IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Housekeeper says kids often ran wild at Neverland Ranch

Fournier also testifies that she saw intoxicated children at Jackson compound
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former housekeeper at Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch told jurors Thursday about a parade of boys who often stayed at the estate, among them Jackson’s accuser and his brother, who sometimes ran wild and trashed their living quarters toward the end of their stay.

Kiki Fournier was called by the prosecution to outline the relationships between Jackson and constant child houseguests who came through the property while she worked there.

She named nine children, including actor Macaulay Culkin, who came and went during her intermittent tenure from 1991 until she left in September 2003.

Fournier also said she saw Jackson at the dinner table with some children who appeared to be intoxicated, and another time she saw him at an outbuilding with local children, including some who appeared intoxicated. But she said she never saw Jackson give alcohol to a minor.

Under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss, the witness said she observed the behavior of children change when they stayed a while at Neverland, which has an amusement park and zoo.

The more the children got “free rein,” the wilder and more destructive they became, she said. She described Jackson as an indulgent host and suggested that children took advantage of him.

“With the absence of an authority figure, these children became wild, and without their parents there this became like Pinocchio’s Pleasure Island,” she said.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer patient at Neverland in early 2003 and giving him alcohol.

He’s also accused of conspiring to hold the boy, his brother, sister and mother captive to get them to make a video rebutting a Feb. 6, 2003, documentary in which Jackson said he let children sleep in his bed but that it was innocent.

District Attorney Tom Sneddon ended the day with a display of magazines and books found during a search of Jackson’s home. He called five sheriff’s deputies who were part of the 69-member team that searched Jackson’s estate on Nov. 18, 2003.

Each showed items they personally found — most of them art books with nude or seminude photos. Among the titles were “Naked as a Jaybird” and “The Fourth Sex — Adolescent Extremes.”

The witnesses acknowledged that none of the books were illegal to possess and were readily available commercially.

‘No respect’ from accuserThe housekeeper’s testimony was the prosecution’s centerpiece of the day, but Jackson’s lawyer sought to turn it to the defense’s advantage.

Fournier said she remembered Jackson’s accuser as a polite boy at the beginning but then noticed that his room became “a mess.”

On cross-examination by Jackson lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr., Fournier gave a vivid description of how the boy and his brother wreaked havoc in the guest quarters assigned to them. She said the destruction increased just before the family left Neverland for the last time, which occurred in March 2003.

But even before that, she said, the boy and his brother had “become demanding.”

She said they never seemed to like what was being served for dinner and would demand something different.

“There was no respect,” she said.

She also said she once summoned another maid to see the mess in the room where the two boys stayed.

“They were always sloppy,” she said. “But toward the end things were broken and it was a mess. ... There were things spilled, the refrigerator was a mess. It was like someone had gone in there like a tornado.”

Mesereau asked if it appeared to her that in the two weeks before the family left the boys were sleeping in their own quarters.

Fournier said she assumed they were, given how the place looked.

The prosecution contends the accuser was molested by Jackson in the pop star’s bedroom during the family’s last weeks at Neverland.

The defense contends the boy and his family were evicted from Neverland, where they planned to stay indefinitely. They allege the boy made up a story of molestation to get even.

Among the other boys Fournier testified she saw at the ranch was one who made molestation allegations against Jackson in 1993 and received a multimillion-dollar civil settlement. Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has said he’ll decide this week whether to admit evidence about that case in the current trial. No criminal charges were filed in that case.

Jackson, who was said to have suffered a back injury last week, looked pained as he left court under heavy security. Attorney Brian Oxman said Jackson was “still hurting” and will rest over the weekend.

Only motions were to be heard in court on Friday and the judge said Jackson did not have to be present.