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Radar Online’s One Hundred Million Dollar Mistake

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Michael With His Nephews-Tarryl, Taj and TJ Jackson-On The Set Of The “Why” Video Shoot

It turns out, Radar Online may be paying BIG time for the part they have played in the current orchestrated smear campaign against Michael Jackson! The smutty tabloid has just been hit with a $100 million dollar lawsuit by Michael’s nephews Taj, Tarryl and TJ Jackson. As most of my readers probably know, the nephews became unwitting victims of slander in all of this mess when Radar Online-so caught up in their stats victory dance after breaking the phony child porn story that they apparently lost their frickin’ minds-decided for good measure to throw in a story about the three nephews having been molested by their uncle. Not only was that story blatantly false, it also implied that the three were guilty of a felony since the story goes that the nephews were willing participants who accepted bribes and then attempted to “cover” for their uncle’s “guilt.”

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Michael Can’t Defend Himself-But His Blood Still Can!

In running this story, Radar Online apparently forgot one very important fact. Although there still exist no laws to protect the dead from libel, there are still plenty of legal repercussions that living persons can take. While including the nephews in their smear campaign was probably the stupidest blunder Radar Online could have made, Michael’s fans all over the world can heave a victorious sigh of relief that yes, they really were that stupid-and thank goodness for it! Although this massive lawsuit names Taj, Tarryl, and TJ Jackson as the plaintiffs, rest assured, it is a victory blow being delivered for Michael, as well. He is not here to defend himself, but his blood still can. And if they win, they will have succeeded in striking a tremendous blow against not only Radar Online, but the entire tabloid industry!

First, let’s have a look at the actual documents that have been exchanged between attorney Bert Fields, representing Taj, Tarryl and T.J. Jackson and Radar Online (courtesy of DailyMichael.com):

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Tough words indeed from Bert Fields! However, this might be a good time to step back and ask: Just what are the chances for a victorious outcome in this case? This is not the first time that the nephews have taken a tabloid to task, and in the past they were less than successful. In 2015, Taj Jackson registered a complaint with IPSO against the British tabloid The Mirror. In that case, the complaint had been raised over a false report that Michael had paid off 134 million pounds in “hush money” to over 20 families (a lie that has continued to be regurgitated in the media ever since the same paper published the phony FBI files story back in 2013). One reason the complaint apparently fell through is that the Michael Jackson estate also filed a complaint with IPSO, who then usurped the authority of Taj Jackson. This might have proven successful if, in fact, the estate had followed through with the complaint, but the matter was apparently dropped at that point and left Taj with no legal recourse to pursue the action further.

A great discussion on that failed complaint (as well as the current lawsuit against Radar Online) can be heard on the 8/06/16 episode of The MJCast. 

But the complaint may have not been totally in vain. Taj did succeed, at least, in getting The Mirror to rectify some of the more damaging language of their original article. It wasn’t much, but it was something, at least.

However, Radar Online‘s reaction when confronted with the nephews’ complaint was an outright refusal to retract anything. This was the official statement released from American Media, Inc. which owns Radar Online:

The Radar article clearly states that detectives reported that Michael Jackson may have used photos of his nephews ‘to excite young boys’. This theory was, in fact, presented by the prosecution during Michael Jackson‘s 2005 criminal trial. Radar looks forward to correcting plaintiffs’ misstatements in a court of law.”

This statement is wrong on several levels. This was not a theory ever introduced by the prosecution during Michael’s trial. As I discussed in the piece that I wrote for Huffington Post last month, the photos in question were photos taken during a professional photo shoot for a CD cover. They were listed in the police report as were many such items seized during the raid of Neverland, but even there, it was acknowledged that the photos appeared to be from a professional shoot. As such, they were never entered as “evidence” and the prosecution never tried to argue any such theory.

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Even The Prosecution Acknowledged It Was A Professional Photo Shoot For A CD Cover-the “Theory” Of Michael Abusing His Nephews Was NEVER Even Introduced By The Prosecution. Even The Prosecution Acknowledged It Was A Professional Photo Shoot For A CD Cover-the “Theory” Of Michael Abusing His Nephews Was NEVER Even Introduced By The Prosecution.

If this is the best defense that Radar Online has going into court, they are going to be ripped to shreds. What’s more, in refusing to retract their story even when presented with such a compelling argument as was presented to them by Fields, the accusation of “absolute malice” may become easier for the plaintiffs to prove, as per the case that Carol Burnett brought against The National Enquirer several years ago, and which I will discuss later.

However, this particular case still has many troubling hurdles to overcome in order for any hope of a victorious outcome for the nephews. Many of those hurdles, as per the discussion on the MJCast episode, are rooted in the immense differences between the American and British press, for example. It is true that defamation laws are much more stringent in the U.K., while media in the U.S. is largely protected under freedom of speech. (It is, by default, that same freedom of speech which enables bloggers like myself to be able to freely express how we feel about the media and certain individuals; thus, it is definitely a two-edged sword). Celebrities are well familiar with all of the legal hurdles and ramifications that go into bringing a successful lawsuit against a tabloid-which is precisely why so few ever even attempt it, and why the tabloid industry has been largely able to get away with as much as it does. Publications can always hide behind their “unnamed sources” and point the finger to them as the source of the information. Of course, this simply shifts the burden of proof from the publication to the “source.” Journalists in the U.S. are further able to hide behind The Shield Law, which protects reporters from, say, being dragged into legal hassles because of their sources or what they choose to print (at least two of Michael Jackson’s biggest media adversaries-Martin Bashir and Diane Dimond-have used The Shield Law to their fullest advantage).

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“Journalists” Like Martin Bashir Have His Successfully Behind The Shield Law When It Comes To Accountability For Their Reporting On Michael Jackson-Or Anyone Else.

In all of the long and sordid history of celebrities and so-called tabloid or gossip publications, there have only been a handful of successful litigations brought against the media. In order for a celebrity to succeed with a defamation lawsuit, the burden of proof really has to fall on them. They have to be able to successfully prove both that the story was false (sometimes easier said than done) and malicious intent on the part of the publication (in other words, that the paper was not merely repeating information given to them in good faith by a reliable and unpaid source). I know that one big reason why it was often so difficult in the past for a celebrity to bring a lawsuit against a media outlet was because, legally, they were bound and obligated to sue every outlet that had printed the story; they could not, for example, simply bring a lawsuit against a single publication. The legal logistics behind this made sense (“How can you claim your reputation has been ruined by The National Enquirer, and not by The Globe?”). However, it made the idea of bringing lawsuits against the tabloid industry a virtual nightmare of entanglements for celebrities, most of whom would eventually reason it was simply not worth the time and expense it would take to go after every single news outlet that ran with the story. That law, however, has been rendered pretty much obsolete by the internet and today’s trend of copy and paste journalism, whereby a story that is run by Radar Online today can instantly be copied by every online media outlet within minutes to hours. But there are still other hurdles.

In addition to the expense, time, and energy that bringing a lawsuit entails, they also must weigh the risk of bringing even more attention to the original story (which a lawsuit inevitably will) and, when all of these factors are weighed in, whether it is indeed worth it. However, many of the rules that used to apply to celebrity lawsuits against the media were put in place long before the internet, which has opened up a whole new realm of instantaneous, global copy and paste journalism on a scale that was utterly unimaginable in the days of mostly print and TV journalism. So to be honest, I am not sure to what extent the internet has changed the rules of the game. For sure, it would be next to impossible now to go after every single outlet that runs the same negative story. But in this particular case, it was very clear where the story originated, and the Jackson nephews do have a solid basis of complaint. As to the risk of bringing more unfavorable attention to the story, it certainly can’t get any worse than it already has-and, indeed, in this case, there is certainly more to lose by not taking action.

Since June, when Radar Online first began their current series of defamatory articles against Michael Jackson, I kept mentioning the analogies to the case of Christopher Jefferies, the U.K. retired school professor who was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of the murder of Joanna Yates. Jefferies was initially suspected because he had rented a flat to Joanna Yates and was the only person besides Yates to have a key to her flat. But many suspected that Jefferies’ unconventional appearance and eccentric reputation was what really led the police to treat him as a suspect.

Christopher Jeffries As He Appeared At The Time Of Joanna Yates’s Murder: “My Face Must Have Fit The Crime”-Christopher Jeffries
Christopher Jeffries As He Appeared At The Time Of Joanna Yates’s Murder: “My Face Must Have Fit The Crime”-Christopher Jeffries
Jefferies was later cleared when the real murderer of Joanna Yates was arrested and confessed (turns out, he was a resident of the same complex and was also a tenant of Jefferies’). But although Jefferies was never charged with the murder of Joanna Yates, the British tabloids nevertheless went into an orgiastic feeding frenzy with stories about the “perverted” ex school professor turned “murderer.”

A Small Taste Of Just How Bad It Got For Christopher Jeffries
A Small Taste Of Just How Bad It Got For Christopher Jeffries
It is now widely accepted that Christopher Jefferies’ eccentric reputation, appearance, and mannerisms all contributed to the mass assumption of guilt and the media’s haste to convict an innocent man in the court of public opinion (sound familiar?). At first, Jefferies’ strategy was to ignore the tabloid stories. After being released from jail and later cleared completely, he just wanted to get back to his quiet life. But it was quickly made apparent to him that he was never again going to have that quiet life. All but those who knew him best still suspected him of the murder. People treated him differently. He could no longer freely show his face anywhere. Eventually, with the encouragement of friends, he realized the only way he would ever truly get his life and his honor back was to go after the British tabloids who had ruined his life. His campaign against the tabloids eventually culminated in a triumphant testimony at the Leveson Inquiry for press regulations. To say his campaign was successful would be an understatement. Jefferies succeeded in winning against all of the tabloids who had smeared him, receiving not only handsome compensation but something much more valuable-full retractions and public apologies on behalf of all of them. And best of all, he got his life back.

lost honourFor those who are unfamiliar with Christopher Jefferies’ story, I highly recommend the film The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. I believe it is still currently streaming on Netflix. I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in issues of truth, justice, and standards of accountability for the media, but for Michael Jackson fans in particular, it is a MUST SEE!

One reason I recommend Jeffries’ story so highly to MJ fans is not only because it is inspirational, but it also reveals much about how the media operates in order to frame a presumption of guilt on a selected individual. Although Jefferies was fully exonerated, that exoneration came with a heavy price. Unlike Michael Jackson, he was not a celebrity prior to the accusations made against him. But when pressed to give a reason why the media and public were so quick to condemn him, he gave an apt answer that could also certainly be argued in Michael’s case: “My face must have fit the crime.” For Jefferies, even with his legal victory against the system that had condemned him, it is a scar and a cross he continues to bear. In order to redeem himself in the court of public opinion-and to make his case against the tabloids more viable-he was forced to give up a lot of his individuality (his famously eccentric hairstyle, for example) and to make conscious efforts to somehow appear more “normal.”

Christopher Jefferies Testifying At The Famous Leveson Inquiry, Which Resulted In Revamped Regulations For The British Media:

Overview of The Media’s Handling Of The Christopher Jefferies Case:

The message, then, is still clear: If you are different, you are a target for the beast. Conform, and the beast may leave you alone. The case of Christopher Jefferies may seem like an odd anomaly in a discussion of celebrity and tabloid media relations, and in some ways it is. This was an unusual case in which a private citizen overnight became a tabloid scapegoat, although such cases are not totally unheard of. Many private citizens, as a result of crimes or other extraordinary events that turned their formerly private lives upside down, have found themselves in similar positions-look what happened to Patricia Ann and John Ramsey, for example. They, too, were lynched by the tabloid media (resulting in multiple defamation lawsuits including one against American Media Inc-the same publisher that Michael’s nephews will be going up against). The defamation against the Ramseys continued unabated even after DNA evidence tested in 2003 pointed towards an unidentified male suspect, and no doubt played a role in hastening the death of Patricia Ramsey in 2006. The official cause of her death was ovarian cancer, but certainly the toll of emotional distress that the family was put through by the media may well have triggered and exacerbated her illness. Certainly when one’s life becomes a never ceasing end of defamation lawsuits, the stress has to be staggering.

Patricia Ramsey Was Finally Cleared Of All Suspicion Of Her Daughter’s Death In 2008-Unfortunately, Two Years Too Late For Patricia, Who Died In 2006 After A Decade Of Battling The Tabloids.
Patricia Ramsey Was Finally Cleared Of All Suspicion Of Her Daughter’s Death In 2008-Unfortunately, Two Years Too Late For Patricia, Who Died In 2006 After A Decade Of Battling The Tabloids.
The insurmountable obstacles that celebrities often face when considering even the possibility of a lawsuit against the tabloid press is what deters many from trying, and why so many such stories often go unchallenged-not necessarily because they are true, but because celebrities must learn to choose their battles carefully. There have been a few successful cases, although I can mostly count the ones I am aware of on one hand. However, a token few do stand out as cases that set important precedents in the never ending celebrity battle against the tabloids. One of these was the defamation lawsuit waged by comedian Carol Burnett against The National Enquirer over a story published in March of 1976 claiming that the comedian was publicly drunk at a Washington, D.C. restaurant, had boisterously insisted on sharing her dessert with other people at the restaurant, and had argued with Henry Kissinger.

Carol Burnett Testifying In Court Against The National Enquirer-A Case That Made Headlines And Set A Precedent For Celebrity Cases Against The Tabloids
Carol Burnett Testifying In Court Against The National Enquirer-A Case That Made Headlines And Set A Precedent For Celebrity Cases Against The Tabloids
In this particular case, “actual malice” (something which plaintiffs in such cases must be able to prove) was proven due to the fact that The National Enquirer had proceeded to run the story despite having been unable to verify all of the information that had come to them via a “paid source.” Some of the story’s details were true. For example, Burnett did dine at the restaurant on the night in question; she did speak to Henry Kissinger; she apparently did share portions of her souffle with other diners who had said they would like to try some after having been asked. And this, again, is where these kinds of cases can get very sticky. However, Burnett insisted she was not intoxicated and certainly did not argue with Henry Kissinger (there is a huge difference between speaking to someone and having an open brawl!). At the time, her variety show was one of the most popular shows on prime time television, so Burnett had much to lose by allowing the accusation to go unchallenged. She proceeded with the lawsuit even though The National Enquirer had published a retraction of the story. However, even though she did emerge victorious, the case dragged on for nearly seven years due to The National Enquirer’s appeals, and in the end, she only received $150,000 in punitive damages out of the original 1.3 million she had originally been awarded after it was apparently decided that, yes, The National Enquirer deserved to be punished but that Burnett hadn’t suffered enough defamation to warrant bankrupting the tabloid. The case was eventually settled in 1984.

More recently was the case of Bollea vs. Gawker, in which Terry Gene Bollea (“Hulk Hogan”) managed to successfully bankrupt Gawker with a 100 million dollar lawsuit over a sex tape.

“The Hulk” Brought Down Gawker Media After Successfully Winning An Award In Excess Of 125 Million!
“The Hulk” Brought Down Gawker Media After Successfully Winning An Award In Excess Of 125 Million!
But the history of successful defamation lawsuits against the tabloid industry lags far behind the number who fail-or who never even attempt retribution. For the celebrity who takes on a tabloid-no matter how famous-it often becomes a nearly insurmountable case of David vs. Goliath. And in all cases, it is only the living who have been able to take action. Even then, to win such a case may involve years of litigation and more expense than the case is worth (which is generally why only the most extreme cases ever get heard). In the United States, at least, they must be able to prove “absolute malice,” which essentially means that if the publication can convince a jury that they acted with reasonable faith based on information from a third party source, they are absolved of all guilt. In most cases, the celebrity is put on the defensive regarding the alleged action or basis for the story, which essentially means putting themselves “on trial” and can mean bringing even more negative attention to the story than the original article in question. For this reason, many adhere to the “just ignore it and let it sink” mantra. For many of the famous, especially those like the Jackson family who have habitually been the target of negative press for decades, ignoring what is said in the papers becomes more than just a defense tactic. It becomes a necessary code for survival and of keeping one’s sanity intact. But because the Jacksons have taken this stance for so long, many tabloids have assumed an irresponsible sense of carte blanche entitlement with printing most anything they desire either about the Jacksons and their most famous family member. This summer, we witnessed what may have proven to be the ultimate Gotterdammerung of that entitlement. Clearly, something had to give. For too long, the tabloids have been allowed to run with an unleashed reign. Even Michael himself, who for decades suffered much emotional distress at the hands of the tabloid industry and tabloid journalists (from being labeled a “40-year-old midget” as a child to the years of “Wacko Jacko” to even his last ride in the back of an ambulance being splashed all over newsstands) was only able to bring two successful lawsuits in his lifetime. One was against the U.K. publication The Daily Mirror in 1992 for a story tltled “Scarface” which claimed that Michael’s face had deteriorated due to plastic surgery.

Michael Took The Daily Mirrorl To Task And Won-But It Didn’t Really Change Anything, Only Ushering In Two Decades’ Worth Of Tabloid Speculation About His Face.
Michael Took The Daily Mirrorl To Task And Won-But It Didn’t Really Change Anything, Only Ushering In Two Decades’ Worth Of Tabloid Speculation About His Face.
This UPI article from June of 1992 highlights one reason why he (as well as many other celebrities) are often so reluctant to take these kinds of actions. Just look at all of the ridiculous hoops that The Daily Mirror was demanding that Michael subject himself to in order to prove their story false! Is it any wonder why he would not be so keen to undergo this kind of degrading humiliation every time a paper ran a story about his appearance? However, this was clearly a case in which the story went above and beyond to portray him as a disfigured freak.

LONDON — Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper, undaunted by a libel lawsuit prompted by its ‘Scarface’ photograph of singer Michael Jackson, Thursday followed up with a full-page photograph of Jackson in its bid to highlight the singer’s alleged history of plastic surgery.

Running under the headline ‘Does this lighting suit you then, Mr. Jackson?’, the Mirror’s picture campaign was joined by rival tabloid The Sun, which ran a profile shot of Jackson taken as he arrived at a London hospital Wednesday, labeled ‘Here is the nose.’Jackson, whose physical appearance has changed dramatically since he began singing with the pop group The Jackson Five in the early seventies, filed a libel suit Monday against the Daily Mirror, his Los Angeles attorney, Bert Fields, said.

Fields said the Daily Mirror ‘went too far’ in its July 24 story about the megastar, which called Jackson a ‘hideously disfigured phantom’ whose face was covered with scar tissue.

The paper also claimed that Jackson had a hole in his nose and that one of his cheeks was higher than the other.

Jackson, who arrived in London Wednesday for the start of his European tour, filed a second suit Monday against the Mirror claiming the paper had broken its contract with him by selling and publishing his photograph, Fields said.

The day after the suit was filed, the tabloid challenged Jackson to submit to photographs by their cameramen ‘in natural light,’ and to take the photos to an expert to prove they had not been doctored.

Their photos, they said, would show their claims of facial damage were true. It also challenged him to submit to an examination by a plastic surgeon ‘to determine the exact effect of your operations.’

The Mirror also re-ran the offending photograph, a close-up shot of Jackson’s face, the day after the singer filed suit, calling his claims ‘ludicrious’ and promising to defend itself ‘vigorously’ in court.

A High Court judge Tuesday granted Jackson a 15-day order to stop The Mirror from publishing the ‘Scarface’ photo again.

Jackson fans, meanwhile, took up Jackson’s case Wednesday, hurling garden compost at Mirror photographer, Ken Lennox, as he attempted to get more shots of Jackson’s face.

Another article of the time speaks of Michael’s willingness to subject his face to the gawking curiosity of a jury in order to prove his case. Those of us who know anything about Michael Jackson at all know how sensitive he was about such issues. I can only imagine this as an experience only slightly less degrading and humiliating than the strip search that would come just over a year later!

Interestingly, it was the same Bert Fields who helped Michael to win this case who is now presiding over 3T’s lawsuit against Radar Online. Lets hope history can repeat itself. However, even though Michael eventually proved his point, it was, again, a litigation that dragged out for six years before an amicable settlement was reached in 1998 and a public apology given.

This case set an interesting precedent for the relationship between Michael and the tabloid press over the issue of his appearance. Up to this point, the media had taken a lot of potshots at Michael over his perceived “changing” appearance but this was the first time a tabloid had actually gone so far as to call him “disfigured” and to claim his face was actually disintegrating as a result of cosmetic surgery. This is where we really get the roots of all the ridiculous “Michael Jackson has no nose” nonsense that would dominate tabloid headlines for the next two decades. So as we see, neither the lawsuit nor the eventual settlement would prove a deterrent to those kinds of stories-if anything, it only served to intensify them!

2005 Wasn’t The First Time Michael Emerged Victorious From Court-But His Victory In 1995 Proved Hollow, As Both Diane Dimond And Victor Gutierrez Found Shady Ways To Evade Paying Up.
2005 Wasn’t The First Time Michael Emerged Victorious From Court-But His Victory In 1995 Proved Hollow, As Both Diane Dimond And Victor Gutierrez Found Shady Ways To Evade Paying Up.
The other case for which Michael brought litigation and won was against the TV show Hard Copy, reporter Diane Dimond, the host of KABC-AM radio and Victor Guiterrez. In 1995, Diane Dimond, acting on a tip from her friend Victor Guiterrez, falsely reported the existence of a Jackson sex tape during a January 1995 edition of Hard Copy. The lawsuit was initially filed on January 13, 1995 (only two days after the broadcast) and the amount of damages sought was 50 million. As most Jackson fans know, however, Diane Dimond was able to get her friend Tom Sneddon to extricate her from the proceedings. In the end, Michael only succeeded in a favorable judgement against Guiterrez for 2.7 million (far short of the 50 million initially sought) and for which he never received a penny since Gutierrez elected to flee the country rather than pay up.

Of course, in cases of genuine defamation it is not really about how much money one gets. It is the principle that counts, and certainly any victory against the tabloid press has to count for something.

But if history is any indication, such victories are only small battles in a very big and interminable war. Nothing-be it enormous lawsuits or public shaming-has ever really succeeded in stopping the beast in its tracks. If one rag is forced into bankruptcy over a massive lawsuit, another clone just like it merely rises from the ashes to take its place. Scandal and disgrace can rock the empire of Rupert Murdoch or Dylan Howard, but that empire goes on relatively unscathed, doing what it has always done.

In both of Michael’s victorious cases, he went against the British press (even the 1995 case had its roots in the British press) whose rules regarding libel in the press are much more stringent than in the United States. And, of course, he took these actions while alive. It will be interesting to see how his nephews fare against an American publication. I suspect that the 100 million figure is not really the ends to the means, and even if they “win” this case, they will probably have to end up settling for substantially less (personally I hope not as I would love to see Radar Online forced OFFLINE, the sooner the better). But the figure is meant to send an implacable message: We are not just going to take this, and we aren’t going to back down.

It’s high time that such a stand was made. My biggest concern since Michael Jackson fans began really pushing the Adllaw Initiative is that, yes, it will be great if we can push this law into being to protect the deceased against defamation; that will be a wonderful and triumphant step. But what then? The law can only be effective provided there are heirs willing to take the initiative and to enact those rights by bringing legal action in the first place. Such laws can only work if the deceased person’s living relatives and estate are willing to take the necessary actions to enforce them, and as we have seen, that is not an easy, cheap, or painless undertaking.

jackson-nephewsFor this reason, the actions taken by Taj, Tarryl and TJ Jackson in filing this lawsuit marks an important and reaffirming milestone. Rest assured, many prayers are with these courageous young men who have already endured so much-the loss of their mother, the loss of their beloved uncle, the betrayal of so-called “family friends” and an utterly disgusting and unwarranted impugnation of their own reputations that they certainly didn’t deserve.

Radar Online may have gloated over their June 2016 stats, but now it’s time to pay up. Let’s hope they will be paying dearly for those stats for a long time to come.

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18 THOUGHTS ON “EXPOSING RADAR ONLINE’S SECRET SHAME (PART 4): THEIR POTENTIAL 100 MILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE”
Dalia Burgos García
AUGUST 21, 2016 AT 3:33 PM
Excellent post. Fans will not lower our guard. We will be to support them.
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Raven
AUGUST 28, 2016 AT 9:27 AM
Sending out to Dalia, Jolanta, Esemerelda, and Jadz collectively-thank you so much and you are very welcome! Your kind words are much appreciated.
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Jolanta Czajerek
AUGUST 21, 2016 AT 3:49 PM
Thank you Raven <3
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Esmeralda Rokaj
AUGUST 21, 2016 AT 4:43 PM
My prayers go out to MJ’s nephews that they win the case and also to this blog for doing the wonderful job that it does. Thank you.
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jadz
AUGUST 22, 2016 AT 1:43 AM
Thank you! Your posts are always great to read.
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Silverlight
AUGUST 22, 2016 AT 12:06 PM
Thanks dear Raven,thanks for all you do to help Michael.- I hope Taj, Taryll and TJ o succeed in this struggle, they deserve to succeed over Radar, and Michael too deserves to succeed over Radar.- Here we will always be, supporting you Raven in this task and of course supporting Michael.-
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Raven
AUGUST 28, 2016 AT 9:24 AM
Thank you! We must keep lots of positive energy flowing their way in this endeavor.
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Des
AUGUST 23, 2016 AT 3:27 AM
I once again I want to thank you for all that you do. You and many of you have i life to live,you have jobs and commitments but you still find the time and the energy for Michael. I spent hours and hours reading and watching anything that I can find about Michael but am not helping in any way like you people, but it hurts me knowing that This man he endured so much all his life,from a very young age he carried the responsibility and the weight of the world on his shoulders and the same time being a very religious man. To me only that Michael was so open about his love for children it was enough to see Michael’s soul.Every one wanted something from him.Children were an escape for him and he was becoming one of them around them.I know that so well now.When I was younger I liked older people I liked listening to them and the stories but now that am older I like to have children around me they are brighten my day,you love them you play with them but your not responsible for them for their future you know what amen.To me Michael becoming a father,and having to go through the trial and the lies and the vissues attack from the media in every aspect of his life and with all his fame and all the money he couldn’t not protect his children that he loved more than his life,killed him and if he survived as long as he did its because of his children,and now the media continue with the next generation of Jacksons. How can someone leave a normal life with this constant pressure?He was a human been he made mistakes like all of us but there’s no money in our stories or mistakes or plastic surgeries or throwing our children up in the air or parents killing their children accidentally on their own drive ways or people loosing their hair or parents leave children in their cars with 40 temperature outside its just no justice for this man.But anyone With a little bit of brain can see what’s happening here.LOVE&PEACE.
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Raven
AUGUST 28, 2016 AT 9:23 AM
That is true although as we have seen, many private citizens have indeed had their lives turned upside down by the media and tabloids when the right circumstances convene and the spotlight is thrust upon them as a result. That is why we have to cease thinking of this as just a celebrity problem, but as one that can affect all of us-anyone at any time.

But I have thought a lot about Michael’s life and how that kind of intensive, obtrusive, non stop scrutiny must have impacted him on every level of his life. And for him, it would have started at age ten or eleven. Most celebrities at least have a normal childhood. Michael spent his entire life under that kind of intense scrutiny. Imagine how it must be to have to go back to your first ten years to remember any sense of normalcy (and even then it would not have been completely “normal” by most standards-how many seven year old kids are performing gigs in strip clubs?). Even though his press coverage as a child was mostly positive, there was still enormous pressure to always act a certain way; talk a certain way because the press was always watching. And it wasn’t ALL positive, even then. He was already being put on the defense about his talent (how could an 11-year-old possibly do this?); as he grew into his teens they were already taking jabs at his sexuality. And all of the scandals, trials and tribulations of his adulthood were still to come. To some extent, this became his “normal” and he learned to live and cope with it-but at what price? I doubt any of us could hold up six months under what he lived with his entire life.
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Simba
AUGUST 24, 2016 AT 1:55 AM
Wish 3T had Melania Trump’s lawyer – he already has media outlets walking back their salacious stories about her, and she just threatened to sue a couple of days ago. Bert Fields is eighty-five. They need a young pit bull, not an elder statesman. (And didn’t he screw up the Chandler case and put Michael at a disadvantage?)
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Raven
AUGUST 28, 2016 AT 9:05 AM
Johnnie Cochran was the one who pushed for the settlement, though. I thought his letter to Radar made a strong case, although it does not seem to have scared them off in the least *they ran another negative MJ story just this week). If I were in their shoes, I would be backing off at this point. They are only making the argument for “malicious intent” look even stronger for them.

Fields’s age could be a disadvantage, though, especially if this thing drags on for several years as some of these cases have.
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stephenson
AUGUST 25, 2016 AT 1:34 AM
Another person, among many destroyed by the media, was Senator Gary Condit, whom they accused of murdering his lover– his career and reputation shredded. Even now, the whole media whipping of the Olympic swimmers in Rio has been debunked in USA Today, but not before Locte’s sponsors dropped him (a la MJ) and his reputation obliterated. Interestingly, it was 2 Australian journalists who encountered Locte’s mom on a bus and ‘broke’ the story–their story picked up on Twitter and away it went into all kinds of moralizing judgmentalism, i.e., privileged USA swimmers trash bathroom, etc. he is a LIAR etc. The swimmers never even went into the bathroom–see the USA report for an example of investigative journalism that actually tries to get it right.
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Raven
AUGUST 28, 2016 AT 8:53 AM
Both of those are great examples. I haven’t kept up much with the news out of Rio regarding the Olympics or any of the participants, but it does not surprise me insofar as knowing how the media operates. This also made me think of Budd Dwyer, the Pennsylvania politician who shot himself on TV after having been accused of criminal activity (his act was later immortalized in Filter’s song “Hey, Man, Nice Shot”). Dwyer always maintained his innocence and it came out decades later that an over zealous prosecutor had lied under oath to secure his indictment.

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stephenson
AUGUST 25, 2016 AT 1:41 AM
Here is a link to the USA TODAY piece, and there’s a podcast that’s pretty interesting. (Gary Condit was a US Representative, not Senator).
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/21/investigation-ryan-lochte-rio-olympics-authorities/89082232/
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sanemjfan
SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 AT 6:47 PM
Raven, a few nights ago the Reelz channel (a channel dedicated solely to tabloid entertainment and celebrity gossip shows and documentaries) debuted a new series called “Rich And Acquitted”, which highlights celebrity trials. MJ was the subject of the first episode, and it was just as bad as I expected it to be! My review and rebuttal is included in this Twitter thread, as well as the video of the episode (I recorded it and uploaded it)


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Raven
SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 AT 8:41 PM
Yes, I am just now catching up on this unfortunate piece of trash. Thanks for the review! I have unfortunately been a bit overwhelmed lately, trying to get settled in with my new job, so I haven’t had a chance to view it yet but it sounds positively horrid.
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Dialdancer
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 AT 6:18 PM
Raven, These are questions I will ask on several Advocacy Sites such as yours. They are meant for people to ponder. Recently there was an article published in the NY Daily News concerning the so called porn books. One in particular was used. The article was so copy and paste lacking any information about the official determination of the books it could only be called a “pay to lie.”

1. Have you ever seen inside the book called “Boys will be boys”? Once again this work has been returned to the status of porn,, despite the fact it sits in the Library of Congress and several City Public Libraries. and is categorized as Children’s Adventure.

2. In reference to Chandler’s book. It talks about MJ spooning JC while unconscious giving it a sexual implication. Where are the photos of this? It would have been easy enough since Chandler claimed to have drugged Michael. Where are the photos or recordings by anyone who claims suspicion or knowledge of improper acts? Chandler had a Detective why did he not set up hidden equipment to prove his accusations? It is what they do and these devices were known and used so why are there none, not one photo, audio or video from anyone. The Maid who claims MJ was so involved in an immoral act in the shower that she was able to observe him without his knowledge could have easily taken a photo. The Police and Prosecutors would have overlooked any violations if it proved conclusively that Michael had abused any child.
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Raven
SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 AT 9:43 AM
Recently, someone asked me on Twitter if any of those books Michael owned, while not classified as child pornography then, could be considered so now? My answer was no because none of those books have ever been titles that are illegal to own, and what’s more, none of them depict children in a sexualized manner. People tend to forget or overlook that nude photos of children in and of themselves-even frontal nudity-is not child porn. Parents still take nude photos of their babies, for example. It is still permissible to photograph your two year old daughter topless, and no one is going to send you to jail for that. Additionally, books like “Boys Will Be Boys” harken back to a much earlier era when our society was not nearly so uptight about child nudity (and granted, when sexual child abuse was not nearly so prevalent in our headlines). This is because in the old days, a child was automatically equated to innocence and it wasn’t really taken into consideration that there might be sick adults who would possibly find a nude image of a child stimulating or arousing. I think that today we have, of course, become much more sensitized to this fact. Thus, a book like “Boys Will Be Boys” which was considered perfectly innocent fodder in the 1960’s had, by 1993 and again by 2003, become something to be viewed with suspicion by a prosecution desperate to make a case. As you know, of course, their main argument was not that the books were pornographic (they never even tried to argue this) but that they “could” fit the definition of books that some pedophiles “might” use as part of a grooming process. However, it is extremely hard to build a solid case on this kind of “could be; might be” speculation, especially when we take into consideration Michael’s entire collection of art books as a whole.

Unfortunately, many of these titles do straddle a very gray line which is why MJ’s haters and detractors love to argue the point about these books. The books ARE legal, and are no more child porn than books which may feature nude photos of children in war torn countries or third world countries. However, as we know, prosecutors can (and will) try to argue a case for most anything if they think they can make it stick. But as per the point I raised in my Huffington Post piece, any such speculations as these are doomed to fall back into the realm of reasonable doubt. If a book isn’t pornographic (i.e, none of these books featured photos of children in sexualized situations) then a jury can’t really be expected to second guess what an individual’s purpose might be for owning the book, which in Michael’s case could be a myriad of reasons-he often received books as gifts; he often bought many hundreds of titles in bulk; he often sent bodyguards and others out to purchase books for him; he was curious and inquisitive about many subjects, especially in the realm of art and photography, and so on). This is also precisely why it is so disturbing now that the media is continuing to run away with these headlines. It is extremely frustrating and infuriating for those who know the books and items in question that are actually being referred to.

As for Evan Chandler, if he purposely invited Michael to his house that weekend to try to set him up for a confession or an incriminating incident (which I believe 100%) then it makes NO sense whatsoever that he didn’t get photos. The story goes that he drugged Michael, then tried to get him-in a drugged and vulnerable state-to confess to being gay (Jordan even described it as if his dad was making an advance at Michael-whether genuine or to see how he would respond is unclear). When Michael finally passed out cold, Evan put him to bed IN his son’s room. How else could anyone construe this other than as an intended set-up? If he was already suspicious of the relationship, then why on earth would he do that other than with the intent of catching a possible incriminating act? (And really, what kind of father would intentionally put his son in such a compromising position if he genuinely believed something improper was going on?). Nothing about that scenario really makes sense from a logical perspective.
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JUST WHEN WE THOUGHT BETRAYAL COULDN’T SINK EVEN LOWER…IT DOES!!!

Michael Would Have Good Reason To Look So Aghast. This Week Has Marked A New Low In Betrayal!
Michael Would Have Good Reason To Look So Aghast. This Week Has Marked A New Low In Betrayal!

I realize this new post has been quite a while in coming. The reason is that I had decided to take some time away from rebutting Radar Online’s lies here and instead, to focus on getting that rebuttal into mainstream media. I am happy to announce that my persistence paid off and Huffington Post has published my piece! Basically, I condensed what I felt was the most important information from the past three posts, along with a couple of other issues I had intended to tackle further down the line (but which had become the subject  of much recent media scrutiny; thus the need to respond in a timely manner). Even though Huffington Post was  also one of the outlets responsible for spreading the BS Radar Online story, I am grateful to them for allowing an opportunity for this side of the story to be told. Please be sure to share, “like” and comment, and let the editors know that truth about Michael Jackson can sell!

In the meantime, these have certainly been very hectic weeks with a lot of developments happening in the MJ world. As always, these things tend to come not singly but in bunches, and truth be told, I have simply been overwhelmed with so many happenings and not enough hours in the day to do write-ups on all of them as they occurred! Thus, I now find myself playing a desperate game of catch up! There is the release of Tavis Smiley’s book and the proposed TV miniseries (I will be receiving a review copy of Smiley’s book; from all I have read and heard so far, I am not terribly optimistic but as always I will read it with an open mind and try to provide a fair review). There is, of course, one new book I definitely will not be reviewing here, of which I’m sure you all know to whom I refer-but more on that later!

with-debbieThere has been the news of Debbie Rowe’s breast cancer (I am wishing her well and a speedy recovery; regardless of what anyone thinks of her, she is the mother of Michael’s children). Then there was the Twitter storm created by Prince Jackson when he defended AllLivesMatter-lord help, I know he meant well, but the poor kid sure did pick the worst time to advocate such a volatile and controversial stance, and boy did he ever take a pounding as a result! Interestingly, however, in a week that has been plagued by violence and racial strife, his words put the spotlight squarely back on his father’s most political lyrics. And again, we have seen people all over the world taking up the chant of “They Don’t Care About Us.”  This proves in a very significant way that what I had stated previously is so true-gossip about Michael’s personal life may always be the media’s bread and butter, but when the world is in crisis, it is to his music that people will always turn.

However, in the days since I drafted the above paragraph, some even more unsettling and unsavory developments have been taking place, and although I do want to resume my discussion of the items seized from Neverland and the faked police reports  I feel it is important to touch on these latest developments as they are directly related to everything else that has been happening-including those faked reports.

About a week ago, I was alerted to a story circulating in Spanish media regarding an apparent-and deliberate-twisting of a French interview with Macaulay Culkin, in which the former child star (and close friend of Michael Jackson) credited  his friendship with Michael Jackson as being the most steadying influence on his life as a child star. This was what was quoted from Culkin in the piece (note this is a rough Google translation from the original French text):

Having – as he – experienced the disorienting status of child star,Michael Jackson was one of the few near Macaulay able to guide it in the Hollywood jungle. Their relationship was deep and the actor does not hide his emotion when he speaks of his “friend” , who died tragically in 2009. “This is one of the most important people in my life, admits he.he was my best friend. We were interrelated because he knew what I endured. Stress, abuse, oppressive family. It has always been present and understanding. “

Note what Macaulay Culkin says here. Michael’s friendship helped him to endure the pressures of childhood stardom and then he stated exactly what those pressures were-“stress, abuse, oppressive family.” But apparently by the time this story made it into Spanish media, someone took those words completely out of context-especially the reference to “abuse”-then further twisted “abuse” into “sexual abuse,” and from there proceeded (and I believe did so quite deliberately) to spread the false story throughout Latin media that Macaulay Culkin had “confessed” to having been “sexually abused by Michael Jackson.” Before long, Culkin’s words of loving tribute to his friend had been vilely twisted into something he never said.

Or is there more to it than this? Read carefully this rebuttal of the fake story published on the Peru21 website: 

Macaulay Culkin not confessed to being raped by Michael Jackson. (Composition)

Macaulay Culkin not confessed to being raped by Michael Jackson. (Composition)
In recent days, a supposed news published by different media has become viral: the alleged confession of Macaulay Culkin , star of the movie Home Alone , which says he was raped repeatedly by Michael Jackson . Does this really happen?

The media suggest that the actor, 35, said at a conference, these words:

Michael and I were great friends, he loved me and I also got to love him, I told stories and was a sort of guide for me. I was very young and famous, for me a normal life was not an option and friendship helped me deal with my problems. But after several months he was completely transformed his attitude was that of a sick and began to threaten me, repeatedly he said he would kill my parents if I said something. Michael abused me many times, even once, in my parents’ house while they slept. So I fell into drugs

Among the media that published the ‘news’ are Excelsior, Televisa, 24 Hours , La Prensa, Mundo Hispanico, Alto scandal and World TKM , the latter being one of the first to release the alleged statements ofMacaulay Culkin . In the note, citing a source, a video or audio sample? No. The portal is limited only to say that the actor “called a press conference with multiple media”. In addition, no details when, where or how the conference was given.

The other sites are mentioned only among themselves or simply write “by various media”. To all this it should be added that the media who spread – misnamed – news are Hispanic; however, being an issue involving American characters, it would make sense that means that country are the first to speak on the subject.

But, why you have created this story about Michael Jackson andMacaulay Culkin ? A few days ago, police in Santa Barbara County, California, United States, revealed a report with the material found on the ranch of Michael Jackson at Neverland as part of an investigation in 2003. Among the objects found a photo actor of My poor little angelautographed with a dedication that read: “Do not leave me alone in the house.”

After that, the curiosity revolved around the relationship between Jackson and Culkin, and this was brought to the front pages of some media – without inquiring much – took lightly the alleged statements and put a rumor a perverse story.

Several interesting facts come out of this rebuttal. Okay, so let’s get this much straight-at least seven Latin media outlets initially ran with a story of a phantom press conference that apparently never took place (could the French interview have been the “alleged” press conference in their imaginations?). As the author of the Peru21 piece aptly pointed out, there was no audio, no video, nothing to substantiate these claims whatsoever. I already suspected as much because while several of the Latin media outlets who ran with the story printed salacious headlines like “Macaulay Culkin Confesses To Being Raped By Michael Jackson” not a single one  offered up anything more substantial to back the headline-no follow-up quotes from Culkin, no details about where, when and how or under what circumstances the alleged “confession” took place.  Instead, every article only linked to the other articles mentioned  or past articles about  similarly salacious but ultimately empty, unsubstantiated claims.  In fact, many of these simply linked straight back to the bogus FBI files story and the “same ol’, same ol” story from long discredited ex Neverland employees Phillip and Stella LeMarque, the couple who “claimed” to have witnessed Michael groping Macaulay outside of his pants and changed their story to “inside” his pants when the tabloid price for their story went from reportedly $100,000 to $500,000. There is, of course, a direct connection and common link to all of these stories-Paul Baressi, the ex-porn star turned investigative reporter who first peddled the Lemarques’ story back in 1993 and who was also the attributed force behind selling the phony FBI files story to Sunday People back in 2013.  Interestingly, even though that story was thoroughly debunked almost as soon as it hit (even Diane Dimond had to grudgingly admit it was phony) it is a story that nevertheless grew legs and has never quite been allowed to die (mostly because there was never an official retraction). In fact, in searching through the links that came up in relation to this latest Michael Jackson and Macaulay Culkin story, I ran across one particularly horrendous and ill informed hit piece (posted as recently as December 2015) that was still quoting this bogus story as if it were gospel truth. This is relevant, also, because the story of those phony FBI files is also still being touted as a central player in the current unfolding drama, and I would imagine we have not yet seen the last fruits of Baressi’s dirty work when he sold that fabricated load of horse manure to Sunday People three years ago.

According to the above article, the rumor seemed to have started with TKM World, a celebrity gossip site similar in style and format (and I would imagine, in principle as well) to the USA’s TMZ. So far, I haven’t been able to find too much about TKM (any input from MJ fans in Latin America who might know more would be highly appreciated). I did find it interesting, however, that the site seems to have strong ties especially to Chile and the United States-and we all know one particular journalist who also happens to have ties to these two countries as well, and has been on an ongoing mission to destroy Michael Jackson since the late 1980’s-Victor Guiterrez. Of course, that is just speculation; I have no direct proof to tie Guiterrez to this, but it is certainly not an unfounded speculation. Since Guiterrez fled the US and returned permanently to Chile after being successfully sued by Michael in 1998 (he sued both Guiterrez and Diane Dimond for defamation of character and was awarded 2.1 million dollars which he never received after Guiterrez fled to Chile and Dimond wriggled out of due to employing her friend Tom Sneddon’s help) he has remained a quite prominent media figure in Latin America. It was Guiterrez who wrote the fabricated porno piece Michael Jackson Was My Lover (which said a lot more about Guiterrez’s romantic attractions and tastes than Michael’s); many have reason to believe it was Guierrez who largely influenced Evan Chandler, and his similar goading tactic of the Robson family eventually paid off for him as well, it seems-albeit some twenty years later than he’d intended. Macaulay Culkin was also one of those whom Guiterrez tried to push as one of Michael’s “lovers” and Culkin, like Brett Barnes and Corey Feldman, has been one of those constantly harassed by haters and “would be investigative journalists” like Guiterrez, believing they can somehow bully him into a “confession.” Additionally, this would not be the first time that Guiterrez’s shenanigans have surfaced just in time to coincide with a major event involving Conrad Murray in the news. He was also a consultant for Jacques Peritti’s 2011 hit piece What Really Happened To Michael Jackson which surfaced just in time for Murray’s manslaughter trial in October of that year.

To further prove just how entwined and relevant all of these events are, the Peru21 article directly states that they believe the timing of this rumor had everything to do with the publication by Radar Online of the 2003 Neverland police reports and the mention of a signed photograph of Macaulay Culkin that was found in Michael’s master bathroom. The photograph as described in the police document was from one of Culkin’s Home Alone movies. However, I have no idea where they are getting the information about inscriptions that say “My poor little angel” and “Don’t leave me alone in the house.” This appears to be a sheer fabrication, as the only mention of any inscription in the original police document is described thus: “The photograph was signed and had a message written on it. The message stated, ‘To Apple head. Always remember keep Apple Head Club Doo Doo Head alive.” Then was simply signed “Macaulay Culkin” and in parenthesis (“Doo Doo Head.”). These were affectionate nicknames that both Michael and the kids were known to call each other, and this seemingly harmless inscription is the only such inscription mentioned in connection to that photograph. Since the Peru21 piece appears to be a mostly sympathetic piece whose author truly wanted to rebut the lies being spread in Latin media, I can only guess that they did not have access to the actual report and must have been ill informed by other media sources-which again only highlights the dangers of trusting copy and paste journalism (and to which it appears no western country is immune). it also heightens why there is an important need at this time, especially, to educate the public about what exactly is in those documents-and what isn’t.

This brings me to the second related hot topic this week, and that is the news of Wade Robson’s new attorney who has come on like a true  Ringling and Barnum & Bailey ringmaster, replete with a thinly veiled threatening letter to the estate that-oops!-just happened to also get “leaked” to the media. The timing of this latest “reveal” makes it obvious that 1: Either the leaking of those faked documents to Radar Online proved such a PR disaster that Wade’s old attorneys jumped ship, or else 2: This was the work of John Manly all along, as some now suspect.

Here was the ridiculous bluffing letter that Manly sent to Howard Weitzman. Read it, and then I’m going to come back to you with a little trivia question.

But first let’s address the timing. This letter is dated July 13, a little over three weeks from the time the first Radar Online story hit (and that onslaught, as you recall, was timed perfectly to coincide with Michael’s death anniversary). This July 13th letter  would indicate they allowed just enough time for the impact of that story in the media to sink in before gearing up for Phase 2 of the attack. It also strengthens the theory that this is very much an orchestrated plan, with each step minutely planned down to the exact timing of each step of the strategy.  However, there is something much more disturbing than timing here. I asked what was wrong with the content of this letter. Manly writes: “During the course of my review of public materials in this case, I have read numerous media reports of multiple monetary and non-monetary settlements allegedly paid to little boys who claimed Mr. Michael Jackson (Mr. Jackson) sexually abused them while they were in his custody or care.”

John Manly-This “Hardball Lawyer” Or Dirty Media Player?John Manly-This “Hardball Lawyer” Or Dirty Media Player?Already this statement is a screaming red flag, and for multiple reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that the process of discovery in this case was carried out months ago. The estate has already complied with those requests as granted to Robson’s former attorneys. Secondly, the phrasing of the letter makes it clear that Manly is basing these assumptions of phantom settlements and phantom victims off of media reports. First of all, if this case had any substantive legs to stand on, there would not be a need to be scouring the oh-so-reliable media for “evidence.” An attorney with a real case does not sit down and pour through The National Enquirer and The Daily Mirror to scout for “evidence.” He would consider his client’s testimony and evidence as substantive enough; for the rest, he would consult legal documents from verified sources. The so called “media reports” that Manly is referring to are none other than the already debunked FBI files story, which made ridiculously exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims concerning supposed payouts of “over 200 million dollars” to “over 20 families” (the most common figures kicked about in the headline stories). The entire story is bogus. In the course of Michael Jackson’s life and career, there were exactly two such settlements-one to the Chandler family for 15 million and one to the Francias for 2.1 million. The exact circumstances that led to each of those settlements has been well hashed out, and are beyond the scope of this current post to get into in detail, but basically neither settlement was an admission of guilt. The former was chump change in exchange for the peace of mind of getting a raving psychopath out of his life, and the second was a symbolic act of fly swatting to get an annoying, disgruntled ex-employee named Blanca Francia off his back and out of his life. Both settlements are public record and would have certainly been well accounted for, especially the Chandler settlement which was paid off in monthly installments over a period of six years, from 1994 through 1999. So Manly’s claims of a lack of transparency are completely unfounded. Turning to unsubstantiated media reports from gossip rags and pretending to believe that these are somehow indicative of “deep, dark, dirty secrets” being cloaked by the estate is a patently absurd tactic, obviously intended more for shock effect in the media than as an actual legal maneuver. I honestly don’t believe Manly is that big of a fool (let’s hope not!) but he knows how to play the media, and is banking on the fact that most people who will read this stuff will not know the truth-and also that most will not care to dig any deeper. Just like those handwritten notes they so obviously left on their forged copies of the police reports released to Radar Online, this is nothing more than a bullying tactic to goad the estate into settling the case.

Why, we might ask? So that more Wade Robsons down the line can crawl out of the woodwork and claim to have sudden memories of having been horribly abused by Michael Jackson? Sure, by that time, the wisdom would be, why not? It would be open season!

Well, that “open season” is exactly what they are trying to create. More to the point, I think what happened recently with the Bill Cosby case has been the fire that has really ignited the cockiness of Robson and Manly. While it is not possible now to bring criminal charges against Michael Jackson, I believe they are thinking that by stirring up a similar “retrial by media,” as what happened with Cosby (where the heat of the media coverage eventually resulted in the leaking of incriminating deposition statements Cosby made over a decade ago at the time of his settlement to Andrea Constand, thus resulting in a reopening of the investigation and a criminal charge against Cosby)that they can accomplish a similar result here, with a sudden tide of phantom “victims” coming out of the woodwork and resulting in, perhaps, renewed investigations into Michael’s life-all of which, of course, they bank will result in a cash fallout. It may be ironic, however, that the Cosby case also disproves the theory that has long been held so dear by Michael Jackson detractors, which is the idea that a cash settlement can effectively “buy silence” and is some sort of guarantee against criminal charges. Indeed, the Chandlers could have certainly proceeded with a criminal investigation had they wanted to, so there goes that argument.

I can’t speak for the women who have spoken out against Bill Cosby. That is a different issue, a different person and a different case entirely, and besides, Cosby is still here to stand trial and defend himself. What is happening to Michael Jackson, however, is much more sinister because it is being orchestrated by persons who know the dead man has no recourse; he can’t speak for himself; he can’t sue for libel; he can’t deny anything. ANYONE, at any time and for whatever whim, can come forth and say Michael Jackson abused them, and who is going to deny it? Sure, if they are full of sh*t, they will be outted eventually, but in the meantime, the damage is done. if their stories make good copy, that is all the media cares about. And on it goes, until drop by drop, the pond is irreversibly polluted. This is what I call creating the “smokescreen effect” or as some call it, the effect of creating “smoke and mirrors.” And it can be quite detrimental. Think about it:  If another woman right now comes forth and claims to have been raped by Bill Cosby, odds are most are going to believe it. Out of those fifty+ women, a few probably are lying, and no doubt, probably more than a few are exaggerating their claims, but at this point, who is going to care? The man’s reputation is in shreds; the legacy of a historic career in tatters.

And someone out there wants to see this same scenario very badly for Michael Jackson. They have already set the wheels in motion. As I have said often enough before, that settlement with the Chandlers-the single biggest mistake of Michael Jackson’s life in my estimation-set the stage for a similar “smokescreen effect” years ago. The Francia case was a direct fallout from it, as was the attempted Rodney Allen scam, the Arvizo case and countless other similar, bogus claims. We are still seeing the fallout from it today. That’s exactly what we are witnessing now.

Fans Are Familiar With The Case Of Rodney Allen, A Man Who Led A Pedophile Ring Of Boys In Canada And Who Concocted An Elaborate Scheme To Frame Michael Jackson, But This Clip May Be A Revelation For Those Who Don’t Know Just How Easy It Has Been For Scammers To Concoct Seemingly “Believable” Stories About Michael Jackson!

And to further prove how Manly is using language to deliberately create his “smokescreen effect” in the media, note the words and phrases he so carefully uses. He speaks of settlements allegedly “paid to little boys.” This is not paralegal language. First of all, Manly would know that such settlements (even if they existed, which they do not) would be paid out to the parents, not the children. This is simply an appeal to pathos argument that he knows will have the desired effect when lay people click on that link and read his letter. Additionally, he as good as admits in the last paragraph that he is basing these claims on unfounded hearsay with the conditioning that “if” any such confidential settlements exist, it is the moral obligation of the estate, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures to disclose them. Again, it is simply an empty bullying tactic whose only obvious purpose is to plant a seed in gullible minds that there are somehow sinister secrets about Michael Jackson that are being guarded by his estate. This is merely another way of selling a tabloid story without having to actually create one! With this clever tactic, he creates the perfect win-win for himself and his client because no matter how the estate responds he can claim a victory-he can publicly accuse the estate of “withholding” evidence, and who in the media (much less the reading public) is going to know any better? Who is going to be in a position to dispute those claims, other than the very party for whom he has already planted the seed of distrust?

If you follow where I’m going with this, it is indeed a scary scenario. This law firm already has a proven track record of not being above the law when it comes to playing dirty. This was an article from The Media Report.com that several readers have sent to me, and I want to share it here:

SHOCK STORY: Notorious Church-Suing Lawyer Obtained Clients by Phoning Parishioners and ‘Fishing for Victims’

John Manly Catholic abuse lawyer John C. Manly

Unethical conduct for financial gain? Southern California contingency lawyer John C. Manly

Southern California contingency lawyer John Manly, who has pocketed millions of dollars by suing the Catholic Church, has now admitted that his office has obtained clients for abuse lawsuits by making unsolicited phone calls to Catholic Church parishioners.

This startling new revelation in the Catholic Church abuse narrative was exclusively reported by Sue Nowicki at The Modesto Bee newspaper.

According to Nowicki’s piece, numerous individuals in the Diocese of Stockton (Calif.) have said that they received unsolicited phone calls to their homes from a woman hired by Manly. These calls, they claim, left them to conclude that Manly was “fishing” for victims in the case of an accused Catholic priest, Fr. Michael E. Kelly.

Manly has admitted that he hired the woman, but only to “investigate” Kelly.

Busted?

The obvious question for Manly is this: For what other reason would a Church-suing contingency lawyer “investigate” a Catholic priest except to garner clients?

Confronted with the charge that he was “fishing for victims,” Manly, of course, denied the claim.

“We don’t call people and ask if they want to be in lawsuits,” Manly said in part to Nowicki. “That’s not happening; it’s not what we do. What we are doing is investigation. ‘Did you ever see anything that was odd with Father Kelly?’ That’s how we got our first client.”

So Manly has pretty much admitted that he found his first client against Fr. Kelly by “investigating” areas where the cleric worked. Wow.

The phone calls revealed

Some recipients of the phone calls from Manly’s employee say the calls left them “infuriated and disgusted.” Nowicki reports:

“[One recipient said] she was given the ‘strong impression’ that if she said her son, now 32, was interested in filing a lawsuit, ‘they would have jumped all over that. They were going to find something (against Kelly), regardless if there was any cause for action.’“

And another:

“[Another woman] tried to tell [the caller] that she has known Kelly for three decades and described his positive influence on her sons. ‘She told me she has found 10 more victims … She was going on and on and tried to convince me that I was stupid and didn’t realize this was going on. I finally had to hang up on her.‘”

Are these calls legal?

In her article, Nowicki reveals, “According to the state Bar Association, it is unethical for attorneys to make calls soliciting clients for financial gain.” Indeed, it will be interesting to see if the California bar says anything about Manly’s actions. (In 2006, by the way, Manly wassanctioned by a judge for “unacceptable” conduct.)

Thomas Beatty, a lawyer who has represented Fr. Kelly, questioned the calls’ legality:

“I think it’s an inducement into making false claims. I don’t think that mass telephoning at every church and every school that (Kelly has) served at to drum up business is a proper way to do things.”

Yet another recipient of a phone call sums up how many would feel after such an episode:

“As a teacher, I feel vulnerable. If former students from 20 years ago can be gathered over the phone to make statements against former teachers, we’re all at risk, including police officers, doctors, nurses, coaches, etc.”

About the accused priest

The target of Manly’s ire, Fr. Kelly, has repeatedly and vehemently denied any and all accusations that he ever abused anyone. “The allegations are completely and totally false,” Kelly has recently said. “They NEVER happened. Never. They are utterly untrue.”

In addition, Kelly passed a polygraph test in 2007 that concluded that he was being truthful when he said that had never abused anyone over his 35 years in the priesthood.

Unfortunately for Fr. Kelly, a civil jury earlier this year decided that Fr. Kelly should be held liable for the abuse of a now-adult male who says he was abused by Kelly in the mid-1980s. The accuser invoked the discredited theory of “repressed memory,” and Manly corralled a psychologist from Connecticut to take the stand and testify that the bogus psychological theory was actually true. Shockingly, the jury bought into it.

The Diocese was forced to settle this first case for $3.75 million. Now ever since, not surprisingly, new accusations are popping up.

Stay tuned.

Kudos to Sue Nowicki at The Modesto Bee for some great work.

Even their own website boasts a lot of contradictions and incongruities, especially in the way they are handling the Wade Robson case. Like this statement here:

“We are passionate about our work, and understand that it is difficult for victims of abuse to come forward. That’s why we carefully protect our clients’ identities and maintain the highest possible standard of confidentiality when working with our clients.”

So what part of confidentiality is putting out threatening press releases and making sure every possible step of the judicial process is leaked to tabloid newspapers? What part of confidentiality is faking official police documents and selling them to a rag like Radar Online?

I’m not trying to degrade the nobility of fighting for real sexual abuse victims. But let’s call it real-these guys are attorneys and they aren’t working pro bono. They know what a potential windfall this could be if the civil trial goes through (that in itself is still a big “if”) and if Robson wins (an even bigger “if”). But a juicy settlement would be just as nice, if not better (a lot less work).

Well, this was timed perfectly to coincide with the third sh*tfest this week, which was apparently the first of a planned series of installments sold to the British media from none other than convicted felon Conrad Murray’s long promised “tell-all” book about his famous client whom he murdered (or helped murder) who, thanks to his hand, is the reason his famous client  isn’t alive to defend himself from all the other crap.

This is only the latest outrage from a man who, if there was any justice in the world, would still be serving out the four year sentence he was given, a sentence that by Judge Pastor’s own admission was inadequate to begin with. The man is a convicted felon. Michael Jackson’s death was ruled a homicide at his hands. His trial firmly established no less than seventeen egregious violations that led directly to the death of Michael Jackson. Those violations were as follows:

  1. The lack of the basic emergency airway equipment.
  2. The lack of the advanced emergency airway equipment.
  3. The lack of suction apparatus.
  4. The lack of an IV infusion pump.
  5. The lack of alarmed pulse oximetry.
  6. The failure to use a blood pressure cuff.
  7. The lack of an electrocardiogram.
  8. The lack of carpnography
  9. The failure to maintain a doctor-patient relationship.
  10. The failure to continuously monitor the mental status of the patient.
  11. The failure to continuously monitor the breathing of the patient.
  12. The failure to continuously monitor blood pressure and pulse oximetry, and to have heart monitors.
  13. The failure to call 911 immediately.
  14. The failure to chart at the outset of the procedure (egregious and unconscionable).
  15. The failure to maintain written informed consent (egregious and unconscionable).
  16. The failure to document throughout the course of sedation (egregious and unconscionable).
  17. The failure to disclose to both the paramedics and UCLA the use of propofol and what Murray witnessed at the arrest.

His sentencing was handed down with one of the harshest admonitions from a judge I have ever heard:

And yet for all of this, the media treatment of Conrad Murray has been frustratingly mixed to sympathetic. Often portrayed as a remorseless egomaniac and sociopathic personality at the height of the trial, public memory-as well as that of the media-has been disturbingly short sighted in regard to this man’s crimes. While other convicted criminals are lambasted for even a hint of profiting off their crimes, no one in the past two years seems to have any qualms about giving Conrad Murray a platform. Let’s not forget this was the man who had to be severely chastised during the time he was on trial for releasing a  documentary to MSNBC that he said would “tell his side of the story and clear his name.”  As we know, Murray chose not to testify in his own defense at his trial, where he knew he would be subjected to intense cross examination. He also refused to testify during Katherine Jackson’s trial against AEG, even though doing so could have possibly exonerated him if indeed there was more to tell and he truly was just a fall guy, as many believed and as he himself has hinted on many occasions. Yet in every instance, Conrad Murray swore to silence. This man only talks when dollar signs beckon. And in the two years since he was prematurely released due to “overcrowding and good behavior” he has been taking advantage of the media’s short memories to once again peddle himself as a poor innocent caught in the middle of Michael Jackson’s chaotic life.

That trend just reached a new nadir this week with the pending release of Murray’s long threatened “tell all” memoir This Is It (I love a photoshopped version of his cover I saw this week called This Is Shit!)  for which apparently he is being compensated quite handsomely by UK rags The Daily Mirror and The Sunday Mirror (and, of course, it goes without saying that these “revelations” are then going to be picked up and spread throughout the western media).

Emma Watson Was 19 In The Summer Of 2009 When Michael Planned To Go To London For ‘This Is It”-NOT 11!Emma Watson Was 19 In The Summer Of 2009 When Michael Planned To Go To London For ‘This Is It”-NOT 11!Among some of the more outrageous claims of this snake are that Michael wanted to marry actress Emma Watson when she was only eleven and his god daughter Harriet Lester when she was only five; that his disease vitiligo was a PR stunt, and that he and Michael routinely visited hookers together. In the latest bit of titillation, he merely recycles an age-old tabloid rumor about Michael having received hormone injections at thirteen to keep his voice high (I guess that explains, then, how his natural speaking voice got so deep!). He regurgitates nonsense about Michael wanting a brain transplant to “rid himself of unwanted memories” which sounds like something concocted straight out of the pages of The National Enquirer.

These kinds of stories would be almost laughable and certainly ignore-worthy as tabloid junk always is, except that the salacious stories of Michael wanting to marry children comes hot on the heels of all those screaming headlines regarding Michael’s “stockpile” of child porn. Needless to say, no such “stockpile” ever existed, which is largely what I have spent the last several posts rebutting, but that is beside the point because the tabloid media does not deal in reality. It is the deliberate juxtapositioning of those damaging headlines, popping up in search engines now every single time Michael Jackson’s name is googled, that has created the near perfect picture of a dangerous child predator.  Switching the focus of the sex from male to female children makes no difference, other than perhaps adding to the confusion and delusion of a public still grappling to try to understand just who exactly was this man Michael Jackson, anyway! Unfortunately, if anyone thinks they are going to get those answers from the man who first betrayed his trust and then ultimately killed him, they are sadly mistaken.

So let’s start by busting Conrad Murray’s most obvious and egregious lie. Emma Watson was almost twenty years old by the time of Michael Jackson’s planned 2009 series of concerts in London; Harriet Lester was fifteen. Many fans were quick to pounce on this obvious discrepancy of Murray’s story as given in the teaser article, so that by the time the first installment was printed, the story was modified to acknowledge the actual ages of Watson and Lester in 2009. However, the story then had Michael supposedly “confessing” to Murray that he had “fallen in love” with Emma Watson back when she was in the Harry Potter movie in 2001 and with Harriet Lester from the time she was five.

Michael Was A God Parent To Olivia and Harriet LesterMichael Was A God Parent To Olivia and Harriet LesterThe problem here is several fold. First of all, Murray is making speculations about things he has no first hand knowledge of. He was not in Michael’s life at the time these supposed “crushes” were initiated. We certainly don’t know if Michael ever told him such a thing; we only have the word of a man who is already a known liar and sociopath. Even if we played devil’s advocate and assumed, okay, maybe he did say it, then it still begs a very disturbing question about Murray’s loyalty and status as an alleged friend-which we know he wasn’t. But this was the man whom we know  also recorded Michael in a very slurred and vulnerable state, for no goodly purpose except for the intention of exploiting him at some point down the road (he may not have planned exactly when or how he was going to go about it, but as Judge Pastor said, there was no other earthly possible or justifiable reason for the existence of that recording).The story is in many ways remarkably similar to Michael’s own account of his early infatuation with Lisa Marie Presley (they first met in Las Vegas when she was seven and he was seventeen) and as he reveals candidly in their interview with Diane Sawyer, he never quite forgot her even though he didn’t press for a formal introduction until she was eighteen (Lisa Marie was 26 when she married Michael in 1994). The only thing he told Diane Sawyer about their early childhood meeting was that “I thought she was sweet” and obviously he never forgot her-but there was no romance until she came on to him as an adult many years later.

I’m not bringing this up to lend credibility to Murray’s story-far from it. I’m only offering it as a means of providing some much needed context for these ridiculous claims. For a snake like Murray, a totally innocent remark like “I thought she was sweet when I first met her” could be twisted into something vile. It is possible that Michael could have said something similar about either Harriet Lester or Emma Watson, but if he did, it was most likely as innocent as the comment made about Lisa Marie. But then again, we simply don’t know what was ever said, if anything. From all of the media reports I have seen, Murray’s book appears to be nothing but a bunch of outright fabrications and, at best, half-cocked theories and speculations he formed in his own mind during the very brief time he was around Michael. For example, the story that Michael received hormone injections at thirteen to delay puberty was spun in some of the headlines as if Murray was presenting an actual fact he had learned from Michael (for the record, that has been one of the oldest tabloid stories circulated about Michael). But upon actually reading the article, it turns out that Michael never told Murray any such thing. Murray only intimates that Michael started to tell him about something very traumatic that had happened to him in his teens but then shut down and didn’t say more (probably, we can assume, his better intuition telling him this was a snake not to be trusted). So, in the absence of whatever it was Michael might have intended to tell him, it is Conrad Murray who then draws his own conclusions that this traumatic event must have been hormone injections!

Reading between the lines, the whole book seems to come across just that way, with Murray merely drawing his own conclusions and speculations, often about events that occurred long before he was ever in Michael’s life. Granted, I’m sure Michael probably did confide in Murray some of the time-after all, this was the man helping him get to sleep every night for over two months, and the recording Murray deviously made of Michael in a vulnerable state is proof that there was at least some element of trust there (making his act of betrayal in recording that conversation and his current level of  betrayal all the more despicable) but they were not BFF’s as Murray likes to portray himself. It seems that everyone who knew Michael for all of five seconds automatically became his “closest confidante.” Murray was no exception.

The Public Was Aghast At The Level Of Betrayal When This Slurred Audio Tape Of Michael Was Played In Court During Murray’s Manslaughter Trial:

If anything, Javon Beard and Bill Whitfield were a lot closer to him during this period, and as his hired security it was they who were responsible for his excursions if he wanted to go out on the town (and, indeed, they described in their own book how they often assisted him in setting up his secret dates and rendezvous with women at various hotels; this part is not total fabrication, but these were apparently prearranged dates with women he knew well; not random strip club excursions).  To say that Michael frequented strip clubs and visited hookers is not in itself that damning (except maybe to the fans who insist on their vision of him as a pure angel; thankfully, that has never been my idea of him so I have no illusions to dash in that regard) but I doubt Murray was accompanying him. That was simply not Murray’s responsibility nor what he was hired to do.  Granted, dressing in disguise to go out-even as a slobbering stroke victim!-was not out of character for Michael. As fans, we have all heard those stories, and we know of Michael’s famously wicked sense of humor. But there you go. Murray knows those stories as well, and probably did witness some of that behavior, so he knows how to make a story seem like something Michael would do. So in that regard the  book probably does have some grain of truth mixed in with all the utter bullsh*t, but even with that said, it is not anything that I feel I need to learn from Conrad Murray. My curiosity about Michael and his life is probably, I daresay as insatiable as any fan’s but there comes a time when we must absolutely draw the limit and I, for one, certainly have no interest in learning anything about Michael from a man who had no respect for him when he was alive and who, ultimately, betrayed and killed him. The man revealed himself as a pathological liar before and during his trial. Why should anyone want to believe him now? And if  Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer had written a book about one of their victims, would anyone want to buy it? I think not. The public outrage would have been heard from here to Timbucktu! Yet this common decency seems to curiously exclude Conrad Murray and the media outlets who continue to give him face time.

Michael’s Vitiligo Was Confirmed By His AutopsyMichael’s Vitiligo Was Confirmed By His AutopsyAside from the mess about wanting to marry underage girls, the second most damaging lie Conrad Murray is circulating via his book is that Michael Jackson lied about having vitiligo. Of course, he refers to the “bleaching cream” Michael used and that he witnessed Michael using during the time he was with him. All of this came out during the trial and it is no secret what Michael was using. This mysterious “cream” that Conrad Murray keeps referring to as if it is some deep, guarded secret was simply monobenzone, better known by its brand name Benoquin, a prescription bleaching cream that is part of the treatment regimen for vitiligo sufferers who desire to even out their splotchy skin tone.

Benoquin Is Prescribed For The Treatment Of VitiligoBenoquin Is Prescribed For The Treatment Of VitiligoBenoquin can only be prescribed to those with vitiligo, and what’s more, is only effective for those already afflicted with vitiligo! For Murray to spread such an unconscionable lie is reprehensible for someone in the medical field. Dermatology is not his area of expertise and he has no right to speak on matters he obviously knows nothing about. It’s noteworthy that Murray always mentions these “tubes of bleaching cream” as if they are some carefully guarded secret, when it is already public record that Michael was using Benoquin and that this was part of his prescribed regimen in order to maintain an even skin tone. But it’s convenient for Murray that he waits until Michael’s dermatologist Arnie Klein is deceased and is not here to refute the lies, just as Michael himself is not here to refute them.  Earlier this year, a very informative article by John E. Harris was posted on the Vitiligo Clinic & Research Center website which should certainly clear up the mystery, lest there remain any lingering doubt as to why Michael Jackson was using Benoquin. Although the entire article is informative and worth reading, I want to quote here just one small passage that is relevant to our current discussion:

Yes, vitiligo can remove most, if not all, of the pigment in someone’s skin, such that they have no skin color. However that is very rare, and it usually takes many years to do this, with spots appearing during the process. So it’s not likely that vitiligo alone was responsible for his significant transformation in skin color. There is a treatment, though, that can remove the remaining pigment in someone’s skin if they have vitiligo. The treatment is a skin cream called monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone (monobenzone, or Benoquin), and it is, in fact, the only FDA-approved treatment for vitiligo. But in most cases, using this cream doesn’t work unless you have vitiligo, so it is not as simple as someone “wanting to look white” and using the cream. It is a bona-fide vitiligo treatment, approved by the FDA, for people who would rather remove their remaining pigment than continue to look spotted. I have prescribed this for vitiligo patients, and they have always been happy with the results. So it is not too surprising that Michael Jackson would use Benoquin to treat his vitiligo, and this is why he went from having clearly black skin to very white skin. In fact, Oprah commented in an interview after Michael Jackson’s death that he had no pigment in the skin of his hands, that they were essentially translucent. Benoquin would do that, and could do it relatively quickly, after about 12 months of use. From available pictures of Michael Jackson, his skin color seemed to change significantly sometime in the late 1980’s, which would make sense if he was diagnosed in the early 80’s, tried to treat it for a while, and then decided to go the other way and use Benoquin.

vitiligo

 

Well, I could go through debunking all of Murray’s ridiculous claims one by one (and I’m sure more “revelations” are probably coming) but, really, what would be the point? Michael’s fans already know what he’s full of and most certainly aren’t going to buy this book. And if fans aren’t buying it, it’s not likely he’s going to find an audience. People who only have a casual interest in Michael Jackson aren’t going to spend money on it; they can get their titillation from the tabloids for free. So then, one might ask if there is so little chance of Murray making money off this book, why are fans so upset? I think that answer is two fold. First, it is the principle of it. Conrad Murray has from the beginning, and continues, to show no regard for the Hippocratic oath that he was sworn to uphold as a doctor. In writing this book, he openly discusses Michael’s medical history which is a direct violation of HIPPA laws (although he has conveniently, perhaps, circumnavigated that loophole by publishing the book outside of the US and peddling his “installments” to UK tabloids). Secondly is the concern that even if nobody buys his book it will garner media attention, if for no other reason the sensational angle it supplies. It is a shame that while so many great books are written about Michael Jackson every year, most will only find at best a very limited distribution and circulation-and most of these rely on word of mouth from fans to promote them. Meanwhile, trash has no problem getting promotion. It is, quite simply, the idea of Michael’s killer making a profit off of peddling smut about him-after having never shown an ounce of remorse- that makes this act so particularly galling.

However, to the credit of a few journalists and US talk show personalities, memories have not been so short. Quite a few have not forgotten the arrogant, smarmy, utterly remorseless womanizer and deadbeat dad who was revealed to us during his trial-and have had the courage to call him out on it! Here, for example, is what Perez Hilton had to say:

In case you forgot, Conrad is the same physician who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter over the King of Pop’s passing. As he served two years of his four year sentence, we have a feeling Murray has no qualms with breaking the sacred doctor/patient confidentiality agreement.

Anywho, we digress. Reportedly, MJ told Conrad he began taking injections as a youth right before the start of his solo career in 1972. The scandalized doctor dished to The Mirror:

“He began talking vaguely, seeming to have more difficulty describing precisely what happened to him. Maybe he was almost at the limit to his cathartic confession that night. But what Michael said left me the impression that he had been given injections, probably hormones, to delay puberty.”

Oh man. Conrad went on to theorize that these injections may’ve been the cause of the A-lister’s “unusual behavior” and “morphological changes.” We mean, it would certainly explain some things.

While Conrad promised Michael he would never reveal this information after their conversation, the doc has since detailed his convos with his famous client in his upcoming tell all. Tsk, tsk.

To make matters worse, Murray also wrote in extensive detail about the Billie Jeanartist’s alleged painful callouses and his chronic fungal infection. He added:

“It turned out he always wore socks because he was so ashamed of the way his feet looked… The fact Michael’s feet, something critical to him, were in such poor condition was a sign not only had he neglected himself but those around him were not keeping a close eye on his well-being.”

Maybe that was something Murray could’ve taken care of?? We guess hindsight IS 20/20.

Nonetheless, we are a tad skeptical about these truth bombs as Murray is a convicted criminal and lost his license to practice medicine in Texas, and had his license suspended in California and Nevada.

Of course, it goes without saying that even as he derides Murray and questions his ethics, he nevertheless continues to give him publicity by rehashing the lies. Much better, I think, is this genuine coal raking Murray received recently on The Talk:

Interestingly, even with all the recent trash talk in the media, the reaction I have gotten from most people when Michael’s name comes up is very much the same as that expressed on The Talk. People do genuinely love Michael Jackson. They love him enough that most of the bad publicity just goes in one ear and out the other. I think people today are certainly much savvier about how the media operates, and smart enough to recognize exploitative BS for what it is. But again, it doesn’t make it right. And what is happening now certainly isn’t right.

I also find it highly suspect that Murray’s book is being carried by an Australian publisher. Murray is not an Australian citizen and resides in the US. Why would he need to go this route? Sure, online publishing may be “the wave of the future” and it is a perfectly respectable way for many fine books to get into print that otherwise would never see light, but surely with such a juicy story to tell about a prominent celebrity, Murray could have found a traditional publisher in the US! So…what gives? Well, let’s keep in mind that Murray has a lot of legal issues in the US to contend with. Not the least are his HIPPA violations and possibly Son of Sam law violations. A good point was mentioned on The Talk regarding how Murray may have sneakily-and successfully-circumvented the Son of Sam law, however. During the discussion they brought it up that a convicted felon cannot write a book that profits off his crime; however, Murray is writing about his time spent with Michael Jackson-not the crime itself-and thus is able to use that as his loophole. However, I am not so sure about this. I haven’t read Murray’s book and don’t intend to, but I have to imagine (knowing what I know of Conrad Murray) that he could not resist the temptation to write about the events of that fateful night/morning. Murray’s entire modus operandi, ever since the trial, has been (as he puts it) to “clear” his name. He tried unsuccessfully throughout his trial to argue that Michael was responsible for his own death. I can’t imagine him choosing suddenly to take the high road now! It makes more sense to reason that Murray chose to publish outside the U.S. so that those laws would not apply. However, I am not sure as of this writing if that also provides a legal loophole for his HIPPA violations.

Australia is also an interesting choice because as I have written before, the continent “down under” seems to be an especial hotbed of anti-Michael Jackson activity. And now, all of a sudden, Conrad Murray is able to find a “home” there for a manuscript that apparently no other publisher in the world was willing to touch! Interesting, to say the very least. But I’ll leave it there. For now.

Suffice to say that we are indeed seeing the fruits of a very sophisticated and dirty campaign. There are no coincidences, and all of the players have a stake in this.

speed demonAs always, the best defense we have is knowledge. With that in mind, I will be  continuing my series of examining in detail the items seized from Neverland. Remember what Michael said: “Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons.” That is so true. Nevertheless, those lies can sure cause a lot of pain and grief before truth catches up!

Just as I have been doing with all previous posts, I want to conclude with the link to the ADLLAW  INITIATIVE. This petition is crucial for pushing the anti-defamation law against the deceased into being. If this law becomes a reality, there can be a lot less posts like this and a whole lot more celebrating all that we love about Michael!

UPDATE 7/22/16: It was brought to my attention after this piece was posted that Macaulay Culkin apparently did sit for a press conference in Spain-of sorts. Its purpose was to discuss Culkin’s new comeback project, and a reporter from The Guardian, Rhik Sammader, conducted the interview. He noted that Culkin had at least three other persons with him whose responsibility, apparently, was to vet his questions and to provide instructions on what he could or could not ask, as well as what questions Culkin could or could not answer. These people included Culkin’s manager, his U.S. publicist, and a third person (unidentified) who sat in for the interview. This is an important detail because apparently the current source of all the media speculation in the Spanish press and Latin America comes from the simple fact that Culkin’s manager refused to allow him to answer a question about Michael Jackson! So I went back and read Sammader’s write-up carefully to see what was actually said, or even intimated. And the conclusion to be drawn here is just as trivial as the French interview. Let’s look at the first paragraph Sammader writes. I’m going to boldface the pertinent passages (this is my emphasis):

Of all modern myths, it is the fall of the child star that most compels us. Whether they’re embarking on 55-hour marriages, throwing bongs out of windows or abandoning  monkeys at customs, we can’t seem to get enough. There’s something pathological in our need to tear down our icons of innocence, which might explain the overprotective nature of Macaulay Culkin’s US publicist, who wants to see all my questions upfront. I refuse. I thought we could just … have a chat? The interview, Culkin’s biggest in 10 years, is supposed to focus on his comeback. I’m instructed to avoid anything negative. I ask if I can ask if he has any regrets. “Regrets sounds too negative,” is the response.

Well, first of all, these kinds of vetting practices and instructions about subjects that can and cannot be discussed are simply par for the course when interviewing celebrities. This is especially true when the interview is for promotional purposes-in other words, if the purpose of the interview is supposed to be about a current project, then irrelevant questions about the celebrity’s personal life-their past, other celebrity friends, or any scandals surrounding them-are usually off limits. I know this myself from having conducted a fair share of celebrity interviews, and it is not at all unusual for the artist’s PR people to sit in on interviews to vet the questioning. In this case, it seems Sammader had strict instructions that the purpose of this interview was only to focus on Culkin’s current project-nothing from the actor’s past was supposed to have been brought up. And yet Sammader admits up front to refusing to allow his questions to be vetted in advance by the US publicist because he apparently “just wanted to chat.” For the record, his article makes it clear that there were many subjects that Culkin’s manager would not allow him to discuss. They couldn’t discuss Home Alone. They couldn’t discuss Donald Trump; not even the bit part he’d had in Home Alone . Michael Jackson, as it turned out, was only one of many subjects Culkin was instructed not to address (indeed, there are so many topics that are off limits that Sammader eventually resorts to turning it into a sort of running joke throughout his article). But let’s look specifically at how Sammader sets up the potential discussion of Michael Jackson, both in his interview and in the article. Again, I will boldface the most relevant passages which are my emphasis:

The trajectory of Culkin’s life feels like fallout from an atomic blast. By the age of 12, Uncle Buck, two Home Alone films, My Girl and (to a lesser extent) Richie Rich had made him the most successful child actor of all time. At 14, he became legally emancipated from his parents; both had been trying to gain control of his $17m fortune in their divorce. Culkin married at 17, and separated two years later. Sleepovers with Michael Jackson became public knowledge when he was called as a defence witness at the singer’s molestation trial. I’m ghoulishly fascinated by this alien childhood. I’d like to ask about Michael Jackson.

Sammader makes a specific-and intentional-point of placing words like “ghoulishly” and “alien” in this sentence as he tries to steer the conversation to Michael Jackson. One has to ask, out of all the fascinating and tragic aspects of Culkin’s life as a child star, why is this reporter so admittedly obsessed with discussing his friendship with Michael Jackson? Obviously, it was clear from the get-go where he was trying to go with this. Is it any wonder that Culkin’s manager immediately shut him down, especially after the fallout from the French interview when his statements about his friendship with Michael had been similarly twisted? Culkin’s manager was clearly on the ball with this one, and refused to allow him to fall into a similar trap.

And isn’t it interesting that just beneath the paragraph where Sammader states that he is “ghoulishly fascinated by this alien childhood. I’d like to ask about Michael Jackson” that they cleverly insert this still from Home Alone of young Culkin thumbing through a Playboy magazine?

culkin

This was clearly a cleverly intentional tactic to tie in the idea of “sleepovers with Michael Jackson” to sex and pornography. And then, having written such a titillating lead-in to the topic and just beneath that photo, he proceeds to describe the scenario when Michael Jackson’s name was brought up. Note again the boldfaced sentences which are my emphasis:

“I think it’s best you don’t,” interjects his manager. She is one of three people sitting with us. “It’s not that it’s a painful topic …” begins Culkin. His manager insists we move on, the PR next to her agrees. Culkin clearly wants to say something, but six eyes are telling him not to.

Sammader is a good writer (the rest of his piece was really quite enjoyable to read) but also, like all good writers, he understands the power of words and the impressions they can evoke. It seems clear that what Culkin was about to tell him is that the subject of Michael Jackson is not a painful topic for him to discuss but, unfortunately, one that he will not be able to. Before he can finish, his manager effectively does it for him, shutting down any further discussion of the matter (again, a very common tactic in interview situations; after all, it is the job of these people to act as conversation moderators and referees and to keep the discussion on track. It was clear they instantly sensed a fishing situation and were not about to allow their client to fall prey to it). But note how, even without a word being spoken, Sammader still manages to turn the conversation into an implication of something sinister: “Culkin clearly wants to say something, but six eyes are telling him not to.”

So without Culkin having said a word, Sammader takes it upon himself to make it sound as if Culkin wanted to confess something, when in fact, nothing at all had been said. Well, maybe Culkin did want to say more. Maybe he wanted to clear up all of the bullsh*t rumors that had been running rampant in Latin America. Maybe he wanted to say what a great friend Michael had been to him; maybe he wanted to tell the world where they could stick it if they wanted to think there had ever been anything improper in his friendship with Michael. The truth is, we don’t know what he intended to tell Sammader, if anything at all. But from there, it seems Sammader tries to draw his own conclusions. “Six eyes are telling him no.” Boy, talk about laying it on thick!

But the truth isn’t really that hard to discern. Sammader had already been instructed prior to the interview that anything negative was to be avoided, and let’s not forget that Culkin’s association with Michael had already been the source of much negative publicity in Spain after the false headlines about an alleged “confession.” It is possible that Culkin wanted to set the record straight, but under gag orders from his publicist, could not say more about it to the media. It’s really as simple as that. Sammader  made an attempt to probe for negativity in an interview where he had been clearly instructed up front that this would not be tolerated, and was effectively shut down as he should have been.

And so…because of that, now it seems Latin media is once again having a field day, this time not because of anything Culkin said but what he didn’t say. Good grief, talk about being damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

Is it any wonder I don’t really envy the lives of celebrities?

Interestingly, a bit further down in the article, The Guardian also inserted a photo of Michael and an adult Macaulay Culkin sitting together at the 2001 30th Anniversary Show, proving again that Michael’s friendship with Culkin (as with all the kids he knew) extended well into adulthood. A favorite myth of Michael Jackson haters and detractors is that he abandoned these friendships as soon as the boys came of age. But example after example proves this was not the case-he only “froze out” the obvious extortionists and people that he knew were playing him.

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54 thoughts on “Just When We Thought Betrayal Couldn’t Sink Even Lower…It Does!”

  1. jadz says:

    Thank you for taking time to educate those that need to be! we know the truth.

  2. Rave, thank you once again for another excellent article. When I first heard about Murray writing a book, I laughed. Then the joy faded when I thought about how easily the public can be led to believe those lies and the big promotion from the lovely tabloids.

    In general terms, I wouldn’t hope to learn the truth about a person by reading a book writen by the man who killed him. The simple idea of a murderer making profit off of his victim, like you stated, is dehumanizing and outrageous. It’s something that the society would normally condemn.

    If it wasn’t Michael Jackson the victim, Murray would be crucified and even the tabloids wouldn’t show him any sympathy. But those moral principles don’t apply when it comes to Michael Jackson, because negativity on him brings money, the thing that the tabloids most love.

    I’ve seen quite a lot of random people express their doubts on this, or remain more neutral and say that it’s only one side of the story, since MJ is not here, we shouldn’t take it for granted. This is some progress and I hope that we’ll be able to do more.

    For now, the fans have started this petition to boycott Murray’s book:
    https://www.change.org/p/fans-of-michael-jackson-from-around-the-world-boycott-dr-conrad-murray-s-book-about-michael-jackson?recruiter=8749632&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink

    1. Raven says:

      Exactly. I think in this case, the media throws decency out the window because it’s Michael Jackson and any salacious details about him sell. It doesn’t matter how they get it or who is doing the dishing. What really gets me is the way some of these articles will try to pretend to be balanced while still, nevertheless, dishing the titillating details from Murray’s book. In this manner, they achieve the clicks while still pretending to absolve themselves from the guilt (sort of like, yes, we know Murray is a scumbag and this book is despicable and all BUT HERE IS WHAT IT SAYS…). In some ways, I have felt guilty about doing the same thing but I think there is a huge difference between discussing these details in order to REBUT them, as opposed to simply using them as click bait.

      Thanks for sharing the petition. I think I may have already signed it (or one similar). I’m not sure how much good official boycotts actually do; obviously, the people who don’t want to read or buy it (which I’m sure is 99% of the fandom) won’t; those few who do want to buy it will. For me, it’s ONLY saving grace-if you will-would be if he provides any answers about who actually masterminded Michael’s death (if he didn’t) but I doubt seriously the book provides those answers and, to be honest, even if it did I would still have to take anything he said with a HUGE grain of salt because I simply don’t trust this man and never will. He has already lied too much, and even if there was a murder conspiracy, I believe he was a more than willing accomplice. The only exoneration for Murray in my eyes would have to be the emergence of bona fide proof that someone that morning entered the Holmby House premises completely unbeknowing to Murray while he was out of the room-but that is a highly unlikely scenario. From what I have gathered so far, this book is less about the crime that took place and is, instead, all about peddling gossip on Michael’s personal life. It seems like nothing but a cheap tactic of revenge for the fact that he probably considers (in his own warped mind) that Michael Jackson is the man who ruined his life. That seems to be the only justification for this smutfest.

      Some fans are looking into the possibility of whether he can be taken down due to HIPPA violations. That may be possible IF he hasn’t completely circumvented this legality by publishing in Australia (I’m still not sure about that).

      1. @Raven

        Even if the HIPPA law can’t get him, the people mentioned in the book, like Emma Watson and Harriet Lester, could sue him for defamation. After all, there’s no possible proof of what Murray says were Michael’s intentions with them, it’s just his word. Since the family members of a deceased person can’t sue so for such things when the deceased is mentioned, at least living people can sue. Maybe Emma doesn’t want to get involved but for Harriet and her family who had a friendship with Michael this could be big deal. I hope that at least she decides to sue him. I have my fingers crossed on that.

  3. Regarding Robson’s new lawyers:

    I agree that the leaking of the letter was PR by Robson’s new legal team. There is no legal sense of it. In a court process you submit motions to the court if you want discovery on certain issues and like you pointed out in this case actually such questions have already been asked and answered during interrogatories. Like the letter itself points out it is illegal to keep settlements of sexual abuse a secret so they simply could have asked the court to reinforce the law if there were such secret settlements.

    (BTW, Robson’s new lawyer firm filed on the 13th to the court that they would represent Robson from now on. On the very same day they were already in action, leaking the letter. Which BTW, also reads like a PR piece for their law firm, praising them, listing their activities etc.)

    The letter is simply to make the impression to the public that there are many, many silenced, payed-off victims out there that the public does not know about due to lack of transparency. Like said, the source of this claim is nothing but tabloids, but the game Robson’s legal team is playing is to reinforce this idea in the public’s mind by innuendo. Like said they keep repeating unprofessional, emotionally manipulative language in the letter (“little boys”, “dozens of little boys” etc.) – it is clear it is for the public.

    From a legal POV they they do need such victims and desperately so though. The case is still in summary judgement. This means the issue is still whether they are within statutes of limitations or not. As you know, the court already determined that they cannot sue MJ (because by law you cannot sue a deceased person) and they cannot sue the Estate (because under probate law Robson/Safechuck they are out of all statutes of limitations). So this leaves suing MJ’s companies. But for them to be able to sue the companies they have to prove that 1) the companies knew or had a reason to know about prior allegations of sexual abuse against MJ, 2) the companies could control MJ.

    So what they have to prove is that there were allegations of sexual abuse before Robson’s alleged abuse and the companies knew about them. Gossip, speculations, personal opinions of employees are not enough. It has to be some sort of formal complaint that the companies had knowledge about. That is why they need to pin their hopes on allegations and settlements existing before Robson’s alleged abuse. That’s why they would so desperately need these phantom settlements and pay-outs. (But even if they had one they would still have the problem of whether the companies could have controlled MJ, which is not likely, since he was the sole owner of both companies. No one had the right to hire or fire him or to remove him from positions etc.)

    Ironically, the Chandler story itself shows how the existence of such pay-outs is not likely. Since when Evan Chandler demanded MJ to pay them to silently go away MJ refused. Why if pay-outs for sexual abuse of kids were such routine for him? Why not take the opportunity with the Chandlers too, especially when they admittedly did not want anything more than a silent pay-off? It does not make any sense that pay-offs were supposedly routine for MJ, yet he would refuse to pay off the Chandlers when they were the ones offering him to silently go away if he pays them off. Moreover, both Robson and Safechuck state in their complaints that they were never offered pay-offs. So who are those mysterious paid off kids then if no one who we know about were ever offered pay-offs, not even MJ’s actual later accusers?

    BTW, settlements are not hush money pay offs. They are often lumped together in the public mind and the Chandler/Francia settlements are characterized as “hush money”, but we are talking about two different things. A settlement is paid after authorities and the public already learnt about the allegations. Nothing is “hushed” there. But here the suggestion is that there were pay-offs to victims to never report the alleged crime and never go public with it. Like said in the Chandler case MJ actually refused such a pay-off when the Chandlers wanted it!

    “Well, that “open season” is exactly what they are trying to create.”

    I think that is a good point as well. If they do not find allegations/settlements prior to Robson’s alleged abuse they still want to play the critical mass game that these same lawyers so masterfully play with the Catholic Church. Often they dig up 100-150 accusers for a case against a Catholic priest and the sheer number of accusers usually results in a settlement. I think that’s what they are trying to do here as well. Dig up so many alleged victims that it would pressure the Estate into a settlement. Or at least the bad pulicity that they are creating in the media would. Because these lawyers are all about settlements. When I cheked out their website most of their cases ended in settlements, not in actual court victories. I think that’s Robson’s goal as well. That’s why he hired them.

    Regarding Murray:

    I am not even willing to entertain the things this pathlogical liar claims on a “what if” basis.

    A fan on Twitter dug up his previous interview with the police and showed that he said completely different things there:

    https://twitter.com/Nimue9/status/755416106785968128

    https://twitter.com/Nimue9/status/755390307118804992

    https://twitter.com/Nimue9/status/755390204844896257

    https://twitter.com/Nimue9/status/755390095415447553

    1. Simba says:

      “Moreover, both Robson and Safechuck state in their complaints that they were never offered pay-offs.”

      Which begs the question – if Michael Jackson routinely paid huge sums to supposed victims, how come Robson and Safechuck never scored any cash? That’s where they tripped up. They should have told more lies and claimed that they were offered money but they turned it down. Michael’s not here to dispute it. That’s what happens when you tell big lies – it’s really hard to manage all of the phony details.

      As for Murray, I don’t believe he “wrote” that book for a second. He’s a paid shill. It doesn’t matter if anyone buys the book. All the salacious details are out there already.

      1. Robson and Safechuck claiming their parents or them received hush money would get their complaint immediately thrown out. For them to be within statutes of limitations they have to claim that they recently realized they were abused or that it was wrong. They also cannot claim their parents knew about the abuse because then the Court would tell them: then sue your parents not MJ’s companies. It is already ridiculous enough as it is now. Think about it. Robson claims that total strangers in MJ’s companies should have protected him and that it is the companies’ fault that he was allegedly molested, but he does not blame the one person who was the closest to the whole situation, who was his guardian, who knew all along that he slept in MJ’s room and allowed it, who was the one who begged MJ to bring them to the US from Australia – his mother. But somehow she is not responsible while MJ’s companies are. Joy Robson and her responsibility is completely missing from Wade’s complaint. If that’s not transparent! He would not be able to make money by suing his mother. The big money is in suing MJ and his companies. So claiming his parents were given hush money would not be effective at all for his complaint. Both Robson and Safechuck claim that their parents only learnt about their alleged abuse when they recently told them, so they cannot claim they received hush money for silence about abuse.

        Besides, they cannot just claim it, they would have to have some sort of evidence, like big money transferred to their bank accounts, receipts. Such big money cannot just move without any trace. And then they would also have to prove that the people at the companies knew what it was for.

        The joke in this presistent hush money rumour in the tabloid media is, that no actual accuser claimed to have ever received or been offered hush money. Not Robson, not Safechuck, not Arvizo. The Chandlers begged MJ to get hush money and MJ refused! So there is this presistent myth, yet there is not one single evidence of it ever happening – and not even by people who later turned on MJ.

        1. Raven says:

          Those are all excellent points. It has crossed my mind to wonder if, possibly, let’s say Michael had ever given these families a monetary gift-let’s say, they hit him up with a hard luck sob story, he feels sorry for them, and out of goodness or charity or friendship wrote them a sizeable check-a plausible scenario because Michael was known for his generosity and was known to be generous with his friends. He always lavished expensive gifts on people he felt close to; that was just part of his nature. Is it possible that any of those scumbags could try to use his generosity against him and claim it was “hush money” or gifts in exchange for silence? If they did, it would probably be very hard to prove otherwise as there would simply be no way to know if it was simply a gift and nothing was ever put in writing. In Safechuck’s case, there was the alleged check written to his father (which I genuinely believe was just such a gift) but something like that is near impossible to prove one way or the other. However, as you said, in the case of Wade or Jimmy if they try to claim their parents were paid hush money then it destroys their claim that they only recently realized they were abused AND makes their parents more complicit than MJ’s companies (in the worst case possible scenario). It is a really a convoluted kettle of fish they have cooked up.

          1. “In Safechuck’s case, there was the alleged check written to his father (which I genuinely believe was just such a gift)”

            That story came from LaToya when she was telling all kind of BS under Jack Gordon’s thumb. I would not take that at face value. Safechuck doesn’t claim anything like that in his lawsuit.

      2. Raven says:

        Eventually they will hang themselves with their own lies. That is what happens. You have to keep telling more and more, and bigger and bigger lies, to cover it up.

        Murray is living far too extremely comfortably for someone who hasn’t worked in six years.

    2. Raven says:

      Michael’s entire reaction to the Chandler accusations, also, were very much the reactions of someone in a state of shock (which, again, would hardly have been the case if these kinds of scenarios were routine for him). We saw him publicly go through all the stages of shock, from anger and denial to being overwhelmed and finally, acceptance of something inevitable that he couldn’t change. It doesn’t make sense that he would have gone through all of that if he was someone who was already long experienced in how to slickly handle these things. He would have, as you said, simply handled it and kept the Chandlers out of the press.

      1. “Michael’s entire reaction to the Chandler accusations, also, were very much the reactions of someone in a state of shock (which, again, would hardly have been the case if these kinds of scenarios were routine for him).”

        Agree with this completely.

  4. H.L. Lark says:

    Thank you for this, Raven. You are an angel!

  5. Cleis says:

    Thank You Raven for your heartfelt and steady work !

  6. You provide an invaluable source of fact checking, sources and reasonable assessment for those of us who want to be properly armed against any who are inclined to believe Murray’s lies (or any of the other stuff). Great work, as always. Thank you!

    1. Raven says:

      That’s a good screencap of his exact words! Thanks for the find.

  7. Simba says:

    Esmeralda Rokaj says, “Even if the HIPPA law can’t get him, the people mentioned in the book, like Emma Watson and Harriet Lester, could sue him for defamation.”

    But they weren’t defamed, and as a public figure, a lot of nonsense can be published about Emma Watson with no repercussions whatsoever. (It’s arguable that Harriet Lester was turned into a public figure when her father displayed her on the Today show like a prize heifer when he was trying to peddle that nonsense that she and Paris Jackson looked so very much alike that he had to be Paris’ biological father, too. Talk about betrayal!)

    However the Jackson children were patients of Murray’s before he poisoned Michael. They could definitely ask for sanctions against Murray for violating their privacy, but as Murray is unlikely to practice medicine in the US again, there seems little point. It’s obvious that he’s being paid off big time. Perhaps the Jackson children can sue and subpoena Murray’s tax returns to discover the source of his cash. If he hadn’t been paying taxes on the money that’s even better – get him on tax evasion like Capone.

    Murray is not that slick; somebody could take him down if they wanted to badly enough. Put a PI on him and watch his every move. Maybe they’re afraid of what they might find.

    1. @Simba

      From the legal point of view, I’m not sure of all the circumstances under which something constitutes as defamation. Indeed, is a slight hope that the girls could sue him or even have any right to do so. But I’m pretty sure that Murray has some dirt which would be enough to cause him problems with the publishing of this book.

  8. The media has no morals and boundaries. Now they are trying to turn this felon into a celebrity. I am beyond disgusted. And these are the people who are all judgemental about MJ, yet they are the amoral psychos.

    Article:

    Conrad Murray in talks to join I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here

    In some cases, it’s shown up different sides of public personas and, in other cases, it’s helped to either rebuild or destroy celebrities’ reputations. For Conrad Murray, he’s actually hoping it will helped rebuild his career.

    For those that don’t know, Conrad Murray was convicted and sentenced to four years in jail for the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson. Murray served a total of two years in jail and was recently released. As it goes with most former celebrity physicians who are convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he’s hoping to rehabilitate his image by going into the jungle with a bunch of Z-list celebrities.

    Makes perfect sense.

    Murray’s publicist, Max Markson, confirmed that Murray is in talks with ITV to star in the upcoming season of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. “He’s a doctor, very calm and great with people and he has some extraordinary stories to tell. He’d be a great draw and I’m sure he’d be a fascinating guest for the show.”

    Speaking of extraordinary stories to tell, Murray is currently working on a tell-all memoir about his time with Michael Jackson as his personal physician. Is that why he’s planning on going into I’m A Celebrity, perhaps?

    No, that’s just us being cynical. He’s going on to I’m A Celebrity because he wants to help the Z-list celebrities will need a doctor.

    That’s it. That’s clearly why.

    http://entertainment.ie/tv/news/Conrad-Murray-in-talks-to-join-Im-A-Celebrity-Get-Me-Out-Of-Here/383425.htm

    —-

    BTW Murray’s publicist Max Markson is an Australian. He retweeted a MJFacts tweet about the book.

    1. Raven says:

      BTW Murray’s publicist Max Markson is an Australian. He retweeted a MJFacts tweet about the book.

      Yes, and you know I keep coming back to this. There is clearly something amiss that I think has as its center certain players in Australia. I know that Michael has millions of fans there who love him just as he does everywhere, and for their sake I hate to keep harping on this but these latest developments really kind of clinch it.

  9. @jacksonaktak

    “BTW Murray’s publicist Max Markson is an Australian. He retweeted a MJFacts tweet about the book.”

    I would have shot myself in the head after reading that but I believe my life is worth more than that. What a nonsense. Please God, allow no reasonable human to be fooled by this.

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to lump all Australians with sleazebags like Markson. As far as Murray goes, I really hope the creators of this reality T.V. show aren’t seriously considering having Murray among this roster of celebrities. That’s like hiring Charles Manson. Are they that desperate for ratings the way Radar Online are desperate for readers?

      1. Raven says:

        Just to provide some clarification, a few months after Wade Robson came forward with his allegations, I began to notice a pattern: The only media outlet that was continuing to feed his story was Radar Online. It became obvious then that Radar Online had become Wade’s personal mouthpiece. Radar Online at the time was still under Dylan Howard. Wade and Howard are both Australian, which of course could have been just coincidence but then a lot of other pieces started to fit as well (for example, the MJFacts website has strong ties to Australia) and much of Mike Parr’s support seemed to be coming from there as well (no surprise, mostly from Wade’s relatives). I wrote about these connections in a three-part series (granted, this was over two years ago so some of the info may be outdated; for example, Desiree’s blog was taken down and many believe she is now works anonymously as part of the MJFacts team):

        http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=9377

        http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=9426

        http://www.allforloveblog.com/?p=9590

        Of course, these players are from everywhere but I just found it interesting how there seemed to be an especially strong connection linked to Australia. However, they are only a very small minority out of a huge continent, so the theory is in no way intended to cast aspersions on the entire continent. I know for a fact that many very devoted MJ fans and advocates also hail from Australia, so no, this certainly isn’t about judging an entire continent based on the work of a few sleazebags. Do I find it more than a bit odd that Murray just happens to hook up with an Australian book publisher and publicist? Yes. Is there a connection to Robson and MJFacts? That remains to be seen, although at this point it certainly would not surprise me. A lot of chummy tweets have already passed between Markson and MJFacts, causing many to go “Hmmm.”

        I know what you mean, though. I am from the U.S. and have had to go on the defensive quite a few times from European fans who accuse the U.S. of destroying Michael. I, too, am ashamed of how Michael was treated in his own homeland and have been very outspoken in my feelings about that. However, Michael had and will always have fans here who love him and have stood by him. This was still his home, and he was a representative for us no matter where he went in the world. So I hate it when I hear people trying to lump all Americans in with those that destroyed Michael.

        1. “A lot of chummy tweets have already passed between Markson and MJFacts, causing many to go “Hmmm.”

          The irony is that Murray’s book does not really support the MJFacts agenda. Sure he says that thing about Emma Watson and Harriet Lester (BTW, Harriet and her father came out in defense of MJ since: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75D1upajvy0 ) but the MJ Facts agenda is that MJ was specifically attracted to boys and this kind of messes that up. In fact, this is so important to haters that they regularly emphasize that MJ was a GAY pedophile or a “BOY lover” and that he hated women and girls. A lot of Desiree’s blog used to be dedicated to that narrative of portraying MJ as gay as she was just as obsessed with it as with portraying him as a pedophile. That’s why she also cheer-lead for Jason Pfeiffer, although what Pfeiffer claimed had nothing to do with what haters wanted to prove about the allegations. (BTW, interestingly Pfeiffer story was also first picked up by an Australian magazine. It was an exclusive interview in an Australian women’s magazine. And only then was it picked up by Extra.) And now she embraces Murray who although does make some innuendo about MJ and children (the Emma Watson/Harriet Lester story, or he makes a claim about MJ being “obsessed” with his son and makes it sound creepy – the reality is that Murray’s son was born in March 2009, so he was a little baby and Murray’s girlfriend said before that MJ was interested in her pregnancy and things like that and that’s what now turned into this big “obsession”) but he generally portrays MJ as attracted to females. He makes a claim about MJ visiting hookers and another claim about MJ being into anorexic women. At this point this just shows haters’ true intention. They will just embrace ANY crap about MJ, doesn’t matter if it is actually consistent with their narrative or not. They just want the bashing and trash and they embrace any of it as long as it is salacious and humiliating to MJ – no matter from which direction it comes.

          BTW, here is a selction of lies from Murray’s book that someone who read it posted on Facebook:

          ……………….. ……
          And here are selection of the lies:
          1.)Murray states that Michael didn’t have vitiligo but that he regularly used bleaching agents and chemical peels to turn himself white.
          2.)Murray claims that Michael as given hormones to stop his voice from breaking. He claims that Berry Gordy suggested it to Joseph Jackson after Stevie Wonder had his voice box cut out when he was younger -THAT was the big “bomb shell” he wanted to reveal about Joe.
          3.)Murray claims that Michael was repeatedly raped by doctors while he was under sedation.
          4.)Murray claims that Michael was still “alive” when he reached the hospital. He claims that the heart was still contracting and therefore the doctors there should have done more.
          5.)Murray claims that the paramedics stood around rather than doing anything. He claims they dislodged the IV from Michael’s arm and tried to give various injections via various different sites including Michael’s jugular vein.
          6.)Murray claims Michael wanted to Marry both Harriet Lester and Emma Watson – as they were his ideal women.
          7.)Murray claims Michael had a “thing” for women who were anorexic.
          8.)Murray claims prosecution team falsified evidence in order to get him convicted.
          9.)Murray claims the jury who convicted him were biased because they were fans of Michael’s.
          10.)Murray claims the only reason Katherine sued AEG was to get her handson his money.
          11.)Murray claims Katherine was bleeding Michael dry when it came to money and Michael felt let down by her.
          12.)Murray claims that Michael’s family were “out to kill him.”
          13.)Murray claims Michael’s veins were like those “of a drug addict.”
          14.)Murray claims his girlfriend would not allow Michael to be alone with their son.
          15.)Murray claims Michael considered Kenny Ortega and Frank DiLeo to be “devils”.
          16.)Murray claims Michael dressed as a clown to spend time with stripper and escorts in Las Vegas. Michael liked them to be “stick thing” to the point of anorexia.
          19.)Murray claims Michael was himself anorexic.
          20.)Murray claims Michael was anti-semitic and refused to have “any jewish Doctor” near him. He also claims Michael would not have anything to do with Jewish children.
          21.Murray claims he was a “disciple” of Michael and that Michael wanted him to tell this story as “truth” should anything happen to him.

          And then of course you have today’s claims of Michael’s nose being “a prosthetic” and that Michael did indeed sleep in a hyperbaric chamber to combat aging…..

          (source: K.W. on facebook)

          —–

          I also read he also “confirmed” the age old rumour about Janet that she had given birth to a “secret child” in the 80s that she gave up to adoption.

          Isn’t it convenient for the tabloids that he “confirms” every tabloid rumour that they wanted to have “confirmed” about MJ and his family down to stone age ones like the hyperbaric chamber? I wouldn’t be surprised if he had got good money from the Mirror for these “confirmations” and he “confirmed” anything they wanted “confirmed” for that money. Unfortunately for them most of it is easily refuted and no reasonable person considers a convicted felon and proven pathological liar a credible source for anything.

          Since Murray claims negligence on the paramedics and hospital’s part I wonder if they could sue him. It’s astonoshing to me that he wants to blame everyone but himself. LOL @ the proseution falsifying evidence against him and the Jury being a bunch of MJ fans. The guy is truly a nutcase.

    2. ???

      I simply stated a fact. Whether it has any singnificance or not, who knows? I only noted it because Raven earlier had an article about the strange fact that a lot of these attacks against MJ seem to come from Australian players. Could all be a big coincidence of course.

      1. @jacksonaktak

        I don’t know if your reply was about me but regarding my comment, I simply wanted to say that I was pretty shocked on the fact that these people are so low as to support a page like MJFacts or have anything to do with them. The nonsense word goes to what Murray is doing and I hope none get’s fooled by it. Just in case someone misunderstood it, I wanted to make it clear 🙂

        1. Oh, OK, I thought it was directed at me for saying it. I misunderstood, sorry.

  10. Des says:

    I am from Australia and I’ve been a fan of Michael for more than thirty years including my children and now my grandchildren.Two and half years ago I was working for thirty six years in the same company with more than a thousand employees.Over the years i worked with so many different nationalities and many times we talked about Michael Jackson. I never ever heard anybody say anything bad about him.Yes there were people not interested about him but never talk bad. And now that am not working anymore and maybe i socialize with around hundred people different ages young and old again no one says anything bad.Many of the older people don’t have Internet access and I only installed for Michael and to stop bothering my son for him.I am sort of the voice of many. And most of them saying it’s all for money and writings.For me Michael is an angel because I think I was a good person but because of him I become a better one.I sponsor a child,I hugged a Muslim when I sow the fear in her face I nursed an animal to health I can not hate anyone am honest and I try very hard not to hurt anybody.I get angry but no hate and all those little things and more they make me feel good. I looked at him with everything that he’s gone through and never give up to what really matter to him and get straingth.Two days ago I had a smal procedure and I had to go under anaesthetic and when they were getting me ready I asked are you going to give me what Michaels doctor gave him and he never wekup?the answer our medicine has become famous for the wrong reasons because of this doctor,don’t worry we never leave our passions alone their will be three people looking after you,and this Max Markson I don’t know who he is I’ve never seen his face and I don’t care what is doing all I care is together with so many others they glorifying a killer,that is wrong which ever way you look at it its wrong.Celebrity! wow is that what you have to do became a celebrity.I think this Max and any other Max should try and fix the injustices in our own back yards I don’t know if any one of you seen how some of our aboriginal children they’ve been treated in jails it’s disgusting and then we talk about America.People who love Michael Jackson they have goodness in their hearts,I see it all the time all off you out there with all that you do the comments that people make how polite you all try to be no matter what the difference between people who trying to make the world a better place without a hitten agenda people from all over the world rich and poor educated and ordinary people every colour every race every religion.What is religion any way.We don’t need religion if we have love in our hearts and we put this love in action.Love heals and if we have it in our hearts we need to give it away if we keep it for our selfs it’s a dying love hate destroys our hearts our brothers and sisters our planet everything.One word of hate one act of hate can destroy everything and then again with that precious feeling we nurture in our hearts we try to make things better for all of us.Thank you again for all that you do i visit you and Helena every day and we send you our love many of us who want our children and our children’s children to leave in a world of love not hate like Michael wanted it.LOVE&PEACH

    1. Raven says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I know Michael is very much loved in Australia as he is all over the world. As I commented to thevalleymovie, “The Australian Conspiracy” as I call it only refers to a very small if albeit very vocal minority. Speaking of “I’m A Celebrity” there was an American version a few seasons ago and one of the contestants was set to be Rod Blagovech, a disgraced politician who was impeached in office when he served as governor of Illinois. I remember a lot of people then were upset about him being allowed to be on the show. Something came up-a legality of some sort-and he was not allowed to compete on the show, so his wife Patty stepped in in his place. From that point forward, it was all about Patty attempting to restore the Blagovechs’ reputations. She bonded with the other castmates and pulled her weight in all of the competitions (some of which were pretty fearsome although I always wonder how much of it is staged). She turned out to be a popular contestant who was liked by voters. Of course, there was plenty of air time for venting and sitting around the campfire telling life stories, in which she was able to have the perfect captive audience to sob about how hard her life has been since the scandal and how misjudged she and her husband have been, etc etc etc. It seems to me that this is what Murray is banking on as well. He thinks he will get to prove himself a hero and can have his “sitting around the campfire” moments to dish dirt on Michael Jackson and how he was set up as the poor, martyred victim.

  11. Des says:

    About half an hour ago i watched and interview with Murray on a show call (the project) here in Australia it only lasted a couple of minutes.They destroyed him I felt.

    1. @Des

      Any links? I’d like to see it.

  12. des says:

    Hi Esmeralda, google this(tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/the-project/2016/7/27)its about fifteen minutes in to the show.I liked it even the way they’re stopped the interview its like they said to him enough of your rubbish.

    1. @des

      Thanks, I’ll check 🙂

  13. In case you guys are interested, King Jordan Radio has uploaded a video regarding Tom Mesereau’s opinion on Dr. Murray. It was cut from a show in 2014 but it’s pretty relevant to what’s happening now. Mesereau successfully predicted Murray trying to write a book and says that one of the first things he learned about Michael Jackson’s world was how many people liked to claim they were his best friends. It deserves a listening:

    1. Raven says:

      That really is an interesting phenomenon. I think to some extent it is true of all really famous people. Everyone who is around them wants a little piece of that. It becomes a way of experiencing fame vicariously. But even though no celebrity is immune to it (they all have their share of hangers-on, etc) I think it was especially true of Michael. And I think a big reason is because he had that reputation of mystique about him, where few could ever get really close or to know the “real” Michael Jackson, so there was a kind of fantasy element to it for some people (they liked to think they were “the” one who somehow penetrated that wall; everyone seemed to want to be the one to get all the credit for having somehow cracked the MJ genetic code lol) and also because anything connected with his life was an easy sell. Anyone close to him always knew that, somewhere down the road, there was a chance for a story that could be sold to the tabloids, or a book that could be written. So therein you have the unique combination of ego and greed that constantly fed this phenomenon around Michael Jackson. He was a very big star who also made for a very big target. Women (and some men, too) fantasized about being his lover; others envisioned he would finance their pet projects. Almost everyone around him envisioned some kind of windfall that would come out of the association. When you think about it, it is a really sad way to live and it’s no wonder his ability to trust was severely eroded.

  14. Finally good news guys! MJ’s nephews are suing Radar Online for the fake articles:
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-michael-jackson-nephews-lawsuit-20160727-snap-story.html

    1. Bert Fields’ letter to Radar Online in courtesy of the Daily Michael blog:

      http://i63.tinypic.com/2mobm2u.jpg

      http://i67.tinypic.com/dnzodk.jpg

      http://i66.tinypic.com/16k2ftd.jpg

      —–

      While it is not easy to win lawsuits against the media (they are protected by a lot of privileges such as the Shield Law), but I think Radar made some missteps here which actually may give a chance to 3T. For example, even after Fields’ above letter that pointed out the falsehoods and inaccuracies in their article, they still refused to publish a correction – this may prove malice and that’s what you need to do to prove to win cases against the media.

  15. Radar Online’s response:

    “Radar’s parent company, AMI, released statement to BuzzFeed News in response to the lawsuit:
    It’s curious and revealing that plaintiffs have not attached the Radar article to their complaint. The article does NOT accuse Michael Jackson of molesting his nephews, nor does it accuse them of accepting a bribe.
    The Radar article clearly states that detectives reported that Michael Jackson may have used photos of his nephews “to excite young boys.” This theory was, in fact, presented by the prosecution during Michael Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial.
    Radar looks forward to correcting plaintiffs’ misstatements in a court of law.”

    They keep lying. Here is the original RO article. What exactly does it do then if it does not suggest that MJ molested his nephews? Can they explain to me what exactly does this article mean if the suggestion in it is not that, among others, he molested his nephews? Surely a lot of people came away with that conclusion from reading this article, which was surely was also its goal.

    The article:

    “EXCLUSIVE Jacko Betrayed! Sex Perv Singer’s Family Turned Against Him In Abuse Probe.”

    New claims relatives told cops he liked ‘prepubescent’ boys.

    Michael Jackson‘s sordid secret life of creepy porn and perverted art was no secret to his family, RadarOnline.com has learned. According to an insider, his own relatives were grilled during the past investigation into child molestation claims against him — and there were even claims he had exposed some of them to his sick fetishes!

    As Radar reported, Santa Barbara Police Detectives raided Jackson’s Neverland Ranch in 2003, looking for any trace of evidence to support child abuse allegations. Jackson was later cleared.

    But in the process of digging into his dirty double life, cops interviewed two of the late “Beat It” singer’s family members about his creepy secrets, a source claimed, and authorities even worried that he may have victimized his own relatives!

    One private investigator with direct knowledge of the raids told Radar, “The detectives’ report cites Michael even used sexy photos of his own nephews … in their underwear to excite young boys.”

    Jackson had always taken a special interest in his nephews, the source claimed, even writing a letter to their late mother which warned her to “please read this article about child molestation and please read it to [your son] … it brings out how even your own relatives can be molesters of children, even uncles or aunts molesting nephews or nieces. Please read. Love MJ.”

    The boys always denied they had been abused. But according to the source, when it came time to ask the family about these and other concerns, detectives were met with resistance.
    Said the insider, “Jackson’s people got wind of it and Jackson spirited the relative off to an island. Well, when that person returned, Jackson had also purchased them a brand new car, which we understood, along with the trip, was to shut them up.”

    Nevertheless, the source said the individual’s behavior still seemed to suggest that something was amiss in the Jackson home.

    The individual “was home alone and invited two detectives in, offered refreshments and also offered that they would be unwilling to talk bad about Michael,” the source said.
    “It was odd that this person wasn’t upset with the visit, and wasn’t upset that the detectives told them what they had suspected happened with Michael and this person never gave a real denial,” the source claimed.

    Another family member was also interviewed but flatly denied any wrongdoing by the “Dangerous” singer, said the insider.
    Still, the authorities continued their investigation, and flew to Las Vegas to meet with another close Jackson family member.
    Said the source, “What he told us was eye-opening. He told us that Jackson had for years tried to hide his predilection for prepubescent boys. However, he said Jackson had also been addicted to all kinds of drugs and often was too screwed up to even realize that others were witnessing his touching little boys, caressing little boys and doing other untoward things.”

    “This family member said he feared that there were several young relatives, including his own son, who may have been victims,” the source claimed. “He also told us that Katherine Jackson, more than anyone else, knew about her son’s activities with boys but was too embarrassed to do anything about it. He told us that Katherine implied that Hollywood turned Jackson gay, which had nothing to do with his being a pedophile.” Jackson had always insisted he was straight.

    According to the source, the family member declined to testify at trial, however, telling investigators and friends that he’d be ostracized from the family or even killed if he did so.
    Latoya Jackson had previously made her own bombshell claims that her brother was indeed a pedophile and that she and her mother had uncovered letters and canceled checks that Jackson paid to victims’ families.

    However, she repeatedly refused to speak with law enforcement, which didn’t stop prosecutors from seriously considering calling her as a hostile witness during Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial — in which he ultimately was found not guilty.

    “We thought, she had made some serious public allegations in the past against Jackson and having her on the stand, under oath, may have been a game changer. However, we thought it could ultimately undermine us too,” the law enforcement source said.”

    ——

    Radar’s claim that they only repeated the police report when they claimed that MJ used those photos to excite young boys is clearly a false statement (yet again) by Radar Online, since that’s not what the police report claims. This is what is in actually in the detective’s report:

    https://s32.postimg.org/aky44qlr9/Clipboard01.jpg

    They make this standard legal text at the end of each and every item they confiscated – simply to give a reason as to why they were confiscated. This is something that is generally based on the detective’s training as to what child molesters generally may use to molest children. Not even a claim directly about MJ, let alone a statement that MJ did in fact use those photos for such things.

    Radar, however, claimed that the detectives’ report factually stated that MJ did use those photos to “excite young boys”. Nowhere in that document is such a thing stated. Radar did not just say that the detective theorized that he might have used them as such instead they state is as a fact that he did use them as such as if it was something that was factually proven. In reality, the prosecution never even introduced such a theory or these photos to court. So they are once again wrong when in their statement they claim: “This theory was, in fact, presented by the prosecution during Michael Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial.” No such tehory was ever presented at the trial by the prosecution. Nor did any accuser ever claim that MJ used these photos to “excite them”. If Radar had been genuine in their reporting they should have explained to their readers what this standard legal text meant – instead they do just the opposite and make a claim about it that was never actually in the original police document.

    BTW, the wording of Radar’s statment clearly attempts to make that statement from behind the Shield Law by putting it in the mouth of an unnamed source (a supposed “private investigator”), however I think the moment they say “the detectives’ report cites” – they ruin that Shield Law defense because what the detective’s report actually states they could have and should have checked themselves as they had the document. And especially because they were asked to correct these statements in July and still refused that proves further malice (along with them actively doctoring the document or if it was their source who doctored it – not issuing a public apology and correction once they found out it was doctored).

    Since they put the other salacious claims in the mouth of an anonymous source (the classic Shield Law trick by rags like this) they might expect to be protected by the Shield Law, however because 3T asked for a correction and Radar refused to publish it then it may prove malice on Radar’s part with that Bert Fields can already do something.

    Here is MJ’s letter to Dee Dee. Yeah, right sounds like something a child molester would write. It actually sounds just the opposite. And knowing since that Taj was molested by another relative that’s maybe why MJ wrote it.

    http://www.allforloveblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/letter-to-Dee.jpg

    1. Raven says:

      What Radar is guilty of doing is using what I call tabloid double talk. It’s a way of sensationalizing factual statements by making them seem more horrific, bizarre or twisted than they actually are. They were also banking that most of their readers would simply skim the headlines and the highlights of their story, rather than actually clicking on the documents and reading the fine print for themselves.

    2. Raven says:

      Radar effed up by allowing themselves to get overly carried away with their Jackson bashing fest. The truth is that, despite universal condemnation from the fandom, people were clicking on those articles. In some cases it was part of necessary detective work (how else would we have known, for example, the extent to which those initial documents were faked?) but all of it resulted in a glorious ratings spike for Radar in the month of June which they boasted about. So after that, it became all about “more, more, more” with the stories growing taller and dirtier and more bizare with each new “scoop.” I really think they got carried away with their own perceived “triumph” and greed and allowed it to go beyond the pale. And this may cost them dearly. 3T may or may not get $100 million out of this, but I believe they definitely have a strong case and, hopefully, if they prevail it will curb the media’s appetite for salacious stories about Michael Jackson. At the very least, they will certainly be a lot more careful about including living heirs and members of his family in their stories, which is a start (now if we can just push the anti-defamation law into existence!).

      1. I certainly hope that Fields will find a way to make them be punished. It seems unfortunately trashing MJ is still a lucrative business. People shouldn’t be this freaking gullible, but unfortunately most are.

  16. @jacksonaktak

    I think that 3T has indeed a chance to prove malice from Radar Online. The lawyers will certainly go through all what you mentioned and even more. Hopefully, 3T wins the case. It will give a clear message that not only tabloids lie, but no serious media outlet should copy and paste their stories. Huffington Post already showed regret when they allowed Raven’s article to be published on their page. I hope others feel ashamed for what they did as well.

    1. Raven says:

      Copy and paste journalism has really got to go. Fortunately, a few outlets did fact check beyond the initial Radar story, and as a result, we had the statement from the Santa Barbara sheriff’s department which first alerted many to the forgeries. But for the most part, many just copied the story verbatim. The reason media outlets do this is because no one wants to be left out of the ratings game. If one rag publishes what looks like a hot story, everyone wants to be in on it-or risk losing out.

  17. Sina says:

    Hi Raven, I just read your article on HP . Kudos again, I am still in the proces of reading and may comment later…

    But there is one thing that is more nuanced than you have asserted and that is about benoquin .Benoquin works on the unaffected ( by vitiligo)parts of the skin to destroy the melanocytes and help prevent it from producing melanine again so that it matches the colour of the affected skin. It is primarily used for vitiligopatients ,but it does not mean that people who are not diagnosed with vitiligo cannot and do not use it. Since it is a(semi) permanent skinwhitener (not a bleacher), it is abused on a large scale in Asia, Africa S America and other countries where fair skin is the beauty ideal, because it is just as effective in reducing/erasing melanine as with vitiligopatients. In most countries it can only be prescribed by a doctor because of its strong side effects, it actually damages the skin, But it is freely sold online and in non western countries you can find markets and shops stuffed with skinwhitheners .
    There is a documentary about the use of skinwhiteners that I am looking for to send you.
    Michael also suffered from lupus which also causes skindiscoloration, but with the opposite effect of vitiligo,ie overpigmentation, dark patches. which should have made treatment of these conditions quite a challenge. .
    Here is a very informative article about monobenzone , the effects and the risks.
    http://whiterskin.info/skin-bleaching-with-monobenzone/

    .

    1. Raven says:

      The statement that Benoquin is only effective for vitiligo patients came from that article by Dr. Harris which I linked to in the piecehttp://www.umassmed.edu/vitiligo/blog/blog-posts1/2016/01/did-michael-jackson-have-vitiligo/

      However, even prescription medications can certainly be abused, as we all know, and there are always markets available where people who desire a prescription drug can obtain it. As I am sure you are aware, a pet theory of many Michael Jackson detractors is that Arnie Klein faked his diagnosis in order to enable him to obtain the medication. However, even given that it is possible that monobenzone can be abused, there remains a lot of debate as to its effectiveness on non-vitiligo patients and, frankly, I prefer to give Michael the benefit of the doubt. With Murray making these kinds of claims in his book and in the media, I think it is important to educate the public about what Michael was using and that it IS a prescription medication for the treatment of vitiligo. Doing so removes the mystery Murray is trying to create of some “mysterious, magic bleaching cream” that Michael somehow had access to.

  18. Sina says:

    Raven says “I prefer to give Michael the benefit of the doubt.

    To me there is no doubt whatsoever , the autopsy report is unambiguous and leaves no room for interpretation .
    I have read about “Systemic Lupus Erythematosus with Vitiligo”, of which the symptoms are very much like what we heard/read that Michael suffered from. Ofcourse it is tricky to pinpoint this as the exact type of lupus and vitiligo that Michael had, but it may not be too farfetched .
    My point is that, despite contra indication for people who do not suffer from vitiligo( because it actually damages healthy skin), benoguin and other dangerous depigmentating creams are used on a large scale for ‘cosmetic’ skin whitening because it works in the same way on the mylococites as for people with vitiligo, They really end up paper white,Iincluding side effects that vitiligo patients also suffer.
    That is where the speculation about Michaels skin condition comes from., which can easily be countered with the autopsy report.

  19. Regarding Murray’s current claims about MJ not having vitiligo. He said something completely different to the police when they interviewed him:

    https://jacksonaktak.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/cnvg7tlxeaiz27x-large.jpg?w=640&h=933

    1. Raven says:

      This should really be added to my HP article! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I probably read it long ago but had completely forgotten about this statement! Of course, he would probably come back now and say something like he was lying at the time to protect MJ’s reputation or something equally inane (Murray is one of those who has lied so much he actually forgets which ones he needs to cover himself for).

  20. Sina says:

    What is often overlooked is that it is not just a skin disease but an autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body that has melanocytes .including hair / eyebrow/lashes) lips, inside mouth , nostrils, genitals, eyes, and inner ear. Having it on the skin is bad enough as it affects the protective function of the skin and has psychological effects. In the ears or eyes it can cause loss of eye sight and hearing. Sadly the focus of vitiligo is very much on the visble part..

    1. Raven says:

      Interesting. I didn’t know it could affect vision and hearing as well. I am wondering if this could have been part of the reason for Michael’s vision problems later on. I remember reading in the bodyguards’ book that his vision “was really messed up” but he didn’t like to be seen in public wearing glasses (however, we certainly have many photos of him in glasses, and I think I can vouch for most fans that they certainly did not detract from his looks!).

  21. Caleb Skydrive says:

    Raven,

    After all ths trauma I am searching for a way to get back to the Michael
    I still love. I feel lost. Any suggestions?

    1. Raven says:

      The Michael we know and love hasn’t gone anywhere. We have to keep in mind that what has happened recently is a deliberate smear campaign that is being orchestrated by certain parties. I realize it must seem that there has been a lot of focus on all of the negative recently, even among the fan community. Michael always said, “Bad news sells.” Even among the fan community, where we SAY we want to focus on the positive, what happens? A negative story comes out and that is everyone’s focus. Stories about Michael’s artistic accomplishments and/or humanitarian works take a back seat. I will admit that recently I have also had to expend much more time and energy on this mess than I would really like, but sometimes the dirty work has to be done in order to educate people and to provide the much needed and necessary counter rebuttals to the media trash. I am not one of those who adheres to “if we ignore all of this, it will just go away.” It won’t.

      That being said, the best way to get back to the Michael we love is by focusing on those things we love. Play his music; immerse yourself in his videos. Go into a dance studio and put him on and practice his moves (which is not only a great stress reliever, but a great cardio workout, too!). Pick up Dancing The Dream and read his words. Reflect on what his life and its mission truly meant. Michael hasn’t gone anywhere. His magic, power, and great love is still there, burning brightly through all of the darkness that certain forces wish to bring. None of this is new. Michael’s fans lived through far worse in the years 2003-2005, but still kept the faith.

      There are really two schools of thought on this, and both have their adherents within the fan community and in determining how we, as individuals, deal with times like these when negative publicity about Michael seems to dominate the headlines. There are fans who will say we need to attack and counter, and those who will say the only way to truly fight against the tide is to hold up his artistic legacy and example. In my estimation, both are equally important and I don’t think it has to be either/or. But I do think it will take a concentrated effort of both strategies to turn this tide. For myself, I continued teaching critical analysis of music (using Michael’s songs as examples) right through the storm this past summer, and my students responded to him, to his messages and to the magic of his songs and films as they always have. This was a wonderful reminder that the artistic legacy Michael left is more than secure, and will continue to be appreciated by many generations to come. This is what will endure long after all of the other garbage has faded away.

      On a personal level, that is what must be done as well. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the garbage, and sometimes it doesn’t help when that is also all we see even when we go on fan sites and social media. Ironically, I was just thinking before I saw your comment that I, too, have grown a bit wearisome with the whole topic. This current storm really started with the breaking of that first Radar Online story on June 20, and I realized as I was putting together my latest post that rebutting this mess has really consumed my entire summer-certainly a summer that I would much rather have spent discussing and discovering new things about Michael’s extraordinary art. I realized this has consumed a lot of my energy this summer, but on the flip side of that, I also can take no real pleasure in enjoying his art when I know these forces are at work to tear him down. After awhile, it becomes a vicious cycle.

      As far as “getting back to Michael” that has to be a personal journey and no one person can tell someone else how to do it. I can only say that, for me, getting back to the music is what it’s all about.

Blurring The Lines: The Michael and Prince Saga (Reprinted From Allforloveblog Jan 2011 With An All-New Introduction and Conclusion)

13043347_1179399478777502_4582345209130623983_nBack in early 2011, I ran a two-part series on the saga of the “MJ vs. Prince” rivalry. With Prince’s recent death having ignited, again, a lot of those comparisons (in both good and negative ways) it seemed an appropriate time to re-visit the series. I have now combined both parts into one post, as well as revising and updating much of the original content. At the time, I wanted to cut through a lot of the myths of the “who is better” question which has always been (and remains) more of a media-fueled competition than anything. But in so doing, it still begs a lot of questions as to why and how those comparisons even began and, perhaps more importantly, what it says about how we continue to view the black male artist.

efjo8y

To be sure, the music world has always been rife with these kinds of competitions, going all the way back to the 1950’s when people debated who truly deserved the “King of Rock’n’Roll” title-Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry or Little Richard? It continued through the 60’s as fans debated the virtues of the poppy Beatles over the darkness of The Rolling Stones. But in the 1980’s when Michael Jackson and Prince became the two biggest selling male artists of the decade, race became a factor in a way that we had never seen before.

princeonbike

The stakes had changed completely. No longer was this a competition between white and black, or between two British groups of similar working class backgrounds who, expanding upon the blues tradition they both shared, then took very divergent musical paths. This was a case of two black men arising out of humble beginnings in midwestern America-both of the same generation, born the same summer-to completely change the face of the pop music scene, and along with it, to challenge all of the rules and expectations about what a black man’s “place” in the music industry was expected to be. And while it may be true that artists like James Brown had blazed that trail long before either Michael or Prince, the level of commercial crossover success that his prodigies Michael and Prince achieved twenty years later is something that even The Godfather of Soul could never have fathomed. But therein may lie one of the biggest fundamental differences between the two. While both were apt pupils in the school of James Brown and Jackie Wilson, it may be argued that Michael remained truer to those roots, whereas Prince, early on, was more often touted as “The Second Coming of Jimi Hendrix”-an exotic, flashy black man on guitar who shared Hendrix’s fascination with apocalyptic, astral themes.

with james brown
While Both Artists Obviously Came From The School of James Brown, It Could Be Argued That MJ Remained Truest To Those Roots…

Nevertheless, when the Purple Rain soundtrack became the only album in the mid 1980’s big enough to take on the phenomenal success of Thriller (and when it began to look as if it was going to be a virtual toss-up of whose posters graced the most bedroom walls of every white teenage girl in America) the media couldn’t resist-and the “rivalry” was born.

prince_l
…Prince Often Seemed More Like The Reincarnation Of Jimi Hendrix

 

hendrix2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was of the same generation as Michael and Prince. Of course, this meant that just as with any kid of my generation, I had grown up with The Jackson 5. But Michael’s adult solo career, coinciding just as Prince’s career was taking off, also coincided with my own coming of age. As a young adult, I loved the music of both Prince and Michael Jackson, but like a lot of young people of the era, my preferences and loyalty for one or the other tended to vascillate, depending on whatever stage I was in at the moment. Early on, I had loved Michael’s funky grooves. But by the mid 80’s, as I entered my rebellious “headbanger” stage, Prince seemed more my poison of preference. He seemed harder edged, and his more “out there” avant garde style suited my dark mood at the time. Indeed, looking back on it now, it seems much of the “who is better” rivalry has its roots in what was then a very “rockism”-born agenda to tear down Michael Jackson’s success. And what better way could that be accomplished than pitting his popularity against another black artist who seemed to have more “rock” credibility?

agsdgTo be sure, both men were well aware of how they were being pitted against each other. Their rivalry was never personal; both men made it very clear through the years that their respect for one another was genuine and enormous. They were never exactly “best buds” but their paths in life did cross often; they hung out together on a number of occasions, shot baskets together at Paisley Park; even played a competitive ping pong match for the affections of Sherilyn Fenn. Nevertheless, to some degree the competition did play into their respective egos. 7afb4e57d407eef06f66ea00aae15c7d

Like all successful artists, both had a keenly competitive streak. They were both driven perfectionists who kept close watch on every innovative career move the other made, like two calculating players at chess, each watching for the chance to call “checkmate” on the other. It was not malicious in nature; rather, it came from a deep welled, instinctive drive for survival in what they both recognized as a cutthroat business. More to the point, though, each inspired the other to dig deeper and to work harder. When thinking back to the famous literary rivalry between Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, it has been said that “they each envied in the other what they didn’t have in themselves.” In the case of Michael and Prince, it seemed more a case of each envying-and perhaps even fearing-what they both saw in themselves when they looked at each other.  It may be argued quite fairly that Michael’s “toughened up” harder image of the “Bad” era owed much to Prince, but what is most interesting is how their lives and career trajectories seemed to travel very parallel paths, but in opposite directions-for example, how Michael who had been raised as a very devout Jehovah’s Witness and had purposely maintained a squeaky clean image and stage persona, broke away from the faith and began to go for a more “bad boy” image just as Prince-formerly the “dirty boy” of the two-was entering a much more spiritual stage and cleaning up his image.  Throughout the 90’s, as Michael Jackson seemed to be sowing many of the wild oats he had not given himself permission to sow in the previous decade, Prince was settling into the path that would eventually culminate in his conversion to the same faith that Michael had rejected. In short, he was becoming more of a prophet and less of a boy toy for “Darling Nikki.”

Michael Jackson and Prince both had a major hand in pushing the envelope of what defined a male black pop artist, with hits that blurred the lines between pop, hard rock, and funk. They were both innovators in the field of video (though I think few would argue that Michael has the edge there), both became respected legends with numerous music awards, both fought their own corporate battles against the record industry, endured similar personal tragedies, and sought spiritual answers-even embracing the same religion, though at different times in their lives. They have both been subject to media scrutiny regarding their sexuality and sometimes gender-fluid appeal. In both cases, their untimely and unexpected deaths ignited a global outpouring of shocked grief and affectionate nostalgia that, just as quickly, became marred by ghoulish media sensationalism.

What exactly was the essence of their appeal? Maybe it was the comeuppance for all those years that pretty white boys like Elvis Presley got to steal the music and corner the market, while managing to get all the girls, and of course it was all perfectly “safe” since guys like Elvis were sanitized, white…and “safe.”

But for all their commonality, it was their differences that really fueled the fire of the “rivalry.” Although I will argue that their differences were perhaps not as pronounced as many think, and in some cases complete myths (such as the incorrect assumption some Prince fans have that Michael didn’t write his own music or play instruments) we can’t ignore the fact that their differences are what eventually compelled most fans to choose allegiances, depending on personal tastes and preference.

MICHAEL IN THE EARLY 80’S WAS THE CUTE, CLEANCUT BOY NEXT DOOR

PRINCE WAS THE DIRTY BOY YOU MET IN A BACK ALLEYWAY AND DIDN’T DARE TELL MAMA ABOUT. BUT….

Early on, Michael came across as more of a cleancut, Disney-esque personae. Even though early videos like Billie Jean and Beat It made it evident that he had definitely sexed up and toughened up his Jackson 5 image, it still never felt dirty. Even when his music rocked out, it still maintained a pop sheen. Prince, by contrast, came across as much edgier, more like an updated Jimi Hendrix than a pop artist. He played electric guitar. He sang dirty, raunchy lyrics-and what’s more, he gave the appearance of really meaning them!

…ALL OF THAT WAS ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE!

…AND HOW!

In short, despite all their elements in common, they seemed-at least deceptively, at first-to be polar opposites. In the mid 80′s, the lines seemed very clearly drawn. Michael Jackson was like a one-man version of The Beatles-poppy, polished, clean and happy. Prince was like the one-man version of The Rolling Stones-dark, dirty, a bit dangerous and full of angst.

Or in other words, if you asked most girls in the 80′s which guy they would bring home to meet their mothers, the answer most certainly would have been Michael Jackson. Prince was more like the dirty boy you met up with in a backalley and didn’t dare tell anyone.

But it wouldn’t take long for those clearly drawn lines to blur considerably.

Just as The Beatles gradually became darker and more angst-ridden as the 60′s progressed, so, too, did Michael eventually become a darker, angrier, and more sexual persona. By the same token, as Prince became more spiritual in his personal life, he reinvented himself onstage to become more of a prophet than a boy toy for Darling Nikki.

As far as arguing “who is better” I think that is really a moot point that doesn’t interest me. Both have a legacy that is untouchable. Both have proven their mettle by the sheer number of awards won between them and their respective record sales. Between them, they have both written some of the most enduring pop classics of the past thirty years. If it’s true that Prince played more instruments than Michael and was better at it, it is equally true that Michael Jackson’s dance talent alone put him in an entirely different stratosphere. Nevertheless, contrary to the popular myth perpetuated by many Prince fans, Michael Jackson did play instruments. He was quite competent on piano and guitar, and in fact, the posthumously released track “Don’t Be Messin’ Around” prominently features Michael playing piano. True, he did not consider himself a “musician’s musician” in the technical sense; he was very honest in appraising his own talents in that regard, which he recognized to be fair but nothing special. However, what Michael did possess was an uncanny ability to compose entire arrangements which would come to him completely intact in his head, and for which he could famously beat box into a recorder, noting the sound of every single instrument and where it was supposed to go.

As songwriters, one of the common myths is that Prince was more prolific. However, this isn’t true, either. Both Michael and Prince have been two of the most prolific songwriters of our generation. It has often been said that Michael wrote literally hundreds of songs for every album he did.  The only reason it appears that Prince was the more productive of the two is because many more of his songs were released, either on his albums or covered by other artists,  whereas Michael, being the picky perfectionist that he was, tended to hold back more, often sitting on songs for years if  he didn’t feel they were up to his standards. And both would receive arguably the same amount of criticism, from many of the same factions, as they each evolved with less danceable, funky grooves and more socially conscious work.

prince-piano-300x219

 

 

 

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Few Would Dispute That Prince Was A Musician’s Musician. Here Is One Of His Best Guitar Performances, From The 2006 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Awards:

But Michael Was No Slouch, Either. Check Out His Bossa Nova Style Piano Playing On “Don’t Be Messin’ Around”:

 

Birth and Family Names:

Prince Roger Nelson and Michael Joseph Jackson both entered the world during the summer of 1958. Baby Prince arrived just a little over two months before Michael, on June 7, 1958 (Michael would arrive August 29th). Interestingly enough, Madonna would complete the trilogy of Future 80′s Superstars Born During the Summer of ’58, arriving just a few weeks before Michael on August 16th. Both Michael and Prince made their auspicious debuts in midwestern America. Unlike Michael, Prince came from a relatively small family of only two siblings, himself and a younger sister. Michael would begin working by age five; Prince would not become a star until adulthood. However, they both displayed amazing aptitude and talent at very young ages, and both had fathers with musical backgrounds. Joe Jackson played guitar in a local group called The Falcons. Prince’s father, John Nelson, performed in a jazz group called the Prince Rogers Trio. Both were pushed into musical careers more by their fathers than their mothers. Of course, we all know the story of how Joe Jackson pushed his sons into becoming the phenomenal Jackson 5. Likewise, Prince’s father was quoted as saying, “I named my son Prince because I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_(musician)

The somewhat unique first name that John Nelson chose for his son was also a name that had been handed down for years in Michael’s own family, on his maternal side. Prince Albert Screws (later changed to Scruse), Michael’s maternal grandfather, bore the name, as did his father before him. Although Michael himself would be given the common name of “Michael,” he retained the tradition with the birth of his own sons, who would carry on their great-grandfather’s name.

Two different families; three different generations of Prince!

MICHAEL JACKSON’S MATERNAL GRANDFATHER, PRINCE ALBERT SCRUSE

PRINCE ROGER NELSON

 

MICHAEL JACKSON’S SONS, PRINCE MICHAEL AND PRINCE MICHAEL II (AKA BLANKET)

And…you want a REAL Twilight Zone moment? Prince’s mother’s maiden name was Mattie Shaw. Michael Jackson’s maternal grandmother bore the very similar name of  Martha (Mattie) Upshaw!

In Touch With A Higher Power:

Both Michael and Prince displayed at a very young age an indication that they were extra sensitive children with an ability to tap into a spirituality far beyond their years. Before Michael was even ten years old, he would cry at the images of starving children on TV, and told his mother that when he got big enough, he would help all the children of the world (and he did just that!). Prince was said to have been born with epilepsy. But at a very young age, the seizures mysteriously vanished. Later, he would recount in an interview an incident that occurred before he was even old enough to remember.

“My mother told me once day I walked up to her and said, ‘Mom, I’m not going to be sick anymore,’ and she said, ‘Why?’ and I said, ‘Because an angel told me so.’”

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20275184,00.html

Awards And Accolades:

There’s no doubt, as far as music awards go, that Michael won more. Michael Jackson has 18 Grammys to Prince’s 7, and additionally, 26 AMA awards (as compared to Prince’s 4 wins), 40 Billboard awards, and 13 World Music Awards. In all, Michael’s number of awards won totals an impressive, whopping 387!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_received_by_Michael_Jackson

However, Prince did win the one award that would elude Michael Jackson throughout his life-the Academy Award! (For Purple Rain as Best Original Song in 1985).

A bit of trivia: What is the one award they both won, and the same number of times? Answer: The Golden Globe Award. They each won once, Michael for Ben in 1971, and Prince for “The Song of the Heart”, from the movie “Happy Feet,” in 2007.

For a complete list of all awards that Prince has won or been nominated for:

http://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/prince/awards.html

The Curse of “The Big One”:

Where do you go once your own album has been not only the biggest selling album of the decade (in Michael’s case, of all time) but one of its two most iconic albums of the decade? For Michael and Prince, living up to Thriller and Purple Rain would be the two biggest challenges of their respective careers. For both, every subsequent album would be held up to these two. Although in my opinion, they both went on to better work, their commercial success-or lack thereof-would always be gauged by these two albums-the albums that both defined, and ultimately, confined them.

The Girls In The Band:

Female guitarists were still a novelty in the early 80′s, when Prince hired Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin to be part of The Revolution. Never one to be outdone by Prince, Michael’s answer was the blonde bombshell Jennifer Batten.  In both cases, these very talented and independent female guitarists allowed themselves, to some extent, to be “molded over” into the fantasies of their respective male leaders. Although it’s never been expressly stated that Michael was trying purposely to keep up with Prince, Jennifer Batten herself said when I attended her Q&A session at the Fanvention in 2010 that Michael had a very specific image in his mind for what he wanted in a girl guitarist-and she, the mousy little gal with the glasses and brown hair, was made over in that image! While Wendy and Lisa played on every man’s lesbian fantasy, Jennifer offered up her own somewhat gender bending contrast to Michael’s male energy, as the Nordic rock goddess with chops of steel!

WENDY AND LISA

JENNIFER BATTEN

 

Madonna:

Prince performed a duet with Madonna on her 1989 album Like a Prayer and played guitar on several tracks, including the title track. It is unknown if he became a Madonna Boy Toy although I’m sure Miss “Express Yourself” at least gave it her best shot, if I know her!

DID MADONNA MAKE A BOY TOY OF MICHAEL? WELL, WE KNOW SHE WAS DEFINITELY GIVING IT HER COLLEGE ALL!

Michael and Madonna had planned to shoot “In The Closet” together, but ultimately, disagreed over Madonna’s gender-bending concept for the video . As to whether she ever succeeded in making Michael her Boy Toy, it is unknown  although she did confess at one point they were “sucking face.”

Dirty Diana vs. Darling Nikki:

As if it wasn’t enough that they were already considered rivals in every respect, they each even came equipped with their own respectively immortalized groupies! While Prince’s “Darling Nikki’s” sexcapade antics  may have sent Tipper Gore into a frenzy, and expedited the formation of the PMRC and those “Explicit Warning” stickers we still have even today, Michael’s “Dirty Diana” was a whole other brand of Medusa, an ambitious, soulless,  siren of a groupie who could literally lure a man to his ruination. While Darling Nikki was masturbating with magazines (a relatively healthy and harmless pursuit), Dirty Diana was on the phone telling your wife “he’s sleeping with me”  and plotting your demise!

For this round, at least, we have to give it to Michael. Darling Nikki might show you a really good time, but Dirty Diana would strip your flesh bare, eat you alive for breakfast, and pick her teeth with the leftover bones! Dirty Diana lived up to her name, and played far dirtier than Nikki ever could!

But their two most well-known groupies also reflect something very fundamental about the way both performers (at this stage of their careers) viewed women and sex. Prince had adopted the stereotypical, macho rock ‘n’roll personae which basically states that all women are playthings to be enjoyed in their own good time. Michael’s approach, as so often in his 80′s songs about women and sex, is the moralistic, cautionary tale approach. In other words: Lust comes with a heavy price, and moral consequences.

At the end of the Dirty Diana video, Michael opens the limo door to find HER there, in the backseat, waiting. The sudden, discordant, ominous note; the look on his face, says it all. Interestingly enough, an online reviewer analyzing this video’s criteria for the “Ten Things Every 80′s Video Must Have” noted how Michael did NOT look happy to find Dirty Diana in his backseat. The implication seemed to be that here was one more bit of evidence that Michael Jackson was asexual or didn’t like girls. To that person, I would highly suggest going back and watching the video again, and really paying attention to the MESSAGE! The reason his character does not look happy in that moment is because he knows he  has just walked into the trap, and that his soul’s been had!

Which perhaps leads me to my next category:

Love, Sex, and Witnessing For Jehovah:

The greatest parallel in the lives of Prince and Michael Jackson cannot be underestimated: They have both served as devout Jehovah’s Witnesses, though not at the same time. In fact, it’s very interesting that Prince actually became a Jehovah’s Witness long after Michael had broken away from the church. Michael had been raised as a JW from an early age, and throughout most of his young adult life, was a devout believer and follower. Prince, on the other hand, who had been raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist, converted to the JW faith in 2001.

From: Sean O’Hagan, “Royal Blush”, published in The Observer, 4 April 2004 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1186112,00.html; viewed 15 November 2005):

Given all that has happened, then, it is perhaps unsurprising that, like many pioneering black artists before him, Prince has sought solace in the church. Though he was brought up as a practising Seventh Day Adventist he has recently, like Michael Jackson before him, become a Jehovah’s Witness.The story of his conversion broke in typically surreal fashion last October, when a newspaper in his hometown reported how a married couple had answered their door to find Prince proffering a copy of the Watchtower. Though they were orthodox Jews, and it was Yom Kippur, they were also Prince fans. They welcomed him into the house where, with his friend Larry Graham, erstwhile member of Sly & theFamily Stone, one of Prince’s core influences, he spread the word of Jehovah for 20 minutes before moving on to the next house.

Although he has always spoken openly about his religious beliefs – ‘The Cross’ from Sign ‘O’ the Times was a veritable hymn – and his conversion had been signalled in retrospect by his recent album The Rainbow Children, which can now be read as a paean to his new-found faith, the media viewed his outing as further confirmation that Prince was now second only to Michael Jackson in the pop oddball stakes.

What this means in terms of his musical direction is probably of interest to none but the most diehard of Prince fans. The rest of us, many of whom anticipated Prince’s Eighties releases with the kind of excitement that only attends the work of the truly gifted, now look forward to the release of yet another Prince album with a mixture of resignation and wishful thinking.

‘You hope against hope for him to come back and cut it like he used to,’ says DJ Norman Jay, a man who played at several Prince parties in the Eighties, ‘but with every hyped record that turns out to be just another Prince album, that hope diminishes. He’s the classic illustration of the old A&R adage that if you give an artist total creative control, you’ll destroy them. He’s been allowed to release far too much stuff, and he’s probably surrounded himself with people who are all telling him everything he touches is great. That’s a recipe for pure self-indulgence even – especially – where genius is concerned.’

http://www.adherents.com/people/pp/Prince.html

It’s interesting to note the overall, sarcastic  tone of this article (aside from the “second to Michael Jackson in the pop oddball stakes”).  It’s the same sort of “criticism” that would befall Michael as he attempted to broaden and evolve his artistry in the 90′s and beyond. In the case of Michael and Prince, they would both be criticized for the rest of their careers for daring to stray away from being happy “song and dance” men. However, the reasons for their artistic evolvement were, I think,  fundamentally polar opposites.

For Michael, the break from his childhood religion probably gave him more personal and artistic freedom than he had ever known, but at a heavy price. That price was the floundering, doubt, and insecurity that came from letting go of the firmest anchor he had known-his faith. For years afterward, he would be torn by feelings of guilt over that decision, although  in his later years it was rumored that he found peace in traditional Christianity.

The upside was that the break finally freed him of many of the restraints that had held him back. As he became more liberated sexually in his personal life, this was also reflected in a newfound maturity and freedom in his art. He could finally explore many of the themes he had always wanted to, without fear of censor or being de-fellowshipped. His onstage and video personae became more sexual, ironically, just as former “Bad Boy” Prince was becoming more evangelical and “cleaning up” his image.

For someone who had always expressed a fascination with apocalyptic imagery in his work, Prince’s newfound religious  zeal seemed cemented with albums like Sign O’ The Times.  (Not to mention, I heard he alienated much of his female following by his insistence that the missionary position is the only sanctified sexual position for a man and woman, but that’s an old story and I haven’t been able to find anything that verifies it). This is a quote from a very bitter website that seems to be authored by a frustrated ex-fan (and I will apologize to Prince fans for using this as a source of reference; however, perhaps it’s fitting that as a study in the parallels between the two, we can also note how they have both been subjected to this level of scrutiny):

Quoted from The G Spot, November 8, 2010

“That’s the saddest thing of all – Prince lost his mojo by being lame and getting scared of death and dying.”

http://www.dannyhaszard.com/prince.htm

This reminds me very much of the same type of criticism that has been heaped upon Michael Jackson for taking on themes such as the media and his persecution.

In short, as both artists began to explore more personal and global themes, they became criticized for self-indulgence and egotism.

Which also brings us to another element in common: Both of them had songs featuring apocalyptic visions, since it could be argued that Michael’s “Earth Song” was the environmental equivalent of “Sign O’ The Times”, reflecting the prophecy of the Earth Changes as much as Prince’s song reflected the global crisis of humanity.

As for personal relationships, despite both being linked to a string of high profile celebrity relationships, they have shared through the years an almost identical reticence when it comes to the press and doing interviews. Both were married and divorced twice. Michael was married to Lisa Marie Presley in 1994, and divorced in 1996; and Debbie Rowe, married  in 1996, and divorced in 1999. Prince was married to Mayte Garcia in 1996, and divorced in 1999 (ironically, their marriage began and ended exactly the same time as Michael and Debbie’s), then married Manuela Tesolini in 2001. They divorced in 2006.

THE SOMEWHAT ANDROGYNOUS SEX APPEAL OF BOTH HAS LED TO THE INEVITABLE SPECULATIONS REGARDING THEIR SEXUALITY

 

First Child and Tragedy:

Sadly,  Michael and Prince share something else in common. They both lost their first child-within the same year! Debbie Rowe suffered a miscarriage in early 1996 and lost the baby that would have been her first child by Michael (Michael’s son Prince would be conceived later that year, on the couple’s second try). I found a really nice video where Debbie Rowe talks about the miscarriage (a subject she has rarely spoken out about) but, unfortunately, embedding for this video has been disabled. However, you can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWJPUh1CgXI

DEBBIE AND MICHAEL LOST THEIR FIRST BABY, A LITTLE PUBLICIZED FACT

Meanwhile, Prince’s son by Mayte Garcia-Boy Gregory- was born the same year, but died of  Pfeiffer syndrome after only one week.

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,295564,00.html

Independent attempts to verify the child’s birth and death proved difficult. A birth certificate wasn’t filed with state authorities until Dec. 6. But while Garcia was listed as the mother, ”Father’s name” read, ”Mother refused information.”

Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Star Tribune tracked down what it believes to be the baby’s death certificate, filed Nov. 4. It states that a ”Boy Gregory,” born Oct. 16, died Oct. 23 of the extremely rare Pfeiffer syndrome type 2 — a condition in which the skull’s bones fuse together, causing pressure on the brain.According to the certificate, the death occurred at Children’s Health Care Minneapolis, which is affiliated with the hospital where the child was born, and was followed by cremation. The mother’s name is listed as ”Mia Gregory,” the same initials as Mayte Garcia.

At press time, local officials were investigating whether the death certificate was filed under a false name — a misdemeanor in Minnesota. A source at EMI, Prince’s new label, says execs have urged the singer to make a statement, but nothing has materialized.

While Prince’s lawyer, Londell McMillan, maintains that the artist ”expects extraordinary privacy,” one unguarded moment can be found on Emancipation. On the song ”Sex in the Summer” (originally titled ”Conception”), Prince included a recording of his then-unborn child’s heartbeat.

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PRINCE AND MAYTE GARCIA WOULD ALSO KNOW THE PAIN OF LOSING A CHILD. THEIR SON BOY GREGORY DIED JUST ONE WEEK AFTER BIRTH

In a situation like this, it would be pointless to argue which is more tragic. For Prince, who at least got to see his baby son and hold him in his arms, the loss must have surely been devastating. But knowing how desperately Michael wanted a child by 1996, Debbie’s miscarriage must have been every bit as traumatic. Losing a child is still losing a child, and if one has any doubt, one need only ask a parent who has just been delivered the news of a miscarriage. I don’t know about fathers, but I know for mothers a miscarriage is often a scarring emotional trauma that never heals. For a sensitive father like Michael, I’m sure he probably took the loss as hard as Debbie, if not moreso.

And reading the EW article, one can surely sympthaize with Prince as he had to attempt to hide the very personal and painful details of his son’s death from that nosy, probing cow Oprah Winfrey!

Famous Feuds:

As was alluded to just a few days ago in “The Invincible Saga,” Michael and Prince were both known for their notorious and very public battles with their record labels.  Michael’s battles with Sony are well known to fans

However, Prince had already blazed that trail almost a decade before, in his epic battle with Warner Brothers over his creative output and control of his name. In 1993, he famously appeared in public with the word “slave” written on his cheek, and then changed his name to an unpronouncable symbol:

“The first step I have taken towards the ultimate goal of emancipation from the chains that bind me to Warner Bros. was to change my name from Prince to the Love Symbol. Prince is the name that my mother gave me at birth. Warner Bros. took the name, trademarked it, and used it as the main marketing tool to promote all of the music that I wrote. The company owns the name Prince and all related music marketed under Prince. I became merely a pawn used to produce more money for Warner Bros… I was born Prince and did not want to adopt another conventional name. The only acceptable replacement for my name, and my identity, was the Love Symbol, a symbol with no pronunciation, that is a representation of me and what my music is about. This symbol is present in my work over the years; it is a concept that has evolved from my frustration; it is who I am. It is my name.”-Prince

Recent articles since Prince’s death have now tried to put a completely different spin on his battle with Warner Brothers, labeling it-in at least two articles I have seen-as Prince’s “heroic stand against the music industry.” They tend to forget that, at the time, the same media was treating him like a deranged lunatic for this stand, just as they would do to Michael a decade later. Michael’s own vindication would come almost another decade later, when the infamous Sony hacking and leaking of emails revealed much of what he told us in 2002 to be true. Eventually, Prince would regain his publishing rights from Warner Brothers. Michael, of course, maintained control of his Sony/ATV catalog-the catalog that made him one of the wealthiest and most powerful players in the industry-until the end of his life and beyond. However, for both Michael and Prince, this is a part of their legacy that is far from over. Only last month, MJ fans were shocked and outraged to learn that the estate would be relinquishing ownership of the catalog back to Sony.

And already the conspiracy stories have begun that are questioning the timing of Prince’s death after having regained his publishing rights from Warner Brothers.  And while the media had a virtual field day speculating on the status of Michael’s finances at the time of his death, it is starting to appear that Prince’s financial straits may have been even more dire. With no apparent will, his heirs are going to be in for a tough battle to maintain his assets.

Business Moguls:

But let’s not let these issues cloud our judgment of what they accomplished as business moguls. Both  were not only the most successful male black solo artists of the decade-or the most successful, period, for that matter, regardless of race-but also highly successful business moguls who shook things up in a heretefore white-dominated industry. With the possible exception of Berry Gordy, there had been few black entrepreneurs in the music industry who had successfully managed their own labels and companies. In 1985, Prince launched his own label, Paisley Park Records, with the support of Warner Brothers. Acts such as Sheile E., The Time and George Clinton would be among the biggest names on the label. In 1994, incensed by Prince’s public feud with the label, Warner Bothers retaliated by pulling distribution of the label. However, Prince would go on to launch another label, NPG Records.

Michael Jackson, of course, became one of the richest and most powerful men in the music business with the successful acquisition of the ATV catalog in 1985, and then later as co-owner of Sony/ATV publishing. Michael Jackson was also founder of his own production company, MJJ Productions, which later became Michael Jackson Co. LLC, and now MJJ Productions, LLC  and Inc.

They both served as models of  black artists who could not only be  successful , but could also take control of their success. Unfortunately, however, as both would learn the hard way,  they were still very much commodities of the corporate entities that controlled them-and who would fight tooth and nail to see to it that they remained “in their place.”

The Superbowl:

Both artists played the Superbowl halftime show, and both delivered performances that rank unarguably among the greatest Superbowl halftime shows. Fans, of course, will debate as to who ultimately delivered “the” greatest halftime Superbowl performance. Critics seem to be evenly divided between the two, although credit is generally given to Michael as not only being the first superstar half time performance (and thus setting the bar by which all others were measured) but also as the “game changer” who set the standard. After all, his choreography of “Heal The World”-which took an aerial view to be truly appreciated in all its grandeur-was a jaw dropping feat that would take years for other artists to even come close to challenging.

But equally unforgettable is the sight of a diminutive Prince, with nothing but his guitar, standing drenched in the rain as he delivered one of the most soulful renditions of “Purple Rain” ever!

A “Colored” Man Is Still Judged By The Color Of His Skin:

Although the media was unquestionably much crueler to Michael Jackson (no contest there, sorry!) both performers came under media scrutiny as a result of not “looking” black enough. The whole notion is as ludicrous as comparing a tanned, olive complexioned Italian to a pale Norwegian and arguing that the Italian is “not caucasion.” Yet, at various times, Prince and Michael Jackson both found either their racial identity or their loyalty to their race in question.  Because of Prince’s light complexion and the fact that not much is known about his immediate family, a rumor has persisted for years that he is biracial. Early press releases listed him as “mixed” although it seems those sources have been largely discredited. Prince himself has always identified himself as a Black man, although conceding that his father had a mixture of Italian blood, as well. Early photos reveal Prince obviously did undergo the knife. At the very least, he had certainly had a nose job at some point, and quite possibly other procedures as well.  Whatever the aesthetic reasons for these changes-whether it was to look more passably “biracial” or to create a face that would more easily conform to show business standards of “beauty”-or simply to fulfill a personal or artistic whim-cannot be said.

 

EARLY PHOTO OF PRINCE, PRE-COSMETIC SURGERY.

Since The Jacksons, on the other hand, had been in the spotlight ever since Michael was a child, there was little doubt as to his Black heritage, although his father Joe-like Prince’s dad-is mixed and there is prominent Native American blood on both sides. However, it was the skin disease vitiligo that resulted in the most dramatic change, transforming him over a course of roughly ten years from his natural coppery brown, to the lighter bronze of the Bad era, and finally, the porcelain, translucent, fish belly white of his last twenty years. Sadly this little-understood disease would be the cause of much ridicule and public scorn of Michael Jackson in the media. He was accused of bleaching his skin and hating his race. Even when his autopsy report confirmed that he did indeed have vitiligo, the media mostly ignored this finding and have continued to perpetuate the myth of an “alleged” disease.

The accusation was ridiculous on many levels. Michael certainly couldn’t deny being black; after all, he had grown up in the public eye! Secondly, there was never a time in his life when he didn’t look black. Even in the most advanced stage of his disease, and after he had mostly de-pigmented remaining color, he still looked like what he was-a black man without skin pigment. People who say he “erased” all traces of his ethnicity have not closely observed his face. Michael was always proud to be a black man. His disease was something he could not help. And the insecurities that drove him to cosmetic surgery were rooted in other issues that had little to do with race. People who knew him intimately claim it stemmed from insecurity over his looks. However, in more recent years, there have been many interesting and enlightening discussions on the possibility that his evolving looks may have had less to do with the popular body dysmorphic theory, and more to do with the desire to use his face as a canvas for his art. This is certainly an interesting theory that I have kept an open mind to and am quite interested in exploring further, but since Michael himself never really gave us a definitive answer on the subject, such theories at best can only remain just that-theories and conjecture.

MICHAEL IN TRANSITION. THOUGH HIS SKIN GOT WHITER DUE TO VITILIGO, THERE WAS NEVER A TIME WHEN HE DID NOT “LOOK” BLACK.

“We’re called colored people because we come in so many different colors, from light as my hand to dark as your shirt (to Martin Bashir, who is wearing a black sweatshirt). My father has blue eyes.”-Michael Jackson.

Victims of the Vindictive:

It goes without saying, they have both been on the receiving end of vindictive ex-friends, ex-employees, ex-fans, and hack journalists with an axe to grind, all looking to make a quick buck. The following are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I suppose one could argue that it all goes with the territory of being rich and famous. However, it seems that Prince and Michael have both had a more-than-usual share of backstabbing friends, fans and associates. With “friends” and “fans” like Bob Jones and Alex Hahn, who needs enemies?

So now that we’ve looked at some of their many parallels, there is still one burning question: What did Prince and Michael Jackson really think of each other?A great source, by the way, which I highly recommend is this Vibe article from June 2010:

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-prince-oral-history

Mainly, I have found it a great source for timelining the Michael/Prince saga, as well as the source of many great quotes from both artists on how they felt about each other. In researching Part Two, I am relying heavily on the Vibe source which I will also intersperse with other articles and my own commentary.

CYNTHIA HORNER (Former editor of Right On! Magazine from 1976-2005; Currently writes and edits for Hip-Hop Weekly): I met Michael back in 1976 and he was one of the shyest people that I’ve ever dealt with. It was a little difficult to interview him because even though as a professional entertainer he realized he needed the press, he wasn’t somebody that knew how to relate to the media in terms of being open with information. He was just super shy unless he was around his family. But he picked up the fact I was shy as well, so he kind of embraced me and we became friends. He and Prince were quite similar because Prince was shy as well. If you were a journalist he would give you the same monosyllabic answers that Michael did. But Prince would also speak in riddles a lot of the time; he was very evasive. He would never answer any of my questions [laughs]. He wanted to keep his privacy protected at all cost.

****

ALAN LEEDS: Michael wasn’t a musician in the classic sense. He approached his music differently from the way Prince did although Michael could write a great song as well. But Prince was arguably a musician first. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Prince saw Michael as a symbol of where he wanted to go in terms [of notoriety]. Michael was one of the few artists on the planet that Prince did respect in that sense. (my emphasis).  Once we realized that he was in the process of writing what was the original idea for the film Purple Rain as he was scribbling in notebooks during his 1982 tour for 1999, we knew he wanted more. The word was beginning to spread: “Hey, Prince really thinks he’s writing a movie.” I don’t think any of us took it that seriously because it didn’t make sense that somebody who at that point only had a few pop hits was going to be able to get the funding for a film. But it certainly revealed an ambition he had and to his credit Prince would go on to pull it off.

CYNTHIA HORNER: I would give Michael copies of the magazines and he would see certain people in the book and ask me lots of questions about the artists he was interested in. And that’s how he was introduced to Prince. After that, I started to let Michael listen to some of the Prince music I had and he was intrigued. At that point, I realized that there was somewhat of a rivalry developing. Michael had been in the business longer, so naturally he didn’t want to get replaced by the newcomer.(my emphasis).

ALAN LEEDS: Prince went to a James Brown gig [in 1983] with Bobby Z, his drummer at the time, Big Chick, who was his security guard, and I think Jill Jones, who was one of his protégés. By now, everybody knows what happened at that gig. I don’t think Prince realized that Michael was going to be there. James looked a little puzzled in that video when Michael whispered in his ear, “Hey, bring Prince up.” And of course Prince didn’t really know what to do either. He went to the guitar first but he fumbles with that because it was left-handed. He played a few licks, did some dancing and knocked over a prop by accident. Now I always wondered if Michael intentionally brought Prince up to put him in that position just to say, “Hey, you think you’re on my ass? Well follow this, motherfucker [laughs].” (my emphasis). Bobby Z called me and said, “Oh boy…he made an ass of himself tonight.” He said Prince didn’t say a word the whole way to the hotel.

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-prince-oral-history

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-prince-oral-history-pg-2

Here is the (in)famous and historic moment in which we see James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince all together on the same stage. To my knowledge, this is the only time Michael and Prince ever performed together-if you can call it that!

It would be great to think of their one and only onstage face-off being this great, monumental event in which each gave it their equal all, but it didn’t quite pan out that way. Looking at the vid, here is how it appeared to go down:

At the beginning of the clip, James brown calls Michael to the stage. Michael comes up and starts to sing a tender ballad, until the band throws him a curve that forces him to go into an impromptu James Brown parody (which he pulls off brilliantly, of course. My only complaint-it was all too brief!)  We can see he is whispering something to James Brown, so I’m assuming this is the moment of Prince’s “setup.” As per Alan Leeds’s description, Prince does the guitar thing briefly, then as if to say, “Screw this!” rips off his shirt and begins a totally off the wall, impromptu routine that culminates with the accident.

It’s easy to look at that clip and say Prince upstaged Michael that night, as at least one article has spun it since Prince’s death. Certainly it was the flashier performance (and the one that ended with the biggest bang!). However, in hindsight, there is method to Michael’s polished control. For starters, I think Michael was smart enough to realize that you don’t upstage James Brown! You just don’t. I’m sure Michael could have easily pulled his best “Billie Jean” routine out of his pocket and stolen the show, but he chose the path of reserve. In the end, he came off as the classier, more controlled performer who left you wanting more, whereas Prince…well, the video speaks for itself. It was a classic example that bravado and flash doesn’t always equate the greatest performance. In the end, as Jay Z points out, Prince succeeded that night in mostly embarrassing himself (as to whether he was fried out of his mind on drugs, as some have speculated, I will leave for others to decide). Did Michael intentionally set Prince up that night? Or did he just think it would be all in the name of good fun and sportsmanship? Part of me wants to say the latter is probably a little too naive to swallow, while the other half of me says the former is probably a little too extreme. I don’t think he intentionally set Prince up to make a buffoon of himself that night (Prince seemed to manage that quite well on his own!) but perhaps it was a way of forcing the impending rivalry to a head, so to speak-even if subconsciously.

MICHAEL, WHO BRAVED DARING HEIGHTS DURING HIS PERFORMANCES, DIDN’T THINK IT TOOK MUCH DARING TO WRITE ABOUT MASTURBATION!

As the head-to-head battle between Thriller and Purple Rain began to heat up, Michael and Prince were keeping even closer tabs on what each other was up to:

ALAN LEEDS: Before we set out on the Purple Rain tour, it was a case of Prince wanting to see what Michael and the Jacksons were doing in terms of production, lighting, staging and everything with the Victory tour. We charted a jet with a couple of his bodyguards and Jerome Benton from the Time and Leroy Bennett, who was Prince’s lighting and production designer for his tours. We flew to Dallas to the old stadium where the Cowboys played. There was a feeling in our camp that while what they were doing was a very solid stadium production, there was nothing really cutting edge about the technology. The Varilites, which was a brand name for a type of computerized lighting, was the gold standard in the industry at that time. And we made sure we had all that shit. But the Jackson’s production didn’t. Prince had a lot of respect for Michael, but he was mildly impressed with the show.

QUESTLOVE: Michael attended many of the Purple Rain concerts. I have the four Purple Rain shows that were in Los Angeles in ’84. And now that I realize that Mike was in the audience, I often watch it to see if I can spot him [laughs]. But it makes you think. Why was Mike there four nights in a row? You have already created Thriller, you’ve done the Moonwalk, you’ve done the groundbreaking videos and you’ve sold a million a week. You are officially in the Guinness Book of World Records. For all intents and purposes, Purple Rain sold 15 million units, but it was hardly the 33 million that Thriller went on to sell. So why are you this curious to who is behind you?  Then I realized that you can’t be that successful without being competitive. Michael knew Prince was a serious threat. (my emphasis).

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-prince-oral-history-pg-2

J. Randy Taraborrelli added further fuel to the “Prince and Michael rivalry” when he wrote that Michael walked out of a screening of Purple Rain, citing that Prince “looked mean,” couldn’t act and that he didn’t like the way he treated women. (For the record, there is a scene in Purple Rain where Prince’s character strikes Appollonia. However, the movie is also portraying how the cycle of violence is perpetuated when one comes from an abusive background, and that one has to work to break the cycle-something I believe Michael certainly would have related to!).

Michael also had some choice comments about Princes song “Jack U Off” from the Contoversy album, saying he didn’t see how anyone could write about something so private. 

Michael Didn’t Approve Of Prince’s “Jack U Off.” But Give A Listen To “She Got It,” An Unreleased Track From Dangerous And Unarguably Michael’s Most “Prince-esque” Song Ever:

But let’s be fair. While Michael was supposedly taking potshots at Prince, Prince was also getting in his fair share of digs. This verse from Prince’s song “Life o’ The Party” doesn’t make much of a mystery as to who “the other guy” is:

But it ain’t nothing if it ain’t fun
My voice is getting higher
and Eye ain’t never had my nose done
That’s the other guy… Prince

Hmmm. Never had his nose done? Well, in Part One I printed an old pic that clearly shows evidence that Prince did have cosmetic surgery. I will offer up again for your perusal. Photographs don’t lie!

 

Now I’m not going to bs about it. Michael obviously had a lot more cosmetic work done than Prince. Still, for Prince to take that particular potshot was an especially hypocritical case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Despite cheap potshots, Michael time and again expressed a willingness to work with Prince. Through the years, several projects were proposed that would have brought The Gloved One and The Purple One together (sorry, couldn’t resist the bad tabloid-esque pun!). Not one of them panned out. And in every case, it was because the ball had been dropped in Prince’s court and he refused to pick up.

Case in point: “We Are The World.” It’s common knowledge that Prince was supposed to have been part of the project, but on the day of recording, pulled a “No Show.” (He did, however, compensate his no-show by giving the project another song to use, 4 The Tears In Your Eyes).

Then came “Bad”-and the first actual, sit down meeting between Michael and Prince! (Well, officially this was their “first” meeting although according to this site, Prince is the unnamed dinner guest in Latoya’s autobiography who presented Michael with the strange, voodoo-ish gift of charms and feathers!

 

DID PRINCE ATTEMPT A VOODOO HEX ON MICHAEL?

OR WAS LATOYA TAKING LESSONS FROM MAUREEN ORTH ON “HOW TO WRITE SENSATIONALISM?”

According to Taraborelli, the planned “duet” for “Bad” was yet another Frank DiLeo-planted publicity stunt, but one that Michael had agreed to. The “trick” would be in getting Prince to go along with it, as well.

I’ve heard Quincy Jones tell this story many times. If you happen to own the Special Edition of Bad, there is an entire bonus track where Quincy Jones talks about that “historic meeting,” and although he doesn’t specifically mention that it was all a publicity stunt, nothing he says denies it, either.

Here’s an excerpt from Taraborelli’s account of that first meeting:

Quincy arranged for Michael to meet him {Prince} feeling that the two were creative geniuses and should know one another, whether they ever sang together or not. According to writer Quincy Troupe, “It was a strange summit. They’re so competitive with each other that neither would give anything up. They kind of sat there, checking each other out, but saying very little. It was a fascinating stalemate between two very powerful dudes.’”

 

However, Prince did agree to listen to a tape of the song. After hearing the first line-”Your butt is mine”-he declined the offer. By his own account, Prince told Michael he wasn’t going to be singing that line to him, and Michael sure wasn’t going to be singing it to him! He was also reported to have said that Michael didn’t need him for the song to be a hit (which turned out to be true!).

Prince talks to Chris Rock about turning down the offer to duet on Bad:

“YOUR BUTT IS MINE!”

“WAIT A MINUTE…WHO’S SINGING THAT LINE TO WHO?!”

Michael allegedly did take the rebuffs as a kind of snub, but didn’t dwell on it. He moved on and did his thing. As for Prince, despite what he says in the Chris Rock interview about “no rivalry”-and no matter how much he has claimed in the years since about how much he respects Michael-I can’t help but feel that it was some degree of jealousy and arrogance on his part, at least at that time. (Perhaps, as with all things, maturity brought some degree of hindsight and wisdom). My honest take is that, at the time-when much of his appeal was based on being the polar opposite of Michael Jackson-he may also have been afraid of alienating his fanbase. At the same time, he may have sensed that Michael was looking to win over that segment of his fanbase, and perhaps saw this as a real threat.

With both being the reticent, shy, sometimes cryptic artists that they were, it’s really hard to pinpoint what either was thinking. But I’m going to educate a guess that at least in the mid 80′s, when both were at the peak of their fame and both had youth and testosterone on their side, the rivalry was a bit more than just lip service.

ALAN LEEDS: But the thing about Michael coming to Prince and wanting him to do “Bad,” that really pissed him off. Prince was like, “Oh, he wants to punk me out on record. Who does he think I am, crazy?” He couldn’t get outside himself enough to realize that it was the kind of thing that probably could have benefited both of them. (my emphasis).  Still, it would have forever been Michael’s video with Prince as just a guest. So that captured what the relationship couldn’t be. They were like Ali vs. Frazier. And the media couldn’t get enough of pitting these guys against each other.

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-vs-prince-oral-history-3

SHERILYN FENN, HOT ENOUGH TO INSPIRE…A PING PONG MATCH?

Apparently, the rivalry was occasionally more than just a professional one. The infamous ping pong match came about when Michael was trying to snag the attention of Prince’s girlfreind Sherilyn Fenn. (Ah, now we get to the real nitty-gritty of the situation! In addition to “forcing” him to sing “your butt is mine,” it seems Michael was also trying to make a cuckold of poor Prince!).

QUESTLOVE: There’s the now-infamous story about a ping-pong match between Mike and Prince in 1986 while Prince was overdubbing Under The Cherry Moon and Mike was working on Captain Eo. And they were both vying for the attentions of Prince’s girl Sherilyn Fenn, who back then was the hot shit. It was a ping-pong game gone bonkers. He said that MJ played like Helen Keller. [Editors note: Prince’s drummer Bobby Z has gone on record about MJ’s and Prince’s good-natured showdowns in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “They’d shoot hoops at [Prince’s] Paisley Park,” Bobby Z said of the unlikely pair. “Prince had a deep-seeded competitive nature, so it’s easy to see where he would measure himself against Jackson’s success.”]

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-prince-oral-history-pg-2

But what was it about Michael’s playing that actually prompted the Helen Keller comment? That story apparently came from engineer David Z, who witnessed the match:

“Michael drops his paddle and holds his hands up in front of his face so the ball won’t hit him. Michael walks out with his bodyguard, and Prince starts strutting around like a rooster. ‘Did you see that? He played like Helen Keller.’”

http://newsroom.mtv.com/2009/06/29/michael-jackson-vs-prince-the-forgotten-rivalry/

If Michael was guilty of trying to steal Prince’s girl, however, Prince was also guilty of making a move on Michael’s sister, if Latoya is to be believed (of course, to hear Latoya tell it, every man was trying to make a move on her!)

From Latoya Jackson’s autobio, 1978

Having grown up surrounded by so many brothers, I liked men as friends but was totally unversed in deciphering the nonverbal cues between men and women.

Shortly after Prince released, “Soft and Wet,” he shyly introduced himself to me at a roller skating party. “Hi.”

“Hi,” I said nonchalently.

“I’m Prince.”

“Yes, I know.” There was no mistaking the large brown eyes, downy moustache, and straight black hair. Although I was sitting down to put on my skates, he was barely my height.

“I just want you to know that I’m madly in love with you,” he whispered passionately.

“Oh.” I thought this was his way of complimenting someone. I had no idea of his real intentions until he said, “I have all your pictures and everything, and I like everything about you.” His voice trailed off as if he had run out of words.

“Oh… that’s nice.”

Most girls would have kissed him or slapped him. Me? I stood up, offered a cheery “Well, hope you have a nice time tonight!” and skated off.

http://lacienegasmiled.wordpress.com/category/bromance/prince/

Their  sports rivalry also carried over to shooting hoops at Paisley Park, acording to  Bobby Z:

http://newsroom.mtv.com/2009/06/29/michael-jackson-vs-prince-the-forgotten-rivalry/

One can only wonder if those matches were anything like the Jackson/Jordan match in Jam!

Considering that Prince was only 5’2 compared to Michael’s 5’9 (neither exactly basketball championship measurements) I can only imagine those games were nothing to cheer about, but I would have loved to have been a fly on the court during those matches! (As Michael would say, there was probabably “cheating like crazy!”).

Prince comments famously on Michael Jackson’s abilities as a fighter and rival:

QUESTLOVE: You recall that ill-fated duet Eddie Murphy did with Michael called “Whatzupwitu?” I have five hours of raw footage during filming for that video. Michael and Eddie had a green screen behind them, so somewhere in that second hour, the conversation turns to Prince. And Eddie is like, “Yeah man…Prince is a bad motherfucker. I’m glad I’m working with you, but another dream I have is working with him too.” And I don’t even think that Mike knew the camera was on him and he goes, “Yes, he’s a natural genius.” And then four beats later, Michael says, “But I can beat him [laughs].” (my emphasis).

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-vs-prince-oral-history-3

Apparently, Michael made one last attempt, in 1996, to reach out to Prince for a collaboration. I am not sure what the nature of that proposed project was. But despite mounting career problems of his own by the mid-90′s, Prince, it seemed, still couldn’t quite swallow his pride enough to accept the offer.

Would he have done things differently had he known, then, that time was running out? We’ll never know.

“WHY DID PRINCE JUST PLAY HIS BASS IN THE MIDDLE OF MY FACE?”-MIKE SEEKS AN ANSWER TO ONE OF LIFE’S MOST PERPLEXING QUESTION!

Michael, for all his bravado, appeared to be  the one who felt the stings of the repeated rebuffs and the nastier aspects of the rivalry the most:

WILL.I.AM (Leader of the Black Eye Peas; Has performed live with Prince and produced several tracks for Michael Jackson): I had a show with the Black Eyed Peas in 2008 and then late that night I performed with Prince at the Palms Hotel. I called Michael just before the show and I was like, “Hey Mike, I’m in Vegas.” I told him about the performance at the Palms with Prince and asked him if he wanted to come. He was a bit apprehensive at first, but I told him, “Let me call Prince to see if everything is OK.” I sat down with Mike after I finished a song with Prince and he comes down off the stage playing his bass and comes right to our table… ripping the bass in half! It was the coolest experience I’ve ever had. I was with both of my heroes. While we were working on new material for his album,MJ asked me why people didn’t think of him in the same way they thought of Prince as a serious songwriter. It was a shock to hear that coming from such an iconic artist. (my emphasis).

http://www.vibe.com/content/michael-jackson-prince-oral-history-pg-4

The above is an important revelation. Michael was well aware that his talents and accomplishments as a songwriter did not get the same respect as Prince, despite being inducted into the Songwriter’s hall of Fame (an honor that, ironically, eluded Prince). It also says that on a very deep level, he wanted to be taken seriously as an artist, not just as a great showman. He wanted Prince’s level of artistic respect; he craved it in the same way that a person may crave bread even if given caviar. Considering that they were both driven and prolific artists who created some of the most critically acclaimed and enduring pop classics of our time, it’s understandable why Michael would feel so keenly the brunt of the difference made between them. Perhaps if he had been merely a showman-rather than one of the greatest songwriters of our age-it wouldn’t have hurt nearly as much. But Michael knew the truth.

Prince himself has always been quick to defend Michael’s artistry, referring to him more than once as a ‘sheer genius.”

And perhaps, in a way, Michael did get the last word in, after all!

In 2008, Will I Am invited Michael to a Las Vegas concert where The Black-Eyed Peas were to be performing with Prince. It was to be the last time the two legends would meet face to face.

Will I Am talks about that concert (and other memories of Michael here):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8123506.stm

This account of the concert and what went down that night, as told in an interview with Will I Am, was translated from a German article:

A few months ago,I was with the Black Eyed Peas in Las Vegas. Prince calls me, he played in a Casino and asks “, you want to perform with me tonight?” Sure, I say, of course! On the next day his assistant called me and said: “Prince would like to know if you want to come along this evening too.” Want to? What’s more cool than to play with Prince? Right, to play with him two days in a row! A few minutes later I get a further call: “Hey, it’s Mike, wat are you doing?” Mike? Michael Jackson? Wow! He had changed studios at that time, from Ireland to Las Vegas. I say: “Hey, I’m playing with Prince here tonight.” – “Prince? That is great!” – “you should come!” – “really? That would be cool!” – “that would be really cool!” – “Okay, I’ll come.” Imagine that : I’m playing with Prince, and Michael Jackson sits in the audience! Holy ish! What chance is there to get a call from Prince and then one from Michael Jackson within ten minutes ?

Sp: that chance is zero.

Will.i.am: Right. Okay, I head for the concert in the early evening and – get stuck in traffic! I think by myself, @#$%, this is the worst time to be stuck ! So I jump out of the car and start to run. I make it at the last second into the club. Everything goes smoothly, after three minutes I ‘m back from the stage, Prince still yells in the microphone “Give it up for Will.i.am!”, I creep into the hall and sit down to the table of – Michael Jackson. So he really came! “What did you think of me?”, I ask him. He answers: “I did not know that you rapped.” Now I ask you? The man lets me fly to bloody Ireland for a few photographs , and he doesn’t even know that I am not only a producer, but also a rapper! I say: “Have you never heard my music, or looked at my videos? I @#$#%’ am the main rapper of the Black Eyed Peas!” Anyways. Besides Michael Jackson sits the actor Chris Tucker, and then Prince comes down from the stage to us…

Sp: … and sees Michael Jackson sitting at the table with you?

Will.i.am: Yo. He had his bass still strapped on and stops at our table. So there we sit : Michael Jackson, Chris Tucker and I. Prince stands directly before Michael Jackson and improvises on the bass: Slap! He does nothing- nothing! – and says nothing! Simply plays . What a scene! When Prince is again back on stage, Michael Jackson says to me: “Prince played his bass in the middle of my face! What’s up with that?” Now now, I say: “you are finally incognito here! Imagine that Prince would have said: ‘, and by the way Michael Jackson sits here.’ The people are already excited because of Prince, let alone, they would know that you are also here!” Yep, that was it then, the craziest night of my life.

http://prince.org/msg/7/312585

Now, as to how much you can credit hearsay, I don’t know. But I have heard (unconfirmed) that Michael also said that evening something to the effect that he was glad he never needed a guitar to prove he had a penis.

Ouch.

As far as ON THE RECORD, Michael never commented publicly about Prince, just as he very seldom commented on any fellow artists. To answer the question of how they got along, I don’t think (despite what Bobby Z insists: http://www.drfunkenberry.com/2009/06/27/prince-michael-jackson-were-friends/) that they were ever truly friends. I can’t see them as “best buds.” I think what they did have was a very deep-rooted, sometimes begrudging, respect for each other, coupled with a fierce sense of competitveness-equally true on both sides. The few times their paths did cross, they were always cordial to each other, though the underlying tension was almost always palpable. I’m sure at times they did have an easy camraderie. I could easily see them shooting hoops; maybe sharing a shot of Crown and a joke or two. They would have had the kind of bond that comes with simply understanding their shared level of celebrity. Perhaps in those rare moments when the world wasn’t watching-when they could let their masks and their guards down long enough to simply be Michael Joseph Jackson and Prince Roger Nelson,  however briefly-they were able to find that kinship. But for how long, or how often, we’ll probably never really know.

Two rare, fresh-faced pics: Michael and Prince without their famous makeup:

 

When Michael left us on June 25th, 2009, there was a lot of speculation as to whether Prince would join the ranks of celebrities issuing official statements. The closest he came was simply this very brief, laconic statement given in a French interview:

“It is always sad to lose someone you love.”

In typically cryptic Prince fashion, perhaps that was all that needed to be said. Since then,  he has, as always, been content to let the music do the talking, incorporating several Michael Jackson songs into his live concert performances as tributes.

Was he being sincere in referring to Michael as someone he had loved?

I would say to the best of his ability, that answer is yes.

UPDATE: I wrote and compiled all of the above over five years ago in 2011, obviously long before Prince’s tragic passing on April 21st this year. My purpose then was to present a balanced account of their “rivalry” as well as personal friendship, while pulling no punches. Going back over some of what I wrote at the time, I was tempted to edit a few passages in hindsight. But then, I thought, no, it really wouldn’t be doing any favors to either of them to sugarcoat the truth. It doesn’t in any way lessen the enormous respect I feel for both of them. It simply shows the human frailties of both, and also, the fact that both could never have succeeded to the heights that they did without the ego and massive competitive streak that it takes to be a successful performer.

In the week since Prince’s death, we have seen much of the same global outpouring of shock and grief that we saw in 2009. Michael Jackson fans have felt that pain; for us, it is another loss that has struck that cultural nerve. For years after losing Michael, many of us felt that still having Prince around was at least a kind of consolation-that at least some of the magic of our youth was still with us. Now it is only an empty void.

The Fan Memorials In Front Of Paisley Park Bring Back Painful Memories For MJ Fans
The Fan Memorials In Front Of Paisley Park Bring Back Painful Memories For MJ Fans

In the last week, I like many others have been guilty of “Prince cramming”-suddenly curious to learn as much as I can about an artist I loved but admittedly took too much for granted while he was here. It was the same phase of discovery I went through with Michael, as I became more and more amazed at such a gifted artist and amazing human being that I had somehow never allowed myself to get to know better in life. Likewise, I have now found myself learning so much about Prince that I had never really paid attention to before-his humanitarian work, which, like Michael, often went under reported and under the radar; the depth of his private pain, suffering and courage as he kept creating in the face of often debilitating pain, always putting his bravest face forward for his fans; or just how sarcastically funny he could be in interviews, such as this 2014 interview on the Arsenio Hall Show.

In typical fashion, many MJ and Prince fans have tried to reconcile the enormity of this double loss as only those of us who lived through those times truly can-with a healthy dose of humor. In that spirit, here are some of my favorite captions of the past week that have turned some of the tears to chuckles.

On that note, good night sweet King and Prince.

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