Planting Fake Evidence Against MJ: Just How Prevalent Is This Practice?


I know, it sounds like the far-fetched and paranoid rantings of conspiracy theorists. But the shocking answer to the title question is that yes, there is plenty of evidence to suggest this has not only happened with shocking frequency in the past, but is continuing to happen even today, nearly six years after the man’s death.

Framing Michael Jackson Remains Big Business...Even Six Years AFTER It Should Have Ceased To Be Profitable!
Framing Michael Jackson Remains Big Business…Even Six Years AFTER It Should Have Ceased To Be Profitable!

As this May 16th Facebook posting  from Michael Jackson tribute artist Carlo Riley suggests, the desperate attempts to frame Michael Jackson by creating fake evidence against him continues to be big business. And it is big business for one very simple reason: The fact that there was never any actual evidence to link him to any molestation allegation. Looking at the history of this phenomenon, it’s shocking indeed to see what cartwheels these sinister accomplices are willing to perform in order to create that elusive “smoking gun” against Michael that has simply never existed. This quote from notorious MJ hater/stalker Diane Dimond, taken from a January 1995 radio interview on KABC-AM radio, actually says it all. The full interview was concerning an alleged tape of Michael Jackson and a young boy that, as it turned out, was a complete fabrication. But note what she says here:

“You know, I remember way back when, more than a year ago, we interviewed the head of the pedo[ph]ile unit at the FBI in Quantico, Virginia and he said you know the down fall of pedo[ph]iles is that they love to keep a memento of their victims. Or, they love to take pictures or take videos. We don’t know why, but they do this. It is for their own self gratification later but it always comes back to bite them.”-Diane Dimond

Of course, Dimond is referring here to none other than Jim Clemente, whose public comments about Michael Jackson and the case have revealed much bias and ignorance. But casting aside my own personal feelings and reservations about Clements, what he says here  is absolutely true. And it is exactly why so many child molestors are caught red-handed. Their urge to photograph and videotape their “conquests” or to sex chat and text their victims, leaves an unmistakable trail of evidence, the kind which is 100% guarantee of a criminal conviction once introduced into court. True pedophiles, it should be noted, seem notoriously immune to resisting this urge, even when knowing full well they are hanging themselves with their own rope. And so the fact that even after an intensive four month trial, repeated searches of Michael Jackson’s home and seizure of his belongings (including searches of every computer in his home)and over a decade of FBI surveillance, not one such explicit, smoking gun piece of evidence ever emerged remains the biggest craw in the necks of Michael’s enemies. The best that prosecutors were able to do at the time-and, to this day, the best that his detractors have been able to continue to do-is to cobble together a flimsy case for circumstantial “evidence” out of certain items that the prosecution attempted to have included at trial but were subsequently precluded due to their complete lack of relevance to the case. You can read more about those items here:

In short, we’ve heard a lot of loud flapping about male DNA found on sheets (none linked to any alleged “victim” of Michael), a pair of soiled underwear, some legal art books…and not a heck of a whole lot else, other than “he said; she said” testimony.

So if Michael Jackson really was this horrific pedophile and serial child molestor that his detractors and accusers try to paint, then WHERE ARE the photographs, the video tapes, the love letters, the sex chat logs, the text messages and all of the usual evidence that pedophiles can’t seem to resist accumulating? To get around that problematic issue, there are some who like to try to portray Michael as an incredibly slick and savvy pedophile who was smart enough to never get caught with such smoking gun evidence, but the odds of Michael being able to get away with such a ruse while being under twenty years’ worth of intense scrutiny is simply highly nil. Are we to believe that in all that time, no one would have ever taped an incriminating phone conversation? That none of those busybody Neverland employees, only too anxious to sell a story to the tabloids, would have rigged a camera to catch something suspicious? Or that, more importantly, if Michael had been an actual pedophile, that he could so successfully resist the innate urge to document his “conquests” in some tangible form?

Ever The Camera Buff, Michael Assiduously and Religiously Recorded and Documented Every Aspect Of His Life. Yet Not One incriminating Photo Or Video Has Ever Surfaced. Not One.
Ever The Camera Buff, Michael Assiduously and Religiously Recorded and Documented Every Aspect Of His Life. Yet Not One incriminating Photo Or Video Has Ever Surfaced. Not One.

Let’s face facts. If any such evidence had ever existed, it most certainly would have surfaced long ago. For sure, it would have been seized upon by Tom Sneddon and used in the trial, and no amount of arguing from the defense would have kept such evidence out of court. The lack of such hardcore evidence is precisely why Michael was acquitted, and why the issue of his guilt or innocence continues to be an issue that his haters and detractors have to debate, rather than being the foregone conclusion they so wish that it was.

In our tabloid-driven culture, of course, the idea of fabricated stories and even fabricated “evidence” shouldn’t entirely surprise. The lengths that tabloid publications will go to get dirt on a celebrity, sometimes offering upwards of six figures to entice friends to “dish dirt” or even fabricate stories completely, is not exactly a secret practice. But some celebrities have obviously been bigger targets than others. The Michael Jackson case presented the perfect storm for fair weather friends, disgruntled ex-employees, those sour over fallen deals, checkbook journalism, and unscrupulous journalists with their own agendas to converge in a feeding frenzy that has had few precedents in the whole, sordid world of celebrity gossip.  When I spoke with Michael’s longtime friend David Nordahl in 2010, he told me that he had been offered as much as $500,000 by a tabloid publication to make up stories about Michael. He was given offers to fabricate stories about the children who had modeled for his paintings with Michael. This was absurd on many levels, number one because all of the paintings were quite innocent, and two, because no actual children were used to model in those paintings. They were all either products of Nordahl’s and Michael’s imaginations, or in some cases,  childhood images of people they knew as adults, such as Nordahl’s wife who appears in Michael’s “Field of Dreams” painting as the mischievous little girl crouched behind Michael’s arm. Yet the conspiracy to fabricate false stories about these images was and remains a big business, and it is fortunate that Michael had a loyal friend in David Nordahl, someone who considered his friendship with Michael much more valuable than half a million dollars.

That has not always been the case. As we know too well, not only did Michael have acquaintances (the word “friend” just can’t apply here) willing to sell him out, but also those who were willing to make up complete fabrications if the price was right. However, we all know that the tabloid business is what it is. I’m talking of something even more sinister, which is the outright planting or fabricating of false “evidence” in order to create either cases and victims that never existed (the so called “phantom victims’) or to create substantiating “evidence” where no such evidence exists. In Michael’s lifetime, this sort of thing happened with alarming frequency, usually as an attempt to blackmail him by creating a potentially damaging scenario. In death, the practice continues, and namely for two very specific reasons-because his brand and image is still very big business, and because there is a faction determined at all costs to “prove” him a pedophile for the sake of their own glory. Some of these people are so determined and desperate, in fact, that they will stop at no means-however sinister-to achieve that end.  Creating falsified documents, fake conversations, and even fake photos are not above them. In some of the more well known cases, the perpetrators had no conscience about even involving actual children as part of their schemes!

One of the earliest and most blatant cases was that of Rodney Allen aka John Templeton, a Canadian man who, in the mid 90’s, ran a prostitution ring of young, underage boys in Toronto. Although I assume most hardcore fans are familiar with the details of this case, I will summarize briefly for the benefit of the casual fans and researchers who perhaps aren’t. The story was first broken on Hard Copy in 1995 by notorious MJ hater/stalker Diane Dimond. Although Dimond tries hard to present herself as an unbiased reporter here, that is in reality not the case at all. The reality was that she had to back pedal her way out of a very potentially embarrassing situation for herself and Hard Copy. But it turns out there was also another motive for Diane Dimond  to present herself as an unbiased reporter of Michael Jackson. However, I will comment more on the problems with her “investigation,” as well as her OWN role in fabricating fake evidence against Michael, shortly. For now, we will focus simply on the facts of the Rodney Allen case as they were originally reported.

Here is the story as it was first presented on Hard Copy in 1995:

The story might leave some with a case of the warm and fuzzies. Diane Dimond investigated what “could have been Michael Jackson’s worst nightmare” and uncovered a scam to frame him. In truth, Michael Jackson’s worst nightmare had unfolded long before this, and Diane Dimond was one of its key players!

The real question here is why, after learning the truth about Rodney Allen, did Diane Dimond-this woman who gives so much lip service to truth, integrity, and of being a champion for the rights of child victims- simply walk away from this case, content to leave it to Canadian authorities to untangle? Apparently her concern for this fifteen-year-old kid (who subsequently was arrested for public mischief) ended when the story became a dead end as far as Michael Jackson’s involvement.  Rodney Allen was eventually arrested and convicted to a life sentence in 2001, a full six years after this story aired. In the meantime, the fact that he was head of an ever increasing “family” of teenage boys didn’t seem to phase Diane Dimond or anyone at Hard Copy, who were all too busy chasing the next phony Michael Jackson story.

In 2010, Helena of Vindicating Michael wrote a great piece on this story and raised many disturbing questions about how and why the whole Rodney Allen story was handled in such a cavalier fashion:

I agree with most of the questions raised in this piece. For example, just who was this guy Rodney Allen, what was his stake in so determinedly creating a case against Michael Jackson, and most importantly, how did he manage to have such detailed information of Hayvenhurst, Neverland, and of Michael’s employees? Information that he then used to coach a teenage boy so convincingly that he almost had the Canadian police fooled?

Rodney Allen's Inmate Page
Rodney Allen’s Inmate Page

Well, as it turns out, both Rodney Allen and Diane Dimond had a long-time source in common: A man named Victor Gutierrez, who was certainly no stranger to fabricating false stories about Michael Jackson, and who had been obsessed since as far back as 1986 with the idea of “outting” Michael as a pedophile.

Victor Gutierrez, The Link That Seems To Connect Them All
Victor Gutierrez, The Link That Seems To Connect Them All

I have already written quite extensively about Victor Gutierrez, his NAMBLA connections, and his obsession in past posts:

By far the most detailed and well researched account I have yet read on the connection between Victor Gutierrez, Rodney Allen, and Diane Dimond can be found here.This is from an author who has done much extensive investigative reporting in an attempt to unravel the long, dirty history of Victor Gutierrez’s role in the Michael Jackson allegations. You can also find here many actual court documents that verify the long and convoluted role these individuals played in making Michael Jackson’s life a living hell:

The connection between Dimond, Gutierrez, and Allen is one that can’t be emphasized enough when it comes to the topic of creating false evidence against Michael Jackson, even though Dimond on at least one occasion was able to effectively use the Shield Law to protect her from being sued by Michael. So let’s back up and look at one of the most notorious and blatant cases of creating phony evidence against Michael, and how all three of these players were involved.

The blogpost I have linked to above is fascinating in that it both confirms the connection between Rodney Allen and Victor Gutierrez (via the author’s own correspondence with Rodney Allen) and also confirms a long suspicion I had held regarding the strategic timing of the broadcast of the Rodney Allen story by Hard Copy in April of 1995.

To briefly summarize a very dirty and convoluted story, in December of 1994 Victor Gutierrez had tried without success to sell a story to the tabloids about an alleged videotape that he claimed featured Michael engaging in lewd acts with his own nephew Jeremy. Gutierrez cited the alleged source of the tape as Jeremy’s mother Margaret Maldonado, ex wife of Jermaine Jackson. Gutierrez had claimed that he met with Maldonado at the Century Plaza hotel to view the contents of the tape. Maldonado denied this vehemently in court, claiming she had never even met Gutierrez, and the Century Plaza hotel had no record of Gutierrez ever being there.

Michael With His Nephew Jeremy (Third From Left)
Michael With His Nephew Jeremy (Third From Left)

Gutierrez had no luck selling the story to tabloids. It was late 1994, over a year since the Chandler story had been hot news, and OJ was now the big story. Secondly, no one really wanted to touch the story because Gutierrez was not able to substantiate the actual existence of the video.

He finally turned to his friend Diane Dimond, and found a more than willing ally to spread the story, even though she had never personally seen the alleged tape or its contents. Based on no more information than her “source” (Gutierrez) she went on record in January of 1995 on a radio interview show and not only reported the existence of a tape she had never seen, but also falsely reported that the investigation of Michael Jackson was being reopened. This was blatantly untrue. The LA County DA had, in fact, already dismissed the story as bogus (or at the very least, as a story that had failed to hold up under scrutiny) and had no intention at that point of re-opening the investigation.

Although no one had even seen the alleged tape other than, supposedly, Gutierrez, this didn’t stop Hard Copy from running with the story a few days after Dimond had first let the cat out of the bag during the radio interview on January 5. On January 9, 1995, Hard Copy reported the story in a segment featuring Gutierrez, and several British tabloids followed suit.

Still, one very big problem remained…where was this alleged videotape, why had no one seen it, and why couldn’t the “source” simply turn it over if indeed it existed? The fact was that it didn’t  exist, and never had.

Michael filed a lawsuit against all parties involved in spreading the slanderous story-including Gutierrez, Dimond, and Hard Copy-for $100 million on January 12, 1995. However, Dimond got her good friend Tom Sneddon to write a long-winded declaration in her defense, citing The Shield Law and that as a journalist who was simply reporting, without malice, what had been told to her by her “source” she should not be a party to the suit.

The courts were apparently convinced by Sneddon’s passionate plea for his friend’s case, and Dimond eventually had to be dropped as a party in the suit. The upshot was that Victor Guiterrez was ordered to pay Michael Jackson $2.7 million in damages, but skipped the country and returned to his native Chile in a cowardly act that enabled him to circumvent ever having to pay the money. In a signed declaration, Gutierrez stated that he had returned to Santia to “get a good job” but hadn’t gotten a job and therefore “I do not have money to buy a plane ticket to return.” (Despite the fact that he later bragged about living in a 21-bedroom mansion!).

But here’s where the whole thing gets interesting. Apparently,  Victor Gutierrez and Rodney Allen were more than  well acquainted in 1995, when this story broke (the author of the above blog mentions Allen stating that he stayed with Gutierrez in LA and attended a book convention with him in the summer of 1995). And Diane Dimond, who was not only utilizing Gutierrez as her main “go to” source but considered him a personal friend as well, would almost surely had to have been aware of this fact! If this is all indeed true, then there was never any “great mystery” about the real identity of Mr. John Templeton, and Diane Dimond would have already been well aware that a pedophile in Toronto, Canada named Rodney Allen and her “source” Victor Gutierrez were working and hanging out together!

Secondly, it is interesting that Diane Dimond chose to run the Rodney Allen story on Hard Copy in April of 1995, at the exact time when she was still involved with the litigation of Michael Jackson’s lawsuit against her. I agree 100% with the blog’s author that the timing made it all seem like a well planned strategy to show that Dimond and Hard Copy were being objective and fair in their reporting on Michael Jackson, at a time when it served their best interests to prove this. It also occurred during a period when Michael was undergoing intense pressure to drop the case against Diane Dimond and Victor Gutierrez. Gutierrez, in particular, through his attorney Robert Goldman, engaged in many threatening tactics, particularly the threat that Gutierrez would promote his fictional fantasy book Michael Jackson Was My Lover at every opportunity if the case went to trial.

I can’t say beyond a shadow of doubt that Diane Dimond was complicit in knowingly fabricating the story of the phantom video tape, but for sure, she willingly aided and abetted the perpetrator of the hoax and reported false information when she stated that the case was being re-opened (Sneddon, it should be noted, was very careful in his declaration of defense for her to make his wording on this ambiguous, stating that the investigation was “inactive but not closed” in order to mitigate the lie and to make it seem understandable how she might have reached that conclusion). She also knowingly and willfully provided details about the video tape for which she had no first hand knowledge as she had never seen it, and thus had no verification that what she was reporting was even true.

But even more disturbing is how she could have possibly been so blindsided by Rodney Allen. And even worse, if she was already aware of his identity and what he was up to in Canada, why was she still wasting time chasing after false leads on Michael Jackson instead of investigating this guy?

Knowing the connection that both Rodney Allen and Diane Dimond have to Victor Gutierrez suddenly makes all of the puzzle pieces fit together. This would have explained, for instance, how Allen acquired much of his seeming first-hand knowledge of Hayvenhurst and Neverland (information he was then able to pass on to the boys in his circle). It doesn’t answer the question of who the “other” Jackson family member might have been who allegedly molested Allen, but given the ability of both Allen and Gutierrez to completely fabricate stories, there is no real reason to believe (without solid proof) that Allen was ever molested by anyone in the Jackson family.

Could the whole story have been part of an elaborate scam cooked up by the three parties involved-Diane Dimond, Victor Gutierrez, and Rodney Allen? I can’t say for certain, but based on the facts, I certainly wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility.

The whole situation reeks to high heaven. The best we can say, if we’re generous about Diane Dimond’s involvement, is that she used her connections with Gutierrez and Rodney Allen to create a fake story that would help to make her look good as litigation moved forward in Michael Jackson’s lawsuit against her. But the worst case scenario-that she may have actually been an accomplice with these two in a scam to fabricate a case against Michael (a case that subsequently unraveled under scrutiny) is even more damning.

Unfortunately, attempts to frame Michael Jackson with phony evidence doesn’t end there.

In 2012, I broke the story of Alexander Montagu, a distant relation to Princess Diana who capitalized on this tenuous connection and Michael’s known affection for the late princess to concoct an unsavory plan. He invited Michael to attend a Los Angeles memorial service for Diana in September of 1997. However, the invitation as it turned out was merely a front to gain Michael’s trust. He even went so far as telling Michael that he knew, personally, that Michael was not invited to the London memorial and that his only option to honor his friend was by attending the Los Angeles event. However, Montagu’s real plan was that after the service, he would invite Michael back to his hotel to meet his young son Alex, Jr.   Montagu had picqued Michael’s interest by talking about his airplane business, and it seems Michael had considered purchasing a plane from Montagu. During the two hour visit, Montagu filmed Michael playing hide and seek with Alex, and in fact, seemed to be going suspiciously above and beyond in filming every interaction between Michael and his son. Although Michael later invited the family to Neverland on at least one occasion,  whatever friendly relations he may have had with Alexander Montagu apparently soured when the deal to buy the plane fell through. However, it was later revealed by Montagu’s wife Wendy that the entire plan had been a setup from the very beginning, with the intention of framing Michael by claiming that Michael had molested Alex, Jr! Thankfully, I had a wonderful source during the writing of this article, Melinda-Pillsbury Foster, a personal friend of Wendy Montagu’s who had been privy to the whole, sordid scam! You can read my entire, original post on Alexander Montagu and his scheme here:

Years later,  during the Arvizo trial, Montagu had contacted Tom Sneddon and was subpoenaed to appear as a witness for the prosecution. Although he had never been successful in creating a convincingly compromising situation between Michael and his son, he still figured the very innocent footage he had filmed of Michael playing with Alex, Jr.  could be put to good use. He figured he would use it to help strengthen the prosecution’s case by claiming the film as evidence of how Michael “groomed” his potential victims. This was all part of an elaborate plan from the  the prosecution to “expose” Michael’s previous lifestyle, which included the notorious Neverland Five, a group of five disgruntled ex-employees who re-surfaced in 2005 ten years after they had sued their boss and had been successfully counter sued, and were likewise never able to produce any hardcore evidence of Michael abusing children. Mostly they had succeeded  only with selling stories intended to embarrass and humiliate their former boss to the tabloids. However, stories of uncontrollable diarrhea and such nonsense (even if true, which they probably weren’t) did not construe evidence of a crime, and such feeble attempts as introducing Montagu’s staged footage as “evidence” of a grooming process in place, while utterly absurd, was apparently the best they could do. It is heartbreaking in these clips to see Michael so innocently playing with this kid, thinking he is among friends, when the reality was that he was being set up.


In the defense’s motion to have Montagu’s false testimony thrown out, it was explicitly stated:

“There is something disturbing about how badly Mr. Manchester wants to testify about an incident in which his own son denies that any wrongful attacks occurred.”

The plans to testify fell through when Wendy Montagu refused to cooperate and threatened to expose the scam. Even worse for him, his son Alex, Jr. refused to accuse Michael of wrongdoing. The boy had only fond memories of his brief time spent with Michael, and chose to stand by his mother’s version of events. Montagu weasled out of testifying  by claiming that he was being threatened by Jackson’s camp to stay away from the trial, but the reality was that he knew his story would not hold up if not substantiated by Wendy, and he couldn’t risk the fact that she might make true on her threat and talk.

Alas, there is a direct link of Alexander Montagu to yet another notorious fabricator of stories about Michael Jackson-none other than Scott Thorson!

And, to add further to the topic of those attempting to plant false evidence against Michael, there is a fascinating discussion here regarding Marc Shaffel’s alleged attempt to plant child porn on Michael:

marc shaffel 2
Did Marc Schaffel Plan To Plant Gay Child Porn On Michael? Yes, According To Andrew Breitbart and Paul Baressi

The post is mostly a scan from a chapter of Andrew Brietbart’s book Hollywood Interrupted which is well worth the read. Brietbart’s source for this info was Paul Baressi, who apparently ended up feeling quite bitter when his exposure of Schaffel’s intended scam was not repaid by Michael’s attorneys. Brietbart is hardly a Michael Jackson fan, but all the more reason why he would have little motivation to lie about something like this. Schaffel’s plan, in a nutshell, was to plant one of his own gay porno films featuring two underaged boys on Michael, in the hopes of receiving a $25 milion dollar payout. And he claimed, according to Baressi’s source David Aldorf, an associate of Shaffel’s, that if he didn’t get his $25 million the next step would be the tabloids.

Alias Marc Schaffel
Fred Schaffel, aka Marc Schaffel

And, speaking of famous set-ups, let’s not forget that one of the most notorious was when Martin Bashir (whom it is now known was using Victor Gutierrez as a consultant during the filming of Living With Michael Jackson) coerced the scene of Gavin Arvizo lying his head on Michael’s shoulder!

I am certain that every incident I’ve touched on here is still only the tip of the iceberg.  As I stated  before, the practice of bringing false allegations against Michael, and/or of  planting fabricated evidence and/or creating phantom victims has been going on at least as far back as the Chandler case, and perhaps even earlier (in fact, it stands to reason that the Chandler case may have simply been the first and only such fabricated case that actually succeeded according to plan, no doubt setting the stage for many other attempts to follow). In that case, also, no explicit or “smoking gun” evidence was ever produced, but the pressure and embarrassment garnered by  negative publicity was enough to set the wheels in motion for a payout. Thus, the motivation for blackmail from unscrupulous parties was ever present. Although as Victor Gutierrez and others had to learn the heard way, even the tabloids have their limits. However, many such unscrupulous gumshoe “journalists,” ex business partners, and others with axes to grind all learned how to play the system, and how to navigate the balance between the tabloids on the one hand, and the police on the other-and how to play both. The wisdom, of course, is that if one potential avenue doesn’t pan out, the other will (usually with the idea being that police involvement will force the tabloids’ hand). Either way, many consider it a win-win, thinking that either the threat of negative publicity will force a settlement or that the income generated from the tabloids alone will be sufficient. In the best case scenario, they are usually hoping for both-that is, that a deluge of embarrasing headlines will ultimately force a settlement offer.

However, in the particular case of Michael Jackson, the motive and the stakes for creating fake evidence against him has an even more sinister agenda for some than mere money or greed. For some, it is a life’s ambition to “prove” what has remained frustratingly and elusively “non provable” for them.

This brings us back to Carlo Riley’s recent post. Apparently, according to what I have been able to gather from Riley himself, this is not the first time. Over the last few years, he has been offered money to fake supposedly incriminating photos with children. He has been asked to pose in casket photos (the latter, perhaps, not as serious as the child photos, but still, a duplicitious scheme nonetheless)  and it seems to be a practice that has targeted at least a few of the more well known tribute artists. I suppose it’s an idea that may make sense in theory to some. Let’s get a Michael Jackson tribute artist-someone who bears enough of a passing resemblance to MJ to pull it off-and pay him enough money to pose in a photo or video tape (that, of course, is made to look incriminating). The problem is that most MJ tribute artists-at least the ones I know-are people who love, respect, and admire the man they emulate. He is their hero, and they would never do anything so lowdown as this. However, not all tribute artists are scrupulous (there was even one who made some embarrassing  headlines a few years back after he molested a child) and I am sure there are some who, just like anybody else, would do “anything for money.” There are some who imitate Michael Jackson simply because it is a way to make money and gain some notoriety. I sincerely hope they are a minority, and I believe that they are. Of course, it is highly doubtful that such a ruse could hold up for long, under intense scrutiny. Michael Jackson fans know what Michael looks like, and a phony can be sniffed out pretty quickly. Also, there are still enough reputable journalists out there whom I believe would see through such a scam pretty quickly. Photographs can be authenticated easily enough. But in today’s world of instantaneous, cut and paste journalism (where facts are seldom checked and a phony story can spread like wildfire within hours)  all it would take is one tabloid outlet willing to pick up the story for the damage to be done.

While I have not been able to verify among the MJ tribute artists I know personally just how prevalent this practice is, it stands to reason that the more well known ones like Riley would be targeted. Riley has been featured on TMZ and is a routine presence at many Michael Jackson functions across the country. If someone was going to plot to hire an impersonator to pose for an incriminating photo with kids, it makes sense that they would start by first going after the more well known ones who would be easy to track down.

Could it be coincidence that Carlo Riley broke his silence just a few days prior to the probate case dismissal of  Wade Robson’s claim? Could this have been a last minute, desperate effort on the part of Robson and his attorneys to drum up some kind of evidence, any evidence, to support his case? There is no way to know for sure and, unfortunately, I can only chalk up any such speculations to just that. Speculation.  Riley has said that the persons behind this were not forthright in either identifying themselves or their motives, and if he does know more, he apparently is not at liberty to say. However, what is not coincidence is just how prevalent these types of stories become whenever Michael’s name is in the news. Whether it is positive or negative, press coverage always has a way of drawing the roaches out of the woodwork.

To return to the original question, the answer to just how prevalent is this practice is very. The scary part is that this practice apparently remains such big business even six years after Michael’s death. It apparently remains big business because a trial, an acquittal and at least twenty-two years’ worth of ample opportunity for that elusive “smoking gun” to surface, without luck, have not been enough to satisfy those who so desperately want the world to believe that Michael committed these crimes. Whether the motive is profit or just to “prove a point” there are some who will stop at no ends to do whatever it takes.

Even if that means stooping to create evidence that never existed, and never will.

ETA: I wanted to add to the main post some additional links that were provided by Suzy which are definitely worth checking out.

Here is the story of the Newts, another family that tried to set up a false claim against Michael during the height of the Arvizo trial publicity storm:

More on Marc Schaffel and the even dirtier scam he pulled to try to force a settlement from Michael, inventing a tale of a phantom “pay out” to a family in Brazil:

Document verifying Victor Gutierrez’s “confession” to tabloid broker Ken Wells that his stories are “BS”:



54 thoughts on “Planting Fake Evidence Against MJ: Just How Prevalent Is This Practice?”

  1. Hi Raven,the photo of Michael with Shaffel’s It is actually Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Sheikh of Bahrain,not Shaffel.

    1. Oops I had misidentified that pic in my file! Shaffel and the Sheikh look somewhat similar to me so I sometimes confuse them if not careful. Have replaced with a pic I know for sure is the right guy, lol.

  2. Did anyone ask the obvious question – was there any proof that Rodney Allen ‘ s boy accuser had ever entered the United States? There is ample material readily available online that could allow anyone to fake intimate knowledge of Neverland and Hayvenhurst. Diane Dimond is either complicit in these phony stories, or she’s as dumb as a box of rocks. Serial killers tend to keep souvenirs of their victims, too. Perhaps that’s why DD is so proud of owning one of Michael’s fedoras, and has portraits of him on her office wall.

    As Marc Schaffel’s attempts to defame and extort Michael are well known, it boggles the mind that the mother of Michael’s children, who claims to have loved him so deeply, would be “engaged” to marry this POS. It’s even worse than her close friendship with Harvey Levin. The cruelty meted out to these children on a routine basis is downright Dickensian.

    1. I think she’s complicit. It’s the only explanation that makes sense. As much as I despise Diane Dimond, she isn’t dumb by a long shot (people don’t get to be as devious as she is by being dumb). I think she knew the truth about Rodney Allen all along.

      As for the info re Neverland and Hayvenhurst, yes, most of it is readily online now but that wouldn’t have been the case back in 1995. I think that VG must have been the source (well, it’s an hypothesis that makes sense to me, anyway).

      I agree; Debbie’s “thing” with Marc Schaffel-whatever it is-is both disturbing and puzzling. The engagement story could have been media BS but she’s definitely quite chummy with the dude these days. I guess one thing I always try to keep in mind is that no matter how it looks to us as outsiders, people who are/were on the inside of Michael’s circle live somewhat in a different universe from ours. They have a shared history, so to speak, and sometimes that in itself can create strange bedfellows-a kind of bond, if you will. It is not always rational or easy to explain. I’m sure that Schaffel has probably denied a lot and rationalized a lot, and maybe Debbie believes it. Who knows. Those kids have to be very, very confused about who to trust. For years, Michael kept them shielded from much of the ugliness that permeated his life. I’m sure the last few years have been quite a crash course for them.

      1. “Strange bedfellows” seems an appropriate term to use re DR and Marc, but in that same context what about Dieter Wiesner’s connection “managing” Joe Jackson in Europe? They were recently pictured together in Cannes. In 2010-2011 MJJr went to Germany to present MJ’s lyrics for charity at the Bambi’s, with Wiesner clearly in the picture. This liaison seems unfathomable considering the harm Wiezner did to MJ at his most vulnerable time and the blatant exploitation of his memory carried on by DW since MJ’s departure. Surely this JJ/DW connection is another relationship that is difficult to understand and explain.

        1. There are so many like this that defy explanation or understanding. I don’t get it, but like I said, I think a lot of Michael’s family and friends are operating in a different universe from ours. And to be honest, a lot of them are far more naive than the fans about some things, but that can’t excuse others. The most troubling to me is LaToya’s association with Victor Gutierrez. However, I have also considered the possibility that LaToya may be using him to get info out of him. Sometimes getting to the truth means having to lie down with the wolves and a part of me is wondering if there is, indeed, a method to her madness (LaToya isn’t nearly as ditzy as she pretends and I believe she does want to get to the truth of what happened to her brother). But, yes, sometimes you really just have to shake your head and wonder what these people are thinking.

  3. It’s really astonishing how this conspiracy against Michael was created. All these people planning this sordid plan to frame one man, and for what and why? I think that each one of them had their own motives. Diane Dimond wants fame and recognition for herself as the investigative journalist who discover that the most famous man in the world was a criminal. Victor Gutierrez wanted to use Michael to promote pedophilia for Nambla. Evan Chandler wanted to be a famous screenwriter and for this he needed the money. That’s the one of the reasons that i think it’s faulty the argument that some people use against Michael by saying that Michael brought his fate on himself by his own actions. It’s was much more complex than this, how could Michael know who was out to frame him? People were working behind the scenes to destroy his life and profit with his downfall. Some of these people were introduced to him by “friends”, like Marc Schaffel, who was introduced to him by Arnold Klein.

    Debbie Rowe’s situation with Marc Schaffel is something that i don’t understand. In 2005, she said that Marc Schaffel was out to hurt Michael and her children. But later she was out and about with Marc, went to Japan with him to promote his documentary about Michael’s trip to Gary. Last year, they announced that strange story about a engagement. Did she lie in 2005? What changed? It’s evident why Prince don’t trust her. These people are users, Michael being rich, famous, generous made him out to be the perfect target for these kind of people using him for their own advantage. They played on his insecurities and isolation, gained his trust, for later betray him and profit for his problems.

    1. I honestly think the only thing Michael was guilty of as far as “bringing it on himself” was setting into motion his whole “Kid Power” thing that resulted in creating the perfect breeding ground to accuse him of this type of crime. I believe that people wanted to destroy him, but they had to have an accusation they could make stick that would be both shocking and yet within the realm of possibility. If Michael had been a noted womanizer, for example, his path of destruction might have been sown with a very different seed. Then his enemies might have planted stories of rape or illegitimate kids (Michael did have those kinds of accusations as well-not rape but certainly charges of having illegitimate kids- but not nearly enough to create a true scandal, and these kinds of accusations are fairly routine for most male pop stars, anyway so they’re hardly shocking unless the numbers of them become staggering). The whole “Kid Power” thing that Michael began to cultivate in the late 80’s and early 90’s created a unique angle and a unique opportunity that his enemies seized upon.

      I don’t understand what’s going on with Debbie and Marc, either. I just gave my thoughts on that in my comment to Simba, so I guess I’ll refrain from repeating myself but it’s just very bizarre.

      ETA: I wanted to briefly add something to this comment that I think is relevant. I was reading Susan Fast’s proposal for her book on Dangerous and in her introduction she made a statement regarding the motive for the allegations that I found quite interesting. Here is the excerpt from that quote: “And he is, finally, publicly shamed with an allegation of child sexual molestation. What better metaphor could there be for society’s rejection of him as an adult man, what better castrating gesture?” (my emphasis). I thought that was a pretty powerful statement. Could the allegations-of sexual misconduct against children, of all things-have been a way of effectively “castrating” the potent sexual threat of a black man with too much power? While I think it is certainly far more complex than that, I do think she is right in a way. What stands out most to me when I think back to how the press covered those stories-and how the public responded to them-was not so much the accusation itself, but the absolute GLEE that some seemed to have in response to it. It struck me at the time as very unprecedented and, I think, is still quite unprecedented today, although in general it seems that our culture always glorifies more in the taking down of an African-American celebrity. The reasons for that, of course, is a topic far too complex to address in a comment, but I think it would be naive to assume that cases of black celebrity scandals vs white celebrity scandals are handled equally. They aren’t. There is a definite double standard in the way these stories are handled, which then impacts how the public reacts to them. One major difference is that it seems black celebrities are given far less benefit of the doubt and are almost always presumed guilty, whereas white celebrities (or Jewish or anything else) are usually treated sympathetically in the wake of accusations and given benefit of the doubt until proven guilty. The wagons will always circle around them, whereas African-American celebrities are more apt to be thrown under the bus. I’ve seen it play out too many times to not believe there is something to this. In the accusations of pedophilia, and even more aptly, the accusation of molesting boys specifically, they had the perfect means of effectively neutering his sexual potency in the public mind.

      1. I think this comment by Susan Fast is acurate, even Michael mentioned that when he started break the Beatles’s records, Elvis Presley’s records, bought the Beatles’s catalog, had white girls screaming for him, proposing him sex, wanting to marry him, was when It started the backlash from media. He mentioned in the glenda tapes when talking about German’s leg of Dangerous tour, that the men there didn’t like black men, but their women sure liked.

        In my opinion, they would take him down in some way, they didn’t find others commonly “Dirty things” about him, so they distorted his affection for children. This is the worst crime that you could accuse someone, but to take down the most famous man in the world, It was the most letal weapon, since he loved children that much. They didn’t thought that he would recover from that, Evan Chandler said that Michael wouldn’t sell even one album after he put his plan in motion. But Michael came back, so 2005 trial happened and they thought It was over, but came this is It and his post-death commercial success, so Wade Robson and Safechuck came to play their parts. I think all these things are connected.

        1. I read once that it seemed to be more than coincidence that a fresh wave of accusations seem to hit precisely at about the same time with every decade-the Chandler allegations in 1993, the Arvizo allegations in 2003, and then Wade Robson in 2013. That is a three decade pattern in which the fourth year of every single decade has brought forth a new allegation, and in every case, they have followed a period of time in which Michael’s career was on the upswing. 1993, as we know, started off as a momentous year for him, one that saw him at the pinnacle of his success with the Superbowl performance, the Oprah Winfrey interview, and the Grammy Living Legend Award. In 2003, a huge plan was in place for revitalizing his career and image, only to be stymied by the Arvizo crap. And by 2013, his posthumous career was booming with Cirque du Soleil and other projects.

      2. Re. motive for the allegations. I too think it’s complex with several layers. One could be what Fast says. But I also think Michael was too good for this world. He was talented, rich, living his life freely the way he wanted not caring about fitting in etc, he was extremely good hearted – and he did that as a black man on top of that. People are easily made jealous. And when they are jealous they are looking for reasons to tear down someone, so when someone offers them the reason they gladly take it. Without the allegations you have a man who was admirably good-hearted. Always giving, always helping in any way he could. And because many people are not like that they are looking for ulterior motives behind that. I think when Michael in songs like Is It Scary or Threatened sings about people projecting themselves onto him that is true. Projecting – not necessarily that people who believe or accuse him of being a child molester are child molesters themselves. Of course not. But many people would not do anything for others without an ulterior motive, so they think MJ too must have had an ulterior motive behind building Neverland, all the charities, giving to families etc. That’s a nicer thought to many people than to accept that there are actually better people than themselves who will do such things without ulterior motives or expecting anything in return.

        But this is yet again just one of the many, many layers of the motives behind these allegations.

  4. And here’s another – the Newt family:

    “During Jackson’s 2005 trial, Fox News’ Roger Friedman met with a family, the Newts, who told him that when Jackson’s first scandal went public in 1993, the National Enquirer offered them $200,000 to say that in the 1980s the then 11-year-old twin boys of the family had been molested or improperly touched by Jackson.

    In the mid-80s the twin boys, Robert and Ronald Newt Jr. were aspiring child performers, managed by Michael Jackson’s father, Joseph Jackson. The Newts explained that the National Enquirer had learned that in 1985 they spent two weeks in the Jackson’s Encino family home as guests. They approached the family and offered the boys’ father, Ronald Newt Sr. $200,000 to say Michael Jackson was sexually inappropriate with his sons.

    Robert Newt was 18 years old in 1993 when he and his father were contacted by a National Enquirer reporter, Jim Mitteager, whom they agreed to meet with at the Marriot Hotel in San Francisco. Mitteager wanted to pay them to lie.

    “He said, ‘Say he grabbed you on the butt. Say he grabbed you and touched you in any kind of way,’” Newt said. “He told us he took all these people down. Now he was going to take Michael down. That he would really destroy him. He told us he took all these other famous people down. All the major people that had scandals against them. He said, ‘We take these people down. That’s what we do.’”


    “My dad said these dudes are offering this money to take Michael Jackson down. And the guy [Mitteager] said, ‘Say he touched you. All you have to do is say it. But you might have to take the stand. You might have to go on ‘Oprah’ in front of all these people. You have to be prepared for this thing. Just say it. And we’ll give you money,’” Newt said.” [1]

    According to Friedman, the Newts had evidence of their story, the contract that was given to them by Mitteager and signed by David Perel, who was the editor of the tabloid at the time. The Newts refused to sign the contract and told the tabloid that they were not willing to accuse Jackson of anything.

    “The contract, written as a letter, says it’s an agreement between the tabloid and the Newts for their exclusive story regarding “your relationship with and knowledge of Michael Jackson, and his sexuality, your knowledge of Michael Jackson’s sexual contact and attempts at sexual contact with Robert Newt and others.” [1]

    According to Robert Newt, Mitteager knew nothing had happened but wanted them to lie nevertheless:

    “He didn’t care! He was like, ‘Just say it and we’ll give you the money.’ And I was like, ‘He [Jackson] never touched me!” Newt said. “He [Mitteager] was really fishing and really digging. Think about it — most people you say it to, ‘We’ll give you this money,’ even [if it’s not true]. And they’d take it.”


    “He was trying to coach me — if I decided to take the money, what would happen. He said ‘You know, it’s going to be a huge scandal. You’ll probably have a lot of people not liking you. You’re going to be famous!’ But to me, you’d be ruined. And the truth is Michael didn’t do anything even close to trying to molest us.” [1]

    Friedman had another piece of evidence, independent from the Newts, to back up their story: Mitteager had a habit of taping his conversations. After he died, his tapes were handed over to private investigator, Paul Barresi. Those tapes, according to Friedman, included Mitteager’s negotiations with the Newts.

    The Newts’ story is not unique and could be considered the norm in the media’s handling of the allegations against Michael Jackson. In 1993, Jackson’s cousin, Tim Whitehead disclosed to Geraldo Riveira’s television show that he was offered $100,000 by a tabloid to say Jackson was gay. In the same episode, television show actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who as a child in 1984 appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Jackson (and who is best known for his role as Carlton in the Will Smith sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) told that his father “was offered $100,000 by a tabloid to say anything negative about Michael Jackson”. Whitehead and Ribeiro firmly stated that they never saw Jackson act sexually inappropriate with any child and they never felt uncomfortable around him. [2]”

    As for Schaffel, let’s not forget this stunt by him:

    And of course, we know from the trial that all of the prosecution’s “prior bad acts witnesses” received or attempted to receive money from the tabloids with their stories: the Neverland 5, the Hayvenhurst 5, Blanca Francia, the LeMarques, the Quindoys – all of them. And several of these – eg. Francia and the Hayvenhurst 5 – were paid by Diane Dimond’s Hard Copy.

    Re. Gutierrez. He had no qualms about falsifying evidence. The person who does the Turning The Table on the Chandlers blog posted this declaration on her Twitter:

    This is from a private investigator, Eric Mason about VG all but admitting to tabloid broker Ken Wells that the video tape did not exist. They also asked him for some photo: “Mr. Wells told me that Mr. Goldman and Mr. Gutierrez requested that Mr. Wells get the supposed photographs of Mr. Jackson, with Mr. Gutierrez saying that he needed the photographs to help him with this case, and even if the pictures were fake, he could still make money selling them.”

    “Although no one had even seen the alleged tape other than, supposedly, Gutierrez and Maldonado”

    I know it’s not what you meant, but I think this is a bit misleading as it could suggest Maldonado also claimed to have seen the tape when she did not and she always denied its existence.

    1. I will add the links you provided to the main post later this evening. I wasn’t as familiar with the story of the Newt case so thanks for that information. However, I did know that Jim Meatteager had been one of those who would offer people money to lie about Michael. As I said before, I knew I was barely scraping the surface here as this has been a long and sordid practice that has gone on for decades.

      I revised the phrasing of the passage in question regarding Maldonado.

  5. It’s interesting to note that when the name of Victor Gutierrez is brought to Dimond, she flat out denies she had any contact with him yet the FACTS show otherwise!!!! Dare I say that it’s because Dimond KNOWS deep down that Guitierrez is the REAL pedophile and she’s let him get clean away to chase the INNOCENT Michael Jackson because it buys her the latest in designer clothes/footwear?!!!

    She’ll fool herself time and time again deliberately because the STORY of the “guilty” Michael gets her $$$$ and self publicizing! BUT one day she will not be able to take her ill-gotten “gains” with her and have to pay the price for denying her conscience and the TRUTH of enabling the dirty pedo, Guiterrez to get away with his crimes and setting Michael to take the fall as the “poster boy”!!!!

    1. It’s truly baffling, isn’t it? That is, trying to figure out the motives of why people do the things they do. I’ll never forget when I first started researching the allegations against Michael how SHOCKED I was when I learned how closely tied almost all of the major players were-good friends who will lie to have one another’s backs; who will assist one another in cover-ups, in creating falsified information, and who knows what else.

  6. I have a link to a program where Diane Dimond is being interviewed by Ed Opperman of The Opperman Report. she talks for two hours. the only interesting part is where she says that she was friends/acquaintance with Louise Palanker prior to any of them meeting the Arivizos and long before the Arvizo accusations.

    1. It’s interesting you posted this interview. I was just listening to it a few days ago. I found quite a few bits of interesting information in there, like how prosecutors were feeding her information from the very beginning. According to Dimond herself, someone from the government the Hard Copy office and chose to illegally show her sensitive documents, supposedly because of her excellent Heidi Fleiss coverage. lol!

      Dimond goes to great lengths to talk about how she likes to stay on the periphery of her stories, not getting close to her subjects. But then she immediately contradicts this with information about how close she was to the prosecution in this case, also to Michaela Salahi, her other book subject. (note the many wedding invitations she receives!) In fact, critical proximity is one of DD’s biggest problems. Because she cannot critically evaluate and analyze evidence, so she attaches herself to one side of the story and puppets what she is told, while deluding herself that she is being objective and on the periphery of the story. Her proximity clouds her ability to evaluate what it being said even more.

      One entertaining example in the beginning of the interview is her story about how she got a lot of information about OJ Simpson from his drug dealer. Really? I really laughed out loud on that one. Why would a real drug dealer want to talk openly to a Hard Copy reporter connected to the police? She also talks about these fake MJ victims who claim to be scared to death of the “Jackson machine,” refusing to talk to counselors or police, but spilling their guts to her. She never finds it strange they have no problem talking to her, the MJ infotainment queen!

      Another really interesting bit is when she claims during the height of the Chandler scandal, when supposedly the Chandlers were being harassed and threatened by media and fans, she found out that Jordan’s parents used to drop him off at the movie theatres, unattended! So she shows up, catches him and starts interrogating him! So sensitive of her. Then claiming to be a decent human being, she acts like she can’t reveal what was said. I’m sure in the final analysis it was the same thing he said on the stand – nothing.

      Anyway, I found that interview quite valuable. I’m glad you posted it.

      1. This is from Ray Chandler’s book. Larry Feldman is being quoted here:

        “Right. Listen to this, Evan. Maureen Orth is writing this big Vanity Fair article. And when she went out to see Fields he said, we’re going to litigate this case hard and heavy, we’ve got nothing to hide. Now he wants a six-year stay! She’s fuckin’ gonna see see this and flip . . . and Diane Dimond too, you know, who’s really your closest ally.”

        I think the Chandlers were leaking documents to her both in 1993 and 2003. In 2003, after the Bashir interview she suddenly had the settlement. Which is a confidential document that a reporter was not supposed to have. She tried to make up some lame story about Lisa Marie Presley leaking it or something like that, but that is obviously BS. I’m sure it were Ray and/or Evan Chandler who leaked it to her. At the time the Chandlers were starting to leak stuff (also Jordan’s declaration and his interview with Dr. Gardner etc.).

        1. Very interesting, Suzy. Especially with Ray Chandler’s book, it does seems like the Chandler’s themselves were leaking information. But there was also some tension between Evan, Ray and Jordan Chandler that I wonder about. Depending on how the confidentiality clause was worded in the ’93 settlement and how it was done, leaking information to the press could possibly expose Jordan Chandler to legal action , allowing MJ to sue him for the settlement amount (apparently Ray Chandler became a lawyer to deal with this ca$e). It also seems to me that in ’93, the Chandlers had a big incentive to not leak information, in that they were negotiating a confidentiality agreement. It’s not that I’m so naive that I think they wouldn’t do it anyway, but $$$ wise, it was in their interest to keep their mouths shut. And they were certainly motivated by money more than any other factor, evidenced by the Barry Rothman/Larry Feldman approach.

          At about 28:30 into that Opperman interview, DD says Hard Copy got a cold call from a “source” that she refuses to identify even by gender. To me, it sounded like a government source because she says they met clandestinely and “I started copying down notes from these documents, I couldn’t take the documents because they were, [clears throat] absconded with from city files. . . yeah, they were child welfare Youth and Family services files and police dept. files. And it was the whole story of how this kid was claiming Michael Jackson had dated him and wooed him and taken him around the world and seduced him and sexually abused him. And his mother knew and his father knew and it was the whole story.”

          Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but to me, it sounded like a government source leaking this information in 1993, because they had the agency files, which is really troubling to me. Maybe not, but my ears definitely perked up in this part of the interview.

          Also, I noted that the interviewer, Ed Opperman, is a private detective who specializes in tracing email addresses. That was really interesting because many fans, including me, have received irritating emails from DD when criticizing her work on the internet. (I’ll check my inbox now, lol)

          1. Diane Dimond is a liar, so I always take these stories by her about how she got hold of certain documents and information (and of course everything else) with a mountain of salt. There is a book entitled Tabloid Baby by her ex boss at Hard Copy, Burt Kearns. In the book Kearns says regarding the Chandler story that the way they got hold of those DCFS docs was that they (Hard Copy – not personally Dimond) just got a fax with the DCFS report and Kearns gave it to Dimond to report it and ever since she’s been taking credit for the whole thing. IIRC she presented some story about supposedly secretly meeting with some source that give the papers to her personally etc. But according to Kearns it just wasn’t true. According to Lynette from VMJ Hard Copy did not even get the fax exclusively. Many media outlets got it at the time. So it was not some fantastic journalistic effort or investigation or exclusive by Dimond.

            BTW, here are some interesting extracts about Dimond’s reaction to the Tabloid Baby book (taken from VMJ: ):

            “As visitors to this site know, Diane Dimond’s tabloid television career benefited greatly from the tutelage, expertise and writing skills of Tabloid Baby’s author. Yet, when Tabloid Baby was published, Diane, along with Tom Brokaw, helped lead a media blackout of the book. Despite the blacklisting, Tabloid Baby sold far more copies than did Dimond’s book.

            “Diane used to be a tabloid television reporter. The author of ‘Tabloid Baby’ used to be her boss. He wrote scripts for her, fed her lines and helped “create” her as a tabloid TV star.

            “Luke: “when you came back and tried to work in your field, you felt after-effects from the book?”

            Burt: “Definitely. The people that I worked with were protecting their own asses in their new careers. .. I can mention Diane Dimond and Geraldo Rivera. I had cleaned up stuff about them for selfish reasons. They were doing a show on MSNBC and I wanted to get on their show to promote the book. I made sure everything I wrote was nice about Diane Dimond. But there was one little mention about Steve Dunleavy beating her—and the rest of the world– on a story. She took that very personally and got me banned from MSNBC. She left a cursing phone message on my publicist’s answering machine. It was hysterical! I got her going by telling her I was going to release it to the media. And Geraldo, who the book was dedicated to, wouldn’t have anything to do with it at all. Never deigned to say a word. Because they all went legit.

            And then she told some BS story about how she got hold of the settlement in 2003 too. She did not flat out claim that she got it from LMP but she acted like she’s not quite sure where it is coming from and she suggested, speculated that LMP might be behind it (of course, carefully just “speculating”, not claiming, so that she could not get sued by LMP). That is of course BS and she must know full well who she got it from. Obviously the game here is that the document could only come from either Michael’s side or the Chandlers, since it’s a confidential document. Leaking it is illegal. Dimond wanted to protect the Chandlers (who were actually the ones who leaked it to her, I am sure – and I am also sure she knows that) and she diverted attention from them by suggesting someone from MJ’s side instead. It would obviously not sound too plausible even to her gullible audience that it was MJ so she found someone who could be portrayed as some angry ex-wife with an axe to grind. While LMP was indeed angry at MJ at the time but she is not the type who would be interested in playing such games. It’s out of character for her. It is not out of character at all, however, for Evan and Ray Chandler. They have been playing the leak game ever since 1993.

            They have been feeding the National Enquirer with stories in 1993. They have been feeding Guiterrez. They tried to get around the settlement in 1994 and publish a book already back then. Then they have been again feeding tabloids with stories in 1997 and 1998 when Evan sued MJ for another $60 million. BTW, I have seen a motion by LMP’s lawyer from that court case where he complained that when LMP was deposed for that case Evan tried to use it as publicity for the case:

            “Based on speculative and unfounded “conspiracy” allegations, plaintiff Evan Chandler has improperly dragged defendant Lisa Marie Presley into this lawsuit that is really between Chandler and Presley’s former husband, defendant Michael Jackson alone. Chandler’s recent actions prove that his reason for improperly suing Presley is, pure and simple, publicity, for himself and his counsel. Two weeks ago, Chandler took Presley’s deposition, and secretly called the media to tell them when and where Ms. Presley would be deposed. When they arrived at the deposition, Ms. Presley and her counsel were unexpectedly besieged by the press. Chandler’s counsel also went on the air in a nationwide tabloid news program to publicize the Presley deposition. It would not be surprising if counsel had been paid for that. The deposition included questions about such private issues as Ms. Presley’s marriage to Jackson. Yet when asked to make the transcript confidential, Chandler’s counsel refused, showing that Chandler intends – unless stopped by this Court – to further improperly publicize Ms. Presley’s private life.”

            “Depending on how the confidentiality clause was worded in the ’93 settlement and how it was done, leaking information to the press could possibly expose Jordan Chandler to legal action”.

            Yes, but I think that’s where Dimond’s protection with the Shield Law comes into the picture. She would claim that she got it from some anonymous source or something like that and it would be very difficult to get anywhere with that legally.

            I don’t know if it was a government source behind the 1993 leak, but I’d rather suspect the Chandlers there as well. Simply because this was their modus operandi of playing the press.

          2. That’s really fascinating. Thanks Suzy. “Tabloid Baby” has been on my wish list for a while. I just ordered it thanks to your recommendation!

            I really hope you are right about how DD got those files in 1993. To have to add a few government agencies to the DD, Gutierrez, Allen trio would be pretty sinister indeed. I noticed on page 18 of DD’s book, she mentions the cold call that came in to producer Steve Doran that day, but is careful not to mention much else about the source. She says within 2 hours they were seated at a restaurant going over “top-secret” files.

          3. I remember reading the piece on Tabloid Baby a few years ago. You know, something that is interesting and revealing from what Burt Kearns says is that even if Diane Dimond didn’t have “exclusive” sources like she claimed, it says a lot about her willingness to lie and to misrepresent herself. So that, too, is an aspect of her character that can’t be underestimated.

  7. Perhaps Carlo Riley can do us a favor and be more forthcoming with the details about these shadowy figures who are still trying to defame Michael. What exactly did they want him to do? How much were they offering to pay him? How about a name or two? Just claiming that this sort of thing goes on means nothing. Name and shame them.

    1. I agree. I wish that he would but as I was telling Sina, he claims that the parties have been vague about their identity. But it’s also possible he isn’t at liberty to say. My understanding is that the claims are being investigated but-at risk of sounding like DD (lol)-I only know what my sources tell me

  8. Regarding the scene with Gavin, I found this online:

    If only Michael Jackson’s personal videographer had been present during the scene with Gavin Arvizo. People would see that there was nothing to be “disturbed” about and that this was a very innocent and beautiful friendship that was taken totally out of context by an unethical tabloid reporter who was after achieving the highest ratings in tv history. I know someone who was present during the filming of that particular scene and who is a former employee of neverland. He told me that the interview with Gavin lasted for about 30 minutes. Jackson asked Gavin to be in the film because Bashir told him that the documentary was going to be a very positive documentary that would mainly focus on his charity towards sick kids. Gavin was a child whom Jackson had helped and Jackson wanted to share his amazing story with the world. Gavin talked about how Michael was like a father to him and did much more for him then his own dad. He talked about his father’s abuse and also talked about how he almost died from cancer and became emotional. Jackson grabbed the boy’s hand and held it and told him “it’s okay” and Gavin rested his head on his shoulder. But of course all of this was edited out and Bashir portrays it in a whole different way. His cameraman zooms in on them holding hands and he adds the sinister voice-over “I found this easily the most disturbing moment of the past 8 months”, giving viewers the impression that they were holding hands because they were sexual lovers. This is why Jackson sued Bashir and called his documentary “a gross distortion of the truth” and accused Bashir of “broadcasting sensationalized innuendo”

    1. Hi, pammie–do you have a link for this? Thanks for posting the quote. It makes sense that Bashir would set it all up that way–the devious bastard. I also read that MJ wanted Dave Dave instead of Gavin for the interview but Bashir chose Gavin.

    2. This would seem to contradict the idea of Bashir actually staging that scene, although it is entirely possible that if this moment did occur as a very spontaneous response to Gavin being upset that Bashir then manipulated the moment to take full advantage. Certainly he took it completely out of context in the finished documentary. Gavin, from what I know, was always a touchy-feely kind of kid who liked showing affection, giving hugs, holding hands, etc. Nothing wrong with that, except for two things-he also used these gestures to manipulate adults, and then later went along willingly with the scheme to present those gestures out of context.

  9. I cannot take cryptic messages like Rileys too seriously. Why put out such a message when you do not intend to or cannot tell who the individuals or entities are who approached you. Maybe because it never happened?.
    And if it is true he gives no clue in what direction to look so it could be anyone. For now I see it as attentionseeking.

    As for who is behind the allegations against Michael, especially the latest of WR and JS , DD and VGs role imo is very much exeggarated and a deflection from the real issue. Neither have that kind of power nor the means , facilities or skills for such a well executed operation . There is nothing to gain for them other than gloating and feeling(falsely) justified that Michaels most staunch supporter turned against him. How could they have kept their activities private( like alledgedly approaching Riley), if even potentially incriminating correspondence/ emails from moguls such as the AEG ‘Teams’ and Sony – Branca/ Katz emails under the right circumstances were exposed.
    DD and VG are tabloidpushers with some inside information but definetely not the masterminds behind it.
    That takes a much more powerfull sophisticated entity . One with strings in the media , the justice system and business wise , with access to private, sealed court information, must have known Michael and his businesses (sony!) inside out and for a long time including his weaknesses and has an immense stake in his businesses ergo an incentive. Michael believed that sony undermined him. so a connection with sony is also a give away , as is a recent connection with WR .
    There are not many who fit that description .

    1. VG is very much a big (and often overlooked) player in the allegations against MJ. Not the WR stuff but generally back in 1993 (actually way before 1993) he was the one planting the seeds, going up to MJ’s employees and parents of children around him to fill their heads with suspicion and ideas until one parent, Evan Chandler, took the bait. A lot of the allegations can be traced back to VG. Does he have anything directly to do with these two current accusers (Robson and Safechuck)? No, I don’t think so. I also don’t think Sony has anything to do with them. Personal greed has to do with it (and in Robson’s case at least also some kind of mental illness), plain and simple. As the Chandlers set the example, it was a no-brainer for anyone who was around MJ as a child and is willing to go this low for money, to accuse him. VG’s involvement is not direct in this one, but he started the whole thing back in the late 80s, early 90s IMO.

      As for Dimond, her involvement is not direct with Robson, I think, but as for Safechuck I am not sure. Remember she broke the story about Safechuck. Safechuck filed his lawsuit on May 9, 2014 (Friday) and on May 12 (Monday) Dimond published an article about it (just on time to interfere with the release of Xscape – May 13). She could not have been this quick to report it (a filing does not immediately show up in the court IT system and even when it does the details are under seal initially) if she was not tipped off about it. In fact, she references “sources close to Safechuck” in her article. So with Safechuck IMO there is a collaboration in order to play the publicity game and to put pressure on the Estate to try to make them settle.

      1. DD and VG do have inside information and are used as mouthpieces for the entities who want Michael down , a win for both parties. This has been practice for ages and still is. Roger Friedman is someone who writes whatever pays and used to spread information that only people very close to MJ could know. Debbie Rowe was /is TMZs go between for updates on her own children .
        The sony hack taught us that sony paid for “serious” articles about their products. And we also learned that Branca threw a party for Zack O’mally, coincidentally someone who wrote glowing articles about the MJE.
        All this entaglement between busiess and media goes against the professional code of ethics and journalistic independence and no serious jouralist would do that.
        But an example of the abuse of (social) media is also that the executors use MJ fansites to spread their message – selectively. E.g. about the sale of Neverland but not about the IRS claim? That is downright propaganda.
        DD and VG took this practice to the extreme and also pushed their own anti Michael agenda, but they are not the only ones and they are not the instigators of the allegations.

        1. I think that trying to unravel and pinpoint where the allegations began and who started it, however, is another far more complex issue than simply discussing those who have been guilty/complicit in fabricating fake evidence and stories against Michael, which was really my focus here. I do believe that VG is a key player whose role can’t be underestimated. It can’t be coincidence that, time and again, everything keeps coming back to him in some way or another.

          But I do believe there is a much bigger picture than any one or two individuals. I definitely believe that. This was an interesting video that I happened to catch by accident the other day. I was just listening to some other MJ stuff on YT and this video randomly came up, the way YT videos do these days since they made it so that all related videos will play automatically after the one you’ve selected. This is one I ordinarily wouldn’t have bothered with because I don’t believe in the Illuminati conspiracy stuff and I think it’s all a bunch of hogwash. I still don’t believe in it, insofar as this idea of corporate entities and world leaders all conspiring to create one, unified New World Order. I think that part of it is rubbish. However, what I DO know to be true is that in the music and entertainment industry we have many individuals and entities who are certainly drunk on power, and who control things. It doesn’t take an Illuminati conspiracy theorist to know that. So regardless of whether one believes in the Illuminati, there is nevertheless truth in the idea of that collective body we call “The Powers That Be.” Michael was aware of them and believed in them, as evidenced by his frequent references to “They.” “Overnight, they called me a freak; they called me a homosexual; they called me a child molestor; they said I tried to bleach my skin; they did everything to turn the public against me.” He rarely specified who “they” are, but certainly dropped a lot of hints along the way-hints that he knew exactly who was behind the conspiracy to bring him down and even to kill him. Anyway, if you can just overlook some of the Illuminati mumbo-jumbo, I think it’s pretty fascinating:

    2. Possibly. But he also claims the party has been very vague with him about their identity and motives, so I don’t know.

  10. Great post, Raven. I do think this is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ re how the so-called journalists (LOL) collaborated to bring down MJ and how they bonded with the prosecutors and their staff and fed them ‘info’ (lies) that could hurt MJ. It all needs to be brought into the daylight and spelled out
    I haven’t checked out that long interview with DD yet, but is it true she denies even knowing VG? Does she really claim she never met him? So who was her source (my best source, she said) for the nonexistent tapes? If not VG, it had to be someone who knew VG, right? This is too bizarre. At least Maureen Orth had the truthfulness to admit in print she contacted VG.

  11. I don’t recall DD mentioning VG in that interview. She does deny knowing Scott Thorson, Liberace’s young lover, when Opperman tries to make something of it. But that’s the only denial I recall. [my brain is a sieve so don’t take hold me to it.]

  12. wow Raven, I didn’t know that Martin Bashir was friends with Victor Gutierrez. Now it makes sense why he had such a negative opinion of MJ.

    1. There’s no evidence that Bashir, or even Gutierrez, had a “negative opinion” of Michael. They’re careerists who threw an innocent lamb to the slaughter for their own gain. Bashir did it to curry favor with the white media establishment, which rewarded him with his own cable news show, until he was fired for grossly insulting Sarah Palin. Gutierrez is a perv who glorifies pedophilia. Both of them are scum whose opinions about anyone should carry no weight.

    2. I don’t know that they were friends, but he was hired as a consultant for the Dateline NBC hit piece on Michael that aired shortly after the Bashir piece, and thus hired as a consultant for the same network (MSNBC) that hired Bashir.

  13. It’s very sad what people will say and do all for the sake of fame and money. That they will compromise themselves and hurt others just to become successful. MJ trusted Bashir. He opened up his heart to him, as well as his home, brought him around his children, took him shopping, and treated him with nothing but kindness because he really believed that this guy was on his side and that doing this film was his chance to get the truth out to the world and finally put an end to all the lies, rumors, and misconceptions. So you can only imagine the kind of hurt and betrayal he felt when he saw the documentary for the first time. I read somewhere that he spent the whole day crying his eyes out because he was so devastated.

  14. While it may be difficult or even impossible to uncover all the players in the anti-MJ conspiracy, it seems obvious, to me anyway, that someone in the upper echelon of NBC has it in for Michael big time. NBC has produced a number of highly-biased ‘documentaries’ that savage him; they actually hired VG as a consultant, when a cursory investigation into his background would reveal that he couldn’t pass the most basic journalistic smell test; they rewarded Bashir with his own show; they allowed Maureen Orth to spew her venom on MSNBC the morning after Michael died; they gloatingly aired and re-aired the autopsy photo; they gave Wade Robson a highly-publicized interview with Matt Lauer on the Today Show. No other media outlet comes close. Methinks somebody at NBC is over-compensating big time.

    1. I have to say that I agree, Simba.

      When Mrs. Jackson was being interviewed one time – and sorry, I can’t remember who did the interview, part of it was aired on the Today Show. This would have been maybe 4 or 5 years ago. At the end, she was asked what is the one thing she would like people to know about her son, Michael. She replied “that he was not a pedophile”. After that statement, Matt Lauer had to remind viewers that this was “her opinion and not a fact”. I read a comment by someone on the interview and the commenter wisely stated that, it was not an “opinion”, but indeed it was a fact, provable by the fact that he was found Not Guilty in a United States Court of Law, after a 5 month trial.

      In 2013, when Xscape was released, LA Reid was on the Today Show promoting the album. After the interview, Lauer once again, apropos of nothing, said that Michael was a “deeply flawed” human being. They were not discussing Michael per se. They were discussing the music. But for some reason Lauer always feels it is necessary to utter some nasty, negative and wrong thing to say.

      It’s interesting that when the Duggar and the Hastert cases were covered by NBC – Lauer had nothing to say – no snippy comment, no nasty aside – just dead silence.

      This is the usual double standard that Michael always had to be held to, but NBC always seemed like they would go that extra mile to take a dig at him.

      1. Considering his blatant extra – marital affairs, and his despicable treatment of colleague Ann Curry, which caused the Today Show ‘ s ratings to plummet, Matt Lauer knows plenty about being “deeply flawed”.

  15. I agree about NBC. They totally went out of their way to bash and trash MJ and still do. That’s why I think the hate against MJ is not some sort of “conservative” thing – coming from people who judge Michael because he is not a resident of “Normal Valley”. It goes much deeper than that. Some of the most horrendous, most unfair and most vile attacks came from the so called “liberal” media. In fact, the conservative was even somewhat more fair and balanced (eg. Fox News letting Roger Friedman publish his articles during the trial etc.).

    1. re NBC– in 2003 when the Bashir program aired, NBC was in last place in the network ratings and wanted to interview MJ and offered him (I believe) $3 million to rebut Bashir, but MJ rejected their offer and that must have rankled. The other point re NBC is the connection between Orth and her husband Tim Russert’s prominent positon on Meet the Press.

      1. Obviously, Michael didn’t trust NBC, either.He could have gotten more money by selling the footage to NBC but he didn’t need the money; he was far more concerned with placing it in the hands of people he felt he could trust. He also went with Fox for the airing of the “Private Home Movies” special later that year which was also intended as part of the campaign to rebut and repair the damage of the Bashir program.

  16. @ Raven
    I am not into illuminati .As for the facts I can go along with what is stated in the video you posted, but there is alot in it that is fabricated bs, slander and diminishes Jacksons achievements through dedication talent and hard work . As there are political and international alliances ( UN, NATO, ILO etc) there are also other powerfull alliances who have an impact on society and use the media for their propaganda or worse: smear campaigns , MJ witchhunt, Britney Spears bashing , Murdoch/NOTW account hacking re the kidnapped girl etc.

    IMO false allegations are not limited to one entity, but all of them followed in the slipstream of the Chandler settlement .
    We may never find the big picture, but let us look at one isolated case, the latest of WR and JS . It may give us an insight in the machinery behind it and for that reason alone the AEG case and sony hack are a goldmine. VMJ just made a timeline of WRs allegations vs the AEG trial and the blatant coincidences.

    To me the connection WR/ AEG and that WR was in a business reationship with the executors and then turned against them, was always a huge red flag. The man hired by the executors to valuate Michaels assets was also a witness for the defense (AEG!) and his strategy was to diminish Michaels ‘worth’ any way he could . Obviously to hit two birds with one stone : lower damages for AEG (re Michaels lost earning potential) in case AEG would have to pay KJ AND to ligitimize his absurd DEvaluation of Michaels catalog and his image and likeness at $2,105, reason why the MJE got stuck with a 730 million IRS bill. His reasons for the low tax valuations were that Michaels image was severely damaged by allegations of molestation, which was in support of the narrative of the executors to the probate judge that they had worked hard on clearing Michaels name. All of this was exposed during the trial and can be found in the court transcripts and depositions .
    As they could not back it up considering the hype of the This is it concerts and the anticipation of MJs comeback BEFORE he died which also geared up his postumous sales. they needed evidence to bolster their case and that is where WRs allegations came in handy. That even sony in their hacked emails questioned the estates valuation of Michaels catalog is telling. There are many more red flags about this case such as the executors public statement not to support KJ against AEG which indicates an alliance with AEG. (Talking about alliances).

    Many are in denial about the IRS claim as 730.000,000 million is too obscene an amount for people to fathom. It will not easily be cleared through’ lawyering ‘and even if settled will be a blow to the fraudsters , but will probably fall on account of Michaels estate as the will was drafted.
    Compared to that, Chandlers 20 millions are peanuts.
    If 20 mln was a motive for Chandlers to accuse Michael as it was for Arvizos and WR then 730 mln certainly is. The man is dead anyway , who cares and he is not here to object or defend himself, people kill for less.
    Ask yourself why Neverland is now for sale while 3 years ago it was considered anti estate to even suggest it.
    Btw this did not happen 20 or 10 years ago, it is happening as we speak . Where is the vindication?

    1. I don’t believe in the Illuminati at all, either. The first part of the video is total BS, but the latter half is quite thought provoking. My point was that if we cast aside theories of the Illuminati and replace that with an objective and realistic assessment of the role of the corporate entities who often control entertainers’ lives, it becomes much easier to understand-and much scarier-why Michael was targeted.

      Your theory regarding Wade Robson/AEG and the estate seems plausible. One reason I strive to remain neutral about issues regarding the estate is because I like to keep an open mind to these issues and to the tough questions. One can’t keep an objective, clear head on these issues if they get too locked into thinking Branca is either an angel or Satan incarnate. While Michael’s image and brand did take a hard hit during the trial and upwards of a year or so afterward, it had been on the upswing from about 2007 on. His music was selling quite steadily again. Thriller25 was a hit. His music was featured quite prominently during the American Idol tour in 2007. And obviously, people were hungry to see him perform live again as his ticket sales for This Is It were unprecedented. So, no, there doesn’t seem any justification for that kind of devaluation.

      I believe the estate chose to distance themselves from Katherine’s lawsuit because that lawsuit was not a popular decision (even among the fanbase who were very divided on it) and their job, as they see it, is to protect the Michael Jackson BRAND (not necessarily the man or the human being) so from a commercial and financial standpoint, it made more sense to maintain the alliance with AEG than to back an elderly mother who was being attacked left and right for her “greed.”

      In general, I think the estate has done a good job in relation to some things, such as the management of Michael’s posthumous “career” (Cirque du Soleil, Xscape, etc) but I don’t approve of the sale of Neverland and I don’t buy that they have no other option. I just don’t. I think we can appreciate what the estate has done right but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question the things that aren’t. And these, for me, remain troubling issues.

  17. “I believe the estate chose to distance themselves from Katherine’s lawsuit because that lawsuit was not a popular decision (even among the fanbase who were very divided on it) and their job, as they see it, is to protect the Michael Jackson BRAND (not necessarily the man or the human being) so from a commercial and financial standpoint, it made more sense to maintain the alliance with AEG than to back an elderly mother who was being attacked left and right for her “greed.”

    While there may have been good reasons for the estate executors to maintain a good relationship with Sony, it’s hard to make the case for a continued alliance with AEG. They don’t own any music catalogs or record labels. They are concert presenters who managed to kill the biggest star they ever worked with. What can they do for his estate?

    It is not the duty of the executors to do what’s popular with Michael’s fan base. Their number one responsibility is to protect his assets for the benefit of his beneficiaries, and thus far they have failed miserably. Now they are trying to gaslight us into believing there is no value in owning 2700 acres of California real estate. If Neverland has little worth, who do they think will pay $100,000,000 for it?

    Maybe they really believe that there is a Michael Jackson brand that stands apart from him as a human being, but there’s no evidence that the fan base, whose support they depend on, shares that point of view. Many are dismayed and puzzled by the executors’ failure to defend Michael, exemplified by John Branca’s hapless smirk on 60 Minutes.

    The executors put millions upon millions of Michael’s money into Cirque shows which produce negligible income, money that could have disencumbered Neverland several times over back in 2010. Their actions and inactions truly defy all logic. I hope the Jackson children sue them.

  18. ‘ I believe the estate chose to distance themselves from Katherine’s lawsuit because that lawsuit was not a popular decision (even among the fanbase who were very divided on it) and their job, as they see it, is to protect the Michael Jackson BRAND’

    For a lawyer to publically state a negative opinion on a pending case, specifically a lawyer who is supposed to work FOR the beneficiaries is an attempt to undermine a case and smells of conflict of interest. Which it was as Branca was hired by AEG.
    To value his image at less than a waitress months salary because of an alledged ‘tainted image’ and have your consultant kick him to the curb in court in favor of AEG ,sounds more like protecting their own asses than protecting Michaels brand.
    A lawsuit is not a popularity contest and fans division should never affect what Michaels heirs chose to do. That would be insane considering every single fan has an opinion.
    As for fan division, it has been the strategy of the executors from the get go to divide and conquer to consolidate their position. Hence their hiring of PR firm of Michael Sitrick , author of the book “how to Turn the Power of the Press to Your Advantage ‘, who has a patent on these tactics.

    In general, I think the estate has done a good job in relation to some things, such as the management of Michael’s posthumous “career”
    That is if you do not count the $730,000.000 IRS claim, the Cascio tracks and the loss of Neverland (among other things ).In comparison : Michaels debt was said to be 3- 400 million when he died , he still owned Neverland , never had such controversy over authenticity of his music and not this level of division among fans.

    I wish I could like you have a more nuanced view on Branca’s involvement in Michaels life and business but I see too much that is not right.
    If bad karma exists this man worming his way back into Michaels LIFE is an example of it.

    1. Well, keep in mind my statement regarding the estate and the AEG trial wasn’t intended to be offered as any kind of defense. I’m actually in agreement with you for the most part. It was definitely a conflict of interest.

      Also, while I do feel in general the estate has done a good job at least managing Michael’s posthumous music career and brand, I am not quite as gung-ho in that belief as I once was because it seems quite a few projects have been mishandled. There is also the frustration of seeing too many wasted opportunities. For example, I loved the Xscape album but most critics were in complete agreement that Michael’s original demos were far superior to the newly produced verions. The same was true with the “Michael” album, in which very strong original tracks like “Behind The Mask” and “(I Can’t Wait) Another Day” were buried amidst all of the controversy over the Cascio tracks, which could have been left off until there had been ample time to authenticate them one way or another (most of them really weren’t strong tracks, anyway, and substantially weakened the album). Xscape did really well critically and commercially for the most part, but I was disappointed with the way the release of the “A Place With No Name” single was handled. They sat on it for far too long (allowing the album to lose momentum) and then did very little to promote it properly when it was released. The Jeep commercials actually got more traction than the single did, which is a shame because it was one of the album’s strongest tracks. Of course, I will say in their defense that constantly being sidetracked by so many frivolous lawsuits and the Wade Robson/Jimmy Safechuck crap probably doesn’t help matters. Still….I don’t understand why it’s so hard to just release a decent album of Michael’s strongest demos and unreleased tracks, as has been done with other artists posthumously. Why the need to always try to “doctor” and “modernize” the tracks? Current music is going retro, anyway (Mark Ronson’s and Bruno Mar’s “Uptown Funk” has been a HUGE hit) and there is a general hunger for the 80’s and 90’s sound. Or maybe they could choose one token track (the lead single) to get the modernization treatment, like they did with LNFSG, and leave the rest alone.

      Of course, fans will never be 100% happy with every marketing decision that the estate makes because we all have our opinions and ideas on how things “should” be done, and pleasing millions of fans will never be possible.

      As for the fan division, I think that exists due to one very important reason-the fact that Michael himself isn’t here to lead the fanbase. So what has happened is that fans have formed allegiances around certain individuals and entities based on who THEY think has some key to the “truth” or who they think has the best interests of Michael at heart. Among these are many false prophets, but everyone has their own ideas about who the so-called false prophets are. And, unfortunately, with all of the conflicting ideologies that have emerged. there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to resolve or unify them into one collective body anymore. I’ve been seeing these battles play out for six years now, and every day on social media I see the battles waging. Even the factions themselves eventually splinter off into other, sub factions as individuals inevitably fall out with each other and then form their own sub followings, etc. I can’t say if the estate is intentionally behind the division, or if the division simply grew out of the general mistrust of the estate (for sure, the one feeds the other, regardless). It seems to be more a case of fans choosing to follow whatever individual or entity that fits their personal ideology, and these groups fan the flames of division constantly, some more militantly than others, but all are guilty of it to some extent.

  19. It is true that with no ‘leader’ to turn to everybody wants to take the lead. To have the same idol and taste in music apparantly is not enough to be a commUnity . Which is not surprising and no problem either as we are from different backgrounds, ages and experiences with Michael and will have different priorities and opinions. It would help a great deal if people could just accept that.

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