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Jackson defense allegedly harassing witness

A witness in the Michael Jackson molestation case held a news conference on Wednesday to complain that the singer's defense team was harassing him.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A witness in the Michael Jackson molestation case held a news conference on Wednesday to complain that the singer's defense team was harassing him. As soon as he wrapped up his remarks, he was served with a fresh subpoena.

Jamie Masada, who owns the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood, introduced Jackson to the boy who is accusing the pop star of molestation. The alleged victim had participated in Masada's comedy camp for underprivileged children and was battling cancer when he met the singer. Masada has never met Jackson but called his Neverland Ranch and urged the singer to help the boy.

Standing on stage at his club before an audience of camera crews and reporters, Masada on Wednesday accused one of Jackson's attorneys, Brian Oxman, of "unethical" behavior by having investigators call him and visit the homes of several comedians.

"He's harassing all of my comics who have been doing my comedy camp," Masada said.

Masada's employees handed out a copy of a Dec. 28 letter from Oxman, in which the lawyer told Masada the defense would seek a court order against him if he ignored a subpoena for records and a request that he appear in court on Jan. 31, the trial's scheduled start date.

"Unless we receive your immediate compliance with the subpoenas, we will file a motion to compel your compliance, including all appropriate sanctions and contempt citations," the letter said.

On Wednesday, an unidentified man handed another summons to Masada to appear on Jan. 31 then immediately left the club.

Oxman said he could not comment because of a gag order in the case.

During the camp, comedians including Chris Tucker, George Lopez and others help children create standup routines. Masada said a private investigator hired by the Jackson team questioned comedians about the camp and whether they had met the alleged victim.

Masada declined to name the comedians, except for Suli McCullough, who joined him at the news conference. McCullough said the investigator showed up at his home and left a business card, and the two played phone tag before the investigator finally questioned him about the camp — "almost in an accusatory kind of fashion," McCullough said.

Masada, who has given money to the boy's family and hosted fund-raisers where they received an amount he estimated at less than $3,000, has been one of the family's strongest public supporters since the molestation allegation against Jackson broke in November 2003.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.