NBC News
updated 3/6/2005 7:00:45 PM ET 2005-03-07T00:00:45

Last week, the jury began hearing from the family of Jackson's young accuser. NBC's Chief Legal Correspondent Dan Abrams interviews a private eye who's now going public about the character and credibility of that family. But as you'll see, there are those who say his own role in the case, raises questions about his credibility.

In a Web site statement Michael Jackson said: "Years ago, I allowed a family to visit and spend some time at Neverland.

And so it began. The heart of the case -- what happened at Neverland when a young boy with cancer and his family spent time with Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson has said: "These events have caused a nightmare for my family, my children and me. I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable a position again."

Exactly what did Michael Jackson mean by vulnerable?

For the first time, a potential witness speaks out about Michael Jackson's accusers -- a family he saw up close, a family that describes him as “a terrible guy, an enforcer for the king of pop.”

His name is Bradley Miller. He's a Los Angeles private eye whose role in the case begins in the winter of 2003, when he says Jackson's attorney at the time, Mark Geragos, hired him.

His job, he says, was to monitor the family of the boy who appeared in the now famous British documentary, “Living with Michael Jackson” -- the same boy who would tell authorities months later that Jackson molested him. Miller says he got the call from Geragos just days after the documentary aired.

Dan Abrams: Why did he want you to get involved?

Bradley Miller: Apparently, this family had been up at Neverland with Michael and had made some threats of making up some story and contacting some tabloids.

Abrams: So you're saying before any of these allegations were made, that Michael Jackson was worried that there were going to be false allegations made?

Miller: I think he had come to the realization that they were probably capable of just about anything.

According to Miller, the family had left Neverland after the uproar surrounding the documentary, and his job was to keep an eye on them.

Abrams: And so are they sending the private eye out there to monitor them? Make sure they don't do anything?

Miller: Well, it certainly wasn't to control them in anyway. It was to just keep a real, loose watch on who they were meeting with and what they were doing.

Miller says that the family made it clear that they knew about a previous allegation against Michael Jackson.

In 1993, a 13-year-old boy accused Jackson of molesting him. Jackson has denied ever harming a child, but he settled a civil suit with the boy's family for millions without admitting any wrongdoing -- information Miller says the current accuser's mother was ready to use to her advantage.

Miller: She made it clear that she better get what she wants.

Abrams: Or?

Miller: She would have to go to the tabloids or to whoever would listen.

Abrams: Did she ever tell you what she might say to the tabloids?

Miller: Not specifically. No.

Abrams: What did she suggest?

Miller: She would suggest that it would be harmful to Michael and his reputation. 

Abrams: You think the boy was up to that, or just his mother?

Miller: From what I understand, the boy, apparently, is also, or was, very much aware of the 1993 case.

Abrams: So you think the 13 year old suffering from cancer is thinking about the big pay out from Michael Jackson?

Miller: This family, every conversation I had with them, every meeting I had with them, any interaction with them, centered around either money, fame, celebrity and/or possessions.

But Miller didn't name any tabloids the mother had tried to sell a story to. And he says he soon had another mission: get the family on the record.

Miller: We then decided that before this goes any further, perhaps it's time to get a sworn statement from them stating what the circumstances were -- to have some record that in the future, if there were any allegations made, we would have something to refute it.

Abrams: You wanted a sworn statement just in case?

Miller: Just in case -- almost like an insurance policy.

Miller says he called the accuser's mother a few days after the documentary aired and made arrangements to meet her to take an audio-taped statement about what had happened -- or had not happened -- at Neverland.

Miller: I went over to the apartment of the mother's boyfriend in Los Angeles. And was welcomed, hugged, by every member of the family.

Abrams: Were they intimidated?

Miller: I was intimidated. I was going to a strange place. Nine o'clock at night, to an apartment where I knew no one.

According to Miller, the mother never asked why it was necessary to make the tape.

Abrams: You asked them, specifically, did anything sexual ever happen?

Miller: I believe I asked if they were ever inappropriately touched or anything along those lines.

Abrams: And their answers were unequivocal?

Miller: Unequivocal.

Abrams: What did the mother say?

Miller: Michael would never do anything like that.

Three nights later Miller joined the family at the home of Michael Jackson's videographer to make what has been called the "rebuttal video," where Jackson would counter criticism raised by the British documentary about his relationship with children. Miller says the video covered much of the same material in the audio interview.

And yet, according to the indictment, about this same time Michael Jackson began molesting his young accuser.

Abrams: Isn't it possible that Michael Jackson had not molested the boy before you spoke to him, but that later on he did the things that the boy claims and his brother claims?

Miller: It makes no sense. Why would he? Especially with the eyes of the world on him.

He says by March of 2003 the family was desperate and he was asked to help.

Miller: She was moving in with her boyfriend and still had this small apartment on the east side of town where she was delinquent in her rent. She was facing eviction. And was there something I could do to get that apartment cleaned out and take care of whatever potential problems she could have there?

Abrams: Right in the period where the prosecutors allege that Michael Jackson was molesting her son?

Miller: That's what I understand is the allegation.

Miller says he arranged for her belongings to be moved and stored in a locker, had her apartment cleaned and the whole thing videotaped.

Abrams: She says that there were love letters from Michael Jackson to her son that you effectively got rid of?

Miller: I would categorically deny that.

Miller claims that no one had access to the storage locker except the accuser's mother.

Abrams: It sounds a little odd. There's this woman who hasn't made any allegations, you say, against Michael Jackson at this time. There have been no criminal charges filed. And there's this high-powered, well-paid private investigator who is helping her move, videotaping the move, taking her statements, watching her at various times. Sounds a little odd, doesn't it?

Miller: Not in light of what happened ten years earlier and the fiasco that that became.

Abrams: You said that the mother was effectively threatening to go to the tabloids. And yet at that same time saying, "I'd do anything for Michael Jackson." It sounds contradictory.

Miller: Of course. There's a great deal of contradictory statements and information in this case made by the accuser's fam-- accuser and his family.

In a grand jury proceeding, the accuser's mother swore, under oath, money was the last thing she wanted from Michael Jackson:

Question: Have you demanded money from Michael Jackson?
Answer: Nothing. Nothing.
Question: Do you want money from Michael Jackson?
Answer: Nope. Never. I don't want the devil's money.

Prosecutors portray Miller as part of a complicated operation launched by the Jackson team to limit the damage from the British documentary.

Former Santa Barbara County sheriff and NBC News analyst Jim Thomas says he believes Miller's real job was not to prevent the family from going to the tabloids, but to make sure they participated in the rebuttal video.

Jim Thomas: They needed this family, obviously, because the young boy, the accuser, was the one that was on the television with Michael Jackson when he said he likes to let boys sleep in his bed.

And Thomas suggests Miller's surveillance may have had a more sinister aim.

Thomas: If I had somebody with videotapes in front of my house, watching where I was going, who I was meeting with and what I was doing, I would feel intimidated over that.

Miller claims he was trying to be helpful moving and storing the family's belongings.

But William Dickerman, an attorney who represented the family, told Dateline last year he tried repeatedly with little success to get the belongings returned.

William Dickerman: I wrote to Mr. Geragos many times asking for a description of what was being retained, where it was, who had access to it, when we would get it back.

Thomas: I find it hard to believe that if they were trying to help the family that it would be so difficult to get their property back.

And that audiotape Miller recorded -- he says he just recorded what the family wanted to say. Prosecutors told the jury that it is edited to make Michael Jackson look good.

Thomas: The DA claimed that the tape was altered. If they didn't like the answer to a question, they would start over until they got the answer they wanted.

Nine months later, after the accuser made the allegations to authorities, Santa Barbara sheriff's deputies swooped in searching Neverland, the home of the videographer and Miller's office, which they photographed.

There, they seized those videotapes of the family, that audiotape of the interview and more.

Miller talked to Dateline before he was subpoenaed as a witness. He says he's speaking out to tell his side of the story. 

Miller: I did nothing wrong. But there's no one there to protect me, no one's there to answer for me or to give what really happened.

Miller has not been charged with any crime, but in the end, his role and the evidence seized from his office could be a key element for a jury that will have to decide whether Michael Jackson and his team went to great lengths to silence an accuser or whether Jackson was a victim himself.

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