Michael Jackson's defense attorney began cross-examining the 14-year-old brother of the boy who claims the pop singer molested him, getting him to admit Tuesday that he lied in a deposition from an unrelated civil lawsuit years earlier.
The defense also questioned whether the witness and his brother could have seen one of the adult magazines Jackson allegedly showed the boys, because it hadn't yet been published at the time the 14-year-old claims he saw it.
The boy testified Monday for the prosecution that he saw the pop singer molesting his older brother, then 13, on two occasions in February 2003. He also said that Jackson had served his brother alcohol and had shown pornography to both boys on overnight visits to his Neverland Ranch home. The boy identified a stack of magazines in a briefcase -- which was entered into evidence -- as the ones he'd seen at Jackson's house.
But Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. noted that the issue of Barely Legal identified by the boy has an August 2003 publication date on its cover. The boys' last visit to Neverland was in March 2003, months before the magazine would have been available. "I never said it was exactly that one" issue, the boy stammered, contradicting his previous testimony.
Mesereau continued to try to poke holes in the boy's ability to recollect events truthfully, and to discover to what degree, if any, he had been coached by his mother, prosecutors, investigators, attorneys and a psychologist. The boy slouched in the witness stand and mumbled his answers, many of which were an impetuous "I don't know. . . . If I don't remember, I don't remember."
Referring to a previous lawsuit by the boy's family against a department store (in which the boy's mother claimed she was assaulted and that other family members were beaten by security guards), Mesereau asked the boy if he had been truthful in a deposition in that case, when he was 10 years old. The boy admitted that he had lied under oath when he claimed at the time that his parents never fought and that his father never hit him.
Jackson, 46, faces 10 counts, including child molestation and conspiring to hold his accuser's family hostage. Mesereau is scheduled to continue questioning the accuser's brother on Wednesday.