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1993 child sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson

1993 child sexual abuse accusations against Michael Jackson

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In 1993, Evan Chandler
Evan Chandler
Evan Chandler was an American screenwriter and dentist, and was best known as accuser to pop star Michael Jackson. In 1993, Chandler accused the singer of molesting his son Jordan after his son told him of the allegations while under the influence of sodium amytal during some surgery...

 accused Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

of sexually abusing
Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. When that force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or molester...

 his thirteen-year-old son, Jordan. The relationship between Jackson and Jordan began in May 1992. Evan initially welcomed and encouraged the friendship, and bragged about his connection to a celebrity. The friendship became well known, as the tabloid
Tabloid journalism
Tabloid journalism tends to emphasize topics such as sensational crime stories, astrology, gossip columns about the personal lives of celebrities and sports stars, and junk food news...

 media reported that Jackson became a member of the Chandler family unit. In June 1993, Evan confronted his ex-wife June Chandler, who had custody of Jordan, with suspicions that their son could have been in an inappropriate relationship with Jackson but June dismissed his worries. According to several sources, Evan threatened to go public with the evidence he claimed he had on Jackson, who asked his lawyer Bert Fields to intervene.

Evan's lawyer, Barry K. Rothman, called psychiatrist Dr. Mathis Abrams and reported a hypothetical situation of sexual molestation mirroring what his son had alleged. Without meeting Jordan, Abrams then sent Rothman a letter on July 15 stating there was "reasonable suspicion" of sexual abuse and if it had been a real case, he would be required by law to contact the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services (DCS). On August 4, Evan and Jordan met with Jackson and Anthony Pellicano, Jackson's private investigator, and Evan read out Abrams' letter. He then opened negotiations to resolve the issue with a financial settlement. On August 16, three days after Evan and Rothman had rejected a $350,000 offer from Jackson's camp, June's attorney notified Rothman that he would be filing papers next morning to force Evan to return Jordan to allow him to go on the Asian-leg of Jackson's Dangerous World Tour
Dangerous World Tour
The Dangerous World Tour was the second worldwide concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson. The tour, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, included 69 performances to an audience of 3.5 million. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson's own "Heal the World Foundation". The...

. Evan took Jordan to Dr. Abrams and, following a three-hour evaluation, Jordan revealed that he and Jackson had allegedly engaged in sexual acts, including kissing, masturbation
Masturbation
Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...

, and oral sex
Oral sex
Oral sex is sexual activity involving the stimulation of the genitalia of a sex partner by the use of the mouth, tongue, teeth or throat. Cunnilingus refers to oral sex performed on females while fellatio refer to oral sex performed on males. Anilingus refers to oral stimulation of a person's anus...

 and a description of what he alleged were the singer's genitals. Abrams called DCS, which contacted the police. A police investigation was opened on August 17 and search warrant
Search warrant
A search warrant is a court order issued by a Magistrate, judge or Supreme Court Official that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a crime and to confiscate evidence if it is found....

s were issued; on August 22, 1993, the scandal was reported in the media. Jackson's Neverland Ranch
Neverland Ranch
Neverland Valley Ranch is a developed property in Santa Barbara County, California, most famous for being a home of American entertainer Michael Jackson from 1988 to 2005. Jackson named the property after Neverland, the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up...

 and Century City condo were searched by police on August 21 and 22, but no incriminating evidence was found. Some of Jackson's family, friends and fans showed strong support for him, but his older sister, La Toya
La Toya Jackson
La Toya Yvonne Jackson is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, television personality, actress, businesswoman, philanthropist, activist and former model. She is the fifth child of the Jackson family...

, accused him of being a pedophile, which mirrored similar reports dating back to 1991. She later retracted her statement, claiming that she had been coerced by her abusive husband of the time, Jack Gordon.

On December 20, 1993, Jackson submitted to a 25-minute strip search
Strip search
A strip search is the stripping of a person to check for weapons or other contraband.-Legality of strip searches:...

 to determine if the description of his genitals provided by Jordan Chandler was accurate. Although Jordan allegedly claimed that Jackson was circumcised
Circumcision
Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin from the penis. The word "circumcision" comes from Latin and ....

; the strip search revealed that Jackson was actually uncircumcised
Foreskin
In male human anatomy, the foreskin is a generally retractable double-layered fold of skin and mucous membrane that covers the glans penis and protects the urinary meatus when the penis is not erect...

, a fact later confirmed in his autopsy. A 1993 affidavit
Affidavit
An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law. Such statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant's signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public...

 by a Sheriff's Department deputy also reported that Jordan claimed there was a splotch on Jackson's penis, "which is a light color similar to the color of his face",. In a 2005 court brief, Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon swore under penalty of perjury that photos from the body search "substantially corroborated" Jordan's very detailed drawing of a "dark blemish" on Jackson's penis. Dr. Richard Strick, who was present as a doctor for the State looking to verify the skin condition vitiligo
Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a condition that causes depigmentation of sections of skin. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress,...

 allegedly on Jackson's penis that had rendered his penis "oddly colored" during the examination of Jackson's genitals, stated, "I was told later that the photos and description absolutely matched." Strick had not actually been privy to Jordan Chandler's description of Jackson's penis, which would explain why he needed to be informed on the match between the photographs and the description.

Most of the information available was leaked by the prosecution and the media largely portrayed Jackson as guilty. On January 25, 1994, the Chandlers' lawsuit was settled out of court, with $15.3 million to be held in a trust fund for Jordan, $1.5 million for each of his parents and the family's lawyer slated to receive $3 million based on a September 1993 retainer
Retainer
Retainer may refer to:* Retainer , a person, especially a soldier, in the service of a lord in the late Middle Ages** Retainer sacrifice, the sacrifice of a human servant* Retainer...

, for a total of $21 million (or according to CNN, $5 million for a total of $23 million). Although the settlement agreement did not prevent the Chandlers from sharing information about the case in a criminal investigation or testifying in criminal trial, it did state that they would have to notify Jackson within 5 days if they ever moved to press criminal charges. The settlement effectively silenced the family. When Jordan Chandler refused to testify in criminal proceedings, the state closed its criminal investigation, citing lack of evidence, on September 22, 1994. Jackson's support among the public began to waver, and his public image never recovered.

Friendship, tape recording, allegations and negotiations


By the summer of 1993, it was revealed that Jackson allowed children to sleep over at his Neverland ranch, a fact which came under much media scrutiny when child sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse
Child sexual abuse is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. Forms of child sexual abuse include asking or pressuring a child to engage in sexual activities , indecent exposure with intent to gratify their own sexual desires or to...

 allegations were brought against him. Jackson became firm friends with Jordan Chandler and his family after a meeting in May 1992, as he was a fan of Jackson. Their friendship became so close that the National Enquirer ran a featured story with the title "Michael's New Adopted Family", which implied that Jackson had "stolen" the boy from his estranged father, Evan Chandler, who was admittedly jealous over Jackson's influence on his son. According to celebrity biographer, J. Randy Taraborrelli
J. Randy Taraborrelli
John Randall Taraborrelli is an American journalist and biographer.Taraborrelli is an author known for biographies of contemporary entertainers and political figures. He is a featured writer in several entertainment magazines in Canada, England, and Australia...

, Evan asked, "Look, are you having sex with my son?" and after Jackson denied doing so, Evan's opinion of Jackson changed. Jackson invited Jordan, his stepsister and his mother to visit Neverland on the weekends and they would also take trips to Las Vegas and Florida. These weekend trips began to interfere with Jordan's scheduled visits with his father, with Jordan preferring to visit Neverland. In May 1993, when Jackson and Jordan stayed with Evan, Evan urged Jackson to spend more time with his son at his house and even suggested that Jackson build an addition onto the house so that Jackson could stay there. After the zoning department told Evan it could not be done, Evan suggested that Jackson just build him a new home. That same month, Jordan and June flew with Jackson to Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

 for the World Music Awards According to June's lawyer, Michael Freeman, “Evan began to get jealous of the involvement and felt left out.” Upon their return, Evan was pleased with a five-day visit from Jackson, during which Jackson slept in a room with Jordan and his stepbrother. Evan claimed this was when his suspicions of sexual misconduct by Jackson began, although he admitted that Jackson and Jordan always had their clothes on when he saw them in bed together and has never claimed to have witnessed any sexual misconduct.

On July 2, 1993, in a private telephone conversation, Chandler was tape-recorded as saying, In the same conversation, when asked how this would affect his son, Chandler replied, "That's irrelevant to me ... It will be a massacre if I don't get what I want. It's going to be bigger than all us put together ... This man [Jackson] is going to be humiliated beyond belief ... He will not sell one more record". The recorded conversation was a critical aspect of Jackson's defense against the upcoming allegation made against him. He and his supporters argue that he was the victim of a jealous father whose only goal was to extort money from the singer. In October 1994, Mary A. Fischer of GQ magazine reported it was Evan Chandler who initially accused Jackson of molesting his son, before he demanded a screenwriting
Screenwriting
Screenwriting is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games. It is a freelance profession....

 deal from Jackson instead of going to the police.

According to Taraborrelli, Evan was forced to admit the controversial sedative sodium amytal was used when he extracted a tooth from Jordan in early August. On May 3, 1994, KCBS-TV
KCBS-TV
KCBS-TV, channel 2, is an owned-and-operated television station of the CBS Television Network, located in Los Angeles, California. KCBS-TV shares its offices and studio facilities with sister station KCAL-TV inside CBS Studio Center in the Studio City section of Los Angeles, and its transmitter...

 news reported that Evan claimed the drug was used for tooth extraction and that Jordan finally confessed when he was under the influence of the drug. Mark Torbiner, the dental anesthesiologist
Anesthesiologist
An anesthesiologist or anaesthetist is a physician trained in anesthesia and peri-operative medicine....

 who administered the drug, told GQ if sodium amytal was used, "it was for dental purposes." Sodium amytal is a barbiturate
Barbiturate
Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, and can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia. They are also effective as anxiolytics, as hypnotics, and as anticonvulsants...

 that puts people in a hypnotic state when injected intravenously. Studies done in 1952 debunked the drug as a truth serum
Truth Serum
Truth Serum is an independent comic book series created, written and drawn by author Jon Adams.-Overview:Originally published as a mini comic in 2001 and given away for free, it appeared as a three-issue mini series published by Slave Labor Graphics in 2002...

 and demonstrated it enabled false memories to be easily implanted. Dr. Phillip Resnick, a noted Cleveland psychiatrist said it was a "a psychiatric medication
Psychiatric medication
A psychiatric medication is a licensed psychoactive drug taken to exert an effect on the mental state and used to treat mental disorders. Usually prescribed in psychiatric settings, these medications are typically made of synthetic chemical compounds, although some are naturally occurring, or at...

" and "People will say things under sodium amytal that are blatantly untrue." In mid-May 1994 in Napa County, California
Napa County, California
Napa County is a county located north of the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S. state of California. It is coterminous with the Napa, California, Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2010 the population is 136,484. The county seat is Napa....

, Gary Ramona won his lawsuit against his daughter's therapist and the psychiatrist who had given her sodium amytal. The psychiatrist claimed the drug helped Ramona's daughter remember specific details of sexual molestation by Ramona, but a court brief
Brief (law)
A brief is a written legal document used in various legal adversarial systems that is presented to a court arguing why the party to the case should prevail....

 written by Martin Orne, a University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is a private, Ivy League university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,Penn is the fourth-oldest using the founding dates claimed by each institution...

 psychiatrist who pioneered research of hypnosis and sodium amytal, stated that the drug is "not useful in ascertaining 'truth' . . . The patient becomes sensitive and receptive to suggestions due to the context and to the comments of the interviewers." This was the first successful legal challenge to the “repressed memory
Repressed memory
Repressed memory is a hypothetical concept used to describe a significant memory, usually of a traumatic nature, that has become unavailable for recall; also called motivated forgetting in which a subject blocks out painful or traumatic times in one's life...

 phenomenon". Dr. Kenneth Gottlieb, a San Francisco psychiatrist said, “It’s absolutely a psychiatric drug...I would never want to use a drug that tampers with a person’s unconscious unless there was no other drug available. And I would not use it without resuscitating equipment, in case of allergic reaction, and only with an M.D. anesthesiologist present.” According to Dr. John Yagiela, coordinator of the anesthesia and pain control department of UCLA’s school of dentistry, “It’s unusual for it to be used [for pulling a tooth]" and "better, safer alternatives are available." According to Diane Dimond of Hard Copy
Hard Copy
Hard Copy is an American tabloid news television show that ran in syndication from 1989 to 1999. Hard Copy was aggressive in its use of questionable material on television, including gratuitous violence....

, Torbiner's records show that Robinul and Vistarol was administered instead of sodium amytal. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was investigating Torbiner's administration of drugs in house calls, where he mostly gave patients morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 and Demerol. His credentials with the Board of Dental Examiners indicated that he was restricted by law to administering drugs solely for dental-related procedures, but he had not adhered to those restrictions. For instance, he had given general anesthetic to Barry Rothman during hair-transplant procedures. Torbiner had introduced Evan and Rothman in 1991, when Rothman needed dental work.

Over the next couple of months both parties engaged in unsuccessful (out of court) financial negotiations, with Chandler and his legal team asking for $20 million, or the issue would be taken to criminal court. Jackson declined the offer, saying, "No way in Hell". A few weeks later, Jackson's legal team gave a counter-offer to the value of $1 million, which was declined by Chandler. The father then lowered his request to $15 million; Jackson rejected this and lowered his original counter-offer to $350,000. With both sides unable to reach an agreement, Chandler decided he would take it to court. Chandler then took his son to see a psychiatrist called Dr. Mathis Abrams, and during the three-hour session with the doctor, Jordan Chandler said he had had a sexual relationship with Jackson that went on for months, and which included incidents of kissing, masturbation and oral sex. He then repeated these allegations to police and gave a detailed description of what he alleged was Jackson's penis.

Allegations made public, investigation and La Toya Jackson


On August 18, the Los Angeles Police Department's Sexually Exploited Child Unit began a criminal investigation into Jackson. The same day, Jordan Chandler's mother told police that she did believe Jackson had molested her son. On August 21, a search warrant was issued, allowing police to search Jackson's Neverland Ranch
Neverland Ranch
Neverland Valley Ranch is a developed property in Santa Barbara County, California, most famous for being a home of American entertainer Michael Jackson from 1988 to 2005. Jackson named the property after Neverland, the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up...

. Police questioned 30 children who were friends of Jackson, with all denying that the singer was a child molester. A police officer involved in the investigation told The Los Angeles Times that no evidence (medical, photographic or video) could be found that would support a criminal filing. The same day the allegations were made public, Jackson began the second leg of his Dangerous World Tour
Dangerous World Tour
The Dangerous World Tour was the second worldwide concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson. The tour, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, included 69 performances to an audience of 3.5 million. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson's own "Heal the World Foundation". The...

 in Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

. On August 24, Jackson's investigator held a press conference accusing Chandler of trying to extort $20 million from the singer, although the investigator failed to mention that Jackson had given several counter-offers. On August 25, Jackson's young friends Brett Barnes and Wade Robson
Wade Robson
Wade Jeremy William Robson is an Australian dance prodigy, director, producer, songwriter, and award-winning choreographer. He began performing as a dancer at the age of five. He has directed music videos and world tours for numerous music artists such as 'N Sync and Britney Spears...

 held a press conference in which they stated that they had slept in the same bed as Jackson, but nothing sexual in nature had occurred. Jackson's family soon held a press conference of their own to show support, saying it was their "unequivocal belief" that Michael had been made a victim of a cruel and obvious attempt to take advantage of his fame and wealth." The police then began an investigation into Evan Chandler's prior actions and found that he was $68,400 behind in his child support payments, even though he was well-paid as a dentist. On November 8, police searched the Jackson family home, Hayvenhurst, but found nothing of importance to add to their investigation.

In the winter of 1993, despite not seeing or speaking to Jackson for a long time, La Toya Jackson
La Toya Jackson
La Toya Yvonne Jackson is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, television personality, actress, businesswoman, philanthropist, activist and former model. She is the fifth child of the Jackson family...

 claimed that Jackson was a pedophile and that she had proof, which she was prepared to disclose for a fee of $500,000. A bidding war between US and UK tabloids began, but fell through when they realized that her revelations were not what she had claimed them to be. Then in Israel, she stated, "I cannot and will not be a silent collaborator in his crimes against young children ... Forget about the superstar, forget about the icon. If he was any other 35-year-old man who was sleeping with little boys, you wouldn't like this guy". She also claimed that checks had been made out to several boys and that Jackson's own physical abuse as a child had turned him into an abuser. She would later claim that Jackson had tried to kidnap and kill her. The rest of the family disowned her, and in subsequent years she would insist that she was forced to make the allegations by her then husband for financial gain. Just prior to making the allegations, her husband was arrested for striking her in the face, arms and legs with a chair. By the turn of the millennium
Millennium
A millennium is a period of time equal to one thousand years —from the Latin phrase , thousand, and , year—often but not necessarily related numerically to a particular dating system....

 Jackson had forgiven his sister.

Lisa Marie Presley, health concerns, rehabilitation and Elizabeth Taylor


Jackson first met Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie Presley
Lisa Marie Presley is an American singer and songwriter, also known as the "Princess of Rock and Roll". She is the only child of Elvis Presley, and daughter of Priscilla Presley.-Early life:...

 (and Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

) in 1974, during a Jackson 5 engagement at the MGM Grand. In November 1992, Jackson was reconnected with Presley through a mutual friend, staying in contact almost every day by telephone. As the child sexual abuse accusations became public, he became dependent on Presley for emotional support; she was concerned about his faltering health and his addiction to drugs. She explained, "I believed he didn't do anything wrong and that he was wrongly accused and yes I started falling for him. I wanted to save him. I felt that I could do it." In one phone call he made to her, she described him as high, incoherent and delusional. He proposed to her over the phone towards the fall of 1993, saying, "If I asked you to marry me, would you do it?". The marriage was, in her words, "a married couple's life ... that was sexually active". They divorced less than two years later, remaining friendly.

Jackson had began taking painkillers, Valium, Xanax and Ativan to deal with the stress of the allegations made against him. A few months after the allegations became news, he had lost approximately 10 pounds in weight and had stopped eating. According to Jackson, he had a tendency to stop eating when "really upset or hurt" and that Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

 had to make him eat during this ordeal; "She took the spoon and would put it into my mouth." He said that he eventually became unconscious and had to be fed intravenously. In a court deposition
Deposition (law)
In the law of the United States, a deposition is the out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or for discovery purposes. It is commonly used in litigation in the United States and Canada and is almost always conducted outside of court by the...

 unrelated to alleged child abuse, he was visibly drowsy, lacked concentration and repeatedly slurred while speaking. He could not remember the dates of his prior album releases or names of people he had worked with and took several minutes to name some of his recent albums. His health had deteriorated to the extent that he canceled the remainder of his tour and flew with Taylor and her husband to London. When Jackson arrived at the airport, he had to be held up; he was then rushed to the home of Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

's manager and afterwards to a clinic, but when he was searched for drugs on entry, 18 vials of medicine were found in a suitcase. Jackson booked the whole fourth floor of the clinic, and was put on Valium IV to wean him from painkillers. The singer's spokesperson told reporters that Jackson was "barely able to function adequately on an intellectual level". While in the clinic, he took part in group and one-on-one therapy sessions.

Strip search


In December 1993, Jackson was served with a warrant
Search warrant
A search warrant is a court order issued by a Magistrate, judge or Supreme Court Official that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a crime and to confiscate evidence if it is found....

 for a strip search of his body, as police wanted to verify Jordan Chandler's description of Jackson's private anatomy. The order stated that officers were to examine, photograph and videotape Jackson's entire body, "including his penis, anus, hips, buttocks and any other part of his body". The warrant stated they were looking for discoloration or any other signs of vitiligo
Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a condition that causes depigmentation of sections of skin. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress,...

 which he had previously spoken about, or any other skin disorder, and that refusal to comply would be used in court as an indication of guilt. The strip search took place on December 20, 1993 at Jackson's ranch. Those present for the prosecution were Santa Barbara District Attorney
District attorney
In many jurisdictions in the United States, a District Attorney is an elected or appointed government official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses. The district attorney is the highest officeholder in the jurisdiction's legal department and supervises a staff of...

 Tom Sneddon, a detective, a photographer and a doctor. Those present on behalf of Jackson were his two attorneys, a physician, a detective, a bodyguard and a photographer. The attorneys and Sneddon agreed to leave the room when the examination took place, and Jackson demanded that the prosecution detective should also leave, which he subsequently did. In an emotional state, Jackson stood on a platform in the middle of the room, took off all his clothes and the search lasted for approximately 25 minutes, and he was never physically touched. Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

reported that a source informed them on January 27, 1994 that "photos of Michael Jackson’s genitalia do not match description given by the boy", which was reported in USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

on January 28.

One inconsistency was an inaccurate claim of circumcision
Circumcision
Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin from the penis. The word "circumcision" comes from Latin and ....

. Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli noted the discrepancy but claimed that an uncircumcised erect penis can look circumcised to a 13-year-old. Jackson's autopsy report confirmed that he was uncircumcised and shows no signs of foreskin restoration. Taraborelli also wrote that Jordan correctly noted patchy colored skin on his buttocks, short pubic hair, and testicles marked pink and brown. On February 10, 1993, Jackson had revealed to Oprah that he had a skin disorder that destroyed skin pigmentation and left blotches on his skin, and that make-up was used to even out his skin. The live interview was watched by 90 million viewers and after it aired, expert information on vitiligo was widely shared in the media. According to private investigator Anthony Pellicano who questioned Jordan in July 1993 after hearing Evan's taped phone call, Jordan denied that he ever saw Jackson's body but said he did lift his shirt once to show him the blotches on his skin.

In addition to the claim of circumcision, a 1993 affidavit
Affidavit
An affidavit is a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made by an affiant or deponent under an oath or affirmation administered by a person authorized to do so by law. Such statement is witnessed as to the authenticity of the affiant's signature by a taker of oaths, such as a notary public...

 from Santa Barbara Sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

's Department deputy Deborah Linden (filed to secure court permission to photograph Jackson's genitalia) also reported that Jordan claimed there was splotch on Jackson's penis, "which is a light color similar to the color of his face". According to Sneddon in a 2005 memorandum in People v. Jackson
People v. Jackson
People vs. Jackson was a 2005 trial involving recording artist Michael Jackson. The accuser was a boy, Gavin Arvizo, who was 13 years old at the time of the alleged crimes...

, "The photographs reveal a mark on the right side of Defendant's penis at about the same relative location as the dark blemish located by Jordan Chandler on his drawing of Defendant's erect penis" and "Chandler's graphic representation of the discolored area on Defendant's penis is substantially corroborated by the photographs." Dr. Richard Strick who conducted the examination of Jackson's genitals claimed, "I was told later that the photos and description absolutely matched" but Sneddon only imprecisely described the blemish as being on the right side of the penis "at about the same relative location" on Jordan's drawing, with no further details about it to support an exact match. According to Diane Dimond
Diane Dimond
Diane Dimond is a television journalist, reporter and host. She is best known for her work as a correspondent on Hard Copy, Extra, and Entertainment Tonight.-Career:...

 of Hard Copy
Hard Copy
Hard Copy is an American tabloid news television show that ran in syndication from 1989 to 1999. Hard Copy was aggressive in its use of questionable material on television, including gratuitous violence....

, Sergeant Gary Spiegel, the sheriff’s photographer, claims he observed a dark spot on the lower left side of Jackson’s penis. None of them explained how Jordan's description of a mark lighter than the surrounding skin matched the pictures of a mark that was darker than the surrounding skin.

Sneddon ended his declaration with "I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct except for those statements made on information and belief, as to those statements, I believe them to be true." He preceded his beliefs with "I believe", with following identified as "beliefs":
I believe the discolorization Chandler identified in his drawing was not something he could or would have guessed about, or could have seen accidentally. I believe Chandler's graphic representation of the discolored area on Defendant's penis is substantially corroborated by the photographs taken by Santa Barbara Sheriff's detectives at a later time. I believe...his verbal description and drawing, when considered together with the photograph of the Defendent's penis, substantially rebuts the opinion evidence offered by witnesses to the effect that he...would not have exposed his naked body in the presence of young boys."


By January 1, 1994, the Santa Barbara and Los Angeles grand juries found that Jordan's allegations could not be corroborated by any evidence. A week after the settlement of the Chandler's lawsuit was announced on January 25, 1994, L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti announced he supported amending a law that prohibits forcing people who say they have been sexually assaulted to testify in criminal proceedings. The amendment introduced into the state assembly the week of February 7 would immediately allow Garcetti to compel Jordan to testify. Around that time, Santa Barbara police interviewed the 13-year-old son of one of Jackson's former maids (who had told them her son had spent time with Jackson) and then arranged for him to see a therapist after he repeatedly denied being abused. In a deposition
Deposition (law)
In the law of the United States, a deposition is the out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or for discovery purposes. It is commonly used in litigation in the United States and Canada and is almost always conducted outside of court by the...

, his mother stated when she asked the police about who she could speak to about her concerns about their meetings and phone conversations with her son without her present, they arranged for her and her son to see separate therapists. On April 11, 1994, the grand jury session in Santa Barbara was extended for an additional 90-day term to allow Sneddon to gather more evidence and prosecution sources admitted to being frustrated in their grand jury probe, failing to find direct evidence of the molestation charges.

Jackson's response


On December 22, Jackson responded to the allegations and everything that had occurred for the first time via satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

 from his ranch: A poll at the time, conducted by A Current Affair, found that nearly 75 percent of people believed Jackson was telling the truth in his response. While Jackson sought medical help for his faltering health, his legal team and friends, such as Presley and Taylor, took control of his defense and finances. Much of Jackson's legal team would meet three times a week at Taylor's home to discuss the case. Taylor then called in more legal professionals on Jackson's behalf. Eventually Presley, Taylor, and Jackson's team all agreed that the singer should settle out of court; it was their opinion that the entertainer's health had deteriorated to such a degree that he could not endure a lengthy trial.

Media reaction and civil suit settlement


Most of information available on the allegations was released (officially or unofficially) by the prosecution and unchallenged by Jackson. Jackson was largely portrayed as guilty by the media. The media bias was evident in the use of sensational headlines to draw in readers and viewers when the content itself did not support the headline, the purchasing of stories of his alleged criminal activity, the purchasing of confidential leaked material from the police investigation, deliberately using pictures of his appearance at its worst, using headlines that strongly implied his guilt. and a general lack of objectivity.

The New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

ran the headline "Peter Pan or Pervert", despite minimal information being disclosed by the police. Just two weeks after the allegations were reported, the headline, "Michael Jackson: A Curtain Closes" reflected the attitude of most tabloid-orientated media. In a piece for Hard Copy
Hard Copy
Hard Copy is an American tabloid news television show that ran in syndication from 1989 to 1999. Hard Copy was aggressive in its use of questionable material on television, including gratuitous violence....

, Diane Dimond
Diane Dimond
Diane Dimond is a television journalist, reporter and host. She is best known for her work as a correspondent on Hard Copy, Extra, and Entertainment Tonight.-Career:...

—a journalist who would spend the next 15 years trying to prove Jackson was a pedophile—ran a story stating, "And one more shocker, Hard Copy has obtained new documents in the criminal investigation of Michael Jackson, and they are chilling; they contain the name of child movie actor Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Carson Culkin is an American actor. He became widely known for his portrayal of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He is also known for his roles in Richie Rich, Uncle Buck, My Girl, The Pagemaster, and Party Monster...

". The document itself stated that Culkin denied being harmed by Jackson.

Two tabloid television shows accepted confidential leaked documents from the Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services for $20,000. A number of Jackson's former employees—most of whom had worked at his ranch—sold stories to the tabloids of alleged prior sexual misconduct on Jackson's part, instead of reporting their claims to police. One couple initially asked for $100,000 claiming that Jackson sexually caressed Macaulay Culkin. They were prepared to expand upon this allegation for a fee of $500,000, whereby they would allege that Jackson put his hands down Culkin's pants. When the story broke, Culkin strongly denied the allegation, and did so again in court during the 2003 trial of Michael Jackson. A former security guard made various allegations about Jackson, saying he was fired because he "knew too much", and alleged that he was ordered by Jackson to destroy a photo of a naked boy. Instead of reporting this to police, Hard Copy accepted the story in return for $150,000. Afterwards, Jackson's maid, Branca Francia, alleged that she "quit in disgust" after seeing Jackson in a shower with a child, but did not inform the police. It later emerged that Francia was actually fired in 1991, but nevertheless sold her story to Hard Copy for $20,000.

When Jackson left the US to go into drug rehabilitation, the media showed him little sympathy. The Daily Mirror (UK) held a "Spot the Jacko" contest, offering readers a trip to Disney World if they could correctly predict where the entertainer would appear next. A Daily Express headline read, "Drug Treatment Star Faces Life on the Run", while a News of the World
News of the World
The News of the World was a national red top newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011. It was at one time the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, and at closure still had one of the highest English language circulations...

headline accused Jackson of being a fugitive
Fugitive
A fugitive is a person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from private slavery, a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals...

. These tabloids also falsely alleged that Jackson had traveled to Europe to have cosmetic surgery that would make him unrecognizable on his return. Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo Rivera is an American attorney, journalist, author, reporter, and former talk show host...

 set up a mock trial, with a jury made up of audience members, even though Jackson had not been charged with a crime.

Public reaction prior to civil suit settlement


Despite the negative attitude of the media, the public still supported Jackson. A phone-in poll conducted by A Current Affair—known for its unfavorable coverage of the allegations—found that more than 80 percent of callers did not believe the Chandlers. A poll of teenagers—Jackson's central fan base at the time—also reported that 75 percent did not believe the allegations; this rose to nearly 90 percent amongst African-American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 teenagers. Two-thirds of children between the ages of 13 to 15—the approximate age of Jordan Chandler at the time—believed he was innocent. A poll conducted by Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

showed that only 12 percent of adults believed the allegations, and only eight percent of respondents indicated that they were less likely to buy a product endorsed by the entertainer. The same poll also concluded that public opinion of Jackson had risen since the allegations, with Jackson's past records selling at a faster rate.

Out-of-court settlement of the civil suit


A civil lawsuit was filed by Jordan Chandler and his parents on September 14, 1993. In late 1993, district attorneys in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties both convened grand juries to assess whether criminal charges should be filed against Jackson. By January 1, 1994, $2 million had been spent by prosecution departments in California and the grand juries had questioned 200 witnesses, but Jordan's allegations could not be corroborated. On January 4, 1994, Chandler's attorney, Larry Feldman, filed a motion for the photos from Jackson's December 1993 body search from investigators, saying Jackson's attorneys and the L.A. district attorney had refused to give him copies. A few weeks later, Feldman petitioned the court that he should be allowed access to Jackson's finances over concerns that the singer's wealth would give him an unfair advantage in court. One adviser to Jackson stated, "You can take pictures of Michael's dick and he's not gonna like it, but once you start trying to figure out how much money he has, that's where he stops playing around." Initially Jackson and his lawyers filed a motion for Superior Court Judge David M. Rothman to postpone the civil case until the criminal investigation was concluded. Feldman filed a counter-motion, saying the delay would hurt Jordan's chances for recovery and make it more difficult to gather evidence. It is legal to postpone a civil lawsuit past the criminal statute of limitations
Statute of limitations
A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated...

 as a lawsuit can still be filed past that date, such as the case of Pacers, Inc. v. Superior Court. Also, the constitutional right to a "speedy trial" only applies to criminal cases according to the Sixth Amendment
Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights which sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions...

, not civil cases.

On November 23, Judge Rothman accepted Feldman's motion and set March 21, 1994 as the start date for the civil trial. Rothman ordered Jackson's deposition
Deposition (law)
In the law of the United States, a deposition is the out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or for discovery purposes. It is commonly used in litigation in the United States and Canada and is almost always conducted outside of court by the...

 scheduled before the end of January 1994, but noted he might reconsider if Jackson was indicted on criminal charges. Jackson agreed to be deposed on January 18. His attorneys said he was eager to testify, but also said they might oppose the deposition if criminal charges were filed or were still under consideration on his deposition date. They said if charges were filed, they would want the criminal trial to go first. However, when authorities notified Jackson's lawyers that they expected their investigation to continue at least through February, Jackson's team still failed to win a delay of the civil case. Jackson's lawyers also lost a motion to prevent Feldman from turning over information (e.g. from the civil deposition) to prosecutors pursuing possible criminal charges.

The concerns about a civil trial during an ongoing criminal investigation, and about the prosecutor's access to the plaintiff's information in the civil trial, stemmed from Jackson's Fifth Amendment
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure. Its guarantees stem from English common law which traces back to the Magna Carta in 1215...

 rights. As two grand juries had deemed there was insufficient evidence for charges as of January 1, the prosecution might have been able to form the elements of a criminal case around the defense strategy in the civil trial; creating a situation akin to double jeopardy
Double jeopardy
Double jeopardy is a procedural defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same, or similar charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction...

. For instance, prosecutor Tom Sneddon altered fundamental elements of his case in 2004 after evidence undermining the Arvizo family's 2003 allegations appeared after Jackson's initial arraignment
Arraignment
Arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal complaint in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea...

. Upon discovery of two taped interviews in which the Arvizo family praised Jackson and denied any abuse, Sneddon introduced a conspiracy
Conspiracy (crime)
In the criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to break the law at some time in the future, and, in some cases, with at least one overt act in furtherance of that agreement...

 charge and claimed they were forced to lie against their will. And when Jackson was re-arraigned in April 2004 for the conspiracy charge, the dates of the alleged molestation on the charge sheet had been shifted by almost two weeks. Jackson's lawyer, Mark Geragos
Mark Geragos
Mark John Geragos is an Armenian/ American criminal defense attorney who defended the musician Michael Jackson, actress Winona Ryder, politician Gary Condit, and Susan McDougal. He was also involved in the Whitewater scandal. He also represented Scott Peterson, in another trial that received...

, had announced on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

in January 2004 that his client had a "concrete, iron-clad alibi
Alibi
Alibi is a 1929 American crime film directed by Roland West. The screenplay was written by West and C. Gardner Sullivan, who adapted the 1927 Broadway stage play, Nightstick, written by Elaine Sterne Carrington, J.C...

" for the dates on the charge sheet.

On January 24, 1994, prosecutors announced that they would be not bringing charges against Evan Chandler for attempted extortion
Extortion
Extortion is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime...

 as Jackson's camp has been slow to report the extortion claim to the police and had tried to negotiate a settlement with Chandler for several weeks. Evan had first made his demand for a financial settlement on August 4, 1993 and the Jackson camp filed extortion charges against Evan and his attorney Barry K. Rothman in late August 1993. After tape recordings supporting the extortion claim were released to the media on August 30, a lawyer for Jackson explained they had not gone to the police earlier because, "It was our hope that this would all go away. We tried to keep it as much in-house as we could." Jackson had already experienced years of bizarre rumors and speculation. In the extortion investigation, a search warrant
Search warrant
A search warrant is a court order issued by a Magistrate, judge or Supreme Court Official that authorizes law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person or location for evidence of a crime and to confiscate evidence if it is found....

 was never sought to search the homes and offices of Evan Chandler and Barry Rothman and no grand jury was convened when both men declined to interviewed by police. In contrast, the police searched Jackson's residences solely based on Jordan's allegations reported by a psychiatrist with no particular expertise in child sexual abuse and increased their efforts to investigate Jackson after no supporting evidence was found in their raids and after questioning almost 30 children (Jackson's phonebooks were seized) and their families, all of whom said Jackson had done nothing wrong. Officers flew to the Philippines to interview two ex-housekeepers who had sold a molestation story to the tabloids but decided it lacked credibility. Several parents also complained to one of Jackson's attorneys of aggressive investigative techniques by the police; allegedly frightening their children with lies, e.g. ‘We have nude photos of you', to pressure them into accusing Jackson and unequivocally telling parents their children had been molested even though their children had denied being victimized.

On January 25, 1994, the Chandlers' lawsuit was settled out of court with $15,331,250 to be held in a trust fund for Jordan, $1.5 million for each of his parents and the family's lawyer slated to receive $5 million for a total of approximately $23 million (although another source showed Feldman was to receive $3 million based on a September 1993 retainer
Retainer
Retainer may refer to:* Retainer , a person, especially a soldier, in the service of a lord in the late Middle Ages** Retainer sacrifice, the sacrifice of a human servant* Retainer...

, for a total of $21 million). Jackson's insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 company "negotiated and paid the settlement, over the protests of Mr. Jackson and his personal legal counsel" and was "the source of the settlement amounts"; as noted in a 2005 memorandum in People v. Jackson
People v. Jackson
People vs. Jackson was a 2005 trial involving recording artist Michael Jackson. The accuser was a boy, Gavin Arvizo, who was 13 years old at the time of the alleged crimes...

. It also noted "an insurance carrier has the right to settle claims covered by insurance where it decides settlement is expedient and the insured may not interfere with nor prevent such settlements", as established by a number of precedent
Precedent
In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a principle or rule established in a legal case that a court or other judicial body may apply when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts...

s in California. Defeating the right would involve convincing a court with the power to overrule the precedent that the earlier decision was either wrongly decided or more often, 'clearly' wrong (depending on the criteria of the court) or the court must be convinced to distinguish
Distinguish
In law, to distinguish a case means to contrast the facts of the case before the court from the facts of a case of precedent where there is an apparent similarity. By successfully distinguishing a case, the holding or legal reasoning of the earlier case will either not apply or will be limited...

 the case. That is, to make the ruling narrower than that in the precedent due to some difference in facts between the current and precedent case, while still supporting the result reached in the earlier case. In 2004, Jackson's attorney Thomas Mesereau
Thomas Mesereau
Thomas Arthur Mesereau, Jr. is an American attorney best known for defending Michael Jackson in his 2005 child molestation trial.-The Robert Blake murder trial:...

 in People v. Jackson said "People who intended to earn millions of dollars from his record and music promotions did not want negative publicity from these lawsuits interfering with their profits. Michael Jackson now regrets making these payments. These settlements were entered into with one primary condition – that condition was that Mr. Jackson never admitted any wrongdoing. Mr. Jackson always denied doing anything wrong...Mr. Jackson now realizes the advice he received was wrong." Jackson explained why had he tried to settle: "I wanted to go on with my life. Too many people had already been hurt. I want to make records. I want to sing. I want to perform again...It's my talent. My hard work. My life. My decision." He also wanted to avoid a "media circus
Media circus
Media circus is a colloquial metaphor, or idiom, describing a news event where the media coverage is perceived to be out of proportion to the event being covered, such as the number of reporters at the scene, the amount of news media published or broadcast, and the level of media hype...

".

Although some perceive the settlement as an admission of guilt, the settlement agreement specifically stated that Jackson admitted no wrongdoing and no liability and legally, a settlement cannot be used as evidence of guilt in future civil and criminal cases. The settlement payment was "for alleged personal injuries arising out of claims of negligence and not for claims of intentional or wrong acts of sexual molestation." In the settlement, both parties agreed they would not speak about the case details in public but that the Chandlers were free to testify in a criminal trial or share information with authorities in a criminal investigation. The Chandlers' lawyer Mr. Feldman explicitly stated "nobody bought anybody's silence. [Jordan] is allowed to testify against Mr. Jackson in a criminal proceeding.” Bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

 to not testify in a trial is a felony
Felony
A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

 according to California Penal Code 138. Receiving such a bribe is also a felony according to this law. District Attorney Gil Garcetti stated the settlement didn't affect criminal prosecution of the molestation allegations, "The criminal investigation of singer Michael Jackson is ongoing and will not be affected by the announcement of the civil case settlement."

Jordan Chandler was interviewed after the settlement by detectives seeking evidence of child molestation, but "no criminal charges were filed as a result of that interview." A Santa Barbara County grand jury disbanded on May 2, 1994 without indicting Jackson, while a Los Angeles County grand jury continued to investigate the sexual abuse allegations. The Chandlers stopped co-operating with the criminal investigation around July 6, 1994. and the police never pressed criminal charges. Citing a lack of evidence without Jordan's testimony, the state closed its investigation on September 22, 1994. According to the grand juries, the evidence presented by the Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean...

 police and the LAPD was not convincing enough to indict Jackson or subpoena him, even though grand juries can indict the accused purely on hearsay
Hearsay
Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience. When submitted as evidence, such statements are called hearsay evidence. As a legal term, "hearsay" can also have the narrower meaning of...

 evidence.

Aftermath


Three years later, journalist Victor Gutierrez detailed in a book what he claimed was Jordan Chandler's account of the alleged relationship. Gutierrez claimed his book, Michael Jackson was My Lover, was based on a diary the boy had kept at the time and included graphic details of alleged sexual encounters with Jackson. In 1995, Jackson filed a civil suit against Gutierrez for slander; the jury found in Jackson's favor, awarding him $2.7 million in damages. Gutierrez never paid, instead fleeing to Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

. In 1996, Evan Chandler sued Jackson for around $60 million, claiming Jackson had breached an agreement never to discuss the case, and In 1999, a court ruled in Jackson's favor and threw out the lawsuit. Jordan Chandler and Jackson never spoke to each other again. As of 2011, he is 31 and lives in a $2.35 million home on Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

 under an assumed name. He and his family also own a high-rise apartment in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 and a condominium
Condominium
A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights...

 in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean...

. June Chandler testified at the 2005 Michael Jackson trial that she had not spoken to Jordan since 1994, around which time her marriage to Dave Schwartz also ended. Jordan received his last installment from Jackson in June 1999.

But the 1993 case would be revisited again with the 2003 allegations. There was more than a year between Jackson's 2003 arrest and the beginning of his trial and he was prevented by a gag order
Gag order
A gag order is an order, sometimes a legal order by a court or government, other times a private order by an employer or other institution, restricting information or comment from being made public.Gag orders are often used against participants involved in a lawsuit or criminal trial...

 from responding to any stories in the media. As in 1993, prosecution sympathizers leaked documents e.g. Jordan Chandler's 1993 police statement. The media was again eager to report on the allegations, with a tendency for sensationalism. And allegations sold to tabloid TV shows by disgruntled ex-employees in the 1990s were constantly in the news again. Also similar to 1993, details of the Arvizo family's 2003 allegations were leaked. These stories were mostly reported as allegations rather than facts, but the volume and frequency of stories, combined with Jackson's inability to refute them, had a devastating impact on public opinion of him.

In a 2005 lecture at Harvard after Jackson's trial, Jackson's attorney Thomas Mesereau
Thomas Mesereau
Thomas Arthur Mesereau, Jr. is an American attorney best known for defending Michael Jackson in his 2005 child molestation trial.-The Robert Blake murder trial:...

 said the following about Jordan Chandler: "The prosecutors tried to get him to show up and he wouldn't. If he had, I had witnesses who were going to come in and say he told them it never happened and that he would never talk to his parents again for what they made him say. It turned out he'd gone into court and got legal emancipation from his parents." In 2006, Jordan accused Evan of attacking him with a barbell
Barbell
A barbell is a piece of exercise equipment used in weight training, weightlifting and powerlifting. Barbells range in length from to although bars above 7' in length are used primarily by powerlifters and aren't commonplace...

, choking him and spraying his face with Mace. The charges were later dropped. On November 5, 2009, Evan Chandler was found dead in his apartment, holding a gun, with one gunshot wound in his head. On November 25, 2009, Jermaine Jackson
Jermaine Jackson
Jermaine La Jaune Jackson is an American singer, bassist, composer, a member of The Jackson 5, older brother of American pop stars Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson and occasional film director...

 reportedly stated the 29-year-old Jordan Chandler came forward after Jackson's death, admitting the late superstar never molested him.

Music journalist Charles Thomson noted a continued media bias against Jackson after the Chandler suicide. Thomson said he was contacted by a British tabloid to supply information about the 1993 allegations, only to have them replace his carefully researched information with the common myths he advised them to avoid and that the same misinformation was in every article he read about the suicide. He noted when Jackson's FBI file was released the following month, the contents were portrayed by the media as giving an impression of guilt even though the file strongly supported his innocence. He noted how Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons is an Israeli-American entrepreneur, singer-songwriter, actor, and rock bassist. Known as "The Demon", he is the bassist/vocalist of Kiss, a hard rock band he co-founded in the early 1970s.-Early life:...

' allegations in 2010 about Jackson molesting children received over a hundred times more coverage than his interview with Jackson's long-time guitarist, Jennifer Batten
Jennifer Batten
Jennifer Batten is an American guitarist, who has worked as both a session musician and solo artist. She has released three studio albums: her 1992 debut, Above Below and Beyond, was produced by former Stevie Wonder guitarist Michael Sembello. In 1997, she released the worldbeat-influenced Jennifer...

, who rebutted Simmon's claims.

Effect on Jackson's career


Jackson's commercial appeal and public image declined in the wake of the case and while new controversies damaged his image further, Jackson's sales remained relatively strong, if not quite the blockbuster numbers of Thriller
Thriller (album)
Thriller is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released on November 30, 1982, by Epic Records as the follow-up to Jackson's critically and commercially successful 1979 album Off the Wall...

, Bad
Bad (album)
Bad is the seventh studio album by American songwriter and recording artist Michael Jackson. The album was released on August 31, 1987 by Epic/CBS Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous studio album, Thriller, which went on to become the world's best-selling album...

and Dangerous.

The album he had released prior to the allegations was Dangerous in 1991, which sold in excess of 32 million copies sold worldwide, including 7 million units in the US. The album stands as one of the world's best-selling records. The album's appeal meant that singles were still being released through 1993 (at the time of the allegations) and Jackson was still traveling the world on his Dangerous World Tour
Dangerous World Tour
The Dangerous World Tour was the second worldwide concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson. The tour, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, included 69 performances to an audience of 3.5 million. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson's own "Heal the World Foundation". The...

. The last charting single from Dangerous was the ballad "Gone Too Soon
Gone Too Soon
"Gone Too Soon" is a ballad recorded by American musician Michael Jackson. It was written and composed by Larry Grossman and Buz Kohan, produced by Jackson, and co-produced by Bruce Swedien for the singer's eighth studio album, Dangerous...

", released in December 1993 and dedicated to the memory of Jackson's friend Ryan White
Ryan White
Ryan Wayne White was an American teenager from Kokomo, Indiana, who became a national poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States, after being expelled from middle school because of his infection. A hemophiliac, he became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment and, when diagnosed...

, a teenager from Kokomo, Indiana
Kokomo, Indiana
Kokomo is a city in and the county seat of Howard County, Indiana, United States, Indiana's 13th largest city. It is the principal city of the Kokomo, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Howard and Tipton counties....

 who came to national attention after being expelled from his school for having HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

/AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

. A rumored tenth single release of the title track "Dangerous" was canceled. The government of Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 barred Jackson from performing in response to an anonymous pamphlet
Pamphlet
A pamphlet is an unbound booklet . It may consist of a single sheet of paper that is printed on both sides and folded in half, in thirds, or in fourths , or it may consist of a few pages that are folded in half and saddle stapled at the crease to make a simple book...

 campaign that attacked him as immoral. After performing 24 shows of the second leg of the Dangerous Tour, Jackson canceled the remainder of the tour to seek treatment for his pain medication addictions.

PepsiCo
PepsiCo
PepsiCo Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Purchase, New York, United States, with interests in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of grain-based snack foods, beverages, and other products. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company...

 stopped all promotional activities with Jackson, ending their ten-year partnership. Jackson's fans responded by boycotting the company. Jackson had contracted to create a new horror-themed song and video that would be cross-promoted with the film Addams Family Values
Addams Family Values
Addams Family Values is a 1993 sequel to the 1991 comedy The Addams Family. The film was written by Paul Rudnick and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and many cast members from the original returned for the sequel, including Raúl Juliá, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci...

. He was unable to finish shooting the video, and his song was dropped from the soundtrack. A brand of his-and-hers fragrances was canceled because of Jackson's drug problems at the time. A spokesman for the marketing group behind the fragrance deal called it "somewhat of a fiasco".

His next studio album was HIStory
HIStory
HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I is the ninth studio album by American songwriter and recording artist Michael Jackson, released on June 16, 1995 by Epic Records. The majority of the album's tracks were written and produced by Jackson...

, released in the summer of 1995. It was a double album, making its level of success difficult to compare up against Dangerous. Worldwide sales were 20 million copies, but as a double-disc album, it sold 40 million individual units. It was Jackson's second-best album in terms of gross revenue, behind Thriller
Thriller (album)
Thriller is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was released on November 30, 1982, by Epic Records as the follow-up to Jackson's critically and commercially successful 1979 album Off the Wall...

, and is the best-selling multiple-disc album of all time.

Jackson produced a special show for cable-network HBO titled For One Night Only, with the show to be recorded in front of a special invited audience at New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

's Beacon Theater on December 8 and 9, 1995 for transmission on HBO on December 10. However, the shows were canceled after Jackson collapsed at the theater on December 6 during rehearsals. Jackson was admitted overnight to Beth Israel Medical Center North. The shows and the HBO special were never rescheduled. The following year, Jackson began the HIStory World Tour
HIStory World Tour
The HIStory World Tour was the third and final worldwide solo concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson, covering Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and North America. The tour included a total of 82 concerts and was attended by approximately 4.5 million fans, beating his previous Bad Tour...

 including an 82-show jaunt across five continents; the tour became his most successful ever show with 4.5 million tickets sold. Despite the show's success, Jackson's only concerts in the USA were two shows performed at the Aloha Stadium
Aloha Stadium
Aloha Stadium is a stadium located in the Halawa CDP, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. Currently Aloha Stadium is home to the University of Hawaii Warriors football team...

 in Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city. Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county government are consolidated as the City and...

. Jackson never performed another world tour.

The allegations also had an effect on the content of Jackson's music: HIStory, which was released shortly after the allegations, "creates an atmosphere of paranoia," according to one writer. Its content focuses on the public struggles Jackson went through just prior to its production. In the songs "Scream
Scream/Childhood
"Scream"/"Childhood" is the lead single from Michael Jackson's ninth studio album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I where "Scream" is the first song and "Childhood" is the tenth song on the second disc of the album HIStory Continues. The A-side, "Scream", is a duet with his younger sister...

" and "Tabloid Junkie", along with the ballad "You Are Not Alone
You Are Not Alone
"You Are Not Alone", released on the 10th of August 1995, is the second single from Michael Jackson's album HIStory. The R&B ballad's composition has been attributed R. Kelly in response to difficult times in his personal life. He then forwarded a bare demo tape to Jackson, who liked the song and...

", Jackson directs much of his anger and personal hurt at the media. In the track "D.S.
D.S. (song)
"D.S." is an album track by Michael Jackson from his 1995 double disc record HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. It is track six on the second disc, one of the three songs from that disc whose lyrics are printed in the album booklet, and is four minutes and forty-nine seconds in length...

", Jackson launches a verbal attack against a character who is often cited to be Tom Sneddon, the District Attorney that requested his strip search. He describes the person as an antisocial white supremacist who wanted to "get my ass, dead or alive". Of the song, Sneddon said, "I have not, shall we say, done him the honor of listening to it, but I’ve been told that it ends with the sound of a gunshot." In the introspective ballad "Stranger in Moscow
Stranger in Moscow
"Stranger in Moscow" is the fifth and final single from Michael Jackson's album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. The song was released worldwide in November 1996 but was not released in the United States until August 1997...

", Jackson laments over his "swift and sudden fall from grace". He completed the video that was originally supposed to accompany Addams Family Values and released it as Ghosts; the finished video included a framing story about an eccentric maestro who entertains children and is pursued by a bigoted local official.

Jackson's last album, Invincible, was released six years later, in 2001, his longest period between full studio records, although the remix album Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix was released in 1997 and contained five new tracks. Invincible, however, was seen as a relative commercial disappointment when compared to Jackson's prior solo material, selling 8 million copies worldwide, including 2 million in the United States. The album spawned three singles: "You Rock My World
You Rock My World
"You Rock My World" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson from his tenth, and final, studio album Invincible . The song was released as the lead single from the album in August 2001 by Epic Records. The lyrics pertain to being in love and trying to gain a woman's affection...

", "Cry
Cry (Michael Jackson song)
"Cry" is a song recorded by American recording artist Michael Jackson that features on his tenth and final studio album, Invincible . The song was written by R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly, who had previously written Jackson's 1995 single "You Are Not Alone". "Cry" was produced by Jackson and Kelly...

" and "Butterflies
Butterflies (Michael Jackson song)
"Butterflies" is a song by American recording artist Michael Jackson. It was written and composed by Andre Harris and Marsha Ambrosius, and produced by Jackson and Harris. The track appears on Jackson's tenth studio album, Invincible . "Butterflies" is a midtempo ballad song with R&B musical styles...

", but only one reached the U.S. top 10. Sony refused to release a commercial single in the US, so both "You Rock My World" and "Butterflies" charted on airplay only. The low sales were attributed to the lack of a supporting world tour, the release of only two music videos to promote the album, and a label dispute. Just before the release of Invincible, Jackson had informed the head of Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola
Tommy Mottola
Thomas Daniel "Tommy" Mottola is an American music executive, co-owner of Casablanca Records in a joint venture with the Universal Music Group. He is the ex-husband of Mariah Carey and is married to Mexican singer Thalía...

, that he was not going to renew his contract. As a result, all single releases, video shootings and promotions concerning the Invincible album were canceled.

As part of a settlement deal to end Jackson's contract with Sony, a number of compilations of greatest hits packaged with previously unreleased material were released, including the 10 million-selling Number Ones in 2003, the 4-CD/1-DVD box set The Ultimate Collection
Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection
Disc 2Disc 3Disc 4*The Jackson 5 perform tracks 1-3 and 7 . The Jacksons perform tracks 8, 11-12, 18-19 and track 8 .DVD - Live in Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour # "Intro"# "Jam"...

in 2004 and double-album The Essential Michael Jackson
The Essential Michael Jackson
-U.S. version:-Limited Edition 3.0 bonus disc:-Charts:-Year-end charts:-Certifications:-See also:* List of number-one albums of 2009 * List of number-one albums of 2009 * List of number-one albums from the 2000s...

in 2005, which has sold over 6 million double-units. New agreements between Sony and Michael Jackson saw the release of the singles collection Visionary: The Video Singles
Visionary: The Video Singles
-Remix EP:Released February 21, 2006, Visionary Remixes - EP is only available in the UK iTunes store.-CD Promo:# Thriller - 4:09# Don't Stop Till You Get Enough - 3:59...

in 2006, a 25th anniversary edition of Thriller
Thriller 25
Thriller 25 is a 25th anniversary special edition reissue of the Michael Jackson album Thriller, the world's best selling album. The prospect of a "second chapter" to Thriller was first publicly discussed on Access Hollywood in late 2006. Jackson said he would discuss the idea with collaborator...

in 2008 and Jackson's final release before his death – the King of Pop
King of Pop (album)
-Austria:On July 20, the Austrian version of the double disc compilation was announced; it was released on Jackson's birthday. The pool list fans got to choose from contained 100 tracks...

album celebrating Michael's 50th birthday with tracks voted for by fans. King of Pop has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.

Jackson's posthumous career began in October 2009, with the release of the soundtrack album This Is It
This Is It (Michael Jackson album)
Michael Jackson's This Is It is a posthumous two-disc soundtrack album by American recording artist Michael Jackson. Released by Epic Records on October 26, 2009, This Is It features previously released music, as well as six previously unreleased recordings by Michael Jackson...

, which debuted at number-one in more than 15 countries, including on the US Billboard 200
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

 chart.

People v. Jackson


On December 18, 2003, Jackson was formally charged with seven counts of child sexual abuse and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent in order to commit a child sexual abuse felony against Gavin Arvizo. Earlier that year, a Granada Television
Granada Television
Granada Television is the ITV contractor for North West England. Based in Manchester since its inception, it is the only surviving original ITA franchisee from 1954 and is ITV's most successful....

 documentary, called Living with Michael Jackson
Living with Michael Jackson
Living with Michael Jackson is a Granada Television documentary, in which British journalist Martin Bashir interviewed Michael Jackson over a span of eight months, from May 2002 to January 2003...

, showed the pop star holding hands and discussing sleeping arrangements with Arvizo. Jackson denied these allegations, saying that the sleepovers were in no way sexual in nature. Sneddon again led the effort to prosecute Jackson. These prosecutions led to complaints that Sneddon was motivated by a "vendetta" against Jackson. Evidence to support these claims include Sneddon joking about Jackson's greatest hits album being released on the same day as his arrest and saying, "Like the sheriff and I really are into that kind of music." He then proceeded to call Jackson "Wacko Jacko" and shouting "We got him, we finally got him" to the media, when he had only just began an investigation and had gathered limited information or evidence.

The People v. Jackson
People v. Jackson
People vs. Jackson was a 2005 trial involving recording artist Michael Jackson. The accuser was a boy, Gavin Arvizo, who was 13 years old at the time of the alleged crimes...

 trial began in Santa Maria, California
Santa Maria, California
Santa Maria is a city in Santa Barbara County, on the Central Coast of California. The 2010 census population was 100,062, putting it ahead of Santa Barbara for the first time and making it the largest city in the county...

 on January 31, 2005. During the trial, the judge allowed testimony about past allegations, including the 1993 case, to establish whether the defendant had a propensity to commit certain crimes. However, Jordan Chandler had left the country to avoid testifying. In a lecture at Harvard after the trial, Thomas Mesereau said, "The prosecutors tried to get him to show up and he wouldn't. If he had, I had witnesses who were going to come in and say he told them it never happened and that he would never talk to his parents again for what they made him say. It turned out he'd gone into court and got legal emancipation from his parents." June Chandler testified that she hadn't spoken to her son in 11 years. At one point in her testimony, she claimed that she couldn't remember being sued by Jackson (who had counter-sued for extortion) and at another point said that she'd never heard of her own attorney. However, she said she never witnessed any molestation.

Jackson's friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach said "I never believed the allegations against him brought by the family of Gavin Arvizo" but added "I will, however, confess to having been severely jolted by the testimony of Jordy Chandler's mom, the mother of the first alleged victim, in Michael's 2005 trial. It did seem from her testimony that Michael was erotically obsessed with her son......he may have come to associate adolescent sexuality with purity and innocence. But none of this is anything more than uncorroborated speculation." Jury foreman Paul Rodriguez said: "The allegations of past abuse were considered credible to some extent. There are not too many grown men we know that would sleep with children but we had to base it on the evidence presented to us. There were a lot of things lacking." Juror Raymond Hultman said: "I feel that Michael Jackson probably has molested boys. But that doesn't make him guilty of the charges that were presented in this case – and that's where we had to make our decision. I can't feel that Michael Jackson could sleep in the same bedroom for 365 straight days with a boy and not do something more than just watch television and eat popcorn. I mean, that doesn't make sense to me." Jackson was found unanimously not guilty of all charges by the jury
Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

on June 13, 2005.