Before launching GossipCop.com, I toiled for a decade and a half in print and television, where — in the old days — if you had what you thought was an “exclusive,” you spent the night anxiously worrying whether a competing outlet would have the same story the next morning.
Of course, that all changed with the proliferation of blogs.
One year ago today, while meeting with my web designer about last-minute tweaks to GossipCop.com, which launched five weeks later, an e-mail alert came across my Blackberry.
There was silence across the office.
Michael Jackson had died at the age of 50.
And celebrity blog TMZ had broken the news exclusively.
I recently spoke to TMZ’s executive producer, Harvey Levin, about that fateful afternoon for a GossipCop.com story to coincide with the first anniversary of Jackson’s death.
When TMZ got its first tip, at around 1 p.m. PST, that Michael Jackson was being taken to the hospital, “it was not that alarming,” recalled Levin, explaining the singer had “been taken to the hospital many times before” for non-life threatening ailments.
“We didn’t think it was a life/death thing,” said Levin, until he received the next tip that Jackson had gone into full cardiac arrest.
And that’s when a “minor” Michael Jackson hospitalization piece turned into a “huge story” for him.
“Everyone stopped what they were doing,” Levin told me. Not because his team was in total shock, but rather because it was the story and his entire staff, from the reporters to the art department to the support staff — anyone who might know anyone — was needed to call sources and verify the cardiac arrest claim.
“Word came fairly early on it was grave,” Levin vividly remembers.
And after multiple sources provided “credible information,” TMZ was 100 percent certain the King of Pop had passed.
“We knew it long before we published it,” said Levin, whose team nevertheless continued calling sources for a full hour afterwards, double and triple-sourcing their story.
“What could we be missing,” Levin asked himself at the time, wanting “a certain feeling before we pushed the publish button.”
Having confirmed with various parties, TMZ had nailed it.
“There was no doubt” about the scoop said Levin, who was told at the time that “EMTs wanted to pronounce him dead at the house, but Dr. [Conrad] Murray didn’t want to.”
Other outlets quickly began to question whether TMZ stood by its story, and rumors even spread that Jackson was alive and rehearsing at the Staples Center.
At that point, though, the only questions TMZ had, Levin said, were “Why did this 50-year-old die” and were drugs involved? And why did the doctor say Jackson was still alive at the home when EMTs claimed he died in the house?
Without taking a moment to breathe – or even congratulate itself for the year’s biggest celebrity scoop – the TMZ staff immediately got back to business because “We knew there was a much bigger story,” said Levin, rattling off issues, including “drug abuse, celebrity privilege, money, family, trust… “
Indeed, those subjects will undoubtedly dominate more headlines as the Jackson family, Dr. Murray, creditors, the estate, and sundry other individuals and corporations head into court this year.
Though Levin was initially referring to Jackson’s finances, in a larger sense the TMZ head honcho was correct when he told me, “Michael Jackson may be bigger in death than he was at the end of his life.”
Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: with blogs like TMZ – and now GossipCop.com – looking for scoops every day, the “Moonwalker” star will be the subject of many more cyberspace stories, day and (middle of the) night.
Check out GossipCop.com for the full story with Harvey Levin.
Ok, I know this is a tabloid,lol, but they’re also the ones who posted YEARS ago that MJ would fake his death ! THAT article follows this one… Make sure you check the DATES these stories were posted…
Posted on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
By Gerry Dorsey
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, CA – The King of Pop is expected to make a special appearance on the anniversary of his “death.”
Michael Jackson’s “death” was mourned by millions around the world. The world lost an icon, an innovator and a legend that will never be replaced. As his anniversary approaches, special tributes will be appearing across the globe.
In his hometown of Gary, Indiana, Katherine Jackson will unveil a monument outside the house where the Jackson 5 began their singing career. A memorial and candlelight vigil will follow.
All nine Madame Tussauds wax museums – from Shanghai to Washington D.C. – are creating special tribute exhibits.
In New York, the Apollo Theater’s marquee will feature a special MJ message, and Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of the Apollo Theater Foundation, will speak briefly on Friday morning about Michael Jackson to honor his memory and celebrate his lifetime of artistic achievement.
While all those memorials will certainly be wonderful and very special, Weekly World News has learned of perhaps the biggest celebration of them all. Our investigative team has discovered that the King of Pop, Micahel Jackson himself, will be holding a special celebration at Neverland Ranch.
WWN broke the story that it was widely believed that Michael Jackson may have faked his own death. Jackson, fed up and disheartened with the path his life had taken, felt as though the only way to get a breath of fresh air was to fake his own death. Rejuvenated and mentally refreshed, Jackson is believed to be organizing a special event back on his Neverland Ranch. Taking a one-year hiatus was exactly what the doctor ordered.
The event is believed to include everything imaginable. There will be a carnival available for the kids to enjoy, outdoor activities will entertain adults and there will be performances from various artists throughout the day. The King of Pop himself might even treat everyone to a performance.
“Our sources believe that Michael Jackson will host a special celebration at Neverland Ranch on Friday – a year after his ‘death,’” said WWN correspondent Buzz Donovan. “While he feels terrible that he had to resort to such drastic measures, it was the best option at the time to allow him to continue as an entertainer in the future.”
MICHAEL JACKSON ARTICLE – MARCH 29, 1994
Posted on Saturday, June 20th, 2009
By Allie Pruitt
Decades of Working With Star Gave Three Stylist Friends Unique Insight Into the Real Michael Jackson
By JOSEPH DIAZ
June 25, 2010
It was the most private of times for the most public of people. Michael Jackson’s family had his body taken to the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles, the final resting place of so many of Hollywood’s elite.
To prepare Jackson for his final farewell, his family had turned to the three people who’d been dressing the star and making him up for more than a quarter century — Dennis Tompkins, Michael Bush and Karen Faye.
“Nobody else could have [done it],” said Faye of the honor to make up her friend one last time. “I knew how he wanted to look. So I did it for his children.”
Stylists Tompkins and Bush designed brand new clothes for Jackson, incorporating elements from the King of Pop’s favorite looks throughout his career. Tompkins, who created the majority of Jackson’s most memorable outfits, described his stage attire as “Liberace gone to war.”
Notably absent from Jackson’s funeral attire, though, was his most iconic accessory — that legendary single white sequin glove.
“To Michael, the glove was Billie Jean,” said Bush. “That represented that song. That’s not Michael Jackson.”
These are people who knew the man behind the music; knew him stripped of the artifice he so cleverly showed the world. Private and never-before-seen images which ABC News paid to license from the three friends’ personal collections provide snapshots of the global superstar’s most unguarded moments.
Showman to the End
But at the time of his death, Jackson’s inner circle was determined that the King of Pop would exit this earth as the world knew him: a showman.
For nine hours, Faye and Bush fought back their own grief and the overwhelming smell of formaldehyde to prepare Jackson for his final curtain call. After dressing him, Bush even helped to lift and place the body in the coffin.
“The work me and Karen did with Michael at Forest Lawn, that bonded us for life,” said Bush.
In an exclusive interview for the “20/20″ special “Michael Jackson: After Life,” Tompkins, Bush and Faye talked with ABC’s Cynthia McFadden about what it was like to work with the star — and addressed persistent rumors that followed Jackson about his sexual orientation, his plastic surgery and his reported drug abuse. The interview marks the first time the trio has spoken publicly about their friend.
Karen Faye met Michael Jackson in 1982, when she was hired to do his hair and make-up for the “Thriller” album cover.
“He walked in; he was very shy but was very gracious,” Faye remembered. “Everything was ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’”
Faye said she was not at all intimidated by his fame. For example, when she saw that Jackson had with him a baby tiger, she flashed her tiger-print underwear.
“He went ‘Ah!’” Faye said while demonstrating how he covered his face. “He was just so embarrassed by that. But I think that’s why he called me back the next job. He liked people who have a sense of humor.”
The conventional wisdom is that Jackson began taking painkillers after his hair caught fire during the taping of a 1984 Pepsi commercial. Faye maintained that wasn’t the case. She said the musician’s use of prescription drugs began in 1993 — almost ten years after now-infamous commercial.
“Just before we went on tour for “Dangerous,” he had an operation, in order to help the scarring. But he didn’t have enough time to heal,” said Faye. “So in order to keep going, he started using painkillers, because it is very painful when nerve endings are severed.”
Faye said she has no idea what drugs Jackson was taking.
Sexual Abuse Rumors
Bush and Faye were with the star in Bangkok when Jackson’s world exploded: Californiaauthorities announced they were investigating the singer for allegedly sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.
“The day that came out, he was stepping onstage in front of 80,000 people,” recalled Bush.
“It was devastating,” said Faye, “because he had to go out every day in front of a world and the media that was [saying] he was pedophile.”
Faye said painkillers “gave [Jackson] the ability to get through” the combination of the emotional pain brought about by the allegations and his already existing physical pain.
A few months after the allegations came to light, Jackson settled out of court with his accuser for a reported $20 million.
Then, nearly a decade later, another boy came forward, also claiming that Jackson had sexually abused him. The boy was seen in a British documentary holding hands with the musician, and Jackson spoke of their sharing a bed. The remark fueled Jackson’s prosecution.
“He said the word ‘bed,’” recalled Bush. “A lot of people think sexual, and that is the farthest thing from Michael’s mind.”
Jackson’s inner circle is adamant that the star was not a pedophile or homosexual, as many have speculated. According to his friends, Jackson constantly checked out the “hot girls” who appeared in his videos.
Jackson was acquitted on all charges after a three-and-a-half month trial. The taint of the accusation, however, lingered. The trial on the second round of allegations was devastating for Jackson.
Karen Faye and Michael Bush were at Neverland early every morning to get their friend and boss ready for court.
“Before I washed his hair, we knelt down on the ground and [Jackson] put his arms around me and wept. We would pray for God to help us and for people to know the truth,” said Faye, adding that situation was just “vicious” and tore Jackson up inside.
Each day when he walked into the courtroom, running the gauntlet of cameras, he wore a new outfit designed by the stylists who became his friends — a small morale booster.
In his art, Michael Jackson played repeatedly with the idea of metamorphosis. Many of his music videos, including “Thriller,” “Black or White” and “Remember the Time” feature him morphing into someone or something else.
Nowhere was the theme more prominent than in the little-known mini-movie “Ghosts,” in which Jackson becomes a middle-aged white man.
As his makeup artist for more than 25 years, Karen Faye knew Jackson’s face almost as well as he did. She said one thing is certain: Jackson had vitiligo, a skin condition producing white blotches.
As for the eyeliner and lipstick Jackson preferred, Faye said: “He didn’t like the line that was drawn between what’s allowed for men and what’s allowed for women.”
Faye acknowledged that Jackson had plastic surgery. “He was always trying to perfect everything,” she said. Faye denied, however, rumors that the star had a prosthetic nose.
“It was the tape that he used to wear on his nose to [help] keep it in form or else it would expand,” she said. But she admitted that she personally thought Michael Jackson went a little too far with plastic surgery.
‘This Is It’
Soon after Jackson announced his final tour, “This Is It,” Faye received a call from him asking if she would team up with him once again.
Faye says she sensed he was frightened of being judged again. He was still stung by the worldwide backlash against him.
“Standing up in front of an audience, all that fear, all that doubt, all the cruelty people directed at him, he was afraid,” said Faye. “He didn’t want to go through that again.”
Faye said she was concerned that Jackson was too thin to do the show. As the clock ticked, the pressure mounted.
The tour was going to be his first major appearance since the trial ended, and it would be the first time his children would him see perform on stage. The stage was his element, a place he had electrified countless times, dazzling millions, since hitting it big as child superstar in 1969.
Faye, Bush and Tompkins couldn’t comment on whether Jackson was taking any medications while preparing for the “This is It” tour,because the three anticipate being witnesses at the upcoming trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal physician. But they say they were all extremely concerned about the star’s well-being.
According to Bush, Jackson was “bone-thin.”
“I feared he was physically unable to do the shows,” Faye said.
The Day the News Came
On June 25 last year, Karen Faye was waiting for Jackson at the Staples Center to begin rehearsals when she got the news she dreaded — Jackson had been rushed to the hospital.
She then got a phone call from her boyfriend, who said he heard news reports that Jackson had suffered a heart attack.
“So many things went through [my] mind,” Faye said. “But because of my fears I knew it was probably true.”
According to Faye, the tour’s director and choreographer, Kenny Ortega, instructed everyone to carry on as usual.
But then the moment came.
“I was headed back to my make-up room,” said Faye, “and Kenny came out of his office and he put his arms around me and whispered, ‘He’s gone. We lost him.’ And my knees just collapsed.”
Faye said she believes that if people paid attention, the world would still have its King of Pop, Michael Jackson. She said she takes solace in remembering all the great times she had with the star, and the laughter that first brought them together.
Michael Jackson fans in New York, L.A., and around the world remember Michael Jackson on first anniversary of death.
Michael Jackson sand sculpture created by Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik in tribute to Michael Jackson on a beach at Puri, some 65kms east of Bhubaneswar on June 25, 2010, to mark the first anniversary of the musician’s death.
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody, AP / June 25, 2010
New YorkAs the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death drew near, Julia Thomas clutched her “Thriller” liner notes and stood outside the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, Calif., the final resting place for the King of Pop, with about two dozen other fans.
“Michael has just always been a part of my life,” the 40-year-old Thomas, who has a tattoo of Jackson’sdancing feet on her left wrist, said Thursday night. “I’m just hoping to embrace the fans from everywhere.”
Barricades were already set up at the Los Angeles-area cemetery for the huge throng of fans and some ofJackson’s family members expected to arrive on Friday, which marks a year since Jackson died at age 50. Five large wreaths of flowers and dozens of bouquets, drawings and photos of Jackson had been placed outside his private mausoleum.
Evdokia Sofianou, 46, and her 9-year-old daughter, Rebecca, traveled from Athens, Greece, to pay their respects.
“I came because I love Michael very much,” Sofianou said. “I came to grieve.”
Forest Lawn was to be just one of the many places around the world where Jackson’s fans would gather to remember their fallen legend on Friday. But not everyone planned to be grieving.
On Friday, DJ Jon Quick was to spin Jackson tunes at the club Taj in Manhattan for a festive affair.
“They wanna celebrate his life and music,” Quick said of the expected partygoers. “His albums are like timelines in your life. You can remember what you were doing … when ‘Thriller’ came out.
Some anniversary events began even before Friday. In London, a memorial was unveiled Thursday to a gaggle of press who packed the foyer of the Lyric Theatre, the site of an impromptu wake following the pop superstar’s death last year.
Perri Luc Kiely, 14, a member of the dance troupe Diversity, pulled back a pair of dark purple curtains to reveal a small plaque featuring a young Jackson with a wide, beaming smile.
In Hong Kong, Jackson imitators performed to the late singer’s classics at a suburban mall Thursday. Four-year-old Wang Yiming danced to “Dangerous” wearing Jackson’s trademark black fedora hat, a black suit with a silver armband and white socks.
In Gary, Ind., Jackson’s hometown, there was to be a tribute at the family home; city officials said they expected Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and his niece Genevieve Jackson to show up, along with thousands of others.
But his brother Randy Jackson was hoping to make the official family commemoration at Forest Lawn on Friday morning.
“My family and I will be in attendance as we mourn the loss of my brother,” he said in a statement Thursday. “I would like to thank the fans and friends for their continued love, support and prayers.”
Katherine Jackson has thrown her support behind a “Forever Michael” fan event to be held Saturday at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. Tickets range from $150 to $500.
The Apollo Theater in Harlem, where a young Michael Jackson and his brothers won amateur night, on Friday was to host a commemoration of Jackson’s life in front of the recently installed plaque honoring him in the legendary theater’s new hall of fame.
And later in the afternoon in Harlem, around the hour of Jackson’s death, the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network were to hold a moment of silence.
Sharpton, a longtime associate of Jackson and his family, gave impassioned remarks at Jackson’s televised memorial last July and said he thought a moment of silence was appropriate to show “the sanctity of the hour.”
“He meant a lot to us of all races in terms of bringing us together in another kind of spirit,” Sharpton said. “I wanted to make sure that we showed that in the middle of all this that is going on in the world that Michael is someone that we would all stop for … . He was more than just a singer, he was a social force and a sense of inspiration.”
UPI News Service, 06/23/2010
Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine says the U.S. pop singer told her before he died last June that people wanted him “gone.”
The 80-year-old matriarch of the Jackson dynasty of artists gave an exclusive television interview to NBC’s “Dateline,” which is to be part of an anniversary special called “Michael Jackson: A Mother’s Story.” It is set to air Friday, the first anniversary of Michael’s death from an anesthesia overdose at the age of 50. “He told me several times that he felt that people wanted him gone, wanted him dead,” Katherine Jackson said in the “Dateline” interview. “He would always say that. And for him to say that, he must have known something … It’s just some of the mean, evil, vicious people didn’t want him around for some reason. They’re greedy.” The grieving mother said she last saw her son about a week and a half before he died. “We had a really good time together,” she recalled. “Those are my fond memories of him because I never looked at him after he passed … I wanted to remember him smiling and laughing and having a good time the last time I saw him.” Asked what she would say to Michael if she could see him again, Katherine replied, “My goodness, I’d have so much to (say) … but the main thing I’d want to know is what really happened?”
Dr. Conrad Murray was with Michael Jackson when he died from a prescription drug overdose.
The King of Pop is getting a visit from the doctor of death.
Conrad Murray, the physician charged in Michael Jackson’s sudden demise, plans a pilgrimage to the singer’s grave next month to mark the first anniversary of Jacko’s passing, TMZ.com reported Saturday.
Murray was with the platinum-selling international superstar when he died from a prescription drug overdose. The doctor was subsequently charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Murray pleaded innocent to the charge and reportedly plans to claim Jackson fatally injected himself. Jackson, who was planning a huge 50-show Londoncomeback, died June 25, 2009, at his California home.
The one-time child star was just 50.
It won’t be Murray’s first visit to the Forest Hills mausoleum where Jackson is interred.
The 37-year-old doctor makes frequent trips to the cemetery in the early morning hours to avoid attention, TMZ reported.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/05/29/2010-05-29_dr_conrad_murray_charged_in_michael_jackson_death_to_visit_king_of_pops_grave_on.html#ixzz0pMD7aeIe
|Love the sentence the judge said (which is highlighted below). And yet in Murray’s case it’s different? Yeahhhhh….makes a lot of sense—NOT lol
This nurse should have lived in California. They would have even let him keep his license with the restriction that he could not give propofol,lol Am being sarcastic…
May 30, 2008By April Drew
AN Irish American man, who fled to Ireland in 2005 after murdering a University of Florida student was found guilty of murder in the first degree on Friday, May 23.
Oliver O’Quinn, 29, was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Michelle Herndon, 24, who he had become obsessed with in 2005. Prosecutors at O’Quinn’s trial said he injected Herndon with a lethal dose of Propofol, a fast acting anesthetic, which resulted in her death.
O’Quinn, a nurse whose license expired in 2007, worked at the University of Florida, where Herndon was a student.
The jury heard that O’Quinn first became acquainted with Herndon while sharing a house with her friend. Although a casual friendship existed between the pair, O’Quinn became obsessed with the young student. When he discovered she was to be wed to her boyfriend he apparently became enraged and planned her death.
During the trial, it was heard that police found Herndon lying dead across her bed in her Gainesville home. A small piercing on her arm led detectives to believe she was injected with something.
Toxicology reports discovered a lethal dose of Propofol in the young woman’s system. A syringe, disposed of at the back of Hendron’s house, had O’Quinn’s DNA on the cover and blood from the victim inside.
On November 11, a day after Herndon’s body was discovered, O’Quinn quit his job, according to police. On November 29, he fled to Dublin, informing family members he was taking a vacation to the land of his ancestors.
While staying at a youth hostel in Dublin, O’Quinn made attempts to join the Irish Nurses Organization (INO) seeking employment. However, a Gainesville police detective, Michael Douglas, informed the INO of O’Quinn’s background. An extradition request for O’Quinn was immediately made to Ireland but due to long delays in processing the request, Gardai (Irish police) were unable to arrest O’Quinn, who at this stage had moved into a home in Dublin’s north inner city.
O’Quinn fled Dublin in July 2006 and flew to Morocco. He then traveled to Mauritania in North West Africa. His passport number had been registered with all foreign embassies and consulates and in an attempt to set up a money wire transfer from the United States; his location was discovered by U.S. Embassy officials who caught up with him. He escaped again but was later caught in Senegal. In July 2006 he was extradited to New York and eventually returned to Gainesville in October that same year.
The Judge presiding over the case, Peter Seig spoke to O’Quinn at the sentencing last Friday. “It is beyond my comprehension how an intelligent mind could conceive of what we’ve heard about this week,” he said.
O’Quinn is currently being held in Lake Butler Reception Center in Florida.
Yes, let’s make Murray look like a hero b4 his trial….
Ohh brother…. Bunch of BS, lol
“You probably know me……. I was Michael Jackson’s doctor.” LOL LOL
What a “set-up”! Just like in the movies! LOL What will be the next publicity stunt???
|16 May, 2010
Late Michael Jackson’s doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, rushed to the aid of a fellow passenger, possibly saving her life when she fainted at 30,000 feet in air and needed urgent medical attention.
According to a report from entertainment website, TMZ, Dr. Murray was aboard a US Airways flight from Houston to Phoenix, when he heard the call for a doctor on the loudspeaker by the flight attendant.
In response, he immediately jumped out of his seat and examined the woman who was in her 20s and had “a very weak pulse.”
He inserted an IV and stabilized her until the flight could make an emergency landing in Albuquerque, N.M., TMZ said.
The website said that it later spoke to the woman concerned and she told them that she felt light headed before she fainted for 30 minutes.
On regaining consciousness, she saw Murray standing over her and said, “You probably know me … I was Michael Jackson’s doctor.”
When the woman was asked what she would say to Murray if she met him, she replied, “Thank you so, so, so much. Thank you for all your help. Thank you for helping me even without knowing me. Thank you.”
The woman was later released from the hospital.
Murray was charged with involuntary manslaughter last February in connection with Jackson’s death and had gone missing during that period for several days.
Well the hoax is getting media attention! We’ve only been saying this for months and months, so why is it only out now in the news? And the focus is dave dave,lol There’s so much other stuff!
We’re in the process of hearing the Estate “clear” up matters…
Originally posted Apr 13th 2010 9:49 AM PDT by TMZ Staff
One of the creditor’s claims the Michael Jackson estate has rejected was filed by a 25-year-old man who says he’s the biological son of the late singer.
Prince Michael Malachi Jet Jackson had filed a claim with the estate, but he’s not asking for money — he wants a DNA test
proving he’s MJ’s flesh and blood.
But as we first reported, Howard Weitzman, lawyer for the estate, formally rejected a bunch of claims yesterday, including the one from P.M.M.J.J.
We’re told more rejections are coming, so stay tuned.
MICHAEL JACKSON ESTATE LAWYER STARTS REJECTING CREDITORS’ CLAIMS
The trustees of MICHAEL JACKSON’s estate have started getting tough with the creditors demanding cash from the late King of Pop – they’ve rejected seven claims, including one for USD 300 million (GBP 187.5 million).
Jackson estate lawyer Howard Weitzman has filed legal papers rejecting Allgood Entertainment’s claim over a Jackson family concert that was scrapped when the pop superstar signed up for 50 London concerts, which were due to start weeks after he died last summer (Jun09).
Also losing out are Jose Freddie Vallejos, an angry Los Angeles citizen who demanded Jackson pay for his own memorial and Nona Paris Lola Ankhesenamun Jackson, who claimed to have been married to the King of Pop.
Memorabilia collector Richard Lapointe has also had his claim against the estate rejected – he demanded USD 5 million (GBP 3.1 million) after placing the highest bids on 170 items at a Jackson auction, which was scrapped over ownership issues.
The first major rejections come just days after the King of Pop’s longtime personal manager and publicist Raymone Bain became the latest name on the list of creditors seeking cash from the Jackson estate.
Bain, who stood by the late pop superstar’s side throughout his child molestation trial in 2005 and regularly defended the embattled singer on TV news shows, claims she’s still owed USD 360,000 (GBP 225,000) for her services.
Jackson’s one-time personal general manager joins his former skin doctor, Arnold Klein, and the pop star’s media and communications consultant, Van F. Alexander, among the creditors.
Need more articles like this! Excellent!
Posted: March 2, 2010 10:10 AM
Last week Michael Jackson’s guitarist discredited widely reported allegations about the star’s behaviour on the road. So why is the media refusing to publish her comments? British writer Charles Thomson explores media bias against black music’s biggest star.
Aging glam-rocker Gene Simmons made international headlines last month when he claimed to know that Michael Jackson had molested children. In an interview with Classic Rock, Simmons alleged that Jackson was on tape ordering alcohol for children and that during the star’s 2005 trial a travel agent had testified to importing Brazilian boys for Jackson’s amusement. He also claimed that a musician friend had quit a Jackson tour after seeing ‘boys coming out of the hotel rooms.’
What followed was a classic example of copy and paste journalism. Within hours the story had been duplicated by hundreds of blogs, forums and news websites from Australia to India to the USA. None of them had fact-checked the story before they re-hosted it. Jackson was never on tape ordering alcohol for children. There was never any testimony during his trial about young Brazilian boys. Both of these claims were easily disproven by trial transcripts.
As a relative Jackson expert, I was also unaware of any musician ever leaving one of the singer’s tours midway through. So when I sat down a fortnight ago for an interview with Jackson’s long serving tour guitarist Jennifer Batten, I ran the story by her.
She told me that no musician had ever quit a Jackson tour. Two musicians had been fired but both were let go before the show hit the road, so they couldn’t possibly have witnessed anything going on inside hotels.
When Sawf News published Batten’s rebuttal I observed an all too familiar phenomenon. Although the story appeared on Google News and was picked up fairly swiftly by the Examiner, nobody else seemed willing to touch it. Whilst Simmons’s speculative and ultimately baseless accusations had been reproduced the world over, Batten’s expert rebuttal was being suppressed.
I soon began receiving emails from Jackson’s fans telling me that they were sending the story to every celebrity news outlet they could think of, including several of those which published Simmons’s initial allegations.
But more than 48 hours later, typing an exact quote from Simmons’s rant into a search engine produced almost 350 webpages. The number of news outlets hosting Batten’s rebuttal? Three.
This was not the first time I’d had a Jackson story suppressed. After Evan Chandler’s suicide in November 2009 I was contacted by the Sun and asked to supply information about the 1993 allegations. I spent quite some time compiling my research, advising the newspaper of common myths and how to avoid them, being careful to source all of my facts from legal documents and audio/visual evidence.
When I read the finished article I was stunned to find that all of my information had been discarded and replaced with the very myths I had advised them to avoid. I alerted staff to the inaccuracies but my emails were not replied. The same inaccuracies appeared in every single article I read about the suicide.
The same bias manifested itself the following month when Jackson’s FBI file was released. Across more than 300 pages of information there was not one piece of incriminating evidence — but that’s not the way the media told it.
A videotape seized at customs in West Palm Beach and analysed for child pornography was repeatedly referred to as belonging to Jackson. In actuality, files stated merely that the tape was ‘connected’ to Jackson and that connection appeared simply to be that somebody had written his name on the sticky label.
In another document the FBI logged a telephone call from a tipster claiming that the bureau had investigated Jackson during the 1980s for molesting two Mexican boys. The files made no other mention of the supposed investigation and the claim was ascribed no validity — the call was merely noted. But the media persistently referred to the anonymous tipster’s unsupported allegations as the FBI’s own conclusions.
Jackson’s FBI file overwhelmingly supported his innocence but its contents were routinely manipulated to give the opposite impression.
Many are quick to scoff when Jackson’s fans speak of a media conspiracy to destroy the star’s reputation and I used to scoff with them. As a member of the industry I prefer not to think of it as sinister and conspiratorial, but I find it increasingly difficult to explain away the bias with which Jackson is treated.
I wonder whether the problem is pride. When the 1993 allegations broke, the vast majority of information available was released, either officially or unofficially, by the prosecution. Jackson, meanwhile, remained characteristically silent.
Perhaps because the prosecution’s version of events went almost completely unchallenged (although I imagine that drama and selling newspapers had something to do with it, too), the media primarily chose to portray Jackson as guilty.
But as the facts started to trickle out it became increasingly apparent that the case was full of holes. The allegations had been instigated not by the boy but by his father, who had demanded a scriptwriting deal from Jackson before he went to the police. He was on tape plotting to destroy Jackson’s career and dismissing his son’s wellbeing as ‘irrelevant’. Then the boy told cops that Jackson was circumcised, but a police body search concluded that he was not.
Although Jackson’s innocence looked increasingly likely, most news outlets had made their bed and to this day they seem unwilling to do anything but lie in it.
Whatever the motivation, be it pride, profit or plain old racism, the bias against Jackson is undeniable. The suppression of Batten’s comments proves once more than when it comes to Jackson the media is interested not in fact or reason but negativity and sensationalism. Batten accompanied Jackson on all three of his world tours and was known for a decade as his ‘right hand woman’. But Simmons — who self-confessedly did not know Jackson — has been given over 100 times more media coverage for his inaccurate ranting than Batten has for her firsthand experience.
It is time for outlets to assume responsibility for their own content. Websites should not re-host other publishers’ stories unless they can be completely certain that the content is factual. Even if the media refuses to print the truth about Jackson, they should compromise by not printing the lies either. At least that way he can rest in peace.
Posted July 6, 2009 • 9:44 a.m.
Mohamed Hadid with his two children and Michael Jackson with his three children at Thanksgiving. Michael’s children are Paris Michael Katherine, Michael Joseph Jr. and Prince Michael II.
Photo: Mohamed Hadid
Just 48 hours before his death, Michael Jackson was “in a high state of stress and emotional drama, fearing that he would never be able to complete the 50-concert run in London, and it would kill him.” That’s the inside word from one of the closest business friend’s of the late King of Pop who he turned to often when problems were at their darkest.
I am sworn to never release his identity. The night that the rehearsals were filmed and recorded at the Staples Center in L.A., Michael returned home “exhausted, highly strung, stressed and sweating profusely.” Click HERE for CNN video of the rehearsals on YouTube.
Michael reportedly said: “We did it, but we can’t go on. I’ll never make all 50. It will kill me.”
Michael’s confidante told me that he had come up with a last-minute plan to meet everybody’s needs. He wanted AEG to stage the This Is It show as a one-night world spectacular — the largest one-time pop music event in history. It would be produced live from London, and it would be available in movie theaters, arenas and concert halls around the world simultaneously with immediate CD and DVD release.
Photo: The Associated Press
Michael Jackson appears in London to announce his final concerts in the British capital this summer.
The concept was that Michael would still earn the money he desperately needed and AEG would make the same money in one night as they would from 50 shows.
Michael apparently believed it would work and everybody would be happy, but he was stressed beyond belief if AEG insisted on going with the original plan, according to his confidante. “He couldn’t sleep, he was exhausted, and he was more stressed than he’d ever been in his life,” I was told. “At the very moment he should have been able to get back on top of the world, he worried so much he wouldn’t be able to execute it, and disaster loomed. He thought this new plan was the best solution.”
But top business executives reportedly rejected what Michael proposed. His plan was nixed. He became even more stressed, and, according to my source, it was that stress and high-wired sleeplessness that drove him to seek relief in the illegally prescribed anesthesia that should have only been used in a hospital operating room.
‘Death drug’ linked to Las Vegas doctors?
Now five doctors are under investigation as to how Michael obtained Diprivan and other medical supplies found at his home. I’m reliably told that the trail will lead back to a Las Vegas hospital where one of those doctors was able to fulfill illegal prescriptions. The Los Angeles Times has reported that some of the drugs had no prescriptions on the labels, indicating that they may have been improperly obtained from a hospital’s supply.
Michael Jackson and Kenny Ortega at work in L.A. on Michael’s upcoming London concerts.
The Los Angeles Times quoted two leading experts who said that Diprivan is so powerful, it should only be administered in a hospital — not in a private home — by a qualified anesthesiologist. “It’s a very dangerous drug if self-administered or administered by someone not trained in airway management and cardiac life support,” said Ethan Bryson, an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “You need to have someone who knows what they are doing when they administer it.”
Paul Wischmeyer, an anesthesiologist at the University of Colorado who coauthored a 2007 study of Diprivan abuse in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, was quoted: “A lot of people do it because it makes you completely blotto. It totally takes away all anxiety, all fear. It’s incredibly relieving of pain, anxiety and stress. People do it to escape.” He said he has seen people take the drug to relieve anxiety — and used it to escape.”
The product label from the FDA says a patient being given the drug should be monitored at all times for signs of low blood pressure, low oxygen levels and stopped breathing. Problems with the heart or breathing are more likely to occur after rapid administration of the drug. The label states that equipment to provide artificial ventilation, supplemental oxygen and CPR “must be immediately available.”
For the record, it is not yet known if this drug or others played a role in Michael’s death. Toxicology results have to be completed before the L.A. County Coroner’s Office lists the cause of death. However, the continuing inquiry by the LAPD has been beefed up with the DEA and California Attorney General’s Office.
Kenny Ortega and Michael Jackson with the selected dancers.
Michael’s final days in $100,000-a-month Holmby Hills rental
Since moving from Las Vegas, Michael lived in a $40 million, 22,000-square-foot mansion built by Mohamed Hadid and Hadid Development Co. located in Carolwood in Holmby Hills in Westwood, a mile past the Beverly Hills Hotel and before the Bel Air Hotel. Neighbors include Hugh Hefner, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Mohamed released this photo of the home located on 1 1/2 acres he built in 1999 and lived in for three years before selling it to a private investor who purchased it in 2004. Michael leased it from the investor but was friendly with Mohamed and his children, who played with Michael’s three kids. This photo shows Michael with Mohamed, Mohamed’s children and his children Paris Michael Katherine, Michael Joseph Jr. and Prince Michael II. This was taken at Thanksgiving in the residence.
Photo: Mohamed Hadid
The Holmby Hills, Calif., mansion owned by Mohamed Hadid that Michael Jackson rented for $100,000 per month.
When Michael began rehearsals for This Is It in California, he insisted that AEG production people hire doctors for him, one of whom lived at the house almost round-the-clock and was scheduled to fly to London on the This Is It payroll.
This Is It tribute show with Las Vegas production
I can tell you on absolutely the best authority that a tentative offer was made to the Jackson family over the weekend for a tribute show on the Strip. Joe Jackson and other family members including Janet, but not LaToya, also are weighing their own tribute show here with a Beverly Hills producer. I’m told that negotiations will intensify this week after tomorrow’s memorial service and burial.
AEG hasn’t officially confirmed that there is sufficient video footage and multi-track recordings from the dress rehearsals to use for such a show. Click HERE for our original VDLX story with WireImage founder Kevin Mazur’s rehearsal photos.
But insiders have told me there is “sufficient — more than enough.” In addition to Michael taping all of the This Is It rehearsals from start to finish for a “making-of” TV documentary, he also had all the tracks from two albums that he had been working on in the Palms recording studio for three months when he lived here almost secretly at George Maloof’s casino hotel.
It’s believed that everything that was recorded as a safety precaution, and that can be used in a future show, is under tight security at AEG offices in Staples Center.
Kenny Ortega, Michael Jackson and Simon Fuller.
Last week, Michael’s friend This Is It choreographer and director Kenny Ortega, who created Sirens at Treasure Island, appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 with some of Michael’s dancers. They all agreed that as stunned as they were by his sudden death, they believed that Michael would have wanted the production to be seen by all his fans around the world.
Next Monday, Michael would have kicked off the first of his London concerts at the 02 Arena. On Saturday, it was Madonna who headlined there debuting the European leg of her continuing Sticky & Sweet world tour. She stopped the show to pay tribute to Michael, with one dancer dressed as and impersonating the Gloved One.
Madonna’s tribute to Michael Jackson – from YouTube.com
At one point, when Michael’s debut was pushed back from July 9, Madonna was blamed for not reshuffling her London dates to allow Michael’s crew in soon enough to build This Is It’s three stages and 22 sets for final rehearsals.
As investigators track down the cause of death and as the world mourns at tomorrow’s televised and streamed memorial, the mega-bucks business of pop music will continue to grind. Meantime, even free tickets for Michael’s memorial service tomorrow morning sat Staples Center have skyrocketed in price. Prices on eBay, despite the warning on the tickets that there is to be no resale, have shot up in some cases as high as $20,000 for two! One offer even has a whopping $600,000 price tag!
Michael, in death, will at some point go out with the biggest showbiz spectacular of all time and probably wind up making more money than even dreamed possible with the original 50 London show comeback.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
This was in French TV! Amazing! A great re-cap of the “clues” in MJ’s possible hoax death.
By Alan Duke, CNN
February 24, 2010 — Updated 2022 GMT (0422 HKT)
A London tabloid released a recording that purports to be a 911 call about Michael Jackson’s death, but officials express doubts.
Los Angeles, California (CNN) — A recording purported to be a call from the ambulance rushing Michael Jackson to a hospital the day he died was not “typical” of paramedic procedure, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department official.
A British tabloid posted the recording online, suggesting it was evidence that Jackson had no pulse at that time — contrary to what his personal doctor said.
Dr. Conrad Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s June 25 death, which the coroner ruled resulted from a combination of drugs given to him that morning.
The Sun newspaper did not reveal the source of the recording, but characterized it as a “911 tape.”
Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said he was skeptical about the authenticity of the audio, adding that it “did not come from our agency.”
A male — who says he is a paramedic in an ambulance — is heard speaking to a female, who supposedly is at the UCLA Medical Center emergency room.
“We have a male, 50. Pop star Michael Jackson. Unresponsive, no pulse. Tried to resuscitate him. Unsuccessful. We are en route,” the male voice said.
“OK. We’ll have doctors standing by,” the female voice replied.
“We’ve done everything we can here in the ambulance. Hopefully, when we get there — we should be there in five minutes,” the male said. “It doesn’t look good.”
Humphrey said it is routine for paramedics to use a cell phone or a two-way radio to talk to an emergency room as they rush to a hospital, but they “don’t normally speak like this in a medical response.”
Specifically, the paramedic would not be likely to use a patient’s name in the conversation, even if it is a celebrity, Humphrey said.
It would be routine for the hospital to record the conversations for legal reasons, he said.
UCLA Medical Center spokesman Dale Triber Tate said, “There is no way we could authenticate it even if we had patient/estate authorization, which we do not have.”
The fire department released an authenticated recording of the 911 call for help from Jackson’s Holmby Hills, California, home the day after the pop icon’s death.
A Jackson bodyguard, who was in the room as Murray tried to revive him, spoke to the 911 operator:
“He’s not breathing and we’re trying to pump him, but he’s not breathing,” the bodyguard said. “He’s not responding to CPR or anything,”
“We’re less than a mile away and we’ll be there shortly,” the operator said.
Hoax recordings have emerged since Jackson’s death, including a video produced by a German TV show that purported to show a living Jackson stepping out of a coroner’s van.
A spokeswoman for RTL, the leading private broadcaster in Germany, later said it was an experiment to show how easy it is to spread rumors online.
Household staff and clinic patients describe Dr. Conrad Murray as kind, benevolent and accessible; court files show a man drowning in debt, facing foreclosure, with multiple child support obligations.
In the Holmby Hills chateau where Michael Jackson lived his final months, Dr. Conrad Murray seemed a benevolent figure.
The physician arrived at night dressed in scrubs or a neat blazer and slacks, offering a ready smile for the household staff, and sometimes, gifts for Jackson’s children. Most of his time was spent upstairs in the singer’s private quarters, but occasionally he sat at the dining room table chatting with the family in his lilting Caribbean accent.
“They loved him,” Kai Chase, the singer’s personal chef, recalled last summer. “A very nice man, very charming, very well-groomed, very respectful, well-spoken.”
The image of the respectable, competent doctor — a profession Murray began striving toward as a youth in Trinidad — started to crack the day the world’s most famous entertainer died in Murray’s care, and is likely to break further Monday when L.A. County prosecutors are expected to charge him with involuntary manslaughter.
“Here’s a guy who was on top of the world . . . talk about a fall from grace,” said his attorney, Ed Chernoff.
The job Jackson offered Murray, 56, last spring was a lifeline for a man struggling financially.
Courts in Las Vegas, where he lived with his physician wife, 19-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter, had ordered him or his business to pay $435,000 to creditors, including a student loan.
His home near the 18th hole of a country club was in jeopardy. Property records show he had refinanced the mortgage at least three times in five years and owed close to $1.7 million on a property now assessed at $1.08 million. By the time the Jackson job came along, it had been months since Murray had paid the mortgage and foreclosure proceedings loomed, according to court records.
He had also fallen behind on child support payments. Birth certificates and other public records indicate that in addition to the two children he had with his wife, Murray had fathered at least four children with three other women.
Files from Las Vegas family court proceedings show he owed thousands of dollars to a California woman with whom he had a son, now 11. He was also helping support two daughters, ages 16 and 8, who lived with their mother in Las Vegas, according to the records. And last March, an actress from Santa Monica gave birth to Murray’s son, according to a California birth certificate.
According to his lawyer, many of Murray’s financial problems arose from providing medical care for the poor. (Murray declined repeated requests for interviews, as did members of his family, but he did respond to some questions posed to him through his attorney.)
Born in Grenada, he was raised in Trinidad by his grandparents and later by his mother and stepfather, according to a biography provided by his attorney. He had no contact with his own father until he was 25, although he knew as a child that his father was a doctor who lived in Houston.
In addition to his Las Vegas cardiology practice, Murray treated patients two days a month at a Houston heart clinic. He founded the clinic in 2006 in a poor, predominantly African American area in honor of his father, by then deceased.
Among some of his clinic patients, Murray was adored for his accessibility and bedside manner. He gave patients his personal cellphone number and used plastic heart models and charts to help elderly patients understand their ailments, patients recalled.
“He was really kind and sat there and explained. No rushing you. He would hold a good conversation. A whole lot of doctors could learn something from that type of treatment,” said the Rev. Prince James, a 67-year-old Baptist minister.
Few at the Houston clinic could pay Murray’s normal rates, and he lost money with nearly every patient he saw.
But when it came to setting a price for one very famous patient, Murray did not offer a discount, according to people involved in his hiring.
Frank DiLeo, Jackson’s manager, said last summer that Jackson told him Murray wanted $5 million to work during rehearsals and the eight months of concerts. “I said, ‘Michael, for $5 million, I’ll buy you a hospital,’ ” DiLeo recalled. “He said this guy was his family doctor, and he was comfortable with him. It made sense to me, to a degree.”
Murray’s lawyer disputed that the doctor demanded $5 million.
Jackson and Murray had met four years earlier after Jackson took up residence in Las Vegas. Jackson came down with a viral infection, and a security guard recommended his friend Murray, according to a person with knowledge of their relationship who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the continuing criminal investigation. Murray treated Jackson, and the two men stayed in touch.
When Jackson approached Murray about the job, the singer was gearing up for what the music industry regarded as his final shot at a comeback. Rehearsals were long and physically exhausting, and many thought Jackson, who was 50 and hadn’t performed live in concert for a dozen years, wouldn’t be able to pull off the performances.
The singer wanted Murray as his doctor and Murray needed the money. Murray’s lawyer said the doctor also felt compelled to help.”They were close friends. Dr. Murray loved Michael,” Chernoff said.
Jackson’s concert promoter, AEG Live, had advanced him money to mount the shows and cover living expenses. In Los Angeles, he was renting a $20-million mansion and traveling in chauffeured SUVs. Randy Phillips, chief executive of AEG Live, said the performer introduced Murray to him and to the company’s general counsel as “my longtime personal physician” and insisted that the doctor accompany him to England. Phillips said he saw that as a needless expense and urged Jackson to rely on local physicians in London, but the singer was unwavering.
“He insisted emphatically that Dr. Murray be his physician,” Phillips recalled last summer.
Jackson and the promoter agreed to pay Murray $150,000 a month. In June, the month after he had accepted the job and begun work, Murray sent a letter to his Las Vegas patients announcing that he was shuttering his practice.
“Because of a once in a lifetime opportunity, I had to make a most difficult decision to cease [the] practice of medicine indefinitely,” he wrote.
Ten days later, Jackson was dead, and a day after that, Murray became a household name.
Police summarized the doctor’s account of his dealings with Jackson in court affidavits: Jackson, the doctor told them, was an insomniac who had called upon many physicians over the years to give him an operating-room anesthetic, propofol, as a sleep aid.
Murray said he administered the white liquid — “milk” as Jackson called it — each night by intravenous drip, but after six weeks, he had become concerned that the singer was addicted to it and tried to wean him off the drug. Jackson, he told police, demanded propofol the morning of his death and then stopped breathing when Murray left him alone for two minutes to use the bathroom.
When his account became public, many doctors condemned Murray’s use of propofol as reckless and unethical. Authorities began building a manslaughter case against him, and the media trailed him wherever he went.
Jackson had not signed their contract so Murray never collected any money for his work. According to his lawyer, Murray spent six months ” watching his bills pile up” before re-opening his Houston practice.
“His one big fault is that he could never turn down someone who needed his services,” his lawyer said.
Times staff writers Kimi Yoshino in Los Angeles and Ashley Powers in Las Vegas contributed to this report.
Scribed by Houdini’s Ghost on Friday, February 5, 2010
National Photo Group. The same peeps who brought us the infamous photo of MJ in the ambulance.
By LINDA DEUTSCH and THOMAS WATKINS, Associated Press Writer Linda Deutsch And Thomas Watkins, Associated Press Writer
– Fri Feb 5, 9:31 pm ET
LOS ANGELES – The circus that swirled around Michael Jackson when he was alive rolled on Friday as the doctor expecting to be accused of involuntary manslaughter in his death planned to stage a surrender at a courthouse but called it off after prosecutors announced charges will be filed next week.
Instead of the promised appearance by Dr. Conrad Murray and his lawyers, a crowd of reporters and photographers gathered outside a branch courthouse only got a drenching from a rainstorm.
Murray, working as Jackson’s personal physician during the singer’s preparation for comeback concerts, has been under investigation since the 50-year-old pop star died June 25 after being administered the hospital-strength anesthetic propofol and sedatives at his rented mansion to help him sleep.
It’s not clear what would have happened had the cardiologist shown up without a case being filed.
District attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said the events had no bearing on when the case would be filed. She released a terse statement saying prosecutors will be filing a case involving Jackson’s death on Monday, but it did not name Murray or specify the charges.
“The main thing is there’s some paperwork that needs to be done. We’re doing it and (the case) will be filed on Monday,” Gibbons said.
The doctor’s legal team has said Murray will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
“We’ll make bail, we’ll plead not guilty and we’ll fight like hell,” said lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff.
The strange chain of events — which at one point saw reporters scramble from the courthouse to nearby recreational grounds called Polliwog Park for a news conference that never happened — fueled intense speculation about what was going on behind the scenes.
The developments occurred against a background of reports that police wanted to arrest and handcuff Murray, but that his attorneys were negotiating with the prosecution to avoid that.
Chernoff said he spoke with prosecutors Thursday about how Murray should be taken to court on Friday. Discussions broke down after the district attorney’s office insisted Murray turn himself in at a police station, but not post bail and agree to be taken to court by police while in handcuffs.
“I told them there was no way in hell I was not going to bail my client out,” Chernoff said. “They said forget it, that’s our only offer.”
A defense spokeswoman also earlier had said the prosecution had told Murray and his lawyers to be at court Friday afternoon.
Gibbons said that was “an absolute lie.”
“We made no deal with them,” Gibbons said.
Gibbons also said the district attorney’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department were not at odds.
A law enforcement official close to the case has told The Associated Press that police wanted to arrest Murray at a home where he was staying and take him to a police station for booking. Top brass at the Los Angeles Police Department were unhappy with a surrender because it could appear Murray was being given special treatment, according to the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.
Various factors weighed in the desire of the LAPD to arrest Murray, including the possibility he might flee before arraignment, just as O.J. Simpson did in 1994, the law enforcement official said.
Jackson fans flooded phone lines at the district attorney’s office and at the LAPD’s robbery-homicide unit demanding that Murray be brought to court in handcuffs.
“When Michael Jackson was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, he was handcuffed and publicly humiliated,” said Samantha DeGossen, a fan who organized the protest via Internet sites. “We’re outraged that Dr. Murray is not being subjected to the same treatment.”
Jackson was tried and acquitted on child molestation charges in Santa Maria, Calif., in 2005. He flew to Santa Maria on a private plane and surrendered to law enforcement authorities who handcuffed him and drove him to a jail to be fingerprinted and photographed.
DeGossen said a group of fans plans to be on hand Monday to protest outside the courthouse if Murray is allowed to surrender on his own.
“All we want is justice for Michael Jackson,” she said.
Murray became the focus of the probe into Jackson’s death shortly after a 911 call from Jackson’s home last summer reported that the singer wasn’t breathing despite efforts by the doctor to perform CPR. Murray told police he gave Jackson a powerful anesthetic and other sedatives that an autopsy blamed for his death.
The doctor maintains nothing he gave Jackson should have killed him.
New York-based attorney William Moran, who has represented high-profile clients, said it is not unusual for there to be friction between police and prosecutors in cases in the media limelight. Any attorney would push back against the prospect of a client being photographed in police custody.
“If you are either a patient of the doctor or considering becoming a patient of the doctor, it’s hard to get past the image of your doctor in handcuffs,” Moran said, adding that such an image could impact potential jurors.
Associated Press writers Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.
Michael Jackson: MJ’s stinking dead giraffes in line for a ‘graveyard shift’!
It would appear that two dead giraffes, which were once the pets of deceased ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson, are set to undergo a ‘graveyard shift’ in the light of their raising an unbearable stench around the state of Arizona.
As per a report, carried by Celebrity and Entertainment website TMZ, it appears that residents at Page, Arizona have for some time been raising a hue and cry over the foul smelling remains of Michael’s twin pets Rambo and JJ.
It is further learned from the said TMZ report that the giraffes, formerly owned by Michael, died last November and were buried at the Banjoko Wildlife Preserve, where they had been living since 2006.
However, the fact that the decaying carcasses have been raising a foul stench over the state of Arizona, has now prompted the authorities to dig up their present resting address and shift them to another grave.
It further appears, that upon a glut of complaints filed by the locals over the rising stench around the town, the Preserve’s founder Freddie Hancock was eventually ordered to dig up the remains and bury them somewhere else.
Hancock was quoted as saying to TMZ that as per the order the rotting dead giraffes have already been shifted to a private and undisclosed location, outside the preserve.
Guess the locals can breathe easy now!
Feb 04 2010. Posted by Richard Head
MICHAEL Jackson’s sister La Toya wants Dr. Conrad Murray to be charged with premeditated manslaughter.
The physician is set to be charged for involuntary manslaughter relating to the death of Michael last June, but she doesn’t believe it is enough.
“He should have been charged with premeditated,” she said.
If found guilty, premeditated manslaughter carries a more serious sentence.
Michael’s father Joe also believes Murray should receive the more serious charge.
“I spoke to La Toya Jackson, she wants justice for her brother,” said Jackson family lawyer Brian Oxman.
“She is upset and has been upset about Michael’s death. I spoke to Joseph Jackson. He wants justice for Michael. They are not angry, they are not vindictive, they are heartbroken. They do not think that the charge of involuntary manslaughter is appropriate. They feel that it is a slap in the face. As to exactly what they would like to see, they would like to see justice.”
The family’s reaction comes as authorities ready themselves to charge Dr. Murray after a lengthy police investigation.
According to reports, the physician is set to hand himself in to Los Angeles police Friday morning.
Michael died suddenly last June aged 50 as he was preparing for 50 sell-out concerts at London’s O2 Arena.
Dr. Murray — who was the Thriller star’s personal doctor — told detectives he had given him the general anesthetic Propofol and two other sedatives to help him sleep.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office ruled the singer’s death was homicide by drug overdose.
Caption: Michael Jackson (Picture)
The memorial service for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, at the Staples Center Los Angeles, California ….
LAWYER: ‘MURRAY WILL PLEAD NOT GUILTY IF CHARGED’
MICHAEL JACKSON’s personal physician, DR. CONRAD MURRAY, will turn himself into Los Angeles police on Friday (05Feb10) and plead not guilty if he is charged with involuntary manslaughter, his lawyer has confirmed.
Murray is accused of administering a lethal dose of anaesthetic drug Propofol to the King of Pop prior to his death last June (09).
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office declared Jackson’s death a homicide, stating the superstar died from “acute propofol intoxication” combined with sedatives.
Murray has been identified in search warrants as a suspect in a manslaughter investigation but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Last month (Jan10), Murray hired top attorney J. Michael Flanagan to represent him amid reports prosecutors were seeking to indict him for involuntary manslaughter.
Now Flanagan has revealed his client intends to surrender himself to authorities on Friday, even though charges have yet to be officially filed.
Flanagan tells People.com, “He’ll surrender Friday. I anticipate he’ll be charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, to which we’ll enter a plea of not guilty.
“I expect that we’ll have him first surrender to the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) where he’ll be booked and then transported to court for arraignment.”
Flanagan insists he will immediately post bail for Murray following the expected arraignment.
The news comes just one day after Murray’s representative Miranda Sevcik was forced to deny speculation the medic was planning to surrender himself to authorities on Wednesday (03Jan10
Caption: Michael Jackson (Picture)
The memorial service for the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, at the Staples Center Los Angeles, California ….
DR. MURRAY VISITED JACKSON MAUSOLEUM THIS WEEK
MICHAEL JACKSON’s personal physician DR. CONRAD MURRAY has been asking for the King of Pop’s help from beyond the grave – he visited his former boss’ mausoleum earlier this week (begs01Feb10).
Reports suggest the medic will be surrendering to police on Friday (05Feb10), when he’ll allegedly face a charge of involuntary manslaughter related to Jackson’s death last year (Jun09).
Murray is accused of administering a lethal dose of anaesthetic drug Propofol to the King of Pop prior to his death.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office declared Jackson’s death a homicide, stating the superstar died from “acute propofol intoxication” combined with sedatives.
Murray has been identified in search warrants as a suspect in a manslaughter investigation but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
And, upon his arrival in Los Angeles earlier this week, Murray paid a secret visit to Jackson’s final resting place.
News show Entertainment Tonight reports the doctor was spotted outside the mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks & Mortuaries in Glendale, California. He was alone and never entered the building.
Murray’s lawyer has confirmed his client will be pleading not guilty to any manslaughter charges.
04 February 2010 22:06
Jackson’s doctor negotiates his surrender
Feb. 4, 2010, 12:04PM
Nick de la Torre Chronicle
Michael Jackon’s former personal physician Conrad Murray arrives at the Armstrong Medical Clinic in Houston last year.