Ray Chandler’s Subpoena in 2004

ray-chandler

Evan’s brother, Ray Chandler

The 1994 settlement between Michael Jackson and the Chandler family forbade the signing parties from speaking to the media and/or publicly about the allegations. However, book publisher, Judith Regan disclosed to SiriusXM radio the fact that Evan’s brother, Raymond Chandler was shopping a book to her shortly after the settlement was signed:

“I received a call from Jordan’s uncle. He wanted to do a book in which he would describe in detail the allegation of molestation against Michael Jackson. So I asked him how he proposed to do this given the fact that the Chandlers had actually signed a confidentiality agreement and taken $20mln. And he said that Jordan’s father had given him all the information he needed for the book and he believed he was outside the bounds of the Confidentiality agreement because he would be the author. At the time I had the impression that the Chandlers were brazen opportunists and I found the entire proposal by the uncle to be distasteful. They enter a Confidentiality agreement and before the ink is even dry they are shopping a deal that violates this agreement?”[1]

That Ray Chandler was indeed shopping a book “within days” after the settlement was signed, is confirmed by none other than Ray Chandler himself in a Motion he filed with the Santa Barbara Court on October 25, 2004. The Motion was filed in response to a subpoena filed by Jackson’s defense which will be discussed in detail below. In it, Ray Chandler argued that his intent had always been to disseminate the information he gathered from his brother and nephew, which made him an Investigative Journalist and therefore afforded him the protection of the Shield Law, which would prevent him from being compelled to present his alleged evidence in court. “The California Shield Law provides legal protection for journalists seeking to maintain the confidentiality of an unnamed source or unpublished information obtained during newsgathering.”[2]

In support of his claim that he should be protected by the Shield Law Ray Chandler disclosed in that Motion [3; page 8]:

“Within days after Jordan Chandler’s civil lawsuit against Michael Jackson was settled in January, 1994, Raymond Chandler traveled to New York City to seek a publisher for the purpose of putting the information he had gathered in the form of a non-fiction book for dissemination to the public. Such intent on the part of Raymond Chandler is evidenced by an article that appeared in the New York Post revealing his contact with a publisher one day after it occurred.” [3]

In the article attached to the Motion the publisher named is indeed Judith Regan [3; page 41].

Ray Chandler, in making his claim that he should be protected by the Shield Law states in the Motion that he traveled to Los Angeles “within two days after the Michael Jackson child molestation scandal became public in August of 1993″ [3; page 8] and from late August through December of 1993 lived in the Los Angeles home of Evan and Jordan Chandler with the intent of gathering information about the molestation allegations and then publicly disseminating that information [3; page 13].

Ray Chandler’s Motion makes it clear that from the very beginning of the child molestation scandal the Chandlers planned to publish a book about it. Please take note of this fact when you consider the Chandlers’ arguments as to why they did not want to testify against Jackson in a criminal court. They claimed they wanted to move on with their lives and not subject Jordan to media spotlight and the scrutiny that would have been unavoidable in a high profile case. They also claimed they received several death threats from Michael Jackson fans and since Los Angeles District Attorney, Gil Garcetti refused to put the family into the Witness Protection Program, they were afraid for their lives.

However, it seems the Chandlers were alright with being in the media spotlight to promote their book and discuss the allegations contained in that book (as opposed to moving on with their lives). They even were apparently willing to accept the risk of potentially being threatened by Michael Jackson fans because of that book and the allegations contained therein, although it was unacceptable to testify in a criminal court and subject themselves to cross-examination about these very allegations.

Ray Chandler eventually published his book entitled All That Glitters in September of 2004 at the height of the media frenzy caused by the Arvizo allegations lodged against Jackson. The book quotes Evan excessively and relies heavily on his account of the events which allegedly occurred in 1993. Ray Chandler also made his rounds in the media in 2003-2005, giving superficial interviews where no hardball questions were asked and appearing in documentaries heavily biased against Jackson. Additionally, he set-up what is now a defunct website specifically about the Chandlers’ allegations against Jackson.

The website claimed to have published documents which would “prove” Jackson’s guilt but in reality, the documents only re-stated the Chandlers’ and their legal representatives’ allegations, allegations which were never cross-examined or proven.

Additionally, according to Geraldine Hughes, who was employed as a legal secretary for Barry Rothman, the Chandlers’ attorney during the 1993 allegations, some of the documents on Ray Chandler’s website even appeared to be forgeries. Case in point, correspondence between Rothman and other parties appearing on the website bear the signature of the parties and initials of the secretary who typed them. However, Geraldine Hughes stated to the MJEOL website that although they bear her initials as the typist, she never typed some of those documents. Additionally, she stated some signatures bore little resemblance to Rothman’s and one document was posted unsigned. Hughes told to MJEOL:

“When I review the documents that he [Ray Chandler] has on his website, I am convinced that several of the documents, even though they bear my initials as the typist, I DID NOT TYPE THAT PARTICULAR DOCUMENT. Several of these documents have been manufactured and are not even bearing the correct signature of my attorney Barry Rothman.” [4]

Here are the signatures as they appeared on the documents published on Ray Chandler’s website:

signatures-of-rothman

In addition to Ray Chandler being very active in the media before and during Jackson’s 2005 trial, he also appeared in several interviews in and around 1998 in connection with a lawsuit his brother, Evan brought against Jackson regarding the 1995 Diane Sawyer interview [for details see the previous chapter].

It should be noted that the only Chandler ever to testify in a court and be subjected to cross-examination regarding their allegations against Michael Jackson was Jordan’s mother, June Chandler. On April 11, 2005 June Chandler testified as a prosecution witness in regards to the time her son spent with Jackson in 1993. June Chandler was asked about the details of the legal proceedings afterwards but during the trial she never testified that she witnessed molestation or any inappropriate touching. She also told the court that she had not seen Jordan for 11 years. (Jordan legally emancipated himself from both of his parents in 1995.)

The rest of the Chandler family, including Jordan himself, never testified against Jackson in a court of law and were never cross-examined. As we discuss in detail in our article about The Settlement, only a civil case can be settled out of court and no settlement can prohibit any party from testifying in a criminal court. In actuality, in 1994 the criminal investigation went on even after the settlement and the prosecution tried hard to convince the Chandlers to testify in a criminal court and though they could have they were unwilling. In actuality, Santa Barbara Disttrict Attorney, Thomas Sneddon even extended the statue of limitations in the Chandler case, so Jordan Chandler could have decided to testify against Jackson in a criminal court basically at any time he had wanted, but he was unwilling. [5]

During the 2005 People vs. Jackson trial, the prosecution once again attempted to get Jordan Chandler to testify on the stand in support of their case but Jordan, just as his uncle, Ray Chandler, once again declined. Instead of presenting evidence and testifying for the prosecution against Jackson in court, Ray Chandler chose to write a book, give interviews to the media and post questionable documents on his website; all this, despite being given the opportunity to testify against Jackson in a court of law.

Court documents from 2004 reveal that on September 19, 2004, just a week after Ray Chandler released his book to the public, he was served with a Subpoena Duces Tecum (a request for the production of evidence) and a Trial Subpoena (a demand for personal appearance at trial and the production of documents) by Jackson’s defense. Since Ray Chandler alleged in his book, in television interviews and on his website that he had evidence of Jackson’s guilt, the entertainer’s defense wanted him to appear before the court, produce that evidence and subject himself to cross-examination. However, Ray Chandler, rather than take this opportunity to help finally convict a person he alleged had molested his nephew, instead fought tooth and nail against the subpoena.

An objection was filed with the Santa Barbara Court by Ray Chandler’s lawyers, Herb Fox and Peter Bezek, on October 25, 2004 [6]. The document objects to the Subpoena Duces Tecum filed by Jackson’s defense on September 19, 2004. The subpoena requested that Ray Chandler produce “all documents constituting, evidencing, concerning, discussing or mentioning” the alleged relationship between Michael Jackson and Jordan Chandler; all documents of communication between Ray Chandler and any other person discussing Michael Jackson; all documents of communication between Ray Chandler and enforcement agency, governmental entity, police personnel, Sheriff’s personnel, Child Protective Services where Michael Jackson or Jordan Chandler has been mentioned; all documents of communication between Ray Chandler and Jordan Chandler, and between Ray Chandler and Evan Chandler concerning the allegations against Michael Jackson; all documents and interview recordings concerning or relating to Ray Chandler’s book, All That Glitters; and all documents concerning the printing, distribution, promotion or sale of the book. Additionally there were two requests made about Ray Chandler’s assumed connection to a public relations agency, Tellem Worldwide, which also had the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office among their clients. [6]

Ray Chandler objected to all of these requests based on the following arguments: the request is either “overboard and burdensome”, or the “documents are public documents readily available to the Defendant”, or “to the extent that any of these documents are unpublished they are protected from compelled production by the journalists’ Shield Law”, or producing the documents “will not reasonably lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” or are “irrelevant to the issues in this case” or the request is “an invasion of privacy”. [6]

In his Motion Ray Chandler admitted that the majority of his documents are magazine articles and court pleadings. To the point where Ray Chandler was requested to provide all documents of communication between him and any enforcement agency, governmental entity, police personnel, Sheriff’s personnel, Child Protective Services where Michael Jackson or Jordan Chandler has been mentioned, the Motion answered: “Raymond Chandler objects to producing these documents on the ground that they are not relevant to the subject matter at hand in that none of these documents contain any information regarding any claims of child molestation or defenses to such claims.” [6]

For details please see the above referenced document which is seven pages long and for even more details of how Ray Chandler objected to the subpoena see the 70 paged Motion drafted by his lawyers, which was likewise filed on October 25, 2004 with the Santa Barbara Court [3].

In this longer document, Ray Chandler’s lawyers also argue that the the Court has not yet ruled on the admissibility of the 1993 allegations, therefore “it is not yet known” if Chandler’s book, tapes and the documents upon which the book is based are relevant to the instant criminal prosecution. [3]

Although the Court had indeed not yet ruled on the admissibility of the 1993 allegations at the time, the prosecutors were working in the direction of trying to get those allegations introduced, including contacting Jordan Chandler in September of 2004. Jordan not only told them he was not interested in testifying against Jackson, according to Jackson’s FBI files released after the singer’s death in 2009, he also advised the prosecutors that “he would legally fight any attempt” to make him testify against Jackson [7]. Additionally, Jackson’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau stated in an interview that had Jordan Chandler come in to testify in 2005, he had witnesses prepared to testify that Jordan privately admitted to them that Jackson never molested or touched him inappropriately [8].

We do not know whether Ray Chandler knew about this or not but had the Chandlers wanted the 1993 allegations introduced in 2005 and discussed in court in detail, they could have had them introduced simply by agreeing to testify. Of course, at this time they would have also been subject to cross-examination for the first time.

In actuality, even with Jordan’s and Ray’s refusal to testify, the 1993 allegations eventually were introduced to court in 2005 through the so called “prior bad acts” provision. However, Ray Chandler did not testify and did not subject himself, his claims or his alleged evidence to cross-examination even then. (Nor did Jordan Chandler testify.)

In the 70 paged long Motion, Ray Chandler’s lawyers also request, should the Court decline to grant their Motion to quash the Subpoena Duces Tecum, that the Court review the documents (which according to them “include several thousand pages of newspaper and magazine clippings, copies of deposition transcripts and court pleadings, and approximately six to eight hours of tape recordings” [3]) in camera “to determine which documents, if any, should be provided to the Defendant for review and copying” [3]. In camera literally means “in chambers” and it “refers to a hearing or inspection of documents that takes places in private, often in a Judge’s chambers” [9]. It allows the judge to review the documents in private, with the exclusion of spectators and jurors, before determining its admissibility in open court.

In answer to Ray Chandler’s objection to the subpoena, in an Opposition filed on November 5, 2004, Jackson’s defense argued that Ray Chandler was not a journalist since he was not engaged “in any news gathering activities as a reporter, editor, publisher or person connected with or employed upon a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication”. Therefore, it was argued, “he is not entitled to protection under the Shield law”, and that he is a witness to the 1993-94 events who cannot withhold unpublished information [10]. On November 8, 2004 Ray Chandler’s lawyers filed a Reply in which Ray Chandler stated he was the owner of Windsong Press, the company which published his book, All That Glitters and therefore again, protected by the Shield Law. He also stated he was not an eyewitness to the alleged crimes in 1993 [11]. Eventually the Judge decided that Chandler was indeed protected by the Shield law and so he did not have to present his documents in court and did not have to testify.

From our point of view whether Ray Chandler technically was really a journalist or not and entitled to be protected by the Shield law is a side issue. The more important point is the fact that Ray Chandler was not at all willing to testify against Jackson, to present his alleged evidence against him in a court of law or do anything at all to help convict the alleged molester of his nephew. In actuality, he vehemently fought against repeating his allegations in a court of law and having this alleged evidence subjected to cross-examination. Instead he chose to make those allegations in a book, on his website and in media interviews he gave.

The above documents also demonstrate that, ironically, it was Jackson’s defense who fought to bring Ray Chandler and his alleged evidence to court.

Sources:

[1] Judith Regan on Michael Jackson Molestation Allegations on SIRIUS XM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQYeNfHVBtM&feature=player_embedded

[2] Protecting Unpublished Information and Confidential Sources (thefirstamendment.org)
http://www.thefirstamendment.org/shieldlaw.html

[3] Notice of motion and motion of third party Raymond Chandler to quash subpoenas and/or in camera review; authorities; declaration of Raymond Chandler (October 25, 2004)
http://www.sbscpublicaccess.org/docs/ctdocs/102504nommot3rdpty.pdf

[4] Hughes Responds to Ray Chandler – MJEOL Bullet #197
http://site2.mjeol.com/mjeol-bullet/hughes-responds-to-ray-chandler-mjeol-bullet-197.html

[5] Broadcast News (BN) February 15, 2001
“Sneddon tells the New York Daily News the case against Jackson was never closed and it can be re-opened at any time. He says the statute of limitations hasn’t run out because Jackson was living out of the country for so much time.”

[6] Verified objections by non party Raymond Chandler to Defendant’s Subpoena Duces Tecum (October 25, 2004)
http://www.sbscpublicaccess.org/docs/ctdocs/102504verobjsnonpty.pdf

[7] Jackson’s FBI files as released in 2009
http://vault.fbi.gov/Michael%20Jackson/Michael%20Jackson%20305%20File%20Part%201%20of%201/view (page 4)

[8] Michael Jacskon was Innocent – Tom Mesereau talks about how Jordan Chandler Lies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eSC997_HH0

[9] In camera (The Lectric Law Library)
http://www.lectlaw.com/def/i018.htm

[10] Mr.Jackson’s opposition to motion to quash Chandler subpoena and declaration of counsel (November 5, 2004)
http://www.sbscpublicaccess.org/docs/ctdocs/110504mjoppmotchandsub.pdf

[11] Third party, Raymond Chandler’s reply to defendant’s opposition to motion to quash (November 8, 2004)
http://www.sbscpublicaccess.org/docs/ctdocs/1108043rdptyrcrepdftopp.pdf

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