May 4th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Rudy Provencio (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 2 of 4
After returning from recess, Zonen wanted to show the jury that Jackson and Schaffel’s relationship was much closer than what the defense says it was during that time period by having Provenicio testify about the dedication to Schaffel that Jackson included in the liner notes to his 2001 album “Invincible”:
1 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Mr. Provencio, did you ever
2 become aware of a CD that was produced by Michael
4 A JUROR: Your microphone.
5 MR. ZONEN: I’m in my own world today.
6 Q. Did you ever become aware of a CD that was
7 produced by Michael Jackson entitled “Invincible”?
8 A. The album “Invincible,” yes.
9 Q. Do they still call them “albums” nowadays?
10 A. Yeah, CDs, albums.
11 Q. Are there actually people who remember
13 A. Yeah, I hope so.
14 Q. Did you have an opportunity to take a look
15 at it?
16 A. Oh, yeah. Yes.
17 Q. Did you look at the credits that are
18 contained in it?
19 A. Oh, yeah. Marc gloated over it.
20 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.
21 THE COURT: Stricken, the last sentence.
22 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: I’d like to show you Exhibit
23 887, please. Is that, in fact, the CD “Invincible”
24 produced by Mr. Jackson?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. Was that published during the course of your
27 employment with Neverland Valley Entertainment?
28 A. Yes, but it was a Sony record. 8771
1 Q. A Sony production?
2 A. Yes, it’s a Sony record.
3 Q. All right. Are there credits that are
4 published along with that CD?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And did you have an opportunity to look at
8 A. Oh, many times.
9 Q. All right. Is there, in fact, a credit
10 there to Marc Schaffel?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you read that to us?
13 A. “Marc Schaffel: Thank you for all your
14 help. I love you, Michael.”
15 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
16 THE COURT: Overruled.
17 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: I’m sorry, the — we heard
18 the, “Thank you for all your help.” What’s the next
20 A. “Thank you for all your help. I love you,
22 Q. Is there also a credit to the Cascio family,
23 including Frank Cascio?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And did you find that?
26 A. Yes. “Frank” —
27 Q. What does that say?
28 A. “Frank: Thank you for all your help, love 8772
1 and support. You are my true friend and family.
2 (Stop fishing). I love you, Michael.”
3 Q. Is there a separate credit to the Cascio
4 family, other members of the Cascio family besides
6 A. There is. Let me look for it. Hold on.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Oh, yes. “Special thanks to Connie (Momma
9 Rubba)” — I think that’s a — oh, “Angel and Frank,
10 my other family.”
11 Q. Is there a credit there to Bob Jones?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What does that say?
14 A. Let me find it.
15 “Special thanks and appreciation to Bob
16 Jones for your continuing support and love over the
17 years. Love, Michael Jackson.”
18 Q. Do you know when “Invincible” came out?
19 A. 2001.
20 MR. ZONEN: All right. I’d move into
21 evidence Exhibit No. 887.
22 MR. MESEREAU: No objection.
Next, Zonen questioned Provencio about various business documents relating to Neverland Valley Entertainment, and his observations of Jackson in various business meetings with Schaffel and others.
23 MR. ZONEN: May I approach the witness? I’d
24 like to show some other exhibits.
25 THE COURT: It’s admitted. Yes.
26 You’re stepping on my lines here.
27 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Let me put this notebook in
28 front of you, if I may, and with the admonition that 8773
1 it’s —
2 A. Oh, the water spilled.
3 Thank you. Okay.
4 Q. I’d like to direct your attention to Exhibit
5 No. 400 that’s before you here. And with the
6 admonition as we turn each page, do it gingerly,
7 because it gets caught in the binder.
8 No. 400 is the document that’s currently in
9 front of you. Do you recognize that document?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What is that document?
12 A. The work agreement.
13 Q. And was that — a work agreement for whom?
14 A. For Marc, I believe, yes.
15 Q. Okay. At Neverland Valley Entertainment?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Was that kept at Mr. Schaffel’s offices at
18 his home?
19 A. Yes, in the filing cabinet.
20 Q. And you’ve seen that document before, have
22 A. Yeah. It was — it’s been — it’s laid out
23 a couple of times, too.
24 Q. No. 401, please. 401, consisting of one,
25 two, three and four pages, do you know what these
26 pages are?
27 A. This is the agreement where Michael gives
28 Marc the song and gives me a point on the record, on 8774
1 “What More Can I Give?”
2 Q. And this was kept at Mr. Schaffel’s
3 residence, the offices to Neverland Valley
5 A. Yes, and I had a copy as well.
6 Q. Exhibit No. 402. Tell us, please, what 402
8 A. It’s the reports on basically money that
9 we’re spending, receipts, and what we’ve been
10 spending on, you know, production people for the
11 record, Brad Buxer, Bruce Swedien, who was a
12 production person for “What More Can I Give?”
13 Q. Did you participate in putting these
14 compilation figures together?
15 A. Yeah, parts. And then — we would work on
16 parts and then bring it all together, because we had
17 to hunt down receipts and just do what you do in any
18 kind of an office.
19 Q. Was this document, No. 402, kept at
20 Neverland Valley Entertainment offices at Mr.
21 Schaffel’s residence as well?
22 A. Yes, that’s part of how we’d track money.
23 Q. And was that where you and Mr. Schaffel
24 compiled those figures?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. Going to No. 405, please.
27 A. Uh-huh.
28 Q. The document, No. 405, with the name, at the 8775
1 upper left-hand, of “Bell Yard,” had you ever seen
2 that document before?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And where did you see that document?
5 A. Laying around in the office.
6 Q. Did you have any discussions with Mr.
7 Schaffel concerning the content of that document at
8 any time?
9 A. I just concerned — I was just concerned for
10 the family —
11 Q. Hold on a second. It’s a “yes” or “no.”
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Yes, you did have a conversation with Mr.
14 Schaffel concerning that document?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you recall at what time that was? When,
17 approximately, in terms of month, year?
18 A. February 2003.
19 Q. Now, I — let me correct something while I
20 remember to do so.
21 The telephone conference calls that you
22 referred to —
23 A. Uh-huh.
24 Q. — the two of them, where you were listening
25 in on those two conference calls, were at the
26 beginning of what month?
27 A. February.
28 Q. It was February 1st and February 2nd? 8776
1 A. 2nd, 3rd.
2 Q. Or 2nd or 3rd was the other one?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. 2003?
5 A. 2003.
6 Q. I may have said “January” early on. Do you
7 have a recollection of that at all?
8 A. January was when the transcript was sent.
9 Q. All right. So the conference calls were at
10 the beginning of February?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. All right. I take you now to Exhibit 409.
13 What is this, please?
14 A. Oh, this is the thing we would — basically
15 we had a wall where we just stuck people’s numbers
16 on so that everybody knew who they were when they
17 called and how to get ahold of them.
18 Q. And the wall was where?
19 A. Right there in Marc’s office. There was an
20 extra space right there for someone to work on the
21 other computer.
22 Q. Do you know who compiled those documents?
23 A. Well, we all did, pretty much. We would
24 write them down and then — this one looks like it
25 was done by Marc or Christian.
26 Q. Okay.
27 A. So —
28 Q. And the — this document contains a phone 8777
1 number and the name of Gavin Arvizo; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Showing you now No. 410, please. Tell us
5 what 410 is.
6 A. It’s the same thing. Basically phone
7 numbers and — of people we need to know. David
8 LeGrand, Ronald Konitzer. You know, if they called,
9 so you would recognize numbers and know to patch
10 them in to Marc right away.
11 Q. And did this also include the name Gavin
12 “Orvizo,” spelled O-r-v-i-z-o?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. We are in Exhibit No. 413, and 413 is a
15 piece of paper, yellow legal pad, that has
16 handwriting writing on it. Do you recognize the
17 handwriting of Exhibit No. 413?
18 A. Yeah, it’s Vinnie’s.
19 Q. This is 413, specifically page six. That’s
20 Vinnie’s handwriting?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you’ve seen his handwriting before?
23 A. Many times. He always writes in notebooks.
24 Q. Let’s see if we can get to the very back of
25 that. Let’s just do that.
26 A. No, I can just hold it.
27 Q. All right. Showing you Exhibit no. 423
28 then, which is a collection of pages – 8778
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. — do you recognize these documents?
3 A. Yes. They’re the Parviz documents.
4 Q. The entire collection of documents?
5 A. Yes. I mean, these are what Parviz had to
6 sign and Marc had to sign and Michael had to sign.
7 Q. And you had testified to those documents
8 yesterday; is that correct?
9 A. Right, because we went there twice.
10 Q. And where was that collection of documents
12 A. In the office.
13 Q. Was there a particular file it was kept in?
14 A. Well, yeah, it had a — I think it was just
15 the Parviz loan file.
16 Q. It was kept in the office at Mr. Schaffel’s
18 A. Yes, in the filing cabinet.
19 Q. Thank you. Go ahead and —
20 A. Shut it all?
21 Q. Well, leave it like that. I’ll take care of
23 In the early days of Neverland Valley
24 Entertainment after you had started up and until the
25 time that Marc Schaffel was formally fired, were you
26 involved in meetings or conference calls with
27 Michael Jackson?
28 A. Yes. 8779
1 Q. Was he involved in the business decisions of
2 Neverland Valley Entertainment?
3 A. Absolutely.
4 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; foundation.
5 THE COURT: Sustained.
6 MR. ZONEN: All right.
7 Q. Were you able to watch Mr. Jackson’s
8 participation in meetings that were held between Mr.
9 Jackson and Mr. Schaffel?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. Were you able to listen to the
12 interaction between the two of them?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you able to listen and understand the
15 content of the dialogue between the two of them?
16 A. Oh, yeah, because it was business.
17 Q. All right. And did those conversations take
18 place with some level of frequency?
19 A. Yes. I mean — yes.
20 Q. And did you hear all of them when they did?
21 A. Not all of them, no.
22 Q. What percentage of conversations were you a
23 witness to?
24 A. Well, if we had a face-to-face meeting, is
25 that what you’re saying?
26 Q. Yes. Yes.
27 A. I was there with those meetings, with him
28 and Michael. 8780
1 Q. How many face-to-face meetings did you have
2 with Michael Jackson and Mr. Schaffel?
3 A. There was three at The Beverly Hills Hotel.
4 Two at The Universal Hilton. And then all the ones
5 in the studio, when Michael would come to the
7 Q. And how many times did that happen?
8 A. Four. Maybe four, five times maybe.
9 Q. As to all of those meetings, was business
11 A. Excuse me?
12 Q. As to all of those meetings, was there a
13 discussion of business matters?
14 A. Yes, my situation with Michael was always
15 business, just business.
16 Q. Was Michael Jackson actively involved in the
17 business of Neverland Valley Entertainment?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In what way?
20 A. He was the captain at the helm.
21 Q. All right. And what do you mean by that?
22 A. He had to make the decisions. It was
23 Michael Jackson’s project, “What More Can I Give?”
24 Michael and Marc’s.
After wasting so much time on all of these irrelevant issues, Zonen finally cuts to the chase and questions Provencio about the events that the prosecution alleged took place between February and March 2003 at Neverland. Provencio testified that Marc Schaffel told him that “the killers” were after the Arvizos, but Schafel told him in a very flippant and sarcastic way. Provencio was alarmed, so he immediately called Vinnie Amen to seek clarification on the issue, who stated that “there are no killers”, but only bullies who were teasing Gavin at school.
During a subsequent conversation with Schaffel, Provencio was told that the Arvizos had “escaped” from Neverland, so he once again called Vinnie for clarification, and was told by Vinnie that the family had indeed “escaped”.
25 Q. I want to move back now to February of —
26 February and March of 2003.
27 A. Uh-huh.
28 Q. Did you have a discussion with anyone among 8781
1 the people who — may I have just one second?
2 Did you have a discussion with anyone among
3 the people who were working for Michael Jackson
4 where the words or word “killers” became part of the
6 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
7 THE COURT: Overruled.
8 You may answer.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. With whom did you
11 have that discussion?
12 A. With Marc and Vinnie.
13 Q. All right. Who was the first person with
14 whom you had that discussion?
15 A. Marc.
16 Q. And where were you at the time of that
18 A. I was in his office.
19 Q. Do you remember when that was? Can you tell
20 us as to the best of your recollection?
21 A. It was right — right after the Arvizos came
22 to the house the first time.
23 Q. Did the Arvizos actually come to the house?
24 A. Oh, yeah. Twice.
25 Q. On more than one occasion?
26 A. That I saw, twice.
27 Q. Did they ever actually come into the house?
28 A. Yes. 8782
1 Q. Did you ever meet them?
2 A. Well, I pointed to the bathroom.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. When Gavin — or the boy came in.
5 Q. All right. Did other members of the Arvizo
6 family come into the house besides Gavin?
7 A. Yes. They were in the car.
8 Q. Did they actually come into the house?
9 A. No.
10 Q. All right. Was Gavin the only member of the
11 family to actually come into the house?
12 A. That I saw, yeah.
13 Q. Do you remember when those two visits were?
14 A. Had to have been — well, I don’t remember
15 exactly the date, but I remember when they came, you
17 Q. Do you remember if it was still in February
18 of ‘03?
19 A. Oh, it was in February for sure.
20 Q. Do you remember how far apart these two
21 visits were?
22 A. They were pretty close because they were
23 going shopping.
24 Q. Did you ever see the other members of the
25 family besides Gavin?
26 A. Yes, the young girl.
27 Q. Did you ever see the mother?
28 A. No. 8783
1 Q. Were you ever introduced to any of them?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, I asked you the question about the
4 discussion of the word “killer” or “killers” —
5 A. Uh-huh.
6 Q. — and you said that it was Frank — excuse
7 me, you said it was Marc Schaffel —
8 A. Marc and Vinnie.
9 Q. — and Vinnie.
10 Tell me about the conversation with Marc
11 Schaffel involving the word “killer.”
12 A. Well —
13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
14 THE COURT: Overruled.
15 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.
16 A. He said — he made a flippant remark about
17 the “killers,” and I was kind of trying to figure
18 out what was happening here. So I said to him, I
19 said, “Well, what killers?” And he said, “The
20 killers that are after the Arvizos.” And I think
21 I’m pronouncing the name right. And I said, “Um,”
22 because I thought, “Well, maybe I should be” —
23 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Nonresponsive;
25 THE COURT: Narrative; sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. He said the
27 killers that were after the Arvizos; is that
28 correct? 8784
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Did he say anything else about the killers?
3 A. No, that was the first time I was hearing
4 about it, so — it was a flippant remark.
5 Q. Did you ever hear the word “killers” prior
6 to that?
7 A. Never.
8 Q. Did you ask him about that, to explain
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what did you ask him?
12 A. I said, “Who are the killers?”
13 Q. And what did he say?
14 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
15 THE COURT: Overruled.
16 You may answer.
17 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What did he say?
18 A. He says, “The killers that are after the
19 family.” I mean, he didn’t really go into it. That
20 was the first time I was hearing about it. So —
21 Q. Did he offer any further explanation?
22 A. No. That’s what was alarming, because —
23 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.
24 THE COURT: Strike the last sentence.
25 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Were you alarmed by those
27 A. Absolutely.
28 Q. Did you ask him for any further explanation? 8785
1 A. No. Because I didn’t know — I didn’t
2 know — it was just an alarming situation.
3 Q. What was the tone of that —
4 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.
5 THE COURT: Overruled. Next —
6 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What was the tone of his
8 A. The comment about “the killers”?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Just flippant, like it was nothing. Like,
11 “Oh, the killers.”
12 Q. And that conversation lasted for
13 approximately how long?
14 A. 15 seconds, I guess.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. I mean, it just didn’t go on that long. It
17 was just “the killers.” And I was —
18 Q. Did you ever pursue that conversation with
19 anybody else?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was that Vinnie?
22 A. Yes, it was Vinnie.
23 Q. Approximately how long after your
24 conversation with Marc Schaffel was it that you had
25 the conversation with Vinnie?
26 A. I raced over to the phone and picked up the
27 phone and called him.
28 Q. So immediately? 8786
1 A. Immediately.
2 Q. All right. What did you ask Vinnie?
3 A. “Who the heck are the killers?”
4 Q. What did he say?
5 A. He goes, “There are no killers.”
6 Q. Did he say anything beyond that?
7 A. He said that — that they were calling him a
8 faggot at school, and that was really it. It was
9 just so — it was another kid or something, I don’t
10 know. But he just said that they were calling him a
11 faggot at school, so….
12 Q. Was that the end of that conversation?
13 A. Pretty much.
14 Q. Did you have a conversation with anybody
15 among the people who worked for Michael Jackson at
16 that time about escape or escaping from Neverland?
17 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
18 THE COURT: Overruled.
19 THE WITNESS: Yes.
20 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. With whom did you
21 have that conversation?
22 A. With Marc and Vinnie again.
23 Q. Okay. At the same time, or at separate
25 A. Separate times.
26 Q. With whom did you first speak about that
28 A. Marc. 8787
1 Q. And what did Marc say to you?
2 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; hearsay.
3 THE COURT: Overruled.
4 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: What did he say to you?
5 A. “I can’t talk right now. They just
7 Q. Was there any further discussion with him at
8 that point?
9 A. No, he just got off the phone. It was kind
10 of ugly.
11 Q. You were talking to him over the telephone?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. Did he make any further
14 qualifications on that?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you have — but the word “escaped” was
17 the word he used?
18 A. He used “escaped.”
19 Q. Okay. Do you know when this conversation
20 took place, as best you can recall?
21 A. Yes. I was — my dad was — I was taking
22 care of my dad because he was dying of liver cancer,
23 so I was taking care of him at his house, so I
24 called on the phone.
25 Q. And his house was where?
26 A. In Michigan.
27 Q. And so your conversation was with Mr.
28 Schaffel by telephone? 8788
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you remember what period of time you were
3 tending to your father’s needs in Michigan?
4 A. It would have been March, the first of
5 March, like around the 6th or 7th, something around
7 Q. The early part of March?
8 A. Yeah, it was the 6th. I think it was the
9 6th or 7th.
10 Q. Are those to the best of your recollection,
11 the dates?
12 A. Oh, I remember. You don’t forget “escape.”
13 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.
14 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: No, I understand the content
15 of the conversation, but the date.
16 THE COURT: Sustained.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, the date. Sorry.
18 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Now, did you follow up that
19 conversation, on the question of escape, with
20 anybody else?
21 A. I didn’t bring it up. I just called Vinnie.
22 Q. All right. Was this one of those things
23 where you did it again immediately after?
24 A. Yes, I did it often, to see what the truth
26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
28 THE COURT: I’ll strike the last voluntary 8789
2 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Did you, in fact, call Vinnie
3 soon after your conversation with Mr. Schaffel where
4 the word “escaped” was used?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Did you have a conversation with
7 Vinnie about that particular word?
8 A. It was just very quick.
9 Q. What did you ask Vinnie, and what did he
10 tell you?
11 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay;
13 THE COURT: Overruled.
14 You may answer.
15 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: Go ahead.
16 A. He essentially was panicked and said he
17 couldn’t talk right now because the family just
19 Q. He said that as well?
20 A. Yeah, pretty much the same thing.
21 Q. Did you ask him for any clarification on
22 that as well?
23 A. No, because I was kind of relieved.
24 Q. I’m sorry?
25 A. I was relieved.
26 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
28 THE COURT: After “No,” I’ll strike that. 8790
1 Q. BY MR. ZONEN: All right. Did he offer any
2 other commentary or — commentary or explanation?
3 A. No. He just wanted to get off the phone.
4 Q. And did you get off the phone?
5 A. Yes.
Zonen asked just a few more basic questions, and then ended his direct examination:
6 Q. All right. When did you leave Neverland
7 Valley Entertainment?
8 A. The beginning of March.
9 Q. Did you complete your contract with them?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were you paid everything in accordance with
12 your contract?
13 A. Yes. I received my last check on the 25th
14 of February.
15 Q. And the point that you had, you had already
16 given back to Mr. Jackson?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. ZONEN: Thank you. I have no further
20 Hold on just one second, Mr. Mesereau.
21 Excuse me. Your Honor, if I could have just
22 one moment.
23 THE COURT: Yes.
24 MR. ZONEN: No further questions. Thank
25 you, Your Honor.
26 MR. MESEREAU: May I just take a second,
27 Your Honor?
28 THE COURT: Yes. 8791
So Zonen went through all of that testimony just to hear Provencio testify about being told that the Arvizos were being chased by “killers” and had subsequently “escaped” from Neverland. The prosecution surely rested their case on a wimper!
Mesereau began his cross examination by asking Provencio to recount the details of his interview with police in early 2004, including what he told them about when he first met the Arvizo family during their visit to Schaffel’s home in 2003:
2 BY MR. MESEREAU:
3 Q. Good morning.
4 A. Hello.
5 Q. Mr. Provencio, we haven’t spoken before. My
6 name is Tom Mesereau, and I speak for Mr. Jackson,
8 A. Okay.
9 Q. Now, you referred to your taking notes in
10 response to the prosecutor’s questions, correct?
11 A. Could you repeat that, please?
12 Q. Yes. Did you make a reference in response
13 to one of the prosecutor’s questions to taking
15 A. I’ve always taken notes, yes.
16 Q. And could you please explain what you mean
17 by that?
18 A. By always taking notes?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. I take notes — I have been taking notes in
21 journals since I was a teenager.
22 Q. And do you take notes about every phone call
23 you make?
24 A. No. Not every single one.
25 Q. Do you take notes of some phone calls that
26 you make?
27 A. Ones that I think are important.
28 Q. Okay. When did you first talk to any 8792
1 representative of the Santa Barbara sheriffs about
2 this case?
3 A. When — let’s see. That would have been,
4 oh, gosh, a couple months after Michael’s house was
6 Q. And that would be when, do you think?
7 A. That would have been 2000 — 2004.
8 Q. And do you recall where that interview took
10 A. Interview?
11 Q. Yes. Was it an interview?
12 A. No, that was they came to my place.
13 Q. And did you talk?
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. Was it an interview?
16 A. No, I just told them, “You can have whatever
17 you want.”
18 Q. Did they ask you any questions?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you answer the questions?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Okay. And approximately how long was that
23 discussion, if you know?
24 A. Maybe — well, you know, I was pretty
25 nervous. Probably 30 minutes.
26 Q. Did they ask you questions about Mr.
28 A. Yeah. They asked me, you know, basic 8793
1 questions in regards to, you know, “How well do you
2 know him?” And, “Do you have any information in
3 regards to what we’re investigating?” or “You saw,”
4 you know, “on the news,” or whatever.
5 Q. Did you tell them when you first met the
6 Arvizo family?
7 A. At that meeting?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Did I tell them when I first met them?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. No, not at that meeting, I don’t believe.
12 Q. When did you first meet the Arvizo family?
13 A. I never met them, other than showed Gavin
14 the bathroom.
15 Q. When did you first meet them?
16 MR. ZONEN: Asked and answered.
17 THE COURT: Sustained.
18 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: When you showed Gavin the
19 bathroom, did you meet the family?
20 MR. ZONEN: Objection; asked and answered
21 THE WITNESS: Not the family. Just Gavin.
22 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Was Gavin the only one —
23 THE COURT: Just a minute.
24 MR. MESEREAU: I’m sorry.
25 THE COURT: The objection is overruled. Next
27 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Was Gavin the only member
28 of the Arvizo family that you met that day? 8794
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And where did you meet him?
3 A. Downstairs in Neverland Valley
5 Q. And “downstairs” is in the home of Marc
6 Schaffel, true?
7 A. Right.
8 Q. Was any other member of the Arvizo family
9 present that day, to your knowledge?
10 A. Yes. They were — yes.
11 Q. And who were they?
12 A. It was — it was that girl, Star, I think is
13 her name, yeah. And then whoever was in the car. I
14 couldn’t see in the car. I didn’t look in the car.
15 Q. Do you know approximately when that
17 A. February.
18 Q. February of when?
19 A. Middle of February.
20 Q. Okay. Would that be 2003?
21 A. 2003.
22 Q. Okay. Were you making notes about the
23 Arvizos at that point in time?
24 A. Yes. Because there was a slanderous thing
25 that was said against them.
26 Q. Okay. And this — the slanderous thing was
27 said when?
28 A. Was — was the first — first time they came 8795
2 Q. And approximately when was that?
3 A. February 2003.
4 Q. Okay. Do you know the date, approximately?
5 A. The middle of February I’m thinking.
6 Q. Was it after the Bashir documentary had
8 A. I believe so. Possibly — well, honestly, I
9 won’t say yes, because I know it was in February,
10 but things are moving so quickly, so I think I’d
11 have to tell you that I’m — I guess I would say I’m
13 Q. Did you have any reason to meet them before
14 the Bashir documentary had aired?
15 A. No. I just knew they were nice people.
16 That’s what they said.
17 Q. I understand that. But you met them after
18 the Bashir documentary aired, true?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. ZONEN: Objection; assumes facts not in
21 evidence, that he met them.
22 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll rephrase it, Your Honor.
23 THE COURT: All right.
24 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did you meet Janet Arvizo
25 after the Bashir documentary aired?
26 A. No.
27 Q. Did you meet Janet Arvizo before the Bashir
28 documentary aired? 8796
1 A. No.
2 Q. Didn’t you just say she’s a nice person?
3 A. They said she was a nice person.
4 Q. Did you meet Gavin Arvizo after the Bashir
5 documentary aired?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you meet Davellin Arvizo, his sister,
8 after the Bashir documentary aired?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you ever meet Davellin Arvizo?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you ever meet Star Arvizo?
13 A. Saw her.
14 Q. Excuse me?
15 A. Didn’t meet her, no.
16 Q. Okay. Is Gavin Arvizo the only member of
17 the Arvizo family you ever met personally?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. And that was at Mr. Schaffel’s house,
21 A. Yes. As I pointed to the bathroom.
22 Q. And he was alone, to your knowledge?
23 A. Well, Vinnie had come in.
24 Q. Okay. And he was with Vinnie, right?
25 A. Correct.
Mesereau wasted no time in getting to the heart of the issue at hand, and that is Provencio’s claims of being told by Schaffel about “the killers” and the Arvizos “escaping” from Neverland. Provencio testified that he took notes about his conversations with Schaffel about the Arvizo family because of his “concern” for them, and denied that he had plans to write a book based on those notes. He claimed that taking notes makes him a “better person”. Whatever!
26 Q. All right. Now, the conversation that
27 you’ve described about killers —
28 A. Uh-huh. 8797
1 Q. — happened approximately when, to your
3 A. It was soon after the second visit. So that
4 would have been mid-February.
5 Q. Okay. And to your knowledge, was that after
6 the Bashir documentary had aired?
7 A. In America — I think the Bashir thing aired
8 the 5th or 6th in America. So, yes, that would be
10 Q. Okay. And is it your recollection that the
11 discussion about so-called killers happened after
12 you saw the Bashir documentary?
13 A. After I saw the Bashir documentary, did the
14 word “killers” come into dialogue with other people
15 and I heard it? Is that what you’re saying?
16 Q. Yes. Yes.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. Was it your belief that the
19 discussion about killers that you heard with
20 Schaffel and Vinnie in some way related to the
21 Bashir documentary?
22 A. Well, it would have to be, because they’re
23 saying it, and they’re around, so that would make
24 sense, yes.
25 Q. And were you taking notes about your
26 discussions with any member of the Arvizo family?
27 A. I didn’t have a discussion with the Arvizo
28 family. I showed him the bathroom. Is that what 8798
1 you mean?
2 Q. Did you take notes about any discussion you
3 had with Schaffel concerning the Arvizos?
4 A. Yes. He called them “stupid Mexicans,” so I
5 wrote it down.
6 Q. Did you write that down?
7 A. Yeah, it’s in my notes.
8 Q. Okay. And did you write down any notes
9 about what Vinnie said about killers?
10 A. Well, he said there were no killers.
11 Q. Did you write that down in your notes?
12 A. I believe so.
13 Q. Would you write your notes down shortly
14 after you heard these discussions?
15 A. Yeah. Typically — well, this is the
16 notebook. So I would write it — if I had the
17 notebook in my hand, I would write it and then — or
18 as soon as I could go and write something, I would
19 write it. I was concerned that something might be
20 wrong with the family.
21 Q. And because of your wonderful concern for
22 the family, you were writing notes down?
23 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Because of your concern
27 for the family, you were taking contemporaneous
28 notes, true? 8799
1 A. For my concern for the family, I took notes,
2 because I wanted to see what was happening.
3 Q. Okay. That was your only purpose, correct?
4 A. Well, I thought it was fishy. And so much
5 was moving so quickly, that if I didn’t write things
6 down, I wouldn’t remember things, so I wrote them
7 down as they were happening.
8 Q. And your only purpose was a concern for the
9 family, true?
10 A. Well, yeah. Because I just wanted to know
11 what was happening. Something fishy was going on.
12 Q. No, I understand, I understand. And because
13 something fishy was going on, you thought you would
14 just take notes of everything that was happening,
16 A. I took notes because I knew things were
17 moving so quickly, that unless I kept track of what
18 was going on — I wasn’t sure what was happening
19 with this family, because people were all saying
20 different things.
21 Q. I understand. And have you ever discussed
22 the possibility of writing a book based on your
24 A. No.
25 Q. When you first met the sheriffs, did you
26 tell them you had taken notes?
27 A. At first, maybe, probably not. I didn’t
28 want to get involved really. 8800
1 Q. I see. And did you continue to take notes
2 about what was going on around Mr. Jackson?
3 A. Around Mr. Jackson?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I take notes anyways. Of everything. For
6 my life; I mean, for who I am. It helps me become a
7 better person.
8 Q. And you do that every day?
9 A. Not every single day.
10 Q. Every other day?
11 A. Couple times a week.
12 Q. Have you at any point, when you wrote notes
13 about this investigation, gone backward and wrote
14 about what happened, say, months before?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Have all of your notes been taken about the
17 time you described these events in the notes?
18 A. Yeah. That’s why they seem kind of
19 scrambled, because I just frantically write and I
20 never meant for anybody to read them. They were
21 just for me to understand.
22 Q. And you wrote notes about the word
23 “killers,” right?
24 A. Yeah. I believe I did, yes.
25 Q. You wrote notes about how you thought the
26 Arvizos used to be good people, right?
27 A. Yes. But those were their words, so I was
28 just writing down what they had said. 8801
1 Q. Okay. And when you wrote those notes, you
2 thought the Arvizos used to be good people, right?
3 A. Well, yeah, until they called them a crack
4 whore, called her a crack whore.
5 Q. I understand your point.
6 A. Yeah.
7 Q. When you wrote the notes that you thought
8 they were good people —
9 A. Oh, I see what you’re saying.
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Oh. I wrote the notes because verbiage
12 started changing around the family. And so I
13 started writing notes during the time, and then
14 afterwards I started writing notes, you know, still.
15 Q. And you consider your notes to be accurate,
17 A. Well, they were for me, yes.
18 Q. Yeah. And you thought they were —
19 everything you wrote down is honest and truthful,
21 A. For —
22 Q. Yeah.
23 A. Because I was writing them for me, not for
24 other people to read.
25 Q. You were just writing them for yourself for
26 therapy, is that the idea?
27 MR. ZONEN: That’s argumentative and I’ll
28 object. 8802
1 THE COURT: Sustained.
2 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: And you never went
3 backward months and wrote down —
4 A. I wrote them —
5 MR. ZONEN: Object as asked and answered.
6 THE COURT: Sustained.
Here is a piece bombshell information from Mesereau; Provencio wrote about “the killers” in his notes on February 1st, 2003, several weeks before his conversation with Schaffel, and several days before Bashir’s documentary aired! In fact, Provencio wrote several derogatory statements about the Arvizos before he had even met them!
7 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Mr. Provencio,
8 isn’t it true that in your notebook, you claim the
9 word “killers” was used on February 1st, 2003?
10 A. If that’s in my notes, yes.
11 Q. Sir, that’s before the Bashir documentary
12 ever aired. Did you know that?
13 A. I just wrote it. I heard — if I heard it,
14 I wrote it. I mean, that’s what I did.
15 Q. Do you remember writing that word down
16 and —
17 A. I remember writing it down.
18 Q. On February 1st, 2003?
19 A. If it’s in my notes, I wrote it, yeah.
20 Q. Do you remember that you put the date
21 “February 1st, 2003”?
22 A. No, I don’t remember that.
23 Q. Would it refresh your recollection to look
24 at your own notes?
25 A. Sure, if you want me to.
26 Q. Sure, please.
27 A. Okay. Yes, here it is.
28 Q. Did you write, “Are these killers?” and date 8803
1 it February 1st, 2003?
2 A. Well, actually, if you look at it, it’s a
3 different paragraph, so I don’t really know when
4 that was written specifically. I mean — because
5 the top part is February the 1st.
6 Q. And what date do you have above those words,
8 A. The first paragraph, I have February the
9 1st. The second paragraph, if you — if you take a
10 look at the entire page, there’s all kinds of
11 information on there that either has a date or it
12 doesn’t have a date. These notes were intended as,
13 like, scribbled memory. So parts of it, unless I
14 have a date right there, then I don’t know if that
15 second paragraph is exactly when I wrote it, because
16 I wrote these notes for me.
17 Q. What is the date above those words?
18 A. The date above the first paragraph?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. Is February 1st. The second paragraph has
21 no date.
22 Q. Okay. Well, let’s look at the first
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. You say, “I thought they used to be good
26 people,” correct?
27 A. Correct.
28 Q. You’re talking about the Arvizos? 8804
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. You’d never met them on February 1st, 2003,
4 A. No. They said they were good people, like I
5 said before.
6 Q. Did you write down, “I thought they used to
7 be good people” under February 1st, 2003?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You hadn’t met them, correct?
10 A. I hadn’t met them, but that’s what they
12 Q. Did you write under February 1st, 2003,
13 “Mom’s flipping out about something”?
14 A. About February 1st, 2003?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You hadn’t met the mom, correct?
18 A. Never met her.
19 Q. Did you write under February 1st, 2003,
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You hadn’t met the family or the kids on
23 February 1st, 2003, correct?
24 A. That’s not what it means.
25 Q. And write below that first paragraph is
26 where you wrote the words, “Who are these killers?”
28 A. Yes. 8805
1 Q. And after that, you wrote, “Nobody but press
2 are calling,” correct?
3 A. Right.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. Because that was after the transcript on the
7 Q. You don’t write down the 24th there, do you?
8 A. No. You’re right.
9 Q. Okay. Now, you’ve been taking notes about
10 various conversations you’ve had with people you
11 think are associated with this case, correct?
12 A. Yes.
Provencio had a habit of surreptitiously recording his phone conversations with people, and he offered to continue to do this for the police department in order to assist them in their investigation. What’s utterly laugable is that he claimed to have taken all of these extensive notes about his “concerns” regarding the Arvizos, but didn’t report this concerns to the police until November 2003!
13 Q. And at one point you were recording
14 conversations with various people you think are
15 associated with this case, correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. How many people’s conversations do you think
18 you recorded of people you think are associated with
19 this case, sir?
20 A. Three, four.
21 Q. A lot more than that, wasn’t it?
22 A. Well, if you count my grandma. She’s on —
23 you know, but it comes on automatically sometimes.
24 Q. I understand that. Let’s look at Ms.
26 A. Okay.
27 Q. How many times have you recorded phone
28 conversations with Miss Milofsky? 8806
1 A. A few times. Quite a few times.
2 Q. How many?
3 A. I don’t know. Quite a few times.
4 Q. Can you give an estimate?
5 A. No, just — I can tell you it’s quite a few
7 Q. Ten?
8 A. Probably a little more than that.
9 Q. 20?
10 A. Probably — yeah, something like that,
12 Q. 30?
13 A. No. 30, come on. 10, 15. Something like
15 Q. Okay. How about Vinnie? How many times
16 have you recorded phone conversations with —
17 A. A few times, yeah.
18 Q. How many?
19 A. Less than ten probably.
20 Q. How about Schaffel?
21 A. Quite a few times.
22 Q. How many do you think?
23 A. Probably 10, 20, probably.
24 Q. 10 or 20?
25 A. Probably ten. I would say ten.
26 Q. So now we’re up to about 40 you’ve recorded,
28 A. Well, yeah, I was cooperating with the 8807
2 Q. Yeah.
3 A. Law enforcement.
4 Q. You were doing it before then, weren’t you?
5 A. Was I doing it before that?
6 Q. Yeah.
7 A. With — cooperating with the police?
8 Q. You were recording people before you started
9 cooperating with the police, were you not?
10 A. No, I don’t think so.
11 Q. You sure?
12 A. I’m pretty sure.
13 Q. Did you go to the police at some point and
14 say, “I recorded people”?
15 A. Oh, I didn’t — did I go to the police?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Say that question one more time.
18 Q. Did you ever go to any representative of the
19 sheriff’s department and say, “I’ve recorded
20 people’s conversations”?
21 A. Yes, later on.
22 Q. Yeah. And then you agreed to keep recording
23 at the request of the sheriffs, true?
24 A. Yes. For law enforcement.
25 Q. Yes. How many do you think — how many
26 phone conversations with people associated with this
27 case do you think you recorded before you revealed
28 that fact to the police? 8808
1 A. Say that one more time. I’m sorry.
2 Q. Sure. Maybe I’m not clear.
3 How many phone conversations with people
4 associated with this case do you think you recorded
5 before you told any representative of the sheriffs
6 about your recordings?
7 A. So how many people or how many times?
8 Q. Well, let’s start with people, yes.
9 A. Probably like four or five people. Yeah,
10 four people.
11 Q. And how many times?
12 A. Well, quite a few times. You know, I felt
13 there was something wrong, so I — I was, like,
14 everybody should work with law enforcement. I did
16 Q. I understand. But you were doing it before
17 you worked with law enforcement, were you not?
18 A. No. I did it after.
19 Q. Did you record anyone’s phone conversation
20 associated with this case before you went to law
21 enforcement and told them about it?
22 A. Before I went —
23 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as vague as to when
24 he went to law enforcement and told them about it.
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: When did you first tell
27 anyone associated with law enforcement, Mr.
28 Provencio, that you were recording telephone calls? 8809
1 A. Well, they had asked me if I was willing to
2 cooperate with law enforcement. So I told them
3 later on that I had — had did, you know, what they
4 had requested.
5 Q. Did you ever record anyone’s call before you
6 got authorization from law enforcement? Anyone.
7 A. Not to my memory.
8 Q. You ever recall Schaffel — did you ever
9 record Schaffel’s calls before you went to law
11 A. Not that I can remember.
12 Q. Are you sure?
13 A. I’m pretty sure. I believe I bought the
14 recorder after, after the police — I had contact
15 with the police.
16 Q. Now, you’ve testified you were listening in
17 on phone calls —
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. — of Mr. Jackson and Mr. Schaffel, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. You were listening in on phone calls without
22 them knowing about it, true?
23 A. That’s true.
24 Q. Okay. And you were doing this because you
25 were so concerned that something wrong might be
26 going on; is that correct?
27 A. Well, it’s not that sarcastic, but I was
28 concerned about the family. 8810
1 Q. Right. Right. But you didn’t even know the
2 family, correct?
3 A. You didn’t need to. Something was fishy.
4 Something was going wrong.
5 Q. I see. And did you call the police
6 immediately and say, “Something wrong is going on”?
7 A. No, because nobody would believe me. So
8 I —
9 Q. You just kept working for Schaffel,
10 listening to phone calls, hearing what wrong was
11 going on, and never called the police, right?
12 A. I was trying to figure out what was going
14 Q. Okay. And when do you think you first spoke
15 to any representative of the sheriffs?
16 A. It was a couple months, I guess, after
17 Michael’s place was raided.
18 Q. Okay. And Michael’s place was raided
19 approximately when?
20 A. Gosh. Gosh, I know I saw it on T.V. I know
21 the police came to me the first of the year. So it
22 had to have been sometime —
23 Q. Was it maybe November 2004, something like
25 A. Maybe. Yeah.
26 MR. SANGER: 2003.
27 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: 2003?
28 A. Oh, yeah, it was around Thanksgiving, wasn’t 8811
1 it? It was around Thanksgiving that the place was
3 Q. But you’re writing in your notes in February
4 of 2003 —
5 A. Right.
6 Q. — your concern about killers and
7 disparaging remarks, correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. You waited from February to November to do a
10 good deed and go to the police, right?
11 A. No. It wasn’t like that. It was — it was
12 basically there was no — they escaped, so I didn’t
13 need to. I was relieved because I didn’t need to do
15 Q. Did you watch them escape, sir?
16 A. No. They told me they escaped.
17 Q. Did you watch them escape?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you know that Janet Arvizo got a body
20 wax that day?
21 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object. Objection.
22 Irrelevant; argumentative.
23 THE COURT: Sustained.
24 BAILIFF CORTEZ: Microphone’s off, sir.
25 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: When you heard they
26 escaped, did you call the police and say, “These
27 people are being held”?
28 A. No, I was relieved at least this portion of 8812
1 this train wreck was over.
2 Q. In other words, they’d been held against
3 their will, they had escaped, so you had no need to
4 call the police at that point, correct?
5 MR. ZONEN: Object as argumentative. And
6 asked and answered.
7 THE COURT: It’s a compound question.
9 MR. ZONEN: That too.
10 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Let me try and ascertain
11 your state of knowledge, sir. When you say this
12 escape took place —
13 A. Uh-huh.
14 Q. — you assumed they had been held against
15 their will, true?
16 A. They said there were signs up at Neverland.
17 Q. Did you assume they had been held against
18 their will?
19 A. True.
20 Q. Did you assume they had escaped from
22 A. Well, why would you use the word “escape”?
23 So the answer is true.
24 Q. Did you call the police right away?
25 A. No, they had escaped. I didn’t need to.
Next, Provencio was asked about his relationship with Schaffel during the aftermath of the Bashir documentary and the “escape” of the Arvizos from Neverland:
26 Q. How long did you keep working for Schaffel
27 after this escape?
28 A. I was already gone. 8813
1 Q. Did you stay in contact with Mr. Schaffel
2 after this escape?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On a regular basis?
5 A. Well, not when — the month that I buried my
7 Q. Did you stay in contact with Mr. Schaffel on
8 a regular basis after you thought the Arvizos had
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How often would you talk to Mr. Schaffel
12 after you claim the Arvizos escaped?
13 MR. ZONEN: Objection. Compound and
15 THE COURT: Overruled.
16 You may answer.
17 THE WITNESS: Okay. Can you ask again?
18 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Yes.
19 THE COURT: I’ll have the court reporter read
20 it back.
21 (Record read.)
22 THE WITNESS: Often. I mean, you know, I
23 would talk to him quite a bit.
24 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You talked to Mr. Schaffel
25 a lot between February 2003 and when you went to the
26 sheriffs in late 2003, correct?
27 A. Late 2003?
28 Q. Yes. 8814
1 A. Do you mean 2004, when — after Michael’s
2 place was raided?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You —
6 A. We would chitchat, but the chitchat was just
7 that. Chitchat. Nothing real —
8 Q. Did you have any ongoing business
9 relationship with Schaffel during the year of 2003?
10 A. Oh, only that I went to — there to visit
11 him and Michael at Gary, Indiana.
12 Q. And when was that?
13 A. It was — I believe it was in the summer. I
14 believe it was the summer.
15 Q. How many months after you thought this
16 escape took place did you go to Gary, Indiana, with
18 A. About five months. I think it was about
19 five months.
20 Q. Did you think you were traveling with a
21 criminal at that point?
22 A. I was just trying to get over this train
23 wreck. That’s why I gave my point back. I was over
24 this part of my life, and I just, you know, thought
25 now that the family’s gone and maybe everything’s
26 going to get better for everybody.
27 Q. Uh-huh. And did you ever learn that they
28 went back and escaped a few more times? 8815
1 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as
3 THE COURT: Sustained.
4 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did you ever learn of any
5 other escapes after the one that you have just
7 A. I only knew of the one escape on the first
8 of March.
9 Q. Did you ever hear anything about the Arvizos
10 returning to Neverland after the escape that you’ve
12 MR. ZONEN: Objection. No evidence that
13 it’s that escape. Argumentative.
14 THE COURT: It’s vague as to date.
15 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. You’ve indicated
16 that in your mind an escape took place, correct?
17 A. That’s what they said.
18 Q. And you believed it, right?
19 A. Well, yeah. Nobody uses those words.
20 Q. And you were relieved that they had escaped,
22 A. I was just happy that it was over.
23 MR. ZONEN: Objection. Objection.
24 Objection; asked and answered.
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: When did you think this
27 escape took place?
28 MR. ZONEN: Objection. Beyond the scope of 8816
1 his information, personal knowledge. Foundation.
2 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll withdraw it.
3 Q. Did you know when this escape took place?
4 A. I only know what they told me.
5 Q. And when did — did they tell you when the
6 escape took place?
7 A. They didn’t tell me when they escaped. That
8 they couldn’t talk because they had escaped.
9 Q. When do you think this escape had taken
11 A. Well, I tried to get that information, but
12 they told me on, like, March the 6th.
13 Q. And when were you relieved that an escape
14 had taken place?
15 MR. ZONEN: Objection. Irrelevant and
17 THE COURT: Sustained.
18 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You claim you were
19 relieved that the family had escaped, true?
20 MR. ZONEN: Objection; asked and answered.
21 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.
22 You may answer.
23 THE WITNESS: Okay. Will you ask it again?
24 Could you ask it again?
25 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Yeah. I’m trying to find
26 out when you felt relief that the Arvizos had
27 escaped from Neverland.
28 A. Well, I was relieved at that point because 8817
1 that meant that — that that part — portion of this
2 train wreck was going to be over.
3 Q. No, I understand.
4 A. That’s what I thought.
5 Q. When —
6 A. That would have been the first week of
7 March, like March 6.
8 Q. Okay. So around March 6th you thought they
9 had escaped from Neverland, correct?
10 A. That’s what they said.
11 Q. Okay. Did you ever check to see if the
12 Arvizos were at Neverland in early March?
13 A. I — no.
14 Q. Do you know if the Arvizos were at Neverland
15 in early March?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Okay. Have you ever spoken to Janet Arvizo
18 at any time?
19 A. No.
Next, Mesereau questioned Provencio on his notes on Debbie Rowe, which Provencio claimed had rough drafts written on Feb. 2nd, 2003, many weeks before her interview for the rebuttal video. Mesereau sarcastically asked Provencio if he lied and went back and wrote his “notes” in order to be involved in this case, and of course Provencio denied this!
20 Q. Okay. Now, you took notes about a need for
21 a Debbie Rowe interview, correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And when did you learn there was any thought
24 about a Debbie Rowe interview?
25 A. Well, that was the first time I was hearing
26 about it.
27 Q. When?
28 A. I guess February the 1st, I guess. Well, 8818
1 not “I guess.” It was February the 1st when I was
2 listening to the conference call.
3 Q. Before the Bashir documentary aired, right?
4 A. Yeah, because we had received the transcript
5 on the 24th.
6 Q. Okay. And when, in your mind, were they
7 planning a Debbie Rowe interview?
8 A. I didn’t know. I really didn’t know until
9 like maybe a day or two beforehand.
10 Q. Before the interview?
11 A. Before the interview took place there, I
12 really didn’t know exactly when it was going to be.
13 Q. And when did the interview take place, if
14 you know?
15 A. I think it was that Thursday or something.
16 That Thursday or — I was going to say the 5th,
17 maybe the 5th or 6th of February, something around
19 Q. Do you remember writing in your notes about
20 a Debbie Rowe interview and dating it February 2nd,
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. Did you know about a Debbie Rowe interview
24 on February 2nd, 2003?
25 A. Well, they were talking about it, but I
26 don’t know if — I don’t believe I wrote down what
27 day it was going to be.
28 Q. Do you want to check your notes? 8819
1 A. Oh. Okay.
2 Okay, what about it?
3 Q. Didn’t you write down the words “Debbie Rowe
4 interview” on February 2nd, 2003?
5 A. Oh, I’m at the wrong one. I’m sorry. Hang
6 on one second.
7 It appears, again — you’re looking at one
8 that’s dated, correct? Correct?
9 Q. It says, in the middle of the top of the
10 page, “February 2nd, 2003,” correct?
11 A. Okay. I’m looking for that one.
12 Oh, okay. With the scripts, yes.
13 Q. You see that? First you say, “Two scripts,”
15 A. Uh-huh.
16 Q. Slash, “questions and answers,” right?
17 A. Uh-huh.
18 Q. And then you say, “Debbie Rowe interview,”
20 A. Right, question mark.
21 Q. There had been no discussion about a Debbie
22 Rowe interview on February 2nd, 2003, had there?
23 A. They were talking about it.
24 Q. Where did that discussion take place?
25 A. Where did that — on the phone.
26 Q. Yes.
27 A. On the phone.
28 Q. And where were you? 8820
1 A. I was there on the phone listening.
2 Q. Where is “there”?
3 A. Oh, at Neverland Valley Entertainment.
4 Q. Okay. Is that a conversation you claim Mr.
5 Jackson was involved in?
6 A. Well, yeah.
7 Q. And you say here, “Rough drafts on Marc’s
8 computer,” correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Are you telling the Court that there were
11 rough drafts of the Debbie Rowe interview on
12 February 2nd, 2003?
13 A. There was an outline of something they
14 wanted — he wanted to do something, so — I — I —
15 you know what, I should say that “rough drafts”
16 might not be an accurate thing to say about that,
17 but there was — there was something there.
18 Q. Sir, you went back and wrote these notes
19 because you wanted to be involved in this case,
20 didn’t you?
21 A. No. God, no. And ruin my career?
22 Q. It just happens all the dates are wrong?
23 A. Well, not all the dates are wrong.
24 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as argumentative.
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
During his direct examination, Provencio didn’t volunteer to the prosecution the fact that he, Schaffel, and Amen started an LLC together, and Mesereau pounced on this information in order to impugn Provencio’s integrity in front of the jury. Provencio stated that he didn’t mention this to the prosecution is because nothing came out of it, so he didn’t feel it was relevant.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Now, the prosecutor asked
27 you about your relationships with Vinnie and
28 Schaffel, right? 8821
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. Did you respond truthfully about all your
3 relationships with Schaffel and Vinnie?
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. Were you ever involved in a corporation with
6 Schaffel and Vinnie?
7 A. Oh, yeah. We started an LLC, I think it
9 Q. Really. When was that?
10 A. Oh, yeah. It was with Marc, yes. It was an
11 LLC that basically, if we wanted to start something
12 else, we could do it.
13 Q. Well, let’s explore that a little bit.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. Please say what an LLC is.
16 A. Limited liability company, corporation.
17 Q. And who did you form that company with?
18 A. With Vinnie. I thought it was with Frank,
19 too, but maybe it wasn’t. I think it was Vinnie and
20 Marc definitely.
21 Q. And when did you form that limited liability
22 company with Vinnie, Marc, and you think Frank?
23 A. Well — well, I think Frank, but I’m not
24 sure. I’m not positive, because Vinnie did it on
25 the computer.
26 Q. Okay.
27 A. At the office, he did it on the computer.
28 Q. And when was this? 8822
1 A. Gosh, I don’t remember, to tell you the
3 Q. Can you kind of estimate the year, Mr.
5 A. I would say it was 2003. Early 2003.
6 Q. Any reason why you didn’t say that in your
7 response to the prosecutor’s questions?
8 A. I don’t remember that question. I’m sorry.
9 Q. Let me rephrase it. Is there any reason
10 why, when you were asked when you met Vinnie and
11 Schaffel by the prosecutor, you never talked about
12 the company you had set up with those individuals?
13 A. Nothing ever happened with it. So to answer
14 your question, no, I didn’t mention it.
15 Q. What was the name of your limited liability
16 company that you set up with Schaffel and Vinnie?
17 A. I don’t remember. It was so off the cuff,
18 it was just something we did on the computer. You
19 can do it on the computer in like ten minutes, and
20 you mail in a check and that was it. So it wasn’t
21 really something that — I probably didn’t pay
22 enough attention to it, to tell you the truth.
23 Q. What was the name of your company that you
24 set up with Schaffel and Vinnie?
25 A. I don’t remember the name of it.
26 Q. Was it called Steal the Stage, LLC?
27 A. Yeah. It was, yeah.
28 Q. And where did that company operate out of, 8823
1 Mr. Provencio?
2 A. That operated out of nowhere. It was
3 registered, but there was no operations from it.
4 Q. Where was it registered?
5 A. It was registered on the computer at Marc’s
7 Q. It was registered in New Jersey, was it not?
8 A. Oh, maybe it was. Maybe he did register it
9 in New Jersey.
10 Q. Okay. And what was the purpose of the
12 A. To explore other options outside of, you
13 know, being on the coattails of Michael or anything
14 like that.
15 Q. What other options were you exploring?
16 A. Well, possibly we could do things with —
17 like an American Idol, but something different.
18 That’s what it was, yeah. I remember that now,
20 Q. Michael Jackson was not part of that
21 company, was he?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you have a board of directors?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you have shareholders?
26 A. We did it on the computer in 15 minutes, so,
28 Q. I understand. And it was filed in the State 8824
1 of New Jersey, correct?
2 A. He must have did it in the State of New
4 Q. I see. Did you ever look at any papers
5 involving that company?
6 A. No, he just said, “This is what I did,” and,
7 “I just have it set up.” Like a kid could do it. I
8 mean, it’s just like nothing.
9 Q. I understand. Just set up a company like a
10 kid, right?
11 MR. ZONEN: Objection; argumentative.
12 THE COURT: Sustained.
13 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Does the company still
15 A. Um, you know what? I don’t know. To tell
16 you the truth, I don’t know.
17 Q. Did you have meetings with Schaffel and
18 Vinnie —
19 A. No, I don’t think it exists. No, I don’t
20 think it exists.
21 Q. Did you have meetings with Schaffel and
22 Vinnie about this company?
23 A. No.
In this excerpt, Provencio testified about the recorded conversations that he made for the sheriff’s department in their investigation of Schaffel’s involvement in the “conspiracy”, and why he didn’t call the police when he first became informed of the Arvizo’s “escape” from Neverland:
24 Q. When did you start recording conversations
25 for the sheriff’s department as part of this
27 A. Soon after they — that I agreed to work
28 with law enforcement. So it would have been a 8825
1 little bit after they came and served a search
2 warrant, that I agreed to.
3 Q. And when was that?
4 A. A couple months after Michael’s place had
5 been raided. A couple months after November.
6 Q. And do you think that was what year, 2004?
7 A. Yeah, I think it was 2004.
8 Q. Okay. And between February 1st, 2003, when
9 you were so concerned about the family, and that
10 meeting with the police, you never called the police
11 at any time about Mr. Schaffel, Vinnie or anybody,
13 A. You know what, Mr. Mesereau, I didn’t want
14 anybody really to get in trouble. I really didn’t.
15 I thought — I thought it was — they had gone, and
16 that possibly and hopefully this problem was just
17 gone, too. So —
18 Q. Okay. Well, when did the escape take place
19 in relation to the interview of Debbie Rowe?
20 A. Oooh, I think I already answered that, but
21 the — they said “escape” in the first week of
23 Q. When did the Maury Povich documentary air,
24 if you know?
25 A. I think it was — I think it was the third
26 week of February.
27 Q. The third week of February?
28 A. I think so. 8826
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. Yeah, I think so.
3 Q. So it aired before the —
4 A. We watched it at Neverland Valley
5 Entertainment. That’s where we watched it.
6 Q. By the way, did you ever find out how the
7 Arvizos escaped from Neverland, meaning who took
8 them home?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you ever learn it was a Michael Jackson
12 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as exceeding
13 the scope of this witness’s knowledge.
14 THE COURT: Sustained.
15 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Have you ever had a
16 discussion with anybody about how the Arvizos left
18 A. Not that I can remember. I — I know that
19 they had left. I was relieved. And so I kind of
20 figured that that’s — that’s where it was.
21 Q. And no one’s ever told you a Michael Jackson
22 employee took them home?
23 A. I think I heard that on the news.
24 Q. But never discussed that with the sheriffs,
26 A. That — that what?
27 Q. That a Michael Jackson employee had taken —
28 A. Oh, I heard that. 8827
1 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as exceeding
2 the scope of this witness’s knowledge. No
4 THE COURT: Overruled. The question was,
5 “But never discussed that with the sheriffs, right?”
6 And then he asked for clarification, “What?” So
7 it’s in your —
8 MR. MESEREAU: Okay. I guess — let me
9 withdraw the question, Your Honor.
10 Q. To date, you’ve never had a discussion with
11 any representative of the sheriff’s department about
12 who helped the Arvizos escape, right?
13 A. I — no. I inquired about it, yes.
14 Q. When did you inquire about it?
15 A. Probably — oh, probably just recently.
16 Probably in the last month. Because I had a lot of
17 unanswered questions, and I was just curious in
19 Q. Those questions that have been just sort of
20 sitting in there for a couple years, right?
21 A. Well, not a couple years, but —
22 MR. ZONEN: That’s argumentative and I’ll
24 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll withdraw it.
25 THE COURT: Sustained.
26 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Now, in your notes, and
27 I’m referring to the February 1st, 2003, entry, you
28 say, “Mom’s flipping out about something,” right? 8828
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. Is that Ms. Arvizo you’re talking about?
3 A. I’m assuming — yes, yes, yes.
4 Q. Did you think she was flipping out on
5 February 1st, 2003?
6 A. Well, she was kind of strange.
7 Q. But you hadn’t met her.
8 A. I know. They were telling me she was
10 Q. Did you think she was flipping out on
11 February 1st, 2003, when you made your entry?
12 MR. ZONEN: Objection. Lack of foundation
13 and irrelevant.
14 THE COURT: Overruled.
15 You may answer.
16 THE WITNESS: Would you state your question
17 again? I’m sorry.
18 THE COURT: I’ll have the court reporter read
19 it back.
20 THE WITNESS: Okay.
21 (Record read.)
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, they had said that.
23 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: And did you get your
24 information from Schaffel?
25 A. Yes.
26 Q. Did you know whether or not Schaffel had
27 ever met them on February 1st, 2003?
28 A. He said he never met them, but then I 8829
1 reminded him that they came to the house, and then
2 he goes, “Oh, yeah.”
3 Q. They came to the house before February 1st,
5 A. Oh, no, they didn’t come to the house before
6 February 1st.
7 Q. Well, you wrote down in your, as you
8 described, your accurate notebook —
9 A. Uh-huh. My notebook.
10 Q. — that “Mom’s flipping out about something”
11 on February 1st, 2003, right?
12 A. Yeah, February, that is true. And it has a
13 question mark, because I really don’t know what
14 she’s flipping out about.
15 Q. You haven’t met her at that point, true?
16 A. I never met her.
17 Q. Schaffel hadn’t met her either, right?
18 A. I don’t know.
19 MR. ZONEN: Objection; lack of foundation.
20 THE COURT: Sustained.
21 Actually, I’ll leave the question and answer
22 in. He answered he didn’t know.