Michael Jackson

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True, but I was under the impression that it isn't binding.


Me too Michelle. I doubt it is binding.


After all, wills are about distributing property.  Kids aren't property.

Stephen Gordon

IANAL, but this looks as though naming a guardian is binding. I sure as hell hope it's binding; we went through a lot of thought on the issue when we wrote our wills.

And it's not about distributing property; they can't be sold. It's about making sure that custody goes to the person you think is the best suited to raise your children in your absence.


Dianna Ross? This is apparently the woman MJ so wanted to look like. I have no idea how close she is/was to MJ's kids, or even what kind of person she is, but I have a very hard time believing that you can "will" your kids to whomever you please.

remind remind's picture

Wills are Last Will and Testaments, in actual fact, so you are giving a Testament to whom you want to have guardianship over your child, as opposed to giving them to them like an object. And courts consider this strongly, if the remaining biological parent does not want, or is not available for said minor child.



As remind says, it's about saying who you want to have guardianship as opposed to awarding them as chattel.  And, as he says, courts consider this strongly - you occassionally see court battles over this but they're rare.

And it's the only way I'm aware of to ensure that guardianship goes where you want it.

Like Stephen Gordon we put a lot of thought into who that should be and confirmed that they'd be willing to assume those duties before we had our wills drafted. 

Dante_F Dante_F's picture

Many people are clamoring to get a look at Michael Jackson's last will and testament.  Michael Jacksons' last will could shine a light on what he intended to happen to his property and fortune once he had passed, and what he had provided for his heirs, and it has been published on the Smoking Gun website.  He leaves his estate in trust, and his children in the care of his mother, Katherine, and in case she is unable to care for them, to Diana Ross.  At one time, Jackson was considered to be Ross' protégé.  However, Michael Jackson's last will doesn't cover what to do with all the money lenders he owes.

[Edited by moderator to delete link]

Maysie Maysie's picture

Dante_F, please don't link to commercial money lending sites.


I think when the pyroclastic blast dust settles,  the money lenders will end up, if not sated (are they ever?) at least not out of pocket.  Apparently, Jackson has a dozen or so unreleased new songs, which if handled right could put the estate back into the black.  And, I think Jackson owned a lot of copyrights, (unless they've been sold off in recent years) so they can generate income or be sold off.

Of course, many may feel that following this story may be a little beneath our dignity here.  I'm inclined to agree, a bit.  However, watching this in the context of a "meta story", where we watch how this story is being covered by various "news" outlets gives one a fairly good measure of each outlets level of depravity.

Yesterday, CNBC did a walking tour of the Neverland mansion, hosted by some guy who either had too many Red Bulls or is just naturally an hyperactive outhouse spellunker.

And the unabashedly trashy tabloid show "TMZ" seems to be head and shoulders, respect wise, above the "respectable" media.

The interesting bit in the news yesterday was the pre-emptive damage control that Jackson's concert promoter "AEG" did by releasing private video of Jackson's rehearsals.  Obviously, they saw more value in using that footage to protect their asses than they saw in saving it for later, profitable release. 

And, the memorial service is being moved to their venue.

Admission, $25.00.


There's no bottom to this barrel, folks.




Maysie Maysie's picture

Jay Smooth from illdoctrine, and Oliver Wang are interviewed by Jesse Thorn about Michael Jackson's career and influence. It's about 45 minutes long, fyi.

Audio link here.


Newsy tidbit today.  That drug that is only supposed to be used in Hospitals has been found where Jackson died.

This is one tiny step away from becoming a murder investigation.



Michael Jackson dies of Amurrika at 50


"Well, Amurrika has finished chewing up the living body of Michael Jackson. It began devouring him inwardly a long time ago..

Now we'll be treated to the spectacle of the Beast chewing on the bones of this fallen child-man."



Apparently Westboro Baptist Church will be protesting Michael Jackson's funeral. I don't know how they plan to be noticed in the middle of the rest of that circus.

martin dufresne

July 4, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist
Behind the Facade
Meeting Michael Jackson in the mid-1980s was one of the creepier experiences of my life.


Behind the Jackson facade was the horror of child abuse. Court records and reams of well-documented media accounts contain a stream of serious allegations of child sex abuse and other inappropriate behavior with very young boys. Jackson, a multimillionaire megastar, was excused as an eccentric. Small children were delivered into his company, to spend the night in his bed, often by their parents.

One case of alleged pedophilia against Jackson, the details of which would make your hair stand on end, was settled for a reported $25 million. He beat another case in court.

The Michael-mania that has erupted since Jackson's death - not just an appreciation of his music, but a giddy celebration of his life - is yet another spasm of the culture opting for fantasy over reality. We don't want to look under the rock that was Jackson's real life.

As with so many other things, we don't want to know.


The Comments section is quite enlightening about the extent to which denial is in full force....


remind remind's picture

Interesting insight in th article martin, and not about Jackson either.

Papal Bull

Yeah, the Jacko death is entirely whacko. At once, you feel really bad for a man who was never given the chance to grow up - whose childhood was taken from him by a murderous music industry and a horrifically selfish father. He basically became the product of someone who simply ought not to have been pushed into the limelight so heavily.

At the same time, he did things that can rightly be described as monstrous. It is one of those cases where it is hard to seperate the art from the artist.

martin dufresne

It seems to me that the problem lies more, for some people, in having difficulty seeing the abuser for the megastar, as if anyone this revered could do no wrong. A blindered vision which most child abusers exploit, be it as fathers, role models, community pillars, clergymen, etc. And when the truth eventually comes out, having millions to spend on lawyers, PR hacks and settlements helps maintain inaccountability.




At the same time, he did things that can rightly be described as monstrous. It is one of those cases where it is hard to seperate the art from the artist.

Can we rightly say Jackson did monsterous things?  I mean, what actual evidence to we have?  The allegations that have made it to criminal and civil court seem to describe parents, in the criminal case, that were found to be extortionists, if my memory serves.  And, in the civil case that made the press, the father seemed more interested in getting himself a movie deal than he was the welfare of his son.

Sure, Jackson's pedophelia was a running joke on all the late night talk shows.  Just like the "Uni-dufus" was a running joke.  And, there's no doubt that Jackson was very odd.  Very,  very odd.  But, I remember a kind of odd person (not as odd as Jackson, but... odd) called Guy Paul Morin. 

And, as I mentioned way above, the life of Rosco "Fatty" Arbuckle proves instructive in that a person everyone believes to be guilty of a heinous crime can in fact be innocent.  In Arbuckles example, the lie proved so powerfull that even after evidence surfaced that fully exhonerated him, he could never attach his name to any Hollywood project, or appear on camera ever after.

I keep an eye on pop culture, but I hardly follow it in detail.  Maybe there's something I'd call evidence, or a court would call evidence, that proves Jackson was a pedophile, and I haven't heard about it.

I think this is why some feel Jackson is being given a "free pass".   We actually just don't know.  And to that end, the media has been of little use, and in fact may have served to further cloud the issue with cheque book journalism that casts doubt on those making accusations,  and the move ( that I noticed at least one pious editor neglected to mention ) towards "info-tainment" during those Regan years, which obscured the line between the media's attempt to tell us what's going on, and their attempt to sell add time by relating salacious fairy tales dressed up as news.

Yeah, my gut feeling is that Jackson was a pedophile.   But I bet if I had grown up in Salem in the late 1600's, my gut would have told me the odd woman down the lane that I had a cross word with was responsible for the mysterious death of my milk cow.








Jackson openly admitted to sleeping in beds with young male adolescents (and pre-adolescents). Everything about his character traits in regards to children screams pedophile:

- setting up a giant child park (Netherland Ranch)

- choosing to spend the majority of time with small boys and sleeping with them

- all the pornography found at his house (male and female porn)

- grooming tactics of full blown pedophiles were done by Jackson.


All of these points paint t groomer. A pedophile. If this were anyone else but Jackson red flags would be raised.

Many people give him a pass because they say "well, he was never given a chance at being an adult" so therefore it seems normal he would sleep with boys (only boys - no girls). Does this make sense to anyone?

I've read some of the transcripts up at smoking gun. There were a ton of allegations against Jackson, not just the ones which received the most attention. What saddens me is that most people say that the quantity and quality of these allegations are the fault of the parents and others who have spoken out about his attraction to boys. These people are vilified, made to be seen as money hungry when, let's face it, civil court is often the only avenue in which victims can be compensated for the suffering that have endured. I have always thought that parents "pimped"  out their kids to jackson, but this does not mean Jackson was not a pedophile.


I've heard people excuse his pedo ways by trotting out the excuse that "he was never allowed to be a child". Well word up, many people in the entertainment industry have experienced the same thing, and they aren't molesting kids.


MJ is a weird man, who very very possibly (and at the very least he payed a few boys to go away) was a pedophile and a massive cunsumer of "legal" drugs.



Apparently MJ is hiding out with Elvis, Amelia Earhart and Judge Crater.


CONSPIRACY theories about Michael Jackson's death went into overdrive last night after it was revealed his O2 concert promoters took out a GBP12million policy against the gigs falling through.

But the hefty contract with Lloyds of London only covered them in the case of a drug overdose, not if he died from natural causes.


"People can't understand why if you were taking out an insurance policy you would focus solely on a drug overdose, unless you knew something that others didn't." They added: "It just doesn't seem right.

People have the right to ask questions." But AEG's chief executive Randy Phillips said the insurance policy would still fall short of the money spent on Jackson's advance, production of the shows, covering some of his debts and paying his staff and rent, which totals between GBP15m and GBP25m.

In another twist, several music industry figures are also fanning the flames of suspicion over the identity of the "Michael Jackson" who appeared in London to promote the sell-out tour that was never to be.

There have been allegations made in internet 2Arena claimed: "I'd met Jacko before and his walk, the sound of his voice and his demeanour were all wrong.

"He only appeared in public for a matter of seconds...... There are even theories flying around that the megastar, who will be buried in a GBP15,300, 14carat gold-plated coffi n, may have faked his own death in order to escape the pressures of the 50-gig marathon and is now in hiding in the Middle East.



Jackson openly admitted to sleeping in beds with young male adolescents (and pre-adolescents).

And, there's historians today who look at the sleeping arrangements of lawyers following circuit courts in the mid 1800's, not to mention language usage, to formulate the hypothesis that Abraham Lincoln was gay.

I agree with you, Stargazer.  Jackson showed an aircraft carrier profile on my internal pedophile radar, for the very reasons you point out.  In fact, I'd add one:  How come when all the "jokes" about Jackson started on main stream T.V., Jackson, or the people around Jackson who stood a lot to lose by this kind of "branding" of their meal ticket, didn't protect that brand through slander and libel suits?  Maybe it was because they thought it would all go away.   But, maybe they thought such a suit would open too many doors of inquiry that Jackson would rather have left shut.


I have always thought that parents "pimped"  out their kids to jackson, but this does not mean Jackson was not a pedophile.

Again, I agree with you in that if Jackson was a pedophile, we certainly have to believe some parents pimped out their kids.  And if I believe people can be that debased, I can't really know anything.  I certainly have to entertain the notion that Jackson was everything the allegations made him out to be. And I certainly have to believe that people around him are fully capable of inventing all of the allegations from whole cloth.  

We have a situation where people have shown themselves capable of anything.




Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC Newsworld is broadcasting the MJ funeral live tomorrow. I guess there's a shortage of real news in the world.Undecided



John Stewart on the Daily Show showed a clip of some inane Micheal Jackson coverage on CNN, complete with CNN's one sentence ticker on the bottom of the screen detailing all the real news stories CNN wasn't covering at the time.


And now Michael Jackson's ghost has made an appearance



Video of Michael Jackson under questioning from a lawyer (the video seems to be edited):



"Jesus said to love the children and be like the children-to be youthful and innocent, and be pure and honourable," says Jackson reading from a statement he has written.


"He always surrounded himself with children. That's how I was raised-to believe, and to be like that, and to imitate that."


martin dufresne

Another view:

Michael Jackson: Bad! And very dangerous

The Independent, July 4, 2009

This week, the news has been dominated by Michael Jackson. But, in this highly provocative article, the author and former music industry executive John Niven questions the adulation of the 'King of Pop', given the allegations of child abuse that emerged in recent years. (...)





Interview (small part of it) with Bashir (Martin).


Funny how the entire world seems to be very willing to disregard everything that might look bad on MJ. As if he was some kind of saint that should be excused for his "love" of young boys.


I justed watched this: the man is delusional. Blanket's mother isn't white, according to MJ. Nope, she was black, just like he used to be. How is that possible? He's only had two surgeries, according to MJ. He said his drastic change in appearance is due to "growing up". Thsi man is obviously a consummate liar.


This had me roaring when I saw it but the final line summarizes the whole thing perfectly:



The most heart-wrenching (and most real) part of yesterday's memorial was when Michael's daughter spoke.


In a wonderful article by Rebecca Walker, she writes about her own experience of meeting Michael Jackson when she was 14 years old.


She writes:

"Why Michael approached me in a room full of superstars after the show I will never know. Perhaps because I was the youngest in the room, and at 14 didn't have a big name, a big career or a powerful company. I was a kid, easy, with few expectations. I was not old enough to demand, even silently, that he live up to anything. Perhaps he felt that with me he could be, in a sense, free.

I remember his body language. He moved slowly, like a very cool cat, hesitant, but smooth. And then, in the softest of voices, he asked how I was able to do the impromptu bit of comical business. He could never do something like that on the spot, he said. He'd be too nervous. I remember laughing and chiding him. You'd be great, Michael! I said. He shook his head and out crept a smile so open and vulnerable that I wanted to hug him, and probably would have, if he weren't Michael Jackson.

But he was, and I had no way to reach across the boundary of celebrity that put us on opposite sides of an invisible fence. Michael was, as he described himself in a song years later, untouchable. I believe that is what killed him. A human being can only live so long without the touch of another and can only breathe manufactured air for so many minutes."

It's a truly beautiful article. It sheds light not only on her experience with Michael Jackson himself, but also on how his music was just sort of there, for so many years, playing in the background of first kisses, high-school dances, and car rides:

"As a young girl, I kissed a boy furtively as Michael's song, "Rock with You," played on my cassette player. My first real boyfriend stood for hours in front of a full-length mirror in my bedroom practicing his Michael Jackson dance moves. In quieter moments, we lay on my bed listening to "She's Out of My Life" on the record player, both of us close to tears and full of reverence for Michael's heartfelt emotion."

Later, when I was old enough to go out dancing with my friends, we'd all scream when we heard the rumblings of his sultry dance groove, "Don't Stop Till You get Enough" and head to the dance floor for some serious getting down."



Los Angeles spent $1.4 million US to provide security, traffic control and other services for Michael Jackson's memorial service, city officials said as they looked for ways for others to help the financially troubled city pick up the bill.



The Jackson estate should pick up the tab.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

You don't think this circus has generated at least that much economic activity?


Exactly.  I don't see how this is different than any other event that the city picks up the tab for.

Snert Snert's picture

You don't think this circus has generated at least that much economic activity?


Wouldn't that ordinarily be analyzed as private businesses enjoying the opportunity to sell lots of t-shirts, subsidized by the taxpayer? How does an increase in private business revenues become an increase in Municipal revenues? Cities can't tax income, can they?


Cities have a hotel tax.  In any event, I'm not sure how much generated from that tax would cut into the expenses.


One thing I realized yesterday is that this is a divisive issue. People who were once friends are no longer friends. Why? because some people idolize Michael Jackson and cannot tolerate that other people don't. To make this an issue that is so divisive is just plain silly. Why does anyone care that I really have no real grief or sadness on his death? Or that I don't find his music to be as hroundbreaking as others? Or that I don't think he was a genious?

It's like MJ is now a cult, any wrongs he may have done are never to be discussed. It's all become silly.



I posted this one the day he died.




I grew up with his career as I am a  little older.

He was one of a kind and for some of you was convicted of nothing.

No one could get them up dancing like him.


Snert Snert's picture

He was one of a kind and for some of you was convicted of nothing.


Like O.J.? So we shouldn't insinuate otherwise, just as nobody would ever insinuate that O.J. might have done it, or that he's not really "searching for the real killer"?

Rexdale_Punjabi Rexdale_Punjabi's picture

Snert wrote:

He was one of a kind and for some of you was convicted of nothing.


Like O.J.? So we shouldn't insinuate otherwise, just as nobody would ever insinuate that O.J. might have done it, or that he's not really "searching for the real killer"?

O.J didnt do it...


I beg to differ. O.J most certainly did it.

Rexdale_Punjabi Rexdale_Punjabi's picture


edit - n the only reason ppl cared was because 2 white girls were dead


They weren't both "girls."

Snert Snert's picture


edit - n the only reason ppl cared was because 2 white girls were dead


Was that an interesting factoid that was revealed at Ron Goldman's autopsy??


Snert wrote:


edit - n the only reason ppl cared was because 2 white girls were dead


Was that an interesting factoid that was revealed at Ron Goldman's autopsy??


When I was 19 I said things like this, too, based on painful experience and not much else. This isn't the way to respond to statements like that.... 


Bullshit R_P. People cared because for ages we all idolized OJ Simpson. These were not girls, it was his wife. I am seriously starting to resent being called a fucking racist when I disagree with you. You seem to throw that around a lot. Yes it is deserved in some cases. having an opinion (after reading the evidence that was eliminated) is not fucking racism. It's called wanting the truth. The man walked after murder. That's fair to you?

Read "Without A Doubt" written by Marcia Clarke, the lead prosecutor. She talks about ALL the evidence that was not allowed in, and that racist POS cop didn't help the case at all.


BTW R_P, are you aware that OJ's home was filled with pictures of him with powerful white people? Guess what happened? His lawyers proceeded to ensure that all those pictures were taken down and replaced with black icons. Not because they were racist, but because OJ Simpson preferred the company of poweful white people.

OJ Simpson is not the embodiment of black power struggles. He is a man who killed his wife, got away with it in Criminal Court and was found to be negligent in Civil Court.

And there is absolutely nothing yopu can say that will make me change my mind.


martin dufresne

.sI got chastised on another list for siply posting hyperlinks to three articles: The Guardian interview with Grace Rwaramba, his children's nanny, the Bob Herbert NYT Op-Ed and John Nevin's exposé in The Independent. I simply prefaced the hyperlinks with a sentence about stuff coming out about MJ's abusive behaviour. Two women said that this wasn't a feminist issue and that since he hadn't been convicted, he was to be treated as innocent. One woman made the point of saying she hadn't bothered reading the two latter pieces. Talk about denial...


Oh I know. It's really weird and sad how so many people chose to overlook these things. It's extreme idolization. I think most peole can easily separate the fact from the fiction but when it comes TO MJ and his death, not a chance. People, even when faced with overwhelming facts, are pretty quick to disregard them.

Kaspar Hauser

There's a really good article about celebrity and Michael Jackson by Chris Hedges over at Truthdig today:




"The moral nihilism of our culture licenses a dark voyeurism into other people's humiliation, pain, weakness and betrayal. Education, building community, honesty, transparency and sharing are qualities that will see you, in a gross perversion of democracy and morality, ridiculed and voted off any reality show. Fellow competitors for prize money and a chance for fleeting fame elect to "disappear" the unwanted. In the final credits of the reality show "America's Next Top Model," a picture of the woman expelled during the episode vanishes from the group portrait on the screen. Those cast aside become, at least to the television audience, nonpersons. Celebrities who can no longer generate publicity, good or bad, vanish. Life, these shows teach, is a brutal world of unadulterated competition and constant quest for notoriety and attention. And life is about the personal humiliation of those who oppose us. Those who win are the best. Those who lose deserve to be erased. Those who fail, those who are ugly or poor, are belittled and mocked. Human beings are used, betrayed and discarded in a commodity culture, which is pretty much the story of Jackson's life, although he experienced the equivalent of celebrity resurrection. This has been very good for his music sales and perhaps for his father's new recording company, which Joe Jackson made sure to plug at public events after his son's death. Compassion, competence, intelligence and solidarity are useless assets when human beings are commodities. Those who do not achieve celebrity status, who do not win the prize money or make millions in Wall Street firms, deserve their fate.


"The cult of self, which Jackson embodied, dominates our culture. This cult shares within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation, a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt. Jackson, from his phony marriages to his questionable relationships with young boys, had all these qualities. This is also the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. It is the celebration of image over substance."