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Recap Of Jackson Events Today

Aired November 20, 2003 - 15:59   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's recap for our viewers. We've been watching it all unfold for the past couple of hours. We sometimes forget that people are tuning in.
And as we look at live pictures now, that might very well be Michael Jackson's car on its way to Neverland, because we had just been told by his attorney in a rather brief and yet fiery statement that he had in fact posted bond, which has been quoted at $3 million. Had been processed out, as is the term, and perhaps is on his way to his estate, not too far away, about a half an hour away, where we will find Gary Tuchman, and we will get a report from there.

In any case, to bring you back to the beginning of what we've been seeing unfold this afternoon, Michael Jackson left Las Vegas, where he had been filming a music video, flew by private jet to the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, and was escorted, arrested, handcuffed, brought to the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department in handcuffs and processed on some very serious charges of child molestation.

There you see the self-proclaimed King of Pop being led into the area they call a "sally port" (ph) where people are processed by plain clothesed and uniformed officers of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Once again those allegations are molestation charges. We, of course, don't know the name or much about the identity of the child who is the alleged victim in all of this.

CNN's Mike Brooks, every time I look at a picture there, he has been talking to people on the scene trying to get a sense of what's going on. Mike, it was rather speedy. I guess that is no surprise. I guess that takes us back to our discussion of just a little while ago as to whether he would be interrogated. I think we can safely say that didn't happen?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: No. I can safely say from the looks of everything right now, Miles, that most likely he will not be. We just heard from his attorney, Mark Geragos, that basically he is done with the processing. He has already posted bond, as he said.

And also outside we see -- when I was just up at the other location, saw some of Michael Jackson's security people with their distinctive lapel pins standing outside apparently waiting for him or more of his party to come out of the jail. Exactly how much longer it will be before Michael Jackson comes out, we don't know.

But again, it has not been very long. From my calculations, it's been approximately a half hour from the time he arrived here at the Santa Barbara County Jail until now. So, again, not very long at all as we said earlier to process him. And apparently not going to answer any questions.

But again, hopefully, we -- we hope to hear from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office possibly with a statement. We didn't hear much from his attorney, Mark Geragos. Also attorney Pat Harris, who is an assistant of, Mark Geragos, was also here. These are both the same attorneys, too, that were also representing Scott Peterson in his case in Modesto just a few days ago. So again both of them are here representing Michael Jackson -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: Up and down the coast of California they go, I guess, or up and down the length of California.

Mark Geragos saying that -- was extremely combative speaking on behalf of his client saying he is going to confront the charges head- on, that Michael Jackson is greatly outraged, that he believes this to be a big lie. And that if in fact these were proven out to be true, Michael Jackson, his would be the first to be outraged.

I guess that isn't surprising coming from a defense attorney. But clearly, this is going to be a very proactive, fiery defense?

BROOKS: It will be a very proactive defense. We have seen from the past practices of Mark Geragos and his defense team that they take a very, very proactive stance in defending their clients as most any other defense attorney would. And especially in this.

And we've heard also just moments ago the outrage of the Jackson family coming from his brother. So, again, it looks like the whole Jackson support team is taking this -- all of these actions to heart and aren't particularly fond of dealing with these kind of allegations. And also dealing with law enforcement and the media in this light, and with these accusations.

O'BRIEN: And it's worth pointing out. We heard from Jermaine Jackson. But there is a family out there, an anonymous family to us, somewhere in Southern California, who if this allegations are true, is suffering through a terrible tragedy involving a child. And it's worth pointing that out I think for just a moment.

BROOKS: Oh, absolutely. I think so. Because many, many times especially when you are involving a case like this with a celebrity, such as Michael Jackson and other celebrities, we forget about the victim. And there is a victim in this. And it is a very, very young child.

And I think it is very, very noteworthy of you pointing that out because very many times, the victims are forgotten in cases such as this.

O'BRIEN: All right, and With that, we're going to go right back to Mark Geragos, and for those of who you missed his statement just a few moments ago we are going to take an excerpt of it now.


MARK GERAGOS, JACKSON'S ATTORNEY: Look, I'm going to just make a brief statement. I'm not going to take questions and answers.

Michael is here. He's come back specifically to confront these charges head-on. He is greatly outraged by the bringing of these charges. And he considers this to be a big lie. He understands the people who are outraged, because if these charges were true, I assure you that Michael would be the first to be outraged.

But I'm here to tell you today that Michael has given me the authority to say on his behalf, these charges are categorically untrue. He looks forward to getting into a courtroom as opposed to any other forum, and confronting these accusations head-on. We plan on doing that.

And I'm not going to take any other questions and answers. I will say, however, that he has already, for your information, at least, he has already posted the bond, and he's processed out. Thank you very much.


O'BRIEN: All right, Mike Brooks, let's go back to a couple of matters which you've been talking about for a good part of this afternoon.

The first issue is on -- first hearing, an arraignment in this case. Do we have any idea when that might occur or is that something that is decided later?

BROOKS: Most likely, it was -- he was probably given at a date to appear today, most likely. The way California does things, most likely, he was give a date. It's probably going to be somewhere in the range of about 30 days.

But again, that's unknown. We did not hear from from his attorney, Mark Geragos, on exactly what the date was for his initial appearance and arraignment. But in California it's somewhere around a 30-day period -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: All right. And the other thing just to tie up the loose ends that remain out there in my mind, the custody of Michael Jackson's children. Who will adjudicate that issue? Is that done on a separate track from the legal proceeds that we have seen unfold here today?

BROOKS: Well, the way it normally works in a case like this, depending how much end evidence they have, the sheriff's department or law enforcement agency involved in this, they would talk with the district attorney's office, the district attorney's office would make a decision whether or not the they thought his children would be in danger. Then they would go to a family court judge or judge handling this. And then they would talk with the people from child protective services and make a determination whether they thought these children were at risk. And that is how basically the whole system works.

But it would come down from a judge, and then also working with counselors in the child protective services decision. Psychologist, those things would make a determination whether they thought that these children were a danger being in the -- being with Michael Jackson.

But, again, that the way -- that's down the road. We have not heard anything at all about this. The D.A. yesterday said it was a possibility of a condition of his release that he may not -- he may be told not to be around children. Whether that's his own children or other people, we have not heard this as a condition of release.

So again, it's something that a court would have to decide along with the district attorney's office. We know again, that they want to make sure that the children are protected also.

O'BRIEN: But just to be clear on this, if there is a determination that a child is in danger, I assume the system works fairly quickly to protect children.

BROOKS: It does. And, again, depending how much evidence they have in this particular case, that would probably weigh in heavily on the determination by a child protective services on whether or not the children would remain with Michael Jackson or not -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: The all right. And once again, then, just to give me a sense of it, you don't really know the time frame on how this will all play out, do you?

BROOKS: Not really. No, but again, as you point out, if the children were of eminent risk, then it would be -- most likely happen or it already would have happened. But again, we have not heard anything like this. And, again, it's up to the courts to decide exactly what actions the child protective services will take, if any -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: Mike Brooks on the scene there, Santa Barbara County.


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