The details of a recent ABC News “exclusive” about
The network’s “Primetime Live” program broadcast grand jury testimony from MJ’s forthcoming molestation case, while Jackson remained under the court’s gag order.
Now, the California Superior Court judge who will oversee the trial is allowing MJ to respond to the allegations, sources told ABC News. The singer has reportedly spoken to television personality Geraldo Rivera for an interview to be broadcast before the start of the January 31st trial.
Sources say prosecutors are not happy because they feel the interview could poison the jury pool.
Jackson is accused of molesting a now-15-year-old boy who was in his care. He has pleaded not guilty to 10 charges; the accusations include felony conspiracy with 28 overt acts involving child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. Judge Rodney Melville put a strict gag order on all parties involved in the case.
Yet, testimony and documents from the grand jury indictment somehow got into the hands of TheSmokingGun.com as well as ABC. Sources told the network that Melville decided MJ could respond to the ABC report after meeting with prosecutors and defense attorneys.
According to “Primetime Live,” the accuser told the Santa Barbara County grand jury that Jackson had masturbated him. That, plus other alleged testimony, appeared on the news report.
“This case will be won in the courtroom and not through ‘leaks’ in the media,” MJ attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. said in a statement. “When he has his day in court, Michael Jackson will be acquitted and vindicated.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors want child testimony to be conducted in secret, according to a brief order issued by Melville. On the other side of the aisle, defense attorneys have asked the district attorney to not say he represents “the people” in such a way that it implies he is representing the jury against the defendant.
The lawyers have also asked the judge to bar the DA from calling the accuser a “victim” in court.