What a scene: Michael Jackson directing the cameras inside the courthouse as he passed through security. “Get the wide shot,” Jackson said, and directed the cameraman to pick up the scene of Jackson’s crazed fans waving signs while he came through the metal detector. His bony hand extended toward the cameraman and waved him to the angle he desired.
“He thinks it’s a music video,” said a Jackson insider. “He seems to have no idea this is a serious matter.”
And complicated. My sources tell me that a new wrinkle in the case could be the appearance of William Dickerman, the Los Angeles lawyer who briefly represented the mother of Jackson’s accuser last winter. Dickerman apparently wrote several letters to Mark Geragos, Jackson’s lawyer, including one on March 26, 2003, demanding the return of his client’s possessions after Jackson’s team moved her and her children — including the 12-year-old boy at the center of the case — out of their apartment and into Neverland.
Dickerman, who did not return calls, had been referred to the woman by Jamie Masada, her family friend and owner of the Laugh Factory comedy club in Los Angeles.
“This was before there was any idea of child molestation, and right after the Martin Bashir interview aired on Feb. 6," my source said. "The family had been taken to Miami and then back to Neverland. There was talk of Michael getting them an apartment nearby, so his people emptied her apartment. The mother went to Dickerman because she said she felt she was being held captive.”
Dickerman’s letters to Geragos would be entered as evidence in the case, certainly, but according to my sources he still hasn't been contacted by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office. It was Dickerman who referred the mother to attorney Larry Feldman last May when the mother began to suspect something inappropriate had happened between her son and Jackson.
Feldman, who secured a $20 million settlement from Jackson for another family 10 years ago, immediately sent the child in question to the same psychiatrist who advised in the decade old case.
As for today’s crazy scene in Santa Maria, viewers were treated to a taste of Jermaine Jackson’s sense of entitlement as he passed through the metal detector. He complained to the policeman doing security that he and his mother shouldn’t be subjected to such common treatment.
“That’s my mother,” he said, but Katherine Jackson had to get scanned nevertheless. She didn’t look too pleased, and neither did Janet Jackson as she marched into the courthouse with a grim expression on her face.
Janet is about to release a new album and appear on the Super Bowl half time show. She doesn’t want to be associated with this situation. Neither does Marlon Jackson, Michael’s brother, who was conspicuously absent from the scene today at the courthouse.
Meanwhile, insiders are wondering why Geragos would want to bring in Benjamin Brafman as his co-counsel. Brafman does not practice law in California, and his primary fame comes from defending Sean "P Diddy" Combs in his nightclub shootout case in New York. Combs, of course, was acquitted. But if Geragos feels he needs that kind of help, one wonders if the case isn’t more complex than we thought.
Looking at today’s events, another thought comes up: How did Geragos let this case get so out of hand? Hired by Jackson last February before there was any indication of child molestation, Geragos was supposedly in charge of the situation for nine months before Jackson’s ranch was searched by police. Now his client is in serious trouble, the Nation of Islam has surrounded him, and Geragos — who fumbled a shoplifting case against Winona Ryder — has Jackson’s future on his shoulders.