While I don’t tend to cover matters that don’t in one way or another relate to the King of Pop’s artistry, I couldn’t let June 13, 2015 pass without acknowledging the significance of the date. On this day, 10 years ago, Michael Jackson was vindicated and exonerated in a court of law after being found not guilty of bogus child molestation charges.
On June 13, 2005, fans around the world rejoiced that their idol – the most successful recording artist and performer of modern times – had been freed from the shackles of a gruelling four-and-a-half month trial. White doves were released for every one of the fourteen not guilty verdicts outside the courthouse. Fans cried, screamed, cheered, and hugged one another. I jumped into the air, fist-pumped in my living room at home, then wrote “INNOCENT” all over my arms and paraded them around at school. Aside from the jubilation of his innocence being proven (and the naysayers being proven wrong), there was this feeling of hope; hope that a new, uninhibited chapter of Jackson’s life and/or career might now be able to commence – after, of course, Jackson took the time to rehabilitate himself. The media, on the other hand, had other ideas, never truly allowing Jackson to escape the stigma the allegations had attached to him.
Upon reflection, in my own personal opinion, today should not be a day of celebration. If the 1993 Chandler accusations were the beginning of the end for Jackson, then June 13, 2005 marked the end of the beginning of the end. Although found not guilty by a jury of his peers in a court of law, Jackson received the death penalty. Merely four short years after emerging from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse what fans deemed to be “victorious,” his tragic fate was sealed. A harsh price to pay for a life dedicated to the betterment of others in the form of unparalleled entertainment and humanitarianism.
Be it spirited, light-hearted debates about which tour’s “Beat It” jacket is better or whether we prefer the Thriller or Ghosts short film; be it intellectual discussions on our personal interpretations of the meanings behind of some of Jackson’s deeper, more complex work; or be it full-on arguments about the legitimacy of Jackson’s Estate and their actions, Michael Jackson fans do not agree on much. But one thing we do agree on, and can always align in complete unity and go into battle together over, is his innocence.
So rather than personally rehash the entire saga in the form of a blog, I thought it more fitting to take this opportunity to share some of the great work that Jackson’s dedicated fans – his soldiers of love – have done to shine light on the truth.
Click the headlines to be taken to the source material.
Was Michael Jackson Framed?: The Untold Story That Brought Down a Superstar – The original GQ story by Mary A. Fischer that became an international sensation by exploring, for the first time in the media, the other side – the defence side – of the 1993 Michael Jackson scandal. Today, it remains a sought-after story by the superstar’s fans around the world.
One of the Most Shameful Episodes In Journalistic History – A brilliant article (perhaps the best article ever written on the subject) by UK court reporter, journalist, an Michael Jackson fan Charles Thomson exposing the media for the utterly disgraceful way in which Jackson’s 2005 trial was broadcast to the world.
Michael Jackson: Innocent – 28 February 2005 : Book 1 – A book published by author and Jackson activist D Francis (and contributions by Lynton Guest – author of The Trials of Michael Jackson) based on the premise that because the 2005 trial was not televised, the only facts in the public domain have been filtered through the sieve of incomplete and prejudiced reporting in the media.
The MJCast: Episode 010 – Vindication Day 10th Anniversary Special with Michael Jackson’s 2005 lead defence attorney Tom Mesereau, The MJCast co-hosts Jamon Bull and Q, and special guest host/legal correspondent Charles Thomson. Full episode embedded at the bottom of this article.
Michael Jackson, Delayed Allegations and Witch Hunts – An article written by author of Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson Joe Vogel following the posthumous allegations made by choreographer Wade Robson in 2013.
Triumph: Celebrating a Decade Since Michael Jackson’s Acquittal – This article is comprised of extracts from The First Book of Michael by author and longtime Jackson fan Syl Mortilla.
Above: The MJCast’s Episode 010 – Vindication Day 10th Anniversary Special with Tom Mesereau
Damien Shields is the author of the book Xscape Origins: The Songs & Stories Michael Jackson Left Behind about The King of Pop’s artistry, genius, and creative process in the recording studio. Click here to order your copy today - also available via Amazon, Kindle, iBooks, and Google Play. Follow Damien on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with Michael Jackson-related news.