The mother of Michael Jackson’s accuser complained that she and her children were being kept away from the pop star during the time period prosecutors say one of her sons was being molested, a witness testified today (May 19).
The testimony came after the judge refused to allow the defense to call CNN’s Larry King as a witness. The talk show host was in court but left without taking the stand. The defense wanted to present testimony by King that attorney Larry Feldman, who once represented the accuser’s mother, had told him the mother was “wacko” and out for money.
The highlight from today’s testimony was that of Azja Pryor, a Hollywood casting assistant and the girlfriend of movie star Chris Tucker. She told the jury that the accuser’s mother complained to her in early March 2003 that two German associates of Jackson had stepped in to keep her family away.
“I asked, ‘Does Michael know anything about this?’ She said, ‘They won’t let us around him because they know the children tug at his heart strings,'” Pryor testified.
The time period she cited is critical because prosecutors allege Jackson molested the then-13-year-old accuser between Feb. 20 and March 12, 2003. When the accuser’s mother testified in the trial, she bitterly spoke out against “the Germans” and claimed they were conspiring with Jackson to hold her family captive.
Pryor began her testimony with a few tears, talking about how she met the family in 2001 when the boy was battling cancer. She said she and the boy’s mother would talk for hours at a time on the phone, but the mother never complained to her about Jackson.
The judge later handed the defense a victory when he allowed jurors to see a video tour of the singer’s Neverland ranch.
Besides the ranch’s amusement park rides and zoo animals, the video shows numerous clocks, countering testimony by members of the accuser’s family that they were not able to keep track of time while Jackson allegedly held them against their will.
District Attorney Tom Sneddon vehemently opposed the video, saying much of it was “propaganda.” He cited in particular a scene that showed a note written on a chalkboard by one of Jackson’s children, saying “I love you daddy.”
In addition to molestation, Jackson, 46, is accused of giving the boy wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a TV documentary in which Jackson said he let children sleep in his bed but that it was non-sexual.
Pryor smiled as she told Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. that the accuser’s mother never told her she had tried to escape from Neverland. “Why are you smiling?” Mesereau asked. “It’s Neverland,” the witness said. “I don’t know who would ever want to escape Neverland.”
Pryor also testified that she gave the family money and that the accuser’s mother and sister tried to pressure her to give them a car. The defense contends that the accuser’s mother tried to bilk celebrities by exploiting her son’s fight against cancer.
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