Al Malnik is doing some serious spinning in the world press right now in regard to Michael Jackson.
He's been quoted in several publications about regarding his "friendship" with Jackson, saying that he's godfather to the pop king's youngest son, Blanket, and that, last Malnik knew, he was executor of his estate. Yesterday, Malnik's wife, Nancy, executed a photo dump on her Facebook page as a tribute to the late star. The photos show Malnik and his family with Jackson in 2003.
Here's how the Daily Mail characterized Malnik's relationship with Jackson in its story regarding the new photographs:
In pictures taken from the same party, Jackson and his children are allegedly pictured with the children of close friends Al and Nancy Malnik.The 76-year-old American millionaire has triplets Jarod, Spencer and Nathan, who are now 11. Mr Malnik had been friends with the singer for more than ten years and the singer stayed with him at the height of the child abuse scandals. Jackson is godfather to Spencer, who is understood to be featured in the pictures sitting on the steps of Mr Malnik's Miami mansion with Paris.
This is laughable. The two men were indeed friends at one time, but there's a reason the photographs date all the way back to 2003. The two men had a falling out after Jackson began to believe that Malnik, who has known Mafia ties and was once a close associate of Meyer Lansky, was trying to wrangle Jackson's rights to half the Beatles catalog of songs from him, rights that are worth an estimated half billion dollars.
The source of this information is Gordon Novel, a character of intrigue himself from the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, and Waco. Novel worked in the Lyndon Johnson administration and spent years working as an investigator for former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth first reported that Novel had met with Jackson in 2005 in an attempt to get the investigator to find proof that Malnik was part of a conspiracy involving Sony's Tommy Mottola and film director Brett Ratner, a Malnik protoge, to take over his assets.
"According to Novel, Jackson said he was lured to Malnik's house in Miami Beach by film director Brett Ratner to see a house so beautiful it would make him catatonic," Orth wrote. "He said that once he was there, however, Malnik, who Jackson claimed had Mafia ties, wanted to put his fingers in the singer's business. Jackson also said he received a call from Tommy Mottola while he was there, which aroused his suspicion..."
I contacted Novel over the weekend, and he confirmed meeting with Jackson at Neverland Valley during the time of the 2005 trial. He told me that he was originally contacted by Jackson's brother Jermaine and that Michael and the family wanted Novel to gather proof of the Malnik/Mottola conspiracy and further find evidence that Mottola was behind the criminal child molestation charges. The ultimate goal was to blow the trial out of the water so Jackson wouldn't have to face prison time.
Novel said he flew in March 2005, about a month into Jackson's trial, from his home in New Orleans to the Los Angeles home owned by Jackson's parents, where he stayed several days before Jackson finally had him over to Neverland Valley. He said the two of them met in a bungalow on the property before Jackson drove him around the ranch in an old pickup truck.
"The whole thing centered on Tommy Mottola setting him up," Novel told me. "Mottola and him were at odds, and Jackson's information was that Mottola and Malnik got together to fuck him. He said he believed Malnik was representing the Mob."
He said Jackson had special loathing for Malnik because he felt betrayed by him. When I told him that Malnik was saying that Jackson had made him executor of his estate, he was dubious.
"He had split up with Malnik," said Novel. "He never said anything about Malnik being executor of his will. And based on how pissed off Jackson was at him at the time, I wouldn't believe it on a bet."
When asked what Jackson was like at the meeting, Novel didn't hesitate: "He was afraid, very very afraid. He didn't want to go to jail and didn't think he would be treated very well there."
Was he fearful that he would be killed in prison?
"Yeah, you can say that," Novel said.
But he also said that Jackson's mental state was "excellent" and that the pop star was lucid and extremely intelligent. He didn't believe Jackson was on any drugs during the meeting.
I asked Novel if he believed Jackson's theory about the conspiracy against him. He said that he thought Jackson was not guilty of the criminal charges and that he was probably set up, but he had no idea if Mottola was involved.
"He thought that Mottola was Mob-connected and that Malnik was representing the Mob, but I can't vouch for any of that shit," Novel said. "I don't have anything against Tommy Mottola and don't know if what he thought was true or not. I don't want to get on Mottola's bad side. My sources in New York say he's a dangerous guy."
Novel never conducted an investigation and said that, in the end, Jackson "deadbeated" him. He said that when he got to the airport to fly home, there was no ticket as promised by Jackson. He said that he contacted Jermaine and that the family paid for his flight. He said Jackson still owes him $25,000 for his consultation at Neverland. (Orth reported in Vanity Fair that Jackson apparently took a lot of Novel's advice, but at that time, Novel claimed Jackson owed him just $5,000.)
"He was a tremendously talented deadbeat," Novel said. "Michael Jackson would deadbeat King Kong."
It's clear that whether Malnik had any ulterior motives in befriending Jackson, the pop star ended up believing he was an enemy out to get his Beatles songs. We'll have to wait and see if the world media continues to eat out of Malnik's hand or if it actually reports the truth about the relationship and its bitter end.