An introduction of the Arvizo family and how their relationship with Michael Jackson started

star-and-gavin

Star and Gavin Arvizo

Michael Jackson first met his later accuser Gavin Arvizo and the boy’s family in the summer of 2000. At the time the then 10-year-old Gavin was in hospital with a rare type of cancer that affected his kidney and spleen. His doctors removed one of his kidneys and his spleen and began chemotherapy.

 

Gavin was a big fan of comedians and before his illness he went to comedy classes at the Laugh Factory which is a comedy club in Hollywood owned by comedian Jamie Masada. In the club Gavin and his family made friends with several comedians such as Masada, George Lopez, Louise Palanker and Chris Tucker. When Gavin became ill Masada visited him in the hospital several times. Gavin asked him to help him meet certain celebrities, and one day he asked to meet Michael Jackson.

Masada testified at Jackson’s trial that he did not personally know Michael Jackson, but he somehow managed to contact his people and tell them about Gavin’s request. Jackson called the boy in the hospital and they talked for about five minutes, according to Gavin’s testimony in 2005. During the conversation Jackson invited Gavin and his family to his Neverland Ranch. According to Gavin’s 2005 testimony Jackson called him about 20 other times during his illness – sometimes in the hospital, sometimes in his grandmother’s home where Gavin lived at the time in a sterile room.

After the first round of Gavin’s chemotherapy the Arvizo family went to Neverland in August 2000. The family at the time consisted of Gavin, his older sister Davellin, his one year younger brother Star, their mother Janet Arvizo and their father David Arvizo. They all went on that Neverland visit.

janet-arvizo

The Arvizo children’s mother Janet Arvizo

On that first visit Gavin and Star slept in Jackson’s bedroom. This is the night that is referenced in the 2003 Martin Bashir documentary Living with Michael Jackson that caused big public uproar, even though both Gavin and Jackson made it clear that while the kids slept on the bed Jackson slept on the floor:

“Gavin: There was one night, I asked him if I could stay in his bedroom. He let me stay in the bedroom. And I was like, ‘Michael you can sleep in the bed’, and he was like ‘No, no, you sleep on the bed’, and I was like ‘No, no, no, you sleep on the bed’, and then he said ‘Look, if you love me, you’ll sleep in the bed’. I was like ‘Oh mannnn?” so I finally slept on the bed. But it was fun that night.

Jackson: I slept on the floor. Was it a sleeping bag?

Gavin: You packed the whole mess of blankets on the floor.” [1]

(Emphasis added.)

What is not mentioned in the documentary is the fact that not only Jackson did not sleep in the same bed as Gavin and Star, but he also insisted on his personal assistant Frank Cascio (also known as Frank Tyson) to sleep in the room as well. Jackson’s own children, 3-year-old Prince and 2-year-old Paris (his youngest child Blanket was not yet born) were there as well and slept on the bed with the Arvizo kids, while the two adult men, Jackson and Cascio, slept on the floor.

Cascio recalled the situation in his 2011 book entitled My Friend Michael:

“Then came the night when Gavin and his brother Star pleaded with Michael to allow them to sleep with him. “Can we sleep in your room tonight? Can we sleep in your bed tonight?” the boys begged. “My mother said it’s okay, if it’s okay with you,” Gavin added. Michael, who always had a hard time saying no to kids, replied, “Sure, no problem.” But then he came to me. “She’s pushing her kids onto me,” he said, visibly concerned. He had a strange, uncomfortable feeling about it. “Frank, they can’t stay.”

I went to the kids and said, “Michael has to sleep. I’m sorry, you can’t stay in his room.” Gavin and Star kept begging, I kept saying no, and then Janet [Arvizo – the mother] said to Michael, “They really want to stay with you. It’s okay with me.” Michael relented. He didn’t want to let the kids down. His heart got in the way, but he was fully aware of the risk. He said to me, “Frank, if they’re staying in my room, you’re staying with me. I don’t trust this mother. She’s fucked up.” I was totally against it, but I said, “All right. We do what we have to do.” Having me there as a witness would safegurd Michael against any shady ideas that the Arvizos might have been harboring. Or so we were both naive enough to think.” [2]

The fact that Jackson’s children and Cascio were in the room as well was not disputed by the Arvizos in Court in 2005, nor did they claim any molestation or attempt at molestation occurring that night. They claimed the acts of molestation happened almost three years later, in February-March 2003, AFTER the Bashir documentary aired and WHILE Santa Barbara authorities and child protective services were investigating Jackson because of the Bashir documentary. We will discuss this timeline later in this document.

There was one disputed element of that night, though. In Court in 2005 the Arvizos accused Jackson and Cascio of showing them adult heterosexual pornography on a laptop computer that Jackson gave to Gavin as a gift that day. Both Jackson and Cascio denied showing any such material to the children. We will address this allegation in the later chapter entitled The Changing Content of the Allegations and Contradictions.

According to Gavin’s own testimony, after this one occasion at Neverland he and his family did not have much contact with Jackson until the fall of 2002 when they were called back for the Bashir documentary. They were allowed to go to Neverland and they did at least 7-10 times during that period, but most of the time Jackson was not there and when he was, he actively avoided the Arvizos. From Gavin’s direct examination at Jackson’s 2005 trial:

And on those occasions when Mr. Jackson was on the ranch, did you have any contact with him ?

Those two occasions, yeah. But, I mean, like, sometimes I would go up to the ranch and he would say that he‘s not there, and then he would be there .

What do you mean by that?

Like, when I would have cancer. I don‘t know what happened, but Michael, like, kind of stopped talking to me and stuff, right in the middle of my cancer. And, like, I would go up there, and I would see, like, Prince and Paris playing there, and I would think that Michael was there, and they would tell me that Michael wasn’t there. And then, like, I would see him somewhere, and — I don’t know.

Was there one occasion when you actually ran into him by accident?

Yeah.

Tell the jury about that.

Well, I was playing with Prince and Paris outside, like in the back of the house near where the arcade was. And then we were walking into the — into the main house. And I knew the code, because they would give me the codes. And then I walked in the door with Prince in my hand and Paris in my other hand, and — we were holding hands. And then we walked into the house and there I saw Michael walking, like, toward me. But I guess he didn’t see me turn the corner. And then he acted as if , “Oh, crap,” you know what I mean? Like, he saw me. And then — then he just played it off and , like, acted like, “Oh, hi, Doo-Doo Head.” You know, at the time I — I was kind of hypnotized and, like, he ‘s my –

MESEREAU: Objection; calls for a narrative and non responsive.

THE COURT : Sustained .

BY MR . SNEDDON : Okay.

And then, like –

That’s all right. I’ll give you a question. So in any case, you bumped into him?

Yeah. And I was — because of –

That’s okay. How much more contact did you have with him on that time when you bumped into him? How much time did the contact last?

I didn’t really see him through my cancer a lot.

I mean, you told the ladies and gentlemen of the jury there was an occasion where you were there when you kind of bumped into him by accident?

Yeah.

When you actually made contact with him – okay? – how long did that last? Just — how long was the conversation between the two of you?

Maybe, like , five minutes. When — that time we bumped into each other, and then we just talked about — and stuff, and he said he had to go somewhere. [3]

On cross-examination by Jackson’s attorney Thomas Meserau Gavin again complained about Jackson avoiding him and said that no other celebrity he befriended ever did that to him.

Can you look this jury in eye and tell them Michael Jackson did nothing for you when you had cancer?

I never said Michael did nothing for me.

Did you say he did very little?

Yeah. He didn’t do as much as I felt, as my 11-year-old mind felt.

He should.

No. He shouldn’t — it’s not his obligation to do anything.

Well, are you telling the jury you deserved a lot more from Michael Jackson than you and your family got?

No.

Is that what you’re saying?

No. I’m just saying that — see, when I have a friend, Michael, and you’re saying all these things that he did, but, you know, when my 11-year-old mind — and when I see my friend say that he’s not there, and he’s not at Neverland Ranch trying — and I see him walking and I see his car that he only drives going down at Neverland, you know, it felt like my heart broke right there.

So by doing all of these things –

And I don’t remember George Lopez or Jamie Masada or Louise Palanker ever doing that to me. [4]

Gavin also complained on the stand that Jackson changed his phone numbers and became unavailable to them.

And at some point you complained to the sheriffs that Mr. Jackson had changed his phone numbers after you visited the Hilton, right?

Well, that was the only phone number I left — or I called — well, I’m not sure. Because the only phone number that never changed was Evvy’s [Evvy Tavasci – Jackson’s secretary at the time] phone number. And I would call her and I would ask her sometimes where Michael was or something. And then — and I had the phone number to his hotel, so I think I called him at his hotel and asked him if I could go visit him. I think it was around — I’m not sure when exactly.

When did you first get upset about your phone numbers for Michael Jackson not working?

Maybe around the third or fourth chemotherapy round I called his numbers and it would be, like, “This phone number is no longer in service.” Or sometimes it would just ring and it wouldn’t never — no one would ever pick up or something like that.

Well, you’ve indicated that you were upset that the phone numbers you had for Mr. Jackson at some point didn’t work, right?

Yes.

And the phone numbers you had for Mr. Jackson began to not work after it appeared that your cancer was in remission, correct?

No, I said they stopped working after my third or fourth chemotherapy round.

Okay. Before that, could you easily call him?

Yes.

And before that, did you often call him?

Yes. And he would call me and stuff. We would talk — we talked a lot more before then.

In fact, you called him at the Universal — Hilton Universal the day you visited, right?

I believe so. I’m not too sure how it came about. [5]

and

Okay. Now, you complained to the Santa Barbara Sheriffs that, “After I was done with my cancer stuff,” you never saw Michael again, right?

No, not until the Martin Bashir thing.

Okay. And you wanted to see him after you were in remission, correct?

Yes.

You wanted to visit Neverland after you were in remission, right?

Yes.

And you felt in some way that Michael had cut off the friendship, right?

Yes.

You felt he had abandoned you, right?

Yes.

And you felt he had abandoned your family, right?

Yes. [5]

To not to lose contact with Jackson the Arvizo family started to bombard him with nice letters and cards.

And approximately when do you think he wasn’t talking to you anymore?

Two months into my cancer.

Excuse me?

Two months into my chemotherapy.

Approximately when would that be?

August or September of 2000.

Okay. So August or September of 2000, you and your family started sending nice letters and cards to Michael Jackson, correct?

Yes.

And those are the letters and cards that I showed you a little while ago, right?

Yes.

And it was your understanding your mother used to send him cards and letters as well, right?

I think so.

And she used to refer to him as “daddy,” didn’t she.

I don’t think she referred to him as “daddy.”

You never heard her say that once.

Well, toward me, me saying that. Because, I mean, my dad had left. And I started calling him “daddy” after my dad left because I didn’t have a dad.

And your mother approved of that, correct.

Yeah. [5]

So after the Arvizo family’s visit at Neverland in August 2000, when Gavin and Star wanted to sleep in his bedroom, Jackson personally kept his distance from the family, but he still did things to help them. In October 2000 Jackson gave the family a white van as a gift. He also allowed the Arvizos to use Neverland for a blood drive for Gavin and all his employees donated blood.

In May 2001 Gavin’s father and mother David and Janet Arvizo separated – according to Janet Arvizo’s 2005 testimony because David physically abused her and the children.

In the Summer of 2001 both the laptop and the van Jackson had given the Arvizos the previous year broke down and the family sent them back to Jackson to have them repaired. According to the Arvizos they never saw any of the items again.

On September 24, 2001 the Arvizo family reached an out of court settlement with the J. C. Penney department store. The subject of the case was an allegation by the Arvizo family that in 1998 J.C. Penney guards beat up Janet, David, Gavin and Star Arvizo in a parking lot and they sexually abused Janet Arvizo. The guards followed the family in the parking lot because Gavin was caught stealing two school uniforms and two school uniform pants. The Arvizos then managed to turn it around into a physical and sexual abuse lawsuit against the J. C. Penney guards. At Jackson’s 2005 trial evidence and testimony showed that the family lied under oath in depositions in that case. We will discuss the details of that case later in this document.

In the Spring of 2002 the Arvizos spent a few days at Neverland with the actor Chris Tucker to celebrate the birthday of latter’s infant son. Jackson was not present.

Sources:

[1] Martin Bashir – Living with Michael Jackson documentary (February 2003)

[2] Frank Cascio – My Friend Michael: An Ordinary Friendship with an Extraordinary Man (William Morrow, November 15, 2011)

[3] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 9, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[4] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 10, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[5] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 14, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

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