Home Uncategorized Michael Jackson Slimed By British Press: Here’s the REAL Story from 2005

I’ve been alerted to a story in the British press about Michael Jackson paying off 24 families of children he supposedly molested. Readers of this column must know that I have almost a PhD in Michael Jackson. The story is not true. It’s based on files left behind by a National Enquirer reporter, now dead, called Jim Mitteager. In 2005 I went through tons of Mitteager’s files, re-reporting them. A lot of it was just poppycock.  Read this whole column I published back then. I did a lot of work on it. As devil’s advocate, I tried to find someone who would say they were molested by Michael Jackson. No one would because, I think, no one had been.

From March 2005, c2013 Showbiz411.com

Was there a kid who made a deal with Michael Jackson before his first accuser settled with the pop star for $20 million in 1993?

Tape recordings left behind by a deceased National Enquirer reporter would suggest there was, but on closer inspection, it turns out there probably wasn’t.

In fact, the tapes show that there was a zealous push on the part of the supermarket tabloids 12 years ago to find any boy who might have been abused by Jackson.

This will be a disappointment for Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon, who has not been able to produce any other Jackson “victims” so far.

On Monday, Judge Rodney Melville will hold a hearing to determine whether or not Jackson’s “prior” acts can be brought into this trial.

If they are allowed, what could they be and where did they come from? And are they real?

Sneddon is prepared to subpoena every ex-Jackson employee and cop who was involved in the first case, even those who’ve since sold their stories to the tabloids. The result could be a veritable list of the supermarket tabs’ sources and leakers from a dozen years ago.

Like a tabloid Richard Nixon, National Enquirer and Globe writer Jim Mitteager taped most of his conversations about Jackson when he covered the story in 1993-94.

Mitteager, who was later dismissed from the papers for sexual harassment, talks to his sources and his editors very candidly.

The result is a revealing look at how the tabs salivated to get the most salacious story about Jackson, often disregarding the exact truth for kernels of plausible items that could be inflated into screaming front-page headlines.

Mitteager bequeathed the tapes to Paul Barresi, a self-styled investigator, trusting him to “do the right thing with them.” Barresi thought the tapes had value, but could not have guessed what historical importance they would acquire.

Mitteager inadvertently kept a record of much of what is in the news today concerning Hollywood’s underbelly. The tapes include anecdotes about many celebrities and lawyers, as well as incarcerated private eye Anthony Pellicano, who once worked for Jackson.

Barresi has a long history of involvement with the Jackson story.

In 1993, the pop star’s former cook and housekeeper, Philip and Stella LeMarque, asked him to sell their story about sexual abuse at Neverland.

The LeMarques, who were slight acquaintances of Barresi, had only worked at Neverland for about 10 months and left after the first molestation case broke in 1991.

Like many disgruntled former Jackson employees, the LeMarques are now on Sneddon’s witness list. The Quindoys, another couple who also sold their story, are ready to testify as well.

But Barresi realized early on that the LeMarques were probably not telling the truth.

“I concluded that it was all about the money and not about protecting a child from a predator,” he told me.

The couple, he said, began embellishing their story when they came to believe they could get $500,000 for it. In the end, they received nothing.

Barresi wound up turning over his taped interviews with the couple to then-Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti. They are now in the hands of Jackson’s prosecutor.

The coup de grace, Barresi says, happened later, when he listened to Mitteager’s tapes. On one of them, it’s noted that the LeMarques had tried to sell their story of child molestation at Neverland long before the first case broke in 1991.

“They couldn’t get any takers,” recalls Barresi. “But why didn’t they just go to the police?”

Often the Globe printed stories, written by Mitteager, that were based on the flimsiest of evidence.

Mitteager, at least in the case of Jackson, relied heavily on a sketchy stringer named Taylea Shea. Her veracity consequently became integral to a lot of tabloid reporting at the time.

Shea, who seems to have gone by a number of aliases and had a long list of addresses and phone numbers, could not be contacted for this story, despite many tries.

Neighbors at the Los Angeles address at which she lived the longest do not remember her fondly. They recall a hustler and con woman who was always on the take.

“She should be in jail, if she hasn’t been already,” one former friend and neighbor said.

On one tape, Shea reads what sounds convincingly like a legal document drawn up between Jackson and a 12-year-old boy named Brandon P. Richmond, who is represented by his mother, Eva Richmond.

Brandon, according to the document, received $600,000 from Jackson. He and Jackson would no longer have any contact with each other.

Shea read the document, which is dated July 1992, to Mitteager the following year.

This would have been a blockbuster, if true, because it would make Brandon, not the differently-named boy who settled with Jackson in 1993, the first of Jackson’s accusers.

Shea also says on the tape that the legal document came from the offices of famed Hollywood lawyer Bert Fields, Jackson’s attorney at the time.

No reason is given why Jackson and Brandon Richmond should be separated. The implication, however, is clear.

The Globe published the story without using names. Over time, it was assumed that Brandon P. Richmond was in fact Brandon Adams, a boy who had appeared in Jackson’s “Moonwalker” video.

Discussions on the tapes indicate that the tabloids also believed the two Brandons were one and the same. But there’s a problem with Shea’s story: Nothing adds up.

For one thing, a source close to Fields says the document uses language uncommon to their usual agreements.

Then there’s the actual family.

According to the Adamses, whom I met in January, they don’t know an Eva Richmond.

Brandon Adams’ mother is named Marquita Woods. And Brandon’s grandmother assures me she knows nothing of a $600,000 payment. The family has lived in a modest home in Baldwin Hills, Calif., for 30 years.

Brandon Adams, who is now 25, is a struggling actor. He appeared in “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and the indie film “MacArthur Park,” and is currently working on building a music career.

“I wish I had $600,000,” he said. “I’m broke.”

The Adamses pointed out that Brandon never visited Neverland, just the Jackson family home in Encino.

For a short time they were friendly not only with the Jacksons, but with Sean Lennon and his mother Yoko Ono, who were also part of “Moonwalker.” But the relationship seems to have ended well before Taylea Shea’s big scoop.

Was Shea simply lying to Mitteager to collect a big fee? It would seem so.

On the tapes, Mitteager tells an editor that Shea also has “shocking” material about David Geffen and Keanu Reeves, among others. None of it would turn out to be true, but all of it was tabloid fodder that spread to more mainstream publications for a short time.

Curiously, nobody I spoke with who worked at the tabloids could remember Shea. And her own alleged main source — an attorney then associated with the office of Larry Feldman, the first accuser’s lawyer — insists vehemently that she did not know Shea and had little knowledge of the case anyway.

Suddenly, the value of the Mitteager tapes takes on a new meaning.

Barresi, a sometime investigator and tabloid source in the past, is aware that he’s in possession of materials that demonstrate how the supermarket tabloids operated in their heyday — the era of O.J. Simpson, Jackson and other scandals.

But one tabloid editor still in the business cautioned, “Don’t paint all of us with the same brush. We did a lot of excellent work on Simpson.”

Indeed, though it’s hard to separate them in our minds, the Globe — then under a different owner — had a much lower standard of proof than did the Enquirer in the early 1990s. And Mitteager came from the Globe’s mentality, according to sources with whom I have spoken.

At one point, in running down lists of kids who’d spent time with Jackson, Mitteager rattles off the name of a boy with the conviction that Jackson, who had befriended him, must have also acted inappropriately with him.

But it was only wishful thinking on the part of a tabloid reporter.

It turns out that the boy was 9 years old in 1993 and died shortly thereafter from leukemia. He’d met Jackson through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Even Jackson’s staunchest critics would agree that it is hard to fathom how this boy could have been the object of the singer’s romantic interests.

Read also: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/04/11/jacko-major-domo-lied-about-cashing-in/

and this: http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/04/07/former-proteacutegeacute-vouches-for-jacko/

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
27 replies to this post
  1. […] Back in 2005, in an apparent act of desperation, when his case was on the skids, Santa Barbara DA Tom Sneddon put the LeMarques on the witness stand in Jackson’s 2005 trial. Their testimony was destroyed under cross examination and a very conservative jury rejected their testimony. This “FBI file” story was quickly debunked by a variety of news sources including the following; http://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/03/showbiz/michael-jackson-files/index.html,http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/07/michael-jackson-lawyer-tom-mesereau-never-paid-millions-silence-abused-kids/, http://www.showbiz411.com/2013/06/30/michael-jackson-fbi-files-are-from-people-discredited-long-time-ago, http://www.showbiz411.com/2013/06/30/michael-jackson-slimed-by-british-press-heres-the-real-story-fr… Michael’s actual FBI files were released in 2009, which you can see online on the FBI’s website, and they vindicate him more than anything else. It is interesting, however, that when this story first came out, Wade proclaimed that those so called “FBI” files proved his allegations and asked his lawyers to get a hold of them. After the story was disproven, however, he was suddenly silent. Now for him to say that this “FBI” file story is proof that he’s telling the truth only tells me the opposite and shows how desperate he is, and shows the lack of substance his case has. […]

  2. Disgruntled because they were fired, selling horrible stories because they are bad people who wanted to profit from a situation for hundreds and thousands of dollars. The idea anyone would continue working for this awful terrible pedophile instead of calling the police is bizarre, perhaps that’s how you’d react and that says enough about your own credentials as a person, but then to sell stories to the tabloids and to make them more and more lurid for more money without even contacting the police, hell, in this instance NOT wanting the police involved? Yes, I’d say you’re alone on that and thank God for that. Blanca Francia recanted her story when she had to speak under oath in 1993, only when she decided MJ had also abused her son and she wanted a paycheque did she change her mind back – she’s not exactly going to try and speak well of a man she’d tried to sell stories about him sexually abusing kids including her own, is she? Your lack of common sense of any kind is actually a bit scary.

    And yes, again, Jordan does privately recant and I do apologize you are not one of the people he’d share this info with as it seems you’d likely have one of those Wade breakdowns upon hearing it.

  3. Ab:

    If you’ve read the FBI report on child molesters, skilled abusers will often choose kids from broken families and shower the kid with love and attention so that the kid relies on the abuser emotionally. The body responds to touch, and as wrong as it may be/sound…the victims may actually ‘enjoy’ the abuse. In these cases, the child will often comply and not object to the abuser’s advances. And yes, even going back willingly and not tell people.

    Michael Jackson was very skilled at what he does with his targets (as are many molesters according to the report). He doesn’t just jump to the abuse right away. It’s a slow progress to warm the kid up. He may ‘accidentally’ touch him, serve him alcohol, show him heterosexual porn, ‘teach’ him how to masturbate etc. The abuse is a progression so the victim will not feel alarmed.

    In Wade Robson’s case, Michael Jackson told him that what they were doing was okay & that it was an extension of their love. He was 7 at the time it began and since Jackson understood how kids function better than most people, it makes sense that Wade completely bought it and didn’t know that it was abuse until many years later.

    It seems that Wade did not mind the abuse at the time & he may have willingly participated and even ‘enjoyed’ it…That, plus Michael Jackson’s active brainwashing and warnings etc. all contributed to him (and many others) not telling what happened.



  6. Now, if in 2005 the Arvizo family paid the court and even paid to Michael a couple of million for moral damages, today Wade would have thought before giving his claim.

  7. So, since my initial comments were deleted, I write post them again. Verify if there are any hate speech or personal attacks.


    I did not automatically assume that because MJ was rich, famous and powerful that he must be a molester. Having 3 accusations on top of that however, does and should make me and anyone suspicious – unless you’re a crazy fan who think that he was a god.

    Most sane parents would not want to say that their child was victim of abuse unless it is true. Even when it is true, most people would choose it keep it a secret. Tell me why would Blanca Francia lie in court. Someone else paid her more than MJ to make her lie? She’d have to return his $2million in that case, no? But she never did.

    Aaron Carter have seen glimpses of MJ’s bedroom activity with young boys, check it out: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=APO3GjbYIJA


    If Jordan told anybody that it wasn’t true, show me proof that he said that. Otherwise, it’s just another fan made speculation. But even *if* he did say that, not far fetched to think that he said it to avoid the stigmas attached to sex abuse.

    Selling a story to the tabloid is unethical but does not automatically mean the story is false.

    MJ WAS powerful. The people that you mentionned have all suffered from fan harrassment and threats. If you think having millions of fans world wide and millions of $ in the pocket, PLUS connections to important people is NOT powerful you are delusional. Michael Jackson liked to pretend to be a victim to generate support. Don’t forget that he’s the one who started all of it by sleeping with kids AND continue doing so after 93 because he thinks that he’s the king of pop and he can do/get away with whatever he wants.

  8. My comments were not racist, nor were they personal attacks. I responded to the comments addresses to my initial reply. But they were never posted.

  9. Thank you so much for doing this! I am MJFAN and i could not be happier when Frank Cassio shared this amazing document of yours on his Twitter page, thank you so much, people like you give me hope…because it is becoming a little frustrating to deal with all those lies and now that people “suddenly” remember things and make their stories so they can earn money over Michael’s death, he can’t defend himself and with people like you it is much more easier so again thank you so much :)

  10. I support all views as long as there is no hate speech. Anything that is racist, anti-Semitic, or personal attack will not be published. Also, foul language. People think the cloak of anonymity is enough to protect them, so they can write these things. But I have to tell you, I just delete that stuff. But differing points of view are always welcome.

  11. I responded to the comments but they were not posted. Why? This blog only allows positive comments that support the blogger’s personal view?

  12. An. pleadse, give me a break. Mobsters more powerful than MJ and even Mobs get arrested when claims are made. MJ has Never changed his stories;unlike the people who accuses Jackson. THey lie, they changed thier stories, etc. Please do not compare people who do not come forward to these folks. When people do not come forward, they do not go after money and they sure do NOT change their stories; and if they keep it to themselves, they sure do not go out praising the person who they say abused them. As for being harassed by fans, give me break. If you are abused, you should not care about what anyone say and you should be able to back it up. MJ was given NO FREE PASS by law enforcement, the media, people, and no one else until we saw the truth about these liars. Wade Defended Jackson for 20 years and I will NEVER believe he was molested and all of a sudden he remembers being abused. How can anyone forget being abuse if you are always asked about abuse claims? As for the Chandler, they were not poor but they were NOT rich. That father wanted MJ to give him money to produce a movie. Again, I am going by the Facts and who is creditable and that is Michael Jackson.

  13. Roger Friedman – were Philip and Stella LeMarque ready to maintain their story under oath in the court of law? As far as I remember, not even Tom Sneddon believed their story would hold water. And he was the man who claimed that two different males’ underwear in the same hamper in storage were proof they were gay, and who did not pay any attention to the fact MJ’s computers were all free from child porn, or that Jordy Chandler’s drawings of MJ’s private parts were not a match.

    Ann, the accusation of MJ molesting Jordan Chandler came from his father who was highly jealous of MJ, but it came only after he had asked MJ for a new house and money for making a film but had been turned down, and it involved him (a dentist) plying his son with a drug that blurs the mind.

    The foundation of the Gavin case was equally shaky, or actually even more so.The accusation did not say MJ had molested Gavin while he lived at Neverland, but at some later point, after the so called documentary that triggered the trial was released – they even had to change to date of the crime, because it turned out Michael Jackson was not in town then. The case really was, as defense attorney Mesereau had said, a bullshit case.

    And while it’s true abuse victims can suppress the abuse for a long time, or want to protect their family from the truth, Wade Robson’s story is not quite kosher. A sexually abused 7 year old always knows something is wrong, whatever the abuser tries to tell him and, if nothing else, will avoid meeting the abuser again, using all sorts of excuses. Wade Robson didn’t do that. As far as I know, none of MJ’s alleged victims wanted to stop seeing him, which would be unheard of if the accusations were true.

    I wasn’t there. so I don’t know, but it appears highly unlikely to me that MJ abused children, however odd and unusual he might appear to other grownups.

  14. Hello Ann. I dont know what planet you live on but he is innocent. A claim of molestation was made against Michael by a young boy but Diane Dimond who hates Michael investigated it and found it to be a lie.

  15. Re: Ann, Jordan has admitted it’s not true to many people, sorry you’re not one of them.

    And as Friedman said, even Barressi told him that the LeMarques were making it up as they went along.

    The fact that you can read how fake these letters were – btw Bert Fields sued and won because his name had originally been on this letter in 1993 – and still come to the conclusion paid off and that MJ was just super powerful IS funny though. I mean, you’d think if MJ were so powerful then the Francias, McManus, LeMarques, Diane Dimond, et al, would have suffered in some way before, besides having been sued successfully by MJ in many instances.

  16. Come on Ann….Michael is dead for over 4 years now …where are all those people ?? where are all his employess with those terrible stories you expect?? You say; fans blame the tabloids when there was(still is) bad news and don’t bother to check on the good news ..What good news are you talking about?? I can’t remember the tabloids ever spoke nice about Michael , The whole world is about to know Michael abused children but if I asked them if they know how much money Michael ever gave on charity, they don’t have a clue!!
    Michael could have shared his bed with the most beautiful woman, even men if he’d wished for …do you really think he would choose kids like Gavin and Jordan with their sneeky ugly faces ..Ugh!

  17. That Chandler did not apologize is logic : he might have to return the money….
    And it is not because Michael is powerful/rich that automatically people should assume he molested children and payed them/their parents off. What if these people that got fired were contacted by tabloids/other sources that wanted to destroy MJ/reputation and promised huge amounts of money if they would be willing to “tell all” stories ? Why would parents of supposedly victims accept huge amounts for keeping silent, but others not accept huge amounts to speak up and eventually produce lies ? You always have to consider the opposite possibility too, right ?
    There are proven facts that there were people willing to pay parents with a ….. BLANK CHECK if they wanted to put on paper that Michael molested their children. There are people that wanted to destroy MJ with any means, ANY MEANS. Enough said. And I don’t believe any of them, Wade, Gavin and Jordan. I have done thousands of hours research. And I never even was an MJ “fan”.

  18. Ann you should write a book since u seem to know it all wow I hear the pay for shit talkers are very high hell u may even land your own sitcom with all the knowledge you have my goodness lady get a life the fans protected michael and protect him today because they know his hurt was pure michael was powerful but he for sure wasn’t as stupid as u make him out to be get a life lady before your head explodes thank you and god bless a close friend to michael for many years and no one has ever over powered me for what I know as michael as michael and not the show stopper but the man that cared more for lives of others than those lives cared $$ for him may u rest Iin peace my dear friend. we will always have your back michael..against all the ann’s that houver….

  19. Disgusting! Mike is innocent… what more do they want from him… let him rest in peace- think about the living- his children are going to suffer and end up crazy- no amouy of money can ever repair the damage this is causing them. I think the press just need to Beat it… If they want to make a change they need to look at the Man in the mirror

  20. Wow Roger Friedman, you’re really giving it your all trying to desperately to defend a serial child molester. It’s quite creepy, actually

  21. MJ was an exentric person but I don´t think he ever actually sexually abused any body at all. In my opinion after trying to check facts I don´t think the Chandlers are any more credible than the Arvizos it is just that nobody ever checked them up at all. Or rather if anyone did they just never got ther storys published. The media just totaly bought Larry Feldmans talk about “little Jordy” and that was the end of it but it might turn out to be somehing like LaToya Jackson/ Jack Gordon. Jordan Chander sued Evan for rather serious assult sometime 2005-2006 and then Evan sued Jordan to try to stop him from breaking some kind of contract. There is a book written by a Geraldine Hughes about the case. It is called “Redemption” and can be ordered from for example amazon.com. Please just read it if you have the time and then maybe you can try to check the facts for you self. Evan Chandler is now dead and killed himself in 2009. He also sued MJ in 1996 and wanted to produce his own album called EVANstory (instead of HIStory) with his own songs about the case. Please just check this out if you have the time and then tell us what you think.

  22. Just disgusting what they did to this man. Pure lies to try and assassinate his character. How anyone could believe the rubbish the horrid newspapers print is beyond me?

  23. Victims of his abuse will not easily come forward, unfortunately. Especially when 1- Michael Jackson brainwashed& trained them to lie from the start (see Wade Robson’s claims) 2- they don’t want to be labeled homosexuals 3- they don’t understand that it was abuse because their body responded to the abuse and they did not necessarily object to it. 4- look at what happened to the boys who came forward, how they are harrassed and threatened by his fans.

    The ‘disgruntled’ ex-employee theory doesn’t hold up for me. What horrible thing did MJ do to the LaMarques &others for them to hate him so much that they want to make up lies to put him in jail? Because they were fired?! If I get fired I would be upset but not so much so that I’d lie about my boss to send him to jail. This is a serious matter, most sane people would not do that.

    Also, why would Blanca Francia LIE in court after receiving $2million from MJ? She was a trusted personal maid and if any body knows/saw anything, it would be her. Give me one good reason that she would want to send MJ to jail after receiving $2million other than the fact that what she said she saw was the truth.

    Isn’t it too convenient that everyone who ever said they saw anything are either paid off or labeled liars? Michael Jackson was a powerful man. This looks like his people covering up his tracks to me. I believe Wade, Gavin and Jordan. And I believe that there are many many other victims who are not coming forward.

    -P.s. To those who were misinformed, Jordan Chandler never ‘apologized’ or took back his claims. The whole myth came from a tiny gossip blog that nobody’s heard of. You people are quick to blame the tabloids for making up stories when it’s bad but when it’s good you don’t bother to double check. It’s suspicious that he would talk to an unknown blog then stay silent afterwards if he sincerely wants to apologize. Many big reporters approached him but he wouldnt’t talk. The alleged quote said that they lied because they were trying to escape being poor. But the Chandlers were NOT poor by any definition. That gives you the validity of the urban myth.

  24. Interesting, you seem to know your way around the MJ story. Perhaps you do.
    But you have told so many lies, half truths, and misinformation about Mel Gibson that I for one just don’t believe you anymore. You are absolutely sick about Mel Gibson, totally obsessed, as a matter of fact. You need to get over it!!!!

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