As tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s acquittal in his child molestation and conspiracy trial, we are observing the day by providing new information about past allegations.
In this case, the allegations were made by Jackson against the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department. Jackson was arrested by them on Nov. 20, 2003, after returning to Santa Barbara from Las Vegas.
A few weeks later, at the end of December, Jackson claimed that the sheriffs roughed him up. Specifically, he claimed that bruises on his forearms were the result of too-tight handcuffs.
Months later, in 2004, an investigation proved that Jackson had not suffered any kind of unusual harassment at the hands of the sheriffs.
Now this column can show you four photos obtained exclusively from sources close to Jackson. These photos show Jackson in a bathroom at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Lake Las Vegas, Nev. They were taken at least eight days after the arrest. Jackson had returned to the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, moved to a nearby resort before finally ending up at the Ritz Carlton.
In the pictures, he’s wearing a Ritz-Carlton robe. But what the sequence of photos also shows is that he, according to sources, self-inflicted a wound on his arm and caused a rapidly rising welt to form.
The pictures literally show the welt growing on Jackson’s arm “almost as if by magic.” They also show it turning not black and blue, but a kind of amber color. My sources say this discoloration was caused by makeup. The pictures were taken within a few minutes of each other.
“If you look closely at his cheek,” says my source, “you can see the blush on it is the same color as the bruise on the arm.”
Indeed, the coloring on the bruise in one picture is so artfully composed that it resembles a lipstick stain left by a pair of large lips.
Even weirder, in one picture shown here, of Jackson looking directly at the camera, it’s quite easy to see the tape holding his nose in place. Jackson isn’t wearing his typical whiteface makeup either. It may be one of the few photos that show Michael Jackson exactly as he is, warts and all.
Jackson, according to my sources, knew he was in trouble after the arrest in November 2003 —not so much with the police but with the public. My sources insist that he called his inner circle together and said, “We have to push the ‘red’ button.”
His idea was to create sympathy for himself by inventing a race war of some kind.
“He wanted it to be like O.J., a black vs. white issue,” says my source. “He wanted the black community to burn down police stations, riot and protest if they [the police and authorities] went against him.”
One of the pictures, of Jackson in profile staring at the welt at its most inflated, was approved for release back at the time of its origination. It was to be used in a “60 Minutes” piece by Ed Bradley. The others have never been seen by the public before today.
One of them, interestingly, shows the very white hand of a child touching Jackson’s arm. That hand, my source says, belongs to Prince Michael, Jackson’s son by Debbie Rowe. It further asserts Rowe’s private claim that Prince and Rowe's daughter Paris do not share Jackson’s DNA.
Ironically, what Jackson did to get his bruises is not much different than the hoax the mother of his former accuser perpetrated in the past.
In last year’s court testimony, pictures shown of Janet Arvizo after an arrest at a California J.C. Penney also depicted graphic bruises all over her body. The nature of those bruises was discussed at length, and the conclusion drawn was that Arvizo’s huge welts could not have come from her scuffle with police and security guards, but at the hands of her then-husband, well after the incident.
The goal, however, was the same, which makes for an interesting point. In attracting Arvizo into his orbit, Jackson — a noted liar and prevaricator who routinely acts “dumb” but is very shrewd — may have found a kindred spirit.
Arvizo, of course, is now on trial for welfare fraud in California. Jackson, in his refusal to return to the United States, may have already figured out that this issue of false harassment at the hands of the sheriff’s department might cause him legal trouble. For that reason he may always be California dreamin’, just not residin’.
The weekend numbers for “A Prairie Home Companion,” Robert Altman’s latest, are a reason to celebrate for Picturehouse Films.
“Prairie” grossed $4.5 million on 760 screens, making it — relatively — Altman’s biggest opening ever. His biggest opening prior to this was “Dr. T. and the Women,” starring Richard Gere, which opened in twice as many theaters.
“Prairie” opened in a limited but wide release, meaning it was sent into rural and urban areas equally and came back a winner. Audiences in New York and Nashville responded to it the same way, I am told. And consider this: “Prairie” was hotter this weekend than “Mission: Impossible 3,” which was on 1,900 screens. Pigs may have been seen flying over Tom Cruise’s Sunset Boulevard mansion.
Altman, who is recovering from a nasty bout of the flu, is said to be thrilled (of course). He and his wife Kathryn opened a bottle of Champagne on Saturday night to toast their much-deserved success.
So just who is Barbara Jacobs? The self-identified music publicist’s name is suddenly turning up in a lot of places, first for throwing mud at the memory of Billy Preston, and now for casting aspersions on Heather Mills-McCartney.
The trouble is, no one in the music biz seems to know a Barbara Jacobs. Her name doesn’t appear in searches of the Billboard, Variety or Hollywood Reporter archives. Cursory Web searches also turn up nothing.…
Actor James Franco, the kid who blew everyone away as James Dean in a cable movie, is in town shooting “Spider-Man 3.” Last night, Franco entertained his grandmother at Elaine’s at the table of fabled P.R. guru Bobby Zarem….
Author Bruce Jay Friedman was at another table with his friends.…
Actor-writer Chris Lemmon, son of legendary Jack Lemmon, stopped in for a preview of his Wednesday night book party. Chris has written a loving and affectionate history of his remarkably gifted dad called “A Twist of Lemmon.” It’s perfect for Father’s Day….