Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Michael Jackson: Fans Still Fighting

In 1989, Gardner Street Elementary school in LA dedicated the name of its auditorium in Michael Jackson's name; Jackson had been a past pupil of the school and due to the height of his success, the school decided to make reference to their past star pupil. Sadly, when Michael was accused of child abuse, the school made the decision to cover up the pop-stars name as not to offend parents of the school.

This cover-up continued for the rest of Michael's life despite him being found innocent of all charges; but earlier this year a campaign began to uncover Michael's name at the school. Websites, Facebook pages and fan groups became involved, many in the LA area met with the school to reveal the King of Pop's name upon the auditorium. Those who couldn't attend the meetings, including myself, wrote letters to the school campaigning to reveal Michael's name.

On October 15th 2010, the school finally uncovered Michael's name, with much celebration by both the Jacksons and Michael's fans. However this celebration was short lived as a spokesperson for SNAP, a charity for the survivors of abused by priests, said that the uncovering was 'disappointing' and was a 'slap in the face' for those children who have been abused. And now fans, family and friends of Michael are wondering, will these accusations ever end?

The spokesperson explained that despite Michael being acquitted in 2005, the accusations in 1993 which resulted in a pay out from Jackson has left people with doubt and suspicion. But you would hope that a spokesperson for an organisation would complete a little research before making these statements; but seeing they didn't, here are some facts.

The 1993 accusations were made by Jordan Chandler, whose family rather than taking the usual route of childhood abuse and informing the authorities, decided to take it upon themselves to sue Michael Jackson, and accepted a huge pay out. You have to question the integrity of anyone who would rather take a pay-out rather than see a pedophile be sent to prison where he can't harm another child. There are many books written on the real story behind the Michael Jackson allegations and the evidence is quite clear that the Chandler's were money grabbing liars with not a single piece of evidence against Michael.

But many question, if this is the case, why did Michael pay out? Michael was incredibly depressed at the time and was not fit enough to fight against these accusations and was advised to pay out as it could have continued for years. However in 2005 when similar accusations were made, Michael was ready to fight and cleared his name once and for all under US law. He has been legally acquitted, and anything other than this is slander.

Why Joelle Casteix, the spokesperson for SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) needed to make any comment, is unbeknownst to many people. Michael was neither a priest, and nor was he a pedophile. And what would Casteix's words have brought to this situation? Was there a need? One can only assume that it was some shameless self promotion of the charity to increase donations. Instead she has just upset a lot of people, who thought that these horrific accusations had finally been put to rest. The sad part is, that if Michael was still around, he would of most likely provided a large donation to the organisation, due to his incredibly charitable nature.

Many fans, including myself, have taken it into their own hands and emailed the charity asking for a retraction of the statement. It is currently the next big project since the uncovering of his name from the elementary school. It is refreshing to know that Michael's friends, family and his fans are continuing Michael's legacy and promoting his innocence long after his death seeing he isn't around to do this himself. And so, while the accusations will keep coming, Michael's fans will not stop fighting...

by David Hatton

[image taken from: http://www.celebritywonder.com/picturebydate/20090708_29.html]


  1. It is understandable that the slurs, insults and attacks on Michael Jackson's name and reputation have continued for so long. Why wouldn't they?

    For a clutch of reasons that include: the decline of factually accurate journalism, and its substitution for an industry that hunts celebrity targets for profit - American and international public opinion never got to hear the truth about 1993 and 2005.

    The evidence supporting the reality of Evan Chandler's extortion, along with the non-existence of any correlation between Jordan Chandler's alleged description and the intimate photographs of Jackson, and the myth that the settlement could have in any way stopped the criminal case from proceeding -- are facts that were either ignored or denied by the press in 1993, and since.

    From that point on, an industry that should, and does, know better mounted a determined assault on Jackson's credibility. In 2005, the same invested District Attorney and same civil lawyer from 1993, along with a family of almost sublimely deceitful grifters attempted a second extortion. They failed, and Jackson was acquitted - but in real terms he lost.

    Press coverage around the world assumed Jackson's guilt, and notably, no questions were asked afterwards as to how and why a case whose viability was on a par with a BP oil pipe,was ever sanctioned in the first place. Jackson never recovered from that case, and he was clearly driven to an early death by the toll of such sustained pressure.

    One hopes groups such as SNAP and the media currently salivating over the impending ruckus in the wake of this -- a media who gave unprecedented credence to staggeringly baseless accusations and undoubtedly played a substantial part in applying the pressure that killed Mr Jackson -- would have at least had the decency to allow his children and the many who honor and respect Jackson's name and memory, to celebrate his re-honoring.

    Nothing can erase the outrage of what was done to this man, but the restoration of Michael Jackson's name to the school that once so honoured him -- is a worthy beginning.

    I am glad Mr Hatton that you are fighting with the fans. This could get very ugly.

  2. Well done Mr Hatton.

    Another detail of the 1993 settlement which is routinely ignored is the fact that the agreement was for claims of alleged negligence, and not for molestation. The Chandlers elected to sign an agreement which stated in three places that Jackson denied any wrongdoing whatsoever and specifically denied any liability for molestation. They also agreed to waive any right to civil damages for their allegations of sexual battery in return for this money.

    As for why he agreed to pay them anything, at the time Jackson was facing the prospect of having to testify in the civil action BEFORE the criminal case went to trial, a circumstance which would have severely compromised his ability to defend himself because it would have revealed all the details of his defense to the district attorney. With the damage this could have done to his defense, his own fragile state, and the fact that the future of the Dangerous tour was in jeopardy, there were many reasons to settle rather than endure years of litigation.

    Like anyone who knows the facts behind what happened to Michael Jackson, I am appalled that people are still so eager to dismiss him as a criminal when he was actually the victim, so thank you for standing up for him.