Jackson Laying Low, Accusers Move On
In the calm after the storm, Michael Jackson is laying low, his thoughtful fans have left the gates of his Neverland Ranch to allow him to recover from the ordeal of his 14-week trial – and his Web site is trumpeting his Monday legal victory.
"Innocent," the site declares, flashing dates and the phrases "Martin Luther King is born," "The Berlin Wall falls," "Nelson Mandela is freed," and finally, "June 13, 2005, Remember this date for it is a part of HIStory" – a reference to Jackson's 1995 greatest-hits album HIStory.
Jackson, 46, was cleared Monday of all 10 counts in his child-molestation trial.
Despite the acquittal, at least three jurors said afterward they suspected the pop star has molested some boys, but not the one who accused him in court, the Associated Press reports. Because of the public perceptions, Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau said his client – who has yet to appear in public since his acquittal – will have to change his lifestyle.
"He's going to have to not let people easily enter his life," Mesereau said. "He was very generous to people who didn't deserve it."
Both Mesereau and another defense attorney, Susan Yu, said they have held no discussions with Jackson regarding his future, though they say he needs to recover his strength before considering returning to work. "He has to spend some time healing," said Mesereau.
As for Jackson's accusers, their lives are being described as settled, compared to when they first brought charges against Jackson. The mother has married a financially stable Army major, and the family says that the abuse by the children's biological father is behind them, AP reports.
The teen accuser, once frail, is now a high school football player who testified on the witness stand that his new career goal is to work in law enforcement.
However, on Wednesday morning's Today show, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon, who prosecuted Jackson, said that after the verdict was announced, the young boy at the center of the case "was very down. He's having a difficult time wondering why people didn't believe him."