James Safechuck is the fourth and final accuser of Michael Jackson. He first claimed abuse in 2013 when he was in his 30s, and filed a lawsuit against Jackson soon after. The purpose of this episode is to present James Safechuck's claims of abuse from his lawsuit and to show how his legal moves are carefully calculated to result in the maximum financial compensation. Through the statements that Safechuck makes in his lawsuit, we can see that he is willing to repeatedly make misleading and false statements in order to pursue monetary compensation from Michael Jackson’s companies.
James Safechuck’s Second Amended Complaint, filed on September 19, 2016
He states that he didn’t know it was wrong or abuse until 2013.
Pepsi commercial with Safechuck and Jackson, 1987
The tour schedule reveals that because Jackson was in Australia for the Safechucks' call on Thanksgiving Day, they could not drive right over and pick up Jackson to take him to their house for dinner, as Safechuck claims in his lawsuit.
Another article describing how Jackson was in Australia on Thanksgiving, celebrating with his entourage
Jackson and Safechuck with Liza minelli at Phantom of the Opera Performance on March 9, 1988
Pepsi convention held in early February
Commentary that cites two articles that include evidence that the Hawaii Pepsi convention was in early-mid February 1988.
Prior Pepsi convention held in February
1984 convention also held in February
Pepsi Convention logically held on the weekend of February 7, 1988
This article explains how Jackson was in Pensacola the weekend of February 13th, leading me to the conclusion that the Pepsi Convention was the weekend before, February 7th.
News article says Jackson spent a month in civic center prior to US leg of Bad Tour
Bad tour rehearsal news coverage
Reports place the rehearsal dates in early-mid February, the same time frame as the Hawaii pepsi convention. In Safechuck's claim he states that he and his parents attended the Bad Tour rehearsals "In or Around 1988", in an apparent attempt to craft a more logical course of grooming, ordering this trip after his NY Phantom of the Opera trip in March. It's an easy search to find the news about when Jackson was rehearsing.
Rehearsals for the tour's 1988 leg took place at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, Florida from January 22 to February 18, 1988.
Safechuck did not work for Jackson's companies on Bad Tour
Respondent's brief from Safechuck's lawsuit, in which the Estate underscores that there is no evidence to support that Safechuck was an employee of Jackson's companies on the Bad tour, and says he wasn't hired until 1994 after the alleged abuse had ended:
Jolie Levine's 2017 Deposition:
Jolie Levine worked for MJJ productions for about 2 years and was Jackson’s assistant on the Bad Tour. She is mentioned by name in Safechuck’s lawsuit and gave a deposition in 2016 for his lawsuit. She testifies that she never believed Jackson was a pedophile, never saw him touch a child in an inappropriate way, nor saw any interaction with a child that made her uncomfortable. Levine states that she always packed up Jackson’s room whenever they moved to a different city, so she saw everything. But she says she never saw pornography or photos of children or anything suspicious. Most convincing to me is the fact she invited own son, Yoshi, to join her on the Tour that summer, who was around Safechuck’s age, and actually met Safechuck and his parents. So Jackson’s own personal assistant on this tour who knew what Jackson was doing at all times, and was in his room daily, had no issue with her own son spending time with Jackson without her supervision. Yoshi testified in Robson’s case that he never experienced any wrongdoing by Jackson, thought Jackson was a big kid, and thought Robson and Safechuck’s case was all about money.
Michael Jackson performs at Grammys in 1988
Madison Square Garden concerts in NY in March 1988
Grammys in LA in 1989 and 1990
Safechuck says he was flown to NY by himself to be with Jackson at the Grammys where Jackson performed, and he was abused in his hotel room. But Jackson performed in 1988, before any alleged abuse, and didn’t perform in subsequent Grammys which thereafter were held in LA.
Other awards ceremonies in 1989 where Jackson did not perform and were held in Los Angeles:
American Music Awards locations and dates
Black Radio Exclusive Award locations and dates
Michael Jackson receives honor at United Negro Fund dinner on March 10, 1988
Jackson takes a break with his mom to visit Gary Indiana on break in March
MJJ Ventures was not formed until 1991, yet Safechuck claims liability for abuse in 1988
Warning signs that a child may be a sex abuse victim
Phone conversations that were secretly recorded by the Stein family in the years 1990-1992
These recordings were sold for profit in 2005 during the Arvizo scandal. I listened to all of these conversations, and there’s nothing iffy, creepy, threatening, or odd. The most amazing thing about these calls is how ordinary they are, and how consistent they are with the kinds of conversations Jackson’s close friends talk about. That he could talk for hours about simple everyday things.
Gavin Arvizo testimony from 2005, alleging Jackson gave him alcohol during their captivity at Neverland
Prosecutor Ron Zonen stating no child pornography found in raids
Former Neverland maid Adrian McManus never testified to seeing any child pornography in her work as a personal housekeeper for Jackson:
Safechuck testimony ruled inadmissible
This contradicts Safechuck's claim in his lawsuit that Jackson's lawyers would be calling to pressure him to testify.
Similarities between Safechuck's account and Victor Gutierrez's book
Gutierrez's book is called Michael Jackson was my Lover, the supposed diary of Jordan Chandler. However, there was never any diary that materialized, and the Chandlers never alleged he had a diary nor corroborated any of the acts described in the book.
Safechuck, on the "Jam" music video set with Brett Barnes and Wade Robson
Frank Cascio describes Jackson's emphasis on education
In Cascio's book, "My Friend Michael," he describes the focus that Jackson placed on education when he and his brother Eddie were touring with him. "He taught me to pursue knowledge. He encouraged me to study. He told me to be humble and to respect my parents, especially my mother. He inspired me to be the best that I could be.”
Jackson estate letter to HBO refuting claims of Leaving Neverland
In this letter, they state the following about Safechuck's claim of being called by Jackson, his attorneys, and his assistant to testify: "In the 'documentary' and in his declaration for the litigation, Safechuck spins a tale about how he refused to testify for Jackson in 2005, despite threats from Jackson and his legal team. Setting aside the absurdity of Jackson and his sophisticated legal team trying to convince an unwilling and unstable witness to testify on such a sensitive issue, Safechuck’s story is demonstrably false. In particular, Safechuck declares that Michael and his legal team called him 'towards the end of the criminal trial' trying to pressure him to testify. But this statement cannot be true. Early on in the trial, the Judge precluded the prosecution from allowing evidence regarding alleged molestation of Safechuck and others because the 'evidence' of such molestation was unreliable. The exceptions were that the Judge did allow testimony from certain disgruntled workers that they had heard that Michael had molested Wade Robson, Macaulay Culkin and Brett Barnes. That is why those three specifically testified, and all of them denied the molestation (including Robson of course), and were subject to cross-examination by prosecutors but did not waver. And that is why Jackson and his attorneys would not have ever tried to pressure an unwilling and unstable Safechuck to testify, particularly “towards the end of the criminal trial” as Safechuck so falsely claims in the documentary and under oath."
Jackson's 2005 trial investigator Scott Ross
In this Vlad TV interview, Ross refutes Safechuck's claim that Jackson, his lawyers, and assistant called to force him testify in the 2005 trial.
More evidence that Jackson's assistant didn't call Safechuck about testifying
In Safechuck’s entire second amended complaint, it’s only this phone call where Jackson's assistant, Evvy Tavasci, is mentioned. But when Safechuck’s lawyer Vince Finaldi questions her about James during her deposition, which fills 159 pages, he suspiciously never asks her to confirm this phone call in 2005. That’s a conspicuous omission, and suggests to me that he doesn’t want to have Tavasci’s answer about the phone call on record.
Maccauley Culkin shares story of how Jackson was conscientious during the trial to make sure he didn’t influence Culkin’s testimony
Safehcuck is sued for 100s of thousands of dollars only a week before he says he decided to seek help for abuse
In October 2019 California Law changed age for filing child sex abuse claims
Safechuck's lawsuit is dismissed October 2020, Safechuck appeals the ruling
The Daily Michael Website's breakdown of Safechuck's probate claim and civil case:
Update for Safechuck's Lawsuit
Thread from The MJJ Repository explaining the Jackson estate's February 2022 response to Safechuck's appeal.
Thanks to the following sites for their collection and analysis of the court documents in the Wade Robson case over many years, which helped guide the research for this episode:
The Michael Jackson Allegations