'DATELINE NBC'S' JOSH MANKIEWICZ REPORTS NEW DETAILS ABOUT THE 1993 MOLESTATION INVESTIGATION OF MICHAEL JACKSON -- FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
NEW YORK -- September 1, 2004 -- In a two-part report, "Dateline NBC" Correspondent Josh Mankiewicz uncovers new information about what authorities discovered in their 1993 investigation of child molestation allegations against Michael Jackson, who to this day denies ever harming any child. The report, to be broadcast on Friday, Sept. 3 (8 PM, ET), includes the first public comments from the nanny of the boy whose family received more than $20 million from Jackson in 1993. Mankiewicz also reveals for the first time that a second boy also received a multimillion-dollar payout from the singer.
Jim Thomas, an NBC News Analyst who was the Santa Barbara County sheriff in 1993, tells Mankiewicz that a primary focus of the criminal investigation that year by Los Angeles police and Santa Barbara sheriff's deputies was to find boys who could corroborate the allegations then being made by Jackson's 13-year-old accuser. "We always believed there were eight to ten other children out there," Thomas reveals. He says investigators eventually contacted those eight to ten boys: "Many of them said that they had spent time with Michael Jackson. They had spent time in his bedroom, but that nothing had happened. Some wouldn't talk to us at all." But Thomas says a second boy did tell police that Jackson touched him intimately. He says the 12-year-old son of one of Jackson's employees at Neverland accused Jackson of fondling him through his clothes.
"Primarily, what he would admit to was inappropriate touching, something which in California would be a misdemeanor kind of a crime. But what it did do is that also helped corroborate the other victim. Because you had two boys we don't believe had ever met giving us the same kinds of statements, saying the same things had happened." In addition, "Dateline NBC" has learned that Jackson paid that second boy more than two million dollars, with the agreement that the terms of the settlement could never be discussed publicly.
Also in the report, Norma Salinas, an undocumented worker who claims she worked for the original accuser's father and stepmother cleaning their house and caring for their children in 1993, sits down for an exclusive interview with "Dateline NBC." For the first time in public, she gives a personal account of what happened inside the boy's home, including details of a weekend where Michael Jackson was an overnight guest sharing a bedroom with the boy. She says, "I felt very bad because I was a witness to so many things. I saw everything that was happening...The boy's stepmother told me to pull out the trundle bed that goes next to the boy's bed because that's where Mr. Michael was going to sleep." Salinas continues, "I entered the room the next day to do the housekeeping as I always do. I noticed that no one slept on the (trundle) bed because there were no signs of anybody having slept there."
"Dateline NBC" has given Michael Jackson the opportunity to comment for this report, but so far he has not responded.
David Corvo is the executive producer of "Dateline NBC."