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Entertainment - Reuters
Mother Details Fear, Intimidation by Jackson Aides

Thu Apr 14, 6:40 PM ET
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By Dan Whitcomb and Alexandria Sage

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (Reuters) - The mother of Michael Jackson's teen accuser on Thursday described a

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Reuters Video Jackson Faces Mother Of Teen Accuser
(Reuters Video)

climate of fear and intimidation in the weeks following the 2003 broadcast of a damaging TV documentary about the singer's bizarre lifestyle.

The mother of the 13-year-old boy outlined a scenario so bizarre -- including threats against her own parents, visa applications for Brazil, school transfer forms and disappearing urine samples -- that she said no one would have believed her had she tried to call for help.

"Who could possibly believe this?" she told the jury, when asked why she never called police.

Even after the woman and her sons finally broke free from Jackson's Neverland estate in central California -- and from what she saw as virtual imprisonment in a hotel near Los Angeles -- they were subjected to months of harassment in the form of phone calls, knocks at their door, rocks thrown at their house and being trailed by cars, she said.

The mother, someone Jackson's lawyers have portrayed as a liar and a grifter who preyed on celebrities, is a key prosecution witness to charges that Jackson conspired to commit abduction, false imprisonment and extortion in February and March of 2003.

Details of those allegations had been sketchy before the boy's mother testified in detail on Thursday about the extraordinary attempts she said Jackson's aides went to in a bid to limit the fallout of the February 2003 TV documentary.

The woman's son, a recovering cancer patient, was seen holding hands with Jackson in the program as the singer defended his habit of sharing his bed with young boys.


The broadcast caused a media uproar and is central to the molestation and conspiracy charges now facing Jackson, 46, who faces 20 years in jail if convicted on all 10 counts.

The woman said the family was kept up all night making a so-called rebuttal video in which they heaped praise on Jackson. But the singer's aides were not happy with the result. "We had not done an adequate job on the video and we were going to have to leave the country," she recalled one of them as saying.

"I was not on script about (my son's) cancer," she said. "I was supposed to say that Michael healed (him)."

On one occasion, another of the entertainer's aides made veiled threats as he was driving her to a meeting with child protection officials, who wanted to question her about Jackson's relationship with her son.

"He (the aide) told me if I put Michael in a bad light, that they knew where my parents lived," the mother said.

Jackson's aides filled out visa applications, produced in court, for the mother and her three children to visit Brazil. They signed a form, also produced in court, for school officials saying her two sons were moving to Phoenix, Arizona.

Jackson aides cleared her possessions out of her Los Angeles apartment but would not tell her where to find them, and she spent a week in a hotel when she realized her calls were being monitored, she said.

Often, she did not know the whereabouts of her children, or felt she had lost control of them.


In one of the most striking parts of her testimony, the woman said her son phoned in a panic ahead of a routine appointment with his cancer doctors, when he was scheduled to give a urine sample.

"He told me Michael was scared because he had drunken Jesus juice" and it could be detected in his urine, she testified. Previous witnesses have said that Jesus juice was the name Jackson gave to alcohol, often served in soda cans.

Driving with her son and a Jackson aide to the appointment, she noticed that the container which had been mostly full of urine, had only a small amount remaining. The aide told her it must have spilled in the car but she said she saw no evidence of that.

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