Innocent Until Accused

Michael Jackson has died. He was only a couple of years older than me. I am sad, and stunned. And a bit disgusted at the media, and some of the folks on Twitter and FaceBook for the crass comments about the accusations made against him.

All in all, the two [out of thousands of kids who spent time with him] who accused him had money hungry parents…and I believe that was behind all of it. Kids DO lie, and especially if they are coerced or forced to by the most important person in their life. A parent. And having been close to someone who was put through a false allegation trial, I can tell you it is a horrific ordeal. If he paid these people to make them go away, it’s only because he could. Fact is, if those parents truly believed their children had been molested? No amount of money would have been enough to make them drop the charges. So, he was only ever accused. He was never convicted. It’s supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”. But not for Michael.

Jackson himself was abused as a child. No one ever seems to care about that, or the fractured and bizarre childhood he had. Why wouldn’t he want to stay childlike and hang out with kids, when the adults in his life used him and treated him so hideously?

I would rather…since the allegations were never proven and the accusers such bad witnesses, such obvious liars, so obviously greed-driven…I would rather we focused on the wonderful things he did.

Besides the obvious contributions to music and dance in all of our lives, Michael Jackson donated more than $300 million to various foundations. Jackson also raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his own foundation, charity singles and support of 39 charities. He was instrumental in the orchestration of “We are the world” and LiveAid, among others.

I met him when I was a kid. I was probably 8 or 9, which would have made him 10 or 11. He was at a karate studio for private lessons in Culver City, one of the cites in Southern California I lived as a child. A friend and I happened to be outside when they came to pick he and his brother up in a limo. We hung around out of curiosity, and the driver asked if we wanted to meet Michael Jackson. So stupid, I know…we were dumb and no one really taught the whole stranger danger deal as much back then. But, my guardian angel had my back…again…and we went up to the studio. They just seemed like completely normal kids. Michael and Marlon and were so shy, and so nice about giving us autographs. Of course, I have lost them over the course of my own tumultuous life…but the memory is still fresh.

I am also disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing how his comeback tour would do. At our age, it’s nice to see if we can have a comeback, you know?

Rest in peace, Michael. You have definitely earned some peace.

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