A judge has denied a request for a contempt citation against journalist Martin Bashir, who produced the documentary “Living With Michael Jackson” in 2003 and in the past week followed up with two more TV specials.
Court documents released Friday do not give a reason for Judge Rodney Melville’s decision on the defense request, which argued that Bashir violated the court’s gag order prohibiting him, as a witness, from making public statements in the 46-year-old pop star’s child molestation case.
The defense request noted that Jackson, who is charged with molesting a boy, plying him with alcohol, and conspiring to hold his family hostage, has obeyed the gag order. “Other witnesses should show the court the same respect,” it said.
Bashir had argued that he was exempt from the gag order as a journalist.
The defense also accused Bashir of inducing another witness, actor Corey Feldman, to violate the gag order for a TV program presented by Bashir. It asked for sanctions against Bashir.
Other documents released Friday show the prosecution also filed a motion opposing a defense bid to “balance” the effect of the Bashir video by showing jurors a compilation of early Jackson performances, interviews with him and his family and scenes of children frolicking at Neverland.
The prosecution said the “fawning tribute” does not contain any discussion of Jackson allowing boys to sleep in his bed and is not relevant.
Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Jury selection is scheduled to resume Monday.