Accusing Jackson of sex abuse ruined the life of Jordy Chandler

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The Independent US

Michael Jackson may be howling about the indignities of being accused of child sexual abuse, but being one of his accusers is no picnic either.

Jordy Chandler made headlines around the world a decade ago when, at the age of 13, he testified in court documents that Mr Jackson had engaged in "sexual offensive contacts". Although Jordy subsequently became the chief beneficiary of a legal settlement worth anywhere from $15m (£8.8m) to $40m, it appears that the money has not resolved the psychological troubles triggered by his family's decision to take legal action against the most visible pop icon on the planet.

Quite apart from the alleged damage done to him by Mr Jackson - something that was never subjected to the scrutiny of a full criminal trial because Jordy agreed not to repeat his testimony in open court following the financial settlement - he has seen his family tear itself apart.

Information on his subsequent life is sketchy, and mostly based on reports in the US tabloid press, but all indications are that he is a lonely, introverted young man, now 23, with a lot of money to his name but little else.

Jordy's parents were already divorced when he first met Michael Jackson - a fortuitous encounter triggered by the superstar's car breaking down on a busy Los Angeles street and Jordy's stepfather, a rental car agent, coming to the rescue. His mother, June Chandler Schwartz, was subsequently accused by his father, Evan Chandler, of in effect prostituting him to Mr Jackson - an argument that led to a bitter custody dispute eventually won by Mr Chandler.

In 1995, Mr Chandler left his new wife, leaving Jordy and two half-siblings behind. He, like June, is believed to have collected between $1m and $2m from the Jackson settlement.

Jordy, meanwhile, put himself through one of Los Angeles' ritziest private schools and was reported to have taken a keen interest in playing the stock market and taking holidays in Florida, the Bahamas and the Colorado Rockies. It is not known whether he is now pursuing formal studies or holding a job.

The National Enquirer suggested earlier this year he was doing neither, and had meanwhile cut off all communication with his mother.

His father did not come out of the legal imbroglio either, since he was caught on tape telling his former wife's new family that he didn't care what effect suing Michael Jackson might have on Jordy. Now, the Santa Barbara district attorney is hinting that Jordy might be called as a witness in the trial that is widely anticipated in the wake of new accusations of molestation against Mr Jackson by a 12-year-old boy.

"All Jordy wants is to be a normal kid," the author of a biography, Victor Gutierrez, said a few years ago.

"But he can't have that. The memories are too painful, and no amount of money can compensate for that."