Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Bury the Never Ending Myth of Jackson as Child Molester

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Websites, blogs and chatrooms pulsed with garish cracks about it. Legions of commentators and news reporters snuck it in every chance they got. More than a few of Michael Jackson’s fervent admirers and supporters made a dismissive reference to it. Even President Barack Obama in a cautious acknowledgement of Jackson’s towering contributions to American music and artistry still made reference to the “tragedy” in Jackson’s life which was a subtle nod to it. And New York Congressman Pete King skipped the niceties and flatly said it.
The “it” is the never ending myth of Jackson the child molester. It still hangs as a damning indictment that feeds the gossip mills and gives an arsenal of ammunition to Jackson detractors. This is not a small point. In the coming weeks, there will be a push to bestow official commemorative monuments, honors on and a national stamp for Jackson. The taint of scandal could doom these efforts to permanently memorialize Jackson.
The child molester myth doesn’t rest on Jackson’s trial and clean acquittal on multiple child abuse charges in a Santa Maria courthouse in June 2005. Only the most rabid Jackson loathers still finger point to that to taint Jackson. The myth of Jackson as child abuser rests squarely on the charge by a 13 year old boy a decade before the trial and the multi-million dollar settlement out of court. The settlement, then and now, feeds the suspicion that Jackson must have done something unsavory and probably criminal, or else why settle?

16 years later, though, the facts remain unchanged. The charge that Jackson molested the boy was brought by the boy’s father. In interviews the boy repeatedly denied the charges. This changed only after he was administered sodium amytal, an invasive, mind altering drug that medical experts have frowned on and courts have disregarded in witness testimony. Prosecutors, police departments and investigators in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara spent millions of dollars, convened two grand juries and probed nearly 200 witnesses that included 30 children, who knew Jackson to try to substantiate the charge. Not a single corroborating witness was found. Nonetheless, a motley group of disgruntled Jackson’s former housekeepers, attendants and bodyguards still peddled the story to any media outlet willing to shell out the cash that Jackson had engaged in child sexual wrongdoing. Not one of the charges was confirmed. Typical was this exchange between one of Jackson’s attorneys and one of the accusing bodyguards under oath:

“So you don’t know anything about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?”
“All I know is from the sworn documents that other people have sworn to.”
“But other than what someone else may have said, you have no firsthand knowledge about Mr. Jackson and [the boy], do you?”
“That’s correct.”
“Have you spoken to a child who has ever told you that Mr. Jackson did anything improper with the child?”
“Where did you get your impressions about Jackson’s behavior?”
“Just what I’ve been hearing in the media and what I’ve experienced with my own eyes.”
“Okay. That’s the point. You experienced nothing with your own eyes, did you?”
“That’s right, nothing.”

When asked at the time about the charges against Jackson, child behavior experts and psychiatrists nearly all agreed that he did not fit the profile of a pedophile. They agreed that the disorder is progressive and there are generally not one but a trail of victims.

The myth of Jackson as child molester never hinged on evidence or testimony to substantiate it, but solely on the settlement. Why then did Jackson agree to it?
No charge stirs more disgust, revulsion, and pricks more emotional hot buttons than the charge of child molestation. The accusation stamps the Scarlet letter of doubt, suspicion, shame and guilt on the accused. The accused can never fully expunge it. There is simply no defense against it. Under the hyper intense media glare and spotlight that Jackson remained under, the allegation no mater how bogus would have been endless fodder for the public gossip mill. This would have wreaked irreparable damage on Jackson’s ever shifting musical career and personal life.
A trial in Los Angeles in the racially charged backdrop of the Rodney King beating, the L.A. riots, and pulsating racial tensions in the mid-1990s would have been risky business. A trial in staid, upscale, and majority white, Santa Barbara County would have been even more risky.
Jackson and his attorneys knew that when it came to the charge of child molestation the presumption of innocence, or even actual innocence, is tossed out the window. Though Jackson did nothing wrong, a trial would have left him, his reputation and his career in shambles. The settlement was the only pragmatic, logical and legal way to end the sordid issue.
The settlement under extreme duress must not sully his name and place as an honored American icon. The myth of Jackson as child molester must finally be buried.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard on weekly in Los Angeles on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and nationally on


Ross said...

Good post but sometimes we can be our own victims. MK, we all miss him, hung around with little boys too much in the public, the interview where he stated that he sleeps with children was a mistake. It was also a mistake to travel with the boys to major events. Webster and others used to set on his lap. Now this was a bad mistake!!! RIP MJ. We cannot give our enemies the rope to hang us with.

Alan, UK said...

A friend of mine pointed out this article to me when she found it published in The Huffington Post. Thank you so much for bringing some facts into the public domain of the mainstream media. Now, I live in England and I know nothing about the Huffington Post but I was surprised this was published. Why was I surprised? Because whenever I've seen articles online about MJ's alleged crimes and I've tried to present a few facts in the "Comments" area, my comments are never published. Moderators are happy to print opinion on both sides of the debate but I have found none willing to print fact. It's as if they do not want the truth out there because the perpetuation of the myth of Jackson as child-molester sells copy. This was the same in life as in death. I congratulate you Dr. Hutchinson and I congratulate The Huffington Post. And Ross, I think Michael lacked 'Social Imagination' and was perhaps unaware of how many people saw his behaviour, that's why he 'gave his enemies enough rope to hang him with', but even so, with a balanced media perhaps less people would have judged him so harshly and inaccurately.

alicia banks said...

there is MUCH evidence about mj molesting MANY boys!...

his 1993 case is the one that cost him millions and it never went to trial...

funny how so many who think all innocent gays. who never sleep with any children, or purchase children...are all pedophiles...yet eagerly defend the guilty mj...

"not guilty" by law has absolutely nothing to do with being innocent...


alicia banks

Anonymous said...

I'm so appreciative of this article. Most of Michael's persecution in America (the whole child molestation nonsense) has racial overtones. Simply because, Elvis brought a 14year old Priscilla to Graceland and is still placed on a pedestal. He is the INDISPUTABLE pedophile! Michael was found innocent in a court of law. Most black people realize MJ was a victim and will forever hold him in high esteem. God gave him to us for 40 years and he's our king. To say I'm disappointed in Obama's recent remarks is an understatement. I lost a good deal of respect for him.
And contrary to alicia bank's post (above) there's NO such evidence which is why that insane prosecutor had to go all the way to Europe looking for victims for that ridiculous trial in Santa Barbara. Also the fact that families were actually offered money to make false accusations against MJ, Alphonso Ribiero (of Fresh Prince)for one.

Anonymous said...

Alaskan Police Chief made the following comments in reference to Michael Jackson:

"Yes Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have now also oozed out of the celebrity septic tank to pile revolting adoration on this revolting creature. And they are "reverends" too, so what does that tell about so-called "men of God" who epitomize a Godless, child-raping, pill-popping, radical Islam convert-freak? This is getting the bizarre coverage to the point of ad nausem. Get over it people!"

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this analysis. It is so rare that people ever look at the actual facts that when someone does it is such a relief I almost want to cry. The rumor mill surrounding Michael Jackson is out of control and few people seem willing to use rational thought processes to cut through to the facts. Even otherwise reputable news organizations fuel the speculation by continually resorting to undisclosed and unverified sources without corroboration. It may not seem like much, but you've really done a wonderful thing. I hope more people follow your lead and stop jumping on the bandwagon of sensationalism.

Ross, Michael never said he slept with boys. He said he shares his bed and he sleeps on the floor. The difference may be subtle, but it is important. That statement has been so often misconstrued to suggest Michael did something sexual with the boys. I am so sick of people misstating things to make them sound more sinister, and that is one exaggerated misstatement that has gotten way too much play.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Alicia, there is NO evidence whatsoever of Michael doing those things to young boys. The FBI just recently released a FBI file on Michael, where it clearly states that they were surveillaing him from 91-93', and they couldn't build a case on him, because they lacked evidence. District Attorney Tom Sneddon tried to his best to destroy Michael, by getting Jordan Chandler to describe Michaels gentials in a drawing, which showed Michael was circumsized by the way. This led to the LAPD bringing Michael in to take nude pictures of him for the case, the pictures showed Michael wasn't circumsized and most of the boy depiction of the gentials were terribly wrong, if it went to trial he would have easily been aquitted due to the lack of evidence. The 05' case was built off of the 93 accusations and another greedy family, except this one actually went to trial, and he was cleanly aquitted. Know your facts before you speak on things m'aam.

And keep in mind Emmanuel Lewis was well over the age of 18 around the time he was hanging out with Michael.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Hutchinson. This article is like a candle in the the dark of the lying media.
And now, 6 months later, nothing has changed. So sad. Poor Michael...RIP

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mmc said...

wow thank you so very much for this positive post it's truly appreciated!!!

And to those of you who still think Michael was guilty you're wrong very very wrong!!!

But you believe all the BS you're fed go ahead be a stupid sheep for all i care

I know the truth & so do a lot of other intelligent people!

once again thank you for making this post about a dear friend often misunderstood but loved by many :D

it's such a relief to hear someone talk so positively about Michael for once!!!