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May 4th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Rudy Provencio (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 1 of 4

July 26, 2014

Before the jury was seated, Judge Melville issued rulings on certain statements that were told by others to Rudy Provencio that the prosecution wanted admitted as evidence against Jackson:

 

1 Santa Maria, California

2 Wednesday, May 4, 2005

3 8:30 a.m.

4

5 (The following proceedings were held in

6 open court outside the presence and hearing of the

7 jury:)

8

9 THE COURT: Good morning, everyone.

10 The Court has received the memorandum

11 concerning the admissibility of statements involving

12 this witness, and this morning received the

13 opposition filed by the defense. Without further

 

14 argument, I’m going to make these rulings.

 

15 The statement — looking at page three of

 

16 the prosecution’s memo and page one of the defense

 

17 memo — actually, I think it’s a little clearer,

 

18 easier to refer to, on the defense memo.

 

19 So number one statement, Vinnie Amen told

 

20 him that signs had been posted at Neverland Ranch

 

21 directing security personnel not to allow the Arvizo

 

22 children to leave the ranch. I’m not going to allow

 

23 him to repeat that hearsay.

 

24 Number two, Vinnie Amen and Marc Schaffel

 

25 used the word “killers.” I am going to allow that.

 

26 Number three, Mr. Amen informed Mr.

 

27 Provencio that a tape-recorder had secretly been

 

28 used. I’m not going to allow that. 8704

1 That Mr. Schaffel informed Provencio that

 

2 Janet Arvizo didn’t want to go to Brazil, wanted to

 

3 leave Neverland, did leave Neverland and that it was

 

4 an escape. I’m breaking that into two parts and I’m

 

5 not allowing the first part, but I will allow him to

 

6 say that Mr. Schaffel informed Mr. Provencio that

 

7 they, the Arvizo family, had escaped.

 

8 So with those rulings, I think we can go

 

9 forward.

10 MR. ZONEN: Any discussion about Brazil at

11 all?

12 THE COURT: Excuse me?

13 MR. ZONEN: Any discussion about his

14 knowledge for Brazil, the family going to Brazil?

15 All of that is out?

16 THE COURT: What I’m ruling on is that

 

17 hearsay statements made to him by Mr. Schaffel that

 

18 she didn’t want to go to Brazil is not admissible.

19 MR. ZONEN: But that the family had escaped

20 is admissible.

21 THE COURT: Yes.

22 MR. ZONEN: Can I have a moment with the

23 witness to make sure he understands the extent of

24 the rulings before we begin?

25 THE COURT: Absolutely. I’m going to leave.

26 And when you’re ready, tell the bailiff and we’ll

27 have the jury brought in.

28 MR. ZONEN: Thank you so much. 8705

1 MR. SANGER: We have another motion that we

2 filed.

3 THE COURT: I’m looking up some law on that

4 motion. I received it this morning.

5 MR. SANGER: Thank you, Your Honor.

6 (Recess taken.)

7 THE COURT: Good morning.

8 COUNSEL AT COUNSEL TABLE: (In unison)

9 Good morning, Your Honor.

10 THE COURT: You may proceed.

11 MR. ZONEN: Thank you, Your Honor.

Zonen began the day’s direct examination by interrogating Provencio on such irrelevant issues as Jackson’s “angry” voice, the nicknames he and Marc Schaffel had for each other, and Jackson’s nickname for money:

17 DIRECT EXAMINATION (Continued)

18 BY MR. ZONEN:

19 Q. Mr. Provencio, good morning.

20 A. Good morning.

21 Q. Did you remember the name of the bank that

22 Neverland Valley Entertainment used during the

23 course of the time that you were employed there?

24 A. Yes, the U.S. Bank.

25 Q. Beverly was, in fact, the person that you

26 dealt with when you worked in conjunction with that

27 bank?

28 A. Yes. 8706

1 Q. I had asked you a few questions about your

2 work in lining up artists for the presentation of

3 the “What More Can I Give?” Were artists that were

4 going to be performing on that song going to be

5 compensated or paid for their performance?

6 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.

7 MR. ZONEN: This is what he was doing.

8 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

9 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: You can answer.

10 A. No, they were not going to be compensated.

11 It was going to be for the next “We are the World”

12 charity single, which was going to be “What More Can

13 I Give?”

14 Q. Did you need Mr. Jackson’s assistance in

15 being able to get those artists to perform?

16 A. Well, yeah. He was on conference calls, and

17 calling the artists, and — like he — like we were

18 in a car and he talked to Britney Spears, with us,

19 on the phone. Stuff like that.

20 Q. All right. Mr. Provencio, you mentioned

21 yesterday, you made a reference to two voices in

22 your discussion about Mr. Jackson. What do you

23 mean?

24 A. Well, there’s the —

25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.

26 THE COURT: Overruled.

27 You may answer.

28 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead. 8707

1 A. There’s the — you know, there’s the voice

2 you hear on television and stuff, and then there’s

3 the upset voice, I guess you could call it. You

4 know, the voice —

5 Q. How are they different?

6 A. Well, one is deeper.

7 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance;

8 foundation.

9 THE COURT: Overruled.

10 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

11 A. One is a deeper voice.

12 Q. And you have heard both of those voices?

13 A. Oh, yeah.

14 Q. Are they uniquely distinct?

15 A. I think so, yes.

16 Q. Did you ever talk with Mr. Jackson about his

17 use of cell phones?

18 A. I just saw him use people’s cell phones.

19 Q. Did you ever see him use his own cell phone?

20 A. I don’t think he owned one.

21 Q. Did you ever have — did you ever have the

22 ability to contact him by cell phone?

23 A. If we needed to get him, like if we were in

24 the office and needed to get ahold of him?

25 Q. Yes.

26 A. We would call the bodyguard or we would call

27 someone that we knew was close to him at that time,

28 because he would travel or he would be someplace, 8708

1 and so we’d have to get ahold of somebody to get

2 ahold of him. So he didn’t have his own cell phone

3 direct.

4 Q. And that was your understanding during the

5 entirety of the time that you —

6 A. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You couldn’t get ahold

7 of him directly. You can’t get ahold of Michael

8 Jackson directly. Like, you know, “bbrring.” “Oh,

9 hi.” You know, it was — you know, it was — you

10 know, you had to go to the bodyguard or you had to

11 go through somebody, and then — you know, that was

12 always my experience.

13 Q. Did he ever make a comment to you about

14 being like fog?

15 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

16 THE COURT: Sustained.

17 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did he ever talk to you about

18 how he liked to travel or move around?

19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

20 THE WITNESS: Well —

21 THE COURT: Overruled.

22 You may answer.

23 THE WITNESS: We were at The Beverly Hills

24 Hotel, and I had made a comment that I liked — I

25 was talking about anonymity —

26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

27 move to strike.

28 MR. ZONEN: I believe it is responsive. 8709

1 THE COURT: All right. Overruled.

2 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

3 A. I was speaking about anonymity, and I

4 remember because I was drinking my Smart Water. And

5 I was talking about anonymity and being in New York

6 and how I loved the fact that I could be anyplace I

7 want, and nobody knows me and I like that feeling,

8 compared to someone like him, where he can’t go

9 anywhere unless he’s dressed up or disguised.

10 And then he had made a comment that he could

11 go places and be like no place, which was like being

12 like fog. It was like a strange reference. But

13 that he would have to be in costume. Like when he

14 was at Universal, he said that he dressed like a

15 clown and walked around in disguise so people — so

16 he wouldn’t be mobbed essentially.

17 Q. Did he explain the term “fog” to you?

18 A. Well, that’s what he said. I don’t — you

19 know, I just thought it was strange.

20 Q. Now, you mentioned that the charities had

21 not been decided as to which charities that were

22 going to be the beneficiaries of this song “What

23 More Can I Give?” At some point in time was it

24 resolved who the beneficiary would be?

25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; relevance.

26 THE COURT: Sustained.

27 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Over the time that you had

28 the opportunity to listen to conversations between 8710

1 Mr. Schaffel and Mr. Jackson, did you ever hear any

2 use of diminutives or nicknames by either of them

3 for the other?

4 A. Just that Marc called him “Arnold.” But

5 they were good friends. I mean, they were buddies.

6 Q. All right. And where did “Arnold” come

7 from?

8 A. Gosh, I don’t know. I don’t know. I mean,

9 “Arnold” was like, you know, “Ar-nold,” and then

10 Michael would laugh. I just thought it was kind of

11 like an endearment term.

12 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.

13 THE COURT: Stricken.

14 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you hear that often?

15 A. Yeah. When they were around each other,

16 uh-huh. We were in the studio, we would go and have

17 meetings with Michael to talk about the benefit

18 single.

19 Q. What — you mentioned the term “french

20 fries.” What was that?

21 A. Money.

22 Q. Excuse me?

23 A. Money.

24 Q. And what does that mean?

25 A. Typically Michael wanted money. So, “I need

26 french fries,” or — you know, “french fries” was

27 about money.

28 Q. Did that term come up in conversations 8711

1 frequently?

2 A. Well, yeah.

3 Q. Did you learn over time what it was in

4 reference to?

5 A. That Michael needed money.

6 Q. Did either Mr. Jackson or Mr. Schaffel tell

7 you that, that that was what that term meant?

8 A. Well, Michael was always asking for money,

9 or —

10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection.

11 THE WITNESS: You know, everybody has to

12 make money.

13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.

14 THE COURT: Stricken.

15 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: In the conversations that you

16 overheard between Mr. Schaffel and Mr. Jackson, were

17 there discussions about money passing from one to

18 the other?

19 A. Yeah.

20 Q. Frequently?

21 A. Well, yeah. We were — you know, you had to

22 make money to — you know, the single had to take

23 off, and there were other things Michael wanted to

24 do, and he needed his cash, like after the RMAs

25 and —

26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

27 move to strike.

28 THE COURT: I’ll strike the last phrase. 8712

1 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you ever specifically

2 hear Michael Jackson — ever hear Michael Jackson

3 specifically ask for cash from Mr. Schaffel, money

4 to be delivered in cash?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. On a number of occasions?

7 A. Couple times, yes.

8 Q. Were you present when that happened, when

9 money was, in fact, transferred from Mr. Schaffel to

10 Mr. Jackson?

11 A. No. I saw checks.

12 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

13 move to strike.

14 THE COURT: Overruled. Next question.

Next, Zonen segued into the topic of Schaffel’s firing after Jackson was alerted to Schaffel’s background as a gay porn producer. I detailed the timeline of events that led up to Schaffel’s firing in this post, and you can read it for more information.

Here is Provencio’s testimony regarding the firing of Schaffel, and pay attention to his explanation as to why he gave back his 1% commission to Jackson; this shows that, unlike Schaffel, he at least had some morals and values:

15 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: In November 2001, did

16 something happen that changed the working

17 relationship between you, Marc Schaffel and Mr.

18 Jackson?

19 A. Yes. The — Marc got fired.

20 Q. Got fired by whom?

21 A. Neverland Valley wasn’t closed. Marc got

22 fired, though.

23 Q. And did you actually see or witness the

24 firing of Mr. Schaffel?

25 A. Yeah, it came through a fax machine.

26 Q. It was a letter?

27 A. Yeah, it was a letter.

28 Q. From whom? 8713

1 A. A guy named Zia. I believe —

2 Q. Do you know his last name?

3 A. Maroda. Maroder or something.

4 Q. Do you know who Zia is?

5 A. He was just one of Michael’s lawyers, crony

6 lawyers.

7 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.

8 MR. ZONEN: Did I hear that right?

9 THE WITNESS: Well, there’s many lawyers.

10 THE COURT: Just a moment.

11 THE WITNESS: Oh, sorry.

12 THE COURT: I’ll strike the last phrase in

13 that answer.

14 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: You understand Zia to be one

15 of the attorneys; is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And this letter was received by whom?

18 A. By Marc in his office.

19 Q. All right. But did you see it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did you see it when it actually came in?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Did you see it before or after Mr. Schaffel

24 saw it?

25 A. We pretty much saw it at the same time,

26 because it was, you know, “You’re fired,” you know,

27 when I handed it to him.

28 Q. Was there some level of controversy that – 8714

1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

2 move to strike.

3 THE COURT: I’ll strike the last sentence.

4 Leave the first phrase in, that they “saw it at the

5 same time.”

6 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was there some controversy

7 that was going on at that time involving Mr.

8 Schaffel?

9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance;

10 foundation.

11 MR. ZONEN: I can lay foundation for it.

12 MR. MESEREAU: And leading.

13 MR. ZONEN: But it would require some

14 discussion.

15 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

16 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

17 A. What was the question?

18 Q. Was there some controversy that was going on

 

19 involving Marc Schaffel at that time?

 

20 A. Well, they —

 

21 THE COURT: Just answer “yes” or “no” on

 

22 that.

 

23 THE WITNESS: Oh, okay. Yes.

 

24 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What was it?

 

25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance;

 

26 foundation; 352.

 

27 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

28 You may answer. 8715

 

1 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What was it?

 

2 A. His past.

 

3 Q. And what was it about his past?

 

4 A. He was in adult entertainment.

 

5 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Objection. 352;

 

6 foundation; relevance.

 

7 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

8 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What was it about his past?

9 A. He was in adult entertainment.

 

10 Q. What type of adult entertainment; what was

 

11 he doing?

 

12 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Relevance; 352.

 

13 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

14 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. And he was fired.

 

15 But this operation was out of his home; is that

 

16 correct?

 

17 A. Right. Neverland Valley Entertainment kept

 

18 on operating.

19 Q. Up until this time in November — and do you

20 remember if it was early or late November of ‘01?

21 A. It was — I think it was like the third week

22 in November.

23 Q. Up until this time in November of ‘01, was

24 there fairly continuous communication between Mr.

25 Schaffel and Mr. Jackson and even between you and

26 Mr. Jackson?

27 A. There was continuous communication between

28 those two definitely, and then I would only come 8716

1 into it when it was just business.

2 Q. Okay. And the communication between Mr.

3 Jackson and Mr. Schaffel was communication that you

4 were able to personally witness; is that right?

5 A. Right. He would have him on the

6 speakerphone.

7 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

8 move to strike.

9 THE COURT: Overruled. Next question.

10 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. Now, after the

11 firing of Mr. Schaffel, was there any communication

12 that you were able to personally witness between Mr.

13 Schaffel and Mr. Jackson?

14 A. No.

15 Q. And did that go on for some period of time?

16 A. Yeah. For quite a while.

17 Q. All right. Now, Neverland Valley

18 Entertainment was housed in Mr. Schaffel’s home; is

19 that correct?

20 A. Yeah, it was a Michael Jackson/Marc Schaffel

21 company housed in his home.

22 Q. So what happened to you at that point?

23 A. Well, we just kind of went into limbo,

24 because we didn’t — without Michael’s cooperation

25 on the single, we couldn’t really get more artists

26 to sing on it, and everything just kind of went

27 screeching to a halt.

28 Q. All right. What did you continue to do? 8717

1 A. We started working on, you know, finances,

2 how much we have spent on the project, getting the

3 receipts together. Getting the books together,

4 essentially, to make sure that, you know, things

5 were, you know, on the up and up and —

6 Q. Who is “we”? You say “we.”

7 A. Marc and I.

8 Q. So Marc was still working there?

9 A. Yeah, Marc, Christian, I was still there.

10 Q. Christian Robinson?

11 A. Yes, Christian Robinson.

12 Q. What was he doing during this time?

13 A. He was doing the same thing we were doing,

14 you know, just getting filing done and — you know,

15 there had been a mountain of things. You know,

16 everybody had been traveling, trying to get artists.

17 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

18 move to strike.

19 THE COURT: Overruled. Next question.

20 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you continue to draw

21 salary during this time?

22 A. Yeah.

23 Q. Do you know if Mr. Schaffel continued to

24 draw salary?

25 A. I’m pretty sure.

26 Q. Was that bank account still in existence at

27 U.S. Bank?

28 A. Yes. 8718

1 Q. And were either you or Schaffel periodically

2 dealing with that bank with regards to funds?

3 A. Well, yeah, we had to go in and see Beverly

4 and —

5 Q. For how long did this continue, that you

6 continued working in Mr. Schaffel’s home on this

7 project?

8 A. Well, at the beginning, we took a break.

9 You know, we just kind of took a breather. And then

10 we started — just went in like gangbusters and got

11 all the paperwork together. So that went on for

12 like seven, eight months, something like that.

13 Q. And for the next seven or eight months, was

14 there any contact between you and Michael Jackson?

15 A. No. He wasn’t calling the office.

16 Q. Pardon me?

17 A. He wasn’t calling the office.

18 Q. And there was no contact between Mr.

19 Schaffel and Mr. Jackson that you were personally

20 witness to; is that correct?

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. Was there any progress that was being made

23 toward the development of “What More Can I Give?”

24 A. No. Everything was at a dead halt. Other

25 than, you know, it was trying to be — Marc was

26 trying to work on things. But, you know, as far as

27 I was concerned, getting artists in the studio and

28 everything, and recording and other things, you 8719

1 know, everything was at a dead halt.

2 Q. Did you still have your point? Do you know

3 what I’m talking about, the point?

4 A. I didn’t. Yeah.

5 Q. Did you still have — that’s the point of

6 the interest, 1 percent interest in the song; is

7 that right?

8 A. Yeah, I still had it in the beginning. And

9 then I started debating whether I was going to hold

10 on to it.

11 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

12 move to strike.

13 THE COURT: I’ll strike after, “In the

14 beginning.”

15 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Mr. Provencio, what did you

16 do with your 1 percent interest in “What More Can I

17 Give?”

18 A. I gave it back to Michael.

19 Q. How did you do that?

20 A. I signed documents at Wahoo’s Fish Taco on

21 Wilshire, and basically it says that I give my point

22 back to Michael.

23 Q. Who did you furnish those documents to?

 

24 A. To Marc Schaffel, but it had Michael’s name.

 

25 I read it. It said that, “This hereby” — “You are

 

26 giving your point back.”

 

27 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

 

28 move to strike. 8720

 

1 THE COURT: The last portion is stricken.

 

2 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Why did you do that? Why did

 

3 you return your 1 percent back to Michael Jackson?

 

4 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; relevance.

 

5 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

6 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead and explain.

 

7 A. Well, there was two things. I was really

 

8 kind of just wanting to get away from all of them,

 

9 and I really didn’t feel like really I deserved to

 

10 keep something that was Michael’s song, and make

 

11 money on something that I didn’t really — it was

 

12 Michael’s song, so I felt that it was the right

 

13 thing to do.

 

14 And I just wanted to kind — I had a good

 

15 time while I had it, and — and, you know, I wasn’t

 

16 rich before, so, you know, I can’t miss anything I

 

17 didn’t have. So I just gave it back because I

 

18 thought that was the right thing to do.

19 Q. Mr. Provencio, during that period of time,

20 did Marc Schaffel continue to work with Neverland

21 Valley Entertainment?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Even after he was fired?

24 A. Yes. Because Neverland Valley Entertainment

25 still existed.

Next, Provencio went into detail about some of the other projects that Schaffel was involved in with Jackson, as well as Jackson and his team’s response to the transcript of “Living With Michael Jackson” that they received in advance of its premiere in England:

26 Q. Were there other projects that Neverland

27 Valley Entertainment was engaged in other than “What

28 More Can I Give?” 8721

1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.

2 THE COURT: Overruled.

3 You may answer.

4 MR. ZONEN: I’m sorry, Your Honor?

5 THE COURT: Yes, he may answer.

6 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead, please.

7 A. The rebuttal specials, the RMA Awards in Las

8 Vegas. Essentially The BAMBIs, The BAMBIs in

9 Germany.

10 Q. Now, The BAMBIs in Germany, tell us what

11 that is.

12 A. Well, that’s —

13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; relevance.

14 THE COURT: Sustained.

15 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did Marc Schaffel attend any

16 activities with Michael Jackson during the latter —

17 at any time during 2001 or 2002?

18 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.

19 THE COURT: Sustained.

20 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Were you present during the

21 attendance of any activities with Marc Schaffel and

22 Michael Jackson after he had been fired?

23 A. Yeah.

24 Q. Where?

25 A. Went to Gary, Indiana.

26 Q. What happened at Gary, Indiana?

27 A. We went to Michael’s home town.

28 Q. And Mr. Schaffel was there? 8722

1 A. Yeah. That’s the last time I talked to

2 Michael, was there.

3 Q. Okay. Do you remember when that was?

4 A. June 2003, I think.

5 Q. Let me go back, if we can, please, to early

6 2003, January 2003. Did you know in January 2003 a

7 woman by the name of Kathryn Milofsky?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did I pronounce her name correctly?

10 A. I can’t even pronounce her name. Yeah, I

11 believe so.

12 Q. Okay. Who is Kathryn Milofsky, to your

13 knowledge?

14 A. She was a press person, a really nice press

15 person.

16 Q. Okay. From where; do you know?

17 A. Well, she worked at one of the major

18 networks.

19 Q. And do you know in which country?

20 A. Yeah, Great Britain. And then she came over

21 to America.

22 Q. Did she send something to you or to Mr.

 

23 Schaffel that you saw in early January 2003?

 

24 A. Yeah, the transcript to Martin Bashir,

 

25 January 24th.

 

26 Q. So the “Martin Bashir,” what was that

 

27 exactly? Do you know the name of it?

 

28 A. It was the transcript — I’m sorry? 8723

 

1 Q. Do you know the name of it?

 

2 A. “Living with Michael Jackson.”

 

3 Q. All right. Now, had it been aired at the

 

4 time that she sent it?

 

5 A. No.

 

6 Q. Did she actually have a conversation with

 

7 either — with you?

 

8 A. About?

 

9 Q. About “Living with Michael Jackson” and the

 

10 transcript.

 

11 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

 

12 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

13 You may answer “yes” or “no.”

 

14 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Just “yes” or “no.”

 

15 A. Yes.

 

16 Q. Was this conversation with her before or

 

17 after she sent you the transcript?

 

18 A. Both before and after.

 

19 Q. You had multiple conversations with her?

 

20 A. Yeah. It was — she had warned us it was

 

21 going to be very damaging to Michael.

 

22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay; move to

 

23 strike.

 

24 MR. ZONEN: Tends to explain their conduct

 

25 thereafter.

 

26 THE COURT: Well, it’s nonresponsive.

 

27 Sustained.

28 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Mr. Provencio, when you 8724

 

1 received the transcript, did you read it?

 

2 A. Yes. On the 24th.

 

3 Q. Was this before the documentary had been

 

4 aired either in Europe or in the United States?

 

5 A. Yes.

 

6 Q. Did you understand the impact of that

 

7 transcript when you read it?

 

8 A. Oh, yeah.

 

9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

 

10 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

11 MR. ZONEN: The answer is in?

 

12 THE COURT: Yes.

 

13 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. At some point in

 

14 time did you begin getting phone calls at Neverland

 

15 Valley Entertainment?

 

16 A. Oh, yeah, the phone went ballistic.

 

17 Q. Was that before or after the first showing

 

18 of “Living with Michael Jackson”?

 

19 A. It was actually before, because other —

 

20 other press people had, I guess, received the

 

21 transcript, too, or got ahold of it.

22 Q. And when you say — don’t tell me what the

23 content of the conversations were, but just give me

24 a sense of how much — you say the phone went

25 ballistic. How many calls were you getting, how

26 often?

27 A. Well, if an octopus could pick up a phone

28 every two seconds, that’s how many phone calls we 8725

1 were getting. So literally the phone just rang and

2 rang and rang and rang.

3 Q. For the entire time?

4 A. Oh, yeah, day and night.

5 Q. Was it people other than the press?

6 A. Well, first it was European press and then

7 it was the American press, North American press.

8 Q. Was the American showing a few days after

9 the European showing?

10 A. Excuse me?

11 Q. The American showing of “Living with Michael

12 Jackson,” to your understanding, was a few days

13 after the European showing?

14 A. Yes, like two or three days.

15 Q. And after that, were there plenty of phone

16 calls?

17 A. Yeah, it was crazy.

18 Q. Did it go on for some period of time?

19 A. Well, yeah, it was an engagement. You had

20 to — you know, you had to take the phone calls, or

21 people would just keep calling.

22 Q. All right. Now, without getting into what,

23 were the questions geared towards specific areas of

24 the content of that documentary?

25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay and

26 leading.

27 MR. ZONEN: Leading for a reason. I’m

28 trying to narrow the focus, Your Honor. 8726

1 THE COURT: Just a moment. The objection is

2 overruled.

3 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you understand the

4 question?

5 A. Yes. They were asking — the press was

6 asking primarily two questions.

7 MR. MESEREAU: Objection.

8 MR. ZONEN: Hold on. Hold on.

9 MR. MESEREAU: Hearsay.

10 THE COURT: Sustained.

11 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: I’ll ask you specifically —

12 listen to the question. Were there specific

13 areas — without getting into what they were, were

14 there specific areas in particular that the press

15 were inquiring about?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. All right. Was one of those areas the issue

18 of the child?

19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

20 MR. ZONEN: For a reason.

21 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

22 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was one of those areas the

23 issue of the child?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. As to that issue, what were they inquiring

26 about?

27 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay;

28 foundation. 8727

1 THE COURT: Overruled.

2 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

 

3 A. What was their question?

 

4 Q. Yes. Who were they inquiring about?

 

5 A. Who was this boy Michael was sleeping with.

 

6 Q. Was that asked often?

 

7 A. Yeah, a lot.

 

8 Q. Was that asked as much as any other inquiry,

 

9 without getting into any of the other inquiries?

 

10 A. Yeah, that was the number one.

11 Q. Now, did things change at Neverland Valley

12 Entertainment after the screening of “Living with

13 Michael Jackson”?

14 A. Well, yeah, it was in high gear again, and

15 they were going to make doc — rebuttals.

16 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

17 move to strike.

18 THE COURT: After “in high gear again,” I’ll

19 strike that.

20 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Were there other people

21 brought in now to Neverland Valley Entertainment to

22 deal with this crisis?

23 A. Yeah. Well, Frank’s always been around.

24 But Vinnie was brought in and — but they were —

25 they were — and Stuart Backerman.

26 Q. Okay. Is Stuart Backerman somebody that you

27 knew prior to the screening of “Living with Michael

28 Jackson”? 8728

1 A. Oh, God, no. Nobody knew him. So, no.

2 Q. What was Mr. Backerman’s role?

3 A. He was going to be the press person.

4 Q. Did he work out of Mr. Schaffel’s residence

5 as well?

6 A. Yes. You know, at first, and then he was

7 working at a hotel down the street. And they would

8 come into the office.

9 Q. Did you know an Ann Gabriel or Ann Kite?

10 A. I only knew that they had her around for

11 like a minute, and then she was gone. So —

12 Q. Did you know of any other people who were

13 brought in, who were working with Neverland Valley

14 Entertainment dealing with this issue?

15 A. Oh, this British company, Bell something or

16 something Bell.

17 Q. Bell Yard?

18 A. Bell Yard. That’s it.

19 Q. And were there, in fact, conversations that

20 you were able to overhear between Mr. Schaffel and

21 Bell Yard in England?

22 A. Yeah. And I also saw the paperwork.

23 Q. Okay. Were there — was there now

24 communication with Michael Jackson that you were

25 privy to, that you were actually witness to?

26 A. Yeah.

27 Q. Did that begin after this?

28 A. After – 8729

1 Q. In other words, after the — after the

2 screening of “Living with Michael Jackson,” or

3 even — let me withdraw that question.

4 After you and Mr. Schaffel became aware of

5 the existence of the transcript of that show, did

6 either you or Mr. Schaffel make that — the content

7 of that transcript known to Mr. Jackson?

8 A. Marc did. Marc did to Ronald, Dieter and

9 Michael.

10 Q. So all of them were contacted at that time?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. All right. Now, had Ronald and Dieter been

13 active in dealing with Mr. Schaffel in your presence

14 during the preceding months prior to January ‘03?

15 A. I don’t understand. Can you say that —

16 Q. Were you witness to conversations between

17 Marc Schaffel and either Ronald Konitzer or Dieter

18 Weizner prior to January of ‘03?

19 A. Oh, prior to January?

20 Q. Yes.

21 A. Yeah. They were — he was trying to get

22 back into good graces with Michael, so he was

23 talking to Frank and to Ronald and Dieter on the

24 phone a lot.

25 Q. What — did you ever have conversations with

26 Frank or Ronald or Dieter during that period prior

27 to January ‘03?

28 A. Well, Ronald and Dieter came over to the 8730

1 house to have meetings, like two meetings I

2 remember.

3 Q. All right. And that was — you were there

4 at the time; is that correct?

5 A. Yeah, we had a meeting with them.

6 Q. All right. Were there any conference calls

7 that took place in the early part of February or

8 late part of January that involved Mr. Jackson,

9 conference calls that you were privy to?

10 A. January 1st.

11 Q. How many conference calls were there that

12 you actually heard?

13 A. With Michael on it?

14 Q. Yes.

15 A. Two.

16 Q. And were you actually part of the conference

17 call?

18 A. Well, in the beginning I was sitting there.

19 And they got — you know, he put them on

20 speakerphone. And then — and then he kind of just

21 wanted to make it a little more private, and I went

22 in my office and was listening to the conference

23 call.

24 Q. All right. Were you listening to the

25 conference call on your phone in your office?

26 A. Yes.

27 Q. We’re talking about Mr. Schaffel’s

28 residence; is that correct? 8731

1 A. Right, but I had my own office in there, and

2 the phones were all interlinked.

3 Q. And were you able to listen to the

4 conversation in its entirety?

5 A. Yeah, because I kept notes.

6 Q. You kept notes as to both those

7 conversations?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. All right. Was Mr. Jackson part of the

10 conversation?

11 A. Yes. Not in the beginning, but Dieter would

12 bring him on.

Provencio describes how Debbie Rowe was sought out by Jackson’s entourage to lend her efforts to the rebuttal documentary in order to help their damage control efforts:

13 Q. From the point that Mr. Jackson became part

14 of the conversation – and this is the first

15 conversation on the 1st of January – was there any

16 discussion about Debbie Rowe in that conversation?

17 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

18 THE COURT: Overruled.

19 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And what was discussed about Debbie Rowe?

22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.

23 THE COURT: Sustained.

24 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was there any specific

25 discussion about Debbie Rowe being actively involved

26 in dealing with this controversy?

27 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading and

28 vague. 8732

1 MR. ZONEN: I’m not sure they can be both

2 leading and vague.

3 THE COURT: I’ll allow a “yes” or “no” answer

4 to that question.

5 Do you know the question?

6 THE WITNESS: Could you state it again,

7 please?

8 MR. ZONEN: Perhaps the court reporter could

9 read it back.

10 THE COURT: Yes.

11 (Record read.)

12 THE WITNESS: The answer is yes.

13 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Okay. Was Mr. Jackson asked

14 to do something by any of the other participants in

15 this conference call with regards to Debbie Rowe?

16 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

17 THE COURT: Overruled.

18 You may answer.

19 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: You can answer.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. What was he asked to do?

22 A. Call her.

23 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Vague and

24 hearsay.

25 THE COURT: Overruled.

26 MR. ZONEN: And the answer is in?

27 THE COURT: Yes.

28 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did Mr. Jackson say something 8733

1 in regards to that?

2 A. Just that he wanted to know what was going

3 on.

4 Q. Did he ask that throughout that

5 conversation?

6 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

7 THE COURT: Sustained.

8 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was he told what he needed to

9 say or was there any discussion about what he needed

10 to say to Debbie Rowe?

11 A. Yeah.

12 Q. What was that?

13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.

14 THE COURT: Overruled. I want — there’s an

15 issue here for me, though, and that is who is

16 talking?

17 MR. ZONEN: All right. All right. Let me

18 back up a question, and then we’ll go back to the

19 other one.

20 Q. Who was on this telephone conversation?

21 A. Dieter, Marc and then Michael.

22 Q. Now, did you know where Dieter and Michael

23 were at the time of the conversation? That’s just

24 “yes” or “no.”

25 A. No.

26 Q. And Marc, of course, was in the same

27 residence with you?

28 A. Correct. 8734

1 Q. Who was it who was talking to — to Mr.

2 Jackson about — specifically about what he needed

3 to do with regards to Debbie Rowe?

4 A. Marc and Dieter.

5 Q. Were both of them speaking at different

6 times with Mr. Jackson with regards to Debbie Rowe?

7 A. Together and separate.

8 Q. What is it that Marc told Mr. Jackson he

9 needed to do with regards to Debbie Rowe?

10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay and

11 leading.

12 THE COURT: Overruled.

13 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

14 A. He needed to call her and talk to her.

15 Q. Okay.

16 A. Give her permission.

17 Q. All right. Something about permission?

18 A. Uh-huh.

19 Q. Okay. What did Dieter say to Mr. Jackson

20 with regards to Debbie Rowe?

21 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation and

22 hearsay.

23 THE COURT: Overruled.

24 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

25 A. That he needed — that all he needed to do

26 was talk to her so that she could do the rebuttal.

27 Q. Did Mr. Jackson say anything in that regard

28 as to whether he would or would not do that? 8735

1 A. No, I never knew if he even called her.

2 So….

Next, Provencio describes the discussions that Jackson and his entourage had about the impact of the documentary on Jackson’s career, the possibility that the Arvizos would try to blackmail Jackson for money, and the need to do a rebuttal documentary. Notice how Provencio confirmed that it was Dieter Weisner’s idea to have a press conference in Miami with the Arvizos, and not Jackson’s idea:

3 Q. All right. Were you aware, from your having

4 read the transcript — incidentally, did you ever

5 see the documentary “Living with Michael Jackson”?

6 A. Yeah, I saw it. I mean, parts I nodded off

7 on, but, you know, I saw it for what it was worth,

8 yeah.

9 Q. Did you see the portion of the documentary

10 that specifically featured this child who was the

11 subject of the controversy?

12 A. Oh, yeah.

13 Q. Did you see it in its entirety, that

14 section?

15 A. Oh, absolutely.

16 Q. All right. Did you know the name of this

17 family?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Did you know how many members were in the

20 family?

21 A. Yeah, I mean, I pretty much knew there was

22 like — how many people were there, yeah.

23 Q. In this first conference call that you were

24 listening to on the 1st of January, was there any

25 discussion about the family at all?

26 A. Yes.

27 Q. And what was said in the presence — at the

28 time that Mr. Jackson was on the phone? 8736

1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.

2 THE COURT: Sustained.

3 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was Mr. Jackson asked to do

4 anything with regard to this family?

5 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay and

6 vague.

7 THE COURT: Vague as to the person asking.

8 MR. ZONEN: Okay.

9 Q. Did either Mr. Schaffel or Mr. — it was

10 Dieter, right? Not Ronald.

11 A. Dieter.

12 Q. Dieter was on the call.

13 Did Mr. Weizner or Mr. Schaffel ask Michael

14 Jackson to do anything with regards to the family?

15 A. Well, Frank had told him that —

16 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; nonresponsive.

17 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: “Yes” or “no.”

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. All right. And who was it, Dieter or

20 Schaffel or both?

21 A. Both.

22 Q. Let’s start with Mr. Schaffel. What did Mr.

23 Schaffel say with regards to Mr. Jackson with

24 regards to this family?

25 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

26 THE COURT: Overruled.

27 You may answer.

28 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead. 8737

1 A. That they could ruin your career, they could

2 blackmail you.

3 Q. All right. Did Mr. Weizner say anything to

4 Mr. Jackson?

5 A. Essentially the same thing. You know,

6 essentially the same thing.

7 Q. Was there some discussion by either one of

8 them as to what should be done?

9 A. On the second conference call there was a

10 little bit better clarity there.

11 Q. We’ll get to that in a second. But on the

12 first one, was there any further discussion at that

13 point?

14 A. Not really. Not that I can remember, that I

15 can recall. I mean, it’s — do you want me to look

16 at my notes, or —

17 Q. Would it refresh your recollection to look

18 at your notes?

19 A. Yeah.

20 Q. Did you, in fact, take notes at that time?

21 A. Yeah, at the time. This is —

22 Q. Were your notes taken contemporaneous with

23 the event, the phone call?

24 A. Yeah, they’re right here.

25 Q. You have those notes with you?

26 A. Yes.

27 Q. Go ahead and take a look at your notes.

28 Don’t read from them, just read them, and then close 8738

1 your notebook back up when you’re done.

2 A. Okay.

3 Q. Having reviewed your notes, did it refresh

4 your recollection as to any other content of that

5 conversation that specifically dealt with this

6 family?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. All right. And what else was said?

9 A. That —

10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.

11 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Let’s start with either Mr.

12 Weizner — what else was said by Mr. Weizner, if

13 anything else?

14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

15 THE COURT: Overruled.

16 You may answer.

17 THE WITNESS: I don’t — Weizner and Marc

18 were essentially saying the same things back and

19 forth. There was that urgency tone in their voice

20 of, you know, “You’ve got to” — you know, “You have

21 got to take care of” —

22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; nonresponsive.

23 THE COURT: Overruled. As to the tone of

24 voice is stricken.

25 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Let’s deal specifically with

26 Mr. Weizner, as best you can recall. Anything other

27 than what you’ve told us already with regards to the

28 Arvizo family? 8739

1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

2 Your Honor, was there a ruling?

3 THE COURT: I’m sorry, yes.

4 MR. ZONEN: What was the ruling? I’m sorry,

5 I didn’t hear it. I apologize.

6 THE COURT: Overruled.

7 MR. ZONEN: All right.

8 THE COURT: My voice was —

9 MR. ZONEN: Now I don’t remember the

10 question.

11 Q. Oh, it was dealing with Mr. Weizner, and the

12 question of whether or not your notes refresh your

13 recollection as to anything else that Mr. Weizner

14 had said to Mr. Jackson concerning the Arvizo

15 family. Am I right?

16 A. Right.

17 Q. Tell us anything else you can recall having

18 read your notes, reviewed your notes.

19 A. That they wanted to do this rebuttal and put

20 some money in his pocket.

21 Q. There was discussion about rebuttal at that

22 point?

23 A. Yeah, that was an early concept of theirs.

24 Q. All right. What specifically was the

25 discussion about the rebuttal coming from Mr.

26 Weizner? And then we’ll talk about from Mr.

27 Schaffel.

28 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay. 8740

1 THE COURT: Just rephrase the question.

2 You’ve confused the witness.

3 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was there a conversation

4 between Mr. Weizner and Mr. Jackson about a

5 rebuttal?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. What did Mr. Weizner say to Mr. Jackson

8 about a rebuttal?

9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

10 THE COURT: Overruled.

11 You may answer.

12 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: To the best of your

13 recollection.

14 A. That we — that they needed to do it.

15 Q. Did he say why they needed to do this

16 rebuttal?

17 A. To save Michael’s image, his career.

18 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

19 THE COURT: Overruled.

20 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: And did he talk at all about

 

21 this being a money-raiser in any way?

 

22 A. Oh, yeah. This could make money.

 

23 Q. And that’s what Mr. Weizner said to Mr.

 

24 Jackson?

 

25 A. Both of them did.

26 Q. All right. Now, let’s move to Mr. Schaffel

27 as well. To the best of your recollection, what did

28 Mr. Schaffel say about — to Mr. Jackson about 8741

1 performing this — doing this rebuttal film?

2 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

3 THE COURT: Overruled.

4 You may answer.

5 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

6 A. That, “You could let the network make all

7 the money or you could make the money.” So there

8 was an incentive.

9 Q. Do you recall what Mr. Jackson said in

10 response to that?

11 A. Well, he agreed.

12 Q. Was there any discussion about whether the

13 Arvizo family would be involved in this rebuttal?

14 A. Yes, because Michael had —

15 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; vague.

16 THE COURT: Overruled. The answer was,

17 “Yes.”

18 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. Tell us who —

19 between which parties was there discussion about the

20 Arvizo family being involved in this rebuttal? Who

21 talked about the Arvizos’ family participation in

22 the rebuttal?

23 A. Oh, Michael brought it up.

24 Q. And what did he say?

25 A. That Frank had told him.

26 Q. That Frank had told him what?

27 A. That they could be filming the family, or

28 that the family might be in this rebuttal special. 8742

1 And needed to be.

2 Q. Did Mr. Jackson offer any commentary as to

3 why the family needed to be involved in this

4 rebuttal?

5 A. Not really. Just — wanted just to be aware

6 of things.

7 Q. Now, this is all the first conversation, is

8 that right, the first conference call?

9 A. Yes. Things were moving very quickly.

10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.

11 THE COURT: Stricken. No question pending.

12 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Now, the second conversation

13 conference call that took place, do you remember

14 when that was?

15 A. Yeah, it was either Feb 2nd or 3rd. One of

16 those days.

17 Q. Within one to two days?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Were you listening to that conversation as

20 well?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Were you party to the conversation? In

23 other words, were you talking during the

24 conversation?

25 A. No, I was just listening.

26 Q. Do you know whether or not the other parties

27 knew you were on the line?

28 A. They didn’t know. 8743

1 Q. As to the first conversation on the 1st, do

2 you know whether the other parties knew whether you

3 were on the line?

4 A. He knew I was sitting there when he got them

5 on the phone, and then I went into the other room

6 and listened.

7 Q. Did he know that you — Schaffel, you’re

8 talking about, is “he,” right?

9 A. Right.

10 Q. Did Mr. Schaffel know that you were

11 listening on the other line as to either of those

12 two conversations?

13 A. No, but he — no, the answer is no.

14 Q. In the second conversation, who were the

15 participants of that conversation?

16 A. Dieter and Michael again, and it was the

17 same way. Dieter first and then Michael got on the

18 phone.

19 Q. In other words, initially the conversation

20 was between Marc and Dieter?

21 A. Uh-huh.

22 Q. And then Michael got on the phone?

23 A. Uh-huh.

24 Q. Without getting into the content of the

25 conversation, what — how long did Marc and Dieter

26 talk before Michael got on the phone?

27 A. A couple of minutes. Just about probably,

28 like, eight or ten minutes. And it was just 8744

1 rambling money crap, I mean stuff.

2 Q. That happens here every once in a while.

3 A. Oh, okay.

4 Q. Could you tell if Dieter and Michael were in

5 the same location? I mean, when Michael — Mr.

6 Jackson got on the phone, did they have to commence

7 another phone call to do that or did he simply get

8 on the phone?

9 A. Well, initially it was like an operator, so

10 I knew it wasn’t at Neverland. But I didn’t know

11 where they were.

12 Q. But did they have to invoke — use an

13 operator again to get Mr. Jackson on the phone?

14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

15 THE COURT: Overruled.

16 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Do you understand the

17 question?

18 A. Yes.

19 No, when Michael came on the phone, it was

20 like he was right there.

21 Q. Okay.

22 A. Or he had walked into another room, you

23 know, if it was that kind of phone.

24 Q. You said, “Neverland.” Did you know whether

25 or not they were actually calling from Neverland?

26 A. No, because when you call at Neverland, they

27 pick up and say “Neverland.”

28 Q. Do you know who commenced this phone call? 8745

1 A. Marc did.

2 Q. And no one said “Neverland” at the time that

3 he called?

4 A. No. It was an operator.

5 Q. All right. After Mr. Jackson became party

6 to this conversation that was now a conversation

7 with Dieter and Michael Jackson and Mr. Schaffel,

8 was there a discussion about making the video?

9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

10 THE COURT: Overruled.

11 You may answer.

12 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Just “yes” or “no.”

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Who was involved in that discussion?

15 A. Dieter, Ronald, Michael.

16 Q. Can you tell us what Michael Jackson said

17 specifically about the video and making the video?

18 A. Well, he wanted to know what was going on,

19 so he just asked it blunt, like, “What’s happening?

20 What’s the latest? What’s going on?”

21 Q. And did either Dieter or Marc answer that

22 question? That’s “yes” or “no.”

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Which one answered that question?

25 A. Both of them did.

26 Q. What did Marc say with regards to what’s

27 going on?

28 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay. 8746

1 THE COURT: Overruled.

2 You may answer.

3 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What did Marc say with

4 regards to what’s going on?

5 A. Can I look at my notes?

6 Q. Would it refresh your recollection to do so?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. All right. And if that same question dealt

9 with Dieter, would you need to refresh your

10 recollection as to that as well?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. All right. Would you please refresh your

13 recollection as to both of those.

14 Have you reviewed your notes as to both of

15 those conversations?

16 A. Uh-huh.

17 Q. Were you able to refresh your recollection

18 as to both of those conversations?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. What did Mr. Jackson say with regards to his

21 conversation with Marc Schaffel as to what was going

22 on?

23 A. Well, first —

24 Q. You already answered that.

25 I’m sorry. What did — you know, I’m not

26 sure what the question was.

27 THE COURT: It was, “What did Marc say?”

28 MR. ZONEN: I’m sorry? 8747

1 THE COURT: I think you were asking, “What

2 did Marc say?”

3 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Okay. Go ahead.

4 A. What did Marc say? Well, he said that,

5 “We’re going to go down to Florida,” or something

6 like that, yeah.

7 Q. He made a comment about going to Florida?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you recall what —

10 A. Taking the family down to Florida.

11 Q. So the content of that conversation included

12 going to Florida with the family?

13 A. Correct.

14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; misstates the

15 evidence.

16 THE COURT: Overruled.

17 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: And as to Dieter, what did

18 Dieter say specifically?

19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

20 THE COURT: Overruled.

21 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: To Michael Jackson, what did

 

22 Dieter say?

 

23 A. They needed to do a press conference.

 

24 Q. What did Mr. Jackson say in response to

 

25 doing a press conference?

 

26 A. That he hates doing those things.

 

27 Q. I’m sorry?

 

28 A. That he hated doing those things. 8748

 

1 Q. Did he agree to do it?

 

2 A. You know, I didn’t hear Michael say, “Yes,”

 

3 you know, “I want to do it.” He just says, “Ahh, I

 

4 hate doing those things.”

 

5 Q. Was there any other discussion about the

 

6 Arvizo family in this conversation other than that

 

7 they were going to go to Florida to do a press

 

8 conference?

 

9 A. Yeah, they were going to be with Michael and

 

10 Michael wanted to go someplace fun.

 

11 Q. What did he say specifically about going

 

12 someplace fun?

 

13 A. He said, “Let’s go someplace fun.” I don’t

 

14 know, maybe the place was boring.

15 Q. Was there any discussion in this second

16 conference about being concerned about the Arvizo

17 family?

18 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

19 THE COURT: Overruled.

20 You may answer.

21 THE WITNESS: No, but I was concerned.

22 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. But —

23 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;

24 nonresponsive.

25 THE COURT: Stricken. Except for “No.”

26 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: You had mentioned, as to the

27 first conversation on the 1st, that there was some

28 discussion about blackmail; is that right? 8749

1 A. Correct.

2 Q. Was there any discussion about blackmail on

3 the second conversation, to the best of your

4 recollection?

5 A. No, not that I can think of.

Here is more testimony about Debbie Rowe’s interview for the rebuttal documentary; Zonen wanted to give jurors the impression that Rowe was under duress during her interview and only agreed to do it because she was promised that she would get to see her children. Zonen focused on the fact that Schaffel told Rowe that she could “cry better” during certain parts of her interview, thus implying that the entire interview was a facade:

6 Q. Was there any more discussion in the second

7 conversation about Debbie Rowe’s involvement in the

8 video?

9 A. No, she was just going to do the rebuttal.

10 Q. All right. Was that talked about in the

11 second conversation at all?

12 A. No.

13 Q. At some point in time, did you become aware

14 of the fact that there was going to be an interview

15 with Debbie Rowe?

16 A. Oh, yeah.

17 Q. Did you learn about that prior to the

18 commencement of that interview?

19 A. Could you say that again?

20 Q. Before the interview actually took place,

21 did you know that that interview was going to

22 happen?

23 A. Oh, yeah.

24 Q. How long prior to the commencement of the

25 interview?

26 A. A couple days. It was going quick.

27 Q. Do you know when that interview took place

28 relative to, say, the second phone call? 8750

1 A. Actually a couple days later, I believe.

2 Yeah.

3 Q. Do you know where that interview took place?

4 A. Yeah, I was there. It was at Marc’s house.

5 Q. Do you know for what period of time that

6 interview took place? How long did it last?

7 A. It went on for forever. It was like — it

8 was like eight, nine hours, something like that.

9 Q. Do you know approximately what time it

10 started and approximately what time it ended?

11 A. It seemed like it just went on all day.

12 There was a lot of setup. Hamid had to come in and

13 set up. So if you’re talking that, that started

14 early. And then, you know, we didn’t get out of

15 there until the sun went down, really, so….

16 Q. And was Debbie Rowe there the entire time?

17 A. No, not in the beginning, because that’s all

18 setup; microphones, lighting, the cameras.

19 Q. You said Hamid was there. Who is Hamid? Do

20 you know his full name?

21 A. Hamid Molesi or Moleshi.

22 Q. And what does he do?

23 A. He was Michael’s personal videographer,

24 photographer.

25 Q. If I referred to Hamid as Mr. Moslehi —

26 A. Moslehi.

27 Q. — would that sound close enough?

28 A. I always mispronounced his name, so yeah. 8751

1 Q. I think everybody does.

2 Who else was there besides Mr. Moslehi?

3 A. Iris, her attorney.

4 Q. Whose attorney?

5 A. Debbie Rowe’s attorney.

6 Q. Do you know Iris’s last name?

7 A. Silver something.

8 Q. Does Finsilver sound right?

9 A. Finsilver.

10 Q. And then Debbie was there?

11 A. Uh-huh.

12 Q. All right. And who else was there?

13 A. Christian. Ian Drew.

14 Q. Is this Christian Robinson we’re talking

15 about?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Christian Robinson was still working —

18 A. Oh, yeah.

19 Q. — for Neverland Valley Entertainment?

20 A. Oh, yes.

21 Q. And the workplace for Christian Robinson

22 continued to be Mr. Schaffel’s residence?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. And he was there on that occasion?

25 A. Yes.

26 Q. Was he actually involved in this interview

27 with Debbie Rowe?

28 A. Well, he was working, yeah. I mean, doing 8752

1 some sideline things and helping to assist camera

2 work and stuff.

3 Q. Was Marc Schaffel there?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. We have Christian Robinson, Marc Schaffel,

6 Iris Joan, Hamid, you were there; is that correct?

7 A. Uh-huh.

8 Q. Who else was there? Anybody else you can

9 think of?

10 A. Stuart Backerman.

11 Q. Was he there for the entire time?

12 A. Yeah, everybody stayed for the entire time.

13 Q. Anybody else?

14 A. Not that I can think of. I mean, there was

15 camera — I think Hamid had some camera guys, but —

16 Q. Who actually conducted the interview?

17 A. Ian Drew.

18 Q. Now, were you witness to any part of this

19 interview?

20 A. Yeah, I would come up and — upstairs and

21 downstairs and watch, and then get bored and go back

22 upstairs, and then come down.

23 Q. Did you watch at times for extended periods?

24 A. Yeah, to see what was said and how it was

25 going to be performed or whatever.

26 Q. Over the entirety of the time that this

27 interview took place, what percentage of it do you

28 believe you actually witnessed? 8753

1 A. Probably 75 percent of it, because I was

2 going up and down. You couldn’t help it, it was

3 just happening right there, so —

4 MR. ZONEN: Your Honor, may I approach the

5 witness?

6 THE COURT: Yes.

7 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: I’m going to show you Exhibit

8 No. 888. 888, you would agree, is a photograph?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Okay. Can you tell us the content of the

11 photograph, the subject matter?

12 A. It’s the interview that’s happening in the

13 house. Marc’s home.

14 Q. Can you identify the people who are in that

15 photograph?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. All right. Who are they?

18 A. Debbie Rowe. Ian Drew sitting across from

19 her. Marc to the right in the blue shirt. And

20 Christian Robinson to the left.

21 Q. Does that appear to be a photograph that was

22 taken during the course of that interview?

23 A. Oh, absolutely.

24 Q. All right. Are all of those people

25 identified accurately as the subject of that

26 photograph?

27 A. Yes.

28 Q. And is that photograph, in fact, an accurate 8754

1 depiction of the subject matter contained within?

2 A. I guess so, yeah.

3 MR. ZONEN: I would move to introduce 888

4 into evidence.

5 MR. MESEREAU: No objection.

6 MR. ZONEN: All right.

7 Q. In that photograph, do you see Mr. Schaffel

8 doing something?

9 THE COURT: It’s admitted.

10 MR. ZONEN: Your Honor, can I publish the

11 photograph?

12 THE COURT: Yes.

13 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: And can you identify those

14 people again, please?

15 A. Yes. By pointing?

16 MR. ZONEN: Do we have that laser?

17 Yeah, right there.

18 THE WITNESS: This is a laser?

19 MR. ZONEN: It is.

20 THE WITNESS: All right.

21 MR. ZONEN: Don’t start playing with it.

22 Q. Point out, please, Debbie Rowe for us.

23 Point out Ian Drew for us.

24 A simple point would be adequate.

25 Point out Marc Schaffel, if you would,

26 please.

27 And point out Christian Robinson.

28 Okay. Can you tell what Mr. Schaffel is 8755

1 doing at that time?

2 A. He’s working on the — he’s working on the

3 questions and answers.

4 Q. Did you actually see documents that you

5 believed to be questions and answers?

6 A. Well, initially they were just questions,

7 because they were sent over by Ian Drew. And then

8 they became questions and answers.

9 Q. Now, you say “were sent over by Ian Drew.”

10 Ian Drew was actually there at that time. Do you

11 mean sometime prior to this interview?

12 A. Oh, yeah, because Ian was upset that Marc

13 hadn’t responded to him right away.

14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

15 hearsay; move to strike.

16 THE COURT: Strike the last sentence.

17 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Were questions received by

18 Marc Schaffel at Neverland Valley Entertainment

19 headquarters, at Mr. Schaffel’s residence, prior to

20 the commencement of this interview?

21 A. Yes. 100 questions.

22 Q. Did those questions also contain suggested

23 answers?

24 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.

25 THE COURT: Sustained.

26 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you see the questions at

27 the time they came from Mr. Drew?

28 A. He printed them and had them on the desk. 8756

1 Q. And you looked at them?

2 A. Yeah, I just looked at them quickly.

3 Q. You were able to see how many questions

4 roughly; is that correct?

5 A. Well, yeah, there was 100. There was about

6 100. 90 to 100.

7 Q. Were they numbered, the questions?

8 A. Well, actually, Marc complained there were

9 so many questions. I said, “How many questions?”

10 And he said, “About 100.”

11 Q. All right. But you did actually look at it

12 at one point?

13 A. Yes. It was sitting on his desk.

14 Q. And at that time that it came in, were there

15 answers associated with those questions?

16 A. Not at the time.

17 Q. At a later time, were there answers

18 associated with those questions?

19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.

20 THE COURT: Sustained.

21 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you see the document at a

22 later time?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Did that document change over time?

25 A. Uh-huh.

26 Q. How did it change?

27 A. There was answers.

28 Q. Prior to the commencement of this interview, 8757

1 were there answers as part of that document?

2 A. Well, it was changing. So Ian Drew sent

3 over the questions. And it changed. And then there

4 were answers.

5 Q. During the course of the interview, what was

6 Mr. Schaffel’s involvement?

7 A. He was like the producer. He was like the

8 director.

9 Q. All right. Was he making any suggestions

10 one way or the other?

11 A. Oh, yeah.

12 Q. In what way?

13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

14 THE COURT: Is that a request for him to

15 repeat what was said or — I’ll ask for a different

16 question.

17 MR. ZONEN: I’m sorry —

18 THE COURT: “In what way” is the question I

19 find vague.

20 MR. ZONEN: All right.

21 Q. What was Mr. Schaffel saying to Debbie Rowe

22 during the course of this interview?

23 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

24 THE COURT: It’s overly broad. It’s

25 sustained.

26 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was Mr. Schaffel making any

 

27 suggestions as to how to answer the questions to

 

28 Debbie Rowe? 8758

 

1 MR. MESEREAU: Objection as leading.

 

2 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

3 You may answer.

 

4 THE WITNESS: Yes.

 

5 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: In what way? What was he

 

6 saying?

 

7 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.

8 MR. ZONEN: It’s not for the truth of the

 

9 matter stated.

 

10 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

 

11 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Tell us in what way.

 

12 A. He would prod her to do it better or say it

 

13 better, like any producer would.

 

14 Q. How often did he do that with regards to the

 

15 questions, the frequency with which the questions

 

16 were asked? How often would he offer suggestions?

 

17 A. A lot. That’s what — he was there the

 

18 whole time and he was working on things at the same

 

19 time. He would write things and scratch it out and

 

20 then she would redo it.

 

21 Q. Was Debbie Rowe responsive to his

 

22 suggestions?

 

23 A. Yes.

 

24 Q. Was she changing her answers in accordance

 

25 with his directions?

 

26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay and

 

27 leading.

 

28 THE COURT: Calls for a conclusion. 8759

 

1 Sustained.

 

2 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did she make changes in any

 

3 answers at any time during those interviews?

 

4 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Foundation;

 

5 hearsay.

 

6 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

7 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you hear any discussions

 

8 about —

 

9 THE COURT: It’s not the foundation. You’re

 

10 asking him to conclude, when she says A and then

 

11 says B, that that’s a change in testimony. Not in

 

12 testimony, but in statement. So it’s opinion, and

 

13 I’m not allowing that.

 

14 MR. ZONEN: Okay.

 

15 THE COURT: If you want to give some

 

16 examples —

 

17 MR. ZONEN: I can do that.

 

18 THE COURT: — you can do that.

 

19 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Mr. Provencio, were there

 

20 some subject matters that you recall at this time

 

21 that were the subject of this discussion — this

 

22 interview?

 

23 A. Yeah, well, like when she was —

 

24 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; nonresponsive.

 

25 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: That’s “yes” or “no.”

 

26 A. Yes.

 

27 MR. MESEREAU: Move to strike.

 

28 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Do you recall specifically 8760

 

1 that there was a discussion about the quality of Mr.

 

2 Jackson’s parenting of his children?

 

3 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

 

4 MR. ZONEN: For a reason.

 

5 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.

 

6 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Were there any discussions

 

7 about the quality of Mr. Jackson’s parenting of his

 

8 children?

 

9 A. Well, that Debbie said?

 

10 Q. Questions that were put to Debbie Rowe about

 

11 exactly that.

 

12 A. Yes.

 

13 Q. Were those questions subject to Mr.

 

14 Schaffel’s suggestions?

 

15 A. Yes, because he would —

 

16 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Objection;

 

17 hearsay.

 

18 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

19 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. What — do you

 

20 remember a question in specific that dealt with that

 

21 topic that was eventually commented on by Mr.

 

22 Schaffel?

 

23 A. That Michael was a good father, and then he

 

24 said, “You’re going to see your kids.”

 

25 Q. Do you recall having heard that?

 

26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

 

27 move to strike.

 

28 THE COURT: Sustained. The question was 8761

 

1 whether or not you remember a question, not what the

 

2 response was.

 

3 THE WITNESS: Okay.

 

4 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. Let me — was

 

5 there an answer specifically that Debbie Rowe gave

 

6 to that issue of the quality of Mr. Jackson’s

 

7 parenting that Mr. Schaffel wanted to change?

 

8 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Calls for

 

9 speculation, hearsay, and a conclusion.

 

10 THE COURT: Sustained.

 

11 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Was there a conversation

 

12 about her seeing her children?

 

13 A. Well —

 

14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.

 

15 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

16 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: You may answer.

 

17 A. He said, “You’re going to see your kids

 

18 soon.”

19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;

 

20 hearsay; move to strike.

 

21 THE COURT: It’s stricken.

 

22 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Well, but the answer would be

 

23 “yes” or “no.” Was there a conversation

 

24 specifically about her kids?

 

25 A. Yes.

 

26 Q. What did Mr. Schaffel say to her about her

 

27 kids?

 

28 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay. 8762

 

1 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

2 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

 

3 A. That, “You were doing good. You are going

 

4 to see them soon,” or something like that.

 

5 Q. Were there times when you were watching this

 

6 interview when Miss Rowe was crying?

 

7 A. Yes.

 

8 Q. Was there any discussion between Mr.

 

9 Schaffel and Ms. Rowe about her crying at other

 

10 times?

 

11 A. Yes.

 

12 Q. Would you explain that to us, please?

 

13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay; vague.

 

14 THE COURT: Overruled.

 

15 You may answer.

 

16 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.

 

17 THE WITNESS: Can you say it again?

 

18 MR. ZONEN: Perhaps the court reporter would

 

19 read it back.

 

20 (Record read.)

 

21 THE WITNESS: Okay. He thought she could cry

 

22 better.

 

23 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: And did they do the scene

 

24 again?

 

25 A. Pretty much, yeah. Well, not “pretty much.”

 

26 They did.

 

27 Q. And did she cry when they redid it?

 

28 A. She cried better. 8763

 

1 Q. She cried better.

2 Did you eventually see this production of

3 the Maury Povich rebuttal?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Were there, in fact, scenes of Debbie Rowe

6 in this production?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Were any of the scenes including — which

9 included her crying?

10 A. Yeah, there was like a crying scene.

Before going to break, Zonen questioned Provencio about whether or not he overheard any conversations about the interview between Geragos, Cascio, and Amen:

11 Q. During the course of the interview, did you

12 receive phone calls at the house from a Mark

13 Geragos?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Were you able to overhear those

16 conversations?

17 A. Well, he would — he would get on the phone

18 with Marc.

19 Q. “Yes” or “no.”

20 A. Yes, sorry.

21 Q. You were able to overhear the conversations?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. How could you overhear the conversations?

24 A. Because sometimes they were on speakerphone,

25 and sometimes — you know, he just —

26 Q. Did he call more than once?

27 A. Oh, yeah.

28 Q. And can you give us a sense of how often he 8764

1 called, how frequently he called during that time?

2 A. Well, he was calling — in a week’s time, he

3 was calling three or four times that I would know

4 for sure that was him, because I could hear his

5 voice. And then — and then if Vinnie was there, he

6 called a lot.

7 Q. All right. And we’re talking at the moment

8 during the course of the interview, the Debbie Rowe

9 interview.

10 A. Oh. If we’re talking towards the interview,

11 he was calling a couple of times, yes.

12 Q. Vinnie was not there during that interview;

13 is that correct?

14 A. I don’t believe he was, no.

15 Q. But at subsequent times Vinnie was —

16 “Vinnie” is Vinnie Amen; is that right?

17 A. Vinnie Amen.

18 Q. And Vinnie was there at the house subsequent

19 to that interview; is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And you testified that there were

22 conversations with Mr. Geragos and Vinnie Amen?

23 A. Correct.

24 MR. ZONEN: Your Honor, this might be a good

25 time to take a break, if that’s okay.

26 THE COURT: All right. We’ll take our break.

27 (Recess taken.)

28 –o0o—8765

To be continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/may-4th-2005-trial-analysis-rudy-provencio-direct-cross-examination-part-2-of-4/

 

 

 

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