Saturday, November 22
Jackson makes music as abuse claims leak
Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles, The Guardian, November 22, 2003
Boy at centre of case said to be cancer patient whom singer met at children's hospital and invited to Neverland
Michael Jackson was yesterday back in Las Vegas making a music video as details of the allegations against him and the people behind them began to leak from both sides in the case.
Setting the stage for what could be a sensational celebrity trial next year, it was reported yesterday that the boy at the centre of the sex abuse claims is a cancer patient who first met Jackson when the singer was visiting a children's hospital in Los Angeles last year.
The boy and some members of his family were later invited to stay at the singer's Neverland ranch in Santa Barbara county and the boy's medical fees were paid by Jackson.
The family and Jackson became friends, it has emerged. The singer's supporters were suggesting yesterday that there was a dispute between Jackson and the boy's mother which has prompted the current prosecution. The mother is separated from the boy's father. [...more]
It emerged yesterday that Jackson had retained the high-profile defence lawyer Mark Geragos as long ago as last February, indicating that he was aware that there was a possibility of a raid or prosecution. [...more]
His return to Las Vegas prompted a bizarre, two-hour pursuit of the singer's car through the streets by members of the media, with television news helicopters hovering above. Jackson's car stopped on a number of occasions and the singer waved to fans.
The previous day in Santa Barbara a news cameraman covering the events outside the county jail died after suffering a heart attack. Yesterday fans gathered outside Jackson's hotel in Las Vegas to show their support. They carried placards protesting his innocence.
After his release from police custody, Jackson waved to reporters and flashed a V-sign.
"Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. The truth will win this marathon in court," the entertainer said in a statement issued by spokesman Stuart Backerman.
Nightmare in Neverland
Mark Lawson, The Guardian, November 22, 2003
Insanity caused by celebrity might be Michael Jackson's best defence
The reason people are photographed as soon as they are arrested is that identification is a key issue in most crimes. But, in the case of apprehended celebrities, the numbered mugshot has another significance. Part of fame is the ability to control the way your face is seen. Stars release carefully sanitised publicity shots taken after calibrated applications of make-up and light. So, for them, the police station photo-shoot declares in a particularly vivid way the surrender of their destiny.
Following Hugh Grant, OJ Simpson, Robert Downey Jr and Phil Spector to the California camera-call all performers hope to avoid, Michael Jackson stares out through messy hair with a bathroom-mirror pallor in an image which his publicists would mark a large X through on a magazine contact sheet. His facial reconstructions of recent years had already left a resemblance to a young deer experiencing fear but, in this Santa Barbara sheriff's department snap, the fawn looks only seconds away from headlights and fender.
Which - in legal terms - Jacko now perhaps is. A really sensible middle-aged man would have refrained from ever holding pyjama parties at his compound for 12-year-old boys. A moderately sensible man would have abandoned the practice after paying out millions of dollars to the parents of one of his little room-mates. Only a very stupid or deluded 45-year-old male would have continued to let schoolboys near his duvet, as Jackson admitted was the case in his ITV1 interview with Martin Bashir.
One of the perks of being a celebrity is that your weaknesses are indulged by your staff and admirers. Usually, these predilections involve women, booze, drugs or fast cars, in which case the star is threatening only himself or, at worst, another adult. But Michael Jackson's soft spot was for befriending adolescent boys.
A man who has never seemed psychologically at ease with being black or getting older, he seems to have set himself the task of becoming whiter and younger throughout his middle years. He insists that his need to have boys on his ranch is innocent; others fear paedophilia. The definition of these friendships will now - and not before time - be tested in court. [...more]
Michael Jackson Accuser Was In Bashir Documentary
Paul Cashmere, undercover.com.au, November 23, 2003
The child at the centre of the current Michael Jackson accusations was seen earlier this year in the Martin Bashir special 'Living With Michael Jackson'.
It has become known that 12 year old Gavin Arvizo is the child behind the claim. He was featured in Bashir's special and was with Jackson in the scene where he admits sleeping with children.
The Los Angeles Times were first to name Arvizo as the child behind the allegations that lead to the arrest of Jackson in Santa Barbara on Thursday. Jackson was later released on $US 3 million bail.
After 'Living with Michael Jackson' screened earlier this year a statement was released via Jackson's lawyer stating "Michael is devastated and feels utterly betrayed by the British television programme, Living With Michael Jackson, presented by Martin Bashir and broadcast in the UK on Monday, February 3, 2003, which he regards as a gross distortion of the truth and a tawdry attempt to misrepresent his life and his abilities as a father".
The singer will now face court over the current allegations on January 9, 2004.