APRIL 4 2005 – Part 3 of this special MJEOL Bullet discussed a number of issues including the prosecution’s relentless search for phantom “victims” of Michael Jackson.
Not one to let a tabloid story go unchecked, the prosecution seems absolutely beyond desperate to bring in every piece of unconfirmed and un-cross-examined garbage they can find; attempting to kick up enough dust wishing that the jury can’t see through it.
Never mind that the therapist who talked to this accuser, Stan Katz, was also involved in the notorious McMartin Preschool case that quickly became a witch-hunt (see article). Never mind that the prosecution’s witnesses-come-lately have almost no credibility even before the defense has asked them one question. Never mind the cozy relationships between William ****erman, Larry Feldman and Stan Katz.
Throughout all of nonsense, there remains at least one person of the media, allegedly on the outside looking in, who appears to be too close for comfort. This person was a fixture in the media around the first allegation back in 1993, and emerged from obscurity riding the tabloid-Jackson gravy train. And to obscurity she may return when all is said and done.
When tabloid reporter Diane Dimond isn’t lying in wait for her next “scoop” from her “highly placed sources”, she seems to be actually going out to actively help the prosecution shore up their “case” against Jackson.
Some say her meddling is certainly not a lofty journalistic act in service of the greater good, but rather, her trying to protect future book earnings. She, and the other ‘sentinels’ (think Matrix Revolutions) stand to make more money if they can get – or help the prosecution get – a conviction against Jackson; truth be damned.
I guess someone should have told them that Jackson’s innocence does not rest with one-sided presentations, or unfounded tabloid stories, or proven liars, or bitter ex-employees who had to file for bankruptcy after they sued (and were sued by) Jackson and lost.
Most people first became familiar with Dimond on the now defunct tabloid TV show Hard Copy. That show never met a nut they didn’t like and provided a platform for every crackpot, hack, ex-employee, and money-grubbing shyster around the Jackson investigation in 1993. The more sordid the tale, the higher the paycheck. Just as the Quindoys. Anyway, back to the issue at hand.
It is Dimond’s….uh….closeness to both the prosecution and law enforcement of Santa Barbara County that has raised more than a few disapproving eyebrows. A whisper, a phone call, a few drinks, a kiss on the lips in the parking lot after court with a former law enforcement official….hey, it’s called networking….or keeping in touch with your “sources”.
Seemingly, the prosecution’s favorite reporter has incredibly suspicious involvement with these allegations. Possibly attempting to further her career – which doesn’t seem to exist to any high-profile extent sans Jackson — some observers call it “obvious” that she has been too close to these types of allegations for too long.
And that this closeness could come back to bite her in the ass…and whatever “source” is unlucky enough to be attached to her at that time.
Dimond is reported to be the one who broke the 1993 story. Well, not exactly. She’s just one of the most visible to glom onto it and ride it to her personal type of “fame”. “Fame” that she can’t seem to keep without a negative Jackson story.
She is not alone, but her overreaching in trying to bring allegations against Jackson to fruition is long past gone over the line. With a non-existent stream of garbage and wild tales of what “former employees” had to tell, true or not, Dimond became the go-to person for Jackson stories on the tabloid show Hard Copy back around the 1993 investigation.
Recent reports have started to look into Dimond’s…..“close” relationship with the DA and law enforcement both then and now.
Dimond, who has been sued by Jackson before, doesn’t seem to have any business giving allegedly “unbiased” reports about this “case” in the first place. But there she is on Court TV pushing the DA’s arguments and doing her best to explain away why their allegations simply don’t add up.
Who can forget her going on Larry King Live talking about what turned out to be non-existent stack of “explicit love letters” allegedly written from Jackson to the accuser. Her “sources” told her that was one of the things the prosecution was looking for when they raided Neverland Nov 18 2003.
Nancy Grace, who also appeared on that show, of course didn’t question Dimond’s reporting at all and just lapped the false information up like a dog. As did a few other people.
Her comments on Larry King Nov 24 2003 came off as if she was stating this as a fact. From a transcript of that show:
DIMOND:….He[Jackson] remembered love letters — that’s how they’re described, love letters — that he had written to this 12-year-old boy that were in the boy’s home. At the time, the boy, the mother, the family was up at Neverland. Someone somehow was dispatched, I’m told, by the Michael Jackson camp down to their Los Angeles-area apartment, and suddenly, those letters disappeared.
KING: Could that have been this…
DIMOND: That’s what Mr. Sneddon and the sheriff were looking for when they went into Neverland, that stack of love letters.
(see Larry King Live: Dimond talk about ” love letters ” (Nov 24 2003))
And she didn’t stop there. The intent seemed to be to spread this story even though she had absolutely no evidence of its truthfulness. Continued from the official transcript of that show:
KING: Wait a minute! Hold it!
NANCY GRACE: … love letters to a 10-year-old boy…
KING: Do we — hold it! Does anyone here — does anyone here — anyone — know of the existence of these letters?
JOHNNIE COCHRAN: I don’t. I mean, I think that’s…
DIMOND: Absolutely. I do.
COCHRAN: … again, speculation.
DIMOND: I do!
COCHRAN: I don’t know of this.
KING: Hold it!
COCHRAN: I’ve never seen them. The only…
DIMOND: I absolutely know of their existence!
KING: Diane, have you read them?
DIMOND: No, I have not read them, but I absolutely know that that…
COCHRAN: So how do we know?
DIMOND: … was tops on the list of the DA and sheriff’s department, things to look for inside Neverland. Listen, Larry…
KING: But you don’t know what they say.
DIMOND: … these are letters that are written in Michael Jackson’s hand. They are said to be — no, I’ve not read them, but…
KING: OK. Well, then…
DIMOND: … they — they went after them because they’re said to be so sensational and so salacious in nature…
KING: Yes, but how…
DIMOND: … that this could be a key to the prosecution…
KING: I see. Now, let me…
DIMOND: … if and when this goes to trial.
So, she never saw them and never read them, but claimed on live television to KNOW for a fact that they exist. Well another reporter at Fox news did a little digging of his own and found out that this “explicit love letters” story may have originated in a London tabloid by way of “law enforcement sources” feeding them false information.
Or worse, the accusing family could have made that story up to, thereby sending the prosecution on yet another wild goose chase.
But the point is that she was pushing this story heavily at the time. And it turned out to be false. Why the need to push this story at that time? Why the need to absolutely convince people that the story was true? This same behavior got her into financial trouble with Jackson in the past. More on that later.
The NY Daily News started to delve into Dimond’s relationship with her “sources”. In a report dated March 14 2005, titled “Did Jax reporter brief DA?”, they spell out some of her recent involvement with this current case; specifically her helping the prosecution search for alleged “evidence”.
Another example is Dimond meeting with Henry Vaccaro – another person being sued by Jackson – at his memorabilia collection. For the record Vaccaro was only allowed to sell things belonging to other family members, not materials belonging to either Michael or Janet Jackson. He did so, and that’s why he’s getting sued.
Among those materials was a pair of unidentified, old underwear. They had no way of even knowing if these draws belonged to Jackson. But that didn’t stop Dimond’s mind from immediately going there.
She reportedly alerted the Santa Barbara authorities. From that NY Daily News report:
The morning after Dimond’s visit, Vaccaro told me yesterday, Sneddon personally phoned Vaccaro, said that Dimond had informed his office about the underwear and other potential evidence, and asked to borrow the items for use in the investigation.
(see Did Jax reporter brief DA? – NY Daily News)
Journalistic ethics professor Tom Rosenstiel was asked about such involvement and his comments were published in the article. From the report:
Yesterday, journalistic ethics expert Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalist, told me: “The standard is that journalists should try to avoid becoming an extension of law enforcement or any government agency.”
If Dimond did so, “that would be very unusual,” Rosenstiel added.
In her Court TV report last March on Vaccaro’s collection, Dimond is shown daintily lifting the soiled briefs and speculating that they might contain “DNA evidence.” When the camera was turned off, Vaccaro recalled, “she told me she was going to call the prosecutor about this.”
(see Did Jax reporter brief DA? – NY Daily News)
One wonders what Tom Rosenstiel would have to say about another incident where Sneddon was instrumental in helping her get out of a vicious slander lawsuit filed against her and others by Jackson.
Again, the NY Daily News detailed Sneddon’s involvement in a March 16 2005 article titled “DA helped Dimond out of a ‘Hard’ spot”.
The back-story: Dimond publicly reported on her tabloid Hard Copy show and to KABC radio, around that 1993 investigation, about a non-existent tape of Jackson allegedly molesting a kid. She claimed Sneddon was searching for that tape. She, too, claimed to know of the tape’s existence.
Of course there was no such tape, and an unbelievably furious Jackson sued the hell out of her and Hard Copy for that malicious reporting. To help Dimond get out of that lawsuit, however, Sneddon filed a Declaration in support of Dimond. From the NY Daily News report:
Sneddon soon concluded that no such video existed, but not before Dimond appeared on L.A.’s KABC radio and her Paramount-produced tabloid show to trumpet the imagined X-rated details.
…Sneddon, in an unusual instance of a prosecutor involving himself in a civil suit, signed a declaration supporting Dimond’s version of events. The trial judge dismissed the suit, saying Jackson couldn’t prove malice or false reporting.
(see DA helped Dimond out of a ‘Hard’ spot)
This is simply TOO close for comfort. Thus, everything she says – every report where she’s damn near kissing the prosecution’s ass – is tainted. How does the public know emphatically whether she’s telling an unbiased truth or whether she’s looking out for the person that seemingly helped her get out of an enormous financial jam with Jackson in the past?
According to sources, one of the other ways Hard Copy and Dimond got off was to give up the source of that vicious videotape rumor: Victor Gutierrez. Gutierrez, himself, was successfully sued by Jackson. But instead of paying the $2 million+ in damages the jury awarded Jackson in that slander lawsuit, Gutierrez fled the country (see Michael Jackson’s Victory (April 10 1998)).
If you think the journalistic ethics were tested in that reporting, wait until you find out what she did after the 1993 investigation.
Dimond flew to Canada in search of another accuser. An accuser who turned out to be an impeccable liar and was being fed very detailed information from a reportedly obsessed Jackson “nut”.
She does have a well-documented history for seeking out alleged “victims” of Michael Jackson. When she was still working with the tabloid show Hard Copy, Dimond was chasing that story, and it completely blew up in her face.
There was a “street kid” in Canada claiming to have been “molested” by Jackson sometime after the 1993 investigation. Instead of going to the police, his alleged guardian, reported to be Rodney Allen, wrote a letter to Dimond.
Dimond flew all the way to Toronto to get this kid’s very elaborate, very detailed and highly researched story on camera. Like the current family now, he too claimed he only wanted “justice.”
Dimond, of course, took the bait. It was only after she got his “confessions” on camera that she personally took him to the authorities herself so he could “tell his story”. I kid you not. It’s all documented in the report aired on Hard Copy.
Rodney Allen, the alleged “guardian”, admitted on camera he fed the information to the kid, who lied over and over again to both Dimond and the authorities at first. Sound familiar?
After the kid was questioned for hours by the Toronto and Santa Barbara police –away from Allen and not solely by the Santa Barbara sheriffs– he finally admitted he lied about the entire situation from beginning to end. The following is an excerpt from that stunning report:
Diane Dimond, Hard Copy: I care about this one kid who gave me all sorts of information about Neverland, about Havenhurst, about Disneyland, about Michael Jackson’s body. Where did he get all that information?
Allen: He got it from me.
Dimond: You planted all this stuff in this kid’s head?
Allen: I didn’t plant it in his head. He was asking questions. I answered them the best I can. I told him what I could tell him about the place because I want Michael to face it.
Dimond: So this kid is an A-1, number one liar?
Dimond voiceover: The whole story was a scam. A Toronto street kid meets a man obsessed with the Michael Jackson case, and the results could have been an international scandal.
Meanwhile, back at the police station the boy finally broke down. He admitted that he and Rodney Allen had made up the whole story.
Dimond: The young boy was lying?
Det. Darryl Campbell: That’s my belief. And as a result of that, he was charged, yes.
Dimond: Can you tell us what he was charged with?
Campbell: Public mischief.
Now, think about the 1993 allegation and see if this doesn’t sound familiar: an adult feeding very specific lies to a kid to make allegations against Jackson to either get back at him or to get into his pockets. Uh huh.
And in the mix is Dimond. In what appeared to be an effort to save face, she may have pretended to be a victim as well in that entire scam when she turned in her report to Hard Copy.
But her involvement in actively seeking out and trying to bring about allegations against Jackson is simply creepy beyond belief and, some say, incredibly unethical.
Again, you don’t have to take my word for it. See for yourself:
Oh, but the questions don’t stop there. As reported in MJEOL Bullet #141, Dimond was also…..uh….. “lucky” enough to be at Neverland laying in wait for the police to raid Jackson’s Neverland ranch.
The Associated Press’s David Bauder reported that Dimond told Henry Schleiff, CEO of Court TV, that she was “working on a great story” and asked him to provide “money and manpower to help dig it out” (Bauder article). “Dig it out”, indeed.
In an article from The HollywoodReporter.com, dated Nov 20 2003, Andrew Wallenstein reported that Dimond was the first to report news of the raid. In fact, she was the first reporter at Neverland even before the police made it there; with her camera crew to catch the scene. The report states:
Dimond flew from New York to Santa Barbara on Tuesday [Nov 18 2003], arriving at 2 a.m., enough time to get three hours of sleep and have one of her two camera crews stationed at Neverland when the police arrived at 6 a.m. She was at the local police station with the other crew when the raid commenced just in case Jackson was arrested, but she soon sped back over to Neverland.
(see Court TV coup: Dimond lands another scoop )
Not only was she apparently tipped off by someone in either the district attorney’s office or the sheriff’s department, but she was given so much specific information that she executed a plan to have two camera crews ready: one to catch the raid at Neverland, and another for when Jackson was supposed to be arrested and taken to the police station.
No one in the media has publicly asked one question about how she knew to be there at that time, who gave her this information, and for what purpose was it given to her. Matt Drudge would probably call this a “weird merger of government and media” (see Drudge Report: Blasts Sneddon March 6 2005).
Dimond has also been spreading false information about the 1993 settlement agreement, which was illegally leaked to her. When she got her hands on it, it was a court sealed document that some “source” leaked to her. Hum…I wonder who?
She continues to claim that Jackson admitted to some form of illicit touching in that agreement, which is both ridiculous and wrong. Not to mention that would be an illegal obstruction of justice. But instead of questioning Dimond’s report, some who don’t know any better have accepted her bogus information.
Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau actually addressed this issue when the prosecution ran their asses to the judge trying to get Jackson cited for breaking the gag order last year. From the transcript of that hearing:
There was never any admission by Mr. Jackson that he ever did anything negligent or anything wrong at all.
There was public comment in the media, again, about this 11-year-old case to the effect that somehow he admitted negligence, which was completely false. It was a technical legal way of settling a case so insurance companies could fund a settlement and he could get on with his personal life and his business life.
(see 1993 : Excerpts From the Transcript of the July 9, 2004 Hearing)
One of the prosecution’s witnesses around that 1993 investigation, Blanca Fancia, was interviewed by Dimond in that now infamous Hard Copy interview for which Francia was reportedly paid $20,000. Dimond has publicly tried to distance herself from who was paid for which interview. But the stench is still there.
Francia was later caught in a deposition retracting what she told Dimond during that interview. That deposition was cited by Mesereau during the 1108 hearing.
And if all of this wasn’t ridiculous enough, the rag reporter reportedly has either been shopping a book around or already has a book deal. MTV News actually quoted excerpts from the alleged proposal; completely with more disgusting and as yet unfounded garbage (see Dimond Shopping a Jackson book around (Jan 12 04) – MTV ).
With that said, why do some reporters think the defense is worried about whatever the ’93 accuser would say in court? Jackson has been very good at keeping a lid on whatever exonerating information they found back during the 1993 investigation.
Thus, prosecutors will have no chance of changing their “case” to nullify Jackson’s exonerating material like they attempted to do with this 2003 “case”. Remember the changing charges? Changing number of counts? Changing timeline?
Some observers argue if the ’93 accuser continues to assert that Jackson did any wrongdoing, the defense may seriously want to cross-examine him themselves anyway. If they dispose of the claims of 1993 and show that accuser is/was lying, it would have a crippling affect on the prosecution.
Others, however, have suggested an entirely different scenario. They assert that prosecutors may not be able to get the ’93 accuser to cooperate with this “case” because he, an adult now, is no longer going along with the plan to falsely accuse Jackson. Intriguing concept.
They say this may be the ultimate reason why prosecutors couldn’t get him to testify in front of the grand jury earlier this year, nor involved in any other aspect of this current “case”.
This type of outcome certainly isn’t uncommon. Recently in an unrelated case, four children—now grown men—admitted they were never molested by a man named John Stoll. Stoll spent 20 years in prison based on the false accusations of those children coupled with alleged massive misconduct of police and prosecutors in Stoll’s case.
The young men grew up and finally had to admit they lied under oath as children because of threats, lies, and badgering by police and prosecutors. They testified at a hearing in support of Stoll and told the truth of what happened.
Not that Jackson’s “case” and Stoll’s case are comparable in any way other than false allegations, but it would be interesting to hear what the ’93 accuser has to say.
One could bet that the media, the public and the prosecution would have a collective nervous breakdown if the ’93 accuser ended up being a witness for Jackson’s defense in this current “case”. Or if attorneys show that Jackson was in fact innocent in 1993 through his cross-examination.
By all accounts, Jackson’s attorneys—outside of making sure prosecutors follow the law—seem ready for whatever prosecutors think they have from 1993…if anything at all…and possibly a whole lot more evidence of extortion and exculpatory value than the public has yet seen.