Was Michael Jackson Framed?
The Untold Story
Part 3 Mary A. Fischer
GQ, October 1994 "Portions of the article"
"From the day Weitzman joined Jackson's defense team,"
he was talking settlement," says Bonnie Ezkenazi,
an attorney who worked for the defense.
With Fields and Pellicano still in control of Jackson's
defense, they adopted an aggressive strategy. They
believed staunchly in Jackson's innocence and vowed
to fight the charges in court.
Pellicano began gathering evidence to use in the
trial,which was scheduled for March 21, 1994.
"They had a very weak case," says Fields.
"We wanted to fight. Michael wanted to fight
and go through a trial. We felt we could win.
On November 23, the friction peaked.
Based on information he says he got from Weitzman,
Fields told a courtroom full of reporters that
a criminal indictmentold against Jackson seemed
imminent. Fields had a reason for making the
statement: He was trying to delay the boy's civil
suit by establishing that there was an impending
criminal case that should be tried first.
Outside the courtroom, reporters asked why Fields
had made the announcement, to which Weitzman
replied essentially that Fields "misspoke himself "
The comment infuriated Fields, "because it
wasn't true," he says. "It was just an outrage.
I was very upset with Howard. "Fields "
There was this vast group of people all wanting
to do a different thing, and it was like moving
through molasses to get a decision," says Fields.
"It was a nightmare, and I wanted to get the hell
out of it." Pellicano, who had received his share of
flak for his aggressive manner, resigned at the same
With Fields and Pellicano gone, Weitzman brought
in Johnnie Cochran Jr., a well-known civil attorney
who is now helping defend O.J. Simpson. And John
Branca, whom Fields had replaced as Jackson's
general counsel in 1990, was back on board.
In late 1993, as DAs in both Santa Barbara
and Los Angeles counties convened grand
juries to assess whether criminal charges
should be filed against Jackson, the defense
strategy changed course and talk of settling
the civil case began in earnest, even though
his new team also believed in Jackson's
Why would Jackson's side agree to settle out
of court,given his claims of innocence and
the questionable evidence against him? His
attorneys apparently decided there were any
factors that argued against taking the case
to civil court.
The only person who lost is Michael Jackson.
But Jackson, says Branca, changed his mind about
[taking the case to trial] when he returned to this
country. He hadn't seen the massive coverage and
how hostile it was.
He just wanted the whole thing to go away.
Was MJ Framed? Part 3 Was Michael Jackson Framed?
Why did Fields and Pellicano walk that day?
With Weitzman and Branca back in...
WHAT WAS REALLY HAPPENING?
The story is far from over... Stay Tuned