Mother of Jackson's Accuser Takes Stand
The mother of the boy accusing Michael Jackson of molestation took the stand for more than two hours Friday, exhibiting behavior at times erratic and even child-like – in this, her first public appearance and the first time she and Jackson squared off eye-to-eye since the allegations were made.
The 36-year-old woman (identified only as "Jane Doe" to protect her identity), crossed herself as she took the stand, then briefly but noticeably glared at Jackson before answering a salvo of questions from Jackson attorney Thomas A. Mesereau Jr. During her questioning, she also paused to pray.
Jackson, in a white suit with a gold band around his white arm, sat attentively throughout the proceeding and appeared to keep his eyes locked on her, although he was wearing mirrored sunglasses.
Also in attendance were sister Janet Jackson, four other siblings and mother Katherine. The pretrial hearing was to decide whether material seized from a Beverly Hills private eye's office would be admissible in the case. The trial is scheduled to begin in January 2005.
As Mesereau grilled her, the woman could not recall some of the most basic details of her interactions with the private eye, Bradley Miller, or with Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon. Coming across as evasive, Doe repeatedly answered "I don't recall" or "I don't remember."
However, she remained steadfast when it came down to the central question of the day. "Did you know Bradley Miller was working for Mark Geragos?" Mesereau asked repeatedly, referring to Jackson's former lawyer (who is now defending Scott Peterson in his double-murder trial).
"No," she responded. "(His name) didn't mean nothing for me."
The defense contends that if the woman knew Jackson's legal team hired Miller, then police could not have legally searched Miller's office.
She repeatedly called Jackson's associates "liars" and even said cryptically that they "choreographed everything, believe me." She further testified that she believed Miller was involved in falsely imprisoning her at the Calabasas Inn and at Neverland Ranch in 2003.
Mesereau also asked her if she thought Mark Geragos was a "bad guy" and she answered "yes." She recalled a phone conversation in which Geragos "called me every name in the ..." before Judge Rodney Melville cut her off.
The next hearing is set for Oct. 14.
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