493 of 502 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innocence is not always a good quality.
I don't know if you're like me, but ever since Michael Jackson passed away, I have been really curious to know the truth.
I don't think there has ever been anyone more misrepresented in human history than Michael Jackson. He said in an interview that '99.9% of what's written about me is not true.' He said this long before he ever went on trial...
Published on July 22, 2009 by L. Power
72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Michael Jackson Conspiracy
Aphrodite Jones was hired by Fox to report about the trial. She also intended to parlay her experiences and information into a book. She repeatedly stated that she thought he was guilty--including after the trial! She was interviewed for E!'s THS after the trial and still had nothing good to say about MJ. However, in a supposed change of heart, she claims that when the...
Published on September 9, 2009 by LisaG
Most Helpful First | Newest First
493 of 502 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innocence is not always a good quality.,
I don't know if you're like me, but ever since Michael Jackson passed away, I have been really curious to know the truth.
I don't think there has ever been anyone more misrepresented in human history than Michael Jackson. He said in an interview that '99.9% of what's written about me is not true.' He said this long before he ever went on trial.
After he was found 'not guilty' of the 10 charges, he was still treated as if he was guilty by the media. Forced to leave the country, to go to Bahrain, like a bird tossed out of its nest, never to return to Neverland again.
I wondered: 'well if he's innocent of the trial charges, what about the 1993 case where there was a settlement..'
When Aphrodite Jones went to numerous publishers, nobody wanted to publish a pro Jackson book, a book that would tell the truth about the trial. She actually had to self publish.
"In this world there are facts, and there are opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, not to their own facts." Senator Patrick Moynihan.
I cannot tell you what a relief it is to read a truthful book about Michael Jackson. The further you get into this book, the more you realise how Michael was not only not guilty but truly had the innocence and nature of a 10 year old child.
This naivete made him easy prey for a predatory reporter such as Bashir, who got a career making opportunity to film a documentary for free only to taint it with his own duplicity, sinister interpretation and innuendo. He reputedly sold the documentary to ABC for $7 million, and got a job as anchor, destroying MJ in the process without a second thought. After all, would a pedophile invite a camera crew into his home, and admit to sharing a bedroom with 10 year old kids. If children were abused, would there not be an immediate change in their behavior. Would their parents also staying at the house not notice this?
No.. Pedophiles act out of compulsion, cannot control themselves, and usually have many victims.
This naivete made him easy prey for the Arvizos who did the round of other celebrities such as Chris Tucker, George Lopez, and even Jay Leno looking for a handout. These guys got wiser sooner.
Among the many revelations in this book: The Arvizos deny on four separate occasions after the Bashir documentary that any molestation ever took place, on audio tape, on a rebuttal video, to DCFS workers, and to Gavin Arvizo's school principal.
Only after visiting the same civil attorney used in the 1993 case, after all this did Arvizo make a final return to Neverland. It is then he alleges the incident happened. Under cross examination, it is established that if Arvizo got a criminal conviction, he could sue MJ in a civil action until he was 18.
In the trial, the 1993 evidence was introduced. Jordan Chandler refused to testify against Michael Jackson. His mother did appear as a witness and surprisingly said she never had any qualms about her son being around Michael Jackson.
Janet Arvizo gave wild and wacky testimony, alleging that MJ conspired to keep her family captive at Neverland, and that he planned to abduct her son. Meanwhile she charges thousands of dollars for beauty treatments on the Neverland account in a local town, gets dental treatment for her soon paid by Jackson, alleges MJ made her fly to Miami to give a rebuttal interview. The truth is she found out MJ was in Miami and had Chris Tucker charter a jet for her to fly out with her children.
Janet Arvizo previously alleged sexual assault against JC Penney when her son was arrested for shoplifting. She claimed a security guard tweaked her nipple 25 times. She won a large settlement. Mesereau exposed glaring inconsistencies in the evidence in that case, particularly her claims that she had been assaulted yet the police photos taken shortly after showed no signs of assault, or even a need for medical attention, yet days later she turns up to an attorney with fresh color photos with bruises. She lied to a newspaper about having not having medical insurance, and lied about the cost of treatment to get them to raise money for her family.
What will amaze you as you read this book, is how many viewed Michael Jackson as a meal ticket for life. Disgruntled former employees who had lost multi million dollar lawsuits made the most outrageous allegations, which were skilfully dismantled and disproven by the incisive cross examination of Tom Mesereau.
About the 1993 agreement, Jackson said on the Prime Time Diane Sawyer interview, that the only reason he was sitting there giving the interview was that the photographs taken of his parts did not match up with the description of the accuser. There are many more surprises waiting between the covers of this book.
If you are filled with a burning curiosity to know the truth, you can feel confident that this book is true. If you are curious to explore even further I may post some links in the comment section below.
I hope you find this helpful.
Update: As of August 30,2009, I have now reviewed Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness.
The 2005 actual trial coverage only runs to 17 pages out of 700 odd, with 40 pages about the events leading up to it. It's nowhere near as detailed as Aphrodite Jones book, yet it's interesting to read a different account, and he uncovers interesting facts about the JC Penney case. He also lays down a precise timeline before the trial happened, which could make you wonder why this case ever went to trial. The 2009 edition adds the trial and the final years, to the previous edition written before the 2005 trial. Very little duplication between these two books.
Update Nov 3, 2009: If you have not already seen This Is It, I highly recommend it. Considering it is a rehearsal, the standard of filming the sequences is very high, Michael's voice still has it's magic, it features new complete video with MJ being chased by Humphrey Bogart, and new video to go with other classic songs such as Thriller. Truly some magical moments, and interesting to see the level of detail that goes into this type of production. A masterful job by Director Kenny Ortega, and a fitting tribute to Michael Jackson.
306 of 316 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Jackson Conspiracy is a must read.,
A Kid's Review
When District Attorney Tom Sneddon smugly announced that Michael Jackson was to be criminally charged, and that Neverland was being raided, he was so blinded by greed, jealousy and vengeance that he could not see that the degenerate family he had sided with, the Arvizo family, in order to try and take Michael Jackson's freedom from him, and ruin his reputation, all so that Sneddon could bask in glory, would actually bring Sneddon the ultimate humiliation. Sneddon's case against Michael Jackson was built on lies, and was created by liars, and Sneddon got exactly what he deserved, failure!!!
When Michael Jackson was put on trial, accused of having molested Gavin Arvizo -- who had learnt from his family how to extort people -- the media refused to tell the truth. The media refused to acknowledge, or discuss, what was actually going on in the courtroom that was favorable to Michael Jackson. The testimony that pointed to Michael Jackson's innocence, the success Michael Jackson's attorneys had in exposing the prosecution case for what it was, sham, was ignored by the media, the media refused to tell the truth.
When prosecution witnesses who desired to fill their pockets with Michael Jackson's money, who hoped to become rich by selling false stories, who falsely accused Michael Jackson, and who made up as many lies as possible, as horrible as possible, to extort as much money as possible from Michael Jackson, were exposed, it was ignored by the media, the media refused to tell the truth.
When the accuser, Gavin Arvizo, and his family, mother Janet Arvizo, and siblings Star Arvizo and Davellin Arvizo, stumbled over their lies, contradicted themselves continually, became argumentative when presented with facts that proved they were liars and extortionists, it was ignored by the media, the media refused to tell the truth.
When Michael Jackson's young cousin testified that the accuser, Gavin Arvizo, and Gavin's brother Star tried to get him to masturbate in their presence, it was ignored by the media, the media refused to tell the truth.
When it was revealed that Michael Jackson's former employees only claimed to have seen inappropriate behavior by Michael Jackson AFTER THEY WERE OFFERED MONEY AND PAID BY TABLOIDS/THE MEDIA, it was ignored by the media, the media refused to tell the truth. (Michael Jackson successfully sued these former employees many years ago, they still owe him money.)
When Michael Jackson's current employees testified that the accuser, Gavin Arvizo, and his family slept in guesthouses at Neverland (and not in Michael Jackson's bedroom), that they caused a great deal of trouble at Neverland, left a huge mess at Neverland, damaged and defaced property at Neverland, attacked the animals at Neverland, pulled knives on Neverland employees, stole from Neverland employees, stole from Michael Jackson, extorted Neverland employees by lying about their financial circumstances, extorted the government by lying about their financial circumstances, extorted other celebrities by lying to them and falsely accusing them, caused trouble wherever they went, and to whoever was unlucky enough to befriend them, overall having been shown to be users, liars, thieves, troublemakers and criminals, it was ignored by the media, the media refused to tell the truth..... until now.
Aphrodite Jones, a reporter, ashamed of her behavior during Michael Jackson's trial, having realized that she was wrong, has written this book - "Michael Jackson Conspiracy" - which is pretty much a compact version of Michael Jackson's trial. It details exactly what happened in the courtroom at Michael Jackson's trial (using actual trial testimony), the facts that were revealed and exposed, the witnesses and what they stated, how Michael Jackson's defense team managed to successfully destroy prosecution theories and witnesses on a daily basis, how the media did not want to report anything that was favorable to Michael Jackson or his defense team, how some media reporters had already secured deals to have access to Michael Jackson if he was to be found guilty and imprisoned (which is disgusting, because this behavior implies that these jerks preferred that a child had been molested so that they could profit), and how Michael Jackson was found NOT GUILTY by a jury that saw right through the lies, right through the Arvizo family, right through District Attorney Tom Sneddon and his sham case, and right through the media garbage that has been circulating for years about Michael Jackson.
So, if you want the truth about Michael Jackson, how he has become a target for liars who want to become instant millionaires, and the victim of a media that promotes and prefers lies, read "Michael Jackson Conspiracy".
162 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great overview of the trial!,
During Michael Jackson's trial in 2005, the media did not report anything positive about Michael and were completely unfavorable toward him. For them, reporting anything negative and salacious was the way to go in order to sell their stories, and in return, gain viewers, readers, and more advertising dollars.
Fortunately for Michael, the jury was forced to listen to the facts of the case, not the biased media coverage. Aphrodite Jones has done a wonderful job of focusing almost solely on the facts of the case and the testimony and evidence presented during the trial. It is because of those reasons that the book is highly riveting and eye-opening. All of her trial quotes are taken from court transcripts, and give the reader a "fly on the wall" approach, as if the trial was being relived. As a person who attended the trial whenever I possibly could, Ms. Jones' account of the proceedings are spot-on, and she should be commended for presenting the trial in a fair and objective manner.
The vast majority of the public was misled by a biased media, and I highly recommend that this is THE book to read to gain true insight into not only the trial, but what went on around Michael Jackson before and during the trial. I think many people would be shocked to discover how badly the accuser and his family were caught in so many lies and contradictions. Simply put, the prosecution had no case whatsoever, and this is the ONLY conclusion anyone can come to after reading this book.
Thank you Ms. Jones, for laying it all out for the world to see.
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave book,
This is a fascinating read, not just because of its subject matter but because the author herself was, like most other members of the media, predisposed to think that Jackson was guilty of at least some of the charges brought against him. She admits to being prejudiced and reveals just how she came to realise that this time the media got it very wrong indeed.
Ms Jones has thoroughly researched the book examining witnesses' testimonies, court transcripts, etc, and she reveals how the jury, onlookers and Jackson himself reacted throughout. Yes, you do feel that you are in the courtroom.
The disparity between what actually went on in there and what the media reported is astonishing. And there's some interesting information about British journalist/interviewer Martin Bashir too.
The background information about Neverland itself was all new to me. For example, it is only through reading this book that I realised that Michael Jackson's bedroom was not at all like the type of bedroom most of us have, i.e, just one room. Jackson's was a huge two storey, mezzanine construction - more like a flat than a room. I'm not saying Jackson was wise to have boys staying in his room (nor in his bed) but once you realise just how big this space was it kind puts a different perspective on these sleepovers.
Aphrodite Jones also reveals that Jackson himself was not at Neverland for much of the time; it was his home but it was more a social experiment, an escape for children who were sick or poor. It's such a shame it didn't work out. If he had lived elsewhere but just run the place as a separate entity/charity things might have turned out differently. Or if only he'd only have stuck to surrounding himself with animals rather than other peoples' children he'd be viewed by the majority as eccentric rather than potentially dangerous or evil.
I found the photographs of Neverland are startling. Everywhere is so cluttered - like a teenage boy's room. In fact, Jackson comes across as naive, vulnerable, lonely, somewhat deluded and while extraordianrily generous, lacking in emotional intelligence and 'street' savvy when it came to handling people who had their own agendas.
My only criticisms of the book are that Ms Jones' text concentrates on peoples' appearances a little too much; I felt she almost implied that when it xcame to witnesses beauty equals truth. I'd have welcomed more indepth analysis by Aphrodite Jones on the whole affair and its aftermath.
But a brave book. Buy it!
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and depressing in equal measure,
I was a fan of MJ back before those dark days in the summer of 1993, when he was truly God-like, and didn't really know what to think or do during the 2005 trial. It all brought very painful memories back for me, which i'm still dealing with. You very rarely heard a positive word said about Michael in those days, it was all expose's that basically Michael Jackson is not like us. Big surprise.
This book's title intrigued me, as I've long thought that Michael had one big obvious weak spot when it came to his love for the children of the world and despite the acts of charity, it wasn't going to be long before this naivette would land him in the hottest water imaginable.
I was pleasantly surprised by it to be honest, and it displayed a level-headedness and impartiality that is usually lacking in the modern media, which seemed almost scorned when their decades of negative reporting failed to guarantee a conviction on him as if the opinion of the ccountry and of all right-thinking people is formed by them. As is contained in the book, the people whose job it was to weigh the evidence and make a decision acquitted him on all charges. I remember being shocked at the time because from all the coverage I had read it looked like the poor man would be facing jail. Looking back, I'm glad that the jury had the intelligence and presence of mind to call it how they saw it and not kick an innocent man when he's down.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book About The Jackson Allegations,
This is the best book about the Michael Jackson allegations that I have read. The author makes as much sense of the allegations and the District Attorney's case against Michael Jackson as a rational person possible can. In other words, the case is exposed as a ridiculous, incoherent mess that should never have gone as far as it did. However, the book is not just about the Michael Jackson trial, but also about the media and the author as a member of the media. It gives just a glimpse into the world of journalism - especially the shortcomings of the covering of events like the Jackson trial. The majority of the media was clearly invested in a guilty verdict right from the start and had plans for all kinds of disturbing specials concerning Jackson's struggles in prison - it was going to be milked for all it was worth and the process had already started long before the trail. I saw specials about what kind of medical treatment/plastic surgery Jackson would have had access to in prison - this kind of thing was grossly inappropriate and immature and was going to continue after the expected guilty verdict. When it didn't come, the shocked journalists moved onto the next big story without giving any real thought into where and why they went wrong with their opinions, information and covering. The media built public expectations of guilt which were not fulfilled, so instead of being properly informed about the case against Jackson, the public remains convinced that he is guilty and "got away with it." Aphrodite Jones has been one of the few journalists to explore how she and others became sucked into that kind of mentality and approach towards a subject they should have treated fairly. She should be applauded for that, for going against the grain in writing this book and promoting it despite being shunned by certain sections of the media.
72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Michael Jackson Conspiracy,
Aphrodite Jones was hired by Fox to report about the trial. She also intended to parlay her experiences and information into a book. She repeatedly stated that she thought he was guilty--including after the trial! She was interviewed for E!'s THS after the trial and still had nothing good to say about MJ. However, in a supposed change of heart, she claims that when the evidence came out in Court, it demonstrated MJ's innocence, but the media reported it in such a way to make him appear guilty. I think that after meeting the legions of loyal fans in Santa Maria, who traveled from all over the world, she realized that she had a ready-made audience of people who would purchase a book about Michael's innocence.
You only have to read her foreword, where she goes into detail about why she "changed" her mind and wrote the book to realize how disingenuous it was. Of the hundreds of news reporters that were on site, Aphrodite Jones was on a short list of the most hated reporters by MJ fans who were actually in Santa Maria. In fact, one of the most outspoken fans that I know who was actually there in Santa Maria has not read the book and also refuses to support Ms. Jones.
In addition, the book is very poorly written. Again, it portrays Michael in a positive light, but is loaded with typographical errors and omits important facts. While she uses some of the actual trial testimony, a lot of what she does is describe what was testified to and places her own spin. She should have just provided the testimony and allowed readers to reach their own conclusions.
Also, there are errors that appear to be the result of sloppy researching. In one of the more ridiculous ones, she "justifies" the 1993 $20,000,000 (actually, it was $15,332,250) settlement with Jordie Chandler by explaining that this was a drop in the bucket for someone as wealthy as Michael Jackson. However, the settlement money did not come from Michael Jackson. Rather, it came from his insurance company who was footing the legal bill and made the decision to settle the case. Michael Jackson had no control over the settlement and repeatedly refused, as did his personal counsel, to settle the case. His insurance company did not need his consent to settle the Jordie Chandler allegations. Many of these facts were revealed in Court documents in 2005, so she should have known them as part of her research.
She also characterizes testimony without explaining the source. For example, Jay Leno testified before the Grand Jury that Gavin Arvizo asked him for money and that during the phone conversation in which money was requested, it sounded as though his mother or some other adult female was in the background coaching him. However, when Leno testified, he attempted to recant his Grand Jury testimony to make Michael Jackson appear guilty. Tom Mesereau was forced to impeach Leno by using the Grand Jury testimony to show that Leno was now lying under oath--or at least--had changed his testimony.
It is so blatantly obvious that Michael Jackson was blackmailed and subjected to molestation charges because he spent so much time with children and paid so much attention to children's charities that little needs to be written on the subject. However, the public should be corrected about the numerous salacious details erroneously reported by the media. To this end, Ms. Jones has started to own up to the media's malicious conduct in the downfall of a God fearing, generous man. For this, she should be commended.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fair and Accurate account of the trial,
I didn't follow the trial in 2005, and as was most everyone else, limited to what was reported in the media. Once MJ died two weeks or so ago, his life and everything in it was again brought into the spotlight, as it has been for this man since he was a child. As I was watching sound bites on different cable shows, I was again reminded of both charges and the 2005 molestation trial.
Now I have never met MJ, never went to any of his concerts (I loved "Thriller" as a child, I was 7 when it was released, I was completely enamored by his natural talent, like most were) and knew in my heart that he wouldn't ever hurt a child in that most heinous way. This book confirmed what I always knew to be true about the charges, the allegations and what really happened- and what the media, whose sole purpose is to get the most sensational headlines and the most money didn't report. One of the few things that I felt that MJ was guilty of was being too giving and kind to those in 'need' (I use that term loosely) and his character being forever tarnished for greed or a 'great' headline. Rest in Peace MJ.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY unbiased reporting!,
Anyone who is anyone should read this book! It clearly describes all the details that were left out of the popular news media during the trial of Michael Jackson. It also shows how people conspire together for their own profit, even if it means destroying someone else. So many people stood to make so much money if this man had been convicted, so they convicted him in the court of public oopinion. As a nation, we have become obsessed with celebrity gossip and propaganda, and more and more that is what is being reported, NOT THE FACTS! What happened to true journalism, showing all the necessary information so that we could decide for ourselves? I for one find it offensive, it is as if they are saying that the general public are not intelligent enough to decide for themselves, and that we are dumb enough to believe whatever they tell us! Also, with this trial the media is publicly implying that they feel our justice system FAILED! If you believe that, why wouldnt you fight to do something about it? If I truly believed that a jury was wrong, or paid off, or had some benefit in making a certian decision, I would call it a mistrial! Aphrodite, who was once reporting negative news during the trial, has seen the error of her ways. She reviewed all the court transcripts and documents and realized she was wrong. In this book she gives all the facts you never heard anywhere else. No one even wanted to publish it because they said people would only read smut, not something like this that was to the point and fair. Which, led her to publish it all on her own. She felt it was important that people hear all the facts, not only the smut that they have heard a million times. She took the high road and didnt even mention the many things such as race that others had previously mentioned. I think if you are interested in facts and true journalism, this book is for you. And if not, I think you should read it to prepare and protect yourself from the world we really live in where greed, money and lies are often in control! If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why? Why? Tell em that it's Human Nature,
This is a must read if you're interested about what MJ's trial was all about.
With his death, the "Living with Michael Jackson" interview that sparked this trial is being rebroadcast ad nausea, re-fueling misrepresentations about Michael Jackson. It amazes and infuriates me that even though MJ was found completely innocent, that interview continues to be broadcast all over cable and satellite TV. This book was a refreshing viewpoint of the courtroom proceedings and MJ's life in general, and I thank Aphrodite Jones for having the courage to write it and publish it herself.
As someone who didn't follow the trial while it was occurring, (yeah, I was living my own life) I was surprised to learn that the accusations against MJ included allegedly holding the Arvazio family "hostage" at Neverland. That's just plain nutty on the face of it. Once you add in the family's history of legal filings against others and payments received, and the testimony from other "stars" who gave time and provided money/gifts to this family through charitable organizations (Jay Leno, Chris Tucker, George Lopez), one is left wondering why the DA ever took this case to trial, let alone spent millions of taxpayers' dollars to fund it. The DA and police violated Michael's privacy, ruined a wonderful gift to children world over (Neverland), smeared his name and ruined Michael's reputation out of what appears to be spite. Facts support that his accusers expected Michael to bow to blackmail again and settle for millions to avoid a trial, as he did when the first money-grubber hurled accusations against him a decade earlier. But instead of being blackmailed a second time, he stood up against his accusers and had his day in court - and was found INNOCENT ON ALL CHARGES.
You'd think that would put the issue to rest.
In contrast, court records and testimony showed that there was every reason to suspect/believe the family involved was greedy, money-hungry, wanna-bes with criminal tendencies. If I lived in California and in that county, I'd be mad as all heck! There was no evidence other than unsubstantiated allegations made by the accuser and his family that MJ committed any crimes. They were "star shopping" hoping to hitch their wagon to any celebrity who did charity work with sick children. I firmly believe that family should have been ordered to reimburse the county & state for this trial. They should also have been made to pay pain and suffering damages to Mr. Jackson for making false allegations.
Or perhaps it should be the DA who should have been ordered to reimburse the county and Michael. He never should have let this go so far.
Gifted people are so often misunderstood and unappreciated in our culture. God forbid anyone should be different or more successful than the schmuck next to them. No matter how many good deeds Michael did or how much money he gave to help children, the media and others uncomfortable with his androgynous appearance figured he had to be a child molester. Yes, he suffered from arrested development, dubbing himself a real life Peter Pan. Yes, as a grown man he climbed trees to find musical and spiritual inspiration. Yes, he preferred the company of children over the company of adults. (Given how people treated him his whole life, is this really a surprise?) That doesn't make him a criminal.
People who work in/report on child sexual abuse will tell you that molesters are not "strange" people. They are normal people - completely normal -- our husbands, our uncles, our fathers, grandfathers, priests, and Boy Scout leaders. This is what really should make people nervous! Instead, as a way to cope with our fears, humanity has always persecuted those deemed "different." This is one of the all too many times it makes me sad to be part of what makes up the human condition. The media and society as a whole was way out of control during this trial.
The only reason I didn't give this book five stars was because I felt that the author took a bit too much liberty in expressing what she felt Michael may or may not have been thinking during the trial. Since MJ was not interviewed for this book, there is no way to know what he was thinking as witnesses took the stand. The author bases her statements on Michael's facial expressions, behind dark sunglasses. Not a very accurate measuring stick.
But given all the negative publicity and attention paid to unfounded accusations against MJ, I feel this can be overlooked by the cautious reader and seen for what it is -- her viewpoint. The factual information more than makes up for it.
Note: When I tried to find this book in my local library system, not a single copy could be found in the many libraries that are members in our state. I encourage those who purchase this book to donate it to your local public libary when you're through so others have a chance to read this important book.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Michael Jackson Conspiracy by Aphrodite Jones (Paperback - November 11, 2010)
Used & New from: $10.95