Jackson settlement from 1993 allegations topped $20 million
By Rochelle Steinhaus
(Court TV) -- Michael Jackson paid out approximately $25 million to settle a civil suit by a boy who accused him of molesting him in 1993, according to the confidential agreement which was exclusively obtained by Court TV's Diane Dimond.
The pop star, according to the agreement, maintained the settlement did not signify an admission of any wrongdoing against the boy or his parents.
Jackson "specifically disclaims any liability to, and denies any wrongful acts," according to the 31-page document he signed on January 25, 1994.
The terms of the settlement have been kept tightly under wraps for a decade, but were exclusively uncovered by Court TV.
Jackson agreed to pay $15,331,250 to be held in a trust fund for the accuser, now 24, as well as $1.5 million to each of his parents. The accuser may have also received another seven-figure payment not specified in the agreement. Additionally, the plaintiff's lawyer was slated to receive $5 million.
In exchange, the accuser and his parents agreed to not pursue civil claims against Jackson.
The agreement could play a role in the current criminal charges Jackson faces stemming from allegations by another California boy who accused him of molestation.
In April, he was indicted on 10 criminal counts, alleging 28 acts involving child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
Evidence of the 1993 accusations could be admitted as evidence of prior criminal behavior against Jackson in his current case ? but only if the now-adult accuser is willing to testify.
In December 1993, the boy outlined his accusations in a sworn declaration, recounting his year-long friendship with the King of Pop.
According to the account, he met Jackson in May 1992 at the rental car business where his stepfather worked and where Jackson was renting a car.
The introduction led to several trips to Jackson's Neverland ranch, where the boy claimed he played video games, rode golf carts ? and slept in the same bed with Jackson.
He and his family also took trips with Jackson to Florida, New York, Las Vegas and Europe, according to the statement.
"During our relationship Michael Jackson had sexual contact with me on many occasions," the statement alleges.
He accused Jackson of open-mouth kissing, fondling and oral sex.
His contact with Jackson ended, he said, when he went to live with his father in July 1993.
Two months later, they filed a civil suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, asking for unspecified damages for sexual battery, seduction, willful misconduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and negligence.
The settlement agreement stipulated that the accuser and his parents were dropping all claims except that of negligence at the time of signing the document, with the caveat that once the money was received that claim would not be pursued.
Eight pages of the document addressing the payment arrangements were not disclosed. It is unknown whether Jackson paid the settlement from his own pocket or if it was funded by his insurance company.