Michael Jackson’s defence lawyer said today in a court-approved statement that reports about photographs allegedly seized from the singer’s home were false and that the prosecution in his child-sex case agreed.
The information was not specified, but defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau’s statement followed a report by Los Angeles radio station KFI that half a dozen photos seized were images of a naked boy or boys.
KFI news director Chris Little said a lawyer for Jackson called and asked for a retraction but was turned down.
“We stand by the story,” Little said.
Parties in the Jackson child molestation case are under a gag order, but Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has allowed lawyers to comment on news reports in approved statements.
Mesereau read his statement in a law office in Birmingham, Alabama, but took no questions from reporters.
“The Michael Jackson defence team has learned that information is circulating throughout the media regarding alleged photographs supposedly seized from Mr Jackson’s residence. That information is false. The prosecution has confirmed that it is false,” Mesereau said.
“We demand an immediate retraction from any news or media organisation that made such an announcement,” he said.
Prosecution spokeswoman Susan Tellem said she had not spoken directly with Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon, but she confirmed that Mesereau’s statement had been approved by the court.
The KFI report, which cited unnamed sources, described a boy in a bathtub and a boy in a bed and said that it was not clear if each picture showed the same boy.
The station reported that the photographs were referred to in court on Friday during a hearing in which the defence is challenging some of the seizures authorities made.
During the hearing, prosecutor Ron Zonen said items taken from Jackson’s Neverland Ranch estate included six photos of a boy.
“It’s very apparent looking at those items why we seized them,” he said, without elaborating.