Sex and booze ruled Neverland, says mother

Click to follow
The Independent US

The mother of the teenager at the centre of the Michael Jackson child abuse trial provoked outrage in court when she said his Neverland ranch was "all about booze, pornography and sex with boys".

The mother of the teenager at the centre of the Michael Jackson child abuse trial provoked outrage in court when she said his Neverland ranch was "all about booze, pornography and sex with boys".

During a furious exchange with Mr Jackson's legal team, Janet Arvizo maintained that she was held captive at Neverland in February, 2003. She repeatedly accused the defence lawyer, Tom Mesereau, of lacking facts as they locked horns at the beginning of a long-awaited cross-examination.

In return, Mr Mesereau accused the woman of being a good actress as he tried to undermine her credibility.

Judge Rodney Melville threatened to close the court in Santa Maria, California, after repeatedly warning Mrs Arvizo and Mr Mesereau to stop sniping at each other. He ordered the jury to disregard Mrs Arvizo's comments about the alleged goings-on at the Neverland estate.

Mr Jackson, 46, denies molesting 13-year-old Gavin, plying him with alcohol and conspiring to hold him and his family captive.

Mrs Arvizo said a video filmed to counter a backlash from Martin Bashir's documentary on Jackson was scripted. She said she was admonished by Jackson aides after being instructed to defend him as she was a "bad actress". Mr Mesereau replied: "I think you're a good actress."

Mrs Arvizo did admit that she had once lied under oath in a lawsuit she filed against a department store. She won more than $150,000 (£79,000) in 2001 after alleging she was assaulted by guards when her son Gavin was caught shoplifting.

Mr Mesereau sought to portray Mrs Arvizo as the architect of an elaborate plot to extort money from Mr Jackson, but Mrs Arvizo stressed, for the second day in a row, that she had no intention of suing the star.

The trial continues.

Comments