Raymond Chandler, the uncle of Jackson’s first accuser, discusses his (then) new book on Court TV, Sept. 17, 2004. We can gain some insight into his motives for writing the book, and debunk some fan myths while we are at it.
Court TV Host: Our guest, Raymond Chandler, the uncle of Michael Jackson’s first accuser, is here. As you may know, he was just on Both Sides, and he’s here to answer your questions now. Welcome, thanks for being our guest today.
Raymond Chandler: Thank you very much.
Question from ally_oops: Hello Ray Chandler, welcome to CTV. Can you tell us what you think of the newest charges against Michael Jackson?
Raymond Chandler: I have no knowledge of the facts of this case other than what I have read in the newspapers. I did not address 2004 in my book because I am an attorney, and I only deal in facts. I really have no opinion about this case.
Question from GoldenGirlKat: Was the rift with your family a result of the 1993 incident?
Raymond Chandler: No, the rift did not involve the 1993 allegations.
Question from lindalue: Mr. Chandler…How is your nephew doing now?
Raymond Chandler: I have not had contact with him since approximately 2000. But at that time he seemed to be doing well. He had received therapy very quickly when he was 13. And that is the key to future success for abused victims.
Question from MJJFAN4LIFE: Mr. Chandler, why do you choose now of all times to do this? What’s your motivation?
Raymond Chandler: I attempted to bring the story to the public in 1994 but was convinced by my family and their attorney not to do so. In 2003 when I saw Michael on the Martin Bashir interview I had a very strong reaction to him saying that it was okay to sleep in bed with young boys. It was at that point that I began working on this book. My motivation is to make sure that no parent leaves their child alone with Michael Jackson again.
Question from LuvU2: Why are you not in contact with your nephew or his family anymore, Ray?
Raymond Chandler: The lack of contact has nothing to do with 1993 allegations. It involves other family matters concerning persons who would like to remain private and who did not get involved in 1993 and who do not want to be involved now.
Question from ally_oops: Raymond why do you think since your nephew’s case has been made public, parents continued to trust Michael Jackson?
Raymond Chandler: I think they continue to trust him because he has had many, many years to promote an image of himself as an advocate for children. I think what parents do not understand is that child molesters do care about children and do love children, and they say they will not hurt a child. They believe what they are doing is not hurtful, and they sound very convincing.
Question from GoldenGirlKat: Is it true that you spent your own money to publish this book and will most likely not make very much money on it?
Raymond Chandler: It is true that I’ve spent my own money publishing this book. At this point I am very much in debt on this project and whether or not I will make that money back or have any profits depends on how well the book sells. This will take many months to flesh out.
Question from Jamila: Why did the parents of your nephew leave him alone with Michael Jackson?
Raymond Chandler: The only parent who left him alone in a bedroom with Michael Jackson was the boy’s mother. She claimed that she trusted Michael, and because she did not see what was happening inside the bedroom that she did not know her son was being molested. I guess that’s the answer.
Question from Mazell: Have you ever had any kind of direct contact with Michael Jackson?
Raymond Chandler: I have never met Michael Jackson.
Question from Cosmo: Your other family members are in threat of loosing money, right?
Raymond Chandler: If you mean my nephew I do not know the answer to that question. I suppose that depends on Michael Jackson and whether or not he decides to file lawsuits.
Question from LuvU2: Tay, why do MJ fans seem to support him through all the overwhelming evidence from all the past and present cases?
Raymond Chandler: I believe that the Michael Jackson fans, the hardcore fans, are like fanatics that you see in religious movements or other similar circumstances. They are not interested in facts. They have a blind faith belief and cannot let go of it.
Question from hammy: Are you saying, Mr. Chandler, that you are speaking publicly without the boy’s permission or without the family’s permission?
Raymond Chandler: That’s correct. I have not asked for nor have I received permission from anyone else to publish this book.
Question from hammy: Mr. Chandler – if it was the family’s decision that you should not come forward in 1994, are you not further re-victimizing them by going against their wishes and going public?
Raymond Chandler: Whether or not I speak about 1993, others will speak about it. The media in fact will beat it to death before this case is over. The difference is, if I speak, I speak with facts and evidence as opposed to speculation. Therefore, my nephew will be talked about whether I do it or not. So I think it’s best that the facts come out.
Question from tara: Mr. Chandler, do you have any guilty feelings, that this may not have happened again, if your nephews’ case would have been followed through in the courts?
Question from hello: Why was there a settlement instead of pursuing MJ so he wouldn’t hurt any other boys?
Raymond Chandler: There was a settlement in the civil case. It was not until five months later that the DA notified my family that a criminal case was ready to be filed. At that point, my family agreed to testify against Michael Jackson provided that they be given witness protection. That request was denied. My family felt that the safety of themselves and their young children had to come first. If the protection would have been provided, they would have testified. As you can see now in 2004 this family is being given protection. And that makes all the difference.
Question from ladyblu: Why doesn’t your nephew write a book?
Raymond Chandler: You’d have to ask him that question. But I suppose it is because he made an agreement with Michael not to do things in the public arena. However, that agreement does not include testifying in a courtroom.
Question from Linda3NJ: Has you been threatened since the book’s release?
Question from Sundown: Are you afraid?
Raymond Chandler: I have not been threatened since the book’s release. I would say that I am not afraid, but I am concerned, and it is something that is on my mind whenever I am in public.
Question from cd: Could we please have the web address that was on Court Tv about the book again?
Raymond Chandler: [redundant link removed]
Question from torochick: What was the strongest piece of evidence against MJ with your nephew?
Raymond Chandler: The strongest piece of evidence was my nephew’s accurate description of very distinguishing marks on Michael Jackson’s private parts. Both the Santa Barbara DA and the lead detective from the LAPD have stated publicly that my nephew’s description was very accurate when compared to the photographs taken by the police.
Question from Adrienna: Why hasn’t your brother told his story for himself?
Question from hammy: Where is the boy’s father?
Raymond Chandler: The answer to the first question is : again, you’d have to ask the father that question. But I suppose it is also because he has an agreement with Michael just as his son does. I do not know the father’s location now. Nor do I know my nephew’s location.
Question from Dreamer: Could your nephew be called as a witness in this case?
Question from Sundown: Will your nephew testify in this case?
Question from Cosmo: Will he testify in this case?
Raymond Chandler: Yes, he can be called as a witness. And many reporters have stated that he has been contacted by the DA and asked to testify. Some of these reporters say he has agreed to testify. I do not know one way or the other. But in the end it is up to the judge whether or not any of the 1993 evidence will be admitted into the 2004 case.
Question from ally_oops: Did you advise your brother at any time professionally as to the civil settlement with Michael Jackson?
Raymond Chandler: No, I was not an attorney at that time. And even if I was it would have been inappropriate as an attorney to advise him because he had hired other attorneys to do that.
Question from truthful: Do you think it was right to reveal your nephew’s personal psychiatric interview, that is obviously detailed, to the public? Is your nephew uncomfortable about this decision?
Raymond Chandler: I do not know how he feels about it. However, much of that information especially the sexual acts have previously been revealed to the public. And his sworn statement in 1993 has been posted on the internet. That statement also reveals much of the same information in the psychiatrist’s report. I posted that report so that the public can see how step-by-step Michael seduced a young boy. And was able to do with him what he did.
Question from truthful: But isn’t that part of patient confidentiality?
Raymond Chandler: This psychiatric interview was not given for the purpose of therapy. It was for the purpose of using the psychiatrist as an expert witness in the civil case.
Question from ally_oops: Do you fear the Jacksons will try and sue you, Michael’s camp has been very verbal that they will go after anyone who slanders them?
Raymond Chandler: When people are angry and have lots of money they file lawsuits. It is always a possibility, but I could not let that interfere with what I felt must be done.
Question from Linda3NJ: Did your nephew ever say that alcohol was supplied to him while at Neverland?
Raymond Chandler: No, I never heard anything about alcohol.
Question from tara: Mr. Chandler, If your book profits, will you donate any profits to victims funds?
Raymond Chandler: Yes, we have been contacting victims’ organizations since before the book’s release. So far, everyone is afraid to have their name associated with Michael Jackson because they are concerned about lawsuits. However, if there is profit, money will be donated.
Court TV Host: Any closing thoughts?
Raymond Chandler: Thank you for your interest. I ask that you make judgments based on facts and not emotions.