April 8th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Adrian McManus (Cross Examination), Phillip LeMarque (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 3 of 3
LaMarque was then asked to go into more detail about his overtime pay lawsuit against the Michael Jackson Corporation, and he also learned for the first time that Blanca Francia admitted to sneaking into the purses of her coworkers!
2 Q. Now, when did you last talk to Norma Stakos?
3 A. The last day that we left the ranch,
5 Q. Did you sue her as well?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You just sued Mr. Jackson’s company, right?
8 A. We sued Michael just for the overtime that
9 we — were owed to us.
10 Q. That’s over a seven-month period?
11 A. Seven months what? I’m sorry, after —
12 after we left in —
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I guess. I don’t recall.
15 Q. Did you say you hadn’t been ever paid for
16 overtime while working at Neverland?
17 A. That’s correct.
18 Q. All right. And was that over a seven-month
19 period or nine-month period? I can’t remember.
20 A. Nine, ten, something like that.
21 Q. Okay. Had you ever made a claim for
22 overtime while you were working?
23 A. Yes, we did. We settled with Norma at the
24 time we left. She said she was going to give us
25 money for the overtime and give us good references.
26 And we sued when she didn’t fill up the part that
27 she said she was going to do.
28 Q. You felt she was obligated to give you and 5486
1 your wife a good reference for another job?
2 A. Why not?
3 Q. What if she didn’t think you were competent?
4 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; relevance.
5 THE WITNESS: She said she would do it. She
6 said she was going to give us a good reference.
7 THE COURT: Just a moment. Just a moment.
8 The objection is sustained.
9 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You felt that part of your
10 agreement with Mr. Jackson’s company was that if
11 they were contacted by anyone and asked if you were
12 someone you should work with, they had to give you a
13 good recommendation; is that correct?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And you never called the police about what
16 you claim Mr. Jackson did to Mr. Culkin, right?
17 A. That’s correct.
18 Q. Now, you indicated you were asked to sign a
19 document saying that a woman named Bianca looked
20 inside someone’s purse, right?
21 A. That’s correct. I was not, myself. My wife
23 Q. That’s Blanca Francia, right?
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. Did you know her when she worked at
27 A. Yes.
28 Q. Was she a friend of yours? 5487
1 A. We didn’t have any friends. We couldn’t
2 have any friends at the ranch. It was forbidden to
3 be friends with the help. Because everybody was
4 spying on each other, so there was no way to be
5 friends with anyone.
6 Q. The spying was because people were looking
7 for stories to sell, right?
8 A. No, because I think that’s —
9 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; argumentative.
10 THE WITNESS: That’s not true.
11 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll withdraw the
14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Are you saying it’s your
15 wife that saw Blanca Francia go into someone’s
17 A. She didn’t see her doing it. That’s why she
18 didn’t want to sign it.
19 Q. Okay. Did you ever talk to Blanca Francia
20 about whether or not she did put her hand in
21 someone’s purse?
22 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; hearsay.
23 THE WITNESS: I never did myself.
24 THE COURT: I couldn’t hear your objection,
26 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll withdraw it.
27 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did you ever ask Blanca
28 Francia if she ever did, in fact, go into someone’s 5488
2 A. No, I never ask myself personally.
3 Q. Did you ever learn that she had admitted
4 doing it?
5 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Argumentative;
6 assumes facts.
7 THE COURT: It’s overruled.
8 You may answer.
9 THE WITNESS: I’m sorry. Say that again,
11 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll withdraw the question
12 and reask it.
13 Q. Did you ever learn that Blanca Francia
14 admitted she had gone into someone’s purse?
15 A. I never heard of anything like this, no.
Here is an excerpt from Diane Dimond’s book “Be Careful Who You Love” regarding the Quindoys (who Mesereau asked LeMarque about in Part 2 of his summary), and remember that this is in NO WAY an endorsement of the book!
Mark and Faye Quindoy were living in the Philippines when the allegations against Michael Jackson hit the headlines in late August 1993. They were not surprised, and they called a news conference in Manila in late September to tell the world as much.
Holding what he said was his personal diary in his outstretched hand, Mark Quindoy announced that when he and his wife had served as the estate mangers at the rambling Neverland Valley Ranch from 1987 to 1991, they had seen and heard so many disturbing things with regard to Michael Jackson and his “special friends” that he had decided to write them all down. It begged the question: Why hadn’t he and his wife gone to the police with their claims? Their answer was that they didn’t think they’d be believed and they feared they’d lose their jobs if they came forward.
This diary was later given to California law enforcement.
At the news conference, Mark Quindoy, a stately looking older Filipino man, alleged that he believed his former employer was a “gay pedophile.” He said most of the children the couple saw at the ranch were between seven and twelve years old, but some were infants. “Whatever a gay man does to his partner during sex, Michael does to a child,” said Quindoy. He related a story about one particular child and told the gathered reporters, “I swear I saw Michael Jackson fondling the little kid, his hands traveling on the kid’s thighs, legs, around his body. And during all this, the kid was playing with his toys.”
During another instance, Quindoy said, Michael Jackson asked him to drive him and a seven-year-old companion into the neighboring town of Solvang. The trip was so Jackson could see a huge dollhouse that he was thinking of duplicating at the ranch. Driving back to Neverland at dusk, Quindoy said he caught sight of a shocking scene in the backseat of the Chevrolet Blazer. His employer was acting “like a lover,” kissing the boy passionately.
“It was just like a boy kissing a girl in the backseat,” Quindoy said. At a stoplight Quindoy said he noticed “the boy wasn’t protesting— he just sat there stiffly, without moving, while Michael kissed him on the lips.” Then, with the headlights of passing cars illuminating the inside of the vehicle, he saw Michael begin to kiss the youngster everywhere— his neck, head, arms, shoulders, and body. “I was utterly stunned— appalled that he could do that to a seven-year-old boy.”
Mark and Faye Quindoy said they quit working at the ranch in 1991, thinking that Jackson’s activities with young boys would certainly catch up with him. Now that the allegations of Jordie Chandler had made worldwide headlines, they said they felt it safe to tell the public what they knew.
Michael Jackson “would be one of the nicest persons you will ever meet,” the Quindoys said, but he has a serious “illness.”
The problem with the Quindoys’ story was their ongoing battle to get Jackson to pay them the $ 283,000 they claimed he owned them in “unpaid overtime wages.” They didn’t try to hide that fact; they openly spoke about how they had been forced to be on call around the clock, even on scheduled days off, during their tenure with Jackson. They had added up all those extra hours and come up with the $ 283,000 figure. As they told their stunning story to the media, they were still actively engaged in trying to get the money they felt they were owed.
Their legal battle gave the Jackson camp all the ammunition they needed. They were immediately labeled as “disgruntled former employees” and “failed extortionists” in a public statement delivered by Anthony Pellicano.
Mark Quindoy would not live to testify to his claims at Jackson’s criminal trial in Santa Maria in 2005.
Now, if you saw a grown man abusing a young boy, would you go to consult with a general practice lawyer for legal advice? Of course not! But that’s what LeMarque did! Mesereau asked Lemarque if he spoke to that lawyer about the possibility of selling his story to a tabloid, but Zonen’s objection was sustained by Judge Melville.
16 Q. Okay. What hours did you work at Neverland?
17 A. There was no set hours. It was whenever
18 Michael was in residence or whenever guests were
20 Q. And where did you live when you were working
21 at Neverland?
22 A. At the ranch. I mean, at the Neverland
23 itself, in a private house.
24 Q. Okay. Now, you told the jury that you went
25 to a lawyer and told the lawyer about what you claim
26 you saw in the arcade, right?
27 A. Correct.
28 Q. Was that while you were working at 5489
2 A. After we left.
3 Q. You didn’t go to a lawyer right away to
4 discuss what you had seen, did you?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know what this particular lawyer
7 specializes in?
8 A. General practice.
9 Q. Pardon me?
10 A. General practice.
11 Q. Okay. Had he represented you before?
12 A. No. He was just a friend.
13 Q. Had he given advice to you before?
14 A. No.
15 Q. How many meetings did you have with this
16 lawyer about what you claim you saw in the arcade?
17 A. I think only one time.
18 Q. You had phone conversations with him, did
19 you not?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You had phone conversations about the
22 possibility of selling a story, correct?
23 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Cumulative;
24 asked and answered.
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Approximately when do you
27 claim you saw Mr. Jackson with Mr. Culkin in the
28 arcade? 5490
1 A. The time?
2 Q. Approximately, yes.
3 A. Maybe three o’clock, 3:00 a.m.
4 Q. No, let me rephrase it. It’s my mistake.
5 Approximately what month and year do you
6 claim you saw this happen?
7 A. I don’t recall.
8 Q. You continued to work at Neverland after you
9 saw what you claim you saw, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was your wife working at Neverland as well?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You never reported this to anyone there
14 obviously, right?
15 A. No, we didn’t.
16 Q. You never went to Miss Stakos and said, “I
17 saw something improper going on,” right?
18 A. We didn’t have to do that. She knew about
20 Q. So she was with you watching it?
21 A. No.
Mesereau attempted to show the jury that LeMarque had a financial motive to lie and sell stories to the tabloids by getting him to discuss his bankruptcy from the early 90’s, but LeMarque denied that his bankruptcy had anything to do with it by stating that he filed for bankruptcy years before the 1993 scandal:
22 Q. You said that Mr. Baressi tape-recorded you,
24 A. That’s correct.
25 Q. Do you know how many times he did that?
26 A. I have no idea.
27 Q. Did you ever inquire as to how many times
28 you had been secretly tape-recorded by him? 5491
1 A. No, I didn’t.
2 Q. Did you ever ask him?
3 A. I didn’t even know he did it until a few
4 days ago.
5 Q. Who told you he did it?
6 A. Well, we heard about it from the news and
7 all that, and this information came out, and so
8 that’s how we find out.
9 Q. I thought you didn’t follow the news about
10 the case.
11 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; argumentative.
12 THE COURT: Sustained.
13 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you have any idea how
14 many times you’ve been quoted in any tabloid about
15 Michael Jackson?
16 A. I have no idea.
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; relevance.
18 THE COURT: The answer was, “I have no idea.”
19 I’ll allow the question.
20 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Would you agree that with
21 time, your story about what you say Mr. Jackson did
22 has changed?
23 A. I don’t think so.
24 Q. When you wrote that handwritten statement
25 that I showed you which had your signature and
26 handwriting, were you being truthful?
27 A. I don’t recall writing this at all, so I
28 have no recollection of that. 5492
1 Q. But you did admit that is your handwriting
2 and signature, true?
3 A. Looks like my handwriting.
4 Q. Is it your signature?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Isn’t it true, Mr. LeMarque, that in 1993,
7 you waited till you were out of personal bankruptcy
8 to start selling the story?
9 A. My personal bankruptcy was about 18, 19, 20
10 years ago. Had nothing to do with this.
11 Q. Did you have any bankruptcy proceeding going
12 on in the 1990s, sir?
13 A. No, sir.
14 Q. Okay. Never filed a document in that
15 regard, right?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Never were involved in a Chapter 7 action?
18 A. I was. Twenty years ago.
19 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’m going to object as
20 improper impeachment.
21 THE COURT: Sustained.
22 MR. MESEREAU: I have no further questions,
23 Your Honor.
Auchincloss questioned LeMarque about the authenticity of his statements from 1993, and the legitimacy of his overtime lawsuit against MJJ Productions, which was settled, thus giving the impression that his claims were credible:
25 REDIRECT EXAMINATION
26 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:
27 Q. Just a few questions, Mr. LeMarque.
28 The action that you had against Mr. Jackson 5493
1 for overtime when you left Neverland, did Norma
2 Stakos promise to pay you for your past overtime?
3 A. She did.
4 Q. When you left Neverland, did she promise to
5 make good references for you in the future?
6 A. She did.
7 Q. When you left Neverland, did you ever
8 receive the overtime payment that you were due?
9 A. She never did.
10 Q. Did you go to the California Labor Board to
11 dispute that?
12 A. Yes. That’s where we went.
13 Q. Did you have to litigate it?
14 A. No, she settled right away.
15 Q. MJJ Productions settled right away?
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. Did you get what you felt you were entitled
19 A. Yes. We had the proof that we had worked
20 overtime, so I had account of all the time we work,
21 so —
22 Q. And as far as Mr. Kessler, was he working
23 for you? Did you ever have to pay him for helping
24 you with this tabloid business?
25 A. He was a friend. We just asked advice,
26 that’s all.
27 Q. So he was just working as a lawyer friend
28 for you? 5494
1 A. He was — yeah.
2 Q. All right. I’m showing you People’s Exhibit
3 No. 802. Appears to be a copy of the handwritten
4 note. Is that the note that counsel showed you a
5 few moments ago?
6 A. Looks the same.
7 Q. Okay. I’d like you to read that over
8 carefully. Take a moment. Just one page.
9 A. Okay.
10 Q. Okay? Does that represent a fair summation
11 of the facts that you observed in the arcade during
12 that period of time when you observed Macaulay
13 Culkin and the defendant?
14 A. Yeah, that’s basically what I saw.
15 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. I’d ask to move 802
16 into evidence at this time, Your Honor.
17 MR. MESEREAU: No objection.
18 THE COURT: It’s admitted.
19 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: And in that account, do
20 you tell — do you depict that Mr. Jackson’s hand is
21 in Mr. Culkin’s shorts?
22 A. That’s correct.
23 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you. I have no
24 further questions.
Under recross-examination, Mesereau went right back to the signed document from September 1993 and got LeMarque to admit that he initially denied seeing any abuse, but then after signing the document he added a “P.S.” with some additional salacious information to contradict his earlier denial. LeMarque claimed that he “forgot” why he added that addendum to the statement, and vehemently denied that it was added so that he could sell his story to the tabloids.
27 BY MR. MESEREAU:
28 Q. If you would – 5495
1 Does he have the document?
2 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Uh-huh.
3 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: If you would, please take
4 a look at that document and read it to yourself.
5 A. I did already.
6 Q. All right. Okay. Now, you made two
7 statements: One on September 10th, 1993, and one on
8 what looks to be — well, I guess that would be —
9 you make a second statement in the form of a P.S.,
10 right? Is that made the same day; do you know?
11 A. Looks the same.
12 Q. You first — there’s a signature in the
13 middle of the page. It says, “Phillip LeMarque,
14 September 10th, 1993,” correct?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. There’s another signature towards the bottom
17 of the page that says, “Phillip LeMarque, 9-10-93,”
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. You first wrote a statement about what you
21 saw and then you added a P.S., correct?
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. Let’s look at the statement that appears at
24 the beginning, okay? You say that Mr. Jackson had
25 his left hand in the kid’s pants, right?
26 A. Correct.
27 Q. You say, “I couldn’t distinguish what he was
28 really doing with his hand, but obviously it was 5496
1 more than fondling,” right?
2 A. Uh-huh.
3 Q. You then signed and dated that, true?
4 A. Correct.
5 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’m going to object if
6 he’s just reading part of the statement. I’d ask
7 that the entire statement be read before the
8 signature line.
9 THE COURT: Overruled.
10 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You said up top the child
11 was not disturbed by the action, right?
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. You said they were playing a game, correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. You said the kid was very involved with the
16 game, right?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. You said that Michael Jackson was holding
19 Macaulay while he was playing the game, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. After you signed and dated that statement,
22 you then chose to add something else, correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And what you add was that “His left hand was
25 in his pants under the shorts, left leg, all the way
26 to the crotch,” correct?
27 A. Correct.
28 Q. You added that to what you had said earlier 5497
1 after you had signed your name to what you had said
2 earlier, true?
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. And when was this thing actually — when was
5 this statement actually done; do you know?
6 A. At the same time. It was just an addendum.
8 Q. Why did you want an addendum to what you had
9 already written down and signed?
10 A. I forgot at the time why I did it. I don’t
11 have any other recollection of that anyway.
12 Q. You did it because you wanted to sell a
13 story, right?
14 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; argumentative.
15 THE WITNESS: Absolutely false.
16 MR. MESEREAU: I have no further questions.
17 THE COURT: Do you want to withdraw your
18 objection, or —
19 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I think so. Sure, why
Auchincloss then tried to give the statement more credibility that it actually deserves by getting LeMarque to testify that he was asked by police to write the statement:
22 FURTHER REDIRECT EXAMINATION
23 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:
24 Q. Was this document prepared for the police?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. All right. And was it prepared after the
27 police interviewed you?
28 A. Well, it was prepared. I forgot exactly 5498
1 when, if it was at the same time or after. I have
2 no recollection.
3 Q. But the police asked you to write out a
5 A. A statement of what I saw.
6 Q. Okay. Do you recall if they asked you to
7 put in the details, some more details as far as what
8 you had told them?
9 A. As much as possible, yes. They wanted more
11 Q. Is that why the P.S. was added; do you know?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. Thank you.
14 Nothing further.
Mesereau used his opportunity to further recross-examine LeMarque again in order to establish to the jury the fact that LeMarque wrote his statement to police AFTER he had spoken with Baressi:
16 FURTHER RECROSS-EXAMINATION
17 BY MR. MESEREAU:
18 Q. Obviously this statement was written out
19 after you talked to Mr. Baressi, true?
20 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; vague.
21 THE WITNESS: I don’t think so.
22 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll object as a vague
23 question as far as time.
24 THE WITNESS: I don’t think so. I’m not
26 THE COURT: Just a moment. You have to wait
27 until I rule.
28 Overruled. 5499
1 Now, read the question back to him.
2 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: The statement was
3 written —
4 THE COURT: No, the court reporter.
5 (Record read.)
6 THE WITNESS: It’s probably after, yeah.
7 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you remember I asked
8 you earlier about that statement, and you told the
9 jury you didn’t recall?
10 A. I have no recollection exactly, that’s for
11 sure. But now it’s coming back, you know.
12 Q. It’s coming back when the prosecutor
13 suggested you wrote it for the police, correct?
14 A. No, it’s coming back —
15 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; argumentative.
16 Objection; argumentative.
17 THE COURT: All right. Just a moment.
18 You need to wait until the question is completed
19 before you answer.
20 THE WITNESS: Okay.
21 THE COURT: And just hold on a second so if
22 someone wants to object, they can.
23 And counsel needs to not step on his
24 statements. The court reporter is struggling to
25 keep the record straight.
26 All right. There actually is — the
27 objection was made after he answered, so I’m going
28 to overrule that objection. You may ask your next 5500
2 MR. MESEREAU: Okay.
3 Q. You now recall that you wrote the statement
4 in September of 1993 in a police interview, right?
5 A. I’m starting to recall. See, I’m 70 years
6 old this year, and my memory is faltering.
7 Q. Okay. I understand. Have you now fully
8 recollected that you wrote this for the police?
9 A. It’s coming back a little bit, and I think
10 that, yeah.
11 Q. Are you sure?
12 A. Yeah.
13 Q. Isn’t it true you wrote out the statement,
14 you dated and signed it, and somebody wanted you to
15 add something else, so you put in an addendum, and
16 then signed and dated that the same day, right?
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; asked and
19 THE COURT: Overruled.
20 You may answer.
21 THE WITNESS: I don’t recall very well when
22 I made this statement, when I wrote it, and I don’t
23 recall why there was an addendum added to the
25 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. And the statement
26 was written approximately how long after you left
28 A. Whenever the police came, which might be a 5501
1 year after or two years. I don’t know.
2 Q. Well, the statement says September 10th,
3 1993 —
4 A. Okay. So —
5 Q. — right?
6 And how long — how much time had elapsed
7 between your leaving Neverland and September 10th,
8 1993, if you know?
9 A. Probably a year. A little more than a year.
10 Q. And how much time had elapsed between when
11 you saw what you claim you saw in the arcade and
12 September 10th, ‘93?
13 A. 14 months. 12, 14 months.
14 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions.
15 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Nothing further.
16 THE COURT: All right. Thank you. You may
17 step down.
18 Call your next witness.
Here is an article from Roger Friedman, posted on April 11th, 2005, that includes additional information about the material omissions from LeMarque’s testimony:
Jacko ‘Major-Domo’ Lied About Cashing In
Michael Jackson | Hollywood Star-Spotting | Mariah Carey
Jacko ‘Major-Domo’ Lied About Cashing In
Former self-described Neverland Ranch “major domo”Philip LeMarque told a lot of tall tales on the witness stand last week.
On Friday, LeMarque pretended he was above selling stories about his former employer’s alleged acts of child molestation to the tabloids.
LeMarque, who worked for Michael Jackson, along with his wife Stella LeMarque, for 10 months in 1990 and 1991, testified that he had only once tried to peddle a story about his ex-boss and Macaulay Culkin. That would have been in 1993, and to the National Enquirer.
In truth, LeMarque’s relationship with the scurrilous rag dated back two years earlier to 1991, when the couple first tried to sell a Jackson story to the Enquirer. LeMarque didn’t tell the jury that little tidbit on Friday.
LeMarque also failed to mention that in October 1991, he had taken money from the Enquirer to sneak its reporters on to the Neverland property for Elizabeth Taylor‘s wedding to her last husband, Larry Fortensky.
He also left out an important element of his failed bid to sell the Enquirer his Jackson-Culkin story in 1993.
On the stand, LeMarque testified that he dropped the idea altogether when it didn’t look as if he would get his asking price of $500,000.
In fact, LeMarque and his lawyer, Arnold Kessler — whom LeMarque described on the stand as his “friend” and not his actual rep — were demanding the Enquirer indemnify them against future lawsuits from Jackson, because the LeMarques were breaking the confidentiality agreement they had signed upon taking employment at Neverland.
The paper refused, and thus the deal ended.
The whole story of the 1991 and 1993 negotiations is included on eye-opening tape recordings made in secret by late Enquirer reporter Jim Mitteager.
He bequeathed the tapes to investigator Paul Barresi, who spent a year and a half transcribing and editing them. The hundreds of hours of recordings describe the Enquirer’s unsavory tactics dealing with sources, subjects and the police.
What Barresi found, among other things, is that the Enquirer routinely turned over its notes to police after it was done with them.
The tabloid was thus able to avoid lawsuits by claiming it got its information from police sources. This was a clever tactic, but the complete opposite of what actually happened.
Barresi’s findings clearly show that Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon may be basing much of his “mini-trial” of prior allegations of child molestation by Jackson on National Enquirer reporting from the early 1990s.
But listening to Barresi and Mitteager’s tapes reveals the dark side of the tabloid’s inner workings.
While Mitteager may have performed a historically important service by making the tapes, he comes across on them as desperate to get anyone to say anything incriminating about Jackson.
Alas, after years of dangling huge sums in front of potential sources, Mitteager and the Enquirer were never able to come up with anything substantial.
The tapes paint quite a different account of the story LeMarque told to jurors and the court on Friday. They show that Enquirer editors thought of the LeMarques as hustlers who would go to the highest bidder with any story.
When LeMarque was asked, during cross-examination by defense attorney Tom Mesereau, why he didn’t take his tale of Jackson molesting Culkin to the police instead of going straight to the tabloids, LeMarque replied that nobody would have believed him.
Barresi, an expert on the “underbelly” of this world, laughed at this statement.
“Every single witness testifying against Michael Jackson claims they did not call the cops because nobody, with the exception of tabloid reporters flashing big bucks, would ever believe them,” he said.
Barresi says LeMarque didn’t go to the police because he had already been to the Enquirer with the same story in 1991, when he and his wife were dismissed from Neverland.
On Aug. 26, 1993, Mitteager is heard telling The Globe’sJohn Bell: “[Tony] Brennor [also of The Globe] did an interview two years ago. He can’t find the tape. The sources are gone. They were two former housekeepers, saying that he [Jackson] was fondling kids all the time … saying that he abused kids … He was trying to cut a deal and it blew up somehow.”
Mitteager says to Bell at another point in the conversation: “[Globe reporter] Mike Carrigan had this story years before, but it went belly-up because it was so legally dicey.”
Barresi plays an integral role in the story of the tabloids, the LeMarques and Mitteager’s tapes. He tells me that he met and dated Stella LeMarque, then surnamed “Marcroft,” before she married Philip LeMarque.
Stella LeMarque knew Barresi worked with the tabloids and came to him a few years later to ask if he could help broker their sale of the Jackson story. Barresi says he did not discover that the LeMarques had already tried this in 1991 until years later, when he heard Mitteager discussing it on the tapes.
More light is shed on the LeMarques’ 1991 attempt to cash in on Jackson from the conversation Mitteager taped of himself and Enquirer editor Robert Taylor on Aug. 31, 1993.
Mitteager says to Taylor: “They are also aware that you sit down and write contracts and sometimes don’t publish the article. They know that too, you know what I mean? Because that’s what happened to them last time.”
Enquirer contracts at the time were worded in such a way that sources like the LeMarques were not guaranteed payment unless their stories checked out. And even then, the paper was not required to pay until the issue with the relevant story was off the shelves.
According to a source, snitches were often shocked to find the great amounts of money they were promised were not guaranteed.
What Barresi is sure of is that in October 1991, the LeMarques, freshly dismissed from Neverland, offered to sneak the Enquirer on to the property for the Taylor-Fortensky wedding.
“They were wined and dined by the Enquirer and loved it,” Barresi says. “They really carried on and said they knew a way the paper could sneak people on to the ranch. They were paid by the paper in advance, but at the last minute they backed out.”
The LeMarques, Barresi says, didn’t mention anything in 1991 about Culkin. That part of the story only surfaced in 1993, after Jackson’s unrelated child-molestation civil suit surfaced.
But then, the story had Jackson’s hands remaining on the outside of Culkin’s shorts. As the potential for higher payment increased, the hand went inside the shorts, Barresi said.
For additional information on LeMarque, please read this post from the Vindicate MJ blog.
Summary of Philip LeMarque’s testimony
1. Philip LeMarque and his wife Stella worked at Neverland as cooks for 10 months in 1991. They were asked to resign in a dispute with Jackson’s private secretary Norma Stakos, who asked Stella to sign an affidavit stating that she witnessed Jackson’s maid Blanca Francia pilfering through the purses of other employees. After the tenure at Neverland ended in 1991, the LeMarques tried to sell lies to the tabloids, claiming that they had seen Jackson fondling Macaulay Culkin, but received no offers.
2.However, they tried again and were almost successful in 1993 after the Chandler scandal emerged. They met with multiple people who offered to get them the highest amount of money from the tabloids, in exchange for a salacious story, but the media broker who was negotiating Lemarque’s fee surreptitiously recorded him and sold it to the tabloids, and kept the money for himself.
3. LeMarque claimed that the alleged incident of abuse took place sometime in 1991; he received a request by Jackson to deliver an order of French fries to the arcade room at around 3:00am, and when he arrived he claimed to have seen Jackson’s hand rubbing on the outside of Macaulay’s Culkin’s crotch area. LeMarque was so “shocked” by this that he almost dropped the French fries, and instead of intervening to stop this alleged abuse, he simply left the area!
4. 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.
5. , 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.
6. Now, if you saw a grown man abusing a young boy, would you go to consult with a general practice lawyer for legal advice? Of course not! But that’s what LeMarque did! Mesereau asked Lemarque if he spoke to that lawyer about the possibility of selling his story to a tabloid, but Zonen’s objection was sustained by Judge Melville.
7. Mesereau attempted to show the jury that LeMarque had a financial motive to lie and sell stories to the tabloids by getting him to discuss his bankruptcy from the early 90’s, but LeMarque denied that his bankruptcy had anything to do with it by stating that he filed for bankruptcy years before the 1993 scandal.
8. Under redirect examination, Auchincloss questioned LeMarque about the authenticity of his statements from 1993, and the legitimacy of his overtime lawsuit against MJJ Productions, which was settled, thus giving the impression that his claims were credible. After asking LeMarque to assert that all of his claims from 1993 were true, Auchincloss ended his questioning.
9. Under recross-examination, Mesereau went right back to the signed document from September 1993 and got LeMarque to admit that he initially denied seeing any abuse, but then after signing the document he added a “P.S.” with some additional salacious information to contradict his earlier denial. LeMarque claimed that he “forgot” why he added that addendum to the statement, and vehemently denied that it was added so that he could sell his story to the tabloids.
10. Under further redirect examination, Auchincloss then tried to give the statement more credibility that it actually deserves by getting LeMarque to testify that he was asked by police to write the statement. However, Mesereau used his opportunity to further recross-examine LeMarque again in order to establish to the jury the fact that LeMarque wrote his statement to police AFTER he had spoken with Baressi.
The jury received a gift from Sneddon when he announced that he didn’t have any more witnesses available to testify in court.
19 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, because of some of
20 the Court’s rulings this morning, we have no further
21 witnesses at this time.
22 THE COURT: Are you trying to tell the jury
23 they have to go home early today?
24 MR. SNEDDON: Unfortunately, I am, Your
25 Honor. I apologize for that from the bottom of my
27 THE COURT: That’s the bad news.
28 (Laughter.) 5502
1 THE COURT: You know, I have some
2 photographs of the wildflowers that I took.
4 THE COURT: All right. I can tell you’re
5 not interested.
6 We’ll release you early today. It’s — I
7 think it’s been a pretty intense week. It doesn’t
8 hurt to get a little time off here.
9 Let me just remind you of the seriousness of
10 your conduct and the admonitions that I’ve made.
11 The admonitions are that you can’t talk to anybody
12 about this case, including each other, your family
13 members, or anybody. You certainly can’t go to
14 anyplace where the events that you hear about
15 testified to occurred or are alleged to have
16 occurred. You are not to listen to or read news
17 accounts or watch T.V. concerning the case.
18 And, you know, I don’t think I should need
19 to remind you of this, but I will, just so that I
20 have a clean conscience. Everybody is watching you,
21 you know. Your behavior, just as my own behavior,
22 is under scrutiny, just as these attorneys’
23 behavior. Everything that happens is reported one
24 way or another. So please be very serious about the
25 responsibility that you’ve been given here.
26 And having that in mind, I would like you to
27 go out and look at the wildflowers.
28 (Laughter.) 5503
1 THE COURT: Thank you.
2 And I’m going to stay with the attorneys.
3 There’s a couple of issues that we need to take up,
4 but you’re free to go. See you Monday at 8:30. And
5 remember, Tuesday afternoon you’ll be off, too.
After the jurors were dismissed, Judge Melville addressed the attorneys about a few motions. The first motion that was addressed was the defense’s motion to have a mistrial declared due to egregious violations of the court’s orders by several prosecution witnesses who spoke to other witnesses about their testimony, and Judge Melville denied the request for a mistrial, but kept open the possibility that the testimonies of those witnesses would be completely stricken:
7 (The following proceedings were held in
8 open court outside the presence and hearing of the
11 MR. MESEREAU: Your Honor, can Mr. Jackson
12 depart, or is he —
13 THE COURT: Listen, the audience may leave if
14 they want to. The Court is going to take up a
15 couple of motions that have been pending. But
16 anyone in the audience that would like to leave at
17 this time, feel free to do that.
18 Mr. Jackson, if you would like to leave at
19 this time, you may do so.
20 THE DEFENDANT: Thank you.
21 MR. SANGER: Thank you, Your Honor.
22 MR. MESEREAU: Thank you.
23 THE DEFENDANT: Thank you.
24 THE COURT: All right. During the last week
25 or so, there have been some motions that have been
26 pending. We have — the first one is defendant’s
27 motion for a mistrial, or, in the alternative,
28 restrictive instructions. I’ve read and considered 5504
1 the points and authorities.
2 Do you wish to be heard?
3 MR. SANGER: Just briefly, Your Honor.
4 THE COURT: Now, just because you haven’t
5 said anything all week — go ahead. I know it’s
6 just been building up and —
7 MR. SANGER: I’ll try to behave myself, Your
9 THE COURT: All right.
10 MR. SANGER: The serious matter is, and we
11 did brief it, but it was very brief, because it was
12 an overnight, sort of a pocket thing.
13 THE COURT: Very good brief.
14 MR. SANGER: The briefer the better, I
16 The point being, though, that the lawyers
17 have to exercise control over the witnesses. They
18 have to admonish the witnesses properly.
19 It is true a witness can do something
20 contrary to the admonitions. This just happened to
21 be a series of witnesses who all seemed to have done
22 the same thing with each other, which is call each
23 other either before or after their testimony.
24 And there were two particularly egregious
25 instances of witnesses calling immediately after
26 their testimony was over to discuss their testimony
27 with the upcoming witness, and that was Miss
28 Palanker calling Mr. Masada, and then Dr. Katz 5505
1 calling Mr. Feldman.
2 And that seemed to be such an egregious
3 breach — there had already been notice of this with
4 the witnesses talking to each other, Dickerman and
5 Katz, and — I’m sorry, Palanker and Masada, and by
6 the time we got to Dr. Katz calling Mr. Feldman, it
7 seem to me that that was just too much. And anybody
8 who’s managing these witnesses and preparing them to
9 come in here should have had a very large shot fired
10 over their bow by virtue of this conduct and should
11 have admonished their witnesses.
12 So I feel that it does taint their testimony
13 when you have two people who are critical witnesses,
14 according to the prosecution, like Dr. Katz and Mr.
15 Feldman, for instance, who are talking about
16 testimony that very seriously impairs the integrity
17 of the process that the Court is trying to preserve.
18 And therefore, we feel that a mistrial is the only
19 appropriate remedy.
20 How can the jury otherwise consider this
21 evidence as it should have been presented without
22 being tainted by other witnesses?
23 If the Court were to deny that, then we did
24 propose a curative instruction, and we would ask the
25 Court to take that action at the very least.
26 Thank you.
27 THE COURT: Who’s speaking on behalf of the
28 D.A.? 5506
Here is Sneddon’s reply to Sanger’s argument (and here is a copy of his pleading opposing a mistrial):
1 MR. SNEDDON: Judge, we filed a response in
2 written form, and I don’t intend to go through it.
3 It’s in there. And I’ll simply point out that
4 unfortunately if Mr. Sanger — there is nothing in
5 this record that shows that they were talking about
6 their testimony in this case.
7 And particularly in the case of Mrs.
8 Palanker talking to Jamie Masada, it wasn’t the
9 subject of the testimony that was the subject of the
10 conversation. It was the subject of the behavior of
11 the lawyer that was cross-examining her.
12 And I’d submit to the Court there is nothing
13 improper about what these witnesses have done, nor
14 showing that they discussed their testimony. Some
15 of the conversations, the one involved a request
16 from one lawyer to the other as to knowledge of
17 whether or not there had been an attorney-client
18 waiver and that was post-testimonial. It was an
19 after-the-fact. And it seems to me that certainly
20 one lawyer has a right, when they’re both involved
21 in a case, to find out whether there was a waiver or
23 I’ll submit it on the basis of the other
24 information that we provided to the Court from the
25 transcripts and the authorities.
26 THE COURT: The motion for mistrial is
28 The record is clear that there has been some 5507
1 conversation between witnesses. And I’ve asked
2 counsel, both sides, to admonish their witnesses
3 that — before and after their testimony, unless
4 they’re excused, that they are not to discuss —
5 well, what I’ve admonished is that they are bound by
6 the protective order before their testimony and
7 after, unless they’re excused.
8 I don’t — in looking at the record, I don’t
9 see evidence that they violated the protective
10 order. That exists — the lack of that evidence is
11 that neither side pursued it with any detail as to
12 what the discussions were. But I don’t think that
13 would prevent the defense from commenting in their
14 argument, if they wanted to, about the fact that
15 they had been discussing their testimony with each
17 And whether or not I’ll give a special
18 instruction on that I’ll put off until we decide all
19 of our instructions. I’m not leaning in the
20 direction of giving a special instruction in view of
21 the lack of evidence that there was specific
22 conversations about their testimony, but I also am
23 not willing to say I won’t give that, and we still
24 have a long way to go in this trial and a lot of
25 witnesses in front of us.
26 So I’ll take that issue up on a discussion,
27 Mr. Sanger, on the — on whatever — you may submit
28 the same or different instructions when you submit 5508
1 your final instructions.
2 And that will be my ruling on that.
The second request was the D.A.’s request for mandatory judicial notice of statuses, due to the defense’s constant questioning of prosecution’s witnesses regarding their interviews with police being taped (thus implying that the police may have engaged in misconduct by surreptitiously recording them without permission), and their knowledge of the legality of owning pornography. The prosecution wanted Judge Melville to inform the jury of the full meaning and letter of the law regarding those matters, as a way to preemptively prevent the defense from broaching those matters in the future:
3 The next item would be the D.A.’s request
4 for mandatory judicial notice of statutes.
5 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: There’s a discussion as to
6 whether or not counsel is prepared on this.
7 MR. SANGER: Hold on. You don’t need to —
8 unless we’re addressing the Court, we don’t need to
9 have that….
10 THE COURT: You know, I can just cut this
12 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: That’s fine.
13 THE COURT: I don’t think I’m going to give
14 any instruction on this at this time. Whether or
15 not I’ll give it in the final group of instructions
16 will depend on our discussions at that time.
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay. I guess our request
18 is just based upon the fact that there has been
19 numerous questions asked and numerous answers given
20 concerning these areas of the law, and I do think
21 it’s important that the jury does ultimately
22 understand the letter of the law, particularly with
23 regard to the recording, the surreptitious
24 recording of conversations, and that it is legal for
25 police officers to surreptitiously record
27 So I don’t mind addressing that when we get
28 into instructions, but we will be making that same 5509
1 motion at that time.
2 THE COURT: You may submit those. I don’t
3 think it’s a time to give special instructions on
4 that. I do give some instructions as we go along.
5 I don’t think these are ones that I would give at
6 this time.
7 And Mr. Sanger, that’s, I assume,
8 satisfactory with you?
9 MR. SANGER: Yes, Your Honor.
The next motion was the motion to prohibit the testimony of 1108 witnesses for failure to comply with Penal Code Section 1054.7. That code requires that the prosecution properly provide the defense with prior bad acts evidence and discovery, and to disclose exculpatory evidence. According to the defense, the prosecution did neither for any of the following witnesses: Kris kallman, Adrian McManus, Ralph Chacon, June Chandler, Charlie Michaels, Philip Lamarque, Oretta Murdock, and Charmayne Sternberg.
10 THE COURT: The motion to prohibit testimony
11 of 1108 witnesses for failure to comply with Penal
12 Code Section 1054.7, do you wish to address that?
13 MR. SANGER: Well, I think the Court is
14 taking this up now one at a time.
15 THE COURT: I am.
16 MR. SANGER: And so as long as the Court is
17 cognizant of that, I don’t think we need a ruling
18 right now. But we are confronted with a number of
19 witnesses for whom we have not received reports
20 until the very last second, and it’s causing a
21 problem. It’s caused a problem today.
The next motion was the defense’s objection to admission of 1108 and 1101 evidence. (Here’s the prosecution’s response; check out the scathing sarcasm directed at Jackson!)
22 THE COURT: All right. The next one is the
23 objection to admission of 1108 and 1101 evidence.
24 And I feel that was adequately argued back when we
25 were arguing about whether or not I would allow the
26 1108 and 1101 evidence, and I don’t see that any new
27 issues have been raised there, so I’ll deny that
28 objection. It’s made a matter of the record, which 5510
1 is what I think you intended there.
2 In my counting of all the things that were
3 pending that are still out there, that would only
4 leave one thing that’s still out there that hasn’t
5 been dealt with, which was the supplemental
6 declaration that I’d asked for from Miss Yu, which
7 she provided me with, I’m sure she provided you
8 with. This is a matter of statutorily sealed
9 declarations. And I still have — I’m still dealing
10 with that. I’m not prepared to hear anything
11 further on it. And I’m not prepared to make any
12 rulings on it. That’s not something I’ve had time
13 to deal with, but I just wanted everyone to know
14 that I know that’s still out there.
15 And then I was going to ask you if there is
16 anything else that I don’t have on my list.
Next, Sneddon wanted to get an update on the admissibility of the computers of Mark Geragos’s private investigator Brad Miller, and Jackson’s secretary Evvy Tavasci:
17 MR. SNEDDON: Judge, the only thing that I
18 have — well, the only thing I have is if I could
19 ask the Court, do we have some kind of an update
20 with regard to the computers, the Brad Miller
21 computer and the Evvy Tavasci computer? And I say
22 that to the Court because I’m estimating that we’re
23 getting — not close, but I can see the light at the
24 end of the tunnel with regard to us resting our
25 case, and we’d certainly like to have access to that
26 information before we do.
27 THE COURT: December or January, something
28 like that? 5511
1 MR. SNEDDON: I think the light’s a little
2 bit brighter than that, Judge.
3 THE COURT: Okay. I wish — you know, the
4 person who’s been helping me with that has been Jed,
5 and he doesn’t — I have not been updated, so I
6 can’t update you.
7 Does counsel have any information?
8 MR. SANGER: The information that we have is
9 that as of, I would say, weeks ago, if not a month
10 ago – that’s off the top of my head – but I believe
11 we provided everything we were requested to provide
12 maybe two months ago. And I think what happened
13 next is he was making additional inquiries based on
14 the particular narrowing of the request by the
15 District Attorney, but I have not heard anything
17 THE COURT: Do you know what —
18 MR. SNEDDON: Judge, I have a little
19 different recollection.
20 THE COURT: Okay.
21 MR. SNEDDON: It’s not different, it’s just
22 maybe updated. As I recall the last time that we
23 talked, they had actually done the — Mr. Roden had
24 actually gone through, I believe it was – I may be
25 confused about this – one of them. He had gone
26 through and actually sorted out what the various
27 types that he thought may or may not be privileged
28 and that those were going to be submitted to the 5512
1 Court. And that he was in the process of doing that
2 to the other computer.
3 I don’t really need an update today, but if
4 maybe on Monday we could have Mr. Beebe here and get
5 an update with regard to where we stand on that
6 process, that would be helpful, probably, to both
8 THE COURT: We’ll do that.
9 MR. SNEDDON: That would be fine with me. I
10 just wanted to keep it on the radar screen for you,
11 Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: I’ll ask him about that today,
13 and no later than Monday we’ll address it.
14 MR. SNEDDON: Thank you.
15 THE COURT: All right. Yes?
16 MR. ZONEN: The Court has four different SDT
17 returns in the Court’s possession from Talk America,
18 from Varig Airlines, from Von’s, and from Santa Ynez
19 High School. I’ve consulted with Mr. Mesereau and
20 Mr. Sanger. We are going to agree that those
21 materials turned over to the Court in obedience with
22 those subpoenas can be turned over to the District
23 Attorney’s Office. And we will make copies for both
24 of us and immediately return it to the Court.
25 THE COURT: Is that your agreement?
26 MR. SANGER: Yes, Your Honor.
27 THE COURT: All right. I’ll approve that
28 agreement, and you may collect those items. 5513
1 MR. ZONEN: Thank you very much.
2 THE COURT: Thank you.
3 All right. Then anything else?
4 MR. OXMAN: Your Honor, there’s also some
5 SDT returns from the defense.
6 THE BAILIFF: Can’t hear you.
7 MR. OXMAN: There’s some SDT returns from
8 the defense. Just like permission to copy them.
9 THE COURT: They are subpoenas that come
10 within the area that only you are allowed to see?
11 MR. OXMAN: Correct, Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: All right. Had you sought
13 permission to copy them? Is there a problem, or —
14 MR. OXMAN: No, I don’t think there’s any
15 problem. Just wanted to clarify it and make sure.
16 THE COURT: Okay. Thank you.
17 MR. OXMAN: All right.
18 MR. ZONEN: We’ll agree that our copy can be
19 turned over to us under seal.
20 MR. OXMAN: We’ll remain silent, Your Honor.
21 THE COURT: Court’s in recess.
22 (The proceedings adjourned at 11:25 a.m.)