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Home / News Archive / News January 2004

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Mark Geragos
Michael Jackson's lawyer Mark Geragos.

Geragos: Jackson Not A 'Freak'. 17-01-'04

Mark Geragos told ABC News 'Good Morning America' he does not consider Michael Jackson a "freak" and he is not concerned about how the pop star's image might affect the criminal case against him. "I have sat and talked with him,"

Geragos told ABC News senior legal correspondent Cynthia McFadden in an exclusive interview scheduled to air Monday (January 19) on 'Good Morning America'. "He's not a freak in any sense of the word. All I can tell you is that a day does not go by that I do not get inundated at my office with e-mails, letters of support, from people who think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread."...

Geragos gave the interview before a judge placed a gag order on prosecutors and defense attorneys at Jackson's arraignment hearing on Friday... Geragos told McFadden he does not see anything wrong with parents letting their children spend the night at other people's houses. He has allowed it with his own children. "My children spend the night at other 45-year-old men's houses — a single male who's roughly my age, who's got a son, and my son spends the night at his house," Geragos said...

"This idea that somehow he's luring kids into sleep into his bedroom and some kind of seductive dance — if it wasn't so absolutely defamatory, it would be laughable," Geragos said... "They're not invited to spend the night in his bedroom," Geragos said. "He has a specific area where guests stay. … The reason this kind of [thing] comes up is that people assume that he comes up there and spends the night in the bedroom. He's never said that to anybody."

Source: ABC News / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Upsets Judge With Toilet Request. 17-01-'04

Michael Jackson enraged Judge Rodney Melville by insisting on dashing to the toilet during his two hour arraignment on Friday (January 16).

The pop superstar arrived in court in Santa Maria, California, 20 minutes late, for which he was admonished by the judge.

Melville then turned his anger to Jackson's attorney, Mark Geragos, when another lawyer, Ben Brafman, escorted the star to the courthouse restroom.

The judge told Geragos, "In the future can you do something about your client's liquid intake."

In another bizarre moment, Jackson was seen having make-up applied to his face as he left the courthouse with his parents and siblings Jermaine and Janet.

He then enraged lawmakers in Santa Maria by standing on the roof of his SUV, waving at fans and flashing the peace sign while his song BS blasted out from speakers.

The track is believed to be a personal attack on Santa Barbara, California, District Attorney Tom Sneddon, who led a child molestation investigation against Jackson in 1993, and is in charge of the current scandal.

Ben Brafman, one of four criminal lawyers representing Jackson, admitted he was a shocked as anyone with his client's display.

He says, "I think the outpouring of love for Michael Jackson is universal. This wasn't planned. I've never seen anything like this.

"I am not going to try to change Michael Jackson from being Michael Jackson. This is Michael Jackson."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson at Courthouse - ArraigmentThe Arraignment - Strength In Numbers. 16-01-'04

Michael Jackson arrived at court Friday for arraignment on child molestation charges amid a crush of chanting supporters and a throng of news media.

Fans pushed in toward an arriving caravan of vehicles from which Jackson emerged, under an umbrella, shortly after the scheduled 8:30 a.m. arraignment time.

The proceeding was held at the small Santa Barbara County courthouse in Santa Maria because it is the closest court to Jackson's Neverland Ranch, the Central California estate where the crimes allegedly occurred.

Jackson's father, Joe, mother, Katherine, and brother Jermaine also were present.

Busloads of fans traveled from Los Angeles and Las Vegas on a "Caravan of Love" to show their support.

When Michael arrived 20 minutes late for his arraignment, he was wearing a black coat embellished with an ornate emblem, black pants with white stripes, a white armband, glittery shoes and, of course, the sunglasses. He shook hands and waved to fans as he slowly moved through the crowd, apparently guarded by Nation Of Islam security.

It seems that all the press can talk about is the fact that Michael was twenty one minutes late for the arraignment. And Judge Rodney Melville is not amused, saying "Mr. Jackson, you have started out on the wrong foot here. I want to advise you that I will not put up with that. It's an insult to the court." Later, Michael's attorneys would apologize publicly.

Michael pled "not guilty" to seven counts of molesting a child under fourteen and two counts of giving an "intoxicating agent" to a minor. As he entered his plea, he spoke softly but firmly, staring straight ahead, showing no emotion. The hearing ended in less than two hours while Michael stopped to use the rest room. Apparently, this, too, irritated Judge Melville who remarked that Michael's exit had caused another disruption.

Although Michael was serious in the courtroom, when he emerged from the hearing, he happily climbed on top of his SUV to wave to the fans. As music played from a cd player, Michael did a few steps for the fans. "This was spontaneous love" said Michael's attorney, Benjamin Brafmann, speaking of the demonstration planned and executed by fans. (We can tell him ... Stick around because you ain't seen nothing yet!)

Michae is Innocent
Fans show their support for the pop singer Michael Jackson as he arrives at the Santa Maria Court.

Michael's entourage handed out invitations to the fans that read:

"In the spirit of love and togetherness, Michael Jackson would like to invite his fans and supporters to his Neverland Ranch. Please join us Friday, Jan. 16, 2004, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served. We'll see you there" Everyone then flocked to Neverland for an "after arraignment" party.

The judge has scheduled a session on February 13th to set the date for a preliminary hearing, which will determine whether there is enough evidence to try Michael on the alleged crimes. The judge has also imposed the gag order on all participants and will not allow the papers involved to be unsealed. The judge will, however, consider proposals by either side to speak to reporters in regard to rumors that surround the case.

Source: AOL / MJFC / Billie Jean


Mark Geragos
Michael Jackson's lawyer Mark Geragos.

New Co-Counsel On Jackson Case. 15-01-'04

The following is a statement by Mark Geragos:

Attorney for Michael Jackson: I am pleased to announce the expansion of the legal team that will be defending Michael Jackson. My friend Benjamin Brafman will serve with me as co-lead counsel effective immediately. Michael and I agreed that expanding the team would best serve his interests as we work toward his acquittal on the false charges that have been leveled against him.

I felt strongly about working with Ben, someone I have long respected and admired. Ben will join me tomorrow in Santa Maria at Michael's arraignment where Michael will enter a plea of not guilty. Ben is a principal in the law firm of Brafman & Ross based in Manhattan. He is known for most recently winning an acquittal for Sean "P. Diddy" Combs on bribery and weapons charges.

Source: The Lawfirm of Geragos / Billie Jean


Mark Geragos
Michael Jackson's lawyer Mark Geragos.

Jackson's Attorney Wins Disclosure Demands. 15-01-'04

Michael Jackson's lawyer Mark Geragos has already won a small battle in the King of Pop's legal war - he has been given the go-ahead to get a full list of what was removed from his client's home after a police raid.

Santa Barbara, California, investigators swarmed on Jackson's Neverland Ranch home in November (03) looking for evidence to back a child molestation charge, brought against the pop superstar by teenager Gavin Arvizo.

Until now, details of the items taken by police have been kept a closely guarded secret, but now Geragos has won the right to get a list of the items removed.

Geragos will appear with Jackson in court tomorrow (January 16), when Jackson will be arraigned.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Beverly Hills HomeJackson's New Home Revealed. 15-01-'04

Michael Jackson is paying $100,000 a month to rent out his impressive new Beverly Hills, California, French-style chateau.

The pop superstar originally looked at the huge 12-bedroom home, one of Beverly Hills' biggest, in the mid-1990's.

His new Neverland, owned by a Chinese artist, features a glass ballroom with a see-through floor, a bedroom bowling alley, an indoor pool and stunning views of Los Angeles.

Jackson maintains an option to buy the sprawling mansion once his rental term is up - at a price of $20 million.

The mansion isn't new to stars - the grand abode is often used for TV series.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonA New Jackson Shocker Exposed By Tv Bosses. 15-01-'04

Michael Jackson reportedly ejaculated in front of his young child molestation accuser, according to leaked court documents.

Producers of American showbiz scandal show Celebrity Justice have learned that prosecutors in the Jackson sex case plan to prove teenager Gavin Arvizo's claims are true - and that the pop star climaxed in front of him.

Sources also tell the show that Arvizo's mother and siblings actually moved into Jackson's Neverland Ranch home in Santa Barbara, California, for the duration of February and March last year (03), and a member of Michael's entourage arranged for the boy to get out of school in Los Angeles.

The sources claim the boy's mother was then told he would receive schooling at Neverland, which she says never happened.

Prosecutors also plan to maintain Arvizo's mother felt as though she was held hostage at Neverland, claiming she was told there were death threats against her family and it was not safe to leave.

Jackson is tomorrow (January 16) due in court in Santa Maria, California, on arraignment.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Jackson To Reconcile With Frank Dileo? 14-01-'04

Michael Jackson is reportedly considering rehiring his old manager Frank Dileo, after his spirited defence of the singer on TV last week (January 7).

The music mogul supported his former client on Good Morning America, a move which has reportedly brought him close to Michael - who is currently awaiting trial on child abuse charges - following his dismissal in 1989.

He said during the interview, "He is a very charitable person that would not harm anybody and that's what is unfair. The tabloid press and cable companies they have him convicted and on his way to prison and that should not be. That trial should be fought in court with lawyers not on TV.

"He has given away more money then people can understand. And those people are the ones that are going to loose out on this. I would say he gave with me, he has gave away about $12 Million dollars I saw him given away, and who knows what he has given away since."

Dileo has had a number meetings with Jackson in his new home of Los Angeles this week, according to the New York Times.

When asked why he was sacked by Jackson, he pointed to the superstar's then record company Sony, claiming, "I think he fired me because it was politically asked of him. There was an outside record executive with a big time lawyer and one executive at Sony who would like to see Michael's power cut in half. And by getting rid of me was half the power."

Frank Dileo
Frank Dileo was for five years in the late 1980's Jackson's manager. But in early 1989 Jackson fired Mr. Dileo, dissatisfied with the sales of his album 'Bad'. (Jackson had wanted to sell 100 million copies of the album, but after a year and a half it had sold only 20 million.)

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Program Details For January 15/16. 14-01-'04

January 15:
2 pm - Demonstration in front of Sneddon's offices in Santa Barbara (1105 Santa Barbara Street). This can last about an hour. Let's show Sneddon we think Michael has been treated unfairly.
Note: This must be a PEACEFUL demonstration. Signs must be not offensive, please respect the image of Michael Jackson and his fans. Also, please do not bring signs held with hard supports such as wooden sticks, it is not permitted.

5 pm-5.45 pm - Candle Light Vigil in Front of Neverland Ranch's gate on Figueroa Mountain road in Los Olivos. Bring your own candles and be extremely careful, this is a very dry area. This will be a show of support to Michael also in honor of his wonderful property.

6 pm-8 pm - Meeting at the Royal Copenhagen Inn in order to coordinate our actions for the next morning in Santa Maria. Some friendly reporters may attend. We will also be making signs. There may be some food.

Royal Copenhagen Inn
1579 Mission Drive
Solvang, CA 93463
Phone: 805-688-5561

Then some fans are planning to go to the restaurant and see 'Peter Pan' movie. This will be announced at the gathering at the Royal Copenhagen.

January 16:
Arraignment scheduled at 8:30 am and should be over by 9:15 am. The arraignment is being held in Santa Maria at the courthouse located at:

110 E. Cook Street
Santa Maria, California 93454
The phone number is 805-346-7590

We suggest you arrive no later than 7.30 am.
Use mapquest.com for maps and directions.

Again, please keep these gatherings peaceful and polite, stay in the spirit of harmony and unity that Michael jackson represents. Do not bring signs held by hard supports.

Fan Caravans / Buses:
The caravans will leave ON TIME. Please note that these caravans consist of you driving your personal car (or carpooling) in a line of vehicles all traveling to Santa Maria. ALSO: A fan has donated a bus that will travel from Las Vegas to Santa Maria.

Los Angeles:
FAME (First African Methodist Episcopal) Church
Rev. Chip Murray
2270 S. Harvard Blvd.
Los Angeles, Ca.
contact: Najee Ali 323 298-1497
Caravans leaving from FAME PROMPTLY at 4 am on January 16th

San Fernando Valley:
Kmart8040 Foothill Blvd. Sunland, Ca.
contact: Charity 818-755-3260
Caravans leaving PROMPTLY at 5 am on January 16

Carson:
IKEA PARKING LOT IN CARSON MALL
20700 Avalon Blvd # 900
Carson, CA 90746
contact: Angel at 562-596-0612
caravans leaving PROMPTLY at 4 am

Las Vegas:
Caravan location to be announced
contact: Angel at 562-596-0612
to leave on Thursday night most probably

The BUSES from LA are full, if you want to join the car caravans and drive following the buses be at those locations with your own transportation.

Source: Diana D'Alo / MJFC / Billie Jean


'Number Ones' Leaps To #15 On Billboard Album Charts. 13-01-'04

Michael Jackson's 'Number Ones' has been slowly creeping back into the upper echelon of the big chart despite his approaching arraignment on child molestation charges. The album soars 39-15 on a 22% sales spike to 47,000 copies in its eighth week of release, giving 'Number Ones' a to-date total of just under 500,000 copies (US sales only).

Source: Billboard / Billie Jean


The Beatles CatalogueJackson Set To Lose Beatles Catalogue. 13-01-'04

Sir Paul McCartney could be in for some good news - his former friend Michael Jackson may finally have to forfeit the Beatles back-catalogue.

Sir Paul and Michael had a massive fall out after the troubled pop star outbid the Beatles guitarist for the rights to the Fab Four's hits in 1985.

The catalogue was bought for $47 million and recently Michael secured a $108 million loan for the prized collection, of which a $16 million repayment is due next month (February).

However, Jackson has reportedly been suffering huge financial problems since his last original album 'Invincible' flopped in 2001.

The Bank Of America is now threatening to seize the catalogue if Michael defaults on the repayment.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Debbie RoweDebbie Rowe Returns For Jackson Crisis Talks. 13-01-'04

Michael Jackson's reclusive ex-wife Debbie Rowe has been dragged into secret talks about the King of Pop as he faces a brutal court case on Friday (January 16).

Jackson will be arraigned in court on child molestation charges at the end of the week, prompting his aides and family to stage crisis talks.

And while 12 of his closest advisors, including attorney Mark Geragos, met for a secret summit meeting at Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles, yesterday (January 12), the mother of Jackson's kids Paris and Prince Michael met with the pop star's manager Dieter Weisner for lunch at celebrity restaurant The IVY.

Meanwhile, outside the Jackson family compound in Encino, California, Michael's brother Jermaine staged a press conference thanking fans for their support, urging them to join the singer's "caravan of love" outside the courthouse in Santa Maria, California.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Judge Bars Cameras From Courtroom In Jackson Case. 12-01-'04

Cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom during Michael Jackson's arraignment Friday (January 16) on child molestation charges, a judge ruled Monday, rejecting requests from numerous news organizations.

Also on Monday, Jackson's inner circle met at a posh Beverly Hills hotel to look at the entertainer's business affairs. The meeting was attended by lawyers, managers and accountants for the pop superstar, along with Nation of Islam leaders. (One of Jackson's advisors happens to be a member of the Nation of Islam and was not there speaking on behalf of the Nation of Islam in any capacity.)

Source: AP / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Finances Just Fine: Advisor. 12-01-'04

Michael Jackson's closest advisers huddled privately at a posh Beverly Hills hotel for several hours on Monday and emerged to declare that the pop star's finances were going to be "just fine" as he battled child molestation charges.

The reclusive self-declared "King of Pop" was not in evidence at the meeting which included members of the Nation of Islam, whose new role as his security provider has generated controversy. Jackson's criminal lawyer Mark Geragos also attended along with a group of financial aides and Jackson's music manager Charles Koppelman, who when asked about the state of Jackson's finances said the pop star was going to do "just fine."

Michael Finances
Michael Jackson's closest advisers declare that the pop star's finances were going to be "just fine".

Koppelman said that reports that Jackson was having difficulty meeting a payment to a bank for his purchase of the Beatles song catalog was erroneous but added that "we discussed his assets" at the meeting. He also added that Jackson was not going to lease his Neverland Ranch about 150 miles north of Los Angeles. Nation of Islam member Tony Muhammad, who attended the meeting, was asked what his group's role and said, "Most of the people in the room were Jewish. This is not about any one religion."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Massive Support For Jackson Court Appearance. 11-01-'04

Fans, family and friends of troubled pop superstar Michael Jackson are planning to flock to his aid when he is arraigned later this week on child molestation charges.

Fan clubs for the 'Thriller' singer have arranged cars and buses to travel to the courthouse in Santa Barbara, California, this Friday (January 16), so they can express their support for their idol.

Angel Hjowansky, a publicist helping co-ordinate the event says, "We've had fans calling from out of state who are flying in just for the arraignment."

Jackson is charged with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts on a child under 14 and two counts of administering an 'intoxicating agent' to a child.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Miss Cast AwayMichael Jackson Cameo Kept In 'Miss Castaway'. 08-01-'04

Michael Jackson has studio executives worried his child molestation charges will dent the box office receipts of forthcoming comedy 'Miss Cast Away', in which he makes a cameo appearance as a secret agent.

Michael makes fun of his guest part in 'Men In Black II' in the new movie, which follows 30 beauty contestants who battle for survival after their plane crashes on a desert island.

But director Bryan Michael Stoller has no doubt Jackson is innocent of the charges and isn't concerned they'll affect the movie's performance when it's released in April (04), as bad publicity is better than no publicity.

He says, "It's in Michael's favour. He's popular, whether it's negative or positive press. I know he's innocent.

"Michael's got a great sense of humour. He plays AGENT MJ. It's a parody on his cameo in 'Men in Black II', where he wanted to be AGENT M, but they wouldn't let him. Michael tells them what their assignments are."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Jackson Reportedly Buys Beverly Hills Mansion. 07-01-'04

Michael Jackson has purchased a home in Beverly Hills, according to members of his family.

“My mother went up to see Michael the other day and the house is beautiful,” Jermaine Jackson, the star's older brother said Wednesday.

The purchase comes in the wake of reports that the pop superstar, who has sold more than 100 million records, is deeply in debt.

“All the stuff the media is saying about Michael's finances is crazy,” Jermaine Jackson said. “Michael is fine. Some people would like to see him broke, but that's not the case.”

During an interview with “60 Minutes”, Jackson said he would never live at his Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos, Calif., again after Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies raided the 2,700 acre estate in November 2003.

“It's not a home anymore,” Jackson said in the interview. “I will never live there again.”

Jackson purchased Neverland in 1988 for an amount said to be between $12-20 million. He built a theme park, zoo and a number of other attractions on the property.

During a gathering of supporters at the ranch last month, Jackson arrived and, upon exiting a limousine, went directly to one of the guest suites on the property instead of the main house. He said he didn't want to see what his bedroom looked like and that his staff had told him that he'd probably cry if he saw it.

“He was serious when he said he wasn't going to live at Neverland anymore,” sister Rebbie Jackson said. “I can't say that I blame him.”

The price tag for the Beverly Hills home was not immediately known, but family members said the singer paid cash for the two-story mansion.

Beverly Hills Home
Michael Jackson's 10-bedroom Beverly Hills mansion, with a tennis court and a view of the local children's park. Beverly Hills, CA.

Source: MSNBC / Billie Jean


Jackson Hands Over His Passport Again. 07-01-'04

Michael Jackson has surrendered his passport for a second time.

The pop superstar agreed to hand over his passport yesterday (January 6) after asking for its return so he could travel to Britain for Christmas (03) - a trip that never took place.

The document was back in official custody at 1PM local time in Santa Barbara, California - four hours before the 5PM deadline.

Jackson will be arraigned in court next week (January 16).

He initially gave up his passport in November (03) when he had to surrender himself to police after they issued a warrant for his arrest on child molestation charges.

MJ Passport
Michael Jackson has surrendered his passport for a second time.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Jermaine JacksonJermaine Confirms Nation Officials Have Secured Jackson. 05-01-'04

Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine has confirmed reports the pop superstar has called in Nation of Islam officials to help him conduct business as he faces a child molestation court case.

Nation of Islam spokespeople have been keen to distance themselves from reports they're taking care of business for the troubled star, but Jermaine, who converted to the church a decade ago, admits his brother does have Nation officials on his staff.

He says, "There is some security that works with Michael from the Nation. But we didn't ask them to pray, we asked them to secure him."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Heard Whistling And Humming On Police Tape. 05-01-'04

Michael Jackson can be heard whistling and humming to himself in an audio recording police officials made while transporting him from airport hangar to police cells in November (03), after his arrest on child molestation charges.

The odd audio is now being used by Santa Barbara County, California's sheriff's department to refute claims by Jackson that he was manhandled by police.

During a press conference on Wednesday (December 31st, 2003), Santa Barbara Sheriff Jim Anderson played the tape, which he insists proved police acted professionally and sympathetically while Jackson was in their custody.

Anderson also insisted Jackson's handcuffs were "double locked by the officers to prevent them from further tightening".

The sheriff told reporters at the press conference to pay special attention to the demeanour of officers, who politely advised the pop superstar how to sit in the car seat during the transport "in order to limit any discomfort caused by the handcuffs".

In the audio footage, Jackson can clearly be heard saying the handcuffs are a "bit tight, aren't they?" to which an officer replies, "If you want to scoot forward a little bit... there you go."

Jackson is also heard twice asking for "more air", and then says, "Thank you" when air conditioning is increased. He also replies he's feeling "fine" and "wonderful" when he's asked if he's OK by an officer in the car transporting him to the police booking station.

The tape concludes with Jackson thanking sheriff's department staff as he leaves police custody on bail.

Anderson concluded the press conference by stating that "Mr Jackson has seriously hurt his credibility" by making the police brutality allegations, and he'll be charged with false report if an investigation proves he's lying.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean

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Updated: 17/01/2004 9:12 PM

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