I Almost Dropped the French
So reads the headline from the Daily Record, in a thriller of a story by John Fergueson about French chef Phillip Lemarque, subtitled 'Chef tells of Neverland shock'. Not to be outdone, the Mirror goes with "I SAW JACKO'S HAND IN CULKIN'S SHORTS", by Justine Smith, subtitled 'Chef tells of 3am shock'.
Whatever. This is a sad little story because, uh, because... Lemarque was a successful chef, dammit, and here he is, doing short order cooking for Michael Jackson. We looked up his resume on his web site Besteatz.com, in an outdated but still extant plug for a seminar the man was giving called 'Guerilla Warfare to open a successful restaurant'.
Hmm, not a word about his experience at Neverland, although this probably comes up in the pratfall section of his lecture on the 11 Steps to a Successful Restaurant Venture.
Step 1 is vision, and we already know what the chef saw from the aforementioned headlines. Lemarque told the Jackson jury that he was taking a pre-dawn snack to the boys, who were in the arcade building (that's right, Neverland has an arcade building), playing a Michael Jackson video game. Gives a whole new meaning to playing with yourself. We found a review of the game 'Moonwalker' on X-Entertainment, where we learn that the main goal of the game is to rescue kids.
Back to Lemarque, aside from the video game, he told the jury that he saw Jackson holding the pint-sized 'Home Alone' star up with one hand so that he could reach the game controls (there are no stools in Neverland) and his other hand was in no man's land. "I can't distinguish what he was doing with his hand," he told police in 1993, "but it was clearly more than fondling." I don't know, sounds like the chef had a pretty good angle on it to me.
But what brought the chef upon this sordid scene? Let's go to the court transcript, where Lemarque is being questioned by prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss.
One can visualize the embarrassed chef at this point, holding his plate of French fries, thinking about the successes of his past, and coming to the realization that no amount of money was enough to work for the Silver Fox.
Even though he did admit trying to sell his story for half a million. But he decided against it, because those tabloids are so darn "sleazy". Not like Lemarque, who operated the web site Virtual Sin, which the Smoking Gun says he billed as "the most sinful site on the internet." (SG also offers up a couple examples of Lemarque's cartooning prowess here).
You can help support Lemarque by purchasing his e-book, called 'Never Never Land'. Here's an excerpt:
I am told that there are even more exciting revelations inside. The book is only $7.95 (instead of the $19.95 print version), and if you order now, there are added bonuses - two of Michael Jackson's favorite recipes, and the name of his favorite soda.
* Edited still from 'Party Monster', featuring Seth Green.
©2005, Mark Hoback