Before the Michael Jackson child molestation trial recessed for the weekend, prosecutors presented an ex-employee of Jackson's who testified he was delivering an order of french fries to Jackson at Neverland’s arcade late one night and saw the singer holding “Home Alone” actor Macaulay Culkin up to a video game console with one hand on the boy’s waist and the other in the boy’s shorts.
“I was shocked. I almost dropped the french fries,” said Phillip LeMarque, 70. He said he sneaked away and then returned, loudly announcing himself.
The defense has asserted that Culkin has repeatedly said he was never molested, and a spokeswoman for the actor has said he has no plans to be part of the case.
Under defense questioning, LeMarque said he and his wife, a cook, sued Jackson for unpaid overtime and received a settlement.
LeMarque said he quit because his wife was asked to sign a false affidavit saying she saw a former maid go through people’s purses. That ex-maid, whose son received a financial settlement from Jackson in the 1990s after he alleged molestation, testified this week that she once found Jackson showering with a boy.
Also on Friday, Jackson’s former maid testified that she and other employees used a “media broker” to sell stories to tabloids, including one claiming inside knowledge of Jackson’s sex life with ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.
Adrian McManus, who earlier testified for the prosecution that she saw Jackson in compromising positions with boys, insisted under cross-examination that she was not out to get Jackson’s money even when she and four other Neverland employees sued him for millions.
"I wanted justice,” she said of the wrongful-termination lawsuit, which backfired and resulted in a large judgment against the plaintiffs.
“But your idea of justice was millions of bucks?” asked Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr.
“That’s not what I call justice,” said the witness. “Honestly, a simple ‘sorry for what we did to you’ would have been enough for me.”
Jackson is on trial on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy at his Neverland ranch. The prosecution is presenting evidence, much of it from former Jackson employees, that the crime was part of a pattern of inappropriate behavior by the pop star with boys.
Mesereau has used the ex-employees’ legal battles with Jackson and the sale of stories to tabloids to attack their credibility.
Marriage to Presley
McManus, who is not the ex-maid whose son received a settlement, acknowledged that she signed agreements with the Star tabloid and the Splash media and picture agency to sell purported secrets about Jackson’s life with Presley.
Jackson, 46, married Presley in 1994. Presley filed for divorce in 1996. McManus was a Neverland maid from 1990 to 1994.
Prosecutor Ron Zonen asked McManus if she in fact had any information about kinky sex secrets of Jackson and Presley.
“No,” she said.
“Did you ever see any woman stay with Mr. Jackson in his room in the four years you worked at Neverland?” asked Zonen.
“No, I did not,” she said.
On Thursday, McManus testified that she saw the pop star kiss Culkin on the cheek while his hand was on Culkin’s bottom.
McManus described a similar scene with another boy: Jackson and the boy were changing their shirts and Jackson kissed the boy on his cheek and mouth and put his hand on his groin.
When she worked at Neverland, McManus was responsible for cleaning up Jackson’s room, and in an unexplained detour the prosecutor asked if she ever had to clean up after the singer’s pet monkey.
McManus said she did, and also had to clean the monkey’s diapers.
“Did you have to clean up monkey droppings on the floor?” Zonen asked.
“Not on the floor, just on the walls,” McManus said.