AP Reporter Linda Deutsch Speaks About Today’s Media And The Treatment Of Michael Jackson On Trial

Linda-Deutsch

AP court reporter Linda Deutsch on Michael Jackson from a recent interview with Without Notes’s host Michael Levine:

“Michael Jackson had the world looking at him. The whole thing was a debacle. He should have never been tried. An overzealous prosecutor who saw himself as some sort of Javert chasing Jean Valjean. He had tried to get Michael before and he had failed and after Michael was acquitted in this case I went to the press conference and I asked him: ‘Are you through chasing Michael Jackson?’ and he said: “No comment” and that night Michael left his beloved Neverland and never came back… I think the trial killed him. You could see him shrinking during the trial physically.

When it was over, he called me. I had met him, I saw him every day and he finally called me after it was all over to thank me for being fair to him because NOBODY ELSE was. They ALL were out to get him one way or another. And I said to him: Michael, how was the trial for you? And he said: it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life and that was true. Michael was a very sensitive and gentle soul and he was not up to this. He became ill over and over again… Michael came in with a lot of strikes against him not because of what he did but because of his whole persona.

I think Mesereau believed, and I believed, that he was set up. That this woman that brought her child and claimed that he had molested him for money, well for more than money, she wanted to live in Neverland for the rest of her life.

Michael had been so kind to this woman and her son who had overcome cancer that he gave them a little cottage that was normally occupied by Elizabeth Taylor, his friend. There were swans floating in the lake outside, there were flowers everywhere, there was music playing, it was idyllic. This is a woman who had been living in the ghetto in Los Angeles. She thought she’s gonna stay there for ever. And so, when it became evident that she wasn’t, that Michael was going to give them eviction papers she went to the DA and claimed that he had molested her child.

As I said, Michael should never have been tried but because he was Michael there was no way they were going to let it go. The thing is with the people who are acquitted they are never acquitted in the public mind, so that is the tragedy because supposedly if you go through a trial and you are proven not guilty you are supposed to go on with your life.

But the public had made a different decision, they had tried to second-guess the jury and it was impossible for him to ever live down being tried.

That to me is heartbreaking. The trials I covered, at least 60 maybe, maybe more. They are show trials. They’re not symbolic of anything else because these trials are giving the public a chance to see their system at work and to see something that’s emblematic of what’s going on in society but they are not emblematic of what’s going every day in court houses around the countries.

In the journalistic world I sometimes feel like a visitor from another planet. Things are not now like they were when I started, they’re just not. I wouldn’t say they are better, I think that there is a cult of personality now around journalism that’s not healthy. When I started no one knew who I was, all they knew was my byline. Eventually I became known because I was the face of the OJ trial but there was never this feeling of: I have to cover this because it’s going to make my career. I’ve never even thought of that. But in the electronic media which is now so prevalent and TV media stars are made from trials. That Nancy Grace type of person… It gives you a very different motivation to be there. I was there to tell the truth.”

Sources: Michael Jackson Chinese Fan Club | Laura Messina | All Things Michael

BREAKING NEWS: MOTOWN Will Conclude Broadway Run Early on July 31

motown-the-musical_main

THIS JUST IN: The Broadway return engagement of Motown the Musical, the last stop on the First National Tour, will play its final performance at The Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street) on Sunday, July 31, 2016.

The Motown the Musical producers said, “We promised that the hit show would return to New York following the profitable engagement that finished on Broadway in January 2015. Now, after the launch of a record-breaking London company and a hugely successful, sold-out First National Tour, we are delighted that this amazing company of actors and musicians has been able to bring the production full circle back to Broadway where the production began, for the final stop of the tour.”

Motown The Musical features the music of the legendary Motown catalogue and a book by Berry Gordy, stars Chester Gregory as Berry Gordy, Allison Semmes as Diana Ross,Jesse Nager as Smokey Robinson, Jarran Muse as Marvin Gaye, and J.J. Batteast and Leon Outlaw, Jr. as Young Berry Gordy/Stevie Wonder/Michael Jackson.

Motown The Musical concluded its original world premiere Broadway engagement in January 2015 following 775 performances at The Lunt Fontanne Theatre.

The first National Tour opened to critical acclaim in Chicago in April 2014, and played a standing room only sixteen-week run before going on to break box office records and receive rave reviews in major cities across the country for the last three years and over 900 performances.

The London production of Motown the Musical opened in February to critical acclaim and has extended into 2017 at The Shaftsbury Theatre. In only three short years since its first performance, Motown the Musical has already, around the world, grossed over $300 million at the box office and sold 2.5 million tickets.

Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, Motown the Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy’s incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, The Supremes, Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and many more.

Motown The Musical is produced by Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris and Berry Gordy.

Tickets for Motown the Musical can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 877-250-2929.

 

Read more at Broadway World

Kelly Rowland’s New Girl Group Covers Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal The World’

Kelly Rowland’s new R&B girl group, June’s Diary, finally has a name all their own to match their unique sound and they’ve also been keeping the music coming full speed for their growing fanbase.

chasing-destiny-1-thatgrapejuice-600x600

For their latest musical contribution, the talented quintent decided to try their hand at a cover of Michael Jackson’s inspirational 1991 hit “Heal The World.” They shared the finished product to their new group Instagram page over the weekend and as you might imagine, they totally nailed it. Hear their rendition in the video clip below.

The ladies are currently making their way around the country to do a few shows and meet with fans while they continue working on their upcoming album.

Source: Essence | All Things Michael

Diehard Michael Jackson Fan Demetria Evans Keeps His Memory Alive

mjamandamueller3of3

A couple of weekends ago, one south city woman upheld her bi-annual tradition, despite the blazing sun and a heat index of 109 degrees. Demetria “Dee” Evans started her Saturday morning by dragging her stereo system out to her front porch and arranging her music memorabilia to be viewed by the people traveling down nearby Chippewa Street.

mj20161of3

Evans is a Michael Jackson super fan. She’s celebrated his birthday every year since she was a kid, and she now also holds a memorial each year on the anniversary of his death. Evans’ fandom dates back to the first time she saw the Jackson 5 on the Ed Sullivan Show in May of 1970.

Back then, Michael Jackson was a bright-eyed kid with incalculable talent and charisma to burn. After that magical moment in front of her television, Evans was hooked. She began a life of obsessively following Michael Jackson. She used Jackson as her fashion muse (winning awards at school for her creative ensembles) and he also inspired her to dance and sing. She calls him “Mike” and speaks of him with a smile, explaining how she felt that he encouraged her to shine.

Since that first exposure at age seven, Evans has been collecting any Jackson items that she could find, including rare items that weren’t ever even offered for sale. (She laughs when she recalls weeks of hounding Pepsi corporate headquarters until they finally sent her a display case from when Jackson was a spokesperson.) Each year she gathers up all of her memorabilia and thoughtfully arranges it all on her front lawn. She blasts Jackson’s music all day from her porch and soaks up the cheers from passersby on Jackson’s behalf.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

That Saturday afternoon I spent a couple of hours hanging out with her and her mom on her front porch. There, just a couple of blocks from the former site of Frederick’s Music Lounge, we kicked back and talked and watched all of south city roll by.

On that hot summer day, Evans told me that she’s visited every major Michael Jackson destination in the United States (except for Neverland) and that she knows of no other bigger Jackson fan than herself — with the possible exception of Corey Feldman, with whom she feels a strong kinship. She told me about how her mother spent months saving up to surprise her with tickets to see Jackson at the Checkerdome (the St. Louis Arena) on the Bad tour in 1988.

Evans also said that she can’t believe the child abuse allegations against Jackson and offers a list of Jackson’s many philanthropic acts as a counter-argument. I didn’t push her on this topic because I’d already been thoroughly charmed by her kind smile, decades-long devotion and the passionate way that she sang along with his songs.

In the past, Evans’ pop-up tribute museum has included balloons and life-size cutouts and rare Jackson vinyl, but this year the collection was a bit more subdued. Sadly, Evans’ husband died unexpectedly a couple of years ago and she had to quickly scrape together money for his cremation. During this time she sold many of her most precious possessions, including much of her Jackson memorabilia.

When Evans told me about her husband’s death she said that she wished I could’ve seen her collection before she sold the majority of it. I told her that I’d seen pictures of her spread from a couple of years ago that were taken by my friend. Evans asked to see the pictures, and when I showed her, she began crying.

I started apologizing profusely and she shushed me, saying that all of those items being gone now is just proof of how much she loved her husband. Still, I continued to apologize until her mom sweetly patted me on the knee and said, “Don’t worry, honey. She cries all the time.”

Evans asked me to send her the photos that Mueller took a couple of years ago (and to include them in this story), and then told me that during the week that Jackson died she got his name tattooed on her arm, and about how friends and family showed up from miles around to console her as if she’d had a death in the family.

mj20163of3

As if on cue, a car pulled up in front of Evans’ house. It was her brother and sister-in-law, arriving from two states away so they could all spend the day together. I talked to them for a while and then excused myself, not wanting to intrude on a private reunion.

As I was about to leave, Evans looked around and said, “I do it for the fans. And for Mike.” She said she thinks of Jackson as family and her brother nods in agreement. Which makes sense, really. Michael Jackson has been a part of their family for 46 years.

 

Read more here

Source: Riverfront Times

 

Food Art: Creative Mom Turns Healthy Food Into Famous Characters

Fullscreen capture 772016 83535 AM

A good number of adults don’t even enjoy eating exotic foods like octopus and fungi, but for 3-year-old Jacob Mohmedi, that’s just another delicious, art-filled meal.

For the past year, his mom, Laleh Mohmedi, of Melbourne, Australia, has been creating these imaginative, healthy meals for her son, shaping the different foods into iconic characters her son enjoys.

“I have always been a strong advocate in healthy organic eating for children,” she told ABC News of her inspiration. “Last May, I decided to turn Jacob’s spelt pancakes into a lion. He absolutely loved it and it progressed from there. Jacob tells me which character he would like for me to make, be it from a book, a movie or something that has caught his eye that day.”

ht_healthy_food_art_mad_hatter_em_160706_12x5_1600

The colorful creations have amassed more than 46,000 followers on Instagram with fans salivating over the healthy meals displayed like Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, Ursula, Elsa and the Mad Hatter, just to name a few.

ht_healthy_food_art_kermit_em_160706_4x3_992

And yes, Mohmedi said Jacob actually enjoys and eats all of dishes, even the enormous octopus.

“Yes he sure does!” the proud mom explained. “The only creations that Jacob does not eat are the ones that are made just for art/tribute — for example, Red Queen, Carl and Ellie, Prince, Michael Jackson and the one of Mickey, Pluto and Goofy — there was a whole lot of potato in that one!

Fullscreen capture 772016 83616 AM

“Jacob has always been exposed to a variety of different foods,” she added. “I honestly thought he would turn his nose up at the octopus but he actually helped me prepare it without any issues. I, on the other hand, was gagging — [the] tentacles were enormous!”

ht_healthy_food_art_octupus_em_160706_4x3_992

Surprisingly, the mom doesn’t have a background in art or design, but said she did always enjoy drawing and painting when she was younger.

Source: ABC

 

Read more here

Producer RedOne On Working With Michael Jackson

Sources: People | All Things Michael

2mwv637

RedOne might not be the most recognizable name in music – but he’s responsible for some of the biggest Top 40 hits of the century.

Growing up in Morocco, RedOne was the youngest of his parents’ nine children in a very musical family.

PEOPLE caught up with the musician about his transition to the spotlight, his favorite collaborations and more.

He’s worked with Lionel Richie, Mariah Carey and more – but his favorite collaboration was…Michael Jackson.

RedOne was in the recording studio with the King of Pop several times before his 2009 death and says the experience was like no other.

“The most special one – besides U2, because it’s on a personal level – is Michael Jackson. That was out of this world,” says the producer. “I could not believe it. It was so beautiful to work with him.”

While no songs from their sessions were ever finished, RedOne has said he would consider releasing some of the music for charity. And regardless of what came out of the sessions, the producer says he’ll always remember the late icon for his human side.

“He was an incredible human being. He wanted to go to Morocco and meet my mom. He was like, ‘I wanna meet the mom who raised this kid.’ It’s crazy. Stuff like that. He was very special,” says RedOne.

“Every time I was working with him … You forget that you’re working with him, and then when he starts singing in the microphone, you just get chills, like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Michael Jackson!’ The person that we grew up listening to. That was very, very special.”

Read more here

Iraqi Society Frowned Upon His Moonwalk, But He Kept Dancing Anyway

Sources: Pri.org | All Things Michael

10367157_1658434134423728_7023068761899475914_n

The moonwalk was easy for him. He could mimic almost all of Michael Jackson’s moves. But Adel Al-Jaf, known by his stage name “Adel Euro,” would have to dance in isolation while living in Iraq.

He fell in love with dancing after watching Michael Jackson and Britney Spears perform together. That was the moment he decided to become a dancer. Since then, he would start collecting Michael Jackson’s CDs and mimic the performer’s dancing.

But men who sing and dance are judged differently in Iraq, Al-Jaf said in an interview with the BBC in 2015. They’re derided as feminine, weak or homosexual.

His parents warned him that his breakdancing and rapping could lead him into trouble.

Al-Jaf was one of the 250 people killed in the Baghdad bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group on Sunday at the Karrada district.

13417683_1715168878750253_8348059522106670826_n

“They told me what I’m doing could be dangerous in Iraq — because this is not our culture,” Al-Jaf said in that 2015 interview. “I cannot be dancing in the street or doing these moves outside. They said that this will bring you more trouble in your life. There is no future for this art, for this thing or this hobby you like in Iraq.”

Al-Jaf kept dancing, singing and rapping anyway. He would choose isolated areas within parks to practice his moves. When the police would stop him, he’d say he wasn’t dancing, he was performing martial arts — a more masculine and therefore more acceptable physical activity for Al-Jaf to practice.

Through YouTube and Skype, he would receive feedback on his dancing from Jonathan Hollander, the founder of a New York dance group, Battery Dance.

Al-Jaf later performed with Battery Dance in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

This was Al-Jaf’s first time performing in front of an audience. Here’s the video of his first performance.

When he returned from Jordan to Iraq, Al-Jaf said he fell into a depression.

“In our culture, they’ll fight these kind of hobbies. A man who dances is not a real man,” he said.

But he pushed himself to keep dancing anyway, despite the negative connotations his society had with men and dancing.

“One day I’ll leave Iraq and go to a place where people love dancing and they’re not fighting it.”

Read more here.

 

“Adel, may you rest in peace and forever dance among the stars with Michael.” – All Things Michael

For more about this topic, please watch Desert Dancer, available on Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.

 

K-Pop Singer Lee Hi Reveals Why She Is A Michael Jackson Fan

lee-hi

Kicking off Tuesday’s Naver V app was YG solo artist Lee Hi, launching her first episode of “Hi TV.”

The first segment of her episode was the “Hi Playlist,” in which Lee revealed the songs and artists who personally inspire her and her music.

“So the first artist that I want to talk about today is, Michael Jackson,” she added. “He is one of my favorite artists. I mean, he is the King of Pop.”

During the live broadcast, she confesses, “I’ve been a fan of Michael Jackson since I was little.”

Lee Hi explains, “I have so much respect for him. I fell for him because he had a really long career, from when he was part of Jackson Five until he promoted as Michael Jackson. He has his own unique beat.”

She continues, “I learned about him through my older sister. She loved him so much that she would pull the television into an embrace when he came on. I even remember a time she cried while declaring she would marry him. I should thank my sister for that.

lee-hi1

The starlet even went on to reveal that prior to coming up with the title “Seoulite” for her previous album, she originally wanted to name it “Simmering,” which Lee said was something she heard Jackson saying during one of his TV concert performances.

“After learning this word I really wanted to use it and thought it would be a perfect fit to my album. But after much discussion we all eventually decided that ‘Seoulite’ was the best way to go,” says Lee.

Lee then unveiled her Top 4 favorite Jackson hits which included, “I Want You Back,” “Thriller,” “Xscape” and “Love Never Felt So Good.”

Lee Hi then enjoys Michael Jackson’s music with her viewers as she plays Jackson Five’s classic hit “I Want You Back.”

restmb_jhidxmake
Later on in the near hour-long episode Lee went on to the “Hi Healing” segment of her show where she doles out consoling advice to fans struggling in life.

Video: http://www.vlive.tv/video/10786/HI-TV—Episode-01

 

Sources: KPop Herald | Soompi | Allkpop | All Things Michael