Pop Culture

Jackson witness says he’s been threatened

A member of the British aristocracy who has been subpoenaed to testify for the prosecution in the Michael Jackson child molestation case told NBC News' Mike Taibbi that he has received threats telling him to stay away from the trial.

Lord Alex Montagu, who is listed in Burkes Peerage as Viscount Mandeville Baron Montagu Alexander Charles David Drogo Montagu and as the Duke of Manchester on his passport, spoke exclusively with NBC News, in violation of Judge Rodney Melville's gag order, because he says he has received telephone threats.

According to Montagu, the caller told him “to leave the country and don't come back until after the hearing.

“I've had the front of my house vandalized, I've had my car tires slashed,” Montagu said. He doesn't know who's responsible for the threats and vandalism.

Montagu has been subpoenaed to testify because of his and his son Alexander's experiences with Michael Jackson at the singer's Neverland Ranch in the late ’90s.

Melville is expected to rule on Monday whether testimony about prior accusations of molestation against the singer can be used in evidence in this trial. If Melville does allow such testimony, Montagu could be a very important witness for District Attorney Thomas Sneddon. According to NBC News, his testimony would complement other available stories about Jackson referring to wine as “Jesus juice” and about the singer and his friendships with young boys.

Montagu says Jackson met his son at a memorial service for Princess Diana, and then started calling the boy, frequently. He said the singer and his son became fast friends.

“[My son] was sworn to secrecy to Michael,” Montagu said. “I don't really to any total degree know what happened. I asked my son, he didn't tell me. And my son's very fond of Michael but he's got his secrets.”

Montagu knows of nothing improper that Jackson did with his son during two visits to Neverland, but because of the gag order he wouldn't give details about those visits.

Montagu said he decided to speak with NBC News because of his family's fear, and the ordeal of just waiting.

“If I have to testify, [I ask] that it be done as soon as possible, because I just want to get this over and done with and get on with my life,” Montagu said.

And what does the Duke of Manchester think now of the King of Pop?

“If Mr. Jackson's guilty of something he should be prosecuted,” Montagu said. “If he's not guilty of something then he should be let go with an apology.”

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