Everything that has to do with Michael Jackson is cursed. And everyone who’s come into contact with the pop singer is equally cursed.
That’s what Ray Chandler, uncle of Jordy Chandler, told me yesterday after reading our story about his nephew.
I told you in our last column that Jordy — who received a payoff from Jackson of $20 million-plus in 1994 at age 13 — has now accused his own father of abuse.
The saga began a little over a year ago when Jordy filed for a restraining order against his father, Evan Chandler. The pair had been living together in a luxury high rise on the Hudson River with panoramic views of Manhattan.
On Aug. 5, 2005 — some two months after Jackson beat his child molestation rap — Jordy, 26, said his father hit him on the head from behind with a 12.5-pound weight. He also said his father had sprayed mace in his face.
After a series of court orders and motions, the restraining order was finalized this past June. And to make things more complicated, the judge who wrote the decision remanded the case for trial.
Yesterday, when I tried to discuss this with the lead attorney in the New Jersey firm representing Evan Chandler, I got nowhere. Jonathan Koles of Koles, Burke & Bustillo hung up on me before we got very far into the conversation.
Brian M. Schwartz, attorney for Jordy Chandler, was said to be on vacation and unavailable.
But the fact that Jordy Chandler, who has protected his privacy for most of his life, would let a case go this far is serious stuff. It’s not like he was just mad at his dad, or that Evan Chandler, in Jordy’s mind, allegedly became violent for the first time.
Jordy Chandler had to convince appellate judges to give him a permanent restraining order against his own father, the man with whom he’s lived for the last 13 years.
Indeed, Jordy has not seen his mother, June Chandler, or half sister, Lily, in the time since he accepted a $20 million settlement from Jackson.
The story of how Michael Jackson befriended and seduced young Chandler has been chronicled extensively in books written by Ray Chandler and also by Bob Jones, as well as in magazine articles.
In court last year, June Chandler even recounted how the pop star, then 35, spent dozens of nights in her son’s bed in their home and with her approval.
Hearing about the latest turn of events in his family, Ray Chandler was not surprised.
“Everyone who comes into contact with Michael Jackson is cursed,” he told me. “All the people who got money from him are cursed.”
Chandler has a point. Twenty years of playing coy about his relations with certain children and their families has only reflected badly on people who might otherwise be considered victims.
The latest would be a family who was revealed in court testimony to have received $300,000 from Jackson via his associate Marc Schaffel.
The family had already received money from Jackson but apparently needed more after escaping to Argentina in 2003 to evade police questioning when Jackson was arrested on charges of molesting another boy.
Others have suffered public humiliation. In the 2005 child molestation trial, three young men in their mid-20s, including actor Macaulay Culkin, testified that Jackson had never touched them despite countertestimony from former Neverland employees.
A fourth young man, Jason Francia, now a youth pastor, claimed on the stand that he’d been abused as a teen by Jackson.
His testimony was discounted because his mother, a former Jackson maid, accepted a $2 million payoff rather than press charges against the star.
(In one of the more unbelievable moments of testimony, Francia said he never knew his mother had taken the money.)
If the Chandlers’ new case actually makes it to trial, it’s possible that for the first time we will hear what really happened in 1994 and what has transpired since then between father and son.
There’s no doubt that with the case in family court, lawyers for both sides will attempt to seal the proceedings.
Another strange twist in the life of a family I told you about several months ago. The 16-year-old daughter of KT McFarland, the woman who wants to run against Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate, was arrested over the weekend for shoplifting in tiny Southampton, N.Y.
This news is troubling to people who know the McFarlands’ history with their children.
I told you that in 1995, Alan and Kathleen (KT) adopted the 7-year-old son who’d already been adopted by Alan’s ex-wife Ellen and her husband, David Sawyer.
In another strange twist, the Sawyers had died within two weeks of each other in the summer of 1995, leaving the little boy — whom they’d adopted — with millions.
But the Sawyers’ estate lawyer and Ellen’s brother did something unusual. They convinced the couples who’d been named guardians of Luke Sawyer to relinquish their rights. The boy instead went to live with Alan McFarland, whom Ellen Sawyer hated and had made specific negative comments about in her will, and his wife, KT.
The daughter who was arrested for shoplifting this weekend would be a year younger than the now teenage Luke.
Since McFarland announced her campaign for the Senate, she has accused Clinton’s people of spying on her. She’s also revealed that she was abused by her own father, an accusation that her own brother called a lie.
The place where the shoplifting occurred — Southampton — is ironic for a number of reasons.
When the Sawyers died, they left behind a beautiful, desirable mansion there called the QEIII. In her will, Ellen Sawyer specifically stated that she wanted her ex-husband, Alan, now KT's husband, never to be able to even go inside.
Ellen Sawyer wrote: “It is my strong wish and desire that in no event shall the Southampton residence be sold, given or otherwise transferred to my former husband, Alan R. McFarland, nor shall he be permitted to enjoy its use in any way.”
But by adopting the Sawyers’ child, the McFarlands inevitably took over the home, placing them in Southampton. They sold the QEIII one year after Ellen Sawyer’s death for $5.25 million. They now live in another estate off of nearby Shelter Island.
If you missed this column last Friday, check the archives to get a first review of the new album by Beyonce Knowles, star of Destiny’s Child. With original Destiny's Child star LeToya Luckett on the charts, Beyonce’s “B'Day” is going to get a big push from Sony Music …
Christina Aguilera’s debut at No. 1 this week with her "Back to Basics" album is a relief. Is music back for real? Maybe. Now Richard Perry, the famed Grammy-winning producer whose many, many hits include towering classics like Carly Simon’s "You’re So Vain" and Harry Nilsson’s "Without You" is about to launch a new project with Art Garfunkel. Perry and Garfunkel last worked together in 1975 on Garfunkel’s seminal album, "Breakaway."
Now they’ve collaborated on a stunning album of classics that should be as big as a similar album Perry did with Rod Stewart a few years ago (Perry created those Stewart songbook albums).
Rhino will probably release the Garfunkel collection. I’ve heard it, and it’s amazing. Even Beyonce’s fans will want to cool out to these recordings, and I’ll bet that hot Sunset Strip nightclub Hyde will use this CD to mellow out their crowd around 2 a.m. …