A new document leaked Tuesday (December 9) reveals that Michael Jackson was investigated on sexual abuse allegations in February and that investigators found those charges to be “unfounded.”
A memo from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, dated November 26 and leaked on the Smoking Gun Web site, says a Los Angeles Unified School District official called the agency’s child-abuse hotline soon after the airing of “Living With Michael Jackson” on February 6. The Martin Bashir documentary depicted Jackson hanging out with the boy in question, who admitted to sleeping in the singer’s bed. In addition to alleging sexual abuse, the caller also reported neglect on the part of the boy’s mother. The school official referred to both the boy and his younger brother as alleged victims.
After the documentary’s airing, the boy featured in it reportedly was taunted and bullied by schoolmates for having been seen resting his head against Jackson’s shoulder and holding hands with him. It is not known whether the school official took this into account or even knew the boy, or if the official’s knowledge and opinion of the case came solely from the documentary.
A two-week investigation by the DCFS’ Sensitive Case Unit and the LAPD began on February 14, according to the memo, which provides a summary of the inquiry. Jackson is not named in the memo – he’s referred to as “the entertainer” – but the details of the case match, from the description of how the boy in question met “the entertainer,” to his health issues, to his father’s history of abuse.
According to the memo, the mother “believed the media had taken everything out of context.” Though Jackson was “like a father” to her children and “a part of her family,” the mother said the children were never left alone with Jackson, and that while her son had slept in the same room as him, they never shared a bed, since Jackson would sleep on the floor. Both the boy in question and his younger brother denied sexual abuse, and their older sister corroborated, stating that she had accompanied her brothers on sleepovers and had never seen anything inappropriate.
Similar statements were said to have been made when the mother and the boy in question reportedly made an audiotape and signed affidavits saying that Jackson had never abused him. ABC News reported last month that the tape, made in February by investigators working for Jackson, seemingly exonerated the singer.
However, the timeline of instances of alleged abuse has not been publicly established by prosecutors of the current case, leaving the possibility that abuse could have happened after February’s investigation and affidavits. Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon said the DCFS was not involved with the current investigation when he spoke during a November 19 press conference.
“There were some previous contacts by [DCFS] involving some other things that came out,” Sneddon said at the time. “Don’t assume from that I’m talking about the same family. I’m just telling you [the DCFS was] involved in other allegations involving Mr. Jackson in Los Angeles…. This [latest investigation] has solely been an operation run by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department.”
DCFS spokesperson Stuart Riskin could not elaborate on the contents of the memo. “It was a memo that was leaked, unfortunately,” he said. “The material is confidential and cannot be discussed.”
Jackson’s arraignment is scheduled for January 9.