Michael Jackson’s spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, has denied news reports that surfaced late last night suggesting the pop star was briefly in hospital for dehydration after leaving court in Santa Maria, California.
“Not true,” Bain said, adding the rumour may have been fuelled by advice to Jackson from comedian-turned-nutritionist Dick Gregory.
He said that Jackson should receive a shot of electrolytes because he appeared dehydrated when he saw him yesterday.
Bain said she didn’t know if Jackson followed through and got such a shot. “I didn’t ask him,” she said, adding the entertainer planned to be in court today.
Jackson’s defence team said prosecutors’ portrayal of the pop star as a hard-drinking, porn-collecting paedophile during closing arguments, were part of an effort to “dirty up” their client.
The prosecution couldn’t prove their case that he is guilty of child molestation, Jackson’s lawyer told jurors during his own closing argument.
Defence attorney Thomas Mesereau began his closing argument after Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen said in his that Jackson had brought his accuser, a then 13-year-old cancer survivor, “into the world of the forbidden”.
Mesereau was to conclude his argument today, after which the prosecution was to make its rebuttal. The case will then go to the jury.
Zonen said Jackson lowered the boy’s inhibitions by giving him alcohol and showing him pornography before molesting him in the bedroom of the entertainer’s Neverland Ranch.
The defence countered that the boy’s family consisted of “con artists, actors and liars”, adding the prosecution showed the weakness of its case by personally attacking Mesereau during closing arguments. “Whenever a prosecutor does that you know they’re in trouble,” Mesereau told jurors. “This is not a popularity contest between lawyers.”
Prosecutors, Mesereau said, also engaged in a “nasty attempt, a barbaric attempt” to attack Jackson personally by bringing up his financial problems, alcohol consumption, collection of adult magazines and “sagging music career”.
Jackson, who looked glum 24 hours earlier, said: “I’m OK” as he left the court yesterday.
The 46-year-old entertainer is charged with molesting his accuser in 2003, plying him with wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut the documentary Living With Michael Jackson.
In the documentary, Jackson holds hands with the boy and says he allows children into his bed for innocent, non-sexual sleepovers. Zonen said it was towards the end of a period in which the boy and his family stayed at Neverland that “the behaviour had turned to something terribly illegal”.
He said Jackson began giving the boy alcohol, adding that even though the teenager’s mother was unaware at the time of any molestation, she insisted her family leave when she learned of the drinking.
“For all her shortcomings, after learning Michael Jackson was giving her son alcohol, in 36 hours she had her children out of there,” Zonen said. Mesereau said the real issue was “whether the accuser’s family was credible”, and tore into the prosecutor’s claim that the boy’s mother was not out for money.
He said the mother had asked celebrities for financial help, sued J.C. Penney after alleging that guards beat her family, and applied for welfare 10 days after getting an €124,000 settlement from the department store.
“When she filed for emergency welfare 10 days after getting her (settlement), was she asking for money?” Mesereau asked. “If you do not believe (the family) beyond a reasonable doubt, Mr. Jackson must be acquitted. That’s the law.”
Zonen acknowledged the mother fraudulently applied for welfare while trying to support three children, but asserted that was the only thing she had ever done that was proven to be wrong.
The prosecutor ridiculed the idea that she could have made up the entire molestation story and prompted her children to lie in order to make money with a future lawsuit against Jackson.
“It’s unmitigated rubbish”, he said.
Jackson denies all the charges against him. The trial continues.