April 8th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Adrian McManus (Cross Examination), Phillip LeMarque (Direct & Cross Examination) , Part 2 of 3
The next prosecution witness was Phillip LeMarque, another former employee of Neverland who “sold his soul to the devil”, as Jackson famously sung in the song “Money”. Here is a summary of the abuse that LeMarque claimed to have witnessed in 1991, according to Sneddon’s pleading titled “PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR ADMISSION OF EVIDENCE OF DEFENDANT’S PRIOR SEXUAL OFFENSES”:
Phillipe LeMarque and his wife Stella were employed at Neverland Valley Ranch between January and July, 1991. During the time that they worked at Neverland Valley Ranch, their responsibilities were as, respectively, butler and cook. At this time, Blanca Francia was the maid who was in charge of Michael Jackson’s personal room. During the same period, both Macaulay Culkin and Jimmy Safechuck would visit the ranch. Phillipe and Stella each described Jackson’s excitement about the anticipated visit of one of his juvenile friends as much like a young man’s excitement at his lover’s impending visit.
On one occasion during this time, Mr. LeMarque was awakened by Norma Staikos, who managed affairs for Michael Jackson, instructing him to make some French fries for Jackson. Phillipe got out of bed and drove to the kitchen. The LeMarques’ living quarters were on the ranch grounds but situated about two miles away from the main building. Phillipe made the fries and called security on the house radio to get Jackson’s present location. Security advised him that Jackson was in the arcade room. Phillipe took the fries he had prepared to that location. He estimates that it was about 3:00 a.m. in the morning. He entered the arcade through an unlocked door. The room was fully lit. Music and noise blared. From a distance of approximately 15 to 20 feet, Phillipe observed Jackson and Culkin playing a videogame. Jackson and Culkin were facing the game. Jackson was standing close behind Culkin, holding the boy up to the controls. Culkin was wearing short pants at the time and Jackson’s left hand was inside of Culkin’s shorts and located in his groin area. Phillipe realized that Jackson and Culkin were not aware of his presence, so he quickly exited the arcade and re-entered from another door, loudly announcing himself this time.
Mr. LeMarque stated that he had never reported what he saw because he had consulted with a friend of his who was a judge. His friend told him that barring a disclosure from the victim, there really wasn’t much that could be done.
Now, let’s look at what Macaulay Culkin’s father Kit had to say about LeMarque in his 2005 book “Lost Boy”:
Michael’s trial is now well under way, with the ‘nothing-it-is-that-we-truly-know’ of it being bandied round and about by the entire world. What it all boils down to (of course) is simple enough: Is Michael guilty, or is the young man in this case, together with his family, attempting to shake him down for money; a shakedown which certainly does have a successful precedent? One should (most assuredly) never underestimate the power of money, particularly when there are millions and millions of dollars to be had. Needless to say, money (and plenty-of-it) can be a great incentive indeed; and in saying this, I should be made to add that (quite obviously) ‘where there’s Michael, there’s money’.
In quoting this little maxim, I feel compelled to again bring in the obvious; and this is to observe further that not all of this money “to be had” is Michael’s; not by any means. The money that is Michael’s can be obtained (quite obviously) by delay, fully going through legal channels; which is to say, by either settling out of criminal court (which has been the precedent so far) or by pursuing a civil suit in a civil court (which is where the current case is headed no matter what the verdict in the criminal arena). The money that is not Michael’s can be obtained (with equal obviousness) through the press, which is all too willing to pay top dollar for any-and-all juicy stories regarding Michael as they may pertain to all of these legal entanglements. The former is for the long term. The latter is for the short term. The former is for the big bucks. The latter is for the not-so-big (albeit certainly-big-enough) bucks. And not to be missed in all of this (it is to be hoped) is that the latter is always fed by the former. The latter are the scavenger fish; the former are the sharks. And the flesh upon which they feed is the money; in this case, the money generated by the seemingly ever regenerative corpus Michaelus.
As to the scavenger fish: A word (a personal word) if I may. Some years back (in fact, nearly a dozen years ago), a magazine article was handed me that purported to be an expose on how tabloids often get their stories (those tabloids who actually do “get” their stories; which is to say, actually do have a source, named or unnamed). I didn’t read the whole piece, just that section (pointed out to me) that had to do with my son Mack. In it the article noted that there was a married couple, once employed at Neverland as chefs, who were busy peddling a story to the tabloids that had to do with their eye-witnessing an encounter of a sexual nature between Michael Jackson and this son of mine; this, not so incidentally, at just the time when the press was all over the 1993 allegations. For $20,000 (or possibly it was $200,000) Michael’s hand would be witnessed by this conspiring couple as on Mack’s knee, while for $50,000 (or possibly it was $500,000) Michael’s hand would be witnessed as in Mack’s pants; and, almost needless to say, for no dollars at all Michael’s hand would be witnessed as clearly nowhere to be seen.
I was by this time, you should know, becoming rather thick-skinned (certainly as thick-skinned as I was able, given my position and the circumstances) about the fourth estate’s reporting on my young son’s “sexual exploits” (“sexual exploits” with everyone-and-anything from Raquel Welch to the next door neighbor’s dog), so I merely tossed the magazine (in disgust) away. I only raise this portion of its contents here to give some first hand and quite just example as to how greed will have its day, and to suggest further that if rapaciousness such as this is not to be considered a lethiferous drink in-and-of-itself (the gin of it), of how it can then most certainly, when mixed with the very possible and even probable element of personal resentment and former employee disgruntlement (the vermouth of it), come to be considered (the ‘shaken or stirred’ of it) a most mortuous potion indeed (the grand martini of it).
Imagine getting paid (and getting paid handsomely) to get even with your former boss!
Have we died and gone to heaven?!
I feel that I need here mention the story of the chefs trying to sell their stories oh-so-many years ago for quite personal reasons because (low and behold) if the male half of this predatory pair didn’t resurface only recently (and after all these years) to give witness for the prosecution in the current court proceedings. Went into that courtroom, he did, and told the $50,000 (or possibly it was the $500,000) account of what it was that he had witnessed so many years past. Yes indeed he did. And not only this, but apparently told the court also that unlike the other eye-witnesses to various things in these proceedings, he had never sold his story to the tabloids (Such was certainly the claim made to the press outside the courtroom immediately following the testimony by the man’s attorney; a rather sleazy-looking fellow who refused to take questions).
Now I haven’t really been following the current case all that closely, but (believe you me) I did look up a television set for this part of the trial. Most of the reporters and other t.v. talking heads seemed to accept this chefs testimony at face value (or, at least, so it seemed to me), but there was one (I couldn’t help but note) who had actually, and quite happily, done some homework; homework which only backed-up what I remembered reading years ago. According to this reporting, after being cashiered at Neverland, and after the original 1993 allegations against Michael had Surfaced, this unbashful brace of up-to-no-goods had approached a close friend or relative or theirs with their varying stories and their list of varying prices; a friend or relative whom they had had reason to believe had connections with the news media. The good news for the couple was that he did. The bad news was that they were double-crossed. The close friend or relative, instead of acting as the agent for their stories, gave both them and their stories up in the selling of his own story, which was (of course) as to how they had come to him with theirs; hence, what I had read years previously. The reason that the chef had never sold his story to the tabloids is that he had been quite publicly exposed, and no longer had a story to sell; not, that is, until the prosecutor in this current case called him as a state’s witness, and in so doing helped to restore the perception of his credibility. And no doubt just in time, for (according to more homework from this reporter) the chefs had apparently fallen on hard times; hard times that have dogged them ever since their departure from Neverland. Exposed for their press fraud and unable to secure any further work as chefs in private homes, they had gone into the pornography business only to find that their profitability in the bedroom only matched that of their profitability in the kitchen. Now, of course, and courtesy of his association with the district attorney in the present case, the story will (as I must say again) be given new life; a new life that will undoubtedly translate into the tabloid deals that the couple were all these years denied, and which should now carry them over the rough spots to the day of their next seedy scam.
Let me here (if I might) interpose a question: Why did the prosecutor, when he was first told this story by this future witness, not immediately get in touch with Macauiay (even if he need subpoena him to do so) and ask him as to whether or not any of this was true? Was this of no interest to him? After all, as chief officer of the court, wasn’t it first and foremost his sworn duty to get at the truth? As an analogy: Suppose that a witness goes to the police and reports that he has just witnessed a certain person hold up a bank. Before making an arrest, wouldn’t the police first want to go to the bank to see as to whether or not it had in fact actually been held up?!
As to the actual story that the chef told, I found it a bit curious that he should have witnessed the molestation which he said that he witnessed in the process of delivering to Michael some food that Michael had just ordered. Knowing that food is on the way, would this be the time and the place that one chooses to commit such a crime? If one were intent upon committing a rape in one’s hotel room, would one commit that rape just after having ordered room service?! (an inapt comparison perhaps, as in the chefs account there wasn’t even the protection of a hotel room door; this supposed delivery being made to the quite open and very public club house-turned-video arcade).
And before we leave this subject, let me here inquire as to whether or not it is too much to ask as to why, when this “eye-witness” actually witnessed what he said that he witnessed, he didn’t immediately confront Michael; and as to why it was also that (for whatever reason or reasons there may be) he didn’t then immediately call the police and/or contact children’s protective services and/or come to me (for I was most certainly there); and as to why it was also that (over and above this), if he was indeed worried about losing his job with this (by his very own witness) child molester in this den of pedophilia, he didn’t then make any-and-all of these communications clandestinely. Had he witnessed a murder, would he have proved any less diffident?! In some states it is considered a crime (as well it should be) to not come forward with such witness, just as in not a few states ‘Good Samaritan’ laws are being passed to make it a crime to merely turn one’s head and walk away and not want to get involved, for in the name of all that is good, to do otherwise would be nothing more or nothing less than depraved indifference (Let me repeat that word: Depraved). Yes indeed, is it too much to ask why this mountain of moral rectitude only thought to report on that which he only quite subsequently said that he witnessed when he thought there to be a perfect mountain of money on the table?!
Kit was pretty straight and to the point, huh?
Here’s an excerpt on the LeMarques from a three-part series on the 1993 scandal written by our co-admin Thetis1:
After the Filipino couple, Philippe and Stella Lemarque (ex-Neverland employees who were fired in 1991) crawled out and contacted former porn star Paul Baressi to help them sell their stories and make the negotiations for them. Stella was dating Baressi prior to her marriage, and knew his connections to tabloids. They sold their story (describing Culkin’s fondling by Jackson) to a British tabloid for $100,000, and when the price became $500,000 the story changed. At the time the Lemarques had a $455,000 debt.
The child star would discredit them and would later defend Michael Jackson in his 2005 trial. He is the godfather of Prince and Paris Jackson, and he spoke in Michael’s defense on Larry King Live on May 24, 2004. Macaulay Culkin’s father, Kit Culkin called the Lemarques a “predator pair”. Mr. Culkin not only discredited them, like his son, but he also said something that was corroborated by all the other parents and Neverland staff: that there were always parents present having access everywhere in the house and also the staff was looking after the kids.
Baressi was recording the couple as they were making up stories according to the price. He would later explain in detail how he manipulated the media by involving the authorities so he could sound more credible and ask for a better price. He admitted that he didn’t care if the story was true, as long as he had a good percentage from the deal, and he was giving different versions of the fictional story to tabloids to decide which fairy-tale they liked more. The Lemarques had a long history of cashing in on Michael Jackson, and they were negotiating with the National Enquirer in 1991 to sell stories for Jackson, such as Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding at Neverland. They even asked the tabloid to cover their expenses if Jackson sued them. Philippe Lemarque later ran a porn site called Virtual Sin.
On the home page of the MJ Truth Now website, they have embedded a video of the 1994 documentary “Tabloid Truth”, and at the 28 minute mark, the subject of various Neverland employees who sold lies to the tabloids is discussed. This certainly makes for some very compelling viewing! It’s utterly laughable seeing a clip of the Quindoys (another pair of ex-Neverland employees) on the Geraldo Rivera show in July 1992, just singing Jackson’s praises, and then watching a clip of their press conference in 1993 in which they spoke of so-called abuse that they claim took place BEFORE their appearance on Geraldo!
Here is a Hard Copy story on the Quindoys from 1992; notice the ridiculous question about Jackson’s alleged prosthetic nose!
Here is LeMarque’s description of his background and duties at Neverland:
22 DIRECT EXAMINATION
23 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. LeMarque. Where did you
25 work in 1991?
26 A. At the Neverland Valley.
27 Q. And who was your employer?
28 A. Michael Jackson. 5443
1 Q. Is he the man seated to my right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How long did you work at Neverland?
4 A. Oh, somewhere around ten months or more.
5 Somewhere like that.
6 Q. And what did you do at Neverland?
7 A. Was in charge of the food. Majordomo of the
8 food. And my wife was the cook.
9 Q. All right. What do you mean by “majordomo
10 of the food”?
11 A. Well, in charge of serving the food and
12 preparing and organizing for the guests and so
14 Q. And you said your wife also worked there at
15 the same time?
16 A. That’s correct.
17 Q. Where did you live while you were living —
18 or while you were working at Neverland?
19 A. We were living at the ranch.
20 Q. Whereabouts at the ranch?
21 A. It was a house which is maybe — was by the
23 Q. Were you involved in serving the food as
24 well as preparing it?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. And you said you left your employment there
27 after about ten months?
28 A. Yes, somewhere around ten months. 5444
1 Q. Why did you leave Neverland? Why did you
2 leave the employment there?
3 A. There was an issue happening with Norma
4 Stakos, who was Michael’s private secretary.
5 THE COURT: All right. We’re going to take a
7 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. We have a
8 morning break.
9 (Recess taken.)
After returning from morning recess, Mesereau addressed Judge Melville outside the presence of the jury about the opportunity to impeach LeMarque about his ownership of a pornographic website, but the prosecution successfully argued that it could not be used against him. Judge Melville implied that the defense was being hypocritical by wanting to refer to LeMarque’s website as “pornographic”, but not wanting the prosecution to refer to Jackson’s magazines as pornographic!
Here is the prosecution’s pleading from earlier that morning about their objection to LeMarque’s adult website being used against him: (insert photos)
1 (The following proceedings were held in
2 open court outside the presence and hearing of the
5 THE COURT: Counsel? Did you wish to address
7 MR. MESEREAU: Yeah, Your Honor. I believe
8 the prosecutor filed a memorandum this morning
9 regarding impeachment of this witness.
10 THE BAILIFF: No one can hear you.
11 MR. MESEREAU: Oh, I’m sorry.
12 Your Honor, the prosecutor filed a pleading
13 this morning regarding impeachment of this
14 particular witness.
15 THE COURT: Yes.
16 MR. MESEREAU: And he has, as I understand
17 it, requested that the defense not mention the fact
18 that this witness has been in the —
19 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll ask —
20 MR. MESEREAU: — the pornographic website
22 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: May I object, and just ask
23 that the Court — the Court is aware of the issues.
24 I don’t think it’s necessary to publish them.
25 THE COURT: That’s true. He did — not in
26 the terms you just stated.
27 For once you want to use “pornographic” when
28 no one else wants to. It was the other way around 5451
2 But what — your point being?
3 MR. MESEREAU: Your Honor, we can prove that
4 this witness tried to use tabloid stories about Mr.
5 Jackson —
6 THE COURT: What’s your argument against his
7 position? I understand what you can prove. I think
8 his position is well-taken. What’s your argument?
9 MR. MESEREAU: My argument is that what we
10 would like to show, Your Honor, is that he tried to
11 use information allegedly about Mr. Jackson to get
12 into this business.
13 THE COURT: All right. I’ll sustain his
14 objection. You cannot impeach him based on the work
15 he did on that —
16 MR. MESEREAU: Website?
17 THE COURT: — website after these incidents.
18 All right. Bring in the jury.
LeMarque claimed that the reason he was fired from Neverland is because his wife (who also worked there) refused to sign an affidavit stating that she saw Blanca Francia (who he inadvertently called “Bianca”) looking into the purses of other Neverland employees:
20 (The following proceedings were held in
21 open court in the presence and hearing of the
24 THE COURT: Go ahead, Counsel.
25 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you, Your Honor.
26 Q. Mr. LeMarque, where we left off, we were
27 talking about the reasons that you left your
28 employment at Neverland. 5452
1 A. The reason, there was some problem with
2 Norma Stakos, who was Michael’s secretary.
3 Q. What was that problem?
4 A. She wanted to have my wife to sign an
5 affidavit stating that Bianca had been involved into
6 looking into purses of other maids. And since my
7 wife didn’t see it, she didn’t want to sign it.
8 Q. When you say Bianca was her name, do you
9 know what her last name was?
10 A. No, I forgot.
11 Q. Did she have a different first name; do you
13 A. Not that I remember.
14 Q. Okay. And what was this woman Bianca’s —
15 what was her job at Neverland?
16 A. She was the private maid for Michael. She
17 was the only one who could enter his room.
18 Q. So the affidavit that your wife was asked to
19 sign was a false affidavit?
20 A. Well, it was false as far as my wife was
21 concerned, because she never saw Bianca looking into
22 any purses so —
23 Q. Did she believe that Bianca looked into any
25 A. No, of course she didn’t believe it.
26 Q. Okay. And how much time transpired between
27 the time that your wife was asked to sign this false
28 affidavit and the time that you were asked to leave 5453
2 A. We were — we were not asked, really, to
3 leave, but we had a conference with Norma a few days
4 later, maybe three or four days, and Norma said I
5 guess —
6 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay, Your
8 THE COURT: Sustained.
9 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Offered to explain conduct
11 THE COURT: The question was how much time
12 transpired between the signing of the affidavit, so
13 it’s not responsive to the question.
14 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: That’s fine.
15 Q. So let’s go back to that first question.
16 How much time between the time that you —
17 that your wife was asked to sign the false affidavit
18 and the time that you actually left your employment
19 at Neverland?
20 A. I would say four or five days.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. Maybe a week. I don’t know.
23 Q. And were you terminated from your
25 A. No, we came into —
26 Q. That’s just a “yes” or “no” question.
27 A. Yes.
28 Q. You were terminated? 5454
1 A. (Nods head up and down.)
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. No. Yes and no.
4 Q. Yes and no. Okay. That’s fine.
5 A. Common agreement.
6 Q. Why do you say, “Yes and no”?
7 A. Because it was a common agreement that we
8 decided, since we didn’t want to sign the affidavit,
9 that was not a place for us to work.
Next, LeMarque was questioned about the child visitors that Jackson entertained at the ranch. The questions are the usual questions that you would expect from the prosecution:
10 Q. Okay. While you were at Neverland during
11 that ten-month period, did you observe Mr. Jackson
12 to have child visitors?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would these children spend the night at
16 A. Some of them, yes.
17 Q. Would any of them come with families?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Would any of them come by themselves?
20 A. I think on one occasion I saw.
21 Q. Did you notice whether or not Mr. Jackson
22 would spend time equally with all the child visitors
23 at Neverland?
24 A. No.
25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.
26 THE COURT: Sustained.
27 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did Mr. Jackson show
28 any special preference towards the children that 5455
1 visited him at Neverland?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
4 THE COURT: Overruled.
5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: You may answer.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And was there anything in common that — the
8 children that Mr. Jackson showed preference to, was
9 there anything in common that these children shared?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What was that?
12 A. Little boys around 10, 11 years old.
13 Q. How would Mr. Jackson show preference to
14 these 10- or 11-year-old boys?
15 A. He would spend most of his time with them.
16 Q. Would he ever buy them gifts?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did he buy them more gifts than the other
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. MESEREAU: I’m going to object. No
22 foundation; move to strike.
23 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I can ask some additional
24 questions on that.
25 THE COURT: On the question that he objected
26 on, did he buy them more than any other children,
27 I’ll sustain the foundation.
28 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. 5456
1 Q. Mr. LeMarque, were you ever asked by Mr.
2 Jackson to go out and buy toys as gifts for these
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On how many occasions?
6 A. I don’t — several times.
7 Q. Okay. And can you characterize the number
8 of gifts that you would buy, the number of toys?
9 A. I would go to Toys-R-Us and pick out toys
10 for boys of 10, 11 years old.
11 Q. Were you instructed to buy such toys?
12 A. No, but I figured that was what they were
13 for, so —
14 Q. And when you brought these toys to Mr.
15 Jackson, did you have any occasion to see him give
16 these toys as gifts to the children?
17 A. Well, usually they were put into an area or
18 a tabletop where the kids would come in, you know,
19 tear the papers off and pick up the toys.
20 Q. Did you see Mr. Jackson give more toys to
21 the boys than the other children?
22 A. Yeah, they were mainly toys for boys.
23 Q. Okay. When Mr. Jackson had these children
24 as guests at Neverland, what type of hours would
25 they keep, in terms of time that they were spending
27 A. Sometimes all day, all night.
28 Q. Was it uncommon for him to stay up all night 5457
1 with the children?
2 A. Yeah, it was very common.
3 Q. Where did the children sleep? And I’m
4 talking specifically about the 10- or 11-year-old
6 A. Mainly with Michael.
7 Q. Whereabouts?
8 A. I don’t know, because we couldn’t get
9 into his apartment, so —
10 Q. But somewhere in his private —
11 A. In his quarters, yeah.
12 Q. — quarters?
13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
14 THE COURT: Well, actually he didn’t finish
15 the question. I’ll strike the answer and have you
16 rephrase the question.
17 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: My question was, you
18 said that mainly they would sleep with Michael, and
19 I was asking if that was in his private quarters.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. During the time that you were employed at
22 Neverland, did you ever see Michael Jackson sleep
23 with anyone other than children?
24 A. No.
In this excerpt, LeMarque claimed that he received an order from Jackson to have some French fries delivered to the arcade room, and when he entered he allegedly saw Jackson lifting up and holding Macaulay Culkin in order to allow him to reach the controls of the arcade game that they were playing, and while doing this Jackson had his left hand inside of Macaulay’s shorts! Jackson allegedly ran his left hand up through the bottom of Macaulay’s shorts. When LeMarque saw this, he was so “shocked” that he almost dropped the fries, but he didn’t, and was able to deliver them to Jackson. (There are some discrepancies in his testimony that I will point out later on in this post…..)
17 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Mr. LeMarque, at some
18 time during your employment, did you see something
19 involving Mr. Jackson and one of these boys that
20 upset you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know the name of that boy?
23 A. Macaulay Culkin.
24 Q. And how long had you worked at Neverland
25 when this incident occurred?
26 A. Well, I’m not too sure there. I mean, six,
27 seven months maybe.
28 Q. Okay. Where did this incident occur? 5460
1 A. In the arcade.
2 Q. What was the approximate time of it?
3 A. Three o’clock in the morning. 3:00 or 4:00
4 or something. 3:30, maybe.
5 Q. What was it that you brought you to the —
6 the arcade is the photos that I just showed you?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. What was it that brought you to the arcade
9 at approximately three o’clock in the morning?
10 A. Well, I was called by the security that
11 Michael wanted some french fries.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. So —
14 Q. Were you asleep at the time?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. Was that uncommon for you to get a food
17 order in the middle of the night?
18 A. It happened a few times. Not too often.
19 Q. Okay. Was this a telephone call that you
21 A. Was the — yeah, I mean, we had the — one
22 of those remote control, I mean, phones.
23 Q. Okay. Intercom, or —
24 A. Yeah, on the radio.
25 Q. Radio?
26 A. Yeah, radio.
27 Q. And your instruction was to?
28 A. Well, yeah, at the time there was always a 5461
1 code for Michael. At the time it was “Silver Fox.”
2 So they said that, “Silver Fox want some french
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. Okay. So —
6 Q. And was there a location you were told to
7 bring these french fries to?
8 A. Not right away. When they were ready, I
9 just called security again to find out where to
10 deliver the french fries, and I was told to go to
11 the teepee area. Which Michael wasn’t there, so I
12 called again, and they said that he probably was in
13 the arcade.
14 Q. Okay. Where was your wife during this time?
15 A. She was sleeping, home.
16 Q. Okay. So she stayed in bed and you went
17 down to the kitchen and made the french fries?
18 A. Right. That’s correct.
19 Q. And you said you first heard they were at
20 the teepee. Did you go to the teepees?
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. And those are teepees located on Neverland?
23 A. Yeah, they are. On the grounds.
24 Q. And no one was there?
25 A. No.
26 Q. When did you learn that they — that you
27 were to deliver the french fries to the arcade?
28 A. Well, at that time I called security and I 5462
1 said, “Michael is not there. Where is he?” And
2 they told me that he was at the arcade.
3 Q. Did you go to the arcade?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What did you see when you went to the
7 A. Michael was playing with Macaulay Culkin at
8 one of the games, which was a Thriller, the games.
9 Q. Thriller?
10 A. Yeah. And he was holding the kid because
11 the kid was small, couldn’t reach the controls, so I
12 guess he was holding him with two hands. The kids
13 were up so they could use the controls of the game.
14 Q. And what did you see that upset you?
15 A. His left hand was inside the pants of the
17 Q. All right. I want you to tell the jury
18 specifically how his hands were configured on the
19 boy’s body.
20 A. Well, his right hand was holding the kid
21 maybe mid-waist, and the left hand was down into the
23 Q. Okay. Now, what type of pants was Macaulay
25 A. I forgot what they were. They probably were
26 shorts or something.
27 Q. Were his hands, as far as you could tell, on
28 the inside or the outside of the shorts? 5463
1 A. They were inside.
2 Q. Were they coming in the shorts from the top
3 or from the bottom?
4 A. From the bottom.
5 Q. Through one of the legs?
6 A. Bottom.
7 Q. Which hand was it that he was touching the
8 boy with?
9 A. Left hand.
10 Q. When you saw this, what did you do?
11 A. I was shocked, and I almost dropped the
12 french fries. And there was a game there, Tip-Top,
13 and I backed out —
14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
16 THE COURT: Denied.
17 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: As far as the exact
18 location of his hand, could you see where his hand
19 was in the vicinity of Mr. Macaulay’s person?
20 A. Well, it was in the — you know, in the
21 crotch area.
22 Q. The crotch area?
23 And you said they were playing this video
24 game. Did this video game create any sound?
25 A. Yeah, there was plenty of sound everywhere.
26 I mean, all the machines were on and playing music
27 and making sounds.
28 Q. Do other machines, or did other machines in 5464
1 that video arcade make sounds even though they
2 weren’t being played at that time?
3 A. I think they were. I’m not recalling
4 exactly, but it was very noisy.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. Yeah. Everything was noisy there.
7 Q. And you said you almost dropped the french
8 fries. What happened next?
9 A. Then I backed out, and —
10 Q. Backed out the door?
11 A. The door. Went outside, and I closed the
12 door. And I realized that I still had to deliver
13 the french fries, so then I opened the door. I made
14 a lot of noise to make sure that Michael could hear
15 me coming in. And I said, “Michael, your french
16 fries are here.” And he said, “Drop them on this.”
17 I forgot where it was, but probably on one of the
18 machine tops.
19 Q. And did you leave?
20 A. Yes.
Here’s the #1 excuse that was used by LeMarque and so many other Neverland employees to explain why they failed to report the alleged abuse that they witnessed to the cops: “Nobody would have ever believed us anyway!” He even claimed to have contacted an attorney, only to be told the same thing!
LeMarque did not sell his story to a tabloid on his own, as you would justifiably assume (based on the actions of Blanca Francia, the Neverland Five, etc.). Instead, he was tempted to sell the story himself, but backed out at the last minute due to his “principles”, and instead his taped recorded conversation with a “sleazy guy” was sold to a tabloid without his consent.
6 Q. Mr. LeMarque, did you ever tell this
7 story — or let me back up.
8 After you left Neverland, or at any time
9 during close in time to the period that you saw
10 these events, this event you just described, did you
11 ever report it to any authorities, the police?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Why not?
14 A. Because nobody would have ever believed us.
15 Q. And why do you say that?
16 A. Because Michael was on the top of
17 everything, and if we had come and said to the
18 police, they would have said, “What kind of proof do
19 you have?” So we couldn’t — I mean, this wasn’t
20 possible. It would be impossible to give.
21 Q. Did you ever consult an attorney or any
22 other person that might have some background in the
23 law as to what you should do?
24 A. Yes, and they told us the same thing.
25 Q. At some time after this event occurred,
26 did — were you ever approached by any tabloids?
27 A. Yes. Many.
28 Q. And did you ever sell this story to a 5468
2 A. We talked about it. And we had even some
3 guy trying to sell the story for us, some sleazy guy
4 that tried to make a deal with the tabloid. But at
5 the last minute, we never took in a penny from
6 anyone, because it was against our principles.
7 Q. This sleazy guy that you’re talking about,
8 I’m not going to ask you to mention his name, but do
9 you know if he ever profited from your story?
10 A. Yes, he did.
11 Q. Why do you say that?
12 A. Because we had an interview with him and our
13 lawyer, Arnold Kessler, and he taped the
14 conversation while it was a private conversation of
15 the lawyer.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. And he sold the story to the tabloid and he
18 made some money with that story.
19 Q. Were you tempted yourself to sell your story
20 to the tabloid?
21 A. Yes, we were tempted for the money, for
22 sure. Everybody would be tempted. But we never
24 Q. Did you ultimately tell this story to the
26 A. Yes, we did.
27 Q. They came and interviewed you?
28 A. Yes. 5469
1 Q. Were you honest with them?
2 A. Yeah.
3 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you. I have no
4 further questions.
5 THE COURT: Cross-examine?
6 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, please, Your Honor.
Under cross examination, LeMarque was presented with a copy of a handwritten statement that he signed on September 10th, 1993 in which he stated that “I could not distinguish what he was really doing with his hand”. As you would expect, he couldn’t “remember” signing it until Mesereau approached the witness stand and showed him a copy of his 1993 statement.
9 BY MR. MESEREAU:
10 Q. Mr. LeMarque, my name is Tom Mesereau and I
11 speak for Mr. Jackson.
12 You signed a statement in September of 1993
13 about what you had seen, right?
14 A. If I signed a statement, I forgot when was
15 that, if I sign a statement.
16 Q. Do you remember hand-writing a statement
17 about what you claimed you had seen —
18 A. I don’t remember that.
19 Q. — Mr. Jackson doing with Mr. Culkin?
20 Remember saying, “I could not distinguish
21 what he was really doing with his hand,” but you
22 thought it was more than fondling?
23 A. I don’t remember that at all.
24 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I just
25 show you a copy of the statement?
26 A. (Nods head up and down.)
27 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach, Your Honor?
28 THE COURT: Yes. 5470
1 THE WITNESS: I guess it’s correct.
2 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Is that your handwriting?
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. Is that your signature?
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. The date is September 10th, 1993, correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Do you remember saying you couldn’t
9 distinguish what he was really doing with his hand?
10 A. I don’t recall that. But if it’s written,
11 that’s —
12 Q. It’s what you wrote, isn’t it?
13 A. I guess.
14 Q. Well, is it your writing or not?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Okay. And you wrote those words, did you
18 A. I guess I did, but I don’t recall.
In this excerpt, LeMarque describes the “sleazy guy” named Paul Baressi who sold his tape recorded conversation with him to a tabloid without his consent. Mesereau revealed the “principle” that LeMarque claimed prevented him from selling his story to the tabloids: Baressi sold the story and kept all of the money for himself while giving LeMarque the impression that he was negotiating for him! LeMarque wanted to increase his compensation from $100,000 dollars to $500,000 dollars by making his story more salacious, but in the end his own greed got the best of him.
19 Q. Okay. Now, you worked at the Neverland
20 Ranch for how long?
21 A. Maybe ten months.
22 Q. Did you ever sue Mr. Jackson?
23 A. No. Not for — we did sue for money he owed
24 us, because Norma Stakos was supposed to pay us
25 overtime, and she never did. And she was supposed
26 to give us some references, good references for
27 other job, and whenever we apply for a job, she
28 never give the references and she never sent us the 5471
1 money. So at that time we sued for the money that
2 was owed to us as overtime.
3 Q. Excuse me, I’m sorry. Did you finish?
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. Where did you file your lawsuit against Mr.
7 A. Santa Barbara court, I think.
8 Q. Did you hire a lawyer in Santa Barbara to do
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What was the lawyer’s name?
12 A. Forgot.
13 Q. How long did the lawsuit go on?
14 A. It didn’t go on for very long.
15 Q. It settled fairly quickly, did it not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You got money —
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. — from Mr. Jackson, true?
20 A. We got money for time — overtime due to us,
21 the time we worked there.
22 Q. You wanted more than that, didn’t you?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Now, you mentioned a sleazy guy was
25 representing you, right?
26 A. Yeah.
27 Q. His name was?
28 A. He didn’t represent us. He never 5472
1 represented us.
2 Q. You had meetings with him?
3 A. He was a friend, supposedly a friend.
4 Q. You had meetings with him, correct?
5 A. Yes, we did.
6 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; argumentative.
7 THE COURT: Overruled.
8 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: His name was Paul Baressi,
10 A. That’s correct.
11 Q. How did you meet Paul Baressi?
12 A. It was an old friend that Stella met years
14 Q. And Stella is who?
15 A. My wife.
16 Q. Do you know how she met Paul Baressi?
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; relevance.
18 THE COURT: Sustained.
19 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: How many times did you
20 meet with Paul Baressi?
21 A. I can’t recall. Several times.
22 Q. And Paul Baressi was in the adult film
23 business, right?
24 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; relevance.
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
26 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: The Court’s order.
27 THE COURT: Sustained.
28 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You said he was sleazy. 5473
1 Why did you say that to the jury?
2 A. Because he taped our conversation without
3 our own knowledge while we had a conversation with
4 our own private lawyer, and he sold that story to
5 the tabloid.
6 Q. He was also trying to broker a deal for you
7 with the tabloids, correct?
8 A. Well, that’s what he said. “I can get you a
9 deal,” because he had a deal himself previously by
10 telling stories about other people.
11 Q. But you had asked him to try and get a deal
12 for you, hadn’t you?
13 A. No, I didn’t ask him. He came forwards.
14 Q. But you allowed him to do that, didn’t you?
15 A. Well, we didn’t allow him. We said, “Okay,
16 we’ll listen to it,” because we were tempted by the
17 money, for sure. Everybody would be tempted. But
18 in the last minute, we didn’t do it.
19 Q. When — excuse me. You didn’t do it because
20 you found out he had already sold the story and
21 taken the money himself, right?
22 A. At that time he didn’t do that. He didn’t
23 sell the story yet.
24 Q. Let me just get this straight. You had
25 discussions with Baressi, right?
26 A. Uh-huh.
27 Q. You had phone conversations with Baressi,
28 right? 5474
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. You discussed a price you’d be willing to
4 A. No, we didn’t discuss price with him.
5 Q. Pardon me?
6 A. We didn’t discuss price with him.
7 Q. At one point you discussed the possibility
8 of getting $100,000 with him, didn’t you?
9 A. That’s what he said to us, he probably can
10 get $100,000, so we say we are interested.
11 Q. You actually upped it to 500, didn’t you?
12 A. I don’t remember if that was the case, but
13 we were playing the game with him to see how far he
14 could go, because we knew by then he was such a
15 sleazy guy we wanted to see how far he could go.
16 Because we never did it. We never took a penny from
18 Q. You upped the price to 500 from $100,000 at
19 one point?
20 A. Yeah, to see if we were going to do it.
21 Q. You couldn’t get that kind of money, right?
22 A. I don’t know. We never pursued it.
23 Q. Mr. Baressi, on your behalf, approached a
24 number of newspapers —
25 A. He didn’t work on our behalf, ever.
26 Q. Sir, I have to finish my question.
27 On your behalf, Paul Baressi approached
28 various newspapers and television shows to try and 5475
1 get hundreds of thousands of dollars for you and
2 your wife, right?
3 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; assumes facts
4 not in evidence.
5 THE WITNESS: That’s not true.
6 THE COURT: Overruled.
7 You may answer.
8 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Isn’t that right?
9 A. That’s not true. It’s a complete lie. He
10 was trying to get deals for him, not for us.
11 Q. Didn’t you just tell the jury you were
12 playing along with him to see how much you could
14 A. Well, at first, yeah, we were doing. But
15 then we realized the guy was so sleazy, we were not
16 going anywhere with him. So we backed out, and we
17 said, “We are not game,” and he kept going, doing
19 Q. Did you have a discussion with Paul Baressi
20 where you said, “We don’t want 100,000. We want
21 500,000”? Yes or no.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you remember having a discussion with
24 Mr. Baressi where you learned the price would be
25 higher if the story was Mr. Jackson’s hand was in
26 the clothes rather than outside?
27 A. That was his own made-up stories, not my
28 story. 5476
1 Q. That statement was made in your discussion
2 with Mr. Baressi, true?
3 A. I don’t recall that, but I think he did it
4 himself. That’s what he said we could get if the
5 hands went higher.
Here is a video that I collaborated with LunaJo67 to create; it includes clips of Barresi from two documentaries that he participated in (1994’s “Tabloid Truth”, and 2010’s “Michael Jackson’s Secret Hollywood”) and discussed the lies of the LeMarques.
LeMarque was next questioned about his relationship with another group of lying ex-Neverland employees named the Quindoys. They worked at Neverland prior to Lemarque’s time there, and also attempted to sell stories about witnessing alleged abuse in 1993. They were so compelling that Sneddon himself flew to the Philipines to interview them!
6 Q. Okay. Now, did you ever know anyone named
7 Quindoy at Neverland?
8 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; beyond the
10 MR. MESEREAU: It fits in with the
11 cross-examination, Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: That’s a good response.
14 MR. MESEREAU: I mean, it’s the same —
15 THE COURT: “Fits in with what I’m doing.”
16 Well, I don’t know the answer. I’ll allow the
17 question and see how it fits.
18 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You and your wife worked
19 at Neverland, right?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Did you ever know a couple named Quindoy
22 that worked at Neverland?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Ever hear the name?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. Had they worked before you?
27 A. Yes.
28 Q. You learned that the Quindoys were trying to 5477
1 sell a story to the media, right?
2 A. No, we never —
3 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Relevance;
4 beyond the scope.
5 THE COURT: Overruled.
6 You may answer.
7 He did answer. The answer was, “Yes,” and
8 then — I’m sorry, the answer was, “No, we never.”
9 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: At one point you were
10 trying to sell your story before the Quindoys did,
12 A. No.
13 Q. Never talked about that with Mr. Baressi?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Who was the lawyer you retained when it came
16 to dealing with the media?
17 A. We had a friend, his name was Arnold —
18 geez. I’m sorry, I have a blank right now. I have
19 a blank with the name.
20 Q. Was his name Kessler?
21 A. Yes. That’s correct.
22 Q. Did he practice law in Los Angeles?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Did you meet with Mr. Kessler?
25 A. Yes, we did.
26 Q. He is not the lawyer that represented you in
27 your suit against Mr. Jackson, is he?
28 A. We didn’t have a suit against Mr. Jackson. 5478
1 We had a suit against the work, as far as work was
2 concerned. We never sued Mr. Michael Jackson.
3 Q. You sued somebody.
4 A. We sued the MJ Corporation for overtime.
5 Q. That was Mr. Jackson’s company.
6 A. That’s the company, but that’s not Mr.
7 Jackson. We didn’t sue him.
8 Q. It was Mr. Jackson’s company that hired you,
9 wasn’t it?
10 A. Yes. For overtime.
11 Q. Okay. This was after you left your
12 employment, true?
13 A. That’s correct.
LeMarque spoke to his attorney Kessler just two days before testifying in court in the current case:
14 Q. Okay. You hired Attorney Kessler, correct?
15 A. No, we didn’t hire him. He was a friend of
16 ours. We ask him advice.
17 Q. You met with him a number of times about the
18 possibility of selling a story to the media, true?
19 A. With Baressi.
20 Q. So Baressi was your friend, and Kessler was
21 your friend, correct?
22 A. Yes, that’s correct.
23 Q. And after you met with Kessler, he started
24 calling around trying to sell your story, true?
25 A. I’m not sure what he was doing. I don’t
26 know. I never heard of it.
27 Q. Did you ever learn that he was doing
28 anything to sell your story to anybody? 5479
1 A. I was — I don’t recall, but I think
2 everybody was trying to sell our stories. Everybody
3 else was trying to do that, so —
4 Q. And approximately what year was this?
5 A. I don’t recall. ‘92 or something. I —
6 Q. When did you leave Neverland?
7 A. The year? I don’t recall. ‘92, probably,
8 at that time. Whatever. I’m not sure.
9 Q. In 1993, Baressi and Kessler were trying to
10 sell your story, true?
11 A. I guess they were, but I was not aware of
13 Q. But you had many talks with the two of them
14 about that?
15 A. Yeah, we did earlier. And then we stopped
16 and they kept doing it. I don’t know what they were
17 doing. I couldn’t keep track of them.
18 Q. Okay. When did you last talk to Kessler?
19 A. About that time. No, as a matter of fact, I
20 talked to him two days ago because of what happened
21 in the — with what was going on, and I finally find
22 his phone number, and I told him what was going on.
23 And he was very upset about it.
24 Q. He’s still your buddy, right?
25 A. No, we haven’t talked since then.
26 Q. Did you talk to him about what you were
27 going to say in court today?
28 A. No. 5480
1 Q. Did you talk to him about this case?
2 A. Yeah, I said I was going to be on the stand.
3 Q. Okay. Did you call him or did he call you?
4 A. We called him.
5 Q. You and your wife?
6 A. My wife did.
7 Q. Okay. Were you on the conversation?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Was it just your wife that talked to him, as
10 far as you know?
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. Was she speaking on your behalf?
13 A. She was just telling him what was going on,
14 that’s all.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. There was no behalf. There was just
18 Q. You knew that Mr. Kessler contacted The
19 National Enquirer about your story, right?
20 A. No, I was not aware of that.
21 Q. You knew he contacted The Globe, right?
22 A. I was not aware of that either. We
23 contacted them.
24 Q. You knew Inside Edition was contacted,
26 A. Well, they contacted us directly also.
27 So —
28 Q. How about Splash News Service? 5481
1 A. No.
Baressi called the LeMarques just two months prior to their testimony, and Stella (Phillip’s wife) had some very poignant words for him!
2 Q. Okay. When did you last see Macaulay
4 A. At that time. When I was working at the
6 Q. So you’ve never really asked him if he was
7 abused, have you?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You’ve never heard his side, have you?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Have you ever learned any time that he
12 denies this event?
13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; assumes facts.
14 THE WITNESS: I —
15 THE COURT: Just a moment.
16 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: He said he’s never had any
17 conversation. And foundation. He said he’s had no
18 conversation with Mr. Macaulay.
19 THE COURT: The objection is sustained.
20 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Have you followed
21 this case in the media?
22 A. I don’t.
23 Q. You don’t follow it at all?
24 A. I never watch T.V., barely.
25 Q. Have you followed this case in the
27 A. I read the newspaper briefly, the
28 highlights, the headlines and so on. But it doesn’t 5482
1 interest me.
2 Q. When did you last talk to Mr. Baressi?
3 A. He called my wife two months ago.
4 Q. Did your wife talk to him?
5 A. She said, “Go to hell.”
6 Q. I’m not asking you what she said.
8 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: All right. Okay. Do you
9 know — are you aware of him still trying to sell
10 stories on this case?
11 A. Yeah, he’s still doing it.
12 Q. How do you know he’s still doing it?
13 A. Because it’s on the —
14 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Foundation;
16 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.
17 The question was, “How do you know he’s
18 still doing it?”
19 THE WITNESS: Pardon me?
20 THE COURT: You may answer that question.
21 How do you —
22 THE WITNESS: I’m sorry, can you repeat
24 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Yes. I’ll ask the
25 question again.
26 You told the jury Mr. Baressi is still
27 trying to sell stories, right?
28 A. Yes. 5483
1 Q. How do you know that?
2 A. My son send me a copy through the Internet
3 two days ago of what was in Splash.
4 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; hearsay.
5 THE COURT: Overruled. Next question.
Next, Mesereau challenged LeMarque about several tabloid articles that he was quoted in, but LeMarque claimed to have never seen those tabloids:
6 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Have you met with any
7 prosecutor to talk about your testimony today,
8 before today?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who did you meet with?
11 A. The prosecutor right here.
12 Q. And is that Mr. Auchincloss?
13 A. Uh-huh. That’s correct.
14 Q. When did you meet with him?
15 A. When?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. This morning.
18 Q. And where did you meet?
19 A. We meet in the witness room.
20 Q. Did he show you any documents?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What documents did he show you?
23 A. The documents that was shown here on the
25 Q. Now, are you aware of an article appearing
26 in The Globe newspaper on September 21st, 1993, that
27 quotes you?
28 A. No. I never saw it. 5484
1 Q. Never heard about it?
2 A. Never.
3 Q. Are you aware of that article quoting your
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. So you never heard about that or
7 looked at it, right?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. No one ever told you about it, right?
10 A. No. My friends don’t read that kind of
12 Q. Okay. All right. Before you took the stand
13 today, had you ever heard that you were quoted in an
14 article about Michael Jackson in The Globe
16 A. No.
17 Q. How many times have you been interviewed by
18 anyone with the sheriff’s department on this case?
19 A. Just one time in ‘93 or something.
20 Q. Just one time?
21 A. Yeah.
22 Q. Have you had many phone conversations with
23 anybody from the sheriff’s department about the
25 A. No, not that I recall.
26 Q. Has anyone ever called you on the phone from
27 the prosecution to talk about the case?
28 A. No. Just to tell us that we are going to be 5485
1 in court. That’s all.