Jackson's mother thanks fans for support - but there's no sign of the star

Click to follow
The Independent US

Katherine Jackson, the mother of the newly acquitted King of Pop, Michael Jackson, stood before a crowd of fans at a hastily organised thank you party inside a California casino on Friday night and proclaimed her gratitude to her son's fans around the world. "We couldn't have done it without you," she declared.

Katherine Jackson, the mother of the newly acquitted King of Pop, Michael Jackson, stood before a crowd of fans at a hastily organised thank you party inside a California casino on Friday night and proclaimed her gratitude to her son's fans around the world. "We couldn't have done it without you," she declared.

She might, however, have been more appropriately addressing herself to just one person, who had joined the celebrations in the Chumash Casino, located in Santa Ynez, not far from the singer's Neverland Ranch. Wearing the wristband necessary to get in, she was Pauline Coccoz.

Ms Coccoz, 45, may be a fan, but more importantly she was one of the 12 jurors who last Monday delivered a verdict that found Jackson not guilty of 10 charges of child molestation and other offences.

But if she and everyone else in the casino had been hoping to see Jackson himself, they were disappointed. The man of the moment was absent and has not made any public appearances since the jury acquited him. Representing the family was Katherine and another son, Tito, who performs at the Chumash Casino most Fridays.

Also absent was the lawyer who got the pop star off, Thomas Mesereau, who instead joined Jay Leno, one of the defence witnesses, on his TV talk show. His client, he said, was "misunderstood" by the world. "Michael Jackson is an artist. He's a creative spirit. He likes to sit in a tree and compose music."

In another sign that while the trial may be over the battle between the two camps of lawyers remains in full swing, Mr Mesereau accused the prosecutor in the trial, Tom Sneddon, saying he had "a personal vendetta". For his part, Mr Sneddon implied late on Friday that Jackson may still be a threat to young children. While not specifically mentioning the singer, he did talk about child molestors. "They don't even stop when they get treatment," he said. "This is a sickness that is very, very difficult to cure."

Back at the Chumash Casino, Ms Coccoz said she was struggling with her emotions from the moment she arrived. "They were playing 'Beat It', and I almost started to cry," she said. Earlier in the week after the verdict was delivered, Ms Coccoz had been stern in her assessment of the alleged victim's mother.

"What mother in her right mind would ... just freely volunteer your child to sleep with someone, and not so much Michael Jackson but anyone, for that matter?"

Comments