Wacko Jacko's dirty little secret: Another $300,000 payoff for silence?
By M&C News Jul 6, 2006, 15:12 GMT
In court in Santa Monica where Pop star Michael Jackson is being sued by a former associate, it’s a tawdry story coming out into the open “bit by excruciating bit” according to Roger Friedman of Fox news.
“Sometime after he was arrested in November 2003, Jackson sent $300,000 to a family living in South America. What he got for his money is unclear, but my sources say it was part of a continuing payout to a family who felt their child was abused by the pop star.” Reports Friedman.
The jury in this new Jackson case has heard several allusions to the payoff, although direct parties to the trial are not allowed by Judge Jacqueline Connor to address the subject as anything other than “a personal matter.”
The reason is that this is a financial lawsuit, and at least two of the sitting jurors stated during their interviews that they believe Michael Jackson to be a child molester.
Friedman’s sources insist this personal matter was indeed a payoff, and likely one made by Jackson to people he once knew very well. In the past, Jackson has settled with one family for in excess of $20 million and another in excess of $2 million.
“During his child molestation trial last year, Jackson was revealed to have slept in beds with underage boys on countless occasions, all unsupervised by parents. In one case, the sister of one young man whom Jackson had befriended testified that her brother had spent 365 nights in Jackson’s bed. The jury acquitted him on all counts of child molestation.”
Recently fired accountant, Alan Whitman, confirmed yesterday that he had received a request for the $300,000 payment from Jackson but declined to say what it was for. He claimed, as I’m told he did in depositions, that he “chose” not to know what the money was for after it was explained to him in partial detail.
Similar testimony was given by former Jackson financial advisor Alvin Malnik, who said that Jackson called him and asked him to have associate F. Marc Schaffel take care of an “urgent situation” for $300,000. Malnik, who had authorization power for expenditures, instructed Whitman to pay the money back to Schaffel, although that never happened.
Whitman has said in depositions and in trial that he paid money back to Schaffel per Malnik’s instructions but stopped the installment when the funds were not available.
In the end, Schaffel , who’s suing Jackson for $3.8 million, testified yesterday that he went to South America on Jackson’s instruction, withdrew $300,000 from his own overseas accounts, and paid the debt as directed by Jackson.
Schaffel wants his money back of course. Schaffel is being presented as just a messenger. Jackson presumably knew what he was getting in exchange for his payout.
“This was not unlike Schaffel’s role as was described last year in the Arvizo case. In that case, Schaffel again laid out money for Jackson to support the Arvizo family for several months. In the end, Jackson never repaid Schaffel the full amount owed, triggering this lawsuit.” Reports Friedman.
Schaffel, it was revealed during testimony in the 2005 case, acted at Jackson’s request to lay out money while at the same time not often knowing the purpose for the expense.
Friedman reports his inside sources saying that Jackson “sent the money to South America to keep a parent and her son quiet in late November 2003, right after Jackson’s arrest for child molestation in the Arvizo case.”
The implication is that this additional money was paid to a family that had already left the United States and made a deal with Jackson long ago but was now being sought by prosecutors in the Arvizo case as witnesses to support their ‘prior acts’ case.
The concern at the time may have been that the family in question had been on Jackson’s payroll for a long time. At the time of the pop star’s arrest in November 2003, however, Jackson evidently felt it was a good time to move them again rather than risk their discovery by either the media or authorities.
The Santa Monica jury also saw e-mail communication between Whitman and Jackson’s then attorney Mark Geragos. In the e-mails, Geragos gives approval to Whitman to pay for the "travel expenses" for Schaffel related to that transaction.
Friedman reports that insiders say Geragos likely knew what the money and Schaffel’s trip were for, as did Jackson’s then-manager Dieter Wiesner. Schaffel may have just delivered the money as directed, and left.
Jackson is currently plotting resettlement in Europe, having lost his “free ride” in the Arab Emirate of Bahrain. All according to Roger Friedman for Fox.