“The lotus blooms best in the muddiest of waters. So Arise by that which we fall.” states Anand Jon, who’s evolution and odyssey to freedom has fascinated the world.
An award-winning artist, rising star in the high fashion world, Anand Jon Alexander’s meteoric success was detoured upon being falsely accused by a collision of admittedly scorned women with motives of publicity and money. There was not a single scratch on any of the complainants or even any reliable corroborating evidence( Fn1.)
Anand Jon was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to prison for a whopping 59 years to life, based a sham of a Los Angeles trial (2008) rampant with false evidence, due process violations, police misconduct, and racist xenophobia.
However, this chapter was far from over as an epic story had just begun.
By mid 2018, Anand Jon had reinvented and resurrected himself and presented his case with tremendous favuorable changes of circumstances, including successfully resolving all outstanding/overlapping cases (49 counts in New York and 5 counts in Texas). Furthermore, newly discovered and previously withheld evidence of factual innocence, and a litany of new laws that compels relief had entered the arena (Fn2)
While steadily progressing towards his freedom, he has taken the world by calm; transforming crisis into extraordinary opportunity for many. (Fn3.)
Despite a whirlwind of challenging elements, Anand Jon Alexander is not bound as “AB1337…property of the state” branding. If anything, this innocent man is resiliance embodified, the antithesis of the typical indoctrinated prisoner or slave to any system.
Even as he grew up in the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, Anand was known as a shy wunderkind. His astonishing artwork celebrating sensual spirituality as inspired from the temples of his culture, got attention and awards nationwide. He became a proficient national ranked tennis player (sub-juniors) but gave it up to focus on his true passion.
(Fn1) The only accuser who even bothered to get a medical check up had a “rape kit” that turned out to be negative, OES report confirmed the “NO ASSAULT RELATED FINDINGS”. Not a single corroborating witness or piece of physical evidence. Anand Jon even passed a lie detector polygraph test to further prove his innocence
True to form, in a brief rare interview from New York jail, upon having successfully resolved his New York case Anand expressed forgiveness for his false accuser and noted how “The Truth would surface…My culture created the Kama Sutra…Sex is not something that intimidates me.” (Colleen Long, Associated Press, April’ 2013). He admits the “immoral” lifestyles while reiterating how this is a far cry from anything “unlawful”.
(Fn3) Despite over a decade of hard-core incarceration in L.A. County Jail, the notorious Riker’s Island general population, the Feds and currently at the California Department of Corrections, Anand Jon continues to evolve & excel. He also devotes his time to various constructive self-help and mastery programs, including legal studies, co-facilitating prison yoga and meditation workshops. His intense poetic verses have received so much interest that Anand became a self- taught musician and has composed original music as part of R.J Donovan prison’s music program “Project F.A.M.E”. He has also engaged in several educational and vocational programs including computer literacy and has taken his G.E.D., participated in various artistic endeavors like projectpaint.org and is currently writing his highly anticipated autobiography. Moreover, Anand (alongside his mother and sister (www.sanjanajon.org ) continues to support The Aids Awareness Initiative in India and the www.puppylovesanctuary.org saving abused street dogs among other animals.
“Even as a minority one..the TRUTH is still the truth” said Mahatma Gandhi
Anand Jon descends from a close-knit family of revolutionary scholars and freedom fighters who embraced Gandhi’s policy of ‘Ahimsa’ (nonviolent resistance) to liberate the people from imperial “divide and conquer” colonialism. This strategic benevolent use of energy originating from the “Atharva Veda, (Sandilya Upanishad) doctrine to not cause harm or pain to living sentient beings. This true son of India, who became the proverbial “American Dream” is now overcoming it’s dark side nightmare, as a symbol for a modern-day revolution against injustice and abuse of power.
Under the tutelage of master artisans, his grandmother Ammini Abraham, and his uncle, (the 2017, Padmabhushan honoree musician/ humanitarian, music legend K.J Yesudas) Anand’s artistic foundation was interwoven with his metaphysical-yogic heritage.
At age 13, Anand moved from Cochin to the Metropolitan Madras (now Chennai) to attend the prestigious P.S.B.B (Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan) then graduated from the Jesuit St Michael’s Academy &, Loyola. His early teenage romantic trysts coincided with the 1990’s sudden westernization, technology boom and sexual awakening of the Indiansub-continent,the gulf war. Anand acknowledges how his unexpectedly profound first love and subsequent break up, impacted the rest of his life with a flavour “femme fatalism”.
At the tender age of 16, Anand Jon began his American odyssey by obtaining a scholarship at the acclaimed Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale (1991-1993), where he graduated as a valedictorian. A scholarship followed, at the prestigious Parsons School of Design, New School for Social Research, NYC. (1994-1998) where he made the honor roll. Anand’s fine art paintings and unique jewellery received much critical acclaim and was showcased at the New York Art Academy and Christie’s Auction House, sponsored and adorned by The Who’s Who of high society royalty and celebrity.
Anand Jon’s introduction to the high fashion universe, began upon meeting Gianni Versace and in the wild Miami scene. NYC nightlife became his training ground. He was soon immersed among the vibrant trendsetters of New York City and the Hamptons, and other luxury markets, many of whom became clients and supporters, some friends and sometimes more. It was an era, of supermodels being ousted by the brigade of “It girls”: pedigree of international royalty, young socialites most of who made their debuts on Anand Jon projects runways and events This was a new world of entertainment and fashion where the personal and the professional, intertwined, and strategically “leaked” sex tape and scandals would be part of launching billion-dollar brand names to come. This was a generation that was taught that controversy and sex scandals get rewarded.
As Parson’s Associate Dean, Tim Gunn (of TV’s Project Runway) recommendation letter correctly heralded: ‘Anand Jon is a visionary and a leader…All of us have great expectations of him’. Besides being the first Indian to debut at 7th on Sixth Bryant Park New York Fashion Week, the Anand Jon collections ( HOUSE OF ANAND JON AND ANANDJON.NET)were hailed as “Functional Luxury” by Women’s Wear Daily, as it broke the mold with an unprecedented “Indo chic” amalgam between the East and the West, as well between technology and spirituality. Right at the dawn of a new era of technology and the internet, Anand encapsulated the enigma of what was to come: “I meditate at night and I check my e-mail when I wake up”. As a child raised on goddess culture Anand created a platform for women to be empowered giving them positions of authority in and around his businesses starting with his own mother and sister, Shashi Abraham and Sanjana Jon.
( Fn4) Including his friends like Ivanka Trump, Amanda Hearst, Lydia Hearst, Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton, Michelle Rodriguez, Hannah Bronfman and Elizabeth Jagger.
As a consistent theme, calamity seems to open incredible opportunities and growth for Anand. Following the devastating 9/11 terrorist attacks, Giorgio Armani gave his patronage by sponsoring and further catapulting the Anand Jon brand internationally. In addition to winning numerous awards and accolades6 for his sensual ‘Kama Sutra’ infused Indo-chic creations, Anand Jon’s personality brand began to get popular. He appeared on several TV shows including America’s Next Top Model, VH1, and hosted MTV Asia Style Check. He was on the list of everything from “The 50 most beautiful Indians”, to Newsweek magazine’s 2004’s ‘Power and Influence’ list, participated as a celebrity designer on America’s Next Top Model’ and was featured by Newsweek in their ‘Who’s Next in 2007?’ issue( Fn7)7.
Who he dated and was seen with Stoddard to become celebrity gossip fodder and sometimes attracting those who wanted to use him for personal gain.
Besides being credited (or even blamed) for pioneering the ‘It Girl’ phenomena, including high profile debuts of his friends, clients, and muses, Anand Jon’s signature ‘Sex on The Runway’ (NY1 News) sensual creations transcended generational and cultural gaps. His own personal celebrity status & dating life with Hollywood starlets and high society began to compete with sometimes overshadow the genuine talent. It also made him a ripe target.
By February 2007, Mr. Alexander had just launched his highly anticipated pret a porter, wall street financed “Jeanisis” Jeans line which took center stage at MAGIC (Las Vegas) and was scheduled to headline Los Angeles Fashion Week (March 2007). Coincidentally, with big money came very big problems. It is no coincidence that upon approaching global success, this American dream was hacked and highjacked quickly morphing into a scandalous nightmare8.
(Fn7) Megan McCain’s profile of Anand Jon in Newsweek magazine “Who’s Next 2007?”https://www.newsweek.com/anand-jon-105497Described as one of the most influential Asians in the world”. perhaps the most outlandish…styled not just his clothes, but himself as the perfect fusion of east and west.
Anand Jon would have given gurus like Deepak Chopra a run for their money his strategic self-exoticization one him numerous Awards and made him one of the most successful Indians in the world” THE BEAUTIFUL GENERATION (2011) book by Prof Thuy Linh Nguyen of New York University. Oprah Winfrey and supermodel Jerry Hall selected Anand Jon as one of the best designers of the next millennium. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani NYC 2000 featured Anand Jon as one of the top designers in the world. Fashion Week of the Americas (2001) presented Anand Jon with ‘The Rising Star’ award.
Mr. Alexander’s extensive charity work includes working with the Nature Sanctuary Wild Animal Refuge alongside Michelle Rodriguez as well as advocating with his sister, Sanjana Jon & director M. Night Shyamalan for the Ms. Universe Aids annual awareness tour and more, in various Anand Jon projects as his consistent reverence for goddess culture.
(Fn 8) 8 Unbeknownst to Anand Jon, a group of disgruntled young women and business associates had set out to file a ‘group civil lawsuit’ and exploit the celebrity scandal by selling media stories. Regret rapidly made way for revenge and racism. Under nefarious third-party influences, including corrupt police, the accusations escalated into criminal allegations and the agenda became to ‘trick and trap’; get the “brown dick sand nigger locked up…shipped back to India’.
The combination of Anand Jon’s exotica, the celebrities he was dressing along with the hedonism of the seductive fashion/entertainment world created a ripple effect. Regardless of whether these women harboured unrealistic expectations i.e. that by partying and socializing with Anand Jon they would be catapulted to fame or if Anand Jon made promises upon which he could not deliver, the inescapable fact remains that, the elements of any criminal intent/conduct, force, violence or duress were non-existent.
As seen in the writ filed ( 2019), Newly discovered and previously withheld ( by some corrupt racist law enforcement) evidence shows not just that Anand Jon is Innocent but that he was framed. The Los Angeles trial was a disat The jury deliberations were rampant with anomalies; hopelessly deadlocked (struggling for almost 2 weeks) and still only returned with a mixed (not guilty- guilty- hung) verdict. Within a few months, “juror misconduct’ was declared and prejudice presumed. The trial judge stated how the court was not happy with the way the prosecutor handled this case” and even at sentencing acknowledged that there were several outstanding unresolved due process issues. While a new trial was denied, the same sentencing court put on record that if and when the suspected due process violations were later substantiated, Mr. Alexander would be “brought back” for a new trial.
Having favourably resolved, won all outstanding State cases and presented new discovered evidence of actual innocence Anand Jon is now progressing towards his freedom via the Federal courts.
Meanwhile, a nationwide campaign led by reputed activist and organisations alongside a community Panel is simultaneously urging the California Governor Gavin Newsom to at the very least commute this unjust sentence.