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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2009 | Ari B. Bloomekatz
Desiree Crossley, her two daughters and a friend left Lancaster in their PT Cruiser at 1 a.m. Wednesday to be among the first in line for what they thought would be a public memorial for Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County. About 5 a.m., they began pitching their tent on the side of Figueroa Mountain Road, taking turns hammering in stakes and trying to keep warm. They packed a portable toilet, heater and plenty of food and water to last them. But at 2:30 p.m.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
A close friend and doctor who treated Michael Jackson for more than 25 years testified Thursday that the desperate singer asked him for an anesthetic to combat his insomnia a little more than two months before his death. Dr. Allen Metzger, who had accompanied Jackson on a tour of Australia in the 1990s, said Jackson seemed more stressed than usual when he made a house call to the singer's rented Holmby Hills mansion. “The stress of rehearsing, and 'Can I do 50 shows?' was really weighing heavily on him,” said Metzger, who is expected to be one of the final witnesses in the five-month wrongful-death trial.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A wildfire burned about 40 acres of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch on Friday and came within a quarter-mile of the main residence, officials said. No structures had caught fire at the 2,500-acre estate, said Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Jeff Ross. About 100 firefighters were battling the blaze along with water-dropping helicopters, he said. Jackson, 47, has been living in the Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain since being acquitted of child molestation charges in June 2005.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Despite receiving millions of dollars annually from his song catalogs, Michael Jackson year after year spent more than he earned, including $30 million in annual debt payments, a forensic accountant testified Monday. William R. Ackerman, testifying as a defense witness on behalf of AEG Live in the wrongful-death trial, offered a detailed look at the singer's finances, telling jurors that Jackson spent money on donations to charity, gifts, travel, art and furniture. "He spent a lot of money on jewelry," Ackerman said with a chuckle.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2009 | Ari B. Bloomekatz
Ever since Michael Jackson died, Al Williams' family had begged him to take them to Neverland Ranch. And each day, Williams, 42, a roofer from San Bernardino, said no, that there were too many people crowded outside Neverland's gates. On Thursday night, he finally gave in. Williams, his wife, Josie, and their two children woke up at 4 a.m. Friday and piled into their burgundy Scion for the roughly three-hour drive to Jackson's fabled Santa Barbara County hideaway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Smiling docents, green-clad rangers, music piped in everywhere — for Michael Jackson fans, Neverland State Park would no doubt be a thriller. But state park officials say it's an idea whose time may never come. Assemblyman Mike Davis, a Los Angeles Democrat, said Tuesday that he's going to push for a study of the possibility when the Legislature meets again in August. Jackson "was one of the world's preeminent entertainers and California is fortunate to have such a site in its jurisdiction," said Davis, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2008 | Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writer
Pop star Michael Jackson sidestepped a foreclosure auction of his Neverland Ranch after an investment company bought the loan on the troubled Los Olivos property, a spokeswoman said Sunday. The loan purchase by Colony Capital LLC was the latest deal to keep the 2,500-acre ranch from being sold off. In March, Jackson, 49, reached an agreement with his creditors, Fortress Investment Group, to postpone an auction until this week.
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February 11, 1994 | From Reuters
A grand jury looking into allegations of sexual molestation by pop superstar Michael Jackson heard more testimony behind closed doors Thursday. A woman identified as Norma Staikos, Jackson's former chief of staff who ran his Neverland ranch in Santa Barbara County, testified for two hours. Sources close to the investigation said her evidence was considered crucial. The Santa Barbara County grand jury began hearing testimony Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Pop star Michael Jackson has handed out pink slips to much of his Neverland ranch staff but has not completely shuttered his Santa Barbara County estate, a spokeswoman said. Jackson, who now lives outside the country, met a state deadline this week to pay more than $300,000 in back wages to dozens of staff members. But then Thursday most of the employees were notified that they were being laid off. "It is public knowledge that Mr.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2003 | Steve Chawkins, David Reyes and Andrew Blankstein, Times Staff Writers
Scores of Santa Barbara County law enforcement officers descended on Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch on Tuesday morning, scouring the amusement park estate for evidence in what authorities would only describe as an "ongoing criminal investigation." More than 60 sheriff's deputies and district attorney's investigators arrived in unmarked vehicles at 8:30 a.m. to search the 2,600-acre Santa Ynez Valley ranch, which includes a mansion, amusement rides and a zoo.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Brimming with emotion when she first took the witness stand last week, Michael Jackson's mother came across Monday as a contentious, forgetful 83-year-old who contradicted herself while trying to defend her son. Katherine Jackson, who along with the singer's three children is suing concert promoter AEG Live for the superstar's wrongful death, said she was unfamiliar with some of the more sensational details in her son's life. She said she didn't know that Michael's "Dangerous" tour had come to an early end in 1993 when Elizabeth Taylor flew to Mexico City to take the singer to a rehab hospital in London.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
As she moved from the emotion of her earlier testimony to specifics Monday, Michael Jackson's mother come across as a contentious and forgetful 83-year-old who contradicted herself while trying to defend her son. Asked about reports that she and her other children had staged an intervention effort at Michael's Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County in 2002, Katherine Jackson testified that her son didn't know why his family had driven there and...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
His name is Dr. Tohme Tohme, and although he has not taken the witness stand in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case, he was the center of attention Wednesday. Tohme was one of Jackson's many managers, who seemed to come and go. “With Michael Jackson and his advisers you needed a scorecard,” testified Randy Phillips, chief executive of AEG Live, which was promoting and producing the singer's comeback concerts. Phillips said he was introduced to Tohme in a meeting at the Century City offices of Colony Capital, the investment firm that held the mortgage on Jackson's Neverland Ranch.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2013 | By Richard Winton
Once a key defender of Michael Jackson in his sexual molestation trial, Wade Robson on Thursday alleged that the pop star abused him as a child for seven years, forcing him to perform sex acts, and until now he has been unable and unwilling to understand what happened to him was sexual abuse. Jackson, who died in 2010, "performed sexual acts on me and forced me to [perform] sexual acts on him," Robson said. "He was a pedophile and child sexual abuser. "  He made the accusations during an interview on the "Today Show" with Matt Lauer on Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2013 | By Robin Abcarian
Is it possible for the Michael Jackson story to become more lurid, pathetic or extreme? You bet your sweet Jesus juice. Jackson's mother and three children have sued Anschutz Entertainment Group, blaming the promoter of what was supposed to be the singer's 2009 comeback tour for his death. So far, the trial in downtown Los Angeles has offered a parade of horror stories, thanks to witnesses who can finally speak freely about Jackson, an entertainer whose heavenly talents were pulled down by his hellish addiction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2013 | By Richard Winton
New molestation allegations against Michael Jackson have met with skepticism from the King of Pop's former attorney. Eight years after he testified in the Jackson molestation trial that the pop star never touched him, an Australian choreographer has filed a claim against the singer's estate alleging "childhood sexual abuse. " Attorneys for Wade Robson, who knew Jackson and stayed at the singer's Neverland Ranch as a teenager, has asked a Los Angeles judge to allow him to make a late claim as creditor in Jackson's estate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2004 | From Associated Press
An ebullient Michael Jackson greeted some 200 children who were brought to his Neverland Ranch on Friday to play in its amusement park. "I hope you have a wonderful day. Merry Christmas. I love you," the pop singer called out to the children from the driveway of his estate. Jackson, who faces trial next year on child molestation charges, appeared happy in the few minutes he spoke to the arriving throng. One of the youngsters shouted, "We love you!"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Despite receiving millions of dollars annually from his song catalogs, Michael Jackson year after year spent more than he earned, including $30 million in annual debt payments, a forensic accountant testified Monday. William R. Ackerman, testifying as a defense witness on behalf of AEG Live in the wrongful-death trial, offered a detailed look at the singer's finances, telling jurors that Jackson spent money on donations to charity, gifts, travel, art and furniture. "He spent a lot of money on jewelry," Ackerman said with a chuckle.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Smiling docents, green-clad rangers, music piped in everywhere — for Michael Jackson fans, Neverland State Park would no doubt be a thriller. But state park officials say it's an idea whose time may never come. Assemblyman Mike Davis, a Los Angeles Democrat, said Tuesday that he's going to push for a study of the possibility when the Legislature meets again in August. Jackson "was one of the world's preeminent entertainers and California is fortunate to have such a site in its jurisdiction," said Davis, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media.
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