A Word About Sources …

by Diane Dimond on July 8, 2009

The End Result of Confidential Sources

The End Result of Confidential Sources

Every investigative journalist must rely on confidential sources. Their inside information is the only way truth leaks out from government, institutions, corporations or celebrity entourages. And every good investigative journalist will tell you that what a single source says is never enough. You take the information from the source but then you must confirm it in other ways before making it public. Confirmation can come from other inside sources, from public documents, from sworn testimony – from all sorts of corroborating subjects. My most visible investigative efforts have come from my work looking into entertainer Michael Jackson. My work began in 1993, with the first allegations of child molestation against Jackson, were renewed in 2003 when a second young boy’s claims caused the story to erupt again and culminated when I covered the Jackson’s criminal trial in 2005. I wrote a book about my findings. All this work flowed from those brave enough (yes, brave enough) to come forward to reveal what they thought was important information. Some said they were sick at heart that children were being molested, some told me they feared for Jackson’s physical safety because of his addictions to drugs and alcohol, some were members of law enforcement and child protective services upset that the system was bending to celebrity worship. Since Michael Jackson’s death I’ve been flooded with e-mails, both admiring and attacking, about this body of work. I’ve been astounded that some angry Jackson fans continue to demand I give up my sources. They feel that what I’ve been reporting over all these years cannot possibly be true because I haven’t revealed the genesis of the information. In the forward to my book, “Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case,” I take special pains to thank all those countless sources of information I’ve had on the Jackson story. I wrote, “To all my sources over the years; you helped me understand the nuances. I couldn’t have asked for better navigators over difficult waters. A reporter’s work is only as good as her sources. Most of you were seeking truth as was I.” So to all those Jackson fans who continue to write in, adamant that I reveal where I’ve gotten my information: It’s not going to happen.  HOME

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandy_P July 9, 2009 at 12:08 am

I agree ….. if you gave up your sources no one would trust you enough to give you new info …then we would not have any more great books from you to read.

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bystander July 9, 2009 at 7:45 am

Kids growing up in China in the 70s, didn't know about what is homosexual. Girls are used to hold hands with each other, and sleep together, even as adults — innocently and non sexual at all. I think a lot of people are still doing that today. When I came to US, people told me that it is not OK, people would think you are homosexual. I have the same reaction as MJ, when the reporter told him that it is not OK to have young kids sleeping in his bed, We all know MJ is a child-like man. Why can't he just be innocent? If he is criminal, he won't even talk about it in front of the camera and think it is OK.

He is wired. But how can he not be, living a non normal life as his, with people following him all the time.

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DianeDimond July 11, 2009 at 3:25 am

The law says men are not supposed to sleep with stranger's boys. Period. The law says men who do this are suspect. ~ DD

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A human being July 14, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I think you are not naming sources because you are a liar and a fake. God will make you pay for your role in killing Michael. Everyone knows that CNN dumped you, when they found out all of your information was lies. I hope you can live with yourself and I hope what you did to Michael haunt you in your dreams for the rest of your life. What you do on earth you will have to pay for in Hell.

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DianeDimond July 15, 2009 at 3:49 am

Hey, Human Being….I didn't kill Michael Jackson and I think in the end the toxicology report will show Michael Jackson slowly killed himself with a steady dose of illegal drugs. And we're learning now the drug habit started back in the 80's – long before I ever began to cover the story.
Oh, … and another correction. I've NEVER worked for CNN ~DD

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DianeDimond September 5, 2009 at 1:39 am

IntenseDebate Notification <DIV dir=ltr align=left> <DIV dir=ltr align=left>I only spoke the truth. </DIV> <DIV dir=ltr align=left>If that is painful to you, I'm sorry.</DIV> <DIV dir=ltr align=left></DIV> <DIV dir=ltr align=left>dd</DIV></DIV>
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Rita July 19, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Does the law say that word for word Diane or is that YOUR interpretation? No reply necessary!

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Rita July 19, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Does the law state this word for word or is this YOUR interpretation Diane? No reply necessary- I know the answer!

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Levi July 10, 2009 at 11:08 am

Exactly what would be the point of you revealing your sources Diane? I wonder if it is because the bully Jackson fans and his attack machine could go after them publicly?

I've never understood their hatred for you Diane. I can maybe understand them being upset with the opinionated commentators like Bill O'Reilly and Nancy Grace, but you reported the facts of the case.

When I was critical of Jackson on my facebook and commented how I thought the media was portraying him as a God, I was blasted by Jackson fans, they can be quite vicious.

Keep up the excellent reporting.

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Carly-Seattle July 11, 2009 at 2:47 am

GO GIRL!! What we need is the NO SPIN information and there is absolutely no reason to reveal your sources. The haters are not ever going to see this story on both sides no matter what you say. They are caught up in celebrity worship and need to get a life. Granted Michael Jackson had talent that was unrivaled. But his personal life was a train wreck which continued to spin out of control and the people who refuse to see it have the audacity to push for information only THEY want to hear.

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Rita July 19, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Carly…… both sides of the story????? I am really confused. Diane's reporting has been absolutely one sided. She never gave him the benefit of the doubt… nor did she report all of the facts.

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Cujo July 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I’ve always been amazed at how Wacko fans would believe anything positive said about that disgusting creature without the slightest shred of proof but would deny facts that were derogatory no matter how much supporting evidence (including Wacko’s signature) was presented.

Revealing sources to anyone is wrong. But doing so to some of the dumbest fans I’ve ever seen would transcend that by any measure.

Wacko fans also never saw, or chose to forget, the harassment by fans such as B.J. Hickman but will cheerfully discuss conspiracies against Wacko for years. There’s no arguing with a fool, it’s lots more fun to watch them froth.

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Holly July 12, 2009 at 3:23 am

I don't think he could have been saved – for anything. I'm coming in to this as a "passive" fan of his music – since "off the wall" – probably never bought an album or CD, but enjoyed his music on MTV or the radio through the years nonetheless. I've strangely become obsessed with the information about him since his death, and from what I can gather – he was a very very sick man. At the very LEAST he is a liar – what turned it for me is his adamance in trying to sell the story that he's only had TWO nose operations – "that I know of" – I think that's what he said!! Nothing else!! He was adamant and insistant that this is the TRUTH, NO LIE. Um, I don't think so. What else could he be lying about……I wonder………..

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Bob July 12, 2009 at 4:57 pm

He also stated that his sperm was used and with a black woman to concieve one or more of the children. Like many other notable celebrities, MJ's death will open a massive can of embarrassing worms for individuals inside and outside the family for years to come. The speculation, conspiracy theories and who did what to whom will last for decades not unlike JFK's assassination. And through it all Joe Jackson's hands will have to be surgically attached to his body in an effort to refrain his tin cup, money making schemes once again at MJ's expense. Oh, what a web we weave…

Diane, continue the superb coverage!

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Mogurl14 July 13, 2009 at 5:15 am

I just watched Mj's interview with oprah and he said out of his own mouth "Do not pass judgment on ANYBODY unless yu talked to them one on one;" when was the last time yu talked to Michael Jackson about the allegations? That is who your main source should be! Him and the Lord Jesus Christ are the only sources you should have while writing a story about him!

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DianeDimond July 13, 2009 at 1:07 pm

sorry, Mogurl14. While I speak to Jesus on a regular basis my sources come from a more worldly plane. DD

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Isableu July 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Michael Jackson was a pedophile. Yes he was a talented musician but still a pedophile. It's funny how people would overlook or excuse his actions just to idolize him.

From the start, Michael was abused both physically and sexually I believe by his father, Joe Jackson. At that time, Micahel was a Jehovah's witness and according to Jehovahs witness scripture, children cannot seek help from the community outside of Jehovahs for abuse suffered. They just have to tolerate the abuse in silence. I think the abuse suffered by Michael and not seeking help led him down a dark horrifying path.

And because of the abuse in his childhood, Michael became the abuser. People have said it all started when he became obsessed with Emmanuel Lewis from the show Webster. Michael even booked a hotel room for himself and Emmanuel but Emmanuel's mum found out about this and broke their friendship up. Then theres Terry George, the british kid Michael befriended. They maintained a long distance friendship but it ended when Terry's parents saw the huge phone bill. One incident that occurred which Terry spoke about years later was when Michael was masturbating whilst talking to him.

Micahel Jackson had a side to him that was never mentioned before but Diane Diamond did. I thank her for doing so.

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Tim Harrington July 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Hi Diane,

I just finished reading your book on Michael Jackson.

I have to say, I am somewhat underwhelmed.

I admit I have been a Michael Jackson fan since I was very young, seeing him during the Dangerous tour at Wembley. It was not long after this that the story broke regarding Jordie.

I have always defended Michael's image, although I have always been careful not to say he was completely innoncent I always struggle to really believe he is guilty. It would appear almost every witness put forward has some sort of axe to grind regarding Jackson, or some particularly questionable past.

I began reading this book ready to change my mind.

Having completed your book I have not read enough to convince me. I find this difficult to believe having almost been convinced on a number of occasions, not least when you consider Latoya's outburts in the mid-nineties and the statements made by staff at both Neverland and Havenhurst. They seem to match – that everyone knew, but didn't want to say anything due to fear of lost earnings etc. For this to come from Latoya… I still can't quite get my head around that, regardless of the story regarding her husband.

The only part of the book that had me rather uncomfortable came from Jason Francia. But then again his mother also has a questionable history, perhaps he testified for his mother… Or perhaps he was telling the truth. Either way, the whole thing is a clear mess. I applaud your attempt at sifting through it all, but still you have to agree it is incredibly difficult to come out thinking anything other than "What the…?".

Also, for my money you did not really discuss the GQ magazine article enough – or rather the contents of this article. That was an article that had a lot of people convinced Jordie's allegations were a money making scheme. With this in mind and the fact the Arvizo family clearly aren't up there with the most trustworthy..

With his passing, maybe we will begin to hear more regarding these allegations.

What do you make of what Ian Halperin has been saying? I have pre-ordered his book to see what he has to say regarding the allegations as well as everything else.

I guess I am another confused Jackson fan who just wnats to hear the truth, either way.

Kind regards,

Tim

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DianeDimond July 15, 2009 at 4:10 am

Tim – I gave the GQ article all the attention I thought it deserved. As for the Ian Halperin book – I just got an unbound manuscript and so far I'm completely unimpressed. In the forward there are so many mistakes that reveal the sloppiness of his research. For example, he attributes quotes to me I never made, he reports that Michael showed up to court one day 20 minutes late in his pajamas when in fact it was an hour and 20 minutes late and there was a warrant out for his arrest! Also, in all the years I've covered Jackson not once have I ever heard that he was a gay man, let alone a practicing homosexual. Halperin declares he has testimony from 9 men – I'll be anxious to read his rendition of what they said. I keep wondering why none of the 9 have come forward. Why wouldn't they now that Jackson has passed?
I could go on and on about my reservations of the book but, again, I haven't gotten too far into it yet.

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Alexandra August 5, 2009 at 5:18 am

Hmm i'm not sure on my take of the whole situation. I am indeed a huge fan of MJ and his work, but after reading this book i guess it does make you think, everyone truly might have a bad side.. Excellent book. & RIP to Mr. Michael Jackson.

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Wendy September 8, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Yes Diane, everyone is a liar except MJ. lol

Get with the program! lol

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DianeDimond September 14, 2009 at 6:01 pm

IntenseDebate Notification <DIV dir=ltr align=left>whatever</DIV>
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Rachel January 8, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Ok I like Michael Jackson, I'm a big fan I know that may make me unpopular on here, I'm not crazed or wacky and I'm under no false illusions about his problems. I know he had a drug problem and he shouldn't of had boys sleeping over at his house. period. But I don't believe he is a pedophile and I don't think it's fair for people to judge him especially if they have never met him or don't know him, my belief is that only God has the right to judge. Take care

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Sarah January 12, 2010 at 3:38 am

I was a fan, even met him in Australia once, but I am afraid you cannot escape reality. Read the court transcripts, the list of porn seized from Neverland (not all of it straight!) and the horrific sworn statement of Jordan Chandler available on the Smoking Gun website. It's not a pretty read, that coupled with his lack of adult relationships and obvious inability to interact with adults, join the dots! Don't you think it's a shame that for someone that oozed sex appeal on stage, not one female was able to defend his sexuality on the stand, Make no mistake Meseareau would have put them there if they existed and that included his past wives! We heard much more sordid details than that during the trial! I really didnt want to believe it but I am afraid if looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck!

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Sarah Richards January 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm

I think that you are very wise keeping your sources close. Without them I'm sure your job would be a whole lot harder! I wonder if they sometimes feed you false stories ( ie elephant man bones). I've heard it said that the Jackson's have sometimes sold stories to the tabloids! I have one question, what is in it for them?

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DianeDimond January 12, 2010 at 4:11 am

First, money in their pocket – and second (most important to them) its publicity – to keep the Jackson name relevant.

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Galafanakis January 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm

What did you make of the FBI files? Some people seem to think the files exonerated Michael – i.e. the FBI seemingly unable to produce a smoking gun, along those lines. I haven’t read the files but came across some excerpts in a paper, which, I must say, only seemed to add to a legacy of suspicion surrounding him.

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Diane January 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm
Diane January 25, 2010 at 11:01 am

Check out this story I wrote for the DailyBeast.com

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-12-28/the-feds-jackson-whitewash/

It will tell you what I think of the FBI involvement in the Michael Jackson case.

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Annette February 14, 2010 at 10:05 am

Diane,
I read your book…i enjoyed it immensely….Would also like to know more about the FBI papers….He was a deeply disturbed man, can’t believe nothing really happend all those years ago!! Keep up the good work!!! Even though they took payoffs don’t they still have eyes??

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Sarah Richards February 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Diane, I am curious regarding Carrie Fisher’s involvement with MJ. Both yours and Ray Chandler’s book details an occasion when after a consultation with Evan Chandler, she warns him to keep his son out of MJ’s bed based on info from someone she knew that worked for Jackson. She was apparently a patient of Chandler’s and one would assume sympathetic to his situation. Yet in 2008 she is reciting the Princess Leila monologues for Mj’s kids on Christmas Eve. What gives?

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Diane February 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Can’t shed any light on that. Or on what motivated other entertainers (Liz Taylor, Liza Minelli, Brooke Shields, etc) to remain publicly silent. I think it spoke volumes that none of them spoke out during the criminal trial – either in interviews or as character witnesses at the trial.

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Sarah Richards March 10, 2010 at 5:02 am

Diane
What is your reaction to the 3 bodyguards on GMA this morning revealing the “secret life” of Michael Jackson. Apparently he liked girls! I am a bit sceptical of that remark, but as you are so familiar with his life and have reported on him since 1993, I would be interested to read your opinion.I’ve read your book along with the court transcripts and have never seen heard any proof that he had anytype of adult relationships. It’s a stark contrast to the comments from Chris Carter and the Havyenhurst 5! I wonder if these so called bodyguards have read Jordan Chandler’s sworn statement or seen the video that was shown in court of Gavin Arvizo giving his statement to the police in 2003. What do you think, do you believe them?

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Diane March 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

My reply is simple. Michael Jackson was a master at showing people only THAT side of him he wanted to reveal. I got the feeling that the body guards were heartfelt in what they said about Jackson. However, I came away unconvinced that they’d really been around him long enough to get to know the TOTAL man.

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Sarah Richards March 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm

You know Diane I have read so much and chewed so much over in my mind about MJ. I believed that he was a child molester based on lots of different information that has been disseminated over the years, including your excellent book and his penchant for sharing his bed with little boys. Is it possible that we all made a mistake and that he was really innocent? There is still probably so much more that is untold, but is it possible that we were all wrong? Have we judged him too harshly? There seems to be so much conflicting info, he’s straight, he’s gay, he likes kids. What do we believe? In your heart of hearts what do you believe?

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Diane April 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Anything is possible, Sarah. It’s possible that the sun will not rise tomorrow morning – but I doubt it. I believe what I wrote in my book.

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blythe May 15, 2010 at 1:30 am

again diane, you shouldnt have to reveal your sources ,but because mj was so secretive it’s like 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. who do you believe, any person can make statements as you and mj did and not be able to cooberate anything. at that point you have no choice but to go on the quality of that person meaning what he has done with his life and mj has done very good deeds and noone really knows about you except that they say you are an excellent reporter. you weigh the difference and you come out with a lot of angry mj fans. give us something to believe you with besides you word and maybe your point can be taken for what you feel it is worth. it is obvious you have a point you are trying very hard to have someone believe, why because no rational woman would continue this tirade against this celebrity unless you feel you are right. im trying my best as a mj fan to be objective and see the other side of the coin, and it is intriguing but i have nothing to go on. For instance , you say there are testamonials from other families who have been victimized yet you dont elaborate like maybe what happened or when. heck im begging you make me a believer i have kids and grandkids too. i certainly wouldnt want to be fawning over a person who is as dark as you say he is. anyway thanks for listening.

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Diane May 16, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Blythe,
Read my book. If you don’t want to buy it go check it out of the library for free – makes no difference to me. You’ll see I don’t tirade, I don’t insist you see my point of view because I don’t express a view. I tell you what I learned from very viable, confirm-able sources. I don’t reveal details of their stories because that would go to identify them and they don’t want the massive amount of attention that the Chandlers and/or the Arvizo’s got.
You have to decide for yourself who you “fawn” over and who you don’t. As for me? I don’t fawn over anyone.

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