The mother of Michael Jackson’s accuser told jurors Thursday a bizarre story of weeks during which she was shuttled around by Jackson’s associates, made a virtual prisoner and warned that “killers” were after her.
The woman said that during the entire period, she never tried to call police because “who could possibly believe this?”
Jackson, 46, is on trial on charges he molested a 13-year-old and kept the youngster and his family captive.
The boy’s mother asserted that Jackson’s people claimed the family needed to be protected from killers. She said they kept her in line by threatening her parents and her boyfriend.
Prosecutors allege that the family was held to get them to make a video rebutting a Feb. 6, 2003, TV documentary in which Jackson appeared with the boy who would eventually accuse him of molestation. In the program, Jackson said he let children sleep in his bed, but he characterized the practice as innocent.
The woman, who had testified emotionally on Wednesday, was more controlled in her second day on the stand as she answered questions from prosecutor Ron Zonen about her excursions with two Jackson aides, Frank Tyson and Vince Amen.
She burst into tears at one point when the prosecutors showed her four passports belonging to her and her children, which she said she had been forced to obtain when she was told they would be going to Brazil.
“Finally!” the woman exclaimed as Zonen produced the passports. She looked upward, sighed and began to cry. She said she had never been given the documents.
Monitored by Jackson's ‘henchmen’
She said that all of her activities from Feb. 21 to March 10, 2003, were dictated by Jackson’s henchmen, who she said monitored her calls, stood outside her window or her hotel door, and would not let her leave their custody.
“All along this period, I’m trying to reach people to help me because it’s evolving into more and more escalation,” she said.
At one point, she said, she and the children returned to his Neverland ranch, and Jackson was there. She said her two sons and daughter played with Jackson while she spent time at a guest house and rarely went outside.
“Did you know where the boys were sleeping?” she was asked.
“No,” she said.
The woman detailed an extraordinarily busy period of alleged captivity during which, she said, she and the children were taken to various public offices to obtain birth certificates, passports and visas. She said they also went shopping for clothes and went to the Laugh Factory club in Hollywood and to a hotel, and ultimately returned to Neverland, where “I just stood in the room. That was the order.”
The prosecution alleges that her son was molested during February or March 2003.
The mother made no mention of her son being molested and mostly talked about how scared she was of Jackson’s men.
She said that she once tried to contact comedian Louise Palanker, whom she knew from the Laugh Factory, and tried to “drop clues” to others through phone calls because she was afraid she and the children might disappear.
She described getting away for good by saying she wouldn’t go to Brazil unless her children got to visit their grandparents first. At home, she said, her son “was like an eruptive volcano.”
The mother described the boy “yelling at me at the top of his lungs that Michael loves him and that he has to go back.”
As Zonen’s two-day examination of the woman concluded, she said she never received or requested any money from Jackson, and does not plan to sue him.
She said she did not learn of any molestation allegations until she was informed by law enforcement authorities, who had been contacted by a psychologist to whom her children had been referred by a lawyer.
The defense’s cross-examination of the mother was expected to begin Friday.
During the alleged period of captivity, the woman and her children made a video for Jackson in which they praised him. The woman said she was given a script to follow and was instructed to say repeatedly, “That he’s a wonderful father. Basically, in summary, that he’s a wonderful father ... to my children.”
The prosecutor asked if she really believed the things she said on the video.
“I was confused, I was sad, so basically I was acting,” she said.