The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
TRANSCRIPTS


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interviews With Mark Geragos, Jermaine Jackson

Aired December 18, 2003 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GERAGOS: Michael Jackson is unequivocally and absolutely innocent of these charges.

KING: What's their reaction to today's filing of several charges of child molestation against Michael. And what's Michael's reaction?

We'll hear from Geragos and then Jermaine next on LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: It's good to have him back. Nice to see you, Mark.

GERAGOS: Been quite a while, hasn't it?

KING: Anyone that knows, knows who Mark Geragos -- first, let me say that we did invite Santa Barbara District Attorney, Tom Snedden to be a guest on this show. And we have an open invitation to him, of course. We are always fair.

Mr. Geragos, a frequent guest on this program, had to stop being a guest when a gag order was issued in the Scott Peterson case. And so you can not discuss that case at all, right?

GERAGOS: Right, isn't that the greatest? There's nothing you can ask me that I can answer.

KING: Give me a timeline here. Were you first hired in February?

GERAGOS: Yes.

KING: You never mentioned that you were...

GERAGOS: Absolutely not. There was no reason to mention it because there was nothing to it. I mentioned today for the first time, and I said I kind of worked desiduously to not, under any circumstances, comment on any of these allegations until and unless charges were filed.

KING: So you were brought in February, what, when initial investigation was taking place?

GERAGOS: I was brought in this February when somebody wisely, in retrospect, felt that there was something wrong here with this particular family. And they knew there was something wrong.

KING: Something wrong?

GERAGOS: Yes.

KING: Did you handle it through the L.A. investigation where they decline to, right?

GERAGOS: Absolutely, absolutely.

KING: Did you speak to L.A. authorities?

GERAGOS: The representatives from my office and in my investigator have at all times. We monitored the whole investigation. We know everything about this case from day one, if you will.

KING: You said today you know more than the prosecutor knows. Can you elaborate? I never heard that.

GERAGOS: The prosecutor -- well, because -- and I was responding, you know, I have not gone out and done press interviews on this case. I came out one time and I did a -- I did a press conference after the -- another incident that we'll talk about.

But I was involved from the inception when we knew that there was something wrong with this family and I was called in. We put a plan into action in terms of investigating and documenting things because people wisely around Michael suspected that something was going to happen.

KING: Are you therefore shocked that Santa Barbara authorities brought charges that L.A. authorities didn't bring?

GERAGOS: Shocked, shocked in this sense, I never, I don't know about you, but I have never seen a situation in 20 years of criminal law where somebody goes shopping around to various agencies to find somebody to file criminal charges in a case such as this. It is just unheard of.

KING: And that somebody is who? The mother?

GERAGOS: Well, I'm -- I won't get into all the specifics players. All I'll tell you is that this case was shopped around. This case was only shopped around when there was a financial motive. This case originally -- and today stunning as I thought it was, you saw Mr. Sneddon, who I have a cordial relationship with up until this press conference today said something to the effect of, well, that's L.A. What do you expect out of L.A.? Which I didn't understand.

You're talking about a situation where the sensitive case unit of the L.A. bureau went out, investigated this case. They did an investigation with their most qualified people. They're most qualified people interviewed all of the participants. And they came back -- they had three ways to substantiated, they can say unsubstantiated or they could say unfounded. They came back with unfounded. There was nothing to it. KING: Did you think it was over then?

GERAGOS: Yes. I mean, clearly, it was over then, Larry. There wasn't anything more that could have been done at that point.

KING: Is it possible, since the timeline here is February to March, that something happened with the boy and Michael after the L.A. investigation?

GERAGOS: Well, this is the most -- one of the most interesting things. Take a look at the criminal complaint. The criminal complaint alleges from February 7 to March 10. Guess what happened on February 7, that's the day after the Bashir documentary aired. February 6...

KING: The Bashir documentary is the one from...

GERAGOS: From the U.K. that airs in America on February 6, February 7 the D.A. is now alleging that the molestation occurred. It's a joke. It's nothing but -- this case revolves around nothing but a financial motive, a shake down, if you will, and it's a perfect, as I said earlier today, it's the perfect intersection between a financial motive, greed and revenge.

KING: Are you saying now that that's still their motive?

GERAGOS: Oh, there's no doubt about it.

KING: Are you saying if they call them today, they'll settle this case and drop criminal charges?

GERAGOS: I would never in a million years call these people and give these people money.

KING: No way?

GERAGOS: No way. No way. There is not -- one of the things -- if there is a silver lining to this, for Michael, is I will tell you this right now. This is going to stick a fork in people who want to do this to Michael Jackson. Once and for all, we are no longer going to allow people to abuse this man.

This is a gentleman who I think has been totally mischaracterized, whether it's in the media or anything else. This is a gentleman who in my experience with him, is idealistic, he's innocent, he is absolutely giving to the point where he doesn't really care about what people think. The problem is, is that there's a lot of people out there that have taken advantage of his goodness.

KING: What relationships does he have with these boys? Obviously he has a contact with these boys.

GERAGOS: Michael had contact with conservatively in about 11 months that I have been involved with this, conservatively, he's had contact with over a thousand people. Over a thousand. In just...

KING: Boys who have spent nights?

GERAGOS: Boys who have just been to the ranch. Family that is come to the ranch.

You know, today, another thing that was just mindboggling to me, the press conference by the D.A., they went out of their way in that press conference to say, you know, there's been a lot of talk in the media that this case was weak, That one of the reasons we delayed filing is because it was weak. And I'm here to tell you it wasn't weak, it wasn't weak.

Well then, my question in response is, why did you have an open casting call for other people to come forward? Why did you get up there and do that -- that audition for the guest host on the "Letterman Show" with the sheriff up there and invite people to come forward, invite other witnesses to come forward? There's only one reason for that.

KING: Did you fear that would happen?

GERAGOS: No. No. In fact, I have the opposite reaction to that. I -- I'll do it tonight on your show. I'm asking, because I've been inundated at my office, everything who had nothing but positive experiences, come forward and go tell the Santa Barbara D.A.'s Office. Because I'll tell you what, they're going to need to hire a lot bigger P.R. firm than they've got right now to handle all those responses.

KING: Original question, he has all, thousand boys as you said since you've known them.

GERAGOS: He's got a thousand kids.

KING: What does he do?

GERAGOS: He doesn't -- you know, this is the other misnomer, you have to see and I didn't know until I went up there. You have to see this Neverland facility. This place. It is wonderful. It's idealic. It is 2,700 acres, it is nestled in the mountains up there, it's got an amusement park, it's got a miniature Disneyland train station there with the train that goes around. It's got a lake with swans in it. People come up -- he opens his doors, bus loads of disadvantaged people and it's the most exciting thing in the world to them.

KING: He sleeps with some? He like to...

GERAGOS: He doesn't sleep with some. That's kind of the other thing...

KING: That's wrong.

GERAGOS: That's wrong. This idea that somehow he's luring them up with this kind of lurid tale, this is a seduction. I've heard every amateur psychologist talking about this.

KING: 2 of these charges say liquor. And NBC reports says that the alleged victim's mother went to an attorney to complain her son told her he had been given wine.

GERAGOS: No, she went to an attorney because she wanted money. Mrs. Jackson, Catherine, had a wonderful statement the other night when she was interviewed. She said, you know, if my son is molested, where do I go? You go to the police, don't you? Where did this these people go? They went shopping for civil lawyers.

It reminds me of that old joke with the guy who gets injured in the car accident and the paramedics come and the paramedics say, what hospital do you want to go to. And he says, forget the hospital. I want to get to my lawyers office.

I mean, that's the irony of the situation. Who believes for a second -- listen to me for a second -- who believes for a second that out of a 175,000 lawyers, I think, that are actively practicing in California, that this mother goes to the one lawyer who reached a multimillion dollar settlement, apparently, 10 years ago, with Michael Jackson. She didn't know any other lawyers? She just happened to wander into that office, because she was worried that Michael Jackson was giving this kid wine?

The idea that you are going to believe that...

KING: You're saying this is a rip off? Is that what you are saying?

GERAGOS: It's a shake down. It's a shake down.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll be right back with Mark Geragos. Later, Jermaine Jackson, Michael's older brother will be joining us. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM SNEDDON, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY D.A.: The felony complaint involves 9 counts. Seven counts of 288a, in violation of the California Penal Code, commonly known as child molestation. And 2 counts in violation of the Penal Code section 222 that involves administering an intoxicating liquor to a child for the purpose of committing a felony. Those are the 9 counts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNEDDON: 222 that involves administering an intoxicating liquor to a child for the purpose of committing a felony. Those are the nine counts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SNEDDON: There has been some speculation among some that the reason that the charges were not filed until this week was because somehow we issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Jackson and were hoping to gather information in the meantime in order to but dress what some people called a weak case. I want to categorically say that is false.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Mark Geragos.

Off to the side, is it hard to handle two high profile cases at the same time?

GERAGOS: No. In fact, it's -- I've actually had the opposite experience. Normally, any busy lawyer, let alone any busy criminal defense lawyer, handles at least 15 to 20 serious cases at any one time. Because of these two cases, I have been able to delegate most of my other cases to other lawyers in the office. Plus I have a team of lawyers to do what I ask them to do, usually. And it's been a god send. I can concentrate in a way and focus in a way I normally can't.

KING: So the Peterson's and Jackson's totally understand?

GERAGOS: Jackie Peterson who I adore -- I really am blessed, yes. And I'm blessed in this sense, that both Katherine Jackson and Jackie Peterson are two of the strongest, most beautiful women that you will ever meet. And to my poor mother, I apologize. I talk to both of them more than I talk to my own mother. Jackie's response immediately and I adore it for her this. She said, Michael was blessed to be able to have me there. And I consider that a compliment.

KING: Do you get wrapped up with your clients?

GERAGOS: I absolutely.

KING: You take it home?

GERAGOS: I take it home. I live -- I've been living both of these cases. I've been -- Michael's case is particularly irksome to me because I have seen this entire scenario, if you will, unfold. I've seen this whole scam in action. And it's beyond me that when you've got an agency that is charged with investigating these very allegations, when you have people who are trained to look for this, and to detect whether or not somebody's telling the truth or hiding and they come to a conclusion it's unfounded that you then when a lawyer gets into the mix, a money lawyer gets into the mix and that's what I call civil lawyers. My brother is one as you know. All apologizes to them. But when money lawyers get into the mix and all of a sudden that money lawyer is shopping that case around, that should give any prosecutor pause.

KING: Did they scam the prosecutor?

GERAGOS: Well, I said earlier -- I said earlier that this was an intersection of greed and revenge. I'll leave it at that.

KING: Do you think the prosecutor is out for revenge? GERAGOS: I think that there's been a number of statements that have been made and I will -- I don't want to -- I mean, this is as I indicated before, there have been a number of statements that have been made that just plain aren't true.

KING: By the prosecutor?

GERAGOS: Well, by the prosecution.

KING: How about two of the nine charges, right, all deal with the same boy?

GERAGOS: Right.

KING: Two of them reported by the media that are very serious involve alcohol. Because that, I understand, if convicted there's no probation with that if you use alcohol to entice. And also the sexual allegations could be oral sex, masturbation, et cetera. This is not mild stuff here.

GERAGOS: There -- any time you're charged in California and in other jurisdictions with any case involving minors, it is a serious offense. Period, end of story. I mean, these are registerable sex offenses. That's what's so insidious about this. Michael has spent his entire adult life helping children. I mean, his whole life has been devoted to taking -- in his largess, I think I read the other day, I didn't know this until I took the case.

I think the year 2001, he was one of the largest charitable givers that there was in the Guinness Book of World Records or in the country. I forget what the exact arena was. But the fact of the matter is this is somebody you could not -- if you wanted to design a charge to try to hurt him, if you wanted to go out and try to hurt him in the worst way possible this would be the charge. And, obviously, as I said before and I said it the first time when we went to confront the charges head on at the time that he was booked, if these were true, Michael would be the first person to tell you this is outrageous because he would never, ever want to see anybody hurt a child and he never has.

KING: What about the liquor charge?

Where did that stem from?

GERAGOS: Who knows where that stems from?

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: The fertile imagination of somebody who's dialing for dollars.

KING: How about the story somebody reported that a brother to the young man was a witness?

GERAGOS: Yes, well, the brother was a witness to the Department of Children Services here in Los Angeles and the brother said, nothing ever happened. The brother said, I never slept with my brother and that was before they had gone to a money lawyer looking for money. That was before they -- before they had a motive to seek out money. Period, end of story. I mean, what are you going to say?

Today, they were denigrated. The Los Angeles department was denigrated today as being somehow kind of beneath contempt or something.

KING: In a case like this you're a veteran of the courts. When one person says one thing and the other person says I didn't do it, it's one word, right -- basically, no one else was in the room.

GERAGOS: Assuming that.

KING: Assuming that. How do you prosecute it. Does the jury believe him and not him?

GERAGOS: No. In this case -- in this case, you have another added fact. In California, there is a statement that's read to the jury and it basically says, if somebody lied to you, prior, or if somebody made a material misstatement prior, you can disregard all of their testimony. Well, somebody was lying at some point. We have got February 7, to March 10. We know that on February 20, far and away put aside the fact I and my investigator already have statements, put aside the fact that we know that after March 10, we've got statements, put aside the fact that we've got videotape of -- audiotape and everything else of the people locked into statements. Gave them the every opportunity in the world to make a complaint and they didn't.

Put all of that aside, what are they going to say, we were lying then, were not lying now?

That the brother was lying then and he's not lying now?

That's the problem with this case. The problem with this case is you can't sit up here and say, and prop these people up, once they've been through the kind of laundromat of a money lawyer's office.

KING: Is this a tough case to defend?

GERAGOS: No.

KING: No?

GERAGOS: You want to know something, this is not a tough case to defend in this sense. One of the reasons that I do and that most criminal defense lawyers do criminal defense work as opposed to civil work is because you fight over people's liberty, your not fighting over people's money.

KING: Somebody's life in your hands.

GERAGOS: Somebody's life in your hands. If you a criminal defense lawyer, the ultimate challenge is this case. Where you've got somebody who is falsely accused who there are all kinds of parasites running around trying to make a buck based upon that false accusation. And you've got to -- you're there, you're standing between that client and the ultimate penalty.

KING: Did he invite it in a sense with a large settlement ten years ago?

GERAGOS: Oh, I don't know. I suppose you could make --

KING: It has to gives you pause, right?

GERAGOS: Does it give me pause? I don't know. All I know and I can't -- the last thing as you know that you ever do is go back and try to resurrect something from ten years ago and say, should I have done this or that? That makes no sense. He was ably represented then. I believe that these charges are going to prove to be the ultimate big lie. And when that's proved, this won't happen again.

Interestingly enough, this morning, when we were in court this morning, in a different courthouse, we were over in the civil courthouse making sure that that Extrajet company -- and I want that name out there, because those people decided to try to get -- insinuate themselves in the ultimate violation of the attorney-client privilege and tape it and then go out and sell out. We got a judge to order a permanent injunction against them this morning finding that the probable maritors were going to prevail.

KING: Permanent injunction, meaning they can't what?

GERAGOS: They can't do anything with that tape. They can't touch that tape. They can't sell that tape. That can't disseminate that tape.

KING: I'm going to ask you about that when we come back. Jermaine Jackson will join us at the bottom of the hour. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SNEDDON: There are several special allegations that have been alleged. Some of which the jury -- all of which the jury will have before them. And the findings could make Mr. Jackson ineligible for probation and could substantially affect the amount of time he could be incarcerated if the findings are found true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Mark Geragos. Is one of the essential differences, though, ten years ago, the boy didn't testify. Now you have a boy willing to testify and that changes the picture.

GERAGOS: I don't know if it changes the picture. I mean, you -- in a lot of ways, it really doesn't matter. They've filed the charges. You can't settle around the charges.

KING: But the jury -- settlement -- the jury knows that. GERAGOS: The jury can -- the jury will be instructed on certain things. I don't need to jump that far ahead. Who knows if there will be a trial in this case?

KING: Might not be a trial?

GERAGOS: When they go to a preliminary hearing in this case, I would invite them to go by way of a preliminary hearing so that I can have a chat with the witnesses. Because I believe once we have a chat, it will become readily apparent as to what this case is about.

KING: So, you're asking for that over a say, a grand jury...

GERAGOS: I don't believe they can go to a grand jury. There's a lot of technical legal reasons. But no. I don't think they can go to a grand jury. I don't see how it gets past the preliminary hearing.

KING: The Extrajet thing, shocked?

GERAGOS: I tell you, Michael was at least initially less shocked than I was, because he has been the subject of this for so many years.

KING: So he's been secretly taped?

GERAGOS: Well, secretly taped. Having people trying to invade his privacy in ways that are outrageous. But imagine this, here he is, on a plane, and this is a company that he's used repeatedly over the years, where they secretly install cameras in that plane to record conversations between his lawyer and himself as he's going into a police department. I can't think of anything more outrageous and frankly either could the judge. When we went in there.

And that's not been the least of it. Then you hear about these microphones left around the police department. I'll tell you another thing. I've had recently, within the last ten days, a bomb placed -- a pipe bomb placed at my house.

KING: What?

GERAGOS: Yes. I've had a pipe bomb actually placed in the -- we had some construction work and had a port-a-potty, if you will, in the front, for some of the workers. One of the workers discovered a pipe bomb. And the police actually come, close the street off and detonate the bomb. So, there are some people...

KING: There are threats on your life?

GERAGOS: The threats are so greatly outnumbered by the overwhelming support. But there are crazies out there and people as you well know who will do anything. Whether they're rational business men or irrational.

KING: How much support are you getting?

GERAGOS: The support is unbelievable. I have had probably on a daily basis 500 to a thousand e-mails and letters come into the office.

KING: From everywhere?

GERAGOS: I've had to assign -- from everywhere, all over the world. From every color, race, creed. The support is unbelievable. People have almost intuitively understood what this case is about. People understand -- I think, they get it. The polls as you have seen, I think you have mentioned before are swinging dramatically in Michael's favor as people learn more about this case. They can see what's going on.

KING: How did you get -- he has to surrender his passport. How are they letting he go to London to entertain?

GERAGOS: Well, what we did is, he has previous contracts that I informed them about. I negotiated with the D.A. and we went to see the judge and the judge signed off on it. There's a discrete period of time. I mean, the idea that Michael Jackson is going to flee these charges is almost as comical as the charges themselves.

KING: Was therefore the bail ridiculous?

GERAGOS: Let me tell you something about the bail. The bail schedule in Santa Barbara County, I believe, is $65,000. So, this is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 times what the bail schedule is. I don't have to repeat, but, you know, there's guys that are walking around out of custody on murder cases that are out on $1 million, $1.5 million. I have a client out on a million dollars bail for a murder case right now in L.A. County.

So, the idea that Michael Jackson who owns 2,700 acres in the very county where he's prosecuted needs to post additional $3 million bail is nothing more than the bail bondsman's full employment act.

KING: Our guest is Mark Geragos. The attorney for Michael Jackson. Jermaine Jackson, Michael's older brother will join us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Mark Geragos remains with us. We're now joined by Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson's brother. How do you feel today?

JERMAINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S BROTHER: I feel OK. I feel OK. I'm disappointed but OK.

KING: Were you bothered a lot by what charges were read today?

JACKSON: Very much so, yes.

KING: Because?

JACKSON: Because I know they're lies and my brother's innocent.

KING: Did you talk to Michael today?

JACKSON: No, I have not. No.

KING: How do you think he's handling this?

JACKSON: He's -- he's dealing with it. He's strong, and he's ready to fight.

KING: You would back that up?

GERAGOS: Let me tell you, this family is truly incredible. I mean, I was teasing him before. It is one large family. And just when you think you've met the strongest Jackson, then you meet another Jackson who's even stronger. And they -- somebody in that family -- and I suspect it was Katherine, although Joe will hit me upside the head afterwards. Somebody has done their job in raising these people because they are incredibly strong.

KING: You have called this a lynching.

JACKSON: Yes.

KING: A modern-day lynches. Want to expound on that?

JACKSON: Well, it's how the media handled this. And it was just pick on Michael.

KING: What should they have done?

JACKSON: Well, as a journalist in the media, you're not supposed to interject your opinion. And I lost it when I turned on television, seeing my brother handcuffed, and they have people on there, not only the journalist and the reporter, but interjecting their opinion. And what's awful about that is you influence the public. And I heard earlier about the polls were favorable in my brother's...

KING: So far, yes. Today they are.

JACKSON: ... favor. And just think if they didn't do what they did from the very beginning. Every journalist has subjected their opinion. They're just supposed to report the news and...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: This is a story, Mark.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: A famous person arrested is a story.

GERAGOS: I don't have any problem with a famous person arrested. You know what I have a problem with? We have got to a point -- gotten to a point where it jumps from tabloid onto cable without any sourcing, and then it gets reported as fact. You want to see the list, the litany of lies that have been reported, starting with that Michael was trying to divert the plane to South America on the way to Santa Barbara, that Michael was up screaming somehow in the cabin as we were headed over to Santa Barbara. KING: These were reports on the air?

GERAGOS: These were reports that were accepted as fact. And where did they start? They started over in the U.K. in some sleazy tabloid. They jumped the Atlantic. They made it to "The New York Post." Then from "The New York Post," they were on Fox, and before you know it, it was reported as fact. That's not the only thing. There has been nothing but a succession of lies, and there's a couple of reporters out there who have made their career based upon that.

KING: Now, you know Michael all your life.

JACKSON: Yes.

KING: Mark Geragos knows him -- you know him how long, Mark?

GERAGOS: Going on a year.

KING: What do you make of the charges about him giving liquor to young boys?

JACKSON: They're crazy. It's crazy. Michael wouldn't do that. Michael...

KING: Does Michael drink?

JACKSON: No, Michael does not drink. Michael didn't even drink Pepsi when he did the Pepsi commercial. I mean, this is crazy. But the problem I have is, like, with all that's going on in the world and the capture of Saddam and that ran in the front papers for one day, and they're then back on Michael, the front page. I mean, it's crazy. And that's the biggest capture ever. I mean, it's like you say to yourself, What are they trying to say? And so when I'm watching my brother handcuffed, and I'm saying to myself, They're handcuffing him, they're handcuffing the whole family. And I -- I had to say something and...

KING: What are your feelings toward this boy and his mother?

JACKSON: Well, you can't really blame the boy, but the parents, of course -- and I feel bad because the kid is caught into a situation that's not fair to him. But at the same time, my brother is a loving person. He loves people. He loves children. I mean, when you look at what brother's all about, with his music, does anybody ever talk about that? They talk about all these things. He's not eccentric. He's not crazy. He's a human being. He's done unbelievable things...

KING: Not eccentric?

JACKSON: ... through his music -- oh...

KING: Last time, you...

JACKSON: Small things, small things. But look, we could say the way I'm dressed or the way you're dressed could different, but...

KING: Correct.

JACKSON: ... what I'm saying is this. Look at his music. Look at what his message is through his message. Look at what he's done. It's not trying to turn the young people against parents and against the family. It's all about bringing family together. And that's what we're about. That's what his music is all about.

KING: The L.A. people questioned this young boy, right?

GERAGOS: Absolutely.

KING: Extensively.

GERAGOS: Absolutely.

KING: And they said they didn't believe him, right?

GERAGOS: Well, no. They said -- the L.A. people did an investigation, and contrary to what was represented today -- we went back and forth. We heard first it was an investigation, then it was an interview, then it was an investigation. When they don't like the results, it was an interview. When they like the results, it's an investigation. I thought that -- that was something new I've never seen before. We just -- we change the words around when it doesn't fit our little theory of the facts.

You're not supposed to do that. A prosecutor is supposed to seek the truth. A prosecutor's not supposed to seek a conviction. Did anybody ask or wonder why are they hiring a P.R. firm? Why do they need a crisis management firm? Is it because the crisis is the case is falling apart?

KING: Apparently -- were they hired or volunteered, the firm that...

GERAGOS: Well, who knows? Either way. If it's volunteered, it may even be worse. I mean, you're either paying with public moneys, the -- this firm, which I think is problematic, and if they're volunteering, then you're receiving a gift, which is also a violation of the Fair Political Practices Act. So it doesn't get any better if it's volunteered versus hired. A prosecutor's not supposed to be out there spinning. A prosecutor's supposed to be out there seeking the truth.

KING: To your -- to your knowledge, Jermaine, did Michael do anything that left him open to this? In other words, is there anything in his lifestyle that left him...

JACKSON: No.

KING: ... prey for the wolves?

JACKSON: No, the problem is that Michael is a wonderful person who loves children, and they found the very thing to bring him down, with the very thing that he loves is children and family. And I don't know any other person who -- all my life, who is just so genuine and no nice and so caring. And sometimes he's naive, but he's totally innocent.

KING: He is naive.

JACKSON: Yes, but he's -- but he's not like me or some of my other brothers. He's -- he thinks -- he trusts everybody. And he's so trusting, and this is what it is.

KING: Well, that sounds child-like. Children are trusting.

JACKSON: Yes.

KING: Is he child-like, in a sense?

JACKSON: He is. He is. But he's a wonderful person. I mean, you look at the moral fiber of a person. His intentions are wonderful. I mean, the whole thing with the baby -- I mean, you think he would harm his child? And then they never show how there were people down there. He was just showing the baby. It wasn't the wisest thing to do, but he got caught up in the moment. At the same time -- Michael loves his children.

KING: Now, let's look at...

GERAGOS: And his children -- and his children -- that's the thing that's most impressive to me. I have spent time with him and his children. Jermaine can tell you, obviously, more than I can. You have never seen a more loving, healthy relationship with those kids...

KING: How about the movement to temporarily take them away?

JACKSON: Oh, that's crazy.

GERAGOS: It's not only crazy, it's sick. And you know, I have to say, for Gloria Allred, of all people, to come out there and hold a press conference, when she's got nothing to do with this case. You know, Gloria's husband, I think, years ago, was indicted for some kind of crime. Nobody ever said, Let's take Lisa Bloom out of the house, when she was -- when the husband was indicted. So this idea that she's out there, based on an accusation, calling for kids to be taken out of the house is beneath contempt. She knows better than that. It's nothing but a publicity seeker, just like a couple of the others who are out there on the backs, like parasites, of Michael.

KING: Why would a mother, though -- let's say, as Jermaine says, this boy is kind of innocent and he's being tossed back and forth. Why would a mother subject her child to this? Why would a mother have a -- but look what you do to the child's head, though. In other words, for money, you would destroy your own child?

GERAGOS: I was not commenting. I didn't go anywhere near this. The responsible mainstream media went and they investigated this case and they found the exact same stuff that I found, which is part of the public record. This is a dysfunctional family, obviously. This is a woman who is dysfunctional. This is a woman who you -- who has got a documented history of manipulating her kids. Documented. I didn't say it. She has -- the father's lawyer is out there talking about scripts that she's handing to the kids to read in depositions. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

KING: Let me find out in a minute what happens on January 16. We'll take Some calls for Jermaine, if you want to call in. Jermaine and Michael (sic) Geragos are with us. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.

Betty Ford tomorrow night. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before we take some calls, we have the official statement by Katherine Jackson, Michael's mother, on behalf of the Jackson family.

I said Michael Geragos. This is Mark Geragos.

GERAGOS: That's OK. It's my younger brother.

KING: You have a younger brother?

GERAGOS: I have a younger brother.

KING: It's all in the family. "Michael is innocent. On behalf of the Jackson family, we know these vicious lies are totally untrue, malicious and motivated by pure greed and revenge. Our family totally supports Michael. We proudly stand next to Michael, who we know could never commit any of the acts he's accused of. We will fight with every ounce of our energy to reveal the truth behind these false allegations and the motivations behind those who have falsely accused Michael. We pray for a swift resolution, real justice. And we especially want to thank the millions of fans and supporters who have solidly stood by Michael and the family during this ordeal."

Before we take a call, what's been the reaction of the employees at Neverland?

GERAGOS: Oh, almost universally supportive. In fact, one of the things that I found during the information of this, and even in the last couple of weeks since the arrest -- I've talked to two women in particular. And I won't mention their names because they probably would also slap me, but two who are long-time employees there, both of whom have daughters. Both of whom -- and one who has a son. Both have said -- one who's worked for him for I think 13 years, the other for almost 23. Both said they have complete access to him 24/7. They basically have been employed for him years for, and both said, If you think for a minute -- this is what they told me. If you think, Mr. Geragos, for one minute that if there was something going on here that we wouldn't report him, you're crazy. One of them says that she's got a daughter herself who was molested and whose -- the perpetrator was the prosecuted by Santa Barbara county's D.A.'s office. She says, I would be the first one yelling from the top of Neverland if there was anything going on here.

KING: Let's take a call. Oklahoma City for Jermaine Jackson and Mark Geragos. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Jermaine?

JACKSON: Yes?

CALLER: I wanted to know how your family was holding up.

JACKSON: Well, my family is holding up pretty strongly. When something like this happens, family is the most important. And there's strength in numbers, so we've been supporting each other, and we're going to fight.

KING: Who's having the roughest time? Everyone can't be the same.

JACKSON: Probably -- I wouldn't want to say, but there is one, yes.

KING: Who's having trouble with it emotionally, I mean?

JACKSON: Yes, yes.

KING: Houston, Texas. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Mr. Geragos, my question is for you. How difficult is it -- and I've been following both of your recent cases. How difficult is it to defend clients, when the media, in particular, and the public have already found these clients guilty, ridiculously?

KING: Good question.

GERAGOS: Well, it is -- you know, and it's a wonderful question because this idea -- and Larry and I have talked this before on the show, when I was doing commentary. This idea that somehow you can just have a prosecutor go out and do a press conference and slam the heck out of the client and repeatedly do these kind of perp walks, like they did with Michael here, the perp walk up with the handcuffs, so that you can see him and -- in fact, it's endlessly played, endlessly played, so that all you ever see -- the picture you've got in your mind is of this person getting walked into the police station as a common criminal. And then when they go to court, the first thing the prosecutors want is to slap a protective order on you, so that you can't say anything in response. You're supposed to just sit there and say, OK, I've taken a couple of body shots, and now I'm going to shut up and not do anything.

It's, I think, horrific. I think that the only way you can do it is to respond and respond appropriately, and that's what I plan on doing in this case.

KING: There are reports, Jermaine, that Michael's going to have a party at Neverland this weekend?

JACKSON: Well, it's not a party. It's just all the love and the support from all the family and friends and...

KING: So people are coming up.

JACKSON: Yes. They're coming. They want to be there...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: It's a "Support Michael" weekend, like?

JACKSON: It's a support...

GERAGOS: Well, you know it really -- and Jermaine will, I think, back me up on this. They -- I've had to hire a couple of extra people to just man the phones. The number of people that are calling him, calling me, calling Michael, saying, We need to see him, we want to tell him how much we love him, and we want to -- we want to show him that this is unfounded -- and finally, we decided, look, the only way to handle this -- there's no other place that's big enough -- than go up to Neverland. We're not dragging media through there, we're just allowing all of these people, his friends, his fans, his supporters to get up there and -- and his family. His family wants to get together and support him.

KING: Is he joining the Nation of Islam?

JACKSON: No. No.

KING: That has been reported, too. Why...

GERAGOS: Right. Because that's another one of these litany -- what I call the litany of lies. You know, there was...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: I never heard of it. I'm just reading the cards!

GERAGOS: I know. I know. Somebody writes it because that was the story this morning. And you know, interestingly enough, this joining the Nation of Islam...

KING: Nothing wrong with that, by the way...

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: ... and Mark's going to be replaced -- no! But that Mark's going to be replaced by Johnny Cochran...

KING: That was...

GERAGOS: ... and all this...

KING: Wait a minute. Johnnie Cochran replaced you on this show.

GERAGOS: Yes. Exactly.

KING: Johnnie Cochran... GERAGOS: Johnnie...

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: He sits in my chair, and I think he'll tell you...

KING: He's the analyst.

GERAGOS: ... it's an easier job. But the fact of the...

KING: What about that report, by the way?

GERAGOS: The fact of the matter is -- you want to know where this originates from, this -- it's the P.R. firm that the prosecution hired. And what they did is, they played the race card. They're trying to inject Johnnie Cochran into this. They're trying to inject the Nation of Islam as some kind of a buzz word into this.

KING: Really?

GERAGOS: And I tracked it. I got a couple of -- on background from various reporters who admitted that the P.R. flack firm that they just hired, their crisis management...

KING: You're kidding!

GERAGOS: ... was the one who's out there fanning the flames of this.

KING: Because Johnnie told me that he was not going to get involved.

KING: He told he wouldn't get involved.

GERAGOS: Of course. Look, I've known Johnnie him since I was a kid. My father and Johnnie were DAs together here in L.A. County. Johnnie and my father go back probably 35 years, and I've known him -- I don't want to tell how old I am, but I've known him since I was a munchkin. He is a supporter of Michael's, as he obviously is, because he's had the same experience I have had over the last year. Once you know this man, once you know Michael and have been around him, you can't fail but want to support him. That's why people are inundating us.

JACKSON: Absolutely.

KING: Jermaine, The tough part, though as a family, is you have to live with it. I mean, it lives with you. Mark is a lawyer. That's one thing. You're blood.

JACKSON: Yes, well, this is what this is designed to do, is to label him a child molester or label my family. And we know why. And we're not (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

KING: Do you think it's to get one of you to say to Michael, Let's settle? Let's get this away. Do you think that's their goal? JACKSON: No, we ain't settling nothing.

GERAGOS: Well, we -- nothing's going to be settled, as long as I...

(CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: Yes. Over my -- they can...

KING: You're saying that to...

GERAGOS: They can fire me and hire, you know, Larry Parker.

JACKSON: We're not firing (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GERAGOS: But there's no way in the world this case is ever going to be settled. And I'll tell you right now, there's no way in the world Michael is every going to settle this. There's absolutely no way. He's unequivocally -- -- not guilty. He didn't do this. He's factually innocent.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments with Mark Geragos and Jermaine Jackson on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SNEDDON: And they're asking me about the L.A. -- what you called an investigation, and my remarks about that. What I said was that our department and the sheriff's department was fully aware of the report and its contents. We are also fully aware of the conditions under which the statements were given. And we are aware that to call that an investigation is a misnomer. It was an interview, plain and simple, and that's all it was. And we're not concerned about it in terms of any impact on our case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: That's the CD, "One More Chance," which was released the day that search warrant was issued, right?

GERAGOS: Yes. Exactly.

KING: Was that timing, do you think?

JACKSON: It's perfect timing.

KING: Did the handcuffs bother you?

JACKSON: Yes, the handcuffs bothered me because my brother willingfully turned himself in. And he's 120 pounds, and they didn't have to handcuff him, plus handcuff him behind his back. Now I understand that his shoulder was dislocated and...

KING: Really?

JACKSON: ... and he's bruised on his arms. And then he -- once he got into the station, he asked to use the restroom, and they locked him in there for 30 minutes and said, How do you like the way it smells in there? The smell -- and that's ridiculous. I mean, this is how they conducted themselves.

KING: Did they rough him at all, or just treated him roughly?

JACKSON: Well, they put out a statement out saying that they treated him fairly and he was not being cooperative with them. It was the complete opposite. Complete opposite.

KING: Locked him in the bathroom. Were you there, Mark?

GERAGOS: No. I was kept away where the -- with the bondsman, posting the bond upstairs.

KING: Did you hear about this?

GERAGOS: Oh, yes.

KING: Did you ask about it?

GERAGOS: Oh, yes.

KING: And?

GERAGOS: Well, there'll be -- there'll be repercussions.

KING: There will be?

GERAGOS: Absolutely.

KING: Have you ever heard of locking someone in the bathroom?

GERAGOS: I have, on occasion. I have, on occasion.

KING: What would be the purpose?

GERAGOS: Well, there's an intimidation factor. There's a -- you know, We're going to show you who's boss. It's not uncommon, Larry.

KING: Is there a law about handcuffs when you arrest in California?

GERAGOS: Well, you've got a -- it depends. I mean, this is a...

KING: Some say you have to have that.

GERAGOS: Yes. This is a surrender. I've had countless surrenders where the person just walks up and you just do a booking. I mean, I had the bondsman there. The bondsman had the bond. The person was waiting there. We arrived. We did the -- I thought, as cooperative as we could be. I tried to be as cooperative as we could be. And I just thought it was a perp shot. KING: Only have a minute left. You would not be surprised if there were no trial? Just want to reiterate what you said.

GERAGOS: Look I -- look, I...

KING: You want a hearing.

GERAGOS: All I need in this case is a chance to have a talk with the witnesses and a -- and let us into a courtroom. That's all I want. Let us into a courtroom. We're very happy -- I'm very happy -- I don't think any client is very happy when you say, I'm going to drag you into a courtroom. But I'm very happy to try this case on the facts in a courtroom.

KING: And does Michael have any doubts about this case, any fears?

JACKSON: I don't think so. He's -- he's ready to fight. He's ready to fight. He has his team. He has his family. He has a great guy here with Mark. And we're ready.

KING: Thank you, Jermaine.

JACKSON: Thank you.

KING: Thank you, Mark.

GERAGOS: Larry.

KING: Good to see you back in that chair.

GERAGOS: Thank you. Good to be back, although temporarily. I'll let Johnnie come back and take it over.

KING: Mark Geragos, the attorney for Michael Jackson. He's also the attorney for Scott Peterson. There is a gag order in that case. And Jermaine Jackson.

I'll come back in a couple of minutes and tell you about tomorrow night. Another great show coming up. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We thank Mark Geragos and Jermaine Jackson for being our special guests.

Tomorrow night, former first lady, the most famous center in the world that bears her name, Betty Ford, is our special guest tomorrow night.

END

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.