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.
The analysis of the 1994 Settlement below underscores the point that if Jackson willingly paid millions of dollars to Jordie Chandler over claims of sexual abuse, a reasonable person could conclude he was guilty of said crimes. The extended entry homes in on this conclusion by using the actual Settlement Agreement documents and statements by the parties involved.
The [liability] crimes the Settlement Agreement resolved were claims of negligence that Jackson agreed were “offensive” and “explicitly sexual or otherwise”. Jackson even agreed to a “confession of judgment,” an absolutely binding stipulation that promised there would be no complications in his paying Jordie the millions the boy was due; if complications did arise, Jackson agreed to have his assets seized without complaint.
Contrarian arguments by Jackson supporters surround the idea that if it could be proven Jackson not only did not agree to the Settlement but also did not pay it, it was proof of his innocence. As proof of this, fans held up the Oxman memo, an argumentative legal document filed prior to the start of Jackson’s 2005 molestation trial, that sought to preclude any Prosecution discussion of Jackson’s settlement with the Chandlers in front of the jury.
The Oxman memo (links and more details in the extended entry below) was the first of its kind to suggest Jackson was either forced to pay the Chandlers, that force acted upon him by his insurance company. More specifically, Brian Oxman argued that unless the Prosecution could prove Jackson paid “every dime” of the Settlement Agreement without the nudge of an insurance carrier seeking to override his wishes for a trial, it would be dangerously prejudicial for them to introduce the theory of it being proof of Jackson having abused Jordie Chandler.
I noted below that that was quite interesting language on Oxman’s part: again, Oxman agreed that if some kind of evidence did exist to prove Jackson paid the Settlement Agreement on his own accord (the Prosecution believed the unredacted copy in Larry Feldman’s possession would provide those details), it would be relevant for the Prosecution to use it to advance the theory that Jackson paid because he was guilty of child molestation.
The Prosecution never did get the document nor were they permitted a detailed discussion of its implications. In that way, the allegations levied against Jackson’s insurance company within the Oxman memo--that they were looking for a quick resolution in spite of Jackson’s proclamations of innocence and the damage a tacit guilty plea could do to his reputation--had yet to be challenged.
However, roughly two months ago, Jackson defense attorney Tom Mesereau gave a Blogtalkradio interview with Jackson sympathizer King Jordan, in which he clarified the Settlement Agreement. The pertinent portion begins at 64:45 and a transcription (from MJ Facts) says the following:
CALLER: Hi. Hello? Hi. My name is Lynette, and I'm calling from Minnesota. I spoke with Tom in May about Wade, and, um, I'm a psychiatric nurse. I have a couple of questions about the '93 settlement. Um, was there ever any evidence that it was settled by an insurance company, or paid by them?
TOM MESEREAU: Ah, my understanding was that an insurance company did not pay. Now, the settlement agreement was written, in my opinion--and again, I was not involved in that settlement, ah, you should ask Cap Weitzman about the settlement, or John Branca about it--I was not involved in it. I didn't even know Michael at the time, I wasn't, I didn't meet him until eleven years later, um, but... CALLER: Right.
TOM MESEREAU: My understanding was that the settlement agreement was written to, um, permit the possibility that an insurance company would step in and pay, but I was also told that an insurance company did not pay.
TOM MESEREAU: And that's why there were some people running around saying an insurance company paid it, and that's why it was settled, and uh, my understanding is that's not correct.
CALLER: Well, I think they base that on, um, one of the motions that were filed by Brian Oxman...
TOM MESEREAU: I'm well aware of that.
CALLER: Mmmm. And so they're under the impression that it was paid by an insurance company, and if that's the wrong impression, that's the wrong impression.
TOM MESEREAU: I understand.
Mesereau, as we heard, dismantled the fan argument of Jackson’s innocence being proven by his not paying the Settlement Agreement. Jackson did pay the Settlement, especially since California has an insurance code that prohibits insurance companies--even if they wanted to (and there is no evidence of that in this case)--from settling criminal conduct.
Mesereau should also be commended for admitting he was not involved whatsoever in the 1993 case and, therefore, would know very little of the goings-on during the affair. This was underscored during his pitiful cross-examinations of June Chandler and Larry Feldman.
As I stated before and I shall state again, the 1994 Settlement Agreement--and the chronology of events leading to it--provide more than enough reasonable suspicion that Michael Jackson was guilty of sexually abusing Jordie Chandler.
On January 25, 1994, the nightmare of the Jordie Chandler scandal officially came to a close for Michael Jackson. In exchange for that closure, Jackson signed off on the payment of a handsome sum to Jordie and his parents, said to be, in total, about $25 million.
The sum was staggering--at the time, it would have been about one-tenth of Jackson's net worth. Today, adjusting for inflation, Jordie's settlement would be equivalent to just about $39.2 million.
Certainly not chump change.
To the intelligent observer, that incredible amount of money paid to one's young boy accuser (Jordie Chandler alleged that various sex acts had occurred between he and Jackson, including kissing, lying on top of each other with erections, and nipple-sucking, as well as numerous sessions of masturbation and Jackson's performing fellatio upon the boy, at least fifteen times, all over the globe, followed by the consumption of Jordie's semen) would seem to suggest something needed to be hidden, and hidden fast.
For those still defending Jackson, they recognize, quite acutely, what intelligent observers have always noted: settling over, instead of fighting against, claims of child molestation does not tend to be conducive to a position of innocence. Fair or not, it is a fact that paying a settlement looks like an admission of guilt, a clandestine way of maintaining one's reputation without incurring (further) public or even legal scrutiny.
It is because Jackson apologists know this that they have steadfastly held on to the belief, against all evidence suggesting otherwise, that two things occurred:
1. Michael Jackson had been forced against his will by his insurance carrier to settle the Chandler civil suit, and;
2. Jackson was not the payer of the settlement.
Their position is as such: "Michael would've fought the Chandlers in court had the insurance company not settled against his wishes!"
If Jackson did not pay off Jordie Chandler over the boy's abuse claims against Jackson--settling for an obscene and suspicious amount of clams--his defenders can maintain the belief that Jackson was not a child-molesting pedophile, effectively absolving him of all guilt attendant to the misgivings aroused by his behaviors with other people's young sons.
Now, it should be noted that Jackson has paid off at least two other boys and/or families. (And by "paid off", this is a differentiation--arguably a small one--between his giving of gifts to the parents of boys, even if they are million-dollar checks.)
One such recipient was a Latino youth named Jason Francia, the son of former Jackson personal chamber maid, Blanca Francia. Jason's allegations consisted of Jackson touching his crotch area and testicles, "tickling" his genital region surreptitiously during an 'innocent' tickling session and then, more overtly, as they shared a sleeping bag while watching TV at his 'Hideout' apartment in Century City. Jason was around eight-years-old at the time and the second incident was said to have been the duration of "two cartoons"--at least five to ten minutes worth of Jackson touching that area. Jason stated that each of the fondling incidents resulted in Jackson handing him $100 bills. The final straw for Jason was when Jackson reached beneath his shorts and touched his testicles at Neverland Ranch, according to his April 4, 2005 testimony in Jackson's molestation trial:
20 Q. On what part of the arcade were you at the
21 time this happened?
22 A. I was in the loft.
23 Q. Upstairs?
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. Was anybody else up there with you?
26 A. No.
27 Q. Was Mr. Jackson there?
28 A. Yeah.
1 Q. By “other people,” I mean other people than
2 you and Mr. Jackson.
3 A. It was just him and I.
4 Q. Do you recall approximately what time of day
5 or evening it was?
6 A. No. Nighttime.
Further on in the testimony, Jason describes the event of his molestation by Jackson:
3 Q. Okay. And what happened when you were in
4 the arcade.
5 A. In the loft?
6 Q. Yes, please.
7 A. I think I was playing Sega Genesis.
8 Q. Tell us what that is, please.
9 A. It’s -- it’s a video game. I was just a
10 video-game-playing kid.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. There was a video game. There was a T.V. up
13 there, I believe. It was a really big T.V., and I
14 was playing, and then he started tickling me, and I
15 think there was -- there was a couch up there,
16 because we somehow managed to end up on the couch.
17 It took a lot of counseling to get over,
18 just to let you know.
19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
21 THE WITNESS: I’m sorry.
22 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Let’s see if we can restrict
23 our answers just to the questions, if we can. I’ll
24 ask you some questions about that later.
25 You were on the couch. Do you know if both
26 of you were sitting on the couch?
27 A. Hold on.
28 We were laying down on the couch.
1 Q. Okay. How were you laying down? How were
2 you positioned relative to Mr. Jackson?
3 A. Probably about -- no, it was in the spooning
4 position again.
5 Q. Okay. Was he behind you or in front of you?
6 A. Behind me.
7 Q. And then what happened?
8 A. We were tickling -- well, he was tickling
9 and I was laughing. And -- and -- and we -- it
10 was -- he was -- he was tickling me in the....
11 So much happening right now. Can we take a
12 break or something?
13 MR. ZONEN: Can we take just a moment, Your
15 THE COURT: Okay. Sure.
16 MR. ZONEN: Just a break for a moment or
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. All right.
20 Q. You were on the couch, and you said in the
21 spooning position?
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. Tell us what happened, please, the best you
25 A. He was tickling me. And then I was wearing
26 shorts again, I’m pretty sure, and, yeah, because he
27 had to have reached under. We were tickling; I was
28 laughing. He reached on my leg, and I’m still
1 laughing, and he’s tickling. And then he reached up
2 and -- and to my privates, yeah.
3 Q. Did he actually touch your --
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. Touch you?
6 A. Yeah.
7 Q. Did he touch your penis or your testicles?
8 A. I think option two, yeah.
9 Q. Your testicles?
10 A. Yeah, that one.
11 Q. For what period of time?
12 A. I don’t remember. Three minutes, two
14 Q. Was it tickling?
15 A. Probably, because I think I was still
16 laughing. But, you know, it may have been the other
18 Q. Were you mindful of it at the time? Were
19 you aware at the time he was doing it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What were you thinking at the time? You’re
22 now ten and a half years old. What were you
24 A. “I should probably go.”
25 Q. How did it end; do you know?
26 A. Either my mom -- I don’t -- I don’t remember
27 how it ended.
28 Q. Do you have a sense of it?
1 A. Huh-uh.
2 Q. Do you remember getting up?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you think about it afterward?
5 A. Yeah. No, well, not instantly right
6 afterwards. You’re ten. You don’t want to think
7 about that stuff.
8 Q. Was Mr. Jackson still giving you money at
9 that time?
10 A. That time I didn’t get any money.
11 Q. Did you tell anybody about that right
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you tell your mother, ever?
15 A. No. I don’t even think to this day she
Jackson apologists often minimize Jason's abuse, citing that he'd only been 'tickled'--possibly misconstruing innocent play for something sinister--and even the jurors that eventually acquitted Jackson had laughed at him during a break, suggesting he was unbelievable as he'd cried from the witness box; from Maureen Orth's July 2005 Vanity Fair article "C.S.I. Neverland":
During a break the judge took for a conference at the bench in the middle of Francia’s testimony, I was alarmed by the indifference of the jurors. The young man sitting in the witness-box before them had just gone through one of the most humiliating ordeals of his life, but they did not exhibit the slightest sign of empathy. They ignored him as they laughed and talked together. I suddenly wondered if we have not all watched so much Dr. Phil and Oprah that we can no longer distinguish between real pain and entertainment.
At the extreme end of this, they call Jason's molestation a complete scam because of the fact Jason finally revealed it to police after what Jackson's defenders characterize as a 'bullying' and overzealous interrogation of the then-teen; some fans even go as far as believing the unverifiable claims of marginal characters who'd stated Jason Francia had 'lied' about the entire thing. Unfortunately, what Jason revealed to detectives was felt as not being enough to criminally prosecute Jackson but it would have been corroborating testimony to support Jordie's claims of abuse.
Regardless if Jason's revelations were deemed by authorities as not 'actionable' on their own, Michael Jackson deemed Jason's claims significant enough to pay he and his mother a whopping $2.4 million.
Again, a lot of clams for so-called innocent tickling.
Also noteworthy is the fact that Jason Francia never exactly had a lawsuit filed on his behalf against Jackson. According to the April 5, 2005 testimony of his attorney Kris Kallman, contact to Jackson's attorneys Johnnie Cochran and Carl Douglas was made sometime between late 1994 and mid-1995 (Jason was around fourteen-years-old), telling them that another boy accuser had an abuse complaint against their client; what followed was a settlement, now known to be a seven-figure sum.
19 Q. And who did you make contact with?
20 A. Initially our contacts were with Johnnie
21 Cochran and his associate, Carl Douglas.
22 Q. Do you recall approximately when it was when
23 you first made contact with Mr. -- or when contact
24 was made between you and Mr. Cochran and Mr.
26 A. It was either late ‘94 or early ‘95.
27 Q. Did you, after your conversations with those
28 individuals, file the civil lawsuit?
1 A. No.
2 Q. At some point in time later, were you then
3 dealing with other lawyers with regard to the
4 proposed filing of that civil lawsuit?
5 A. Yes. At some point, Mr. Jackson’s
6 representation was assumed by a lawyer named Zia
7 Modabber, and a lawyer named Howard Weitzman.
8 Q. And do you recall approximately when it was
9 that you then began contact with those particular
11 A. I believe it was in mid 1995.
12 Q. And the purpose of those contacts?
13 A. Well, the --
14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague;
16 THE COURT: Overruled.
17 You may answer.
18 THE WITNESS: The purpose of the contacts
19 was that they knew that we had a Complaint that we
20 were about to file in Santa Barbara County Superior
21 Court, and they didn’t want us to do that.
22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay;
24 THE COURT: The answer is stricken.
26 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: As a result of the
27 conversations between these individuals, did you
28 pursue your lawsuit?
1 A. Well, we never filed the lawsuit.
2 Q. Did you reach an agreement, a settlement
4 A. Yes, we did.
The other boy receiving a settlement--or some other mysterious payment--was David Martinez.
Not much is known about David, or his mother Ruby Martinez, only that they'd received $300,000 from Jackson around the time Santa Barbara county police were investigating him for allegedly molesting Gavin Arvizo; the payment to the Martinezes emerged during Jackson's financial trial against former business associate and close friend, F. Marc Schaffel, a man with a history in the gay pornography business of which Jackson had been keenly aware.
As the story goes, the hush money was paid to the Martinezes about ten days following Jackson's arrest from funds within one of Schaffel's personal accounts and Schaffel fully expected to be reimbursed.
In fact, the payment to the family had been corroborated by three of Jackson's associates: friend and business associate attorney Al Malnik and Jackson's accountant Alan Whitman testified under oath in the trial that the payment had indeed occurred; additionally, emails from former Jackson defense attorney Mark Geragos also verified the payment: he'd approved travel expenses for Schaffel "related to that transaction" even though he was not familiar with the details of the matter itself.
Furthermore, the judge presiding over the case restricted discussion of the payment and ordered it to be referred to as simply "a private matter" in front of the jury.
Whatever the payment was for (it was allegedly 'relocation money' for this family, who'd supposedly had information about Jackson abusing another child or that David was abused by Jackson, and were the recipients of payments over some time), the jury believed it had occurred, according to one member's anonymous interview following the verdict:
But the jurors were never told during the trial what the top-secret payment was for and didn't speculate about it during deliberations, they said."We didn't discuss that. We just believed he'd paid someone because Mr. Malnik and the accountant corroborated it," said Juror No. 1, a 38-year-old man who did not want to give his name.
But neither the multimillion-dollar settlement to Jason Francia nor the six-figure payment given to the Martinezes--both of which are fully recognized to have been made--matter to Jackson's defenders, despite the fact that they suggest a pattern of Jackson's paying people to be quiet about his criminal behavior which would corroborate a willful settlement with the Chandlers.
The only settlement deemed to be of pertinent discussion is the one with Jordie.What follows as a part of this entry is a page from the website, MJ Facts (http://mjfacts.info), discussing, at length, details of that 1994 settlement Michael Jackson undertook with the Chandlers and how there is no evidence supporting the claim that Jackson was forced to settle by his insurance carrier.The article was re-posted with permission.To note: intercalated into the article from MJ Facts will be additional discussion from me.
Was Michael Jackson Forced to Settle by an Insurance Company? How Jackson's lawyers lied and got away with it
Written by MJ Facts
When Michael Jackson was sued by the Chandler family for molestation, some people will have you believe that Jackson, even though he would have liked to have fought the case in court, was somehow forced by his insurance company to settle - thereby implying that Jackson was totally innocent. These people include fans, some sections of the media and even his own lawyers.
This is a complete fabrication.
First and foremost, let's look at the main evidence that these people put forward - the motions presented in court during Jackson's 2005 molestation trial.
First is "Mr Jackson's Motion in Limine to Exclude Reference to Civil Settlement Amounts and Accompanying Documents", filed by the defense on January 18, 2005. Upon reading the motion, you will notice that the defence were eager to keep the information about the settlements out of the trial.
Desiree's note: Specifically, Jackson's defense lawyers wanted all mentioning of the amounts of his previous settlements to Jordie and Jason Francia, by the Prosecution or any of their witnesses, to be disallowed. Their fear was palpable and somewhat legitimate: had jurors heard the staggering amounts both boys received over so-called 'false' accusations of sex abuse--similar to the claims made by alleged molestation victim Gavin Arvizo--they could have reasonably assumed Jackson was guilty (because people accept the notion of men being guilty when they choose to settle claims against them, especially after he'd vowed many times in public to 'fight' the 'false' allegations), as it had 'happened before'.
Insurance is mentioned on page 5 of the document where it is stated (in a footnote):
In addition, settlements are often involuntary and dictated by insurance companies [quoting precedent]. Unless the plaintiff (i.e. Prosecution) is prepared to prove Mr. Jackson paid every dime of these settlements and that no insurance company was involved, plaintiff's claim of conscious state or proof of criminality lacks foundation and is irrelevant.
OK, what do we have here? Certainly not any claim by Jackson's lawyers that an insurance company forced Jackson to pay, just a vague statement that "settlements are often involuntary and dictated by insurance companies". So, we can't use that to prove Jackson's insurance company forced him to settle, can we? One has to remember that it would have been easy for the prosecution to subpoena Jackson's insurance company for the relevant documents, but the Prosecution knew that it was merely a ploy by the defence, and it was ridiculous to assert that Jackson was "forced" to pay by his insurance company.
The prosecution replied ["Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion in Limine to Exclude Reference to Civil Settlement Amounts and Accompanying Documents"], quite rightly, that on the Confidential Agreement and Mutual General Release, it was Jackson's name and not an insurance company's. It is clearly Jackson's signature on the document, not the signature of a representative of Jackson's (or any) insurance company. It is an agreement between Jackson and the Chandlers only.
Desiree's note: In addition to what I'd previously mentioned, the Prosecution's argument for introduction of the amounts of Jackson's settlement with Jordie Chandler was prudent and common sensical, noting how any previous settlements entered into and/or made by Jackson with alleged victims would be reasonably corroborative to the idea that he'd had a propensity to molest young boys.
As stated in the prosecution's motion, page 3: "If that lawsuit [the Chandler civil suit] alleged sexual misconduct by defendant that is substantially similar to the sexual misconduct alleged in Counts Two through Six of the pending indictment, and if that lawsuit was settled by defendant for in excess of $20,000,000 less that five months later [following the filing of the lawsuit], a reasonable person would conclude that the settlement was at least a tacit admission that there was merit to the lawsuit. Evidence of that settlement could not be "inflammatory" unless it was reasonably perceived as defendant's admission of wrongdoing."
Secondly we have "Mr Jackson's Reply in Support of Motion in Limine to Exclude Reference to Civil Settlement Amounts and Accompanying Documents", filed by the defense on January 26, 2005. The reply states that:
"...insurance carriers rarely if ever sign civil settlements involving their insured because their only interest is to get a release from the claimant, and the issue here is not who signed the settlement, but who paid for the settlement."
Very crafty lawyer speak, don't you agree? Once again, there is no claim that Jackson was forced to settle, just a general claim about insurers. Even that general claim could not apply to Jackson's signature being on the document because insurance companies do sign releases and what was the document in question? A Confidential Agreement and Mutual General Release.
Desiree's note: For more clarity, if the Defense's reply claims that insurance companies are interested in releases but not settlements (the argument being used as an 'out' to explain why there was no attorney for or representative of an insurance company as a signee of the settlement documents), and if the document in question was a release, it'd be expected that some signature from the insurance company that had allegedly muscled Jackson into settling would have been on that release. Taking the Defense's argument, without the signature on the 'release' denoting the insurance company, it is reasonable to say that Jackson was the payer of the settlement, not the insurance company, thus validating the Prosecution's desire to use the settlement, in the event that it is provable that Jackson willfully entered into that agreement and paid the Chandlers, as proof of Jackson having molested Jordie Chandler.
Let's go back to the main point about the settlement - "Unless the prosecution is prepared to prove Mr. Jackson paid every dime of these settlements and that no insurance company was involved, plaintiff's claim of conscious state or proof of criminality lacks foundation and is irrelevant". This is the defence's point, not the prosecution's, and the defence is implying (not coming straight out and saying so) that Jackson was forced to settle by his insurance company and thus cannot be held accountable. What the prosecution says is that no insurance company can force anybody to sign something they don't want to sign (and especially if they are a celebrity worth hundreds of millions of dollars at the time). Who is right? Use common sense based on the facts.
Desiree's note: Let's return to the italicized segment in the above paragraph. Here's a snippet of that portion from the original Defense motion.
What is underlined in red is an interesting admission by Jackson's Defense team. They say--quite plainly--that if, and only if, the Prosecution can prove that Michael Jackson paid the settlement amount, in part or in whole (an amount, let's recall, that the Defense specifically wanted barred from being mentioned in front of the jury by the Prosecution and/or any of their witnesses), and paid it of his own volition with no pressure from any insurance company to pay, then their claim that an eight-figure settlement is, in fact, proof of guilt would be both foundational (prudent, reasonable, not baseless) and relevant to their case, which sought to establish evidence of prior pedophilic behavior on the part of Jackson as a way to corroborate Gavin Arvizo's claims of being sexually abused.
Simpler still, had the DAs been able to show to the jury by way of a tangible exhibit (i.e., the document which details the "who" and "how" of the payment) that Jackson paid money to a boy accusing him of sexual abuse, the Defense believed it would not only be reasonable but also acceptable for the Prosecution to state, in open court, that Jackson's payment to Jordie Chandler was proof of his molestation of the boy!
Essentially, the Defense was in full agreement with the Prosecution (as well as most intelligent observers) that had Jackson paid out using his own money (and of his own decision) it would provide more than enough reasonable suspicion that Jackson was guilty in that 1993 case.
Now, let's further discuss the notion of 'forced settling'. Given Jackson's financial resources, it is highly unlikely that Jackson could be muscled into signing off on a settlement against his will by his insurance carrier, especially if said settlement makes it reasonable and prudent to assume he'd had something to hide and the agreement was an admission of guilt; after all, Jackson had at stake his career and his legacy--he could have easily sued his insurance company for ruining his image (as we know, Jackson's career following the scandal and the settlement, even when he'd still maintained his innocence, never recovered).
Jackson apologists will often state settling was more wise on Jackson's part than fighting for his reputation and proving his innocence, despite the fact settling makes one look 'guilty' of the settled claim. This argument, of course, is inexplicably maintained alongside the belief that Jackson was forced to settle with the Chandlers and did not pay that settlement, the contradictions being a silent admission by Jackson defenders that settling for and paying out $25 million would, in fact, make Jackson look guilty of sexually abusing Jordie Chandler.
In other words, Jackson's Defense and his apologists fully accept the argument that it is reasonable to maintain the belief that settling molestation claims is an admission of having molested. It seems that this is a FACT with which most intelligent people are in agreement.
So far we have no evidence that Jackson was forced to settle, and there is no evidence that anybody lied, but we have one more document to look at. This is "Mr Jackson's Memorandum in Support of Objection to Subpoena to Larry Feldman for Settlement Documents", filed on March 22nd, 2005, and it is where we come to the lie. This memorandum was authored by Brian Oxman, who after writing this memorandum was fired from the trial by the lead lawyers (although not directly over this document, they say). The relevant sections read [note the underlined portions from pages 3 and 4]:
Incredibly, Mr Oxman failed to check any press reports from that time, where no mention or inference of any pressure from any third party, especially any insurance company, was stated or inferred. Oxman was taking the court, and later the public and the media when this motion was unsealed, for a ride. Fans take this document seriously enough to build an entire case that Jackson had no control over this suit and was railroaded. That suits their purposes as once again, it makes Jackson out to be a victim - a common theme for those who want to whitewash Jackson's past behaviour - but it is built on a lie.
Desiree's note: Jackson apologists use the Oxman memo as their coup de grace when arguing the obviously fallacious position that Jackson was forced by his insurance carrier into the 1994 settlement agreement which had the effect, when all payments were completed, of ending the actionability of all of Jordie Chandler's claims of sexual abuse, quieting he and his parents. After all, they contend, if it appeared in a court motion written by Jackson's Defense team and if it was especially signed off on by Tom Mesereau, it must be true, despite the fact no evidence exists to support Oxman's position that Jackson was forced to settle by anyone.
But let's note the timing of Oxman's memo.
Interestingly, this motion followed those earlier arguments that the payers of Jordie Chandler's settlement were nebulous, unknowable, and speculative and could have been made by anyone--be it an insurance company or third party--other than Jackson himself. And, recall, they'd also stated that had the Prosecution been able to prove Jackson paid in whole or any part of that settlement--a sure sign that no force was involved in his agreement to the contract with the Chandlers--it would have been legitimate, foundational, and relevant for them to state that Jackson's agreement to the terms in that document was reasonable proof of guilt on his part. All of this, of course, disregards the fact that Michael Jackson owned a copy of the settlement papers--as he'd signed off on them--and could easily provide the answer to "who" paid and "how" it was paid; perhaps Jackson already knew, and knew full well how it looked, hence the repetitive motions from his Defense which tried to bar the document from being entered into the Prosecution's case.
Simply, had Jackson been forced into anything with regard to settling with Jordie Chandler for an enormous eight-figure sum, he could have presented the settlement documents--or any piece of evidence--demonstrating this fact. Jackson had the keys to proving himself to be a victim by showing that, despite the fact the settlement amount with Jordie Chandler (which they'd wanted barred) was large, it was not of his own decision nor was it from his own pocket.
Surely, Jackson would have had evidence showing this, correct? After all, his Defense team apparently must have had something on which to base their memorandum?
None of this can be known; the Defense fought hard to prevent discovery of those settlement documents that they claimed had no bearing on his guilt in that 1993 case.
But noteworthy is the title of the Oxman memo. Filed March 22, it came almost at the Eleventh Hour before former Chandler attorney and signee of that settlement agreement Larry Feldman would take the stand on April 1, 2005. So, not only did they want to bar discussion of the amounts, they'd also wanted to prevent the Prosecution from subpoenaing the agreement from Feldman--certainly he owned a copy, and one that was unredacted (note: the 22-page redacted copy, instead of the 31-page original which detailed for nine pages the pay-off plan, had been available in the media for the Prosecution to see since June 2004).
Let's look at this closely because it is quite significant: the Defense jostles to keep the details of the settlement out because they believe it to be inflammatory, among other things; however, they agreed with the Prosecution's stance that, if provable in terms of the "how" and the "who paid" aspects of the settlement, the settlement was a foundational and relevant part of their claim that Michael Jackson was guilty of molesting Jordie Chandler, as agreeing to such terms of his own accord--the opposite of force--would show he'd had something to hide.
By blocking the discovery of and the subpoenaing of Larry Feldman for the unredacted 31-page settlement papers, Jackson's team would have been successful in preventing the Prosecution from reasonably (and they agreed) pointing out that Michael Jackson had molested Jordie (which tended to corroborate the allegation by Gavin Arvizo that he, too, had been sexually abused by the self-anointed King of Pop) as virtually confessed to by subscribing to the terms of and pay-off plan elucidated within the agreement.
The Defense knew that the unredacted settlement proved Jackson was not forced to pay but willingly paid off his young boy accuser. That was provable from the documents and synonymous with a confession of guilt!
All of the above should be crystal clear by just looking at the sequence and timing of these motions and the positions held within.
Let's look at what Jackson's lawyer at the time, Johnnie Cochran, said at the press conference announcing the settlement:
"In the past 10 days the rumors and speculation surrounding this case have reached a fever pitch and, by and large, have been false and outrageous. As Mr. (Larry R.) Feldman (the boy's lawyer) has correctly indicated, Michael Jackson has maintained his innocence from the beginning of this matter and now as this matter will soon be concluded, he still maintains that innocence.
"The resolution of this case is in no way an admission of guilt by Michael Jackson. In short, he is an innocent man who does not intend to have his career and his life destroyed by rumors and innuendoes. Throughout this ordeal, he has been subjected to an unprecedented media feeding frenzy, especially by the tabloid press. The tabloid press has shown an insatiable thirst for anything negative and has paid huge sums of money to people who have little or no information and who barely knew Michael Jackson.
"So today, the time has come for Michael Jackson to move on to new business, to get on with his life, to start the healing process and to move his career forward to even greater heights. This he intends to do. At the appropriate time, Michael Jackson will speak out publicly as to the agony, torture and pain he has had to suffer during the past six months."
Desiree's note: Interestingly, as part of the settlement agreement, Jackson's and Chandler's attorneys agreed to make a joint statement, part of which is listed above, and there was no mention of Jackson being muscled into any agreement against his will.
Notice the final line from Cochran's public statement: "At the appropriate time, Michael Jackson will speak out publicly as to the agony, torture and pain he has had to suffer during the past six months." Even though Jackson had also been bound by the confidentiality clause within the settlement agreement, he flagrantly planned to violate his part of the contract. He did just that when he'd sat down for his roundly criticized (and unintentionally revealing) Primetime Live interview with Diane Sawyer, which precipitated Evan Chandler's breach of contract lawsuit against him. This is hugely demonstrative of the arrogance of this accused child molester and that he'd fully intended to disregard his part of the deal all the while his settlement quieted Jordie Chandler and ensured the boy's lack of cooperation with those investigating his abuse.
No mention of any mysterious insurance company! Just an admission that Jackson wanted to "move on" and "get on with his life". How Jackson thought that he could "move his career forward to even greater heights" after settling a claim of child molestation, instead of fighting in court for his reputation, shows the hubris and total lack of remorse he had over his behaviour with boys. In this interview with Cochran in People Magazine, published in June 1994, Cochran said it was he and Larry Feldman who negotiated the settlement, not an insurance company:
[Cochran] was negotiating with Larry Feldman, the 13-year-old boy's attorney, a courthouse colleague. In the end, he and Feldman hammered out a settlement in which the boy received an undisclosed sum and Jackson did not admit any guilt. "It was the only way to get the case off the front pages," says Cochran. "I wanted Michael to be able to go on with his career."
Larry Feldman, attorney for Jordan Chandler, described signing the settlement:
"We signed off on the deal; that was it," said Mr. Feldman, after a private afternoon meeting in the chambers of Judge David Rothman of Santa Monica Superior Court. Mr. Jackson's two lawyers, Howard Weitzman and Johnnie Cochran Jr., were also at the meeting.
No insurance company representatives mentioned, of course. Michael Jackson was not at that meeting as he had signed the documents earlier in Las Vegas (as we will read later).
Mark Geragos, Jacksons attorney in late 2003, had this to say when Jackson was interviewed on 60 Minutes by Ed Bradley:
"I mean remember what happened to him ten years ago. He was humiliated. He was - he went through where somebody - was examining him. Was photographing him. Was having him - humiliating him in the worst way in terms of looking at his private parts and photographing his private parts. And - and he was subjected to some of the most, just intrusive kinds of things that you could ever imagine. I can only try to put myself into that situation and - and say look, if money could make that situation go away, maybe that - that was the calculus then."
Luckily for us, the 1993 case was discussed at some length by participants in a seminar hosted by the Los Angeles County Bar Association in 2010*, where one of Jackson's defence attorneys spoke about the negotiations.
Carl Douglas: "I remember sitting in private negotiations with Larry and three judges trying to work out some resolution to this case. I remember the sage words of one of the judges "It's not about how much this case is worth; it's about what it's worth to Michael Jackson!" And ultimately that was an argument that had resonance as we bandied about some extraordinary numbers in 1993. The numbers were extraordinary for even 2010, but in 1993 they were really some fabulous numbers that were being bandied about."*
The opposing lawyer, Carl Douglas and three judges? It's worth to Michael Jackson? Where is the insurance company representative?
Larry Feldman was "also correct that the decision that was hotly contested, in terms of having a trial in that case, set in 120 days was a devastating tactical loss for our team, and it was significantly powering efforts in trying to resolve the case."*
The insurance company wasn't "powering efforts in trying to resolve the case"?
"I was able to find some statements in my records of both a version of the facts that Larry was going to read, that all parties signed off on. And there was a version that Johnnie was going to read that all parties signed off on."*
Where was the insurance company's version of the facts that all parties signed off on? Of course, there were none. There was no insurance company involved.
Let's not forget Carl's strongest statement as to why a settlement needed to be reached:
"...in our [Jackson's defence lawyers] perspective, you have to remember that there was a companion criminal investigation case going on by both the District Attorney's office in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. There had been an occasion where Michael Jackson was examined, and his genitalia was recorded, which was part of an investigation. And that was part of the 300 pound gorilla in the mediation room. We wanted to do all that we could to avoid the possibility that there would be a criminal filing against Michael Jackson, and the reality was we were hopeful that if we were able to "silence" the accuser, that would obviate the need for any concern about the criminal side, so from our perspective there was a great deal of trust, not only with Johnnie and Larry because they had a twenty year prior friendship, there was a tremendous trust with Johnnie and the three judges being recommended. And we were facing the purple gorilla in the room of "If we don't get this case settled before March, there is a criminal investigation looming, and no one wanted to consider the implications of that as it affected Michael Jackson"*
Desiree's note: It cannot be understated that there was a direct correlation between the photographs of Jackson's spotty penis and blotched testicles and buttocks and the settlement agreement with Jordie Chandler. Douglas--Johnnie Cochran's right hand man and an attorney privy to the Jackson case--stated unequivocally that the resultant pictures from the body search caused significant worry for Jackson's team criminally and the only way to effectively de-emphasize the weight of those photographs was to make sure Jordie Chandler would not testify against Jackson in criminal court.
Douglas' account not only proves that Jackson and his lawyers were in full control (the opposite of force as alleged in the Oxman memo) of the "mediation" of Jordie's claims with Chandler attorney and Cochran friend Larry Feldman, but also that the photos matched to such a significant degree as to be corroborative of Jordie's allegations that he'd been sexually abused by Michael Jackson, a crime that would lead to Jackson's incarceration.
Noteworthy is Douglas' use of the word obviate, meaning "to do away with; to prevent the occurrence of; to prevent from happening". Douglas admitted that the goal of Jackson's lawyers at the time was 'silencing' the boy, and when that was achieved, through whatever capacity, it would, at the very least, lessen and, at the most, completely eliminate the fear of Jackson having to face any criminal charges in relation to Jordie's claims of abuse.
Taking Jordie Chandler out of the equation by paying him a substantial settlement and getting him to sign, via his Guardian ad Litem, an agreement to be silent about the molestation (i.e. there would be no complaining witness and no cooperation with the criminal investigation) would render the cases of the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara county district attorneys moot.
Carl also said "I remember travelling to Las Vegas, and the Mirage hotel in January 1994, because I was the one that presented the settlement agreement to Michael."*
Desiree's note: Carl Douglas' account--and we shall note that he was directly involved in the defense of Jackson back in 1993-1994--stands in stark contrast to the account given in 'special friend' and nebulous business associate Frank Cascio's book My Friend Michael, who recycles the stock "the insurance company did it!"-type explanation of the settlement with Jordie Chandler; from pages 72-73:
Because the legal fees of a trial would cost far more than any settlement, his insurance company, who would bear those losses [to profit and income], was determined to settle. .... And so Michael agreed to settle for what I believe was something in the range of $30 million. As I would later understand, he didn't have much choice in the matter. At the end of the day, the decision to fight it out in court or to settle out of court was in the insurance company's hands. The settlement was in the works before we arrived in England, and it was finalized while we were there. Michael was now free to return to the United States, and he was eager to return home.
Cascio's recollection is patently false.
According to Douglas, as well as testified to by the date of January 20, 1994 near Jackson's signature on the settlement papers, Jackson was presented with the documents in January of 1994, not while he was in England during his 'rehab' stay, which Cascio described as being around the Thanksgiving holiday in November 1993.
Let's also note these lines by Cascio specifically, "...and it was finalized while we were there. Michael was now free to return to the United States, and he was eager to return home." This is chronologically impossible. It is also in direct disagreement with Douglas' admission that the Jackson defense team considered the body search photos to be a "part of the 300-lb gorilla in the mediation room," and the body search that captured the images of Jackson's two-toned penis and blotchy testicles and buttocks had not been undergone until December 20, 1993.
Michael Jackson was not 'free' to return home--he'd fled under the guise of 'drug addiction'--because a settlement deal had been made, as no such deal had been made. Jackson was 'free' to return home December 10, 1993 after authorities from both counties agreed not to arrest him on the condition that he'd agree to submit to a body search.
Simply, Frank Cascio wrote a complete fabrication about the case. He was not privy to any information about the settlement, as he was only a 13- or 14-year-old at the time.
What? The settlement agreement had to be presented to Jackson personally by one of his lawyers? Weren't we told by Brian Oxman that it was out of Michael's control and was being negotiated by an insurance company?
Of course, let's not forget what Jackson himself said. In his interview with Diane Sawyer in 1995 he gave his reason for settling:
So what I said...I have got to do something to get out from under this nightmare. All these lies and all these people coming forth to get paid and all these tabloid shows, just lies, lies, lies. So what I did - we got together again with my advisors and they advised me, it was hands down, a unanimous decision - resolve the case. This could be something that could go on for seven years.
When the settlement documents were leaked in June 2004, he released a statement:
Jackson did not deny the amount that he reportedly paid, and said he settled the case only so he could move on with his life.
"I have always maintained my innocence, and vehemently denied that these events ever took place. I reluctantly chose to settle the false claims only to end the terrible publicity and to continue with my life and career."
Larry Feldman, the boy's lawyer also spoke at the seminar:
So at some point, Johnnie and Carl came into the case. Johnnie and I go back a long way. I had the distinct privilege of representing Johnnie a lot of times in his life, and we were able to trust one another along with the help of three judges who sat in on a very secretive settlement, and we were ultimately able to get the case settled, and work with all of the problems, and all of the details for their benefit. And they trusted me, and I trusted them, and it was able to get settled.*
Seth Hufstedler, the seminar's host, chimed in:
I thought that the two of them did a fabulous job establishing one other thing: that first Jackson one was settled, and the settlement did both sides a great deal of good, and it illustrates one of the important principles that we all have to deal with as lawyers, and that is: if the lawyers can trust each other, and work together, it works out very much better for their clients. They come out with some sensible answers, they have less hassle, and that's one way to get things done.
As you can see, everyone who was involved is in agreeance that the settlement was negotiated by the two parties and there was no other influence on the decision to settle! Brian Oxman lied about an insurance company negotiating the settlement.**
Then again, perhaps Oxman was confused by press reports from January of 1994 that negotiations were taking place between Jackson's insurance company, Transamerica, and Jackson's lawyers to pay the settlement? This story, published by Associated Press referred an article which originally appeared in the now defunct British newspaper Today.
As you can see, the article references letters sent by Jackson's attorney Johnnie Cochran to Transamerica, Jackson's insurers, requesting they cover the settlement amount. It also details Transamerica's replies, including, even though Jackson wasn't covered, a one time offer by Transamerica's lawyer Jordan Harriman on January 13 1994 (which was rejected by Jackson). The article states that negotiations were continuing, however the same day the one time offer was made, Transamerica's claims analyst also wrote a letter to Jackson's lawyer Howard Weitzman to inform him that Jackson's policy only covered Jackson for "accidental bodily injury", but according to the settlement document the settlement was ostensibly paid for claims of bodily injury due to negligence, so it would not be covered.
Desiree's note: The aforementioned article clearly states that it would have been legally difficult for Jackson's insurance company to settle the claims leveled in the Chandler civil suit. That legal difficulty is underscored by a California insurance code section 533, which states, quite plainly, that no coverage will be granted by the insurer to the insured over claims of a criminal nature:
An insurer is not liable for a loss caused by the willful act of the insured; but he is not exonerated by the negligence of the insured, or of the insured's agents or others.
As stated by the claims analyst for Transamerica, Russ Wardrip, to Howard Weitzman, from page 387 of Christopher Andersen's Michael Jackson Unauthorized,
That same day, claims analyst Russ Wardrip fired off a letter to Howard Weitzman, informing him that Michael's policy covered him only in the event that he was injured in an accident. "Acts of sexual activity," Wardrip stated, "do not constitute an accident." The letter went on to point out that "Transamerica declines coverage for any damages flowing from the allegations of sexual conduct in the complaint. Further, acts of sexual activity, especially those committed against a minor, are inherently intentional, wrongful, and harmful. Coverage for such acts is precluded from California Insurance Code Section 533. On that basis, as well, coverage is denied under the Transamerica policy for the allegations in the [Chandler] lawsuit."
That letter was precipitated by an angry one sent to the company by Johnnie Cochran which read, in part, according to pages 386-387 of Andersen's book, "I believe it is imperative that the matter be resolved immediately.... Transamerica has thus fallen woefully short of its obligation to cooperate in the defense of this matter.... In the event that this matter is settled without any participation by Transamerica, please be advised Mr. Jackson will pursue all civil remedies available to him against Transamerica for a host of claims, including failure to pay defense costs, failure to contribute towards settlement costs..." The insurance statute further delineates:
(a) No policy of insurance shall provide, or be construed to provide, any coverage or indemnity for the payment of any fine, penalty, or restitution in any criminal action or proceeding or in any action or proceeding brought pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200) of Part 2 of, or Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of Part 3 of, Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code by the Attorney General, any district attorney, any city prosecutor, or any county counsel, notwithstanding whether the exclusion or exception regarding this type of coverage or indemnity is expressly stated in the policy.
(b) No policy of insurance shall provide, or be construed to provide, any duty to defend, as defined in subdivision (c), any claim in any criminal action or proceeding or in any action or proceeding brought pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200) of Part 2 of, or Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of Part 3 of, Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code in which the recovery of a fine, penalty, or restitution is sought by the Attorney General, any district attorney, any city prosecutor, or any county counsel, notwithstanding whether the exclusion or exception regarding the duty to defend this type of claim is expressly stated in the policy.
(c) For the purpose of this section, "duty to defend" means the insurer's right or obligation to investigate, contest, defend, control the defense of, compromise, settle, negotiate the compromise or settlement of, or indemnify for the cost of any aspect of defending any claim in any criminal action or proceeding or in any action or proceeding brought pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200) of Part 2 of, or Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17500) of Part 3 of, Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code in which the insured expects or contends that (1) the insurer is liable or is potentially liable to make any payment on behalf of the insured or (2) the insurer will provide a defense for a claim even though the insurer is precluded by law from indemnifying that claim.
(d) Any provision in a policy of insurance which is in violation of subdivision (a) or (b) is contrary to public policy and void.
(To clarify, what is detailed in subdivison (c) of the statute regarding the meaning of "duty to defend" is what the insurer is not supposed to do, as well as what the insured cannot expect the insurer to do or what the insured cannot claim or contend that the insurer can do, as had been outlined in the previous subdivisions. Specifically, no insurance company practicing in California state and dealing with a client restricted to the laws governing the state of California can "settle, negotiate the compromise or settlement of" anything that is criminal because that would be a violation of California law; Jackson was accused of crimes that were both wrongful and intentional, inherently not covered by any insurance policy.)
Because of the statutes, there is no possible way Transamerica would have ever initiated or offered, of their own accord, any settlement to resolve the claims within the Chandler civil suit, let alone veto the protestations of Michael Jackson in the event he'd wanted nothing more than to fight it out in the courtroom. The Transamerica claims analyst, as mentioned in the article, specifically stated that Jackson's policy only covered him for bodily injuries resulting from an accident. Although claim seven in the Chandler suit dealt with bodily injuries resulting from negligence--"both explicitly sexual and otherwise"--the claims analyst was referring to the entire suit when coverage was denied; claims one through six (sexual battery, battery, seduction of a minor, willful misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud) clearly specify acts that are intentional, not acts that are negligent or accidental. They would have been breaking the law.
Let's remember the attempt by Johnnie Cochran to strong-arm the Transamerica insurance company into footing the bill for the settlement. Not only does this indicate, when taking into account Jackson's rejection of Transamerica's one-time only settlement offer, that no insurance company was involved in any of the negotiations up until that point, it also is highly suggestive of the dynamic between Jackson, his lawyers, and his insurance carrier: Jackson was in full control. From pages 387-388 of Christopher Andersen's Michael Jackson Unauthorized:
...a meeting was hastily arranged at Feldman's Santa Monica office before the three retired judges. In addition to Feldman, Transamerica attorney Lane Ashley attended the meeting, as did three Jackson attorneys--Cochran, Weitzman, and Allan Goldman. As [Chandler]'s lawyer, Feldman was committed to seeing that there was hard cash behind any settlement offer. The Transamerica lawyer reported back in a memo: "At the outset (and as is typical) counsel for Jackson 'beat up' on Transamerica for its denial of coverage." Incredibly...Transamerica, without acknowledging any legal obligation to do so, agreed to pay a certain amount. Even more incredibly, the Jackson team turned it down. "An offer was made on behalf of Transamerica on a one-time only basis to resolve the claim," the memo stated. "This offer was rejected by the insured." Evidently, Michael wanted his insurance company the whole cost and nothing less.
So there we have it. Jackson was not forced by any insurance company to settle, it was the lawyers for both parties which negotiated the settlement. Perhaps the insurance company paid the settlement, however the obvious conclusion is that if they did, it is likely that the prosecution would have discovered that during the trial as it was an important point for them.
That concludes the discussion as it appeared on MJ Facts but my discussion is not yet finished.
It should be quite obvious by now that the only evidence in existence surrounding the conclusion of Jordie Chandler's settlement is that Michael Jackson entered into that contract of his own conscious mind and free will. It was resolved in the nick of time before Jackson was scheduled to give a court-sworn deposition to the boy's attorney Larry Feldman; let's note that Jackson would have had to tell the truth or risk perjury charges or having to invoke the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, thereby making himself look as though he'd had something to hide. To most intelligent people, Jackson's willful payment of the settlement can be reasonably perceived as an admission of guilt.
In fact, that is the point of contention, whether Jackson agreed to the settlement and signed off on it without any external force. As the Prosecution stated and as the Defense agreed, Jackson's defenders also recognize that a dispute of the Oxman memo, whereby Jackson's defense claimed Jackson's "insurance carrier negotiated and paid the settlement, over the protests of Mr. Jackson and his personal legal counsel", would represent a more than reasonable implication that Jackson was guilty of molesting Jordie Chandler.
For Jackson apologists, there should be no question that Jackson used the settlement to end the progress of the Chandler civil suit, as well as stymie the efforts of criminal investigators to get Jordie Chandler's allegations before a jury (as confirmed by Carl Douglas)***.
That is what the evidence suggests, and all of it contradicts that widely praised Oxman memo.
All of the lawyers themselves were both the negotiators and writers of that settlement agreement (as per the statements of Feldman, Cochran, and Douglas illuminated herein), and there is no evidence of any involvement of any insurance reps or companies by anyone as being either present or being a part of the negotiations; the only mention of an insurance company is the one-time offer--most likely to pay his legal fees or something else not deemed illegal according to statute--that Jackson rejected. Jackson's rejection of the offer suggests that the offer did not sufficiently cover the payments decided upon in negotiations.
Most importantly, Jackson was never forced against his will to settle. Had he wanted to fight, he could have freely chosen to do so. He did not choose to fight.
His actions and the actions of his attorneys are in complete contradiction with the Oxman memo.
Tom Mesereau, lead counsel for Jackson's 2005 Defense team, has also contradicted the Oxman memorandum more than once. In September 2004, Mesereau made the following statement to the media (months before any of the aforementioned documents used by Jackson apologists to suggest that Jackson had been forced to settle had been filed in court):