Marx’s famous remark is that history always repeats itself twice: first as a tragedy, then as a farce. What to say when it is numerically determined? In the case of Michael Jackson the number ten seemed to be fatal. Ten years after the Chandler scandal from 1993, Jackson is charged with sexually molesting Gavin Arvizo. Ten years after that case, choreographer Wade Robson has suddenly “realized” that he was abused by Michael Jackson “from the age of seven to fourteen”, that same friend in whose defense he testified at the “trial of the century”, saying that nothing improper had happened between them. The Los Angeles County Court dismissed his lawsuit since it was not filed within a reasonable time after the alleged crime.
Let us not forget: the year 2013 – when Robson raised a lawsuit against Jackson’s Estate in Los Angeles – was another in a series of posthumous triumphs for the King of Pop. Statistics were showing that he was highest-paid dead celebrity in the world and that Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour was one of the leading world tours – the same tour for which Wade Robson was rejected as a creative director. Was that a coincidence?
Not only that, at the beginning of this year, ten years after Michael Jackson’s death, another “friend” also “realized” that his case was also abusive, roughly at the same time as Robson claimed in his statement. The boys who knew, perhaps even hated each other before, because of the attention that their idol did not know how to distribute equally, were united in a common goal in a mutual “confession”, full of emotions and explicit details of sex, presented in the four-hour marathon co-produced by HBO.
The story was even more publicized recently thanks to Oprah Winfrey who, as a victim of sexual abuse herself as a child, showed sympathy for these two men. No one, however, asked her what was happening in school for girls that she opened in Africa or did she has in plan to interview victims of her dear friend Harvey Weinstein? Her relationship with Michael Jackson, after a historic 1993 interview at Neverland, was not of a pleasant nature. Perhaps with this act of pluralism she would break the partiality that she feels toward Michael Jackson’s “victims”.
While reading the comments on the portals and news sites on the internet I was surprised by the reaction of the general public. Unlike the Arvizo case, which left the public with reasonable doubt about the way Chandler case had ended ten years before, now I can see the growing sympathy for Jackson while he becomes a victim of media sensitivity for sensation and profit. The motives of the accusers become apparent when the circumstances in which they are filed and the integrity of their testimonies are taken into account. We can openly call them lies while there is no evidence to substantiate their claim. Everyone, at the end, is presumed to be innocent and totally innocent until they are charged with a crime and then convicted by a jury of their peers.
Jackson is no longer among us to defend his good name. He spent two years of his life in a legal battle in the court before he went out as an innocent man. All aspects of his privacy were put in front of the public while hundreds of witnesses moved to the test bench, so after more than five months of a trial there was a verdict that said he was not guilty on all ten counts. To doubt Jackson’s innocence, in this case, would mean doubt in the US legal system.
Michael Jackson was, without any doubt, a controversial and eccentric figure that has left enough material which will, in spite of speculations, spill over for decades to come. And in those years that will come, we will see some middle-aged men who have been suffering from amnesia for decades, but what at the end will remain? A monolithic Jackson figure that will sell albums, movies, memorabilia and fill arenas, magazines and books. All Chandlers, Robsons, Safechucks will get their fifteen minutes of attention that they desperately struggle for. Jackson’s figure will remain larger than life.