May 4th, 2005 Trial Analysis: Rudy Provencio (Direct & Cross Examination), Part 3 of 4
Mesereau segued into the topic of Provencio’s recollection of the events just prior to and just after the airing of the Bashir documentary in the USA. Pay attention to Provencio’s statement about how Schaffel was the “kingpin” behind all of the behind the scenes maneuvering in the aftermath of the documentary, and that Jackson “had no idea what he was up to”, which contradicts the prosecution’s assertion that Jackson was behind it all:
23 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: And you say on February
24 1st, 2003, in the first paragraph that you identify
25 with that, “I thought they used to be good people,”
27 A. Correct. That’s what they said.
28 Q. But you say, “I thought they used to be good 8830
2 A. Yeah, because I’m asking myself a question.
3 You know, are these — because, you know, Michael
4 had taken care of this person with cancer. You
5 know, oh, they’re good people. They’re gracious.
6 And so I’m — I’m hearing some verbiage
7 starting to change around them, but I’m not really
8 sure — I’m not really certain what’s exactly
9 happening, so I’m trying to kind of get kind of a
10 clarity around that. What is really going on here?
11 You know, it was kind of like my general question.
12 If you look through my notes, I’m asking
13 myself a lot of questions, because I don’t know the
14 answers. And I just keep — keep asking, you know,
15 because it’s I think what people do.
16 Q. And you’re doing this for yourself, you
17 say, right?
18 A. Yeah, because I don’t know what’s going on.
19 Q. Okay. All right. Now, to your knowledge,
20 the Bashir documentary didn’t air until February
21 3rd, 2003, right?
22 A. The one in the United States or the one in
23 Great Britain?
24 Q. Well, which one aired first, to your
26 A. Great Britain.
27 Q. When did that air?
28 A. It was — it was probably the 3rd or — I 8831
1 believe the 3rd or something like that. 3rd or 4th.
2 Because we got the transcript on the 24th, so
3 then — then came the British one, and then right on
4 top of that, I think it was two days later, came the
5 one in North America.
6 Q. To your knowledge, was the Florida trip
7 planned in response to the airing of the Bashir
9 A. Was it planned?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. I know that they were going to fly — well,
12 according to my notes and what I remember hearing,
13 that they were going to come down to Florida. I
15 Q. And to your knowledge, was that supposed to
16 be a response to the airing of the Bashir
18 A. Everything was a response. Push and pull
19 every single day.
20 Q. Okay. Starting when, Mr. Provencio?
21 A. Starting on January the 24th, to my — the
22 best of my recollection. Things — as soon as we
23 got the — got the transcript, things were going
25 Q. And that’s when you wrote down that the
26 Arvizos were having trouble, right?
27 A. What, on the 24th?
28 Q. Sure. 8832
1 A. No. Are you saying did I write it down and
2 you’re seeing it?
3 Q. When did you think the Arvizos were having
4 trouble with the press?
5 A. I thought possibly — well, the phone calls
6 were coming in, so the 24th — the 24th we get the
7 transcript, and then all of a sudden the phone calls
8 started coming in. They just started coming in.
9 So I felt that possibly — do you want me to
10 explain or not?
11 Q. Yeah, please explain.
12 A. I felt that possibly there could be a
13 problem, because you have this poor family and
14 you’ve got somebody who’s very wealthy. I’ve been
15 in entertainment enough to know that, you know, that
16 could potentially be kind of a bad situation for
17 both people. And so I was starting to pay
18 attention, because I had read the transcript.
19 Q. How did you know they were poor?
20 A. You know what? I didn’t know for sure, so
21 they told me they were poor, that they were ghetto.
22 Q. The Arvizos did?
23 A. No, Marc and — Marc and Vinnie.
24 Q. Okay. Okay. And this is approximately
25 when, Marc tells you they’re poor people?
26 A. Well, yeah, that they leave in East L.A.,
27 that they live in a dump.
28 Q. When was this? 8833
1 A. Probably in — probably had to be in January
2 sometime. Yeah, the late part of January, to the
3 best of my recollection.
4 Q. Marc knew nothing about these people in
5 January, did he?
6 A. I don’t know.
7 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as to lack
8 of foundation.
9 THE COURT: He answered he doesn’t know.
10 Next question.
11 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you remember telling
12 Kathryn Milofsky, “Marc is putting this whole thing
13 together. He wants to be the kingpin”?
14 A. Uh-huh.
15 Q. What were you referring to?
16 A. He — I was referring to a phone call that
17 he had made to Dieter at — at the ranch, that, you
18 know, “This is what you need to do.” He was trying
19 to get ingratiated back with Michael.
20 Q. And approximately when were you starting
21 this process?
22 A. As soon as he got the transcript. As soon
23 as he got the transcript.
24 Q. That’s approximately when?
25 A. January the 24th.
26 Q. Okay.
27 A. Or soon after that.
28 Q. So when you referred to Marc putting this 8834
1 whole thing together, he wants to be a kingpin,
2 you’re talking about sometime after January 24th,
3 2003, correct?
4 A. Actually, I remember that conversation with
5 her, and I’m referring to the phone call, because —
6 because I’m saying he wants to be the kingpin, he
7 wants to be in charge of things, and he wants to
8 look good with Michael, like most people do.
9 Q. Okay. Do you remember telling Ms.
10 Milofsky — excuse me, let me rephrase that. Did
11 you ever communicate with Ms. Milofsky by e-mail?
12 A. Oh, yeah, frequently.
13 Q. Did you turn those e-mails over to the
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you remember telling Kathryn Milofsky,
17 “I would always” —
18 A. They took my computer. Oh, I’m sorry.
19 Q. Okay. Do you remember telling Kathryn
20 Milofsky in an e-mail, “I would always say that MJ
21 had no idea what he was up to,” referring to
23 A. Well, not all — okay, go ahead, I’m sorry.
24 Repeat that.
25 Q. Do you remember saying that?
26 A. Yes.
27 Q. Words to the effect that, “Michael Jackson
28 had no idea what Schaffel was up to”? Do you 8835
1 remember telling that to Milofsky?
2 A. Of the total scope. You’ve got to remember
3 the complete conversation. The total scope of
4 everything, yes.
5 Q. Do you remember saying that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. Do you remember telling Milofsky
8 Michael Jackson was unaware of what Schaffel was up
10 A. In his totality, his other situations, maybe
11 his past and things like that.
12 Q. Okay. That’s what you were referring to,
13 without explaining it, correct?
14 A. Well, I mean, there’s a whole conversation
15 happening, so that’s just one piece of a
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. But that Michael and him were business
19 people, but the totality of the conversation was —
20 was that, you know, there were other things Marc was
21 doing —
22 Q. Right.
23 A. — that probably Michael didn’t know about
25 Q. But you said that right after you talked to
26 Ms. Milofsky about the hiding of the Arvizos;
28 A. I’d have to — I don’t know. I’d have to 8836
1 look. There’s a zillion e-mails.
2 Q. Did you ever tell Milofsky, “I saw him give
3 them money to take them shopping”?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you were referring to Schaffel, true?
6 A. Yes. Schaffel and Vinnie.
7 Q. Schaffel and Vinnie gave the Arvizos money
8 so they could go shopping, right?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Do you know how much money they gave the
11 Arvizos so they could go shopping?
12 A. No. I just saw an envelope with money in
13 it, and then Vinnie had to sign a receipt for it.
14 Q. Did you ever go shopping with them at any
16 A. Oh, God, no.
17 Q. Where were you when they were shopping?
18 A. I stayed put. I wasn’t going to go anywhere
19 near that disaster. I was already close enough.
20 Q. Where are you staying put?
21 A. Well, the first time, where — are you
22 talking about the first time he gave them money and
23 I saw it?
24 Q. Sure.
25 A. I was in the office. And the Arvizos came
26 over and they parked in that four-door whatever.
27 Vinnie came in. Gavin came in to use the rest room.
28 Stuart was downstairs. And I just pointed to the 8837
1 bathroom. And then Vinnie went upstairs and got
2 some money and signed for a receipt.
Here is Schaffel’s response to the idea that he would personally take the Arvizos shopping; it’s pretty hilarious!
3 Q. And at this particular point in time, you
4 thought something was wrong about this, right?
5 A. Well, it was the conversation, because I
6 said, “Well, what’s going on?” And he said — I
7 said, “Why are you,” you know, “taking them
8 shopping? This doesn’t make any sense.” See, none
9 of this made any sense.
10 And he said, “Do you honestly think I’d take
11 those stupid people shopping?” He goes, “Those
12 stupid Mexicans shopping? I’m just trying to get
14 So it was ugly. It was kind of ugly.
15 Q. And you were in the house when Schaffel told
16 you this?
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. Did you call the police?
19 A. No, I didn’t know what was going on yet. I
20 didn’t know what was going on.
21 Q. But you suspected something was wrong, true?
22 A. Well, you know, you know when something’s
23 not right. And you just — and you’re paying
24 attention, like anybody would.
25 Q. So you paid attention, you followed your
26 suspicions wherever they took you and waited till
27 the following year to go to the police, right?
28 MR. ZONEN: Objection; argumentative. 8838
1 THE COURT: Sustained.
2 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you remember telling
3 Ms. Milofsky that, “Schaffel made a lot of money off
4 Michael, but I don’t think Michael knows how much
5 money was made off of him”?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And were you telling the truth when you said
9 A. Everybody was making money, yeah.
10 Q. Off of Michael, right?
11 A. With and off of Michael.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. Because that needs to be clear. There’s —
14 Q. And your feeling was that Michael didn’t
15 know what kind of money people were making off of
16 him, true?
17 A. Well, I — yes, that was true. I would say
18 that’s true. Everybody seemed to have different
19 stories, so I just kind of — I said what I felt was
20 the truth.
21 Q. Okay. Do you remember telling Vinnie in a
22 conversation you recorded where you were speaking to
23 him that, “All fingers point to Marc”?
24 A. Yes, Marc as a ringleader.
25 Q. That’s what you said to Vinnie, correct?
26 A. Yes.
27 Q. Okay. Were you working for Marc at the
28 time? 8839
1 A. At the time of what?
2 Q. You were recording conversations with
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were you in contact with Marc at the time
6 you were recording conversations with Vinnie?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How often would you talk to Marc during the
9 time you were recording conversations with Vinnie?
10 A. How often would I talk to Marc?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Gosh, I don’t know. Your answer is, “I
13 don’t know.”
14 Q. You said at one point Schaffel was fired,
16 A. Yes, in November.
17 Q. And then you said Schaffel — I don’t mean
18 to put words in your mouth, but Schaffel kept trying
19 to be involved with Mr. Jackson?
20 A. That’s correct. Everybody does, from what I
22 Q. And when you say everybody was trying to be
23 involved with Mr. Jackson, who are you referring to?
24 A. Well, Ronald, Dieter, Marc. It just seemed
25 like they just kissed his butt all the time, so,
27 Q. And did you have a business relationship
28 with Ronald anytime? 8840
1 A. With Ronald?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you have a business relationship with
5 Dieter at any time?
6 A. No. I mean, we had meetings with him, but,
7 no, I didn’t ever, like, hawk one of their products
8 or anything like that.
9 Q. How many meetings do you think you had with
11 A. Two.
12 Q. How many do you think you had with Ronald?
13 A. The two. They were both there.
14 Q. Now, how many conversations do you think
15 you’ve had on the phone with Michael Jackson?
16 A. Conversations?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. Well, they called my house like two or three
19 times, and we talked about “What More Can I Give?”
20 Q. Two or three conversations with Michael
22 A. Well, and then the meetings at The Beverly
23 Hills Hotel.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. And The Hilton. And then in the studio.
26 Q. All right. On the phone?
27 A. But it was always business. No, not on the
28 phone. In person and on the phone. 8841
1 Q. How many times do you think you’ve ever
2 spoken to Michael Jackson on the phone?
3 A. Oh. If he’s calling the office? Or if
4 he’s — having a conversation like, “Hey, how are
5 you doing? Do you want to go see a car show or
7 Q. How many times do you think you have spoken
8 to Michael Jackson on the phone?
9 A. A couple times. A dozen, I guess.
10 Q. A dozen?
11 A. Well, I mean — I say, “How are you doing?”
12 He says, “Fine.” He’s always very polite. And —
13 you know. And on the phone, probably — they called
14 me twice at my home. I would say, you know, for
15 knowing for sure that we had conversations on the
16 phone, strictly on the phone, would probably — I
17 would say twice.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. Everything else was just chitchat.
20 Q. How many times do you think you’ve met Mr.
21 Jackson in person?
22 A. 10, 12 times. And it was always business.
23 Q. And were —
24 A. Except for Gary, Indiana.
25 Q. Where did these meetings take place?
26 A. Oh, in the studio, at the hotel.
27 Q. Okay. Now, which hotel are you talking
28 about? 8842
1 A. The Beverly Hills Hotel and then The
2 Universal Hilton.
3 Q. Were you with Schaffel every time?
4 A. Oh, yes. The first time was with Ali and
5 then it was just Schaffel or Marc.
Mesereau’s sarcasm got the best of him in this excerpt, and he lost his composure and was forced to rephrase a question about the Arvizo’s “escape” from Neverland. But can you blame him? He’s only human!
6 Q. For how long a period of time were you in
7 business with Schaffel?
8 A. For the duration of 2001 to 2003 when I
9 ended my contract and, you know, essentially when I
10 got my last check on the 25th of February.
11 Q. You got your last check from Neverland
12 Valley Entertainment on February 25th, 2003?
13 A. Yes, I believe so.
14 Q. Did you do any kind of work for Schaffel
15 after that date?
16 A. Oh, he asked me — I have a pickup truck, so
17 he asked me if we could pick up some stones from
18 someplace. But that wasn’t work. I wasn’t
19 compensated. I just did it.
20 Q. What stones are you talking about?
21 A. Stones for his house, just like bags of
23 Q. Approximately when was this?
24 A. I was going to — I think that summer. It
25 was that summer. So it was 2003, summer.
26 Q. Summer of 2003?
27 A. He just asked me for a favor, and I just
28 said, “Yeah, okay,” whatever. 8843
1 Q. And you helped him pick up some stones for
2 his house in the summer of 2003?
3 A. I think. I believe so.
4 Q. Was that after your so-called escape?
5 A. After my so-called escape?
6 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as sarcastic
7 and argumentative. Also his “so-called escape.”
8 THE COURT: It’s sustained.
9 MR. MESEREAU: Withdraw it.
10 Q. Was that after the escape —
11 A. Yes, that was.
12 Q. — that concerned you so much?
13 A. That concerned me so much.
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. After I was relieved that the family was
16 just gone and blah-blah-blah, yeah.
17 Q. Okay. Before Mr. Schaffel asked you to help
18 him with some stones on his house, you were in
19 constant communication with him, true?
20 A. Chitchat. Chitchat.
21 Q. “Chitchat” meaning what?
22 A. Nothing really of substance. Just — just,
23 you know, something — “Hey, how you doing?”
24 “What’s going on?” “Oh, that sounds great.” And
25 then just be off the phone. Really nothing of
26 substance. There was occasional, like, more
27 conversation, but nothing really of substance.
Mesereau once again questioned Provencio about why he didn’t call the police and report his suspicions about the people he thought were involved in a “train wreck”, despite the fact that he kept in touch with them after his work with Schaffel ended:
28 Q. The corporation that you had formed with 8844
1 Schaffel and Vinnie was still in existence, was it
3 A. I don’t know, tell you the truth. I don’t
4 know. I thought it was all closed down. So — I
5 thought it was like — we did it, and then for a —
6 I didn’t really put any weight in it. I just
7 thought, “Okay, if a project comes along and we’re
8 going to it, we’ll do it.” But nothing happened, so
9 I just didn’t put any weight in it.
10 And then Vinnie had told me that he had
11 closed it for — I think he closed it for tax
12 purposes. I think that’s what he said.
13 Q. And when was that?
14 A. Geez. Tell you the truth, I don’t remember.
15 Q. When —
16 A. It was in 2003. I believe it was in 2003.
17 Q. The company was still in existence after you
18 got your last check from Neverland Valley
19 Entertainment, right?
20 A. Well, yes, because we were going to possibly
21 work on a benefit, a different benefit, and then
22 that would basically be — I think it was called
23 “Best Buddies” or something like that. It was a
25 Q. And did you work on putting this benefit
27 A. Huh-uh.
28 Q. Did you talk to Vinnie about it? 8845
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. Did you talk to Schaffel about it?
3 A. Not Schaffel.
4 Q. Did you talk to Vinnie about it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When did you last talk to Vinnie?
7 A. Gosh. It’s been a while. It’s been a
8 little while. With today — or a couple of months
9 probably now, I guess.
10 Q. Couple of months ago you talked to Vinnie?
11 A. Possibly, yeah. Possibly.
12 Q. Did you record him?
13 A. No.
14 Q. When did you last record Vinnie?
15 A. Boy, I don’t remember, tell you the truth.
16 Q. When did you last record a phone call for
17 the sheriffs?
18 A. Gosh, I would say maybe a couple weeks
19 before — gosh, you know what? I — I can’t say,
20 because I — it just stopped and I just stopped it.
21 So, maybe a couple weeks before I gave him the
22 tapes, possibly.
23 Q. Which would be approximately when, do you
25 A. Well, let’s see, this is March — maybe a
26 couple of weeks before April 14th. I’m sorry, I’m
27 not meaning to be that way. I’m just trying to be
28 accurate. So I’m just trying to make sure I’m 8846
1 saying what I — what I know is in my mind.
2 Q. Now, in the notes that you say you took —
3 A. Which notes? Which ones?
4 Q. The notes you have in front of you. The
5 notes you say you took close to the date or on the
6 day these events occurred, we referred to February
7 1st, 2003, and you said that you thought there was a
8 train wreck going on, right?
9 A. A train wreck, right.
10 Q. Yet all through that year, you kept in
11 communication with all the people you thought who
12 were involved in the train wreck and never called
13 the police, right?
14 A. That’s true.
15 Q. You kept in touch with Vinnie on a regular
16 basis, correct?
17 A. Initially, yes.
18 Q. All through 2003, you kept in touch with
19 Vinnie on a regular basis, correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All through 2003, you kept in touch with
22 Schaffel on a regular basis, correct?
23 A. True.
24 Q. Did you stay in touch with Frank?
25 A. Yeah, the last time we spoke was he was in
26 the studio.
27 Q. And when was that?
28 A. I don’t know. It’s in my notes. 8847
1 Q. Was it in 2003?
2 A. Oh, 2003? Yeah. I kept on talking to
4 Q. Was it after you say this train wreck was
5 going on that you documented in your notes?
6 A. Yes, I just wrote, yes, “train wreck.”
7 Q. Okay. Now, I believe you indicated in
8 response to the prosecutor’s questions that you
9 thought a press conference was going to go on in
10 Florida, true?
11 A. I didn’t think so. They said it.
12 Q. Okay. Well, Schaffel said it, correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Did Ronald say it?
15 A. They both wanted Michael to do a press
17 Q. Okay. And you said Michael was reluctant to
18 do one, correct?
19 A. Yeah, he said he doesn’t like to do those
21 Q. And ultimately, no press conference took
22 place, to your knowledge, right?
23 A. To my knowledge, yes. That’s true.
Before going to break, Provencio was questioned about Debbie Rowe’s interview for the rebuttal documentary:
24 Q. All right. Did you talk to Debbie Rowe
26 A. Yes.
27 MR. ZONEN: Objection; vague.
28 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll rephrase, Your Honor. 8848
1 I’ll withdraw it.
2 Q. During the interview with Debbie Rowe that
3 you described in response to the prosecutor’s
4 questions, did you speak with Debbie Rowe?
5 A. Yes. And Iris.
6 Q. Iris was her lawyer, correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And Iris was sitting there during the
9 interview, correct?
10 A. Yes. She’s very nice.
11 Q. And Iris was sitting there when you say
12 Schaffel tried to get her to change some of her
13 answers, correct?
14 A. I didn’t say Iris was sitting there. I was
15 sitting there watching Debbie. I don’t know where
16 Iris was at that particular moment.
17 Q. But you did say that Schaffel tried to get
18 Debbie Rowe to change some of her answers, correct?
19 A. To — yeah, he was nudging, like any
20 producer would, would nudge you to get a better
21 performance or whatever it is that they’re looking
23 Q. And do you know if Debbie’s lawyer was right
24 there while that was going on?
25 A. She was there a lot. I don’t remember
26 turning around and seeing her. But I remember she
27 was around a lot.
28 THE COURT: Let’s take our break. 8849
1 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, Your Honor.
2 (Recess taken.)
After returning from recess, Provencio was questioned about his interview with police in January 2004, during which he said that it’s unknown if Jackson even knew about what was going on with the Arvizos, which further contradicted the prosecution’s case:
3 THE COURT: Counsel?
4 MR. MESEREAU: Thank you, Your Honor.
5 Q. Mr. Provencio, you were first interviewed by
6 the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department on Saturday,
7 January 31st, 2004, right?
8 A. Uh-huh.
9 Q. And you were interviewed by a Sergeant
10 Robel, correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And in that interview, Mr. Provencio, you
13 told Sergeant Robel that, “Marc directed
14 everything,” and “It’s unknown if Michael Jackson
15 even knew about what was going on with the Arvizo
16 family,” correct?
17 A. If it’s in the report. At that time, you
18 know, I just — I didn’t know what to do. I just
19 was, like, just talking to them, yeah.
20 Q. I understand. But that’s exactly what you
21 told Sergeant Robel?
22 A. If I wrote it, then that’s what I said at
23 that time. He was — Marc was orchestrating — oh,
24 I’m sorry.
25 Q. That was your first police interview, true?
26 A. Yeah. If you have the report there, yeah.
27 Q. You used those words in your interview with
28 Sergeant Robel, correct? 8850
1 A. Yes, if it’s in the report.
2 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as
3 nonresponsive based on personal knowledge.
4 THE COURT: Sustained.
5 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Would it refresh your
6 recollection if I show you Sergeant Robel’s
7 handwritten notes of your interview with him?
8 A. No, that’s okay. I believe you.
9 Q. I need to find out if that’s what you said
10 to Sergeant Robel.
11 A. Sergeant — to Sergeant Robel?
12 Q. Yes. Did you tell Sergeant Robel in your
13 interview on January 31st, 2004, words to the
14 effect, “Marc directed everything. It’s unknown if
15 Michael Jackson knew about what was going on with
16 the Arvizo family”?
17 A. Yes, I wrote that, or said that. Sorry.
18 Q. Now, you told Sergeant Robel in that
19 interview that when the Bashir taping of “Living
20 with Michael Jackson” was aired in the U.S.,
21 Schaffel immediately contacted Weizner and Konitzer,
23 A. Correct. I believe Dieter was staying at
24 the ranch at that time.
25 Q. At no time in that police interview did you
26 say that any of these people got together because a
27 transcript was forwarded in January of 2003, right?
28 A. Does it say that? Or — are you telling me 8851
1 something or are you asking me a question?
2 Q. I’m just —
3 MR. ZONEN: Objection; vague.
4 MR. MESEREAU: Okay.
5 Q. In your police interview on January 31st,
6 2004 —
7 A. Uh-huh.
8 Q. — you told Sergeant Robel that Weizner and
9 Konitzer — excuse me, let me rephrase that.
10 Schaffel contacted Weizner and Konitzer
11 after the Bashir taping of “Living with Michael
12 Jackson” was aired in the U.S., right?
13 A. No, it was after — I believe it was after
14 the 24th transcript.
15 Q. That’s something —
16 A. Because that’s when the conspiracy really
17 starts is after the 24th transcript.
18 Q. That’s something you’ve come up with for
19 this trial. That’s not what you said in your first
20 interview, right?
21 MR. ZONEN: That’s argumentative.
23 THE COURT: Sustained.
24 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: In your interview, you
25 said they got together after the airing, right?
26 A. Well, I know what happened. It was after we
27 got the transcript they made the — he made the
28 phone calls. 8852
1 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I show
2 you the police report?
3 A. I know what it might say, but I’m telling
4 you right now it was after the 24th transcript was
5 delivered that we — that they, you know, started
6 contacting —
7 Q. You just came up with that recently, didn’t
9 A. No.
10 MR. ZONEN: Objection; argumentative.
11 THE COURT: Overruled. Next question.
12 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You recently turned over
13 the so-called notes you say you kept, right?
14 A. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
15 Q. And when did you recently turn them over to
16 the prosecution?
17 A. When I found them in my storage unit.
18 Q. When did you find these notes in your
19 storage unit?
20 A. When — it was probably last month, around
21 the 14th. I really had for — I really actually did
22 forget about them. I stuck them in a box and — you
23 know, and I just kind of forgot them, because they
24 weren’t — you know, I just — that’s what I did. I
25 just put them in a box and put the whole thing
26 behind me.
Provencio testified that he was eager to work with police because he felt it was his “duty”, and he recorded phone calls for them well into 2005. Once again, Mesereau’s human nature got the best of him and he was admonished by Judge Melville for being sarcastic to his witness. But when you look at the incredulousness of Provencio’s assertion that he did not tell prosecutors about the set of notes that he had been questioned about, it’s easy to understand Mesereau’s attitude!
27 Q. During all of this period of time when you
28 were acting as a police informant – 8853
1 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object to the use
2 of that term; and compound.
3 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll rephrase it.
4 Q. Did you act as a police informant in this
6 A. Whenever something has happened, a criminal
7 act has been committed, it’s everybody’s duty to
8 work with law enforcement, so the answer is yes.
9 Q. When did you start working as a police
10 informant, Mr. Provencio?
11 A. Law enforcement, I worked with them when —
12 when they asked me, you know, after – what is it? –
13 when they served me the search warrant, or I agreed
14 to the search warrant.
15 Q. And when was that?
16 A. A couple months — like I said, a couple
17 months after Michael’s place was searched.
18 Q. And you started recording phone calls for
19 the sheriff’s department —
20 A. Right.
21 Q. — correct?
22 A. To get to the truth, correct.
23 Q. I understand. And this was in 2004,
25 A. It would have been 2004, yes.
26 Q. And did you do it into 2005?
27 A. Into 2005? Yes, uh-huh.
28 Q. And you were in constant touch with the 8854
1 sheriffs about the investigation, right?
2 A. Well, I only let them know what — what I
3 had, you know, as far as, like, tried to get to the
4 truth of some matters that were unanswered.
5 Q. You were in constant touch with the sheriffs
6 during the period of time you were recording phone
7 calls, right?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object to that question as
11 THE COURT: Overruled. He said, “Yes.”
12 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 THE COURT: He answered it; “Yes.”
15 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: And you were recording
16 phone calls for over a year, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Never told anyone in the sheriffs about
19 these notes, right?
20 A. Well, I’ve always had notes, so yes, I did
21 tell them about the notes, but not these. Those
22 particular notes I had found when I cleaned out a
23 storage unit, and I have the receipt to show that I
24 cleaned out that storage unit, because I switched
25 storage units.
26 Q. When they searched your house, did you give
27 them the notes?
28 A. I gave them some notes, yes. 8855
1 Q. Not the ones you turned over in the last few
2 weeks, right?
3 A. No, that’s true.
4 Q. You just kind of forgot about them while you
5 were working as an informant?
6 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object to the
7 continuous use of argumentative questions and
8 sarcasm in his questioning.
9 THE COURT: Mr. Mesereau?
10 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, Your Honor?
11 THE COURT: I’m going to admonish you to
12 stop that.
13 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, Your Honor.
14 Q. In your interview with Sergeant Robel on
15 January 31st, 2004, you said it was around the
16 beginning of February of 2003 when Weizner and
17 Konitzer allowed Schaffel to rejoin their team,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It was not in January, correct?
21 A. Can you rephrase that again? I’m sorry.
22 Maybe I blanked out a little bit. Say it again.
23 I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
24 Q. You told Sergeant Robel that Weizner and
25 Konitzer allowed Schaffel to rejoin their team
26 around the beginning of February of 2003?
27 A. It had been — do you want me to explain?
28 No? 8856
1 Q. Is that what you told Sergeant Robel in that
2 police interview?
3 A. If it’s there, I told him that, yeah. But —
4 Q. Do you know if that’s what you said?
5 A. Yes. If I said it, I said it.
6 Q. Did you say it?
7 A. Yes, I said it.
8 Q. Do you remember telling Sergeant Robel in
9 that interview that you thought Debbie Rowe was
10 honest and sincere regarding her responses to the
11 questions in that interview?
12 A. Well, I don’t remember exactly saying that,
13 but I know what I saw there. I mean, so I guess if
14 it’s there in writing and I said it, then I said it.
15 Q. Well, I have to ask you if you said it.
16 A. Okay. I said it. Sorry.
17 Q. And you told Sergeant Robel in that
18 interview on January 31st, 2004, that you thought
19 the questions she was asked were typed via computer,
21 A. Well, there was several versions, but, yeah,
22 like there was one version that I saw handwritten,
23 and then it — because it’s just not one piece of
24 paper that you — that I saw. It was variations of
26 Q. And when you saw the questions, you asked
27 Schaffel what they were, and he told you they were
28 questions to be asked to Debbie Rowe, right? 8857
1 A. Yeah, flippantly. Questions and answers.
2 Q. Well, you didn’t tell the police about
3 answers in that interview, did you?
4 A. In that interview?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Probably not. I just — but I was really
7 scared at that time, too, so — because that was the
8 very first time I was meeting them, law enforcement.
9 So I didn’t really know what was going on, so — and
10 I can — you know, I do make mistakes. I can get
11 jumbled in some of my stuff, but, you know, I was
12 being as honest — I was being honest when I was
14 Q. Who wrote out the questions, if you know?
15 A. For Debbie Rowe, are you —
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Ian had sent over the questions via e-mail.
18 And then — and then — and then they were in many
19 different forms at the office.
20 Q. Did you work on the questions yourself?
21 A. Oh, no.
22 Q. Okay. Did you see Schaffel changing the
23 questions at all?
24 A. Well, yeah, he would write things and then,
25 you know, edit it.
Just look at what else Provencio failed to mention to police during his interviews!
26 Q. Okay. By the way, in that interview —
27 A. Uh-huh.
28 Q. — of January 31st, 2004 – 8858
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. — you never said anything about any escape,
4 A. I don’t believe I did, no. We were just
5 first meeting, so it was like — it was a
6 bombardment of questions and information, so I was
7 just trying to answer, you know, what I knew. And
8 it seemed all very overwhelming.
9 Q. In that interview of January 31st, 2004,
10 with Sergeant Robel, you never mentioned the word
11 “killers,” true?
12 A. That is true.
13 Q. You did talk about the Arvizo family going
14 shopping, right?
15 A. Correct. That they had told me. And seen
16 them exchange money.
17 Q. You said Schaffel would give cash to the
18 Arvizo family for shopping, right?
19 A. Well, to Vinnie. And then Vinnie would sign
20 a receipt. That’s what I witnessed.
21 Q. You talked about Vinnie Amen transporting
22 the Arvizo family, correct?
23 A. Correct, in that four-door clunker.
24 Q. And you indicated at the beginning of that
25 interview to Sergeant Robel that you would tell him
26 everything you knew, right?
27 A. Well, at that — yeah, to the best of my
28 knowledge at that time. You know, but I was 8859
1 nervous, too.
2 Q. And you said —
3 A. Like I’m nervous now.
4 Q. You told Sergeant Robel you would tell him
5 everything you knew, and you didn’t want it to be
6 tape-recorded, right?
7 A. That’s true.
8 Q. Did you tell Sergeant Robel everything you
9 knew on that date?
10 A. No, because I didn’t — it’s not something —
11 it wasn’t something I was thinking about for a
12 while, so it was — you know, I told him what I knew
13 at that particular time.
14 Q. And the first time you ever produced
15 anything to the sheriffs referring to “escape” or
16 “killers” was a few weeks ago, right?
17 A. Well, that was when I found it, because I
18 didn’t think I had it anymore, so — but I always
19 kept journals, so — not all of them that I still
20 have, so —
21 Q. Well, would it be — would it be accurate to
22 say that even though you told Sergeant Robel you
23 would tell him everything you knew on January 31st,
24 2004, you just forgot about the escape on that date?
25 A. No. I — I told him what I knew based on
26 the questions he was asking me. And I was being
27 honest at that time.
28 Q. And would it be accurate to say that during 8860
1 your interview with Sergeant Robel on January 31st,
2 2004, you just forgot about the reference to — I’m
3 sorry. Let me withdraw the question and restate it.
4 Would it be accurate to say that during your
5 interview with Sergeant Robel on January 31st, 2004,
6 where you said you’d tell him everything you knew
7 about these events, you just forgot about someone
8 using the word “killers”?
9 A. I know what I heard.
10 Q. Did you forget to mention that in that
12 MR. ZONEN: Objection; asked and answered.
13 THE COURT: Overruled. I’ll have the
14 question read back.
15 THE WITNESS: Okay.
16 (Record read.)
17 THE WITNESS: I didn’t mention it at that
18 time, if it’s in writing. I didn’t mention it at
19 that time.
20 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You just forgot, do you
22 A. I don’t forget. I just didn’t mention it at
23 that time.
Next, in order to put Jackson’s shout out to Schaffel into proper context, Mesereau questioned Provencio about the other people who received dedications inside of the liner notes of “Invincible”:
24 Q. Now, the prosecutor asked you to read some
25 of the credits —
26 A. Correct.
27 Q. — that are found in the little brochure
28 that accompanies Michael Jackson’s DVD entitled 8861
1 “”Invincible”,” okay?
2 A. Uh-huh.
3 Q. And — did you ever work on that album?
4 A. We went to the video shoot, yes.
5 Q. And he had you read credits that are given
6 to Schaffel, right?
7 A. Well, yeah, Marc said that that was his.
8 Q. And he had you read credits that are given
9 to the Cascio family, right?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. Michael gave a lot of other credits to a lot
12 of other people?
13 A. Correct. There’s a lot there.
14 Q. And he tells a lot of people that he loves
15 them, right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Michael typically says he loves people he’s
18 giving credits to, right?
19 A. Yeah. That’s like his sound bite, yeah.
20 Q. And he dedicated the “”Invincible”” album,
21 said, “A special thanks to all the children of the
22 world of all nationalities. You are my greatest
23 inspiration. Without you this album would never
24 have been released. I love you all, Michael
25 Jackson,” right?
26 A. You read it. Yeah.
27 Q. Do you remember that?
28 A. Well, yeah, I read through it. 8862
1 Q. Okay. He expressed gratitude to his
2 parents, Joseph and Katherine, right? Remember
4 A. Does it say it there?
5 Q. Right.
6 A. Does it say it?
7 Q. “For their love and support, inspiration and
8 caring, I love you dearly. Thank you for conceiving
9 me. Your son, Michael.” Do you remember that?
10 A. I’m sorry, I don’t remember that, but — I
11 did read it. I read it once or twice.
12 Q. He also dedicated it to Prince and Paris,
13 saying, “You give me the greatest joy I’ve ever
14 known in my entire life. I love you both from the
15 bottom of my heart, now and forever,” right?
16 A. Yep.
17 Q. Did you know someone named John McClain?
18 A. I don’t know him. I knew of him.
19 Q. Who is he?
20 A. He’s a music guy that we never could figure
21 out what he did.
22 Q. Do you remember Michael dedicated
23 “”Invincible”” to John McClain?
24 A. Yeah, I read that.
25 Q. Saying, “This album would not be possible
26 without your genius and perfection. I love you,
27 Michael Jackson,” right?
28 A. I remember John McClain’s name. 8863
1 Q. He dedicated it to Elizabeth Taylor,
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. He said, “Elizabeth: Through it all, you
5 have been my constant, with your support, your
6 caring and your love. I love you dearly, Michael
7 Jackson,” right?
8 A. Okay.
9 Q. Do you remember that?
10 A. Sure.
11 Q. He said, “A special thanks to Carlos Santana
12 for sharing your genius and love. Michael Jackson,”
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. Remember that?
16 A. Yeah, I guess so. You’re reading it.
17 Q. He had a whole list of people —
18 A. Right.
19 Q. — that he dedicated this album to with
20 expressions of love, correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. It wasn’t just to Schaffel or the Cascios
23 alone, was it?
24 A. Well, him and Schaffel were friends. So,
25 yeah, it wasn’t just — it wasn’t just them.
26 Q. He dedicates it to Chris Tucker, does he
28 A. I don’t remember that one, but sure. 8864
1 Q. Says: “Dear Chris, with all my respect for
2 your art and deepest gratitude for your
3 contribution, your friendship and your love. To the
4 future, and to all that we can create together. I
5 love you, Michael Jackson,” right?
6 A. Okay.
7 Q. Remember that?
8 A. No. But if it’s there, I believe you.
9 Q. He gave a special thanks to everyone at MJJ
10 Productions, and listed people in various
11 capacities, right?
12 MR. ZONEN: My objection is that the witness
13 has stated to the last three that he has no
14 recollection of any of them. It appears that
15 counsel is simply reading it into the record. I’ll
17 THE COURT: Sustained.
18 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Before you testified, did
19 you go over this document with the prosecutor?
20 A. I looked at it.
21 Q. Where did you go over this document with the
23 A. In the office.
24 Q. And when was this?
25 A. A couple days ago. Two days ago, or
27 Q. And were you with Prosecutor Zonen?
28 A. Yes. 8865
1 Q. Okay. Did you talk about your being asked
2 questions about where the credits went on the album
4 A. “Inspiration”?
5 Q. I mean, pardon me, “”Invincible”.” I’m
6 sorry, my mistake.
7 A. “”Invincible”.”
8 Q. Did you talk to him about what you were
9 going to say to those questions?
10 A. No. I just — he just asked me to look at
11 it. “Can you identify” — “Is this” — you know,
12 “Is this Marc? Are you sure?” And I said, “Well,
13 yeah. He bragged about it.”
14 Q. Okay. Okay. And how much work did you do
15 on the album “”Invincible””?
16 A. Went to the video shoot. And everything
17 else was — it was — we were already working on
18 “What More Can I Give?” We couldn’t focus on two
19 things at one time.
20 Q. Okay. Now, at some point you — let me
21 rephrase that. You mentioned Christian Robinson in
22 response to the prosecutor’s questions, right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And when did you first meet Christian
26 A. Gosh. 2000 — 2001, first time I met him.
27 Q. Was he working with Schaffel at the time?
28 A. Yeah. They might have been working on 8866
1 something else, but I don’t know what it was. No,
2 he was around. I don’t know what they were doing.
3 I think he just brought him on board.
4 Q. You mentioned to Vinnie one time in a
5 recorded conversation that you had learned that
6 Christian Robinson made $10,000 selling some
7 pictures of Michael Jackson, right?
8 A. That’s what I had heard, yes.
9 Q. Did you ever confirm whether that was true?
10 A. I never confirmed it with Christian. I just
11 heard it from one of my friends who told me about
13 Q. And you indicated that he had sold those
14 pictures to ABC, right?
15 A. Yes. I believe so.
16 Q. Okay. Were you —
17 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object to lack of
19 THE COURT: Sustained.
20 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did you ever learn where
21 Christian Robinson had sold those pictures to?
22 A. What? Say that again.
23 Q. Did you ever learn where Christian Robinson
24 sold pictures of Michael Jackson to?
25 MR. ZONEN: Your Honor, no — objection.
26 Lack of foundation that such pictures were sold.
27 THE COURT: Sustained.
28 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You’ve indicated that you 8867
1 learned at some point that Christian Robinson had
2 sold pictures of Michael Jackson for $10,000, right?
3 MR. ZONEN: Your Honor, objection, lack of
5 THE COURT: Overruled.
6 You may answer that. Do you want the
7 question read back?
8 THE WITNESS: Please.
9 (Record read.)
10 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as hearsay as well.
11 THE COURT: He’s just asking him if he’s
12 already testified to that. That’s his question.
13 Did you say that a minute ago?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes.
15 THE COURT: Next question.
16 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you know — excuse me.
17 Do you know whether those pictures were actually
19 A. No, I had heard about it.
20 Q. Okay. Did you ever talk to Christian
21 Robinson about that subject?
22 A. No, because I was alarmed that they were
23 doing it, but —
24 Q. You never talked to him about it, right?
25 A. No.
26 Q. When did you last see Christian Robinson?
27 A. I saw Christian, oh, in Gary, Indiana.
28 Q. Was that after you had learned that he had 8868
1 sold pictures of Michael Jackson for $10,000?
2 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as lack of
3 foundation and assuming facts not in evidence.
4 THE COURT: It’s not relevant. I’ll sustain
5 that objection.
Here’s yet another example of someone in Jackson’s inner circle betraying him: Schaffel had plans on writing a “tell all” book on Jackson!
6 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: At some point, you had a
7 discussion with Marc Schaffel about Schaffel’s
8 writing a book about Michael Jackson, true?
9 A. True.
10 Q. Now, when did you first talk to Marc
11 Schaffel about his writing a book about Michael
13 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as hearsay.
14 MR. MESEREAU: Just asked him when, Your
16 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.
17 The question is, when did you talk to
18 Schaffel about that?
19 THE WITNESS: I learned — he had told me
20 that they were going to —
21 THE COURT: Just — the question is when.
22 THE WITNESS: When? Oh, gosh. I don’t — I
23 don’t know. I don’t remember. Last year sometime.
24 German book fair.
25 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: And you had a number of
26 discussions with him about that subject, correct?
27 A. Well, I was trying — yeah, I — okay, the
28 answer is yes. 8869
1 Q. And it was your understanding that Schaffel
2 was trying to make some money on a book deal in
3 Europe, right?
4 MR. ZONEN: Objection. Lack of foundation;
6 THE COURT: Sustained.
7 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Did you ever learn if
8 Schaffel was trying to peddle a book about Michael
9 Jackson in Europe?
10 MR. ZONEN: Objection. Lack of foundation
11 and hearsay.
12 THE COURT: Hearsay; sustained.
13 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: How many conversations
14 have you had with Marc Schaffel about the
15 possibility of his writing a book about Michael
17 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object as hearsay.
18 MR. MESEREAU: Just asked how many, Your
20 MR. ZONEN: Assumes facts not in evidence.
21 THE COURT: Sustained. It’s just hearsay.
Once again, when asked about whether he could recall telling police anything that could be exculpatory to Jackson’s defense, Provencio caught another case of momentary amnesia:
22 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you remember in one of
23 your recorded conversations with Vinnie where you
24 told Vinnie that Chris Tucker and a woman identified
25 as his girlfriend are witnesses the Arvizo family
26 were free to come and go from Neverland whenever
27 they wanted?
28 A. Did Vinnie say that or did I say that? 8870
1 Q. You.
2 A. Gosh. I don’t remember.
3 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I show
4 you a transcript?
5 A. Sure. Go ahead.
6 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach?
7 THE COURT: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: Could I ask you a question?
9 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object to any
10 further dialogue other than whether or not that
11 provision refreshed his recollection.
12 THE WITNESS: Oh.
13 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Have you had a chance to
14 look at that page of the transcript?
15 A. Yes, I looked at that.
16 Q. Does it refresh your recollection about you
17 saying that to Vinnie?
18 A. Can you say the question again? I’m sorry.
19 What was the question?
20 Q. Did you tell Vinnie that it was your
21 understanding that Chris Tucker and a woman
22 identified as Tucker’s girlfriend are witnesses that
23 the Arvizos were free to come and go whenever they
24 wanted from Neverland?
25 A. I think I’m asking a question. I’m not? Am
26 I asking it or am I making a statement?
27 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object to the
28 absence of a foundation that it refreshed his 8871
2 THE COURT: The only question pending is
3 whether, having looked at that manuscript, your
4 memory is refreshed about that statement or
5 question, whatever it may be.
6 THE WITNESS: Okay.
7 THE COURT: Does it refresh your
9 THE WITNESS: No. Not really.
10 THE COURT: All right. Next question.
Provencio consistently had a problem throughout his testimony answering even the most simple of questions, and this excerpt is no exception!
11 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You’ve talked about the
12 project “What More Can I Give?” right?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. You’ve talked about the work you did on
15 “”Invincible”,” right?
16 A. No, I didn’t — no, I didn’t say that. I
17 said I went to a video shoot.
18 Q. You didn’t do any work yourself on it?
19 A. No. My name ain’t in it.
20 Q. You did some work on the rebuttal show
21 involving Debbie Rowe, correct?
22 A. I was there for the shooting of Debbie Rowe,
24 Q. Were you actually working for Schaffel at
25 that time?
26 A. I worked until the 25th, and that was it, of
27 February of ‘03.
28 Q. So you were working for Schaffel when the 8872
1 interview with Debbie Rowe took place?
2 A. With Neverland Valley Entertainment.
3 Q. Okay, excuse me.
4 A. Okay.
5 Q. You were working with Neverland Valley
6 Entertainment when the interview with Debbie Rowe
7 took place?
8 A. Correct. I received my last check on the
10 Q. And when the interview with Debbie Rowe took
11 place, were you working that day at Schaffel’s
13 A. Yeah, I was doing filing and other
14 miscellaneous —
15 Q. Did you do any work on that video yourself?
16 MR. ZONEN: Which video? Objection.
17 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll rephrase.
18 Q. Did you yourself do any work on the rebuttal
19 video involving Debbie Rowe?
20 MR. ZONEN: Again, it’s vague as to just the
21 section of Debbie Rowe or the whole film?
22 MR. MESEREAU: I’ll be happy to rephrase
23 those questions, Your Honor.
24 Q. The first question: Did you do any work on
25 the rebuttal video documentary —
26 A. Uh-huh.
27 Q. — involving the Arvizos?
28 A. No. 8873
1 Q. Did you do any work on the rebuttal
2 documentary particularly, specifically the Debbie
3 Rowe interview?
4 A. I was there for the filming.
5 Q. Okay. Were you working on it at all?
6 A. Just upstairs I was doing things for
7 Neverland Valley Entertainment. It was part of
8 Neverland. They were filming there.
9 Q. Did the work that you were doing on that day
10 involve the interview with Debbie Rowe?
11 A. No, not really. My work was just office
13 Q. When you looked at the list of questions
14 you’ve identified that were being asked of Debbie
15 Rowe —
16 A. Uh-huh.
17 Q. — was that part of your responsibilities
18 and your work for Neverland Valley Entertainment?
19 A. They were laying around. It wasn’t like —
20 there was no secret about it. They were laying
21 around. It was like — just like you would in any
23 Q. Well, I think you said you went up and down
24 the stairs during the shoot.
25 A. Yeah, I went up and down the stairs to get
26 coffee, take a leak, come back downstairs, watch a
27 little bit more. Go back upstairs.
28 Q. Were you just watching it on your own time 8874
1 or was that part of your work for Neverland Valley
3 A. Everybody was — it was like Stuart. We
4 were just there. We were watching. We were — you
5 know, I just wanted to do something else other than
6 just sit there for nine hours. So —
7 Q. So am I correct you didn’t directly work on
8 that portion of the video?
9 A. I didn’t do any lighting. I didn’t ask her
10 any questions. You know, but I was there. It was
11 part of Neverland Valley Entertainment, for
12 clarity’s sake.
Here’s more of Provencio’s pure incompetency regarding his actions after being notified of the Arvizo’s “escape” from Neverland. Pay attention to another sign of Schaffel’s character flaws that Provencio testified about; it shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering what we’ve already heard about Schaffel:
13 Q. Do you remember telling Vinnie —
14 A. In what?
15 Q. — in one of your recorded interviews with
16 him — excuse me, not “interviews.” Excuse me. Let
17 me rephrase the question.
18 Do you remember telling Vinnie during one of
19 your phone conversations with him that you recorded
20 that, “All fingers point to Marc”?
21 A. Yeah, he was mastermind, letting people know
22 what was happening.
23 Q. Do you remember telling Vinnie that, “Even
24 if you were stupid and had the inside track, you
25 would see the finger’s pointing to Marc”?
26 A. Yeah, and Marc informed everybody what was
27 going on.
28 Q. How long were you in contact on a regular 8875
1 basis with Marc Schaffel after you decided there was
2 a conspiracy?
3 A. I never — I never really decided there was
4 a conspiracy per se. I just knew something was
5 wrong. The family had escaped, and so I was
6 relieved. I was just real relieved that everything
7 was just like — I thought everything was just going
8 to be — you know, that these people were kind of on
9 a — like lost souls on a ship. They could just
10 float away from me and I could just be free of all
11 of it.
12 So — but I kept in contact with them. I
13 love people. I adore people. Even if they do
14 something wrong doesn’t mean that I have a right to
15 judge them. And maybe I don’t know all the answers
16 and maybe I don’t — I didn’t know everything that
17 was happening at the time. But as long as they
18 were — everything was okay and everybody was okay,
19 I just kind of figured that — I’m rambling. Sorry.
20 So that’s a —
21 Q. So around the time you decided the family
22 had escaped, you did not judge Marc positively or
23 negatively; is that right?
24 A. I was just — like I said, they were all on
25 a boat, I mean, lost souls on a boat, so just let it
26 go. Just let them go and do whatever fantastic
27 things they do.
28 Q. While you were working for Neverland Valley 8876
1 Entertainment at Schaffel’s residence —
2 A. Uh-huh.
3 Q. — you learned that Schaffel had stolen
4 money from a woman in Japan, correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And you kept working with him anyway, right?
7 A. I didn’t learn it until later. And — and
8 even though I saw some documents, I don’t know if
9 the agreement specifically was that there was to be
10 any money given back or anything like that. I only
11 saw, you know, what I saw and heard what I heard.
12 Q. You saw what you saw and you heard what you
13 heard while you were working with Schaffel, right?
14 A. We were on hiatus, yeah.
15 Q. Did you see the documents that you just
16 referred to at Schaffel’s residence?
17 A. I saw a couple of them, yeah. They would
18 come in fax.
19 Q. How much longer did you keep working with
20 Schaffel after you learned he had stolen money from
21 a woman in Japan?
22 A. Well, I learned it much later, what had
23 happened. I learned that the money situation —
24 because the people who brought — can I explain
25 this? Is that okay?
26 Q. I’m just asking you how much longer you kept
27 working for Schaffel after you saw the document
28 you’ve just described. 8877
1 A. I kept on working with him, but I didn’t
2 know he had taken this money until much later.
How’s this for irony? Provencio and flight attendant Cindy Montgomery both recorded each other during their time as police informants! And as further evidence of Schaffel’s true nature, Provencio stated that he told Montgomery that Schaffel is a “prolific liar”:
3 Q. You are friendly with a woman named Cindy
4 Montgomery, right?
5 A. Correct. I met her.
6 Q. And when did you first meet Cindy
8 A. Around the Brazil trip, where they were
9 trying to get one-way tickets to Brazil. Right
10 around that time.
11 Q. Well, Mr. Schaffel used to go to Brazil a
12 lot, didn’t he?
13 A. Well, yeah. But — yes. The answer is yes.
14 Q. You knew Cindy Montgomery before the Brazil
15 trip you just referred to.
16 A. I knew of her.
17 Q. Correct.
18 A. But that was the first time I was actually
19 meeting her face to face and talking to her.
20 Q. At some point you learned Cindy Montgomery
21 tape-recorded a phone conversation with you,
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you then began to tape-record phone
25 conversations with Cindy Montgomery, right?
26 A. Yes. Because the machine would come on.
27 I believe there was one conversation in there.
28 Q. And you repeatedly told Cindy Montgomery 8878
1 that Marc Schaffel is a prolific liar, right?
2 A. That’s true.
3 Q. When did you learn that Marc Schaffel was a
4 prolific liar?
5 A. Well, do you want the short answer or the
6 long one?
7 Q. When do you think you decided Marc Schaffel
8 is a prolific liar?
9 A. When I started working with him, things —
10 things were — things were unraveling, stories
11 weren’t matching. You know, things his parents did
12 for a living, things like that. You know, so I — I
13 kept on kind of, “Well, wait a second. That’s not
14 what you told me last month,” so then I was just
15 starting to remember.
16 Q. You’d known him since high school; is that
18 A. I knew of him since high school, yes.
19 Q. Okay. Did you know him in high school?
20 A. Yes, I knew of him in high school.
21 Q. Before you began to work for Neverland
22 Valley Entertainment, were you working in the
23 entertainment industry?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What were you doing?
26 A. I was a record promoter.
27 Q. And where were you promoting records?
28 A. At the Universal Music Group. 8879
1 Q. How long did you do that?
2 A. Oh, God, like four years.
3 Q. Did you meet — did you run into Schaffel
4 while you were working for the Universal Music
6 A. No, I ran into Schaffel when I was working
7 for the Warner Music Group.
8 Q. When was that?
9 A. In ‘93. Because we lost contact from like
10 ‘84 to like ‘93 is kind of like when we lost contact
11 with each other, because I didn’t know where he
13 Q. Did the sheriffs — excuse me. Did
14 representatives of the sheriff’s department tell you
15 that Cindy Montgomery had recorded a conversation
16 with you?
17 A. No, but I understood the wisdom of it later.
18 Q. How did you learn she had recorded a
19 conversation with you?
20 A. She told me the truth.
21 Q. Okay. Approximately when was this, if you
23 A. Gosh, I don’t remember. I really didn’t
24 think it was a big deal, so I don’t remember. I
25 mean, I couldn’t honestly tell you a day or a month.
26 Q. Did you learn she had done that as a part of
27 a police investigation?
28 A. She just basically said, “Listen, I’m your 8880
1 friend. I really like you. I don’t want this to
2 ruin our friendship, but, you know, I” — “I wanted
3 to make this recording.” And she did it and….
4 Listen, everybody was making recordings in
5 that world. So this was like nothing. This was
6 nothing. I mean, people were following people.
7 People were making recordings. You weren’t allowed
8 to talk on the phone at Neverland, things like that.
9 So this was nothing new.
10 Q. So you were not upset when you learned that
11 Cindy Montgomery had recorded a conversation with
12 you as part of this investigation?
13 A. Well, I was upset, because I wished she
14 would have just told me. And I remember, you know,
15 I put it in my notes, that I just thought, you know,
16 God, you know — I was upset at the time. And then
17 later on, I just — I realized that, you know, I
18 could see the wisdom of why that occurred, and it
19 was fine. It was just like I got done with what I
20 was doing, so —
21 Q. Did you tell her that you were recording
22 conversations with her?
23 A. No, I don’t think so. But I think that
24 conversation with her was an accident, if I’m right.
25 I think there’s maybe one or two in there with her,
26 and I think that was a complete accident, because it
27 was just — the tape would go on, so — when you
28 pick up the phone. 8881
1 Q. Do you remember discussing with Cindy
2 Montgomery the fact that you were keeping notes of
3 this investigation?
4 A. Keeping notes?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Yeah. I keep notes of everything, you know.
7 My journals do you mean?
8 Q. Yes. Do you remember telling Cindy
9 Montgomery that you were taking notes about this
11 A. I was keeping notes, yes.
12 Q. Do you remember telling her about that?
13 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as hearsay.
14 THE COURT: Overruled.
15 You may answer.
16 THE WITNESS: Okay.
17 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Do you remember that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember telling Cindy Montgomery, in
20 discussing your notes, “I’ll give my lawyer the
21 bullet points, overview, but not give him my
22 detailed notes. Are you kidding me? That’s a book,
24 A. Yes, I did say that.
25 Q. But you said earlier you have no intention
26 of writing a book about this case, right?
27 A. I don’t. I really don’t.
Next, Mesereau questioned Provencio on a variety of topics, including Schaffel’s habit of keeping people away from Jackson, the money that Provencio could have made by selling stories to the tabloids, and the journalists that he has spoken to about the case:
28 Q. Okay. Do you know someone named Ian 8882
2 A. He was one of the people that Christian
3 Robinson — Christian Robinson brought on board. I
4 think he was a photographer also.
5 Q. Did you ever —
6 A. From Utah.
7 Q. Did you work with him?
8 A. No, I didn’t really communicate with him.
9 I know he was around and was working for Christian
10 or helping to assist Christian.
11 Q. Did you ever see Ian Barkley with Michael
13 A. No.
14 Q. Was it your belief that Schaffel was trying
15 to prevent people from talking to Michael Jackson?
16 A. Well, yeah, he would — I mean, he always
17 wanted to kind of hog the spotlight, I guess you
18 might say.
19 Q. And he tried to keep Ian Barkley away from
20 Michael Jackson, did he not?
21 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as lack of
22 foundation and relevance.
23 THE COURT: Sustained.
24 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: I’m not sure if I asked
25 you this. When did you last talk to Schaffel?
26 A. Right before last month, on the 14th.
27 Q. Did he call you?
28 A. I don’t remember. But I know I talked to 8883
2 Q. And when had you talked to him last before
3 that call?
4 A. Gosh, off the top of my head, I don’t
5 remember. It was just back and forth. Whatever.
6 Q. When did you last see Marc Schaffel in
8 A. I think it was in Ohio. Yeah, I’m pretty
9 sure it was in Ohio. Yeah, it was in Ohio.
10 Q. You indicated you gave up your point —
11 A. Uh-huh.
12 Q. — in the project that you had with
13 Neverland Valley Entertainment?
14 A. Yes, with “What More Can I Give?”
15 Q. And how did you give up your point?
16 A. I signed documents and just said —
17 basically Marc had provided me documents and said
18 that this is going to return — because I had said,
19 you know, “I think this is a good idea. We should
20 return our points to Michael. I think that’s a very
21 good idea.” And he said, you know, “Oh, I agree.”
22 And I met him at Wahoo’s Fish Taco, and we
23 had lunch, and that’s when I signed the point over
24 to Michael.
25 Q. And I believe you said you did that out of
26 pure generosity; is that —
27 A. Well, I did it because I just felt like I
28 would have bad karma owning something I didn’t think 8884
1 I deserved. I really thought that I should; I
2 should do it.
3 Q. Okay. Do you remember telling Vinnie Amen
4 that you should have made $150,000 by going to a
6 A. That I go to the tabloid or he did?
7 Q. You.
8 A. I never went to a tabloid.
9 Q. Do you remember telling him you should have?
10 A. I might have been tempted, yes, but I never
11 did it. And I got calls and offers, but I never
12 took them.
13 Q. Have you been told by anyone associated with
14 the prosecution, “Don’t make any deal till after the
15 trial’s over”?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Have you been told by any member of the
18 prosecution, “Don’t give interviews till the trial’s
20 A. Oh, they said I’m under gag order. Is that
21 what you mean?
22 Q. Has anyone from the prosecution said to you,
23 “Mr. Provencio, don’t give any interviews till this
24 trial’s over”?
25 A. They never said do interviews or any of
26 that. They just said, “You’re under gag order,” you
27 know, and, “You’re accountable for your own
28 actions.” 8885
1 Q. Do you remember telling Vinnie Amen, “Marc
2 has made money hand over fist on Michael Jackson”?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you remember telling Vinnie that Michael
5 Jackson had given a million dollars to Marlon
7 A. Yeah, I was there. Because he got booed.
8 Q. And you told Vinnie that Schaffel had stolen
9 a million dollars from that woman in Japan, correct?
10 A. Yes. After I found out — and maybe I’m
11 being overassumptious, but the woman died and he
12 didn’t return the money, so I considered that not
14 Q. Have you ever spoken to anyone who
15 represents the media about this case?
16 A. I have friends in the media, but — I would
17 listen to what they said, but I — I didn’t want
18 people to put a stranglehold on me, so I preferred
19 not to speak to them about it.
20 Q. And what friends in the media have you
21 spoken to about this case?
22 A. Well, Kathryn’s a person that I talked to.
23 Q. Okay. She’s with who, CBS?
24 A. CBS.
25 Q. Who else have you spoken to in the media
26 about this case?
27 A. Nobody. So….
28 Q. You just referred to some friends in the 8886
2 A. Yes, I did refer to friends. And —
3 Q. And who were they?
4 A. And that’s Kathryn Milofsky.
5 MR. ZONEN: I’m going to object unless there
6 are people he actually discussed in this context.
7 THE COURT: Sustained.
8 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Correct me if I’m wrong —
9 A. Uh-huh.
10 Q. — did you just say you have friends in the
11 media that you have listened to about this case?
12 A. Yes, they — they call me, and I hear what
13 they have to say, but it’s — you know, it’s — it
14 has to stay a one-way street.
15 Q. And who are they?
16 MR. ZONEN: Objection, irrelevant.
17 THE COURT: Sustained.
18 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Is Ian Drew a friend of
20 A. Yes. He is in the media.
21 Q. Who does he work for?
22 A. A magazine. US Weekly, I think.
23 Q. Have you ever had a discussion with him
24 about this case?
25 A. Oh, yes, I — yes.
26 Q. And when was that discussion?
27 A. We were both there experiencing things at
28 the same time, so that’s what — I mean, at the time 8887
1 it wasn’t really a case, but we were experiencing
2 things at the same time. So, like, I said, “Did you
3 hear the word ‘escape’ or did I just make that up in
4 my mind?” And he said he had heard it, too.
5 Q. When did you last talk to Ian Drew about the
7 A. A couple days ago. Oh, about the case?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. He just said he —
10 Q. When did you last talk to Ian Drew about
11 this case?
12 A. A couple days ago.
13 Q. And you said he worked for US Weekly?
14 A. Yes. But I’ve never been paid by them or
15 anything like that.
16 Q. What does he do for US Weekly?
17 A. You know what? I think he’s a writer.
18 I think he’s a writer.
19 Q. Did he call you or did you call him?
20 A. He called me.
21 Q. Do you talk to him on a regular basis?
22 A. Infrequently. He’s very infrequent. Cool
23 guy. Very infrequent.
24 Q. Now, in your handwritten notes, you refer to
25 someone named Larry Schiller, correct?
26 A. I guess. Oh, is that my handwriting or
28 Q. I don’t know. I can show you a page of 8888
2 A. I can look at it, if you want me to look.
3 Q. Sure.
4 THE COURT: We’ll take our break now.
5 MR. MESEREAU: Yes, Your Honor.
6 THE COURT: No?
8 All right. We won’t.
9 THE WITNESS: Oh.
10 THE COURT: The second time.
8 All right. We won’t.
9 THE WITNESS: Oh.
10 THE COURT: The second time.
12 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: I can show you that page,
13 if you want.
14 A. You know what? Why don’t you just show me.
15 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach, Your Honor?
16 THE COURT: Yes.
17 MR. ZONEN: Counsel, could I see that,
19 THE WITNESS: Oh, yeah, that’s Marc’s
21 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Okay. Now, that page was
22 found in your notes, true?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Do you know why Marc’s writing is found in
25 your notes?
26 A. Well, I would have it — well, sometimes I
27 was kind of stupid and I would have the — the —
28 the — the book sitting out. And if he went to my 8889
1 phone to answer the phone and he was in there, I
2 think that’s when he wrote it.
3 Now, I didn’t see him write it, but that’s
4 when — I mean, I freaked out. I even made the
5 reference that I got to keep my notes a little bit
Mesereau segued into the topic of whether or not Provencio considered using his notes to get a book deal; he testified that he had never rewritten any of his notes, and continually gave them to police to assist in their investigation.
7 Q. Do you know who Larry Schiller is?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. Did you ever talk to Marc about who
10 Larry Schiller was?
11 A. Huh-uh.
12 Q. Okay. He writes books about trials. Did
13 you know that?
14 A. No.
15 MR. ZONEN: I’ll object as beyond the scope
16 of this witness’s knowledge and assuming facts not
17 in evidence.
18 THE COURT: Sustained.
19 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Have you ever taken your
20 notes and rewritten them?
21 A. Huh-uh.
22 Q. Are —
23 A. I mean, I ramble and I scribble, but — you
24 know, and rewrite sometimes. Like if I find a fact
25 out, I’ll, like, write out the answer. Or sometimes
26 I’ll be, like, “Well, what is this?” You know what
27 I mean?
28 Because, like, in that period of time, I 8890
1 wasn’t sure who was telling me the truth. That’s
2 why the notes seem pretty scrambly a little bit.
3 Q. I thought you’d forgotten about them.
4 A. What do you mean?
5 Q. Your notes.
6 A. Well, I did, you know, for a period of time
7 after it was all done. I just stuck it in a box in
8 storage, so —
9 Q. Did you ever go back to those notes and redo
11 A. No.
12 Q. Ever add anything to any of those notes?
13 A. No. I know I have, like, different styles
14 of handwriting. But, no.
15 Q. Did you ever go back to your notes when you
16 had another thought and just kind of add something?
17 A. No. That wouldn’t be cool.
18 Q. Was there only one set of notes?
19 A. One set of notes?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. There are many notes. There are many
23 Q. When did you first give the police — well,
24 let me rephrase that.
25 A. Okay.
26 Q. The notes you took, are you referring to
27 them as journals?
28 A. Yes. 8891
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. You know, just notes that I took. Journals.
3 Q. Okay. When did you first give any
4 representative of the sheriff’s department a journal
5 referring to anything about this case?
6 A. I guess the first — the first couple weeks,
7 I guess. Oh, no, it was during the — no, I had
8 notes that I gave them during the — when they came
9 to my house the first time.
10 Q. You gave them your journal notes a few weeks
11 ago, didn’t you?
12 A. No, I continuously give them notes.
13 Q. The notes you were referring to earlier that
14 have a February 1st date are notes you gave them a
15 couple of weeks ago?
16 A. That’s true. From the Neverland Valley
17 book, right.
18 Q. Had you given them some notes before that
19 recent date?
20 A. Well, it was an ongoing investigation, so I
21 gave them notes all along. I was keeping in contact
22 with people, so —
23 Q. You didn’t give them any of your notes until
24 a few weeks ago, right?
25 A. Any of my notes? No.
26 MR. ZONEN: Objection.
27 THE COURT: Sustained.