This article was originally posted on Desiree speaks...so listen. The blog is no longer available online. Full credit goes to the original author.
This article will be archived on this site so people can read and freely make up their own minds without interference from Jackson's misinformation troll factory.
Although this Aaron Carter story is technically very, very old news, it has gotten little airplay, so little, in fact, that the magnitude of its revelations could possibly disappear from Michael Jackson history altogether if not canonized--without spin--somewhere on the Internet. For this reason, I have decided to write about it.
It was at the close of June that media reports surfaced alleging former child pop entertainer, Aaron Carter, had made very telling statements about his friend, Michael Jackson.
In fact, if his statements are considered true and reliable, they tend to lend yet more weight to the reasonable suspicion that the late King of Pop engaged in inappropriate behavior with his youthful male companions. The Australian offshoot of OK! magazine claimed Aaron—a recovering addict—told freelance journalist Daphne Barak that Michael Jackson gave him alcohol and cocaine when he was just fifteen-years-old.
Naturally, such revelations about Michael Jackson would stir his fans into a frenzy, as Aaron's anecdotes erode the 'innocent angel'/'benign Peter Pan' mythos to which they desperately and rabidly cling.
Matter of fact, frenzy seems to minimize the absolute panic of the fans; with Michael Jackson being dead only two years, they did not expect a young man of clout to allege such improper conduct on the part of their idol. But there Aaron Carter was, chipping away at this seemingly impenetrable shield of armor Michael had picked up following his untimely demise.
The next step taken by Michael Jackson fans was to deny the factuality of the OK! magazine story, calling the publication a 'tabloid' that had either misquoted Aaron Carter or fabricated those quotes altogether. Daphne Barak fared no better and was, too, implicated in somehow using Aaron to get a good story off Michael Jackson's name. Because it is well-known that Aaron had defended Michael during his second child molestation fiasco (going so far as to claim Michael "really did" like women and, therefore, it was unlikely—perhaps impossible—that he could have been a molester of young boys), this was an understandable explanation for such salacious claims.
Surely, a Michael Jackson friend and defender—accurate descriptors for Aaron Carter—would never say anything to damage Michael's already 'abused' and tarnished reputation!
It is worth noting that the original story emerged in mid-June and went unnoticed until that month's final week. Aaron Carter remained mum about the story as it circulated the Internet and it was only after much heat from angry Jackson fans that he 'clarified'—after mysteriously erasing his original Twitter account of all messages—that the whole story was completely untrue and he'd never been given any kind of alcohol or drugs by Michael Jackson.
Caving to the pressure of Michael Jackson's rabid defenders to deny a story that made Michael look, at the very least, wildly irresponsible was ultimately Aaron Carter's downfall. As soon as he claimed he had never made any inculpatory statements about Michael's behavior, essentially turning journalist Daphne Barak into a liar, she released video clips of their conversations. With proof on her side, Barak's defense effectively shifted the blame for these very disturbing quotes back onto Aaron Carter.
At this point, I believe it is quite obvious Aaron Carter said what he'd said about Michael Jackson. Additionally, there should be no question—although, bizarrely, there seems to be—of whom he was discussing during his interviews with Daphne Barak: it was Michael Jackson. However, it is worth discussing what Aaron Carter's statements actually mean to the holistic and already sad Jackson saga.
As I've said, Aaron Carter's words are as self-evident as they are shocking. His interviews, recorded in Marbella, Spain in early June while at a charity gala, absolutely took place; there is no denying this. Previous accusations of tabloid embellishments would be rejected by reasonable people...
The only questions one has left to ponder deals with accuracy: how truthful are Aaron Carter's words? To note, for most Michael Jackson defenders, Aaron has credibility issues:
- He is seemingly irrelevant;
- He is working on an album;
- He suffered from an addiction;
- These newest interviews seem to 'contradict' more positive, and, thus, more 'digestible', past interviews given about Michael.
It should be noted that Michael Jackson was also irrelevant and died from an addiction; as such, fans should be immediately disregarded for suggesting Aaron Carter's believability takes a nose-dive due to the fact he is no longer on pop music charts and he had used substances in the past.
I am not suggesting that it can never be reasonable to suggest 'fame' is addictive to the point one who has had it may do anything to feel that sort of adulation again, nor am I suggesting that drug abusers can never be liars--we already know that to be false. What I am making clear is that it must be remembered that Aaron Carter was no longer using drugs when he gave his interview; he was clean and 'sober'. Additionally, I am pointing out that it is ridiculous to assume that every faded star will slander a friend for media attention.
It should be remembered that Aaron Carter is a Michael Jackson friend and defender.
It is from that context that I find his statements credible: if a Michael Jackson friend and defender makes inculpatory statements about him, especially while liberally peppering these anecdotes with praises and fond remembrances for his late mentor, then something in Michael Jackson's behavior must have been amiss.
What guides me in looking at something as controversial and potentially explosive as this story, I take note that I cannot make too many assumptions, as I was not there. Therefore, I rely heavily on corroboration; if the story can be corroborated with similar statements from unrelated parties or time periods, I lend it more credibility.
This is why it is more than believable that Brett Barnes was molested and that Michael Jackson was gay.
Now, Aaron Carter has denied his statements, or, at least, has disavowed the most serious allegations.
In the above video, Aaron admits that what he said, as it was recorded, was what he said; he admits to what was in his interview clips.
However, he only goes so far as to admit that he did drink wine at Neverland, but did not implicate Michael Jackson, as he did in his Barak interview. Also, Aaron Carter raises eyebrows with his other denials, using the overly emphatic "never, ever," to characterize how allegedly adamant he was about having never been given cocaine by Michael Jackson.
Disregarding his agitated body language, according to the statement analysis deception detection technique, using the words "never, ever"--especially when not prompted with an "ever" by the interviewer--can be indicators of untruthfulness: deceptive individuals wanting to be believed--given the negative feedback received by angry Jackson fans with regard to his Barak interviews, Aaron Carter was seeking acceptance of his 'earnestness' by the public--tend to gravitate towards overly emphatic phrases truthful people tend to avoid, such as "never, ever".
For the record, while I find Aaron's denials desperate and largely untruthful, I do not believe he was merely shielding himself from further abuses because he had been caught 'lying' about Michael Jackson for publicity, which is what many fans believe. Aaron Carter's denials, as in the E! News clip above, were because he genuinely felt he was being mischaracterized and his motives misjudged.
Regardless of what Michael Jackson fans believe, Aaron Carter was not out to hurt Michael in his interviews; he was not out to slander him for publicity. After weighing the nature of some of the clips themselves, especially the more explosive ones featuring just audio, I do not believe Aaron Carter knew he was being recorded by Daphne Barak.
That is not a suggestion that she is anything more than an opportunistic journalist; it is not a judgment of her as a journalist. But it seems self-evident that Barak recorded Aaron Carter without his knowledge and, perhaps, he believed he was 'confiding' in her 'off-the-record'.
This would tend to explain the sounds of clinking silverware and other noise in the background obscuring the sounds of Barak and Aaron Carter's voices.
Nevertheless, the clips stand on their own. In fact, all of the allegations emerging against Michael Jackson from this story tend to be reasonably corroborated, from the wine to the cocaine.
This first clip released by Barak is fairly tame, however, Aaron Carter did mention something of incredible interest:
"I mean, there were definitely things that happened, you know, that were just... different, you know... weird. He... uh... I mean, you know, he... he drank, you know... he drank around me a little bit."
Aaron's note of "weird" and "different" things happening foreshadows later clips.
He mentions Michael Jackson drinking in front of him, perhaps getting drunk, when he was just fourteen-years-old. For some, this may seem minor; after all, Michael was an adult and in his own home, of which Aaron Carter was the guest.
But noticeable is the careful way in which he says Michael 'drank', as if, at least in hindsight, he now realizes it was inappropriate behavior on Michael Jackson's part. This would be verified by the "things that happened" that were "different" and "weird".
Anyone familiar with the Jackson saga knows that Michael Jackson was an alcoholic. According to former Neverland house manager Jesus Salas' April 4, 2005 testimony, Michael Jackson often drank:
6 Q. Did Mr. Jackson drink?
7 A. Yes, he did.
8 Q. Are you aware of what his drinks of choice
9 were, what he liked to drink, in terms of alcohol?
10 A. Well, he drink wine and vodka also.
A bit later in his testimony, Salas remarks that Michael often became drunk when drinking, or, rather, he drank until he was drunk:
11 Q. Have you ever seen him exhibiting the
12 effects of drinking?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. On how many occasions?
15 A. Well, lately it was on a pretty much regular
17 Q. A regular basis?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. Did you ever see Mr. Jackson where he
20 appeared to have been drinking a great deal, that he
21 appeared to be drunk?
22 A. Yes.
(Note that Salas uses the term "lately" to characterize Michael Jackson's drinking until getting drunk, and that this occurred on a "regular basis", an indication that the stress of yet another child molestation accusation was causing him to find relief in intoxicants.)
The house manager then testified that Michael Jackson would often display his drunkenness in front of his own children, often making no effort to conceal his inebriation. This tends to corroborate Aaron Carter's claim--and explain his apparent uncomfortableness--that Michael displayed improper behavior in front of those who were underaged:
3 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Mr. Salas, when you saw
4 Mr. Jackson when he was drunk, did you ever see him
5 in the presence -- in that condition, in the
6 presence of his children?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. On more than one occasion?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell me how many or approximate?
11 A. Well, I couldn’t tell you exactly how many
12 times, but it was quite a few times.
A bit later:
4 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Sure.
5 Q. My question is, during the period of time
6 when you saw Mr. Jackson when he was drunk in the
7 presence of his children, did Mr. Jackson do
8 anything to hide the fact that he had been drinking
9 or that he was drunk when that occurred, when you
10 saw that?
11 MR. MESEREAU: Same objection.
12 THE COURT: Overruled.
13 You may answer.
14 THE WITNESS: Not to my knowledge.
16 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. Have you ever
17 served wine or any alcoholic beverage to Mr. Jackson
18 when he was in the presence of children?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. On more than one occasion?
21 A. I would say that was a couple times.
Interestingly, the National Enquirer tabloid ran a story alleging Michael Jackson had overdosed on Jack Daniels whiskey and Demerol during his self-imposed, post-molestation trial exile to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia. (The story predictably contained a denial of the 'rumor' by then-publicist Raymone Bain, explaining that the story was untrue and that Michael was 'fine'.)
We know that Michael Jackson drank--as half-drunk, open containers of Jack Daniels and red wine were found in his bedroom when the police raided Neverland in November 2003 also verify--and we know that he apparently had no misgivings about drinking in front of minors, even his own young children.
Aaron Carter later extended Michael Jackson's propensity to drink in front of him as a young teen to Michael Jackson giving him wine, as the original OK! magazine report claimed and as it was recorded by Daphne Barak.
A transcription of the video:
DAPHNE BARAK (DB): "What kind of drink did he give you?"
AARON CARTER (AC): "Uh... wine. It was wine, I mean... but I wanted to--I wanted to drink, so..."
DB: "You're a kid, fourteen-fifteen."
AC: "Right, right... fifteen, you know... You wanna do those kinds of things, you know? And, you know, I was experimenting, you know, at that time so.... I think if I was... uh... if I was a forty-year-old man, I wouldn't be offering anything to a fifteen-year-old teenager... even if he or she was asking for anything like that, you know?"
So, Aaron Carter did, in fact, state Michael Jackson gave him alcohol.
This would, of course, contradict what Aaron told Ken Baker from E! News, as shown in the first video of this entry, that wine was merely at Neverland and its presence at Neverland enabled him to drink. What should be noted is that Aaron Carter acknowledges, honestly, that he did want the alcohol, as he was experimenting as many teens do.
Wine--or "Jesus juice"--seemed to be the libation of choice Michael supplied to his 'special friends'. Well known are the soda cans filled with "Jesus juice" airline stewardesses prepared at Michael Jackson's request, allegedly used to conceal his drinking to others, or, more likely, to conceal his giving of alcohol to his underaged male companions.
As a corroboration of Aaron's admission, Neverland employees did state that alcohol was easily accessible to Michael Jackson's young, often male, guests at the ranch. According to the testimony of former house manager, Jesus Salas, Neverland's wine cellar frequently had youthful intruders:
26 Q. Did you ever see kids go into the wine
27 cellar, any kids, during your period of time as
28 house manager?
1 A. Yes.
Salas later goes on to detail incidents where he saw local teenagers from Los Olivos around Aaron Carter's age (when he was given wine)--also frequent, unsupervised guests to Neverland like many of Michael Jackson's boy visitors--in the wine cellar and about the house, seemingly drunk.
8 Q. Okay. The wine cellar. You said you didn’t
9 ever have any complaints of -- hear of any
10 complaints regarding the Arvizos. Did you ever have
11 any other complaints of any other children in the
12 wine cellar?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you know which children they were?
15 A. When I was given those complaints, it was
16 about the kids from Los Olivos.
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. If I could have the
18 Elmo again, Your Honor, please.
19 Q. Showing you People’s Exhibit 45. Is that
20 one of the kids you’re talking about?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. 46?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That’s one of the kids?
25 A. That’s correct.
26 Q. And 47.
27 A. That is correct.
28 Q. Okay. Are there any other kids that you’re
1 referring to, or is that everybody that we’re
2 talking about?
3 A. No, I did get some other complaints about
4 some other kids which wasn’t these kids.
5 Q. Okay. Now, these three kids that -- I think
6 you’ve identified them as being from Los Olivos
7 previously, correct?
8 A. That’s correct.
9 Q. We’ll call them “the Los Olivos boys,” okay?
10 A. Okay.
11 Q. Now, the Los Olivos boys, you said you had a
12 complaint, complaints regarding them in the wine
13 cellar. What was the nature of the complaint?
14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
15 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It’s offered to explain
17 THE COURT: Whose conduct?
18 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Mr. Salas’s. And I can
19 tell you at sidebar where I’m going, if you like.
20 THE COURT: The objection is sustained.
21 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you personally ever
22 see the Los Olivos boys in the wine cellar?
23 A. Not in the wine cellar, but I saw them come
25 Q. You saw them coming out of the wine cellar.
26 And when you saw them coming out of the wine cellar,
27 what time of day are we talking about?
28 A. Early in the morning, around eight o’clock
1 in the morning.
2 Q. And during that previous -- let’s say the
3 ten hours -- well, let’s see, let me back up.
4 Do you know if Mr. Jackson was in the wine
5 cellar with them?
6 A. That early morning, or late night, early
7 morning, Mr. Jackson was with the kids.
8 Q. And when you saw these kids come out of the
9 wine cellar, did you notice whether or not they
10 exhibited any signs of being intoxicated?
11 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
12 THE COURT: Overruled.
13 You may answer.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did.
15 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Tell me what you saw.
16 A. When I saw the boys coming out of the
17 arcade, which is where the wine cellar is, the kids
18 weren’t acting normal. So I approached one of them,
19 and I said, “Are you okay?” That’s when I noticed
20 that the kids were drunk.
21 Q. How drunk were they, if you could
22 characterize it?
23 A. I would say that they were -- what would you
24 call it? I mean, you can tell that they were drunk.
25 I mean, I could see that they had been drinking.
26 Q. What were they doing that made you believe
27 they’d been drinking?
28 A. The way they were acting. I mean, they
1 weren’t just normal. Something was wrong with the
3 Q. Did you notice any other times when these
4 three boys had been drinking, and it was apparent to
5 you that they had been drinking?
6 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading;
7 relevance; foundation.
8 THE COURT: Overruled.
9 You have may answer.
10 THE WITNESS: Your question was what date?
11 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: No, my question --
12 you’ve told us about one incident where you noticed
13 the three Los Olivos boys had been drinking. I want
14 to know if you ever observed a second time that
15 these same boys had been drinking.
16 A. Yes, there was a second time.
17 Q. And when was that?
18 A. I want to say it was -- it was after that
19 one. Not exactly sure, you know, how many weeks
20 after that. But I would say it was two, three weeks
21 after that one.
22 Q. And when was the first time, approximately?
23 A. I want to say it was in October when I saw
24 those kids the first time.
25 Q. 2002? 2003? You tell me.
26 A. It was 2002, I believe.
27 Q. Okay. And where did you see these boys the
28 second time when they appeared to have been
2 A. At the house.
3 Q. Inside the house?
4 A. Yes. Well, they were everywhere, but, yes,
5 they were in the house.
6 Q. Was Mr. Jackson on the property at that
8 A. Yes, he was.
From Salas' testimony, it is easy to come to the conclusion that Michael Jackson was, at the very least, somewhat aware of the underage drinking at his home, if he was not in the company of the boys. The wine cellar, according to Salas, was usually locked; however, this was no barrier between experimenting youth and booze. Disturbed by the constant pillaging of Michael Jackson's booze den, Salas testified that he initiated the institution of keeping the key to the wine cellar in a safe that would be inaccessible to boys. During cross-examination by Michael Jackson's attorneys, Salas stated that the safe was put in without Michael's knowledge, nor was he ever consulted following its installation.
14 Q. Okay. Now, the prosecutor asked you about a
15 safe that was brought onto the property to lock
16 keys. Do you remember that?
17 A. Uh-huh.
18 Q. And if you remember, whose idea was it to
19 put a safe where the keys could be locked?
20 A. It was the ranch manager idea and my idea.
21 Q. Did you discuss it with Michael Jackson?
22 A. No, we never did.
23 Q. You just ordered a safe?
24 A. We just ordered a safe.
25 Q. And you put the keys in the safe?
26 A. That is correct.
Taking all of Jesus Salas' testimony into account, it is not unreasonable to believe that teenaged boys were freely allowed to take alcohol from the wine cellar by Michael Jackson, while Michael Jackson was on the premises.
Neverland housekeeper, Kiki Fournier, also testified that to having seen boys drunk around Michael Jackson on at least two occasions, although she stated she'd never seen boys actually served alcohol by the King of Pop. She described the 'anything goes' atmosphere of Neverland Ranch as a Pleasure Island for young teenaged boys.
Gavin and Star Arvizo also claimed Michael Jackson had given them alcohol and, as a result, he was charged with four counts of "administering an intoxicating agent" to minors. While Jackson defenders tend to repudiate the overall Arvizo allegations, the alcohol charges seemed the most straight-forward. In fact, the Michael Jackson jurors initially had trouble deciding whether to convict on those counts.
There had been dispute about whether the alcohol the Arvizo boys drank at Neverland was given to them by Michael Jackson or had they merely 'stolen' it from his wine cellar. The boys' sister, Davellin, testified that she had seen the boys drinking alcohol with Michael in the wine cellar, although Michael's defense team insinuated it was the boys who'd gotten their own drinks, as they were wild and uncontrollable.
The aforementioned house manager, Jesus Salas, gave meandering testimony that he had delivered wine and glasses to Michael Jackson and boys, which included the Arvizo brothers. However, he changes his story midway, suggesting he also brought sodas along with Michael Jackson's order of wine. Instead of the wine glasses he'd insisted on, he then recalled that the glasses were 'normal glasses', presumably glasses not necessarily used for wine-drinking. These new details dramatically contradicted previous statements he'd given police.
4 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. Tell me -- you
5 said there was a couple of times that you brought
6 Mr. Jackson wine in the presence of children. Tell
7 me about the first one you remember. When was it?
8 A. It was at nighttime.
9 Q. Do you remember when it was in terms of the
10 year that you served as house manager,
12 A. Well, it was -- I would say it was January
13 somewhere. January, somewhere around there.
14 Q. Of 2002, 2003?
15 A. 2003.
16 Q. And about what time of night?
17 A. It was about -- I would say it was about
18 nine o’clock.
19 Q. And where did you go, what room?
20 A. I went to Mr. Jackson’s bedroom, upstairs.
21 Q. And what did you bring to Mr. Jackson’s
23 A. I brought some glasses, and some wine.
24 Q. What type of wine; do you remember?
25 A. I don’t remember the type of wine.
26 Q. Do you remember whether it was red or white?
27 A. I want to say that it was a white wine.
28 Q. What type of glasses did you bring?
1 A. Glass -- it was just glass wines.
2 Q. I’m sorry?
3 A. Glass wines.
4 Q. Wine glass?
5 A. No, let me back up. It was just glasses,
6 normal glasses.
7 Q. Normal glasses?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Were they tall glasses or short glasses?
10 A. Short glasses.
11 Q. Can you describe them?
12 A. Short glasses.
13 Q. And who ordered this wine?
14 A. Mr. Jackson.
15 Q. Did you talk to him personally?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What did he tell you?
18 A. He called me and asked me to bring some
19 glasses to his room and some wine.
20 Q. Did he tell you how many glasses?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How many?
23 A. Four of them.
5 Q. Was Mr. Jackson or any of the children
6 present when you delivered this wine?
7 A. Yes, there were.
8 Q. Who was present?
9 A. The kids that were there. Gavin, and I
10 believe it was also Frank’s brothers, the ones that
11 were there. But let me tell you something else. He
12 also ordered some sodas with that.
13 Q. Okay. So what do you mean, “some sodas”?
14 A. He also asked me to bring some sodas with
15 that order.
16 Q. Tell me what you mean by “sodas.”
17 A. Yes, just the normal soda cans.
18 Q. Soda drinks?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, you have previously talked to the
21 sheriffs about this incident, haven’t you?
22 A. Right. Right.
23 Q. And described for them that you brought a
24 bottle of wine and glasses?
25 A. Uh-huh.
26 Q. Let me back up. Let me back up.
27 So you brought some wine and glasses, and
28 some sodas?
1 A. Uh-huh.
9 Q. All right. Now, let’s go back to this
10 time -- this first incident where you said that you
11 served wine and soda. You have been interviewed
12 about this by the sheriff’s department, right?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And you were interviewed back in, I believe
15 it was, 2003; is that right?
16 A. That’s correct.
17 Q. And when you talked to the sheriff’s
18 department about this, you never mentioned anything
19 about any soda?
20 A. No, I didn’t.
21 Q. And why is that?
22 A. I don’t know. It just -- it just flip out
23 right now to my mind.
24 Q. You just remembered it just this second?
25 A. Right.
26 Q. And you said that you came back and the
27 bottle of wine was empty?
28 A. That is correct.
It had just "flipped out" into his mind right there on the stand two years later? Salas' claims are obviously fabrications and one would have to wonder how he managed to leave out such an exculpatory detail in his previous interviews.
Also corroborating the Arvizo claims was former bodyguard, Chris Carter.
Carter--a young black man who, despite no previous experience, was chosen by Michael Jackson to be his bodyguard after having been spotted across a crowded casino and on the basis of his smile and attractiveness alone--was set to be a 'star witness' for the Prosecution team but was eventually withdrawn from the witness list because of serious felony charges that may have lessened his credibility with jurors.
According to a police interview, Carter--like Jesus Salas and Kiki Fournier--saw boys drinking at Neverland and saw Michael Jackson around boys with glasses of alcohol, apparently in the midst of drinking with them. However, Carter was the only person unrelated to the Arvizos to see Michael Jackson drinking with Gavin Arvizo, not to mention Gavin allegedly told Carter that Michael insisted the former cancer patient take the alcohol "like a man."
Carter also remarked to police that the case against Michael Jackson would have been "stronger" if every witness was willing to participate.
Given the eyewitnesses to Michael Jackson's handling of booze and the numerous curious boys that went through Neverland, it seems self-evident that Aaron Carter's claims of having been given alcohol are more than reasonably substantiated. Michael Jackson apparently had no qualms about boys unlocking the wine cellar to serve themselves to his stash while he was still on the property; he kept the cellar key in plain view of his young guests.
Had Aaron Carter simply taken wine for himself, as the other boys often did, it is obvious that this was not only permitted by Michael Jackson, but encouraged: he served wine to 'special friends'. The unanswered question is what was the purpose for Michael Jackson's lax stance on underaged boy drinking at the ranch?
In addition to the wine given to him by Michael Jackson, Aaron Carter also alleged that the two smoked marijuana together when he was fifteen-years-old.
Aaron Carter says in the video (Daphne Barak is largely indecipherable):
"There's--there's another story; something--something must've happened... and--and it involves drugs. Now I don't know if this is something I want to talk about... maybe, maybe not but... [mumbles] At fifteen, I smoked weed with Michael. Hands down, swear to God. [indecipherable] But this happened. It really did. It really did."
Aaron's statements in this clip contradict statements he'd given Howard Stern, who asked him to "swear to God" he had never smoked marijuana with Michael.* It also contradicts statements given by his sister, Leslie Carter, in November 2004, as reported in the New York Daily News, where she claims Aaron told her he and Michael Jackson had smoked marijuana around the time Michael Jackson had celebrated his 45th Birthday Bash:
Aaron's sister Leslie Carter says he told her some things about his night with the King of Pop - but she's not sure how much was true."I think I remember him saying that he had smoked some marijuana with him or something like that. That was a really wild story he told me, but I don't know if I should believe it or not," Leslie Carter tells Barak.
Aaron Carter denied his sister's claims in an issue of People magazine, stating that the evening he'd spent with Michael Jackson had been completely harmless:
After Carter's mother Jane told "Access Hollywood" that her son had spent an unsupervised night with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch, and Carter's sister Leslie, 18, implied that drug use may have been involved, Carter told PEOPLE: "I don't do drugs. I didn't do them with Michael Jackson and I don't do them with anyone else."
We should pay attention to Aaron's language in the quote from People above. He did not deny 'smoking marijuana' with Michael Jackson--as his sister actually alleged--but 'doing drugs'. According to the statement analysis technique, every person has their own internal dictionary; perhaps to Aaron Carter, 'doing drugs' is an entirely different thing than smoking pot.
It is worth noting that two baggies of marijuana were found in Michael Jackson's Holmby Hills mansion after his death. Chris Carter also stated in his previously mentioned police interview that Michael Jackson smoked the drug.
Michael's marijuana possession and smoking, as well as his penchant for hard alcohol, are conspicuous departures from what he told Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in his book The Michael Jackson Tapes when the two were discussing celebrities; from page 210:
"...I don't think they are real people. They love the limelight and I don't have anything in common with them. They want to go clubbing and afterwards they want to sit around and drink hard liquor and do marijuana and do all kinds of crazy things that I wouldn't do. We have nothing in common."
Because Michael was witnessed smoking marijuana and had some of the substance in his home, it is reasonable to assume that what he had told the rabbi was something to make himself look more similar to the image he'd maintained for his fans.
Aaron Carter's admission to Daphne Barak of using marijuana with Michael Jackson is far more believable given Michael's own marijuana use. One has to wonder why Aaron Carter admitted the activity to his sister, denied it, and then confessed this second time around.
With regards to drug use, the claim left unsubstantiated from the original OK! magazine story is the cocaine. As of yet, Daphne Barak has not released any clips of Aaron claiming to have snorted cocaine with Michael Jackson, so there is a possibility that that part of the story was fabricated by either OK! or Barak herself.
The alternate explanation is that she simply did not get it on tape.
Aaron Carter did deny Michael giving him cocaine but that does not mean that it is true; after all, every other part of the story Aaron denied has been proven to have been said. In all fairness, however, prima facie, it is untrue, until a tape emerges to show Aaron Carter stating, "I did cocaine with Michael."
But just because Aaron was allegedly never given cocaine by Michael Jackson does not mean Michael never used the drug himself. Like every thing else thus far, even Michael's assumed cocaine use can be corroborated reasonably with other accounts.
At the same time three different male semen samples were found on Michael Jackson's mattress and in bed sheets and underwear he'd kept in a bag with his own soiled underwear, lab analysis discovered cocaine in those same underwear of his he'd kept together with the semen-soiled pair from his male accomplice.
From the reports, cocaine was found on bloodied and blood-free cuttings from the same pair of Michael Jackson's size 30 Calvin Klein briefs, along with Michael's drug of choice, Demerol. The Prosecution claimed the most likely explanation for why Michael Jackson had cocaine on different cuttings from the same underwear was that he had excreted the substance in his blood and in his urine; his attorneys disagreed. Although Michael's defense team argued that because cocaine metabolites were not detected in the forensic analysis from the underwear it was not a verification of Michael using cocaine, the point remains that cocaine was found.
Perhaps the powders came to be nestled in the weave of Michael Jackson's underwear because he hid the drugs in his pants or underwear, or, while buzzed on Demerol, he'd spilled it on himself.
What is more interesting is that, in addition to simply finding the drug on Michael Jackson's undergarments, Jermaine Jackson also alleged his brother used cocaine (among other drugs) in a 2003 book pitch, adding perhaps Michael Jackson did not know what he could be doing to the young boys who'd spent the night in his bedroom because he was high on drugs. Star Arvizo claimed Michael Jackson 'snorted' cocaine, as well.
The corroboration on the cocaine bit is more than interesting, especially given that it had been found on Michael Jackson's clothing. Although no tape exists showing Aaron Carter mentioning he'd been given cocaine, one has to wonder why the drug has, once again, been brought up in connection with Michael Jackson.
As I've stated, only as a matter of hard fact, prima facie, this part of the interview with Aaron did not occur. However, there is more than enough reasonable suspicion that that part of the interview was simply off-the-record and unrecorded.
But beyond the booze and the marijuana, the most explosive piece of interview with Aaron Carter was his admission of being in a 'funny situation' with Michael Jackson.
Transcription of the video:
AC: He wanted me to stay in his room. So, he got a cot--a bed--and, uh, I stayed on a cot in his room.
DB: And when was all of this?
AC: It must've been... it must've been 5 o'clock in the morning and--
DB: I also have a story for you that nobody has heard before...
AC:--and 5 o'clock in the morning, he's on my bed. He's on the foot of the bed. And I wake up--
DB: This is scary! (laughs)
AC:--and I'm like (gasps), "What are you doing?" Like, you know, I'm 15-years-old, you know, like, "What are you doing?" And he's [like], "Oh my God; I didn't know! I didn't know!" And he went in his bed and I'm like, you know, I'm like, "Okaaay?"
DB: You're scared because you're like, "What are you going to do?"
AC: Yeah, I mean--
DB: And what about all his kids in this thing? When he was doing all this, where were they?
AC: They were in the room right next door... in the room right next door. [pause] And usually, he didn't want anybody hanging out with his kids. No one. But me? I spent hours with his children. He allowed--he allowed me to spend time with his children because he didn't usually do--
DB: So, after you spent two days, how long--how often did you talk to him?
AC: All the time. All the time.
DB: ...just like you did before, yeah. And it was really, really tough and you couldn't tell them.
AC: I mean... it was... I mean... [end clip]
This is a very damning piece of audio against Michael Jackson.
According to Aaron, Michael Jackson invited him into his bedroom for a 'sleepover', of sorts; most likely very conscious of how an invite into his actual bed would look given the pedophilia allegations he'd faced in the past, Michael offered him a cot instead. It was then while Aaron Carter was sleeping that Michael Jackson crept onto this single-person cot. Aaron then woke up and saw Michael Jackson; Aaron's alarm causes Michael to divert from whatever original intention he'd had--apparently the activity necessitated that Aaron Carter remain asleep--and go back into his own bed.
Whatever sort of situation was avoided here, we know from Aaron Carter's tone to Daphne Barak that it was something peculiar, especially noting that Aaron Carter, at the time, would fit the mold of 'Attractive Young Boy' Michael was allegedly interested in.
We should recall Aaron Carter's description of he and Michael Jackson's relationship in the first clip released by Barak: he said there were things that had happened between the two or during their friendship that was "different", "weird". Is it possible this incident is what Aaron Carter was referring to?
Aaron did tell People magazine that he and Michael Jackson's relationship was completely innocent, which would seemingly contradict his conversation with Daphne Barak:
On his playdate at Neverland with Jackson, who has been charged with child molestation: "Michael and I have been friends for three years. I went to Neverland for his (45th) birthday bash. We were smashing cake in each other's faces. It was really cool. Until 5 a.m., me, him and Chris Tucker were out on four-wheelers, riding around in the mountains. Nothing happened between me and Michael. We didn't sleep in the same room, we didn't share a bed. We have a normal friendship. There's nothing sexual to it."
Michael Jackson's defenders have pointed out the "5 AM" mention in this People magazine interview, noting its similarity between the "5 o'clock in the morning" mention to Barak. His story to Daphne Barak, they claim, is suspect because, according to this past interview, he'd been doing something else entirely at the same time!
But let's note that in his conversation with Barak, it is pointed out that he spent two days with Michael Jackson. Why assume the day Aaron was riding four-wheelers with Michael and Chris Tucker was the same day as the bed incident? The same can be said about the fact Aaron stated he and Michael Jackson's friendship stretched back since he was thirteen; he had a whole year while he was fifteen-years-old to be in an ambiguous situation with Michael Jackson.
Aaron Carter claimed he and Michael did not share a bedroom, although, given the year of the interview--during the interim between his arrest for the molestation of Gavin Arvizo and his trial--perhaps Aaron was simply saying they never shared a room because it would have made Michael Jackson look worse than he already did.
Michael Jackson would be seen as an accused pedophile, who, even after shelling out millions to a young boy in the early 1990s, still needed his boy sleepover fix. Trying to help Michael Jackson's already dubious reputation would explain all of the previous contradictions between his past statements and the Daphne Barak interviews.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this entry, some fans seem to doubt the identity of the person to whom Aaron claims was at the foot of his bed, since he did not name the person explicitly. (Fans do acknowledge, however, that the situation described by Aaron Carter is disturbing.) Notably, boy-band entrepreneur Lou Pearlman--creator of Backstreet Boys and 'NSync--gets the blame for this incident at Neverland.
But this shifting of blame onto Lou Pearlman is not entirely without merit.
There had been an open secret in the world of boy-bands to which Pearlman was a key player about his attraction to the young males he auditioned or added to his numerous musical acts, as was documented extensively in a November 2007 article of Vanity Fair magazine called, "Mad About the Boys". Beyond describing Pearlman's various financial scams and his seeming predilection for thrusting himself onto his proteges, the article details the alleged impropriety between Pearlman and Aaron Carter's brother, Nick:
It was during this period, in 1997 and 1998, that the first allegations of inappropriate behavior involving Pearlman appear to have surfaced. One incident centered on the youngest of the Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter, who in 1997 turned 17. Even for many of those closest to the group, what happened remains unclear."My son did say something about the fact that Nick had been uncomfortable staying [at Pearlman's house]," Denise McLean says."For a while Nick loved going over to Lou's house. All of a sudden it appeared there was a flip at some point. Then we heard from the Carter camp that there was some kind of inappropriate behavior. It was just odd. I can just say there were odd events that took place."
Neither Nick Carter nor his divorced parents, Robert and Jane Carter, will address what, if anything, happened. But at least two other mothers of Pearlman band members assert Jane termed Pearlman a "sexual predator."Phoenix Stone says he discussed the matter with both Nick and his mother. "With Nick, I got to tell you, this was not something Nick was comfortable talking about," says Stone. "What happened? Well, I just think that he finally, you know, Lou was definitely inappropriate with him, and he just felt that he didn't want anything to do with that anymore. There was a big blowup at that point. From what Jane says, yes, there was a big blowup and they confronted him."
In a telephone interview, Jane Carter stops just short of acknowledging Pearlman made improper overtures to her son. "Certain things happened," she tells me, "and it almost destroyed our family. I tried to warn everyone. I tried to warn all the mothers." Told that this article would detail allegations that Pearlman made overtures to other young men, she replies, "If you're doing that, and exposing that, I give you a big flag. I tried to expose him for what he was years ago.… I hope you expose him, because the financial [scandal] is the least of his injustices." When I ask why she won't discuss it further, Carter says she doesn't want to jeopardize her relationship with Nick. "I can't say anything more," she says. "These children are fearful, and they want to go on with their careers."
The piece continues, expanding on Pearlman's behavior:
Since Pearlman's financial collapse, a number of his onetime band members have told Vanity Fair they experienced behavior that many would consider inappropriate. Much of what is described occurred at Pearlman's two Orlando-area homes, the white house he owned on Ridge Pine Trail and, after 1999, the sprawling Italianate mansion he acquired from Julian Benscher, in suburban Windermere. Tim Christofore, who joined Pearlman's third boy band, Take 5, at the age of 13, remembers one sleepover when he and another boy were dozing and Pearlman appeared at the foot of their bed, clad only in a towel. According to Christofore, who now runs a small entertainment business in St. Paul, Minnesota, Pearlman performed a swan dive onto the bed, wrestling with the boys, at which point his towel came off.
"We were like, 'Ooh, Lou, that's gross,'" Christofore recalls. "What did I know? I was 13."
On a separate occasion, Christofore and another band member telephoned Pearlman to say they were coming to his home to play pool. When they arrived, Pearlman met them at the door naked, explaining he was just getting out of the shower. Another time, Christofore remembers, Pearlman showed him security-camera footage of his girl group, Innosense, sunbathing topless. On still another occasion, Pearlman invited all five band members to watch the movie Star Wars in his viewing room. At one point the film switched off and was replaced by a pornographic movie. At the time, Christofore says, "We just thought it was funny. We were kids. We were like, 'Great!'"
"No one ever complained," says Tim's mother, Steffanie. "Most of the stuff, we learned about only after the group broke up [in 2001]. Lou played this game of trying to alienate the parents. Every time he dropped the boys off, it was 'Don't tell the parents anything.' They pretty much had a pact with him and they kept it." Only later did Merrily Goodell, who had two sons in Take 5, learn that Pearlman had taken one to a strip joint. "Did Lou rape my boys? No, he didn't," she says. "But he put them, and a lot of others, in inappropriate situations. I know that. To me, the man is just a sexual predator."
To this day, the question of Pearlman's behavior remains a sensitive topic among former members of his boy bands. For every young man or parent who says he experienced or saw something inappropriate, there are two who won't discuss it and three more who deny hearing anything but rumors. More than a dozen insiders told me they heard stories of Pearlman's behavior while insisting they experienced nothing untoward themselves. Asked who might have been targets of Pearlman's overtures, the names of seven or eight performers are repeatedly mentioned. Only two of these men would talk to me, and while one acknowledges hearing stories from other boys of inappropriate behavior, both strenuously deny experiencing it themselves.
"None of these kids will ever admit anything happened," one attorney who has sued Pearlman told me. "They're all too ashamed, and if the truth came out it would ruin their careers."
What may (or may not) have happened to Nick Carter remains unknown, although, given Lou Pearlman's lascivious conduct, if the allegations of impropriety are true, it was some form of sexual harassment, at the least, or sexual assault.
Regardless of the Vanity Fair story, Nick somewhat denied the situation to MTV's John Norris:
Needless to say, none of this is anything that now-27-year-old Nick Carter is keen to talk about, especially in what ought to be an interview heralding the release of a new record, but he did have a comment for those people speaking out.
"There's a lot of people who maybe were involved in our stuff in the past who want to take an opportunity maybe because they are a little bitter, you know, maybe because of where they are right now," Carter said. "And they tend to, like, throw us under the bus, you know what I mean? Because of where we are right now. I mean, I'm not naming anybody but ... any attack on any one of us in this group is an attack on the whole entire group."
When I suggested that if anyone is being "attacked" it's Pearlman and not Backstreet, Nick would only offer, "Well, not necessarily an attack, but it does affect the whole entire group. Because we've all gone through stuff together, and it just feels like, it's unfortunate that people have to talk, 'cause they have nothing else to talk about."
Fans most likely got on the 'Blame Pearlman' bandwagon because of his situation with Nick Carter.While the Pearlman connection makes sense, if only given his alleged interests and behavior, the connection between he and Aaron Carter fails in other obvious regards.
Aaron stated the man who got on the foot of his single-person cot while he was sleeping had "children". To note, the audio in the interview was not pieced together, but is continuous as he goes from the bed incident to bringing up the man's children. We know that he is most certainly talking about Michael Jackson when Aaron states the man did not want anyone "hanging out" with his children: Michael was known to isolate his children from most people. We know it is not Pearlman because Pearlman has never been married and is childless.
Additionally, Aaron Carter filed a lawsuit against Lou Pearlman in the middle of 2002, alleging that he'd been stiffed hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties from the album he'd released with Pearlman's record label. Because of this--as well as the bad blood between Pearlman and the Carters--it is unlikely that Aaron Carter would sleep alone in any room with Pearlman.
We should also note the reaction of the 'unknown' man in Aaron's anecdote when Aaron questions him about what he was doing on his single-person cot: the man repeatedly apologizes and then returns to his own bed. This reaction, if the Vanity Fair piece is accurate, goes against the Lou Pearlman portrayal. Pearlman, according to the article's sources, was very sexually aggressive and bold. The man in Aaron's account, however, was meek, almost gentle; this would be more befitting Michael Jackson than Pearlman.
Finally, when Aaron Carter mentions that he and the man continued to talk "all the time", we know that is not Lou Pearlman. If Nick Carter felt so uncomfortable around Pearlman that he started to not want to go to the man's home after whatever alleged incident occurred between them, it is unlikely that Aaron--after an incident like he'd described to Daphne Barak--would 'keep in touch' with Pearlman.
Now, I only mention the Pearlman connection for the sake of holism; it is self-evident that Aaron Carter was discussing a "different" and "weird" incident with Michael Jackson.
But what should one take away from this unsettling sleepover date between Michael Jackson and yet another young, teenaged boy?
From Aaron Carter's statements, it is reasonable to suspect that Michael Jackson used his sleepovers to perhaps fondle or molest his 'special friends' and that, if Aaron had not awaken, he may have been a victim of Michael's sexual intentions. Also reasonable is the suspicion that Michael Jackson's seeming inability to give up sleeping the same room or the same bed with boys reeked of need: he needed to have boys in his bedroom.
What can we glean from these Aaron Carter revelations as a whole?
Certainly, they were said; they are also believable. And certainly, they reveal--with considerable adjuvant support--Michael Jackson's behaviors with the young males he'd befriended. Neverland is even more painted as a proverbial 'boys only' Pleasure Island; we must ponder why he allowed boys to drink alcohol with reckless abandon and why he saw no problem with giving them drugs, and is the freedom boys have at Neverland in any way linked to bringing them into his bedroom.
At the very least, what Aaron Carter describes shows Michael Jackson abandoned all judgment and responsibility when 'hanging out' with his young boy companions. At the worst, it reveals the actions of a pedophile.
It does not take too much thought to figure out into which category Michael Jackson falls.
* When asked by Howard Stern to "swear to God" that he had never smoked marijuana with Michael Jackson, Aaron Carter puts his hand over his heart and says, "I swear," but not "I swear to God," as Stern had ordered. Given that Aaron told his sister that he and Michael Jackson smoked together and that he went on to mention this to Daphne Barak, it's possible that when pressed to "swear to God" about a possible fib, Aaron was too superstitious or his belief in God prevented him to say anything but, "I swear." He does, however, swear to God when talking to Barak about this very issue of having smoked marijuana with Michael Jackson.