A former maid at Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch claimed today she once saw the pop star taking a shower with an eight-year-old boy.
Blanca Francia, whose son Jason has accused Jackson of molesting him three times, told Santa Maria court, California, she had spotted the pair’s clothes on the bathroom floor.
The boy, Wade Robson, is one of five previous alleged victims whose experiences, the prosecution claims, show a pattern of grooming and abuse by Jackson.
Ms Francia said she once used a key to enter the singer’s bedroom and heard laughing and playing around.
“First I thought they were playing in bathtub or Jacuzzi or outside in his garden and I walked in and they were in the shower,” she said.
Ms Francia claimed Robson frequently stayed at the ranch and always slept in Jackson’s bed.
She said she once saw her son Jason lying in a sleeping bag with Jackson watching television. Jason claims they were lying in a sleeping bag when the singer began tickling his “genital area.”
Walking to the bus stop one day Ms Francia said her son had suddenly blurted out that Jackson had given him money but that it was a secret.
She said she pulled two 100 dollar bills from his pockets, backing up his own testimony that after he was abused the singer had twice stuffed money into his trousers.
Ms Francia also recalled seeing “the little boy from the movies” at Neverland. She said she once washed Macaulay Culkin’s clothes which she would not have been required to do had the Home Alone star not been sleeping in Jackson’s bedroom.
Asked about an interview she gave to a US television show, the former maid said she had been asked to speak about her work at Neverland.
She was offered $20,000, she said.
The Francias received a settlement of around $2.4m from Jackson in the mid 1990s after filing a civil suit accusing the singer of molestation.
Jason Francia, now 24 and a youth pastor, has told the court the three incidents began as tickling games before Jackson’s hand went too far.
On two separate occasions, around a year apart, he claimed that during their games the pop star had moved his hand down to his genital area, groping him over his shorts. After each incident, he said the singer gave him £53 (100 dollars).
The third time, when Mr Francia was ten, he said he was in the loft of an arcade when Jackson’s hand went up his shorts and touched his testicles for some two or three minutes.
Mr Francia admitted originally denying any wrongdoing to police but said it was because he just wanted to forget the incident and put it behind him.
When defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau suggested he had been bullied into making allegations by detectives, the witness pleaded poor memory and said he could not remember the 1993 interviews.
Mr Mesereau read from a statement Mr Francia made in which he said: “They made me come up with a lot more stuff. They kept pushing. I wanted to hit them in the head.”