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Police say father of Jackson accuser has killed himself

By Alan Duke, CNN
Michael Jackson attends his Santa Barbara trial in 2005
Michael Jackson attends his Santa Barbara trial in 2005
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • In 1993, Evan Chandler said Michael Jackson had molested son
  • Chandler, a dentist, and son reached undisclosed financial settlement with Jackson
  • Accusation was part of case in 2003 when Jackson was tried, acquitted of molestation charges
  • Chandler, who was ill with cancer; apparently shot himself
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(CNN) -- The man who accused pop star Michael Jackson of molesting his son in 1993 killed himself in his New Jersey condo earlier this month, police said.

Evan Chandler, 65, was found by the building's concierge November 5 after a doctor, who was treating him for cancer, said he missed an appointment, the Jersey City, New Jersey, police report said.

Chandler was "extremely ill" with cancer, the report said.

He was working as a dentist in Beverly Hills, California, in 1993 when he said his son, who was 13 at the time, told him that Jackson had molested him. His son revealed it, he said, when he put him under anesthesia to pull a tooth.

The Los Angeles County district attorney did not pursue criminal charges against Jackson, but Chandler and his son reached a confidential financial settlement with the singer after filing a lawsuit. Reports at the time said the Chandlers got between $16 million and $20 million from Jackson's insurance company.

The Chandler accusation became a key part of the prosecution's case when Jackson was tried and acquitted of molestation a decade later in Santa Barbara County, California.

The elder Chandler was found "on his bed in a lifeless state with a gun in his hand," the investigator's report said. "The victim had a silver revolver in his right hand which was pressed against the right side of his head," Officer J.S. Sielski wrote.

Chandler, who was estranged from most of his family, owned the .38-caliber pistol he used to kill himself, Jersey City spokesman Stan Eason said.

No suicide note was found, Eason added.

Chandler's brother -- a lawyer in Santa Barbara County -- told CNN in 2003 that Chandler feared for his life because of threats made by angry Jackson fans.

"There's a hard-core group, there was and probably still is, of fanatical fans who see him as a deity," Ray Chandler told CNN's Larry King. "Some of them will go to any lengths that, you know, there's some who will just go as far as threatening, there's some who will go -- who will be violent, and you know, you never know how far it is going to go."

Ray Chandler has not responded to calls from CNN for comment about his brother's death.

 
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