WHERE'S THE GLOVE? Jackson
Looks like Michael Jackson was innocent after all.
That's the verdict in Michael Jackson: Conspiracy, a new book by crime reporter Aphrodite Jones. The author paints Jackson's accusers as money grubbers looking to fleece him by way of a publicly funded criminal trial (rather than a lengthy and expensive civil suit).
Most of Jones's venom is reserved for Janet Arvizo, whose son Gavin was particularly close with Jackson. Following the release of Living With Michael Jackson, a documentary in which the singer acknowledges sleeping with children, the Arvizo clan—recipients of many of the singer's generous gestures—sues Jackson for sexually molesting Gavin and his brother. Jones smells a rat and rustles up a litany of Arvizo's dubious dealings.
Among the more noteworthy claims is that Arvizo sought cash from Adam Sandler, Mike Tyson, and Jim Carrey to help pay for her son's cancer treatment—which was already covered by Arvizo's ex-husband's health insurance. Also, prior to Jackson's trial, Arvizo wins a $152,000 settlement over an altercation with J.C. Penney security guards after her son is caught shoplifting. In court she testifies that she was roughed up by police, but reports note her as having no marks or bruises. She later claims security guards sexually assaulted her by squeezing her nipples 10 to 25 times.
Despite her lucrative victory in court, Arvizo soon files an emergency welfare application, seeking everything from food stamps to disability. During the Jackson trial she pleads the Fifth on this issue, but in November 2006, well after the Jackson's case has ended, Arvizo pleads guilty to falsely applying for welfare.