April 11th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Bob Jones, Stacy Brown, June Chandler, and Dwayne Swingler, Part 4 of 4
The prosecution’s next witness was Dwayne Swingler, a former supervisor at Neverland Ranch who began working there in June 2003. He was asked to whistle on a song for Jackson but declined because he can’t whistle (maybe it could have been “Hollywood Tonight”?), and after meeting Jackson at a recording studio, he was asked to work for Jackson. Here is Swingler’s description of how he met Jackson; pay attention to how Jackson declined to have him travel on the road with him as security once he learned that Swingler was the father of triplets! That’s another example of the loving father that Jackson was; he wanted Swingler to be there for his children!
13 DIRECT EXAMINATION
14 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Swingler.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. What is your current occupation, sir?
18 A. Right now I do stand-in work, movie sets.
19 Q. Okay. And what kind of — stand-in work,
20 what does that —
21 A. Stand in for stars. It’s called second
22 team. They don’t use the stars to get the lights
23 bright. They use stand-ins.
24 Q. I see. During the year 2003, at some point
25 during that year, did you — were you employed by
26 Michael Jackson?
27 A. Yes, sir.
28 Q. Is he the man seated to my right with the 5736
1 long black hair?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 When did you begin working for Mr. Jackson?
5 A. In June of 2003. Early June of 2003.
6 Q. And what was your — what was your
7 assignment for Mr. Jackson?
8 A. Supervisor of Neverland.
9 Q. How did you come to get that position?
10 A. I met Michael at a studio, Marvin Gaye’s
11 studio in Hollywood.
12 Q. What were you doing at the studio?
13 A. My cousin was engineering Michael’s music
14 session, and Michael needed someone to whistle on a
15 track, so my cousin called me and said, “Would you
16 like to come down and whistle on Michael’s track?”
17 And I said, “I can’t whistle that well, but I would
18 love to come down and meet Michael Jackson.”
19 Q. Okay. Are you yourself a musician?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. And you met Mr. Jackson on that date?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Can you tell me about — was that in 2003?
24 A. Yes, it was.
25 Q. About what month was it, if you recall?
26 A. That was probably early — sometime in
28 Q. And how did it come about that you were 5737
1 offered employment?
2 A. I hung out at the studio with Michael and
3 his kids, and Chris Carter, maybe four, five days in
4 a row, three, four days in a row, while they were
5 working on the session.
6 Q. Who did you understand Chris Carter to be?
7 A. Michael’s personal security.
8 Q. And so somebody offered you employment?
9 A. On the last day there, Chris Carter asked me
10 to come outside. So I walked outside with him, and
11 at that time he told me that, you know, “Michael
12 likes you. He would love to bring you aboard. What
13 are you currently doing right now”?
14 Q. Were you available?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did they tell you what type of job they
17 wanted to hire you for?
18 A. Initially they hired me to be security,
19 along with Chris Carter, to travel with Michael.
20 Q. And how did that work out?
21 A. Well, that didn’t work for me because I had
22 triplets. I got three-year-old triplet boys, so….
23 Q. All right. So traveling wasn’t an option?
24 A. No. Actually, Michael was the one who said,
25 “If he has triplet boys, then I don’t want him to be
26 traveling with me all the time.”
27 Q. So you said you became ranch manager?
28 A. Yes. 5738
1 Q. How did that come about?
2 A. I guess Michael suggested to Chris, “If he
3 has triplets, he’ll be away from his kids a lot. So
4 maybe we should offer him another job,” and that’s
5 when supervisor of Neverland came up.
6 Q. So who offered you that position, I guess is
7 my question?
8 A. I guess Michael. But Chris Carter’s the one
9 who told me about the position.
Swingler’s employment at Neverland came to an abrupt halt in August 2003 when he was terminated after 5 or 6 weeks of employment for no specified reason:
10 Q. At some time did you discuss with Mr.
11 Jackson personally your employment?
12 A. I don’t understand the question.
13 Q. Did you ever have a discussion with Mr.
14 Jackson about your employment as ranch manager?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Did he ever discuss with you the terms by
17 which you could be terminated if he was dissatisfied
18 with your work?
19 A. He didn’t discuss with me personally. But
20 Chris Carter and Joe Marcus did.
21 Q. And did you have an understanding about how
22 you could be terminated?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what was that?
25 A. Grounds of giving up information of where
26 Michael Jackson’s whereabouts are, and, you know,
27 there was a rule on the ranch — I don’t know if it
28 came directly from Michael, but, you know, Chris 5739
1 told me and Joe Marcus told me as well, that you can
2 never say no —
3 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
4 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay, let’s just back up a
6 Q. I think what my question is, did you know —
7 did you have some indication from Mr. Jackson as to
8 who had authority to terminate you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And who was that?
11 A. From my understanding, it was only supposed
12 to be Michael Jackson.
13 Q. Okay. At some point during 2003, were you
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Tell me about that. How did that come
18 A. I had —
19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague as to time.
20 THE COURT: I’ll ask you to clarify the time.
21 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Okay.
22 Q. When were you terminated?
23 A. Early August 2003.
24 Q. And how long had you been working at that
25 point for Mr. Jackson?
26 A. Maybe five, six weeks.
27 Q. When did you start work?
28 A. I was hired in the end of April, early May. 5740
1 But I had to go back to Michigan for a couple of
2 weeks, so the hiring process took awhile. You know,
3 background checks, physicals.
4 Q. When did you start going to Neverland?
5 A. In May.
6 Q. In May?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. And when did you start getting a paycheck?
9 A. In June.
10 Q. Okay. And what were you doing there in May?
11 A. I just came out to the ranch to check things
12 out to see the position that I would be, you know,
14 Q. In May, was it understood that you would be
15 the ranch manager?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And did you go up there and receive some
18 instruction from anybody as to what the duties were,
19 in May?
20 A. I received, well, sort of from Joe Marcus,
21 some instruction, but not as much as I did once I
22 started in June.
23 Q. What was Mr. Marcus’s assignment at that
25 A. Ranch manager.
26 Q. So he was ranch manager and you were going
27 to take it over?
28 A. No. Ranch manager, you deal with the 5741
1 majority of the workers outside, the garden, the
2 landscapers, things like that. The carnival, the
3 festival, whatever.
4 Q. What was Joe Marcus doing?
5 A. What do you mean?
6 Q. Well, you said Joe Marcus was ranch manager.
7 A. Right, that was his position. Ranch
8 manager, you deal with all the employees basically
9 outside of the house.
10 Q. And your position was going to be?
11 A. Supervisor. Deal with the employees and
12 Michael and the kids in the house.
13 Q. Oh, in the house?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So house manager?
16 A. House manager.
17 Q. All right. Good.
18 So you began work in June, but you went up
19 there for how many weeks to get some training?
20 A. Not really training, just sort of to come
21 check things out, and to see who — you know, what
22 position I would be taking and where the office was,
23 and things like that.
24 Q. And when was it you were terminated?
25 A. In early August.
26 Q. And how did that come about?
27 A. I had had a meeting with Michael about
28 transferring my position. And I liked working for 5742
1 him. I wanted to work for him somewhere in Los
2 Angeles, because my triplets were only one years old
3 at the time. So I was missing them, them being in
4 Los Angeles and me being here, and me staying the
5 night at Neverland often. Wasn’t working for me.
6 So I had a one-on-one meeting with him to be
8 Q. And how did your termination come about?
9 A. I —
10 Q. Let me ask you this: Were you terminated?
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. And how were you terminated?
13 A. I was terminated by Joe Marcus. He — I
14 arrived at Neverland one morning for work and he
15 told me — he had changed the locks on me. And then
16 I went into — I mean, some — one of the
17 employees — one of my employees in the house told
18 me Joe came to change the locks. And I said, “Why?”
19 And they said, “I don’t know.” And I had already
20 been told by the guard at the gate that Joe —
21 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
22 THE COURT: Sustained.
23 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: So the locks were
24 changed. Did you go talk to Mr. Marcus?
25 A. Yes, I did.
26 Q. What did he tell you?
27 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
28 THE WITNESS: He told – 5743
1 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I can go back to my last
2 question, I guess. I’ll withdraw that question,
3 Your Honor.
4 THE COURT: All right.
5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: And how specifically —
6 I want you to go directly to the answer on this
7 question. How specifically did you learn that you
8 were terminated?
9 A. I —
10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; asked and
12 THE COURT: Overruled.
13 You may answer.
14 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Go ahead.
15 A. I learned directly from Joe Marcus that my
16 services would no longer be needed at Neverland, and
17 that he didn’t have to give me a reason. Because
18 I —
19 Q. You asked him for a reason?
20 A. Yes, I did. I didn’t think I had done
21 anything wrong. Well, I know I hadn’t done anything
23 Q. Okay. So you’d been at Neverland for a
24 little over a month, and you’d worked there for a
25 few weeks before that time as well?
26 A. Well, not worked. But like — I wasn’t
27 getting paid for that time. That was just to come
28 out there and check the ranch out. 5744
In this section, Auchincloss questioned Swingler about his general duties as ranch manager, his observations of any children who slept in Jackson’s bedroom, and the amount of control and influence that Jackson exerted among the ranch (this ties into the “Mafioso” mobster caricature that the prosecution pigeonholed Jackson with regarding the conspiracy charge; they wanted to show the jury that Jackson had a pattern of calling the shots at Neverland):
1 Q. During the time that you were at Neverland,
2 did you have personal interaction with Michael
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On how often a basis?
6 A. If he was there. All the time, if he was
8 Q. More than once a day?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And who was responsible for handling Mr.
11 Jackson’s appointments while he was on the ranch?
12 A. At Neverland, I would take the — all the
13 phone calls. It didn’t matter who it was calling;
14 mother, father, business person.
15 Q. So if he had an appointment for a day, would
16 you take that — would that be part of your duties?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. To schedule those appointments?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you have occasion to observe visitors of
21 Mr. Jackson that were child visitors?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you see child visitors spend the night
24 at Neverland?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. Did you see child visitors spend the night
27 in Mr. Jackson’s room?
28 A. Yes. 5745
1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; and
2 violates the Court’s order.
3 THE COURT: Sustained.
4 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Who did you see visit
5 Mr. Jackson who was a child visitor?
6 MR. MESEREAU: I’m going to object.
7 Violates the Court’s order.
8 THE COURT: Sustained.
9 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: When you were at
10 Neverland, did you interact with Mr. Jackson about
11 issues dealing with activities on the ranch?
12 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.
13 THE COURT: Overruled.
14 THE WITNESS: Issues dealing with activity on
15 the ranch?
16 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Well, whatever — let’s
17 back up. What were your duties as house manager?
18 A. To answer all the phone calls. To, you
19 know, schedule the maids. To help the maids out
20 with cleaning rooms and suites. And basically to,
21 you know, take care of whatever Michael and the kids
23 Q. And in terms of the day-to-day issues in
24 terms of running the ranch, can you characterize
25 how — Mr. Jackson’s degree of involvement?
26 A. As far as — I mean —
27 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague; and
28 relevance. 5746
1 THE COURT: Overruled.
2 You may answer.
3 THE WITNESS: Mr. Jackson is in total charge
4 of the ranch.
5 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Why do you say that?
6 A. Well, when I was terminated, because of my
7 previous conversation with Chris Carter that only
8 Michael Jackson could terminate me, I called Evvy,
9 which is Michael’s personal assistant —
10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;
12 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: That’s fine.
13 MR. MESEREAU: And relevant as to time.
14 THE COURT: Sustained.
15 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: So when you were on the
16 ranch, did you have occasion to see Mr. Jackson in
17 terms of making orders at the ranch?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did he make orders?
20 A. Yes. He made some to me.
21 MR. MESEREAU: Continuing relevance
22 objection, Your Honor, as to time.
23 THE COURT: Time?
24 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: During the time that
25 you were ranch manager, during that five-week
27 A. Yes.
28 MR. MESEREAU: That’s the objection, Your 5747
1 Honor. The time period’s irrelevant.
2 THE COURT: All right. That’s overruled.
3 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Go ahead. You can
4 answer that question.
5 A. Yes, I observed it. He made some to me
7 Q. Did you have occasion to see individuals,
8 his other employees, in terms of their relationship
9 with Mr. Jackson?
10 A. Meaning like Joe Marcus and Grace and those?
11 Q. I mean — let’s talk about your employees.
12 Did you have employees that were working under you
13 as house manager?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who?
16 A. Cooks?
17 Q. Yeah, just generally speaking.
18 A. Cooks, housekeepers, maids.
19 Q. Okay. And had some of these people been
20 working at the ranch longer than you had?
21 A. Yes. The majority of — all of them.
22 Q. And did you have occasion to see their
23 interaction with Mr. Jackson?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what level of service did Mr. Jackson
27 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance; vague;
28 no foundation. 5748
1 THE COURT: It’s vague; sustained.
2 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Can you characterize
3 the demeanor of the employees around Mr. Jackson
4 when they were in his presence?
5 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague; relevance.
6 Particularly the time period.
7 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’ll be specific.
8 Q. During the time you were ranch manager, or
9 house manager.
10 MR. MESEREAU: Same objection.
11 THE COURT: Overruled.
12 THE WITNESS: Can you ask me the question
14 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Yeah. My question is,
15 can you characterize the demeanor — how did these
16 people act, these employees, when they were around
17 Mr. Jackson in his presence?
18 A. I mean, they act like they liked him. Mr.
19 Jackson was nice to people.
20 Q. Did they act like they’d speak their mind
21 around him?
22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
23 THE COURT: Sustained.
24 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did they act — did
25 they act comfortable around him?
26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; vague;
27 relevance; and foundation.
28 THE COURT: Sustained. 5749
1 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Do you know if — do
2 you know if Mr. Jackson would fire people at
4 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation;
6 THE COURT: Foundation; sustained.
7 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Well, you yourself were
8 fired; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Do you know who fired you?
11 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; asked and
13 THE COURT: Sustained.
14 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Who — when you were
15 working with Mr. Jackson, did you have occasion to
16 see individuals who were employees of his that were
17 closer than other employees?
18 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague; leading;
19 relevance; foundation.
20 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection, Counsel’s
21 fishing for a reason to object to that question.
22 MR. MESEREAU: I object to the colloquy,
23 move to strike.
24 THE COURT: I’ll sustain the “vague”
25 objection to that question.
26 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you see
27 employees — did you see any employees that spent
28 more time with Mr. Jackson than other employees? 5750
1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; vague;
2 foundation; and relevance.
3 THE COURT: Overruled.
4 You may answer.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did.
6 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you see — well,
7 let’s go ahead and make a list. Who did you see
8 that spent more time with Mr. Jackson than other
10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance;
11 foundation; vague.
12 THE COURT: Overruled.
13 You may answer.
14 THE WITNESS: Vase — Grace, I’m sorry.
15 Grace, Chris Carter. Those are the two that I think
16 spent most of the time with Mr. Jackson.
17 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you ever see an
18 individual visit the ranch by the name of Dieter
20 A. I would have to see a picture to be sure.
21 MR. MESEREAU: Could we approach, Your
22 Honor? We’d like a proffer.
23 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Be happy to make one.
24 THE COURT: I don’t really need that. I —
25 it’s clear to me where….
26 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I show you People’s
27 Exhibit No. 17, Mr. Swingler. Can you identify that
28 for me, please? 5751
1 A. I can’t say I’ve seen that gentleman.
2 Q. You haven’t seen him?
3 A. No.
Next, Auchincloss became extremely agitated that Swingler didn’t have a recollection of Dieter Weisner and Rondald Konitzer, even after he was shown photos of them. Auchincloss asked Swingler to try to identify them multiple times, and just gave up and ended his direct examination after Swingler couldn’t identify them.
I must say that out of all of the prosecution witnesses who have testified so far, Swingler’s testimony was the most useless and pointless (thus far! Remember, Janet Arvizo hasn’t testified yet!), because he offered nothing inculpatory against Jackson that would even remotely sway the jury in favor of a conviction!
4 Q. Did you see — did you previously have a
5 conversation with Detective Bonner about the facts
6 of this case?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. And in that conversation, did you
9 identify — just a moment, if you would, please.
10 Did you identify a number of individuals
11 that you thought were within Michael Jackson’s inner
13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; and
15 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: It’s impeachment.
16 THE COURT: Sustained.
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I’m sorry?
18 THE COURT: It’s vague.
19 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you identify Dieter
20 Weizner as a member of Michael Jackson’s inner
22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; and
24 THE COURT: Overruled.
25 You may answer.
26 THE WITNESS: In my conversation with
27 Detective Bonner?
28 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: With Detective Bonner, 5752
1 did you not identify Dieter Weizner specifically as
2 a member of Michael Jackson’s inner circle?
3 A. I can’t — I can’t really recall, because I
4 don’t know the face. I never seen the face before.
5 The name I know. The face I don’t.
6 Q. Do you know the name Dieter Weizner?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you meet a man by the name of Dieter
10 A. Looking at the face —
11 Q. I’m not asking you about the face.
12 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. He’s arguing with
13 the witness. Leading and foundation.
14 THE COURT: Overruled.
15 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you meet a man by
16 the name of Dieter Weizner?
17 A. I can’t remember.
18 Q. Did you meet a man — well —
19 A. Like I say, the name sounds familiar. I
20 know I’ve heard the name. Maybe I spoke with him on
21 the phone a few times there, but the face didn’t —
22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Calls for
23 speculation; move to strike; nonresponsive.
24 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you meet a man by
25 the name of Ronald Konitzer?
26 THE COURT: There’s an objection pending.
27 THE BAILIFF: Judge, can you turn the
28 microphone on? 5753
1 THE COURT: All right. The objection is
2 overruled. And you had another question. Go ahead.
3 Q. BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Did you meet a man by
4 the name of Ronald Konitzer?
5 A. I can’t — by the name — I would have to
6 see a picture.
7 Q. Did you meet two German businessmen?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did they meet with Mr. Jackson?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. On how many occasions?
12 A. Three or four.
13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Thank you. I have no
14 further questions.
15 THE COURT: Cross-examine?
Under cross examination, Swingler established that he had no idea exactly how many meetings Jackson had with Weisner and Konitzer because he wasn’t in those meetings! Mesereau objected to his Swinger’s answer and tried to have it stricken from the record, but his objection was denied by Judge Melville.
18 BY MR. MESEREAU:
19 Q. Good afternoon.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. My name’s Tom Mesereau. I speak for Mr.
23 A. How you doing, sir?
24 Q. Good. Good. We’ve never spoken before,
26 A. No.
27 Q. You worked for a five-week period?
28 A. Four and a half, five weeks, yes, sir. 5754
1 Q. Four and a half, five weeks. How many days
2 a week did you work?
3 A. Six or seven.
4 Q. And the prosecutor asked you about how many
5 meetings Mr. Jackson had with two German
6 individuals, right?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. Do you really know how many meetings there
10 A. Around, I’m guessing, three to four.
11 MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Move to strike the
12 testimony, Your Honor.
13 THE COURT: Denied.
14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You’re guessing three to
15 four, but you don’t really know, right?
16 A. No, I couldn’t say. I couldn’t pinpoint it.
17 I wasn’t —
18 Q. You weren’t in the meetings, right?
19 A. No.
20 Q. You don’t remember what they looked like,
22 A. I do remember what they looked like if I saw
23 a picture of them, yes.
24 Q. Well, the picture the prosecutor showed you,
25 you couldn’t identify, right?
26 A. Yes, sir.
Let’s face it guys, so far Swingler seems like a pretty straightforward, trustworthy, and reputable kind of guy, right? Well, unfortunately, he is about to show his true colors! Like most people who came in Jackson’s life, he tried to profit from his 6 weeks of employment by writing a book! He tried to pretend like he wasn’t trying to write one, but it’s clearly obvious that he was!
The sleazy tabloid News of the World (which thankfully went under in July 2011 after the infamous phone hacking scandal) got their slimy hands on Swingler and put the idea into his head to write a book, and he rationalized it because he had not been paid for some of his work at Neverland. Swingler was so pathetic that he didn’t even type his manuscript on a computer; he merely wrote them down in a notebook!
27 Q. Okay. Now, you wanted to be transferred to
28 Los Angeles; is that correct? 5755
1 A. Yes. Yes, sir.
2 Q. And did you tell — excuse me, who did you
3 talk to about the transfer?
4 A. Mr. Jackson.
5 Q. Okay. And you explained that the commute
6 and the hours were just too much to raise your
8 A. I just wasn’t seeing my kids, and they were
9 one years old.
10 Q. And did you ask Mr. Jackson to be
11 transferred somewhere in Los Angeles?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. And where was that?
14 A. I just asked him to be transferred to any
15 business in Los Angeles that he had.
16 Q. But you really didn’t even know if there was
17 a job available in Los Angeles, right?
18 A. No, that’s why I was asking.
19 Q. Okay. Right. Okay. And approximately when
20 did you ask him; do you know?
21 A. Maybe three weeks into the job.
22 Q. Okay. And Mr. Jackson was always nice to
23 you, wasn’t he?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. And as far as you know, there may not have
26 been a job available in Los Angeles, right?
27 A. He told me there was one.
28 Q. He told you there was one? 5756
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Where did he say?
3 A. A&R, his record label.
4 Q. Pardon me?
5 A. A&R of his record label.
6 Q. Had you ever worked at a record label
8 A. No, I hadn’t.
9 Q. All right. But at some point you learned
10 that you weren’t being hired, right?
11 A. No. As a matter of fact, I saw Michael
12 again at his birthday party in Los Angeles and he
13 told me I was still hired.
14 Q. Okay. But it never came through, right?
15 A. No, I’m still waiting for my paycheck now.
16 Q. Okay. You’re trying to write a book about
17 your experiences at Neverland, correct?
18 A. Well, no, I’m not trying to write a book
19 about my experiences at Neverland.
20 Q. Well, didn’t you — excuse me. Did you say
21 Michael Jackson has a record label?
22 A. He told me he had a record label.
23 Q. Okay. Do you know that he doesn’t have one?
24 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; assumes facts.
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you know whether or not
27 he really has a record label?
28 A. I was just told by him he had a record 5757
2 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you prepared notes
3 for a book called “Entering Neverland, Secrets
4 Behind the Gate,” right?
5 A. Does it have my signature on it? Because I
6 know that within the last month or two, I started
7 jotting down information to myself and somehow my
8 information come up missing out of my house, but
10 Q. Did you prepare notes for a book titled
11 “Entering Neverland, Secrets Behind the Gate” —
12 A. No.
13 Q. — “By Dwayne Swingler, Head Supervisor of
14 Neverland Ranch, Summer of 2003,” did you prepare
16 A. No.
17 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; asked and
19 THE COURT: Overruled. The answer is, “No.”
20 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Are you aware of anything
21 like that?
22 A. No.
23 Q. You didn’t —
24 A. Am I aware of it? What do you mean?
25 Q. Yeah. Have you written out anything for a
26 book called “Entering Neverland, Secrets Behind the
27 Gate, by Dwayne Swingler”?
28 A. No, I haven’t written anything, or titled 5758
1 anything, or signed anything, or spoke to anybody
2 about, “This is my deal.”
3 Q. Have you talked to a group called News of
4 the World?
5 A. Have I?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Yeah, I spoke with one lady one time, yes.
8 Q. And to your knowledge, who is News of the
10 A. To my knowledge, it’s a news media overseas.
11 Q. And why were you speaking to them?
12 A. Because I was interested in maybe possibly
13 writing down some information to — to cash in on
14 something like everybody else was, because Michael
15 wasn’t — I hadn’t received the paycheck from A&R at
16 the time.
17 Q. Okay. Did you enter into a nondisclosure
18 agreement with News of the World?
19 A. No, I did not.
20 Q. Have you ever seen one?
21 A. No, I did not.
22 Q. Did you ever talk to someone named David
24 A. The same time I spoke with the News of the
25 World lady, he’s the one that contacted her and
26 contacted me.
27 Q. And to your knowledge, who is David
28 Han-Schmidt? 5759
1 A. He said that he was a media agent. I don’t
2 even know how he got my phone number.
3 Q. When did you last talk to David Han-Schmidt?
4 A. He — as a matter of fact, he called me
6 Q. And to your knowledge, is he with a public
7 relations company?
8 A. I really don’t know what he did. He never
9 clarified that with me. He said he was an agent, he
10 was a producer, he was in public relations. I
11 basically ended the situation.
12 Q. To your knowledge, did anyone ever send you
13 a nondisclosure agreement regarding News of the
15 A. No. I haven’t signed any nondisclosure
16 agreements, and I haven’t taken any money from
18 Q. How many discussions have you had with David
20 A. Three. Four. Can’t remember.
21 Q. And when was the last one with him? Today?
22 A. He called me today, because he said he heard
23 that I was coming to testify.
24 Q. Okay. Have you ever put together any notes
25 for a possible book on the computer?
26 A. Excuse me?
27 Q. Have you ever put any notes for a possible
28 book on your computer? 5760
1 A. No, I haven’t.
2 Q. Have you ever written any notes out for a
3 possible book?
4 A. I told you I jotted down some information on
5 a piece of paper, and that’s all I’ve done.
6 Q. Did you ever ask any public relations person
7 to put together a proposal for you?
8 A. No, I haven’t.
9 Q. But you’re thinking of doing it, right, like
10 everybody else?
11 A. Yes, I was thinking about doing it.
12 Q. Okay. Okay. Have you ever seen — excuse
13 me. Has anyone ever brought to your attention that
14 somebody has prepared notes for a possible book in
15 your name?
16 A. David.
17 Q. David Han-Schmidt?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did he prepare them, to your knowledge?
20 A. He just said he received papers. I don’t
21 know — like I told you, I don’t even know how he
22 got my phone number.
23 Q. Okay. If I showed you these papers, might
24 it refresh your recollection about where they came
26 A. No, it probably wouldn’t, because I never
27 typed any papers or wrote out — the only thing I
28 did was write down notes, jotted down notes on a 5761
1 piece of paper.
2 Q. Okay. And that was about your experience
3 during the five weeks at Neverland?
4 A. That was about my experience totally, not
5 just the five weeks at Neverland. That was my
6 experience with Michael’s manager and everything.
7 Q. Okay. Did you ever write down on those
8 notes the words “Secrets Behind the Gate”?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. Okay. Did David Han-Schmidt tell you how he
11 got your name?
12 A. No, he did not.
13 Q. Okay. Did you ever ask him, “Why did you
14 call me?”
15 A. Well, actually, he started the conversation
16 off, and he just, whew, went straight to talking
17 about a lot of money, so I was listening to him
18 about a lot of money first.
19 Q. Did he promise you a lot of money?
20 A. That’s what he promised, yes.
21 Q. Okay. How much money did he promise?
22 A. He never said figures. He just said, you
23 know, “You can make a lot of money.” You know, “Why
24 aren’t you telling anyone your story?” That’s what
25 he said to me.
26 Q. It’s your understanding that he’s located in
27 Phoenix, Arizona?
28 A. Yes. That’s where he said he’s from. 5762
1 Q. Okay. Did he ever tell you he was going to
2 prepare a possible manuscript for you?
3 A. He asked me would I like him to, and I said
4 no. Like I told you, I terminated the conversation
5 when he told me what he wanted to do.
Here’s something that will surely give all Michael Jackson fans around the world a hearty laugh: the News of the World journalist David Han-Schmidt told Swingler that he was “pro-Jackson” and wanted to write a positive book about Jackson with Swingler’s help! Give me a damned break!
6 Q. Okay. And did he want some scandal sheet
7 about Michael, something like that?
8 A. Actually, he’s for Michael. He’s pro
10 Q. Did he want you to write something about
12 A. He wanted to speak on Michael’s behalf, yes.
13 Q. Okay. And how often — in those three
14 conversations, did you talk about money each time?
15 A. No, I did not.
16 Q. Okay. Have you ever spoken to Miss Carol
17 Maung, M-a-u-n-g, who is the U.S. editor of News of
18 the World?
19 A. I spoke with her. I spoke with her when she
20 was with David when I got there.
21 Q. And did she fax you anything or e-mail you
23 A. Fax me anything or e-mail me anything?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. No, sir.
While at Neverland, Swingler had no contact whatsoever with the Arvizo family because they left Neverland for the last time almost 2 months before Swingler even met Jackson! This makes you wonder what type of inculpatory information did Sneddon expect Swingler to have against Jackson? I’m sure it was the failed book deal that got Sneddon’s attention and whetted his appetite!
26 Q. Okay. All right. When you were at
27 Neverland working —
28 A. Yes. 5763
1 Q. — you had no direct contact with any member
2 of the Arvizo family, right?
3 A. The Arvizo family?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. No, sir.
6 Q. That means you didn’t have any contact with
7 the Arvizos?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. Do you remember meeting Dominick
10 Cascio at Neverland?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. And he’s the — did you speak to him?
13 A. Often.
14 Q. Okay. And to your knowledge, he’s a father?
15 A. He’s a father?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. I didn’t know he was a father.
18 Q. Okay. Did he ever talk to you about work he
20 A. Did Dominick ever talk to me about work he
22 Q. Yeah.
23 A. Some work at the restaurant that his family
25 MR. MESEREAU: Okay. I have no further
26 questions, Your Honor.
27 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Counsel?
28 (Off-the-record discussion held at counsel 5764
2 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Maybe we should approach.
3 Your Honor, may we approach?
4 THE COURT: For what?
5 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Concerning the materials
6 that counsel is using to cross-examine the witness
8 THE COURT: All right.
9 (Discussion held off the record at sidebar.)
10 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: If I could just have a
11 moment, Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: Yes.
13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: I think I can finish with
14 this witness, Your Honor. Just one question.
Auchincloss had one last question for Swingler under redirect-examination: he wanted to establish to the jury that David Schmidt ran a pro-Jackson website, which may lend some credibility to his claim of wanting to write a positive book about Jackson (with Swingler’s help), but then it begs the question of why would Sneddon want anyone who is pro-Jackson testifying against Jackson? Like I said, I truly believe that Swingler was the most useless prosecution victim that was called thus far in the trial!
16 REDIRECT EXAMINATION
17 BY MR. AUCHINCLOSS:
18 Q. Mr. Swingler, do you know if David Schmidt
19 has any affiliation with Michael Jackson?
20 A. I just know that he has a website; that
21 he’s, you know, pro Michael Jackson.
22 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: All right. Thank you.
23 I have no further questions.
24 MR. MESEREAU: No further questions, Your
26 THE COURT: All right. Thank you. You may
27 step down.
28 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir. 5765
Summary of Dwayne Swingler’s testimony:
1. Dwayne Swingler met Jackson in April 2003 during a studio session. After being around Jackson and his entourage for several days, he was offered a chance to travel with Jackson on the road, but when Jackson learned that Swingler had triplet sons, he suggested that Swingler work at Neverland instead so that he would be able to spend more time with his children.
2. Swingler began work as a ranch supervisor at Neverland in May 2003, but was fired in August 2003 without notice. He requested to be transferred to Los Angeles so that he could be closer to his sons, but instead he was terminated abruptly.
3. Auchincloss questioned Swingler about his general duties as ranch manager, his observations of any children who slept in Jackson’s bedroom, and the amount of control and influence that Jackson exerted among the ranch (this ties into the “Mafioso” mobster caricature that the prosecution pigeonholed Jackson with regarding the conspiracy charge; they wanted to show the jury that Jackson had a pattern of calling the shots at Neverland).
4. Auchincloss became extremely agitated that Swingler didn’t have a recollection of Dieter Weisner and Rondald Konitzer, even after he was shown photos of them. Auchincloss asked Swingler to try to identify them multiple times, and just gave up and ended his direct examination after Swingler couldn’t identify them.
5. Under cross examination, Swingler established that he had no idea exactly how many meetings Jackson had with Weisner and Konitzer because he wasn’t in those meetings! Mesereau objected to his Swinger’s answer and tried to have it stricken from the record, but his objection was denied by Judge Melville.
6. So far Swingler seems like a pretty straightforward, trustworthy, and reputable kind of guy, right? Well, unfortunately, he is about to show his true colors! Like most people who came in Jackson’s life, he tried to profit from his 6 weeks of employment by writing a book! He tried to pretend like he wasn’t trying to write one, but it’s clearly obvious that he was!
The sleazy tabloid News of the World (which thankfully went under in July 2011) got their slimy hands on Swingler and put the idea into his head to write a book, and he rationalized it because he had not been paid for some of his work at Neverland. Swingler was so pathetic that he didn’t even type his manuscript on a computer; he merely wrote them down in a notebook!
7. Here’s something that will surely give all Michael Jackson fans around the world a hearty laugh: the News of the World journalist David Han-Schmidt told Swingler that he was “pro-Jackson” and wanted to write a positive book about Jackson with Swingler’s help! Give me a damned break!
8. While at Neverland, Swingler had no contact whatsoever with the Arvizo family because they left Neverland for the last time almost 2 months before Swingler even met Jackson! This makes you wonder what type of inculpatory information did Sneddon expect Swingler to have against Jackson? I’m sure it was the failed book deal that got Sneddon’s attention and whetted his appetite!
9. Auchincloss had one last question for Swingler under redirect-examination: he wanted to establish to the jury that David Schmidt ran a pro-Jackson website, which may lend some credibility to his claim of wanting to write a positive book about Jackson (with Swingler’s help), but then it begs the question of why would Sneddon want anyone who is pro-Jackson testifying against Jackson? Like I said, I truly believe that Swingler was the most useless prosecution victim that was called thus far in the trial!
After a long day, Sneddon tried to add some levity to the courtroom to help ease the tension and send everyone home on a high note:
1 THE COURT: Do you have another witness?
2 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: (To Mr. Sneddon) Go
4 MR. SNEDDON: You.
5 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Do you want me to do it?
7 MR. SNEDDON: We’re trying to figure out
8 which one of us should take responsibility for
9 telling you “No.”
11 MR. SNEDDON: And being the great delegator
12 I am, I’m leaving it up to Gordon.
13 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: We have no further
14 witnesses, Your Honor. We just anticipated that
15 there would be — it would take a little longer to
16 get through these witnesses today.
17 THE COURT: All right. There’s a couple of
18 items that we can take up. I’ll go ahead and excuse
19 the jury.
20 (To the jury) Remember the admonitions I’ve
21 given you and I’ll see you tomorrow morning at 8:30.
22 But it’s a half day tomorrow, remember. How could
23 you forget, right?
Judge Melville had some issues to discuss with the attorneys outside the presence of the jury.
25 (The following proceedings were held in
26 open court outside the presence and hearing of the
1 THE COURT: All right. First, there was —
2 my understanding is that the special master will
3 have the report available tomorrow morning for you
4 on the computer hard drives.
5 MR. SNEDDON: On both of them, Your Honor?
6 THE COURT: Yes. They’re working on some
7 last-minute details. So it will be available
8 tomorrow morning.
9 MR. SNEDDON: Now, at that point, then, Your
10 Honor, does it need to go to you for final decision,
11 or is that the decision?
12 THE COURT: I don’t know. I haven’t read
13 the report. I was handed a rough draft of one by my
14 research attorney this morning — well, not this
15 morning, a few minutes ago. And I asked him to talk
16 to Mr. Sanger about an issue. So I can’t answer
17 your question.
18 MR. SNEDDON: Okay.
19 THE COURT: I suspect it doesn’t need to go
20 beyond what’s been done by the special master, so —
21 MR. SNEDDON: Okay.
22 THE COURT: But I won’t know till I’ve looked
23 at it.
24 The second thing is that both of you have
25 submitted points and authorities on Janet Arvizo.
26 The District Attorney’s I’ve read.
27 And I just received the defense, so I
28 haven’t had time to read yours. 5767
1 When do you expect to call Janet Arvizo?
2 MR. ZONEN: Either tomorrow or Wednesday.
3 Depending on if we finish the witnesses scheduled
4 before her tomorrow. If not —
5 THE COURT: They can’t hear behind you.
6 (To the audience) He said either tomorrow
7 or Wednesday.
8 MR. ZONEN: As early as tomorrow.
9 THE COURT: As early as tomorrow.
10 Okay. Well, I’m not really prepared to deal
11 with that issue. We’ll have to deal with it before
12 she’s called, but I’ll need to study the material
13 you’ve given me, the defense has given me.
14 MR. ZONEN: Thank you.
15 THE COURT: Was there anything else pending?
16 MR. SANGER: On that issue, Your Honor, as I
17 explained to you, as I explained to your clerk, we
18 were served with their papers this morning. We
19 thought they might call Ms. Arvizo today.
20 THE COURT: Right.
21 MR. SANGER: So we put something together
22 very quickly, and I would like to have an
23 opportunity to explain to the Court a little more,
24 in a little more organized fashion, where this goes,
25 now that we’ve had a few more minutes to think about
27 THE COURT: I’ll make sure you have that
28 opportunity. 5768
1 MR. SANGER: Okay. Thank you.
2 THE COURT: All right. Then we’ll recess
3 until tomorrow morning.
4 (The proceedings adjourned at 2:30 p.m.)