I believe the allegations are true. There wasn't just one allegation made against him, there were several, and they were consistent.
I used to think he was guilty but I now lean the other way. The father of the boy in the 1993 allegations had fought with Jackson and leveled the accusation before then drugging the kid with sodium amytal, which can lead to suggested memory, to get the kid to disclose that Jackson had touched his penis.
He was then recorded saying he didn't care about the effect the attempt to extort money out of Jackson would have on his kid but that he was getting the meanest lawyer on earth to ruin Jackson in the press if he didn't get what he wanted. Here is a quote from the recorded call:
There was no reason why he [Jackson] had to stop calling me...I picked the nastiest son of a bitch I could find [Evan Chandler's lawyer, Barry Rothman], all he wants to do is get this out in the public as fast as he can, as big as he can and humiliate as many people as he can. He's nasty, he's mean, he's smart and he's hungry for publicity. Everything's going to a certain plan that isn't just mine. Once I make that phone call, this guy is going to destroy everybody in sight in any devious, nasty, cruel way that he can do it. I've given him full authority to do that. Jackson is an evil guy, he is worse than that and I have the evidence to prove it. If I go through with this, I win big-time. There's no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever...Michael's career will be over.
The father tried to extort the money out of Jackson first, and didn't go to the authorities until Jackson repeatedly refused to pay the asking price.
Jackson also submitted to a rather invasive strip search, where his penis, anus and basically every square inch of him was photographed in the nude and said "if this is what I have to endure to prove my innocence, my complete innocence, so be it."
The reason that search was done was because according to the allegations the boy could describe something specific about the nude Jackson which would have proven the allegations. It seems to me that if this were the case, and it wasn't just part of what the lawyers were doing to pressure Jackson he would have broken and paid up before it got this far. But he didn't .
And where he did break also might hint at motivations for doing so. He stated that it was to get the ordeal past him, and to avoid the media circus (and remember, the lawyers up against him were eager to use the trial by media as an additional way to force Jackson to pay) and his friends stated that his health had deteriorated under the stress to the point where it was necessary, but at least one person close to Jackson said it was about not having to disclose his personal finances in court when he said: "you can take pictures of Michael's dick and he's not gonna like it, but once you start trying to figure out how much money he has, that's where he stops playing around."
There wasn't just one allegation made against him, there were several, and they were consistent.
But they really weren't
. For example, one of his employees attempted to sell a story to a tabloid alleged that Macaulay Culkin was involved, which he denied. And the police questioned dozens of other kids who'd stayed at the ranch when the accusation was made and all of them denied that anything took place.
If anything is consistent about the allegations, it is that in each case an attempt to make money off them is made. Instead of going to the cops people are asking for settlements or selling stories to tabloids.
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia's article on the first accusation
, which is where you can also source all my claims made in this post.
A number of Jackson's former employees"most of whom had worked at his ranch"sold stories to the tabloids of alleged prior sexual misconduct on Jackson's part, instead of reporting their claims to police. One couple initially asked for $100,000 claiming that Jackson sexually caressed Macaulay Culkin. They were prepared to expand upon this allegation for a fee of $500,000, whereby they would allege that Jackson put his hands down Culkin's pants. When the story broke, Culkin strongly denied the allegation, and did so again in court. A former security guard made various allegations about Jackson, saying he was fired because he "knew too much", and alleged that he was ordered by Jackson to destroy a photo of a naked boy. Instead of reporting this to police, Hard Copy accepted the story in return for $150,000. Afterwards, Jackson's maid, Branca Francia, alleged that she "quit in disgust" after seeing Jackson in a shower with a child, but did not inform the police. It later emerged that Francia was actually fired in 1991, but nevertheless sold her story to Hard Copy for $20,000.
I also remember reading (among other things) that child porn was found in his home.
I remember reading about that but I think I remember it being a dubious claim of the tabloid sort or having been debunked, but either way the prosecutor seemed to have it out for Jackson (he said "We got him" and called him "Wacko Jacko" before the cases were conclusively documented) and I imagine that if this were really true that we'd know about legal repercussions and not just rumors.
I have also heard all the rumors that Jackson was himself molested as a child. If that's true, then he was following the path that many (but not all) victims of sexual child abuse often take -- acting out and becoming the perpetrator.
His sister La Toya put that one out, and was trying to sell "proof" for $500,000 to tabloids. She later claimed that her husband had forced her do it for the money.
Obviously, he was afraid that if word ever got out that he did indeed have this very disturbing problem, his career would be forever destroyed.
Well why didn't he just pay in the first place? They were willing to settle for $15 million and that's less than a year of Jackson's shopping habit. This effectively ruined his career, and why wouldn't he pay up before the story broke instead of after it was raging and destroying his career? He reportedly said "No way in Hell" when they demanded payment the first time and the fact that he let the second one go to trial with no settlement even though he could have been imprisoned leads me to believe that he was fed up with that kind of extortion. He could have easily just stayed out of the country (he left the country after the acquittal) or bought off the new accuser but he ran a significant legal risk (in comparison to what it would take to settle) to get an acquittal and it's important to remember that he was
I'm no real fan of his, and I hate child abuse as much as the next guy but there really does seem to be a corrupt motive behind these accusations, and while I used to think he was guilty I now reserve my judgement and lean toward the accusations being partially or wholly false.
There's certainly some huge issues he has, and even some of the lesser charges such as giving children wine should give anyone pause but I'd not rush to judge him based on the trial by media. There were a lot of people fanning those flames for profit and it is wise to be skeptical of the clams given some of the motivation behind them.