P.R. Muscle

Dish is a book by Jeannette Walls released in January 2001.

Dish-9781559275774Promotional text for the book reads “Gossip. It’s more than just hearsay. society columns, and supermarket tabloids. It has, like it or not, become a mainstay of American pop culture. In Dish, industry insider Jeannette Walls gives this provocative subject its due, offering a comprehensive, serious exploration of gossip and its social, historical, and political significance. Examining the topic from the inside out, Walls looks at the players; the origins of gossip, from birth of People magazine to the death of Lady Di; and how technology including the Internet will continue to change the face gossip. As compelling and seductive as its subject matter, Dish brilliantly reveals the fascinating inner workings of a phenomenon that is definitely here to stay.”

This chapter – P.R. Muscle – primarily details how Michael Jackson and his advisers  dealt with the 1993 molestation allegations and how Anthony Pellicano spun the story to “extortion”.

Items marked with an asterisk (*) are original footnotes from the book. I have added a few explanatory notes in the format (Note:)

I’ve also added a few links where things might have needed expanding or explaining.


Private Investigator Anthony Pellicano was on the Dangerous tour in Bangkok with Michael Jackson when he got the call: police had raided Neverland, the singer’s 2, 700-acre ranch; they had a search warrant; they brought in a locksmith; they seized videotapes and photographs. This is trouble, Pellicano knew, but then again, trouble was Pellicano’s business.

It was Sunday, August 22, 1993, still before dawn in California, but Pellicano telephoned criminal lawyer Howard Weitzman in Los Angeles anyway. “Wake up,” Pellicano told Weitzman. They had a lot of work to do. Continue reading