By Alex Distefano
By Daniel Kohn
By Aimee Murillo
By Nick Schou
By Nate Jackson
By Nate Jackson
By Dave Lieberman
By Daniel Kohn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wowed European royals as a three-year-old, but Mozart was a moron. Daniel Kapon helped pen a million-selling record when he was just two. At 11, Mozart wrote an opera; Kapon was part of a groundbreaking album at age six. Mozart laid the template for the Romantic classical music movement by the time he was 20; at 12, Kapon called it a career, having forever changed the landscape of pop.
If you haven't heard of Daniel Kapon, blame Michael Jackson.
A lawsuit filed in October in Orange County Superior Court alleges Jackson "copied and used songs authored by" Kapon without his permission. The alleged plagiarism started in 1987, when Kapon was two and Jackson released Bad, and ended with 1997's Blood on the Dance Floor. The suit doesn't specify the tunes Kapon supposedly composed, doesn't say how much Kapon seeks, and doesn't ask what would seem the most obvious question: Did a two-year-old really help write some of pop's biggest hits?
And was it Kapon or Jacko who was "The Man in the Mirror"?
Kapon first made headlines in the spring of 2004, when he sold a half-hour videotape to the British tabloid News of the World.Price tag: a reported $500,000. In the tape, Kapon recounted years of alleged abuse at Jackson's hands, at his Neverland ranch and at an Encino property. He said Jackson sometimes filmed the molestations.
Jackson's lawyers dismissed Kapon's claims as "malicious," and the Los Angeles Police Department found no criminal wrongdoing after a two-month investigation. None of this deterred Newport Beach lawyer Michael G. Mattern from accepting Kapon's case.
"They investigated a while ago," he said of the LAPD. Meantime, his client "has been in therapy since then." Working with a psychologist, Kapon recalled more details of the molestations, says Mattern. Those will be key to the court case.
"The standard of proof in civil court is a different ball game," he said. "What the police do has nothing to do with me."
Mattern filed the suit against Jackson, his MJJ Productions and three different Sony companies. It also names SBC Communications, where Kapon's mother was an employee at the phone company's Anaheim office; Jackson and his associates allegedly "battered" Kapon's mother there. Mattern says he filed the case in Orange County because of the Anaheim attack, and because Kapon alleges Jackson molested him at Disneyland.
The suit, which alleges the molestations started when Kapon was two and lasted until he was 14, claims Jackson molested Kapon by "sticking his tongue down plaintiff's throat, masturbating plaintiff, and anally penetrating plaintiff by force." The suit also claims Jackson plied Kapon with drugs and alcohol; burned, tortured and beat him; and even forced Kapon to go through "unnecessary cosmetic surgery procedures."
Mattern did not allow the Weekly to interview Kapon, citing a pending Feb. 14 court hearing. But Mattern says he's compiling a list of specific songs Jackson plagiarized from Kapon. He's not surprised that Jackson would steal ideas from a two-year-old.
"[Daniel] was a gifted child, very bright and had some musical talent," said Mattern. "But to come up with basic ideas, a song, a melody, doesn't require that much musical talent. I know how to do it myself—I'm a musician. My daughter was doing melodies when she was two."
Melodies at two? Stupid, stupid Mozart.