The Dark, Dark World of Norma Staikos


Michael Jackson has had many employees over the years. Most we’ve never heard of, some are notorious, but there is a group of core loyal employees who made sure his life ran smoothly with minimal disruptions and maximum pampering.

Bill Bray with a young Michael Jackson
Bill Bray with a young Michael Jackson

One of those was Bill Bray, Jackson’s faithful bodyguard of two and a half decades who did his absolute best to keep him out of trouble and harm’s way and was, for the most part, successful. Until the late 1990’s Bill Bray worked with Jackson through the high times and the scandals, never once breaking confidences or talking to the press. Even when he lay dying, disappointed at being abandoned by Jackson, he remained resolutely loyal to his old boss and surrogate son.

Another loyal employee was Norma Staikos. Variously described as “Executive Vice President of MJJ Productions”, “Jackson’s personal assistant” and “Jackson’s Chief of Staff”, Norma started working for Jackson in 1989 as ranch manager at Neverland, overseeing ranch adminstrators Mark and Faye Quindoy. The Quindoys had a rocky relationship with Jackson and eventually sullied their credibility by refusing to talk to the press about what they had witnessed between Jackson and boys unless they were promised substantial amounts of money[1].

While nominally only in charge of the workers, maintenance and day to day running of the ranch, Norma quickly became an essential part of Jackson’s staff. The stocky, middle-aged woman was somewhat of a pocket dynamo, inveigling herself into every part of Jackson’s professional and personal life. Her hand guided everything from his business ventures, his tours and travels, and more importantly, his relationships.

Michael Jackson and Norma Staikos
Michael Jackson and Norma Staikos

By all reports Norma’s plan was to make herself indispensable to Jackson, and she was ambitious. She wanted if not control then influence over everything Michael Jackson related. She was a hard taskmaster, and tough not just on other employees, but also on visitors to Neverland.

When Joy Robson visited the ranch with Wade, Norma not only forbade her from entering the main house but also instructed the staff at Neverland not to speak with her to ensure that Jackson had as smooth a time with Wade as possible, with no interruptions. Joy accepted this for the most part, except on Mothers Day during one visit to Neverland in 1990. Joy became upset when she had been prevented from seeing her son the entire day, and complained to security guard Charli Michaels[2].

Norma’s tyrannical rule was a cause of friction, with her edicts such as “never say no to Michael” and “never speak directly to any of his guests unless they ask you a question”[3] grating with Neverland staff. Her seeming ambition to take over all aspects not just of Neverland but also MJJ Productions was a source of gossip. She reportedly had her eye on usurping the position of not only Bob Jones, MJJ Productions vice president of communications, but of Jackson himself[4].

Norma had been in charge of hiring and firing staff at Neverland under Jackson’s instructions, but she extended her authority when she not only went over Jackson’s head by dealing directly with security at the ranch – setting security protocols for visitors and guests – but also firing staff against Jackson’s wishes. She vowed to terminate any ranch employee who got close to Jackson or anyone close to Jackson[5].

The level of trust Jackson had in regards to Norma came to light during the infamous 1995 Dangerous copyright case. Crystal Cartier alleged that Jackson stole her song ‘Player’ and turned it into the song ‘Dangerous’ (the case was eventually dismissed). Tellingly, Jackson gave a deposition where he agreed that Norma Staikos had control over his “vault” of recorded but unreleased songs.

Jackson’s acceptance of Norma’s increasing influence seemed to be based on his appreciation of her talents. Norma had a knack of anticipating what would make Jackson happy and then organizing for it to happen, and the main thing that made Jackson happy was, of course, visits from young boys. Norma organized the comings and goings of his boys in an efficient and discrete manner, ensuring every detail went smoothly.

Norma Staikos made all the arrangements wherever he was. It was she who brought the boys to Neverland, liaising with parents to ensure travel plans went smoothly whether they were visiting from Los Angeles, Germany or Australia. It was she who organized first class flights for Wade Robson and Brett Barnes from Brisbane and Melbourne, limousine rides for Jordan Chandler and Jimmy Safechuck, and it was she who made all the arrangements when boys went on tour with Jackson.

June Chandler testified[5] to Norma Staikos’ organizational skills at Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial.

Q. You mentioned — actually, let me ask you this: Did you mention Norma Staikos earlier?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Where did you meet Norma Staikos?

A. I’ve never met Norma Staikos.

Q. Have you ever spoken to her?

A. Yes.

Q. In what context did you speak to Norma Staikos?

A. By telephone, about where we should meet, or when Michael Jackson is coming in to New York, or things like that.

Q. Did she seem to be the person that arranged your trips?

A. Everything. Everything.

Q. Did she seem to be the person who would get plane tickets, for example?

A. Absolutely, yes.

Q. Would she be the person who would arrange transportation on your trips with Michael Jackson?

A. Yes.

Wade Robson also testified[7] that Norma Staikos was the right person to talk to when a boy wanted to connect with Jackson. Here he describes what happened after his initial meeting with Jackson.

A. And then for the next two years, we didn’t have any contact [with Jackson] at all. And I continued pursuing my dance career in Australia. And then the company that I was with, the dance company, was traveling to America to do a performance at Disneyland. So we all went. Came out, did that performance. As I said, we’d had no contact with Michael or anything. Somehow my mother got in contact with Michael’s secretary at that time, who was Norma Staikos.

Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: After your mother got in contact with Norma Staikos, what happened next?

A. She talked to Michael about — we wanted to see if we could hook up with him again and meet him again. She talked to Michael. Michael remembered me from when I met him when I was five years old, wanted to meet me again.

Did Jackson really remember Wade after two years? That is an interesting detail in itself.

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Of course, Norma Staikos arranging to bring Michael Jackson and boys together could be construed by those who think Jackson to be innocent as nothing more than facilitating friendship. However, several people have spoken about Norma knowing about Jackson’s predilection for young boys.

During his testimony at the 2005 trial, former majordomo at Neverland Phillip Lemarque said he never reported the abuse he claimed to have witnessed of Macauley Culkin (by Jackson) to Staikos because Norma “knew about it”. He didn’t elaborate further.

Q. Okay. While you were at Neverland during that ten-month period, did you observe Mr. Jackson to have child visitors?

A. Yes.

Q. You continued to work at Neverland after you saw what you claim you saw, right?

A. Yes.

Q. Was your wife working at Neverland as well?

A. Yes.

Q. You never reported this to anyone there obviously, right?

A. No, we didn’t.

Q. You never went to Miss Staikos and said, “I saw something improper going on,” right?

A. We didn’t have to do that. She knew about it[8].

In an interview with Diane Dimond in January 1994, former Jackson executive secretary Orietta Murdoch said that everyone in the office knew about Jackson’s relationships with young boys, it was common knowledge.

In early January 1994, I found and interviewed Michael Jackson’s former executive secretary, Orietta Murdoch. For two years, Murdoch had been employed at the Los Angeles offices of MJJ Productions, where she performed a variety of duties for Michael Jackson: from simple office correspondence restocking the kitchen at his secret hideout apartment.

During our interview, she told me she often fielded calls from either Jackson’s “special friends” or their parents, asking for everything from backstage concert passes to European vacations.

She was under direct orders from Norma Staikos and Jackson’s chief of security, Bill Bray, to fulfill the wishes of these callers- no questions asked.

Murdoch, a single mother, claimed she left MJJ Productions in 1991 in “good standing” to accept a higher-paying position that would enable her to better provide for her young son. She said after working at MJJ Productions for two years, she asked Norma Staikos for a raise, and was turned down, so she moved on. Murdoch told me she had already been questioned by LAPD and that investigators said she possessed information that was important to their investigation. Murdoch claimed to have heard whispers about Michael Jackson and his relationships with young boys from the very first day she joined MJJ Productions. Indeed, she said the information was common knowledge around the office.

In quiet conversation, there was talk among the office staff about all those extravagant gifts Jackson doled out to the boys, the ones Staikos called his ” little boyfriends.” They’d talk about his sense of possessiveness toward them, too. At one point, Staikos even warned Murdoch to keep a close watch on her own son-and never leave the boy alone with the star.

Staikos never explained why, and Murdoch was too afraid to ask any questions. Murdoch said she took Staikos’s warning seriously and never brought her son to the office when she believed Jackson was going to be there.

This information was reiterated in the book Michael Jackson:Unauthorized by Christopher Andersen.

Orietta Murdoch, Michael’s top assistant at MJJ Productions and the mother of a 10-year-old boy, [Norma] Staikos said to her, “Never leave your son with Michael. It’s not a good idea.”

At the time he was staying with Jackson every night at his Century City condominium while mother Joy and sister Karlee stayed at the Holiday Inn opposite, Norma Staikos also allegedly referred to Wade Robson as one of her boss’s “little boyfriends.”[9]

Staikos also allegedly told Orietta Murdoch “that kid [Jackson] better be glad I understand his problem”, referring to Jackson’s compulsion to sleep with young boys[10].

Even were these comments and behavior not be attributable to her, that Staikos appeared to be so accommodating of Jackson’s “problem” is incredible. It would be highly unlikely for her to be organizing the comings and goings of so many boys over so many nights without at least an inkling of the purpose of those visits. Add to that the gifts she procured for boys and their parents on behalf of Jackson and one can only be incredulous that she had no knowledge of Jackson’s pedophilia.

Her comment to Orietta Murdoch – “Never leave your son with Michael. It’s not a good idea” – showed both that Staikos knew what Jackson was doing, and that what he was doing was wrong. Her continued aiding and abetting of his behavior was evidence of a darkness in her soul where she put the sexual enjoyment of her boss above the safety of children.

The danger of Norma Staikos “knowing too much” became a problem in 1993 when Jordan Chandler accused Jackson of molestation. When the allegations broke in August, Norma left the United States for her native Greece to avoid questioning by law enforcement, allegedly on the instructions of Jackson’s lawyers. Howard Weitzman was careful to say at the time, “I know she’s coming back, and I’ve told this to the police. To use the word ‘flee’ is egregious.”[11] She returned after Jackson settled with his boy accuser in January 1994, only to be served with a subpoena to appear before the investigating grand jury in Santa Barbara in early February[12].

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Curiously, in the March 2004 story in Vanity Fair by Maureen Orth, Neverland’s Lost Boys, it was claimed by former Jackson account Myung-Ho Lee that Norma Staikos appeared to be blackmailing Jackson.

[Staikos] disappeared the night before she was supposed to be questioned by the police, in 1993. Lee, however, got yet another of the many surprises he experienced handling Jackson’s business affairs when one day a request came in from Greece, where Staikos was living, for $75,000. Lee wanted to know what it was for and was told, “You don’t understand, Lawyer Lee. Norma gets whatever she wants.”

Without the court documents from the case between Jackson and Lee’s company it would be impossible to verify if any payments were made to Norma Staikos, and that’s even assuming that they were actually listed in the documents. Until we have verification we can only conclude that Lee may have been telling the truth.

However with evidence that Jackson wasn’t averse to paying out large sums of money to avoid being accountable (think the Chandler and Francia payouts) it’s entirely possible that Staikos received cash from Jackson[13]. Further evidence that Norma Staikos received payments came from Diane Dimond, who said “According to three individuals who have intimate knowledge of Jackson’s finances, Staikos continued to receive substantial payments from Michael Jackson for more than a decade.”[14]

Bob Jones, in his book Michael Jackson, the Man Behind the Mask: An Insider’s Story of the King of Pop, also wrote that whatever Norma asked for, she received.

Secretary Norma Staikos was a piece of work in her own right. During the Rent~a-Wreck Family [Chandler] investigation, the authorities concluded that it was she who arranged travel for Michael and many of his special guests, and it looked like they might tum the screws on her in order to prosecute Michael.

But then one day she was gone: she moved to Greece, out of the authorities’ reach, to Michael’s considerable benefit. Still, Norma stayed in touch. Every so often, she would leave a message for
Michael at MJJ Productions and with his assistant: “I need $70,000,” or “I need $100,000.”

Whatever amount requested, it was always sent without question or delay. She’s probably been paid millions. And people wonder what happened to all of Michael’s money. In fact, Michael’s former business manager, Myung Ho Lee, testified in his lawsuit against Michael that whenever Norma called for money, it was sent to her. Lee, who settled his suit against Michael Jackson in 2002, said Norma was always given money upon request. He speculated that it was to keep her quiet.

Informed sources said Norma Staikos was extremely guarded during her two hours of testimony in front of the grand jury and “not one of her responses was negative to Michael Jackson”.[15]

While it’s obvious Norma Staikos had at best a strong suspicion, and at worst deep knowledge, of Jackson’s behavior with boys, to date she has chosen to remain silent. Now that she has been named in Wade Robson’s lawsuit and may be deposed (and the payments presumably are no longer forthcoming), there is a chance that Jackson’s most private secrets will come to light. If she does the right thing, that is.


[1] Nightmare in Neverland by Maureen Orth (retrieved 12 October 2015) and Michael Jackson was My Lover by Victor Gutierrez p.142, 143

[2] Joy Robson Testimony, May 6 2005

[3] Be Careful Who You Love by Diane Dimond p. 107

[4] ibid

[5] Plaintiff Wade Robson’s Opposition To Defendants MJJ Productions Inc and MJJ Ventures Inc’s Demurrer to Robson’s Third Amended Complaint

[6] June Chandler Testimony, April 11 2005

[7] Wade Robson Testimony, May 5 2005

[8] Phillip LeMarque Testimony, April 8 2005

[9] Behind the Michael Jackson Bombshell: How a Staunch Defender Suddenly Flipped, Daily Beast…how-a-staunch-defender-suddenly-flipped.html (retrieved 12 October 2015)

[10] Plaintiff Wade Robson’s Opposition To Defendants MJJ Productions Inc and MJJ Ventures Inc’s Demurrer to Robson’s Third Amended Complaint

[1] Nightmare in Neverland by Maureen Orth (retrieved 12 October 2015)

[12] Grand Jury Hears Ex-Jackson Aide : Investigation: Former chief of staff at Neverland ranch testifies in child molestation probe, Los Angeles Times February 11 1994 (retrieved 10 October 2015)

[13] Interestingly, Roger Friedman, who at the time was writing for Fox News at the time, allegedly saw the documents detailing Jackson’s finances (which were filed as part of the lawsuit between Myung-Ho Lee and Michael Jackson over a $12 million payment for services rendered). Friedman details that included in those financial documents is a payment to Frank Cascio’s father for $600,000, ostensibly a loan for this restaurant. These claims were never tested in court as Jackson settled the lawsuit before it went to trial, however as this figure and who it was paid to was part of a lengthy and otherwise mostly mundane list of creditors (including payment of $1.5 million to Debbie Rowe in October 2000 and $45,000 to PR firm Rubenstein and Associates) it is good evidence of yet another of Jackson’s payouts to boys and/or their parents.
Vanity Fair Jacko Story: It Was Here First March 5, 2003 (retrieved 10 October 2015)

[14] Be Careful Who You Love by Diane Dimond p. 119

[15] ibid

  • fudhux

    What a disgusting woman ! She should’ve had problems too. I am sure that she will do everything not to testify in Wade’s trial if there is one. She basically helped someone to abuse children. I can’t believe what some people can do for money and connections with rich and famous people !

  • Andreas Moss

    Great article, and a truly great idea to put focus on this woman. I have to admit, after reading about this case and many of the books by now, Norma Staikos strikes me as one of the more disturbing people/elements involved in this case.

    More than Jackson himself ironically, to me, but that is because I for whatever reason just think of him as such a tragic mess. Debatable perhaps, but someone like Staikos, who seemed to feed him these little boys to Michael on silver plates, as a trade-in for her own iron fist rule over Neverland, and whatever else she hoped controlling, is so disturbing. She obviously knew what was going on. She obviously helped cover up for Jackson’s crimes, and let them continue.

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that when she was hired at Neverland, she asked around for what Michael liked, so she could deliver and hopefully climb the ladders of the system. Little boys was his passion, and she was ready to serve them.

    • An important question in Wade’s civil case is “Was Norma Staikos able to say no to Michael Jackson?”

      I think she could have. Rather than say no, she enthusiastically arranged everything when it came to bringing MJ and boys together.

      She knew what was going on, she knew exactly why MJ wanted boys in his bed, and she aided and abetted crimes against children.

      Fans complain about “people lying to get MJ’s money” but this is many magnitudes worse – turning a blind eye to MJ’s behavior for money.

      • Andreas Moss

        Quite a few of those who saw things turned a blind eye to what happened, or they were scared and didn’t know what to do, didn’t want to lose their job, etc. I can kind of understand that it would be paralyzing.

        Norma Staikos however was actively pimping other parents boys to Jackson. I could never understand that.

      • Kat

        People say that suing Michael Jackson, a person who’s deceased, is wrong and pointless. But Wade is also suing his corporations and the people who worked for them – Norma Staikos, Orietta Murdoch; these people are still alive and need to be held responsible for what they did. I remember you writing how all the wrong employees were ‘wished to the cornfield’, but with Staikos MJ found the right employee who would do everything that was needed for added money bonuses… Anything for money, like Michael Jackson sang! I also don’t get Murdoch. She had a young son who was at the age of Jackson’s preference, how could she so coolly collaborate in him abusing other people’s sons? I suppose you could argue that she didn’t know what was going on when she was asked to fulfill every wish of Jackson’s special friends, or their parents, or book a hotel room for Wade and his mother across the street from MJs apartment, but I think his employees weren’t stupid and knew exactly what was happening. Orietta was also seemed so relaxed in her interview with Diamond, she was like oh yes, I liked my job, I would have gladly continued, my boss was likely molesting children on a regular basis, but the pay was still good.

        • Andreas Moss

          Didn’t Orietta Murdoch try to stop MJ? In the book by Raymond Chandler he mentions they got an anonymous phonecall after the allegations broke loose, and a previous secretary of MJ called them and said she had witnessed too much, and while she ‘loved Michael’, he needed to be stopped. In the book her name wasn’t mentioned, but I always figured it was Murdoch. She told the Chandlers and the police she had a whole rolodex with boys Jackson had questionable relationships with. She said she was given order to pay for anything any of his special friends requested.

          She also cooperated with the police.
 (page 15)

          • Pea

            Andreas, Kat is actually right. According to Diane Dimond’s book, Orietta Murdoch said she left Jacko’s employ in “good standing” to accept a higher-paying job elsewhere. She also said that had Norma Staikos given her a raise (like she’d asked about), she would’ve stayed at MJJ Productions — and that is in spite of the fact she knew of Jacko’s series of “little boyfriends”.

            That is interestingly contrasted by the fact she did talk to the Chandler brothers (in Victor Gutierrez’s book, “Alison Fox” — the pseudonym used by Ray Chandler for that whistle-blowing secretary — was named as Orietta Murdoch). They said that she got upset when the cops talked to her after their meeting and then clammed up. They managed to get some info out of her, of course, like the fact that Jacko used bleaching creams on his skin.

            Odd, though, is that she claimed to Dimond that she would’ve kept working at MJJ Productions, and, yet, Victor Gutierrez reported that she’d filed an EEOC complaint against Jacko & Norma Staikos for racial discrimination — Gutierrez even had the report number. Perhaps when they refused to give her the raise, she lashed out by filing the complaint, knowing that it might have been believable because Jacko really didn’t like black people. And maybe her bitterness was what led her to tell the Chandlers (and Diane Dimond) what she’d “seen”.

            At any rate, Orietta Murdoch seemed like she wanted to stay at MJJ Productions, and I think she illustrates well what many of Jacko’s employees experienced. I believe Orietta Murdoch knew to protect her own son, as Norma Staikos advised, but cared little about “special friends”, even if there were stories circulating that Jacko was a pedophile. Why? Because Jacko was totally disarming and child-like, and his chosen boys adored him. If they were being molested, as the rumors intimated, it was to no discernibly ill-effect.

            As the Quindoys said, “We weren’t victims,” in explaining why they never reported what they’d seen between Jacko and Jimmy Safechuck to cops.

            Like all the others (the Lemarques especially come to mind), Orietta Murdoch just enjoyed being in the know. She reveled in the secrets of Neverland, its curiosities. I also suspect she was a gossip.

            Although lots of us like to think that we’d protect any kid we suspect was being molested, and it is from that standpoint that Jacko’s employees are judged, if we try to be completely relative and not too judgmental, perhaps they didn’t act because — beyond feeling like no one would believe them — they figured, “Well, no boy is crying, and Michael is gentle. Maybe it’s not bad enough for me to risk losing my job… and that little bit of nosey excitement that makes minimum wage bearable.”

            The world is in shades of grey.

          • Andreas Moss

            If we were to believe the Chandlers story, I think its also likely she was just very very scared. Michael Jackson was such a powerhouse, and with Anthony “I’m above the law” Pellicano around to protect his image, I think its a concern to take seriously. Smashing bugs wasn’t beneath him. There’s a whole site dedicated to Pellicano’s many victims.

            One thing is to choose not losing your job accusing your boss, but if its choosing between accusing your boss and your life and your kids life, it quickly becomes a bit more of a struggle to do the right thing.

            Considering she actually met up with the Chandler brothers, in private, by her own will, even two times, says a lot, in my opinion. It shows she threw herself on the first safe chance to release her guilt about what she had experienced. What people say on a public TV-show doesn’t need to mean as much. I still think she at the very least needs to be put on a much lower scale than Norma Staikos.

            I can totally understand its a bizarre situation to be in though. The worlds most celebrated artists, having made this fairy land for children named after the Peter Pan tale, his image all about being a protector of children, an image you believe too, and you discover he sexually molests little boys when people aren’t looking. Its quite a package to get delivered, when you’re working in the middle of it.

            I remember Bob Jones, in his book, answering the question why he never did anything in his many years of working with Jackson. He said it wasn’t easy. He had never seen any molestations directly himself, at least nothing beyond intimate hugging and gray-area-ish touching, and he couldn’t go to the police telling them his boys were holding hands with little boys. Wouldn’t fly. And Jackson held hands with his special friends in public, on camera, anyway, so its not like he was saying anything new.

          • Pea

            Orietta Murdoch may have been afraid of Pellicano, but if she told Diane Dimond that she would’ve stayed at MJJ Productions if she were to have gotten that raise, that indicates to me that she didn’t care much about Jacko’s relationships with “special friends”. As long as she heeded Norma Staikos’s advice about keeping her son away from Jacko, she was fine.

            I think Orietta lashed out with the EEOC complaint because she really wanted to stay! I don’t think it can be underscored how juicy a secret a beloved pop star covorting with young male lovers is — and to be able to hear about it everyday at work as part of a privileged club who knew about it? You’d be surprised how many people would stay.

            As for “All That Glitters”, the book is important but I don’t totally trust Ray Chandler’s conspicuously moral spin. He drafted the book almost like it was some scene from Revelations, in which everyone against Jacko is good & those working for him are evil, and the former is battling the latter to protect innocent little Jordie Chandler from sinister Michael 666 Jackson. I mean, that’s what he wants us to believe. Instead, you can tell by Ray’s word choices in the book and in interviews that he didn’t give damn about what happened to Jordie — none of them did really, though I suspect Evan was concerned about the possibility Jacko, who he suspected was a homosexual, could turn Jordie “gay” by sexual osmosis. June Chandler had already made her mind up that she didn’t care if Jordie was gay — and, therefore Jacko’s presence in his life didn’t bother her — as long as she was getting trinkets and attention.

            The Chandler crew were sickening to me. I had to stop reading ATG several times because I felt so sorry that Jordie didn’t have any adult looking out for his best interest.

            Anyway, what I’m saying is that given the narrative Ray was trying to push, it doesn’t surprise me that he’d paint Orietta Murdoch as someone trying to do the right thing. Maybe she was, or maybe she was motivated by bitterness. But it was clear by her chat with Diane Dimond that she would’ve stayed, boy-love and all, if she’d gotten her way.

            That said, I don’t think she should be censured as harshly as Norma Staikos, or maybe at all, and definitely not in court. If so, she could possibly use the Nuremburg defense. She was employed by “Hitler Woman”, after all. 🙂

            I’ve made the decision, though, to keep an open mind about those who worked for Jacko. There’s no point in trying to paint them as afraid, if you think about it, because then you’d have to start explaining every choice from that standpoint, which becomes difficult. Instead, I think the biggest motivator in staying around Jacko was the proximity to celebrity.

          • Andreas Moss

            So, to sum up, your theory is that she only got in contact with the Chandlers, meeting up with them, claiming she was worried about the little boys, because she didn’t get the raise she wanted from Staikos and was bitter because she then had to change work? You’re implying she would have happily stayed working at Neverland, with a raise, keeping quiet? And that is also the reason for the EEOC complaint?

            Quite a claim. I dunno. I’ll have to re-read the Dimond interview, I guess, but sometimes I wonder, Pea, if you have a little bit too misantrophic analysis of the people involved? Like greed, selfishness and bad stuff is the only thing that could motivate them? I do like your sharp no nonsense approach to this though.

            Hm. My own perception is that she, like most people involved, probably felt terribly conflicted, and felt it was best to shut up. For all the reasons mentioned so far. Blanca Francia said in her interview with Hard Copy that people thought they were helping Jackson by keeping quiet. He had a dangerous addiction. A very very dangerous one. An addiction he couldn’t ever really turn to the public, admit it with a sad face, take responsibility for it, and get sympathy… like most personal problems could. The public usually love seeing celebrities also having their issues, but not this. Not even his most ardent fans could ever still love him as a child molester, and that I think evident by the absurd denials by people who really should know better.

            Of course, for the boys sake it still would be the best option to take it to law, throw Jackson in jail and swallow the key. But as you said if these boys didn’t complain, still liked Jackson, kept coming back, so it must have been very confusing. I do choose to believe her contacting the Chandlers was a sincere move, motivated by guilt of keeping quiet about it for so long. If she’s a mother of a little boy its easier to empathize with other mothers also having a son. So I don’t personally find that so hard to believe, but each to his/her own!

          • Pea

            And I thought I was concealing my misanthrope well — oops! 🙂

            “You’re implying she would have happily stayed working at Neverland, with a raise, keeping quiet? And that is also the reason for the EEOC complaint?”

            Those were Orietta’s words to Diane Dimond.

            Murdoch said she enjoyed working at MJJ Productions and admitted that if Staikos had given her a raise she would probably still be employed there.


            This was said in January 1994 — after Jordie’s claims and in spite of the fact she knew about the office gossip, had booked hotels and bought gifts for Jacko’s favored boys, and was instructed by Norma Staikos to not leave her son alone with Jacko. This is even in spite of having seen, as she told Victor Gutierrez, Wade Robson and Jacko in a chair together, nude from the waist up and covered by a sheet from the waist down, at Jacko’s Hideout in Century City.

            It’s for all those reasons I believe her “concern” was less than sincere. She was likely no different from the Quindoys and the Lemarques. (And I should add that while the Quindoys and Lemarques come off greedy and sketchy, at least they’re authentic. They’ve never denied being greedy. I admire that.)

            As for the EEOC complaint, she filed that sometime after quitting at MJJ Productions. She claimed she was discriminated against for being black; but, again, she also said she would’ve continued to work there had she gotten a raise. To me, it’s no different from the Hayvenhurst bodyguards who lashed out with a lawsuit about having been fired because they “knew too much”. They then ran to Hard Copy to make a dime off their story (understandable).

            “I do choose to believe her contacting the Chandlers was a sincere move, motivated by guilt of keeping quiet about it for so long. It had also been a couple of years since she changed jobs at this point. If she’s a mother of a little boy its easier to empathize with other mothers also having a son.”

            I understand. However, from my perspective, it’s hard to reconcile Orietta’s supposed “guilt” and “empathy” with her stating that she would still work at MJJ Productions, even knowing Jacko was accused of molestation and having seen & heard what she claims to have seen & heard. I’m sure she wanted to help but it was likely for other reasons, like her enjoying gabbing about her Neverland experience.

            I know I seem cynical, lol. I just don’t want to hold any illusions about everyone having good intentions or being “afraid” because it doesn’t go far in explaining their choices. None of them — Orietta Murdoch, Blanca Francia, the Hayvenhurst guards, the Neverland 5, Quindoys, Lemarques — went to the police with their suspicions. I think it’s likely they felt no one would believe them; they also didn’t want to lose their jobs. But there’s no real moral heroes in Jacko’s story, and I don’t fault them for it. It was Hollyweird. 🙂

          • ShawntayUStay

            It’s actually telling in my opinion that even after seeing so much, these people continue wanting to work for MJ or at MJJ Productions. Orietta Murdoch, Jolie Levine. From the way they tell it, it seems that there was a culture of silence (or rather backhanded whispering and gossip) at MJJ Productions surrounding Michael and his “little boyfriends”.

            And isn’t the heart of Wade Robson’s lawsuit the allegation that the company who hired him and brought him and his family to America didn’t do enough to protect him from MJ’s sexual proclivity? Wade even mentioned in his lawsuit that there was gossip amongst Neverland workers that MJ was having an “affair” with Jimmy Safechuck. Seems to me that since there was a pretty well known thing that MJ was a pedo, logic would dictate that MJJ Productions could be liable for his sexual abuse. They “knew” by way of not only Norma Staikos but just in general… Wasn’t Bill Bray, Bob Jones, etc also employees of MJJ Productions?

            So I hired the only thing that needs to be proven is could they stop MJ. Given that Norma was his mother figure and Bill Bray was a father figure for decades, I’m thinking it’s very possible.

          • Andreas Moss

            Pea, I’m not saying Murdoch did the noble thing everyone should have done, and if Wade/James/others try to sue them for not stopping Jackson, I don’t blame them, as all those people working for MJJ Production have a lot of things to explain, and in a sense they are morally responsible for not doing more. I just have problems with reducing them to someone “who just loved being in on a secret”, like they just found it exciting, or something like that. That does come across as a bit cynical and reductionist, especially since there’s a lot of info that shows its probably a lot more complex. I just propose that even if they did feel guilty and responsible its not always easy to know what to do. Things like this is easier in theory than in practice.

            Everyone would say they wouldn’t blink to report a child molester, but lets picture this: If you saw a little boy visiting your neighbor, a 40 year old man who lives alone, and you see this little boy coming over quite a lot.. and you start getting suspicous about the nature of these visits after seeing a couple of intimate hugs.. what exactly would you do? Would you really call the police? How much would you need to see before you did something? If the boy had been openly sexually molested outside the house, and you actually saw it with your own eyes, sure, but most likely most of that stuff would be hidden behind closed curtains. For all you know they could just be playing video games, watching sports or something, and you don’t know 100% for sure, and you can’t go to the police with a loose assumption. A man had visits from a boy is not a lot to work with. If the police visited the man there would most likely just be a denial from the man, and perhaps even the boy, and you’d risk looking like the crazy and perverted one.

            Most likely quite a few people would reason that if the boy’s molested its his own task to come forward about it, and if/when the boy do, you could be a witness of all the visits, hugs or whatever else you saw, still help, and not needing to put your neck on the line by pushing the red button. The Quindoys must have thought this way, because they kept a diary over everything they saw. They seemed quite prepared that things might explode some day, so when the police came along they had dates and details ready to go. Bob Jones said the same thing. His boss were holding hands with little boys in public, but you can’t really go to the police with that, can you? He’d look like an idiot, risk his reputation, his job and perhaps his career.

            Its also so complex, as Jackson had successfully created an image as a world famous icon and protector of all children, so if he hung around with children in his scarce spare time, well, that just helped his credibility. Since Jackson was a megastar and the proponent of the fluffy 90s “think of the children” sentimentality, it made it even more difficult to go against him. It worked like a shield.

            I think Murdoch contacting the Chandlers was sincere, and the way Ray Chandler described it, it sounds like a person eaten up by guilt, and again, scared to her bones. There’s also is quite a bit of indication that Anthony Pellicano was hired to question staff and threaten them into submission too if they talked about Jackson and the little boys. There’s this testimony by Adrian McManus too.

            If this is anything close to accurate its quite possible many people were just dead scared into silence. Its probably hard to believe that people were threatened with their life by Jackson, but Pellicano has admitted he was hired to dig down the dirt for Jackson(even claiming he hid childporn from the police), and his violent mafia methods is well documented, so it could very well be true.

            The comment about Murdoch enjoying working for MJJ Productions is certainly a bit odd, granted, but who knows if she really meant it in the sinister way (“Oh, I just frickin’ loved working for a child molester!”). To me she it could sound just as much iike the type of person who didn’t want to stick her hand too much into the machine, and simply attempted to go under the radar while being on national television, but who knows.

          • Pea

            Andreas, the “dilemma” you crafted of course could lead to ambivalence, and that would only increase if you are dealing with a gentle megastar pedophile, who, if he was molesting boys, disarmed you by doing it in the “sweetest” way imaginable — making the boy his chosen “little boyfriend”.

            Note the hot gossip about Jimmy Safechuck: they said Jacko was “having an affair” with — not molesting! — him. The term “affair” denotes “love” and “tenderness”, does it not? It also is humorous and mocking, which indicates to me that the employees dishing about Jacko’s “affairs” with boys did it with conspicuous levity.

            And it is from that point that I talk about shades of grey. It’s far too simplistic to assume that anyone employed at Neverland faced a moral dilemma and even though they didn’t act, they still cared about molested children. Hence why I am proffering an alternative option that perhaps they just didn’t give a shit — it wasn’t happening to their kids, their nephews, their godchildren, etc., but someone else’s kids.

            Many people don’t care about unrelated kids they’re unfamiliar with; I would argue that’s extremely true, and there’s no real biological/evolutionary reason to care about unrelated kids.

            So, from that perspective, let’s add extra layers to your theoretical dilemma: the kid is not related to you and the alleged molester is very gentle and very child-like himself — almost an equal to the kid. If the relationship is sufficiently ambiguous, with nothing more than kisses, snuggles, lots of (platonic) touching, no one is talking, besides laughing behind their hands saying, “That guy is a total weirdo.” If they see molestation — as Philip Lemarque, Ralph Chacon, and Mark Quindoy all claim — they may have reasoned, “Well, the boy isn’t crying, and after the event, Michael and the boy are still happy to be together, what’s to report?” That rationalization would especially have resonance to underpaid workers.

            Lemarque and Chacon defended their inaction by suggesting they wouldn’t be believed. I agree that could’ve been likely. However, the Lemarques didn’t hesitate to sell a story (why not expend the same effort telling the police?), and Chacon, after allegedly seeing Jacko perform fellatio on Brett Barnes, brought his children to a Neverland staff day. And we know that the Quindoys merely said, “We weren’t victims,” — I’d add to that, given their choices, “We weren’t victims and neither were our children.”

            You talk of complexity, Andreas, but seem to ignore the possibility of total nonchalance. It’s a possibility given the facts — in a world where most things are grey, it’s not impossible that an alleged pedophile’s “nice guy” affect could sufficiently disarm a person into believing that even if molestation is happening, not to act or tell the police; a person then rationalizes to themselves that if the boy isn’t complaining it’s essentially a “victimless crime”.

            Ironically, it’s very easy for you to imagine that kind of thought guided Norma Staikos, who said, “That kid better be glad I understand his problem,” and made sure her kids were never left alone with Jacko. I argue that some of the others could’ve thought/probably did think the same way. Miko Brando kept his kids away but rounded up other people’s kids for Jacko’s Neverland sleepovers. Orietta Murdoch heeded Staikos’s advice but said, in spite of knowing the Neverland gossip and knowing a boy accused Jacko of abuse, that if she had gotten that raise, she’d still work at MJJ Productions.

            Even bully-thug Pellicano rationalized his “work” for Jacko. While he claimed in 2011 that uncovering “truths” about Jacko — that Jacko “did far worse to young boys than molest them” (paraphrase) — made him quit in disgust, he never quit and was paid handsomely. This is a father of 9 cleaning up the mess of an alleged pedophile. This is a father of 9 orchestrating a car to run down Jordie Chandler, a child, for his boss. I mean, come on! 🙂

            What I’m trying to give you is an explanation based upon the facts, not upon an a priori philosophical belief in human goodness. Because “fear” and/or internal moral conflict does not explain all of these people’s choices. A far more satisfying explanation is nonchalance, especially given Jacko’s gentle, sweet, playful disposition; because it is so general, it readily smooths out all of the kinks that would exist if you try to defend these folks using a fear/moral conflict thesis.

            Bob Jones defined his position quite poignantly in Jacques Peretti’s film “Michael Jackson: What Really Happened?” When asked about Jacko’s alleged dalliances with young boys, he said quite dismissively but matter-of-factly, “Que sera, sera,” and, “Sex, drugs, and rock n roll.” He was totally apathetic, and it underscored why he lied on the stand — he knew Jacko, knew of his gentleness (i.e. he wasn’t some rapist), and didn’t want to see him, even if he was a molester, in prison.

            So, no, I’m not being reductionist, Andreas; I’m just saying that instead of believing complexity, in this situation, must be yoked with at least wanting to do the right thing but being unable to follow through, why can’t complexity also suggest that these employees didn’t care because it was a humorous curiosity, Jacko was sweet, and those allegedly molested unrelated boys weren’t crying? And even if that was so, I’m not going to blame them or assume that their situational amorality makes them totally bad people.

            As we both agree, the world is very complex. 🙂

          • Andreas Moss

            Pea, wow, things blew up in this debate, and I got busy a couple of days. A bit too much to address here now. (Especially since the whole Arvizo case was thrown into the mix too…). Took me quite a while just to read it all. :/

            I suppose we can agree on some main things. The question on why people working with Jackson, on Neverland in particular, didn’t report Jackson, is one of the big questions left. And yes, we agree, its very complex. There’s a lot of room for debate what really happened.

            Our disagreement seems to be based partially that we focus and weigh differently on different aspects.

            I’ll single in on Murdoch for now. To be honest, to me it doesn’t make _that_ much difference if Orietta Murdoch enjoyed working at Neverland, and that she liked Michael Jackson as a person(perhaps even a bit starstruck even?). Its not something I think I could personally relate to, but I could see that Michael had a disarming personality, like you say, and all that other stuff mentioned.

            Perhaps, even if they pay wasn’t great, it was still an idyllic workplace. It was like a private Disneyland, only smaller and probably a lot more quiet. On breaks you could go around in the parks, and perhaps watch some animals. Cognitive dissonance about whatever happened with those boys could help with the rest. Orietta didn’t know what Michael really did with those kids, and whatever it was, they didn’t seem to be running away crying, so how bad could it be. He probably wasn’t raping them at least. She has shown signs of distress though.

            Because I still think you seem to weigh suspiciously little on the fact that she contacted the Chandlers by her own accord, after the 93-case broke loose, and wanted to meet up with them in person to give them phone numbers to the other boys. Even if she chickened out when the police called her, it does show signs of guilt, doesn’t it? I mean, how could it not? Both her actions and what she literally said tells us she wanted Jackson stopped, but she just didn’t want to be the person responsible (“Just promise you’ll take it all the way”).

            Of course, it would be braver if she called the police instead, stood the storm out in front of the whole world, but its quite easy to understand that she might have been scared, and didn’t want to come out of her shell. She wanted to stay anonymous.

            The fear wasn’t irrational either. Michael Jackson was basically ruling the world at this point in popularity… At the peak of his fame arguably. The Chandlers got death threats every minute, when the allegations broke loose, and they had to go through the backdoor of their house armed with guns, if they would go anywhere, as the front of their house was filled with all kinds of people. Evan Chandler was attacked at his own job by people with a bat, who at the top of it filmed it. It was obviously dangerous to accuse Jackson.

            “Many people don’t care about unrelated kids they’re unfamiliar with; I would argue that’s extremely true, and there’s no real biological/evolutionary reason to care about unrelated kids.”

            Then why do you care about these boys? You have no real biological or evolutionary reason to care about them either?
            You say you are not a reductionist, Pea, but here you are reducing other people to their biology, aren’t you? 🙂
            And you seem to put yourself above it?

            I don’t know. I’m not sure if its even correct biologically speaking either, because even if the “selfish gene”-theory supports that people are primarily interested in their own genes, and therefore their own offspring, there’s also other signs that human morality has evolved largely in hunter-gathering societies, making it an advantage to care about other people’s offsprings, because the favor would then probably be returned to yours. Making both sets of offsprings safer as a result. (Not saying evolution is a flawless source for morality though. Not at all…. but I digress.)

          • ShawntayUStay

            I don’t think Pea was being a so-called “reductionist” to mention the fact that organisms seem to have evolved to favor those who carry their same genes. I think her point was that the biological reality of “same-gene favoritism” could be one factor among many that could explain the seeming indifference of these employees toward MJ cavorting with these young boys. For example, it could be one, albeit important, reason why both Norma Staikos and Miko Brando could have looked the other way when making arrangements for MJ’s “little boyfriends” but made sure their own children were never left alone with him.

          • Pea

            About Orietta Murdoch, specifically… I noticed you tucked the issue of her statement to Diane Dimond at the end of your comment. It’s because that statement isn’t consistent with a narrative that she actually cared. The evidence suggests she, too, was no less cynically trying to “get hers” than Norma Staikos was. For all we know, she may have taken a page from Norma’s book, facilitating Jacko’s dalliances with ‘special friends’ while gathering the bragging rights of being close to a celebrity.

            It also doesn’t make sense that she’d claim she was fearful of Pellicano yet put her face and name on national television and talk about how he’d threatened her. Hmm….

            Orietta Murdoch was a hot, inconsistent mess! LOL. At least that’s what the facts suggest. But I believe she is ultimately a reliable, if complicated, witness. She actually seems quite vengeful, which would explain the frivolous EEOC complaint quite nicely…

          • ShawntayUStay

            I think what we all have to remember is that there are shades of gray with respect to a lot of situations we outsiders think should be clear cut, easy decisions. All one has to do is watch a couple of true crime TV shows, like Dateline NBC, 48 Hours or Primetime 20/20 (all American programs, FYI) to see that people don’t always act in accordance to what an objective hindsight evaluation would dictate. People lie, omit information, cover for other people because it may be too painful or risky to do the “right thing”, or even because they love the person and can’t imagine putting them behind bars — this last one probably describes many of MJ’s most loyal confidantes like Bill Bray and Bob Jones and Norma Staikos. Perhaps some of these folks do have a faulty moral compass, but just as likely they are regular people that get entangled in sticky situations where the “right” decision becomes relative.

            So, imo, I think that Orietta Murdoch contacting Evan Chandler probably was because she wanted to help seeing that she previously only had suspicions of inappropriate behavior, but now you had an actual child say this guy molested me,and she figured “What the hell? I’m not on the payroll anymore, so screw ’em!” I think it’s a bit of both. She could have just as easily told the Chandler brothers what she knew and the cops what she knew, but she did not. she could have just as easily kept her former boss’s more intimate personal grooming habits to herself as well, and only spoke about what was relevant to MJ’s obvious sexual interest in young boys. But she did none of those things, instead choosing to speak to Hard Copy and Diane Dimond, admitting that she’d still be working for MJJ Productions if she’d got a raise regardless of knowing her boss’s proclivities and strange habits — a position that seems untenable if we are all to stick with the narrative that everyone had ironclad moral scruples. Her lawsuit with the EEOC for alleged racial discrimination also makes little sense if she admitted she’d still work there despite it all; I think it is very possible that she filed that in retaliation, but who knows?

            Perhaps the hardest thing for those trying to “prove” Michael Jackson was a child molesting pedophile is falling out of the trap of creating these black or white categorizations of the players involved. I never thought it mattered if these people went to the tabloids, never told the police, took settlements, etc because that is all perfectly logical to do so when you’re dealing with the mega-wealthy celebrity class. In my opinion, the choices of these people have little to do with the ultimate fact that there is evidence from MJ’s own behavior and actions alone that demonstrates his guilt. So there is no need for anyone, I think, to have to first “clean up” the image of these people just to get folks to think MJ was guilty; that becomes an exercise in futility when the reality of their actions is antipodean to a moralized “good vs evil” narrative. Michael Jackson was guilty on his own. This is absolutely why the fanatics never, ever focus on his behavior — they can’t, it’s so obvious that he wasn’t who he claimed to be!

            For example, take the Arvizo case. So much time has been spent trying to explain the inconsistencies in their stories, the sketchiness of the family with respect to hanging out with celebrities and getting donations, etc etc, to the point I’m like just let this one go already! LOL. Yes, while it is true that molested children from troubled backgrounds are often the most difficult witnesses for various reasons, it would be cognitive dissonance for me to continue to believe them when it seems that every “expert excuse” is being used to defend their story! And not believing the Arvizos is not agreeing that MJ wasn’t guilty, it’s simply acknowledging probability that their tale was most likely a tall one.

            Even Maureen Orth in her last piece “CSI Neverland” was clearly feeling severe cognitive dissonance watching Gavin and his family, esp Janet, on the stand, because she’d been a strong supporter. She made a final weak appeal by saying well MJ must have wanted something (presumably sexual) from this boy because there could be no other reason to have such a dysfunctional family around him. As if! LOL. A more likely explanation is that MJ liked that this kid was a photo op and was using him to make himself look like a “savior” to dying children, especially after MJ figured that this boy wasn’t receptive to his initial “exhibition lowering” scheme of showing porn when Gavin first came to Neverland when he has 11. It’s no wonder contact tapered off until he needed his photo op kid for the Bashir doc (he also sought out burn victim friend cum photo op named Dan Dan but the doc people preferred Gavin, apparently).

            So what if they’ve never taken money for their story or asked for money from MJ? That really means nothing, if you think about it. While it’s possible that they may have integrity about making money off Gavin’s alleged molestation, it is equally likely that they know they’re liars and speaking up could let the proverbial cat out of the bag.

            Have you ever read Evan Chandler’s lawsuit against ABC, MJ, and Lisa Marie Presley?

            Well he’s suing for defamation of character and breach of confidential settlement, among other things, and I think it’s a legitimate claim. Anyway, he complains about the songs on MJ’s HIStory album, that they are thinly veiled attacks on he and his son. He offers as a remedy to tell his side of the story through an album:

            As an additional direct and proximate result of Defendant Jackson’s and others’ material breach of the agreement as herein alleged, and because of the need to repair the reputation of the Plaintiff, Plaintiff seeks the equitable remedy of an order to allow him to publish and cause to be distributed to the public for sale a certain musical composition entitled “EVANstory.” This album will include such songs as: “D.A. Reprised”: “You Have No Defense (For My Love)”; “Duck Butter Blues”; “Truth”; and other songs.

            Now I’m not saying that this is not an extremely clever way to combat bad press and couldn’t work (?), but think about the attention this would generate for the family, especially Jordie who no doubt would be thrust back into the media spotlight, having his name and privacy and abuse being talked about again when all he wants is a normal life. This is not what anyone would think to do, and to me demonstrates that Evan Chandler, while clearly highly intelligent, is not the clean, morally blameless individual his brother created in his book. He’s probably more similar to how Victor Gutierrez portrayed him, or somewhere in between the two.

            Of course none of this has any bearing on the ultimate truth of MJ’s pedophilia but it shows that these people aren’t heroes by any stretch of the imagination.

          • Andreas Moss

            Shawntay, I’m not completely sure what you are arguing here, but if you’re implying me, or anyone else, has a tendency to see this as a black and white situation, where Michael and his peers is evil and everyone else involved is saints, I’m not sure that is really fair. I don’t see it that way at least. And either way, is throwing everyone – on both sides – under the bus, really a more rational solution?

            I don’t know, I’m quite a hard determinist, and think the concept of “free will” is a very problematic one. Everyone in a sense is a result of their circumstances, and therefore a victim to their own lot in life. Roughly speaking. The concept of “pure good” and “pure evil” probably belongs in fairytales, but as axioms terms like good and bad still has a useful purpose.

            Its probably true however that I have a more sympathetic view of the Chandlers and the Arvizos, than you and Pea, at least so it would seem, but I never thought of them as saints either. I just disagree that Ray Chandler paints that picture of either his brother, himself, or anyone else “on his side” as saints. Quite the contrary, in my opinion. Its just not the way I read the book anyway…

            For example, there’s parts of Evan Chandlers behavior through the saga that seems to have been difficult to defend for Ray, and I respect Ray for not just avoiding them(which would have been easy to do). You also have to remember that Ray and Evan had a fall-out for ten years when the book was published. Evan and June didn’t want the book published.

            Evan, as presented in the book, to me, comes across as a very faulty person, perhaps even an anti-hero in a sense, even if well intending. Very intelligent for sure, but almost autistic, self-destructive and and un-personable at the same time. Like an angry little ant, against a large elephant. I personally think he really cared about Jordy, I think most of his actions more than implies that. I actually think his actions has made Jordy to look like a saint(not even MJ fans attack Jordy, he’s often seen as good, they just claim he’s a victim of greedy parents and so on, or affected by the terrible drug), Evan took the hit instead, keeping Jordy in the background, and I think cleverly by design.

            On the other hand, I think Evan arguably didn’t care about other people’s sons as much, and obviously had anger problems, impulsive behavior and clear distrust of everybody, which seemed to destroy more in his way than it gained. He might have “won” in a legal sense over Jackson, as a 20 million dollar settlement sure has showed to be punitive and damaging for Jackson, much like Evan intended, but at the same time Evan’s story showed to be a very tragic one.. in the long run. His later part of his life he only had contact with one single person, and that was Jordy. Not even his other kids. Otherwise, he was a hermit, until he killed himself.

            Yes, there’s different versions of Evan in Victor Gutierrez book, compared to RC’s book. VG’s book is, of course, fantastic for the most part, but unfortunately the part with Evan and Jordy is in the center of the most speculative and undocumented part of the book — the supposed “impossible lovestory” between Michael Jackson and Jordy, with the diary and all that stuff. A part I’d say is probably too generous to even call exaggerated. In this part VG portrays a story where the controlling father serves as some kind of ‘evil force’ keeping the two pure lovers apart from each others arms. Its a difficult to take serious, in my opinion. I’d even go on a dare and say its completely made up.

            There’s also more specific stuff we know to be wrong, like Guitierez claiming Evan lied to Jordy by promising to not tell the police, but still telling the police, like a stab in the back. In reality Evan tried to keep it secret for a long time, until he was legally forced to give Jordy over to the mother, who in turn would take him to Michael again, to go on tour and so on. Evan was forced to get custody rights to prevent that, so he went to psychiatrist Mathis Abrams, and Jordy had to tell what had happened to Abrams, as there was no other options. It was Abrams in turns, who had an obligatory duty to inform the police, and thats how it all exploded, and the police and the media got involved. Not through Evan going behind Jordy’s back.

            Perhaps VG didn’t have the facts to know that, to his defense, but its still factually wrong, and VG uses this misinformation largely to paint a larger picture of a dishonest father going behind his sons back.

            And as RC calling everyone on the opposite side evil, I can’t really see that being fair either, as in the last chapter of the book, Ray tries to explain Michael Jackson’s behavior, speculates on him being molested himself by his father, balances the story with nice things about him too, and so on. I just don’t see it.

            Of course Ray Chandler’s book has a lot of bias though, but how could it not have bias? Being who he is? At least he’s open about it. Its not like he’s hiding who he is. He’s just telling his side, as he was in the middle of it, and I think most people reading it knows that. Ray himself said he felt obliged to do write the book after seeing the famous part from Bashir’s documentary, where Jackson defends sleeping in bed with children as pure and innocent, while holding hands with Gavin. It obviously disturbed Ray as much as anyone else, perhaps more so considering what happened to his nephew.

            Yes, perhaps Ray went against Jordy’s wishes(he admitted he never asked him), and perhaps he went against Evan’s and June’s wishes, by writing the book, leaking the psychiatric interview with Jordy, going on TV interviews, and so on, but I still think it was the right thing to do morally speaking. For everybody involved, as he dispelled a lot of myths that was going around. He debunked a lot of the claims by Mary Fischer and Geraldine Hughes, arguments parroted by the fans and the media. If someone claims he was ONLY looking into a quick “cashing in” on the scandal, though, well, fine. I think thats a cynical judgement of the situation, in my opinion, but people are free to think what they want.

            As for the Arvizos its more of a mess, but in my opinion I think what happened was that Michael was really molesting Gavin, but Gavin didn’t mind it too much at present(the damaging effects of child molestations are usually more latent anyway), and as he testified later it was awkward, but he wasn’t traumatized at the time. Michael seemingly got fed up with the family though, perhaps they overstayed their welcome, so he cut them off, and they felt rejected and first then Gavin then opened up what happened. Its not an ideal case for the prosecution to work with, but it was what it was.

            I also think its sad that child molestation cases usually happens in a way that defenders of the accused’s signle strategy is digging up as much dirt on the accusers as possible, and twisting this to make it look like it has anything to do with the molestation claims. Anyone would look bad. The Arvizos was smeared to hell and back as a result.

          • ShawntayUStay

            I wasn’t saying that you specifically are creating polarity with respect to the cases. It was just that your comment made me think about people who do that. But apparently my point has been lost with too much words? Perhaps 🙂

            But what I was simply saying is that there is little point to try to explain the actions of MJ’s employees in order to make people think Michael Jackson was a pedophile child molester because his actions speak for themselves. The fans have always used the “They went to the tabloids!” “They never the police!” “They took a settlement!”, etc etc, as some trump card to “prove” MJ was innocent and whatever these people are accusing him of are complete fabrications because of those reasons.

            So, as I have seen in the six years of being both a fan and critic of MJ, there is a tendency by some to try to “clean up” the image of these employees/victims in order to argue the point that MJ was guilty, and this is being done from the standpoint of feeling that if one can place the actions of the employees/victims in a less supposedly negative light, I can win the argument with the fan — because I can still be able to use the information. The critic is therefore viewing reality through a prism of how things are done in a criminal court: juries only trust witnesses that are spotless; those that aren’t are never believed and are dismissed whole cloth. That is silly, as we know, because reality is a lot more complex than a story devised for the court.

            But that’s what people feel they need to do with the witnesses in MJ’s case. But I don’t think, for most of them, that is necessary. For instance, Orietta Murdoch probably did want to help the Chandlers, but then she claimed they “sold her out” because she was later interviewed by the cops and alleged that Pellicano found her and she was afraid; she promptly stopped helping a victim of child molestation. But why then did she later show her face on Hard Copy in 1994? Wasn’t she afraid of Pellicano? She stopped giving info to the Chandlers but took her story to Diane Dimond for money? That doesn’t sound like a severely morally conflicted person to me… it sounds more like the typical song-and-dance from the morally relative MJ employee.

            But my point is: that’s okay if she was like that, as the facts seem to suggest. That doesn’t make her information any less valuable because all of it is independently corroborated by other sources.

            This former cop turned PI to the stars, John Nazarian, claimed that he once advised Michael Jackson about employee pay — well before the 1993 scandal — and he told him that he needed to pay them way more than minimum wage or there would be a problem on his hands. He said MJ brushed him off. Nazarian cynically chuckled “And you know how that went”, his point being that employees will always keep their mouth closed for the right price, and they will almost always open them if the incentive to stay silent is less than it is to speak out. This was true for MJ in 1993, with employees spilling dirt to the tabloids left and right. Most of these employees were former employees so they had no loyalty to MJ, but all of them went to the papers before going to the cops. So much for integrity and moral conflict!

            My belief is that I’m not going to waste my time defending the strange, complex actions of these people because it sidesteps the point: MJ was guilty on his own. So if fans want to say x,y,z about these folks, I’ll say “What’s your point? How does any of this prove MJ wasn’t a molester?” I think it takes the power away from the only line of defense that MJ’s supporters have if you don’t waste time trying to put obviously sleazy choices in a light of moral conflict/fear. Tom Mesereau always says everyone came to get money but really, is that a good enough defense for MJ’s incessant need to have man-boy sleepovers? That he always had a boy with him since the early 1980s? How does an minimum wage employee selling stories to the tabloids change the fact that he willingly paid $20 million to the Chandlers only a month after his body was searched and photographed because Jordie said he could describe his genitals? It isn’t and it doesn’t; the “bad employee” narrative is simply a smokescreen used by fans to prevent a thorough evaluation of MJ’s own behavior.

            So I don’t want to sugarcoat or make excuses for these people’s choices because one, I wasn’t there and have no idea what it’s like working for a nice-guy molester/mega-rich celebrity; and two, it’s just not essential to the overall argument — why they did what they did is inconsequential to the reality of whether MJ was a pedophile. They could have been afraid or morally conflicted or morally relative opportunists or any number of things…none of which is important to the story. I only care if their facts can be corroborated and supported by other information.

            Hope that makes sense 🙂

          • ShawntayUStay

            I agree with you about Evan Chandler. I think he absolutely loved his son, however, he was a dog with a bone, as Ray intimated. So his love was occluded, imo, by wanting to get back at MJ for destroying something that he told Dave Schwartz was “inviolate”. Evan seemed to be one of those people that are always in their own heads, which is typical for a lot of writers — they’re always thinking and calculating. Jordie seemed to get lost in the fray of things. But sometimes I wonder what was really up with Evan Chandler. I think Evan, more so than June, was very much concerned with the impact MJ’s presence would have on his son’s sexuality; Ray more than hinted at Evan’s “gay panic” that seemed to get the ball rolling.

            I don’t think Evan was the extortionist that VG portrayed but I do think that Evan certainly made a huge mess of things, and I wonder why. Like the August 4th meeting at the Marquis hotel, he meets MJ and Pellicano. He later claims in a letter to his attorney that he no longer felt sympathy for MJ, that he believed that MJ was a pedophile and not motivated by a sincere love for Jordie (that in itself is concerning, don’t you think?), and that MJ was a cold, calculating criminal. He wanted to no longer protect MJ but protect others from him. However, he still says

            “I would like you to continue to negotiate with Mr Pellicano but if those negotiations are not successful then as your client, I am instructing you to file a complaint against Michael Jackson for sexual assault against my son.

            What?! He just said in the same letter that MJ should be jailed for being a pedo and to prevent him from “perpetrat[ing] his harmful behavior” on other kids? Then he says keep negotiating and only if it breaks down he’s going to report it? Those two things do not go together, and it would make many people suspicious of his true motivations with respect to how he handled the case. Add to that the idea of the EVANstory album, singing songs about duck butter, it would make many even more skeptical.

            One could argue that Evan was no different than one of these employees, namely “I’ll stay silent and not report anything to anyone if I get the right price. If I don’t, then the beans will be spilled.” There really is no difference, imo. Evan also seemed be motivated by the same feelings toward MJ like all of the others, esp the ones really close to MJ, that being, he liked MJ and thought that his feelings/actions toward Jordie were “born out of an honest love” for his son. Isn’t that similar to how the Neverland workers referred to MJ’s relationship with Jimmy Safechuck as “an affair” rather than molestation, or that the special friends were MJ’s “little boyfriends”? Before these people see it as molestation, their proximity to MJ makes them see it first as “love”, an “affair”, or just boyfriends? Well I guess that would make sense with the way all of them handled everything.

            And one thing about VG’s book: he’s a sensationalist. He sprinkled lies and half-true spin into his work to make it more salacious to the tabloid loving public…and it apparently worked because it sold like hotcakes. Most people are able to discern fact and fiction from his book.

            I don’t believe MJ molested Gavin Arvizo; I truly don’t. As I said earlier, I understand that there are lots of factors that experts use to explain inconsistencies in stories, etc, but I don’t think those explanations hold weight in this case. You mention dirt-digging but what else are they going to do? A person’s freedom and reputation is at stake, and America’s is an adversarial system; it’s a legitimate strategy. It’s very relevant if the accused is using the defense of being extorted or grifted upon to show that the accuser has a history of doing just that with other people. And that was true for the Arvizos. The JC Penney case should have been enough for the prosecutors to seriously rethink their case; the rebuttal tape wherein all the Arvizos were singing, unscripted, the praises of MJ should have had them say “Fuck it. These people are liars.” Even Larry Feldman said he didn’t trust the mother or the case, so he passed the buck. This is in sharp contrast to how he saw the Chandler lawsuit, calling it a “damn good case”… because it was.

            Sneddon and company even knew the case was garbage by the end because they’d written (in advance) a motion to admit Jordie Chandler’s description and the body search photographs. They knew that their best evidence to proving MJ was a pedophile child molester was not anything that had to do with the Arvizos, but rather with Jordie Chandler. That is very telling, esp since they argued this motion in late May 2005, and the case was concluded, with verdict, early-mid June 2005. They clearly saw the photos/description as some kind of “spackle” with which to patch up a huge hole in the Arvizo sinking ship.

            So my thing is: why hold onto Gavin Arvizo? MJ was rightfully acquitted because there was so much reasonable doubt. This probably was a case where a pedophile was falsely accused, a rarity anywhere outside of Hollywood where money is at play.

          • Kat

            I know that you and Pea both think Gavin is a questionable victim and that you two have researched into Michael Jackson more than anyone else here probably… But still I have to ask – why would Gavin and his family lie and say that Gavin was molested and try to put MJ into prison if it wasn’t true? It’s something that genuinely baffles me. Why would anyone do that if there was no real reason behind it? Surely no one is morally bankrupt enough to accuse a person who hasn’t done anything wrong to them of such a horrible thing and try to place them behind bars for twenty years and ruin their reputation irreparably? I’ve been thinking about this, because I know people doubt if he was really molested, and I can’t get over that factor. Especially considering that, if you take away the molestation and the conspiracy to hold them in Neverland, MJ only did good things to the family. Fans like to scream that he helped to heal Gavin of cancer and was a father figure to the boys, which is true if you take away the alleged porn, alcohol, and molestation. So why? What reason did they have to lie? Or what do you think the reason was? Because I feel seriously conflicted about it and I want to know what really happened. :/

            From reading the court documents I’ve learned that the rebuttal video was scripted, and that Michael’s people even gave the Arvizo family scripts to read from. Janet also seems overly animated in the video in a manner from which you can tell she’s acting. Larry Feldman claimed to believe the family, in fact he was the first person to suspect that Gavin was molested. I’ve also learned from various other sources that I’ve read and watched that Sneddon, sheriff Jim Anderson, and Ron Zonen all believed Gavin and wanted to help him get justice… As for their previous lies, I know that it compromises the family’s credibility, but pedophiles don’t go after good families only. It would be very easy to prosecute them if they did, but that’s not what happens in real life. What happened several years before with JC Pennys doesn’t immunize Gavin from being molested. This whole thing makes me very perplexed, because everyone seems to think they were lying, but I think they were telling the truth…

          • Pea

            Kat, admittedly, I’ve yet to crack into the Arvizo court testimony. I’m only familiar with it from Aphrodite Jones’s book “The Michael Jackson Conspiracy”, which is complete garbage. My plan was to tackle the family’s testimony starting with the first retelling of the events (the statement of probable cause), then read their grand jury testimony, and then their courtroom testimony.

            I found the Statement of Probable Cause to be believable — but to be fair, that was written by a detective for a judge to read; there’s an inherent bias. However, I encountered my first red flag when I got close to the end of Gavin’s grand jury testimony. He was bored and fidgety on the stand, and Sneddon had to reprimand him more than once. I understand he wanted to go home. But when Sneddon broached the JC Penney lawsuit, it got Gavin’s attention. Gavin said something to the effect of, “What does that have to do with anything?” It seemed overly defensive to me, and, to be honest, it gave me pause.

            The next time was when I was reading an article about Dr Stan Katz’s phone conversation about Gavin & his family with Detective Paul Zelis (I believe that’s who he talked to — I’m going off this from memory!). Katz said that he had a “Now where did that come from?” reaction when Gavin mentioned Jordie Chandler. He said Gavin said something like, “Well, Jordie Chandler didn’t stop him.” That was highly suspicious to me, too. Gavin is about my age, maybe a year younger, and there’s no way a 13-year-old knew about something that happened when he was a toddler. Some adult had to tell him about Jordie — his mother, Larry Feldman, etc.

            And if that’s the case, that Janet Arvizo supplied that information, wouldn’t that gel with the frivolous JC Penney lawsuit where she got her kids to lie?

            I understand that it’s hard to fathom why someone would want to put an innocent man in jail. But it happens more times than you’d think. For example, how many ex-spouses have accused their former partner of abuse or sexual abuse of the children to gain leverage in family court? How many co-eds have accused dates of rape because they had regretful sex? And prosecutors & police frequently try to close cases, leading to innocent people imprisoned for decades. It’s absolutely sickening but it happens.

            Maybe the Arvizos wanted money from Jacko or some part of his organization and figured that he’d been a little bit inappropriate — such as showing them pornography & giving them alcohol (both things I have no doubt he did) — and it was enough to justify going all the way; they filled in the rest of the story with grimier details. (Doubtless no jury would give them money for porn & booze!) However, because of the way the law was, they had to bring a case to criminal court first. Perhaps they didn’t want Jacko in jail but it was incidental if Cuckoo Janet wanted money.

            But their story fell apart spectacularly. Prosecutor Ron Zonen always likes to emphasize Gavin is a great kid, he fought cancer, he wants to go to law school, he’s a Christian, he’s married… all to disguise the fact that Gavin did poorly on the stand. He scapegoats Janet as a nutter (I believe she’s either bipolar or has schizo-affective disorder) because he knows she’s hard to believe. But it’s a red herring, in my opinion; those emotional appeals don’t change the fact the case had more holes than Swiss cheese. Also, Zonen likes to say the jurors were less intelligent than he’s used to. That may be true — but then again jurors always seem stupid! However, if a dumb jury doesn’t believe your case, what makes him believe an intelligent jury would? It’s a bit absurd, lol.

            I always found it interesting that Stan Katz mentioned Gavin cried when they broached the molestation. He said Gavin seemed to think he’d be betraying his friend Michael (who didn’t really like him but that’s another comment). One could conclude that that indicates he believed he was betraying Jacko because he was confessing about the abuse. I would argue that, given the way the case turned out, he could’ve felt guilty that he was part of fabricating a story that could put Jacko in prison.

            I don’t know what happened, and I’ll try to keep somewhat of an open mind to the possibility of being wrong, but, at this point, I think the molestation — not the alcohol or showing of pornography or even inappropriate but not illegal comments about wanting Gavin’s underwear — was a lie.

          • Kat

            I don’t know Pea, it’s really difficult for me to conceive that the family lied about the molestation and went through the long, difficult process of the criminal trial and tried to put Jackson into jail for a long time and then left without asking for money, if they really wanted money the whole time. And it’s hard to believe that Gavin would say he was abused sexually when he wasn’t, because that’s the last thing a kid his age and gender would say if it wasn’t true. And as for Janet telling Gavin to lie about the molestation… I just don’t understand why she would do that if she wanted money! What does child sexual abuse has to do with money? The Arvizos could have gone after Jackson for a myriad of other things that would actually be settled in a civil court and would have gotten them money. Like fraud, negligence, endangerment, causing emotional distress. If you know what Jackson and his ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ did to the family, then you know that they caused all that and more. Yet she never discussed a lawsuit about any of these things. She only agreed to collaborate with the authorities to put her son’s molester into prison, which was after she had found out that he had been molested. She didn’t know after law enforcement were informed, and it was Tom Sneddon who told her.

            I’m not sure why exactly Gavin has to be disbelieved because of who his parents were. There is an interview with the jurors where they express their dislike toward Janet and complain about her unappealing habit of snapping her fingers at them. Then they are asked if Janet’s kooky behavior made them doubt Gavin, and they all go silent as in in agreement that it probably did. Other experts like Jim Clemente also agree that Janet’s ramblings weakened the case. BTW, Jim Clemente still believes that it was a legitimate case and that Gavin was abused. If someone would tell me that there’s this kid who claims to be a sexual abuse victim, but his credibility’s doubted because he has a father who’s a violent alcoholic and a mother who cheats the benefit system, my reaction would be like – so? So what? Does that preclude their kid from being molested? And didn’t Jordie Chandler have a dysfunctional family situation? He’s mother was willingly looking the other way and allowing her son to be molested. His father was obsessed with revenge and money, and was married to a woman who thought a relationships between a 35 years old man and a 13 year old boy was loving, rather than abusive. (‘Can’t you see they’re in love?’ was what Natalie said when Evan confided in her that he suspected MJ was molesting Jordie). It irks me that people think that just because a child comes from a less than perfect family, low-income background, and has behavioral problems like truancy at school it means that they can’t possibly be molested. And that the family’s poverty will be used as an excuse for lawyers to scream that they’re just doing it for money.

            I’m not quite sure what to think about MJ giving alcohol and porn to the Arvizo boys, but not going further than that. The way I see, if Jackson and Gavin were drinking Jesus Juice all day and Jackson was lovingly calling Gavin Doo Doo and Applehead, and then in the evening crashed into MJs bed to sleep together, molestation had to have taken place, because everything else was sort of like foreplay for Jackson to get into Gavin’s pants. But anyway. I’m thinking that what I’ll do is reread the documents pertaining to the case once again, and try to consider them from the perspective of the family lying, although from what I’ve read Tom Mesereau and his team didn’t manage to significantly impeach their testimonies during the cross-examinations. I’m just feeling confused, because I want to know what really happened, like all other people posting on this site.

          • Andreas Moss

            I really feel quite similar about the Arvizos, Kat. While I can understand why someone would be on the fence about a couple of aspects about the case, I still largely feel it points in the Arvizos favor in the end. Its the only thing that makes any sense.

            In the “Michael Jackson Tapes” book where MJ has conversations with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, based on a series of interviews “about spirituality” between the two, done around 2000-2001, there’s some interesting bits. Gavin is actually mentioned quite a lot, by them both, because he’s seemingly seen as Jackson’s current muse/inspiration. I’m to lazy to find the exact quote, but Shmuley even refers to an earlier conversation where they’d been speaking about Jackson’s glowing interest in Gavin. Which is curious.

            Also, look at this video. Surely, the intimacy in it should surely raise some eyebrows, especially if you accept Jackson was a child molester already.

            A lot of this leads me to think that Gavin was probably a bigger part of Jackson’s life than we are sometimes told to believe. We know he had cancer, and was allowed to visit Jackson for a while, and they became quite close.

            Jackson also has expressed more than once that he thought HE was the reason Gavin got rid of the cancer. In the Bashir documentary he shouts something like “Maybe modern medicine doesn’t know everything!”, clearly implying Gavin staying with him played an important(if not sole) role in Gavin getting healthy… and perhaps even something ‘magical’ and unexplainable had happened. Probably the biggest compliment for someone who talked about being like Jesus. So, we can safely say Gavin definitely meant something to Michael.

            In the 60 Minutes interview however, the whole family is just played down as one of thousand families visiting Jackson. “They were one of them”, Jackson says. Jackson was obviously lying about that. Gavin wasn’t just a random one in a thousand, he was a special one.

            And Gavin being fairly attractive, and Michael being a quite an experienced serial child molester already at this point, it wouldn’t seem too off the wall to think Michael probably had his plans with Gavin, would it? The pattern is clearly there, so why not?

            Perhaps Gavin wasn’t as molestable as earlier victims, he was a bit too rough, restless and boy-ish. (It probably didn’t help that his brother Star was always around.) It would make sense that the only way Michael would ever get anywhere with Gavin was if he got him drunk, which also was the allegation. Perhaps Jackson saw little posibility for it to evolve, so the Arvizo’s weren’t really worth his time. Earlier if had let Gavin call him “daddy”. So he cut them off, and thought he could move on.

            Both Gavin and Star testified about Jacksons sneaky grooming techniques. Michael had apparantly walked in completely naked straight into the bedroom, with an erection, acting like it was natural, yes, even explaining to them it was completely natural. He also said the same thing after masturbating Gavin. Gavin didn’t feel right about it, felt he had done something he wasn’t supposed to do, and Michael tried to explain it was “natural”. Nothing to be ashamed of. For two little bratty boys it seems quite complex for a lie, doesn’t it? If it was a lie it would be a lie that matches Jacksons behavior very well, in that case. MJ told Wade Robson what they did was a “natural” too, just an “expression of love”, right? Their mother, Janet, I wouldn’t think wouldn’t be capable of that type of lie either, considering her crazy over-the-top explanations for everything else. Far to subtle for her too, I’d say. Sooo, unless we go into crazy fan conspiracy theories, claiming Sneddon or Zonen made it up, we’re not left with many options. Gavin was most likely telling the truth.

          • Pea

            I never thought much of that video, Andreas, and I still don’t. It was more like an extended photo-op, an informercial advertising Jacko’s self-proclaimed ability to heal the sick. And that makes sense given the evidence: according to Charmayne Sternberg, an assistant at MJJ Productions, Jacko divided kids visiting the Ranch into two categories: “children who had problems and children that were his friends”; according to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, he believed Jacko was innocent of molesting Gavin because, back in 2000-01 when Gavin was visiting, he said Jacko was so disinterested in the boy that he even had to admonish Jacko for his neglect; and, finally, you have Gavin himself basically saying that Jacko was hiding from him (which he’d found hurtful).

            Jacko brought the family back to Neverland to be filmed by Bashir & Co. because he wanted to brag about how his deluded Jesus Complex really had banished cancer. I believe Jacko when he said Gavin was “one of many”; he meant it literally and cynically.

            An additional note about the Rabbi. He writes in his book that Jacko desperately wanted to help kids, but he was so tarnished by the 1993 sex abuse scandal that his endeavors would be too ironic for most people to take seriously. And it was against that background that he and Jacko joined forces — after all, if a rabbi teamed up with an alleged molester, maybe it indicated that Jacko had been redeemed or that he was always innocent. Shmuley said he had Jacko set-up goals for himself and his image, such as remarrying — though it’s apparent from reading the book Jacko had very, very little interest in that — and not being with children unsupervised (Shmuley said that’s likely why Frank Cascio slept in the room with Jacko and the Arvizo boys during that earliest visit).

            Anyway, from my reading of the text, it’s no surprise Jacko “gushed” about healing Gavin or helping him; it was the image he was trying to pass off to the Rabbi and, eventually, via the Bashir documentary, to the world: Jacko’s healing touch! (Pun intended.) But in spite of that, Rabbi Shmuley still said there was no way Gavin was molested by his estimation. So, Jacko’s words were likely just bragging and ego, not that he actually cared about the boy. He forgot Gavin quickly.

            “Michael being a quite an experienced serial child molester already at this point, it wouldn’t seem too off the wall to think Michael probably had his plans with Gavin, would it? The pattern is clearly there, so why not?”

            “Why not?” would seem to be a rational conclusion. After all, I believe Jacko, being the boy-lover he was, was interested in Gavin initially; that would explain the showing of pornography, which I believe he (and Frank Cascio) did. Given the 2000-01 version of the Web, I strongly doubt an 11- and 10-year-old would know where porn can be found online. (To be honest, I believe Jacko giving the boys alcohol — or allowing them to drink it — was more a part of the Boys Rule! culture of Neverland than that it was actually given specifically to them for molestation purposes.)

            However, “Why not?” glosses over a lot of fine print. While Jacko may have “appeared” to be affectionate to Gavin in that (quite stilted) video, there was no sex abuse going on then. In fact, it wasn’t until “Living With Michael Jackson” aired — and Jacko and Gavin’s hand-holding was broadcasted to millions of viewers — that harpies started speculating that Jacko had already molested Gavin. To them, it would explain the seeming affection; but we know from the timeline that Gavin hadn’t been molested when the Bashir documentary was on TV.

            In his Grand Jury testimony, Gavin revealed that Jacko called him out-of-the-blue after months of no contact to participate in the filming, and that if Gavin liked acting (which he did), this was his chance. If I’m remembering correctly, he admitted Jacko told him what to say — that verifies the Photo-Op theory.

            Another detail being overlooked is that timeline. After the Bashir doc aired, The Smoking Gun published Jordie Chandler’s declaration and lawsuit, a pretty vicious move that had the effect of intensifying the scrutiny Jacko was already receiving about Gavin. He was in full-on damage control mode, which included filming that rebuttal interview (Janet claims she and her children were coached; given her natural delivery, it’s more likely the family’s testimony was suggested, and then ad-libbed, rather than “scripted”).

            The DAs had a timeline drafted until the tape of the Arvizo rebuttal interview was discovered (as well as finding out that Jacko had been elsewhere on at least one of the dates), and they had to push the dates of the alleged abuse back.

            So, in order for “Why not?” to even make sense in this particular case, you’d have to ignore the pink elephant in the room: at the height of media scrutiny about Jacko’s past and present alleged pedophilia, Jacko decides to molest the boy everyone already thought he’d molested? And after filming the boy making the declaration that Jacko was an great person, a father-figure? That is not very likely, unless Jacko had an enormous impulse control problem.

            I’d wager the prosecutors believed it was absurd, too. No, I don’t believe Sneddon & Co. made anything up; however, I suspect, because they had especial knowledge of Jacko’s pedophilia dating back to the ’93 case (which fell apart), they wanted to believe Gavin. They were in far too deep when they realized Jacko was likely innocent of the allegations.

          • Andreas Moss

            Sure, I’m aware that Gavin claim the molestation started after the Bashir documentary. Fans certainly aren’t shy about that tidbit.. 😉

            Okay Pea, so the Arvizos were invited back to Neverland to do the damage-control video after the Bashir documentary, along with Debbie Rowe. It was a period where they were quite a while at Neverland too. They claimed they were being “trapped” until they did the video, and Janet Arvizo didn’t want to do it initially(she didn’t want the whole family exposed like that publically). Within this period Gavin says it all started.

            I know the fans/defenders of Jackson likes to point this out as an absurd timing for Jackson to start molesting Gavin. Just at the point when his goal is to clear his name from it, he does the act. On the surface it sounds a bit crazy, if not a bit unlikely.

            Right. So how to explain it then? Well, I’m of different minds about this, but I actually don’t find it all that difficult to work with.

            Why? Because I really don’t doubt Michael in such a time of distress and panic, when his whole career was on the line, could find some release in molesting another boy, which after all was his favorite primething to do(except climbing trees, of course). Sex can work like a drug to some people, and works like a painkiller. That he thought like this can be backed up too. We have another example of him in 93′ and distress wanted little Wade driven to him in the middle of the night, which makes just as little sense if he was stressed about that accusation. Perhaps that just was hs way of reacting to it…?

            Michael was also probably full of actual painkillers pills too for that matter. People close to Michael said he was completely fucked up after seeing the Bashir documentary. He was documented trying to eat afterwards, but couldn’t even aim the spoon to his mouth. So, not in his more balanced state, its sure to say.

            All this combined, I wouldn’t be surprised Michael would react more on physical impulse than by his rational side in this state. Ken Lanning also proposed child molesters do have an impulsive control problem anyway. They traditionally and more easily than other men slips into the whole “doesn’t matter, had sex!” type of mindset.

            If Michael already was drunk on several cans of Jesus juice and a bit ‘exicted’ after a session with porn, and a drunk Gavin was there, halfway gone, then perhaps its not crazy to believe Michael wouldn’t act within a long-term mindset. Indeed “why not”.. He knew he was guilty of being a child molester anyway, right? Another time wouldn’t change anything. And, err, why go to jail for a boy you didn’t molest?

            A crazier theory: Perhaps he in his own mentally ill mind wanted to show Gavin it really was perfectly fine, “and natural”, like he had with some success did with earlier boys. I guess its still a dispute if Michael believed this sincerely himself or not, but he could have. Guitierez did argue it was a societal thing, so argues NAMBLA, so why couldn’t Michael?

            Evan crazier theory: This might get me in trouble, but I’m actually not perfectly sold that the molestations actually DID start at that time in the timeline. Why? Well, the Arvizos changed their timeline quite a few times, which makes me think Gavin might have changed it for a reason. (No, hehe, not because they were ‘lying’..)

            The thing is, they probably did retaliate more against Jackson for ‘cutting them off’, than the molestation in itself, Gavin brought that up when they were cut-off first. The prosecution had to make it seem more like the molestation triggered it.
            Anything else would seem strange for most people. This strategy fell back on them, and the prosecution lost some air when they were supposed to be strident and confident.

            Zonen and Sneddon had to hold their story together instead.

            So no, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Gavin was in reality molested before/during the time of the documentary, but didn’t mind it too much at the time (Eleanor Cook said she had doubt Gavin and she also thought he “enjoyed to a degree being Jackson’s boy-toy”), but he had to pick a more convenient start. Perhaps his memory was failing as well.

            Gavin and Star was really messy with the dates anyway. They couldn’t remember anything that anything to do with a calendar, or a clock, it seemed. They just didn’t care about it while they were there, so it was all a big blur to them.

            Gavin also said there could have been other molestations before, but he just wasn’t AS sure about them, as he was drunk off his mind, so he said they might not have happened. He was just sure about a couple of them.

            Realistically speaking though, why the heck would have some imaginary drunken memories of Jackson masturbating him, if they didn’t happen? Ridiculous! (Lol) I’d say they ALL happened, or none. And if they he is uncertain of did happen, they could have started before the timeline Gavin gave. Gavin was only confident testifying the two he was sure about.

            Its also worth mentioning that Gavin’s drifty mind also partially can be explained as he was a recovering cancer patient, and thats a usual symptom, because of the treatment methods.

            As for the rabbi’s opinon on his friend having molested Gavin or not, that does not weigh too heavily, does it? If he hasn’t said he thought Michael molested other boys (or, has he?), its just a friend defending a friend. I understand that people like Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields or Chris Rock defends him. Its fine that they express themselves, but it doesn’t weigh more than his family defending him, in my opinion.

          • ShawntayUStay

            Andreas, with all due respect, everything you’ve just said is theory, or opinion about theory. Where’s the facts to back up your suppositions? It seems to me that you are merely relying on the words/testimony of the Arvizos with little to no evidence offered as proof. Without proof in support, it becomes just a “he said, he said”, and unfortunately for the Arvizos, MJ has a leg up as he was acquitted on all charges after a four month trial.

            Pea listed some pretty good facts, imo, that outline why someone could have serious doubts about the veracity of the case, but you have simply responded with “what ifs” and probability — and I’m asking: what do isolated statistics in a vacuum have to do with the actual facts of this case? Reality? You’ve mentioned reductionism but actually that’s what you’ve kind of done here, don’t you think? Reducing the complex, known facts into theoretical scenarios based solely on interpreted information from other “similar” cases compiled by experts? None of which, I’ll add, sufficiently explains the Arvizos’ inconsistencies.

            Just because MJ could have done something doesn’t necessarily mean he went ahead and did it, especially when zero evidence outside of Gavin’s word exists. So my question is: why believe him in the face of an acquittal at a trial that was lengthy and cost the taxpayers millions of dollars? A trial where the prosecutors threw tons of evidence at MJ, including evidence that had, in reality, little to do with whether the Arvizo boys were telling the truth, i.e. 1108 evidence? I always hear people say “Not guilty doesn’t equal innocent”, but I’d argue “alleged victim doesn’t equal victim”. There must be facts, and if not direct evidence, there must be enough circumstantial evidence — or even just basic believability — to sway the jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to deprive a person of their liberty. The Arvizos failed to do that. So why believe their (full of holes) story over MJ’s?

            As for the rabbi’s opinon on his friend having molested Gavin or not, that does not weigh too heavily, does it? If he hasn’t said he thought Michael molested other boys (or, has he?), its just a friend defending a friend. I understand that people like Elizabeth Taylor, Brooke Shields or Chris Rock defends him. Its fine that they express themselves, but it doesn’t weigh more than his family defending him, in my opinion.

            Can we add Ron Zonen’s belief in Gavin to the list as well? 😉 Because he has a stake in how everything is perceived, too.

          • Andreas Moss

            Shawntay, I don’t see how I’m throwing out opinions while you and Pea are giving evidence based facts. Since you are a participant of the debate you can’t really be a neutral judge of who is debating with evidence and who is not. All we are doing is looking at the same facts and have come to different conclusions, in my humble opinion.

            I do think your and Pea’s theory that the Arvizos were lying is interesting, and I’m glad to see you opening up about why. I’m trying hard to see where you’re coming from, since you’ve obviously more researched about Jackson in general than most of us have(I’ve learnt so much from you), and I do read it all, and I will keep an open mind about it things. Still, so far its not making a whole lot of sense to me. You’re basically saying the exact same things as fans usually say, what is written on

            I’d like a more complete theory what you think happened, with all the holes and so on. There’s still many problems before ‘letting go of the Arvizos’, like you have to explain an alternative motivation since the Arvizos didn’t ask for money, and many other things. If it was all a bluff, there’s a lot to explain… At least, it leaves me with a lot more questions.

            Yes, you are correct that I personally think Gavin’s testimony is strong. It sounds a lot like Jackson, doesn’t it? How would a 12-13 year old boy invent the pattern of a specific child molester so accurately? If its a lie, I don’t think he could have made it up himself at least, so that would mean he was coached. And by whom? His mother? Someone else? It would have to have been made up by someone with knowlegde how child molesters act, the way I see it. So, again, more questions. It does not make the case easier by saying they lied.

            Also, I don’t think Star and Gavin having slightly different memories of the accounts should be counted as “holes”. Not holes that has a lot of merit, at least. They were on stand in front of the whole world, and were basically just kids. Kids does not memorize everything like adults to. I’d say its fair to give them a little break. Jim Clemente said its not unsual for molsted kids to remember things wrong. Everything they said was under a lupe by a very intimidating Mesereau, so there was pressure, and when Mesereau found anything he could use against them he did with full force.

            And as said before, if they were coached things would SOUND more coherent and coached too, wouldn’t it? They didn’t sound coached to me. Quite the opposite. And besides, a lot of those “holes” I don’t think really were holes at all. Mesereau cleverly twisted quite a few things. Like the porn magazine issue Jackson showed them. Gavin didn’t say it was that exact number, but that magazine, yet Mesereau wouldn’t listen to that as he claimed he had caught them in a lie, as the magazine was way too recent for Jackson to have showed it to them. Slimey by Meserau, but a lot of those “holes” were like that. Blown out of proportions by Mesereau.

            Your position is a bit strange too, as you both seem to think Jackson
            1. was a serial child molester.
            2. gave them wine, got them drunk.
            3. showed them porn…. you believe all that, but still won’t believe he molested Gavin?

            It seems odd, because instead of seeing these as obvious signs of grooming, and a familiar pattern of Jackson, as I think everyone else here probably do, and as you seem to do in most OTHER circumstances as well, its like you’re claiming Jackson suddenly managed to control himself all of a sudden, and this one single time it was just absolutely innocent and nothing happened? And then he was later falsely accused for it, with a rather subtle molestation claim, without a clear reason or motive.

            Thats quite a de-route. I hope you at least understand how some of us finds your position surprising? :/

            Hm, I’m still saying they perhaps didn’t do a grand performance in court, but I still think Jackson did what he was accused of. Its the explanation that makes most sense to me. Tom Meserau did a great job making the Arvizos look shady, and I think they won by that. Gloria Allred said that too. Jackson got off because of Meserau, and his secretary.

          • ShawntayUStay

            No, it is you that has to prove why the jury got it wrong, not me. You believe there should have been an alternative outcome, so I ask for “why”. Why are you right and they — having sat through the trial, seen all the evidence, saw all the Arvizos’ demeanors on stand while giving testimony, etc etc — wrong? Using child molester expert opinions about the “nature” of child molestation is not a substitute for showing facts about this particular case. That’s what I’m saying.

            Pea and I provided facts (check my comment to “Landline Phone”), such as timeline discrepancies, story inconsistencies, direct testimony for Gavin that made us pause, as to why we personally have misgivings about their believability, and thus make us feel they were lying. So I’m asking you, Andreas, what facts from the case make you think the jury got it wrong? I don’t want “Clemente said…” or “Lanning said…” — I know what they say, LOL, and I know they’ve provided a lot of education with respect to understanding child molesters. But what do the general principles have to do with this case other than you using them to tell me to just believe them because it’s allegedly “consistent” with isolated theory and statistics? That’s just asking me to believe the Arvizos and ignore the stuff that’s been mentioned by Pea, myself, and — yes — fans, that give us pause! I’m trying to not let my belief in MJ’s inherent guilt color my analysis.

            You’re basically saying the exact same things as fans usually say, what is written on

            And that’s a problem because….? Just because the fans are wrong about MJ being a pedophile doesn’t mean they are wrong about this particular case. Bartucci and Kapon were liars and the fans were right about that, too. Why dismiss them whole cloth? Because they’re fans? That’s silly.

            So I ask again: What facts, as presented at trial, make you believe that MJ was only found not guilty because he had a slick Harvard-trained lawyer and a starstruck jury, rather than there actually not being any evidence of guilt? You’re telling us to throw the verdict out, so why!

          • Andreas Moss

            Shawntay, I’m not saying fans or’s version of the Arvizo story is wrong because they come from the fans. An argument must be weighed on its own merit. That site is useful too, and I read it. What I’m saying you aren’t really bringing much particulariy new to the table, which disappoints me. Most of the points you and Pea have brung up has been discussed with quite nuance back and forth ever since the case, and they’re a lot more complex than you present it.
            (Now, I’m not saying what I’m bringing here is things you haven’t heard before either.)

            You call things I say ” just theory”, and demand hard facts and clear evidence Jackson molested Gavin Arvizo. This is not a court of law, Shawntay, its just my personal assessment of the case, and I’ve never defended any position that I know for sure Gavin was molested beyond any doubt, so it would be absurd for me to defend such a position. What I’ve said its that to me is that it makes more sense than that they lied. Occams razor-wise.

            And logicwise, you are also bringing a positive claim to the table when you claim they lie, so technically its your responsibility to prove just as much as any of us need to prove Jackson molested Gavin.

            Yes, I’m basing it partially on probability and the patterns of Jackson as a molester. I’ll admit that! In other cases you do that too though. I remember you said Omer Bhatti was definitely molested, and both you and Pea have no problems saying Jonathan Spence and Brett Barnes are molested either. This is not proven either beyond a reasonable doubt either? They haven’t even come forward. In these cases you’re comfortable with the probablities and patterns of the other cases, aren’t you? We just do the same with Gavin Arvizo.

            And you say I need to prove why the jury as wrong, as juries are to be seen as correct as a default. At the same time you have no problems saying Janet Arvizo without hesitation lied about the JC Penney case. Do you remember who won the JC Penney case, Shawntay? Janet Arvizo! Who lost and had to pay her a truckload of money? JC Penney! The jury believed her, not them. Juries can be right, and they can be wrong. I’ll trust my own assessment before appealing to authority.

            But certainly, why the jury acquitted Jackson surely is a point that need more examination.

            Jury leader Paul Rodriguez sai: “I thought that Michael Jackson has molested boys in the past, and probably molested this boy, but as I said, what we believe doesn’t matter… the EVIDENCE has to PROVE IT.”

            So okay, he demanded hard evidence. But what would that mean? Videotapes? Photos? Sperm found with the boy?

            Most child abuse cases really are word against word, as is rape cases, and you have to choose who to believe. Its noble to say “innocent until proven guilty”, a respectable position for sure, but on the other hand, guess why most raped women don’t report being raped?
            Its a big ethical problem and dillemma.

            We also have Ray Hultman and Eleanor Cook, who both wanted to say guilty. Hultman decided to go along, because he didn’t want a hung jury, and Cook was basically just scared into silence by the others.


            Catharina Calls also said she believed Gavin Arvizo.

            Hehe, and another “Jim Clemente said..” then. Anyway, I think he had a good point that the jury in 2005 had little knowledge with child molestation. Most people don’t understand how complex it can be. Before I started reading about this case I can admit I’d be useless as a jury witness of such a case, no doubt, because I had no idea that something like a “nice guy”-molester existed.

            Most people don’t know what to look for in a pedophile, or a child molester, and its confusing for many to understand that a child molester can love children with great sincerity. And to understand victims, like why Wade Robson could defend his molester on the stand. Victims of child molestations are supposed to hate their molesters, yet its complex, as I don’t need to tell you. Without prior knowledge much of it makes no sense. The only one with any knowledge of molestations of molestations in the jury was Eleanor Cook, as she had a molester in her family, and she was absolutely dead certain Jackson was a molester, both of Gavin and in general.

            And a “Ron Zonen said…” too! 🙂 Zonen had another good point. As the case would go on for 5-6 months, it excluded the possibility of a large chunk of demographics, because almost nobody could take that much free from job/studies for so long. So in result the jury had to be assemebled of a mix of retired and unemployed people. That doesn’t make them useless or anything, but it is a valid point, because juries are supposed to have a more diverse set of people ideally. It would help the dynamic of a jury to have people with more diverse backgrounds and expertize. Especially when its the most broadcasted case in history, and a quite difficult one at that, wouldn’t you agree?

            And according to Cook there was quite shockingly a couple of Jackson FANS in the jury. She claimed there was a lot of “Oh, my Michael wouldn’t ever do that!” around. Which is disturbing. Reportedly there was some mocking of Jason Francia when he testified, by the jury, which is simply sad.
            And one of them joined the Jackson Acquittal party afterwards too.

            And if none of the above pauses you, then at least lets remember that the jurors who thought Gavin wasn’t telling the truth, also thought Jackson was innocent in general. The case had a lot to do with the other cases, because of the “prior bad acts” that was included.

          • ShawntayUStay

            Andreas, all I’m asking is for more evidence other than theory and probability because there was a trial! So, in my estimation, there must be something other than what experts say that is guiding your feelings that Gavin is telling the truth. 🙂

            With all due respect to Zonen, that he ridiculously thinks having a “smarter” jury would’ve helped him win shows just how far gone he is with respect to the case, in my opinion. Does he really think that convoluted Arvizo shitstorm, LOL, would’ve been more understandable to those with a high IQ? More likely, if a “dumb” jury didn’t buy it, a smart one definitely wouldn’t have! He should acknowledge that the family was a hot ass mess — and not just Janet Arvizo. The case was garbage, from most people’s estimation, those who actually sat in and watched. It was a trainwreck.

            And logicwise, you are also bringing a positive claim to the table when you claim they lie, so technically its your responsibility to prove just as much as any of us need to prove Jackson molested Gavin.

            No, the difference is that he was acquitted of all counts so, for me at least, that creates a prima facie case for his innocence. Therefore, me and anyone else that is skeptical of the Arvizos’ claims don’t have to “prove” the verdict was correct because the trial did it. It’s still you that has to prove why the jury made a mistake. And I’m not in any way suggesting that juries are always correct when rendering decisions, however I’m using this verdict as a starting point for investigation because, not only did they take a week to deliberate before returning the unanimous “NGs”, the verdict seems to be supported by a crapload of bogus-ness directly from the Arvizo family themselves. So what else am I to do besides keep those facts in the back of my head while at the same time, attempting to believe Gavin? It would be a case of cognitive dissonance! 😉

            Yes, I’m basing it partially on probability and the patterns of Jackson as a molester. I’ll admit that! In other cases you do that too though. I remember you said Omer Bhatti was definitely molested, and both you and Pea have no problems saying Jonathan Spence and Brett Barnes are molested either. This is not proven either beyond a reasonable doubt either? They haven’t even come forward. In these cases you’re
            comfortable with the probablities and patterns of the other cases, aren’t you? We just do the same with Gavin Arvizo.

            The difference, again, is that the former cases have never been adjudicated in court. There was never a full airing of the facts by both sides, so all we can do is speculate and use probability combined with the available, albeit limited, evidence. I would never, ever believe something without facts, ever. I’m not one of those types that just “believe” someone is a victim of something/someone just because it may be the politically correct thing to do; nope, not me. However, in the case of Brett Barnes, Jonathan Spence, and Omer Bhatti, I’m making a rational decision to believe they were in fact “typical special friends” based on the evidence: Jordie Chandler named Brett Barnes (among others) explicitly to Dr Gardner as a boy with whom MJ masturbated with, and I also believe Ralph Chacon when he said he saw MJ orally copulating Brett. Now, one could say that it’s just a he said, he said and Brett denies it, and that’s true. However, given the circumstances surrounding Chacon’s disclosure of this incident, namely it was alleged when he was still an employee at Neverland, and the fact that Jordie successfully got a multimillion dollar settlement, I believe these people are telling the truth. So if they are telling the truth, it must be true that Brett was molested. Also James admits he was molested and he says that he was jealous of the relationship MJ had with Brett, among other things, and his jealousy demonstrates, imo, that there relationship between Brett and MJ mirrored his own — including the abuse. For those reasons, I can believe he has molested. As for Jonathan, the photo they found and wanted admitted as evidence is good circumstantial evidence that Jonathan was molested as well. Omer Bhatti met MJ and was immediately shipped to California to live at Neverland with him for years.

            All of this fits MJ’s observable pattern with his special friends: intense infatuation and wanting to constantly have the boy around (including in his bed) until he gets too old or MJ gets bored. So it’s fine to use MJ’s pattern and apply it to the boys who haven’t disclosed. They were real “special friends”. Gavin’s relationship was not the same — if it was, the likelihood of him telling the truth skyrockets — so if there are other discrepancies and inconsistencies, etc, my personal skepticism heightens and it makes it hard for me to just use probability and CSA/child molester experts’ opinions to wish away “to the cornfield” the glaring problems. Does that make sense?

            As I’ve said multiple times, I’m so open to being wrong because I’d rather a guilty man walk free than an innocent man be in jail for something he didn’t do. But so far, I think the jury got it right.

            About the jurors, don’t you think it’s suspicious that Ellie Cook changed her story? She was so certain, “Don’t point your fingers at me, lady!” and then she claims that she was intimidated by Paul Rodriguez et al. I take anything she says with a grain of salt. Plus, she had a book deal “Free as a Bird, Guilty as Sin”. Also, Ray Hultman…at least he’s always maintained that he thought MJ was a child molester but what do you think of his statement (paraphrased) that MJ probably molested boys in the past but that doesn’t mean he was guilty in this case? That has resonance for me because he was a boy-lover, but Hultman still is being objective enough to admit that the story was garbage, that he was setting aside a bias to at least be objective. His suggestion that he was strong-armed into voting NG has more believability but I think what he said first (what I’ve just paraphrased) is his true(r) opinion.

          • Andreas Moss

            Shawntay, you presume and generalize quite a lot now for someone who does claim to be fact oriented, don’t you?

            Most people thought the case was “garbage”? The case was a “trainwreck”? Who the heck are you talking about? Why do you exaggerate this so much? This is ridiculous. Haven’t we established that there were jurors that believed Gavin? Didn’t Diane Dimond believe him? She was present at the case most of the time, I believe. Many people believed the Arvizos!

            Most “MJ realists”(defined here as people who believe Jackson was a child molester in general) believe Gavin and the family, despite the case perceived flaws. Its you and Pea that holds a quite unique minority view here, not us. Don’t get me wrong. That does not make you wrong by default of course, hypotethically a minority view can be right, so you can be right, as dissenting views can perfectly well be correct, and it shows you are independent perhaps even original thinkers, but when you act like everybody thinks the same as you when you know they don’t, it seems very dishonest and makes it less easy to take you seriously.

            You say there must be something else than what the experts say that is guiding “my feelings”? Again with the assumptions about my motives. Again, no, I personally don’t have any inner motive to believe Gavin Arvizo, as I’ve said several times now. Why would I? If I wanted to believe every single accuser that claimed MJ molested them I’d believe Jospeh Thomas Bartucci Jr too, but I don’t.

            Why? Bartucci’s story involved him on a sole trip to Neverland at the age of 18 years old, being dragged into a room, thrown over a table and aggressively raped by Jackson, while other people holding him down with brute force. This story doesn’t sound much like MJ. I’m not sure Bartucci can even document he has ever met Michael Jackson, and as I understand it he’s mentally ill. I’m not sure if he’s lying or if he’s just delusional though, but I don’t believe him either way.

            (I’m also on the fence about Corey Feldman, even if he seemingly had sleepovers with Jackson, which seemed to have included Jackson demanding porn present, and Feldman saying pedophilia is a huge problem in Hollywood. He says he was molested, perhaps by more than one person, but insists its not by Michael. I’m not sure why, but I tend toward believing him. For now.)

            While Arvizos’s testimony on the other hand involves him getting alcohol and being shown pornography, masturbated by Jackson(which he always started with to his victims) with a subtle pedo-philosophical explanation that it’s “just natural”, “nothing to be ashamed of”, and that boys need to masturbate, or they might out and rape someone. Based on what I’ve read about Jackson, that sounds like something he could have said, or something a “nice guy”-molester could say. It adds up. And again, I still find it unlikely that Janet Arvizo, a woman who chronically had to exaggerate everything she said so much she sometimes made the whole trial laugh, could come up with something so subtle and complex. It makes no sense. You’d expect a constructed story to sound more like Bartucci’s, wouldn’t you, not least because Janet Arvizo was physically beaten by her ex-husband on a regular basis. If Gavin’s testimony didn’t make sense I’d be more willing to go along with you and Pea. A reasonable counter-explanation would help, but so far you’ve avoided talking about Gavin’s testimony.

            So no, the case was not seen as “garbage” by most, but what most people on either side DID seem to agree on was that the mother seemed a bit crazy and made a bad figure. She was according to Diane Dimond “someone different” every day. Some days she seemed extremely up in mood, and other days extremely down. She snapped at the jurors, and when Tom Mesereau examined her, she wouldn’t look at him or talk directly to him. Instead she talked towards the jurors, saying stuff like “What he’s trying to do here is..” Understandably it made the jurors uncomfortable.

            Its largely agreed upon that she was a negative element to the prosecution, and hurt the case. Still, it only seems to be a surface thing, doesn’t it? Zonen and Sneddon understood this could be a problem in advance, and wanted to bring in an expert on the symptons of abused women. because it would probably give people a better understanding why she acted the way she did, as it was quite typical behavior for what she had been through, but the expertwitness was scrapped because of time restrictions(a lot of witnesses were scrapped). That might have helped the outcome if it happened.

            Interestingly, I’ve yet to hear Janet Arvizo saying something that was factually wrong, truly contradictary, really damning or didn’t make sense when retold by someone else. It was just the WAY she told her story that seemed exaggerrated and over the top sometimes. The story the Arvizo gave made perfectly sense in itself. I personally think Janet was a bit misunderstood, and yes, I’ve read her testimony.

            Because, and this is also a point for me why I tend to believe the Arvizos, there’s just no connection between the mother acting a bit out there, and that the claim that Gavin was abused, yet some people seem very eager to invent one, for whatever reason. I’ve yet to see this connection. You kind of do the same thing in your post, Shawntay, when you bring up that Eleanor Cook disliked the mother for snapping her fingers at her, by saying Cook later “changed her story”. No, Cook just disliked the way Janet Arvizo acted, but she still believed Gavin was molested. Its perfectly possible to think both. Why? Because there is no connection.

            Sure, its a bit funny that Janet Arvizo said she thought Jackson had kidnapped Gavin and Star and flew away with them in a hot air balloon, at least it reportedly caused the whole trial to laugh out loud, but if we are honest its the way she phrased it that is silly, not really the story underneath. It was still true they weren’t collectively allowed to leave Neverland before doing the rebuttal video, and Janet had no clue where her children were, nor Michael, for most of the time, making her upset, perhaps even hysterical. (This is a story we’ve heard before too. Mothers left alone at Neverland not understanding where they’re sons are.)

            And you are miscrewing what Ron Zonen said about the jurors. He didn’t make an elitist argument about the lack of intelligence of the jurors, and you know that perfectly well, Shawntay. He never spoke about “intelligence” at all. Again, child molestations and pedophilia aren’t intuitive for most people to understand, especially nice guy molesters who’s gentle superstars. It needs some prior knowledge, and even then its not easy to understand. I’m not confident saying I understand it, and I’ve tried my best. Another thing: Tom Mesereau always brags about the jury in 2005 being a very conservative jury “yet they acquitted Jackson”, which puzzles me because that doesn’t really play to his favor at all, as conservative people is documented to have a more blind trust towards authority and power, which includes celebrity factor. If the whole jury was full of anarchists or something Meserau could rightfully brag. Conservatives however tends to believe all sorts of stupid stuff just based on authority, and often in spite of evidence.

            Another interesting thing to put under the lupe here, is that both you and Pea seem to believe Michael Jackson gave Gavin and Star alcohol, and did show them porn. You accept this without too many questions. Why? The jury acquitted Jackson on those minor charges just as much as the molestation charges, you know. So if you’re prepared to just “go along” with the jury on the Arvizo case, as you claim, why aren’t you consequent about it?

          • ShawntayUStay

            I’ve been reading a lot on the case lately, noting the changes in the story, changes in both minutiae and more significant aspects of the Arvizo allegations. One stuck out as particularly silly but also highly representative of the overall unease I have with the case: based on the first criminal interview of the boys by police and the grand jury proceedings, Star and Gavin claim that MJ walked into the room nude. Gavin claimed that he only saw MJ quickly and MJ wasn’t aroused or anything. Star on the other hand, according to the earliest telling of the incident, said that MJ was erect and basically flaunting his nudity in front of the boys, saying it was natural. He even said MJ sat on the bed near them.

            So I ask you: how can you have two wildly different versions of the exact same incident? Their versions should be identical, correct, since they allegedly are seeing the same thing? How the hell is that not suspicious? This isn’t minutiae; they’re describing a lewd and lascivious act.

            Also Star claimed that he was touched on his testicles and penis through his clothes while he and MJ drove a golf cart. Then later he said he was touched on the knee. WTF!? There is no similarity between a knee and genitals; he should get that straight if he really was touched! How is that not glaring inconsistency?

            Those are two of many that would make a lot of people think “Hmmm…”. Stories shouldn’t change like this — or be so opposed to each other. But you seem pretty hell bent on believing them despite the flaws. Why? Because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do just because he said it? Ignoring glaring discrepancies? Bye with that.

            Not understanding your dig at conservatives but since you’re not American, maybe you don’t understand. Tom Mesereau is making the point that conservatives tend to be less “accepting” (in his mind at least) of more colorful characters like a Michael Jackson, for one. He’s also saying that they tend to hold favorable views of law enforcement and are very tough on crime and criminals. Actually, it was the conservative/ right leaning individuals who made the push towards the crime victim’s rights and legislation now commonplace in America. Many prosecutors are Republicans or hold right of center views. So to Tom Mesereau, it’s amazing that he’d get a so called conservative jury not to side with the prosecution. That simple.

            And Zonen was perfectly clear what he was insinuating, that being he thought the jury was too dumb to “understand” the complex hot air balloon, no clocks allowed, I’m being held hostage but I still can go shopping and get body waxes, conspiracy. Read between the lines, it was an obvious dig. He said it at the Frozen in Time seminar. And Ellie Cook changed her story because she acted like she was completely comfortable with her decision to acquit, and we saw her hamming it up for the cameras just to get to talk about how she felt. Then she later claims she was forced, come to find out that she had a book deal in the works. She’s an attention seeker, trying to milk it for everything its worth. She’s not trustworthy.

            At any rate, you can continue to believe the Arvizos, and I’ll continue to be suspicious of them until proven otherwise. But sorry I’m not going to have a back and forth with you talking about “dishonesty” and “can’t take you seriously”, “reductionist” etc just because I disagree, when I’m simply asking you to explain the shit that gives me pause — examples have been proffered thusly — since you seem so insistent that it isn’t a big deal.

            Oh, and the porn and alcohol consumption has been testified to by others outside of the Arvizos so why wouldn’t I believe it? Chris Carter claimed that he saw a drunk Gavin, the boys got wine on their own, Jesus Salas said he delivered alcohol at MJ’s request. And they found copious amounts of pornography, many with the boys’ fingerprints on it. This is verifiable. I’m still on the fence as to whether it was really used for grooming them specifically or if it was more of a Pleasure Island, boys can do anything they want, permissive environment instead. Because there is no evidence outside of the boys claim that alcohol was used for that purpose, and they weren’t seen as really believable. The minor charges were not linked with any sexual abuse so the jury had trouble initially finding MJ not guilty for that before later agreeing that he was not guilty of those as well.

          • Andreas Moss

            Okay, good. The story about Michael Jackson coming naked into the room is a good example of those ‘holes’ that is often highlighted in the case. So, Gavin and Star have similiar stories about Michael coming into the room, but as you say, they are quite different. Gavin said Jackson leaves the room, while Star claim if he sits down with him. So what is going on?

            So here we have roughly two different ways to view this. One of is that either Star or Gavin is remembering things wrong, which isn’t unusual in child molestation cases(another “Clemente said”, sorry!), and the other is, as you suggest, that its a made up story. That it didn’t happen at all, and both boys lied.

            There are a few of these ‘holes’ in the Arvizo saga. So how to explain them..? Well, if they are lies I’m still confused why they didn’t train a more impeccable secure story. They sound more like a child messing up the story, than a child lying, to me. Whatever the nature of these inconsistencies are, they certainly do not sound coached to me. It sounds like they are anything but coached in fact. Leaving me to lean more towards the boys simply remembering things wrong.

            It also does sound like a classic sneaky grooming thing to do, doesn’t it? Nakedness is a wall to break down for a child predator. “Its just natural”. Jackson said something similiar to Jordy, saying he regretted he had to close the bathroomdoor when showering, subtly implying it should be fine to just be nude naturally in front of eachother. Again, it sounds like such a subtle pedo-grooming step that I’d very impressed if any of the Arvizos, especially the mother, could construct. Your theory certainly demands a lot of Janet Arvizo, since it sounds like you claim she’s behind these alleged lies.

            So to me it sounds like one have to choose between Janet being a genius, an expert on groom techniques of child molestation, while doing almost everything else wrong… or the boys simply remembering the events a bit wrong. Which option sounds less fantastic?

            Oh, I think Ellie Cook thought Jackson was a child molester all the time. From the very start. There was this controversial thing with her too, because she seemed to know Adrian McManus, and had spoken to her about the testimony while the case was still going on. Obviously she might have gotten to know a few things through McManus, which makes her a bit sketchy as a witness, arguably, but still, either way, she had no doubt Jackson was a molester all the way through. She went with the group in the end because of peer group pressure. “There was pure hatred in the air”, she said. Her daughter motivated her to do what she thought was right, meaning voting guilty, but she caved in. The book deal stuff its a typical fan argument, isn’t it? “They lie because they try to make money from it”. Its a bit evasive, isn’t it?

            The jury didn’t seem to believe the minor charges though, despite the witnesses you mention. Why is that, you think? I think it shows something odd was going on with that jury. Juror Melissa Herard said started to cry because she was so moved after they’d acquitted Jackson. Seeing the reactions from Jackson and his team she simply couldn’t hold her emotions in. :*(

            Gee, I’m sure that doesn’t happen that often when charged child molesters are aquitted. Probably just a coincidence that it happened to be Michael Jackson, I suppose.. 😉

          • Pea

            “They sound more like a child messing up the story, than a child lying, to me.”

            Well, there’s no doubt a story was being “messed up”; the question, rather, is about that story’s origins — was it based upon a memory of an actual event, or was it some Janet Arvizo-created script fed to the boys that they then flubbed?

            According to testimony, Gavin was born in Dec 1989 and Star in Dec 1990; that would’ve made them approximately 13- and 12-years-old, respectively, when these lewd acts were allegedly taking place in Feb 2003. So, we aren’t talking about young children here but tweenage/teenaged boys. A reading of then-13-year-old Star’s grand jury testimony showed a very well-spoken and intelligent boy. It seems unlikely, then, that Star (assuming his retelling of Jacko’s alleged streaking + “body acceptance” talk is the “messed up” version of the story) would have such an impossibly flawed memory. Intelligent people tend to have excellent memories!

            The only positive spin I can place on Star’s colorful adaptations of Gavin’s supposedly accurate version of events is that Star felt left out while Gavin was receiving so much attention and sympathy. He tried to inject himself into the alleged sex acts by claiming he’d been touched on the penis and butt, that he saw Jacko molest his brother, and that he saw Jacko naked. I’m not suggesting that happened but, before I became more skeptical of their story, I figured that could explain why the retellings were so different.

            But it’s true that the prosecution “simplified” the story considerably from Star’s version:

            You suggested, Andreas, that experts have pointed out that it’s not unusual for allegedly molested children to get details wrong. I believe that can be true. But is it common for two boys, close in age, together supposedly viewing the same thing, to have very different stories — one being quite detailed and outrageous — and the overall event is still to have happened? I’m not so sure about that.

            Also, there would be no reason to include Star. Michael Jackson didn’t seem to like chubbier boys — and Jacko himself was a waif. I suspect that is why the allegations that Star was also touched inappropriately disappeared by the time the trial came around.

            “Whatever the nature of these inconsistencies are, they certainly do not sound coached to me. It sounds like they are anything but coached in fact.”

            Is there an objective limit to how many lies can be told before the alleged victim is no longer credible? Because there has to be a limit; a defendant’s freedom — as well as their reputation — is a stake when they are accused of a crime.

            “Your theory certainly demands a lot of Janet Arvizo, since it sounds like you claim she’s behind these alleged lies.”

            The Defense (effectively) argued Janet was behind the so-called lies, even forcing Maureen Orth to admit that “mother” = “liar” by the end of the trial. So it’s relevant to suggest that she was the orchestrator of the story. Also, Janet coached her boys to lie in the JC Penney case (which, recall, emerged because she’d been caught stealing and ostensibly to get out of getting in trouble, she claimed she was “roughed up”), and it worked, so it’s not hard to believe that she could do it again. She was also accused of welfare fraud:

            Janet Arvizo has a documented history of lying.

            Now, you suggested earlier that we should view Gavin’s allegations as unrelated to Janet’s quirks, lies, and misbehavior. In theory, that is true — it’s certainly possible that Janet was a monstrous liar who got Star and Gavin to lie in the past, got Star to embellish in the present (hence why he and Gavin’s stories were so dissimilar), but that Gavin was still telling the truth about being molested. That’s the “So liars can’t be molested?” narrative. But it’s pretty specious, in my opinion. The more likely explanation is that Gavin Arvizo was involved in yet another fabricated con by a mother who had coached them to lie in the past, and that is why the boys started telling mixed up tales — the already fantastic script was simply botched.

            It would be foolish, in my opinion, to ignore the massive conspiracy claims — that were largely absurd, including unproven allegations about “love letters”, hidden in potted plants, that were stolen by Jacko’s people — and just want us to believe the molestation claims. They are related.

            “So to me it sounds like one have to choose between Janet being a genius, an expert on groom techniques of child molestation, while doing almost everything else wrong… or the boys simply remembering the events a bit wrong.”

            Janet doesn’t actually have to be a “genius” nor an expert on grooming techniques to manufacture a molestation story for her boys. Assuming the Arvizos are liars, I suspect they simply copied Jordie Chandler’s declaration, which was online since after the Bashir doc and for months prior to making any sex abuse allegations.

            Dr. Stan Katz told Det. Paul Zelis in a June 2003 interview that Gavin mentioned Jordie Chandler all of a sudden, and it surprised Katz:

            Katz told Zelis that he assured the child he was doing the right thing by relating his experiences at Neverland Ranch. “We talked all about how courageous this was,” Katz told Zelis, “and I said to him, ‘You know, you don’t want Jackson to do these things to kids again, do you?'”

            Katz recalled that the boy responded, “Well, Jordy Chandler did not stop him.”


            Also interesting were claims made by Angel Vivanco, a chef at Neverland, about conversations he’d had with sister Davellin. You can read them in this document: The judge deemed them hearsay but that doesn’t mean the conversations never happened.

            According to the document, Davellin said she didn’t like her mother and preferred her father (who was also a lying thief and an abuser; he allegedly got Gavin to steal a wallet from comedian George Lopez). Significantly, Vivanco stated that Davellin said that something bad was going to happen, and that she said Janet’s husband Major Jay Jackson was a “bad influence” on her mother.

            That last point was interesting to me because I’ve always had a suspicion that Janet was manipulated to commit crimes by the men in her life (which is actually typical of women offenders). Well, during a preliminary hearing, Jay Jackson admitted that he and the family had used being a part of the rebuttal tape as a bargaining tool to get stuff from Jacko:

            It’s no shock that Thursday’s big admission in the Michael Jackson case concerned a shakedown. Major Jay Jackson, stepfather now to Jackson’s 14-year-old accuser, conceded in court that he asked Jackson’s staff for a lot of things as compensation for the family’s participation in a “rebuttal” video.


          • Kat

            I think that there were in fact what you could call ‘love letters’ exchanged between Michael and Gavin. Here’s one I found transcribed on the internet:

            “Dear Daddy Michael. How are you. I can’t wait to see you again and play with you at Neverland, because we are going to be best friends and you are my daddy forever. You are the finest grown-up in the world. I love you, Daddy Michael. And tell my little brother and little sister that I love and care about them. Thank you for everything, Daddy.

            Thank you for being my Daddy Michael. Thank you for helping me be happy and beat cancer. Happy Daddy’s Day, and I love you more.

            Love, your Doo-Doo Head, Gavin Arvizo.

            P.S.: Please give me your new phone numbers, because I miss talking to you.”

            It seems real to me, is extremely creepy, and from the way its written it’s clear that the child was groomed to think that Daddy Michael is the best grown-up in the world.

            As for children’s accounts of what happened being inconsistent and evolving, here is what Dr. Stan Katz had to say:

            ‘Well, as I said before, stories changing suggests that the child may be actually telling the truth, because children cannot retain memories very well. Their storage retrieval system is not very sophisticated. And as you can tell, even us professionals can’t remember everything we did year ago, let alone two years ago. So it’s very hard for a child to do that, and that would not be predictive whatsoever of a false claim.’

            Now, I am aware that Gavin and Star weren’t small children, they were tween and teenaged when they stayed at Neverland. But still, it’s wrong to expect the same accuracy and precision of them as it would be expected from an adult. It’s unfair, in my opinion, that during the trial two adolescent boys were treated as adults (Tom Meserau calling them ‘young men’ and whatnot), while Michael Jackson, a forty six year old man was treated with kid gloves! And why didn’t Jackson took the stand and testify? Had I been accused falsely, I would definitely testify. I would be like — put me under oath, let me be cross examined, I never did anything, I have nothing to hide.

            It looks to me like you and Shawntay are exaggerating about the Arvizo family, about how scammy, greedy, questionable they were. I’ve read their testimonies and found them to be surprisingly normal people. They weren’t as bad as the defense tried to portray them. Half of the things that Mesereau and his sidekicks claimed about the family weren’t even true. They never befriended celebrities just to con money out of them; George Lopez and Louise Palanker said that they willingly gave the family donations, nobody asked them to do it.

          • Andreas Moss

            Gavin was a ‘special friend’.

            Here’s some quotes from The Michael Jackson Tapes, conversations between Jackson and rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

            SB: Your devotion to Gavin is impressive. I have spoken about in a thousand forums now. That was one of the nicest things I have seen. That you tried to help him and his family.
            MJ: He’s special.


            MJ: When I spoke to him[Gavin] last night he said “I need you. When are you coming home?”. I said “I don’t know”. He said. “I need you Michael.” Then he calls me “Dad.”

            Direct source:

            Another part of the book Rabbi Boteach talks to him about Michael’s admiration with princess Diana, discussing if she’s his type, and he ends up saying he would need a partner who would also share his care for Gavin.

            MJ: A woman I really liked and respected was Princess Diana.
            SB: Why?
            MJ: Because she was classy and sincerly cared about people and children and the plight of what was going on in the world. She didn’t do it for show. I like the way she made her kids wait in line to get on a ride for something?
            SB: Was she a feminine kind of woman?
            MJ: Very feminine and classy. She was my type for sure, and I don’t like most girls. There are very few I like who fit the mold. It takes a special mold to make me happy and she was one of them. For sure.
            SB: Because of her love of kids?
            MJ: It takes a lot to find a mirror image, a mirror image. People always say that oppsites attract and I think that is true, as well. But I want somebody who is a lot like me, who has the same interests and who wants to help, and they gotta go to hospitals with me and care about Gavin.


            SB: […] When you are around Gavin, what do you learn from him? Are you just there to help a child who has cancer? What do you get from this experience?
            MJ: I feel that this is something really, really in my heart that I am supposed to do, and feel so loved by giving my love, and I know that’s what they need. I have heard doctors, his doctors, say that it is a miracle that he is doing better, and that is why I know the magic of love is so important.


            MJ: He’s such a beautiful child, he doesn’t need that hat. [refering to Gavin’s baldness because of his cancer, he started using a hat]. I told him “You look just like an angel. Your voice sounds like an angel. What are you ashamed of?”

            Direct source:

          • Pea

            Jacko’s bizarre Savior Complex aside, how do we reconcile this:

            “SB: Your devotion to Gavin is impressive”

            …with this from the Rabbi:

            I never believed the allegations against him brought by the family of Gavin Arvizo. As I said, I was at Neverland with my family when the Arvizos arrived. Far from being too obsessed with Gavin, Michael disappointed me with his seeming lack of interest in the child, amid the occasional moving conversation trying to convince Gavin that he had no fear of looking bald from chemotherapy because he was a beautiful boy.

            Page 52-53.

          • Andreas Moss

            Pea, Schmuley says in the book that Jacksons devotion for Gavin was something so impressive he had talked about at “a thousand forums” as a rabbi. Kind of speaks for itself that he was in awe, doesn’t it?

            When his friend suddenly is accused of molesting Gavin, he makes a complete turnaround, and says the complete opposite. BS, in my opinion. He probably didn’t like how the mysterious altruisim shown by MJ suddenly made sense.

          • Pea

            You’re accusing the good Rabbi of telling a fib! 🙂

            Well, I don’t believe he just said the opposite out of convenience at all — that’s just not Shmuley’s style. In the next paragraphs, he had no problem intimating that Jacko was “erotically obsessed” with Jordie Chandler, and in the preceding ones, talking about how Jacko had a “Messiah Complex”.

            In fact, the Rabbi was doling out so many “rebukes” of Jacko in his book — read the epilogue where he starts to spit fire! — that it is very consistent that he would point out Jacko’s disinterest in Gavin. For Shmuley, it would’ve been indicative of Jacko’s fair-weather sincerity and lack of drive. He probably thought, as his words indicate, How can Michael be compassionate one moment and totally apathetic the next? It was probably a bit of a mind-fuck for a disciplined religious man.

            No, Gavin was just a photo-op used to validate Michael Jackson’s self-deification. Even Gavin said Jacko stopped calling him after a while, and he didn’t hear from Jacko until he became “useful” to him for the Bashir documentary. As we know from Jacko’s history, if he likes a boy, he won’t give up until the boy is his. Those aren’t the facts of this case.

            This was a telling passage, too, and further underscores Jacko’s cynical use of Gavin (and also explains that Jacko-The-Great-Healer infomercial you linked):

            To justify sharing a bed with children, he told boldface lies. For example, his telling Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes that Gavin Arvizo arrived at Neverland in a wheelchair and had to be carried to places such as the game room was preposterous. The boy I saw that day in August 2001 was extremely active, running around from ride to ride, and might even have been construed as wild. It’s not, I think, that Michael consciously wished to deceive. Rather, he was so insecure about himself that he had to always sound like more of a saint than he was. Michael’s insecurity led him to being an extremist. It was not enough to be a humanitarian. He had to be the greatest humanitarian on the planet. It was not enough to give hope to a child with cancer. Always the martyr, he pictured himself carrying the child on his back through a parched desert with no promise land in sight.

            Page 45.

            What a read! LMAO. No, if Shmuley said Jacko was disinterested in Gavin, he was disinterested in Gavin. The Rabbi never minces words, and I’ve seen him on TV for years — he is extremely opinionated, even judgmental. He ripped Jacko to shreds in that book…

          • Pea

            “It looks to me like you and Shawntay are exaggerating about the Arvizo family, about how scammy, greedy, questionable they were. I’ve read their testimonies and found them to be surprisingly normal people.”

            Gavin and Star have turned out spectacularly. I believe Ron Zonen when he described the kids as being great kids; I believe they were very intelligent, street smart kids. However, they were caught in the mire of a shitty family where deception and abuse seemed to be the norm. It was that family culture that allegedly poisoned the boys and got them to go along with their mother’s alleged scams.

            And it’s not an exaggeration that the boys had been made to lie in the past in the JC Penney case or that their stories changed. A court doc detailing suspect statements Davellin made in conversation to a Neverland confidante was not falsified:

            I can only go off things like that, and they make me seriously question the molestation claim. :/

            “They never befriended celebrities just to con money out of them; George Lopez and Louise Palanker said that they willingly gave the family donations, nobody asked them to do it.”

            Well, I would be careful using the word “never”, if I were you, unless you are some kind of mind-reader! 🙂 They would’ve “conned” celebs insofar as ingratiating themselves, using the sympathy card (I imagine Gavin’s cancer diagnosis was a boon), and extracting money and goods.

          • Kat

            I don’t have any evidence that letters were written by MJ to Gavin. I’m not even sure if the one I included in my comment is real, but it seems real to me and is extremely creepy too. And if it is real, I’m thinking it’s safe to say that Jackson wrote back. Letter writing is a correspondence between two participating parties, don’t you agree? 🙂 Also, such an activity would mirror his behavior with previous favorites Brett Barnes and James Safechuck, both of whom received letters from Michael long before any actual molestation took place. I have also seen a copy of a handwritten message written by Jackson to an unidentified young male fan.

            But I really think it’s evident that MJ was attracted to Gavin, even if he didn’t molest him in the end. That he called the kid Applehead and Doo Doo Head are dead giveaways. All of his special friends were called that. And what about the segment in ‘Living with Michael Jackson’ where Gavin was featured? Jackson and the boy were seen holding hands, Gavin’s head was on Michael’s shoulder, him saying things like: ‘Why can’t you just share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone [a twelve year old boy in Michael’s case]’. It definitely looked like Gavin was more than just a photo op! lol Also, Gavin said that they stayed in one bedroom and were arguing about who will sleep on the bed until Jackson said — OK, if you love me, then sleep on the bed. Notice that the use of language is the same as with Jordie Chandler. Jackson loved using the l-word to manipulate Jordie. He told hims things like – if you love me then you’ll do this, if you refuse to do it then you don’t love me as much as the other boys, et cetera. The daddy Michael thing also certainly came from Jackson himself. He had played such games as far back as the eighties when he checked himself and Emmanuel Lewis into a hotel room as ‘father and son’ and told him to refer to him as ‘daddy’.

            I don’t know if the family ever tried to scam celebrities for money, but the ones that testified denied that it ever happened; it was sort of how the defense tried to spin it. I’d rather go by what Davelin and others said when on the stand, because they were under oath then, and I take things said when under oath seriously. Simultaneously I do know that people can lie, like Wade Robson has now admitted he did. But several people testified positively about Janet and said that she wasn’t materialistic and would mostly just pray for Gavin to get better. All that the defense lawyers have to do is to plan reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors, and in this case they did it by presenting the Arvizo family as the worst family imaginable. But some of the testimonies given make me rather believe that Janet would want to see her son’s molester in prison than force her children to lie about being sexually abused and put the unnecessary humiliation and stigma on Gavin.

            I’ll try to consider it from the position of them lying, but then I would also have to accept that a false allegation was made by a mentally unstable woman, but was still found believable by the experts, and that the team of prosecutors made a case out of it and almost managed to put Jackson in jail, all while knowing that the case was a train-wreck and full of inconsistencies. If so it would certainly look like what the vindicators say is true – Michael Jackson was an easy target in spite of being rich and famous, the Santa Barbara police department had a vendetta against him, false child sexual abuse allegations are constantly made by money hungry, borderline insane people who don’t care about ruining someone’s life. And that’s a lot to accept for me.

          • ShawntayUStay

            Kat I’ve been going through the testimony starting at the very beginning, chronologically, and so far I’ve read, outside a “primer” piece about the case from the Smoking Gun, the Statement of Probable Cause (written for the Nov 2003 search warrant on NL) that included all the allegations made by the Arvizo family in police interviews from July 2003 and August 2003, as well as a recitation of the very first telling of molestation allegations to Katz that occurred on May and June 2003; the 2004 Grand Jury transcripts of Gavin and Star Arvizo, which represent the next iteration of the entire story; I’ve also watched the Arvizo rebuttal tape (filmed Feb 20 2003), and the July 2003 police interview of Gavin (the first time he told cops what he alleges happened). As well as miscellaneous transcripts.

            So I’m just trying to be as sequential as possible. It helps to compare the versions of the story and see when and how they are different so as to have the most complete and accurate opinion of the case…in my opinion, :-). At any rate, I’ve noticed inconsistencies not only between the 2003 versions and the GJ testimony, but I’ve noticed changes in the story between one police interview to the next, and these interviews are but a month apart! It’s highly suspicious, esp since the inconsistencies can’t be explained away by saying they were “intimidated” by their perpetrator being present or being cross examined — they were in a completely calm, supportive environment.

            Janet Arvizo’s claim that she didn’t know about the molestations prior to Sneddon & Co telling her in Sept 2003 doesn’t seem to be true, given that she told investigators that Star and Gavin told her many things, including Star’s admission that he saw MJ rubbing against Gavin and MJ touching Star’s “private area”, and Gavin telling her that MJ said “I want to be your father” while “caressing his chest and stomach” in bed. Both boys told her that they’d seen MJ naked (accounts of the same event are drastically different). Also, Katz had his final interview with the boys in early June 2003, and according to Feldman’s testimony, he called Katz and Katz discussed all his findings with Feldman. Feldman then called the family in, talked about Katz’s findings and they all discussed options. This would have been in June sometime. This is a direct contradiction to Janet’s claim that she didn’t know anything about the molestations until September — Feldman had already told her in June and she told stuff to the cops in July! She’s lying but why?

            Another interesting thing was the entire family explaining why their Feb 20 2003 interview with CPS was categorically favorable and glowing toward MJ. They all claimed that they were “too scared” to say anything. Star Arvizo in his Aug 13 2003 interview with cops went a step further and said that Frank Cascio found out about the upcoming interview and threatened that the whole family “would be killed” if they didn’t defend MJ. Star said the reason for the threat was “‘Because he already knew what Michael did to us’… and if they told the truth MJ would have gone to jail.” But in Gavin’s 2004 GJ testimony he said the reason they didn’t say anything bad about MJ at the interview was because “up until that point” — Feb 20 2003 — MJ was a great guy. This was the same reason he gave for why the Rebuttal tape footage was so glowing too — MJ was a great guy and humble and nice and allegedly hadn’t done anything. Notice the difference: Star first said that he and his brother had been violated by MJ, to the point that MJ could’ve went to jail, before the CPS interview on Feb 20, implying that the molestations occurred throughout their stay with MJ. Then Gavin claims at the GJ that the two alleged abuses occurred “in that last days” of their interactions with MJ, so well after Feb 20.

            This is the reason why the dates on the indictment had to be shifted (which was highly controversial) from Feb 7-Mar 10 to Feb 20-Mar 12, because the boys’ original police interviews in 2003 led investigators to believe molesations had occurred before Feb 20, which is opposite to the rebuttal tape and Gavin’s own words later at the GJ. Of course, Janet, Star and Gavin all claim that they were “kept away” from dates and all the clocks were removed, even though Gavin was bragging about the expensive watch (which turned out to be way less expensive than claimed) MJ gave him during their plane ride from Miami in early February. Not to mention the grounds of NL, which the Arvizos had free reign of during their stay, is covered with permanent, in-the-ground clocks on posts as well as the giant working topiary clock in front of the main house. The main house and the guest units have many clocks throughout. Again, why the discrepancy if their story is supposed to be true?

            Of course there is inconsistencies about the acts themselves, that I’m so far seeing. Star and Gavin both started out being victims’ of MJ, with Star alleging to Katz that MJ touched his butt and his private area through his clothing. Star also says that the two incidents with Gavin that he witnessed from his perch at the top of the stairs involved MJ putting his hand on Gavin’s privates on top of his clothes…later it morphed to the same two incidents involved MJ with his hands in Gavin’s pants. Sounds a bit like the Lemarques and Mac Culkin, doesn’t it? We know that eventually, the prosecutors got rid of the claims against Star because the boy kept changing his story. So I guess my question is why are Star’s original claims of molestation not believable but Gavin’s are? And Gavin’s molestation claims are corroborated by Star, as if the original idea may have been to make sure that the boys backed up each other’s allegations. But why did Star’s get tossed through subsequent tellings and retellings of the story? That’s what making me feel suspicious…so far at least.

            Oh, and there was something peculiar about the masturbation allegation told by Gavin. He claimed that MJ told him that he wanted to “teach him” how to masturbate. Gavin said in his GJ testimony:

            A Michael would tell me that if I knew what masturbation was and if I masturbated
            Q And where where you when he asked you that?
            A We were — I was — well, one time he asked me when we were walking down his hallway to his room, and my brother was there, and my brother said he didn’t. And Michael told me if I masturbated, and I said no. And then he acted like if I was being mean to him because I didn’t tell him that. He said I wasn’t telling him the truth. So he kind of angry at me.
            Q All right. When was the next time you talked about it?
            Q All right. What happened after that?
            A He told me if I knew how.
            Q And what did you say?
            A I said no.

            So Gavin claims that he didn’t know how to masturbate (surprising for a 13 year old boy, LOL) and that MJ wanted to play hands-on teacher. But in a Jan 2004 interview with investigators — months before his GJ appearance — he claimed that he MJ would always give him advice about the birds and the bees, but he said that “He [MJ] didn’t know much. I knew more than he did.” So how did he Gavin not know about masturbation and how would MJ be in the position to teach if Gavin claims he didn’t know anything? Also, he later claimed in the GJ testimony that he had a conversation with his grandmother after everything happened and he claimed that she was the one who told him the birds and the bees story, contradicting the idea that MJ was the one telling him:

            Q Did you ever have a conversation with your grandmother — I know this topic is a little bit embarrassing for you, but probably the best way is to just ask the question — where the subject matter of the conversation was either, kind of human sexuality or specifically masturbation? Did you ever have a conversation with your grandmother?
            A Yes
            Q When I say when, I mean in the context of all these things going on.
            A Oh, it was like way after all this stuff. Because like when I got back from all this, I was like really confused about like — like, because like no one ever told me the birds and the bees and — the birds and the bees story. So like my grandmother was — she finally sat me down and like really talked to me about it. And she talked to me about when is the right time to have sex and when it’s appropriate. And like she just talked to me about all this stuff.

            And what about the segment in ‘Living with Michael Jackson’ where Gavin was featured? Jackson and the boy were seen holding hands, Gavin’s head was on Michael’s shoulder, him saying things like: ‘Why can’t you just share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone [a twelve year old boy in Michael’s case]’. It definitely looked like Gavin was more than just a photo op! lol

            Kat, I always had thought that that was for real, too, but in Gavin’s 2004 GJ testimony, he completely trashed it, saying the entire thing was fake.

            Q Prior to the [Bashir] interview, what happened?
            A Michael pulled me aside and told me, “Okay, Gavin, you want to be an actor, right?” I was like “Yeah.” And he said, “Okay”. I’ll take — I’ll use this as like your audition.” And, like, “I want you to act.” I was, “Okay.” and he told me to like, say a bunch of goof stuff about him. Say like he’s, like, act like he’s my father and stuff like that.
            Q And were you — so if you’re side by side, were you — was he touching you in any way?
            A No. I don’t think so.
            Q Were you holding hands?
            A. Yeah. Prior — before he went he told me. like grab his hand and act like he’s my father. Well, he asked as if I look at him as my father.
            A Martin Bashir interviewed us. And I thought it was just like — because like before he filmed stuff, like him carrying me across like a bridge and stuff. And I thought it was something like that. And so he was doing that. And so he — that’s pretty much it. I thought it was like that. So they were interviewing me. They interviewed us. and they — he told me, act like he’s my father. So I rest my head on his shoulder, and stuff like that.

            So no, MJ was doing his typical photo op with Gavin and Gavin agreed to act for the camera. Obviously MJ was trying to make himself look like a savior to a cancer kid. This is underscored by the fact that he had zero contact with Gavin after first meeting him when he had cancer, then cutting off all contact and changing his numbers so the Arvizos couldn’t call him after Gavin went in remission in 2001, to calling him up in Sept 2002 for the Bashir doc and having Gavin pretend to be healed by “Daddy Michael, savior of kids”, then MJ once again leaving right after the footage was shot and cutting off all contact with Gavin again until Feb 2003. Gavin was just a photo op, as former MJJ Productions assistant Charmayne Steinberg said — MJ saw kids in two groups: those that had “problems”, i.e. sick kids, and those that were his friends, i.e. special friends, ones he pursued relentlessly and with whom he was erotically obsessed. Gavin said MJ ran from him, pretending that he wasn’t at NL when he really was there.

            About “scamming” celebs, what about Chris Tucker’s testimony that he felt that they were taking advantage of his generosity by overstaying their welcome at a hotel and charging it to his account, and he felt he had to warn MJ about Janet? And Chris’s suspicion that they lied about making money from a fundraiser (Tucker felt bad so he still wired money into their foundation)? What about the stolen wallet from George Lopez? Or Jay Leno saying that Gavin’s demeanor on the phone was strangely rehearsed and effusive so he made sure his staff blocked contact?

            The JC Penney incident is very significant because the boys were caught stealing clothes and that led to the altercation where Janet claimed that she was assaulted, even though she had no injuries, no messed up hair, and asked for no medical treatment during police booking. Only a few days later she shows horrible bruising photographs. Two years later, she added the claim that the guards sexually assaulted her and the lawsuit was suing for $3 million. She admitted that she lied and got her children to lie under oath about their injuries. JC Penney’s settled for $152,000. So since it’s a fact that she lied about being hurt and only later added allegations of sexual misconduct, it’s clear that Janet has no problem falsely accusing innocent people of wrongdoing. Read Mary Holzer’s testimony; she says, under oath, very damning things about Janet’s behavior and conduct in the lawsuit. (starts on page 117)

          • Pea

            “She went with the group in the end because of peer group pressure. … The book deal stuff its a typical fan argument, isn’t it?”

            I recently watched an interview between Diane Sawyer of ABC and six of the jurors, including Ellie Cook and Paul Rodriguez. I was struck by how much Ellie wanted the spotlight — you could sense on her face that she wanted the questions directed to her, and she couldn’t wait to speak. I’m sure her ego got a nitrous boost when the media continued to re-loop her, “Don’t snap your fingers at me, lady!” quip.

            Now, it’s possible Ellie Cook believed Jacko was a child molester. But, if so, she was no different than Ray Hultman, who stated poignantly that even if Jacko had molested boys in the past that didn’t mean he was guilty of molesting Gavin Arvizo. Ellie clearly had no problem voting to acquit, no matter what Diane Dimond wrote in her book.

            I don’t believe Ellie for a second that she was muscled into changing her vote. She was confident in her post-trial interviews; she was no shrinking violet. Ellie’s lust for fame, having gotten a taste of it as the “spicy grandma” who saw through Janet Arvizo’s (alleged) B.S., got the better of her, and she likely wanted to capitalize on the media’s dissatisfaction with the verdict by proposing a book so she could get even more attention. She was full of crap, and suggesting that Gavin enjoyed being Jacko’s “toy” doesn’t change the fact she didn’t care about Gavin the first go around and voted Not Guilty:

            Eleanor Cook and Ray Hultman revealed in a televised interview that they believed the singer’s young accuser was sexually assaulted.

            “No doubt in my mind whatsoever, that boy was molested, and I also think he enjoyed to some degree being Michael Jackson’s toy,” Cook said on MSNBC’s “Rita Cosby: Live and Direct.”


            Unfortunately it didn’t work — many members of the media thought she and Ray Hultman, who at least was a bit more consistent, were disrespectful to the process and they were promptly scorned. I for one would never want to read either of their books, “Guilty as sin; Free as a Bird” (Cook’s) and “The Deliberator” (Hultman’s).

            So shady:

            “Gee, I’m sure that doesn’t happen that often when charged child molesters are aquitted. Probably just a coincidence that it happened to be Michael Jackson, I suppose.. ;)”

            The fact of the matter is, as Ray Chandler alluded to Maureen Orth, if Gavin Arvizo was deemed to be a liar, it would call into question all of the abuse allegations against Jacko. The 1108 portion of the trial contained valuable nuggets of info about Jacko’s life with boys — actual ‘special friends — but it also featured a menagerie of side-show freaks who chose tabloids over police officers. So, if you, as a juror, believed Michael Jackson was railroaded by a family team of con-artists and that it was indicative of a long history of Jacko being railroaded by greedy low-lives, it’s not surprising you’d let compassionate tears flow.

          • Kat

            I would like to add that the prosecution also argued that Jackson could have specifically chosen that time to molest Gavin, because he knew that he could get away with it. Certainly no one would believe a child claiming that he was abused when his abuser was amidst worldwide attention and scrutiny, already being suspected of having molested this particular kid, and trying to save what was left of his reputation. Conclusively – an excellent opportunity to abuse the kid and get out of it unscathed.

            But I’m thinking that it’s more likely the reason that has already been proposed. Jackson was simply too high and drunk to consider the consequences. He was probably popping his usual elephant’s doze of Demerol pills + copious amounts of alcohol. Former Neverland worker Jesus Salas testified about the heavy drinking that was going on. This is what he said:

            Q. Have you ever seen him exhibiting the effects of drinking?
            A. Yes.
            Q. On how many occasions?
            A. Well, lately it was on a pretty much regular basis.
            Q. A regular basis?
            A. Right.
            Q. Did you ever see Mr. Jackson where he appeared to have been drinking a great deal, that he appeared to be drunk?
            A. Yes.

            Certainly anyone’s ability to make good judgments and think clearly would fly out the window with all that in their system. Especially for a preferential child molester who even without it are very need-driven and exhibit compulsive behavior. Many sex offenders, even after doing prison sentences, fall back into all habits, all while knowing that they might end up locked up again.

            I’m not an expert or anything, but I do find what Gavin said to be in line with legitimate sexual abuse allegations. ‘I’m not sure exactly how many times it happened, because I had been drinking almost every time, I estimate it was five to seven occasions all together, but I only remember two distinctly.’ — sounds like a real thing to me! I’m certain a false allegation would have been very different.

          • ShawntayUStay

            Kat, you are using theory as proof, not facts. Of course the prosecution will give a theory (or “story” as it’s called) for why MJ could have done something; they’re operating from the standpoint of guilt and trying to provide an explanation. But was it ever backed up with facts? That’s what I’m searching for because I’d rather believe Gavin was telling the truth and MJ just got away with it, instead of the Arvizo family lying (like they’ve done in the past) about an innocent man (innocent with respect to these charges, anyway).

            We had a full airing of the facts as good as we could get with the 2005 case — it took months — do to me there is no reason to rely on theory to try maintain a belief that Gavin was molested and the jury just was wrong. My question is why. Why is the jury’s verdict wrong? I’m having trouble getting a satisfying answer because it can’t be just well the jury is a bunch of star struck stupid people hoodwinked by a Harvard trained defense attorney, plus “expert x says oftentimes victims do…” or “the statistics about teenage boys suggests that…”. That’s not good enough for me became it didn’t sufficiently explain the very specific and particular set of facts presented at trial; it’s all just probability and theory, and it doesn’t prove Gavin was telling the truth.

            I hope that makes sense. You said earlier that you cannot fathom why anyone would lie about being molested and I understand that. I’d hope he was telling the truth as well. But then again, didn’t Janet Arvizo lie about being beaten and sexually assaulted by JC Penney security guards? She had no qualms about accusing innocent people of wrongdoing, potentially putting them at risk for being fired or worse, being charged and convicted of a crime…all for a payday. Not to mention getting her kids to lie about it as well. So it’s not outside of her wheelhouse to lie about MJ, or get her kids to lie about him. She’s that kind of person; she didn’t/doesn’t care. They’ve all done it before.

          • Kat

            I can’t tell why exactly Jackson would chose that time to molest Gavin. I can however present the opinions of seasoned prosecutors and child abuse experts. And I respect them and what they have to say, because these are people who have years of experience dealing with such things; they know what they’re talking about. And while the prosecution also has a stake in every case, it so most often happens that prosecutors tell the truth and defense attorneys lie to get their clients off. I don’t know how badly Sneddon, Zonen, and others wanted to get MJ into prison where he rightly belonged, being the lifelong criminal that he was, but from watching interviews with them I got the impression that they simply wanted to help Gavin. They had this abused kid and wanted to put things right for him by punishing the person who had done that to him.

            Anyway, about your question. It’s not that the jury was definitively wrong with their verdict. The instructions that they have is to vote not guilty if there’s an ounce of reasonable doubt. And the problem with child sexual abuse is that there’s almost always place for reasonable doubt. And in many, very many cases, there is no evidence whatsoever. Fondling will not leave forensic evidence, injuries, or any other signs that an unwanted sexual contact has taken place. There are sometimes eyewitnesses, but often the abuser makes sure that they and the child are isolated. And it’s sort of preposterous to expect that a video recording of the event will be found. Thus, if that’s so, all that is left is the child’s word against the adult. And the jurors, I think at least part of them thought: we want to believe Gavin, he seems credible, the expert said boys his age rarely lie, and Jackson’s inappropriate, suspicious behavior with children has been established… But is there a possibility it didn’t happen? Well, because there is no direct proof, it means that the possibility is there, so we have to vote not guilty.

            Do I have any direct, definite proof that MJ molested Gavin? No, I don’t. But we also don’t have any direct proof that he tickled Jason Francia’s genital region or that when he and J. Chandler slept in one bed the sleepovers were sexual in nature. It mostly all comes down to the testimonies given by these people, with some additional eyewitnesses seeing stuff. With Gavin, it was mostly what he said at the stand, plus what his brother testified as having seen. Main witnesses were two teen boys, and teen boys can lie, right? So I would say it was mostly lack of proof that didn’t get the guilty verdict. But several members of the jury were also biased in favor of Jackson. Others were put off by Janet’s strange behavior. Some thought that he had molested other kids, but not Gavin. I don’t know, with child molestation, it can often be a case of who do you believe more, because no real evidence of a crime is there.

            However, having familiarized myself with the facts of the case and also having the perspective of ten years having passed, I do believe the family was telling the truth. Even though Meserau tried to show them as the biggest grifters of the century, there’s little that supports that they were after money or fame. And I know that people can lie about all kinds of things, still false child sexual abuse claims are very rare. I believe it’s for a reason too, because it’s the kind of thing that no one wants to say about themselves or about the alleged perpetrator if it isn’t true. Because then you’re not only presenting yourself as a victim of something shameful, but also accusing another person of one of the worst crimes. And I also know that the Arvizos probably lied or embellished before, but I think the two cases are very different. Arvizos not being the perfect family doesn’t make Michael Jackson less of a child molester and it doesn’t make Gavin less vulnerable. Everyone wants for victims of child abuse to be perfect, innocent little angels who have their innocences stolen by creepy men. But that’s just not what happens in real life. And just because the family wasn’t perfect doesn’t mean that they were completely rotten. They might have still told the truth and sought justice during their trial against MJ.

          • Kat

            I also feel like they were telling the truth, I’d still like to learn more about the case, because the more you know the more adequate perspective you can form about something. But in general, judging by their actions, I think they were honest and didn’t have an ulterior motive.

            Jackson’s behavior with Gavin definitely followed a familiar pattern. I’ve learned from reading the grand jury transcripts that Gavin was invited to spend the night in Michael’s bedroom on the first occasion when they visited, and that Jackson had given Gavin an expensive watch and a car, and I think his brother also got a Play Station. Giving expensive presents was certainly a grooming technique for him. Star also said that Michael called Gavin Doo Doo or Applehead, which is a dead giveaway that he was sexually interested in the kid. I also think that young Gavin was quite good-looking and had a dark complexion going on which might have reminded Michael of previous favorites like Brett Barnes, Jordie Chandler, and Omer Bhatti.

            I haven’t read the Rabbi Shmuley Tapes yet, I might do in the future. I know that the Rabbi interviews were yet another one of those times when Jackson waxed poetic about his devotion to children and how he wanted to save all them. It’s such a strange thing to consider that a pedophile who scarred many children by abusing them sexually legitimately thought that he was some sort of savior of children. As for him healing Gavin of cancer, I’m not quite sure what to think. Certainly he at least partially just wanted to take the credit for it, as always, as he did when he invited sick children to spend time in Neverland, only to spend no more than three minutes with them. But I’ve also heard a voice recording of him on You Tube, saying to Shmuley about Gavin: ‘I can see it, I can see his cancer disappearing…’ Maybe he legitimately thought that he was making Gavin’s cancer disappear? I kind of think Jackson was loosing his marbles by the end of his life anyway, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he really thought he had healing powers like Jesus. (:

          • Landline Phone

            I believe Gavin. Outside of this website, the overwhelming majority of MJ realists believe Gavin. Ron Zonen spoke about him a year or two ago, and he seems convinced that Gavin was telling the truth.


          • ShawntayUStay

            That maybe true but popularity isn’t always a measure of truth. But my question is why? Why do they believe him? Is it because the evidence overwhelmingly supports his story or is it simply because one can’t imagine anyone lying about being molested, or is it because MJ was obviously a pedophile so he just had to have done it? To me, it seems that some MJ critics just want to believe him because he is an alleged victim so we must support him. I personally don’t by into that line of thinking, especially if the evidence of him being molested is nebulous at best, and downright flimsy and unconvincing at worst.

            Did MJ act inappropriately, giving them alcohol and showing them pornography? Yes. But the evidence is sparse that he molested Gavin; the evidence is more substantial that they are liars.

          • Landline Phone

            Everyone here probably knows by now that giving alcohol and porn to intended victims are prevalent grooming tactics among preferential sex offenders. On top of Wacko’s use of grooming aids, he had a history of sexually abusing boys the accuser’s age, and the accuser slept in his bed. These are extreme risk factors for sexual abuse. It’s never impossible for an accuser to lie, but Gavin’s age and gender make him statistically unlikely to do so, at least based on what I’ve read about false accusations. Really, how many hetero 12 year old boys want to forever be known as the kid jerked off by an effeminate pop singer? I think most would rather gouge out their own eyes with a rusty fork.

            The defense’s premise that the Arvizos were motivated by money doesn’t hold up for me since they’ve never accepted money for their story. Vengeance doesn’t seem too likely either considering their “vengeance” would come at the expense of great self-humiliation.

          • ShawntayUStay

            I get what you’re saying and I, too, used to think that the similarities between what the experts say are risk factors and the circumstances around Gavin’s stay at Neverland made it seem that there was little possibility that this kid wasn’t abused. But then I had to take a step back to look at the totality of the accusations. Because if one really does look at it, a lot of what is described in these experts’ scenarios are in isolation; they occur in a vacuum, so to speak. But most people realize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

            You’ve listed statistics and risk factors and probability, but honestly, what does — or how does — that have anything to do with the particular set of facts in this case? Sure, they could be used to understand some complexity with regard to how a 13 year old boy like Gavin could act; as you said, most would never want to be known as being molested by a man. However, I’d argue that they are rather meaningless because they do nothing to explain how he (and his family) did act: the very specific and glaring inconsistencies of Gavin and his brother Star from the first retelling of the facts in 2003 to the grand jury in 2004 to the final recitation of facts in court in 2005, the actions undertaken by the family in the rebuttal tape (for example), and the BS timeline offered by the prosecution.

            I’m wondering how does probability and statistics about the number of teenage boys making false accusations have anything to do with Star first saying MJ touched him on his genitals while they were riding in a golf cart to then saying MJ only touched his knee? Or Gavin saying to Tom Mesereau he thought MJ was “completely white” (referring to his body) when it’s known that he had patches of brown on his body, and Gavin is claiming that he saw MJ naked? Most people who’ve never seen MJ up close and personal think that he was a uniform white color because that’s how he appeared on TV. But Jordie Chandler told investigators that MJ indeed had brown patches on specific locations, including his buttocks and testicles. Fans claim Jordie only said that he had vitiligo patches on his body because MJ mentioned he had vitiligo to Oprah Winfrey in Feb ’93, but MJ said vitiligo as his reason he appeared “all white” to the public — basically, everyone thought that the vitiligo had completely removed all his color. But again, Jordie said no he still has patches on his body, he only looks all white. The difference between what Jordie said and what Gavin said demonstrates, imo, that only one is telling the truth about seeing MJ naked (which is why the prosecution sought to bring in Jordie’s description/photos to prove MJ was a child molester, not anything offered by Gavin). Also, Gavin said “I thought he was completely white” — he used the word thought instead of he looked completely white or he was completely white when I saw him, etc. Why “think”? He should “know”, if it’s true that he saw him naked!

            An expert witness can’t explain away all of that, in my opinion.

            Some may say that the inconsistencies in the boys’ versions of events mean they were telling the truth because if they were lying, they’d have a script memorized. But I’d argue who is the ringleader of these allegations, assuming they are false? Janet Arvizo, a woman who is either bipolar or schizo-affective (a cross between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia); it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if a woman suffering from those types of delusional disorders would mess up the script, creating multiple different scenarios and not remembering which is the one the family is currently committed to telling. Actually, that would explain why the case that was initially believable in 2003 as restated in the Statement of Probable Cause was completely full of glaring holes by 2005!

            I do think MJ’s people were up to something with the family. Perhaps they became involved because they knew of MJ’s proclivity for young boys and they were intervening to make sure he had little to no chance at forming an attachment to Gavin and carrying out molestation. That would explain why Frank Cascio slept in the same room with MJ, Gavin and Star on their first visit to Neverland. If one was to compare the relationships with all the other special friends — Emmanuel Lewis, Jonathan Spence, James Safechuck, Mac Culkin, Wade Robson, Brett Barnes, Jordie, and Omer Bhatti — there is an obvious pattern of obsessive infatuation whereby MJ wants to spend all of his time (and money) with/on the boy. The sleepovers (read: molestation) follow and become constant until MJ loses interest because the kid gets “past his prime”. On the contrary, MJ showed no similarity in his relationship with Gavin. His contact tapered after the initial visits when Gavin was 11, then he contacted them in 2002 to film the Bashir documentary and according to the Arvizos, MJ left right after. It was only once the film aired in Feb 2003 that MJ called them again, obviously in damage control mode. He wasn’t interested in Gavin, and the prosecution wants us to believe that it was only during the height of media scrutiny that MJ chose to do to Gavin what everyone was accusing him of doing; the thing he had yet to even do? I don’t buy it; it makes no sense.

            Of course I could be wrong but that’s what my gut is telling me. As Ray Hultman, one of the jurors, said (paraphrased): “He may have molested boys in the past but that doesn’t mean he was guilty in this case.” I think that’s an accurate assessment.

          • Kat

            I haven’t read ‘All That Glitters’ yet, but from what I read in Dimond’s book Orietta was nonchalant about the whole situation, she sort of said that Michael’s little boy problem was known around the MJJ Productions office and that she never left her son alone with MJ, while acting on Staikos orders to give his little friends and their parents everything they asked for. In MJWML it was written that she was a victim of racism from Jackson’s side. Orietta was a black person from Costa Rica, but Michael preferred to think about her as a Latina, because he didn’t like black people much. She filed a complaint saying that she was ‘fired and intimidated’ for being black. She apparently told Gutierrez that Jackson used bleaching creams and white makeup and referred to his black bodyguards as ‘big gorillas’.

            I’m not sure what happened there ultimately, but I’m pretty certain that no one tried to stop Jackson. I realize that it’s difficult to go against a powerful, rich, egoistical celebrity who will do whatever he wants no matter what anyone says. Still, I would never work for a person who would be involved in criminal activity, or aid them in this activity, especially if it’s something detestable like child molestation. That being said, I’m well aware that there are people with compromised morals and a love for money and power who would do that. Like the so called ‘Hitler woman’ Norma Staikos.

            P.S. I know that many of MJs former employees collaborated with the authorities in the criminal trial against him, but I’m sure it’s because they were subpoenaed to?…

          • Andreas Moss

            An element in all of this which hasn’t been mentioned is that many people working for Jackson was extremely scared too. Orietta Murdock said she was “quizzed” by thug-investigator Anthony Pellicano if she found Michaels relationship with little boys questionable. She took it as a silent threat, as the way it was presented, but also a car with two men in blue suits were sitting outside her house in a van. The car sat there spying on her for days. She feared for her and her son’s safety, obviously. I’ve heard people like maid Adrian McManus also saying she was afraid for her life, and still was years after working there.

            You should real All That Glitters, Kat. Its perhaps the best one. At least I thought so. So intense! In it Orietta Murdoch is presented as an ex-employee of Jackson that calls Evan Chandlers by her own accord, and even if she’s the one calling him, she still has to make sure she’s not talking to one of Pellicano’s people. She was irrationally afraid, in other words.

            She said “[Even though I’m frightened] I feel compelled to help you and your son prevent Michael from molesting more children. I, too, have a son, and my heart goes out to your little boy.” She also had no doubt he was guilty.

            “Michael has to be stopped”, she said, and she was willing to help, but only if the Chandlers took it all the way. Her neck was on the line, she claimed. According to Ray Chandler they met up with her twice to talk about what to do. She told them everything she knew, and it was supposedly quite a story.

            “I really like Michael, I really do, but he’s got to be stopped”
            She wanted to give a rolodex with the boys names to them.

            The catch was that she didn’t want her name to come out, she didn’t want to be directly involved, to stay anonymous, and told the Chandlers to not involve her with the police. Yet, somehow, the police had called her two days later about it, and she pulled out. “You sold me out”, she screamed. Ray Chandler says he has no clue who told the police.

          • Kat

            I know that it’s not an easy situation, and that it’s not right to judge a person’s actions if we weren’t in the circumstances that they were in, but still most people will agree that it was wrong for Jackson’s employees to stay silent if they knew what was going on or strongly suspected that Neverland wasn’t a happy, innocent playground meant for sick children to come over and have a fun time, that something much more sinister was going on. And while it’s not obligatory for a person to report witnessing child abuse unless they are a child psychologist or counselor still there is a moral obligation. If I would find out that someone I know knew that a child or multiple children were being molested, but didn’t do anything, I wouldn’t be happy about it, because it’s not right not to do anything! If you are indifferent you as if become complicit in the child continued being molested. The fact that Jackson’s boys seemed happy and didn’t object to whatever was going on isn’t really an argument that can be used for employees to defend their actions. Children don’t have the maturity to consent to a sexual relationships with an adult person. Whatever consent they give counts as false.

            I do understand that that many factors come into play. MJs employees were probably grateful that he had given them a job and treated them well. Most of them anyway, maybe the black employees not so much. They also likely thought that the bulk of responsibility lies with Jackson and the kids’ parents, which is also true. I am aware that he threatened some of his employees, especially Adrian McManus to whom he said that something bad will happen to her if she ever discloses, but in a way that nobody will know Jackson had ordered for it to happen. Even so, if they were afraid they could have still contacted the social services or law enforcement anonymously to tip them off about what was going on behind the Neverland ranch gates. We sort of discussed this once before in the comments when we wondered what made the moral compass of these people spin when they started working for MJ, especially considering that many of them were parents themselves.

            As for the fact that many employees, Blanca Francia and possibly Orietta too, didn’t think Jackson deserved to be in prison, but merely needed professional help to deal with his problems and to understand that what he was doing was wrong, it’s not really an argument for me, because criminals deserve punishment for harming the society the way they do. Michael Jackson knew that what he was doing was a serious crime and that according to the law he deserved to spend many years locked up. I get that like you said pedophiles get hardly any compassion from people, because almost everyone agrees that the quality of being a pedophile is the most unlikable, loathsome trait that someone can have, and because it’s not really possible for an ordinary person to relate to someone who is attracted to children in that way. But there is a difference between a non-offending pedophile and a preferential child molester. One of these is a criminal and should be punished for their actions.

          • Pea

            Wow, Kat, you said the same thing I’d said in my much earlier comment! 🙂

            Yes, many of the employees were subpoenaed to testify in the trial in 2005. I think that probably was the only way they’d talk. So many of them were threatened by Pellicano when their identities were made known, and then they were questioned by cops but nothing came of it. I wouldn’t blame them for being a bit reticent the second time around….

    • ShawntayUStay

      More than Jackson himself ironically, to me, but that is because I for whatever reason just think of him as such a tragic mess.

      No you may have a valid argument, strangely enough. One could argue that because in comparison to MJ, who suffered from the mental illness known as pedophilia, Norma Staikos wad of sound mind and body. MJ, although of course completely responsible for his behaviors and choices, couldn’t think past his own impulses and when you couple that with a willingness of employees and other sycophants to cater to his every (possible criminal) whim, it makes the situation so much more disturbing. I mean, the woman literally took steps to “understand this kid’s [MJ] problem”, all the while making sure her own kids never stayed alone with MJ.

      Same with Miko Brando. He rounded up kids but wouldn’t let his own have MJ sleepovers.

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  • Andreas

    Everyone would say they wouldn’t blink to report a child molester, but lets picture this: If you saw a little boy visiting your neighbor, a 40 year old man who lives alone, and you see this little boy coming over quite a lot.. and you start getting suspicous about the nature of these visits after seeing a couple of intimate hugs.. what exactly would you do? Would you really call the police? If the police visited the man there would most likely just be a denial from the man, and perhaps even the boy, and you’d risk looking like the crazy and perverted one.

    Leaving aside the fact that some employees claim they actually saw molestation take place, this scenario is accurate. No matter what our suspicions, what would anyone report to the police? It isn’t against the law for 40 year old men to befriend young boys, as fans continually point out it isn’t even illegal for a man to have young boys share his bed. Most people would file away the information in their heads just in case things are “blown open” and they are asked about it, but reporting it? They wouldn’t, as you pointed out.

    If this is anything close to accurate its quite possible many people were just dead scared into silence. Its probably hard to believe that people were threatened with their life by Jackson, but Pellicano has admitted he was hired to dig down the dirt for Jackson(even claiming he hid childporn from the police), and his violent mafia methods is well documented, so it could very well be true.

    I agree with you only in part here Andreas. The culture at Neverland appeared to be one of acceptance, and in some cases encouragement, of Jackson’s friendships with young boys. Anybody with a strong moral compass would be disgusted and leave quickly. In fact, I would suggest that anybody with a strong moral compass wouldn’t be interested in a position at Neverland in the first place. How can I best put it? The employer you choose says a lot about the kind of person you are, and if your job is to serve the whims of a celebrity who lives a fantasy wouldn’t reflect well on your character. Perhaps I’m being snooty when I say that 🙂

    If the employees stayed working at Neverland, knowing what they knew (even if it was just gossip from other employees), it would show that they aren’t particularly concerned about child safety. Once they knew and didn’t tell, and the longer they didn’t tell, they become more bound to their boss and are complicit in his activity. The longer they are there the more they would witness and confirm their suspicions, also making their position worse.

    I feel that the “scared” factor came about as a way for some employees to explain their non-reporting. When employees were asked “Why didn’t you go to the police?” they wouldn’t say “I didn’t particularly care”, it would have been plausible for some to use the excuse “I was too scared”. There is no doubt that threats were made by Jackson’s security team, Pellicano and even Jackson himself (for instance telling his new maid Adrian McManus “You know, Adrian, if you ever say or you do something that I don’t like, all I have to do is tell Bill Bray or Norma Stakos, and they will take care of you, but it wouldn’t come from me.”). The ones who sold their stories to tabloids? They may have been scared but dollars made that fear melt away, not any kind of moral obligation to tell.

    I will concede though that telling a news reporter, who will believe you (and even pay you), is far easier than approaching the police and being either disbelieved or involved in a lengthy investigation followed by having to testify at trial.

    Evan, as presented in the book, to me, comes across as a very faulty person, perhaps even an anti-hero in a sense, even if well intending.

    I agree that Evan was a not very nice person. He was determined to “get” MJ for what he did, and showed a tenaciousness that was admirable. However I’m not convinced that Evan wanted to “get” MJ for what he did to Jordy, but for what he did to Evan; attempting to steal his son from him and drive a wedge between him and June. I don’t think Evan was really as disturbed about the molestation as he made out, but saw it as a very strong legal lever to punish someone who would otherwise be too powerful to beat. Bear in mind that I, like everyone else, am basing this partly on what is almost a caricturized view of Evan that we’ve been presented with not only from Victor Gutierrez’s book but from essentially fan sources as well. I think Ray’s book would have to be the most accurate representaion of Evan, and his motives and behavior, that we have (even though it’s lacking).


    Lemarque and Chacon defended their inaction by suggesting they wouldn’t be believed. I agree that could’ve been likely. Lemarque and Chacon defended their inaction by suggesting they wouldn’t be believed. I agree that could’ve been likely.

    I agree that they probably wouldn’t be believed, and even, as Andreas correctly pointed out, if the police visited the man there would most likely just be a denial from the man, and perhaps even the boy. We know for sure that MJ would have denied it, putting aside the fact that he has never been interviewed by law enforcement over his behavior with boys not because law enforcement didn’t want to talk to him but because MJ used his power, money and influence to keep them at bay. The boys we can be fairly confident too would have denied it. Look how Jimmy was trained to deny everything. We can assume Wade and Brett were trained just as well because they were vehement in their denials when the Chandler allegations broke and Pellicano had them interviewed.

    You talk of complexity, Andreas, but seem to ignore the possibility of total nonchalance. It’s a possibility given the facts — in a world where most things are grey, it’s not impossible that an alleged pedophile’s “nice guy” affect could sufficiently disarm a person into believing that even if molestation is happening, not to act or tell the police; a person then rationalizes to themselves that if the boy isn’t complaining it’s essentially a “victimless crime”.

    I doubt anyone would be that cynical Pea. I think it’s more a case of self preservation rather than ennui. Any employee thinking of reporting to the police would weigh up the pros and cons. What are the pros? Not much, really. One person reporting wasn’t going to make one iota of difference (and they would be alone, MJ’s security encouraged Neverland and MJJ Productions staff to spy on each other so the chances of several employees being able to organize themselves to go together to tell the police is unlikely), and the cons (losing one’s job, being accused of making “false accusations”, losing one’s reputation, being vilified and shunned, enduring fan harassment, etc) would far outweigh any neglible to non existent pro. As mentioned, being approached by a reporter and being offered a great deal of money would blunt those cons.

    What I’m trying to give you is an explanation based upon the facts, not upon an a priori philosophical belief in human goodness. Because “fear” and/or internal moral conflict does not explain all of these people’s choices. A far more satisfying explanation is nonchalance, especially given Jacko’s gentle, sweet, playful disposition; because it is so general, it readily smooths out all of the kinks that would exist if you try to defend these folks using a fear/moral conflict thesis.

    I disagree with your “nonchalance” explanation Pea. I rather see it as it being easier for people to keep quiet and go along with it rather than do something about it. It happens ever day, things are ignored by people who should know better but just don’t want to get involved 🙁

    I do agree however that MJ’s covering up behavior put some people at ease. He talked of “missing out on a childhood”, “children are so innocent” and “children are the only ones who I trust” while he was entertaining young boys so it would be easy for many people to accept things at face value rather than think the worst. It’s how many people’s minds work.

    I don’t know what happened, and I’ll try to keep somewhat of an open mind to the possibility of being wrong, but, at this point, I think the molestation — not the alcohol or showing of pornography or even inappropriate but not illegal comments about wanting Gavin’s underwear — was a lie.

    I still haven’t finished researching the Arvizo case completely, but I’m with Kat on this one. I do believe that the Arvizos may have exaggerated the abuse, hence some backtracking in court (which was unfortunate) but I do believe Gavin was molested. The reason I say it may have been exaggerated is because I think the Arvizos were angry at MJ for promising them so much and subsequently dumping them, so they felt scorned and made up some things. From the evidence though I think that MJ was intoxicated with drugs or alcohol when molesting Gavin, not that that’s an excuse but his judgment would have been impaired and his inhibitions lowered. Plus there’s the fact that MJ wanted Gavin in his bed, that is indicative that MJ had molestation in mind (as would the supply of alcohol and pornography). I do believe MJ touched Gavin inappropriately.

    Gavin may have done poorly on the stand but he was still believable. Juror Katharina Carls summed it up well in her interview with Rita Cosby. She believed Gavin was telling the truth but that he was capable of lying, and she equated that with reasonable doubt.

    CARLS: Yes. It was very hard for me because I believed the boy and I believed that Michael is a child molester. And so I spent the whole weekend thinking about it, and I still cannot get past the reasonable doubt. There is (INAUDIBLE) reasonable doubt there, so I have to vote not guilty.

    COSBY: But you just said to me that you believe Michael Jackson is a child molester, is that correct?
    CARLS: That’s right.

    COSBY: But you let him walk, based on the law, is what you’re saying.
    CARLS: Well, I have to – I have to follow the law, yes, and the jury instruction.

    COSBY: And you’re just saying that there just wasn’t enough evidence, based on what you looked at in the law?
    CARLS: I – well, there – it’s just the family background. I kept asking myself, how – is there any slight possibility that this boy might lie at all? And my answer was yes. So I have to vote not guilty, even if there is a slight possibility.

    COSBY: But still in your heart of hearts, you’re telling me that you believe Michael Jackson is a child molester.
    CARLS: Yes. Yes, I do.

    Fans also say that “The Arvizos won’t talk now because they won’t be able to keep their lies straight”. I’m not sure what that’s based on. I believe that they just want to wipe their hands of MJ and aren’t interested in talking about him, just wanting to get on with their lives.


    But what I was simply saying is that there is little point to try to explain the actions of MJ’s employees in order to make people think Michael Jackson was a pedophile child molester because his actions speak for themselves. The fans have always used the “They went to the tabloids!” “They never went to the police!” “They took a settlement!”, etc etc, as some trump card to “prove” MJ was innocent and whatever these people are accusing him of are complete fabrications because of those reasons.

    His actions do speak for themselves. Anyone who studies MJ objectively quickly comes to the conclusion that his behavior was far from innocent. No matter what anyone else has said or done, that fact is immutable. Anyone pointing out what other people did is using the eqivalent of “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”.

    So, as I have seen in the six years of being both a fan and critic of MJ, there is a tendency by some to try to “clean up” the image of these employees/victims in order to argue the point that MJ was guilty, and this is being done from the standpoint of feeling that if one can place the actions of the employees/victims in a less supposedly negative light, I can win the argument with the fan — because I can still be able to use the information. The critic is therefore viewing reality through a prism of how things are done in a criminal court: juries only trust witnesses that are spotless; those that aren’t are never believed and are dismissed whole cloth. That is silly, as we know, because reality is a lot more complex than a story devised for the court.

    Yes, on occassion I’ve been guilty of trying to “clean up” the images of witnesses and people speaking the truth abouth MJ. In some circumstances it’s useful and even necessary, for instance when someone calls the Chandlers “extortionists” when they were nothing of the sort, or when they have said Blanca Franca was “fired for stealing” when that never happened. I guess in many cases it is a knee jerk reaction to the favorite tool in the MJ fan arsenal – the ad hominem attack. Rather than debate facts they prefer to attack the person espousing them. So even though many accurate facts are presented in “tabloids”, they have been proved correct but fans dismiss those facts because of where (or by who) they’ve been reported.

    As you say, it doesn’t make that “information any less valuable because all of it is independently corroborated by other sources.”

    MJ was guilty on his own. So if fans want to say x,y,z about these folks, I’ll say “What’s your point? How does any of this prove MJ wasn’t a molester?” I think it takes the power away from the only line of defense that MJ’s supporters have if you don’t waste time trying to put obviously sleazy choices in a light of moral conflict/fear. Tom Mesereau always says everyone came to get money but really, is that a good enough defense for MJ’s incessant need to have man-boy sleepovers? That he always had a boy with him since the early 1980s? How does an minimum wage employee selling stories to the tabloids change the fact that he willingly paid $20 million to the Chandlers only a month after his body was searched and photographed because Jordie said he could describe his genitals? It isn’t and it doesn’t; the “bad employee” narrative is simply a smokescreen used by fans to prevent a thorough evaluation of MJ’s own behavior.

    Bingo. I’ve given up arguing with fans about minutae such as “the Hayvenhurst 5 did this”, “Ralph Chacon didn’t do that”, or countless other talking points they have. It’s pointless, unproductive, and only meant to divert attention away from the actions of the only person who counts, MJ himself. Why would a man want to call up and have a young boy delivered to his bed at 1 AM? Just that question alone can have only one rational answer.


    Why would Gavin and his family lie and say that Gavin was molested and try to put MJ into prison if it wasn’t true? It’s something that genuinely baffles me. Why would anyone do that if there was no real reason behind it? Surely no one is morally bankrupt enough to accuse a person who hasn’t done anything wrong to them of such a horrible thing and try to place them behind bars for twenty years and ruin their reputation irreparably?

    This doesn’t just apply to Gavin, it would also apply to everyone else on the prosecution side of the case because if the Arvizo story had “so many holes” as Pea and Shawntay suggest then Sneddon and his team must have either been extremely gullible or deliberately allowing lies through. I don’t buy that. As I said above, I believe the Arvizos exaggerated but I don’t think they lied, MJ molested Gavin. I would need to go back over the transcripts and dig out the relevant parts to explain exactly why I think that, but I remember reading through that testimony and coming to that conclusion.

  • allysofwaderobson

    What I wonder is because Michael Jackson set up Neverland Ranch as somewhat of a charity would that make those employed as mandatory reporters. If so than there were many things that were going on that should of been reported to the authorities.

  • Star and Gavin claim that MJ walked into the room nude. Gavin claimed that he only saw MJ quickly and MJ wasn’t aroused or anything. Star on the other hand, according to the earliest telling of the incident, said that MJ was erect and basically flaunting his nudity in front of the boys, saying it was natural. He even said MJ sat on the bed near them.

    As I said before, the Arvizos exaggerated parts of their story, and this is a perfect example. The other one you mention, Star saying MJ had his hand on his genitals, which he later changed to his knee, when he was driving the golf cart is another. The basic premise, that Gavin was fondled and abused by MJ I completely accept.

    Let’s face it, if they were trying to invent a damning story they failed miserably. Gavin saying he was fondled five times, but could only be sure of two? If they wanted to “get” MJ they could have been far more inventive, and they had ample opportunity to fabricate evidence against MJ no matter which story they chose. I’m not strictly talking about molestation either, the Arvizos could have invented practically anything. Instead they “made up” a story based on Jackson’s pedophilia but didn’t deviate too much from his modus operandi.

    As for the Arvizos “copying” Jordan Chandler’s declaration, where is the fellatio? That seems an obvious one to add.

    Why add in the acohol, the pornography, Jackson walking in on them naked? The talk aboout masturbation and whether “white stuff comes out” (in addition to actual masturbation)? None of these were present in here

    If they wanted to making it believable, why not just “stick to the script”? I don’t believe they got anything from the Chandler declaration.

    The Arvizos clearly added in a lot of embellishments, but I haven’t seen anything yet to disabuse me of the notion that Gavin wasn’t molested apart from the exhortation “they were liars”. Yes, they lied about some things, but did Gavin le about being molested? I don’t think so, it just seems too unlikely.

    • Andreas Moss

      I don’t see many similarities to the Jordy story. Jordy was never drunk and I don’t remember Jordy ever talking about being shown porn. Of course, one could say it would be a difficult story to copy as Jordy and Michael had a closer relationship, but either way its quite different.

      Both Shawntay and Pea seem to accept that the boys were showing porn and drinking wine with Jackson in his bedroom, but I guess the counter-suggestion is that they only did this as some boyish buddy thing. A 40 year old multiple child molester and two underage boys were simply having ‘innocent’ fun watching porn together, just as a buddy thing? For once its not grooming? Just a case of an innocent situation where a 40 year old man with a sexual interest for young boys is showing two 12-13 year old boys porn, supposedly. In his own bedroom. Right.

      The story defenders of Michael usually come up with is that Michael was very concerned by his image by this point, and he was so worried with the media allegations from the Bashir documentary that it would be unlikely for him to molest someone and do anything inappropriate the boys. Even he wouldn’t be that crazy, right? Still, Pea and Shawntay still thinks MJ showed two underage boys porn and gave them wine in his bedroom. Does that sound like a Michael Jackson suddenly giving a damn? Come on.

      • Pea

        “Both Shawntay and Pea seem to accept that the boys were showing porn and drinking wine with Jackson in his bedroom, but I guess the counter-suggestion is that they only did this as some boyish buddy thing. … Just a case of an innocent situation where a 40 year old man with a sexual interest for young boys is showing two 12-13 year old boys porn, supposedly. In his own bedroom. Right.”

        No, that’s not the “counter-suggestion”.

        I believe Jacko gave them alcohol because it was testified to by Chris Carter and Jesus Salas. Carter stated that he’d seen Gavin drunk and that he’d seen Jacko sitting around with Aldo Cascio as well as the two Arvizo brothers drinking wine. (Or with wine glasses in front of and for each of them). Jesus Salas stated he’d brought wine and glasses to Jacko and boys (though he changed his story on the stand, adding that he also brought “a soda”). It’s also a fact that Ranch staff put a lock on the wine cellar door to keep kids from getting in to get drunk — a practice Jacko didn’t seem concerned by.

        Those are more reliable claims because they are corroborated by two other people unrelated to the Arvizo clan. Therefore, I think they are true.

        What I did say, however, is that insofar as the charges were concerned, I’m incredulous about Jacko plying the boys with wine with the intention to molest. I just know that he let them drink.

        Showing them pornography on those earliest visits also is a credible claim. Why? Because in “My Friend Michael”, Frank Cascio didn’t dispute that porn was shown; he just claimed that (a) it was the boys who’d pulled it up, and (b) it happened when they were 12- and 13-years-old. I knew this was a lie because the allegation of being shown Internet porn was when they were 10- and 11-year-olds on that earliest visit. That Frank didn’t lie totally — and even tried to give them the benefit of the doubt about being “curious” — was significant to me; it told me that it likely happened. But his version of events is specious, as I’ve mentioned before, because 10- and 11-year-old boys wouldn’t know where to find online porn back then.

        But, as we know, no molestation happened at that point, even though I believe that was Jacko being damned inappropriate and “testing the waters”, if you will.

        Now, did Jacko show them porn to molest them, as they claim? I’m not so sure about that. I am not sure Jacko molested either Arvizo boy. Their stories give me pause.

        You seem to have a problem with what you feel is a lack of follow through — that believing porn was shown (earliest visits only; they could’ve gotten into the enormous amounts of porn on their own later on) and booze was given should lead to believing the molestation claims. No, not necessarily.

    • ShawntayUStay

      What is your explanation for the embellishments?
      Why do you think these embellishments were added in the first place?
      Which parts of the Arvizos’ story do you think are true and which do you think are false?
      If you think some parts are true and some are false, why is there a mixture facts and lies?
      Do you think the lies are significant? If not, why?

      I’m also curious about what you think of the verdict and its significance. I’m personally still having trouble rectifying a NG verdict that is compounded by the number of inconsistencies in the entire Arvizo story, with the idea that Gavin is completely telling the truth.

      • Hi Shawntay, all I can give you is an incomplete answer because I haven’t had time to look at the huge volumes of material again which would take hundreds of hours. Hopefully I can do that one day 😉

        I can give you an answer based on memory of what I’ve read in the past, plus a couple of items I’ve read over the past few days – the transcript of the phone interview between Stan Katz and Detective Paul Zelis, Tom Meserau’s closing arguments (starting from page 275) and continuing here, and Ron Zonen’s reply to Tom Mesereau after that (in the same document).

        I was disappointed to see lies in T-Mez’s closing arguments, for instance calling Larry Feldman and Stan Katz “close friends” when they were nothing of the sort, saying that Stan Katz had “never heard of children making false claims for money”, saying that the Arvizos were “constantly calling celebrities, constantly hounding them for money.”, quoting Dr David Esplin as saying “most false claims of molestation come from children ten and up and usually the motive is financial gain” (it’s children coached as part of custody disputes), and accusing Janet of making up a claim of her husband David molesting Davellin (when he himself admitted it was true). He needed lies like that to back up his “Arvizos as scammers” defense, a defense which doesn’t bear close scrutiny.

        Surprisingly Mesereau didn’t spend much time on the molestation claim at all. Apart from the “this is part of the scam to get money in a civil trial” defense, Mesereau pushes this line:

        “Q. Mr. Arvizo, when you claim you were inappropriately touched by Mr. Jackson, you claim there were no witnesses watching, correct?


        And I identified that problem yesterday. You got a lying witness, no independent witness supporting it, and no forensics. No DNA, no semen, no hair, no fiber. Nothing.

        So it was turned into a “he said, he said” issue – except MJ never got on the stand to give his version of events of course. A classic defense in child molestation cases: no forensics, discredit the accuser, and the abuser gets off scot free.

        Also I was surprised to see many of your arguments are almost identical to Tom Mesereau’s. I’m not criticizing you for that, I guess you may be viewing things through the same lens as him.

        What is your explanation for the embellishments?
        Why do you think these embellishments were added in the first place?

        The Arvizos were people who exaggerated, they were people who were over the top and effusive. They were used to embellishing stories.

        Which parts of the Arvizos’ story do you think are true and which do you think are false, and why?

        The conspiracy story is true, but once again, exaggerated. There is no doubt that there was a conspiracy by associates of Jackson to control this family so they wouldn’t go to the press. They used coercion, lies and threats to keep them close where they could keep an eye on them. I don’t know if MJ was involved in that. That Janet could leave the property at will, or with little difficulty, is not disputed. I do remember something about the boys photos being up in the guard booth with instructions that they were not to leave the property without authority. The story about there being no clocks or calendars at Neverland is far fetched and I believe designed to cover up for the boys mistaking so many dates – Janet wanted so much to be believable. Whether you think that is part of some “scam”, or a self esteem issue on Janet’s part, I’ll leave up to the reader.

        The molestation is true. I believe that for several reasons.

        Number one of course is that Michael Jackson is a pedophile. That’s not enough though, because he didn’t molest every boy he met. He molested only particular boys, we can say “special friends”. I say that despite suggestions to the contrary, MJ viewed Gavin along the similar lines as his other special friends, if not at the beginning of their relationship, then certainly towards the end of his stay at Neverland. They spent a lot of time together, MJ kept him close.

        I can understand the reasons that the Arvizos were at Neverland. I have to ask though why Jackson would specifically want the Arvizo boys in his bedroom during February and March 2003. Jackson was very good at avoiding people, he had even avoided Gavin on occasion previously. Janet and Davellin stayed in a guest house a considerable distance from the house, Gavin and Star were in the main house and in Jackson’s bedroom. MJ didn’t have to do that. In fact, the whole furor was over MJ sharing his bed with a boy, yet here was MJ doing exactly that again. That would give anyone pause (apart from fans who insist “MJ saw nothing wrong with it, that’s why he kept doing it.”) considering there was a whole contingent of people struggling to rehabilitate MJ’s image after the Bashir documentary. I would suggest it’s like a male celebrity accused of philandering deciding to visit his erstwhile mistress while his PR team works feverishly to portray him as a family man. It makes no sense whatsoever. The only reason for the sleepovers was because MJ had a plan to molest Gavin.

        Then there is the point about Gavin’s interview with Stan Katz, the child abuse expert. Gavin was reticent to admit MJ molested him. Gavin was also distressed when discussing the molestation. The most damning thing, from the victim of an acquaintance molester point of view, was the feeling Stan Katz got from Gavin – that by disclosing about MJ, Katz felt that “on some level he’s betraying his friend”. Some may make the argument from all this that Gavin was just acting and was reluctant to take part in scam devised by his mother, yet he convinced someone who had heard hundreds of allegations of molestation both true and false (and was trained to tell the difference) that although bizarre, his claims were credible.

        Tom Mesereau used the defense that because he was hesitant to betray his friend, Gavin was lying about the abuse in his police interview:

        You see someone who is acting. And you see someone who’s hesitant about condemning Michael Jackson, who fundamentally he likes, because he said he liked him right on the witness stand. I’m going to show you. So you’ve got to look at that tape with skepticism.

        Gavin merely behaved as a victim of an acquaintance abuser would behave.

        I would also include in that the reluctance to be interviewed by law enforcement in Santa Barbara.

        Another point is the relatively benign allegations. There was just some initial fondling and masturbation with clothes on, nothing more. Perfectly in line with MJ’s “softly, softly” approach. There was no fellatio, which would have been far more damning and if the Arvizos had researched the Chandler accusations or acquaintance molesters in general they could have easily included it if they were attempting a scam. There was certainly no allegations of penetration, even digitally. There were no allegations of force, even of MJ forcing Gavin to touch him. For people who supposedly needed a conviction to go ahead with their scam, the claims were very wishy washy.

        Which brings me to their supposed motivation for their supposed “scam”. Mesereau suggested they were vultures without a conscience, ready to scam anyone for money. It’s true they lied in the JC Penney case. I don’t know if Janet lied about the sexual assault (I need to look at that carefully again), but after she left David Arvizo she did go back to her lawyers and admit that she lied about not being a victim of domestic assault in her deposition. The lawyers said they would fix up her testimony to reflect that. They never did. She received a $152,000 settlement, $85,000 of which went to the lawyers representing her, leaving her with $67,000. She put money from that settlement into trust funds for Gavin ($25,000) and Star ($8,000) where nobody could touch it until they were 18. Going back to admit she lied? Putting money in a trust fund? Some scammer lol.

        After that her modus operandi was befriending celebrities, even shamelessly sucking up to them, and telling them sob stories about her life. Some celebrities gave the family money because they felt sorry for them. At no time did any Arvizo attempt to make false accusations against any of these celebrities, even when they became close to the family and even though some were quite wealthy. That wasn’t what the Arvizos were about. What Janet did do was make false claims for welfare. Nobody can defend that, but it doesn’t even come close to falsely accusing a celebrity.

        There is the problem of calling the Arvizos money hungry scammers when in the ten years to date after the trial they have never tried to scam anyone, haven’t grifted, haven’t asked anyone for money, haven’t done any interviews for money. In fact they’ve been model citizens. That’s quite a contrast to how they were painted at the trial, “con artists, actors and liars”. If they were truly as the defense painted them, nothing would have stopped them making a civil claim, or moving on to a new target.

        I know the Arvizos have lied, and I’m not defending that. My point is that the motive painted to support a case of making these allegations as part of a scam because they were total scum of the earth just doesn’t add up. There may be a different motive for their “lies”, but that isn’t it.

        As for the alcohol and pornography claims, that is true. Even if someone wanted to argue that MJ didn’t directly offer it to them he certainly made it easily accessible which is just as bad. I know legally it’s different, but morally it isn’t.

        If you think some parts are true and some are false, why is there a mixture facts and lies?
        Do you think the lies are significant? If not, why?

        They did lie about some things. What did they lie about? How significant are they? I would need to go through every statement they have ever made and compare it to other things they’ve said, no easy task, then compare. I’m also concerned with core issues, not things at the periphery.

        How many embellishments do you think have to be uncovered before we are allowed to view the Arvizos’ allegations with suspicion/ dismiss them?

        One embellishment should make anyone suspicious. Dismissing them is a personal decision, that’s up to the individual.

        I’m also curious about what you think of the verdict and its significance. I’m personally still having trouble rectifying a NG verdict that is compounded by the number of inconsistencies in the entire Arvizo story, with the idea that Gavin is completely telling the truth.

        The verdict was in accordance with the instructions to the jury and Tom Mesereau’s arguments. To quote:

        “A witness, who is willfully false in one material part of his or her testimony, is to be distrusted in others. You may reject the whole testimony of a witness who willfully has testified falsely as to a material point, unless, from all the evidence, you believe the probability of truth favors his or her testimony in other particulars.”

        Mesereau successfully convinced the jury that the Arvizos lied in part of their testimony, so they rejected all of it. As T-Mez put it:

        The issue in this case is the life, the future, the freedom and the reputation of Michael Jackson. That’s what’s about to be placed in your hands. And the question you have before you is very simple. Do you believe the Arvizos beyond a reasonable doubt, or not? If you don’t, Mr. Jackson must go free. I submit, based upon the testimony you’ve heard, the witnesses you’ve seen, the issues you’ve seen addressed, there is no way in the world you can find that the Arvizos are trustworthy beyond a reasonable doubt. And if you can’t do that, if anything they said to you, if anything they presented to you causes you to pause and wonder or suspect what really happened, Mr. Jackson must be acquitted under our legal system.

        That is where the jury got their reasonable doubt, and in their opinion MJ had to be acquitted.

        We, however, aren’t constrained by such a strict interpretation (thank goodness!). Just because the Arvizos lied about X doesn’t automatically mean they lied about Y. We also have the benefit of hindsight (which means we now know the Arvizos weren’t inveterate con artists as the defense chose to paint them).

        Also, you seem to be saying that Gavin et al must be telling the truth because the story is, in your opinion, so subtle. But I’d argue that subtlety is more likely to be accepted by another person than something seemingly off the wall. So it isn’t at all far fetched that if the Arvizos were lying about molestation they’d be smart enough to allege acts that didn’t leave marks; weren’t so intimate as to risk being questioned about the appearance of MJ’s genitals (that they wouldn’t be able to describe); or seem more appropriate for a longer grooming process, since the boys were only around MJ for roughly 21 days. Masturbation would therefore be a safer bet.

        That’s an opinion dependent on whether there is acceptance that the Arvizos were lying about the molestation or not. I don’t see a motive for lying unless their ultimate goal was to make money after the trial. Their behavior doesn’t even remotely suggest that.

    • Pea

      “If they wanted to “get” MJ they could have been far more inventive, and they had ample opportunity to fabricate evidence against MJ no matter which story they chose. I’m not strictly talking about molestation either, the Arvizos could have invented practically anything. Instead they “made up” a story based on Jackson’s pedophilia but didn’t deviate too much from his modus operandi.”

      If you recall the earliest iterations of their story, they were more fantastic as far as the alleged sex abuse was concerned. Earliest versions, for example, included Star as a victim; him being a chubby boy made it immediately suspect. But thanks to prosecutorial fat-trimming (no pun intended), the story became more in line with Jacko’s wheelhouse. It’s far more believable that Gavin, a slim boy, would be the target of Jacko’s desires.

      And with talk of hot air balloon travel (no doubt picked up from Jacko’s comments in the Bashir documentary about flying in one with Mac Culkin), death threats, sleeping pills given, urine dumped, and being barred from knowing the time of day, their story did include just about everything! 🙂

      “The Arvizos clearly added in a lot of embellishments, but I haven’t seen anything yet to disabuse me of the notion that Gavin wasn’t molested apart from the exhortation “they were liars”. Yes, they lied about some things, but did Gavin le about being molested? I don’t think so, it just seems too unlikely.”

      In spite of the admission that they “ad-libbed the script” about some things, including Star’s molestation and seeing Jacko naked, it seems ironic to then say, “It just seems too unlikely” that Gavin would lie. But how so? Because Star was husky we can easily dismiss his claim without bothering to evaluate why he lied since it was already too absurd? Gavin and Star are incredibly close; if Star can fabricate a story about being molested, so, too, can Gavin. It’s not unlikely at all.

  • yaso

    I know this is somewhat off topic, But do you think MJ’ closest celebrity friends and defenders like Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando knew the truth that Michael was a pedophile? i want to know because i will lose any respect to those people if they knew the ugly truth and yet helped him cover up.

    • ShawntayUStay

      That’s a good question. If you look at the people who have made positive statements about MJ, they seem to genuinely like him; they have nothing but good things to say about him. So I believe that most of these people don’t think he was a pedophile. They probably think that he was the man-child that he always portrayed himself to be.

      Also, MJ always seemed to be a stickler about his reputation, at least for the most part. So I doubt he paraded his “boy loving ways” around the folks he wanted to impress. Lisa Marie Presley said something interesting: MJ act a certain way if he wanted something from a person (i.e., mind his Ps and Qs), and if he didn’t care about a person, he’d act whatever way he wanted. I think that’s probably a good explanation as to why, even though there seems to be quite a bit of evidence showing him guilty, these celebrity friends of his think otherwise.

      I do not think that Elizabeth Taylor thought MJ was a pedophile. Same goes for Marlon Brando. Miko Brando, Marlon’s son? I think he knows far more than he lets on. According to Latoya Jackson, during an appearance On Geraldo in 94, Miko Brando was MJ’s right hand man and would do prett much everything asked of him, including sourcing him with “boxes” of “skin creams” that Latoya believed were dangerous. In Vanity Fair, Miko Brando allegedly rounded up kids for MJ’s sleepovers and Liz told him “enough is enough”

      A person close to Elizabeth recalls that “the only time I ever saw her put her foot down about Michael was when Marlon Brando’s son Miko, who was working as one of Michael’s bodyguards, was rounding up kids for Michael’s sleepovers. Elizabeth got wind of it, and she really came down hard. She knew it wasn’t right—she had grandchildren of her own—and that, even if they were the innocent little sleepovers Michael claimed, he was still on dangerous ground.”

      People like Bill Bray, who was with MJ for decades and during his many relationships with his special boy friends, and I think Frank Dileo, probably knew about MJ’s “proclivities”. Gary Hearne drove MJ and boys around for years — he probably knew, too.

      So, in my opinion, I think the celebrity friends were largely in the dark, but the “behind-the-scenes” people, who were with MJ all the time, likely put two-and-two together, at the very least, or knew outright and kept his secret, at the very worst.

      • Melissa

        I’ve read this on your twitter. If Liz really said this, maybe she suspected something but wasn’t sure so she defended him? I read that MJ basically bought her friendship with jewels.

        • ShawntayUStay

          Yea, LOL, I’ve heard that. He did the same with Marlon Brando at the 30th Anniversary Special, buying his attendance. Do you really think Liz was so cynical? IDK, but Brooke Shields said MJ assumed he had to buy his way into people’s hearts :-/

      • yaso

        I’m Sure the people who worked closely for Michael like Bill , Dileo or others KNEW the truth…But the thing about Miko Brando is new for me (Though Not surprising because i saw him on Larry King after MJ’ death covering up and denying MJ had any drug problem and that it was just vicious rumors! i was like COME ON), i know he worked for him but i thought he was more a friend than a bodyguard because he was Marlon Brando’ son so different rules applied to him…but it turned out he was just another disgusting pimp for Michael.

        I think Liz Taylor and Brando had their doubts but just played dumb because they were charmed by MJ’ fake tactics and his expensive generous gifts, i’m SURE Michael was at his best behavior around those people But i had hard time believing that someone like Marlon Brando who was an expert in reading people (they called him the human x-ray that he could read through people’ minds) bought into this child-man BS…i don’t know but it’s just so disrupting that many people around him knew about his criminal sick behavior and remained silent at the very best or helped him at the worst.

        • ShawntayUStay

          I forgot about him on Larry King, and never thought much about it because I was a fan then. But retrospectively, I did make a lot of excuses for MJ, about the drug use and MJ’s children. I feel he loved MJ and was willing to protect him at any cost. The same goes for Bill Bray and Dileo; they all loved him too much to see him imprisoned and/or ruined.

          You may be right about Liz and Marlon, but I just truly think they chose to see him in the best light possible. Perhaps they had suspicions, and how could they not? MJ had no qualms parading his little boy friends around in public, why not around them? I wonder what was going on through Liza Minelli’s head when she accompanied MJ, Jimmy Safechuck, and Jimmy’s mom to Phantom of the Opera on Broadway circa March 88? I mean there are pictures of Liza holding one of MJ’s hands and a 10 year old boy holding the other! That’s rather odd for a 29 year old single man with no girlfriend or children!

          • yaso

            You know, when i heard Miko Brando on Larry King denying the drug use, i was still MJ’ fan too and knew that he was lying to protect his friend..i had absolutely no problem then (i believed he was just covering up the drug abuse) But drug use is one thing and child molestation and pimping kids for sleepovers and sex abuse is another thing..if any person knew about those crimes and remained silent or worse helped him continue and covered up for him like Bill Bray, Norma, Miko, and others, they are guilty as much as MJ, i don’t care if they loved him too much or if he was their best friend, the LEAST thing they can do is to distance themselves from such a person, they are a sorry pathetic excuse of humanbeings. They helped a pedophile molest more and more children over the years and getting away with it.

    • Andreas

      Lionel Richie(co-writer of We Are The World) did express lately that Michaels relationship with the little boys didn’t make a whole lot of sense to him, implying something wasn’t right about it. And Elton John in 93′, who is rumored to have Michael hiding over at his place in England when the Chandler police investigation was going on, did say if he was charged with something devestating like that, and it was false, he would fight the allegations no matter what, and wouldn’t pay millions of dollars for it to go away.

      I’m sure for the most part his celebrity friends were in the same boat as every mortal looking at the case. They just had no way of knowing for sure, but most likely wanted to believe he was innocent. There’s other people in the saga that could be blamed for helping to cover up though.

    • Michelle

      I remember reading an article quite some time ago now – in the later years of MJ’s life – that Elizabeth Taylor had privately distanced herself from Michael Jackson somewhat. It was a long time ago and a ‘gossip’ feature so I cannot be entirely sure of that information. I got the impression he had become estranged from many of his former friends in his final years. But Liz had always seemed so loyal to him so I remembered that article.

    • Florville

      If you read a lot about Brando, you start to realize that his mind was into the politics of “oppressed peoples.” For example, he was in on the Civil Rights Movement and Indian Rights. A lot of the film roles he accepted also had a political bent. Jackson was famous for starting charities – more famous for starting them than funding them. Brando would have gone for that in a big way. He was a bird of a feather, too – made a big deal over the Indians but later cut his connection to them. Great character, Brando – interesting mix of humanitarian and sociopath. Read his autobiography for details of getting caught stealing building equipment and nailing another man’s wife in the man’s home.

  • The Queen Of Swords

    And for some odd reason people are still wondering why Wade and James were suing MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures since the times both were also suing the Estate.

    Norma Staikos is the devil. I always wanted these evil people helping him to be exposed as well. Thank “God” they all are, now.

  • I believe she still lives in California.