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Tag Archives: Decedent’s Legacy

DEFAMATION: NO REDRESS FOR THE DEAD

DEFAMATION: NO REDRESS FOR THE DEAD

When you’re alive, if someone makes false statements about you that aren’t true – and in some cases, if true but it can be proved that such statements have been made with malice – this is called defamation of character. Defamation is ugly. It has the potential not only to destroy your reputation, but your family and your livelihood, too. Quite frankly, words are akin to weapons that have the ability to make or break your life. Thankfully, those with enough money and a good, solid case, have the ability to sue for libel (if the offending words are written) or slander (if the words have been disseminated orally).

When you die, however, you lose that ability to seek redress. You may think those rights are now passed onto your family or Estate, but they’re not. Once you’re dead, anything can be written or said about you without consequences. And all it takes is the circulation of one lie to ruin your good name.

Celebrities are often subject to libel in the tabloid press. But libel and slander aren’t simply the preserve of the rich and famous. Every day, courts are dealing with the maligned reputations of ordinary individuals and/or businesses small and large. Some lose their jobs, their friends, their families, their health and well-being, all due to the effects of defamation. Some resort to legal redress, while others feel that seeking such redress will only add fuel to the fire. But the common factor is that – with enough money and stamina – celebrity or not, one can seek legal redress.

But this is not the case when you die. A lie about you may surface and spread. This time, nothing can be done about it because you’re no longer here to defend yourself, and your family can’t go after the individual(s) responsible because there are no defamation rights for the deceased. Now your good name is forever tarnished and your family has to deal with the aftermath. You may have children or a significant other who have to navigate through the mire of injustice, or the company you left behind might be wound up because nobody wants to do business with something you were associated with any more. The countless possibilities of how it might affect all those who knew and loved you are profound. These situations happen more frequently than you think.

 

Now, imagine if there was a law that could extend defamation protection to your family and Estate after you die….

Will you support the AdLLaw Initiative by signing the global petition and sharing with your family and friends.

 

Dee Pfeiffer, Professional freelance writer and editor based in the heart of the UK, MJL Trustee

Acil Leitz, Advocate

 

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Death Is Big Business

Death Is Big Business

Death Is Big Business

The White Lion talks about the 2005 Michael Jackson trial and in particular talks about the behavior of the media during that time. He points out that the trial was “big business” for the media because they were all profiting from it.

The Wade Robson civil suit starts in 8 months. And again; it will be big business for the media. The behavior we saw from them in 2005 will be repeated. They will report exactly as they did in 2005 – only reporting the salacious testimonies and not reporting the cross- examination.

We have already seen a demonstration of how much the media have $$ in their eyes from the last week. Stories from the likes of Radar Online, Daily Mail and even Huffington Post have shown how they are rubbing their hands together in greed and glee at what will be a big money spinner for them.

Remember; as far as the media are concerned the truth will not bring them profit. The scandal and lies of Wade Robson & Jimmy Safechuck will. Yet again; they are trying to sway public opinion to persuade the public of Michael’s guilt because a “guilty” verdict means even more money for them.

This is why it is so important to act now! This is exactly why we are urging you to get involved in the AdLLaw Initiative and sign the petition to put a stop to this scandalous media behavior.

There are many concrete facts to support Michael’s innocence and none to support his guilt. Which do you think the media will go with? I think we all know the answer to that.

Act NOW and let’s stamp out the media lies for good. Sign the petition and share it with everyone you know. Together; we can protect Michael’s legacy from the greedy money-sucking leeches!

Support the #AdLLawInitiative by signing and sharing the AdLLaw Global Petition

 

Submitted by: Kerry Ward, MDF Admin

 

 

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A PERSPECTIVE IN LIGHT OF RECENT MEDIA STORIES ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON

A PERSPECTIVE IN LIGHT OF RECENT MEDIA STORIES ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON

Perspective Photo for blogpost

This is something fans, non-fans and those who have doubts about Michael’s innocence should consider. It is well known that DA Tom Sneddon was a man with a grudge. Many in Michael’s camp were well aware that Sneddon was determined to nail Michael; no matter what the cost was. Sneddon was smarting at his failure to bring Michael to trial in 1993; because of lack of evidence.

In 2003; Sneddon was adamant he would not fail. Sneddon carried out a thorough and intense investigation into the allegations made against Michael. From the raid on Neverland to the statements from various witnesses; he left absolutely no stone un-turned. Indeed; investigations against Michael Jackson lasted for 16 years. Around 70 law enforcement personnel were involved in these very detailed investigations. Michael’s personal possessions were collected; Hayvenhurst was also searched as part of the investigation; and Michael himself was subjected to a strip search. And in those 16 years; a man with a very clear grudge against Michael Jackson; was unable to find one scrap of evidence to prove Michael was guilty. Absolutely NOTHING.

Whatever your opinion of DA Sneddon and I’m certainly not paying him a compliment here – he was the man who if there was damning evidence; he WOULD find it. In terms of the investigation; he was the best man for the job because he was fueled by a determination to see Michael Jackson go down. And yet he failed. So if a man with a grudge can’t prove Michael’s guilt; then it’s very clear. There was absolutely NO GUILT to prove.

Submitted by: Kerry Ward, MDF Admin

Photo Credits:

Thomas Sneddon: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/xaZyhTKwu0W/Michael+Jackson+Trial+Continues/2889F9HBcZM/Thomas+Sneddon

Michael Jackson: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/LpT2EtWHnu-/Michael+Jackson+Trial+Continues/JqXvd2priPk

Support the AdLLaw/Cadeflaw Initiative by signing the petition at: AdLLaw Global Petition

 

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They Have Something In Common

They Have Something In Common

Did you know that ALL of these people have something in common? And not just the fact that they are now deceased.Celebs In Common by Kerry WardAll of these celebrities have suffered slander and defamation at the hands of the tabloid media after their death.

Elvis Presley – Posted by the National Enquirer that he had 7 secret love-children and was secretly gay.

Whitney Houston – the lies posted about Whitney are well documented. One disgusting article in the National Enquirer talks about “secret lesbian romps.”

David Bowie – Days after Bowie’s tragic death from cancer; tabloids posted that he died as a result of AIDS.

Robin Williams – A year after his tragic death; a tabloid posted that he was murdered and his suicide note was a proven fake.

Prince – days after his death and BEFORE any full autopsy result was released; numerous tabloids posted that he died of HIV/Aids.

Michael Jackson – the lies continue with regard to “evidence” he molested children. Recently; The Daily Mail posted a lie that “detectives were convinced he molested his nephews.”

NOBODY is immune from tabloid lies. And it effects EVERYONE; not just the deceased. Their families; friends and fans all have to read these disgusting and cruel lies. However; there is nothing they can do to stop it. They currently don’t have any legal case to sue. But if the AdLLaw Initiative is passed; then this will change and in turn; the lies will stop. WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN!

Please spread the world today! Sign the petition and share it far and wide and let’s change the defamation laws TOGETHER!

AdLLaw Global Petition

Author: Kerry Ward, Admin MDF

 

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“We’ve Had Enough” – An appeal to the fan community to take a stand against slanderous tabloids.

1077179_10201476195683828_222768310_oPart of my role within Michael’s Dream Foundation is to keep abreast of news related to Michael Jackson. This is something I do on a daily basis; with the aim of sharing interesting articles about him, particularly if they talk about his humanitarian work and his legacy.

Unfortunately; part of that territory are the countless tabloid articles I uncover throughout my research all of which I don’t share. In the 27 years of being a Michael Jackson fan; I have never once shared a tabloid article about him and I certainly don’t intend to do so now. Instead; I will echo what Michael himself used to say – I don’t read them. The fact that it’s written doesn’t necessarily make it “truth.” Truth is; I don’t give these articles any more scrutiny than they deserve. Instead, I ignore them and refuse to draw attention to them. Why would I want to give attention to an article that is clearly littered with ridiculous lies about a man I have followed and researched for many, many years?

But today; I came across an article I could not ignore. I know only too well that Radar Online take great pleasure in posting negative things about Michael; and are like a dog at a bone when it comes to the subject of the child molestation trial in 2005. The fact that Michael was acquitted of ALL charges by a UNANIMOUS verdict seems to go over their heads. Of course they are going to ignore all the concrete facts in the pursuit of increasing and maintaining their readership. Today however; they went too far..

In a disgusting article entitled “ Paedo Proof? Never before seen – Cop Reports Expose Michael Jackson’s Sick Secrets,” they go so far as to say Michael was a “manipulative drug and sex crazed predator.” Throughout the article; they make references to documents which show “filthy photos and videos of men, women, boys and girls in perverted positions” and “  drugs to treat sex addiction, with multiple prescriptions written by a variety of physicians for people close to the star.” The article goes on to say that Michael even used “sexy photos of his own nephews in their underwear to excite young boys.” And according to them “an investigator told Radar” that “the documents expose Jackson as a manipulate sex-and-drug crazed predator who used blood, gore, sexually explicit images of animal sacrifice and perverse adult sex acts to bend children to his will.” Not satisfied with that; the “source” adds; “he also had disgusting and downright shocking images of child torture, adult and child nudity, female bondage and sadomasochism.”

I shall not continue with the offending article in verbatim. The whole thing is distressing, sickening and anger-inducing to the point where any fan would be able to feel their blood reach boiling point.

But as if to add insult to injury; the article then provides a link where you can see this so-called “evidence” for yourself. And why did I find on visiting it? Proof that Radar Online has greatly exaggerated this “evidence” with the aim of slandering Michael and distorting the truth. The pictures depicted on the link are not at all as they are being reported.

So why did this particular article bother me more than others I’ve seen? Indeed; only days before did Radar post an article about Michael’s “bizarre sexual behaviour”; allegedly after Bobby Brown claimed he saw Michael slap his sisters’ bottom when he was dating Janet Jackson. Do I see this as “bizarre sexual behaviour”?  No I do not. My brother used to do the same to me when we were growing up – and has done it in adulthood. It’s called “sibling ribbing.” Is my own brother therefore a sexual predator simply because he exhibited the exact same behaviour? No he isn’t. But then again; if I was to think along the same lines as the tabloid media – my brother is not an eccentric pop star, desperate to protect his privacy.

I digress.

The real reason for my intense anger at this article was the venom behind it. It is not simply a case of printing ridiculous lies about Michael. This article goes beyond that. It ventures into slander and defamation territory and beyond. I will even go so far as to say that it was less of a news item and more of a personal attack against Michael – and let’s remember that Michael is sadly not here to defend himself. Whoever wrote this article; their hatred and bitterness; to a point of a vendetta against Michael was immediately apparent. Reading between the lines (as I often do when I read any news story about Michael); you could see the toxic poison which dripped from every single typed word. This person knew exactly what they were doing and the timing of such an article speaks volumes. Five days before 25th June? Hardly a coincidence. I do not know who was behind it. That information was omitted from publishing…how convenient.

Oh and just for good measure; the article gives a thinly veiled suggestion that more accusations and civil lawsuits should be brought against Michael. “Anything for money” perhaps?

Why are these articles now cropping up almost 7 years after Michael left us? Because of the civil lawsuit happening in 2017. And if you think this one was bad; wait for the next one and the one after that. They will get worse especially from a site which is known for being very anti-Michael Jackson.

Now it would be so easy to read the offending article, get angry, feel sad for Michael and forget about it. Michael is no longer with us right? Surely it doesn’t matter anymore. WRONG! After reading said article; I took it upon myself to speak to a few fans about it and like me; they are sick, sick, sick of seeing these lies time and time again. And do you know what is more sickening? The fact that the perpetrators of these lies get away with it. Sure; you could contact Radar Online and ask them to retract but it will more than likely be a cold day in hell before they do that. If they are arrogant enough to post this rubbish; they aren’t going to apologize and admit they were out of order. Instead; they’re going to continue posting poison to harm Michael’s reputation, legacy and don’t forget; his children, because they are allowed that “freedom” to do so. How is that right?

It isn’t right and it never will be. Seven painful years have passed and even now; the media are still dissecting and mutilating Michael’s good name for profit. If they haven’t stopped after seven years; they aren’t going to stop any time soon. Let’s remember that Michael was and is the most famous person on the planet. His memory will live on for generations to come. And unless we act NOW and do something; so will the defamatory behaviour of the media.

Never has it been more important than now to unite and bring the AdLLaw Initiative to fruition. Should that initiative be passed as a law; then Michael’s reputation and legacy can no longer be tarnished by tabloid vultures. And those who attempt to break the law will be held to account for their actions. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful day when tabloids are no longer allowed to defame the names and reputations of those who are deceased and can’t protect themselves? Act NOW and that day can happen a lot sooner. But for it to happen; it takes more than one person to see it through right to the very end.

Michael spoke often about unity and the importance of uniting together; in order to make a change. He is quite right. There is strength in numbers. One or two can’t make a difference. But one or two million can. We his fans; are known as his “Soldiers of love.” He referred to us as “his soldiers”. He stood in solidarity with his fans and protected them at all costs. “Don’t hurt my fans,” was his message because he loved us equally as much as we love him. Surely if he can stand shoulder to shoulder with us; then we can afford him that same solidarity? This is a time when he need us the most and the coming civil suit will reinforce that over and over. He begged for his day in court; he had it and he won. Yet that is not enough for some. Hatred against Michael and the fact that he was totally vindicated; is still being fueled by the media and their poisonous articles. Would Michael have stood for it? Hell no! So why are we going to stand for it?

The time has come to stand up for Michael and do all we can to protect his reputation. Stoke that fire in your bellies and think about the pictures of Michael during the 2005 trial. Think about that heart-break you went through when you saw that awful sadness in his eyes. Think about that joy you experienced when Michael was cleared. Both Michael and his fans went through all that together. But unless we take a stand against the media; it will have all been for nothing. No other celebrity has been attacked so cruelly by the media; than Michael Jackson. He lived it throughout his life and it made his life a misery. The coverage of the 2005 trial was dubbed “trial by media”. It should have been dubbed “tried, convicted and hanged” by the media and next year; we will see it all over again. It was awful enough the first time.  But the difference is; Michael was able to speak out and defend himself from these stories. This time he isn’t. And that’s why it falls to US to do something TOGETHER.

There is no “I” in “us”. And you can’t spell “unite” without putting “you” n “I” together.

Kerry Ward, MDF Admin

Please support the AdLLaw/Cadeflaw Initiative by adding your name to the global petition and sharing it.

 

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CELEBRITIES AND ADLLAW

CELEBRITIES AND ADLLAW

Celebrities and AdLLawThe other day I received a communication that moved me to write this column. The communication wondered why celebrities are prominently mentioned in AdLLaw’s mission to protect the deceased from defamation. Actually, it went beyond wondering why celebrities are included; it went so far as to suggest that celebrities should be excluded. The recommendation was that our focus should be on the average citizen with whom the masses can identify.

AdLLaw uses many people as examples of those who are being defamed after they have passed on. Celebrity examples include Betty Ford, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Whitney Houston, and Amy Winehouse. We also have in our materials records of a young woman who was killed in a terrible car accident whose family endured seeing vile and horrific information being spread on the Internet about their relative.

Read more here: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3872556&page=1

We have information on U.S. soldiers whose funerals were picketed by a religious group that used the funerals as a platform to spread their bigotry and hate. The group picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers is not aiming their hate at the individual; however, their actions are mentioned in our materials because they bring hardship to the families of the soldiers in the form of added grief and suffering. One father did try to sue for damages, citing, among other things, the intentional infliction of emotional distress. See more here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/36449471/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/dad-sues-thank-god-dead-soldiers-church/#.VUD_qiFViko

Above are listed just a few examples of the defamation of those who are deceased. They range from the most high-profile celebrities to soldiers fighting for our country to anonymous citizens living their private lives. Defamation can touch anyone, and while there is truth in the fact that most people do not know a celebrity and cannot relate to their lifestyles, we can all identify who they are. For that reason, when they are defamed we are more aware and more attention is given.

Several years ago. Dale Earnhardt, a NASCAR icon, was killed in a shocking accident while racing at Daytona (Florida). The accident happened on live television during the race broadcast. Millions of people saw it play out in their living rooms. Dale Earnhardt was a name so synonymous with the sport that almost everyone could identify him. There was a tremendous amount of coverage of his life and death, and the public outpouring of grief and emotion was incredible. My local radio station had a discussion about the event, and people called in commenting on how wrong it was to feel grief for this man who was killed when the focus of our sorrow should be on our troops. I don’t normally call in to talk shows; however, in this instance I did. I was one of those who saw this horrible accident happen. I explained that when people can put a face to a name, and when they see a tragedy happen in real time, it affects them on a different level. People could identify with what happened. It did not mean there was no sorrow for our fallen troops, but the masses do not have faces to put with a soldier who has died, and they don’t see war played out live in their living rooms. That was why there was so much public grief for Mr. Earnhardt: people could relate.

I use the Dale Earnhardt example to explain why celebrities are a part of the AdLLaw campaign. People are aware of the stories of celebrities and may be outraged at the treatment a celebrity receives in the media. One of the problems with the media is the assumption that celebrities cease to be human once they are famous. A celebrity is still a person…they have lives to live; they have feelings; they have loved ones; they deal with the normal issues of being a human being. They deserve the same respect that any human should receive. That is why they are included in AdLLaw’s mission. Not because they are famous, but because they are human.

People are more aware of the treatment Michael Jackson received in the media than they are of the treatment of Nicole Catsouras, the young woman killed in the car accident. The grief endured by the family of Ms. Catsouras is no less important than the grief endured by the family of Mr. Jackson; it is simply that the masses are more aware of Mr. Jackson’s plight.

The goal of AdLLaw is to change the law nationally so that a family can sue for damages when their deceased loved one is defamed. While living, a defamed person can seek relief for themselves in a court of law for slander and libel. However, at the point of death, current law considers the person to no longer exist. That leaves the gates wide open for anyone to maliciously report untrue “information” about the deceased without fear of repercussions. AdLLaw believes that a person lives on in his or her legacy and reputation. When a person, famous or anonymous, is defamed after they are gone, their loved ones should have a way to seek relief in a court of law.

Perhaps when AdLLaw is successful in its mission, we will be one step closer to becoming a kinder and gentler society. Maybe respect and honor will be restored in our media. There might be a return to integrity in reporting and to thought put into words before they are spoken or written — not just in the media, but by each individual also.

The following video sums up why celebrities are included in this initiative. We are all people; we are all a part of the human race. Regardless of our social status, race, sexual orientation, nationality, political affiliation, or religious belief, we are all people — with the same right to dignity and respect after we have passed on. Watch the video here: http://video.foxnews.com/v/3934406/huckabees-opinion/?#sp=show-clips

AdLLaw’s mission is not to curtail freedom of speech, but to hold people accountable for their words. We believe this initiative and our fundamental right to free speech can coexist. To learn more about AdLLaw, please visit us at https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/2013/10/22/whats-so-special-about-the-adllaw-initiative-and-petition/

Support the #AdLLawInitiative by signing the PETITION

Edited and Republished by: MJ Brookins

Original story posted here:   http://thejamcafe-mjtpmagazine.presspublisher.org/issue/may-issue/article/celebrities-and-AdLLaw

May Issue, ADLLAW – Celebrities and AdLLaw

By Barbara Owens,Journalist and AdLLaw secretary –  Thu, May 31, 2012

 

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THE TIME IS NOW FOR ADLLAW/CADELAW TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW

THE TIME IS NOW FOR ADLLAW/CADELAW TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW

Time For AdLLaw is NOWMore and more the public is calling for the reigning in of intrusive police practices and tabloid news that constantly abuses the right to a free press and infringes on people’s privacy rights. During his lifetime, Michael Jackson endured extraordinary invasions of his privacy as a public figure, as well as slander and defamation of his character, to which he protested vigorously. Nor was it not long after his death on June 25, 2009, that the media started in on his family, especially his underage children. And while there is at least the possibility of legal remedy for the living, heretofore there has been none to protect the rights of the surviving family of the deceased. That is why CADELAW is a bill whose time has come.

In her 2010 book, Outrageous Invasions: Celebrities’ Private Lives, Media, and the Law, UConn law professor Robin D. Barnes devotes Chapter 10, “John Lennon and Michael Jackson: The Influence of the Superstar,” to discussing how because of the popularity bestowed by the media and fans on John Lennon and Michael Jackson, the two men became targets of deliberate attempts by governments to neutralize their cultural and political impact. Lennon’s youngest son, Sean, told the New Yorker magazine in 1998 that his father was considered a threat because of his influence: “If he had ever said bomb the White House tomorrow, there would’ve been 10,000 people who would have done it. Pacifists revolutionaries are historically killed by the government.” Barnes reports that “government impotency in relation to the potentially unbounded influence of the superstar,” means clandestine methods and tactics are to shape the “tone and tenor of public discourse.”

The case of Lennon, according to Barnes, leads to understanding how an “equally powerful superstar,” Michael Jackson was also considered a monumental threat to disrupting the status quo. Michael’s 1998, “Man in the Mirror” (written by Siedah Garrett with Glen Ballard), along with the revolutionary social and political message in the lyrics and in the images used in the short film that went along with it “put the world on notice,” according to Barnes.

But in the summer of 1994, when a confidential report of accusations of child molestation was leaked to Hard Copy tabloid reporter Diane Dimond from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, the ensuing media persecution began its relentless quest for ratings by using rumor and scandal. Already marginalized for his eccentricities, Michael was objectified, dehumanized, and finally demonized as the press cashed in. For example, Barnes cites Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, Tom Mesereau’s comments that tabloid huckster Nancy Grace’s coverage of the trial held in 2005 “was sub-moronic . . . [and that] she tried to spin a verdict through a lot of emotional innuendo that was just buffoonery.”

Barnes asserts that while trying to prove there was an “actual conspiracy to imprison Jackson” was elusive, the case could be made for Jackson being a convenient scapegoat to deflect heat off the Catholic Church because of the concurrent sexual abuse allegations against clergy of the Archdiocese of Boston. The massive investigation of the Catholic Church went on for several years before Jackson was again falsely accused and his Neverland ranch raided by 70 County Sheriff’s and members of Tom Sneddon’s District Attorney’s Office. All this to control Michael’s rising political influence.

From 1994 until he died, Michael endured relentless persecution from the media. Barnes asserts that while the U.S. Constitution grants free speech and freedom of the press, the Supreme Court fails to enforce the laws that require prerequisites to the proper exercise of those freedoms and the protection of constitutional rights. She notes that the media defends slander and defamation by asserting that the statements they make are true for the most part. False statements also get a pass as simply being reported or quoted, most often from anonymous, so-called inside sources.

Still, Michael is gone now and supposedly what the media writes or broadcasts can no longer hurt him. Obviously not, but it can and does hurt his young children, as well as other family members who share his name. For that reason, our representatives should be introduced to CADELAW and asked to vote to pass it to protect the rights of the family of the deceased.

Article written and submitted by: Sherry Walker Bryant

 Sherry Walker Bryant is a doctoral student at Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. She is designing an educational series called “Teaching Michael Jackson” to share her research and writing a book on Jackson’s worldwide charismatic influence.

Direct links:
The Petition with goal spelled out: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/prot…

Find your Senators & Contact them: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact…

Contact President: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/wri…

Share with family & friends:

Ask them to endorse the Initiative so it may become a law.

Help us educate about the unjust legal loophole which may affect you when it comes to your deceased loved one or yourself once you are gone.

Video Credit: CadeFlawResSpec/Sharon Kendrick – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 

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