Wade’s Witnesses – Part 2

Blanca Francia

Blanca Francia on Hard Copy in December 1993

Blanca Francia was an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who worked as a maid for Michael Jackson between 1986 and 1991. She first gained notoriety on December 15, 1993, when she appeared on Diane Dimond’s tabloid television show, Hard Copy and alleged, among others, that during her employment she had witnessed Jackson showering in the nude with a child Wade Robson. As it was later revealed, and as she also admitted during Jackson’s 2005 trial and her deposition in 2016, Blanca Francia received $20,000 from Hard Copy for the interview – more than the amount of money she annually earned at the time [1]. Although she left her job at Jackson’s more than two years before the Hard Copy interview, and allegedly she quit because of being concerned about the relationship between Jackson and boys, she was not concerned enough to report to authorities what she had allegedly witnessed.

Blanca Francia’s story has several versions as it changed over time. In a court motion filed by the prosecution in December 2004 in preparation for Jackson’s 2005 criminal trial we read about her alleged showering scene:

“Ms. Francia also found Jackson and young Robson taking a shower together. As Jackson’s personal maid, Ms. Francia, had access to Jackson’s bedroom at any time. She was aware Jackson had installed an alarm bell in the outside hallway which would ring inside the bedroom as someone approached the bedroom’s entrance. On this particular day she went to the bedroom. She knocked on the door and received no response, so she entered the bedroom. She heard the shower running and was aware Jackson had a habit of leaving the water running.

As she approached the bathroom, she realized Jackson had not heard the alarm and she saw Jackson and young Robson nude together in the shower and Jackson was rubbing against Wade’s body. The shower was steaming so she could not see everything, but she could see Wade’s head pressed against Jackson’s stomach area. Jackson’s and Wade’s underwear were on the floor next to the shower. She immediately left and was uncertain if Jackson even saw her enter the bathroom.” [2; page 22-23]

It is unclear where the prosecution took this version of the story from and whether Blanca Francia had told them such things in previous police or prosecution interviews, but publicly available versions of her testimony differ significantly. As opposed to this vivid and detailed description, on the stand in 2005 we were presented with a lot more ambiguous account by Blanca Francia – and at least two versions of the story.

One version was what Blanca Francia told under direct examination conducted by prosecutor Ron Zonen. Then she claimed that once, while Wade Robson was visiting with Jackson, she walked into Jackson’s bedroom suite and heard voices laughing and playing coming from the bathroom. (She did not claim, at least on the stand, that she went to the bathroom because she thought Jackson left the water running, as it was stated in the prosecution motion. She claimed she went there because she heard the voices of playing and laughing.) She claimed when she went up to see what was going on, she saw two pairs of underwear in front of the shower belonging to Jackson and Wade Robson. She claimed she could identify Robson’s underwear because she used to do the laundry for the guests of Neverland. She claimed that she saw both Jackson and Robson inside the shower through the fogged up window of the shower and she heard the voices of both Jackson and Robson.

Ron Zonen: Did you see more than one figure?

Blanca Francia: Yeah.

Ron Zonen: All right. Did you recognize either of the figures that you saw?

Blanca Francia: Mr. Jackson.

Ron Zonen: All right.

Blanca Francia: And the little kid.

Ron Zonen: Was one figure larger than the other?

Blanca Francia: Yeah.

Ron Zonen: Was the second figure the size of Wade Robeson (sic)?

Blanca Fracia: Yeah. Yes. [1]

(Emphasis added.)

According to the story, upon witnessing this scene that deeply disturbed her, Blanca Francia did nothing:

Ron Zonen: What did you do at the time that you saw Mr. Jackson and Wade Robeson (sic) in the shower? What did you do then?

Blanca Francia: I was going to talk to them, but then I thought, “No, I better not,” so I just went back.

Ron Zonen: Did you leave the room?

Blanca Francia: I — yeah, I left the room.

Ron Zonen: Did you tell Mr. Jackson that you had been in the room?

Blanca Francia: No.

Ron Zonen: Did you back into the room at a later time?

Blanca Francia: Yeah, to clean the room. [1]

As opposed to the prosecution’s motion, on the stand there was no mention of whether Jackson and Robson were nude, there was no mention of Jackson “rubbing up against Wade’s body” and there was no mention of Robson’s head being “pressed against Jackson’s stomach area” – although on direct examination Francia did claim to have seen and heard both Jackson and Robson in the shower.

However, later in her testimony it was revealed that during her 1993-94 depositions for the Chandler civil case she said something completely different. Even prosecutor Ron Zonen had to ask her about the fact that in her 1993-94 depositions she admitted that she did not actually see Robson in the shower. In 2005 her explanation for that contradiction was that “Well, at that time I guess I was tired and nervous, I guess” [1].

On cross-examination, Jackson’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau further pressed her about the issue of how many people she really saw:

Thomas Mesereau: Okay. You only saw one person in the shower, right?

Blanca Francia: I saw him in the shower and the little kid.

Thomas Mesereau: But in your deposition you said you could only see one person, but you heard giggling, right?

Blanca Francia: Yeah, but I hear two people –

Thomas Mesereau: You heard two people. You could only see one through the glass, right?

Blanca Francia: Mostly, yeah. Mostly.

[…]

Thomas Mesereau: Do you remember in the deposition saying you never saw anyone else in the shower but Mr. Jackson?

Blanca Francia: I don’t think I say that.

Thomas Mesereau: Would it refresh your recollection if I show you the transcript?

Blanca Francia: Okay.

[…]

Thomas Mesereau: Have you had a chance to look at that page of the deposition?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Thomas Meserau: Does it refresh your memory about what you said about the shower?

Blanca Francia: Yeah.

Thomas Mesereau: You saw one person, Mr. Jackson, right?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Thomas Mesereau: Or it looked like him through the glass, right?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Thomas Mesereau: And the only voice you really heard was Mr. Jackson, correct?

Blanca Francia: No.

Thomas Mesereau: That wasn’t correct?

Blanca Francia: I hear two — two. [1]

(Emphasis added.)

Although in 2005 Francia still insisted that she heard two voices, in her 1993-94 depositions she admitted she actually heard only one.

Thomas Mesereau: Do you remember you were asked in your deposition, “Did you hear anything else other than Michael laughing?” And you said, “No”?

Blanca Francia: Yeah.

Thomas Mesereau: Was that the truth?

Blanca Francia: Yes. [1]

Fast forward to September 6, 2016, when Blanca Francia was deposed for Wade Robson’s civil lawsuit. Under questioning by Robson’s attorney, Vince Finaldi, first she again told the version of her story in which she witnessed both Jackson and Wade in the shower and she also claimed that after witnessing the scene, although she kept working for Jackson, she felt bad for not reporting what she had allegedly witnessed [3; 129-130].

Later in Blanca Francia’s deposition, however, a completely different story emerged when an attorney for Jackson’s companies, Suann MacIsaac questioned her and read long extracts from the deposition that Francia had given in the Chandler case on January 11, 1994.

In that deposition Francia stated that when she entered Jackson’s room on that occasion she heard the water running in the bathroom and went there to see who was there. About what happened after that, Jackson’s lawyer at the time, Johnnie Cochran had the following conversation with Blanca Francia:

“Question: When you looked around the corner, what did you see at that point?

Answer: What do you mean? I see him. I saw Michael.

Question: What did you see? You saw Mr. Jackson?

Answer: Uh-huh.

Question: Did he have any clothes on?

Answer: I didn’t see that.*

Question: What did you see?

Answer: I just saw the shadow.

Question: You saw the shadow of what you believe was Michael Jackson?

Answer: Yes.

Question: You never saw him, did you?

Answer: No.

Question: You saw the shadow of what you thought was a man, right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Did you see any other shadow at that point?

Answer: No.

Question: Was the glass foggy?

Answer: Yeah.

Question: So you couldn’t really see clearly the glass, right? You just saw a figure; is that right?

Answer: Uh-huh.

Question: You saw only one figure at that point?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Okay. And you saw this one figure, did you at that point continue on or did you turn around and go back?

Answer: I went back.

Question: So you now — you have seen your peek. You have taken your peek as you said, right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And your peek was looking for just a very short time like that?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Was it very quick?

Answer: Yeah.

Question: And you saw what appeared to be a man, right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: You only saw one figure, right?

Answer: Yeah.

Question: And then you then turned around and went back out, correct?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is that right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And that’s all you saw?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is that right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: You never saw any other person in there when you were inside there, did you?

Answer: No. But once I got close to it, I hear laughing.

Question: But you never saw anybody else in the shower, right?

Answer: No.[3; page 263-268]

(Emphasis added.)

(* Remember how the prosecution’s above quoted motion from the 2005 criminal case claimed that Blanca Francia “saw Jackson and young Robson nude together in the shower”.)

Now to the question of what Blanca Francia heard.

“Question: You heard some laughing?

Answer: Yeah.

Question: When was it you heard the laughing?

Answer: When I got real close. When I saw and hear the laugh.

Question: What kind of laughing did you hear?

Answer: You know, just laughing. Not real loud* but laughing like hee hee, like that.

Question: You heard hee hee hee laughing?

Answer: Yeah, like that.

Question: Did you recognize any voices you heard?

Answer: It was Michael.

Question: You heard Michael laughing?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Did you hear anything else other than Michael laughing?

Answer: No.

Question: That’s all you heard?

Answer: Uh-huh.[3, page 269-270]

(Emphasis added.)

(*The loudness of the laugh is significant, because in the more incriminating versions of her story Blanca Francia claimed that she went to the bathroom in the first place because she heard voices of laughing and playing coming from there. Those should have been real loud for her to hear them as she entered the bedroom and that while the water was running and the radio was also on, as she testified in 2005 [1]. But here, in her 1994 deposition she talks about “not real loud” laughing that she only heard as she got “real close”.)

Then Cochran went over it again to make sure they had Blanca Francia’s testimony right.

“Question: So let me see if I understand it. You came in there. This is December 1989.* You were curious and you wanted to take a peek at Mr. Jackson while he was showering once you got in there, right?

Answer: Uh-huh.

Question: You went around and you took a peek. Through a foggy shower glass you saw the figure of what you thought was a man, what you think was Mr. Jackson?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And you heard a giggle or a laugh that appeared like Mr. Jackson’s laugh, right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And you turned around and you left?

Answer: Yes.

Question: You never saw anybody else in that shower right? At that point?

Asnwer: Well, no.

Question: Then you then left the room; is that right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And you have now told me everything that occurred on that particular occasion regarding the shower, isn’t that right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And again, you are under oath today, right?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And you are telling the truth to the best of your ability.

Answer: Yes.

Question: You are not lying to us, are you?

Answer: No.

Question: You are being honest?

Answer: Yes.

Question: And you have told us everything, right.

Answer: Yes.“[3; page 271-273]

(Emphasis added.)

(* The December 1989 date that Blanca Francia gave to this event is impossible as the Robsons’ first visit to Neverland was in January/February 1990, but as that is only a two-three months difference, it is an acceptable mistake and Francia did say that it is possible that she did not remember the exact date right.)

While in the more sinister versions of her story, Blanca Francia claims she was disturbed by what she had allegedly witnessed in the shower and felt guilty about keeping quiet about it, towards the end of her 2016 deposition, when asked by Robson’s other attorney, John Manly about why she did not share with anyone at MJJ Productions what she allegedly had witnessed in the shower, she says: “To me, it looked — it looked normal to me that he was showering. So I think it was confidential.” (Emphasis added.) [3; page 400] So here again what Blanca Francia saw was just a normal event of Jackson showering (“he” showering and not “they” showering) and she saw nothing sinister that would have prompted her to report it to anyone.

In her 1994 deposition Blanca Francia admitted that she only assumed Wade to be in the shower, but never saw or heard him there with Jackson. (And apparently that assumption by her came only in 1993, in the hindsight of the Chandler allegations, because at the time when it allegedly happened she did not feel she saw anything abnormal that she should have reported to anyone.) In the 1994 deposition she told the Chandlers’ attorney, Larry Feldman that she made that assumption based on the fact that at the time Wade was staying at Neverland with Jackson and she did not see him in the room, so she simply assumed he must have been with Jackson in the shower – despite of the fact that that is not what she actually saw or heard in the shower, she only saw and heard Jackson there. [3; page 426-431]

Jackson’s bedroom was a large two-storey complex with several smaller rooms, so Francia not seeing Wade there as she entered for just a couple of minutes, does not mean that he was not in some other room of the bedroom complex or he had not stepped outside while Jackson was showering. Obviously, the shower would not be the only place he could have been – and as we have learnt, Francia indeed did not see or hear him in the shower with Jackson.

From Blanca Francia’s 1994 deposition we also learn that Francia destroyed evidence during that case. She was first deposed in connection with the Chandler case on December 15, 1993. Johnnie Cochran then asked her to bring her contract with Hard Copy to her next deposition. But when she was asked to show the contract in her next deposition on January 11, 1994, she said that she had got rid of it.

“Question: Why didn’t you bring it with you?

Answer: Well, after the deposition here, the first time that I came, I got really upset about all this. And I got rid of my contract. And I just — I just got rid of it.” [3; page 307]

But that is not all. It also emerged that when she went to her first deposition in December 1993 she actually showed the contract to Larry Feldman, the attorney representing the Chandlers, while lying about its whereabouts to Jackson’s lawyers. Then she went home and got rid of the contract. [3; page 307-320]

In one part of her deposition (to very much leading questions by Robson’s attorney, Vince Finaldi), Blanca Francia claims that she left her employment with Jackson because of what she experienced Jackson do with boys [3; page 170-171]. However, from other parts of her testimony a totally different picture emerges as to why she left. Under questioning by Suann MacIsaac, attorney for the Jackson companies, Francia admitted that in 1993 she told the police that the primary reason that she quit her job was because of disputes with other employees [3; page 209].

Indeed, she seemed to have a relationship full of conflicts with her co-workers. She admitted that a lot of her co-workers did not like her, they thought she was dangerous and untrustworthy, because she would tell on them to Norma Staikos and Jackson. Shortly before she left her job she had another employee, whom she considered a friend, fired for something that was not committed by that employee but by Blanca Francia herself. [3; page 321-341] On another occasion Francia was caught looking into the purse of another employee, Gayle Goforth. Francia said she did that to see how much Goforth was paid.

Meanwhile, far from seeming disgusted and disturbed by Jackson’s alleged behavior with boys (as she claimed later in the hindsight of the Chandler allegations), she actually affectionately referred to him as “my Michael”, much to the amusement of her co-workers. [3; page 345-348]. A former maid, Francin Orosco said that Francia was very possessive of Jackson: “You could tell a lot that she had a little crush on him, very jealous of the other housekeepers. She didn’t want no one close to Michael. There’s a lot of jealousy there.” [4]

Blanca Francia also made allegations regarding James Safechuck. In the prosecution’s motion from 2004 it is claimed that she had observed Jackson in a bed with Safechuck at the Neverland theater with their upper bodies unclothed [2; page 22]. In her 2016 deposition she seems to repeat that story – although with unclear details.

Vince Finaldi: Did you ever see any kids in those beds [in the theater at Neverland]?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Vince Finaldi: Which kids?

Blanca Francia: I remember this — I forgot his name. I keep forgetting his name. Jimmy.

Vince Finaldi: Jimmy Safechuck?

Blanca Francia: Yeah. That’s most that I remember. I remember –- [3; page 112]

Here it is unclear whether she claims to have seen Jackson in the theater bed with Safechuck (like it is claimed in the prosecution’s motion), but if she does then that is refuted by her own trial testimony from 2005 where she flat out denied that she had ever been in the theater while Jackson was there with children.

Thomas Mesereau: You would see those children running around Neverland a lot, correct?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Thomas Mesereau: And Mr. Jackson used to run around with them, didn’t he?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Thomas Mesereau: He used to take them to the theater to watch movies, didn’t he?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Thomas Mesereau: And children would sometimes sit in his lap in the theater watching the movies, didn’t they?

Blanca Francia: I –

Thomas Mesereau: Did you ever see that?

Blanca Francia: I never see that. Because I –

Thomas Mesereau: I’m sorry.

Blanca Francia: I was never there when he was there with kids. [1]

(Emphasis added.)

After much convincing by the police, Blanca Francia’s son, Jason also started to make allegations against Jackson. We have discussed those allegations and how they emerged in a separate chapter, so we will not discuss them here again, but let us make a note about an element of it that apparently also went through various incarnations. During her 1993-94 depositions, Blanca Francia talked about the fact that Jackson did not have a bed in his Wilshire condo, but had a sleeping bag on the floor that was open all the time and that is where her son and Jackson were when they would watch television together. She stated in 1993-94 and confirmed it again in 2016, that her son and Jackson had always stayed on top of the sleeping bag, not inside of it, not zipped up in it [3; page 223]. However, when she threatened to file a civil lawsuit against Jackson later in 1994, her story changed to the sleeping bag being zipped up in a way that she was not able to see their bodies and her having to tell Jason to get out of the sleeping bag [3; page 231-234].[a]

As the attorney for Jackson’s company pointed out, this looked like an attempt at making an innocent situation look more sinister.

Suann MacIsaac: Do you get that it sounds much worse, it sounds much more sinister or suspicious to say that Michael Jackson was in the sleeping bag zipped up, you couldn’t see their bodies, you were telling your son to get out than to say they were on top of the sleeping bag watching television?

Blanca Francia: That it sounds —

Suann MacIsaac: It sounds worse? It sounds more suspicious?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Suann MacIsaac: You get that; right?

Blanca Francia: Yes. [3; page 233-234]

Under questioning by Vince Finaldi, Blanca Francia claimed that after what she allegedly had witnessed with Wade and Jackson in the shower, she tried to bring her son to Neverland less, but she still brought him about twice in the remaining one year that she worked there [3; page 138] .

Later in her testimony we learn that in 1993 she testified that she brought Jason to Neverland altogether about five times while she was working there. (In 2016 she corrected that to saying that it was actually more than five times.) When asked whether she would have brought Jason to Neverland if she had thought that Jackson could hurt him, she repeatedly answers “no”.

Suann MacIsaac: Just to confirm, if you had thought that Michael Jackson was going to hurt your son, you would not have brought him to the Neverland Ranch and let him go unattended; right?

Blanca Francia: I don’t know if it’s yes to that question or no to the answer. So what is it?

Suann MacIsaac: Okay. So my question is you didn’t think anything bad was going to happen —

Blanca Francia: No.

Suann MacIsaac: — to your son?

Blanca Francia: No.

Suann MacIsaac: And that was despite everything that you had seen either at the Wilshire condo —

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Suann MacIsaac: — or Encino — let me finish — or at Neverland?

Right?

Blanca Francia: Yes.

Suann MacIsaac: When you were bringing your son to the Neverland Ranch, you did not believe anything bad was going to happen to him?

Blanca Francia: No.

Suann MacIsaac: That’s a double negative so I’m really — I’m sorry. It’s late in the day.
Did you believe anything bad was going to happen to your son when you —

Blanca Francia: No.

Suann MacIsaac: — brought him to the Neverland Ranch?

Blanca Francia: No. [3; page 226-228]

From Blanca Francia’s deposition we also learn that the settlement that she had reached with Jackson after she had threatened to sue her in 1994, was related to her employment [3; page 189]

During her testimony in 2005, Blanca Francia also admitted that in 1993, besides Hard Copy, she contemplated selling her story to the National Enquirer. One of the reporters who used to work for the Enquirer, Jim Mitteager had a habit of taping his conversations. When he died his tapes were inherited by private investigator and tabloid broker, Paul Barresi. The Mitteager tapes reportedly include a conversation in which it is claimed that in 1993, Enquirer reporter, Lydia Encinas befriended Blanca Francia. On those tapes, Enquirer editor, David Perel tells Mitteager on March 23, 1994, that: “the reason why Lydia Encinas is involved is because she speaks Spanish and she’s got a good relationship with Blanca.” [5] Apparently the Enquirer deal fell through because the “the cops put [Blanca Francia] under wraps” after her Hard Copy interview (details in the chapter entitled Did the FBI have evidence that Michael Jackson paid off dozens of young boys to silence them after he sexually abused them? – see section “Document 2”).[b]

Another journalist, Victor Gutierrez was also in contact with Blanca Francia. To explore why that connection might be significant, please see our article about Gutierrez’s involvement in the allegations against Michael Jackson.

Wade Robson now embraces the incriminating versions of Blanca Francia’s and Mark Quindoy’s shaky allegations, but the opportunistic nature of his endorsements is evidenced in the fact that he also embraces Charli Michaels’s claims despite of his mother telling him that they were not true – or in the many other opportunistic courses that he has taken in this case as we have discussed thoroughly on this website.

Fact is, that during his 2005 criminal trial testimony, Wade specifically denied these allegations. He did not say “I was in the shower with him, but I don’t think it is inappropriate”, but he denied that he had ever been in the shower with Jackson.

Thomas Mesereau: Have you ever taken a shower with Mr. Jackson?

Wade Robson: No. [7]

and

Thomas Mesereau: Has anything inappropriate ever happened in any shower with you and Mr. Jackson?

Wade Robson: No. Never been in a shower with him. [7]

and

 

Thomas Mesereau: Mr. Robson, did Michael Jackson ever molest you at any time?

Wade Robson: Absolutely not.

Thomas Mesereau: Mr. Robson, did Michael Jackson ever touch you in a sexual way?

Wade Robson: Never, no.

Thomas Mesereau: Mr. Robson, has Mr. Jackson ever inappropriately touched any part of your body at any time?

Wade Robson: No. [7]

The previous chapter: Wade’s Witnesses – Mark Quindoy

Footnotes:

[a] By the way, Jason Francia. We learn from Blanca Francia’s deposition that her son was also deposed for Wade’s case. According to Vince Finaldi, in that deposition Jason claimed that he remembered an instance when he and his mother went to Neverland at night and his mother saw Wade dancing with Jackson and Jackson was teaching him the move where he grabbed his genitals. Blanca Francia flat out refuted her son’s claims and said that she had never witnessed any such thing [3; page 80-81]. Jason’s claims sound suspiciously like Charli Michaels’ story. Apparently he took it and evolved it into being his own and his mother’s story.

[b] By the way National Enquirer. Joy Robson testified in her deposition that in 1993 that the National Enquirer offered her a six figures sum to change her story and say that Michael Jackson had molested her son which she declined [6; page 295]. This is only one of many, many stories that show that tabloids offered people huge sums to make allegations against Jackson – with some people resisting the temptation, some not.

Sources:

[1] Blanca Francia’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (April 5, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

[2] Plaintiff’s Motion For Admission of Evidence of Defendant’s Prior Sexual Offenses; Memorandum of Points and Authorities (December 10, 2004)
http://www.sbscpublicaccess.org/docs/ctdocs/121004pltmotadmprior.pdf

[3] Desposition Transcript of Blanca Francia (September 6, 2016)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/blanca-francia-deposition-extracts.pdf

[4] Lisa Campbell – The King of Pop’s Darkest Hour (Branden Publishing Company Inc., Boston, 1994)

[5] Michael Jackson: The Making Of A Myth – Part 1
http://www.stereoboard.com/pdfs/Michael-Jackson-The-Making-Of-A-Myth-Part-I.pdf

[6] Desposition Transcript of Lynette Joy Robson (September 30, 2016)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/joy-robson-deposition-extracts.pdf

[7] Wade Robson’s testimony at Michael Jackson’s 2005 trial (May 5, 2005)
https://themichaeljacksonallegationsblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/court-transcripts.zip

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