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.
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
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
“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.
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody, AP / June 25, 2010
“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?”
LOL, what a bunch of bolony! Maybe he’s going there to ressuscitate MJ! LOL
If he goes there, to Forest lawn so often, how is it no one ever sees him? Only TMZ seem to always be in the know… And I thought no one was allowed to visit, let alone the “killer”,lol
And why is he announcing that he’s going there at all on that day? Isn’t he supposed to be in court for his child custody hearing that day? In Nevada?
This story was broken by TMZ this morning at 1 am,. amazing how other news sources never get their own news “breaks” when it comes to MJ. They have to copy what TMZ has reported,lol
BY LARRY MCSHANE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, May 29th 2010, 4:58 PM
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.
|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!