By Hannah Parry
A global hunt has been launched for the first man to publicly accuse Michael Jackson of child molestation so he can testify in a new US$100 million ($137m) case.
Jordan Chandler, now 37, won a US$20m (NZ$27.4m) settlement from Jackson after his father Evan Chandler launched accusations that the King of Pop sexually abused him at the age of 13, the Daily Mail reports.
Chandler has kept a very low profile in recent years but fellow alleged molestation victim, celebrity choreographer Wade Robson, is now searching for him in the hopes he can testify in his ongoing lawsuit in 2013 claiming he suffered years of sexual abuse after he was groomed by two of Jackson's companies.
Lawyers for Robson, 34, and Jimmy Safechuck, another companion of Jackson who says he was abused by the star as a child, are searching the UK and other European countries trying to find Chandler.
"Wade and Jimmy want to look Jordie in the eye and talk to him about what they suffered," a source told the New York Daily News. "'They feel that they may appeal to him to finally tell his story."
The source said that Chandler has fled the US to avoid the investigators.
Lead attorney Vince Finaldi said Chandler was a "key piece of the puzzle".
"We're not going to stop until we find him," he said.
As Robson's lawyers were unable to track Jordan down for a deposition last year, they turned to his sister Lily Chandler instead, hoping she would be able to provide childhood accounts or information about her brother's whereabouts.
Lily, however, has tried to steer clear of the legal battle for fears that she will stoke the ire of Jackson's fans, who have directed numerous threats at her family throughout the years.
In 1993, Evan Chandler launched bombshell accusations that the King of Pop had molested his son Jordan, then aged 13.
Jackson had become close to the entire Chandler family after his limousine broke down in Santa Monica.
Jackson's chauffeur sought the help of a nearby car rental company, which was owned by Jordan's stepfather David Schwarz.
A starry-eyed Jordan, then aged 12, was ushered in to meet Jackson and the two became incredibly close, with the pop star calling the young boy and inviting him to Neverland.
Both Jordan's biological parents said they caught Jackson snuggled in bed with their son on separate occasions. Evan claimed he went into his son's bedroom one night to find Jordan being cradled from behind by Jackson, whose hand was cupping his groin.
Jordan's harrowing police statement later described in detail how Jackson seduced him on a jaunt to Monaco, after handing the boy's mother June a wad of cash to go on a shopping spree.
Jackson maintained his innocence but settled the civil lawsuit by paying Jordan US$20m (NZ$27.4m).
But the lawsuit made Evan a target of Jackson's fierce fans, many of whom sent death threats because they believed he ruined the star's reputation and ended his career.
The scandal fractured the Chandler family, and Jordan accused his own father of domestic abuse in 2006.
Three years later, Evan committed suicide and died from a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.
Even though Evan died more than 15 years after the accusations first emerged, Jackson's fans still held a vendetta for him, posting cruel messages on chat rooms that read: "Good riddance, you piece of ****. Hope you rot in hell! Things that go around come around - karma is a b***."
It is no wonder, then, that Lily has tried to steer clear of Robson's ongoing lawsuit against Jackson's estate.
Robson, who first met Jackson when he was five years old, claims he was sexually abused by Jackson for seven years.
Four years after the pop star died, Robson filed a lawsuit against MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, two companies that distributed multimedia entertainment made by Jackson.
Robson claimed the companies run by Jackson also served as the most sophisticated child sex abuse operation "the world has ever known."
Robson has claimed that Jackson (pictured together in an early photo) abused him for years after he met the King of Pop and stayed at Neverland Ranch when he was seven years old.
It was Staikos who Robson's mother contacted when the seven-year-old and his family arrived at Disneyland for a performance with his dance company, according to the complaint.
Robson had met Jackson two years earlier in Australia after winning a dance competition run by MJJ Productions.
During the Disneyland trip, Staikos invited Jackson's family to stay at Neverland Ranch, the complaint states.
Robson's family stayed in separate guest quarters, while he slept in the pop superstar's bed, according to the choreographer.
That was the first night Robson claimed he was sexually abused by Jackson, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Robson, who has since worked with Britney Spears and appeared as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, claims the abuse went on for the next seven years.
The abuse ranged from French kissing to penetrative sex and only stopped when Robson began "showing signs of puberty", the complaint claims.
That's when Jackson became "no longer as interested in him sexually".
Finaldi said Robson wasn't the only child Jackson, Staikos and his companies lured to Neverland Ranch.
"(Staikos) would call parents and say, 'Hey, he wants to meet you, come down to the ranch,'" Finaldi told the New York Daily News.
Finaldi said the family's plane tickets and food would be paid for. They would arrive to the ranch in a limousine, and be given gifts from the staff.
"Make no mistake, Neverland Ranch was nothing but a well-orchestrated trap," he told the New York Daily News.
"It was custom-built to attract kids so he could groom them and decide which to sexually abuse."
Jackson's estate called Robson's allegations "less than credible", but the choreographer said he would never make such public claims for money.
"The idea that I would make all of this up and put myself, my wife, my son, my entire family through this extremely stressful and painful experience all for money is incomprehensible," he said.
"I've lived in silence and denial for 22 years and I can't spend another moment in that."
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