The Press Reports (Thanks to MJNFC!)
Press Reports


Dateline: Los Angeles Word Count: 0189
The Associated Press Date: July 22, 1995

     A lawsuit by four ex-guards who claim Michael Jackson fired them because they knew about his alleged trysts was thrown out of court on Friday. The men sued in 1993 despite the fact they had signed a release after they were fired in which they promised not to. They claimed the release was invalid because they signed it under duress, but Superior Court Judge Richard C. Neal dismissed the case. The guards' lawyer, Charles T. Mathews, said he would appeal. ''If we'd been able to get to a jury, I'm quite confident they'd find the charges we alleged were true,'' Mathews said. Jackson's lawyer disagreed. ''Michael has said from day one he never did anything inappropriate with any minors,'' Howard Weitzman said. ''This was (the guards') way of getting their 15 minutes in the limelight.'' Jackson settled a sex abuse lawsuit filed by a 13-year-old boy in 1994, reportedly for as much as $15 million. No charges were filed. Jackson denied wrongdoing and called the boy's claim an extortion attempt. Copyright 1995 the Associated Press. -- All Rights Reserved.

North American News Report DATE: July 21, 1995 18:06 E.T.

LOS ANGELES (Reuter) - A judge Friday threw out a a lawsuit against Michael Jackson by five of his former security guards who said they were fired for knowing too much about nighttime visits with young boys.  After a three-day trial, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Neal dismissed the case on the grounds that all the guards had signed releases providing for severance pay when they left Jackson. ''Michael Jackson is thankful for the court's ruling,'' Jackson's attorney Howard Weitzman said in a statement. ''He has consistently maintained that he has not engaged in wrongful conduct with any minors. The stories told by these guards on various tabloid shows, for which they were paid, were false.'' The security guards had brought the case against Jackson in 1993, alleging they were spied on and harassed by a private investigator hired by the pop superstar to impede the investigation into charges he sexually molested young boys.  At the time, Jackson was being sued by a 13-year-old boy who charged the singer had molested him, and was also under criminal  investigation. Jackson denied the allegations of the boy, whose family later settled the lawsuit for millions of dollars, and prosecutors decided not to pursue the charges.  The security guards had alleged they had firsthand knowledge of Jackson's personal life, and had witnessed him fondling young boys and keeping them in his bedroom for days at a time.  They also alleged Jackson attempted to discredit potential witnesses and destroy incriminating evidence, at one point instructing one guard to retrieve a photo of a naked boy left in the singer's bathroom. Jackson maintained that the dismissal of the guards was related to a decision to hire an independent security firm rather than employ guards on an individual basis.

Hollywood Reporter
$2.7 million to Jackson for free-lancer's sex-tape
lie Jurors wanted to 'send message' to tabs by David Robb
Monday, April 13, 1998

LOS ANGELES () - Pop star Michael Jackson has chalked up another court victory, this time in a defamation suit he brought against a free-lance journalist who told "Hard Copy" that he had seen a tape of Jackson having sex with a young boy. On Thursday, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded Jackson $2.7 million in compensatory and punitive damages after a three-day trial. Superior Court Judge Reginald Dunn had already determined that Victor Gutierrez's story was false and that Gutierrez knew it was false when he told it to "Hard Copy." The jury's task was to determine the amount of damages. "Victor Gutierrez claimed to have seen a videotape of Michael having sex with a boy," said Jackson's attorney, Zia Modabber. "He claimed he was shown the tape by the boy's mother. But the tape never existed. The mother testified that the incident never happened. The guy made the whole thing up, and we sued him for it." Paramount, which produces "Hard Copy," was dismissed from the suit last year. So too were former "Hard Copy" correspondent Diane Dimond and producer Stephen Doran. Jackson is appealing their dismissal from the case. "We talked to the jurors afterwards," Modabber said. "They said they wanted to send a message that they were tired of the tabloids telling malicious stories about celebrities for money. They said they hope this will send a message not to do this." Gutierrez may appeal, said his attorney, Robert Goldman, who maintained that the case was lost because Gutierrez refused to identify his confidential source. "Before the trial began, the court ruled that the story was false because Victor refused to reveal his allegedly confidential source for the story," Goldman said. "The jury was told the story was false without being told why." Modabber laughed at that ssertion. "Gutierrez told a D.A. Investigator and two witnesses who testified at the trial that the boy's mother was his source," Modabber said. "He told anyone who would listen. The only people he would not tell were the ladies and gentlemen of his jury -- that's when he became ethical. Now he's getting on his high horse saying he's protecting his source." This is the sixth lawsuit Jackson has won since 1995 but the first in which he was the plaintiff. The five previous suits against Jackson, Modabber said, "were all frivolous," filed by "people who were trying to shake him down for money. People think that if you file a lawsuit against Michael, he will be an easy target. But they are wrong. We're tired of him getting dogged. We're not settling. We're going to trial and winning.

August 20, 1999

.c The Associated Press

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) - Michael Jackson won a lawsuit claiming he violated a settlement over molestation accusations of a 13-year-old boy. An arbitrator entered a judgment in favor of Jackson on July 26. News of the judgment was published in Wednesday's Santa Barbara News-Press. Molestation allegations against Jackson were investigated by authorities in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, but Jackson was not charged with any crime. In 1994, Jackson reached an out-of-court settlement in a molestation lawsuit stemming from his friendship with the boy. The boy's father filed a follow-up lawsuit in 1996, claiming Jackson, by calling the allegation ``lies, lies, lies, lies'' in an interview, harmed the reputations of the father and son. The settlement agreement called for binding arbitration of any disputes, said an attorney for Jackson, Steve Cochran. AP-NY-08-20-99 1439EDT

Framed? Jax Finds a
Surprising Defender

Was Michael Jackson falsely accused of molesting a young boy in 1993, and was the singer the victim of an elaborate extortion scam? That's what former legal secretary Geraldine Hughes is claiming in a sure-to-be-controversial book. Hughes is writing "The Set-Up: The Truth Behind the Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations." In it, she says, she will prove the singer's innocence.

Hughes, who manages a law office in Los Angeles, worked during those years for a lawyer who represented the boy, who was not identified because of his age. She tells me she kept a diary on the case and even supplied information to the Gloved One's camp during the investigation. She says she was to have been a key witness for Jackson's side, but never got to testify because no trial took place. As you'll recall, Jackson settled with the boy, reportedly by paying him somewhere between $10 million and $20 million.

In 1994, GQ magazine published a lengthy article suggesting that Jackson might have been framed. And in the piece, writer Mary Fisher referred to a source she describes as a secretary with a diary.

"I am that secretary," claims Hughes, who says she has completed 13 chapters almost half the book. Her proposal is circulating among New York publishers. "So much about the case never came to the public's attention. I was there, and I know," she says.

But Hughes is too savvy to reveal the crucial evidence before signing a book contract. "That's why I stopped the writing there [at Chapter 13]," she says. "If I go any further [before landing a deal], I may as well give the information away."

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