It seems that the lead in Gene Simmons' make-up has gone to his brain.
In a bizarre rant during a Classic Rock interview, Simmons accused Michael Jackson of child molestation, citing several completely fictitious pieces of evidence.
The aging glam-rock star claimed that he knew a musician who quit a Michael Jackson tour because of 'what he saw' on the road. I am frequently paid as a Jackson expert and I can state with certainty that I am unaware of any musician ever quitting a Michael Jackson tour mid-way through. In fact, Jackson used the same musicians every time he toured, with minor alterations on a tour by tour basis, but never mid-way through.
Elsewhere, Simmons claimed that Michael Jackson was on tape ordering 'Jesus Juice' for children. This is a fiction.
It was alleged during Jackson's trial that he served alcohol to the Gavin Arvizo and his siblings, but they each gave contradictory accounts of the incident. Staff accused by the children of serving them booze all denied having ever done so, but did reveal that the children had been caught stealing alcohol behind Jackson's back.
No audio tape of Jackson ordering alcohol for children was ever brought forward and the star was acquitted on multiple counts of serving alcohol to a minor. Simmons' claim that Jackson was on tape ordering alcohol for children is pure fantasy.
By far, Simmons' most outrageous claim was that during Jackson's trial a travel agent testified that the star had hired them to fly to Brazil and fetch young boys for him. This allegation is a total figment of Gene Simmons' imagination. No such testimony ever occurred during Jackson's trial.
Growing up, I was always taught that if you don't know what you're talking about, you shouldn't say anything. Evidently Gene's parents didn't instill in him the same belief. That, or he's just going senile.
It is completely irresponsible to pass comment on a criminal investigation that you know nothing about and even more irresponsible to make a criminal accusation and then support it with non-existent evidence. Simmons has heard fragments of reported speech from Jackson's trial and then assigned them entirely new meaning as the years have passed, building up an arsenal of evidence against Jackson which never actually existed.
However, the blame doesn't lie solely at Simmons' door. Classic Rock should do their research before regurgitating such drivel. Yes, it is reported speech, but it is still irresponsible for any publication to perpetuate baseless myths which indicate that an innocent man is a paedophile.
Thanks to Google News, this story has now gone global. All over the world people are reading it and many will believe Simmons' comments, partially because he's in the music business and there is an element of presumed insider knowledge, but mostly because the initial reporting on Jackson's trial was so inept.
Simmons' comments have no basis in reality. Jackson is categorically not on tape ordering children alcohol. There was categorically not any testimony at his trial about flying boys in from Brazil. These two allegations are without any evidencial basis whatsoever, and for Simmons to state them as fact is despicable.
In future, Simmons should either do his research or shut his trap. His irresponsible and unfounded allegations have now entered the homes of millions around the globe and you can bet your bottom dollar that nobody is going to print a rebuttal or a retraction.