Skakel Lawyer Describes Media Deals
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The lawyer for Kennedy family cousin Michael Skakel
told a group of lawyers a year ago that he gave a magazine interview about
the case in exchange for a ticket to the Academy Awards ``and all the cool
Michael Sherman also told the lawyers he played a key role in preparing
Skakel's statement to the mother of the woman he was accused of killing, in
part because he wanted to ``control that headline.''
At his arraignment in March 2000, Skakel told Martha Moxley's mother:
``Dorthy, I feel your pain, but you've got the wrong guy.''
Sherman's comments came before lawyers at a Nevada Bar Association seminar in
October 2001, six months before jury selection in the case began. His
presentation, titled ``High Profile Cases,'' is available on a compact disc
sold by the Nevada Bar Association, The Hartford Courant reported Thursday.
Skakel, 42, a nephew of the late Robert F. Kennedy, was convicted in June of
beating Martha Moxley to death with a golf club when they were 15-year-old
neighbors in Greenwich in 1975. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in
prison in August.
Sherman described how Tina Brown, then publisher of the now-defunct Talk
magazine, enticed him into an interview for the story by inviting him to
``all the 'A' parties in New York.''
``And I still don't want to do it, so she says, 'All right. I'll do the
interview anywhere you want,''' he told the lawyers. ``So I said, 'OK - the
Academy Awards and all the cool parties.' And this is what happens.''
Sherman also said he discussed the subject of Skakel speaking to Dorthy
Moxley at the arraignment the day before with Skakel and a bodyguard. The
conversation took place at Sherman's office.
``When we go to court the next day, I know the headline is going to be all
over the world. And I'm thinking, 'I want to try to control that headline,'''
Sherman told the lawyers.
Sherman said he told Skakel to say something to Dorthy Moxley.
``I don't care what you say. Just make it from the heart,'' he said. ``If you
don't say anything, the headline's going to say, ``Skakel snubs'' or ``Skakel
ignores mother'' or something like that.
Sherman said Skakel at first wanted to tell Moxley, ``I'm really sorry, but
it wasn't me.''' Sherman agreed.
But the bodyguard interrupted, telling Sherman, ``You know, Mickey, you're
making a mistake. If he says the words, 'I'm sorry,' that's the headline,''
``And I said, 'Geez, you're so right.' He was so right. And I said, 'No
matter what you say, Michael, don't use the words, ``I'm sorry.''
Of Skakel's statement, Sherman said ``that became the headline on the story
the next day, not just on the local publications, but in the New York Post,
the (International Herald Tribune), even The New York Times bought into it.''
Sherman told the Courant he did not script the comment. Asked about his quote
saying he was surprised, Sherman said that was ``as to what he said, only to
At the seminar, Sherman described how he tricked a witness at Skakel's
probable-cause hearing into believing the defense team had a transcript of
the outtakes from a television interview the witness had done while under the
influence of crack and heroin.
Sherman had downloaded the NBC logo and pasted it onto an impressive-looking
folder. Prosecutors never challenged him to reveal its contents; it was
``I kept waiting for the prosecutor to grab this thing from me,'' Sherman
said. ``It would have been hysterical.''