DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

Urine Trouble?

The strange story of a "spilled" sample

JANUARY 6--Concerned that a urine test would reveal that he was giving alcohol to a teenage boy, Michael Jackson allegedly participated in a bizarre scheme to dump the sample, according to sealed investigative records.

The urine plot is one of 28 "overt acts" that comprise a felony conspiracy count included in the pop star's April 2004 indictment. While details of those specific acts have been redacted from the charging instrument, TSG has reviewed sealed court, police, and grand jury records that detail the nature of the purported conspiracy hatched by Jackson and several associates.

The urine caper occurred in March 2003, several weeks after Jackson allegedly began providing wine and assorted booze (Jim Beam, tequila, vodka) to the 13-year-old boy, who had been diagnosed in 2000 with a rare form of cancer and lost a kidney and a spleen to the disease.

On the night before the urinalysis, Jackson told the boy of his concern that the alcohol might be detected, a worry the child shared with his mother the following day as they were driven to a medical laboratory.

According to a sealed search warrant affidavit, the boy was scheduled to submit a 24-hour urine sample for a creatinine clearance test, which allows his doctor to monitor the health of the youngster's remaining kidney. The large sample was stored inside a car carrying the boy, his mother, and driver Vincent Amen, a Jackson aide, from Neverland Ranch to the Los Angeles lab.

En route to the lab, Amen pulled over at a restaurant so the woman could use the restroom. When she returned, she discovered "the container of [the boy's] urine was almost empty, though it had been full before they stopped at the restaurant." The mother told detectives that when she questioned Amen about missing urine, "Vinny told her that he accidentally knocked it over and spilled the contents," according to the affidavit.

But she did not buy that excuse, especially since the container had a screw-on top, making an accidental spill nearly impossible.

Instead, she believed that Amen dumped most of the urine to stymie the test and keep Jackson's provision of alcohol to the 13-year-old a secret. If that was, in fact, Team Jacko's goal, it worked. While the mother and son continued on to the lab and submitted the remains of the urine sample, they subsequently received a letter from Kaiser informing them, the affidavit stated, "that the sample was insufficient" to perform the creatinine clearance test.

In an interview with detectives, the woman said that the urine episode served to confirm her belief that the Jackson camp was a bunch of scheming manipulators. "After Vinny spilled [the boy]'s urine sample, she finally felt she had something people were going to believe and that she was not crazy," one investigator wrote.

Until then, she "had been very careful about not telling anyone about what has happened to her and her family," since a Jackson lieutenant once cautioned her that the performer's camp "did things a certain way, so that if she ever went to somebody they would be able to refute her."