D.A. Garcetti denies Jackson probe ended

Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti denied reports Monday that the investigation into child molestation charges against singer Michael Jackson is concluded, and that a decision not to file criminal charges has been reached.

“The matter is still under investigation,” Garcetti said. “I’m reasonably confident that the investigation will be completed by the end of the month.”

Addressing a claim made by the syndicated tabloid TV show “Hard Copy” that the case will be labeled a “D.A. reject”– a term used to describe the decision not to file charges in a criminal investigation — Garcetti said, “No decision has been made.”

Sources note it is unlikely a determination as to whether charges will be filed could be made while the molestation probe is still ongoing.

The grand jury session in Santa Barbara was extended Monday for an additional 90-day term to allow S.B. District Attorney Thomas Sneddon to gather additional evidence.

Sneddon also dismissed reports that the probe was concluded, and said that it is premature to decide whether charges against Jackson will be filed.

“When we reach a time where we are prepared to make a statement about our conclusions, we will do that in fairness to everybody at one time,” Sneddon said , referring to the joint S.B. and Los Angeles County probes.

The two grand juries continue to hear testimony into allegations the pop star molested a 13-year-old boy. Sneddon said the boy is scheduled to meet with prosecutors this week.

Although prosecution sources admit to being frustrated in their grand jury probe, failing to get direct evidence linking the singer to the molestation charges, privately they concede that their case would be stronger if the boy would agree to testify.

Jackson has been under investigation since last August, when the boy claimed he was sexually molested by the entertainer. The grand juries began hearing testimony last month.

Several Jackson camp insiders have appeared before either the L.A. or Santa Barbara County grand jury, including former security consultant Anthony Pellicano, Jackson’s mother Katherine and several housekeepers. Miko Brando, a driver for the singer, and Norma Staikos, Jackson’s executive assistant, have also testified.

The charges were initially labeled by Jackson handlers as an extortion attempt by the boy’s father, who allegedly sought financing for a film deal.

When negotiations broke down between the father, a Beverly Hills dentist with ties to the film industry, and Pellicano, a lawsuit against Jackson was filed by the boy.

The lawsuit was settled in January, with Jackson agreeing to pay the boy an undisclosed sum. Sources put the settlement figure at $ 15 million.

The boy’s father was cleared of extortion charges by LAPD investigators a week before the settlement was announced.

While grand jury testimony is sealed, sources said that none of the witnesses so far have offered anything that would directly implicate the singer. “The only thing Jackson could be convicted of at this point is bad judgment,” said an investigation source.

More Biz

  • A police line forbids the access

    L.A. County Orders Closure of Beaches and Hiking Trails

    Those hoping to escape to the beach this weekend after being pent up at home are out of luck. On Friday, Los Angeles County ordered the closure of beaches and hiking trails, hoping to avoid the crowds that could cause the spread of the coronavirus. State and local officials had previously ordered the closure of [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets $2.5 Billion Debt Offering as Company Faces Tough Scrutiny

    ViacomCBS has disclosed plans for a $2.5 billion debt offering, an effort that comes as the newly merged company faces tough scrutiny of its growth strategy and balance sheet amid the coronavirus-related economic crisis. ViacomCBS said it would seek to raise $2.5 billion for cash that may be used to help pay down some of [...]

  • A2IM

    A2IM’s Indie Week and Libera Awards Go Virtual for 2020

    In yet another sign of the times, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) today announced that the 2020 installment of its Indie Week conference — the world’s biggest gathering point specifically for the independent music community — is moving online this year, obviously due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which also includes the [...]

  • Amber Heard Johnny Depp

    Johnny Depp Allowed to Pursue Defamation Suit Against Amber Heard

    A Virginia judge on Friday refused to dismiss Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against Amber Heard, allowing him to proceed with a claim that she defamed him in a Washington Post opinion piece. In the piece, published in December 2018, Heard alluded to her previous claims that Depp had assaulted her during their marriage, though she did [...]

  • Disney World crowd

    Disneyland and Walt Disney World Now Indefinitely Closed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

    While Disneyland and Walt Disney World had initially planned to close through March in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and comply with shelter-in-place guidelines, the U.S. Disney parks have now announced that they will “remain closed until further notice.” “While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content