In Santa Maria sitzen sie gerade noch im Gerichtssaal, aber ich denke, man kann zusammenfassend heute schon etwas zum Prozesstag erzählen. Der Morgen verlief wohl erst einmal etwas wirr. Kaum war Michael angekommen, hieß es, dass Melville Staatsanwaltschaft und Verteidigung zu einer Unterredung zusammengetrommelt hat. Fans begannen schon zu spekulieren, was los sein könnte. Man hoffte schon, die Kläger könnten aufgegeben haben – nur im Traum. Dieses Foto zweier Anwälte der Verteidigung muss wohl vor der Diskussion mit dem Richter entstanden sein:
Als ich das Foto sah, dachte ich schon – oh weia, irgendwas muss passiert sein. Ganz so spannend war das Gespräch mit dem Richteraber wohl doch nicht. Es ging um die Zeugin Ann Gabriel (Ann Marie Kite), die vom 9. bis 15. Februar 2003 nach der TV-Übertragung des Dokumentarfilms von Martin Bashir im PR-Krisenmanagement von Michael Jackson gearbeitet hat. Da die Frau nur wirklich sehr kurz für Michael gearbeitet hat und sie Michael zu dem Zeitpunkt niemals getroffen hat, also eigentlich keine Ahnung von nichts hat, war man sich nicht sicher, wie man im Kreuzverhör mit ihr umgehen sollte. Das musste erst einmal geklärt werden, bevor das Kreuzverhör weitergehen konnte. Dass man sich das nicht einmal vorher überlegt hat?
Ich frage mich, warum diese Frau überhaupt jemals in den Zeugenstand gerufen wurde. Es ist schon echt peinlich. Da hat sich Sneddon wirklich ein Loch in den Fuß geschossen. Sie wird jetzt schon ganze vier Stunden auseinander genommen, sie soll mittlerweile auch schon zugunsten der Verteidigung ausgesagt haben. Sie soll gesagt haben, dass Dieter Wiesner, eine ebenfalls zwielichtige Persönlichkeit aus Deutschland, die eine Weile Michaels Management übernommen hat, und Ronald Konitzer (aus Vancouver) auf sie den Eindruck gemacht haben, als seien sie „out to get Michael“. Ich will nicht wissen, was wir noch über die Machenschaften dieser beiden Leute erfahren werden und wie tief sie in die Geschichte vielleicht verwickelt sind. Soweit ich weiß, wird es aber leider nicht möglich sein, Dieter Wiesner und Ronald Konitzer nach Santa Maria zur Zeugenaussage zu bewegen, außer sie erklären sich selbst dazu bereit.
Dazu hat man in den Medien allerdings noch nichts berichtet. Dieser Artikel fasst aber noch andere Punkte ihrer Aussage zusammen, die dann schon wieder belastend für Michaels Seite sind. Es ist nur fraglich, wie viel Michael selbst von den Vorgängen auf Neverland wusste, wenn sie überhaupt so stattgefunden haben, wie man behauptet. Wenig überraschend, dass die Medien das Gute an der Zeugenaussage bislang verschwiegen haben.
Ach, und Roger Friedman hat heute übrigens einen Artikel veröffentlicht, in dem er endlich einmal näher darauf einging, wie es überhaupt zum Dokumentarfilm mit Bashir gekommen war, wie Bashir Uri Geller angefleht hat, sich um den Kontakt zu Michael Jackson zu kümmern. Ich habe dazu ja hier schon meine eigenen Spekulationen geäußert. Aber dass Uri Geller am Ende vielleicht sogar des Gelds wegen seinen, äh, Freund Michael an Bashir verkauft hat, so weit hätte ich doch nicht träumen können, auch wenn ich Geller noch nie getraut habe.
Bashir assures Geller: „ITV [the British network] would be prepared to offer you a large percentage of the worldwide net sales of any project and would also ensure that you were paid a separate fee for your assistance.“
Auch dieses Zitat aus dem Artikel machte mich hellhörig:
That’s because Bashir wrote in the same letter regarding Jackson: „He stands at a crossroads and we are talking about things that will affect the rest of his life. I have complete confidence in our ability to do justice to his remarkable life/story and I remain deeply grateful for all your help in this.“
„Justice“ – wenn ich das schon aus Bashirs Mund höre. Ich werde den Gedanken nicht los, dass Bashir in einen Komplott verwickelt ist und dass die ganze Geschichte von vorne bis hinten geplant war. Sie wussten, auf welchem Fuß sie Michael erwischen würden. Sie haben es ausgenutzt, weil sie wussten, dass sie so Michael in die Falle locken könnten. Ich hoffe, dass Bashir eines Tages den Mund aufmachen muss.
Ansonsten habe ich heute sehr über eine Sendung von Nancy Grace lachen können. Sie versucht, Michael Jackson unentwegt als Pedophilen darzustellen. Gestern lud sie sich hierzu eine Gästerunde zur Debatte über den Fall in ihre eigene Sendung ein, und sie wurde bitter enttäuscht. Den Plausch hatte sie sich wohl anders vorgestellt. Keiner ihrer Experten teilte ihre Meinung, die meisten waren wirklich sehr zurückhaltend mit ihren Urteilen. Am interessantesten fand ich die Ausführungen von Jane Velez-Mitchell, die auch gestern vor Ort im Gerichtssaal war. Sie erzählte, dass die Leute nicht anders konnten als bei der Musik von Michael Jackson mitzurocken, als sie den Bashir-Dokumentarfilm anschauen mussten. Sein künstlerisches Werk wird unvergessen bleiben.
Die Diskussionsrunde erinnerte mich auch immer wieder an den Film „Ghosts“ von Michael Jackson. Der Mann, der verurteilt und vertrieben wird, weil er „weird“ ist, aber eigentlich niemandem etwas angetan hat. Ich fand einiges, was in der Diskussion gesagt wurde, wirklich gut. Ich hätte nicht erwartet, dass diese Leute mit so offenen Augen an diesen Prozess gehen.
Ums zu den Akten zu legen und weil’s so schön ist, werde ich die komplette Diskussion hier mal anfügen:
Nancy Grace :: Aired March 1, 2005 – 20:00:00 ET
GRACE: It is day two of the Michael Jackson sex trial. Today, Jackson`s lawyers promised the jury not once, not twice, but three times their client, Michael Jackson, the king of pop, will take the stand.
State`s first witness, a British documentarian, Martin Bashir. And he brought a video. Get your popcorn. Remember that BBC documentary? You probably saw a part of it on ABC and it shows Michael Jackson all snugged up with a little boy. Well, today, the jury saw that documentary in full. Take a look at part of the ABC version.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER ACCUSED OF CHILD MOLESTATION: We`re going to sleep. I tuck them in. I put little, like, music on, do a little story time, read a book. It`s very sweet. Put the fireplace on, give them hot milk. You know, we have little cookies. It`s very charming, very sweet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK, that`s not exactly how the prosecutor told it to the jury.
Tonight, from Santa Maria, „Celebrity Justice“ reporter Jane Velez- Mitchell, in West Tampa, sparring buddy, defense attorney Joe Episcopo, here in New York, defense attorney Jason Oshins, and psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig.
Welcome, everybody. Let`s get down to it.
Jane Velez-Mitchell, what went down in court today? Did Jackson start crying? I have heard conflicting reports.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, „CELEBRITY JUSTICE“ REPORTER: It depends on who you talk to. His back was to the gallery. At one point during the documentary, he picks up a tissue and it looks like he`s crying. A lot of people interpreted that as emotion. His publicist, Raymone Bain, came out afterward and said, „He`s not crying. He`s strong. He`s fighting. He`s angry. He`s not depressed. He is on a crusade. He is fighting.“
So it really depends on who you talk to. But I have to tell you, this was one of the strangest days in any legal proceeding that I have ever seen. Sitting there watching this documentary with Michael Jackson along with his two mortal enemies, D.A. Tom Sneddon and Martin Bashir, as well as Jackson`s mom and his brother. And everybody`s chuckling at the same dance moves. It was mind-blowing. It was like something out of the „Twilight Zone.“ Highly uncomfortable.
GRACE: What do you mean everybody was laughing?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there were moments where, for example, Michael Jackson is teaching Martin Bashir how to do the moonwalk. And it`s funny, and it`s cute. And everybody has that human reaction to laugh. So here we are in this really horrific situation…
GRACE: Including the jury?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. The jury, some members of the jury, quite a few of them, were kind of moving to the music. I mean, it`s infectious. It`s „ABC,“ it`s all these great songs. And it`s hard to stay stoic. I could see some of them trying. But I could see others kind of rocking to the beat. And, everybody, all these people…
GRACE: Jane, Jane…
VELEZ-MITCHELL: … whose opposing desires are all moving to the same music.
GRACE: I don`t have a problem to the jury getting a groove on to the music. What was their reaction when Jackson spoke in the documentary about sleeping with kids? Am I the only crazy one here? Am I the only one that thinks it`s crazy for a 45-year-old to have sleepovers with nine-year-old kids? They had no reaction?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They were taking notes. Some were grim. There was one older man who I believe was an alternate who, through the entire documentary, was, like, his jaw was dropping. Everything seemed to shock him. It seemed that he hadn`t seen the documentary and just Michael Jackson`s lifestyle in total was a shocker, the wild spending sprees, the baby danglings, the whole thing. To me, though, I have to say, this was supposed to be the banner day for the prosecution, the showing of this documentary that might as well have been done by the prosecution. But I`ve got to tell you that…
GRACE: Jane, I have got to go to break really quickly. We`ll be straight back with Jane Velez-Mitchell and bring in the rest of our panel. Stay with us.
SOPHIA CHOI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I`m Sophia Choi. Let`s get to your „Headline Prime Newsbreak.“
A judge working with the tribunal that would have heard charges of human rights abuse against Saddam Hussein has been killed by insurgents in Iraq. The judge`s son was also killed in the attack.
Chicago police say they are going to quote, „work extra hard“ to find out who killed a husband and mother of a federal judge. The FBI, the U.S. Marshal Service, and Chicago detectives have formed a task force to solve the crime. The U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow discovered the bodies at the family`s home on Monday.
Hundreds of schools are closed today in the northeast because of a late winter snowstorm. Kids may be getting some little fun now, but they`ll pay for it later. The storm means students in Boston will attend school until at least the end of June. Dozens of flights out of New York and Boston were also canceled today.
That`s the news for now. I`m Sophia Choi. Back to NANCY GRACE now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN BASHIR, BBC DOCUMENTARY HOST: Is that really appropriate for a man, a grown man, to be doing that? How do you respond to that?
JACKSON: I feel sorry for them. Because that`s judging someone who just wants to really help people. Why can`t you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That was a cut from the BBC documentary, the one that was made by Martin Bashir, showing Jackson with the same boy who has made these formal child molestation charges. That was the ABC version.
Jane Velez-Mitchell, are you telling me when the jury heard that nobody cringed, nobody rolls an eye, nobody coughed? Nothing?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it`s really hard to measure their reactions. There was one woman who is a mother who seemed visibly upset and kind of disgusted throughout the whole thing.
While some people were rocking to the music, she seemed grim and almost determined not to get sucked in by all of that. So I think there were certain people who were disturbed throughout the documentary. Others seemed to enjoy it as entertainment.
GRACE: You know, Jason Oshins is a civil and criminal attorney.
Jason, the fact that Michael Jackson in this documentary says, „I have only had two plastic surgeries“ — I know he`s not on trial for plastic surgery. Half of L.A. would be behind bars if people were tried for plastic surgery. But the fact that we know he`s lying about something as – – eek! — as something as innocuous as having a plastic surgery. I mean, it reminds me a little bit — remember Scott Peterson would just lie about everything whether he had to or not, it didn`t matter?
JASON OSHINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, I don`t think anyone`s going to get really upset about his intent to maintain his vanity or not to disclose how many surgeries that he has had. That doesn`t go, I think, to the core of his credibility or not. I really don`t find that objectionable.
GRACE: I think you may be right, Jason.
What about it, Joe Episcopo? Do small white lies damage his credibility?
JOE EPISCOPO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Everybody lies about plastic surgery. Who wants to tell people you`re doing that? You go that route, you`re not going to get anywhere. You`re going to lose the case, Nancy.
GRACE: Well, to me, it really doesn`t matter one way or the other. But if I were doing a documentary, I would try to be honest. I mean, since you are doing the documentary. All that aside, I think the most damaging thing, Joe, is him all snugged up to this little by.
EPISCOPO: No, I think it illustrates that he`s strange. You know, pedophiles that I have represented never said to me, „I like sharing my bed with little boys.“ I just never hear that kind of thing from my own clients.
He`s strange. And that`s the whole idea about this case. If they can get across the fact that he`s strange, then they can get around the idea that, oh, he must be a pedophile.
OSHINS: Nancy, Joe`s on to something. Because if you put in context this pop icon, and what he`s done, and how his life has been lived, and how he`s lived it, I think he comes across different contextually. I really do.
GRACE: All right, Jane Velez-Mitchell, are you seeing the strange defense — look, I agree. He is strange.
But, listen, to me, still — there you go. Thank you, Elizabeth, for reminding me of that mental image.
But, Jane, how far can strange go? I mean, it`s OK to have a bunch of plastic surgery. It`s OK to live in a fantasy land. It`s OK, I guess, for a 45-year-old man to climb up in a tree and sit there all day wishing. Fine, if he can afford not to work. But the sleeping with the kids thing? No.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How far can strange go? That might be the ultimate question in this case. Is he an innocent eccentric or is it sinister and diabolical? And it really is depending on how you`re viewing it, what set of glasses you`re looking at all of this through.
And when I watched the documentary again, some of the things seemed a little sinister that I hadn`t noticed the first time around. For example, there`s a portrait of Michael Jackson surrounded by these cherubs, these angels, and he`s sort of naked from the waist up anyway. That looked bizarre to me.
GRACE: I`m a little more worried about the child porn, Jane. Forget the mural. I`m worried about the child porn.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, well, let me — let me tell you what Mesereau did to try to explain away the child porn. He admitted today in court, he said, yep, Michael Jackson likes to look at girlie magazines and sends his assistants to the local store to get those girlie magazines.
But these kids broke in, he said, and got a hold of them. And Michael Jackson grabbed these magazines and put them in a locked briefcase. He did the same thing with the alcohol. He claimed these kids were out of control and breaking into liquor cabinets and getting a hold of the alcohol.
GRACE: Jane, Jane, Jane, child porn. I`m not talking about girlie magazines. Is there evidence that there is child porn?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, barely legal hardcore. You do the math. I mean, that says it right there. Those were some of the titles that the prosecution mentioned of magazines they said they found at Neverland.
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: But I think that a very interesting point is that many pedophiles will go to a great extent to hide their abnormalities. So they won`t say, „You know, I like sleeping in bed with children. And by the way, I love creating a whole wonderful world for children.“
GRACE: I can`t believe you people are sucked into this.
LUDWIG: No, it`s true, Nancy. And if you look at what is…
GRACE: He`s sleeping with nine-year-old boys. Just…
EPISCOPO: Yes, but, he didn`t say he was sleeping with them. He said he was sharing his bed.
OSHINS: It`s sharing his bed, not sleeping with them.
GRACE: Guys, guys, guys, the one little brother, tell me if I`m wrong, Jane Velez-Mitchell, says he observed Jackson masturbating his brother at the same time. Jane, is that true?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That`s what he said. That`s what this young boy, the younger brother of the accuser, is going to apparently get on the witness stand and say. And I think you`ve hit the nail on the head. It all boils down to what these two kids have to say…
GRACE: Well, what about these…
VELEZ-MITCHELL: … when they take the stand and how credible they are.
GRACE: What about the other counts? Yes, this kid falls apart on the stand, the case is over. If he`s lying, there is no case. But what about the stewardesses? There were several of them that say they observed Jackson giving this kid wine.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re going to be taking the stand very soon. They are on the witness list and they should be coming up in a couple of days. So we could see the prosecution get some big momentum in the next couple of days. Right now, it seem likes the defense has quite a bit of momentum even though it`s the opening of the prosecution`s case.
GRACE: Well, look, didn`t you see „Sideways“? „Barely Legal“ is not child porn. It is grown women dressed up to look like little girls. So that is not child porn, Jane. I need to give you a porn update. „Barely Legal,“ not child porn, OK?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you for that.
Robi, what were you saying?
LUDWIG: Yes, I mean, I was just going to say that, you know, we don`t apply the same standards to Michael Jackson as we do to everybody else. And the question is…
GRACE: Maybe you don`t, but I think the jury should.
LUDWIG: Well, maybe the jury will and maybe the jury won`t. And you have to remember the other person who`s making these sinister observations has the same mother as the child who was the victim. So it`s the brother. He also…
GRACE: OK, what about the other two alleged accusers? Are they lying?
LUDWIG: They accused him of sexual — something sexual or…
LUDWIG: OK, OK.
GRACE: The $20 million settlement, Joe, and the $2 point-something- million dollar settlement. I think there`s a good possibility Judge Melville will allow these in. What do you say to that?
EPISCOPO: Well, it`s never been litigated. Nobody`s been cross- examined. We really don`t know what happened. And, you know, sometimes a wealthy movie star or a wealthy personality will pay a huge sum of money to keep things quiet. Didn`t that just happen on FOX?
GRACE: Joe, Joe, one of these kids could describe Jackson`s penis. Please.
GRACE: Do you ever get tired of being an apologist?
EPISCOPO: Hey, look, wait a minute. So? You saw somebody naked. That`s a crime?
GRACE: Why? Why would you see Jackson without his pants on?
EPISCOPO: Well, maybe he was going to the bathroom. Maybe he was coming back from the shower. You`d think, I mean…
GRACE: OK, yes, yes. You hold that thought. OK, you hold that thought. Thank you, Joe Episcopo.
Everybody, a quick break.
Tonight, in other jurisdictions, police in Corvallis, Oregon, need our help. On the morning of May 24th, 2004, Brooke Wilberger — take a look — 20-year-old Brigham Young University student disappeared outside her sister`s apartment. She was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, indigo blue, with metallic lettering. Look at this. Police are looking for an identical sweatshirt. They need to do a fiber comparison. If you have one of these, if you know of one, please contact the Corvallis, Oregon, police department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: We have guest units but whenever kids come here, they always want to stay with me. They never want to stay in the guest — and I have never invited them in my room. They always just want to stay. They say, „Can I stay with you tonight?“ I go, if it`s OK with your parents, yes, you can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK, that was the clip from the ABC version of the Bashir BBC documentary on Michael Jackson.
And Jane Velez-Mitchell, he is the one that enlisted this documentary, right?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you saying Michael Jackson? Well, the way it came out in court today is that Martin Bashir had used his connection, having had interviewed Princess Diana, to get to Michael Jackson and proposed, according to the defense, anyway, to do some beautiful look at his work with children. And the defense argued that then he turned it around and turned it into a hatchet job.
GRACE: Joe Episcopo, you know, our founding fathers put in the Constitution that we are protected from the tyranny of the government, if there is any. You can`t torture someone, coerce them, into giving a statement. But I don`t think Thomas Jefferson ever envisioned Martin Bashir and the BBC documentary. Can`t protect Jackson from his own doing.
EPISCOPO: I don`t think so. I don`t think it`s a confession. I don`t think it`s an admission. I think it`s a look at the way he thinks and the way he acts. It`s strange to us — yes, it is — but it`s not child molestation.
GRACE: So you`re going with the strange defense. OK, he`s strange.
EPISCOPO: That`s what it is.
GRACE: But, jury, it`s normal for a 45-year-old man to sleep with nine-year-old boys. Okay, fine, if that`s your defense, I will go with that.
Hey, Jane Velez…
EPISCOPO: Well, you know, there`s room for other reasonable doubt here, too. I mean, let`s face it. The accusers are not going to come — they`re going to come across like snitches in a jail case, you know, when the snitches come forward. They`re going to be chopped up.
GRACE: Possibly the mother, but, Jason Oshins, I don`t see an attack on a young cancer patient credibility going that far…
OSHINS: Why not?
GRACE: … but maybe on the mom.
OSHINS: I`ll tell you what. I think it`s going to come. I think it`s going to come on the entire family that this was some sort of organized, salacious scheme to get her involved and dealing with this. That`s what I think.
GRACE: OK, what about the other two victims, if they come in?
OSHINS: Well, I think…
OSHINS: You`re talking about the original one on the jury settlement?
GRACE: `93, $20 million and a later one for $2.5 million.
OSHINS: He could be subpoenaed, but he doesn`t have to testify at this. He does not have to testify.
GRACE: The law has changed in California.
OSHINS: Has it?
GRACE: The law has changed as a result — Jane Velez-Mitchell, isn`t that correct that, after the `93 case, the law in California was actually changed so that, even if there was a big civil settlement, the prosecution can still force the victim to go forward?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think the bottom line is that, at the end of the day, if somebody doesn`t want to talk about their alleged molestations, it`s very hard to enforce them and force it and force them. I mean, what are going to do? Throw somebody who is purportedly a victim into jail?
But I spoke to the uncle of this `93 accuser, who is here at the courthouse, and he says he believes, even though he hasn`t spoken with his nephew, that his nephew will ultimately, if it`s allowed in, get up and tell his story. And I think that`s the key to this whole case. If they get these prior alleged bad acts in and there are similarities and commonalities with this current case, that is going to be devastating for Michael Jackson. I think it could well hinge on that.
GRACE: I think you are right. Because as Oshins and Episcopo say, there is going to be a massive credibility attack on the boy, on his brother, on the mother. I don`t know if they can survive that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s already started.
GRACE: … did Mesereau actually tell the jury that Jackson would take the stand?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He hinted at it three times. He didn`t say, „Michael Jackson will take the stand.“ But he said, „You will hear from Michael Jackson,“ words to that effect, over and over. So you get the sense that, if he`s promising something that he plans to deliver, it looks like Michael Jackson may well take the stand.
It is too early to tell how this is going to go. Anybody who would predict it at this point, I think, is a fool. I think it was good day for the defense in that Tom Mesereau is a brilliant attorney and he took…
GRACE: He is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: … a situation that should have been a banner day for the prosecution with this documentary and managed to spin it around. And, I tell you, if I was ever in trouble, he would be the first person I would call. He is a top-flight attorney.
LUDWIG: You know, I think, if I were the prosecution, I would say, „Hey, listen. Just because you feel like you know Michael Jackson, that doesn`t mean that he`s innocent. Just because you saw him as a little boy, there are people in our family that we feel that we know that are committing incest every single day.“ To just jolt the jury and remind them, just because we feel we know somebody and that we feel that we like them, it doesn`t mean that they aren`t engaging in very serious elicit acts.
GRACE: What about the defense?
LUDWIG: If I were the defense, I would say, „Hey, listen. He is a famous guy who has a vulnerability and a target. And there are people that go after the famous all the time that are sick, and if you don`t know how to protect yourself, you can be a victim.“
GRACE: Hey, everybody. We`ve heard that the Bashir documentary was basically on the stand today. But even though there was a gag order, Michael Jackson was allowed to speak out on his own Web site. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: In the last few weeks, a large amount of ugly, malicious information has been released into the media about me. Apparently, this information was leaked through transcripts in a grand jury proceeding where neither my lawyers nor I ever appeared. The information is disgusting and false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Jane Velez-Mitchell, was the jury questioned as to whether or not they had visited Jackson`s Web site?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. They were not questioned about that. But they were questioned extensively as to whether or not they had seen Michael Jackson`s statements, his interview with Geraldo, his interview with Ed Bradley of „60 Minutes.“
Most of them said they hadn`t really paid attention to all of that, that it was all sort of a blur and they really expressed distaste for all of those comments in the news media in general.
I think the impression I got from this jury in general, all of the people who were perspective jurors, in fact, is that, for the most part, they`re going to take this very seriously. They`re going to be fair. They have a tremendous amount of integrity. They are listening. They are taking it as their civic duty, and I think they`re going to try to do the right thing.
GRACE: Jane, Jane, Jane, I want to try to focus on what was actually said in court today. Did Mesereau state that Jackson was paying the mother`s bills? What bills?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, basically his whole point was that this conspiracy that goes over approximately a couple of months, during this time, the mother had extensive opportunity he said to basically call 911 or ask somebody else to…
GRACE: Was he paying her bills? Was he paying her bills?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, apparently, he said more than $3,000 yesterday was paid by Michael Jackson for her quote, unquote, „spending sprees,“ buying clothes. Today, he talked about a body wax where she was left for a couple of hours and she could have called the cops, he says. I mean, this is one side of the story.
The prosecution has to come out strong and has to give their side of the story. This is their case in chief, and they have to, I think, get very aggressive about telling their side.
GRACE: Guys, we are taking a very quick break. We`ll be right back.
But as we go to break, „Trial Tracking“ on the Sarah Johnson case. Remember, she was just 16-years-old when she was charged with racking a gun on her mom and dad, murdering them both in the bedroom of their Idaho home. Well, today, Sarah Johnson`s only brother took the stand against Johnson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT JOHNSON, BROTHER OF SARAH JOHNSON: When the doors opened? Yes, not accessible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear your sister say that she hated your mother?
M. JOHNSON: Constantly, yes. When she got in an argument, that was kind of how the argument was ended was, „I hate you,“ and then she`d storm off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I will bring you live coverage of the Sarah Johnson case tomorrow, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern on Court TV. For some of you, local news next, but we will be right back. So please stay with us.
GRACE: If you are a crime victim with a story to tell, if you know of an injustice or a case that needs a spotlight, call 1-888-GRACE-01, 888- 472-2301. Or go to our Web site, CNN.com/Nancygrace.
As you all know, we here at NANCY GRACE want desperately to help find missing people. Take a look at Mary Grobe, G-R-O-B-E, 74-years-old. She disappeared from her home in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, September 27, 2003. If you have any info on Mary Grobe, call Carole Sund/Carrington Foundation, 888-813-8389. There could be a reward involved. Please help us.
Very quickly, Jane Velez-Mitchell has told us the defense has suggested three times Jackson would take the stand.
Yes, no, Joe Episcopo, would you put him on the stand?
EPISCOPO: Definitely. I think that I would put him on the stand as long as I could, have him talk as much as he can, let him go through cross- examination, do a redirect examination, and not stop.
GRACE: OK, so, in a nutshell, that`s yes. OK.
OSHINS: I don`t know. I`ll see how the pace…
GRACE: Oh, god.
OSHINS: Come on now. You have got to see how the pace goes before you do it. Defense attorneys threaten all the time to have their clients go on the stand. They don`t do it.
GRACE: Second verse, same as the first. In other words, he`s going to wait to see how strong the state`s case is before he puts Jackson on the stand.
LUDWIG: I would, because I think he presents himself as very well and he could be very convincing. So he could have a positive impact on the jury for himself.
GRACE: But what`s going to happen on cross? If he says he`s a good guy, the prosecution can then fire back with reputation evidence.
LUDWIG: Yes, but he wasn`t convicted of anything.
LUDWIG: So? I mean…
GRACE: I don`t know. OK, if you guys are OK with the $20 million settlement, fine. But I don`t know that a jury is going to agree with you all.
OSHINS: Sometimes they don`t want to…
GRACE: You all need to go home and read the nursery rhyme of the Emperor`s New Clothes, OK? And then I`ll see you later on the Jackson panel.
I`m Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. Thank you for being with us tonight and every night, and inviting all of us into your homes