elated" after hearing the Grand Jury took just a few hours to indict the pop superstar on all counts.

Jackson will be arraigned next week (April 26) in Santa Barbara.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson To Plead Innocent. 22-04-'04

Michael Jackson will plead not guilty to child molestation charges when he appears in court next week (April 30), his lawyers say.

Michael has been charged with seven counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, and two counts of purposefully intoxicating the boy with alcohol in order to molest him at his Neverland Ranch near Santa Barbara, California.

A statement issued by his lawyers says, "Mr Jackson and his attorneys are confident that after a trial on these charges, Mr Jackson will be fully exonerated and that the allegations contained in the indictment will be shown to be patently false."

"Michael is looking forward to his day in court and wishes to thank the millions of fans throughout the world who continue to support him during this difficult period.

"We also remind the public that Michael Jackson, like any other person accused of a crime, is presumed to be innocent."

Jackson has denied the allegations, dismissing them as a "big lie". He is due to appear in a Santa Maria, California court on 30 April to be formally charged and enter a plea.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean

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