The Changing Content of the Allegations and Contradictions

star-and-gavin

Star and Gavin Arvizo

Since there was no material evidence (DNA, blood, sperm, any kind of medical evidence, love letters etc.) that would link Michael Jackson to the alleged crime the case eventually came down to the credibility of the accuser and his family.

Between 2003 and 2005 the Arvizos told their story several times. First to a psychologist, Dr. Stanley Katz, in June 2003, then to the police several times in a series of interviews in 2003, then in front of a Grand Jury in 2004 and finally at the trial itself in 2005. The public does not have access to each of these interviews but the material that we do have access to already reveals a timeline that changed significantly during the course of the investigation, changing the allegations in content and creating a lot of contradictions.

The issue of the changing timeline and its significance was discussed in another article. In this present article we are going through some of the changes and contradictions in the content of the Arvizos’ allegations as not only the timeline changed but also the alleged acts of molestation. Moreover, the family members contradicted each other and themselves on several occasions. Below follows a collection of such changing allegations and contradictions.

The number of alleged molestations

The number of alleged molestations claimed by Gavin changed a couple of times between 2003 and 2005. In the prosecution’s original Statement of Probable Cause on November 17, 2003 they write (emphasis added):

“Gavin describes at least five instances of masturbation occuring between February 7 and March 10, 2003. There are at least two other instances detailed in the affidavit, occurring within that period, in which Star observed Jackson with his hand down the front of Gavin’s pants, in the area of his penis, while Jackson was masturbating himself. On those two occasions, Star believes Gavin to have been passed out on Jackson’s bed in the upstairs bedroom.” [1; page 3-4]

On July 7, 2003 Gavin told Sgt. Steve Robel that the acts of molestation occurred less than five times:

“Gavin told us that Michael masturbated him every night that Star wasn’t sleeping in Michael’s bedroom. When asked, he said this occurred less than five times. He was not made to masturbate Michael and never saw Michael’s penis during these incidents. He did say that Michael once made him touch Michael’s “private part” over the clothes.” [1; page 56]

On August 13, 2003 in another interview with Sgt. Robel Gavin claimed that the acts of molestation occurred a total of five times:

“Gavin said these incidents occurred toward the end of their last visit to Neverland before they stopped going to Neverland. When asked how many times Michael had done this to him, he replied, “Every time my brother wasn’t there, for a total of five times.” [1; page 62]

Then in the same interview at another time Gavin claimed seven occasions:

“He said Michael would tell him to put his underwear he was wearing during the masturbation into Michael’s hamper before showering. This happened after each time Michael masturbated him. He said this happened about seven times. The underwear was not given back to him. Michael bought him new ones.” [1; p 63]

By the time the case went to trial Gavin’s “at least five”, “less than five”, “a total of five”, then “about seven times” acts of alleged molestations became two and when after the description of the second alleged act he was asked whether there were any other occasions that Jackson tried to do inappropriate things to him, he said there were not:

Were there any other occasions where Mr. Jackson tried to do something to you that you felt was inappropriate, that you remember.

No. [2]

The changing number of alleged occasions of molestation is also reflected in the fact that in the prosecution’s initial felony complaint they alleged seven acts of lewd act upon a child [3], while in the final indictment it changed to four [4]. (In both documents two of these were allegedly observed by Gavin’s brother Star and Gavin was not aware of them because he was “passed out” after Jackson allegedly gave him alcohol. We will address this later in this chapter.)

As for the claim about Jackson allegedly telling him to put his underwear into his hamper after each acts of molestation – “about seven times”. Pedophiles often keep so called trophies or mementos from their victims. This seems to be an attempt to establish such a thing by claiming that Jackson kept Gavin’s underwear after each acts of molestation. The problem is that during the house search on November 18, 2003 none of Gavin’s underwear was found in Jackson’s possession or anywhere at Neverland, so no such claim could be supported by evidence. Interestingly after the search did not produce any corroborating evidence this story became a lot tamer and instead of seven occasions there was only one claimed and even that was not linked to any sexual activity. Gavin only claimed that on one occasion after allegedly sleeping in Jackson’s room Jackson allegedly told him to put his underwear in the hamper and he did, but on the stand he did not link this to masturbation or any sexual activity, let alone on seven occasions. On the stand Gavin also said that after they had left Neverland for good and Jackson’s employees had delivered their clothes to them from Neverland, some pieces of his clothes were missing (some underwear, shirts, pants) “and they put in some other guy’s pants” instead. It appears that this mixup is what they tried to turn into a narrative about Jackson keeping his underwear as some kind of molestation memento, but then backtracked on it when none of Gavin’s clothes had been found at Neverland during the search.

Who told Gavin that men have to masturbate?

In his interview with Sgt. Robel on August 13, 2003 Gavin said that his grandmother told him that men have to masturbate, otherwise they may rape women:

“He was asked what he thinks masturbation means. Gavin said that his grandma had explained to him that grown men must masturbate, because if they don’t, they may go out and rape a woman.” [1; page 61]

However, on the stand Gavin claimed it was Jackson who told him that. This is important because according to the Arvizos’ allegations this is how Jackson introduced Gavin to masturbation (the boy claimed he had never masturbated before) and he claimed that the first act of alleged molestation immediately followed this statement by Jackson.

When confronted with the contradiction on the stand by Jackson’s attorney Thomas Mesereau, Gavin tried to get out of it by claiming that both Jackson and his grandmother told him the same thing.

What did Star allegedly see?

Out of the four counts of lewd act upon a child that Michael Jackson’s was accused of in the prosecution’s final version of their story, two were alleged to have been observed by Gavin’s one year younger brother Star, but without Gavin himself being aware of them. The claim was that Gavin was “passed out” during those molestations because Jackson allegedly had given him alcohol.

Initially, in his interview with Dr. Stanley Katz in June 2003, Star claimed that on the two occasions when he allegedly witnessed Jackson inappropriately touching his brother Jackson’s hand was on top of Gavin’s clothes:

“Dr. Katz reported Star disclosed that on two occasions, he saw Michael place his hand on Gavin’s crotch on top of his clothes. Star said Gavin was passed out in bed from drinking too much. He said Michael and Gavin were both on top of the covers. He described Michael as wearing a T-shirt and briefs. Star said Michael was on his back, with his legs open and right hand inside his briefs. He said Michael had an erection and was rubbing himself while his left hand was on Gavin’s crotch.” [1; page 15]

Later Star claimed that Jackson’s hand was inside Gavin’s pants on both occasions and this later version was what he claimed on the stand.

In an interview with Sgt. Steve Robel on July 7, 2003 Star also claimed that on the second occasion he witnessed Jackson molesting his brother Jackson had his penis out of his underwear:

“Michael had his own penis out of his underwear while “stroking it”. He said Michael’s penis was “hard”.  [1; page 48]

Later this claim disappeared from their allegations and on the stand Star never claimed to have witnessed such a thing.

On the stand Star first claimed he did not see any alcohol in the room while he observed these alleged acts of molestations, but later in his testimony he was reminded that to the Grand Jury he claimed he saw vodka, so he suddenly “remembered” he did.

Initially Star also claimed to Dr. Katz that he had witnessed Jackson rub his private parts against Gavin’s butt and touch Gavin’s butt. According to the prosecution’s Statement of Probable Cause (November 17, 2003):

“Star disclosed that on a different occasion he saw Michael get into bed and rub his private part against Gavin’s “butt”. He said Michael kissed Gavin on the cheek and touched Gavin’s butt. Star did not say whether Michael or Gavin were clothed.” [1; page 15]

Dr. Katz testified about it in 2004 in front of the Grand Jury as well.

Not only did this claim disappear from their allegations later on, but at the trial in 2005, when Jackson’s lawyer Thomas Mesereau confronted him with what he initially claimed to Dr. Katz, Star flat out denied ever saying such a thing.

Well, when you met with Psychologist Stanley Katz, you also describe what you claim happened in Michael Jackson’s bedroom, right.

Yes.

And would you agree that you’ve given different descriptions almost every time that you have described it.

I don’t remember exactly what I said.

Well, you’ve given different descriptions about what Michael Jackson was wearing, right.

I don’t remember exactly what I said.

You’ve given different descriptions of what Gavin was supposed to be wearing, right.

I don’t remember exactly what I said.

You’ve given different descriptions about what you claim Michael Jackson did in the bedroom, right.

No.

Well, there were times you said that Michael Jackson put his hand on top of your brother’s underwear, right.

I don’t remember saying that.

And there are other times you said he put his hand inside his underwear, right.

Yes.

And there are times you’ve said your brother was wearing pajamas, right.

Yes.

There are times you said he was wearing underwear, right.

I don’t remember.

And there are times you said that Michael Jackson touched his butt and not his crotch, right.

When was this.

When you did some interviews, right.

About what.

About what Michael Jackson, you claim, was doing in his bedroom, right.

I never said he touched his butt.

Did you ever tell anyone that when you saw Michael Jackson in bed with your brother, he was rubbing his butt.

No.

Never said that at any time to anybody.

No.

Never said it to Mr. Katz, right.

No.

Never said it to the sheriffs, right.

No.

And never said it to a grand jury, right.

No.

Okay. Do you remember when you described for Stanley Katz the second time you claim Michael Jackson was observed by you in bed with your brother. Do you remember that.

What.

Do you remember telling Stanley Katz there was a second time that you went up the stairs and observed Michael Jackson touching your brother.

Yes.

Did you tell Stanley Katz that Michael Jackson had his hand on your brother’s crotch.

Yes.

That’s really not what you told him at all, is it.

What are you talking about.

Well, you told Stanley Katz that Michael Jackson was rubbing his penis against Gavin’s buttocks, didn’t you.

When. The second time.

Yes. Did you tell Stanley Katz that.

No.

Would it refresh your recollection if I show you his grand jury testimony.

I know what I said, though.

Are you denying telling Psychologist Stanley Katz –

The second time.

— that you told him the second time you observed Michael Jackson touching your brother in bed, that Michael Jackson was rubbing his penis against your brother’s buttocks.

No.

You never told that to Stanley Katz.

No.

If I showed you his testimony, would that jog your memory.

No. I know what I said, though. [5]

In his interview with Sgt. Steve Robel on July, 2003 Star also claimed this:

“Star described another incident where Gavin was sleeping in Michael’s bed. Star was half asleep in a chair next to the bed. Michael came into the bedroom and got into bed with Gavin. He believes Michael thought he was asleep. He observed Michael scoot up to Gavin who was curled up and sleeping on his side. Michael began moving his hips back to front against Gavin’s back side. Gavin was wearing pajamas and Michael was wearing underwear. Star said he then pretended to wake and Michael quickly moved away from Gavin and pretended to be asleep.” [1; page 49]

This story changed too by the time the case went to trial. On the stand Star claimed that he was in the bed with Jackson and Gavin when this allegedly happened, instead of being half asleep in a chair next to the bed as he initially had claimed. On the stand he also did not mention anything about Jackson allegedly “moving his hips back to front against Gavin’s back side”, instead he said he did not see it whether he did anything. Also while in the original story he claimed Gavin was wearing pajamas, on the stand he said he did not remember what he was wearing.

All right. Now, you said there was an incident. Where were you prior to the time that Mr. Jackson came into the room.

Sleeping.

Where.

On the bed.

And where was your brother.

Right next to me.

And when we’re looking straight at the bed towards the back of the wall – okay. – where were you located on the bed.

All the way to the right.

And where was your brother.

In the middle.

And were you under the covers.

Under the covers.

Over the covers.

Under the covers.

And how were you dressed.

In PJ’s.

Do these PJ’s — describe them.

Sweat pants.

I’m sorry.

Sweat pants and a shirt.

All right. And do you recall what your brother was wearing.

Not really.

Now, did you see — tell us what happened.

I was sleeping. It was in the morning. And I saw Michael come up, and I tried to say hi, but I couldn’t. He got in bed. Started scooting over closer and closer to my brother. And for a time he didn’t stop until I moved, and then he stopped.

And what happened when he heard you move.

He stopped.

Okay. Did you see whether or not he did anything.

No. I was — no. [6]

Not only Star’s own testimonies were contradictory, but there is another piece of evidence that makes his whole story questionable. There was much talk in the media about the alarm system in Michael Jackson’s bedroom. The prosecution’s and the tabloid media’s theory about it was that Jackson installed it to get warned if anyone entered his bedroom while he was molesting children. But this is just a never proven prosecution theory, not a fact. Objectively we are simply talking about a bell that rings when someone enters the downstairs section of Jackson’s bedroom. It is perfectly understandable when we know that often there were dozens or even hundreds of people staying and walking around at Neverland – guests, fans and staff alike. Obviously molesting children is not the only option why an international celebrity would want to get a warning when someone enters his private quarters.

Ironically, this alarm system that the tabloid media often tries to use to incriminate Jackson, at the trial blew another hole into Star Arvizo’s story. How come that Star was able to walk into Jackson’s bedroom and observe Gavin’s molestation two times without Jackson hearing the alarm and noticing him? Jackson’s defense had a videographer Laurence Nimmer make an alarm test and the video of it was presented at Jackson’s trial as evidence. A video of the alarm test can be found on YouTube [7]. The video shows that the sound of the alarm is loud and is clearly audible in the upstairs portion of Jackson’s bedroom where the alleged molestation happened. When Star was asked about it he claimed that it was not audible upstairs because the door at the bottom of the stairway that went upstairs was closed. This was contradicted by Nimmer who testified they performed the test three different ways, the third time with that particular door closed, and the alarm was audible upstairs in all three tests. The video of all three tests was presented at the trial. [8]

Initially Star claimed to have been inappropriately touched as well – later this allegation disappeared

Initially in their interview with Dr. Stanley Katz the Arvizos claimed that not only Gavin, but also Star had been inappropriately touched by Michael Jackson:

“Star told Dr. Katz that on one occasion while at the Ranch during their stay, he was in a golf cart with Michael. Michael placed his hand on Star’s penis, on top of his pants. Star also said that Michael had touched his “butt”, and he saw Michael touch Gavin’s “butt” a lot, on top of his clothes.” [1; page 16]

This claim also appeared in their first interview with Sgt. Steve Robel on July 6-7, 2003:

“Michael touched Star’s private area.” [1; page 23]

and

“When asked, Star said Michael Jackson touched him inappropriately. The incident occurred when they were in a golf cart.  Star was driving the golf cart and Michael was next to him. Michael then reached over and touched Star’s “testicles and penis” over his clothes with Michael’s left hand. He did not say anything to Michael and continued driving the golf cart.” [1; page 50]

Later, as their allegations evolved, this claim completely disappeared from them and on the stand it was never alleged that Star had been inappropriately touched by Jackson.

Did Gavin and Star Arvizo ever go to Jackson’s bedroom while Jackson was not there?

When asked on the stand in 2005 whether they had ever gone to Michael Jackson’s bedroom while the entertainer was not there Gavin claimed they never did:

How many times do you think you entered Michael Jackson’s bedroom when Mr. Jackson wasn’t there.

I never went inside his room when he wasn’t there.

To your knowledge, did your brother ever go into his room when he wasn’t there.

I don’t think my brother went into his room when he wasn’t there.

Okay. So you have no knowledge of him doing that, correct.

No. [9]

While Gavin denied ever going to Jackson’s room while Jackson was not there, his younger brother Star had pretty vivid memories of him and his brother doing so. He testified not only that they went to Jackson’s bedroom but also that they even slept there when the entertainer was not there. He claimed that Jackson allowed them to sleep there, but this is pretty dubious considering the fact that Jackson did not trust this family.

Okay. You gave a description of Michael’s bedroom to the jury yesterday, right.

Yes.

And what did you tell the jury you’d find on the first floor.

The first floor.

Yes. The first floor of Michael’s bedroom, yes.

The room to the right or to the left.

Let’s take the room to the left. What do you see in the room to the left.

All the way to the left.

Yes.

There’s like — there’s a counter with a bunch of perfumes and colognes. There’s a mirror. There’s another big mirror behind it. There’s speakers. There’s a bunch of electric razors in a drawer. There’s a big bathtub, Jacuzzi-type thing. There used to be a reclining chair there. It wasn’t — you couldn’t — it was — it was like a square cushion, and there was a cushioned chair, and there’s a dresser. There’s a door with a small — with a toilet in there. There’s glass doors all the way to the end. There’s a big safe in there. What else. There’s a — yeah.

And how about the room to the right.

All the way to the right, there’s another counter with a bunch of stuff on it. There’s a poster of Harry Potter and his two friends. There’s a rest room all the way, if you keep walking down, with a shower. There’s a closet to your left with a bunch of clothes and a bunch of souvenirs from other movies. There’s — when you first walk in, there’s a closet with a bunch of pajamas. And if you go to your left, there’s the stairs going up. What else is there. There’s a — that’s it.

You and your brother were caught in that room when Michael Jackson wasn’t even at Neverland, weren’t you.

To sleep, yeah.

You and your brother used to go into that room when Michael wasn’t even at Neverland, right.

Yes, Michael opened his room up to us so we could sleep there while he was gone.

You were actually asked to leave that room when you were caught during a time when Michael wasn’t even at Neverland, right.

No.

And you and your brother rummaged through every room in that bedroom area, correct.

No.

You went snooping around the entire bedroom area when Michael wasn’t even there, correct.

No.

You went into that closet when Michael wasn’t even there, correct.

No.

How do you know there are pajamas in the closet.

Because Michael showed us.

So Michael was showing you every little bit of the bedroom.

No, he just showed us where the pajamas were.

And you were never caught in there and asked to leave; is that what you’re saying.

Yes. [5]

Azja Pryor (the girlfriend of actor Chris Tucker at the time) said in her testimony in 2005 that she witnessed one occasion when the Arvizo children asked an employee to let them stay in Jackson’s bedroom while the singer was not there. [10] The employee refused to let them in, but we know from testimonies, including Star Arvizos’ own testimony, that at a point they got hold of the entrance code to Jackson’s bedroom and they managed to go to the room while the entertainer was not there. Star claimed they got the code to Jackson’s room from Jackson himself and a master code that opened each and every door at Neverland from a security guard. Like said, that Jackson gave them a code to his bedroom is a pretty dubious claim considering his distrust in the Arvizo family. [6]

Differing accounts about seeing Jackson naked

There were also differences in the stories of alleged abusive or inappropriate situations Gavin and Star allegedly experienced together. One of their claims was that on one occasion Jackson deliberately showed himself to them naked with an erection. The Arvizo kids claimed they were hanging out upstairs in Jackson’s bedroom when the singer walked up naked with an erection to show himself to them then walked down again. Their details of the story, however, differed. Gavin claimed Jackson just ran up to get something and went back down again immediately without saying a word. Star on the other hand claimed Jackson sat down on the bed with them for about two minutes and told them it was natural.

When you ponder the above story about Jackson allegedly showing himself nude to the Arvizo boys, please also consider the fact that another time during his testimony there was an exchange between Jackson’s attorney Thomas Mesereau and Gavin about Jackson’s skin condition and the fact that his skin had brown patches on it. During this conversation Gavin said he was not aware of it, he thought Jackson was “just all white”:

And you knew that that disease was causing certain patches of white and brown on his skin, right.

Yes. I guess.

And –

I don’t know. It’s not like I was making fun of him yesterday, if that’s what you’re trying to imply.

Well, you knew that his skin is vulnerable to sunlight, correct.

Yes.

And that’s why you see him with an umbrella, correct.

Yes.

And you also knew, because of the patches that appear on his skin from that disease, he does sometimes put some makeup on, right.

I didn’t know about patches. I thought he was just all white. [11]

What about the pornographic magazines?

The Arvizo kids claimed that Jackson showed them pornographic magazines from a briefcase on two occasions: first in the downstairs area of his bedroom then on the second occasion upstairs. However, when they were asked to describe the details of the alleged situations in their testimonies the brothers contradicted each other on several points again:

  • Gavin claimed the first occasion happened on the same day they got back from Miami (February 7) and the second occasion about one-two weeks after they came back from the Calabasas hotel. They came back from the Calabasas hotel on March 2 and they left Neverland for good on March 12, so this would put the date of the second occasion according to Gavin’s account around March 9-12, the very last days of their stay at Neverland. Star never mentioned anything about Jackson allegedly showing them adult materal on the same day they came back from Miami on February 7. On contrary to his brother’s claims Star’s claim was that the first time Jackson showed them such material was “after the Calabasas hotel” which would be after March 2 and the second occasion was “a few days later”. When the prosecution asked Star Arvizo “Do you recall how many — how much time elapsed between the first time you saw the materials downstairs till the time you saw them upstairs” the boy answered “A few days”[6] Please notice that according to Gavin’s account, however, more than a month elapsed between the first occasion (February 7) and the second occasion (March 9-12).
  • About the first occasion Gavin claimed that Jackson told them the briefcase that contained the material was Frank Cascio’s and he made fun of Cascio while showing them the magazines. Star claimed Jackson did not make any comments while showing them the material.
  • About the second occasion Gavin claimed they went through almost the full content of the briefcase (“we saw, like, practically everything”[2]) and the whole thing lasted about 30 minutes to one hour. Star claimed they saw only about three or four magazines.
  • About the first occasion Star first claimed the briefcase was open when they first saw it, then later in his testimony he claimed it was closed.

The prosecution claimed that the fact that Gavin’s and Star’s fingerprints were found on some of the magazines that were found proves their claim that Jackson showed them these magazines. However, there are several problems with that conclusion. One is that, like we showed above, the boys went to Jackson’s room when the singer was not there, so they were perfectly able to rummage through his stuff, find and touch those magazines on their own. In actuality, that would be consistent with their behaviour around other people as well, as Jackson’s lawyer Thomas Mesereau pointed out in his closing argument based on various testimonies that were heard at the trial:

And the only forensic evidence they had to hang their hat on are fingerprints on some girlie magazines that were owned by Michael Jackson. And you know that everywhere the Arvizo children went, they would rummage through drawers, rummage through the house. They did it at the dentist’s office. They did it in Vernee Watson Johnson’s home. This is the way they behave. [12]

(By the way, the only stash of adult magazines where the Arvizo boys’ fingerprints were found were the magazines in a briefcase. Their fingerprints were not found on the adult magazines that were found in Jackson’s nightstand or in a box at the base of his bed or anywhere else. It seems they only ever came into contact with the briefcase stash.)

It was also shown during the trial that the Arvizo boys weren’t at all as naïve and innocent about pornography as the prosecution tried to portray them. A Neverland employee Julio Avila testified on May 24, 2005 that he once caught Star Arvizo walking around with an adult magazine and when he asked him where he got it from he told him he took it from home. [13] Another Neverland employee Maria Gomez testified on May 16, 2005 that she saw adult magazines in Star Arvizo’s backpack while she was once cleaning the guest unit where they were staying. [14] A general description of the Arvizo boys’ overall behaviour and how it differed from the prosecution’s portrayal of them will be discussed in detail in the next chapter.

In his opening statement Jackson’s attorney Mesereau stated that rather than showing the magazines to the boys Jackson actually caught them once with them and took them away from them.

The prosecutor told you that there were girlie-type magazines and sexually explicit material in Mr. Jackson’s home, and there were. Mr. Jackson will freely admit that he does read girlie magazines from time to time. And what he does is he sends someone to the local market, and they pick up Playboy and they pick up Hustler, and he has read them from time to time. He absolutely denies showing them to children. And, in fact, the magazines the prosecutor referred to were in a locked briefcase. And Mr. Jackson will tell you he found those kids going through his magazines, and grabbed them from him and locked them in his briefcase. [15]

Gavin’s story regarding the magazines indeed makes a very odd “grooming” story. Remember that the prosecution’s theory was that Jackson showed the Arvizo boys the magazines to groom them – ie. to lower their inhibitions and/or arouse them before sexually molesting them, because that is what pedophiles typically use pornographic magazines for. However, Gavin’s magazine scene looked like this in his testimony at the trial.

Now, when you first saw the suitcase, where was it in that room.

It was next to — it was to the left of that couch thing.

And did you ever see Mr. Jackson pick up the Exhibit 470.

Yeah, like I was hanging out with him in there, and he was like putting on his makeup or something, I don’t know. And then he — he grabbed the — grabbed the suitcase, and then he told me — he told me it was Frank’s. And he showed me, he was like, “This is” —

Okay. Well, what did he show you.

He was, like, “Look at the” — “Look at this stuff. Frank’s stinking a-s-s.” Frank’s stinking — it was S- — Frank’s stinking ass.

All right. What was inside the suitcase.

Adult materials.

And how many did you look at with Mr. Jackson.

Well, he showed me just one — like he showed me, and there was this girl in there and then he put it away.

And how was the girl.

She had her legs spread open, and her vagina was, like, showing.

All right. Did you ever see that suitcase again.

Yes.

Where.

We had it — like, we had it up in his — near his bed, and then we were looking at all the stuff.

Who was “we”.

Me, my brother and Michael.

And do you recall, where in the bedroom was the suitcase when you first saw it that time.

The first time I saw it, it was in the rest room kind of thing. And then the second time we — I don’t know if we brought it up there or, like, Michael brought it up there or something. I don’t know. But it was up next to his bed. And we were all going through the thing and we were making fun of Frank.

Did you look at the magazines.

Yes.

How many magazines do you think you saw.

We saw, like, practically everything, but there was a few we didn’t look at.

How much time do you figure you were looking at all those things.

30 minutes to an hour, probably.

Did Mr. Jackson make any comments during the time — other than the ones you’ve talked about, any other comments that he made at any of the photographs or the magazines.

Not really. We just were, like, making fun of Frank. [2]

These alleged scenes do not make much sense as attempts at arousing the Arvizo boys in order to molest them since, according to their own story, they were not immediately followed by molestation or any sexual act. According to the Arvizo’s story the alleged molestation of Gavin happened on totally different occasions and with no pornography being shown to him. As for lowering inhibitions, according to Gavin’s story Jackson tried to distance himself from this material claiming they were Frank’s (ie. Frank Cascio’s) and he supposedly made fun of Frank for it using such words as “stinking”. It would be a strange way to tell a child having such material is cool. However, Jackson distancing himself from the material would make a lot more sense if the Defense’s version is the true version of the story – ie. that instead of showing the boys these magazines Jackson actually took them away from them and was telling them that it was wrong to look at them.

A story by music producer Mark Ronson as told in 2008, confirms that Jackson was not at all OK with children looking at adult material, let alone encouraging them to do so.

Producer Mark Ronson once tried to make his childhood pal Michael Jackson watch porn – but the pop superstar hated the experience and wasn’t amused.

Ronson, whose father Laurence was a band manager, used to spend his time in the company of John Lennon’s son Sean and Jackson as they were growing up.

The trio would frequently have sleepovers – but when Ronson and Lennon used to switch over the TV to the pornography channel, Jackson was left cringing with embarrassment.

He recalls, “It’s a weird story, but I didn’t touch him. We (Ronson and Lennon) used to watch the porn channel because we were like 10 and, ‘Oh my God, tits!’ So Michael was in bed. And me and Sean said, ‘Michael do you want to see something cool?’

“We turned the dial to the porn channel and there were strippers shaking their tits around. We were like, ‘Michael, Michael, how cool is this?’ We turned around and he was cringing, saying, ‘Ooh stop it, stop it, ooh it’s so silly.’ We were like, ‘Michael, you have to look, maybe you’re not seeing it right, it’s naked girls!’

“He was not down with the programme whatsoever! I think he had really strong feminist views on porn.”

Ronson’s comments were made during the taping of British gameshow the Sunday Night Project, which is due to air in the U.K. on Sunday (22Jun08).[15]

It should be noted that before the Arvizo children went into Jackson’s room and found his adult magazines not any earlier accuser claimed that Jackson showed them such material in order to groom them or for any other reason. Pornography claims were simply not a part of either Jordan Chandler’s or Jason Francia’s allegations. All pornography claims only became a part of these stories (whether by later accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck* or the media) after it became publicly known during the Arvizo process that Jackson had such material at all and the prosecution had the very much publicly stated theory that Jackson used it for “grooming children”.

(*We will address the Robson/Safechuck posthumus allegations later, but we decided to wait with the detailed discussion of that case until it is in the court system, as it is presently.)

Changing claims about who showed the Arvizo children Internet pornography

Gavin claimed that when he and his brother Star spent a night in Jackson’s room in the summer of 2000, Jackson showed them pornography on the Internet on a laptop computer he had just given Gavin as a gift. According to the prosecution’s original Statement of Probable Cause on November 17, 2003 in his initial interview with Dr. Stanley Katz in June 2003 Gavin claimed Jackson himself operated the computer and navigated to pornographic websites.

“Also, during a visit to Neverland Ranch, Michael gave him a laptop computer. They connected the laptop to AOL and Michael started looking for naked women. Gavin was shown pictures of naked women on the computer screen. Michael told him and Star not to tell anyone and to say they were watching the Simpson’s.” [1; page 16]

Initially Star Arvizo too claimed that Jackson did the typing.

In later versions of their story this changed to Frank Cascio operating and navigating the computer, although they still claimed that Jackson was sitting with them and encouraging and approving of it. (Cascio was in the room because Jackson did not want to stay alone with the Arvizo kids. Jackson’s children were also in the room. We discussed this in the chapter An introduction of the Arvizo family and how their relationship with Michael Jackson started.)

Cascio in his 2011 book, My Friend Michael, denied that either Jackson or he showed the Arvizo children Internet pornography. He said Gavin and Star started to search for such websites on their own and when Jackson realized it, he asked Cascio to make them stop it and left the room and returned only later [16].

Sleeping pills?

Initially in their interview with Sgt. Steve Robel on July 6-7, 2003 the Arvizos claimed that Jackson gave the kids sleeping pills:

“Michael wanted Star to take a sleeping pill. (Mrs. Arvizo said Star kept the pill and that it is currently with their attorney.)” [1; page 23]

“Star stated that on one occasion Michael wanted Gavin and him to take sleeping pills. Michael told him to go and get the sleeping pills from Rudy the head chef. Michael wanted Gavin and Star to take the pills, but somehow the subject changed and the pills were forgotten. He kept the sleeping pill and their attorney now has it.” [1; page 49]

Later this claim completely disappeared from their allegations and on the stand it was never claimed that Jackson gave them sleeping pills.

Simulated sex with a mannequin?

The Arvizos claimed that on one occasion Jackson simulated sex with a female mannequin in front of them. When Star first told this story to Dr. Katz he said he could not recall if Jackson was clothed or not when this allegedly happened:

“He couldn’t recall if Michael was clothed or not.” [1; page 15]

Later, on July 7, 2003 when he told his story to Sgt. Steve Robel he suddenly remembered that Jackson was clothed:

“Michael was dressed and only acted like he was having sex with the mannequin” [1; page 51]

By the way, the mannequin about which the Arvizo children claimed this turned out to be a replica of one of Jackson’s female cousins.

Who was chasing whom?

In her initial interview with Sgt. Steve Robel on July 6-7, 2003 Janet Arvizo tried to portray Michael Jackson as the clingy one who tried to attach himself to her family and especially Gavin. She claimed it was because she complained about too long phone conversations between Jackson and Gavin why Jackson failed to return a van and a laptop computer he had gifted to the family. (Jackson gifted Gavin a laptop in the summer of 2000 and he gifted a van to the family in October 2000. In 2001 both items broke down and the Arvizos sent them back to Jackson so that he would get them repaired but then they were never returned to them.)

“Michael was also upset because she complained that his phone conversations with Gavin were too long. Mrs. Arvizo believes this was Michael’s motivation for not returning the Bronco and laptop.”  [1; page 20]

However, this claim became hard to defend when during the investigation cards and letters written by the Arvizo family to Jackson were discovered in which they beg for the singer’s attention because he was not answering their phone calls. Gavin on the stand admitted that Jackson stopped calling him as early as in August-September 2000 and that rather than complaining about too long phone conversations between Gavin and Jackson, Janet Arvizo actually wrote cards and letters to Jackson to try to get him contact them.

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. [9]

Jackson was the exact opposite of clingy to the Arvizos or Gavin. In actuality, on the stand the boy complained that the entertainer actively avoided him.

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 –

MR . 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. [17]

On cross-examination by Jackson’s lawyer, 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. [2]

and

And you were lying about Mr. Jackson helping you with cancer; is that correct.

No, because Michael did help me a little bit, but, I mean, he — for me, what I felt as a little kid, I mean, besides the fact of all this money and who paid for this and who paid for that, who — I felt who really helped me was my other friends. Because Michael, at the time when he was calling me and talking to me and stuff, I felt like he was my best friend. But, I mean, when he — when I would call his phone numbers and a little operating lady would say, “This phone is no longer in service.” I mean, I never called Chris and his phone was never in service. I never called George and his phone wasn’t in service. [9]

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. [9]

When did Janet Arvizo learn about her son’s alleged sexual abuse?

Janet Arvizo claimed in her initial interview with Sgt. Steve Robel on July 6-7, 2003 that their sons disclosed to her the alleged abuse in February or March, 2003. According to the prosecution’s Statement of Probable Cause:

“These disclosures were made to her after February or March of this year [2003]. She explained that she would interrupt and tell Star and Gavin to “forgive and forget”. She did this because she thought she was doing the right thing. She wanted Star and Gavin to make the disclosures to a priest or someone else. She has since learned that this was wrong of her to do.”  [1; page 23]

(Emphasis added.)

On the stand in 2005 Janet Arvizo claimed that at the time she was not aware that either of her sons were molested, she was only “aware of things”. However, in the prosecution’s Statement of Probable Cause document (November 17, 2003) it is claimed that in February-March, 2003 her sons disclosed to her accounts of Jackson allegedly “moving his hips against Gavin” in bed while they were allegedly in bed together, Jackson allegedly touching Star’s private parts etc. [1; page 22-23]. (Please consider that this is the same family who formerly sued the J.C. Penney department store with allegations that their guards sexually abused Janet Arvizo – ie. they allegedly touched her private areas during an altercation. So they were not ignorant of the inappropriateness of such touching without the police later enlightening them.)

Later it is totally contradicted in the very same document when it is claimed that Janet Arvizo had learned about her son’s alleged abuse when law enforcement had informed her about it in September 2003.

It is important to note that during the course of the two interviews detailed in this affidavit, Mrs. Arvizo was not aware that Gavin has been molested. She believed the focus of our investigation was the family’s having been held against their wishes at the Neverland Ranch upon their return from Miami and their escape in March. Mrs. Arviso (sic) told your Affiant she had contacted an attorney to help get their possessions back and to set up contacts with law enforcement to report what had happened to them. She emphasized she was not interested in money.

Your affiant is aware through a conversation with Sgt. Robel that around 5:00 p.m. on September 30, 2003, that Sgt. Robel, Lt. Klapakis and District Attorney Tom Sneddon met with Mrs. Arvizo and her family in a Los Angeles hotel and informed her that our conversations with her children had established that Gavin had been molested. This was the first time she was aware of the nature of her children’s disclosures to law enforcement.” [1; page 64]

(Emphasis added.)

The web of contradictions becomes even more complicated when we also consider the testimony of Larry Feldman, the Arvizos’ civil lawyer (the same lawyer who represented the Chandler family in 1993), who on the stand in 2005 provided a third version about how Janet Arvizo supposedly learnt about the alleged abuse of her son. According Feldman, in June 2003 he sent the Arvizo family to psychologist Dr. Stanley Katz for evaluation and that is where it emerged that Gavin had allegedly been molested. When Dr. Katz reported back to him he called the Arvizo family back to his office where he discussed with them, including the mother, Katz’s findings and what kind of legal actions were available to them at that time.

At some point in time, did you receive a report back from Dr. Katz about his initial contacts with the family?

Oral. I got an oral — I had an oral conversation with him.

Do you recall whether it was in person or over the phone?

I think it was in person, quite frankly. I think he came to my office.

Now, after you received this report, did you do anything?

Yes.

What did you do?

I called the Arvizo family, Mrs. Arvizo and the three children, back into my office for a meeting.

All right. And in that meeting, what was the topic discussed?

MESEREAU: Objection to the extent it calls for hearsay.

SNEDDON: All right.

THE COURT: Overruled. The subject matter only.

THE WITNESS: The subject matter only. The subject matter was the options — well, what Dr. Katz had told me, and their — the options that existed at that point for that family. Different courses of action that were available to them at that point in time. [18]

On March 24, 2003 Janet Arvizo formally hired William Dickerman as her attorney and Dickerman began writing letters to Jackson’s attorney Mark Geragos on her behalf demanding the return of furniture, clothes, documents and various other items which were put in a storage locker after the Arvizos moved out of their Los Angeles apartment on March 1-2 (we will discuss this in more detail in the chapter entitled Lawyers being hired and the formation of the allegations). In his letters, dated March-April 2003, Dickerman never makes any allegation of child molestation, false imprisonment or providing alcohol to a minor. When asked about this on the stand by Jackson’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau, this is what Janet Arvizo had to say:

In none of his letters did he ever mention anything about alcohol or child molestation, true?

Because that was information for these guys right here, for the police.

How many months later?

Because I didn’t want Geragos to know that we were headed towards — straight to the police. [19]

So this is yet another version, in which they do not mention alleged molestation in those letters dated March-April, 2003 not because Janet Arvizo was not aware of it at the time yet, but because they were preserving that information for the police. Here we have to add, however, that they did not go “straight to the police” in March-April 2003, but they went to civil attorney Larry Feldman in May 2003 – like we have described above. More details about the Arvizo family’s dealings with William Dickerman, Larry Feldman and Dr. Stanley Katz in the chapter Lawyers being hired and the formation of the allegations).

Sources:

[1] Statement of Probable Cause (filed by the Prosecution on November 17, 2003)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/plugin-111703stmtpc.pdf

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

[3] The Prosecution’s original felony complaint (filed on December 18, 2003)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/121803complaint_initial-charges.pdf

[4] Opening statements at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (February 28, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[5] Star Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 8, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[6] Star Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 7, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[7] Larry Nimmer’s test of MJ’s bedroom alarms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhomMzTJS3g

[8] Laurence Nimmer’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (May 19, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

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

[10] Azja Pryor’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (May 19, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[11] Gavin Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 15, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[12] Thomas Mesereau’s closing arguments at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (June 3, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[13] Julio Avila’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (May 24, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[14] Maria Gomez’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (May 16, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[15] Thomas Mesereau’s opening statements at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (March 1, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[15] WENN – Ronson: ‘Jackson Hated Watching Porn’ (Contact Music, June 22, 2008)
http://www.contactmusic.com/mark-ronson/news/ronson-jackson-hated-watching-porn_1072121

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

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

[18] Larry Feldman’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (April 1, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[19] Janet Arvizo’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (April 18, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

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