SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The mother of Michael Jackson’s accuser lashed out at the pop star from the witness stand Monday, declaring that Jackson “really didn’t care about children, he cared about what he was doing with children.”
The woman resisted answering questions by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. and began her fourth day on the witness stand by making speeches to the jury.
She looked at Jackson across the courtroom and said: “He managed to fool the world. Now, because of this criminal case, people know who he really is.”
Jackson is accused of molesting one of the woman’s sons – a teenage cancer patient – in February or March 2003, giving the boy alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy’s family captive to get them to rebut a TV documentary about the singer.
During another combative day on the stand, the woman admitted that she once told sheriff’s deputies she feared Jackson had a plan for her and her family to disappear from his Neverland ranch in a hot air balloon.
She accused Mesereau of taking the comment out of context. “I told police that (Jackson associates) had many ways to make us disappear,” she said.
“And someone mentioned to you a hot air balloon?” Mesereau asked.
“That was one of the ways,” she said.
The mother also denied repeatedly that Jackson or anyone associated with him had tried to help her and her family when her son was stricken with cancer.
Asked whether Jackson had arranged a blood drive at his Neverland ranch, she said, “I was responsible for that.”
She then launched into an explanation about how the hospital would provide a bloodmobile anywhere she could arrange such an event.
“And Mr. Jackson allowed you to use the ranch for the blood drive?” asked Mesereau.
“Yes, this is correct,” the woman said.
She added: “He wasn’t the only one. Many church groups gathered.”
Prosecutors countered defense attempts to discredit the accuser’s mother by showing pictures of the woman with bruises she said were the result of a confrontation with store security guards who beat her, her son and her former husband in an incident that predated the family’s meeting Jackson.
She testified the guards “clobbered” her after her son – the boy now accusing Jackson – walked out of a JC Penney store with clothing that hadn’t been paid for.
The defense has suggested the incident was a scheme to get money through a lawsuit.
The woman received a settlement of $150,000 from the store. Assault and battery charges were dismissed.