Jackson Defense Denies Photos Reports
Michael Jackson's defense attorney said in a court-approved statement yesterday (Sept. 21) that news reports about photographs reportedly seized from the singer's home are false and that the prosecutiMichael Jackson's defense attorney said in a court-approved statement yesterday (Sept. 21) that news reports about photographs reportedly seized from the singer's home are false and that the prosecution in the child-molestation case agrees.
The information was not specified, but defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr.'s statement followed a report by Los Angeles radio station KFI that among a half-dozen photos seized were images of a naked boy or boys.
KFI news director Chris Little said an attorney for Jackson called and asked for a retraction but was turned down. "We stand by the story," Little said.
Parties in the Jackson molestation case are under a gag order, but Santa Barbara (Calif.) County Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville has allowed attorneys to comment on news reports in approved statements. Mesereau read his statement in a law office in Birmingham, Ala., but took no questions from reporters.
"The Michael Jackson defense team has learned that information is circulating throughout the media regarding alleged photographs supposedly seized from Mr. Jackson's residence. That information is false. The prosecution has confirmed that it is false," Mesereau said. "We demand an immediate retraction from any news or media organization that made such an announcement."
Prosecution spokesperson Susan Tellem said she had not spoken directly with Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon, but she confirmed that Mesereau's statement had been approved by the court.
The KFI report, which cited unnamed sources, described a boy in a bathtub and a boy in a bed and said that it was not clear if each picture showed the same boy. The station reported that the photographs were referred to in court last Friday during a hearing in which the defense is challenging some of the seizures authorities made.
During the hearing, prosecutor Ron Zonen said items taken from Jackson's Neverland Ranch estate included six photos of a boy. "It's very apparent looking at those items why we seized them," he said, without elaborating.
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