It's Been At Least 20 Minutes... It Must Be Time For Another
A Santa Monica Jet
Charter Company has found itself in very hot water with the
revelation that officials from the company attempted to sell
video tapes of Michael Jackson and his lawyer, filmed without their
knowledge or permission.
Jackson flew an XtraJet Gulfstream back to California (from Las
Vegas) last week in order to surrender to authorities after being
named in a child molestation investigation. At some point in the
flight, Jackson and his lawyer, Mark Geragos, were taped while
conversing about his case and other matters. Officials from XtraJet
have allegedly been trying to sell the tape to various media
sources in the days since the flight... a problem that came to the
attention of the Jackson legal team and prompted immediate legal
XtraJet appears to be issuing somewhat confusing, if
contradictory, statements about the matter. XtraJet's Jeffrey Borer
admitted that the company explored selling the tapes "as any
business person would."
XtraJet attorney Lloyd Kirschbaum told Geragos that the video
had been covertly installed in the aircraft. Kirschbaum refused to
turn over the tapes at Geragos' demand.
XtraJet president Mark
Bethea told the media that his company didn't actually know who did
the taping, but that an internal investigation had been undertaken
to determine to find who had actually taped the flight. Bethea
claimed that company officials did not know who was
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Yaffe granted
Michael Jackson a court order against the aircraft company XtraJet,
which was attempting to sell a surreptitious videotape of Michael
and his attorney to the highest media bidder.
"The videotaping of my client conferring with me was illegal and
outrageous, as was the aircraft company's attempt to sell that tape
for profit," said Mark Geragos, Michael's attorney. "This entire
case is about cash, and anyone who believes differently is living
in their own Neverland. We will be absolutely relentless in our
pursuit of any and all extortionists regardless of how they try to
gift wrap their lies in the cloak of justice. Michael is not going
to be a pinata for every money-hungry publicity seeker to strike in
the hopes of hitting it rich."
The videotape was made on November 20th while Michael and his
attorney flew from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara for the singer's
processing on criminal charges. The judge's ruling prohibits
XtraJet from releasing the tape until a hearing next month where a
permanent prohibition will be sought.
Anyone watching this case can see that new lows are being hit
every day. Motivated parties are taking obscene measures to injure
Michael with false allegations. We will aggressively challenge the
rogue's gallery of grifters who are seeking dividends from
Michael's ordeal. There is a very real, human price being exacted
here, and Michael will do what it takes to safeguard his family and
During the course of a televised press conference Geragos
threatened to put XtraJet out of business and a number of legal
experts have since opined that he may have the legal wherewithal to
do just that.
Charter operators and industry officials expressed disbelief at
the actions alleged by Geragos on the part of XtraJet. NBAA Senior
Vice President, Government & Public Affairs Pete West told ANN
that "I can't imagine a reputable charter operator doing such a
thing. It doesn't seem the appropriate thing to do."