The lawyers bringing a $100 million sex-abuse lawsuit against Michael Jackson's former companies are on a worldwide manhunt, searching for the late pop star's first molestation accuser in hopes of convincing him to testify.
After scouring the U.S., investigators have turned to the UK and other European locales trying to track down Jordan Chandler, who in 1993 received a $20 million payoff after his father brought a suit alleging that Chandler, then 13, had been molested by Jackson at the singer's Neverland Ranch.
Lawyers for Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, who, as children, were companions of Jackson, and now claim they were sexually abused by the singer, say that they believe Chandler has left the U.S. to avoid them, according to a source close to the case.
Robson and Safechuck believe that if they can find Chandler - who's never spoken about his experience with Jackson - they can convince him to end his silence, says the source.
"Wade and Jimmy want to look Jordie in the eye and talk to him about what they suffered," said the source. "They feel that they may appeal to him
to finally tell his story."
Speaking from his office in Irvine, California, lead attorney Vince Finaldi confirmed that his investigators are on the hunt for Chandler.
He's a key piece of the puzzle surrounding this case, and we're not going to stop until we find him," said Finaldi, whose team has tracked down dozens of former members of Jackson's staff and entourage, including maids, security guards and Neverland office staffers.
Insiders say they have trekked to Greece to find Jacko's ex-chief of staff Norma Staikos, who oversaw provisions and contracts for many of Jackson's child companions and their families.
Robson - who says he was abused dozens of times by the pop star during trips - is one of three plaintiffs making similar claims in related lawsuits against Jackson's companies. The choreographer, 34, filed an amended complaint in September claiming Jackson and key staffers at MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures ran a "sophisticated child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation operation."
Robson claims Jackson and his employees worked in concert to arrange his private meetings with underage fans, covering travel expenses and showering the youngsters with gifts.