Has child pornography ever been found in Michael Jackson’s possession?

From time and time again, you may read people on various Internet websites, gossip blogs, comment sections and even the mainstream tabloid media claim and gossip that during the searches of Michael Jackson’s home in 1993 and/or 2005 child pornography has been found. However, the claim is not true, as even prosecutor Ron Zonen stated the last time tabloids rehashed this claim in 2016 in a campaign lead by the online tabloid Radar Online [1] (see the chapter “Tabloid media forgeries” further below).

Police extensively searched Jackson’s premises both in 1993 and in 2003 and there was nothing illegal found, not in physical or digital format (ie. on computers). In actuality, when the police searched Jackson’s presmises in 1993 they stated: “the search warrant didn’t result in anything that would support a criminal filing” [2]. Nor did they find anything illegal in 2003. Child pornography is illegal to possess and the possession of it is a crime in itself, so had there been any child pornography found in Jackson’s possession he would have been charged with that crime and he was never even charged with such a crime, let alone convicted of it.

What is usually used against Jackson as “child porn” or “child erotica” on those Internet gossip blogs and tabloids are legal art books and art photography that have been found in Jackson’s home. To convince their unsuspecting readers these gossip blogs often use a prosecution motion filed on January 18, 2005 as “evidence” [3]. Remarkably in Internet folklore it is often circulated as a list of “child pornography” that was found in Jackson’s home, when not even the prosecution claimed it was. Most of these art books and magazines do not even have children in them, but the prosecution seemed to have confiscated anything with a nude or semi-nude person in it. Later in this chapter you will see a full survey of all the material that was confiscated and you will be able to see the nature of this material and the context of it.

You also have to keep in mind that this is a prosecution motion which is just the biased stance of one of the parties at a trial and is worded as inflammatory against the Defendant as possible and it mirrors the prosecution’s theories and opinions, not proven facts. For example, on page 5 of the motion you can read: “taken together they reveal a predominantly male orientation” [3]. In fact, as you will see when we break down the content of this material in this article, Jackson’s actual pornography was heterosexual. The “male oriented” material are a couple of art photography books with nudity and Jackson had many art books with female nudity as well.

As if it would bring them closer to proving that Jackson molested children, the prosecution argues in the motion that Jackson’s possession of a couple of art books with nude men is evidence of homosexuality (somehow the books with nude females get ignored in that theory) but his possession of a great number of heterosexual pornography (his actual pornography, found in places such as his nightstand) is not evidence of his own sexuality but evidence of “grooming young boys” [3]. The prosecution claims in the motion that Jackson used this material “to seduce young boys” [3] in order “to satisfy his lewd desires” [3], but once again it is important to stress that this was just an unproven prosecution theory, not a fact. In actuality, the prosecution failed to prove this theory in Court.

Since the list of confiscated material is long I created several chapters, depending on the type of material that we are discussing. These are the chapters you will find within this article:

Michael Jackson and Art Photography
The Art Books
The Nudist Magazines
The pornographic magazines and DVDs
The Internet pornography
A nude photo of Jonathan Spence?
Tabloid media forgeries

Michael Jackson and Art Photography

The police confiscated around 26 art books from Jackson – three of them in 1993 and the rest in 2003. The majority of these books are not pornographic or sexual and those that are do not have any children in them. They are legal art photography books that you can buy in any book store and with photos that you can see at art photography exhibitions. The common theme based on which the prosecution seemed to have picked them is if they had some level of nudity or even just semi-nudity in them.

The context is always very important therefore first let me talk about Michael Jackson’s relationship with art and art photograhpy. Jackson had a huge library, he owned over a million books, much of them in storage, and there were about 10,000 books in total in the areas of Jackson’s home where the Santa Barbara police had focused their search. District Attorney Thomas Sneddon would attempt to downplay the number of books Jackson owned [4], but their own detectives would testify that there had been thousands of books in the areas that they had searched and that it had not been possible to count them all [5] [6].

According to people who knew Jackson, he was a “prolific” and “voracious” reader who would frequently spend thousands of dollars at a time in bookstores. In their 2014 book “Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days” two of his bodyguards Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard wrote the following about Jackson’s love for books:

Javon: That’s how he filled all those hours by himself: books. He’d read anything and everything he could get his hands on. History. Science. Art. There were so many trips to Barnes & Noble. It was almost a weekly thing. He would go into bookstores and drop five thousand dollars like he was buying a pack of gum. At one point, he actually bought a bookstore— I’m talking about an entire bookstore. He paid cash for it.

Bill: It was on his way back from Tokyo, during those couple days he spent in L.A. He went to visit this used bookstore. It had a lot of rare books from the personal libraries of some pretty famous people, Hollywood stars. These were books that Humphrey Bogart had signed, books that Ingrid Bergman had signed. He asked the owner how much it would take to buy all of his books. The owner didn’t take him seriously. So he made an offer of $ 100,000. Said he’d pay cash on the spot. Couple weeks after he got back from L.A., this U-Haul filled with all these books showed up at the house in Vegas. [7]

A young Michael Jackson with a camera

A young Michael Jackson with his camera

Jackson also had an extensive interest in photography and had done so since he was a child. CBS executive Ray Newton spoke about having met Jackson in 1979 and discovering how well versed Jackson’s love for photography was:

“About an hour later we picked up the professional photographer who was coming with us to radio. The photographer gets in the front seat of the limo says hello and then starts to assemble his camera. Once his camera is assembled he points it at me and Michael in the back seat of the limo. I instruct him not to shoot us so Michael can relax. Looking back, that would be a cool photo to have now but I was looking out for Michael’s well-being. Michael sees the camera and starts this deep photography discussion. I was in the discussion for about a minute then it got so deep that I just dropped out and that’s when the photographer looked at me and I looked at him with the looks saying check this out – Michael Jackson is knee deep in photography discourse. I asked Michael if he was a photographer and he said “No, I just like photography!!!”

So Michael continues engaging in this very deep photography conversation with the photographer where he mentions something that the photographer said he needed to look into further. This went on for about 5 minutes, and the only thing that stopped that topic was that the photographer said something that Michael didn’t know and Michael got quiet.

Let me translate how deep Michael’s photography discussion was: imagine if someone says in the middle of a general conversation – pataflaflas swiss 6 accented parafliddle lesson 25 around the set groove. You would not only have to be a drummer but a drummer with not just a knowledge of rudiments but an advanced knowledge of rudiments that one can apply and play around the drumset and make them groove to know what that person was talking about.” [8]

Photographer Todd Gray who worked with Jackson from 1979-1982 said of Jackson in his book Before He Was King:

“When Michael did find time to relax, he loved to leaf through photographic picture books. He would bring his favorite books with him on tour and buy more books while on the road – the bus weighted with an increasing number of boxes as we left each city. The Triumph Tour began in Memphis with no boxes; by the time we got to Dallas, a few days later, I noticed two; then came Houston; and by the time we hit San Antonio, I noticed a score of boxes being loaded onto the bus. He especially loved books on Hollywood glamour from the 1930s, richly illustrated children’s books, and coffee-table books on photography. Michael would usually hole up in the rear of the bus, while the others spent their time together in front. I also preferred the quiet at the back, and I would sit down with him while he was engrossed in a book of Hollywood glamour photographs from the 1930s. Looking at a particularly striking photo, he would say, “This is magic. They don’t make photos like this anymore.” He studied the pose, eyes, make-up, and expression – everything that went into a great glamour photo.

Michael also loved books that showed children from around the world. One day on the bus I remember him saying “I wish I could write a book about the children of the world. I could go to every country and show how everyone on earth is beautiful. I want to go to India and show the poverty and suffering of the children there, and maybe I could help improve the situation. Africa, too, where there is so much starvation and disease. Todd, would you want to do that with me?” I was stunned, both because I wondered how Michael would ever find the time and also that he wanted me to be the photographer. I suggested that he take a look at the photographs of Lewis Hine, the influential photojournalist whose work helped spur the introduction of child labor laws in the early twentieth century.” [9]

Jackson would also use photography books as the inspiration for some of his costumes, sets and other works. His long time guitarist Jennifer Batten said her HIStory outfit had been inspired by something someone had shown him in an S&M book:

“Somebody had shown Michael an art book that was kind of S&M based and all the paintings looked really beautiful. So he had that in mind but when it came to real life it wasn’t too beautiful anymore,” she laughs. “I just had to remind myself that it was all about the theatre, you know? It’s not just about the music.” [10]

Bernt Capra who worked with Jackson on This Is It before he died said in 2009:

“Michael Jackson was very well read and he loved art, and he knew his photography, and he liked this photographer, Lewis Hine, who had been a social worker in the depression era and shot photographs of victims of child labor – four, five, six year olds working in mills and mines. He was also very well known for a collection of photos of the construction of the Empire State Building which are very valuable now. Michael loves this guy and he based “The Way You Make Me Feel” choreography and set design on the photos of the men constructing steel beams as if they were on the top of a skyscraper having a lunch break.” [11]


After this introduction to put these books into a context let’s see the confiscated material. First the art books, then the nudist magazines, then the actual pornographic matrial and lastly the pornographic or erotic material found on Jackson’s computers.

The Art Books

In this part we introduce to you the books that are listed in that prosecution motion, and a couple of others which are not listed in that particular document but which were also found according to other prosecution documents.

The books confiscated in 1993

Cover of the book

Cover of the book “Boys Will Be Boys”

Two of the three books confiscated during the house search in 1993 is what you will see most used against Jackson, as they included nude photographs of young boys. Often you will not find mentioned though that at least one of these books, entitled The Boy: A Photographic Essay (Georges St. Martin, Ronald C. Nelson, 1964), judging from the inscription in it, was a gift Jackson received from a fan. The inscription read: “To Michael: From your fan, “Rhonda” ♥ 1983, Chicago”.  The other entitled Boys Will Be Boys (Georges St. Martin, Ronald C. Nelson, 1966), had an inscription in it by Jackson himself which shows what he saw in those pictures. It read: “Look at the true spirit of happiness and joy in these boys’ faces. This is the spirit of boyhood, a life I never had and will always dream of. This is the life I want for my children, MJ. [12]”


Cover of the book “In Search of Young Beauty”

Since the two books are vintage books and sequels to each other it is possible that they both were gifts from the same fan who inscribed one of them. They contain pictures of boys in various situations by different photographers, including pictures taken during the filming of the 1963 Lord of the Flies movie. They do include nude photographs of children, but the photographs are not pornographic or sexual. They show the children in various non-sexual activities, playing, swimming etc. The third book, that was confiscated in 1993 In Search of Young Beauty: A Venture Into Photographic Art (Charles Du Bois Hodges, 1964) which contains both boys and girls, mostly dressed, but some nude or semi-nude. This was never brought up by the prosecution in court, and they never established where this one was exactly found – but it wasn’t with the other two books.

All three of these books are in the United States’ Library of Congress [13].

These books were not found in the context of an excessive collection of nude photographs of children, but they were found in the book collection of a man who was generally interested in photography, art photography, art history, book rarities and vintage books and not specifically focused on nude photographs of children. And as you have seen they seem to have been gifts from a fan.

The books confiscated in 2003

Rod McRae – Camp Cove, Photos of Sydney Men (2001)

camp-coveA book with artistic, non-sexual photos of adult men, including nude and semi-nude photographs in various settings both indoors and outdoors. The author is a renowned artist.

“Rod has exhibited work around the world with exhibitions in Australia, as well as Italy, France, Spain and Japan. He has received accolades for both his artistic and teaching ability, including both the TAFE Award for Teaching Excellence and the NSW Department of Education and Training’s Teacher of the Year Award in 1999.
Rod was a finalist in the Wynne Prize for the Australian landscape/figurative sculpture, Art Gallery of NSW in 2007 and again in 2010, and is represented by King Street Gallery in Sydney. Presently he is working with 20 invited Australian Artists in a residency program at Taronga Zoo to raise funds for animal conservation projects around the world. Rod has been selected for the 2011 Sculpture by the Sea exhibition.” [14]

Alexandre Dupouy – Scenes d’Interieur (2000)

A book with photos of adult women, nude or semi-nude, many in sexually explicit poses.


Starr OcKenga – Dressup: Playacts and Fantasies of Childhood (1978)


A collection of black and white photographs of children dressing up in various roles and settings.

The author is a renowned photographer:

“Starr Ockenga won national acclaim for her first book on gardens, Earth on Her Hands: The Amerian Woman in Her Garden, which received an American Horticultural Society Book Award for 1999. She continued to document American gardens with Eden on Their Minds: American Gardeners with Bold Visions, published in 2001. Her work has appeared in numerous national publications, including Horticulture and Country Home. She received her master’s degree in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and has been granted fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation. Her photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and abroad. Formerly an associate professor of photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she now divides her time between a studio in New York City and her garden in the Hudson River Valley” [15]

Dave Nestler – The Art of Dave Nestler: Wicked Intentions (2002)


Nude and semi-nude erotic animations of adult women.

Kelly Klein – Underworld (1995) 

underworldA book about underwear by Kelly Klein, the ex-wife of Calvin Klein. Kelly Klein works as a photographer. The book contains artistic photographs of people in underwear. Among them are the rock band The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

Jake Chapman , Dinos Chapman, Gillian Wearing, Tracey Emin – The Fourth Sex, Adolescent Extremes (2003)

the-fourth-sexArtistic photographs of youth counter culture.

Pere Formiguera – Cronos (2000)

cronos“This book documents Pere Fomrguera’s Chronos project, in which he took subjects whose ages ranged from two to seventy-five at the project’s beginning, and photographed them once a month over a ten-year period.” [16]

John Patrick Salisbury – Drew and Jimmy (1995)

drew-and-jimmyArtistic photographs of two teenage boys in rural Louisiana. According to the prosecution they confiscated it because in some of the photos the subjects were wearing swim-trunk type of clothing. The author is a renowned photographer who worked with celebrities, among others Alanis Morisette.

“Raised on a working farm in Walnut Grove, Calif., Salisbury was interested in art from a young age but decided to make a life of it after the car accident that killed his younger brother Burton. His brother’s memory was the inspiration for “Drew and Jimmy” and the book opened many doors for him to professional photography.

In Los Angeles, he landed jobs photographing celebrities and shooting album cover art, including one assignment for the debut album of the then-unknown singer Alanis Morisette.” [17]

Rineke Dijkstra – Beach Portraits (2003)

beach-portraitsArtistic photographs of children  and young people in a beach setting in swimwear. The author Rineke Dijkstra is a Dutch photographer.

“Rineke Dijkstra might be the most important photographer of portraits alive today. She channels August Sander through her own poet-soul photographing youth with brutal, unyielding generosity. Her people emerge from beaches, hospital rooms, indefinable space, to haunt us with their imperfect beauty and their fierce necessity of existence. These photographs heroicize individuals in a brazen way. Dijkstra isn’t content with confirming that banality is truth. She gives us the truth of fiction, the theatrics of the psychological complexity. She lets us way, way inside. The smudged blood on the collar of a bullfighter is in dialogue with the thin stream of blood running down a new mother’s leg as she clutches her hours-old infant with an uncertainty that is astonishing. From Rineke Dijkstra: “In the end, it’s the individual that I’m after.” [18]

Mayumi Lake – POO-chi (2002)

poo-chiA book in which human armpits are photographed in a deceptive manner as if they were female genitalia. Janet Williams, the police officer, who confiscated the book said on the stand at Jackson’s trial that she was “shocked” by the content of this book [19]. So let’s see the content which “shocked” this seasoned sex crime detective.

Sorayama Hajime – The Gynoids: Genetically Manipulated (2001)

gynoidsAnimations of erotic female cyborgs- or as the author calls them, Gynoids.

Hajime’s work also appeared among others on the cover of the 2001 album “Just Push Play” by the rock band Aerosmith.


James Bidgood and Bruce Benderson – Bidgood (1999)

bidgoodA book about the life and work of American artist – photographer, filmmaker – James Bidgood. The book includes nude or semi-nude artistic photos of men in various, non-sexual, fairy tale-like settings. The book was published by the publisher Benedikt Taschen who specializes in art, photography and art history books. Jackson’s attorney, Thomas Meserau mentioned at the 2005 trial of Jackson that Taschen has sought to work with the Jackson family and that he sent this book to Jackson [20]. There were also other Taschen publications among the confiscated books (see further below).

Dian Hanson – Naked as a Jaybird (2003)

naked-as-a-jaybirdAnother book published by Taschen that the prosecution confiscated. This one was described by them as “nude adult male and female erotica; very graphic”. The book is about the history of the American nudist magazine “Jaybird” that was published in the 1960s.

Andre de Dienes – The Glory of de Dienes Women (1967)

glory-of-the-de-dienes-womenPhotos of nude women by Andre de Dienes who, among others famously photographed Marilyn Monroe.

Bruce Weber – The Chop Suey Club (1999)

the-chop-suey-clubArtistic photos of a young man by Bruce Webber. In most of the photos the subject is clothed. Out of around 150 photos in the book there are about 5-6 nude photos. The book also includes photos of the subject with various celebrities – for example, Pamela Anderson, and it has brief texts by artists and celebrities such as Bruce Springsteen.

Webber is very much renowned for his uniquely stylish and elegant photography and worked on many ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Pirelli, Abercrombie & Fitch, Revlon, and Gianni Versace, as well as with magazines such as Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, Life, Interview and Rolling Stone.

Weber also directed music videos for artists like Chris Isaak and the Pet Shop Boys and he famously photographed many celebrities, among them Madonna, Halle Berry, Leonardo di Caprio, Channing Tatum, Natalie Portman, Brad Pitt, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Michael Jackson. He first worked with Jackson in the ’70s when Jackson was still a member of the Jackson 5, then again in 2007. Jackson’s defense at his 2005 trial said that Weber sent this book to Jackson unsolicited [21].

When Weber photographed Jackson for L’Uomo Vogue magazine in 2007 he said of their relationship:

“I first met Michael Jackson in the late 70s. Andy Warhol asked me to photograph a group of kids called the Jackson Five for Interview Magazine. They were staying with their tutor while on tour at a hotel in mid-town New York City. Their tutor was an elegant lady – almost like a character out of a George Cukor’s film, The Women. When I started taking the photographs, Michael and his brothers were having a pillow fight, and she was trying to make them behave like gentleman. Michael wasn’t posing; he was only interested in reading the newspaper and looking for his reviews.

That was almost 30 years ago, and since then I’ve had the chance to know his charming sister Janet and shared good friends like Muhammad Ali’s manager Bernie Yuman, the film director Brett Ratner and a lady who is beyond description, Elizabeth Taylor.

For years Michael and I have talked about taking photographs, but it never happened again until now, because our busy lives kept us at different ends of the globe. Luckily this time, we both found ourselves in New York City at the same time. I wanted to photograph Micheal instead of sending him a thank you note explaining all the joys I’ve had listening to him sing and watching him dance. Each of these times were marked as celebration in my crazy life: falling in love, driving my dream car, getting a new dog, photographing my family, or hanging out with a friend over a few beers. If I had to count how many times Michael’s music has given a life to my photographs, that number would be in thousands. Because of the music’s rhythm and soul, I would end up taking so many photographs that I would run out of film and all my cameras would break down.

So Michael, accept my gratitude for you have a big place in a lot of people’s hearts. As they say on the street “Michael’s in the house and lets just do it!” – “Lets just get down and take some pictures and see if we land once again on the moon.”

Bruce Weber
New York City
2007 [22]

John Quinn – The Christy Report – Exploring the Outer Edges of the Sexual Experience (2002)

the-christy-reportAnother Taschen book.  As the police described it it is about the “history of pornography, heterosexual photos from 1940s on to recent, some graphic, some sadomasochism.”



Robert Maxwell and Genevieve Field – Robert Maxwell Photographs (2000)

robert-maxwellA collection of artistic photography by Robert Maxwell. The book includes some nude and semi-nude photos. It was indicated by Jackson’s defense at his trial in 2005 that Maxwell is a personal friend of the Jackson family. He is another photographer who has worked with a number of celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Yoko Ono, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp.

The book is in the United States’ Library of Congress [24].

Tom Bianchi – Bob & Rod (1994)

bob-and-rodA compilation of non-sexual, artsitic photographs of two males who are mostly nude or semi-nude. The subjects are Bob Paris and Rod Jackson who were one of the first famous gay married couple in the United States, appearing on many talk shows – including Oprah Winfrey – in the late ’80s-early ’90s.

The book is in the United States’ Library of Congress [25].

Roy Dean – Before the Hand of Man (1972)

before-the-hand-of-manNon-sexual, artistic photos of nude men. The book is a rare, vintage book published in the 1970s. It is in the United States’ Library of Congress [26].

Wilhelm Von Gloeden – Taormina (1998)

taorminaNon-sexual, artistic photos of males, many nude or semi-nude. The photos are old, historic ones from the late 1800s.

Ed Templeton – The Golden Age of Neglect (2003)

the-golden-age-of-neglectAn artistic photographic book about youth culture and negleced youth by the renowned photographer Ed Templeton.  Again, the police confiscated it because it includes some nudity.

There is a video on Vimeo which takes you through the whole book: https://vimeo.com/54012676

Simen Johan – Room to Play (2002)

room-to-playA book with surrealistic photographs/animations of children.

The author about his own work: “My photographs are composites of multiple-image fragments that I digitally manipulate and combine, including both images that I have photographed myself and found images. By combining different elements, my objective is to create artificial scenarios that appear vaguely familiar and produce numerous associations. I want to evoke a sense of familiarity that will seduce the viewer into allowing his or her own experience, imagination, and understanding of existing popular imagery to become tools for interpreting my work.” [27]

The book is in the United States’ Library of Congress [28].

Larry Stevens – A Sexual Study of Man (1970)

A compilation of photographs, drawings, cartoons and writings about homosexual activity between adult men. This book was particularly emphasized by the prosecution and was even brought up in their closing statement. Probably because it was the only publication in Jackson’s possession which depicted male on male sexual activity. They suggested this vintage book rarity from 1970, that Jackson had in a cardboard box in the mids of hundreds of other art and photography books “proved” that the singer was homosexual, while the dozens of heterosexual porn magazines that the singer possessed, bought on a regular basis and kept in places such as his nightstand were not an indication of his sexuality – according the prosecution’s theory at least.


So much about the art books that were confiscated. Most of them were found in big cardboard boxes among hundreds and thousands of other art, photography and history books. Many were vintage books or rarities possibly from second hand stores. As we have demonstrated above Jackson had a habit of buying hundreds of books at once, often without even fully looking through what he was buying that he then had carried to his home in big boxes. See the story of him by his bodyguards above about buying full bookstores at once. There is not even evidence that Jackson had seen or opened all of these books, but in any case they are mainly regaular art books or photography books, none of them is illegal and they are certainly not “child porn”, as you have seen.

The downstairs area of the bedroom complex. The arrow drawn on the photo points to a pile of boxes full of hundreds of books. Many of the confiscated books listed above were found in one of these boxes, among other art books of all kinds. (Photo in courtesy of Aphrodite Jones)


The upstairs area of the bedroom complex – as you can see this area too is full of piles and boxes of books. By all accounts Jackson was a voracious reader and was especially interested in art photography. (Photo in courtesy of Aphrodite Jones)

The so called master bathroom of the complex looked more like a sitting room. It had a hi-fi equipment, a TV, a book shelf, a table, chairs and a great number of books.

The so called master bathroom of the complex looked more like a sitting room. It had a hi-fi equipment, a TV, a book shelf, a table, chairs and a great number of books.

The Nudist Magazines

The prosecution also confiscated and introduced to the Court a number of nudist magazines that they found in Jackson’s possession during the 2003 search. These were old, vintage magazines from the 1930s, some from the 1960s. Nudist magazines from this time period are collectible items and can reach upwards of $500 or more on auction sites.

In the January 18, 2005 prosecution motion that we referenced at the beginning of this article District Attorney Thomas Sneddon claimed that the nudist magazines were found in a box at the foot of Jackson’s bed [3] and then again he repeated this misinformation in his opening statement at Jackson’s 2005 trial [29]. However, his own police officer, who confiscated this material, debunked him in her trial testimony. Janet Williams testified that she had found these magazines inside one the big cardboard boxes  that contained many books in the dowstairs area of Jackson’s bedroom and it is not known if Jackson ever opened them [6]. (Jackson’s bed was upstairs. The downstairs area of his room was more a sitting room type of area. As Williams described that area: “The area appeared to be similar to a sitting room. It had a piano, large screen televisions and chairs, and some books. Fireplace. That kind of area [6].”) By the way, this demonstrates that just because something is claimed by this prosecution in a motion or elsewhere it does not mean it is true.

The confiscated nudist magazines are:

  • Solaire Universalle Day Nudisme Volume 11 #5 May 1961; Eden Quarterly Issue 13, Copyright 1963
  • Nudist- March 1935
  • American Sunbather, May 1961
  • Nudist, February 1935
  • The Nudist, May 1935
  • The Nudist, June/July 1935
  • The Nudist August 1935
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, May 1937
  • The Nudist, February 1936
  • The Nudist, June 1936
  • The Nudist, August 1936
  • The Nudist, October 1936
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, April 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, December 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, October 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, February 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, January 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, December 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, September 1938
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, July 1939
  • Eden Quarterly, Issue 7
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, November 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, November 1937
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, February 1938
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, March 1938
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, September 1937
  • Eden Quarterly, Issue 8
  • Sunshine and Health, The Nudist, June 1937 [6]

The prosecution tried to argue that Jackson kept these magazines because they had a couple of nude images of children, however, the fact is that the main, overwhelming focus of these magazines are nude women. (By the way, there existed nudist magazines with a focus on males, but none of those were found in Jackson’s possession, only ones with a focus on women.)

Here are the type of nudist magazines Jackson possessed:

Jackson wasn’t shy about his interest in photos of women from nudist magazines and had in fact openly purchased some just a few years earlier while shopping at Recycled Records Store sometime circa 2000: “He also bought a bunch of old nude stuff-clipped out pictures from nudist magazines and old shots of posed nude women. [30]”

The pornographic magazines and DVDs

The pornographic magazines, posters from pornographic magazines and DVDs found in Michael Jackson’s possession were all heterosexual (or the kind of lesbian themed which are also targeted to heterosexual men) and all legal.

 The list of items seized:

  • Photo of female image
  • Photo of female image
  • Photo of female image
  • Photo of female image
  • Photo of female image
  • Hustler centerfold, 10 August 1992
  • Playboy centerfold, Miss October
  • Playboy centerfold, Miss November
  • Playboy centerfold, 16 Miss March
  • Hustler centerfold, June 1993
  • Playboy centerfold, unknown date
  • Penthouse Page No. 153-154
  • Centerfold, Miss May
  • Penthouse, Page 8
  • Penthouse centerfold
  • Playboy centerfold
  • Penthouse centerfold
  • Penthouse, August 1991
  • Penthouse centerfold
  • Club International centerfold
  • Penthouse, double page 6/211
  • Penthouse centerfold
  • Penthouse, May 1992
  • Hustler, Centerfold Special Holiday Honey 1991
  • Penthouse centerfold
  • Penthouse centerfold
  • Penthouse, November 1991
  • Playboy Magazine, Centerfold Miss November
  • Playboy Magazine, Centerfold Miss February
  • Playboy Magazine, Centerfold Miss December
  • Al Golstein’s 100 Best Adult Videos Advertisement
  • Playboy Magazine, Centerfold
  • Hustler Magazine Cover, May 1992
  • Page from Unknown Magazine
  • Stiff Dick for Lynn Magazine (In Notebook)
  • Barely Legal Magazine
  • Just Legal Magazine, (Premier Issue) (In Notebook)
  • Finally Legal Magazine (In Notebook)
  • Playboy Magazine, February 1993 (In Notebook)
  • Hustler Magazine, Barely Legal (In Notebook)
  • Playboy Magazine, December 1994 (In Notebook)
  • Playboy Magazine, May 1994 (In Notebook)
  • Hustler Magazine, Barely Legal (In Notebook)
  • Penthouse Magazine (In Notebook)
  • Visions of Fantasy Magazine, A Hard Rock Affair (In Notebook)
  • Visions of Fantasy Magazine, Sam Jose’s Black Starlett (In Notebook)
  • Double Dicking Caroline Magazine (In Notebook)
  • Big Tits and a Hard Stud Magazine
  • Hustler Magazine
  • Celebrity Skin Magazine (In Notebook)
  • Oui, March 1998 in binder
  • Over 50, Volume 5, #9, 1996 in binder
  • XX rated, April 1995
  • Close Up, April 1995 in binder
  • Just 18, Volume 4, Issue No. 10
  • Plumpers centerfold
  • Hustler, August 1992
  • Hustler, April 1998
  • (No cover) in binder
  • Penthouse, March 1992 in binder
  • Juggs, June 1996 in binder
  • 44 Plus, June 1996 in binder
  • Plumpers, May 1996 in binder
  • Club International, March 1998 in binder
  • Live Young Girls, September in binder
  • Finally Legal, July 2003 in notebook
  • Finally Legal Freshman Class
  • Orgy, August 2002 in binder
  • Purely 18, October 2002 in binder
  • Purely 18, December 2002 in binder
  • Tight, November 2002 in binder
  • Hawk, November 2002 in binder
  • Hawk, January 2003 in binder
  • Live Young Girls, June 2003 in binder
  • Girlfriends in binder
  • Live Young Girls in binder
  • Parade
  • Finally Legal, February 2003 in binder
  • Girls of Barely Legal in binder
  • Hawk, February 2003 in binder
  • Girlfriends, Special Editions in binder
  • White binder containing The Girls of Penthouse, August 19 2003 in binder
  • White binder containing Barely Legal, July 200 21 in binder
  • Gallery 5/2002
  • Binder containing Playboy
  • Couples Volume 2, Issue 2
  • White binder containing Barely Legal, Anniversary 2002
  • White binder containing Naughty Neighbors, December
  • Hustler Barely Legal  [31]


  • Pimps Up, Hos Down (1998 documentary)
  • Fresh Picked Pink
  • Dirty Teens Come Clean
  • Hot! Wet! Tight! Pink!
  • Fuck Me, I’m Legal
  • Michael Ryan’s Believe It Or Not
  • Sloppy Dogs Presents: Fuck Me, I’m a Bad Girl
  • Adult World #2


The prosecution never claimed this material to be illegal, in fact, they admitted that all of this was legal, commercially produced material and none depicted illegal activities such as child porn. They claimed, however, that Jackson used these to “groom” children for sexual abuse as the 2003 accuser Gavin Arvizo and his brother Star Arvizo alleged that Jackson showed them such material. We address this claim extensively while we discuss the Arvizo allegations in this article (particularly the chapter “What about the pornographic magazines?”), so here we only note that this is a totally unproven theory, a claim that originates from accusers with serious credibility issues (for more details about the Arvizos’ allegations see The 2005 Allegations section of our website).

Most of these adult magazines were found in Michael Jackson’s nightstand, in a box at the base of his bed and in a briefcase in a closet of his bedroom suite. Some others were found in a cabinet in his office bathroom and in the master bathroom inside his bedroom suite. Jackson’s fingerprints were found on them, and his attorney Thomas Mesereau in his opening statement admitted that they were Jackson’s magazines:

“The prosecutor told you that there were girlie-type magazines and sexually explicit material in Mr. Jackson’s home, and there were. Mr. Jackson will freely admit that he does read girlie magazines from time to time. And what he does is he sends someone to the local market, and they pick up Playboy and they pick up Hustler, and he has read them from time to time.  He absolutely denies showing them to children.” [32]

The prosecution spent days displaying the magazines that they had confiscated from Jackson’s bedroom on a big screen [33]. Observers wondered what point they were trying to make with the detailed, graphic presentation of this completely legal collection that only pointed to Jackson’s sexual interest in women, especially that several of the presented magazines had publishing dates after the accuser has long left Neverland. Many felt that by this presentation the prosecution was just trying to publicly humiliate Jackson and prejudice a presumably conservative Santa Barbara jury against him in the absence of real, relevant evidence.


The Internet pornography

In the 2003 search police also confiscated sixteen computers from Neverland, including three computers (which contained four hard drives in total) from Jackson’s bedroom, and sent them to the FBI for a forensic examination of their hard drives. None of the computers contained any illegal material or had any traces of access to illegal material on the Internet, including no attempts to find such material [34]. Once again, according to court transcripts and court motions, only legal adult heterosexual pornography and images of nude women were found cached in his hard drives from 1998 through 2003 and as Jackson’s lawyer pointed out in his closing statement at the 2005 trial: No illegal child pornography, either in a website or anywhere else. No websites where you try to meet children, like pedophiles often do, and the rest [35].”

Not even the prosecution could claim that any of this material was illegal, but they argued that they wanted to introduce them to show that Jackson knew how to use a computer (something he never denied). Judge Rodney Melville, however, ruled that this material was irrelevant and did not allow the prosecution to refer to this evidence in court [36].

A nude photo of Jonathan Spence?

Besides all the material shown above the prosecution’s January 18, 2005 motion also mentions two photographs allegedly found in the 1993 search. One is described as “a photograph of a boy, believed to be Jonathan Spence; fully nude [3]” (Jonathan Spence was one of Jackson’s young friends in the 1980s), the other is described as “a photograph of a young boy holding an umbrella; wearing bikini bottoms, partially pulled down [3]”.

These claims, and especially the claim about the alleged Spence photo, are sometimes used on various Internet forums and comment sections against Jackson as some major, bombshell evidence of his guilt, but in reality the prosecution never proved even the existence of these alleged photos, let alone introducing them to Court and giving the defense a chance to cross-examine them.

As you have seen above the parties can claim many things in motions but they are not always true or can be one-sidedly twisted and  whatever claim they make they need to prove them in Court to be accepted as facts. Prosecution motions are just that: often biased, never proven, never cross-examined claims, theories and opinions by one of the parties. In actuality, in this case prosecution motions often included claims which were twisted or even turned out to be totally untrue in Court – some even refuted by the prosecution’s own witnesses.

This prosecution claimed these photos in this one motion but when they finally got to introduce their 1993 findings to the Court, after the Judge ruled on the admissibility of “prior bad acts” evidence in March 2005, they only introduced the art books found in the 1993 search that we have discussed above. After this one motion they never even mentioned these alleged photos again either in Court or in other motions requesting the introduction of items found in 1993. There is no evidence of their existence.

Please also consider that right after the raid of Jackson’s homes in 1993 the police stated that “the search warrant didn’t result in anything that would support a criminal filing” [2]. Moreover, when the prosecution tried to introduce testimony about Jonathan Spence on March 28, 2005, the Judge turned it down exactly because all the prosecution could offer regarding him were testimonies about the supposed “grooming” of Spence (at least that is how the prosecution called the fact that Jackson bought him gifts – as he did to almost everyone, young and old, he ever was friends with) [37]. That was all the evidence they could offer to the Court about Spence and that is why he was not allowed by the Judge to be introduced to the Court as one of Jackson’s alleged victims. A nude photo of Spence found in Jackson’s possession would have been just what the prosecution needed to be able to point to more than just “grooming” and be able to introduce him as an alleged victim, but they never produced any such photo. One has to wonder if this is indeed the bombshell evidence that it was turned into in Internet folklore why was it not used in Court by the prosecution to get Spence introduced as an alleged victim? Or at the very least why did not the prosecution fight tooth and nail to have it introduced to Court? When Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau was asked about that alleged photo in a recent podcast by King Jordan Radio he said he had never even seen any such photo, so it apparently was never even shown to the defense – as you are obliged to do with any evidence that you attempt to introduce to Court as a prosecution.

For the record, Jonathan Spence never claimed any wrongdoing or inappropriate behaviour by Jackson and he and his family still talk fondly of the entertainer.

Keep in mind that this prosecution was very zealous against Michael Jackson, throwing “everything but the kitchen sink” at him, but the only material “evidence” they could come up with in this case were art photography books, old nudist magazines and legal, heterosexual adult material. They spent days with presenting Jackson’s heterosexual adult magazines to the Court which puzzled the jury because they felt it was irrelevant. That the prosecution was forced to harp on such irrelevant evidence instead of real, damining evidence is a good indication that they did not really have any damining evidence.

Tabloid media forgeries

At the beginning of this article we mentioned Radar Online’s campaign against Jackson’s reputation in June 2016. The tabloid website published a series of malicious articles in an effort to tarnish the singer’s reputation only a few days before the seventh anniversary of his death. We would like to briefly address it here because Radar Online went so far as to post forged documents during that campaign.

They posted a prosecution document filed in 2005 and inserted photos and claims in it that were NOT a part of the original document and from books that were NOT found in Jackson’s home and were not even published until well after the search and even after his death.

People magazine was the only publication who took the effort to actually ask the authorities about it. Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office told them that some of the material Radar Online posted seem to have been taken from the Internet and is not a part of their original document: “Some of the documents appear to be copies of reports that were authored by Sheriff’s Office personnel as well as evidentiary photographs taken by Sheriff’s Office personnel interspersed with content that appears to be obtained off the internet or through unknown sources. The photos that are interspersed appear to be some evidentiary photos taken by Sheriff’s investigators and others are clearly obtained from the internet.” [1]

The material that Radar Online added to the original material:


Radar Online claimed these photos were from the book “The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes”, but that is not true.  We discussed that book above and you can see there what type of photos really are in that book. These particular photos are not from that book but from a book entitled “Larry Clark: Berlin 2012” by Larry Clark. The book was published in 2012, so of course it could not have been found in Jackson’s possession in 2003.

Other photos that Radar Online inserted were from a book “Lynn Valley” by Richard Prince that, again, was NOT found in Jackson’s possession. The book was published in 2007.


It appears that Radar Online (or whoever gave them the manipulated document) took these photos from an article from the Internet where the editor of Dazed and Confsued Magazine, Isabella Burley talks about her favourite books. Burley mentions “Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes” among her favourite books, so it seems that when Radar Online (or their source) googled the title of that book it brought up that article and they simply took all the photos from that website, even though these particular photos are NOT from the “Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes” but from other books mentioned by Burley in the same article. [38]

Regarding another photo they added to the original document the artist himself who created it called Radar Online out.


The tabloid media suggested this photo means that Jackson found pleasure in the torture of children. Not only it does not mean that, of course, but it was not even found in Jackson’s possession. It could not have been, because as the artist himself Jonathan Hobin stated it was not even created until 2008 and was not published until 2010. [39]

We may want to give Radar Online the benefit of a simple mistake, however they never apologized for the false rumours they created. They never reposted the police’s comments that pointed to the document’s manipulation, nor the comment by prosecutor Ron Zonen where he clearly states that no child porn has ever been found in Jackson’s possession [1], nor Jonathan Hobin’s statements about the origin of his photo [39]. What they did was that they simply and quietly removed the added photos from the document and acted as if nothing happened. They made no mention of it in any of their articles and made no attempt at a fair and ethical reporting of the facts.


[1] Christine Pelisek – Michael Jackson’s Estate Blasts New Pornography Reports as Sheriff and Former Prosecutor Weigh In (People.com, June 22, 2016)

[2] Jim Newton and Sonia Nazario – Police Say Seized Tapes Do Not Incriminate Jackson: Investigation: Officials continue to interview children in connection with molestation allegations. (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1993)

[3] Plaintiff’s Request to Admit Evidence of Erotic Materials to Demonstrate Defendant’s Intent, Plan, Scheme and Motive (January 18, 2015)

[4] Closing Statements by Thomas Sneddon (June 3, 2005)

[5] Testimony of Detective Steve Robel (March 15, 2005)

[6] Testimony of police officer Janet Williams (April 19, 2005)

[7] Bill Whitfield, Javon Beard, Tanner Colby – Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson In His Final Days (Weinstein Publishing, 2014)

[8] Ray Newton and his influence on Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall”
https://www.vater.com/vaternews/post/Vater-Artist-Ray-Newton-and-%22Off-The-Wall%22.aspx – the orginal article is no longer available, for a secondary source see: http://mike.bestforumlive.com/t498-topic

[9] Todd Gray – Michael Jackson: Before He Was King (Chronicle Books, October 2009)

[10] Charles Thomson – Play That Funky Music, White Girl (March 2010)

[11] Cassandra Wiseman – Tour Set Dies with Michael Jackson (Topanga Messenger, July 16, 2009)

[12] Court Documents and Transcripts from Jackson’s 2005 trial, for example, Closing Arguments by Thomas Mesereau (June 2, 2005)

[13] The Boy: A photographic essay in the US Library of Congress:
Boys Will Be Boys! in the US Library of Congress:
In Search of Young Beauty – A Venture Into Photographic Art in the US Library of Congress:

[14] Sculptor & Head Teacher, Design and Entertainment – Rod McRae

[15] http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/22650/starr-ockenga

[16] https://www.abebooks.com/Cronos-Pere-Formiguera-ACTAR-Centre-dArt/12821193436/bd

[17] Ian McNulty – ARTIST PROFILE: John Patrick Salisbury

[18] https://www.vincentborrelli.com/pages/books/101174/rineke-dijkstra-james-rondeau-caroline-ehlers/rineke-dijkstra-beach-portraits

[19] Testimony of police officer Janet Williams at Jackson’s 2005 trial (April 19, 2005)

[20] Testimony of Shawn O’Grady at Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 17, 2005)

[21] Testimony of Steve Robel at Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 15, 2005)

[22] The last photoshoot with the King of Pop by Bruce Weber for L’Uomo Vogue (L’Uomo Vogue magazine, October 2007)

[23] Testimony of Paul Zelis at Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 16, 2005)

[24]Robert Maxwell – Photographs in the US Library of Congress: http://lccn.loc.gov/00132757

[25] Tom Bianchi – Bob & Rod in the US Library of Congress: http://lccn.loc.gov/94018486

[26] Roy Dean – Before the Hand of Man in the US Library of Congress: http://lccn.loc.gov/72075166

[27] https://books.google.hu/books/about/Room_to_Play.html?id=JkneNwAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

[28] Simen Johan – Room to Play in the US Library of Congress: http://lccn.loc.gov/2004297659

[29] Opening Statements by Thomas Sneddon at Jackson’s 2005 trial (February 28, 2005)

[30] Andrew Rush – Michael Jackson visits Recycled Records (June 26, 2009)

[31] Court Transcript from Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 25, 2005)

[32] Opening Statements by Thomas Mesereau at Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 1, 2005)

[33] Jackson a “Playboy” Man (E!Online, March 23, 2005)
The original article is no longer available, for a secondary source see: https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/uk-eonline-com-jackson-a-playboy-man.pdf

[34] A link to the FBI document regarding the forensic examination of the hard drives of Jackson’s computers with repeated notations of “nothing” being found on any of them: http://vault.fbi.gov/Michael%20Jackson/Michael%20Jackson%2062%20File%20Part%203%20of%203/view

[35] Closing Statements by Thomas Mesereau at Jackson’s 2005 trial (June 2, 2005)

[36] Judge may exclude Michael Jackson porn evidence (Associated Press, March 23, 2005) http://www.cp24.com/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20050323/jackson_porn_050323?hub=CP24Sports
The original article is no longer available, for a secondary source see: https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/judge-may-exclude-michael-jackson-porn-evidence1.pdf

[37] Court Transcript from Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 28, 2005)

[38] Liv Siddall – The top five books of Dazed and Confused Editor, Isabella Burley (September 16, 2014)

[39] Mario Carlucci – Ottawa artist angry over unauthorized use of photo in online gossip rag (June 24, 2016)

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