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Remembering Michael Jackson's 'Ghosts', the forgotten terrifying movie follow-up to 'Thriller'

31 October 2022, 15:57

Michael Jackson's Ghosts

By Tom Eames

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Michael Jackson always had a fascination with horror and Halloween, and followed up his iconic 'Thriller' music video with a fantastic mini-film to promote his latest track, 'Ghosts', in 1996.

Michael Jackson didn't just make music videos for his new releases, he crafted full-length short films, full of dance routines and glamour, often telling a story in the process.

In 1996, he brought out 'Ghosts', a mini-film to promote the song of the same name and other tracks from his albums HIStory and the upcoming Blood on the Dancefloor.

The Story of… ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson

  • The 10 greatest and scariest Halloween songs of all time, ranked

But it hasn't quite had the legacy as some of his other iconic music videos, perhaps the victim of making so many other incredible clips.

Thankfully, Michael Jackon's official YouTube page has released the film in full in time for Halloween 2020. But what is it all about and how was it made?

What was Michael Jackson's Ghosts and when was it released?

michael jacksons ghost

Michael Jackson - Ghost (Official Video) 2021 Full Version

Ghosts was a short film starring Michael Jackson, and written by horror icon Stephen King alongside Mick Garris, and directed by Stan Winston.

It was filmed and first aired in 1996 alongside selected showings of the film Thinner .

It was then released on home video a year later around the world on LaserDisc, VHS and Video CD.

  • When Michael Jackson revealed his rare deep speaking and singing voice

Ghosts tells the story of a man with supernatural powers who is being forced out of a small town by its local mayor.

According to Garris, Ghosts was "the most expensive music video ever made" at around $15 million, all paid for by Jackson himself.

Which Michael Jackson songs appear in Ghosts?

michael jacksons ghost

Michael Jackson - Ghosts (Official Video - Shortened Version)

Ghosts includes several dance routines performed by Michael Jackson, set to the songs: '2 Bad', 'Is It Scary' and 'Ghosts'.

These songs were taken from Jackson's albums HIStory (1995) and Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix (1997).

What is the plot of Michael Jacksons Ghosts?

Michael Jackson's Ghosts

The mayor (played by Jackson using prosthetics) of Normal Valley leads an angry mob to the mansion of the 'maestro' (Jackson), who has been entertaining local children with magic tricks and ghost stories.

The children tell their parents that the Maestro has done nothing wrong, but the mayor wants to banish him as a "freak".

  • Michael Jackson's unearthed Suzuki commercial from 1979 might be the coolest ever

The maestro then challenges the mayor to a 'scaring contest': the first to become scared must leave the house.

The maestro performs magic tricks and dance routines with his ghostly group, and then possesses the mayor, forcing him to dance too.

After the performance, the maestro agrees to leave and fades to dust. However, he returns as a huge demon.

Michael Jackson as the Mayor

Terrified, the mayor jumps through a window. The remaining families agree that they all had fun, and allow the maestro to stay after all.

The film intended to send a message about the importance of tolerance and acceptance, reminding people how wrong it can be to judge and fear others just because they are "different".

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MICHAEL JACKSON’S GHOSTS - Go Behind the Scenes at Stan Winston Studio

In 1996, michael jackson asked stan winston to direct a groundbreaking music video/short film, ghosts..

MICHAEL JACKSON’S GHOSTS - Go Behind the Scenes at Stan Winston Studio

The Making of Michael Jackson’s Ghosts

In 1996, with the campaign to promote his HIStory album in full swing,  Michael Jackson  set out to make a  music video that he and horror novelist, Stephen King had   dreamt up several years earlier, in 1993.  Looking to follow up on the success of his 1983 masterpiece, 'Thriller,' masterfully directed by John Landis, Michael originally planned a short music video for the song, 'Is It Scary,' which was originally written, but not used, for the 1993 film Addams Family Values . When Michael expanded the track and the concept, the project became for a time, the longest music video ever created, a short feature clocking in a 39 minutes and 32 seconds and renamed, "Michael Jackson’s 'Ghosts'."

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Stan Winston as Director for Ghosts

Behind the scenes of mj’s ghosts, creating michael jackson’s stretching face effect, makeup effects for the ghouls, designing the ghost family.

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Watch the four-minute video version of 'Ghosts' here:

Originally the writer/director Mick Garris (Stephen King's "The Stand," Hocus Pocus , Critters 2 )  was slated to write and direct the short film, but in 1996 when Michael Jackson was finally ready to green-light 'Ghosts,' Garris was committed to another project, a three-part mini-series based on King's The Shining .  Garris recommended effects wizard  Stan Winston  ( Pumpkinhead ) , to take over the reins.  Michael Jackson called Stan personally to ask if he might consider directing the film. Stan agreed with only one condition: that Michael would play all the lead roles.

“I wanted Michael to play the haunted house guy," said Winston, "but also the mayor of the town, and an evil demon who comes in at one point. Michael wanted badly to be accepted as an actor, as something more than the King of Pop. But it was so difficult for people to get past Michael’s persona, I thought that the only way he would be accepted as a real actor was if he played all these parts, disguised in makeup, so that no one would know it was him until the end. And he was very agreeable to that idea.”

Michael Jackson with his Ghost family on the set. Stan Winston worked closely with cinematographer Russell Carpenter to make 'Ghosts' a spectacle of light and magical effects.

Michael played all five of the main characters including, The Mayor, The Maestro, The Skeleton, The Super Ghoul, and The Ghoul Mayor. Filming  took place over six-weeks of intense production.  Although 'Ghosts' was originally supposed to be 12–15 minutes long, the final running time of nearly 40 minutes landed the film in the 2002 Guinness Book of World Records as the longest music video in history, a record that held till 2013 when Pharrell Williams released his 24-hour music video for 'Happy .'

As director, Stan Winston chose to implement many and varied special effects. Winston included a number of never-before-seen visual effects which were created by the newly formed computer graphics division of Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston Digital. This division would soon become the start of the company Digital Domain--through a partnership between Winston, James Cameron and ILM's Scott Ross.

Michael Jackson in makeup as The Mayor, stands next to Stan Winston.

The film tells the story of a strange and mysterious Maestro who is set upon by some angry locals who persecute him for being different and weird. Winston's most significant script change to Mick Garris's original script, saw the introduction of The Mayor, who leads the townspeople against the Maestro. The confrontation occurs in the Maestro's mansion, where the Maestro conjures up a dancing ghost family, including a CGI skeleton that dances as only Michael Jackson can dance.  

The makeup process for The Mayor. Foam rubber prosthetics were applied, transforming MJ into a 50-year old white man.

Michael Jackson's transformations included a scene where The Maestro stretches the skin of his face.  Paul Mejias  did a clay casting of Michael's head from a life-cast impression. This sculpture served two purposes: first it was used to cast the skin that Michael pulls off, revealing the skull underneath; secondly, the casting served as a form to sculpt Michael's skull as the Skeleton.

Concept art for MJ's stretching face by Miles Teves.

Paul Mejias's skull was used as the digital reference model for Michael's skeleton dance. In one of the first instances of early motion-capture techniques, by putting markers on Michael's body, his captured performance was able to drive the movements of the digital character that later transforms into the Super Ghoul.

On the left: Paul Mejias sculpts the skull made to fit inside a silicone casting of Michael Jackson's skin. On the right: Very fragile wax castings of the skulls made to break apart easily when struck.

Later in the video, Michael appears as the Super Ghoul and enters the Mayor's body to transform him to Mayor Ghoul.  The film ends with the Maestro scaring the Mayor from the mansion as he wins over the people of the town.

Michael Jackson in the Super Ghoul makeup.

SWSCA artist/instructor,  Bruce Spaulding Fuller  designed the  ghastly dancers' makeup . Each dancer  has a distinct personality, and every dancer has specific and individual characteristics to its makeup and costuming. 

One of the dancers in the final makeup and costume.

In the video, ghostly dancers  appear at first in ectoplasm form; then they take on solid form. These corporeal ghosts  walk and jump on the walls, twirl on columns, and dance on ceilings. The effects were achieved by using a combination of digital compositing, some CGI enhancement, and many in-camera tricks.

Ursula Ward touches up the hair piece on a ghastly puppet for a greenscreen shot.

Parallels between the film’s storyline and the rumors then circulating about Michael Jackson’s private life led to 'Ghosts' getting only a very limited release.  Michael Jackson's 'Ghosts' premiered at the end of 1996 and was released along with Stephen King’s horror movie,  Thinner . 'Ghosts'  was screened at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, and it  won the Bob Fosse Award for “Best Choreography in a Music Video.”  

There were accusations about MJ's inappropriate behavior with young children--charges more serious than just being "different" or "weird." These charges would follow Jackson for the next twelve years until his untimely death at age 50 from a drug overdose. But, Stan Winston, interviewed at the time, said, “I’m still proud of the way 'Ghosts' turned out, though. And I really enjoyed making the film with Michael. He was a complete professional throughout the process — the consummate performer.”

MJ, in makeup disguise, sits beside Stan Winston and the cast of ghost dancers on the set of 'Ghosts

'Ghosts' was Stan Winston's last project as a director. He went on to take a more active role in film production as a producer. As he put it, “Producing allows me to develop projects, to be part of the creative process of making movies, but in a way that isn’t all-consuming. I call producing, ‘directing - without the responsibility.’  And I like it that way.”

- Blog assembled by  Balázs Földesi  with selections from  The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio  by Jody Duncan

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Ghosts (1996)

The mayor of a nameless town gathers a mob to confront a hermit living in a "haunted house," but when the mob arrives, the man has a few tricks up his sleeve to convince them that he's not t... Read all The mayor of a nameless town gathers a mob to confront a hermit living in a "haunted house," but when the mob arrives, the man has a few tricks up his sleeve to convince them that he's not that bad. The mayor of a nameless town gathers a mob to confront a hermit living in a "haunted house," but when the mob arrives, the man has a few tricks up his sleeve to convince them that he's not that bad.

  • Stan Winston
  • Mick Garris
  • Stephen King
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Michael Jackson in Ghosts (1996)

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  • (as John 'Havic' Gregory)

Travis Payne

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  • Trivia Holds the Guinness World Record as the longest music video.

Maestro : Did I scare you?

  • Alternate versions The first screening of the movie featured only the "2Bad" song, from the 1995's "HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I" album. But since the marketing campaign had already started for Jackson's next album "Blood On The Dance Floor: HIStory In The Mix" they added "Is It Scary" and "Ghosts", both from the new album, which was released in January 1997.
  • Connections Edited into Michael Jackson: Ghosts (Short Version) (1997)
  • Soundtracks 2 Bad Written by Michael Jackson Music Composed by Bruce Swedien , Rene Moore (as Rene) and Dallas Austin Produced by Michael Jackson for MJJ Productions, Inc., Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis for Flytime [sic] Productions, Inc. Mijac Music (BMI), admin. by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) / Bruce Swedien Music, Inc. (ASCAP) / Rene Moore Music (ASCAP) / EMI April Music Inc. (ASCAP) / DARP Music (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved. Used by permission. Special version from the Epic release "HIStory - Past, Present and Future - Book I"

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  • July 10, 1997 (United States)
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The Meaning Behind The Song: Ghosts by Michael Jackson

Ghosts, by the iconic Michael Jackson, is a hauntingly beautiful song that captivates listeners with its introspective lyrics and haunting melody. Released in 1997 as part of Jackson’s remix album, Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix, the song delves into themes of inner demons, social ostracism, and the power of acceptance. With its thought-provoking lyrics and poignant instrumentals, Ghosts leaves a lasting impact on its listeners.

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The lyrics of Ghosts are open to interpretation, and the meaning behind the song may differ based on individual perspective. However, many listeners perceive the song as a reflection of Jackson’s personal struggles with fame, public perception, and the constant scrutiny he faced throughout his career. The lyrics, “When you feel that something is going wrong, just a shadow of a doubt, and you’re not sure if you belong, don’t let depression make you blind,” highlight the challenges faced by the artist himself and serve as a message of hope for those experiencing similar hardships.

The haunting melody and atmospheric instrumental arrangements in Ghosts further amplify the song’s meaningful impact. Jackson’s unrivaled vocal range and emotional delivery add depth and intensity to the lyrics, making Ghosts a truly unforgettable musical experience. The song’s instrumental breaks and climactic chorus create a perfect balance, showcasing Jackson’s artistic genius and his ability to connect with his audience on a profound level.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ghosts by Michael Jackson

What inspired michael jackson to write ghosts.

Michael Jackson drew inspiration from various sources in his life, including personal experiences, societal issues, and his desire to create music that resonated with people. While the exact inspiration behind Ghosts may only be known to Jackson himself, it is believed that the song reflects his struggles with fame, identity, and societal expectations.

What is the main message of Ghosts?

The main message of Ghosts centers around acceptance, resilience, and the importance of staying true to oneself despite external pressures. It encourages individuals to embrace their uniqueness and not be deterred by the judgments or criticisms of others.

What emotions does Ghosts evoke in listeners?

Ghosts evokes a range of emotions in listeners, including melancholy, introspection, and empowerment. The haunting melody and introspective lyrics create an immersive experience that allows listeners to connect with their own inner struggles and find solace in Michael Jackson’s musical journey.

Is there any symbolism in the lyrics of Ghosts?

Symbolism can be subjective, and listeners may interpret the lyrics of Ghosts differently based on their own experiences and perspectives. However, some listeners have interpreted the song’s references to ghosts and shadows as metaphors for inner demons or the public perception of Michael Jackson. The lyrics may also symbolize the struggles faced by individuals who feel outcast or misunderstood.

What impact did Ghosts have on Michael Jackson’s career?

Ghosts, along with its accompanying short film, played a significant role in Michael Jackson’s career. While the song did not achieve the same level of commercial success as some of Jackson’s other hits, it showcased his artistic growth and continued relevance as an artist. Ghosts further solidified Jackson’s status as a groundbreaking and innovative musician, mesmerizing audiences with his unmatched creativity and ability to tackle complex themes through his music.

Did Michael Jackson perform Ghosts live?

Although Michael Jackson did not perform Ghosts during any of his live concerts, he did include it in his short film of the same name. The short film, directed by Stan Winston, showcased Jackson’s impeccable dance skills, captivating visuals, and the unique storytelling ability that made him an unrivaled entertainer. The film premiered at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, further cementing Jackson’s status as a visionary artist.

These are just a few frequently asked questions about the song Ghosts by Michael Jackson. Each listener’s interpretation may vary, but one thing is certain: this hauntingly beautiful song continues to captivate audiences and leave an enduring impact on the world of music. With its introspective lyrics and masterful musical composition, Ghosts remains a timeless testament to the unparalleled talent of the legendary Michael Jackson.

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Michael Jackson's Ghosts Collab with Stephen King Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Ghosts took Michael Jackson back into the horror genre, but despite bringing Stephen King along for the ride on the $15 million project, it still plays second fiddle to Thriller.

There is no denying that despite originally being released in the run up to Christmas, Michael Jackson's Thriller stands as one of the greatest music videos of all time, and a guaranteed Halloween standard, but the John Landis directed mini-movie wasn't the only time the King of Pop drifted into the horror genre in his music videos, although his other long-form offering is nowhere near as well remembered despite having a storyline written by Master of Horror, Stephen King . Ghosts was released 25 years ago this weekend, having originally premiered - as they did in those days - on October 25th 1996 before going on to play alongside King's movie Thinner .

Ghosts saw Michael Jackson playing five different roles across the 40-minute long, special effects-driven supernatural tale which at its center contained the title song, as well as two other tracks, 2 Bad and Is It Scary . The project was original written under the title of the latter of those songs, and was to be directed by co-writer Mick Garris, who was known for working on a number of Stephen King properties such as the original mini-series of The Stand , but when he dropped out to direct another King project - the mini-series based on The Shining - special effects legend Stan Winston took over helming the project. All his led to a truly cinematic result, with a cinematic budget of $15 million, which is still the most expensive music video ever made, the who amount of which was paid exclusively by Jackson.

The storyline of the piece sees the Mayor of Normal Valley (Jackson) leasing an angry mob to the home of the Maestro (also Jackson), who has been telling ghost stories and showing magic tricks to the local children. While the Mayor plans to banish the Maestro for this, he is instead challenged to a "scaring contest", with the first of the two of them to be scared becoming the one to leave. After a face off in which the Maestro dances with a gathering of ghouls and ghosts, possesses the Mayor and after transforming as a terrifying demon, the Mayor exits through a window, and everyone agrees they have had a good old time and they all go about their business.

Quarter of a century on and the mini-movie is certainly worth a watch for horror fans , and delivers a fantastic hit of nostalgia for a time before CGI took over everything and practical effects were king. There is very little that can be faulted in the effort of those involved with the project, but it isn't remembered well for a few reasons. Around the time of its release, Jackson had only recently divorced Lisa Marie Presley and had been the subject of child abuse investigations, which for many didn't sit well with the story of a creepy recluse entertaining children in his eerie mansion.

More than that though, being a three-song feature and none of them standing out as being exceptional tunes in their own right means that Ghosts is never going to manage to drag its carcass from under the monolithic shadow of Thriller . Also in honor of the 25th anniversary, Bloody Disgusting is hosting The Loser's Club podcast , which goes in-depth on the forgotten horror oddity lingering in Michael Jackson's closet.

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Jeffrey Epstein: documents linking associates to sex offender unsealed

Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson, David Copperfield and Prince Andrew among names contained in court documents

  • Explainer: who was Epstein and what are court documents about?
  • Read unsealed documents in full

Numerous court documents identifying associates of notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were made public on Wednesday.

Some of the high-profile names in the court documents include Prince Andrew, the former US president Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson, and David Copperfield.

These associates’ just-unsealed names were contained in court documents filed as part of Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell ; the documents include excerpts of depositions and motions in this case. The British socialite was convicted in December 2021 of sex trafficking and similar charges for procuring teen girls for disgraced financier Epstein.

Prior to the unsealing, the names were listed in court papers as variants of J Doe. Many of the names are people who had been publicly identified as Epstein associates prior to this unsealing.

The inclusion of a name in this list does not mean that said associate has been accused of wrongdoing in relation to Epstein. Among the names are people mentioned in passing at legal proceedings

In a deposition, Maxwell appears to say that Andrew visited Epstein’s Island in the US Virgin Islands. Epstein has been accused of abusing numerous girls on this island.

“Were you present on the island when Prince Andrew visited?” Maxwell was asked.

She responded in the affirmative and, when asked how many times, she said: “I can only remember once.” When asked if there were any girls on the island at that time, Maxwell insisted: “There were no girls on the island at all. No girls, no women, other than the staff who work at the house.”

One document included a deposition given by Johanna Sjoberg, whom Maxwell allegedly procured for the purpose of performing sex acts on Epstein.

Sjoberg said in her deposition that Epstein “said one time that Clinton likes them young, referring to girls”.

In 2019, Clinton’s spokesperson Angel Ureña denied claims made about Clinton’s involvement with Epstein and wrote in a statement on Twitter that “President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York.”

Clinton notably had an 18-month long affair with Monica Lewinsky, his then 22-year-old intern, during his first term as president. He was 49 years old.

Sjoberg also said that the late musician Michael Jackson was at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, and that she met the famed magician David Copperfield.

“Did you ever meet anybody famous when you were with Jeffrey? she was asked. “I met Michael Jackson … at [Epstein’s] house in Palm Beach.”

Asked whether she massaged Jackson, Sjoberg said: “I did not.”

As for Copperfield, Sjoberg said that he attended dinner at one of Epstein’s homes and “he did some magic tricks”.

“Did you observe David Copperfield to be a friend of Jeffrey Epstein’s?” she was asked. Sjoberg replied in the affirmative.

“Did Copperfield ever discuss Jeffrey’s involvement with young girls with you?” she was also asked. “He questioned me if I was aware that girls were getting paid to find other girls.”

Copperfield, she said in the deposition, didn’t tell her any specifics of that question. “Did he say whether they were teenagers or anything along those lines?” she was also asked. “He did not.”

Donald Trump, whose association with Epstein has been widely reported, was also mentioned in the documents; the former US president is not accused of wrongdoing. In Sjoberg’s deposition, she said that they went to one of Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City when a storm prevented Epstein’s plane from landing in New York City.

“Jeffrey said, Great, we’ll call up Trump and we’ll go to – I don’t recall the name of the casino, but – we’ll go to the casino.” Asked at one point whether she ever gave Trump a massage, Sjoberg said “no”.

The deposition also includes Sjoberg’s account of allegedly meeting Prince Andrew at Epstein’s New York home. “Ghislaine asked me to come to a closet. She just said, Come with me. We went to a closet and grabbed the puppet, the puppet of Prince Andrew,” she said in the deposition.

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“And I knew it was Prince Andrew because I had recognized him as a person. I didn’t know who he was. And so when I saw the tag that said Prince Andrew, then it clicked. I’m like, that’s who it is.”

Sjoberg and Maxwell then returned to the living room with the puppet. “I just remember someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to go get on the couch. And so Andrew and Virginia sat on the couch, and they put the puppet, the puppet on her lap,” Sjoberg recalled. “And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine.”

Sjoberg said she went to bed shortly thereafter. “Did you hear Ghislaine Maxwell tell Virginia to do anything while you were in that room?” she was asked. Sjoberg replied: “No.”

Giuffre, who claimed that Epstein and Maxwell forced her into a sexual encounter with Britain’s Prince Andrew at age 17, had sued the publishing heiress for defamation after claiming the accuser lied. Giuffre settled her lawsuit against Maxwell in 2017.

In 2021, Giuffre sued Prince Andrew over the alleged sexual abuse. The suit settled in early 2022. Andrew has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, he agreed to donate to Giuffre’s victims’ rights charity.

The documents’ release is among several tranches of filings in Giuffre’s civil case that were unsealed following the Miami Herald’s years-long effort to make them public. Giuffre did not make allegations of wrongdoing against Clinton.

In one set of documents released in July 2020, Giuffre claimed that Maxwell participated in Epstein’s sexual abuse of teen girls. These documents were released several weeks after Maxwell’s arrest for her involvement in Epstein’s sex trafficking.

Giuffre claimed that Maxwell lured her into Epstein’s perverse orbit under the false pretense of work as a professional masseuse. Instead, Giuffre said, Maxwell “trained me as a sex slave”, according to a filing in that set of unsealed court papers.

The documents released in July 2020 also provided insight into Maxwell and Epstein’s relationship.

In a January 2015 email exchange, Epstein told Maxwell: “You have done nothing wrong and i woudl [sic] urge you to start acting like it … go outside, head high, not as an esacping [sic] convict. go to parties. deal with it.”

In another 2015 email, Epstein tells Maxwell she “can issue a reward” to any of Giuffre’s friends to “prove her allegations are false”, including what Epstein said was a “new version” of a claim that the renowned English theoretical physicist Steven Hawking had participated in an “underage orgy” in the Virgin Islands. Hawking, who died in 2018 , has not been accused of a crime related to Epstein.

A large collection of documents in Giuffre’s civil case were also unsealed in August 2019. Those papers included accusations, since denied, that global leaders were participants in Epstein’s trafficking ring.

Epstein was arrested on 6 July 2019 for sex trafficking. He was found dead in his jail cell on 10 August of that year; authorities determined that he hanged himself.

Maxwell was sentenced in June 2022 to 20 years imprisonment. She has maintained her innocence and is appealing her conviction.

Asked for comment on the documents’ unsealing, Maxwell’s attorneys, Arthur L Aidala and Diana Fabi Samson, said: “Ghislaine Maxwell took no position on the court’s recent decision to unseal documents in Giuffre v Maxwell as these disclosures have no bearing on her or her pending appeal.”

“Ghislaine’s focus is on the upcoming appellate argument asking for her entire case to dismissed,” they also said. “She is confident that she will obtain justice in the second circuit court of appeals. She has consistently and vehemently maintained her innocence.”

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michael jacksons ghost

Second wave of court documents related to Jeffrey Epstein unsealed

michael jacksons ghost

Jeffrey Epstein boasted of spurious celebrity connections, documents show

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Epstein court files damage Prince Andrew’s hopes of restoring reputation

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Release of Epstein documents crashes court website but details are less scandalous

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Jeffrey Epstein’s elite circle was huge. What do the documents show about his lifestyle and $580m fortune?

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Who was Jeffrey Epstein and what are the court documents about?

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Unsealed Jeffrey Epstein court papers – read document in full

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Jeffrey Epstein list: Whose names are on the newly unsealed documents?

The documents have unearthed sexual assault allegations against Prince Andrew. Donald Trump and Bill Clinton are also mentioned.

Geoffrey Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photograph of Jeffrey Epstein as he announces the financier's charges of sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

About 950 pages of court documents identifying associates of financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were made public on Wednesday.

What is the Jeffrey Epstein list?

Included in the unsealed papers are the names of about 150 Epstein associates . The documents were filed as part of Virginia Giuffre’s 2015 defamation lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s co-conspirator in his sexual abuse scheme. Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2022. Epstein died by suicide in 2019 while awaiting sex trafficking charges .

Keep reading

Initial tranche of nearly 950 epstein court documents released, names linked to jeffrey epstein set to be made public: all you need to know, ‘negligence, misconduct’ led to epstein jail suicide: watchdog, jpmorgan ignored epstein’s ‘nymphettes,’ us virgin islands says.

Giuffre is one of the women who sued Epstein for abusing them at his homes in Florida, New York, the United States Virgin Islands and New Mexico. She said she was pressured into having sex with men in Epstein’s social orbit.

Other documents were unsealed by the court from 2019 to 2022.

Last month, a judge listed in a 50-page document about 180 people – under pseudonyms – ordering that their identities be made public within 14 days of the order. Some individuals have objected to the disclosure of their identities in the case.

The inclusion of a name on the list does not indicate there are any allegations against the individual.

Here is a closer look at some of the names in the recent documents:

Prince Andrew

The documents unsealed on Wednesday have revealed sexual assault allegations against the British royal.

Johanna Sjoberg, who is one of the many women who have accused Epstein of sexual abuse, said Andrew put his hand on her breast in Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in 2001.

This was while he was taking a photo with Sjoberg and Giuffre. Maxwell and Epstein were present while this photo was taken. Sjoberg said the photo also included a puppet that said “Prince Andrew” on it.

The incident, which has been previously reported by other media outlets and which Andrew has denied, was in an initial trove of previously redacted documents that otherwise revealed few new details about the extent of Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking activities.

Sjoberg was recruited to work for Epstein by Maxwell, who had been his girlfriend in the early 1990s before they became professional collaborators and accomplices in sex crimes for almost three decades.

While Sjoberg was hired as an assistant when she was a 20-year-old college student, she was quickly turned into a massage therapist and was sexually coerced while she worked for Maxwell and Epstein from 2001 to 2006.

Giuffre, now 38, accused Andrew of sexually abusing her two decades ago when she was 17, an allegation the prince called baseless. The case was settled in 2022 .

According to the documents, Sjoberg said she witnessed Giuffre, then 17, in Epstein’s New York mansion with Andrew, Epstein and Maxwell. She also said she believes what Giuffre has said about Andrew and Epstein sexually abusing her.

Alan Dershowitz

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz is well-known for his work in US criminal law. The documents pertaining to him include allegations made by an unnamed woman, Jane Doe #3.

Jane Doe #3 said Epstein “required” her to have sexual relations with Dershowitz on multiple occasions when she was a minor.

Dershowitz also played a significant role in negotiating an agreement that provided immunity from federal prosecution in the Southern District of Florida not only for Epstein but also for “any potential co-conspirators of Epstein”, the documents say.

Epstein’s housekeeper Juan Alessi testified that Dershowitz would often visit Epstein’s Florida mansion to get massages.

Another one of Epstein’s household employees, Alfredo Rodriquez, said the lawyer would be present at Epstein’s residence without his family and in the presence of girls.

Dershowitz said in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday that Jane Doe #3 misidentified him, and he denied ever meeting her. He suggested he was the victim of the MeToo movement’s “hypocrisy”, accusing “radical feminists” of focusing on Epstein and his associates while not “condemning Hamas”, the Palestinian armed group.

Jean-Luc Brunel

Jean-Luc Brunel was a French model scout who was awaiting trial on charges that he raped underage girls when he died by suicide in a Paris jail in 2022.

Giuffre was among the women who had accused Brunel of sexual abuse. She said Maxwell sent her to many places to have sex with Brunel. The documents also say Brunel would exploit underage girls from disadvantaged backgrounds by offering them modelling jobs but would then bring them to the US and “farm them out to his friends, especially Epstein”.

According to the documents, Jane Doe #3 accused Epstein of trafficking her to Brunel, who was Epstein’s close travel companion. She said she was also forced to watch Brunel, Maxwell and Epstein sexually assaulting underage girls.

Rolling Stone magazine published a report on Tuesday about a recent Los Angeles lawsuit in which a new woman accused Brunel of holding her hostage at a Canadian estate so she could be sexually abused by multiple men when she was 18.

David Copperfield

Sjoberg testified to meeting American magician David Copperfield at one of Epstein’s houses. She added that she observed him to be a friend of Epstein’s. She also recalled a girl at that dinner who she thought looked like she was of high-school age.

Sjoberg said Copperfield asked her if she knew that “girls were getting paid to find other girls”, referring to the recruitment of women by Epstein and Maxwell as “massage therapists”.

Bill Clinton

Former US President Bill Clinton is also mentioned in the court documents.

While Sjoberg said she did not meet Clinton, she testified that Epstein said to her: “Clinton likes them young,” apparently referring to girls. While Giuffre had mentioned earlier that Clinton and Epstein had a close relationship, she did not accuse him of any illegal action.

Clinton has repeatedly rejected all allegations that he was involved in anything unlawful and has said he had no interactions with Epstein for several years prior to the financier’s arrest.

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump is also mentioned in the documents but not accused.

Sjoberg mentioned an incident when she left with Epstein, Giuffre and a few others on a plane from Palm Beach, Florida, in 2001.

When the plane was unable to land in New York due to a storm, they had to land in Atlantic City and went to one of Trump’s casinos. Since Giuffre was underage at the time, Sjoberg was asked if she was allowed into the casino.

“I did not know anything about how old you had to be to gamble legally. I just knew she could not get in because of an ID issue, so she and I did not gamble,” Sjoberg answered.

Stephen Hawking

The late physicist’s name was mentioned in an email sent by Epstein to Maxwell in January 2015. In this email, Epstein told Maxwell to “issue a reward” to any of Giuffre’s friends, family and acquaintances to come forward and disprove Giuffre’s allegations, including against Hawking.

“the strongest is the clinton dinner, and the new version in the virgin isalnds that stven hawking partica-ted in an underage orgy,” the email said.

Michael Jackson

Sjoberg said she saw the late singer at Epstein’s residence. When she was asked if she gave him a massage, she said no.

More names to come

Not all the documents have been unsealed. The judge hasn’t set a target for when all of the documents should be made public, but more documents are expected to come out in the next few days. Lawyers for one individual, Doe 107, wrote to the judge, arguing they could face victimisation in their home country and requested time to submit grounds for their name to remain sealed.

The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson)

The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson)

Jackson's weeklong annual Indie Music Week returns for 2024. Check out schedule of events

Posted: January 6, 2024 | Last updated: January 6, 2024

Jackson Indie Music Week is back for 2024 and will run from Sunday, Jan. 7, to Sunday, Jan. 14, organizers said.

Presented by Southern Beverages, Jackson Indie Music Week is celebrated every second week of January and honors independent music artists and filmmakers with different entertainment events, including concerts, showcases, parties and more.

The Jackson Indie Music Week will highlight different genres of music including rock 'n' roll, hip-hop, blues and more, as Mississippi is known as the “Birthplace of America’s Music.”

"We are happy to announce this year hip-hop artist and performer Juvenile will be here in Jackson at Hal & Mal's and One Block East as part of Wednesday night's events doing meet and greets while here to promote his new product that Southern beverages has called 'Juvie Juice,'" said Brad Kamikaze Franklin, founder and executive director of Jackson Indie Music Week.

Many of the artists performing or showcasing talent, including Prep Cashmere, Ahmil Wilson and more, at planned events throughout the week are from Mississippi and are well-known in their cities and communities.

Maranda Joiner, author and motivational speaker, will also be hosting a two-hour self-care segment for upcoming creatives and artists. Sunday night's final event will include a showing of the documentary "Thank You" by Jackson's own Meezy, creator and director of the films "Crosses" and "Double Crosses."

"Mississippi is the birthplace of America's music, and it's appropriate that Jackson, Mississippi, has this seven-day festival," Kamikaze Franklin said. "It is appropriate that we have something here that highlights and spotlights our independent music scene and our creatives here so going into our ninth year, we have proven that our creative community and our music community can be an economic driver for the city of Jackson, and we bring revenue to this city, which is why its so important that politicians and business people nurture the creative community."

Below is the complete schedule of events during the Jackson Indie Music Week.

More: Mississippi Fairgrounds Announces new artists scheduled for 2024 Dixie National Rodeo

More: Want to dine outdoors this winter? Try these Jackson-area restaurants with patio heaters

Complete event schedule below:

Sunday, jan. 7.

  • The Official Kick of party — 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 440 Rendezvous Lounge , 440 N. Mill St., Jackson

Monday, Jan. 8

  • Jam Week Rocks: withperformance by Black Water Boogie — 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Fondren Guitars , 2771 Old Canton Road, Jackson

Also on Monday, Jan. 8

  • Blue Monday: with performances by Columbus Toy, Terrance Davis and Prep Cashmere — 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hal & Mal’s , 200 Commerce St., Jackson

Tuesday, Jan. 9

  • Maranda Joiner will lead a two-hour exploration into the heart of self-care and self-care dialogue for artists — 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Center Stage of Mississippi , 1625 E. County Line Road, Jackson

Also on Tuesday, Jan. 9

  • New Wave Part I: with performances by Will April, Suave, DJ Real Crazy, Willy Hutch, Aisha Racquel, King Discern and more — 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Center Stage of MS , 1625 E. County Line Road, Jackson

Wednesday, Jan. 10

  • Many Moons: An all-women showcase with performances from Elsie, Niecey Red Da Gawdess, Val and more — 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Hal & Mal’s (Main Room), 200 Commerce St., Jackson

Also on Wednesday, Jan. 10

  • New Wave part II: With performances by Ahmil Wilson, Zach Servis, Sateeva and more — 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • One Block East , 642 Tombigbee St., Jackson

Thursday, Jan. 11

  • The Eighth Annul Icon Awards and R&B Showcase: with performances by Meelah Dawn, Daniel Coleman and more — 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Duling Hall , 622 Duling Ave., Jackson

Friday, Jan. 12

  • The Culture Concert with performances by Ray Kincaid, Jo 2 Federal, 5th Child and more — 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Martin’s Downtown , 214 State St., Jackson

Saturday, Jan. 13

  • Daywatch Day Party — 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Green Ghost Tacos , 565 Taylor St., Jackson

Sunday, Jan. 14

  • Now Showing: "Thank You" Documentary by Meezy / Film and Video Showcase — 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Capri Theatre , 3023 N. State St., Jackson

Purchase all tickets on eventbrite.com by searching "Jackson Indie Week" and all event passes are $40.

Know an event coming up or have a good story idea? Reporter Kiara Fleming can be reached via email [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Jackson's weeklong annual Indie Music Week returns for 2024. Check out schedule of events

JIM Week Official Schedule

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  21. Jeffrey Epstein: documents linking associates to sex offender unsealed

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  22. Jeffrey Epstein list: Whose names are on the newly unsealed documents

    Michael Jackson. Sjoberg said she saw the late singer at Epstein's residence. When she was asked if she gave him a massage, she said no. More names to come. Not all the documents have been unsealed.

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