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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/22/2010

Parsing our feelings about Michael Jackson

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly

Michael Jackson performs at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. (AP)

A year after his death, Jen and Liz consider how to feel -- as individuals, fans and celebrity observers -- about Michael Jackson.

Liz's take

A year later, with scads of tributes planned for this weekend's one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson's death and gushing praise already starting to clog up the Web, I'm finding myself still conflicted about Jackson's scandal-plagued (though that seems to have been pretty much forgotten) legacy.

Last year, on the day Michael Jackson died, I wrote a piece asking if we could separate the man's art from the artist; meaning could we really let go of the controversy and eccentricity that dogged Wacko Jacko's private life and celebrate the King of Pop's almost magical impact on the music industry?

We had an answer within days, if not hours. By the time a cavalcade of stars gathered to fete Jackson at a memorial broadcast from L.A.'s Staples Center on July 7, the entire nation -- heck, the world -- seemed to be in agreement that Michael Jackson was no less than a deity who had walked briefly among us, wielding his spangly gloved hand to bless us with enduring hits and leave behind an unmatched body of work.

And a year later, the most controversial questions lingering about Jackson seem to be: 1) If and when Conrad Murray will be held accountable for his alleged role in Jackson's death and, 2) Whether "Say Say Say" was really his top single. Don't get me wrong -- both of those are valid issues, especially holding Murray's feet to the fire for his actions leading up to Jackson's death, but in the 12 months since Jackson has died, we seem to have forgotten his often sad private life and absolved him from his earthly sins -- both real and alleged.

Here's my thinking: Jackson was a a sensitive boy twisted by circumstance (and by circumstance I largely mean a strict, often cruel upbringing) into a tortured soul. Despite his ascendancy in the music industry, his private life grew increasingly frayed. He destroyed his body with increasingly disfiguring plastic surgery. Unable to cope with adult relationships, he surrounded himself with children and opened himself up to multiple child molestation charges. He turned to increasingly extravagant spending sprees to fill his mansion, Neverland, with a dizzying array of oddities. Despite whatever good intentions he may have had, he damaged his three children with a wholly unconventional life that kept them largely isolated from the world and required them to wear veils or masks in public. And, as I wrote yesterday, his children are still struggling to cope in a suddenly much larger world.

I'm not ready to ditch my original "Thriller" LP or saying you won't catch me blasting "Billie Jean" from my iPod, but as Friday approaches I think we need to remember Michael Jackson not just as a musical icon, but a cautionary tale.

Jen's take

Is Michael Jackson a cautionary tale? Absolutely. A cautionary tale about, among other things, what fame can do to a young, sensitive soul and how white-hot meteoric success can sometimes make it impossible for a person to see himself as he really is, to have a genuine heart-to-heart talk with the man in the mirror.

Our feelings about him a year after his death remind me a bit of that Dave Chapelle "Jury Duty" sketch, the one where he argues that Jackson was absolutely innocent of those child molestation charges, then brings his point home by noting, "He made 'Thriller,' man. 'Thriller.'" (Of course, when subsequently asked if Chappelle would let his kids sleep in Jackson's bed, he recoils: "[Expletive] no!")

After his untimely death, most of us are more likely to wistfully recall that "he made 'Thriller,' man" than to think too deeply about his strange behavior. This is what happens when celebrities pass on. We elevate them, revere them, raise them up and largely forget the negative or freakish things they may have done.

Personally, I don't think we should forget all that. The pet llamas and the dangling of the baby and the weird, uncomfortable interviews are part of who Jackson was. And to remember him, we have to remember that, too.

But -- depending on what you believe about how much emotional damage he may have done to his children or anybody else's -- one could argue that Jackson never hurt anyone. He wasn't a murderer. He didn't go all Bernie Madoff and rob people of their savings. I honestly believe that, while his decision to have sleepovers with other people's kids was terribly inappropriate and ill-advised, he wasn't a child molester. A jury -- and one that didn't include Dave Chappelle -- found him not guilty. Between that verdict and the fact that many stories I read about him, including some of the material in a recent Vanity Fair story, suggests that he was practically asexual, that seems like a fair conclusion to draw. Although, of course, like Liz, I still feel conflicted. Have I just convinced myself that's true so it will make it easier for me to someday teach my son how to sing "Ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa" without lingering guilt? I honestly don't know.

As to why he surrounded himself with children. I'm not sure if it was because he couldn't handle adult relationships, or because -- as many have suggested before -- being around kids was his chance at a childhood do-over. Jackson didn't get to be a kid and, more than any child star of his magnitude that I can recall, he acted out that loss publicly for all his days on Earth. That's heartbreaking. Also sad? The fact that, after watching "This is It" on DVD, I do think Jackson had the potential to wow us at least a few more times during those London shows, but his death made the realization of that potential impossible.

A month or so after Jackson's death, I stopped feeling melancholy when I heard any of his hits from "Thriller," "Off the Wall" or "Bad." But even today, I still can't hear a Jackson 5 song without feeling a twinge of sorrow. The hope, the unabashed glee and the soul in that young voice reminds me that once he really was just a little boy with immense talent and promise.

Maybe that's why we still remember him foremost as the awesome, magical Michael Jackson instead of that weird pop singer with all the nose jobs and the courtroom trials to his credit. Recalling him that way forever turns him into the Michael Jackson we always wanted him to be, that he might have been, as opposed to the multi-faceted Michael Jackson -- the man both amazing and troubling -- that he actually was.

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | June 22, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Michael Jackson  | Tags:  Michael Jackson  
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One more tortured creative genius. Still too bad he's gone, wierness and all.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 22, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Liz he damaged his children? How on earth would you know that? What rich kid is not surrounded with others like themselves? And Jen he was troubling? Only if you believe the ridiculous media feeding frenzy that you both are a part of.

Posted by: symba45 | June 22, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I stopped reading the second you called him Wacko Jacko.
"Journalism" like this is why he is dead. He was ACQUITTED. Why are you still bringing it up? He did make some very poor decisions, but he was a product of his childhood and how the media treated him and then destroyed him. Who amongst us could have lived with that kind of scrutiny? Can't you just enjoy his musical genius without trying to dissect him? He does not deserve that.

Posted by: Cford3 | June 22, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Really nice piece you two. Such a complicated person and life.

Posted by: sjcpeach | June 22, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Thoughtful and thought-provoking; well done, JeLi.

That said, I dread the inevitable ecstasies of grief that are about to commence in honor of the one-year anniversary. I was just rolling my eyes at the Red Line Metro crash anniversary service in the Metro section, too. We've become the United States of Wallow-in-Over-the-Top-Emotion. Gag me.

-Snarky Squirrel

Posted by: 7900rmc | June 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I just signed in to say the person(s) who
wrote this article is truly twisted.
Michael Jackson is a gift form God.
For the people who are unable to receive that gift, I feel truly sorry.

Allow me to quote Don McLean's song: "Vincent":

"And now I think I know what you tried to say to me how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
they're not
list'ning still
perhaps they never will."

Try really reading and listening to this
Michael Jackson song.
"Why You Wanna Trip On Me"
Click on the link or post it in your address bar:

Posted by: Cherubim | June 22, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Irrespective of the trial issues, just the stuff that MJ himself admitted to (like sleeping with other people's boys in his bed) is enough to prove him a perv. And the self-crotch-grabbing during his songs? Puh-lease, that's not art, never was, never will be. MJ could've been so much more than he was.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Immediately following the death of Michael Jackson, I decided that I would do some research of my own. I wanted to get some facts, and I felt I was not getting anything substantial from the media offerings (summer 2009).

I started with archives from 2005 and before. It didn't take me long to realize what a sordid media frenzy it really was. I finally ended up with the 2005 court testimony. That, and a few other things I was lucky enough to track down - opened my eyes.

My point: There has been so many made up stories by the media for a buck that there is no way to even parse your feelings. You don't have the facts, so how will you ever be objective? To this day there are still so many falsifications about this man, and all for profit.

I did manage to find out what I needed to know about Michael Jackson. But the average person won't. It would just simply be too much work. It would be much easier to read a column. Unfortunately, who ever wrote the article is almost certainly IN DOUBT.

Posted by: BeLIEveEverythingURead | June 22, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Yo fatties carm down. The dude had talent, and maybe one or two issues. He was not the second coming, because, well, you know, he's still dead.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | June 22, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Dorkus, Franco's still dead too, or so I hear.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 22, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I grew up with Michael Jackson and loved his music... until the child molestation accusations. I wanted--I still want--to believe they were not true. But as stated above, the admissions Jackson himself made on camera make it almost impossible to believe otherwise. Not only did he admit to sleeping with children in his bed, he proclaimed that he couldn't understand why anyone would have a problem with that. If one were to describe the life and behaviors of Jackson but ascribe them to another, nonbeloved person, I think most reasonable people would conclude that something very bad was going on between him and children.

Having said that, I share Jen's reaction to his music these days: I can't listen to his adult music with the same enjoyment. But when I hear those Jackson 5 classics, and hear that amazing soulful voice... then I feel sympathy for the man. Even if he became a molester, at that time he was an immensely talented innocent, soon to be destroyed emotionally by a cruel father. What a waste.

Posted by: PQSully | June 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

There is the image that was portrayed of MJ by the media and then there is the reality. He's finally getting the recognition he deserved. The media made him out to be a wierdo, and exaggerated every chance possible. Just like this article does. Lots of people own llamas - what's so wierd about that? He was a sweet man with a kind heart who gave a ton of money to charity. His goal in life was to do good and make good music. It's too bad he had to die for people to discover the true person he was.

Posted by: weffie | June 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

The media may have helped fan the flames of portraying him as a weirdo but what he did to his face, statements HE made to the press and how he behaved with children did not help his image. He was a troubled troubled man no matter how talented.

Posted by: sjcpeach | June 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Why all the negativity and innuendos?Most stories were made up and why persecute someone for what he believes in as long as he is not murdering or harming people. As for his children, they seem very normal ,well spoken and better behaved than most celebrity or ordinary folk children for that matter.People who keep on critisizing others usually thats an outward sign of their own issues. MJ never
went about calling people names even the ones who berated,belittled and accused him. Please stop We Have Had Enough!

Posted by: 8282 | June 22, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

PQSully - try reading Aphrodite Jones' book and you will most likely change your mind. The image of MJ has been twisted around so much, all for media profit. His interaction with children has been exaggerated and many celebrities and people who worked with him have said that they let their children stay at Neverland. Plus, do you think he would still have been friends with people like Macauley Culkin if anything had happened? What about Wade Robeson, one of the boys MJ used to spend time with? He participated in the tribute on the MTV Video Awards in a dance ensemble with Janet Jackson and said "His music, his movement, his personal words of inspiration and encouragement and his unconditional love will live inside of me forever." Robeson and his mother testified in MJ's favor in the trial.

Also check out this article from Charles Thomson.

Posted by: weffie | June 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Can't you just enjoy his musical genius without trying to dissect him?

Posted by: Cford3 | June 22, 2010 2:26 PM

If he'd left his body to science, we could enjoy his musical genius *while* trying to dissect him.

Posted by: northgs | June 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, he had a great talent, but his behavior offstage and outside of the recording studio was bizarre by any measure. I don't think you can really separate the two.

I feel terrible for his kids: for all that their life with him was at the far end of the bell curve, without him they're left parentless and in the hands of the rest of his messed up family. Let's try not to make them zoo animals, shall we?

Posted by: northgs | June 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Another interesting fact, Jordan ended up dropping the charges against his father as it was speculated that Evan threatened him. So, Jordan ended up "settling" with his father by agreeing to drop the charges and pay his living expenses for the next 7 years. Why? Because except for Jordan's support, Evan was penniless as he stopped working as a dentist after the 93 settlement to pursue movie producing full-time (the reason for the extortion), but it never panned out, so he needed JORDAN'S money to survive. Evan died penniless, estranged from everyone including Jordan, both ex-wives and his other children from his second marriage, and he was in excruciating pain from a disease he contracted after 1993. Things that make us say hmm.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

1. Liz and Jen, Apparently, you are a fan of ignorance is bliss because if you bothered to do ANY research AT ALL on Michael's accusers, you would find that they all GOT CAUGHT LIEING about the allegations. I am first and foremost a fan of the TRUTH based on FACTS not speculation, tabloid stories, disinformation from the media or uninformed opinions.

After Michael's death, I became very curious about what ACTUALLY happened and wanted to find out FOR MYSELF. So, I sought the TRUTH by researching the 93 allegation, Michael’s counter suit for extortion, and the 2003-5 trial. I
simply wanted the FACTS, not media speculation, sensationalism or someone's OPINION - I wanted the FACTS. What I
found was bone chilling. My sources are listed at the end. If you are actually interested in the TRUTH, read on.

1993 Chandler Extortion: Evan Chandler’s history of asking Michael for money. Evan asked Michael to build a wing onto his home so Michael would have a suite to stay in when visiting. When he found out that the county wouldn’t approve the addition, he asked Michael to build him a new home. Michael politely refused. Evan then asked Michael for $20 million so he could produce three movies. Evan Chandler hated being a dentist and wanted to produce movies.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It just never ends, does it? For more than 20 years, all the media did was torture this man. I swear, Satan himself runs the media. It's his instrument of terror. Journalists have bastardized the telling of celebrities' victories and defeats and turned a once honorable profession into crap.

Michael Jackson is unfortunately a bloody example of journalistic judgment. Now there's a tragedy--a stunning entertainer and bold humanitarian reduced to groveling before journalists when he himself was extorted. What a sorry saga in American history.

There's a reason why the press is called "The Beast." The Beast is brutal in its quest for fresh fodder to stoke its furnaces of ratings and profit. Jackson is still reviled by many—-all because media made him out to be a despicable person not worthy of compassion. Media took the place of judge and jury and refused to accept that he was NOT a child molester. FALSE ACCUSATION ALONE WOULD DRIVE ANYONE TO DRUGS! (Jackson was NOT a drug addict, however.)

I have a better name for the press: medialoid-—defined as mainstream media infected by tabloid journalism; the proliferation of sensationalism, triviality and disregard for privacy, with particular emphasis on news coverage of the sports and entertainment industries. Medialoid hides behind the First Amendment while they tear down society by pandering to humankind's basest instincts. From its presumed position as the final arbiters of what people should be thinking about, they smell blood in the water and circle the victim like a pack of braying hyenas. Snarling jackals all.

There isn't a human being alive who could've withstood the onslaught of lies, innuendo and slander that was heaped on Jackson for well over 20 years.

Jackson's Image Remained Heavily Burdened

STOP BLAMING THE VICTIM! Examine your own hearts and think how you would feel if you were slandered as Jackson was for nearly half his life. It's a testament to the man's character that he persevered as he did.

Michael Jackson: The Wounded Messenger

Michael Jackson: The Man in the Mirror

Posted by: SoCalGal2 | June 22, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

2. When Michael refused to give him the $20 million, Evan told Michael that he would destroy him then accused him of
molesting his son. The tapped recording by Michael’s investigator can be heard on YouTube. By the way, Robin Hood Men in Tights came out in 1993. Guess who the producer was? Evan Chandler. You can Google it.

Another FACT, When Jordan Chandler was asked by the police to describe Michael’s private area, he said Michael was circumcised. Michael was in fact NOT circumcised. Given the allegation, Jordan would have known, but he did not because it never happened. He had a 50/50 chance of getting it right but he GUESSED wrong. This is a fact. Nothing about Jordan's description matched Michael - NOTHING.

The reason no charges were EVER filed against Michael in 93 was because Jordan got caught LIEING and would not testify against Michael. It had nothing to do with any settlement because the settlement had NO clause that prevented Evan Chandler from pressing charges and did NOT preclude the Chandlers or Michael from speaking about the settlement in a court of law. Another little known fact about settlement is that Michael's insurance company settled the case against his wishes. The insurance company did it because they wanted it over as they stood to lose a lot more money than the settled amount if the “civil” case went forward because Michael was in the middle of his Dangerous tour and other contractual ventures that would have had to have been canceled costing the insurance company countless
millions as Michael’s insurance policy was worth $100 million. Also, the settlement had no mention of "abuse" at all and Michael always maintained his innocence. So much so, that Evan Chandler, the extortionist, sued Michael and Lisa Marie in 1996 for $60 million for maintaining his innocence on his HIStory album.

Evan sued Michael $60 million because he said Michael was maintaining his innocence on his HIStory album. So, he sued Michael and Lisa Marie so he could produce an album called EVANstory. Yes, that is correct. That actually happened. The case was thrown out. You can Google it.

Another fact, at the time of the 93 allegation, Evan Chandler was $60,000 behind in child support payments to Jordan’s mother.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

As to "weird, uncomfortable interviews," what, exactly, are you talking about? More smack from "jooornalists." Here's the TRUTH.

Posted by: SoCalGal2 | June 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

3. Evan Chandler never pursued a criminal case against Michael (even though the settlement did not preclude it). He only ever SUED Michael for money so he could produce movies. When the dust settled, Evan had custody of Jordan (which he had to get because Jordan was the one with the money). Evan was able to get Jordan because June Evan threatened her and because she was paid $1.2 million dollars as part of the settlement if she gave up Jordan. Sick, isn’t it.

Personally, if my son were molested, I would either want the molester dead or behind bars for the rest of his life. I sure as heck would not want to spend blood money at my child’s expense. Another Fact, even though June took the money, she maintained that she never believed Michael molested her son before signing the settlement agreement and testified at Michael’s 2005 trial. She testified that she told the DA’s office in 93’ that Evan told her that “Michael was wonderful means for Jordan to never have to worry again”.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Jen and Liz, you really need to hang it up. Your brains are saturated by tabloids. Do some basic research or simply shut up.

Posted by: SoCalGal2 | June 22, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Musical talent? I don't think so. He could dance, though, and sorta sing, or at least talk lyrics in a falsetto. A lot like Madonna. Nether of them would have made it big in the pre-MTV era. Back when music was music, dancing, lip synching, and cavorting onstage in stages of undress were not enough. Sure, Elvis moved, as did the Temp & the Tops & Bo Diddley & Mick, but they also could actually sing. Look at Rolling Stones 40 Greatest Songs, Nirvana is the most recent.

Posted by: kabuki3 | June 22, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

4. The 2005 Trial: The Arvisos did NOT report Michael to the police or child protective services. No, they sought
out the CHANDLER CIVIL attorney because they wanted to sue Martin Bashir for portraying Gavin’s friendship with
Michael as questionable in the Living with Michael Jackson interview. Janet Arviso was upset because she said Michael was like a father to her kids and Bashir caused them pain and embarrassment by including Gavin in the aired interview without her permission (and without Michael’s knowledge).

Chandler’s attorney spoke to the Arvisos about the cost associated with a civil trial and told them that if a criminal conviction was secured that they could use the evidence from the criminal trial for a civil case. Thus saving Chandler’s attorney the time and considerable upfront costs associated with the investigative process of perusing a civil case. He knew this because he spent a lot of time and money trying to pressure Michael into
settling in 93.

Chandler’s attorney gave the Arvisos this information and when the Arvisos realized that Michael was not going to continue to financially support them they got angry and went back to Chandler’s CIVIL attorney with an allegation against Michael.

KEEP IN MIND, CPS had launched an investigation into Michael after the Bashir interview.

CPS interviewed the Arvisos who said Michael never touched Gavin inappropriately and that he was the “kindest person they had ever known”. Janet “literally” credited Michael with healing Gavin’s cancer and told them that her kids love Michael and call him Daddy.

CPS closed the case.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

5. So, the Arvisos went back to Chandler’s attorney with an allegation against Michael AFTER the Bashir interview
aired, AFTER the CPS investigation and AFTER they had already stated that Michael was never inappropriate with any of the kids. So again, instead of going to the POLICE OR CPS, they went back to Chandler’s CIVIL attorney who reported it to CPS.

When CPS said there was no evidence to support that claim, Chandler’s CIVIL attorney set the accusation in motion
with the police – NOT the Arvisos. This ALL came out during the trial.

More money was spent trying to convict Michael then on any other prosecution case in California history. That is an
actual FACT. Yet, they still could not find one shred of evidence – NOT ONE.

The DA’s office interviewed HUNDREDS of families and kids that had spent time at Neverland trying to find one that
would say Michael was inappropriate with them. They couldn’t find ONE. They even went so far as to lie to some kids
saying that they had nude photos of them in hopes they would make an allegation. No one ever did. They even went
so far as to say Macaulay Culkin witnessed their abuse. The kids and parents continued to maintain that nothing
inappropriate ever happened.

When Macaulay took the stand in defense of Michael, he was outraged to learn that the DA was insinuating that Michael had been appropriate with him and that the DA’s office was telling kids that he (Macaulay) had witnessed some abuse. Macaulay stated that Michael NEVER touched him inappropriately and that he NEVER saw Michael touch anyone inappropriately. He also said he was very angry to hear that lies were being told about him.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

wow- your post really brought out the crazies. Great job, ladies.

Posted by: Farfalle1 | June 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

6. The DA traveled to 2 countries trying to find 1 kid that would accuse Michael. The DA set up a website soliciting “victims” of Michael’s. NO ONE ever responded. They could not find ONE. All of this came out at the

The Arvisos got caught in so many lies on the stand that they could not keep their stories straight. That’s right –
CAUGHT IN LIES REGARDING THE ALLEGATIONS. Before Michael, the mother (Janet Arviso) also sued JC Penny for molesting her after she got caught shoplifting with her kids. She had her kids lie about molestation and JC Penny settled. It worked for her once so she thought it would work again. She also had a criminal record for defrauding
the welfare system. Again, this all came out at the trial.

Before trying to live off of Michael, they tried with Chris Tucker, George Lopez and Jay Leno. All of whom testified at the trial. Janet’s husband actually accused George Lopez of stealing $300 dollars from the wallet that he left at George’s house. George, Gavin (the kid) and Gavin’s father had just spent the day at the mall with Gavin asking George to buy him everything in sight while his father trailed along behind them at a distance. George said he felt bad for Gavin because he had cancer so he kept buying items even though he felt he was being taken advantage of. It was on that day, that Gavin’s dad “left” his wallet at George’s house. It was this “allegation” that caused George to finally cut them off. They then moved onto Michael.

Before the Arviso/Lopez wallet allegation, Gavin’s father told George that he lost his health insurance and could not afford to pay for Gavin’s expensive cancer treatment. So he asked George to arrange a fundraiser for Gavin at the comedy club that the kids performed at (the kids wanted to be “actors”). George agreed to do the fundraiser.
IN court, it came out that Gavin’s father in deed HAD excellent health insurance coverage through his job which
covered ALL of Gavin’s cancer treatments. The Arvisos got caught in endless lies about the allegations and schemes
for money.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

7. As I learned through my research and quest for the TRUTH, the only thing Michael was guilty of was trying to help
the wrong people, of being too giving and too trusting. He met the Arvisos through Chris Tucker who told him that Gavin wanted to meet him before he died. Gavin is completely cancer free now and went into remission during the time that he and his family spent with Michael.

If you are interested in learning the truth, READ “Michael Jackson Conspiracy” by Aphrodite Jones. She was a
correspondent who covered the trial for Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. She went into the trial thinking Michael was guilty and came out realizing he was innocent because she sat in on the trial day in and day out and heard ALL the witness testimony including the Arvisos (“false” accusers), George Lopez, Jay Leno, Macaulay Culkin, Larry King, Jordon Chandler’s mother and Martin Bashir. I would also suggest reading the court transcript.

This book is based on what she personally witnessed in court every day and the court transcripts.

Two great source for learning about the 1993 false allegation and Michael’s counter suit for extortion is the book "Redemption: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations" by Geraldine Hughes. She's the legal secretary who worked for " Evan Chandler's" attorney on the 1993 case. What she witnessed was bone chilling and points to Michael's innocence and the extortion plan that Evan Chandler and his attorney concocted and carried out.

Also read The GQ article published in Oct. 1994 “Was Michael Jackson Framed? The Untold Story” by Mary A. Fischer. It’s an
in-depth detailing of Michael’s 1993 extortion case against Evan Chandler AND his attorney. You can Google it.

THIS IS ABOUT THE TRUTH, plain and simple. I let the FACTS speak for themselves and in the case of Michael Jackson,
the FACTS say that Michael was being extorted. Everyone that ever accused him was after money. Thousands of kids and
their families visited Neverland over the years and had nothing but wonderful things to say about Michael. The only TWO to ever accuse Michael were ultimately after money.

Michael was never afraid of the truth and used to say, “A lie runs sprints but the truth runs marathons”.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

8. FATHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON'S 1993 ACCUSER KILLED HIMSELF IN NOVEMBER 2009 - ONE WEEK AND A DAY AFTER THIS IS IT HIT THEATHERS. He was completely estranged from his entire family including Jordan whom he forced to accuse Michael of abusing him for money.

IF YOU THINK EVAN CARED ABOUT JORDAN - READ THIS (Google it). Jordan Chandler was 26 when he filed a request for a restraining order against his father on 8/5/05 because Evan Chandler had allegedly hit Jordan over the head from behind with a twelve and a half pound weight. He'd also allegedly sprayed him in the face with mace and tried to choke him. Jordan was living with his father at the time and was living in a luxury apartment in NJ with panoramic views of Manhattan (the same apartment where Evan shot himself). The case was remanded to trial by a pair of appellate judges on June 8, 2005. This followed a reversal of the restraining order by another judge who felt that Evan's actions didn't represent a pattern of abuse and didn't qualify as domestic abuse. The appellate judges disagreed, reinstated the restraining order and sent the case to trial. These judges sounded surprised in their ruling that the restraining order had been lifted in the 1st place. "THE JUDGES ALSO FOUND THAT THE WEIGHT COULD CAUSE SERIOUS BODILY INJURY OR DEATH," THEY WROTE, INDICATING THAT THEY FELT EVAN CHANDLER MEANT TO HARM HIS SON.

Prior to this Jordan AND Evan owned a beach house and an apartment together in NY. JORDAN bought a condo for $775,000 in West Harlem in June 2005 (ONE WEEK AFTER Michael WAS ACQUITTED - AND six weeks before Jordan accused his father of attacking him. (Interesting timing; I wonder WHAT caused Jordan to want to SUDDEDNLY move away from his father ONE WEEK after Michael's acquittal.) At the time, Jordan purchased the coop, Jordan gave a PO Box in JERSEY CITY as his address. (I guess he didn't want his father knowing where he lived - this was before his father attacked him.) It's only conjecture, but it's likely that Evan Chandler-whom his brother Raymond had said was seriously ill in 2005-didn't want his son to leave him. (Interesting that even though Evan was seriously ill, Jordan still decided to leave him ONE week after Michael was acquitted. I wonder why?). Well, Jordan did leave and NEVER spoke to or saw his father again.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

9. Another interesting fact, Jordan ended up dropping the charges against his father as it was speculated that Evan threatened him. So, Jordan ended up "settling" with his father by agreeing to drop the charges and pay his living expenses for the next 7 years. Why?

Because except for Jordan's support (the money he got from Michael), Evan was penniless as he stopped working as a dentist after the 93 settlement to pursue movie producing full-time (the reason for the extortion), but it never panned out, so he needed JORDAN'S money to survive.

Evan died penniless, estranged from everyone including Jordan, both ex-wives and his other children from his second marriage, and he was in excruciating pain from a disease he contracted AFTER 1993.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

WHY is this even newsworthy?

Posted by: peepmonger | June 22, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Billy Jean was derivative.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | June 22, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Good work guys. Too bad all of the freaky Jackson worshipers are out full force to say everything written about Jackson is"lies" and "the media" is out to get Jackson. Reminds me of little kids who cover their ears when they don't like what's being said. And for the poor soul saying Jackson had no talent, all I can say is that I hope you're kidding.

Posted by: jinez1 | June 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Musical talent? I don't think so. He could dance, though, and sorta sing, or at least talk lyrics in a falsetto. A lot like Madonna. Nether of them would have made it big in the pre-MTV era."

Posted by: kabuki3 | June 22, 2010 4:41 PM

To kabuki3: You have got to be kidding me...I guess you were not alive then. The Jackson 5 had a huge career in the industry for years, wayyyyy before MTV....and wayyyyy before Thriller. LOL. They had already played all over the world.

And I never remember MJ doing anything undressed...ever.

That's okay though...thanks for the laugh!

Posted by: BeLIEveEverythingURead | June 22, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Michael Jackson was a kind person with a generous soul. He donated over $300 MILLION to charity throughout his life and left 20% of his estate to charity - WHERE IS THIS IN YOUR ARTICLE LIZ, JEN?

As for Michael's children, I refer to HIS daughter's Paris' statement at the memorial; her Daddy was the BEST Daddy. EVERYONE that knew Michael spoke about what a great father he was, how much he loved his children and how much they love him. They also speak about how well mannered, kind, talented and intelligent his children are. They also say his children are NOT spoiled and sweet normal kids - JUST LIKE THEIR FATHER.

Liz and Jen, if you want to get your news from Tabloids and feed the fodder, that's your prerogative, but don't act like your words are fact or truth, when they are only your UNINFORMED MISGUIDED opinions.

Why don't you do everyone a favor and actually LEARN the TRUTH about Michael, then form an educated opinion and write your column.

Bye the way, the autopsy PROVED that Michael ONLY had his nose done and that he DID have vitiligo. So all the crazy stories about plastic surgery and wanting to be white have been SCIENTIFICALLY DISPROVEN. You can Google it.

Michael was tortured by extortionists, the tabloid media that spilled into the “legitimate press”, and by the people that believed the lies. It is only now that the truth is coming out YET people LIKE you refuse to read it or seek it out. Ignorance is NOT bliss.


Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Also to Jinez1, Your comment of "Good work guys. Too bad all of the freaky Jackson worshipers are out full force to say everything written about Jackson is "lies" and "the media" is out to get Jackson. Reminds me of little kids who cover their ears when they don't like what's being said." is ridiculous. People that have done research on the subject are just tired of the lies and the same old tired garbage being vomited out of the mouths of whomever wants to write an article about him. It's not that those of us who respond by defending him are "freaky Jackson worshipers," but rather we are just tired of the garbage being perpetuated in articles such as this one.

Posted by: jules4528 | June 22, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

You two are out of touch. Don't judge if you are uninformed on the subject.

Posted by: lynnandtrev | June 22, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to good old fashion research in effort to attain the truth. Liz and Jen, neither of you seem know what that is. You are shamefull.

As for those that like to bash anyone that defends Michael with the ACTUAL truth and facts - you are the CRAZIES. May the hate you love to give come back to you ten fold.

Posted by: Pina1 | June 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not that those of us who respond by defending him are "freaky Jackson worshipers," . . . .

Posted by: jules4528
* * *
Oh, yes, you are.

Posted by: 7900rmc | June 22, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, One of the biggest pedophiles I know in the business was Elvis Presley. He met Pricilla when she was 14 and dated for 7 1/2 years before he married her. Does that classify him as a pedophile as well? You will never have people to believe Michael's innocence even though it was proven in a court of law. The media definitely played a part in this spin on his life and Michael may have done things some deem weird but a molester I think not. In the words of Michael Jackson himself, "The media tell lies so much that they (people) actually start to believe them"

Posted by: smitty21960 | June 22, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

There is no way to ever know what was true and/or untrue about MJ. I prefer to believe that he was a tortured individual who was innocent. Regardless, I watched "This is It" last night through tears for his premature death and the tragic life he had. All I know as fact is that he was the consummate entertainer.

Posted by: lskloven1 | June 22, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

MJ was NOT proven innocent in court. His lawyers managed to present enough "reasonable doubt" to get the jurors not to find him guilty (just like OJ's lawyers did for OJ in his murder trial). "Not guilty" does NOT equal "innocent" (ask Dr. Sam Sheppard's son, who spent years vainly trying to get his "not guilty" father declared "innocent").

Remember that Jackson HIMSELF admitted to plenty of stuff that reasonable people would consider pervy, yet MJ didn't even see what was wrong with it (like bed-sharing with other people's kids).

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 22, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Liz, if reading all of these interesting comments won't drive you into labor, what will?

Posted by: renselaas | June 22, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap, Pina1. Get a life!

Reeally nice work Jen and Liz. I, for one, am over all the MJ worship. Yep, compelling music and the guy sure could dance, but really? Quincy Jones should be getting more credit as he's the one behind the music, videos, and albums.

Posted by: cookgirl1 | June 23, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Nice work, Jen & Liz. We've almost got something for the Celebritology Hall of Fame, but the responses, passionate though they are, are still missing a certain je ne sais quoi; e.g., I haven't seen anything worth entering into the Island Lexicon yet. Pina1 comes close to replacing Che, but he's staying on topic, so I'm kind of 'meh', and worse, everyone seems to be using spell-check.

Posted by: mat00 | June 23, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Wow. I was reading the comments and.... Wow. Just wow.

FWIW, I thought you two did a great parsing of the difficulty in divorcing the man and the music. I'm more on Team Liz than Team Jen, though.

Michael Jackson's impact to pop music is undeniable. Even a headbanger like me can enjoy a great song like "Billie Jean". His music dominated the pop scene and had great crossover appeal.

And then there is the man. Even sticking to things he has said himself, things that are undeniable, he was one seriously effed dude, who lost the respect of a lot of the public by his own actions. Only in death does he become "redeemed" and I personally can't stand it. To ignore the weirdness (at best) that was Michael Jackson is to ignore an essential part of him. It would be like having a Van Gogh retrospective and explaining the Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear as a shaving accident, not a big deal.

We can't separate man and music. We just can't. Feelings of reasonable people will always be conflicted on the subject. The only thing we can do is just enjoy the music and hope the kids turn out okay in the end.

Posted by: DCCubefarm | June 23, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Before MJ died he had 50 sold out concerts, which sold out in 5 hours and there were talks of other projects in the works. that doesn’t sound like a man who loss his fan base to me. we the fans have an UNCONDITIONAL love for Michael and that will never change, no matter how hard some in the media try to destroy him. RIP MJ, your legacy is here to stay! Join A world event--MJ WORLDCRY-- FRIDAY AT 5:30PM (EST) LIGHT A CANDLE FOR MICHAEL AND PLAY HIS SONG "CRY"...SIMULTANEOUSLY AROUND THE WORLD WE WILL HONOR THE KING OF POP.

Posted by: shell517nj | June 23, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

michael's children will be just fine. he was obvioussly protecting them from the media circus, who doesn't care about anything but a story. stories like this will do damage to his kids. not Michael. what did Michael say, "I'm only human." no he wasn't perfect. RIP MJ.

~they're a prasite, in black in white~
~do anything for news~

Posted by: shell517nj | June 24, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Nothing new, I see, SOS. I can accept the fact that Michael Jackson was not perfect without grinding the axe, can you?

Don't we, as a society, revere our dead no matter who they are? Forget their shortcomings? Forgive their transgressions, real or imagined?

I think so.

Why should Michael Jackson be any different?

He was a human being, people.
That's all & that's it.

Posted by: janeil88 | June 24, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

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