Yesterday, Today, & FOREVER The King of Pop

Re: Michael Jackson – An Open Letter to Gavin Arviso & Family / Triumph and Tragedy

    

(From former Girflfriend of Actor/Comedian Chris Tucker)

Dear Gavin, Star, Davellin, and Janet:

After Michael‘s tragic death last week, I have to say that all the negative feelings I’ve
had towards your family following the outrageous claims made by you
Gavin and your mother Janet–against Michael–came back to me tenfold.
The pain, disappointment, anger, and betrayal I feel towards you simply
cannot be put into words.

You have shown me that your greed, lies, and personal gain
override any “morals” your family claims to have; and you have proven
yourselves to be the kind of people capable of turning your back on the
very person who came to your rescue when you were most desperate.

The fact that you falsely accused Michael of the most heinous of acts, and made his
life a living hell in what would become his last years is unthinkable;
and I am sure some would say, unforgivable. In your attempts to destroy
him once again, you, Gavin, accused the man you called your “best
friend” of the one thing that you (and everyone else) knew would
completely turn his life inside out.

You took the one thing we all know that Michael cared about most in life–children, especially
children who are suffering, and you tried to turn it into a bad thing.
You Janet, as a parent, allowed this, encouraged this, and went forward
with the awful lies in an attempt to destroy Michael Jackson and
swindle money from him.

Shame on you!

This man did nothing but help your family in their darkest
hour. I know Michael was just like my family. We were all pulled into
your woeful stories and shared your family’s plight as Gavin fought for
his life during his battle with cancer. Gavin, you told me that
Michael’s love helped cure you of cancer.

Your entire family praised Michael privately to everyone who
would listen, yet turned against him so viciously in public. I have
remained silent for many years, but I can no longer do so. Right now I
struggle to find the words to adequately write this letter, as I am so
filled with anger towards you and pain for the Jackson family.

You call yourself Christians. If this is true I call on you,
Gavin, and your mother Janet to finally do the right thing for Michael
in death that you never did during his days here on earth. You need to
completely exonerate Michael’s name and legacy from the awful,
disgusting claims you made against him.

Claims and allegations that you and I both know are completely false
and utterly ridiculous. Whatever your motives at the time to create
such accusations are now minute and unimportant.

It is much bigger than you.

We are speaking on this man’s legacy; a man who positively
touched lives around the world. A man who is arguably the greatest
entertainer the world will ever know. Michael is someone who shared in
your family’s pain; opened his home to you and included you in his very
own family. He was a human being who never deserved any of this.

Gavin and Janet, you can change your identity and try to hide
from the public scrutiny, but ultimately, you cannot hide from the
wrath of God’s judgment. This is the right thing to do. It is the very least you can do for Michael, his children, and
his legacy.

Gavin you are now 19 years old, no longer an impressionable
young boy under you mother’s guidance, nor are you a pawn in this grand
scheme to assassinate Michael’s character. I know your heart, and I
know that you are capable of doing what is right. Clear Michael’s name
of your ugly accusations once and for all. You owe it to him. You owe
it to his family. And you owe it to God. Let’s finally give Michael the
ability to completely rest in peace.

Azja Pryor
July, 2009

Michael Jackson: Triumph and Tragedy

We all feel such a sense of loss and sorrow at the passing of such a
gifted and talented artist. He blazed his own trail in dance and music
with his talent withstanding the test of time. Michael just made you
want to sing and dance, which was perhaps his greatest gift to us. His
career and accumulated body of work are the most documented,
photographed, filmed and recorded in history. In that regard he will,
like Elvis before him, and Marilyn Monroe, continue to entertain us and
bring joy into our world each time we watch his videos or listen to his
music. He is a cultural icon. We owe him an immeasurable debt of
gratitude for the joy and laughter he has brought into our lives.

His life’s work as a philanthropist is exemplary and includes
support for over 30 charitable organizations including the Make-a-Wish
Foundation, USA for Africa, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Wishes Granted Organization, Boys & Girls
Clubs, the DARE program, YMCA, NAACP, United Negro College Fund, and
the Michael Jackson UNCF Endowed Scholarship Fund.

On behalf of these and other charities he helped raise over $300
million. In addition he has donated over $50 million of his personal
fortune over the years, but even more importantly spent generously of
his time visiting cancer patients and burn victims at hospitals around
the world. If he learned of a child in pain or suffering whom he could
help, he did. While visiting a hospital in Budapest he met a 4-year-old
boy desperately needing a liver transplant. This child had been
abandoned by his mother and had lived in the hospital his entire life.
Touched by his plight, Michael and his wife, Lisa Marie, visited the
boy for hours and then pledged funds from Heal the World Foundation to
cover all expenses related to the boy’s transplant.

In 1985 he co-wrote the song We are the World with Lionel
Richie and helped organize an amazing collaboration of 44 artists to
record the song and create the video to raise funds to feed starving
children in Africa. The hit single Heal the World and later
the Heal the World Tour were such successful fundraising events that it
is estimated these projects alone raised in excess of $100 million for
the charity USA for Africa. He was involved with Hands across America,
a human chain of 7 million people extending across the continental
United States. In 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records listed him
as the pop star supporting the most charities. He was only 42 years old.

Michael’s professional accomplishments are well documented. His
philanthropic works were something for which he kept a relatively low
profile. He did it from his heart because he was a kind and loving
person who genuinely loved children.

He wrote Gone Too SoonA for Ryan White, a pediatric AIDS
patient suffering not just from a new and frightening disease but
society’s fear and ignorance of it. Ryan contracted the disease through
tainted blood transfusions; Michael welcomed him to his home at
Neverland after Ryan was banned from school.

After Michael suffered serious burns from an accident while working
on a Pepsi commercial, he donated his $1.5 million insurance settlement
to a burn center for children. In 1984 he visited children in the unit
for burn victims at Brotman-Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles and also
donated funds for a 19-bed unit at Mount Sinai New York Medical Center
for leukemia and cancer research. He welcomed sick and dying children
to his own home at Neverland Ranch, a fairy-tale land as depicted in
the story Peter Pan. A 14-year-old boy suffering from cystic fibrosis
was invited to Michael’s home as the boy’s dying wish. Michael spent
time with terminally ill children backstage while on tour, and visited
a 12-year-old who was terribly burned by his father in an act of
revenge against his former wife. His willingness to help these children
was heartwarming.

He created the Michael Jackson UNCF Endowed Scholarship Fund in
1985, a fund for students majoring in performance art and
communication, providing money each year to students attending a UNCF
member college or university. In February 1986 he heard that one of his
biggest fans, a 14-year-old girl, had just undergone open heart
surgery, so he called her and invited her to Neverland for dinner and a
movie when she was feeling better. She was able to visit on March 8 of
that year. The value of her smiles and laughter: priceless. It was
simply another act of kindness by this generous man.

He supported the work of the NAACP particularly as it related to
prejudice against black artists and donated many personal items for
charitable auctions to raise funds for the education of children in
developing countries. The proceeds from sales of the record Man in the Mirror
were donated to Camp Ronald McDonald, a camp for children who suffer
from cancer. In 1988 he presented a $600,000 check to the United Negro
College Fund and donated tickets for three concerts in Atlanta, Georgia
to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Somehow that year he found the time and
energy to visit the Bambini-Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome to sign
autographs and give candy to the children and donated 100,000 pounds to
the hospital. He visited terminally ill children at Great Ormond Street
Hospital in London. While visiting a unit for less critical patients he
stayed longer than usual and told the children a story. On his 30th
birthday he performed a concert in Leeds, England for the charity Give
for Life, to help fund the immunization of children, and presented the
charity with a check for 65,000 pounds.

In 1989 he made a compassionate visit to Cleveland Elementary School
in Stockton, California, where a few weeks earlier a 25-year-old madman
had fired at the school’s playground, killing 5 children and wounding
39 others. A horrible, senseless act of violence followed by a genuine
act of kindness. He also invited 200 underprivileged children from the
St. Vincent Institute for handicapped children and Big Brothers/Big
Sisters to the Circus Vargas in Santa Barbara and then to his home in
the Santa Ynez Valley to see his private zoo. Later that year he worked
with the Wishes Granted organization to help a 4-year-old boy suffering
from leukemia fulfill his wish of meeting Michael, and invited the
little boy to a performance of Canadian acrobats.

In support of the Childhelp organization, Michael invited 82 abused
and neglected children to Neverland for a barbeque, games, and a movie
in 1990. He did the same for Project Dream Street, L.A. to help
children with life threatening illnesses. He also hosted an event for
130 children in the YMCA’s summer program of Los Angeles and Santa
Barbara.

Always sensitive to social issues of poverty, hunger, and
homelessness he paid a visit in 1991 to the Youth Sports & Art
Foundation in Los Angeles which supports families of gang members
dealing with drug-abuse. He talked to the children and presented them
with a wide-screen TV and a financial gift. In December his office, MJJ
Productions, provided 200 turkey dinners to needy families in Los
Angeles.

He spent 11 days in Africa in February, 1992 traveling over 30,000
miles to visit hospitals, orphanages, schools, churches, and
institutions for mentally handicapped children. Later that year he held
a press conference at New York Radio City Music Hall to announce that
he was planning a new world tour to raise funds for his Heal the World
Foundation. This Foundation would support the fight against AIDS,
Juvenile Diabetes, Camp Ronald McDonald, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

He quietly and compassionately defrayed the funeral expenses for
Ramon Sanchez, who was killed during the Los Angeles riots, and the
following year announced that he would donate $1.25 million for
children who had suffered as a result of the riots.

He made large donations to the poor and needy in Munich, Germany and
donated tour earnings of 400,000 pounds to charities in Dublin,
Ireland. He visited children at the Sophia Children’s Hospital in
Rotterdam, presenting them with a check for 100,000 pounds. To the
delight of the children at the Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital in
London, he visited with Mickey and Minnie Mouse from Euro-Disney.

In November, 1992, Michael helped supervise the loading of 43 tons
of medication, blankets and winter clothes destined for Sarajevo, a
war-ravaged country where children were being targeted by snipers. His
charity, Heal the World Foundation, collaborated with AmeriCares to
deliver supplies and resources totaling $2.1 million to Sarajevo, to be
allocated under the supervision of the United Nations. He held a press
conference in Tokyo at the American Embassy and presented a check for
$100,000 from Pepsi, his tour sponsor, to Heal the World Foundation.

Throughout the 1990s Micheal continued to donate his time and energy
to supporting children’s charities all over the world. He invested
millions of dollars building a children’s retreat and amusement park
with rides and a zoo at Neverland in an effort to "bring people
happiness and remind him of the good things in life."

He continued to support the Boys & Girls Clubs and the DARE
program amongst dozens of others. He was instrumental in Pepsi-Cola
International. donating new ambulances to the Contacts One Independent
Living Center for Children in Moscow and the Hospital de Ninos run by
Dr. Ricardo Gutierrez in Buenos Aires. Deeply affected by conditions in
impoverished nations, he donated part of his History Tour earnings to
the renovation of a hospital in Manila and waved his personal fee for a
Bombay appearance, donating $1.1 million to a local charity to help
educate children living in slums.

Exclusive photographs of his son Prince were published in British magazine OK!
and the 1 million pounds paid by the magazine were donated to charity.
In 1998, while at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Michael was introduced
to a 5-year-old suffering from cancer. He spent the afternoon with the
child and went with him to the "Star Trek: The Experience" attraction.
In 1999 he presented Nelson Mandela with a check for 1,000,000 South
African rand for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Michael expressed his support for our troops in 2002 when he invited
more than 200 Team Vandenberg members who had recently returned from
overseas deployments, and their families, to Neverland to show his
appreciation for the sacrifices of military personnel in his community.
He performed at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee at
the Apollo Theater in Harlem helping to raise nearly $3 million towards
voter registration.

How easy to say we want to change the world. He did. And he worked
hard to do it. He brought immeasurable joy to children and sought to
alleviate the suffering of thousands of people all over the world. It
is this fact that makes the end of the life story of this exemplary
humanitarian such a tragedy.

Can one even imagine the heartache it would cause such a good
person, who loved children so much, to be falsely accused of hurting a
child? It is obvious this man loved children in the most honest and
decent way. To label him a pedophile, when he worked so tirelessly to
help children and bring joy into their lives, is an unbelievable
cruelty. Of all the thousands of lives he touched in such a positive
way it is appalling to realize that when the rotten few attempted to
extort money from him, the police and Santa Barbara County District
Attorney office not only did not protect him, but turned on him and
charged him with crimes that must have been the ultimate insult and
most hurtful imaginable to him crimes against children.

In November 2003, over 60 sheriff’s deputies and representatives of
the district attorney’s office, in 19 vehicles, descended on Neverland
to serve a search warrant. The allegations against Michael had been
made by the most unsavory of people clearly in an attempt to extort
money. These people had approached him and asked for his help. When he
helped them they repaid his kindness by virtually destroying his life
and reputation. I read on the Internet yesterday that one of his
accusers has now recanted his story. If the others have a shred of
decency they will do the same. The false charges filed against Michael
Jackson are another form of the police brutality so prevalent in
California today.

And here lies the tragedy. We are conditioned to believe that in
this great country we are "innocent until proven guilty." The truth of
the matter is you are considered guilty as soon as you are charged, you
are considered guilty as soon as you are arrested, you are considered
guilty as soon as you enter the jail, you are considered guilty when
you go to trial, and you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

In Michael’s case, he was innocent, and found not guilty in a court
of law of 9 felony charges, yet in the brutal court of public opinion
he has somehow been tried and convicted. He experienced the worst
character assassination of any celebrity of our generation. He has been
ridiculed and scorned. He was made a public spectacle. He was a very
private person humiliated by a very public trial. He was called names
in the media and by the public and even now as we mourn the loss of
this incredible man, the word "molestation" appears in almost every
article or story about him. What a disgrace.

For such a sensitive artist and beautiful person with a kind and gentle heart this alone might have been enough to kill him.

-Linda Grasse, Santa Ynez

Santa Barbara Independent

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