Roger Friedman of FoxNews.com reports that it was Johnnie Cochran who persuaded Michael Jackson to add New York attorney Ben Brafman as co-counsel with Mark Geragos on his child molestation case. “If all goes according to plan, Brafman will eventually take over and Geragos will leave,” said a source. Friedman says Geragos essentially will be used now to buy time and stall Jackson’s case, using the Scott Peterson trial as an excuse. Read more.
Michael Jackson Skips His Own Neverland Bash
January 17, 2004 – The New York Daily News reports hundreds of fans who rallied at Michael’s arraignment on Friday (January 16) got to see his giraffes, ride his Ferris wheel and eat his chicken — but didn’t see the King of Pop himself — with Jackson being a no-show to his own Neverland Ranch party. “This is the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen,” gushed Debi King, of Santa Maria, California, as she explored the vast estate.
Jackson’s Toy Store Fallout
January 16, 2004 – Jay Leno joked during his Tonight Show monologue on Thursday night, “First FAO Schwartz filed for bankruptcy, and yesterday KB Toys filed for bankruptcy. See I knew this would happen when Michael Jackson stopped dating.”
Uri Geller Defends Michael Jackson
January 16, 2004 – A day before Michael’s arraignment, world-famous psychic Uri Geller made himself available to Reuters Television in order to plead his friend’s innocence. “I don’t really know why this child is going along but I do believe, and again it’s my opinion, and I’m allowed to voice my opinion, is manipulated, is being manipulated, by his mum,” Gellar said Thursday. Feedroom has since removed the video.
Statement By Jackson’s Attorney Mark Geragos
January 16, 2004 – The following is a statement by Mark Geragos, Attorney for Michael Jackson: “I am pleased to announce the expansion of the legal team that will be defending Michael Jackson. My friend Benjamin Brafman will serve with me as co-lead counsel effective immediately. Michael and I agreed that expanding the team would best serve his interests as we work toward his acquittal on the false charges that have been leveled against him. I felt strongly about working with Ben, someone I have long respected and admired. Ben will join me tomorrow in Santa Maria at Michael’s arraignment where Michael will enter a plea of not guilty. Ben is a principal in the law firm of Brafman & Ross based in Manhattan. He is known for most recently winning an acquittal for Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs on bribery and weapons charges.”
Jackson Aims For Juvie Prison Plea
January 15, 2004 – Jay Leno joked during his Tonight Show monologue on Tuesday night, “Michael Jackson’s business advisers met yesterday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to discuss Michael’s financial situation. There’s the problem right there – meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. What’s an orange juice there, nine dollars? They should be meeting at the Red Roof Inn, maybe Howard Johnson, or someplace where kids stay free. Sources say Michael is very worried about how he could survive the harsh conditions in a federal prison. In fact, the rumor is he’s trying to work out a plea bargain – if they’ll send him to juvie hall, he’ll be willing to serve 40 years.”