Two and a half months after searching Neverland, prosecutors continue to look for more evidence in the Michael Jackson case. Another search was executed over the weekend at the home of one of the singer's business associates, Marc Schaffel.
A record producer with ties to the porn industry, Schaffel first provoked controversy in Jackson's life when the all-star charity single he produced for the singer, "What More Can I Give," didn't come out on schedule (see "Did Porn, Sony Or McDonald's Sink Jackson Charity Single?"). At the time, Schaffel said the label delayed the release because it didn't want the song to overshadow the marketing of Jackson's Invincible album.
Once word spread that Schaffel had directed and produced porn, Jackson's camp said it had terminated its business relationship with him. Despite this, Schaffel continued to work with Jackson and was behind the filming of the making of British journalist Martin Bashir's "Living With Michael Jackson" documentary. Reportedly at Schaffel's suggestion, Jackson's aides filmed Bashir's crew throughout the time he spent with Jackson in 2002, and the footage was sold to FOX as the rebuttal doc "Take 2: The Interview They Didn't Show You" (see Michael Jackson Strikes Back With 'Take Two' TV Special").
Investigators previously searched the West Hills, California, home of Hamid Moslehi, Jackson's cameraman for the shoot, on the day of the Neverland search, and seized his computer and several videotapes. On Saturday afternoon, Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies turned their attention to the producer of that shoot and searched his Calabasas, California, home for about one hour, seizing computers, business files and contracts.
Schaffel and his attorney did not return calls for comment. A Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokesperson said he could not comment on the matter because of a gag order enacted by the judge overseeing Jackson's molestation trial (see "Media, Attorneys Fight Over Access In Michael Jackson Case").
As for the Neverland search, just-released court documents reveal details about what was seized, though the judge heavily edited what was made public. Investigators who searched the complex on November 18 (see "New Allegations Spark Search Of Jackson's Neverland Ranch") removed the bulk of their findings from the main house, based on a warrant signed the previous night, and the warrant was amended over the phone so that a storage locker could also be searched.
A locksmith had to open the master bathroom, keys for which were found in a safe. In the bathroom, a digital camera was found by the sink and a laptop computer was found inside a locked closet. Many of the other items seized were taken from the master bedroom, den and study, including a note and a letter found on the singer's bedroom nightstand. Investigators also removed at least 16 computers, videotapes, DVDs, legal documents, magazines and calendars.
[This story was updated at 2:13 p.m. ET on 02.03.2004]
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."