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.
This is page 2 of a two-page article. If you haven't read page 1 click here.
Note underlined portions.
Mesereau did not mention any insurance company; he mentioned that Jackson himself settled, albeit it with the advice of his attorneys, and "hoped to buy peace"--all of this contradicts the claim in that March 22, 2005 memorandum that asserted, as a reason for keeping out the settlement papers as well as barring any discussion of the details within them, that "[t]he insurance carrier negotiated and paid the settlement, over the protests of Mr. Jackson and his personal legal counsel." Interestingly, Mesereau characterized the amounts given to both Jordie Chandler and Jason Francia as "very small sums"; it is a wonder, then, why Jackson's team would fight so stridently (and resort to fabrications) in order to keep the amounts of these settlements from being mentioned before a jury if they had been so small and inconsequential.
Additionally, Mesereau gave another explanation as to why Jackson settled with Jordie and Jason that mentioned no insurance carriers and, more importantly, no force, as stated in his June 2, 2005 closing argument:
17 And he has been a target for years,
18 particularly after he settled with Chandler and
19 Francia, because he doesn’t like courtrooms, he
20 doesn’t like lawyers particularly, he doesn’t like
21 litigation. He’s known to be childlike, and
22 different, and creative, and offbeat. He’s known
23 not to trust adults.
Nothing in that part of Mesereau's arguments, either, uphold the brazen make believe within the Oxman memo, just the point that Jackson disliked the process that he could have used to vindicate himself.
Paragraph 12.b. and the final lines of the Jordie Chandler settlement itself confirm all that has been written above and dispute the claims by Jackson's 2005 Defense team that the insurance company wanted to settle against the wishes of Jackson and his attorneys.
Jackson was never forced into anything and everyone, except his Defense team when it appeared expedient, agrees with that fact. Again, had Jackson wanted to clear his name, he was fully capable of doing so. Had he wanted to expose the Chandlers as liars, he could have done it. But he chose not to do it; instead, he chose to settle the claims.
He chose to silence Jordie Chandler, and not to show a judge and jury why the boy's accusations were baseless and flimsy.
As previously noted, Jackson's defenders have maintained the contradictory positions of a (now-disproved) forced settlement and that Jackson's settlement was no admission of guilt; let's discuss what that multimillion-dollar agreement really revealed.
Firstly, let's recall the seven 'Causes of Action' leveled against Jackson from that original Chandler civil suit:
- Sexual battery;
- Seduction (of a minor);
- Willful misconduct;
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress;
Although the final agreement contained several paragraphs (¶2 and ¶3.g.) that allowed Jackson to 'deny' any guilt stemming from the allegations he'd molested Jordie Chandler, Michael Jackson did admit to being responsible for the 'negligence' claims in that civil suit. Specifically, Jackson admitted being responsible for negligence involving "offensive contacts" that were "explicitly sexual and otherwise". It is an interesting acceptance on Jackson's part: 'negligence', legally speaking, denotes behavior and/or actions a reasonably prudent person would not have displayed and/or undertaken, respectively, in an identical circumstance.
In other words, Jackson accepted the charge that while in ambiguous situations with Jordie Chandler—be they in the bed watching The Exorcist or finding themselves in a bath together—he, without being careful, attentive to Jordie's age, or reasonably prudent, engaged in "explicitly sexual" "offensive contacts" with the boy. Noting that the reason for the filing of the Chandler civil suit was because of actions emerging from Jordie's sexual abuse, Jackson agreed to incur that guilt which implicated him in sexual acts.
The negligence that Jackson displayed and agreed to have displayed which led to those "offensive contacts" that were of an "explicitly sexual" nature occurred because Jackson failed in his duty to Jordie. The duty Jackson had to Jordie was expectedly incurred due to the fact Jordie was a minor and, as a minor (and, additionally, as a 'special friend'), Jordie had a blind, child-like faith and trust in Jackson, who was an adult, regardless of his own self-proclamations of being Peter Pan.
Because Jackson was an adult, it was Jackson's duty to Jordie Chandler not to behave in any way (the suit specifies "offensive contacts" that were "explicitly sexual and otherwise") that could have brought harm to Jordie. Jackson's negligent "offensive contacts" that were of an "explicitly sexual" nature done to Jordie caused him harm.
All of the above was what Jackson expressly admitted to having done to the boy by his willful signing and paying of the settlement.
According to the documents, Jackson's payment to Jordie was over "alleged compensatory damages for alleged injuries arising out of claims of negligence and not for intentional or wrongful acts of sexual molestation" (emphasis is mine). Michael Jackson apologists often point out Jackson's overt disclamation of having violated Jordie 'intentionally' or 'wrongfully' as if either were meaningful or significant.
Intentional and wrongful do differ from negligent but Jackson's admission to only the latter does not absolve him from the "explicitly sexual" "offensive contacts" as mentioned in the Seventh Cause of Action to which he'd subscribed. Intentional and wrongful simply mean that Jackson was explicitly disclaiming the acts that would have required and, indeed, implied a 'complete consciousness' to do them; Jackson would've, thus, been admitting ('tacitly') to crimes actionable in a criminal court--it was easier for him to simply admit to the negligence.
Michael Jackson's overt admission to the negligence but not the "intentional and wrongful acts of molestation" does not mean the negligence was not wrong or harmful or exceedingly foul in the eyes of the public. It does not mean he was not guilty of pedophilic behaviors with that young boy. Jackson admitted to having contact with Jordie that was damaging to Jordie because of their very nature of being negligent, offensive, and explicitly sexual.
But was that really all Jackson admitted to?
According to paragraph 4 of the settlement, "[t]he Settlement Payment shall constitute full and complete satisfaction and settlement of any and all claims" (emphasis is mine). So, although Jackson had overtly accepted liability for the claims of "explicitly sexual" negligence, it is reasonable to assume that by settling for any and all claims made by Jordie or his parents, Jackson also, but implicitly, admitted liability for Counts One through Six of the Chandler lawsuit.
We will return to this point later.
Beyond Michael Jackson's overt admission to the "explicitly sexual" negligence in the Chandler lawsuit, more telling than that is the very nature of the settlement agreement itself. Although merely thought to be as Jackson had described it--he'd wanted to get out from under the nightmare of the scandal and paying the Chandlers to go away (practically) was not an admission of guilt but something of a payment towards his own emancipation--the agreement took the form of a confession of judgement.
Larry Feldman, former Chandler attorney and signee of that confidential settlement, explained, in his April 1, 2005 testimony, the type of agreement Jackson had with his clients.
20 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: All right. I’m -- you’re
21 far more capable than I am of delineating the
22 differences, but is there a difference between a
23 civil settlement that results from a contract and
24 one that results from a confession of judgment?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. All right. Would you explain to the jury
27 what the difference is and what the legal effect is?
28 A. Yes. In a confession of judgment, it is as
1 though we went to trial and had a lawsuit and the
2 jury came back with a verdict and we had a judgment,
3 or the Judge came back with a finding.
4 And when the Judge says somebody’s at fault,
5 and “Here’s your damages,” you put it into a
6 judgment. And when you have a judgment, you can
7 file that judgment in the county and then you can
8 execute on that judgment, so that if -- and just as
9 an example, and I’ll just make this number up, let’s
10 say you had it for one dollar, a judgment for a
11 dollar. Well, if you have a judgment, you could
12 just go and take somebody’s house or take somebody’s
13 car, or go to their bank account and literally take
14 that dollar out to satisfy the judgment.
15 If you just have a release or a contract,
16 then you -- all you get left with, if the person
17 doesn’t pay you the dollar, is a something that
18 says, “I promise to pay you a dollar.” And then you
19 got to start all over and prove that person breached
20 that contract.
21 So in the Michael Jackson case, because
22 there were payments going to take place --
23 Q. Let’s stay away from all that area, okay?
24 Just tell us about --
25 A. All right. Well, that’s the best I can tell
26 you the difference.
27 Q. All right. So -- but in the Michael Jackson
28 case, you got a confession of judgment?
1 A. I got a confession of judgment.
Moments later in Feldman's testimony, he remarked that the consummation of the scandal was a win for his client, not for Jackson.
19 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Now, I guess the last
20 question I have, and I’m probably taking it too much
21 for granted, but with regard to the lawsuit
22 involving Chandler versus Jackson, was that resolved
23 in Chandler’s favor?
24 MR. MESEREAU: Objection.
25 THE WITNESS: It was -- oop.
26 MR. MESEREAU: Move to strike. Vague; no
27 foundation; calls for speculation.
28 THE COURT: Overruled.
1 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: You may answer.
2 A. It was absolutely resolved in Mr. -- in
3 Jordie Chandler’s favor.
For the sake of clarification, let's expand on Feldman's explanation of Jackson's confession of judgment and how it is meaningful; it was a significant and telling aspect of Jackson's settlement with Jordie Chandler and one that completely stifled the criminal investigation into the molestation claims.
In law, a "confession of judgment" is an agreement whereby the defendant in a lawsuit submits to the factuality of the plaintiff's claims. With regard to Michael Jackson, he agreed to the validity of--'confessed to'--the seventh Cause of Action as noted in J. Chandler v. Jackson, which was that he "negligently had offensive contacts with plaintiff which were both explicitly sexual and otherwise." With a confession of judgment, a defendant agrees that he is liable for the claims against him and, notably, agrees to this liability without any legal protestations otherwise.
Simply, Jackson entering a confession of judgment means he acknowledged the truthfulness of and did not dispute the accuracy of facts regarding the Chandler allegations for which he'd settled. A "confession of judgment" is the same as if Jackson had been taken to court by the Chandlers and the jury found him liable (or guilty).
A confession of judgment is a written agreement in which the defendant in a lawsuit admits liability and accepts the amount of agreed-upon damages that must be paid to the plaintiff. A confession of judgment may be filed as a court judgment against the defendant who does not pay or perform as agreed. Such an agreement attempts to minimize the need to resort to legal proceedings to resolve a dispute. Careful consideration needs to be given to signing an agreement for confession of judgment, since doing so signs away rights to contest a claim in a future dispute. (source)
The most significant aspect of Jackson's agreement to the confession of judgment is the inviolability of his payment to Jordie Chandler; according to paragraph 3.f., "Jackson's obligation to make the Settlement Payment as provided in this paragraph when due is absolute."
This meant that Jackson, because he'd agreed to a confession of judgement, was bound totally to paying the boy that total sum of $15,331,250. An absolute obligation to pay, according to the laws surrounding confessions of judgment, signified that had Jackson, in any way, shape, or form, failed in paying Jordie Chandler the payments agreed to in the settlement and in a timely manner as provided, Jordie Chandler had the absolute authority, as Jackson himself authorized, to seize Jackson's assets to assuage the debt.
It should be noted that this confession of judgment agreed to by Michael Jackson is contradictory to his own protestations of innocence.
It is disregarding the fact Jackson virtually admitted to the offensive, explicitly sexual negligent contacts with Jordie Chandler by signing a confession of judgment (he had no objections to Cause of Action seven of the lawsuit); rather, it is purely taking into account Jackson's allowance of the seizure of his property, assets, or anything else that could have gone to relieve any debt accrued from a missed or late payment.
Jackson's defenders maintain that Michael Jackson was innocent and that his settlement with Jordie Chandler and his parents was never an admission of guilt. Though they maintain the position that Jackson was forced (which has since been completely discredited), it is hard to imagine Michael Jackson would have allowed himself to be pushed against his will into a confession of judgment which would have not only prevented him from ever legally objecting to the monies designated to Jordie Chandler in the agreement but also gave so-called 'liars' and 'extortionists' an absolute right to seize his assets in the event he failed to pay in accordance to the schedule!
But Jackson was not forced; astoundingly, Jackson himself agreed to waive his due process rights (which hold that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without the ability to have a legal say or protection from such seizure) and his ability to defend himself against any such sequestration of his assets in the event Jordie did not receive his settlement rewards.
The question that becomes prominent is why would Michael Jackson have agreed to such extreme and absolute measures, which seems to be in accordance with the goal of ending the Chandler civil suit and, as stated by Carl Douglas, obviating the fear of a criminal investigation into Jordie's claims, if he was innocent of the claims against him?
In the following testimony of Feldman's during his cross-examination by Jackson's defense attorney, Tom Mesereau, the notion of a "confession of judgment" is further clarified.
3 Q. Okay. And typically, in a settlement like
4 the one described by Prosecutor Sneddon, if someone
5 agrees to pay money to the other side, the other
6 side would like the payment of that money secured by
7 what is called a confession of judgment, correct?
8 A. That’s right. When it’s paid over time,
9 that’s correct.
10 Q. Okay. And the purpose of a confession of
11 judgment is that if the paying party stops paying,
12 you can run into civil court and obtain what is
13 called a certified judgment so you can then collect
14 on their assets?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Right?
17 A. That’s right.
18 Q. And if you didn’t have that confession of
19 judgment, your only remedy would be to then file
20 another lawsuit for breach of contract, correct?
21 A. That’s right.
22 Q. So what Mr. Sneddon was talking to you about
23 was ways that you have to collect money that you’re
24 owed in a settlement, true?
25 A. I don’t know what he was talking to me
26 about. He asked me questions, and I answered the
27 best I could. What you’ve said is true, and that’s
28 what I thought I just said.
1 Q. And typically in a civil settlement, and
2 you’ve done many of them, obviously, there is a
3 provision in the settlement agreement which says
4 that neither side admits liability, or words to that
5 effect, correct?
6 A. Generally. Not every one, but generally
7 that’s true.
8 Q. And essentially what that means is neither
9 side admits wrongdoing, correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And the confession of judgment has nothing
12 to do with an admission of wrongdoing or liability?
13 A. Well, it would have the same impact if you
14 had to file it. It would be a judgment for that
15 amount. I don’t know what impact it’s going to
16 later be. I’ve never handled a case where you filed
17 a confession of judgment, and then somebody tried to
18 use that in another case to say you admitted
19 something. I frankly don’t know the answer.
20 Q. It’s never used to say someone admitted
21 something. It’s simply used to collect the money
22 you’re owed, right?
23 A. Sir, I just told you, I’ve never researched
24 that issue, and -- so you can’t -- you got the wrong
25 person. I’ve never had someone where I had to go
26 use it.
27 I didn’t have to use it with Mr. Jackson, so
28 I can’t tell you the answer. I know it’s -- it
1 is -- my concern was the making sure, if the money
2 wasn’t paid by Mr. Jackson, we could go into court
3 and start seizing his assets. That didn’t happen.
4 He paid. It never happened.
5 Q. Would you agree that in many civil
6 settlements of civil cases, you will have both the
7 provision that says neither side admits wrongdoing
8 or liability as well as a confession of judgment?
9 A. It’s rare you get a confession of judgment.
A confession of judgment is, in fact, rare due to the controversy surrounding the defendant's agreement to waive any and all rights they have that protect their assets, property, or anything of value so that a creditor may have the absolute right to take what is the defendant's.
But Mesereau's tactics in the cross-examination of Feldman ought to be noted.
In direct contradiction to the absoluteness of a confession of judgment and the voluntary relinquishing of due process rights by the defendant, Mesereau attempts to suggest that the provisions within the settlement agreement allowing for Jackson to admit no wrongdoing with regard to Counts One through Six of the Chandler lawsuit--acts of an intentional and wrongful nature--means that Jackson was innocent and that, despite signing a confession of judgment to Jordie Chandler, he could continue to maintain his innocence. This, again, is disregarding the nature of confessions of judgment.
A defendant's signature on a confession of judgment, which, and it bears repeating, means that he cannot object to any immediate seizure of his assets by the plaintiff, provides more than enough reasonable suspicion that the defendant was guilty of the claims for which he'd settled, so much so that he'd go to the lengths of allowing the plaintiff to be able to take from him anything of value in order to not only satisfy a debt in the event he defaults on payment but also keep any legal proceeding with regard to the plaintiff's claims from occurring.
Worth remembering is the basis of the Prosecution's argument for wanting the unredacted settlement documents to be allowed into trial as a corroboration of Gavin Arvizo's allegations of abuse against Jackson: they believed that Jackson's settlement with Jordie Chandler so soon after the file date of the lawsuit was reasonable evidence of the lawsuit being meritorious; because the lawsuit was meritorious, the enormous settlement of that lawsuit could be seen as Jackson's admission of guilt to the molestation of the boy.
Jackson's entering into a settlement agreement that is expressly understood to be absolutely binding does appear to conform to the aforementioned reasoning: Jackson's settlement with Jordie Chandler, and the Jackson-approved drama that could've ensued had he missed a payment, was, at least, a tacit admission on Jackson's part that he'd molested the boy.
That was the reality beyond a standard and expected provision between the parties enabling defendant Jackson to absolve himself of liability. Simply, Jackson's disclaiming of liability for sexual abuse means very little in the face of giving Jordie Chandler a confession of judgment.
Also revealing from Larry Feldman's testimony was his confession of "who paid"; according to Feldman, "my concern was the making sure, if the money wasn't paid by Mr. Jackson, we could go into court and start seizing his assets. That didn't happen. He paid. It never happened."
Larry Feldman, an attorney privy to and a signee of the settlement agreement, stated Michael Jackson paid.
Like all previous assertions by attorneys handling the case in 1993-1994 that no insurance company was involved in the mediation and settlement of the Chandler lawsuit, Feldman mentioned nothing about any third party or insurance carrier footing the bill of those payments to Jordie Chandler, as had been stated in the Oxman memo. And this, in fact, makes perfect sense when it is taken into account that the nature of the agreement between Jackson and Jordie was such that any default on payment would have been to the detriment of Jackson, not anyone else.
Is it not reasonable to assume that if Jackson was not the one funding the settlement to Jordie Chandler and his parents that he would not be at risk for sequestration? It is a reasonable assumption indeed. And given that that is not the case, it is also reasonable to assume that Jackson was the one paying that enormous Settlement Payment.
The publicly available version of Jackson's Confidential Settlement and Mutual General Release has been redacted from the original 31 pages; missing are nine pages delineating how the multimillion-dollar payment would be divvied to Jordie Chandler. Because of the redaction, the finer points of the schedule are left unknown.
However, paragraph 5.b.--part of the settlement agreement detailing the "Dismissal of the Action" (the Chandler's lawsuit)--does reveal much.
Paragraph 5.b. seems to specify a total of four payments to Jordie Chandler, which suggested that Jackson's settlement with the boy was a structured one. Perhaps it spanned the entire statute of limitations of the charge of child molestation--Jordie's claims of abuse would have expired in the year 2000--which would mean that Jordie could have feasibly received four payments from Michael Jackson of roughly $3.8 million every 1.5 years until the total $15,331,250 was acquired.
In essence, the 'extended release' of the monies would've had the effect of quieting the boy until the expiration date of the criminal allegation.
As it followed the previous paragraphs of the settlement, Jackson would have been the payer of these four payments.
The Oxman memorandum contained the suggestion that "[t]he insurance carrier negotiated and paid the settlement". We know now that Jackson's insurance company was never involved in the negotiation of Jackson's settlement with the Chandlers. Also, Larry Feldman stated it was Jackson who paid.
One of the two possible payment options detailed in paragraph 5.b. deserves mention, as it also confirms that Jackson, not someone else, funded the multimillion-dollar settlement payments to Jordie Chandler.
It is easy to become confused by the mentioning of "Qualified Assignments" and "Qualified Funding Asset Premiums"; both sound manifestly like insurance company language. However, neither has anything to do with what was claimed by Jackson's defense in the Oxman memorandum, that Jackson's insurance carrier footed the bill of the settlement.
Had Jackson opted to make use of a qualified assignment, instead of organizing and divvying out the settlement payments himself, it would have simply meant that Jackson had handed over to a third-party the obligation to orchestrate and keep track of the payments to the Chandlers. To note, obligation does not mean "funding". In Jackson's case, had he chose this process, he would have purchased an annuity--a fancy word for a device stipulating a series of payments--for the amount of what he'd owed the Chandlers as ordained in the settlement agreement. That annuity would then be used by an agreed-upon third-party (the qualified assignee) to fund the payments to the Chandlers, freeing Jackson of the 'bookkeeping' involved with that settlement. The "Qualified Funding Asset Premiums" mentioned in the settlement agreement would be the fee charged to Jackson for turning his lump sum (which he'd used to purchase the 'qualified funding asset') into the annuity that would go to fund the Chandlers' settlement payments.
Simply, this other option would've been the hiring of a middleman to control and monitor the process of payments.
A Qualified Assignment can, in fact, be to a life insurance company, but, as it relates to Jackson's settlement, it has nothing to do with an insurance company paying out a settlement to Jordie Chandler under a liability policy. The insurance company would only be there to handout the payments using the qualified funding asset purchased by Jackson.
There is no evidence that Jackson used a qualified assignment to manage the nitty-gritty of his settlement with the Chandlers. But had he done so, it would be understandable: given that Jackson gave Jordie Chandler a confession of judgment with the penalty being a risk of asset seizure if payments to the boy or his parents were missed, late, or otherwise compromised, as well as coupling that with Michael Jackson's notorious propensity to incur debts and stiff people of money, a third-party handling the fine details of the affair would have greatly reduced Jackson's risk of losing his assets to the Chandlers.
In other words, it was Jackson who paid; it was his money going to the Chandlers in the settlement of Jordie's lawsuit, not his insurance company's.
Jackson defenders maintain that a settlement does not equal guilt, or, rather, it would be inappropriate to assume guilt on the basis of a settlement alone. However, we know that, according to Jackson Defense filings, his Defense team did, in fact, agree that had Michael Jackson himself paid the settlement to Jordie Chandler, and evidence thereof existed tangibly, it would then have been a relevant and foundational piece of evidence to use to suggest that Michael Jackson was guilty of molesting the boy.
Jackson's Defense, of course, wanted to prevent the 'discovery' of the nine redacted pages of the settlement agreement delineating the payments to the Chandlers because it not only revealed that the Confidential Agreement and Mutual General Release was a telling confession of judgment, but also because it, undoubtedly, showed that Michael Jackson was the payer of his settlement to Jordie.
In his testimony, Feldman revealed more than just the fact Michael Jackson had funded his own settlement; he added to the reasonable suspicion that that 1994 settlement was, for lack of a better term, a 'silencer':
20 Q. Well, without going into the amount of any
21 settlement, isn’t it true that both parents wanted
22 money for themselves as well?
23 A. They didn’t want it. The defense wanted
24 them to have it, and they accepted it, because the
25 defendant -- that was the defendant’s idea.
26 Q. Did the parents -- without going into the
27 amounts --
28 A. Sure.
1 Q. -- did the parents for Mr. Chandler accept
2 money in the settlement?
3 A. They did accept money. That’s a fair
Jackson's attorney, Tom Mesereau, wanted people to note how Evan and June Chandler also received money in the settlement of their son's lawsuit in the quest to convince jurors and courtroom observers that the Chandler parents were grifters--not unlike the Arvizo family--looking to swindle a child-like pop icon. However, what should be underscored is the fact Jackson and his attorneys offered these alleged 'extortionists' money.
Oxman's claim was that neither Jackson nor his attorneys were considered when Jackson's insurance company settled with the Chandlers; but, according to Feldman, a party to the negotiations of that settlement agreement, Jackson also insisted on fatting Evan and June's pockets, as well.
But why give money to 'extortionists'?
Feldman continues on with District Attorney Sneddon:
21 Q. Let me just ask you a couple other
22 questions, or at least one other question about the
23 Chandler versus Jackson lawsuit.
24 You indicated in response to one of Mr.
25 Mesereau’s questions that the defendant in that
26 case, which would have been Mr. Jackson, were the
27 ones who wanted the parents to share in the
28 financial or monetary settlement of the case?
1 A. That’s right.
2 Q. Now, that seems counterintuitive. Can you
3 explain to us why that happened?
4 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance;
5 foundation; move to strike.
6 THE COURT: Overruled.
7 THE WITNESS: The reason it happened was
8 because Mr. Jackson’s legal team wanted
9 confidentiality. They didn’t want anybody ever
10 talking about this. And they were concerned if, in
11 fact, the parents weren’t getting money --
12 MR. MESEREAU: I’m going to object, this is
13 nonresponsive. And move to strike.
14 THE WITNESS: They said this, Your Honor.
15 MR. MESEREAU: And calls for speculation and
16 it’s hearsay.
17 THE COURT: No, the question was, “Can you
18 explain why that happened,” and that’s what he’s
19 explaining. So --
20 THE WITNESS: They told us that they wanted
21 the parents to get the money so that the parents
22 would be bound by the settlement agreement, so that
23 the parents couldn’t talk, that the parents couldn’t
24 write a book, the parents couldn’t go -- I mean, we
25 weren’t precluded from talking to the police. We
26 were just -- they weren’t able to write a book.
27 They weren’t able to go on television. They weren’t
28 able to do anything. And they wanted the parents
2 And it’s because of that that I brought in a
3 retired Court of Appeal Judge to become the new
4 guardian ad litems, because I didn’t want the
5 parents taking anything away from the child.
Larry Feldman stated under oath that Jackson included Evan and June Chandler as parties to the settlement agreement because Jackson did not want them to talk to anyone about the alleged sexual abuse of their son, the alleged seduction process that led up to the alleged repeated molestations around the globe, and the pop star's alleged acute interest--"cosmic" interest--in the pre-teen that had set everything into motion.
Noteworthy is Mesereau's objection to the topic he'd brought up; understandably, Jackson's paying, quite literally, 'hush money' to individuals Mesereau had just tried to insinuate were grifters is the antithesis of that goal.
It seems strange that Jackson would worry about "confidentiality" if he'd claimed he'd had nothing to hide and, as Oxman insisted in his memo, that Jackson's wanting to vindicate himself in a court of law was vetoed by his insurance company.
Because Jackson wanted confidentiality--'silence'--and bought it from Jordie's parents (the amount was said to be at least $1 million each), it tends to corroborate the idea that the entire settlement agreement--all $25 million of it--was about 'silencing' the claims of sexual abuse which posed a threat to his livelihood and his freedom instead of wanting to 'vindicate' himself.
And the aforementioned adds up well when it is considered, once again, that Jackson's settlement was preceded by the photographing of his spotty penis and blotched testicles, pictures that Carl Douglas viewed as a "part of the 300 pound gorilla in the mediation room" and stated 'silencing' Jordie Chandler would have 'obviated' any fear of the looming criminal trial.
This 'silencing' is well corroborated by many details within the settlement agreement.
As a tangent to the payments, let's note the "Dismissal of the Action":
According to the dismissal schedule, upon signing the documents, Jordie Chandler and his parents agreed to dismiss all of the causes of action in the suit that explicitly implicated Jackson in the molestation of the boy, leaving only the negligence charge pending. Counts one through six would be dismissed without prejudice, meaning that the Chandlers did have the opportunity to re-file the case at a later date if they decided to, which was unlikely: paragraph 12.c. contained a provision in which Evan and June Chandler would agree, upon signing, that a settlement, but not a trial, was in the "best interest" of Jordie.
Perhaps choosing to settle was in the best interests of Jordie because, during the scandal, Jordie's therapist reported in a November 11 court declaration that she worried about the "extremely harmful" effects prolonged legal proceedings would have had on the boy; Jordie also reportedly drew a picture of himself committing suicide and handed it to his father. Even a year following the settlement, Larry Feldman stated Jordie Chandler was having a hard time adjusting.
The child's suffering notwithstanding, undoubtedly a settlement was in the best interest of Michael Jackson, too.
But even more is that upon a completion of all payments, there was the agreement that J. Chandler v. Jackson would be dismissed with prejudice. In other words, Jackson would never have to worry about any of the Chandlers suing him over Jordie Chandler's 1993 allegations of abuse. Because the settlement payments were spaced so that they would be at lengthy enough intervals as to span the entire statute of limitations, Jackson thereby guaranteed himself that the Chandlers would never become witnesses in a civil or criminal trial against him.
All of this is underscored by paragraph 11.f.
The settlement agreement specifically barred any of the Chandlers from cooperating with anyone, save law enforcement. Theoretically, according to the settlement, even if the Chandlers had changed their minds about staying mum regarding Jordie Chandler's allegations, they would have had their hands tied: the agreement on which they'd signed off forbade them from discussing any information with regard to those allegations with anyone.
Furthermore, if any other member of the Chandler clan wanted to take Jackson to court for sexual abuse on behalf of Jordie, for example, that person's case would essentially be 'dead on arrival': they'd be unable to get any information from the victim or his parents.
Jackson's attorneys had drafted an agreement that crushed any possibility of their client facing courtroom scrutiny.
But a civil route was not the only one blocked by the settlement. Jackson apologists often bring up the fact that Jackson never prevented the Chandlers from talking to police with regard to the criminal investigation into Jordie's claims. It is true: it would have been against the law for Jackson to forbid the Chandlers or their attorneys from talking to police about the allegations. However, just because it was illegal did not mean Jackson couldn't make cooperating with police so tedious and stifling as to discourage the process.
Note the underlined portions of paragraph 11.g. above, specifically, "...they agree to give notice in writing to Jackson's attorneys regarding the nature and scope of any such subpoena request for information.... notice shall be given before responding to the request in any manner other than objections or a refusal to respond..."
So while Jackson could not preclude anyone from talking to law enforcement, Jackson did want to keep a close eye on them to the point that if any of his accusers did agree to speak about the allegations to anyone, including law enforcement, he'd be able to plan a defense even before they themselves were questioned.
It is noteworthy that Jason Francia--Jackson's other boy accuser who went on to receive a multimillion dollar settlement--also had a similar clause in his agreement with Jackson, according to the testimony of his attorney, Kris Kallman:
23 Q. Now, at some point in time was Jason
24 required to sign some kind of documents in
25 conjunction with the settlement?
26 A. Yes. When he turned 18, part of the
27 condition was that he sign a confidentiality
1 Q. Now, with regard to the confidentiality --
2 and to your knowledge, did he sign that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And with regard to the confidentiality
5 agreement, did it have a provision that required
6 notice to Mr. Jackson in the event that Jason
7 Francia talked to anybody?
8 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; move to
10 THE COURT: Overruled.
11 You may answer.
12 THE WITNESS: I believe so, yes.
13 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And what was the
14 requirement notice in the confidentiality agreement
15 with regard to notice to the defense?
16 A. I believe it’s five days.
17 Q. And were you at some point contacted by Mr.
18 Zonen of our department with regard to interviewing
19 your -- Jason Francia?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And in that particular case, did you
22 indicate to Mr. Zonen that you would have to do
23 something before you could agree with that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what was that?
26 A. Well, I’d have to notify somebody on Mr.
27 Jackson’s legal staff that they wanted to talk to
1 Q. And did you do that?
2 A. Yeah. Yes. Excuse me.
3 Q. And did you then grant permission for Mr.
4 Zonen to have a conversation with your -- with Jason
6 A. Yes.
Kallman referred to it as a "notice requirement" in later testimony, and it relates to confidentiality; given the similarity, the "notice requirement" in the Chandler settlement can reasonably be considered as the same provision as the one required of the Francias.
All of the previous clauses understandably had the effect of explicitly and implicitly 'silencing' the Chandlers along a broad spectrum--paragraph 11.b. also forbade any of them from speaking in a public forum as well--regardless if Jackson was unable to prevent them from talking to police.
And if the settlement agreement between all parties does not yet seem an apparent 'quieting' of Jordie Chandler, note paragraph 12.e. toward the very end of the document:
It is interesting that Jackson wanted all discovery that led up to and validated J. Chandler v. Jackson (the "Action") to be kept completely sealed and hidden, especially when, not long following the September 13, 1993 file date of the Chandler suit, Jackson's attorneys also wanted to block all discovery (encompassing evidence gathering and witness statements) for seven years, essentially stagnating the progress of that civil suit.
Notice, too, that 'hiding' discovery is not illegal nor is it an obstruction of justice; it would be as simple as not assisting any entity--be it media, civil, or criminal--in finding information about Jordie's claims or telling them where to look. It would be as easy as feigning a lost memory! It should be noted that the sharing of evidence between Chandler civil attorneys and prosecutors was a major hurdle for Jackson's side:
Cochran and Howard Weitzman, two of Jackson's lawyers, fought vigorously to prevent information obtained during the discovery process in the boy's lawsuit from being turned over to prosecutors. They argued that investigators were trying to use the suit to advance their criminal investigation, a technique that Jackson's lawyers said should not be allowed.
But Lauren Weis, who heads the sex crimes unit of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, said investigators should be able to review that material to assist them in deciding whether criminal charges are warranted against Jackson. Although law enforcement sources previously said a decision about whether to file charges could be reached by January, Cochran said he was recently notified that it will not be concluded before February.
"We have a right to know if these witnesses made contrary statements at other times," Weis said, in arguing for access to the civil discovery material, which includes sworn statements by possible witnesses.
But why hide discovery from anyone if Jackson himself had nothing to hide and was innocent? Wouldn't whatever was seized, obtained, or learned in discovery be so superfluous as to not impact Jackson's freedom at all?
Or, perhaps, because the discovery that was the basis of and supported Jordie Chandler's lawsuit led to the need of a settlement--a settlement which 'obviated' the fear of a criminal proceeding--could have, in fact, strengthened the case of prosecutors, as Jackson's lawyers knew well.
Jackson's confidential settlement with the Chandler family, given the clauses within and the enormous sum resulting from it, was nothing more than a 'nod and wink' for the boy's claims of sexual abuse to disappear into thin air.
Furthermore, as evidence to that, the Oxman memo itself helpfully revealed the aftermath of the settlement by showing that police could obtain nothing of substance from Jordie Chandler during an interview after the settlement agreement was made and no charges were filed as a result; from pages 9 and 10, lines 25-28, 1-4:
Although Jordan Chandler was interviewed "thereafter" by detectives seeking evidence to offer in a child molestation prosecution of Michael Jackson, "no criminal charges were filed as a result of that interview." This interview took place prior to the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Stogner v. California, 539 U.S. 607.613 (2003), holding California's retroactive extension of the statute of limitations to be unconstitutional. In other words, Jordan Chandler's statements were not sufficient even at that earlier time, to support molestation charges against Michael Jackson, to now permit the suggestion of a settlement agreement for some improper act is not only irrelevant, but also a speculative violation of the statute of limitations.
By "thereafter", Oxman means that following the signing of the settlement, Jordie Chandler, who had beforehand been interviewed by countless therapists, social workers, detectives, a false child abuse claims expert--all of whom found him credible--as well as supplied investigators with a drawn description of what he knew of Jackson's discolored genitalia, was no longer as helpful.
One would have to be dense not to consider it a reasonable conclusion that the settlement, with its multitude of clauses designating silence, was what fostered that lack of cooperation.
But it is no surprise because that was the goal of the document.
It's noteworthy to mention the continued assertions by Michael Jackson and his attorneys that, following the resolution of the Chandler lawsuit with the $25 million settlement, Jackson would now be able to move on with his life and get back to making music, in a nutshell returning to his role as the King of Pop.
These assertions, strangely, disregard the fact that prosecutors and police were still continuing on in their criminal investigations into the claims! How would that allow for Jackson to truly sleep easy?
Jackson's brazen confidence can only be best and fully described as the result of totally securing with a multimillion dollar check Jordie Chandler's complete and binding silence.
The March 22, 2005 Oxman memorandum--upheld by Jackson's defenders as some proof of Jackson's 'innocence' in the face of his own contradictory behavior--was complete lies, nothing more than his Defense team's best effort to keep out a 31-paged, unredacted document that proved--tacitly--that their client had a history of sexually abusing young boys.
Most importantly, the Oxman memo's claim that Jackson was somehow an innocent Peter Pan left spinning over his insurance company's inconsiderate settling over his protests to fight has been utterly dismantled. Who was Oxman kidding? Michael Jackson, the showman, the Grammy winner, the seasoned musician, could never be told what to do. That settlement was under Jackson's control.
Settlements are telling little documents, drafted in the nick of time to act as blockades to legal progress or to prevent career-ending revelations from seeing the light of day. It is no surprise, then, that they are considered reasonable proofs of guilt. In Michael Jackson's case, his guilt was entirely obvious.
* Frozen in Time seminar held on 15th of September 2010, featured a panel of those most closely involved with the Michael Jackson molestation cases: the judge, Honorable Rodney Melville (Retired); the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Ronald Zonen; defense attorney Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr. who represented Jackson in the Santa Barbara County criminal trial; attorney Larry Feldman who represented the alleged victim in the civil case; and attorney Carl E. Douglas who represented Jackson in the criminal investigation of the civil case.
** Of course, this wasn't the only time the defence lied. They also lied, for instance, about the blood spot in Jackson's underpants being due to injections for his "vitiligo" when of course no such injections existed; and Mesereau's patently false claim that Jimmy Safechuck had got married at Neverland.
*** In terms of stymieing the efforts of law enforcement (again, as confirmed by Johnnie Cochran cohort Carl Douglas), there is a such thing as "The Cochran Defense", as described in the book The Proper Criticism of Some Decent People by Dr. Theophilus Green, pages 199-200:
The Cochran Defense was a practice that the late Johnnie Cochran developed to have third party entities financially compensate victims of his entertainment and pro sport clients to persuade them not to cooperate with criminal prosecutors.... most of Cochrans's high profile trials ended with witnesses changing their testimony or victims refusing to cooperate to document criminal charges they originally filed.
"We worked for the fourteen-year-old boy and his family in the child molestation case, and we tried the best we could to help the police, but we kept finding out from the sergeant who was out liaison at LAPD that they would assemble a witness list from our reports, pass it up the chain of command, and it would inevitably come back with certain key witnesses cross off. The suspicion was that, with Johnny Cochran at the helm of Jackson's defense, he was pulling strings with old contacts in the DA's office or with cops he knew. We could never prove this, and it was just a suspicion. But it all became moot when Cochran, fearing his investigators has been taped trying to tamper with witnesses - they'd been instructed by Cochran to go out and find ex-employees, tell them,"Michael loves you," and offer them their jobs back at salaries they could hardly refuse - Cochran had a high-power conclave with his client and promptly pitched almost $20 million at the kid and his family. An unwritten part of the agreement was that the boy would not testify before the grand jury. This is illegal, but who was going to prove it happened? Anyhoo, Michael slipped out of that one, as we all know."