Michael Jackson Allegations

Martin Bashir's documentary about Michael Jackson aired in February, 2003. The current charges pertain to Jackson's relationship with a 12 year old cancer survivor--which was well documented in the movie--and also was the subject of intense media criticism afterwards. [All articles available on Lexis.com]

People Magazine, 2/24/03:

So why did Jackson agree to let British journalist Martin Bashir trail him around for eight months? "I think Michael just kind of trusted him," says a Jackson-camp insider. Now Jackson, 44, is fighting back. In an effort to counter Bashir and his Granada TV production company, he sold FOX TV hours of his own footage with Bashir and his sleepover pal Gavin Arvizo, a 12-year-old cancer survivor, for $ 5 million. He will help craft it into a two-hour special to air Feb. 20. He also has filed complaints with two British media watchdog groups charging that Bashir breached codes of conduct by showing footage of his three children--Prince Michael I, 6, Paris Michael, 4, and 11-month-old Prince Michael II--and by interviewing Arvizo without the consent of the boy's parents. In addition, a source close to Jackson says, "legal action against [Bashir and Granada] has not been ruled out."

Of course, neither has legal action against Jackson. His blithe talk of hosting juveniles in his bedroom revived discussion of the 1993 case and prompted the Smoking Gun Web site to post court documents from that time....In a letter calling upon Santa Barbara D.A. Tom Sneddon to investigate the pop star's more recent contact with minors, A. Sidney Johnson III, president of Prevent Child Abuse America, the nation's largest such organization, wrote, "Michael Jackson has raised enough red flags for us to be concerned about protecting the welfare of children he comes in contact with, including his own." Sneddon put out word that his office's criminal investigation of Jackson is "open but inactive," just as it was at the time Jackson settled the '93 civil case .... Sneddon also encouraged anyone who felt victimized to come forward.

Meanwhile, Arvizo's divorced parents used the British tabloids to air their differences, both personal and philosophical. "Michael has pet names for all of my children, and Gavin even calls him Daddy," said mom Janet Ventura-Arvizo, 34, who was once so poor that she temporarily lived in a horse stable with her children. "He is the father they never had." She said Gavin and siblings Star, 11, and Davelin, 16, "are hoping to spend a lot more time with him in the future." Dad David, 37, countered that Janet, a former waitress, "sees prestige for herself from the connection." He said that while Jackson "has been very generous to the kids, [he] should not be sharing a room with them."

Hollywood Reporter 2/14/03

"It was of deep concern that a 44-year-old sleeps in a bed with children age 12 who have no relationship with him biologically," [Martin Bashir] said. "I didn't set out to ensnare him (Jackson). In the process of (Jackson and 12-year-old Gavin Arvizo) talking, I was curious about their relationship, and they volunteered this aspect of their relationship. I became more disturbed by that (but) I am not _ I repeat _ not accusing anyone of being a child molester," Bashir said.

Philadelphia Daily News, 2/13/03

MICHAEL JACKSON, perhaps you've heard of him, is teaming with Fox TV to air his rebuttal to the documentary that made his personal life seem even creepier than usual. The two-hour special (titled by Fox as "Take 2; The Interview They Wouldn't Show You," but titled by Tattle as "Revisionist History with Michael Jackson") will air next Thursday. It will feature Jackson's own footage of interviewer Martin Bashir.

Bashir is reportedly shown on Jackson's tape saying; "It almost makes me weep when I see you with [children] because your interaction with them is just so natural, so loving, so caring." Jackson has repeatedly denied any sexual interest in children and accused Bashir last week of hypocrisy and betrayal.

Daily Star, 2/13/03:

Little Gavin insists Jackson helped cure him of cancer. But dad David said:[Gavin's] mother sees prestige for herself from the connection with Michael Jackson. "Janet always dreamed of being a celebrity. That's what she thinks she has become.

New York Post, 2/10/03

A fierce bidding war has broken out among the London tabloids for the first interview with the mother of Gavin Arvizo, the 12-year-old cancer victim who shared Wacko Jacko's bed.

In last week's TV documentary, "Living with Michael Jackson," Gavin was seeing holding Michael Jackson's hand and snuggling his head in his lap as he talked about sleeping in the bizarro pop star's bed.

His mom, Janet Ventura-Arvizo - who is in hiding - has indicated she will give an interview for a price, a source said. The bidding is said to have gone as high as $80,000, and it's not over yet. She is expected to come out swinging in favor of Jackson, who says he was betrayed by Martin Bashir.

Mail on Sunday, 2/9/03

The latest child to share Jackson's bed was abused by his own father, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Cancer victim Gavin Arvizo, 12, was kicked and punched by his father David, who has been banned from seeing his son for four years.

News of the World, 2/9/03

THE boy of 12 who shares Michael Jackson's bed calls him "Daddy"-and his mum believes the star is a saint. Cancer victim Gavin Arvizo's life was transformed by Jacko, who rescued his family from poverty.

The boy's mother Janet Arvizo, 34-divorced from Gavin's father David-even drops her son off for overnight stays at the Neverland ranch. She is unconcerned about the sex abuse storm raging round her son and Jackson, pictured hand in hand during Martin Bashir's ITV interview.

Mum-of-three Janet said: "Michael is the father Gavin never had. He is a saint to all my children. "They all stay over with Michael. And they are hoping to spend a lot more time with him in the future."

Back to the present, Gavin's dad is now fighting for his custody, saying mom Janet is unfit:

The Mirror, 11/22/03

THE dad of the boy allegedly abused by Michael Jackson has started a custody battle to get his son back. David Arvizo wants Gavin, 12, taken away from his ex-wife Janet because he says she is an "unfit mother". He said through his lawyer: "Either she has placed the child in a home in which he was in danger of being molested or she has encouraged the child to make up stories.
"That's reason enough for her to lose custody. Either way she is an unfit mother."

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