Mark Geragos is indeed in charge of Michael Jackson's defense and will reaffirm that when he confronts members of the pop star's camp, whom Geragos said are the source of numerous leaks since Jackson's November arrest. Geragos discussed reports about dissension in the Jackson camp and the role of the Nation of Islam during a question-and-answer session.
MSNBC: Just who is running the show for Michael Jackson these days?
Geragos: The same person who has been in charge since all of this began. Me.
MSNBC: Recent published reports have cast suspicion over the role of the Nation of Islam.
Geragos: I know you are referring to the New York Times article that said (NOI Chief of Staff) Leonard Muhammad has taken over. The New York Times article was woefully inadequate and while it may appear that (Foxnews.com's) Roger Friedman's stories have some validity, I know the sources of that information and the information is also untrue.
MSNBC: So, what exactly is Leonard Muhammad's role?
Geragos: Leonard Muhammad is officially an advisor to Michael Jackson. He does not work out of my office and is not my boss. Leonard is not a lawyer. We don't have enough room in my office for someone else. To say he's moved into my office is laughable. I had a good laugh at that.
MSNBC: You mentioned that you know where the leaks are coming from. Why are members of Jackson's own camp leaking information, and information you say is untrue?
Geragos: Money. This whole deal from its inception has been about money. Everybody, including those who were once close to my client, is trying to put their hands in Michael Jackson's pocket and I'm not going to stand by and let it happen.
MSNBC: What are your plans to stop the leaks?
Geragos: I'm holding a meeting Saturday (January 10) with the entire camp and I'm going to confront those whom I know the leaks are coming from and heads will roll. Look, we've been aware of the leaks and the sources of those leaks. Some of them have come from people we've fired and it's about sour grapes and people still trying to cash in.
MSNBC: Are you standing behind Michael Jackson's claims of abuse at the hands of the Santa Barbara Police Department?
Geragos: Yes. While money has been the chief motivator of this case, so has this long standing vendetta the authorities in Santa Barbara have had with Michael Jackson. I stand by my client and believe in him totally.
MSNBC: What do you make of the Santa Barbara sheriff saying he would seek more charges against Michael Jackson if the department is cleared of any wrongdoing?
Geragos: The sheriff is a moron for making the statements he made. He said he was accepting the "60 Minutes" interview as a formal complaint. What a moron. What, is he now going to try and change the First Amendment? This whole thing has been over the top. Look, this thing has taken its toll on Michael and his family but I assure you and everybody else that I will not let anything happen to Michael Jackson. He is totally innocent and the world knows it.
MSNBC: Is Michael Jackson at least guilty of poor judgment?
Geragos: Michael is a child at heart and believes in being pure. To some it may be poor judgment, but he's so giving and caring. He has a good heart and wouldn't hurt anyone, so why should he change?
MSNBC: Can you give us a sneak preview of the defense strategy?
Geragos: Well, I would just encourage everyone to look at the time that this crime was supposed to have taken place from February 7 to February 10. The timeline is ridiculous. Michael has a concrete, iron-clad alibi for the dates they are saying this abuse took place. The fact of the matter is, no abuse ever happened.
MSNBC: How is Michael Jackson doing these days?
Geragos: He's doing well. He knows he's getting a raw deal and I compliment him on the way he's handling it. I do know it has taken its toll on the family and that saddens me, but he's going to get through this. He is not guilty and he is not going to jail.