I had to laugh yesterday while reading “breaking news” reports from the Los Angeles Times and other sources about Michael Jackson (search).
Almost all of this news was reported here first Nov. 19 -- that the family of Jackson’s accuser hired Larry Feldman (search), the same lawyer who wrested a $20 million settlement from Jackson 10 years ago in a similar case, to work with their own attorney.
Also on Nov. 19, we told you that the 12-year-old boy in question confessed to his psychiatrist that Jackson had plied him with wine and sleeping pills -- not exactly the prescribed medicine for a kid recovering from cancer.
We also told you in that same column that Jackson, feeling unable to re-court the family once they had hired these lawyers, attempted to get them out of the country by buying them passports. At the time, we were told that South America was the destination. I can now tell you that Brazil was the specific idea the Jackson people had in mind.
I also told you that the medical condition of the boy was still in jeopardy, although I was asked by my source to not give specifics.
Yes, that was all nine days ago. So it’s not exactly “news” to read it again this weekend.
But what is interesting is that in that time, my source -- who I protected and will continue not to name -- has decided to come forward. And I mean, in a big way. He’s been all over the media in the last two days. I guess a week of anonymity was too much for him. Now, not only is his name everywhere, but so is the name of the boy involved. So much for protecting a minor who, as far as anyone knows, is an innocent.
But at least one mystery can be solved by this source. Because he contacted Jackson about the boy in the first place, Jackson wound up meeting comedian Chris Tucker (search) and director Brett Ratner (search).
The source was the conduit for the Jackson-Tucker introduction, then Tucker introduced Michael to Ratner, who directed Tucker in Rush Hour. Ratner went on to direct Michael’s “You Rock My World” video in the summer of 2001. That gives us a timeline for how far back these relationships existed. File that in your trivia book for future use.
On Nov. 20, the very next day, we also told you that Jackson had hired Mark Geragos, the famed defense attorney, last winter when all this started. This would be at the end of February 2003. So this would make reports -- filed elsewhere this week -- that Michael panicked on the plane ride from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara completely ridiculous.
Jackson had known for a long time that this trouble was brewing. And, whether it’s misguided or not, he believes in his innocence and will fight the case out. You can bet on that.
Looking back through 2003, Jackson’s much-publicized house hunting trips to Florida can now be explained. Florida is a “homestead state.” You can’t lose your home if there’s a civil judgment filed against you, which is why, for example, O.J. Simpson lives there.
Jackson feared, and rightly so, that this new case -- with Feldman advising -- could have as devastating a financial result as the one from 10 years ago. And this time he does not have the same resources.
Also in that Nov. 20 column: we reported that the mother of the alleged victim would be portrayed as a “scorned woman” and that her life would be held up to great scrutiny. This has already come true.
The biggest news of the last few days was that the mother has filed other lawsuits, including one in which she won $163,000 against J.C. Penney (search). Also, all of her videotaped comments from last winter extolling Jackson’s virtues have been dragged out to undermine her claims. I told you that would happen in the column of Nov. 19.
Will there actually be “new” news this weekend? Probably not. But here’s a prognostication: early next week some dots may get connected that haven’t been before.
A lot of the great bites of information will simply be gossip and have nothing to do with the criminal charges D.A. Tom Sneddon wants to file on Dec. 15. And some may explain exactly what’s at the root of this story.