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Home / News Archive / News March 2004

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Capitol Hill Congress MeetingMichael Jackson Arrives in Washington D.C. 31-03-'04

Michael arrives yesterday (March 30) in Washington D.C. to meet privately with several members of the US Congress in the office of Republican Chaka-Fattah, D-Pa. During their meeting they speak of fighting AIDS in Africa.

Michael reads a statement touching on his humanitarian efforts in the battle against AIDS. He says: "I know that many of you will continue to raise awareness and will continue to fight for funding in Africa. I want you to know I will do whatever I can to assist you in that fight."

Fattah said during the meeting:
"We were happy to have a chance to spend some brief moments to talk to one of the leading celebrities in the world that has used their celebrity status to help other people, particularly ... the millions of people on the continent of Africa who are suffering with the most devastating disease known to mankind."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson Honored By The AASA At The Embassy Of Ethiopia. 30-03-'04

During his time in the nation's capital, Michael Jackson's itinerary includes receiving a Humanitarian Award from The African Ambassadors' Spouses Association, on Thursday, April 1st.

Since this is a special honor for Michael, we are asking that all fans behave in an appropriate manner if they wish to be present at the designated area outside of the embassy.

Date: Thursday, April 1st, 2004

Time: 7:00 P.M.

Location: Embassy of Ethiopia
3506 International Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Source: Team MJJSource / Billie Jean


Quincy JonesQuincy Jones Snubs Michael Jackson. 30-03-'04

Michael Jackson has been dealt a cruel snub by former producer Quincy Jones - who has turned down Jackson's offer to star in the 'We Are The Future' musical extravaganza.

Stars including Jay-Z, Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Sting and Herbie Hancock are all on the bill for the gig, which will take place in Rome on May 16 - but, on Jones' insistence, Jackson will not be joining them.

An insider tells PAGE SIX.com, "Michael Jackson desperately wants to be a part of this concert, he has contacted Quincy, but Quincy turned him down.

"Michael wants to do the concert because it would help his image right now, but because of the molestation charges, Quincy isn't interested."

"Michael wants to do the concert because it would help his image right now, but because of the molestation charges, Quincy isn't interested."

Jackson was particularly aggrieved that Jones - who helped Jackson launch his solo career - turned him down as he was the one who got him involved in the event 10 years before.

Quincy is currently in talks with several American TV networks to broadcast the gig - which will feature 2,000 children between the ages of 5 and 8 - and will be seen all over the world.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Sneddon Plans Super-Secret Security Lockdown For Jackson Trial. 29-03-'04

Tom SneddonTroubled star Michael Jackson's next court date is poised to be a very private event - Santa Barbara, California, District Attorney Tom Sneddon is planning a military-scale operation to keep the press away.

Insiders claim Sneddon will give grand jury witnesses in Jackson's ongoing child molestation case just four hours notice of when they are to appear.

The DA will then arrange for the witnesses to be picked up at a secret location in the Santa Barbara area, from where they'll be whisked off to the top secret hearing.

The young accuser and his family will be taken to the hearing separately under a huge security presence.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


DMXDMX Believes In Michael's Innocence. 28-03-'04

Rapper and actor DMX (real name Earl Simmons) doesn't believe Michael Jackson is guilty. During a press conference in Los Angeles (USA), where he was promoting his latest film 'Never Die Alone', he said:

"Michael Jackson will always be the King of Pop for me, always. I personally don't think he really committed any crime. If it's been happening for awhile, why is it coming up now? I don't believe it."

Additionally DMX mentioned that he also has problems with his record company and thus has thoughts of quitting the music business:

"I refuse to give another dime to that record label, Def Jam. I made $144 million in one year for them. Guess how much they gave me? Nothing ... They loaned me $3 million towards my next album, so I owe them two more albums. They give you money, but then they take it back. It's robbery, man. I can't be part of it anymore."

Source: The Canadian Press / MJFC / Billie Jean


OutKast Won The Michael Jackson Award At The Soul Train Awards. 28-03-'04

Yesterday March 27th – Atlanta duo OutKast won the Michael Jackson Award for best R&B/soul or rap music video for 'Hey Ya!' at the 18th annual Soul Train Music Awards. They also received the award for best R&B/soul or rap album of the year for their album 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'.

The Soul Train Music Awards celebrates artists in R&B, hip-hop, rap and gospel music. Winners are chosen by a group of radio station professionals, talent managers, and performers.

OutKast
Big Boi (L) and Andre 3000 (R) of OutKast pose backstage in the press room at the 18th Annual Soul Train Music Awards after winning the Michael Jackson Award for best R&B/soul or rap music video for 'Hey Ya!

Source: AP / MJFC / Billie Jean


Jackson Challenged Former Guard. 26-03-'04

ET ran a story on Thursday (March 25) about a former Neverland security guard, Charli Michaels, who in 1994 was upset about what she felt was inappropriate behavior by Michael Jackson.

Today, Jackson's representatives strongly challenged her credibility. His spokesperson said, "It is disturbing and outrageous that people who were under the employment of Mr. Jackson would revert to such desperate measures because they were fired. Mr. Jackson is extremely disgusted and will no longer tolerate people that feel they have a green light to destroy his reputation."

Source: ET / Billie Jean


Kevin SmithKevin Smith Says 'Car-Movie' Story Is Not True. 26-03-'04

Kevin Smith, the director who was allegedly approached by Michael Jackson to make a movie where Jackson is suppose to turn into a car and have a little boy drive him, appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann (March 25).

Smith says the story isn't true. In fact, he says that he's never even met Jackson. This rumor started in 1994, according to the official transcript of the show. Smith says he was approached by someone pitching this idea and using Michael Jackson's name as a part of this idea. Smith also says he can only guess it had something to do with Jackson and he doesn't even know for sure if Jackson knows about this story.

Day 129 of the Michael Jackson investigations and we have an unlikely development from an unlikely source providing unexpected insights, perhaps, in the April issue of “Playboy” magazine. The noted film director Kevin Smith was asked, quote: “What‘s the weirdest script you‘'ve ever been asked to direct?” And his answer, as quoted by the magazine, “A movie called ‘Hot Rod,‘ in it, at Michael Jackson‘s suggestion, Michael Jackson would have played a man who turns into a car in order to have himself driven around by a boy.”

Source: MSNBC / Billie Jean


Christopher Robinson
Christopher Robinson, the videographer who worked for Michael Jackson's video producer, Marc Schaffel.

Jackson's Grand Jury: Videographer Called In. 25-03-'04

The grand jury in Santa Barbara has already successfully subpoenaed one witness: Christopher Robinson, the videographer who worked for Michael Jackson's video producer, Marc Schaffel.

But Schaffel, I am told, is nervous that the Santa Barbara County district attorney has other plans for him, like possibly an indictment for violating the rights of the family involved in the case.

The mother in the family has told the D.A. that Jackson — through Schaffel and his intermediaries — held them hostage and kept them from leaving Neverland.

In the last week, Schaffel also received some kind of mysterious visit, he has told friends, from the Internal Revenue Service.

But District Attorney Tom Sneddon's efforts to prove this part of his case may bear no fruit. Schaffel has witnesses — including actor Chris Tucker and a woman identified as Tucker's girlfriend — that the family was free to come and go and do whatever they wanted.

Schaffel will also be able to count on testimony from two Jackson aides, Frank Tyson (Cascio) and Vinnie Amen, who will recount in detail their activities concerning the "minding" of the family for Schaffel.

Both Tyson and Amen are said to have taken copious notes and kept lots of detailed records to prove that the mother of Jackson's 13-year-old accuser was an opportunist who didn't want to leave Jackson's world, rather than the other way around.

So far, subpoenas have not reached Schaffel, Tyson or Amen.

Yet another witness in this part of the case would be Jackson's former manager, Dieter Wiesner, who dealt with the family at Neverland before Schaffel, Tyson and Amen took over.

Wiesner, who is German and can't be compelled to answer a subpoena, had a contentious relationship with the mother for about 10 days after she and her family were exposed to the world on the TV special 'Living With Michael Jackson.' The details of their conflict — during which time Jackson was absent — could be more interesting than the rest of the case.

Meantime, one person who would testify if called is the mother of the now 23-year-old young man who was Jackson's first accuser. She, her husband and her former husband all received part of the $20 million settlement Jackson reached with her son in 1994.

Sadly, according to insiders, the mother has been denied access to her son for the last 10 years and has had no communication with him. She is said to blame her ex-husband, who's benefited the most since the settlement, with luxury homes in Manhattan and in the Hamptons.

A family friend told me: "The father has brain-washed him. Can you imagine a son not seeing his mother all this time?"

The boy, I can verify, goes to college and takes classes, ironically, in the music business. He lives a couple of blocks from his father, a former dentist and aspiring screenwriter who instigated the case a decade ago.

But even 10 years later, the question remains: What kind of witness would the young man make?

"He has everything to lose," said one source close to the case.

Grand juries have no lawyers present for cross-examination, but regular trials do.

In court, the boy and his family members could be grilled about Mary Fischer's 1994 article in GQ called "Who Framed Michael Jackson?"

In it Fischer suggests that the boy's father and stepfather conspired to shake Jackson down and concocted the accusation. Fischer wrote of the boy being drugged to elicit his complaint against Jackson, and of tape recordings between the two men in which they discussed their plans. Fischer, I suppose, could be called to testify as well.

Source: Fox News / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson To Address Black Caucus. 25-03-'04

Pop star Michael Jackson plans to visit Washington next week to share his views on world affairs with with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Jackson, who was recently indicted on child molestation charges, requested the meeting with the 38-member group to discuss his humanitarian efforts including his work to help Africa fight its AIDS epidemic, the Roll Call newspaper reported Thursday. Rep.

William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., whom the paper identifies as "a proponent of the visit," says Jackson should be welcomed by the members of the CBC. "It is good we show our support to Michael Jackson," Clay said. "He gives so much of himself monetarily and through his talent." Jackson has reportedly backed CBC efforts for many years.

He has pleaded innocent to seven counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under age 14, and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent to the child.

Source: Washington Times / Billie Jean


Heal The World FoundationJackson 'Heal The World Foundation' Charity In Trouble. 25-03-'04

The future of Michael Jackson's 'Heal The World Foundation kids' charity has been called into question, following years of inactivity.

Starved of funding and leadership, the organisation has stopped donating to charitable causes and has been suspended in California since 2002 for failing to file yearly accounting statements, records show. Other Jackson charities have withered as well, in a decline that began years before Michael's latest child-molestation scandal broke.

His Heal LA project, established to help aid inner-city children after the Los Angeles riots, has been suspended in California since 2001, and his Neverland Zoo Foundation, to preserve endangered animals, was dissolved in 1998.

With backing from the likes of Pepsico and new age guru Deepak Chopra, Jackson launched Heal the World at New York's Radio City Music Hall in 1992, complete with a boys choir singing his hit single and the group's namesake, Heal The World.

The collapse of the foundation could further tarnish Jackson's reputation as a children's advocate at a time when he is facing allegations he molested a boy. Jackson, 45, is awaiting trial.

The reasons for Heal the World's decline largely remain a mystery, but Stuart Backerman, a former spokesman for Jackson, says its work began tapering off because there wasn't an "inspirational force" or chief executive to drive the organisation.

He explains, "It just kind of went into suspended animation."

The charity built playgrounds, provided immunisations and funded scores of children's causes around the world. It helped pay for a Hungarian boy's lifesaving liver transplant and co-sponsored an airlift of more than 46 tons of relief supplies to war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992.

Jackson stopped working with the organisation at the urging of friends and handlers who believed its activities were too "pedestrian" for the King of Pop, says Shmuley Boteach, the group's former president.

Boteach, a rabbi, author and columnist who helped Jackson start Heal the Kids, explains, "He was being told this initiative was going to devalue him as a superstar. 'Overexpose' him was the word constantly used."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Grand JuryGrand Jury Selection To Start in Jackson Case. 24-03-'04

County prosecutors will begin picking members of a secret grand jury Thursday (March 25) to decide whether there is enough evidence against pop star Michael Jackson to take his child molestation case to trial, sources close to the case said Tuesday (March 23).

The grand jury could take up to two weeks to hear testimony from witnesses. Among them will be the 14-year-old former cancer patient allegedly molested by Jackson during the early months of last year at the entertainer's Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley.

Sources told The Times that in addition to allowing the prosecution to preview witness credibility without public scrutiny, the decision by Dist. Atty. Tom Sneddon to avoid a public preliminary hearing would allow the young alleged victim in the case and possibly some members of the boy's family to tell their stories sooner rather than face delays that could stretch for months.

"This was always the prosecution choice," one source said. "This way Sneddon gets to test his case in privacy without a lot of media hoopla. He can avoid tipping the defense lawyers to the prosecution's total strategy. And it has the added benefit of letting the family get this over with fast."

Source: LA Times / Billie Jean


New Jackson Family Scandal As Tv Show Uncovers Divorce Secrets. 24-03-'04

Michael Jackson's parents are facing a new scandal after an investigation by reporters of an American news show has uncovered information the couple might not be married anymore.

Entertainment Tonight journalists have discovered legal documents that prove Katherine Jackson twice filed for divorce from husband Joe in 1973 and 1982 but later dropped proceedings both times.

Joseph and Katherine Jackson
Joseph and Katherine were married on November 5, 1949. In January 1950, they purchased a small two-bedroom home next to East Chicago in Gary, Indiana.

The second time, she was actually granted a restraining order against Joe, suggesting the pair had been fighting.

But the investigation has now thrown up new claims that the couple are divorced and living separate lives - although they come together to support their family.

The couple, who have reportedly been married for 54 years now, are refusing to comment on the Entertainment Tonight allegations.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Statement From Jackson's Attorney Re: Vaccaro Lawsuit. 24-03-'04

Statement from Attorney Brian Wolf of Lavely & Singer, Michael's long standing litigation attorneys: "The lawsuit was necessitated by the defendants' illegal activities. We are outraged by the illegal activities of the defendants and intend to take every action legally available to Michael Jackson to stop the illegal sale of his property and to secure its return".

Lavely & Singer is based in Los Angeles, California and has represented Michael Jackson's interests for over 20 years. The firm is recognized nationally as one of the top entertainment litigation law firms on behalf of recording artists, actors and other talent and celebrities in the entertainment industry.

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean


Henry VaccaroJackson Sues New Jersey Man Henry Vaccaro For Memorabilia. 23-03-'04

Michael Jackson is suing a New Jersey man who sold off hundreds of possessions once belonging to the pop star and his family. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles Monday (March 22), seeks to pull the plug on a pay-per-view Web site created by Henry Vaccaro.

Surfers could view photos of gold-trimmed costumes, metal-studded shin guards and other memorabilia belonging to the pop icon and his family that the one-time business associate acquired through a legal proceeding. The massive collection includes a sketch of a boy, celebrity letters and music awards.

Jackson is demanding his things back, but Vaccaro already sold the goods to a European buyer. The collection filled a 6,000-square-foot warehouse in Asbury Park.

Source: NBC 4 TV News / Billie Jean


Jackson Jets Off To Hawaii. 22-03-'04

Michael Jackson, his kids, Omer Bhatti and members of the Nation of Islam have jetted off on vacation to Hawaii.

The pop superstar and his massive entourage are holidaying in a private villa on Hawaii's 'garden isle' Kauai.

The eccentric star was spotted arriving on the island at the weekend (March 20/21) dressed like a beekeeper.

According to locals, Jackson hasn't left the villa so far - preferring instead to stay out of the sun with his baby son and his nanny.

Jackson Family in Hawaii
Michael Jackson kids unmasked with Omer Bhatti and the nanny have jetted off on vacation to Hawaii.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


XtraJetMore Defendants Added In XtraJet Lawsuit. 22-03-'04

Lawyers for Michael Jackson will go to court Monday to add defendants to a lawsuit alleging the singer was secretly videotaped while on a flight to Santa Barbara to surrender on molestation charges.

Attorney Brian Kabateck said he will file a motion to amend the lawsuit against Santa Monica jet charter company XtraJet and to name additional parties allegedly involved in the surreptitious taping of the pop star. The videotapes were supposedly taken as the entertainer flew on an XtraJet charter flight from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara to be booked on suspicion of child molestation.

Kabateck said that XtraJet was offering copies of the tapes to media outlets for up to $1.5 million. A court order obtained by Jackson's attorneys in December prevents XtraJet from attempting to sell the tapes. An attorney for XtraJet said the company turned over the tapes to the FBI, which had subpoenaed them.

XtraJet officials said they found two videotapes aboard the jet that shuttled Jackson to and from Las Vegas on Nov. 21. According to reports, XtraJet executives showed the contents of a videotape taken from the plane to selected media outlets, seeking advice on whether the tapes could be sold.

Source: NBC 4 TV News / Billie Jean


Michael Jackson's Personal Attorney, Steve Cochran, Releases Statement. 19-03-'04

Steve CochranSteve Cochran is one of the top rated Business Litigation attorneys in Los Angeles, CA.

He is Michael Jackson's personal attorney and releases the following statement regarding the decision of the Department of Child and Family Services:

"We appreciate the decision of the Department of Child and Family Services for its determination not to pursue any adverse proceeding concerning Mr. Jackson's children. That is the correct decision, because Mr. Jackson is a loving father who takes great care of his children.

"Mr. Jackson should not have been put through this, and we're glad it's over. "

Source: Raymone K. Bain / Billie Jean


Gloria Allred
Gloria Allred is an American civil rights lawyer.

Allred Loses Jackson Court Battle. 18-03-'04

American lawyer Gloria Allred has failed to convince a Los Angeles court to take Michael Jackson's three children from his custody.

Allred launched the suit shortly after Michael was arrested on multiple counts of child molestation last year (03), fearing that Prince Michael I, seven, Paris, five and ten month old Prince Michael II (Blanket), could be in danger.

But the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services have now officially notified Allred they will not be taking the children away from Michael.

However, Allred is determined to continue her bid by filing an application with the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court yesterday (March 17) to request the children are placed under the court's jurisdiction and taken from Jackson.

Michael insists he is innocent of the charges levelled against him by teenager Gavin Arvizo.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Lisa Marie Defends Jackson After TV Interview. 17-03-'04

Lisa Marie Presley clarified her remarks in an Australian TV interview, saying in a statement Wednesday that she never saw her ex-husband, Michael Jackson, engage in inappropriate behavior with kids. Elvis Presley's daughter, on a concert tour in Australia, said in an interview broadcast Monday (March 15) that she saw things she "couldn't do anything about" during her 1994-96 marriage to Jackson. "I was in no way referring to seeing something inappropriate with children, as I have stated publicly before. I never have," Presley said in a statement released by her Los Angeles publicist, Paul Bloch...

Lisa Marie
Jackson and Presley married in 1994, just 20 days after she divorced her first husband Danny Keough. The marriage, which brought together two generations of pop royalty, was such a big event that MTV opened the 1994 Video Music Awards with the couple onstage sharing a kiss.

"Unfortunately, due to the recent media frenzy surrounding Michael Jackson, my comments during a recent TV interview in Australia regarding him were completely taken out of context and erroneously read into," Presley said in the statement. "In saying I saw things, I was specifically referring to things in that relationship with us that went on between us at the time as husband and wife," she said. Her interview comments led to widespread speculation about the 45-year-old pop star.

Source: AP / Billie Jean

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