12-18-03: Charges Against Michael Jackson Filed
As previously reported, charges were to be filed today, December 18th, by Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon against Michael Jackson. In an unusual move, the charges were filed live on television, which is deemed highly innapropriate for such serious allegations.
Below is a transcript of a rebuttle speech given by Michael's lawyer, Mark Geragos:
"I can tell you right now, categorically, that based upon this complaint that has been filed, that Michael Jackson is unequivocally and absolutely innocent of these charges.
I can also tell you that contrary to what was said during that press conference, that the defence does know what the prosecution thinks they have in this case.
I can also tell you that beyond any shadow of a doubt, I know that the investigators, or so-called investigators, do not know what we know. One of the reasons I can tell you that, because there is an old adage, it takes two people for the truth to be heard. It takes someone to hear it, and someone to tell it.
And in this case, we have people who do not want to hear the truth. I was greatly disturbed by the strategy that has evolved in the last couple of days coming out of Santa Barbara’s D.A.'s office of getting very divisive. There was… remarks today about very dismissive of the Los Angeles Children’s Services unit.
I believe that all the good people of Santa Barbara understand something and understand it greatly, that there is no way you’re going to be able to divide people into an us and them, there’s no way you’re going to be able to be dismissive of what trained investigators have already spent an inordinate amount of time investigating unless, unless, have you what we have here.
And what we have here is an intersection between a shakedown, somebody who’s looking for money, with somebody, an investigation, that’s got an axe to grind. Because otherwise, there would be no way, no way, that any self-respecting prosecutor would be going forward on the basis of this patent and unbelievably… shakedown is the only word that I can use.
I’ve been on this case and I have been involved in the investigation of this case since the inception. I can tell you right now that unequivocally there is no truth to any of this.
Interestingly enough, this morning we were in court on the matter versus Extra Jet, which the last time many of you were here we also talked about. Interestingly enough a judge in a courtroom, when evidence was presented, once again ruled for Michael Jackson.
Once again, in a courtroom, where you just can’t get out there and do some kind of a bad stand-up routine when you have to put up or shut up, a judge ruled, and a judge ruled appropriately, that you could not abuse, that you could not slam Michael Jackson.
I’m here to tell you right now Michael Jackson is going to fight these charges with every fibre of his soul. I’m here to tell you right now that we will take no quarter in terms of this defence. I’m telling you right now that there is absolutely no way that we will stand for this besmirching of this man with these horrible, horrible allegations. And, I will tell you right now that there is no way that the prosecution will prevail in this case.
I will tell you one other thing. There was some talk about the passport and the passport being given back. And there were questions that were talked about, will he flee?
Michael Jackson not only will not flee, Michael Jackson is here ensconced ready to fight. He is strong, he is defiant, as well he should be, because he knows and I know that these charges are completely and wholly unfounded.
He’s not running. He’s not hiding. He came back immediately when informed about these charges. And he is as irate as I am and everybody else who knows anything about the history of these accusers, anybody who knows anything about the history of the investigators and the axes they have to grind knows that these charges not only are categorically untrue, but they’re driven, driven, by two things, money and revenge. We will prove that.
Thank you very much."
Thanks to MJJF for the transcript.
The Jackson family have been quite vocal since the allegations happened, and below is the latest statement on behalf of the family, provided by Michael's official spokesman Stuart Backerman, by Michael's mother Katherine:
"Michael is innocent. On behalf of the Jackson family, we know these vicious lies are totally untrue, malicious and motivated by pure greed and revenge. Our family totally supports Michael. We proudly stand next to Michael, who we know could never commit any of the acts he is accused of. We will fight with every ounce of our energy to reveal the truth behind these false allegations and the motivations behind those who have falsely accused Michael. We pray for a swift resolution, real justice and we especially want to thank the millions of fans and supporters who have solidly stood by Michael and the family during this ordeal."
Source: MJNI & MJJ Forum
12-04-03: "Number Ones" & "One More Chance" Billboard Chart Positions
For the week ending December 13, 2003, there is much Michael Jackson chart activity to report. With the November 25th release of the "One More Chance" maxi single and 12" vinyl single, the song makes considerable advances on various Billboard Singles & Tracks charts.
In it's second week on the Billboard Hot 100, Michael Jackson's "One More Chance" receives the "Greatest Gainer/Sales" designation as the song advances 12 positions up from 95-83*. Not surpisingly, the song jumps from 31-2* on the Hot 100 Single Sales chart. Elsewhere, the song advances 22-13* on the Billboard Hot Dance Single Sales chart.
In terms of the song's urban chart performance, "One More Chance" advances four positions up 44-40* on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Likewise, urban airplay increased last week as the song jumped five positions up 48-43* on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
Finally, a special congratulations going to Michael Jackson as "One More Chance" knotches the #1 position the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Single Sales chart by leaping 15 position up 16-1* on that chart.
Elsewhere on the album charts, Michael Jackson's Number Ones drops 13-29 on the Billboard 200 while on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, the set drops five positions from 6-11. Cumulative album sales in the United States stand at approximately 200,000 units after two weeks.
Finally, the biggest selling album of all time 'Thriller knotches another week on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Catalog Albums chart as the song drops three positions down 13-16*.
11-28-03: Planet Jackson Website Goes Offline
Most Michael Jackson fans across the Internet may not have realized it, but today, it was found out that one of the main Michael Jackson sites to seek out information on the popstar has went off line. Planet Jackson was started a few years ago. In the last year, the website began to lack updates, then shortly after the release of "Invincible" in 2001, Planet Jackson stopped updating totally.
Today, POPonline learned that Planet Jackson has gone offline. Is it for good or just temporary? We don't know.
If it is indeed for good, POPonline wishes to thank Planet Jackson for it's years of service and dedication to Michael Jackson and his fans.
11-25-03: Michael Jackson Wins Court Order Regarding Illegal Tape
LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Yaffe granted Michael Jackson a court order against the aircraft company XtraJet, which was attempting to sell a surreptitious videotape of Michael and his attorney to the highest media bidder.
"The videotaping of my client conferring with me was illegal and outrageous, as was the aircraft company's attempt to sell that tape for profit," said Mark Geragos, Michael's attorney. "This entire case is about cash, and anyone who believes differently is living in their own Neverland. We will be absolutely relentless in our pursuit of any and all extortionists regardless of how they try to gift wrap their lies in the cloak of justice. Michael is not going to be a piñata for every money-hungry publicity seeker to strike in the hopes of hitting it rich."
The videotape was made on November 20th while Michael and his attorney flew from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara for the singer's processing on criminal charges. The judge's ruling prohibits XtraJet from releasing the tape until a hearing next month where a permanent prohibition will be sought.
Anyone watching this case can see that new lows are being hit every day. Motivated parties are taking obscene measures to injure Michael with false allegations. We will aggressively challenge the rogue's gallery of grifters who are seeking dividends from Michael's ordeal. There is a very real, human price being exacted here, and Michael will do what it takes to safeguard his family and his name.
11-25-03: "One More Chance" Single Commercially Released
Epic Records has released Michael Jackson's latest single "One More Chance". It is the first Jackson single to be released in the USA since 1997's "Stranger In Moscow".
11-21-03: Father Of Michael's Accuser Denies Charges
LOS ANGELES -- The attorney for the father of the 12-year-old boy in the center of the Michael Jackson controversy spoke to the media Thursday evening.
H. Russell Halper told reporters that his client believes the boy's mother is unfit and does not believe that the pop superstar victimized his son.
"Either she places a child in a home in which he's in danger of being molested, or the alternative, she is encouraging a child to make false accusations," Halper said. "Either way, it makes her unfit."
The alleged victim was featured in a British documentary with Michael Jackson. It was aired earlier this year. The boy is a cancer patient who stayed at Jackson's Neverland Ranch on a few occasions and a child in the center of a bitter divorce and custody battle.
The boy's mother had nothing negative to say about Jackson when she told a British newspaper earlier this year that "at no time has (her son) ever been treated with anything other than love, respect and the deepest kindness by Michael."
11-21-03: Latest Statement From Stuart Backerman On MJ's Behalf
Below is a Press Release on behalf of Michael Jackson, by his spokesman, Stuart Backerman:
"The big lie against Michael Jackson is anchored in the most vicious allegation imaginable, one that resonates across every culture: the spectacle of harming a child. That spectacle invites outrage, and it should. But this spectacle is rooted in a lie.
"Michael said, 'Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. The truth will win this marathon in court.'
"Michael is going to defend himself with the force of his spirit, as would anyone falsely accused of something so monstrous."
11-20-03: Michael Turns Himself Into Police
Around Noon, Pacific Standard Time, Michael Jackson returned to Santa Barbara, California to face new allegations of child molestation. Michael was met by Santa Barbara Police, as well as District Attorney Tom Sneddon at the airport. It's reported by Fox News that Michael & Mr. Sneddon actually flashed each other smile and shook hands. It was there that Michael was taken into custody and the motorcade began it's trip to the courthouse. Fox News also reports that Michael was handcuffed just as they pulled up to the building..not at the airport. Michael was escorted by police into the building, booked on charges of multiple counts of child molestation, finger printed, had his mug shot taken, and posted 3 million dollars bail.
As Michael left the courthouse about an hour and a half later, he flashed the peace/victory sign and blew kisses. Michael returned to the airport and headed back to Las Vegas, Nevada where he was with family, as well as shooting a video to "One More Chance". No word on if that video will be released any time soon.
Michael will return to a Santa Barbara courtroom January 9th, 2004 where he'll be arraigned on the counts he faces. A single count of criminal sexual molestation of a child ranges from 3 to 8 years in prison.
More news later
11-19-03: Backerman Speaks On Michael's Behalf
Michael Jackson's Official Spokesman, Stuart Backerman, has released the following statement on Michael's behalf:
"The outrageous allegations against Michael Jackson are false. Michael would never harm a child in any way. These scurrilous and totally unfounded allegations will be proven false in a courtroom. Naturally, the implications are distressing to everyone who hears them, which is precisely the point.
We are disturbed by the levity of the environment surrounding the announcement of these very serious charges. When the evidence is presented and the allegations proven to be malicious and wholly unfounded, Michael will be able to put this nightmare behind him.
Michael through his attorneys, led by Mark Geragos, has already made arrangements with the District Attorney to return to Santa Barbara to immediately confront and prove these charges unfounded."
-Stuart Backerman, Michael Jackson Spokesperson
11-19-03: CBS Special On Michael Jackson Canceled
Below is a Press Release given out by CBS concerning their unfortunate decision to cancel their upcoming special Michael Jackson: Number ones, the special was going to feature the video for One More Chance.
"Given the gravity of the charges against Mr. Jackson, we believe it would be inappropriate at this time to broadcast an entertainment special.
However, we are very mindful that Mr. Jackson is innocent until proven guilty. We will consider broadcasting the special after the due process of the legal system runs its course.
A replacement program for the special will be announced at a later time."
Source: MJNI & CBS
11-19-03: Arrest Warrent Issued For Michael Jackson
This morning in a press conference, Santa Barbara, California District Attorney Tom Sneddon announced that an arrest warrent has been issued for Michael Jackson. Bail has been set to 3 million. The police have stated that Michael's lawyers have stated that Michael will cooperate with law enforcement and will turn himself in within the next day or two. Michael will turn his passport in, proving he is not a flight risk.
More News Later.
11-18-03: Neverland Ranch Under Seige By Police
Michael Jackson is under investigation by police. No word on just what the search warrent is all about, be we can all bet what it is. More details as they come.
Once again, Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is being searched by police! Something really going on...or just convienent timing to ruin a guys new album promotion? You make the call!
11-18-03: Number Ones Released
Michael Jackson has released his latest Epic Records album, Number Ones. It consists of 17 classic tracks, and the new single "One More Chance". You can pick up a copy of the album in stores now!
10-03-03: More News On CBS Television Special
As reported by MJNI on October 2nd, Billboard reported this week that Michael Jackson is working on a CBS television special to coincide with the release of his new greatest hits album. The Billboard website story stated:
"An hour-long CBS special is in the works for around Thanksgiving, which will feature videos from Number Ones, career highlights and a performance of [the new song] One More Chance."
Stuart Backerman, Michael Jackson's official spokesperson, today provided more information about the special in the following statement:
"Michael has a longstanding contractual obligation to the CBS Television Network to do a performance on air. In order to fulfill this contractual obligation, MJ and CBS have agreed, in principal, that at a date to be announced (probably by Christmas season), CBS will air a one hour special using old footage from previous concerts etc, and to shoot MJ doing a taped performance of a new song, possibly One More Chance. However, there will not be an interview segment.
Further information will be forthcoming.
10-02-03: Jackson's "Number One's Compiled For CD / DVD
Michael Jackson's biggest hits have been collected for Epic's Nov. 18 release of "Number Ones," an 18-track CD or 15-track DVD, Billboard.com has learned. The album will include a brand new single, "One More Chance," reportedly penned by R. Kelly. An hour-long CBS special is in the works for around Thanksgiving, which will feature videos from "Number Ones," career highlights and a performance of "One More Chance."
Four limited-edition covers have been created for the releases, which mirror recent collections of chart-toppers by the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Although his increasingly bizarre personal life has, in recent years, overshadowed his musical achievements, few could dispute that Jackson has earned his title as the "King of Pop." He has released the second best-selling album of all time ("Thriller"), countless hit singles and conquered the video world with a series of elaborate, envelope-pushing clips.
It is unknown what criteria Epic used in determining a "number one," as some of these tracks did not reach the top of any Billboard chart. Regardless, save for "Thriller," "Smooth Criminal," "You Rock My World" and "Break of Dawn," all of the previously released tracks did hit No. 1 on either the Billboard Hot 100 or the U.K. singles chart. The new album also repeats 10 songs that were on the 2001 album "Greatest Hits: HIStory Volume 1." The DVD compiles videos for most of the hits.
Missing from the "Number Ones" track list are "Blood on the Dancefloor," (a 1997 U.K. No. 1) and "Say, Say, Say," Jackson's 1983 No. 1 hit duet with Paul McCartney. The latter track was released on McCartney's Columbia album "Pipes of Peace."
Jackson has publicly feuded with Epic parent Sony Music since the release of his 2001 studio album, "Invincible," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 but sold a disappointing 2.1 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Here are the track lists for the "Number Ones" CD/DVD:
Source: Billboard Magazine
9-29-03: New Single Release & More On "Number Ones" Album
MJNI is pleased to announce the following exclusive information regarding Number Ones, the upcoming album of Michael Jackson's greatest hits.
The new track, One More Chance, written by R Kelly, will be released as a single on Monday 10th November. Although not yet confirmed, the release may be a 2-track single; if so, the second song is likely to be a classic remix.
The album track listing announced in Hot Shot number 811 on September 16th 2003 remains unchanged.
The greatest Hits album will also be released simultaneously in DVD format. Containing fifteen tracks, the DVD will include The Making of Thriller featurette.
9-16-03: Sony Music Announces Details On Next Jackson Album
SONY Music UK have this evening provided MJNI with the following press release regarding a new album of Michael Jackson's greatest hits. The album is entitled "Michael Jackson - Number Ones" and has a release date of 17th November 2003.
The news about the Epic album (which Michael first referred to at MJNI's Killer Thriller Party in June 2002) was not due to be issued this week, so MJNI have double checked with Michael's spokespeople who have confirmed that, although premature, this information is valid.
MJNI will shortly issue official news about Michael's further plans.
The following is verbatim from Sony Music UK
Released November 17th
Michael Jackson's music has been at the heart of music for 30 years - and for the first time on one album - 'Number Ones' - the definitive must have collection - will be made available as a single disc CD - on November 17th.
'Number Ones' will feature eighteen legendary Michael Jackson tracks - including 6 UK NO.1's - plus a brand new single 'One More Chance' - released TBC
The CD includes such timeless hits as: 'Thriller', 'Beat It', 'I Just Can't Stop Loving You' and 'The Way You Make Me Feel'. Tracks which take you instantly back in time to Michael's groundbreaking and innovative seven Epic solo albums: 'Off The Wall', 'Thriller', 'Bad' , 'Dangerous', 'History', 'Blood On The Dance Floor' and 'Invincible' - brilliant tunes and unbelievable dance moves from one of the greatest artists in the world.
'Number Ones' - takes you right back to what makes it all so important - the music - like the song says: do you Remember The Time?
To date, Michael has sold over 12 million albums in the UK and 180 million worldwide. He has had 78 UK hit singles and 8 UK No.1.s (including The Jackson Five hits).
Michael Jackson - 'Number Ones' - an album that every household will want to own ....
Source: Sony UK & MJNI
9-11-03: POPonline Remembers Victims Of September 11th, 2001
It's been 2 years since the tragic events that took place in New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. Terrorist hijacked 4 airliners....2 crashed into both twin towers of the World Trade Center, causing both towers to eventually collapse. 1 crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The 4th, believed to be headed for the White House, crashed into a farm field after passengers found out what happened in NYC and DC and rushed the terrorist in the cockpit, forcing the plane down.
On behalf of all Michael Jackson fans worldwide, POPonline remembers those lost on that tragic day, their families, and the men and women who defend our freedom and to those who lost their lives in the persuit of justice.
9-05-03: Rumor Kill From Michael Jackson's Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM: STUART BACKERMAN
TO: MJJFORUM FAN COMMUNITY
Michael is feeling absolutely fantastic following one of the great evenings of his life, his birthday party on Saturday past.He was deeply moved and humbled by the enthusiasm, loyalty and faith all of you displayed, not only at the party, but over the last few years. As he said in his speech,"my birthday wish is that you, my fans, will join me in some new undertakings and that we all travel into a bright future together." Over the next several months I, as MJ´s Official Spokesman, will be announcing a number of creative, business and charitable initiatives- so stay tuned!
On another note; It has been brought to my attention that a certain fan has put out some news that MJ´s new album will be released on a certain date and that it will contain only 1 new track. First, let me say that we have not made any decisions yet regarding the number of new songs ,or an exact date for the release of this album.Believe me, when there is real news to announce you´ll hear it from me directly, not from the" rumour mill." Be patient and trust that we´re all entering a new era together.
With much love and appreciation,
Official Spokesman for Michael Jackson
Source: MJJ Forum
8-31-03: Michael Attends Celebration Of Love Birthday Bash In LA
Last night, 2,000 fortunate fans attended the ´Celebration of Love´ event to honor Michael Jackson´s 45th birthday.
Brandy, Patti LaBelle and Jay-z were among the celebrities who were at The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles to share in this event.
Steve Harvey was the Master of Ceremonies who in true fashion had the audience laughing, but not before he honored Michael by saying "Michael Jackson has endured more media hatred than anyone I´ve ever known and he´s maintained his dignity. You have to be a special person to be Michael and no one can ever be like him".
There were performances by Navi, The Kennedy Tap Company, BJ Braiser and his dance troop, Bling Dynastsy, Jay Kid and Brian McKnight performed "Lady In My Life" and performed Happy Birthday.
Birthday messages came from Ashanti, The Neptunes, Nelly and Murphy Lee, Beyonce, Outkast, Avril Lavigne and Mary J. Blige.
Finally the man of the hour, Michael Jackson, took the stage wearing black sparkly pants, white sparkly shirt and sparkly shin guards and sparkly gloves. The audience went wild.
He playfully stripped for the crowd, by taking off one of his shirts. He turned his back toward the audience and showed a lil´ skin. The crowd went wild.
This is not a direct quote... but as close as possible:
Michael: "I am deeply moved and impressed by the fans and I love you all so very much. The fans presence, faith and loyalty has given me strength through this difficult time. You have all inspired me to work harder. Over the years, you all have become my family."
"My children, are your children ... our children."
He proceeded to make a speech about children and he started to cry because he became very moved. He goes on to say that you should "Never lose your childlike innocence".
Michael talks of his new management team:
"My birthday wish is for all my fans to join me in a new undertaking, so we can travel to a bright future together. I look forward to it. I love my new advisors and team because they have my FANS at the top of the list."
Michael: "I want to thank the fans for your assistance in bringing Tommy Mottola down. He is a racist, and he loves to destroy people´s careers. I´m not saying any names." [Steve Harvey head nods Michael]
"Because of the fans and our insistence, Sony fired him. YOU put your hearts on the line and you are my ARMY of love."
The crowd goes wild...
Then the crowd chants "Martin Bashir SUCKS...."
Michael: "Who??? Oh Him? Martin Bashir? Ah, he´s a RAT. He used us, all of us. He breached every single contract known to man..." Then he sarcastically says: "Ah, Martin is so nice". Crowd goes wild!
Crowd chants "We Love You".
Michael goes on to mention:
Michael was on stage eating cake, looking at art murals that were submitted to him, and everyone was singing ´Happy Birthday.´
Finale: Michael sings a little on stage. He breaks out with "We Are The World"
The cake presented to Michael is 7 feet tall and he cuts the cake, and starts eating the cake. Then he threw a piece of the cake in the audience and screams ... "FOOD FIGHT!!!!"
The crowd goes wild AGAIN. The show then ended.
Source: MJJ Forum
8-29-03: Happy 45th Birthday Michael
Today is the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson's 45th birthday. Michael is in California celebrating with friends, family and fans.
On behalf of Michael's huge fan base worldwide, POPonline gives it's best wishes to the reigning King Of Pop, and we look forward to many many more happy birthday's to come!
8-26-03: Michael Will NOT Be At MTV VMAs
Despite rumours, Michael Jackson will NOT be attending this year's MTV Video Music Awards, set to broadcast live this Thursday night from New York City. According to the King of Pop's official spokesperson, Michael will be in California where two days later he will be attending A Celebration Of Love, a fan tribute party celebrating his 45th birthday (tickets still available at Ticketmaster).
We can reveal however that both MTV and a member of Michael Jackson's camera crew team will be on hand at the opening of the award show, taping special Happy Birthday messages for Michael as they arrive on the red carpet. There are plans to play those messages at Saturday's event in LA.
8-26-03: New Official MJ Site In The Works
MJNI has learned that the new creative team behind Michael Jackson is currently looking at a number of proposals from leading industry Web site designers for the purpose of developing a new "official" Internet site dedicated to the King of Pop. It is still not known whether the site will replace or be in addition to Sony's current site, located at www.michaeljackson.com