This is the first part of, I guess, a three part blog. I started this part first, so it’s first. No other reason. When I first started talking about how I might write a blog about anything pertaining to the AEG trial, one of the things that people asked me about the most was about the text messages that Karen Faye (KF) had sent to her boyfriend in June 2009. There seems to be two separate issues that people have questioned– the first about what they said and why they matter and the second about what AEGs reaction to them was and why. I will try to explain both of these things to the best of my knowledge/understanding.
This paragraph was initially at the END of this blog. But, I think it would fit better at the beginning:
“This blog was not written to "defend" Karen. She doesn't need any defense on this issue IMO, but that isn't the issue either. I am very much aware that some of those who see things a different way than I do talk about how "biased" I am and how because of my friendship with Karen, I cannot be "trusted". Well...it's true that Karen and I are friends. It's also true that friends or not, I would not compromise my integrity to write anything that was a lie in order to defend anyone. But, even beyond that...everything I have written here is factual. Everything can be verified (except for my opinions of course.) So...with the knowledge that these facts are actually facts...YOU decide what conclusion to come to. Who I am friends with is irrelevant.”
First – the text messages themselves. What they say and why they matter.
The text messages in question were sent by KF to her boyfriend on the evening of June 18 2009 into June 19 2009. The texts themselves are available for anyone to see, but I will summarize quickly:
-MJ was hours late for rehearsal on June 18.
-“[MJs] fear is big. He needs a 24/7 therapist.”
-Kenny Ortega (KO) was angry that night.
-KF was told by KO that KO, Randy Phillips (RP), Conrad Murray (CM) and MJ had held a meeting of some kind – or an “intervention”.
-KO told KF that “AEG (Randy Phillips) is funding [MJs] entire life right now. His house, food, kids school, everything.”
-They told MJ that they will “pull the plug” [on the TII show] if MJ “doesn’t get his shit together”.
-“If he doesn’t do this, he loses everything...probably even his kids.”
-“[MJ] came in ‘very serious’” that night [the 18th]
-“Any ‘hand holding’ has been removed. [MJ] has to be forced to face his fears.”
*the ONLY thing that I added or changed at all was to specify who she meant when she said ‘he’ a couple times. (which was all confirmed by Karen.)
So, now that we know what they say – why do they matter?
First of all, some of these points are things that KF has said for a long time already. But, when the information comes in this form, it becomes more accurate for two reasons.
First: we must look at these texts as what they are – not “evidence” in a lawsuit, not someone on a certain “side” of an issue trying to prove or back up their point – they are just text messages that someone sent to their boyfriend while they were at work, telling him about her day. Nobody, including AEGs attorneys, have questioned this. (Yes, AEGs attorneys questioned the texts in a different way and actually, in a sense, the way that they did almost back up what I am saying now – if you bear with me, I will explain.) We all text our boyfriends, girlfriends, family, BFFs, whatever and talk about our days and that is all that Karen was doing – so to question the accuracy of what she said in the messages does not really make a whole lot of sense. There was obviously no reason for Karen to lie to her boyfriend about what she was experiencing in her day.
Secondly, regarding accuracy, the fact that these texts were written during the time period when MJ was in rehearsals does not only make it unlikely that someone would be “lying” but also, nobody had to rely on their memory to share this information. It is one thing for someone to remember details years later – it is another to have a record of what someone said or thought during the actual time.
So, two things are then removed – the question of “is this person remembering correctly?” AND the question of “is this person being dishonest to achieve a certain result?”
By the way, does anyone remember how many times KF said she had been told to be quiet and stay off the internet and to “cease and desist”?
As for the information in these text message – that shows us a few things:
1. That MJ was very dependent on these shows. If we know that AEG is funding much of his life, of course MJ needed these shows to work out.
3. KO told us about a meeting between himself, RP, CM and MJ that took place on June 20 2009. These texts were sent on June 18 and 19 2009 and they talk about a meeting or “intervention” between KO, RP, CM and MJ. (As an fyi, which you may feel free to believe or not, I am aware that KO also told KF where he was going BEFORE he went to this “meeting”. It didn’t just come up later on as a side mention. There WAS a meeting.)
The reason that point 3 is so interesting is that we have never heard KO or RP admit to having two meetings in three days. They have also said, particularly RP, that their interactions with CM were minimal. So, then... would this meeting on June 18 be something that they didn’t and don’t want anyone to know about?
We have heard denials (and may “I don’t recall’s) about any threats made in regard to ‘pulling the plug’. This IS something that KF did state happened as far back as 2009 and these text messages show us when and how she learned about this – KO told her. If they had a meeting on that day to make those ‘threats’ (or whatever word you'd choose to call them), then it seems likely that they would not have wanted anyone to know about said meeting.
We also know that on June 20th, KO wrote an email to RP expressing his doubt that MJ was “ready”, physically or emotionally, and that MJ was having trouble “grasping the work” at rehearsals. RP replied “please stay steady. Enough alarms have sounded. It is time to put the fire out, not burn the building down.” Hours before KO emailed RP, production manager ‘Bugzee’ also emailed RP expressing his own doubt – AND telling RP that KO had sent MJ home from rehearsal on the 19th. (According to RP himself, by “burn the building down”, he meant “pull the plug” on the shows.)
At court, RP testified that he just wanted to keep the situation calm until they could have their meeting. But... according to these texts, they’d already had a meeting BEFORE KO sent that email. Two days earlier.
Nobody denies that the meeting on the 20th happened. KO said that at that meeting CM told him to stay in his lane and to not be an amateur doctor or psychologist. It is interesting, if that is in fact what happened, because RP had basically told him in his email to “stop sounding alarms” (“enough alarms have sounded”) which basically means “be quiet'... then they all met again that evening... and CM told him to be quiet as well.
(FYI, there was also a 25 minute phone conversation that happened between RP and CM that day...which RP claims to have no memory of and only remembers talking to him for two minutes about scheduling.)
Whatever they talked about with each other or why they said whatever they said is not the point of this blog...but it is interesting, I think.
After learning all of this, I think that it is safe to say that nobody wants to publicize their June 18th meeting. It is also safe to say that they strongly deny threatening MJ or holding things over his head
It is also interesting how, prior to these texts “coming out”, KO has vehemently denied UNDER OATH in CM’s trial, sharing that sort of information with KF, to the point where he not only said that he DIDN’T share it – but stated that he WOULD NEVER have shared it. These do tell a differently story...
As for AEGs reaction and response to these texts...
First of all – just to clarify. There have been people who have been saying that AEG told the judge that “Karen Faye fabricated these texts messages”. That is not accurate. At no point did AEG tell the judge that Karen fabricated the messages. But they did challenge them.
These texts were brought to the courts attention by Brian Panish, the Jackson's lead attorney on this case. I have also heard people say that they "sprung" the texts on the defense and therefore the defense had no time to prepare to "defend against them". That is completely untrue. Firstly, these texts never entered evidence nor did anyone attempt to enter them into evidence. Therefore, there was nothing to "spring"...the jury wasn't going to hear them, so there was nothing to prepare for.
There is also the argument that the timing of when these texts “appeared” was “suspicious”, that Karen had been subpoenaed beforehand to turn over all relevant information she had and she did not turn over those texts until then. So, again, to explain...
Sometime between 2009 and 2013 (you know... four years.), Karen got a new phone. At some point, during the trial, she happened to come across her old phone and decided to go through some things on it. That is when she found the texts. She saw the relevancy of them and therefore gave them to the lawyers when she found them. Then the lawyers took it from there, however they saw fit.
Once they were introduced to the court (though not into evidence), THEN both sides discussed them. It was at that time that AEGs attorneys began to challenge them.
Clarification: after it was suggested to me that this might be misunderstood, I want to explain: the texts were not attempted to be brought into evidence (see attorneys arguments September 9th), but they WERE talking about being able to read from them or have Karen read from them. Again, hearsay laws prevented that. I did not mean to imply they had no intent of using them - just not admitting them into evidence... and again, had they done so, the texts would have been tested for authenticity. Also, yes, the defendants did have only a short time to respond to the motion - because of when the texts were found. I also did not mean to imply there was zero work for them to do.
While researching and confirming these things, I also found the following:
Deborah Chang: I just want to state this for Karen Faye, because I think a lot of bad things have been said on the record. As an officer of the court, I went to get the phone from her. I asked her "can you show me how you retrieved all this?" It was the most tedious thing. She had to go all the way back to 2009 and scroll down. There was no fabrication of evidence there. I saw - it must have taken her days to go back that far. And so, with respect to that, I feel - especially since she so gladly went over and said 'do any forensic analysis that you want to do', but it is degrading, it is humiliating.
They referenced Karen not being "credible" due to the fact that she had misrepresented evidence before referring to emails between herself and Frank Dileo (FD) that had been read and discussed in court. The defense lawyers claimed that KF had been selective in what she chose to share, pointing out that there was another email between KF and FD that had not been turned over by KF. They claimed that this email "contradicted" some of the things KF had said in her testimony and that this was why she had "chosen not to disclose it".
The email they are referring to is one that KF sent FD on June 23. The email said "yippee, everything is great".
My assumption is that the reason the lawyers said that this contradicted KFs some of previous testimony is because, obviously, things were not "great" according to her own words.
That's true. Nothing was great. However, when you put things into proper context, you realize nothing was contradictory about it. KF has always said that on June 23 and June 24, MJ performed substantially better. So, an email saying "everything is great" sent on the 23rd fits perfectly fine within that story. Should she perhaps have said "everything is much better than it has been but still not nearly where it needs to be"? Sure, if she was concerned with exactly how her words would be interpreted in a lawsuit later, I suppose that would have been "better"...but she didn't know that. She was just sending an email expressing relief that things improved so much on that day. And again, that fits with the information she has stated since 2009.
Did she purposely hide the email? I can tell you she didn't even remember it existed until she saw it after that point but why believe me? So, instead, I will just point out how, again, it did not contradict her testimony....it actually didn't even contradict ANYTHING she's said since 2009 - we already knew those two days were substantially better. So...why would she hide it? Why would she want to? It just doesn't make any sense.
AEGs attorneys also mentioned Karen's "lack of trustworthiness" based on the fact that she didn't get along with some people involved with the "This Is It" shows. Whether or not someone gets along with a group of people or not has nothing to do with if they can be trusted - and certainly in a situation like this one, it doesn't. Is it even really a surprise that KF "wouldn't get along" with some of the people that were involved with TII at this point anyway? We have seen for ourselves that Karen has been something of an “obstacle” for them...of course they didn’t like her. Of course they STILL don’t like her.
The third and apparently most interesting way that AEG challenged KFs texts was discussing the possibility of them being fabricated. Again, nobody said "KF fabricated texts". What they suggested was that it is "easy" to change dates on iPhone text messages and "because of KFs past behavior of being selective with evidence" (referencing the FD email), they believed it was possible that she had done so. That she had actually sent the text messages in 2013 and changed the date to make it seem like she'd sent them in 2009.
I have absolutely no idea if it is easy to change the dates in text messages like that. I don't know how to do it...but obviously that doesn't mean it can't be done. But let's look at this situation realistically.
First, KF is the one who found them and handed them over to the lawyers to do with them what they thought was right. When AEG suggested this "possibility" of fabrication, KF was more than willing to leave her phone with them and have them do whatever they needed to do with it. She did not fight it. In fact, it was Deborah Chang, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys who suggested how insulting it was to have to "validate" these messages - not KF. She wasn't a part of the discussion nor did she care to be.
Second, the reason the AEG claims there was cause to do this, was because, again...they claimed KF was "selective" with evidence, due to the fact that this email "contradicted" her testimony. But, the email did not contradict her testimony, therefore there is no reason to suggest or believe she purposely tried to "hide" it. Essentially, while the idea of "fabricating" text messages is an interesting one and those fans who seemingly do not trust KF have found the idea appealing to discuss, apparently...in reality, there is just no reason to believe that that is what happened. A lawyer can suggest anything...that does not mean what they suggest is true. It does not even mean that they themselves believe what they are saying. In the legal world, a lawyer is not doing their job if they do not try everything.
Please, also see, the plaintiffs attorneys statement I posted just above this where she explains what she herself saw with the texts and the phone.
Due to the laws of evidence and “hearsay” laws, the texts were never introduced into evidence – nor did the plaintiffs end up attempting to have them admitted into evidence. That had nothing to do with any accusations of fabrication or irrelevancy.
So...why did AEG come up with all this?
First of all, as I said, they did not and could not challenge the texts because of their content. If Panish had chosen to try to admit them into evidence, they would have gone through the tests and they would have come back as legitimate and that would have been that. That would not have been able to be argued. The content of the messages, though...that they could argue all the way until the end. There is no simple test to check honesty. So, don't you think that if AEG thought, for one second, that they had any shot at selling the idea that KF was lying in those texts that they would have just done that? Had these text messages ended up in evidence, they knew their claims of "fabrication" would not have held up. The only thing that "sending them to the lab" would accomplish is that it would delay when they would be able to be used and cause some extra work and time - perhaps the plaintiffs would end up deciding they just weren't worth it. Delay tactics are extremely common in the courtroom.
I believe that they saw, just as anyone can see, that text messages sent between someone and their boyfriend, just talking about their day, just can't be sold as manipulative lies that would be used to support a side in a lawsuit four years later. So, I believe AEG pulled out all the stops - "she's not trustworthy, some people don't like her, it's easy to change dates on text messages"...because they knew that everyone would know that what she said in them was exactly how things were going down.
So, why did AEG work so hard at arguing against these texts? Why do they care so much? Was there something in them they didn't care for people to see? Things about how in control they were? About how they essentially threatened MJ? About this meeting with CM they had on the 18th?
I believe that AEG saw the same things I do...that these messages take things to a new level - when one is not relying on a four year old memory or making statements in the midst of a legal battle. I absolutely believe that the content of these text messages combined with those things is what AEG did not want to get out.
Of course you do not have to agree with me. I only intended to answer the question I was asked many times. What you take away from it is up to you.
Come to your own conclusions, ask questions, and THINK. Obviously, MJ is VERY important to ALL of his fans. It pays to have all the information, doesn’t it? And you can feel free to question or challenge anything I say too – it is much smarter than just dismissing it, isn’t it? If you want all the facts? You are always free to believe or disbelieve whatever you choose in the end. Questioning and wondering is a posit