Michael Jackson’s lawyer claims disgraced Diana interviewer Michael Bashir also ‘misled’ and ‘duped’ the pop star and ‘induced’ him to admit sharing a bed with children.
The attorney, Brian Oxman, claimed in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com that while Bashir was ‘not evil’, his ‘careless actions’ were fueled by ambition and began a fatal downward spiral for the star.
Bashir’s interview with Jackson was aired in the explosive 2003 documentary Living with Michael Jackson on British channel ITV.
The documentary was credited with sparking a child sex abuse prosecution against the star, in which Bashir testified. Jackson was acquitted of all charges in 2005.
Oxman is now calling for an investigation by ITV, similar to a recent inquiry into Bashir’s landmark BBC interview with Princess Diana in which she candidly admitted to cheating on Prince Charles, prompting a scandal and royal family crisis.
The inquiry, run by UK lawmaker Lord Dyson at a cost of $2million to the corporation, found Bashir fabricated bank statements and lied to convince Diana to talk.
Martin Bashir’s 2003 interview with Michael Jackson was credited with sparking a child sex abuse investigation against the star
In an interview with DailyMail.com, Jackson’s former lawyer Brian Oxman (pictured left leaving court with his client) accused Bashir of misleading the singer and ‘inducing’ him to admit he shared a bed with children during their famous sit-down
Oxman said the ITV documentary presented Jackson as a child predator with clips of him holding hands with a young boy, who later became the focus of a child molestation trial in which Bashir (pictured arriving in court in 2005) testified
Oxman said Bashir’s ITV documentary presented Jackson as a predator, showing him holding hands and cradling young teenage cancer survivor Gavin Arvizo, and included clips of Jackson admitting in an interview with Bashir that he shared a bed with the boy – though denying any impropriety.
In Living with Michael Jackson, Bashir described the pop icon’s Neverland ranch as a ‘dangerous place for a vulnerable child.’
But in outtakes from Bashir’s interview with Jackson, the now-disgraced journalist lavished the star with praise, saying ‘it was a privilege’ to film MJ supporting sick kids.
Bashir told Jackson in the unused footage that a portrayal of his relationship with children as anything other than positive was ‘disgusting’, adding: ‘we ain’t doing that here.’
‘The problem is you see, nobody actually comes here and sees it,’ Bashir told his interview subject. ‘But I was here yesterday and I saw it, and it’s nothing short of a spiritual kind of thing.’
In the documentary, Bashir questioned Jackson’s parenting, but in unaired sections of his interview he called MJ’s parenting ‘spectacular.’
‘It almost makes me weep when I see you with them because your interaction with them is just so natural, loving, so caring,’ he said. ‘Everybody, whoever comes into contact with you, knows that.’
In an interview with DailyMail.com, Oxman claimed his late client was the victim of a ‘character assassination.’
‘Bashir presented the show as a way for Michael to show off his talent and the real man behind the myth, but it was in truth a character assassination,’ he said. ‘The same move that he pulled with Diana.’
The attorney said that Bashir even used his controversial interview with Diana to help secure face time with Jackson.
In Living with Michael Jackson, which aired on British network ITV, Bashir described the pop icon’s Neverland ranch as a ‘dangerous place for a vulnerable child’
Bashir also questioned Jackson’s parenting, but in unaired sections of his interview he called MJ’s parenting ‘spectacular’
Oxman believes that while Bashir was ‘not evil’, his ‘careless actions’ were fueled by ambition and began a fatal downward spiral for Jackson (pictured in court in 2002)
‘Bashir used the fact Princess Diana had approved and trusted him as assurance he was in safe hands. Michael [Jackson] had no idea that he had deceived Diana,’ Oxman said.
‘Only after all these years do we understand now the implications of that betrayal.
‘Bashir exploited Michael’s kindness to let him into his home with his family – and he did it with deception.’
The lawyer called for an investigation similar to the BBC’s probe of the journalist.
‘ITV should hold a review into what happened with the Michael documentary,’ he said.
‘When you look back now, Bashir was not the world’s top journalist, but yet he got the two biggest interviews. How did that happen? Questions should be asked.’
The lawyer also claimed Arvizo had never held Jackson’s hand before, and that the late pop star believed Bashir used the boy to set him up.
‘Bashir talked to Arvizo before the interview and then during the recording he rested his head on Michael’s shoulder and held his hand,’ Oxman said.
‘Michael told me afterwards: “That never happened before and I didn’t know what to do.”‘
‘Michael believed that Bashir may have told Arvizo to do that, but no one knew what really happened.
Bashir infamously interviewed Princess Diana in a bombshell 1995 sit-down, her first and only television sit-down in 1995. A recent inquiry led by UK lawmakers found Bashir fabricated bank statements and lied to convince Diana to talk
Jackson’s attorney said that Bashir even used his controversial interview with Diana to help secure face time with the King of Pop
‘Michael’s family, friends and I want to know what Bashir said to Arvizo that day. I think the world should know.’
The lawyer said Jackson was ‘rattled’ when Bashir asked him about sharing beds with the children, and bungled his answer.
‘Michael was trying to help the kids, but when asked about sleeping with children he was so rattled he failed to answer questions in a direct adult manner,’ he said.
‘Michael didn’t even see this coming, a normal person would have bitten back at him and said “I didn’t touch that kid.”
‘It was a shambles and why one of his managers didn’t stop it I will never know.’
Oxman said he didn’t realize the full extent of Bashir’s ‘betrayal’ until ITV sent him the documentary’s transcripts ahead of its publication.
‘After one look I felt, wait a second, something is not right here,’ he said. ‘Michael was misled and you knew someone had pulled a fast one.
‘The question is did those at the top realize what was happening?’ he added. ‘It took the BBC 25 years to examine what happened with Diana. It is time to examine what happened to Michael Jackson.’
After the documentary’s sensational release, Neverland was raided and Jackson charged with four counts of molesting a minor, four counts of intoxicating a minor to molest him, one count of attempted child molestation, one count of conspiring to hold the boy and his family captive, and conspiring to commit extortion and child abduction.
Though the star was acquitted on all counts, Oxman said he was never the same again.
The documentary showed cancer survivor Gavin Arvizo (pictured left with Jackson) holding hands with Jackson, which Oxman claimed never happened before and believed was a set up by Bashir
Arvizo is seen resting his head on Michael’s shoulder during the sit down. According to Oxman, Michael believed that Bashir may have told the boy to do that
He said the impact of the documentary and subsequent trial exacerbated Jackson’s drug addiction issues.
A fatal anesthesia overdose led to the singer’s death in 2009 age 50.
‘The stampede that show set in motion could not be stopped, despite all of our best efforts,’ Oxman said. ‘It was the beginning of the end for him.
‘He was cleared and innocent of every charge, but the damage was done mentally and physically.
‘Michael lost his faith in people. He would ask: ‘Why would they do this to me?’
But Bashir, the lawyer claimed, was shameless when he testified at the trial.
‘I stood next to [Jackson], when Bashir strolled up to him and apologetically said: ‘Nothing personal Michael.’
‘I was incredulous. Michael could not believe it, because inside he was fuming, because Bashir was the first prosecution witness.
‘Michael simply stared back, said nothing and then turned away.
In unused footage, Bashir told Jackson that a portrayal of his relationship with children as anything other than positive was ‘disgusting’, adding: ‘we ain’t doing that here’
‘We could not process it. Michael and I wondered what on earth was going on.’
Oxman said that the prosecution’s use of Bashir and his documentary in the court case may have backfired, instead giving the jury sympathy for Jackson.
‘On that stand and around the court the man was dripping with nervous sweating bullets,’ the attorney said.
‘Inside the courtroom we felt when Bashir was on the stand and the show was played to the jury, it was electrifying because you could see the jury’s reaction was the opposite of what the prosecution wanted, with them having sympathy for Michael.
‘I honestly think Bashir did not like what was happening to Michael, but it was him who set the wheels in motion.’
Oxman said Jackson’s defense team, led by Thomas Mesereau, were desperate to cross examine the British reporter, and to play the unaired sections of the interview which had been recorded in full by Jackson’s own videographer, to expose Bashir’s alleged duplicity.
However at a hearing in Santa Maria, California, Bashir refused cross examination, citing a California Shield Law, protecting journalists from divulging details of unpublished or unaired interactions with their subject matter.
Jackson’s legal team felt so irked by Bashir’s refusal to face questions they filed a contempt of court motion, accusing the journalist of trying to ‘make a mockery of this Court’s authority.’
‘Bashir deliberately presented an incomplete, fraudulently obtained, and improperly edited statement to the Jury knowing Mr. Jackson would never be able to refute the fraud because the witness would assert The Shield Law and First Amendment privileges after presenting the fraudulent information,’ the legal filing said.
Bashir refused to be cross examined by Jackson’s defense team, prompting lawyers to file a contempt of court motion (pictured)
Although Jackson was acquitted, many questions remain over his suspicious and alleged inappropriate behavior with the children he befriended. Accusers Wade Robson (left) and Jimmy Safechuck (right) spoke out against the pop star in 2020 documentary Leaving Neverland
‘Bashir should be required to answer Mr. Jackson’s questions or be held in contempt.
‘Bashir deliberately violated Mr. Jackson’s right to cross-examination and confrontation of a witness against him by testifying about making a video tape and then refusing to be cross-examined.
‘Bashir was the one who induced Mr. Jackson to make the statements, and any trickery, deception, misrepresentations, playacting, coercion, or other numerous possible types of conduct which were perpetrated against Mr. Jackson at the time are not only relevant, but also essential to determine the authenticity, voluntariness, and trustworthiness of the recorded statements.’
The judge never ruled on the matter and Bashir avoided any legal consequences over the allegations.
Although Jackson was acquitted, many questions remain over his suspicious and alleged inappropriate behavior with the children he befriended.
Jackson admitted spending a month sleeping in the same bed as 13-year-old Jordie Chandler at the boy’s house with Chandler’s mother present.
Chandler, as well as other minors Jason Francia, Gavin Arvizo, Wade Robson, and Jimmy Safechuck all accused Jackson of abuse.
The star paid $25million to settle the Chandlers’ lawsuit against him, saying he wanted to avoid a ‘long and drawn out’ legal battle. He also paid $2.4million to Francia.
The former MSNBC anchor had won a number of awards for his work and collected a BAFTA for his famous interviews
Jackson accusers point in particular to one troubling piece of evidence: Chandler was able to draw an accurate picture of markings on the underside of Jackson’s penis caused by his skin discoloration disease vitiligo.
Forensic experts also found boys’ fingerprints on pages of adult erotic S&M publications and photos he kept in a suitcase under his bed.
Critics of the late star also find it suspicious that the hallway to his bedroom was bristling with cameras and wired to make doorbell sounds when anyone approached.
Jackson lavished many of the boys’ parents with gifts, including a tennis bracelet, paid one mother’s wages and arranged her permanent residency visa, and even bought Safechuck’s parents a house.
Bashir did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Martin Bashir ‘misled’ and ‘duped’ Michael Jackson during 2003 interview, former lawyer claims Source link Martin Bashir ‘misled’ and ‘duped’ Michael Jackson during 2003 interview, former lawyer claims