Boy said Jackson would buy him anything, says flight attendant

THE boy who has accused Michael Jackson of molesting him proudly showed off an expensive watch the singer gave him and boasted that Jackson would buy him anything, a flight attendant testified yesterday.

Cynthia Bell told the court in Santa Maria, California, that the accuser bragged about the watch on a flight, with Jackson and members of the boy’s family, from Miami to California in 2003.

“He was saying things like ‘Look at what Michael got me’ and ‘These are very expensive watches’,” she said.

“He did say ‘Michael bought this watch for me and he’ll buy me anything’.”

Prosecutors say the watch was a bribe to keep the boy from revealing that Jackson gave him alcohol.

Jackson’s defence say the boy and his family were out to get money from Jackson and other celebrities.

Ms Bell also testified that she served Jackson wine in a Diet Coke can but did not see his accuser drink from it, as the prosecution says happened. Yesterday, Ms Bell said it was her idea to serve Jackson wine in the cans and it became a routine on all of the pop star’s flights, because “Michael Jackson is a very private drinker.”

She said Jackson was a nervous flier.

She testified the boy was rude and unruly throughout the flight, at one point starting a food fight by throwing mashed potatoes at a sleeping doctor who was travelling with Jackson.

The flight attendant also said the boy had a wide range of unreasonable complaints.

“His chicken was warm. ‘I want a side of coleslaw. I don’t want it on the same plate...’ He was very demanding throughout the entire flight,” she said.

At one point, prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss asked Bell if she saw Jackson cuddling the boy. She said she did not think so but Jackson had an arm around him while listening to music.

Mr Auchincloss asked Bell: “What do you define as cuddling?” She hesitated, smiled and said: “I’d have to show you.” The courtroom erupted in laughter, and Mr Auchincloss quipped: “Your honour, may I approach the witness?”

Jackson, 46, denies molesting the then-13-year-old boy in February or March 2003, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy’s family captive to get them to make a video rebutting a documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson, who said he let children sleep in his bed.

The court also heard evidence from psychologist Stan Katz, who was the first to report the boy’s claim of sexual abuse to authorities. His initial testimony did not deal with the case, but with his professional background.

Jackson arrived at court amid screams from a few fans. He showed no signs of the stiffness he blamed on a fall in the shower earlier this month.

Yesterday, Jamie Masada, who owns the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood, told jurors that the accuser’s mother once turned down an offer of a large amount of money, contradicting a claim by the defence that money was the reason behind the molestation charges.

“I told (her) a particular person offered to give her a cheque for as much as you and the children want, whatever amount of money you need,” Ms Masada said.

“What did she say?” asked prosecutor Ron Zonen.

“She said ‘No. Tell him all I need are friends. I don’t need money. I need prayer’,” Ms Masada said.

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