A woman whose son repeatedly slept in Michael Jackson's bed at his Neverland ranch testified today (May 6) that she thought of the estate as "the happiest place on Earth" and she never saw anything in
A woman whose son repeatedly slept in Michael Jackson's bed at his Neverland ranch testified today (May 6) that she thought of the estate as "the happiest place on Earth" and she never saw anything inappropriate happen there.
"When you are at Neverland you forget all your problems," said Joy Robson, whose 22-year-old son, Wade, testified yesterday as the defense phase of the trial got under way.
Jackson defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked what the Robson family did on visits to Neverland. The witness said they watched movies and, in particular, she liked the chimpanzees in Jackson's zoo.
The Robsons were among witnesses that Jackson's defense is calling to counter a part of the prosecution case that was intended to show that Jackson has a history of inappropriate behavior with boys.
Wade Robson, who has choreographed videos and stage shows for artists such as Britney Spears and 'N Sync, had testified yesterday that Jackson never molested him and directly contradicted a prosecution witness' account that he and Jackson once showered together.
On cross-examination, District Attorney Tom Sneddon questioned the mother about whether she thought Jackson would help her son succeed in show business. "Did you in your mind think that by having a connection and a friendship with Mr. Jackson that that could help promote your son's career?" Sneddon asked.
"You're trying to make me say that that was the basis for our friendship and that's not true," she said. Prosecutors objected to the answer as non-responsive and Judge Rodney S. Melville sustained the objection.
Defense attorneys opened their case yesterday after the judge rejected a motion seeking outright acquittal on grounds that the prosecution had failed to prove its allegations. Such motions are common and are rarely successful.
Wade Robson said he has known Jackson since age 5 and stayed at Neverland more than 20 times. He slept in Jackson's bedroom on all but three or four of those visits, he said.
Robson said his overnight visits involved talking, watching movies, playing video games, and occasional pillow fights. But he said Jackson never touched him in a sexual way. "I'm telling you nothing happened," the witness said.
Asked if something might have happened while he was asleep, Robson said, "I think something like that would wake me up." In cross-examination, prosecutor Ron Zonen suggested that when Robson said Jackson never molested him, "What you're really telling us is that nothing happened when you were awake."
A former Jackson maid, the mother of a boy who got a multimillion-dollar settlement from Jackson in the 1990s after accusing the star of molestation, testified previously that she once saw Jackson showering with Robson. Robson said he had never showered with the singer.
The second defense witness, Brett Barnes, said that as a youth he stayed with Jackson at least 10 times. Asked if he had ever been touched inappropriately, Barnes said, "Never. I wouldn't stand for it."
While cross-examining Robson, Zonen approached the witness stand carrying two books taken from Jackson's home, one showing nude boys and the other showing men in sexual acts. Robson said he did not consider the book about boys to be pornographic, but he appeared to be taken aback when shown the book depicting men in sex acts.
"Would you be concerned with a man who possesses that book crawling into bed with a 10-year-old boy?" Zonen asked. Robson paused and said quietly, "Yes."
Mesereau quickly countered, asking Robson if he would feel differently if he knew that Jackson also had a collection of Playboy, Hustler and other heterosexual magazines. Robson said he would feel differently and would no longer be concerned about it.
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