Witness Mentions '93 Jackson Allegations

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  1. MR HIP HOP HEAD

    MR HIP HOP HEAD New Member

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    SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Michael Jackson (news)'s prosecutors on Wednesday were able to get a witness to mention child molestation allegations that the pop star faced in 1993 but which did not result in charges.

    The reference was made by a public relations specialist in front of the jury even though Superior Court Judge Michael S. Melville has not yet ruled on whether prosecutors in the current child molestation case will be allowed to present evidence from 1993.

    Jackson, 46, is on trial on charges of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland ranch in 2003, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive.

    The mention of the 1993 allegation came when prosecutors were questioning Ann Marie Kite, also known as Ann Gabriel Kite, about public relations problems Jackson faced in February 2003.

    Kite listed both the Martin Bashir-produced documentary "Living With Michael Jackson," which triggered the current case, and the leaking of information from the 1993 allegations to the Web site thesmokinggun.com. Kite said the latter allegations involved inappropriate actions with a young boy.

    The document released by the Web site was an affidavit from Jackson's 1993 accuser in which the boy graphically described alleged molestation by the singer.

    "In combination with the Bashir documentary, I felt it was beyond a disaster," Kite said.

    Defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. objected to questions about 1993, and the judge cautioned jurors that they were only to consider the testimony as it related to explaining Kite's motivations and not for the "truth of the matter."

    The jurors were asked during jury selection if they were aware of the 1993 allegations, although no details were discussed.

    The day began with a delay caused by a dispute over Kite's testimony late Tuesday when she said was brought in by a former Jackson lawyer to do public relations after the documentary aired.

    Melville met with attorneys for about half an hour before explaining to jurors that the question of whether an attorney hired Kite to work for Jackson should be interpreted to reflect "only what she thought she was doing" and not whether she actually was hired to work for Jackson.

    On Tuesday, Mesereau suggested in his opening statement that Jackson may testify, which would expose him to cross-examination by the prosecution.

    Mesereau dropped the hint twice in his remarks.

    "Michael will tell you one time he got a very bad feeling at Neverland," Mesereau said at one point, referring to an incident with the accuser's family at his estate.

    He also said, "Mr. Jackson will freely admit that he does read girlie magazines from time to time. He absolutely does not show them to children."

    Mesereau's suggestions were designed to suggest to jurors that Jackson may testify, Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said in an interview.

    "They have not made a decision yet. But clearly they have spoken about it," she said.

    On Tuesday, the jury also was shown the documentary, which features the singer holding hands with the boy and explaining that there is nothing sexual about his occasionally sharing his bedroom with children.

    When Bashir asks about sleeping arrangements during overnight stays in Jackson's bedroom, the boy says Jackson once told him and his brother, "If you love me you'll sleep in the bed." Jackson adds that as the children slept in his bed and he slept on the floor in a sleeping bag.

    Prosecutors allege that Jackson molested the boy in late February or early March 2003, after the Feb. 6 airing of the documentary on ABC-TV.

    After the viewing, Mesereau sought to have Bashir's testimony and the documentary stricken from the record when Bashir refused to say how many hours of videotape were recorded during the making of the program.

    Melville refused to strike the video or the testimony. Mesereau then asked that Bashir be held in contempt and the judge said he would review the testimony before deciding that issue.

    Bashir's attorney, Theodore Boutrous Jr., repeatedly invoked California's shield law for reporters and the First Amendment, saying that as a journalist Bashir did not have to answer questions about unpublished information.

    Bashir refused to answer about 30 times, and Mesereau told the judge he wanted to call the journalist back as a defense witness. The judge said he would decide that after Mesereau shows why Bashir should testify.

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