Sister Of Jackson's Accuser Testifies
The teenage sister of Michael Jackson's accuser told jurors today (March 3) about a series of unusual events that unfolded around the time of the alleged abuse. The testimony was elicited to support aThe teenage sister of Michael Jackson's accuser told jurors today (March 3) about a series of unusual events that unfolded around the time of the alleged abuse, including a sudden trip in which the family was whisked away to Miami on a private jet.
The testimony was elicited to support allegations that the singer conspired to hold the accuser's family captive to get them to rebut a February 2003 documentary in which Jackson said he allowed boys to sleep in his bed. The Miami trip occurred as the program was about to air.
The dark-haired, round-faced witness also told the jury that on the flight back from Miami, Jackson shared a soda can with her brother, and gave him a watch and a jacket decorated with sparkles.
Prosecutors allege that the boy, a cancer survivor, was molested twice by Jackson after the program aired. They contend Jackson gave the boy wine in the soda can and the gifts as bribes to keep quiet about the alcohol.
The 18-year-old college freshman avoided eye contact with Jackson during most of her testimony as she spoke about the family's encounters with him, which began during a celebrity-filled odyssey after her brother was diagnosed with cancer. The family was introduced to such stars as actor Chris Tucker and NBA star Kobe Bryant.
The defense has portrayed the family as being motivated by greed in its pursuit of celebrities.
Under questioning by District Attorney Tom Sneddon, the girl told jurors about strange events that happened after the documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir was taped.
The girl said she received an urgent call from her mother, who told her to go to their East Los Angeles apartment where she was met by an aide to Tucker. She said they were taken to Tucker's house, driven to an airport and flown to Miami on a private jet.
When they arrived at a resort in Miami, Jackson was waiting and in his suite they met a large group of people, she said. The witness said that her brother quickly received special attention from Jackson, who pulled him aside and closed the door to his room.
She said the two remained in there about 15 to 30 minutes and similar private visits occurred at least three more times during their stay. When her brother came out, she said, "He was very hyper, running around, very talkative, playful."
Jackson instructed the family not to watch the Bashir documentary that night. "He was upset about it; didn't want us to see it," she said.
Back at Jackson's Neverland ranch, she said, the family had a conversation with a Jackson adviser in which he urged her and her family to take part in a rebuttal video and gave them a script. She said they were later instructed by Wiesner to "say nice things about Mr. Jackson and not talk about what goes on at the ranch."
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