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Defense To Show Accusing Family Are "Flat-Out Liars". 21-01-'05

The judge in the Michael Jackson case gave prosecutors permission Friday to introduce testimony about child-molestation misperceptions and myths during the pop star's trial. Prosecutors said they want an expert witness to testify about why victims sometimes wait to report molestation, give incomplete accounts, don't tell close relatives or retain affection for their abusers.

Jackson's attorneys argued against such testimony, telling Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville that it could be used to buttress unreliable testimony from the alleged victim and his family. Defense Attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. said the expert testimony should not be allowed if the defense can prove the alleged victim and his family "aren't victims at all, they're flat-out liars."

"We're quite confident of what they're going to look like after they're subjected finally to cross-examination," Mesereau said. The defense attorney said the family had made inconsistent statements to police, social workers, Jackson and Jackson's employees. Mesereau also said the defense would show the family had lied "in their community, in their school, in their acting school." Mesereau's last reference was unclear, but Jackson's accuser once took part in a stand-up comedy camp for underprivileged children.

Michael Jackson Attorneys
Michael Jackson defense attorneys, Brian Oxman (C), Susan Yu (R) and Thomas Mesereau (L), depart the Santa Maria Courthouse.

The comedy club owner who hosted the camp, Jamie Masada, ultimately brought Jackson and the boy together while the boy was battling cancer. Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to an April indictment alleging child molestation and other crimes.

The judge also told prosecutors and defense attorneys he had "gutted" their proposed questionnaires for prospective jurors. He said the questionnaires would have delved too deeply into the prospects' personal lives. Melville said jury selection will begin Jan. 31 with 300 prospects, continue the next day with another 300 prospects and the day after that with 150 prospects.

Attorneys will then have four days to read the questionnaires before meeting on Feb. 7 to see if the defense and prosecution can agree which prospects to remove. The judge said he wants to have eight alternate jurors, which met with the approval of attorneys but raised the question of where to seat them all.

Mesereau jokingly offered one solution: "If there are any problems with seating, your honor, they can join us on the defense side," he said. The judge said that when testimony begins he will hold court from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day, taking several 10-minute breaks but no lunch break. Melville also said he will not release a DVD of a search of Jackson's Neverland estate but will make arrangements for the news media to view it in the courtroom.

Source: Monterey Herald / Billie Jean

LaToya JacksonLaToya Jackson Defends Michael. 21-01-'05

LaToya Jackson, the middle child of the famed family is speaking out about her life and defending her brother Michael while preparing to release a new album, "Starting Over".

In an exclusive interview airing Friday night on "20/20," she tells ABC News correspondent Don Dahler her brother Michael is simply misunderstood.

"I love my brother … Michael is one of the sweetest persons on this earth. You have no idea. He is so misunderstood".

More than a decade ago, when Michael was first involved in a scandal involving sexual molestation allegations, LaToya made comments suggesting she believed he might have done it. But she is now defending her sibling.

She says her brother loves children, but his motives for spending time with them are misunderstood.

We all love children … It's been quite difficult, having this great love for children, because people take it the wrong way".
LaToya also talks about her ex-husband, Jack Gordon, "He grabbed me and said I own you," she says and he also turned her publicly against her brother Michael and the rest of the Jackson family.

Source: ABC / Billie Jean

Sholeh Bocchelli
Sholeh Bocchelli

Brothers Question The Credibility Of Jackson's Accuser. 20-01-'05

The credibility of the woman accusing Michael Jackson of fathering her twin sons and holding them hostage has again come into question after her half-brothers dismissed her claims.

Sholen Bocchelli claims she gave birth to the pop superstar's twins in November (04) and has now been barred from seeing her kids after alleging Jackson has stopped paying her child support.

But Bocchelli's half-brothers, Chris and Sean Salamipour (corr), insist their sister isn't telling the truth.

Appearing on American scandal show Celebrity Justice yesterday (January 19), Chris says, "I'm very surprised. I don't believe it. It sounds too fake."

He and brother Sean claim they saw their sibling last autumn (04), shortly before she claims to have given birth and she didn't appear to be pregnant.

Meanwhile, Bocchelli has been exposed as the suicidal subject of a restraining order brought against in her in 2001 after a Los Angeles chiropodist accused her of stalking him.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonMichael May Talk About Leaked Information. 20-01-'05

In spite of a ban on public pronouncement what is been charged by the judge in the child molestation case, may Michael Jackson react in public on the details those has been leaked out. It goes about parts of a testimony which the broadcasting station ABC last week came out with, and is a statement of the pretended victim.

The details regarding sexual actions which Michael should have committed with the pretended victim. That was supposed to stay secret until the beginning of the process. Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Mesereau has submitted a claim about this by the judge, the accusers should have leaked this out.

With this the accusers will try to influence the jury on forehand.

Judge, Rodney Melville, gives Jackson now a change to react on the leaked information, and that he will do in an interview, what already is been taking up, by talk show presenter Geraldo Rivera. This interview will be broadcast before the beginning of the process. Jackson's lawyers prefer rather that nobody should talk about the "victim", before there's been a pronunciation.

Source: Reuters / Billie Jean

Channel 5 Interview 'Our Son Michael Jackson'. 20-01-'05

Channel 5 will broadcast an interview with the parents of Michael Jackson.

"On the eve of the show business trial of the decade, Five has an exclusive interview with the parents of Michael Jackson who is facing charges of illegal sexual relations with a young boy.

In the interview, they explain why they believe Michael never crossed the line between intimacy and abnormality. They also speak frankly about their son 's ability to stand up to the pressures of the trial and worldwide media attention.

They also talk about other aspects of their son's life including his plastic surgery and their feelings when they hear the nickname "MJ"."

The show will broadcast on Sunday 30th January 2005 at 9pm.

Joseph and Katherine Jackson
Katherine and Joseph Jackson, famous parents of Michael Jackson, are appeared on Channel 5 for an exclusive interview about the accusations against their son.

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean

Michael JacksonJackson Doesn't Want Accuser Called 'Victim'. 19-01-'05

Lawyers for Michael Jackson have asked a judge in his child molestation case to bar prosecutors from referring to his young accuser or the boy's family as "victims" in front of a jury, saying that it violates the pop star's right to a fair trial.

Jackson's attorneys also want Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon and his deputies prevented from telling jurors that they represent "the people," for the same reason when trial begins on Jan. 31.

"The issue for the jury to decide is whether the complaining witnesses are 'victims' (the district attorney's theory) or whether the complaining witnesses are lying and/or mistaken (the defense theory)," Jackson's lawyers wrote in a nine-page motion made public on Wednesday.

"The prosecution, court personnel and the state's witnesses should not be allowed to characterize the complaining witnesses as 'victims' before the jury has had a chance to decide the ultimate question of whether they are victims."

Lawyers for Kobe Bryant won a similar motion in his rape case last summer before charges against the Los Angeles Lakers star were dropped. Meanwhile, Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has granted the 46-year-old entertainer permission to make a televised statement to Fox News about the case in response to leaks of potentially damaging grand jury testimony given by his teen-age accuser.

However, a Fox News spokeswoman said executives for the News Corp.-owned cable TV network had not yet reviewed Jackson's prepared statement and an accompanying interview he gave to reporter Geraldo Rivera and that no decision had been made as to when and how the material would be aired. A source said the interview dealt with Jackson's "personal life and family relationships" and not the criminal case. ...

All grand jury testimony leading to Jackson's indictment was sealed by Melville, who has imposed nearly unprecedented secrecy in the case in what he said was a necessary move to protect the singer's right to a fair trial. A court official and Jackson's lead defense lawyer, Tom Mesereau, declined comment.

Jackson has been indicted on 10 counts of child molestation and conspiracy stemming from accusations leveled against him by a now 15-year-old cancer survivor, who appeared with Jackson in a 2003 TV documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir.

Bashir filed a motion on Wednesday asking the judge to bar prosecutors from calling him as a witness in the trial. He cited California's "shield law" protecting journalists from being compelled to testify about their news sources.

Source: Reuters / Billie Jean

Man In The Mirror DVD Cover'Man In The Mirror' DVD Will Be Released. 19-01-'05

'Man In The Mirror': The Michael Jackson Story portrays the glitz, glamour, fame and scandals associated with pop superstar Michael Jackson throughout the years.

Without asserting his innocence or condemning his guilt, the film walks the fine line between comedy and drama as it portrays Jackson's rise to fame and infamy from the early 'Thriller' era to the scandal filled present day.

The tale provides a glimpse into the life of one of the most enigmatic and extravagant pop stars of our time and tells the story of the man who has enchanted and baffled the world for the 35 years. Flex Alexander, who plays the gloved-one, performed all the dance moves in the movie.

Though Jackson still awaits trial, the movie concludes in January of this year when the singer appeared in court to plead innocent to child molestation charges.

The final scene shows Jackson after that plea, when fans clogged the Santa Maria, California, streets and cheered him as he hopped on top of a sport utility vehicle and entertained them with a few dance steps.

If the film actually was good for Michael Jackson stays a question. Michael Jackson gives us a statement about the film in which he tells that the film has given a false picture of his relationship with his family.

The DVD will be released February 8th, 2005. You can pre-order by way of Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean

Moonwalker DVD Cover'Moonwalker' DVD Will Be Released. 09-01-'05

Michael Jackson's film version Biography 'Moonwalker' out of the year 1988 is legendary. The film was shown world-wide in cinemas and also on TV and is for years a hit.

'Moonwalker' is a knick-knack for each Michael Jackson collector, a combination of his most famous video clips, with rare little movies out of the time of the Jackson 5 and live performances during the Grammy's.

The DVD contains also a wild adventure movie which Michael self had written and which give you a rare and unique look on the creative spirit behind his musical genius. A movie with guest performances of among others: Joe Pesci, Mick Jagger, Sean Lennon and Elizabeth Taylor!

Now the Jackson-Epos is finally available on DVD in the commerce. In Italy is 'Moonwalker' already two years available on DVD. The producer of the DVD named February 18th, 2005 as appearance time.

Pre-order the DVD here at Amazon.

Source: Amazon / Billie Jean

Number Ones (Off The Wall) CD Album Cover'Number Ones': 6 Million Sold Albums. 16-01-'05

Michael Jackson has a reason to smile because the 2003 Epic/Sony release 'Number Ones' hit the 6 million unit mark worldwide giving Jackson his third multi-platinum album of the 00's.

That's why the Greatest Hits CD album is coming real close to the albums 'Invincible' or 'Blood On The Dance Floor'.

The CD album 'Number Ones' was been released in November 2003 and was in England and Scotland a real bestseller. Totally the album stood 30 weeks in the charts, good for 2 million sold albums only in the UK and 1 million in the USA.

The CD album included Jackson singles that reportedly reached number 1 in charts around the world and features the last original single released during Jackson's lifetime,'One More Chance'.

Source: Billie Jean

Lady Claiming Jax Twins Troubled - Court Papers Show She's Made Claims Before. 15-01-'05

Sholeh Bocchelli
Sholeh Bocchelli

The woman who says she gave birth to twins fathered by pop star Michael Jackson is an alleged stalker who previously lied about being pregnant with twins, court records show.

Sholeh Bocchelli, 36, appeared on "The Insider" TV show, alleging she surrendered twin baby boys to Jackson, 46, shortly after giving birth Nov. 26.

Jackson's rep denies he fathered or acquired any children from the aspiring actress, but Bocchelli, who goes by several names, insisted on the show yesterday that Jackson take a DNA test to prove paternity.

Santa Monica Superior Court documents uncovered by the Daily News reveal that a Beverly Hills chiropractor won a restraining order against Bocchelli, who was then using the name Sholeh Salamipour, after she flipped out when he stopped dating her in 2001. In a sworn declaration, chiropractor Farzad Rabbany said Bocchelli falsely claimed to be "pregnant with twins" by him, falsely accused him of rape and twice attempted suicide after he broke off their relationship. Rabbany also said someone "slashed open" the top of his convertible car after he'd received a threatening phone call from Bocchelli's cousin.

"During our brief relationship, she showered me with gifts and said, 'I'm trying to buy your love,'" Rabbany wrote. "She drives to my office every night and sleeps in her car out front in order 'to feel close to me,'" the declaration stated. "The defendant has a long history of mental illness ... . I am concerned for my safety because of the defendant's mental instability and threatening behavior.

The defendant informed me she has access to a gun," his declaration said. The court ordered Bocchelli to stay away from Rabbany on May 15, 2001.

Source: NY Daily News / Billie Jean

Thomas Mesereau
Michael Jackson's lawyer Thomas Mesereau.

Jackson Lawyer Blasts Witness Leak. 14-01-'05

Michael Jackson's lawyer has blasted the leak of secret grand jury testimony that includes lurid details from Jackson's accuser about what the cancer-stricken boy says happened between him and the pop superstar behind closed doors at the Neverland Ranch.

Jackson's lead attorney, Thomas Mesereau, issued a statement saying the defense team "strongly" objected to the leak of the material. ABC News first reported the information Thursday (January 13), citing transcripts of the boy's testimony.

Mesereau said the transcripts had been ordered sealed by Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville.

He also noted that because grand jury proceedings include the prosecution but not the defense, the statements by Jackson's accuser are only representative of the prosecution's view of the case.

"The witnesses who testified before the grand jury were never subjected to cross-examination or impeachment by the defense," Mesereau said.

"By law, no judge or defense lawyer was allowed to be present in the grand jury room. Furthermore, the defense had no opportunity to call its own witnesses to rebut or criticize this one-sided proceeding."

A gag order issued by Melville normally bars defense attorneys and prosecutors from commenting about the case. But the judge approved the release of Mesereau's rebuttal statement Thursday afternoon (January 13).

"This case will be won in the courtroom and not through 'leaks' in the media," Mesereau said. "When he has his day in court, Michael Jackson will be acquitted and vindicated."

Jackson, 46, was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of child molestation, four counts of administering an intoxicating agent, one count of attempted child molestation and one count of conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. Jury selection is scheduled to begin January 31.

Jackson's accuser was 12 when the alleged molestation took place in February and March of 2003.

The same year, the boy appeared in a documentary by journalist Martin Bashir in which Jackson held hands with his accuser and admitted that he shared his bedroom with children.

In addition to describing the alleged molestation, according to ABC, the boy told grand jurors that Jackson also encouraged him to drink alcohol -- even after the boy had told Jackson that drinking could harm him because he has only one kidney.

Source: CNN / Billie Jean

Sholeh Bocchelli
Sholeh Bocchelli

Sez Dad Jax Has Her Twins. 14-01-'05

A 36-year-old woman says she gave birth to twin boys sired by Michael Jackson and turned the infants over to the pop star, "The Insider" TV show reported last night. But Jackson's publicist scoffed at the claim. "It's untrue. Completely," said the publicity agent, Raymone Bain. Bain says Jackson is not the father of any babies with the woman, Sholeh Bocchelli, and doesn't have possession of her baby boys.

Bocchelli, who public records show has used multiple names, offered no proof of any kind that she gave birth to twins or has ties to Jackson. But she insists she became pregnant by in vitro fertilization and that Jackson is the biological dad.

The woman filed a confidential claim against Jackson in Los Angeles family court, reportedly seeking custody of the boys, Isaiah and Jean-Pierre, who allegedly were born Nov. 26. She also wants legal fees and pregnancy costs, according to "The Insider."

The woman said she was receiving $3,000 a month from Jackson until August, when the payments stopped, according to the program. The woman says she's an actress but she has no professional acting credits. She asserts that she met Jackson through the musical artist Prince in 1994. Jackson, 46, has three children. Two of them - Prince Michael and Paris - were born to Jackson's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe. His youngest, Prince Michael 2nd, was adopted.

Source: NY Daily News / Billie Jean

Thomas Mesereau
Michael Jackson's lawyer Thomas Mesereau.

Jackson Attorneys Blast One-Sided Grand Jury Leaks. 13-01-'05

Mr. Jackson’s lead Defense Counsel Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr., releases the following statement in response to the leaking of the Grand Jury testimony:

We strongly object to the "leak" of the Grand Jury testimony in this case. This Grand Jury material had been ordered sealed by Judge Melville in open court. The witnesses who testified before the Grand Jury were never subjected to cross-examination or impeachment by the defense.

By law, no judge or defense lawyer was allowed to be present in the Grand Jury room. Furthermore, the defense had no opportunity to call its own witnesses to refute or criticize this one-sided proceeding.

This case will be won in the courtroom and not through "leaks" in the media. When he has his day in court, Michael Jackson will be acquitted and vindicated.

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean

NetworksNetworks Team Up To Recreate Jackson Trial. 13-01-'05

TV networks E! Entertainment Television and British SKY Broadcasting are joining forces to recreate Michael Jackson's upcoming child molestation trial for a daily recap show.

The American and British companies have found a way to get around the ban on cameras in the courtroom - by re-enacting proceedings.

Bosses for the networks are putting together a plan to air daily half-hour programme's during the course of the trial, which is scheduled to start on 31 January, where actors will recreate the day in court.

The series will air in America and Britain and in all 50 countries where E! International Network is broadcast.

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean

'Rush Hour' Star, Director To Testify For Defense. 13-01-'05

I'm told that Michael Jackson's defense has subpoenaed at least three people in the film business as character witnesses.

'Rush Hour' director Brett Ratner and star Chris Tucker —both of whom had a lot of contact with Jackson's accuser and his family — are the top two names who will come to court to help Jackson.

The family spent time on the set of 'Rush Hour 2' in the first three months of 2001. Ratner has already said in this column that the boy in the case was something of a smarty-pants and was no pushover. He will no doubt give those observations on the stand.

Tucker had even more contact with the family, flying with them back and forth to Miami on his private plane in February 2003 to see Jackson.

The return trip, with Jackson, is the one in which Jackson allegedly licked the boy's head and drank wine in soda cans and shared it with the boy. Tucker may be used to refute those claims if they're brought into evidence by the prosecution.

Rush Hour
Chris Tucker & Brett Ratner during 'Rush Hour 2' Los Angeles Premiere at Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States.

Tucker also figures in the case because his girlfriend and the mother of his son, who also may have been subpoenaed, actually watched the kids in the family when their mother was on dates or shopping, according to my sources.

As an impartial witness, the woman could provide crucial testimony. (She does not know Michael Jackson, I am told.) She was also present when the family was interviewed by Los Angeles County Child Protective Services.

Also subpoenaed to help Jackson is his longtime friend Bryan Michael Stoller, director of the 'Miss Cast Away', a film released on DVD that features Jackson.

Stoller told me yesterday (January 12) that despite no chain stores taking 'Miss Cast Away', he's sold 30,000 copies on his website, misscastaway.com.

Stoller may be one of several witnesses to testify about his knowledge of Jackson's pursuit of women, a subject that — albeit incredible — could turn out to be riveting.

Source: Roger Friedman; Fox News / Billie Jean

Martin BashirMartin Bashir Doesn't Want To Testify, Will Cite Shield Law. 12-01-'05

Michael Jackson's (search) prosecutors have asked to keep the courtroom open during hearings on whether to admit into evidence allegations of prior sexual offenses by the singer. The parties were due in court Wednesday to argue the admissibility of the alleged prior offenses and a motion to close the courtroom to exclude the evidence is that it is "inherently incredible."

But the prosecution said that is for the jury, not the judge, to decide. "Merely labeling the proposed testimony of an adverse witness as 'incredible' doesn't make it so," the motion said. Senior Deputy District Attorney Gerald McC Franklin said the prosecutor who will argue the motion to admit evidence of prior acts will speak "with discretion" and "is acutely concerned that the right of both parties to a fair-minded and impartial jury not be prejudiced by references to evidence not yet made public."

In a separate motion, a coalition of news media organizations including the Associated Press opposed closing the courtroom, saying the motion by Jackson's lawyers flies in the face of a long history of U.S. Supreme Court and California Supreme Court (search) rulings guaranteeing openness in the courts. "What transpires in the courtroom is public property," the motion said. "Mr. Jackson's celebrity status does not change that fact."

The prosecution supported opening the hearing, noting that the defense, while arguing that the hearings might prejudice the jury pool, has not expressed such concern on other issues that could be just as prejudicial. Jackson, 46, is charged with plying a boy with alcohol and molesting him. He has pleaded not guilty. Another recently released court document shows the judge has issued an order for Martin Bashir (search), the producer of a documentary about Jackson, to come to California to testify in the trial on March 1.

Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin Jan. 31. Bashir now works as a correspondent for ABC News, which said Wednesday it plans to fight Bashir's subpoena. "We feel strongly that the California shield law protects the rights of journalists who cannot be -- or be perceived to be -- arms of either the prosecution or defense as they pursue the news," ABC News vice president Jeffrey Schneider said in a statement.

Source: Fox News / Billie Jean

Rodney Melville
Judge Rodney Melville

Judge Wants Prosecutors To Stick To The Current Case. 12-01-'05

Santa Maria Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville decided not to rule on the prosecution's motion to bring in alleged ‘prior acts' of abuse, at this time. Prosecutors are attempting to present evidence of similar alleged "prior acts," even though Michael Jackson has never actually been tried in a court on those issues.

The defense attorneys petitioned Judge Melville to bar this 'flimsy' evidence. Previous to this case, Michael Jackson has never been arrested or actually charged with a sexual offense. Exercising caution, the judge cited a case early in his career where the prosecution first presented 'prior acts' of alleged abuse in a similar case.

Consequently, the primary case that the prosecution then presented was so weak that the defendant was convicted on the alleged ‘past acts.’ Judge Melville called this a "miscarriage of justice" and stated that he would not allow something like that to happen in this case. Judge Rodney Melville went on to inform the prosecution that he needs to see their main case first, effectively barring them from bringing in any past accusers or allegations, at this point.

After they have presented their main case and witnesses pertaining to the current case, Judge Melville stated that he may entertain an evidentiary hearing and then possibly consider allowing the motion. Additionally, in court filings, the defense argued that media coverage of the hearing could prejudice potential jurors.

Judge Melville said that under California law, he did not believe he could conduct the hearings behind closed doors. The judge has scheduled hearings on Jan. 21 and Jan. 27. Judge Rodney Melville also stated that Michael Jackson will be required to appear in court beginning January 31, 2005.

Source: MJJSource / Billie Jean

Seven Boys Connected With Alleged Crimes? 11-01-'05

Prosecutors in the child molestation case against Michael Jackson want jurors to hear testimony about seven other boys who allegedly have been linked to him sexually in press reports or public or private accusations, ABC News has learned.

Jackson's defense team insists all the allegations — past and present — are false and that the testimony should not be allowed because it unfairly inflames the jury and violates the pop star's right to a fair trial.

"The prosecution is taking this weak current case and trying to bolster it with prior bad acts," said ABC News legal consultant Dana Cole.

Prosecutors want jurors to hear about a number of boys, including: A famous child actor who denies anything sexual happened between him and Jackson; a son of a former Jackson employee; a friend of the Jackson family; a boy — now a young adult — who wrote a fan letter to Jackson in the early 1990s and became friends with him; a boy who met Jackson during the filming of a commercial; and an Australian who now works in Hollywood.

Source: ABC News / MJStar / Billie Jean

Jackson Defense Blasts Attempt To Use Evidence From '93. 08-01-'05

Michael Jackson's defense lawyers have charged that desperate prosecutors are attempting to use discredited and prejudicial evidence from an old investigation in the child molestation case against the entertainer.

The accusations were part of a tersely worded defense motion released late Friday (January 7) in response to the prosecution's request to allow evidence from a 1993 child molestation investigation into the current one.

"This is the same 'evidence' that left two separate grand juries so unimpressed with the prosecution's 'case' that they did not return indictments," co-defense counsel Robert Sanger stated in the court document. Prosecutors have the "same fact checking standards as Hard Copy and the National Enquirer," the defense motion said.

Michael Jackson Attorneys
Michael Jackson defense attorneys, Thomas Mesereau (C), Brian Oxman (L), Susan Yu (2nd-L), Robert M. Sanger (C) and Steven Cochran (R), depart the Santa Maria Courthouse.

Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville is scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday (January 12) in Santa Maria about whether to allow evidence from the prior investigation against the entertainer into the current one. The defense has requested that that hearing and all other pre-trial hearings about evidence be held behind closed doors.

Mr. Jackson was not charged in that case, which crumbled when the boy at the centre of the investigation refused to testify. His parents accepted a multimillion-dollar settlement from the entertainer in a simultaneous civil suit.

The judge's decision could be crucial, because the prosecution plans to use the old evidence in an attempt to show a pattern in Mr. Jackson's behaviour. However, the defense is prepared to attack the credibility of the witnesses and the accusers from the old case, claiming they were only out for the entertainer's money.

Source: Santa Barbara News Press / Billie Jean

Macaulay CulkinMacaulay Culkin To Help Jackson Defence? 06-01-'05

'Home Alone' star Macaulay Culkin has indicated he'll cooperate with Michael Jackson's defense lawyers in the pop star's upcoming child molestation trial.

A defense investigator recently spoke with Mr. Culkin, who said he would be willing to testify to rebut former Neverland Valley Ranch employees who are expected to claim the actor was molested by Mr. Jackson more than a decade ago.

Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville is scheduled to hear arguments next week in Santa Maria on whether to admit testimony about the 1993 investigation of Mr. Jackson.

Mr. Culkin, 24, who is godfather to Mr. Jackson's first child, has been close friends with the entertainer for years and frequently visited him at his Los Olivos ranch. During the 1993 investigation, former Neverland employees identified at least five boys -- including Mr. Culkin -- who spent the night in Mr. Jackson's room.

Mr. Culkin, Brett Barnes and Wade Robson said explicitly at the time that Mr. Jackson did not molest them. The three have recently reiterated that and said that they would take the stand to rebut any prosecution claim of wrongdoing, the sources said.

The three men, now in their 20's, have not been subpoenaed by prosecutors, the sources said.

Mr. Culkin's representative would neither confirm nor deny that Mr. Culkin has agreed to help the defense. "Macaulay Culkin has no involvement in the proceedings at this time." "We do not expect that to change."

Source: Santa Barbara News Press / Billie Jean

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Updated: 21/01/2005 8:29 PM

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