Brother of Jackson accuser admits lying
Michael Jackson's lawyer Tuesday confronted a 14-year-old boy whose brother was allegedly molested by the singer, pointing to discrepancies between the boy's trial testimony and earlier accounts, and extracting an admission he lied in another case.
"I knew more back then," the boy said during a grueling cross-examination. "It was fresher in my memory."
"Did someone tell you to say that?" defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked.
"No, I'm just saying it," the boy said. "I know everything happened. I just don't know it in detail."
The boy appeared surprised when Mesereau confronted him with his Monday testimony that Jackson showed him and his brother sex magazines, including one called Barely Legal. The boy reiterated he was sure it was the exact magazine Jackson showed them.
"Michael Jackson never showed you that magazine, Barely Legal, did he?" Mesereau asked. "Yes," the boy insisted.
"But when you look at the date it was August 2003," Mesereau said. The boy and his family left Jackson's Neverland ranch months before that.
"I didn't say it was exactly the one he showed us," the boy said defensively, adding later, "I said he showed us those type of magazines."
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive to get them to rebut a damaging TV documentary in which Jackson said he allowed children to sleep in his bedroom.
Under questioning by Mesereau, the accuser's brother said he lied under oath in a deposition for another case when he swore his mother and father never fought, and that his father never hit him.
"Did someone tell you to lie in the J.C. Penney case?" the lawyer asked, referring to a lawsuit brought by the boy's mother against the retailer over an encounter with security guards.
"I don't remember," the boy said.
Asked to tell the jury why he lied, the boy said: "I don't remember. It was five years ago. I don't remember nothing."
Jackson's defense contends the lawsuit shows the family has a history of filing false claims to get money.
The 14-year-old became a crucial prosecution witness Monday when he testified to actually seeing molestations.
On Tuesday, Mesereau asked the boy about an alarm system that alerts Jackson when anyone is in the hall outside his bedroom.
"So the two times you claim you saw Michael Jackson touching your brother in bed, that alarm went off?" Mesereau asked.
"Yes," the boy said.
When the boy testified about the alleged molestations Monday, he did not mention any bell or alarm system, and said his brother slept through both incidents, snoring at one point.
The teen also said he could not remember exactly what he told a psychologist who interviewed him shortly after the family left Neverland and reported suspicions of molestation to authorities.
Under questioning about specifics of the alleged molestation, he denied saying certain things Mesereau cited from what appeared to be the psychologist's grand jury testimony.
After court recessed, Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said in a statement that the singer "felt better today" than he did on Monday. She said that the "scurrilous and salacious accusations and details, all untrue, were hurtful and embarrassing to Mr. Jackson" and that the singer feels that Mesereau is "doing an excellent job."