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Home / News Archive / News January 2005

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Day 1 Of Jury Selection Begins In Jackson Case. 31-01-'05

Michael Jackson faced prospective jurors this morning in the first official day of his child-molestation trial.

Michael arrived around 17.50 hours Belgium time by the courthouse in Santa Maria. The commonly quiet place was besieged by fans and more than thousand journalists. The superstar was totally dressed up in white and made just a V-sign of victory and waved also to his fans before he entered the court room. There he was been greeted by his lawyers, among others Tom Mesereau. His family may not go in.

Superior Court judge Rodney Melville informed the prospective panellists they might have to serve for about six months, but that it was an important duty.

About 300 prospective jurors are to be screened for hardship today, and they'll also be expected to fill out questionnaires. Another 300 will be processed tomorrow (February 1), followed by 150 more on Wednesday (February 2). From that pool, the judge hopes to find 12 jurors and eight alternates, but the process could take a month or more.

Michael's spokeswoman Raymone Bain says that he is in "good spirits" and adds: "He has the support of his family, his children, his friends. You're gong to see a Michael Jackson who is going to be here today, who is very serious, very businesslike and very serious."

Jackson is charged with molesting a teenage cancer patient and plying him with alcohol. Jackson vehemently denies the accusations.

Michael Jackson at Courthouse - Jury selection Day 1 (31-01-2005)
Michael Jackson arrives at Santa Barbara Superior Court in California for Day 1, for the start of the jury selection.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Jackson's Parents Agree To Take Custody Of Children. 30-01-'05

Michael Jackson's parents have agreed to take custody of the troubled singer's three children if he is jailed for child molestation.

Joe and Kate Jackson are convinced their son will be cleared of charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent to his alleged victim.

But Michael whose trial begins tomorrow (January 31), could face a maximum 80-year prison sentence, so his parents are prepared to look after seven-year-old Prince Michael, Paris, six, and two-year-old Blanket.

Kate, 74, says, "We're the grandparents. We're taking them.

"Oh yes. But I'm not looking for anything to go wrong."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonMichael Releases Video Statement. 30-01-'05

Michael Jackson released today a pre-prepared video of a speech approved by Judge Rodney Melville.

The statement comes in response to leaked documents concerning grand jury transcripts a couple of weeks ago.

Below is Michael's entire speech:

"In the last few weeks, a large amount of ugly, malicious information has been released into the media about me. Apparently, this information was leaked through transcripts in a grand jury proceeding where neither my lawyers nor I ever appeared. The information is disgusting and false.

"Years ago, I allowed a family to visit and spend some time at Neverland. Neverland is my home. I allowed this family into my home because they told me their son was ill with cancer and needed my help.

"Through the years, I have helped thousands of children who were ill or in distress.

"These events have caused a nightmare for my family, my children and me. I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable a position ever again.

"I love my community and I have great faith in our justice system. Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court. I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told.

Thank you."

Michael Jackson

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean


Geraldo Rivera Interviews Michael Jackson
Geraldo Rivera interviews Michael Jackson.

Jackson Speaks Out. 30-01-'05

In the Michael Jackson (search) case a jury is about to be empanelled. This comes fresh on the heels of a damaging and destructive leak from the supposedly secret grand jury. These allegations, in my opinion, unfairly taint the jury pool and make it difficult for Jackson to have a fair trial.

In a world exclusive two weeks ago, I spoke to the King of Pop. Jackson is gagged and cannot speak about the allegations, the accusers or the leaks in specific terms, but he was allowed by the judge in the case to read a prepared statement.

In light of recent events concerning the case I thought I would show you the statement to give you a glimpse of a special "At Large with Geraldo Rivera," which will air next week. Here is what Michael said:

"Yes, in the last two weeks, a large amount of ugly, malicious information has been released into the media about me. Apparently, this information was leaked through transcripts in a grand jury proceeding where neither my lawyers nor I ever appeared. The information is disgusting and false.

"Years ago, I allowed a family to visit and spend time at Neverland. Neverland is my home. I allowed this family into my home because they told me their son was ill with cancer and needed my help.

"Through the years, I have helped thousands of children who were ill or in distress.

"These events have caused a nightmare for my family, my children and me. I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable a position again.

"I love my community and I have great faith in our justice system. Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court. I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told."

I asked Michael if there was anything else he wanted to add. At first he said no, but later added, "I would just like for the public to keep my family and myself in their prayers. That would be very nice."

There will be a lot more from Michael Jackson in our exclusive interview next week.

Source: Fox News / Billie Jean


Joseph and Katherine JacksonJackson's Parents Fight In Front Of The Camera. 29-01-'05

Joseph and Katherine Jackson taped the interview for US news show 48 HOURS, which will be seen tonight - two nights before Michael's child molestation case gets underway.

They agreed to speak out on the show in a bid to again protest their son's innocence, but the couple quickly started bickering in front of the cameras.

Appearing calm and collected, Katherine reprimanded her husband when he asked her whether their son had undergone one or two plastic surgeries, snapping, "I don't know Joseph, and I really don't wanna talk about it."

Katherine also tried to silence her husband when he started ranting against Jews in Hollywood after he pointed into the camera and said, "Do you know how many Jewish have had plastic surgery done? More than anybody..." - by grabbing his outstretched hand and holding it tightly.

And there was a further reprimand when Joe boasted, "We didn't make no mistakes, we didn't make no mistakes," when talking about raising the couple's kids.

Katherine interrupted, "Joe, don't say that. You don't know."

At one point, Joseph tried to answer a racism question about the way his most famous son is treated, while his wife glared at him and said, "Don't answer it. No, Joseph, just shut up. Stop it!"

Instead he just said, "We've always taught them (his kids) not to hate no one and that's the way they were brought up, but, hey, maybe we should have taught them to hate everybody."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Rodney Melville
Judge Rodney Melville

Process Michael Jackson: Public Hearing With Young Witnesses. 29-01-'05

Judge Rodney Melville has given Friday (January 28) permission for a public hearing in which the supposed victim will give a testimony and also given permission for the representation of a controversial documentary in which Michael is telling he's regular sharing his bed with children, and the presentation of pornographic objects which were found in the singer's domicile.

The judge has admitted with this to the motion of the lawyers of the singer, the two other decisions of the judge are going against the wishes of the accused.

Michael is been accused in 2003 of sexual abusing of a 13 year old boy. The process begins on Monday (January 31).

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


The TV Marathon Begins... 28-01-'05

True the process against Michael Jackson only will start next Monday (January 31), yet in the media the "Process of the Century" will start today.

In the proceedings of this Friday a.o. also in Germany big broadcasting stations like ARD, RTL and ProSieben are devising their first supporting programme's on the on Monday starting process. Sure all events from the last 14 months will be put together and experts are going to give their opinion on the forthcoming marathon.

In particular in Great- Brittan the slogans are following up themselves incessant. On television the one Michael Jackson documentary and discussion follows the other one. Not long ago an unabashed Tabloid-Reportage titled "Michael Jacksons Boys" caused a lot of revolt. Yet is this only the beginning of a never ever shown show-piece.

Media
Media waits days before the Michael Jackson child molestation trial begins at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse in Santa Maria, California.

Source: Billie Jean


MJ Fans5000 Fans Expected In Santa Maria On Monday. 28-01-'05

After months of relatively quiet pre-trial hearings, a frenzied atmosphere is expected to return to the Santa Maria Court House - similar to the day when Michael Jackson first appeared in court to proclaim his innocence on child molestation charges.

A big crowd of fans will be present and because of that reason more security is foreseen. Also a lot of barricades are placed down to keep the crowd in check.

Until today you can only find a few fans in the neighbourhood of court, but on Monday (January 31) they are expecting some 5000 fans.

Source: BBC / Billie Jean


Bob Jones
Bob Jones was Michael's
public relations man for over 20 years.

Jackson Prosecutors Call On Bitter Ex-Confidant. 27-01-'05

The prosecution team in the Michael Jackson child molestation case hope to explode a number of secrets about the pop superstar after serving a subpoena to bitter ex-confidant Bob Jones.

Jones worked with Jackson and his family for over 20 years before he was sacked by Randy Jackson, without severance pay in 2003. Jones is now planning a tell-all book about working with the Jacksons.

The subpoena orders Jones to turn over to authorities all relevant files, diaries and photographs in his possession, as well as chapters of his in-progress book.

Jones travelled the world with Michael Jackson for decades and is believed to be the only top-ranking insider who never signed a confidentiality agreement.

A source close to the Jacksons says, "There's no gag order on Bob Jones. The family fears his book and obviously feel he has information that could be very damaging to Michael."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Katherine Jackson
Katherine Jackson

Jackson's Mother Stresses Over Trial. 27-01-'05

Michael Jackson's imminent child molestation trial is proving so distressing for his mother Katherine, she's suffering endless sleepless nights.

Michael, whose trial begins on Monday (January 31), has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent to his alleged victim.

And his mother - who insists her son is innocent - is so distraught, she's often up all night crying.

In an interview which will air on American TV show 48 HOURS on Saturday (January 29), Katherine's husband Joseph says, "She's taking it very, very hard. She don't sleep at night. She's awake crying. My wife cried a lot about this whole thing."

Joe also reveals that his son has opted against watching any of the case's TV coverage, saying, "I guess he wants to make sure he doesn't hear too much what's going on about the whole situation."

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Jackson Documentary To Be Shown To Jurors? 27-01-'05

Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial have requested a controversial TV documentary be admitted as evidence and shown to jurors.

British documentary 'Living With Michael Jackson' - labelled a "public relations catastrophe" by prosecutors - contains footage of Jackson being interviewed by journalist Martin Bashir.

In the film, Jackson is seen defending his habit of allowing young boys to sleep in the same room as him at his Neverland Ranch near Santa Barbara, California.

Living With Michael Jackson
More than 14 million viewers watched on February 3rd, 2003 UK TV documentary 'Living With Michael Jackson' in which Michael admitted he shared his bedroom with young children.

However, defence lawyer Robert Sanger says, "It is heavily edited in the most sensational fashion possible, and contains highly inflammatory material regarding matters such as Mr Jackson's care of his own children, plastic surgery, Mr Jackson's financial affairs and other prejudicial matters.

"Hollywood techniques were used to make the video more dramatic. Scenes are juxtaposed. The pace of the programme is edited to build drama."

Prosecutors have previously requested that Bashir be allowed to testify at the trial, about the making of the documentary and to reveal whether any of the incidents in the film were "staged".

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Secret Childhood DocumentaryAnother Jackson Expose Set For TV. 27-01-'05

Troubled pop superstar Michael Jackson is set for another unwanted expose two days before his child molestation trial begins when lost home movie footage is aired on TV in America.

Documentary 'Michael Jackson: Secret Childhood' features unseen moments from the singer's youth and investigates his odd friendship with pint-sized 1980's TV star Emmanuel Lewis.

The film, which airs on VH1 on Saturday night (January 29), alleges the friendship between the two pals ended suddenly after Lewis' mother discovered Jackson had checked himself and her teenage son into a hotel as father and son.

The footage, captured by Jackson's former cameraman Steve Howell, features clips of the singer dancing with Lewis and playing with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves when they visited his Neverland Ranch from Disneyland.

Meanwhile, another former friend, Rodney Allen Rippy (corr), who spent time with a teenage Jackson when he was just five, admits the pop star seemed besotted with him in the TV documentary.

In the TV special, Rippy says, "Michael used to call my house every single Saturday and talk to me on the phone. My mom wondered and said, 'You know, I wonder why he doesn't have any friends his own age."

Michael Jackson: Secret Childhood also features an interview with Theresa J Gonsalves (corr), the girl who was the pop superstar's first girlfriend.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Geraldo Interview With Michael Jackson. 27-01-'05

Fox News Channel will air Geraldo Rivera's interview with Michael Jackson next Saturday (February 5).

The reporter said he strongly believes the star is innocent. "The case against him will be revealed, as you go forward in the days and weeks to come, to be so fatally flawed that you'll wonder why a sitting district attorney even decided to bring this case from the evidence and the motivation of the complainant."

Asked whether he thought Jackson was innocent of molestation, Rivera replied: "I don't know Michael Jackson. I've spent some time with him recently.. he seems much more normal than anything I've ever read about him. But about this particular case, he is innocent. Stone cold innocent.

After my own investigation and spending time with him, reviewing the case to the extent it's available... Michael Jackson did not molest this kid. Period. The charges against him are fake. They have been created by drifters to cash in on a beleaguered, besieged guy who, because he is so unusual, is vulnerable to these kinds of charges."

Source: TMC / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Wants Sneddon To Personally Try Case. 26-01-'05

Michael Jackson wants his nemeses Santa Barbara County DA, Tom 'Mad Dog' Sneddon, to personally try the case against him in open court, top legal sources tell the Drudge Report.

"Don't hide behind your office, Mr. Sneddon!" a top Jackson source challenged.

In a dramatic high-stakes move, Jackson wants Sneddon to personally make opening arguments, claiming the case "would never have been brought without [Sneddon's] 'vendetta.'"

"Let Mr. Sneddon live or die by his own sword," the top legal source explained.

Sneddon still tries cases himself in court. "I love trials, and it’s good to get out of the office and do something I enjoy so much," Sneddon says. "I also think that in an office my size it’s important for the lawyers to be able to see that the boss can still try a case, so that when people come to you and ask whether this or that should be done, they know that you’re not just a bench jockey and that you know what you’re talking about.”

Sneddon is serving his sixth and, he says, his last four-year term as DA of Santa Barbara County.

Meanwhile, Fox News Geraldo Rivera, who has secured an interview with Jackson to counter any damage of leaked grand jury testimony claims: "The case will be revealed in the days and weeks to come to be so fatally flawed, you will wonder why it was even brought to begin with.

Geraldo, interviewed late Tuesday (January 25) night on top Los Angeles talker KFI, said: "Wait until you see the case against Jackson totally fall apart. Michael Jackson did not molest this kid. Period. The charges against him are fake.

"They have been created by grifters to cash in on a beleaguered and besieged guy. He is being railroaded here by a district attorney who is out of control, who is about to retire."

Developing...

Source: Drudge Report / Billie Jean


'Freak! Inside The Twisted World Of Michael Jackson' Book Is Released. 25-01-'05

Freak! Inside The Twisted World Of Michael Jackson Book CoverThe book 'Freak! Inside The Twisted World Of Michael Jackson' written by David Perel, Suzanne Ely is released by publisher HarperEntertainment.

A pop superstar since the age of eleven, Michael Jackson went on to earn enormous wealth and international adoration. But by the 1980's, things had already begun to get weird, what with Michael's bizarre facial reconstructions and skin bleaching, his odd preoccupations and phobias, and his unhealthy obsession with young boys.

Before the eyes of the world, Michael Jackson was unraveling, culminating in his shocking indictment on child molestation charges. FREAK! is the riveting, no-holds-barred story of the rise and fall of a true American icon -- a blazing star who spun madly out of orbit.

David Perel is the editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer and President of AMI Books. His investigative journalism has been praised by the New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review, Los Angeles Times Magazine and ABC's "Nightline." He has appeared as an expert commentator on many TV news shows and began his career at The Washington Post.

Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Author: David Perel, Suzanne Ely
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0060775988
Printed: ?
Guide price: 10 €

Order the book here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean


Mark LesterMark Lester To Defend Jackson. 25-01-'05

Michael's actor friend Mark Lester intends to give evidence in defence of the singer at Michael's forthcoming child trial molestation trial.

Lester - famed for his role as Oliver Twist in the hit 1960's movie musical 'Oliver'! - befriended Jackson 25 years ago and is godfather to two of Jackson's children. And he was at the superstar's Neverland Ranch home in Santa Barbara, California at the time the prosecution claims Jackson assaulted minors, so believes he can prove Jackson's innocence.

He says, "Michael is innocent. I could be called as a witness because of what I know. I saw things that could be helpful to his case. The allegations against him are complete and utter nonsense. "I would totally trust my children with him. He is their godfather, why shouldn't I."

Jackson's trial starts on 31 January, he has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent to his alleged victim.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


'We Are The World' Will Be Released Again. 25-01-'05

The beautiful number 'We Are The World' will be released again to collect money for the victims of Asia.

The number was been singing 20 years ago by a whole group of artists including: Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen etc. The proceed of 1985 went totally to the hungry in Africa.

On February 1st 'USA For Africa' shall release the single on the market as a piece of a DVD-set consist out of 2 parts.

Next Friday (January 28) all over the world hundred of radio broadcasting stations are going to play and commemorate the single around 06.00 PM.

Source: Billie Jean


Rodney Melville
Judge Rodney Melville

Judge Rodney Appointed A Child Expert. 24-01-'05

A child abuse expert will take the stand at Michael Jackson's trial - to explain why the singer's accuser didn't report the alleged offences immediately.

Despite Jackson's legal team's attempt to block the move, California Judge Rodney Melville has decided to allow the prosecution's unnamed expert the chance to "dispel myths" about child abuse and show "why a child might demonstrate affection or even love for the person who does the offence".

Defence lawyer Tom Mesereau, who told a pre-trial hearing the accuser had a "history of lying", argued the expert would "bolster the credibility" of the accuser regardless of whether he was telling the truth.

However, Judge Melville did rule the expert would not be allowed to discuss whether the 46-year-old fitted the profile of a child molester.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent to his alleged victim. His trial starts on 31 January.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


Santa Barbara County SheriffSanta Barbara Sheriff's Investigating Leaks In Jackson Case. 24-01-'05

Sheriff's investigators denied they are the source of recent leaks to the media in the Michael Jackson child molestation case and also said Monday that an investigation has been started to find who might be responsible. A posting on the sheriff's website Monday said the information that has been released is covered by Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville's sweeping gag order in the case.

"We consider the release of the these materials to be a violation of the law," the online statement said. "Some media commentators have alleged that we are responsible for these leaks. We are not. These accusations are irresponsible, unfounded and untrue."

Sgt. Chris Pappas declined to comment further about the details, citing the judge's gag order. The statement is, in part, a response to the recent ABC News report that quotes from transcripts of grand jury testimony given in the molestation case.

Jackson's accuser described Jackson's alleged crimes in graphic detail, including an incident when the pop star allegedly molested him on a bed. ABC has not revealed how it received more than 1,900 pages of grand jury testimony. Grand jury transcripts normally are made public in California 10 days after a defendant receives them. The judge, however, has kept the Jackson transcripts sealed, along with most other documents in the case.

Source: Mercury News / Billie Jean


Tatiana Thumbtzen
Tatiana Thumbtzen

Jackson's 'Ex-Girlfriend' Announces Affair Was Fake. 22-01-'05

A woman assumed to be an ex-girlfriend of Michael Jackson has declared their "affair" was completely made up for the benefit of the press.

Tatiana Thumbtzen, who danced in Jackson's 1988 video for 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and was the first woman to kiss him in public, admits in her forthcoming book, The Way He Made Me Feel', that she lied to the media about having a romance with the singer in 1993 - when he first faced allegations of child molestation.

Jackson, who's set to go to trial this month on separate child abuse allegations, said at the time, "I love her because she's warm, caring and exciting."

Thumbtzen once accompanied Michael to the Grammy Awards and went on the road with him during his Bad tour.

Co-author Tonia Ryan says in a statement, "Here is another woman from Michael's past that people think he was romantically involved with or at least had some kind of sexual relationship with when he never did.

"Every other red-blooded male in America was after her (Eddie Murphy, Prince, Robert De Niro, MATT LeBLANC, etc) but Michael did not even go on a date with her. You do the math!"

The book, which is due out on 14 February (05), also alleges that Jackson had a fixation with child actors Macaulay Culkin and Ricky Schroder.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

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