Michael Jackson’s ex-wife today sought to portray the singer as a victim who had been exploited by a raft of greedy employees and associates.
Debbie Rowe described the pop star as a “great person and a great father” and blamed lawyers for the bitter custody battle over their two children.
She could not conceal her affection for the pop star, tearfully admitting she still considered him a friend and referring to him as “my Michael.”
Despite being called as a prosecution witness, Rowe refused to accuse the singer of forcing her to defend him in the aftermath of Martin Bashir’s damaging documentary.
Jackson asked her personally to take part in the so-called rebuttal video and gave her permission to break her confidentiality agreement so as she could talk, she said.
But although the interviewer had a list of some 105 questions she did not look at them as she wanted to be “spontaneous.”
She admitted she was asked to change or add things in clarification during the nine-hour session, but said she agreed to do so only if it did not warp the overall meaning what she had to say.
Asked exactly how she had described Jackson, she replied: “Generous to a fault, good father, great with kids, puts other people ahead of him. Brilliant businessman.”
It was Jackson’s alleged co-conspirators who were the focus of Rowe’s wrath, described as “opportunistic vultures” who just wanted to make money out of the singer.
She claimed the group were actually conspiring against Jackson, who she said was easily manipulated, and that they had sold her video interview for millions and kept the money.
The apparent ringleader, organiser of the video, Marc Schaffel, boasted about how much money he was making off Jackson, she claimed.
“He was out to hurt Michael and in addition would hurt my children,” Rowe told the court.
“He was talking out of both sides of his mouth, telling me one thing and telling Mr Jackson something else.”
Rowe, 46, married Jackson in 1996 and gave birth to two children before they divorced in 1999.
She admitted her motivation for co-operating with the video had been to see her children and possibly be reunited with Jackson, having given up her parental rights when they split.
The prosecution will rest its case on Tuesday, Tom Sneddon, prosecuting, said.
Jackson denies molesting his then 13-year-old acuuser in 2003, plying him with alcohol and conspiring to hold him and his family captive.
The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.