Addressing Michael Jackson detractors’ best “evidence”

This article is a little bit redundant, because most of the issues addressed here have already been addressed elsewhere on this website. Nevertheless, I collected them in this one article, because the arguments they address are the ones that Michael Jackson detractors seem to consider their best “evidence” against him. They invariably throw these arguments around whenever they try to convince someone of his guilt, and recently they have even been circulating infographics with these claims on social media:

This article will be a little longer than a social media meme, because to be really informed usually takes more than out of context, inflammatory soundbites, as you will see.

Also keep in mind that most of this “evidence” was seen by the Jury in 2005: they knew about the settlement, they heard the “witness” testimonies of disgruntled ex-employees, they knew about the fingerprints, they saw the books and the adult material, they knew about Jackson stating he “shared his bed” with children etc. But they also saw the case in full context, not just through carefully cherry-picked inflammatory soundbites – the way Jackson detractors would like you to see it. And they returned a “not guilty” verdict on all 14 counts. If you read about the case in full you will see that was neither a mistake or “celebrity justice”. (A comprehensive discussion of these cases you can find elsewhere on this website: see the menu.) Here let’s just address this “evidence” list circulated by detractors.

Table of Contents

  1. “The $23 million child’s description that matched MJ’s erect penis”
    a) The description
    b) The settlement
  2. “The adult porn & child erotica (not child porn! child erotica)”
  3. “Fingerprints on erotic materials”
  4. “Semen from three different males on his bed”
  5. “Testimony is evidence in US law”
  6. “Jackson’s self admitted red flag behavior (Bed sharing et al)”
  7. “Pattern of preference for boys age & appearance (Jackson’s victim type)”
  8. “Use of known grooming methods on both boys & their parents”

1. “The $23 million child’s description that matched MJ’s erect penis”

The “$ 23 million child” is Jordan Chandler, Michael Jackson’s first accuser, with whom he settled the case in 1994 (according to the leaked settlement document the amount paid into a trust for Jordan Chandler was $15,331,250).

This argument is actually a composite of two: one is the claim that Jordan’s description matched, the other is the suggestion that Jackson settled because of that. So let’s start with the description, then we will move on to the settlement.

a) The description

That Jordan Chandler accurately described Jackson’s penis is a widespread myth, but a myth nevertheless.

It originates from Santa Barbara District Attorney, Thomas Sneddon, and to support the claim, detractors use a court motion Sneddon filed towards the end of the 2005 trial in which he requested the court to have the photos and Jordan’s description introduced to court. It seemed to be a PR move rather than an honest request, as it was never likely that Judge Rodney Melville would allow the introduction of this material, considering that 1) Jordan Chandler refused to testify (a defendant’s basic right is to face an accuser – in this case with the photos introduced he should have had the opportunity to cross-examine Chandler), 2) it was a last minute request by Sneddon just days before the trial concluded. Indeed, Melville dismissed the motion. Detractors also use Bill Dworin, a retired LAPD detective as a source, who made his media rounds during the 2005 trial (including in documentaries heavily biased against Jackson), and who claimed in those interviews that Jordan’s description was a match. However, Dworin was not among the detectives present during the strip search. He also never said that he had seen both the photographs and the description. The information he offered to the media is hearsay by someone who was obviously very biased for the prosecution.

Also consider that people like Dworin are not independent sources. They were members of the prosecution in 1993 and/or in 2005, which tried to win at least the PR war in the media, if they could not win in the courtroom. Rather than just taking their words at face value, let’s see what else we know about the description.

When you read Sneddon’s 2005 motion you will find that the whole basis of the claim that “it was a match” is this:

“The photographs reveal a mark on the right side of Defendant’s penis at about the same relative location as the dark blemish located by Jordan Chandler on his drawing of Defendant’s erect penis.”

That’s it. There aren’t any other details or features mentioned in Sneddon’s motion as matching. However, we know from other sources, such as the a book by Jordan’s uncle, Ray Chandler (“All That Glitters – The Crime and The Cover-up”), that Jordan described “numerous distinctive markings and discolorations on Michael’s privates” [1; page 210], and according to an affidavit from 1993 by former Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Deputy Deborah Linden, he also claimed that Jackson was circumcised. This affidavit was mentioned in an article in January 2005 on the Smoking Gun website which served as a mouthpiece for the prosecution before and during the 2005 trial, and as such in that article it was claimed that Jordan describing Jackson’s penis as circumcised (along with other features he described) was correct.

We know by now, that Jordan’s description was wrong. In 2009 Jackson’s autopsy was published and it reveals that the singer was uncircumcised. (Whether a coincidence or not, shortly after Jackson’s autopsy became public, the article about the Linden affidavit was deleted from the Smoking Gun website’s archives, where it was originally published in 2005, but you can still find it through Web Archive.)

It’s been interesting to observe the evolution of the arguments by Jackson detractors about this issue. Before 2009 they confidently claimed, based on the Smoking Gun article, that “Jordan accurately described Jackson’s penis as circumcised”. When the autopsy refuted that, the argument changed to “an erect uncircumcised penis may look circumcised” and, more recently, to “maybe Jackson’s foreskin was very short”. However, the allegations of Jordan Chandler describe not only one occasion of alleged molestation, but a very intense series of sexual contacts, seeing each other naked many times (including in the bath), many masturbation sessions in front of each other and also masturbating each other about ten times. Jordan’s uncle, Ray Chandler claims in his book, All That Glitters, that his nephew saw Jackson’s genitalia many times, “from every possible angle” [1; page 210]. If the Chandler allegations were true, then Jordan certainly would have been able to tell that Jackson was uncircumcised, but he got the description wrong. So eventually detractors changed the argument to simply denying that Jordan ever said anything about the circumcision issue and while earlier they used the Smoking Gun article to support their argument for an accurate description, now they would rather forget its existence.

For a supposed “perfect match” they sure had to change the argument a lot.

Thing is, when you are asked to describe a penis one of the first things you will be asked is if it is circumcised. There is no way that Jordan would not have been asked about that. The very fact that Sneddon is completely mum about the circumcision issue in his motion is very telling about whether Jordan guessed it right or not.

But what about the markings?

As you have seen, the whole claim of a “match” is based on one marking supposedly being “at about the same relative location” where Jordan put a marking on his drawing – at least according to Sneddon’s own biased assessment. There is nothing else mentioned as matching in that motion. Think about that: if you are asked to make such a drawing and you knew that you had to put markings and splotches on it, you may manage to put a marking at “about” and “relatively” on a location that a prosecutor who is very much eager to see it as “a match” could see it as a “match”.

But how did Jordan even know he had to describe markings and splotches?

First of all, the Chandlers knew that Jackson suffered from the skin disease, vitiligo. The entertainer announced that to the world in February, 1993 in an interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey. One of the areas vitiligo affects the most is the genital area. All of the Chandlers could also see discoloration on Jackson’s arms, hands and face.

Michael Jackson’s vitiligo and how it looked was no secret to those who were around him

One month before the strip search even took place, a Reuters UK story by Ann Gerhart mused:  “But it seems that any opportunist who could pronounce vitiligo, the mottling disease that Jackson divulged to Oprah Winfrey, could guess his penis also was affected and have a decent chance at being right.” [29]

Additionally, Jordan’s uncle, Ray Chandler, in his book All That Glitters, describes a bizarre event on the weekend starting with May 28, 1993, when Jackson stayed in the house of Jordan’s father, Evan Chandler. The singer had a strong headache and asked for pain relief. Evan, who was a dentist, used this opportunity and called over his anesthesiologist, Mark Torbiner and they administered something to Jackson which made the star “acting weird, babbling incoherently and slurring his speech” then taking advantage of this uninhibited state, Evan asked him questions about his sexuality, whether he was gay (Jackson said he was not). From the story we learn that Evan gave the injection into Jackson’s gluteus, so he would have seen at the very least what Jackson’s buttocks looked like. [1; page 47]

The Chandlers had first-hand knowledge – not through Jordan, but through the father Evan (who coerced Jordan into making these allegations in the first place and then used them to demand money from Jackson) – of Jackson’s lower torso having vitiligo markings, just like his upper body, so of course, the educated guess on their part would be that those markings would continue on his penis as well.

And here is something that very few people know or realize. The media never mentions it, but it is in the Chandlers’ own book:

The Chandlers were told by prosecutors that they took no risk by giving a description of Jackson’s genitalia – it could not go wrong for them! In his book Ray Chandler quotes this conversation between Evan and the Chandlers’ lawyer, Larry Feldman.

Larry Feldman: “Oh, yeah, Lauren Weis (Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney) told me today that this disease Michael says he’s got, vitiligo, that it’s capable of changing anywhere you look, so that anything Jordie says is irrelevant. It can change very quickly with this disease.

Evan Chandler: “Shit, these guys seem to have an answer for everything.”

Feldman: “No, that’s good for us!”

Chandler: “Why?”

Feldman: “Because if he’s right, he’s right. And if he’s wrong, we’ve got an explanation!”

 Chandler: “Ha!”

Feldman: “Yeah, it’s a no-loser for us.”

Chandler: “That’s very good.”

Feldman: “Good? It’s terrific! You stick with the teeth, kid. I’m sticking’ with the law.” [1; page 202-203]

In another chapter Ray Chandler writes: On the other hand, it had been medically established that the markings of vitiligo were subject to change. So if Jordie’s description was wrong, Larry would be able to say the markings had shifted over the months.

As you can see, the Chandlers and the prosecution cynically played on the fact that vitiligo markings are subject to change. (There was more than half a year between when Jordan claimed his abuse happened and when the photos of Jackson’s genitalia were taken.) It seems that Sneddon, like the Chandlers, tried to have it both ways: if there was something in that drawing that remotely guessed a location of a marking right (at least according to Sneddon’s own biased assessment) it would have been used against Jackson, while everything else would have been ignored and/or explained away by the fact that vitiligo markings were subject to change. As Larry Feldman put it: “It’s a no-loser for us”.

Both the Chandlers and Sneddon failed to acknowledge that if vitiligo markings were subject to change then they are inadequate to prove Jackson’s guilt, especially considering the fact that Jordan got the circumcision issue completely wrong.

When the prosecution decided to put Jackson through the humiliation of a strip search they knew that it was unlikely to produce anything with probative value as the markings on his skin could change, and Jordan had a 50 percent chance of guessing the circumcision issue right (although he ended up guessing it wrong). Lauren Weiss herself told Larry Feldman that “anything Jordie says is irrelevant”. This makes the motive behind the whole humiliating procedure very questionable.

One more thing. The notion that Jordan’s description was a match only started to spread through the media in 1995 when Sneddon gave an interview to Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth and claimed that the photographs matched Jordan’s description. Initially law enforcement sources actually told the media that Jordan’s description was NOT a match. There are several media articles from 1994 mentioning that (eg. USA Today, Los Angeles Times). For example, on March 16, 1994, the Los Angeles Times, citing investigators, wrote about Katherine Jackson’s upcoming testimony in front of a Los Angeles Grand Jury and that one of the reasons why investigators sought her testimony was because they desperately tried to find a way to explain the fact that Jordan’s description did not match the photos taken of Jackson’s genitalia:

“Jackson’s mother has frequently given interviews and made public appearances to defend her son, but a source close to the investigation said she may be questioned about Jackson’s physical appearance. Investigators have been attempting to determine whether Jackson has done anything to alter his appearance so that it does not match a description provided to them by the alleged victim, who turned 14 in January.” [2]

Another indication that it was not a match, is the very fact that Jackson was not arrested after the strip search.

Moreover, in early January 1994, Larry Feldman, the civil attorney representing Jordan Chandler, filed a motion with the Civil Court that contained a “multiple choice request”. On January 5, 1994 the Los Angeles Times reported:

“Feldman said he filed a motion in court that is a “multiple choice” request: Jackson may provide copies of the police photographs, submit to a second search, or the court may bar the photographs from the civil trial as evidence.” [3]

Feldman said he filed the motion because both Jackson’s attorneys and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office refused to give him copies of the photographs. However, it is a logical expectation that if Feldman was certain that his client was telling the truth then he would have been certain that the photographs would support and not harm his case. Instead of giving the option of barring the photographs from the court, if Feldman was confident in his client’s story, he should have fought to have them introduced.

This action, by the way, refutes the notion that Jackson settled the civil case out of court with the Chandlers because the photographs matched Jordan’s description. In actuality, Jordan Chandler’s attorney requested that the photographs be barred from the civil court. (It was obvious that the other two options Feldman offered in this motion were out of question: Jackson would not go through another humiliating strip search and he could not provide copies of the photos to the Chandlers since he was not the custodian of them – the police was.)

Jackson talking about the humiliating process of the strip search in December, 1993 and maintaining his innocence:

More about this issue and sources in this article.

b) The Settlement

The suggestion that innocent people would not settle is fallacious. There are many situations when innocent people or parties do settle. The circumstances of that do matter. So let me show you the circumstances of the settlement in the 1993 case.

First of all, let us clear up what exactly was settled. There were two proceedings going on parallel: a criminal investigation conducted by the State of California and a civil lawsuit filed by the accusing family, the Chandlers. Only the criminal proceedings and a criminal trial can result in jail time for the alleged perpetrator. At the end of a civil trial, the only restitution available is monetary. The settlement settled the civil lawsuit, not the criminal. The criminal proceedings went on after the settlement and nothing in the settlement prevented the Chandlers from testifying against Jackson in a criminal court.

Los Angeles district attorney, Gil Garcetti even stated right after the settlement:

“The criminal investigation of singer Michael Jackson is ongoing and will not be affected by the announcement of the civil case settlement,” Garcetti said. “The district attorney’s office is taking Mr. [Larry] Feldman [the Chandlers’ attorney] at his word that the alleged victim will be allowed to testify and that there has been no agreement in the civil matter that will affect cooperation in the criminal investigation.” [4]

The Chandlers could have taken the settlement money AND testified against Jackson in a criminal case. They chose not to, but it was not because they were forbidden to do so by the settlement, but because they were never interested in the criminal proceedings in the first place! Their only focus was money from the very beginning. Jordan’s uncle, Ray Chandler states in his book that the Chandlers filed their civil lawsuit on Septemeber 8, 1993 with a “highly profitable settlement” in mind [1; page 168].

It is important to emphasize that it was the Chandler family who demanded a settlement from the very beginning and it was not Michael Jackson who sought or offered it!

Normally civil complaints are filed after criminal proceedings are completed and justice has been served or when there’s no possibility for a criminal trial. One would naturally expect the parents of a molested child to pursue justice, not money when they have the chance to do so.

The Chandlers, however, never really wanted a criminal trial. Their focus was always on the civil proceedings, ie. money. And to achieve their settlement goal, the Chandler’s attorney, Larry Feldman played the California legal system masterfully.

He pushed for getting the civil trial ahead of a possible criminal trial. That put a pressure on Jackson’s legal team, because if the civil trial is held before the criminal trial in the same matter, it can compromise a defendant’s right to a fair criminal trial.

Why? Because it can give the prosecution in the criminal trial a major advantage, because they have the opportunity to monitor the civil trial, study the defense’s strategy and adjust their claims and strategy in kind. In addition, the burden of proof is more relaxed in a civil trial than in a criminal trial. Civil trials aren’t really designed for a fair discussion of criminal matters. There have been many precedents where civil proceedings were frozen to allow the criminal trial ahead, preserving a defendant’s right to a fair criminal trial and preventing that right from being violated. In Jackson’s case, however, all such attempts by his lawyers to stay the civil proceeding were dismissed by the Judge because he accepted the Chandler’s argument that due to Jordan’s age and because “a child’s memory is developing” they were entitled to a speedy CIVIL trial. Apparently Jackson’s right to a fair CRIMINAL trial was not considered in that decision.

Under extremely unfavorable conditions, Jackson and his attorneys might have found themselves in a position where they would have had to fight and defend Jackson on two fronts at the same time – in both a civil and criminal trial. On top of that they would have to prepare for a civil trial within 120 days, while the police for the criminal proceedings had seized all of Jackson’s personal records and refused to provide copies or even a list of what they took.

Once again: The Chandlers were NEVER interested in the criminal case. Remember, only a criminal procedure can put someone in jail!

In fact, their book quotes a conversation between their attorney Feldman and the boy’s father Evan Chandler where they discuss their horror at the prospect of a possible indictment of Jackson, because that would have meant their pet project, the civil proceedings (ie. money) would have been pushed behind the criminal proceedings!

“Later in the afternoon, after everyone had consumed their holiday repast, Larry Feldman called Evan with news they could all be thankful for. “Hey, Evan, you gotta hear this one. Howard Weitzman demoted Fields again. They definitely don’t want your deposition, or June’s deposition. They don’t want to preserve anything. If they’re gonna make a deal they don’t want anything on the record about Jackson.”

No shit! Larry, these guys are in a real mess.”

“Yeah, they fucked this up unbelievably. What could be better? But I’m going forward. We’re going to push on. So far there ain’t a button I’ve missed. The only thing we gotta do is keep the criminal behind us. I don’t want them going first.”

Larry had said it before, but it hadn’t registered in Evan’s brain till now.

“You mean if they indict, the criminal case automatically goes before us?”
“Jesus Christ!”
“Right! So we don’t want that.” [1; page 201-202]

“So we don’t want that” – said the Chandler side regarding the possibility of a criminal indictment of Jackson! Let that sink in, while keeping in mind that only a criminal trial can send an alleged perpetrator to jail; a civil trial can only result in a monetary award!

The California law that allowed the Chandlers to push the civil trial ahead of the criminal trial was changed eventually – according to Santa Barbara DA, Thomas Sneddon directly because of what happened in the Chandler case. Because of that change, today an accuser in a sexual assault case cannot pursue a civil lawsuit right away. The new law restricts a civil trial from proceeding a criminal trial in the same matter. However, that did not apply to Jackson back in 1993. After all motions to push the civil proceedings behind the criminal had been denied, the Jackson team was left between a rock and a hard place. So to preserve his chances for a fair criminal trial, he had to settle the civil case. The hostile and unfair media campaign against him, and his health and dependency issues might have also contributed to a decision to settle.

While Jackson’s motives for the settlement are often questioned, it is a much less frequently asked question (though it would be similarly valid to ask): why did the accuser’s family so aggressively push for a settlement while doing everything in their power to avoid a criminal trial?

Their reasoning was that they wanted to move on with their lives and not subject Jordan to media spotlight and scrutiny that would have been unavoidable in a high profile case and trial such as this. They claimed that they were also scared of the wrath of Jackson’s fans. At first sight this may seem reasonable, however, when we take a closer look at the case, this claim falls apart.

First, one of the reasons Evan Chandler hired Barry Rothman as his initial lawyer, according to a secretly taped phone conversation, was because Rothman was “hungry for the publicity” and “all he wants to do is get this out in the public as fast as he can, as big as he can”  [5]. Instead of being publicity-shy, the Chandlers were very much looking for publicity. There are good reasons to believe that the Chandlers fed National Enquirer articles about the case in 1993 and Ray Chandler’s book calls another tabloid journalist, Diane Dimond, Evan’s “closest ally” [1; page 194].

The Chandlers did not seem to be concerned about media spotlight, fan reactions, threats or Jordan not being able to move on with his life, when within days after the settlement, in January 1994, they were shopping a book about the allegations. Publisher Judith Regan:

Because of the confidentiality agreement involved in the settlement, Evan was not allowed to write a book or do media rounds himself, but they got around that by his loyal brother Ray Chandler doing all the public talking for them. That Ray Chandler was indeed shopping a book within days of the settlement, was admitted in a 2004 court motion by Ray Chandler himself  [6]. Ray’s book eventually was published ten years later, in 2004 at the height of the media frenzy caused by the Arvizo allegations. At the time, Ray made his rounds in the media, giving interviews and appearing in documentaries heavily biased against Jackson. He even ran a website. Obviously not concerned about media spotlight, not afraid of possible threats by Jackson fans and not worried about how it might affect Jordan’s ability to move on.

The irony of this all was that because Ray Chandler claimed in media interviews that he had evidence to prove Jackson’s guilt, Jackson’s defense team called his bluff and subpoenaed him to appear at Jackson’s 2005 trial, present his alleged evidence and give testimony there. However, Ray Chandler, rather than take this opportunity to help finally convict a person he alleged had molested his nephew, instead fought tooth and nail against the subpoena and eventually managed to avoid having to appear in court and testify under oath.

Whenever it came to having to appear in court, esp. a criminal court, the Chandlers were suddenly shy of publicity, scared of Jackson fans. Not so much when it came to feeding tabloids, publishing a book, running a website or appearing in media interviews and tabloidish “documentaries”.

The Chandlers also did not seem to be concerned about media spotlight, possible fan reactions, threats and Jordan not being able to move on with his life, when Evan filed another lawsuit against Michael Jackson in 1996, this time for $60 million and a record deal so that he could release a music album about the alleged sexual molestation of his son. (Yes, you read that correctly!) In the lawsuit Evan accused Jackson of violating the confidentiality agreement of their 1994 settlement when Jackson maintained his innocence in a 1995 interview with Diane Sawyer.

During that lawsuit the Chandlers, far from being media-shy, played the media again for their benefit. Evidence of that can be found in court documents. Eg. we learn from a motion by Jackson’s ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, that when the Chandlers took her deposition, they tried to use that for publicity.

“On March 7 and 8, 1997, pursuant to this Court’s order, Chandler deposed Presley for two days. When Presley and her counsel arrived at the deposition site, they were confronted at the door by reporters and television cameras. Chandler’s counsel did not deny that he had called the media to cover the deposition. Chandler’s counsel made all the arrangements for the deposition, and never told anyone he had invited the media. Also, apparently before the deposition, Chandler’s counsel gave a private interview to a nationwide tabloid news program about the deposition. Right after the deposition, a major network broadcast the interview, along with clips of Ms. Presley and her counsel entering the deposition room, on the tabloid show. Chandler’s counsel obviously carefully orchestrated this media blitz to exploit Ms. Presley’s fame for the private benefit of himself and his client.

During the deposition Chandler’s counsel delved into Presley’s private life, including her marriage to and relationship with Jackson. Because the deposition covered such private topics, and in light of the TV cameras outside, Presley’s counsel asked counsel for Chandler to agree to keep the deposition transcript and video tape confidential. Chandler’s counsel refused as to both the transcript and the video tape. He even refused to agree to confidentiality during the time it would take Presley to file, and for this Court to hear, a motion for protective order.” [7]

So, as you can see for the Chandlers it was all about the money, all along. The Chandlers had all the possibilities in the world to push through with a criminal trial. The prosecution and the District Attoeneys were totally willing to prosecute Jackson and bring the case to trial. It was not a case of reluctant prosecution. It was a case of an accusing family who were always pushing for the money and were never interested in the criminal proceedings. In fact, they ran away when it came to telling their story in a criminal court.

Mind you, the 13-year-old boy, Jordan Chandler did not come up with his allegations on his own, spontaneously. He was pressured by his father, Evan to say what he wanted to hear and then this same father used these allegations to try to extort money out of Jackson. When that failed and Jackson refused to pay them off, that’s when they went to authorities and kick started the public scandal. The Chandlers cynically boast in their own book:

When Jackson turned down the Chandler’s monetary demands and the Chandlers went public with their claims in answer, they only used that to further push for money, by putting the pressure of bad publicity on Jackson and by steering the case towards “a highly profitable settlement”.

Had Jackson really want to hush the accuser he could have before they went public and went to authorities because the Chandlers admittedly wanted nothing more than being paid-off.

So this is the background story and context of Michael Jackson’s settlement with the Chandler family.

More details about the case here:

Specifically about the settlement (including sources)

The 1993 Chandler Allegations

The 1993 Chandler Allegations (a summary version)

2. “The adult porn & child erotica (not child porn! child erotica)”

Jackson had a big collection of adult material (ie. legal heterosexual porn magazines and DVDs). They are not illegal, many people have them (probably many of Jackson’s detractors too), and they certainly do not prove pedophilia and definitely not an attraction to young boys, as Jury members in 2005 noted. If anything, they point to Jackson having a sexual attraction to women.

As for the supposed “child erotica”. Jackson detractors deliberately use this loaded term to describe in particular two art books (Boy: A Photographic Essay and Boys Will Be Boys) that were found during the 1993 raid, but that does not mean that they were indeed erotic to Jackson. They did have nude images of children, but they were in non-sexual context. They show children playing, among other things on the set of the 1963 movie Lord of The Flies. Now, just because some people may find this “erotic” because of the nudity, it does not mean that everyone does, and it does not mean that everyone who has these books uses them as “erotica”. In fact, both of those books are in the US Libarary of Congress (see here and here). Jackson got at least one of them, if not both (since they are sequels to each other), from a fan, as the inscription in one of the books shows: “To Michael: From your fan, “Rhonda” ♥ 1983, Chicago”. An inscription by Jackson himself in the other indicates that he did NOT look at these pictures in a sexual way: “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.[8]

(There is a third book, In Search of Young Beauty: A Venture Into Photographic Art, mentioned in the prosecution’s motion detractors use, but it was never actually brought up by the prosecution in Court. Probably because that one contains mostly dressed children, both boys and girls. In Search of Young Beauty is also in the Library of Congress.)

It also has to be noted that Jackson was an avid collector of art photography and rare, vintage books. It is well documented that he had an above average interest in photography and a huge collection of art books [9]. So that also belongs to the context in which these books were found.

Some detractors try to make much of the fact, that the two art books were found in the third drawer of a locked file cabinet. For that reason they call it Jackson’s “secret child erotica collection”. First of all, it was hardly “secret”, as according to the testimonies of the police officers who found them they asked a maid of Jackson’s who had the key to it, to open it for them. [10] Had it been a “secret”, Jackson would have kept the key with himself or had hidden it somewhere. Secondly, there is no information about what else was in that file cabinet. The testimonies do not include any information about the context in which they were found, ie. what else was in that file cabinet, whether there were other books there as well, which were not confiscated because they did not contain anything that the police could have tried to use against Jackson. The police would only mention things in their evidence sheet that they did confiscate, but there is no information about the material that they did not. It is possible, for example, that Jackson kept books there that were vintage, as these two books were. Thirdly, two books hardly make a “collection”.

Pedophilia is obsessive, compulsive and progressive. If a person is looking for sexual gratification in such books  they would have an obsessive collection of them and over time the collection would have escalated both in quantity and gravity (eg. to actual child porn). Let’s not forget that Jackson’s premises were searched 10 years later, in 2003 as well and there was no sign of such a collection and such an escalation. What he did have an “obsessive” collection of and that he did collect was adult, heterosexual magazines. He had those in the dozens, including in places such as his nightstand. But according to Jackson’s detractors we are supposed to believe that two art books, gifted by a fan and confiscated in 1993 (and never returned to him) were indicative of his sexuality instead of those heterosexual pornographic magazines that he did consistently and regularly collect and hoard over time.

Detractors usually use a prosecution motion filed on January 18, 2005 to support their argument. Besides the material confiscated in 1993, it lists material that was found in 2005, as well. Most of those art books and magazines do not even have children in them, just adult nudity or semi-nudity. 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”. In fact, 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”. The prosecution claims in the motion that Jackson used this material “to seduce young boys” in order “to satisfy his lewd desires”, 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.

A FULL survey of what was found in 1993 and 2005 can be seen here.

3. “Fingerprints on erotic materials”

During the 2005 trial the prosecution argued that the fact that Gavin and Star Arvizo’s fingerprints were found on some of Jackson’s adult magazines, proves their claim that Jackson showed them these magazines.

However, there are several problems with that conclusion. One is that there is evidence of the Arvizo boys going into Jackson’s room when the singer was not there. Although Gavin denied it on the stand that they ever went to Jackson’s room while he was not there, his brother, Star later admitted in his testimony that they did: not only they went to Jackson’s room, but they even slept there when he wasn’t there. So they were perfectly able to rummage through Jackson’s stuff, find and touch those magazines on their own. In actuality, that would be consistent with their behavior around other people as well, as Jackson’s lawyer Thomas Mesereau pointed out in his closing argument based on various testimonies that were heard at the trial:

“And the only forensic evidence they had to hang their hat on are fingerprints on some girlie magazines that were owned by Michael Jackson. And you know that everywhere the Arvizo children went, they would rummage through drawers, rummage through the house. They did it at the dentist’s office. They did it in Vernee Watson Johnson’s home. This is the way they behave.” [11]

It was also shown during the trial that the Arvizo boys weren’t at all as naïve and innocent about pornography as the prosecution tried to portray them. In his opening statement Jackson’s attorney Mesereau stated that rather than showing the magazines to the boys Jackson actually caught them once with them and took them away from them.

“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. And, in fact, the magazines the prosecutor referred to were in a locked briefcase. And Mr. Jackson will tell you he found those kids going through his magazines, and grabbed them from him and locked them in his briefcase.” [12]

Gavin’s story regarding the magazines indeed makes a very odd “grooming” story. Remember that the prosecution’s theory was that Jackson showed the Arvizo boys the magazines to groom them – ie. to lower their inhibitions and/or arouse them before sexually molesting them, because that is what pedophiles typically use pornographic magazines for. However, Gavin’s magazine scene looked like this in his testimony at the trial.

Now, when you first saw the suitcase, where was it in that room.

It was next to — it was to the left of that couch thing.

And did you ever see Mr. Jackson pick up the Exhibit 470.

Yeah, like I was hanging out with him in there, and he was like putting on his makeup or something, I don’t know. And then he — he grabbed the — grabbed the suitcase, and then he told me — he told me it was Frank’s. And he showed me, he was like, “This is” —

Okay. Well, what did he show you.

He was, like, “Look at the” — “Look at this stuff. Frank’s stinking a-s-s.” Frank’s stinking — it was S- — Frank’s stinking ass.

All right. What was inside the suitcase.

Adult materials.

And how many did you look at with Mr. Jackson.

Well, he showed me just one — like he showed me, and there was this girl in there and then he put it away.

And how was the girl.

She had her legs spread open, and her vagina was, like, showing.

All right. Did you ever see that suitcase again.



We had it — like, we had it up in his — near his bed, and then we were looking at all the stuff.

Who was “we”.

Me, my brother and Michael.

And do you recall, where in the bedroom was the suitcase when you first saw it that time.

The first time I saw it, it was in the rest room kind of thing. And then the second time we — I don’t know if we brought it up there or, like, Michael brought it up there or something. I don’t know. But it was up next to his bed. And we were all going through the thing and we were making fun of Frank.

Did you look at the magazines.


How many magazines do you think you saw.

We saw, like, practically everything, but there was a few we didn’t look at.

How much time do you figure you were looking at all those things.

30 minutes to an hour, probably.

Did Mr. Jackson make any comments during the time — other than the ones you’ve talked about, any other comments that he made at any of the photographs or the magazines.

Not really. We just were, like, making fun of Frank. [13]

These alleged scenes do not make much sense as attempts at arousing the Arvizo boys in order to molest them since, according to their own story, they were not immediately followed by molestation or any sexual act. According to the Arvizo’s story the alleged molestation of Gavin happened on totally different occasions and with no pornography being shown to him. As for lowering inhibitions, according to Gavin’s story Jackson tried to distance himself from this material claiming they were Frank’s (ie. Frank Cascio’s) and he supposedly made fun of Frank for it using such words as “stinking”. It would be a strange way to tell a child having such material is cool. However, Jackson distancing himself from the material would make a lot more sense if the Defense’s version is the true version of the story – ie. that instead of showing the boys these magazines Jackson actually took them away from them and was telling them that it was wrong to look at them.

A story by music producer Mark Ronson as told in 2008, confirms that Jackson was not at all OK with children looking at adult material, let alone encouraging them to do so.

Producer Mark Ronson once tried to make his childhood pal Michael Jackson watch porn – but the pop superstar hated the experience and wasn’t amused.

Ronson, whose father Laurence was a band manager, used to spend his time in the company of John Lennon’s son Sean and Jackson as they were growing up.

The trio would frequently have sleepovers – but when Ronson and Lennon used to switch over the TV to the pornography channel, Jackson was left cringing with embarrassment.

He recalls, “It’s a weird story, but I didn’t touch him. We (Ronson and Lennon) used to watch the porn channel because we were like 10 and, ‘Oh my God, tits!’ So Michael was in bed. And me and Sean said, ‘Michael do you want to see something cool?’

“We turned the dial to the porn channel and there were strippers shaking their tits around. We were like, ‘Michael, Michael, how cool is this?’ We turned around and he was cringing, saying, ‘Ooh stop it, stop it, ooh it’s so silly.’ We were like, ‘Michael, you have to look, maybe you’re not seeing it right, it’s naked girls!’

“He was not down with the programme whatsoever! I think he had really strong feminist views on porn.”

Ronson’s comments were made during the taping of British gameshow the Sunday Night Project, which is due to air in the U.K. on Sunday (22Jun08).[14]

By the way this happened at Ronson’s home according to another interview where we also learn:

“There was no weirdness. The thing I really remember is like… I just remember being like, “Sean, this guy is like a kid. Like, he really is.” He really is… he wanted to like throw soggies(?) out the window and we live on the 7th floor I was like this seems dangerous. And then I didn’t tell anyone at school cuz who the fuck is gonna believe you? And it sounded like such a terrible story. I even feel a little embarrassed talking about it now, but it happened.” [15]

It should be noted that before the Arvizo children went into Jackson’s room and found his adult magazines not any earlier accuser claimed that Jackson showed them such material in order to groom them or for any other reason. Pornography claims were simply not a part of either Jordan Chandler’s or Jason Francia’s allegations. All pornography claims only became a part of these stories (whether by later accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck or the media) after it became publicly known during the Arvizo trial that Jackson had such material at all and the prosecution had the very much publicly stated theory that Jackson used it for “grooming children”. Robson and Safechuck built their stories in 2013 and 2014 with that hindsight knowledge about the 2005 case and in fact, Robson was shown this material by the prosecution on the stand during his testimony in 2005.

So the whole claim about Jackson showing children pornographic magazines originates from the Arvizo family, and about the credibility of that family and that case, it is strongly recommended to read our section about it:

The 2005 Allegations

The 2005 Allegations (a summary version)

4. “Semen from three different males on his bed”

It is quite amusing that Jackson detractors included this one in their “evidence” sheet, because not even the prosecution thought in 2005 that this proved anything. They certainly did not even intend to introduce it to court.

So what are we talking about?

On January 18, 2005 Jackson’s defense filed a motion to exclude fourteen items of irrelevant evidence [16]. Among them they mentioned two DNA reports carried out by the prosecution, that did not uncover anything incriminating. It did mention 3 male DNAs (no mention of it being from semen) found on Jackson’s bed – one was Jackson’s DNA, the other two of unknown males, but they did not belong to the alleged victims. The second report was about DNA found on bed sheets found in a laundry bag, along with underwear.  Again, the DNA did not belong to the alleged victims.

In their reply on January 31, 2005 [17], the Prosecution agreed with the Defense that the DNA on the bed was irrelevant, as they informed them that they did not intend to refer to that evidence in Court.

Here the Prosecution suggests that the DNA came from semen,  but of course at this point they knew that no one ever would be able to tell otherwise, since that evidence would not be introduced to Court and so the Defense would never have their own forensic examination of it. In any case, the Prosecution definitely knew that it was not incriminating evidence, otherwise they would have tried to introduce it.

Here we have to note that people stayed in Jackson’s bedroom when he was not at home. For example, during the trial, on March 23, 2005, there was a discussion about the legal, heterosexual material found on Jackson’s computers. From that discussion we learnt that some of that material was cached when Jackson was not even at home, and apparently the computer might have been used by Jackson’s adult cousin. (On November 17, 2003, one day before the raid of Neverland, Michael Jackson was definitely in Las Vegas and never returned to Neverland until after the raid.)

“ROBERT SANGER (Jackson’s attorney): But they find some adult material that again was not downloaded, but was cached, by somebody calling themselves Dr. Black, and somebody else calling themselves Marcel Jackson. Now, Mr. Jackson does have a cousin named Elijah who goes by Marcel. We’re not going to blame him for this, but — simply because it’s so easy for anybody to use a user name and simply log in, and so who knows what’s going on. But Marcel Jackson, according to the evidence on this computer, whoever used that name accessed this computer on November 17th of 2003. And that’s when the — that’s when the information was downloaded on this particular computer.”


“MR. SANGER: “So we’re talking about November 17th. It appears that somebody using a screen name which is similar to a name of Mr. Jackson’s cousin, which is the name of Mr. Jackson’s cousin, is — has accessed some basically — looks like has gone to some sites, or material showed up on the screen on November 17th.” [18]

Members of Jackson’s staff also testified to the fact that people sometimes stayed in Jackson’s bedroom when he was not there. [19]

I only mention this to reflect on the fact that there are many ways of other people’s DNA getting onto Jackson’s bed.

In any case, there must have been something about this evidence why the prosecution knew it was not incriminating, and in that motion cited above you can see them state that they do not intend to introduce it to court. Which obviously would not have been the case if they thought it proved something.

Detractors are only going on about it because talking about semen is salacious and inflammatory enough to manipulate their audience with.  The reality is that not even the prosecution thought this proved anything and they did not even intend to introduce this “evidence” to court. So much about the DNA on the bed.

What about the other part, the DNA in the underpants that the prosecution did try to introduce? In the prosecution’s motion it sounds bad: they claim Jackson kept a soiled underwear belonging to another male, which corroborates Gavin Arvizo’s claim that he also kept his (even though they never found any underwear belonging Gavin at Neverland).

But then in the defense’s reply on February 8, 2005 [21] we finally get to see what that underwear actually was. Pay close attention – it is funny!

So basically, the prosecution wanted to introduce underwear from another male, that was found, NOT in Jackson’s bedroom, but in a different building in a storage area with other miscellaneous items of laundry, and they wanted to use it as “evidence” of Jackson keeping other male’s underwear for nefarious reasons! This they tried to use to “corroborate” Gavin’s claim that Jackson kept his underwear – even though his underwear was never found at Neverland. This is how desperate this prosecution was, yet even they refrained from wanting to use the DNA on the bed, which is very telling about the “strength” of that “evidence”.

So once again the prosecution did extreme mental gymnastics to try to create “evidence” in the absence of real, damning evidence.  Not surprisingly, Judge Melville deemed this evidence irrelevant and did not allow the prosecution to introduce it to Court.

This is yet another example of why prosecution motions should not be taken at face value. They are just allegations by a prosecution that was extremely desperate and did not manage to prove its case in court. As you can see, it is easy to describe something in a way that sounds damning in a motion, but when you get the context, do some research on it, it often turns out that the prosecution’s version was just ridiculous, out of context hype.

5. “Testimony is evidence in US law”

Technically every testimony is considered evidence, that is true, however, that does not say anything about the truthfulness and credibility of that testimony. You can have two totally contradictory testimonies about an event in a case and technically both are considered evidence, but only one of them can be true. False testimonies exist, of course. One of the reasons why we have trials is to listen to testimonies and assess their truthfulness in the light of other testimonies and evidence.

Regarding the “victim testimonies” in this case:

Jordan Chandler, the 1993 accuser, was never cross-examined. He never testified in a Court. In actuality, any time it came to subjecting himself to cross-examination Jordan ran and hid. You can read about the Chandler case in more detail here:

The Chandler allegations

Gavin Arvizo and Jason Francia did testify in 2005. The Jury did not find them credible and with good reasons. When you read about their case, you will see it yourself why:

The Arvizo allegations

Jason Francia

Wade Robson and James Safechuck are two people who changed their stories. In the past they stated in testimonies that Michael Jackson did NOT molest them. Now their testimony is that he did. So which one of their “evidence” (testimony) is true? Their story changed amidst monetary demands: creditor’s claims and lawsuits they filed against Michael Jackson’s Estate and companies. During their current court case they have demonstrably lied to get to the monetary compensation they desire. For a more detailed discussion of Robson and Safechuck see these articles:

The Wade Robson case

Articles about Leaving Neverland – including discussion about James Safechuck (a more detailed discussion of his case is coming up)

Regarding “eye witness testimony”:

“Victim’s families”: The accusers’ families are obviously biased parties in a case. Often they have been instrumental in creating the allegations themselves.

For example, Jordan Chandler made his allegations when his father, Evan pressured him into making these allegations. Then his parents used these allegations to try to get money from Jackson. Nevertheless, Jordan’s parents, or any other family member, never have claimed to have witnessed the alleged molestation.

Gavin Arvizo‘s brother, Star Arvizo claimed to have witnessed Gavin’s molestation, but their mother, Janet Arvizo was known to coach her children to lie – including falsely testifying about people. The family had a history in fraudulent behavior and falsely testifying in court (see, for example, the section “The J.C. Penney” Incident” in this article).

Jason Francia‘s mother, Blanca Francia sold stories to the tabloid media and sued Jackson for money. Evidence shows she had told contradictory stories in different testimonies and she had no qualms spicing up innocent stories and turn them into something sinister when that served her purposes (see her story about the sleeping bag with Jackson and Jason, for example). Also Jason never made allegations until a heavily biased police did not talk him into “remembering” things that he did not have memories of before.

The Safechucks‘ family company was sued for $800,000 in a business dispute, right before James “realized” that he was allegedly sexually abused by Jackson. It is very possible that the family saw the lawsuit against Jackson’s entities as a way of cashing-in. Because James’s lawsuit did not get past the demurrer phase as of now (although the case is under appeal), he and his family were not yet deposed and cross-examined since James made his U-turn and started making allegations against Jackson. Safechuck’s family never have claimed to have witnessed the alleged molestation.

Testimonies by Wade Robson‘s family, in particular by his mother Joy Robson, actually inadvertently undermined a lot of Wade’s allegations in his lawsuit as you can see here in detail. Robson’s family never have claimed to have witnessed the alleged molestation.

Adrian McManus – one of the prosecution’s witnesses. She’s still making her rounds in the tabloid media in 2019

Staff & members of the public: What detractors refer to here is the disgruntled ex-employees of Jackson that the prosecution put on the stand to testify against him. All of these people proved to be untrustworthy and their testimonies crumbled under scrutiny. They made-up their stories to sell them to tabloids for money or to monetize it in other ways (books, lawsuits etc). They changed their stories and they were caught up in lies. Some of these witnesses were even court proven liars, thieves and fraudsters. Here are the details of these witnesses and their testimonies:

Ralph Chacon, Kassim Abdool and Adrian McManus

Phillip and Stella LeMarque

Bob Jones and Stacy Brown

Mark Quindoy

Blanca Francia

Regarding expert witness testimony:

This is a broad term and we should know what “expert witness testimony” exactly detractors mean. During the 2005 trial there were experts testifying about phone logs, fingerprint analysis, Alternate Light Source (ALS) analysis etc. They were more technical explanations to the Jury about how these things work. All of this can be considered “expert witness testimony”, but none of it incriminated Jackson. There was also expert testimony that seemed pretty irrelevant to the case, such as a forensic accountant hired by the prosecution testifying about Jackson’s finances and debt.

The prosecution put a psychologist, Anthony Joseph Urquizo on the stand to generally testify about child sexual abuse. It did not say and definitely did not prove anything about whether Michael Jackson was guilty of sexually abusing anyone, it was just a general testimony about CSA. Urquizo was paid by the prosecution for his testimony, and on cross-examination he admitted that false allegations of child sexual abuse also happen. Urquizo said that he had never written any paper about false allegations of child sexual abuse, because that was not an area he researched. The defense pointed out that there have been many papers written by experts about false allegations of child sexual abuse.

To summarize the “expert witness testimony” in this case: there was no “expert witness testimony” that proved Jackson’s guilt.

6. “Jackson’s self admitted red flag behavior (Bed sharing et al)”

Michael Jackson never admitted to sexually abusing children. In fact, he always vehemently denied it, both publicly and privately. It is also well documented that he did not think of sex between children and adults as “loving” or “normal” – he condemned it.

He indeed stated, though, that he saw nothing wrong with sharing a bed or bedroom with unrelated children. Some people base their own “guilty” verdict on this alone, without seeing any further need to research the case. It is understandable why this makes people feel uncomfortable. To be sure, we do not advocate sharing bed with unrelated children, and it definitely was not Jackson’s wisest decision to share his bedroom with unrelated children. But there are two possibilities here:

  • Either he shared his bedroom with children to sexually molest them,
  • Or he made the mistake of allowing people in his private quarters, which, accompanied with his wealth, fame, naivety and eccentricities, made him an extremely vulnerable target to these type of allegations.

To decide about this, you will need to dig deeper in these cases than just judging them based on this one issue alone. You will actually have to study the 2005 trial, the 1993 case, the Robson/Safechuck allegations to be able to judge them.

Regarding the sharing bed issue alone, here is some context:

Possibly the biggest publicity backlash that Jackson has received because of this “sharing bed” issue was after the airing of the 2003 Martin Bashir documentary, Living with Michael Jackson. In that interview the star talked about “sharing bed” with children. The infamous scene featured Jackson and his later accuser Gavin Arvizo holding hands while Jackson insisting that there was nothing wrong with “sharing bed” with unrelated children. He said that whenever a child wanted to sleep in his bed he would allow them, while he would sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag. He also said that sometimes he and children, like Macaulay Culkin and his brother Kieran, had slept in the same bed, but he usually would sleep on the floor. Jackson also stated that he had never asked children to come to his bedroom:

“[W]e have guest units, but whenever kids come here they always want to stay with me, they never want to stay in the guest rooms. And I have never invited them into my room, they always just wanna stay with me. They say, ‘Can I stay with you tonight?’, so I go ‘If it’s OK with your parents then yes you can’.” [22]

At the 2005 trial both the prosecution and the defense agreed that at the time of the Bashir interview there was no other occasion of Gavin sleeping in Jackson’s bedroom than that one occasion in 2000 when other people also slept in the room. In the interview with Bashir, Gavin also admitted that he had specifically asked Jackson to be allowed in his bedroom and sleep there with his brother Star:

“Gavin: There was one night, I asked him if I could stay in his bedroom. He let me stay in the bedroom. And I was like, ‘Michael you can sleep in the bed’, and he was like ‘No, no, you sleep on the bed’, and I was like ‘No, no, no, you sleep on the bed’, and then he said ‘Look, if you love me, you’ll sleep in the bed’. I was like ‘Oh mannnn?” so I finally slept on the bed. But it was fun that night.

Jackson: I slept on the floor. Was it a sleeping bag?

Gavin: You packed the whole mess of blankets on the floor.” [22]

Despite of the public outrage and the media frenzy that went into all kind of speculations about Jackson’s relationship with Gavin due to that scene, few paid attention to what Jackson actually meant by “sharing bed” with Gavin. He meant giving up his bed to Gavin and his brother Star while he would sleep on the floor. Never in the interview is it claimed that Jackson and Gavin had slept in the same bed. In actuality, both state that Jackson slept on the floor, and at the 2005 trial Gavin testified that Jackson’s friend and personal assistant, Frank Cascio had also slept in the room that night, as well as Gavin’s brother, Star and Jackson’s two children, Prince and Paris. All the children slept on Jackson’s bed while the two adult men, Jackson and Cascio, slept on the floor [23]. In his 2011 book entitled My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man, Cascio recalls that it were the Arvizo children who insisted that they wanted to sleep in Jackson’s bedroom despite of the fact that Jackson was reluctant to let them.

“Gavin and Star kept begging, I kept saying no, and then Janet [Arvizo – the boys’ mother] said to Michael, “They really want to stay with you. It’s okay with me.” Michael relented. He didn’t want to let the kids down. His heart got in the way, but he was fully aware of the risk. He said to me, “Frank, if they’re staying in my room, you’re staying with me. I don’t trust this mother. She’s fucked up.” I was totally against it, but I said, “All right. We do what we have to do.” Having me there as a witness would safeguard Michael against any shady ideas that the Arvizos might have been harboring. Or so we were both naive enough to think.” [24]

Nevertheless, this is the scene in the Bashir documentary that caused worldwide uproar and speculation about the nature of Jackson’s relationship with children. The picture the media painted of Jackson was of a predator, who lured children into his bedroom with the intent of sexually molesting them while keeping away their parents. In reality, Jackson’s two-storey bedroom was a gathering place for families, friends and the parents were allowed to stay there, as well as the children. Several people talked about that over the years. Even Jordan Chandler’s mother, June Chandler admitted in her 2005 testimony that she was allowed to go into Jackson’s bedroom and stay there whenever she wanted  [25]. In her 2005 testimony Wade Robson’s mother, Joy also stated that she was allowed to go to Jackson’s bedroom any time she wanted [26].

In an interview that he gave to Larry King in 2004, Macaulay Culkin stated very firmly that all those years that he had spent time with Jackson as a child, including several occasions of sleeping in his bedroom, Jackson had never done anything inappropriate to him. He was more like a big kid who simply liked the fun of playing videogames, watching movies, going to the amusement park. According to Culkin, another reason why Jackson enjoyed children’s company was that they did not care about his celebrity and that they talked to him in a normal way. Culkin also addressed the “sharing bed” issue:

Another person who spent time with Jackson since an early childhood was Frank Cascio. Echoing Culkin’s sentiments, in his 2011 book entitled My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man, Cascio also attested to the fact that the media often misrepresented this issue. Cascio wrote in his book:

“In Bashir’s interview, Michael was shown holding Gavin’s hand and telling the world that kids slept in his bed. Anyone who knew Michael would recognize the honesty and innocent candor of what he was trying to communicate. But Bashir was determined to cast it in a different light.

What Michael didn’t bother to explain, and what Bashir didn’t care to ask about, was that Michael’s suite at Neverland, as I’ve said before, was a gathering place, with a family room downstairs and a bedroom upstairs. Michael didn’t explain that people hung out there, and sometimes they wanted to stay over. He didn’t explain that he always offered guests his bed, and for the most part slept on the floor in the family room below. But, perhaps more important, he didn’t explain that the guest were always close friends like us Cascios and his extended family.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Michael, a story that plagued him for years following the Bashir documentary, was that he had an assortment of children sleeping in his room at any given time. The truth was that random children never came to Neverland and stayed in Michael’s room. Just as my brother Eddie and I had done when we were younger, the family and friends who did stay with Michael, did so of their own volition. Michael just allowed it to happen because his friends and family liked to be around him.

What Michael said on Bashir’s video is true. “You can have my bed if you want. Sleep in it. I’ll sleep on the floor. It’s your’s. Always give the best to the company, you know.” Michael had no hesitation about telling the truth because he had nothing to hide. He knew in his heart and mind that his actions were sincere, his motives pure, and his conscience, clear. Michael innocently and honestly said, “Yes, I share my bed, there is nothing wrong with it.” The fact of the matter is, when he was “sharing” his bed, it meant he was offering his bed to whoever wanted to sleep in it. There may have been times when we slept up there as well, but he was usually on the floor next to his bed, or downstairs sleeping on the floor. Although Bashir, for obvious reasons, kept harping on the bed, if you watch the full, uncut interview, it’s impossible not to understand what Michael was trying to make clear: when he said he shared his bed, he meant he shared his life with the people he saw as family.

Now, I know that most grown men don’t share their private quarters with children, and those who do so are almost always up to no good. But that wasn’t my experience with Michael. As one of those kids who, along with his brother, had any number of such sleepovers with Michael, I know better than anyone else what did happen and what didn’t happen. Was it normal to have children sleep over? No. But it’s also not considered especially normal for a grown man to play with Silly String or have water balloon fights, at least not with the enthusiasm Michael brought to the activities. It’s also not normal for a grown man to have an amusement park installed in his backyard. Do these things make such a man a pedophile?

I’m quite sure that the answer is no.

The bottom line: Michael’s interest in young boys had absolutely nothing to do with sex. I say this with the unassailable confidence of firsthand experience, the confidence of a young boy who slept in the same room as Michael hundreds of times, and with the absolute conviction of a man who saw Michael interact with thousands of kids. In all the years that I was close to him, I saw nothing that raised any red flags, not as a child and not as an adult. Michael may have been eccentric, but that didn’t make him a criminal.

The problem, though, was that this point of view wasn’t represented in the documentary. Listening to Michael talk, people who didn’t know him were disturbed by what he was saying, not only because his words were taken out of context but also because Bashir, the narrator, was telling them they SHOULD BE disturbed. The journalist repeatedly suggested that Michael’s statements made him very uncomfortable. Michael was quirky enough without the machinations of a mercenary newshound, to be sure, but there’s no doubt that Bashir manipulated viewers for his own ends. His questions were leading, the editing misguided. As I watched the broadcast, it seemed to me that Bashir’s plan all along had been to expose Michael in whatever way he could in order to win the highest ratings he could for his show.” [24]

It is also a misrepresentation that only boys slept in Jackson’s room. Girls did too as you can read about it in this article. Moreover, adults were in Jackson’s bed as well – without any sexual connotation. For example, William B. Van Valin, a heterosexual adult man, who with his family befriended Jackson in the early 2000s, wrote about staying in Jackson’s bed a few times in his book entitled “Private Conversations in Neverland”:

“In Michael’s room there was a couch with a King sized roll out bed in it. It was always in the rolled out position and it was always turned down like you were in a hotel. It faced the biggest TV I’d ever seen at that time. We would put in a movie, order from the kitchen whatever we were hungry for and watch movies until late at night. If Michael fell asleep while we were watching a movie, I would turn the volume down slowly, unplug it (because if I used the controller it made a loud noise as it turned off ) and quietly leave the room and go home. I remember I did this one night and was tiptoeing to the door when I heard Michael say, “See you tomorrow, Barney.” For whatever reason, it was very difficult for Michael to sleep. So, if he fell asleep I was always careful to let him stay that way. Sometimes he’d ask me to read something to him and I’d find a book and just read it out loud then slip away when it seemed he was asleep.” [27]

So what did this sleepovers really meant in Jackson’s life? According to German psychologist and psycho-therapist Dieter Speck, due to his childhood trauma – his loss of childhood, his father beating him etc. –  Jackson assumed the dual roles of being a child and a father at the same time. In the children who he surrounded himself with he saw himself and he wanted to gave them the – non-sexual – fatherly affection and love that he never got from his own father.  In other contexts he was a child himself. Speck does not think that Jackson was a pedophile or that his relationship with children was sexual.

(Dieter Speck was the coauthor in 1997 of a book titled “Sexueller Missbrauch – die Einsamkeit der Öpfer und die Hilflosigkeit der Justiz” – Sexual abuse – The loneliness of the victims and the helplessness of the justice system.)

A little more additional information about this issue in this article:

What about Jackson’s sharing his bedroom with unrelated children?

7. “Pattern of preference for boys age & appearance (Jackson’s victim type)”

How exactly are light brown haired-blue eyed James Safechuck and latino Gavin Arvizo the same type? Or half-Asian Jordan Chandler the same type as Wade Robson? Unless to you every child is the “same type”.

And even going by these accuser’s stories we don’t know what Jackson’s supposed age preference actually was. Wade Robson claims that Jackson more or less distanced himself from him when he turned 9 years old. Although he claims he was still occasionally abused until he was 14, but the claim is that the “most intense period” of their relationship was between the age of 7 and 9 (mind, you the Robsons spent most of that time in Australia, far from Jackson) and Jackson did not want to spend much time with him after that. On the other hand, James Safechuck alleges his abuse started when he was 10 while Jackson did not touch him for over a year before that. According to Safechuck’s story when he “started puberty at the age of 12, Michael Jackson began to prepare [Safechuck] for separation” [28; paragraph 61]. Gavin Arvizo‘s allegation on the other hand is, that the alleged abuse did not start until he was 13 years old. Likewise Jordan Chandler too claimed abuse at the age of 13. There is a 4-6 years gap between Jackson’s “preferred age” in Robson’s story (preferred age: 7-9) and in Gavin/Jordan’s story (preferred age: 13).

There is a narrative, according to which Jackson dropped people out of his life when they reached a certain age, but that’s quite simply not true. Most of the people he befriended as children remained friends with him throughout his life. Macaulay Culkin was the godfather of his children, Dave Rothenberg (“Dave Dave”), Frank and Eddie Cascio were around him and stayed friends with him as adults, as well. Kelley Parker (the girl from Moonwalker) remained close to him for ten more years, and they saw each other a couple of weeks before Jackson passed away. Etc. In actuality, even Wade Robson had a family BBQ with Jackson and his children about a year before his death, and according to his mother’s testimony they were in regular phone/texting contact up until his death. Sometimes people do drift away, but that is just life: some of the people you befriend you remain close with throughout life, with others you drift away over time.

8. “Use of known grooming methods on both boys & their parents”

The prosecution and a part of the media often used the loaded term “grooming” while describing Michael Jackson’s friendship with children, specifically young boys, and their families. This narrative was further pushed in the 2019 documentary “Leaving Neverland” where every kind gesture, every fax, phone call and gift was characterized as “grooming” by Jackson. However, to use Jackson’s generosity and kindness as evidence of sexual abuse is circular reasoning. For it to be grooming (ie. “the act of attempting to gain the trust of a minor with the intention of having a sexual relationship with him or her”) sexual abuse has to happen. If sexual abuse did not happen, then it was not grooming, but simple acts of kindness and generosity, which generally were characteristic of Jackson.

As always, it is important to put things into a context. The context is that Jackson was an extremely generous man, and that was the case since his childhood. He did not regularly give gifts only to young boys, nor only to children and/or their parents, but also to adult friends and even complete strangers. The prosecution and the accusers later tried to use his generosity against him and tried to turn it into something heinous, but their claims should not be taken as a fact, but as just an allegation.

The reality is that Jackson was generous with everyone: male or female, young or old, friends or strangers. The overwhelming majority of the young people whom he befriended defended him from the allegations and said that they had never seen or experienced any nefarious intention by the entertainer.

There are many documented cases of Jackson’s generosity. In article linked below I will give you a by far not exhaustive list of examples to show that his generosity was not at all limited to his treatment of young boys, but he behaved like that with everyone he considered a friend or even complete strangers:

Grooming or a Generous and Lonely Soul?

[1] Raymond Chandler – All That Glitters: The Crime and the Cover-Up (Windsong Press Ltd, September 2004)
[2] Jim Newton – Grand Jury Calls Michael Jackson’s Mother to Testify (Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1994)
[3] LOS ANGELES : Boy’s Lawyer Seeks Photos of Michael Jackson’s Body (Los Angeles Times, January 5, 1994)
[4] Jackson Settles Abuse Suit but Insists He Is Innocent : Courts: Singer will reportedly pay $15 million to $24 million to teen-ager. Criminal investigation will proceed. (Los Angeles Times, January 26, 1994)
[5] Taped phone conversation between Evan Chandler and David Schwartz (July 8, 1993)
[6] Notice of motion and motion of third party Raymond Chandler to quash subpoenas and/or in camera review; authorities; declaration of Raymond Chandler (October 25, 2004)
[7] Motion by Lisa Marie Presley in the 1996 lawsuit Evan Chandler vs. Michael Joseph Jackson and others. Case number: SM097360
[8] Court Documents and Transcripts from Jackson’s 2005 trial, for example, Closing Arguments by Thomas Mesereau (June 2, 2005)
[10] Testimonies of Rosibel Ferrufino Smith and Rosibel Smith (April 29, 2005)
[11] Thomas Mesereau’s closing arguments at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (June 3, 2005)
[12] Thomas Mesereau’s opening statements at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 1, 2005)
[13] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 10, 2005)
[14] WENN – Ronson: ‘Jackson Hated Watching Porn’ (Contact Music, June 22, 2008)
[15] Mark Ronson Fondly Recalls Meeting Michael Jackson as a Kid (January 29, 2019)
[16] Notice of Motion and Motion in Limine to Exclude Fourteen (14) Items of Irrelevant Evidence (filed on January 18, 2005)
[17] Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of Defendant’s Motion for an Order Excluding “Fourteen (14) Items of Irrelevant Evidence” (filed on January 31, 2005)
[18] Court transcript (March 23, 2005)
[19] Testimonies of Jesus Salas (April 4, 2005), Violet Silva (May 9, 2005)
[21] Reply to Opposition to Motion for an Order Excluding Fourteen Items of Irrelevant Evidence (February 8, 2015)
[22] Martin Bashir – Living with Michael Jackson interview/documentary (February 2003)
[23] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 14, 2005)
[24] Frank Cascio – My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man (HarperCollins, Kindle Edition, November 15, 2011)
[25] June Chandler’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (April 11, 2005)
[26] Joy Robson’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (May 6, 2005)
[27] William B. Van Valin, MD – Private Conversations in Neverland with Michael Jackson
[28] James Safechuck’s Second Amended Complaint (filed on September 19, 2016)
[29] Ann Gerhart (Reuters UK, November 16, 1993)
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