MSNBC: Rita Cosby Live and Direct - Leo Terrell + Brian Oxman (July 6 06)


Staff member
Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for July 6
Read the transcript to the Thursday show

Updated: 1 hour, 36 minutes ago

Guests: Diane Diamond, Brian Oxman, Leo Terrell, Keith Ferguson, Beverly Coffman, Barbara McCombs, Larry Sutton

RITA COSBY, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening everybody. This is our final show of LIVE AND DIRECT as we move on to some new and very exciting ventures here at MSNBC. We‘re going to talk about them a little later on in the show. We‘ll also show you some of the amazing and news breaking moments that we have experienced and shared with all of you this past year.

But first tonight, some big stories to cover this evening. We are tracking an all points bulletin for two escaped cons. They may have been behind bars for a nonviolent offense, but cops say they are now armed and very dangerous and committing violent crimes in multiple states.

And she dated one of the most notorious killers in recent history, but has Amber Frey finally found true love? And guess who with? But first tonight, we ironically begin where we started exactly a year ago, with the king of pop, Michael Jackson at the center of a legal battle, a new one. A former associate of Michael Jackson is going after the superstar saying Jackson owes him almost $4 million. The case could get real ugly after the jury heard phone messages Michael Jackson left for old associate Marc Schaffle (ph). The pop star even appeared in court via a videotaped deposition.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever pay him a fee for anything he did?

MICHAEL JACKSON, ENTERTAINER: I don‘t know. I don‘t know. I‘m sure he got money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are sure he got–why are you sure he got money?

JACKSON: Because he seemed to be always happy.


COSBY: And for the inside scoop on this case, as she has been from the beginning, joining us is the author of the book “Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case.” Investigative journalist Diane Diamond. Diane, these messages are really incredible. I want to play another clip where Michael Jackson talks to Marc Schaffel and says, I feel betrayed.


JACKSON: Marc, it‘s Michael, let‘s break all time records Marc. I want to make history so badly. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Marc, please, please, please, never let me down. I really like you. I love you. I have been betrayed so much by people.


COSBY: You know, when you hear that, what was the nature of their relationship, Marc Schaffel and Michael Jackson. It seems pretty frank there.

DIANE DIAMOND, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Right. But this is the tone that Michael Jackson takes with anyone that he needs help from. People that he does business with.

COSBY: What did he get from Marc Schaffel?

DIAMOND: They were together about three years. They did a charity record that was never released, Sony never released it. Gee, maybe it had something to do with Jackson calling Tommy Mottola the devil. But then they went on to do other projects. Rebuttal videos when Michael Jackson was in trouble and what not. And this is what Schaffel says Michael owes him money for. Today, interestingly, $3.8 million is what everyone said that Schaffel wanted.

COSBY: And that was his original amount that we were hearing. But you found a few minutes ago the amount has changed?

DIAMOND: It‘s now down to $1.6 million. And I just talked with Howard King, Schaffel‘s attorney, and he said we always thought it was $1.6. You reporters just didn‘t know. Welcome to the world of Michael Jackson. There‘s no saints in this saga. There‘s Michael Jackson, who gets sued by everybody it seems. It sounds like on those tapes anyway has a problem still with some drugs or alcohol or something. And then there‘s Marc Schaffel, that has this background that would make a sailor blush. You know, he has a list of people who call him a con man and a former gay pornographer. So how these two got together, I don‘t know. Welcome to the world of Michael Jackson.

COSBY: Let‘s play a little more of the conversation between these two characters.


JACKSON: I don‘t want someone else beating us to it then we come in second. Do it now. Do it now. OK?


COSBY: Sounds like a desperation at that point.

DIAMOND: In the criminal trial, we heard that he was out of money.

He needed to do it now to make more money. And I think that was in

reference to making the charity album. The charity song that never came


COSBY: When you talk about the adult entertainment, fascinating. The attorney for Marc Schaffel said Michael Jackson basically, don‘t go there, don‘t get into my background with the adult entertainment business, or I‘m going to go, where? Is there something else about Michael Jackson that we don‘t know yet?

DIAMOND: I think these two were very close. I don‘t mean sexually. But I mean very intimate in business and other things, and Marc Schaffel has a background of collecting information on people and using it against them when he needs to.

COSBY: So he has dirt on Michael Jackson?

DIAMOND: Well, you‘ve heard some of the tapes he‘s gotten. What other kind of tapes does he have? What else was Michael Jackson asking him for? I have a source very close to Marc Schaffel who says that at one point they were dispatched to pick up a package of drugs from an empty house, the mailbox of an empty house. If that–you know, if they are going to play dirty with the gay pornography background, Schaffel can play dirty too.

COSBY: Real quick, $300,000. We are hearing that it might have gone to a family now. The location has changed from Brazil to Argentina. What is the allegation that Schaffel was involved with?

DIAMOND: He said–and Michael Jackson owes me $300,000 that I gave to somebody in Brazil. Interesting, Brazil. Well, tonight, I hear from Howard King, the attorney, no, no. It was really to a Mr. X in Argentina. So, again, yet another mystery. Layers and layers.

COSBY: Great to see you. Thank you very much. And everybody let‘s bring in Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman and also with us tonight civil rights attorney Leo Terrell. You know Brian, this Mr. X in Argentina. What do you make of all this mess?

BRIAN OXMAN, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: Brazil, Argentina. It‘s all in South America, I guess, where it comes down to Mr. Schaffel.

COSBY: Do you think it‘s all just made of up stuff?

OXMAN: This is an accounting case. The case involves whether or not you have checks, receipts and whether or not you document your claim. And in this particular case, I wasn‘t one of the attorneys who handled it for a time, and I requested these documents to be produced and they never were produced. Now is the time when push comes to shove, and it‘s time to produce those documents, and they just aren‘t there.

COSBY: Well, in fact, are there–there are a lot of recordings. Let‘s play a little bit. This is, again, Michael Jackson talking to Marc Schaffel. He is talking this time about Marlon Brando.


JACKSON: Marlon Brando has been pushing and he is a wonderful man.

[He's a] God. We have to get this done. He wants it done before Christmas. He wants a lot of money and we would own it together. I mean, I fell that he is not going to be living too much longer. That what it is, I think. Please, Mar, I need the money for the house.


COSBY: You know, how desperate is his financial situation back then and now, Brian?

OXMAN: Well, Marlon Brando wanted $1 million to do this production, and the production was supposed to take place on the 21st of February, and Rita, you were at Neverland ranch on that date in 2003. So all of this commotion was going on right around you and you were personally there. Everybody was in a great commotion at that particular time. But as to desperation for money, I just think it‘s a normal part of Michael Jackson‘s life and he always seems to land on his feet.

COSBY: He does. He keeps rebounding and really is a survivor in a lot of ways. Leo, this is another clip where he talks about his finances and other issues. Again, Michael Jackson. This was played in court.


JACKSON: Let them know that this has to come out now and get Sony on it and make them enter this song at number one.


COSBY: You know, it sounds like there is still this fight, Leo, that he is worried. What do you make of this? How bad is it that he is dragged back to court?

LEO TERRELL, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: First of all, I want to say I have enjoyed going on your show all this time and I‘m going to miss you.

COSBY: Thank you. You‘ll still see a lot more of me.

TERRELL: That‘s good. I‘m glad to hear that.

COSBY: Thank you.

TERRELL: First of all, what bothers me about this is that Brian is absolutely correct. This is a case about checks and receipts. And all I have heard so far is someone trying to sell a book and gossip. People are constantly trying to bring Michael Jackson down. For all of the wrong reasons. And this $300,000 payoff, I haven‘t heard anything from those tapes about checks or receipts or anything. But people want to attack Michael Jackson. All of the innuendoes that I heard before Brian and I came on is a perfect example of trying to drag him down. And this man has had enough. That‘s why he left the country.

COSBY: Why do you think he keeps getting targeted? Do you think where there‘s a lot of smoke there‘s fire?

TERRELL: Oh, yes. There‘s people–people on your show, people that just came on your show, who want to bring him down. Some people want to make their careers off Michael Jackson. And it drives me sick. Why? What has this man done to certain people? Certain people want to create a career off this man, and that‘s what makes it sickening.

COSBY: The jury was puzzled. They said they felt that they let a pedophile go free. Do you think there will always be a cloud over him, Brian?

OXMAN: I think that in the trial in Santa Maria, 14 times that jury said not guilty. And they said not guilty because of the case that was presented. And the case was that these accusers were here. Michael was here in another city, another state. There was no crime committed there, and that‘s why there was a not guilty verdict. As to the cloud, Rita, absolutely, you‘re correct. You are absolutely correct.

COSBY: And maybe unfairly because the jury did let him free. Why was Marc Schaffel let go? Brian, you‘re the one who fired the business associate at the heart of this case now.

OXMAN: When Randy Jackson came in to literally save his brother and I‘ve got to put credit where credit is due because Randy was really the hero of this entire situation. He took command. He steadied the ship of Michael Jackson and one of the things that happened with this regime change is that Marc Schaffel was let go. And that simply is coming out in court, and we‘re going to let the jury make that determination as to the reasons why.

COSBY: Was there anything with the adult entertainment business? A lot of people said get rid of this guy, does not look good for you Michael Jackson. Was that the case, Brian?

OXMAN: I think that the prosecution in our case, in Santa Maria, was heavy on that particular subject matter. And as a result, Mr. Schaffel‘s time simply was not–he was not a long-termer. And he did not stay around very long once the new regime change came in.

COSBY: Leo, do you think Marc Schaffel has something on Michael Jackson?

TERRELL: No. But he has a lot of gossip to sell. He wants to go on the TV circuit. He wants to sell books. He wants to make money. He wants to hustle Michael Jackson. He is enjoying 15 seconds of fame right now. When this trial is over, he‘s over.

COSBY: Both of you guys, thank you so much. You‘re my favorites, Brian and Leo. Thank you so much guys.

TERRELL: Thank you very much, Rita. Good luck.

COSBY: Thank you.

OXMAN: Rita, you are a charm and we love you.

COSBY: Thank you very much. I love you guys. I‘m going to see you guys very soon. And still ahead it looks like authorities‘ worst fears are coming true in the middle of a manhunt. That and more coming up, everybody.