Twenty Years Ago Today: Michael Jackson

Michaeljacksonmug1 In 1993, Michael Jackson was accused of abusing 13 year old Jordan Chandler, one of several children he made friends with over the years (accusations that would continue into the future and result in other brushes with the law). The accuser was Jordan's father, Evan, who may well have been more interested in whatever money he could extract from Jackson than the well-being of his son.

On this day in 1994, Jackson settled with Chandler out of court for a total sum of around $23m. Does that make him guilty? Not by itself. If circumstantial evidence and rumour were proof, then Jackson would have been locked away for several lifetimes. But the accusations just kept on coming, and Jackson's habit of befriending children on an annual basis and sleeping in the same bed as them did nothing to make the rumours go away.

So on the one hand, there's a probable sexual abuser who managed to get away with it until the day he died; and then there's an ever-changing cast of people doing their best to siphon money from him (sometimes, I fear, by putting their own children in harm's way). The children ended up being casualties of one or the other, used and discarded for the most squalid of reasons.

Here's a dense and impenetrable Wikipedia page if you want to know more. And for those who prefer something lighter, please enjoy this mild satire at the hands of Fry and Laurie, dating back to those halcyon days when Michael Jackson seemed to be only a little bit odd: