Perhaps sensing a James Frey-like scandal brewing, Diane Dimond, author of a recent book on Michael Jackson’s travails, is coming clean on the history of her involvement in the Jackson case.
Ostensibly, Diamond’s letter to the editor in the January 23rd issue of Broadcasting & Cable magazine is a complaint about an earlier B&C item that a) revealed that her book sold only 5,000 copies despite a massive advertising campaign; b) referred to her as “Jackson’s near stalker”; c) said her book’s title is “stomach-churning”; and d) spelled her name wrong.
But Dimond uses the letter to carefully document her involvement with the Jackson case. Because just as James Frey exaggerated and lied about his past, so has Diane Dimond used television and radio appearances over the past two and a half years to exaggerate the history of her crusade against Michael Jackson.
“My book is not selling as well as I’d like, and I have no argument with you reporting that,” Dimond writes in her letter to Broadcasting & Cable (available to subscribers on its website).
“But I am not a ‘near stalker,’ as your staff reported. I am a journalist who has followed the Michael Jackson case closely since first breaking the news in 1993 that Mr. Jackson was under investigation for pedophilia.
“After the mid ‘90s, I did absolutely no stories about Jackson. None. Zilch.”
Whether Dimond and Hard Copy “broke the news” on Jacko’s troubles can be disputed easily (see Tabloid Baby, now subject of a grassroots campaign to be made an Oprah’s Book Club selection). But she does now admit she was not involved with the story as early as 1989, when A Current Affair got its hands on Michael Jackson’s home videos (the tapes did not air at that time, and the story behind them was only revealed in Tabloid Baby). Nor has she, as she's stated in numerous interviews, been investigating the Jackson case for the past decade.
Dimond became embroiled in the Jackson case in 1993, after Jackson sued her and Hard Copy over a story the show purchased and she’d fronted. In 2003, the Santa Barbara D.A. (who assisted her in that lawsuit) tipped her to his raid of Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.
The scoop and a shared Jackson enmity with the prosecutor led to Dimond’s binge as an openly-biased, prosecutorial reporter in the Jackson molestation case, a gambit that clearly staked her professional future on Jacko’s conviction—and ultimately led to her downfall when the star was acquitted.
She ended her letter to Broadcasting & Cable by complaining:
“Oh and by the way, a quick Google check would have revealed to your staff that they also spelled my last name wrong.”
Ironically, in a recent post to this blog, Dimond spelled Burt Kearns' name wrong!
(As visitors to this site know, Diane Dimond’s tabloid television career benefited greatly from the tutelage, expertise and writing skills of Tabloid Baby’s author. Yet, when Tabloid Baby was published, Diane, along with Tom Brokaw, helped lead a media blackout of the book. Despite the blacklisting, Tabloid Baby sold far more copies than did Dimond’s book.)