BIOGRAPHY III : MICHAEL JACKSON

2001–2003: Invincible, Berlin and Martin Bashir

 

In October 2001, Invincible was released and debuted at number-one in thirteen countries. The singles released from the album include “You Rock My World”, “Cry”, and “Butterflies”. Jackson and 35 other artists recorded a charity benefit single entitled “What More Can I Give” which was never released. Just before the release of Invincible, Jackson informed the head of Sony Music Entertainment, Tommy Mottola, that he was not going to renew his contract; the contract was about to expire in terms of supplying the label with albums of full-new material for release through Epic Records/SME. In 2002, all singles releases, video shootings and promotions concerning the Invincible album were cancelled. As a result of this, Jackson made allegations about Mottola not supporting its African-American artists. Jackson referred to Mottola as a “devil” and a “racist” who used black artists for his own personal gain. He cited that Mottola called Jackson’s colleague Irv Gotti a “fat niger”. Sony issued a statement stating that they found the allegations strange, since Mottola was once married to biracial pop star Mariah Carey. Carey herself seemed nonchalant about Jackson’s claims when asked about them by Larry King on Larry King Live.

 

On September 7 and September 10, 2001, Jackson organised a special 30th Anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden for his 30th year of being a solo artist. Later, the show aired on November 13, 2001. It featured performances by Mýa, Usher, Whitney Houston, Billy Gilman, Shaggy, Rayvon, Rikrok, Destiny’s Child, Monica, Deborah Cox, Rah Digga, Tamia, James Ingram, Gloria Estefan, 98 Degrees, Luther Vandross, Liza Minnelli, Lil’ Romeo, Master P, ‘N Sync, the Jacksons and Slash.

 

In late 2002, Jackson’s Heal the World Foundation had net assets of just $3,542 and reported $2,585 in expenses, mostly for “management fees”. The foundation has been suspended in California since April 2002 for failing to file annual statements required of tax-exempt organizations, said John Barrett, spokesman for the state Franchise Tax Board.

 

In November 2002, Jackson travelled to Berlin to accept an award for his humanitarian efforts. He was surrounded by fans outside his room at the Hotel Adlon who were chanting in approval of the singer. According to the pop star, they also called out to see his baby. In response, Jackson brought his son onto the balcony, holding him in his right arm with a towel over the baby’s head, apparently to protect his identity. Jackson briefly extended the baby over the railing of the balcony. This raised concern as some perceived his actions as child endangerment. Jackson quickly returned the child to the room.

 

After watching media coverage of the Berlin event, a California attorney and radio talk show host, Gloria Allred, wrote a letter to California’s Child Protective Services, asking for an investigation into the safety of Jackson’s children. She also spoke on CNN about the subject. Child Protective Services does not make their investigations public, so it is not known whether any action was taken as a result of Allred’s letter.

 

When a reporter asked Jackson what he thought of Allred’s complaints, he remarked “Ah, tell her to go to hell”.

 

In the documentary Living with Michael Jackson, Jackson said that the media was wrong in their comments about him being irresponsible with his children, “I love my children”, he explained. “I was holding my son tight. Why would I throw a baby off the balcony? That’s the dumbest, stupidest story I ever heard”.

 

In February 2003, a controversial documentary titled Living with Michael Jackson aired in the UK (on the 3rd) and in the US (on the 6th). The documentary included interviews with Jackson which included information on his private life. British journalist Martin Bashir and his film crew filmed Jackson for 18 months, also capturing his controversial behavior in Berlin. One particular part of the documentary, which stirred controversy and raised a significant level of concern, showed Jackson holding hands with a then 13-year-old cancer victim Gavin Arviso, and admitting to sharing his bedroom with him (but not in the same bed) as well as sharing his bed (non-sexually) with other children. Jackson felt betrayed by Bashir and complained that the film gives a distorted picture. In response to the media scrutiny, two specials were aired: Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See and Michael Jackson’s Private Home Movies. Michael Jackson: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See which aired later in February showed uncut footage of the Living with Michael Jackson documentary. The Michael Jackson’s Private Home Movies aired in April was a 2-hour special with footage of Michael Jackson’s home videos and included commentary by Jackson.

 

In June 2003, Jackson’s friend, actor Marlon Brando, signed a half-acre plot of land on his island Tetiaroa to Jackson, in gratitude for Jackson hosting a party for Brando’s daughter, Nina, then aged 13.

 

 

2003–2006: Trial, acquittal and the aftermath

 

In November 2003, Michael Jackson and Sony Records released a compilation of his number-one hits on CD and DVD titled Number Ones. The compilation has sold over six million copies worldwide. On the album’s scheduled release date, while Michael Jackson was in Las Vegas filming the video for “One More Chance” (the only new song included in the Number Ones compilation), the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department searched the Neverland Ranch and issued an arrest warrant for Jackson on charges of new child molestation. Jackson was accused of sexual abuse by Gavin Arviso, who appeared in the Living with Michael Jackson documentary earlier that year. The allegations later led to a trial in which Jackson was found not guilty of all charges.

 

Jackson converted to the Nation of Islam on December 17, 2003. Later in 2005, because of his links with the Bahrain Royal Family, he converted to Sunni Islam.

 

Marlon Brando, who was a frequent user of the Internet, informed Jackson on February 8, 2004 that the declarations made by Jordy Chandler relating to the 1993 child molestation allegations had been published on the internet site The Smoking Gun. This happened when Jackson was about to start an interview with journalist Ed Bradley for 60 Minutes. Jackson immediately left the studio and did not conduct the interview. Jackson also attended Brando’s memorial service in 2004 along with Sean Penn, Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.

 

Also on August 6, 2004, Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story debuted on VH1 starring Flex Alexander as Michael Jackson.

 

Rapper Eminem parodied new allegations raised against Jackson by Gavin Arviso in his music video for “Just Lose It” in 2004. The clip caused controversy and fueled Jackson to make a statement.

 

The People v. Jackson trial began in Santa Maria, California on January 31, 2005 and lasted less than a month.

 

On June 10, Jackson’s PR, Raymone Bain was reportedly fired. Jackson’s now-defunct website cited that “MJJ Productions regretfully announces the termination of Raymone Bain and Davis, Bain and Associates. We thank you for your services”. Bain later told the Associated Press that she had not been fired and that only Michael Jackson, not his production company (operated at the time by his brother, Randy Jackson), could fire her. Bain continues releasing press statements and answering media enquiries on behalf of Michael Jackson, and was named general manager of The Michael Jackson Company, Inc. on June 27, 2006.

 

On June 13, Jackson was acquitted of all ten charges, including four additional lesser ones. CNN later reported that one of the jurors, Ray Hultman, believed he had committed child sex crimes in the past but there was not enough evidence to prove it, and he and another juror announced impending books on their experiences in the trial.

 

In September 2005, it was reported that Ray Hultman, one of the jurors, took legal action against the publisher of his book about experiences in the trial, claiming heavy portions were plagiarized from a Vanity Fair article. Hultman also stated he felt “threatened” by the jury foreman Paul Rodriguez and regretted acquitting Jackson.

 

After being acquitted of the child molestation charges, Jackson relocated to the Gulf island of Bahrain, where he reportedly bought a house formerly owned by a Bahrain MP. Jackson allegedly spent his time in the Gulf writing new music, including a charity single dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina entitled, “I Have This Dream”. Ciara, Snoop Dogg, R. Kelly, Keyshia Cole, James Ingram, Michael Jackson’s brother Jermaine, Shanice, the Reverend Shirley Caesar and The O’Jays all reportedly lent their voices to the charity song. After many delays, the single was not released, despite being announced on September 13, 2005. At the time, Jackson’s spokesperson, Raymone Bain, said the list included Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, James Brown and Lenny Kravitz. It later appeared that these artists were no longer participating. The charity single remains unreleased.

 

In 2006, allegations of sexual assault were made against Jackson by a man who claims Michael Jackson molested him, intoxicated him with drugs and alcohol, and forced him to undergo unnecessary cosmetic surgery. Michael Jackson’s lawyer Thomas Mesereau, who successfully defended him against allegations of child molestation in 2005, said “the charges are ridiculous on their face. They will be vigorously defended”.

 

 

Michael Jackson's Bad album cover

 

Michael Jackson’s Bad album

 

 

2006–present: Visionary, Tokyo and the World Music Awards

 

In February 2006, Jackson’s label released Visionary – The Video Singles, a box set made up of twenty of his biggest hit singles, each of which were issued individually week by week over a five-month period.

 

An appeals court ruled on February 15, that a lower court improperly terminated Deborah Rowe’s parental rights to her two children with pop star Michael Jackson, opening the door to a possible custody battle between the singer and his ex-wife. The retired judge, Steven M. Lachs, acknowledged in 2004 that he failed to have state officials do an independent investigation into what was in the best interests of the children. As of September 29, 2006, the case has reportedly been settled according to the lawyers representing each party.

 

On March 9, 2006, California state labor officials closed the singer’s Neverland Ranch and fined him $69,000 for failure to provide employment insurance. The state “stop order” bars Jackson from “using any employee labor” until he secured required workers’ compensation insurance. In addition to being fined $1,000 for each of his 69 workers, Jackson is liable for up to 10 days pay for those employees who now are no longer allowed to report to Neverland for work. Thirty Neverland employees have also sued Jackson for $306,000 in unpaid wages.

 

Soon after this payment, Jackson’s spokesperson announced on March 16, 2006 that Jackson was closing his house at Neverland and had laid off some of the employees but added that reports of the closing of the entire ranch were inaccurate. There have been many reports of a possible sale of Neverland, but nothing tangible has been reported yet.

 

In a move named by Jackson’s advisors as “refinancing”, it was announced on April 14, 2006 that Jackson had struck a deal with Sony and Fortress Investments. In the deal Sony may be allowed to take control of half of Jackson’s 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing (worth an estimated $1 billion) which Jackson co-owns. Jackson would be left with 25% of the catalogue, with the rest belonging to Sony.

 

In exchange, Sony negotiated with a loans company on behalf of Jackson. Jackson’s $200m in loans were due in December 2005 and were secured on the catalogue. Jackson failed to pay and the Bank of America sold them to Fortress Investments, a company dealing in distressed loans. However, Jackson hasn’t as yet sold any of the remainder of his stake. The possible purchase by Sony of 25% of Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a conditional option; it is assumed the singer will try to avoid having to sell part of the catalogue of songs including material by other artists such as Bob Dylan and Destiny’s Child. As another part of the deal Jackson was given a new $300 million loan, and a lower interest rate on the old loan to match the original Bank of America rate. When the loan was sold to Fortress Investments they increased the interest rate to 20%. None of the details are officially confirmed. An advisor to Jackson, however, did publicly announce he had “restructured his finances with the assistance of Sony”.

 

On April 18, 2006, Michael Jackson signed a management deal with English music producer Guy Holmes. Holmes is the recently appointed CEO of Two Seas Records, with whom Jackson has signed a recording contract for one album. The album is set for a fall 2007 release.

 

On May 27, 2006, Michael Jackson accepted a Legend Award at MTV Japan’s VMA Awards in Tokyo. It was his first major public appearance since being found not guilty in his child molestation trial almost a year earlier. The award honors his influence and impact on music videos in the last 25 years. Following the award ceremony, Jackson also made an appearance on SMAPxSMAP.

 

In 2006 F. Marc Schaffel, a former associate of Jackson, filed a suit for millions of dollars allegedly owed to him after working with Jackson on an unreleased charity record named “What More Can I Give” and documentaries. Florida businessman Alvin Malnik, who had advised Jackson, appeared in court and stated that Jackson appeared to be bewildered by financial matters. Schaffel claimed to have made frequent loans to the singer totaling between $7 million and $10 million. Schaffel had received an urgent plea from Jackson for $1 million so that Jackson could buy jewelry for Elizabeth Taylor so that she would agree to sign a release for her involvement in a Fox special.

 

These court proceedings also brought to light unsuccessful projects planned with the actor Marlon Brando, including a dual interview at the actor’s private island near Tahiti, and a DVD on acting. Brando’s son Miko Brando, a long time bodyguard and assistant to Jackson stated “The last time my father left his house to go anywhere, to spend any kind of time… was with Michael Jackson”. “He loved it… [He] had a 24-hour chef, 24-hour security, 24-hour help, 24-hour kitchen, 24-hour maid service”.

 

On July 14, 2006, the jury awarded Schaffel $900,000 of the original $3.8 million he sued Jackson for, which Schaffel later reduced to $1.6 million, and finally to $1.4 million. The jury also awarded Jackson $200,000 plus interest of the $660,000 that Jackson claimed he was owed by Schaffel. The trial revealed that Schaffel had been dismissed after Jackson learnt of his past work as a director of gay pornography. Schaffel claimed that Jackson “once wanted him to go to Brazil to find boys for him to adopt. He later modified that statement to “children” to expand Jackson’s family”. Jackson’s lawyer Thomas Mundell said that he had never heard the allegation during the pre-trial investigation and that “it was an effort to smear Mr Jackson with a remark that could be interpreted to hurt him in light of the case against him last year”.

 

On July 31, 2006, a federal judge allowed a $48 million claim against Jackson and one of Jackson’s trusts for unpaid fees and breach of contract. All parties were ordered to reappear in court in September.

 

On November 2 and November 3, 2006, Access Hollywood aired a special Michael Jackson in Ireland which showed Jackson and will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas in the process of recording Jackson’s new album.

 

On November 14, 2006, Sony officially released the Visionary box set. He also visited the London office of the Guinness World Records. There, he received eight awards: “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”, “Youngest Vocalist to Top the US Singles Charts” (at the age of 11 as part of the Jackson Five), “First Vocalist to Enter the US Singles Chart at Number One” (for “You Are Not Alone”), “First Entertainer to Earn More Than 100 million Dollars in a Year”, “Highest Paid Entertainer of All Time” ($125 in 1989), “First Entertainer to Sell More Than 100 Million Albums Outside the US”, “Most Weeks at the Top of the US Albums Chart” (for the album Thriller) and “Most Successful Music Video” (for the music video Thriller).

 

On November 15, 2006, Michael Jackson received the Diamond Award, for selling over 100 million albums, at the World Music Awards. This was his second public appearance at an awards show since the trial of 2005. Despite substantial publicity prior to the event, he did not perform “Thriller”, limiting his performance to “one verse and one chorus” of “We are the World”. Coverage of the event noted that Jackson “looked uncomfortable at times” and called the appearance “an unhappy return to the London stage”. According to the head of public relations for the World Music Awards (Julius Just), the sound was cut due to a noise curfew. Officials at Earl’s Court, the arena where the event was held, have said that this was not the case and that they had “accommodated the show and the show’s organisers by obtaining an extension to our licence in order to allow the show to run to eleven o’clock”.

 

 

Debbie Rowe ex wife of Michael Jackson

 

Debbie Rowe – Michael Jackson’s ex wife

 

 

 

Supported  by
MICHAEL JACKSON MANIA 

JL Taman Bendungan Asahan 5 Jakarta Indonesia 102010

phone : 62(021) 70081995 – 5703646

mobile phone : 085692114641 

https://michaeljacksonmania.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 Editor in Chief :

AUDI YUDHASMARA

email : audiyudhasmara@yahoo.com 

 

 

Copyright © 2009, Michael Jackson Mania  Information Network. All rights reserved.

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