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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Guest Panel Discusses Michael Jackson's Court Case

Aired January 31, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
MICHAEL JACKSON, SINGER: Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court. I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told.

LARRY KING, HOST: Michael Jackson's day in court officially got under way today as jury selection begins in his child molestation trial. He could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted on all ten counts.

With us to size up all the latest in this sensation case, Court TV's Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor. Cynthia McFadden, "Primetime Live" co-anchor and ABC News senior legal correspondent. At the courthouse in Santa Maria, California, Jann Carl of "Entertainment Tonight." Court TV's Diane Dimond and CNN's own Ted Rowlands. Plus high profile defense attorney Michael Cardoza. Michael Jackson's spokesperson, Raymone Bain who met with the singer today and international journalist Daphne Barak, who has done two interviews with Michael Jackson's parents. The latest one aired this past weekend.

The trial of Michael Jackson next on LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Let's begin with (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Grand jury information was released. And that's never supposed to happen. The judge allowed Michael Jackson to make a statement even though there is a gag order in this trial. So let's hear that complete statement and then get into the panel. Here's Michael Jackson.

(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. Years ago I allowed a family to visit and spend some time at Neverland. Neverland is my home. I allowed this family into my home because they told me their son was ill with cancer and needed my help. Through the years I have helped thousands of children who are ill or in distress. These events have caused a nightmare for my family, my children, and me. I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable a position ever again. I love my community, and I have great faith in our justice system. Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court. I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Ted Rowlands, what happened today?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today is the first day of jury selection. Jackson was in court today. He arrived with his smaller entourage. There was not enough room in the court for any of his family members so it was just he and his attorneys. And he was a model -- he conducted himself in a model manner, if you will. He came, he acknowledged his fans. There were hundreds of fans here screaming when he got out of his SUV. But there was no dancing. He was on time. He walked into court.

When perspective jurors walked into the room to either fill out questionnaires or plead with the judge that they couldn't serve for six months, Jackson stood up, he made eye contact with a number of these individuals. And according to folks in the courtroom he was smiling during that process as well.

What's going to happen is they're coming in in groups of 150 and they're being whittled down. Basically you come in, you say if you can serve or not for six months or not. You're either dismissed or put onto another trial. Or you fill out a questionnaire. Those folks filling out the questionnaires and there were better than 50 percent of the 300 said they could serve. They'll be back next week and the next portion of the process will continue. It seems to be going very well, a little better than most expected. And I think the jury will be seated in this case in a matter of about two weeks, Larry, if things go as they did today, which was pretty much seamless.

KING: Cynthia McFadden, how did ABC and you get ahold of grand jury testimony which is supposed to be sacrosanct.

CYNTHIA MCFADDEN, ABC "PRIMETIME LIVE" CO-ANCHOR, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Larry, I don't blame you for asking, but you know that I wouldn't ever reveal a source. And let me just say for the record that in most criminal trials in California the standard is that after 10 days the grand jury transcripts are released to the public.

In this case, the judge took the rather extraordinary step of sealing them. Now he did it for a good reason. He wanted to protect Michael Jackson's right to a fair trial. There was so much innuendo, rumor floating around that ABC, once we had verified that these were, in fact, the transcripts, believed that it was in the public interest to release portions of those transcripts so that we would know the actual basis for which the grand jury came back with its indictment.

We said many times as Mr. Jackson suggested in his statement that you just played that this was un-crossexamined testimony and that the defense had had no opportunity to present evidence. This was the case as best the prosecution could present it to these jurors. They came back with an indictment. Now it will be up to a jury to decide whether or not those allegations are true.

KING: Nancy Grace, does a prosecutor like when this happens?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV ANCHOR: I would think no, Larry, because you never want leaks. Why? Because it can taint a jury up-front and you may have to throw out jurors that otherwise may have been a state's juror. But I want to tell you, Larry, when I prosecuted crimes myself, I would always hand over grand jury testimony if it was taken down on rape, sex assault, AG assault and any type of robbery where an actual victim came to the grand jury so the defense could have it for cross-examination purposes. I always believed strongly in those victims...

KING: But it wasn't released beforehand.

GRACE: I would release it to the defense beforehand, but not to the jury pool, yes, you're right.

KING: I'm not talking about the defense not the public.

GRACE: Not to the jury pool. Yes, you're right. You're right. I think it was a grave error.

KING: Jann Carl, would you have broadcast it?

JANN CARL, "ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT": You know, I think that as a news person, yes. It's a big story and if Cynthia said they verified it. So, yes, I think most definitely you would. And of course everyone is going to have a different opinion. The defense team certainly has their opinion. And Michael Jackson made his very, very clear. And I think as Nancy pointed out, you want to be very careful. But yes, I think we all would have broadcast it, yes.

KING: Diane, isn't the problem though that when you see grand jury testimony like this you're only seeing one side?

DIANE DIMOND, "COURT TV": Absolutely. That's exactly the case. And that's -- Michael Jackson pointed that out. These were allegations made to a secret grand jury. There was no cross- examination. They put their story out there and there was no one there to hold the witness' feet to the fire so to speak. Would I have broadcast these grand jury transcripts? In a heartbeat. I congratulate ABC for getting this leak. You know, I know it's sacrosanct and I know it's a felony for someone to have released it but we are here to tell the public the truth. And if that's the truth, we should put it out there.

KING: You mean the allegation, not the truth.

DIMOND: Exactly, and I'm glad you clarified that. These are the transcripts, and the public should have them.

KING: Let's separate that. We do a fair show here. We don't presume. OK.

DIMOND: I'm glad you're correcting me on that, Larry. KING: Michael Cardoza, would you be upset if you were Michael Jackson's lawyer?

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, I'd be going crazy on this. I mean, who does it benefit? It benefits the district attorney, Larry. It's evidence brought before a grand jury, as was said, with no right to cross-examination. It's their case in the best light. And people think, well, the grand jury indicted them, so at least those jurors believed it. Why shouldn't we as jurors here believe it? That's the problem with this.

I'd be going out of my mind. And they're right, it's a felony that these are released. It does help the district attorney. Will they find the leak? Hopefully. Should it have been broadcast? I can understand why reporters would say yes. As an attorney, I would have to tell you absolutely not. This should have been kept quiet. This case should be decided in the courtroom, not in the media.

KING: And Nancy, the grand jury is not saying he did this. The grand jury is saying there's enough evidence to go to trial. Correct?

GRACE: Absolutely. It's a much lower standard. But I do want to correct one thing. That young accuser and all of those witnesses were subject to basically cross-exam or questioning by the grand jury itself. They have a right to question witnesses before it.

KING: But not by the defense.

GRACE: Of course not. But I don't know what would be...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not skilled attorneys.

GRACE: I would like to complete my sentence. When you've got 30, 40 people asking you questions, and this is a young boy, I think that's a pretty good cross-examination myself.

KING: Now just so we understand for the panel, I assume no one on this panel has prejudged the case, is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's correct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's correct.

KING: No one has.

CARL: You know, Larry?

KING: Yes?

CARL: Larry, Jann Carl here. I have a question that I'd like to ask Nancy. In a way would -- like you said, you could lose some jurors. So in some ways, this does not help the prosecution, and I also think that in some ways jurors who might get on, you know, potential jurors who then make it to the jury, would they then in some ways possibly be desensitized to some of the information because they've already heard about it and they've heard it maybe several times? Is that possible?

GRACE: This information, I don't think they're going to be desensitized to, based on what I have learned that came out in grand jury. It took me two years to get over the affidavit the kid filed back in 1993, much less the kid in front of the grand jury. But you're right, as Larry pointed out, you can lose jurors that have seen or heard about this grand jury testimony.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll be back with more. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jury selection begins tomorrow in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial.

JACKSON: A large amount of ugly, malicious information has been released into the media about me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Jackson comes to court today flanked by his attorneys, but the onsite moral support of his family.

Now you can hear the crowd as he's walking out now.

Jackson was surrounded by bodyguards as he entered the Santa Maria courthouse after waving to supporters.

JACKSON: The information is disgusting and false.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could shape up to be the new trial of the century. Michael Jackson's child molestation case.

JACKSON: Please keep an open mind. And let me have my day in court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

M. JACKSON: The information is disgusting and false.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could shape up to be the new trial of the century. Michael Jackson's child molestation case.

M. JACKSON: Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before we continue with our panel, let's check in with Raymone Bain, the spokesperson with Michael Jackson, who spent part of today with Michael. How's he feeling? RAYMONE BAIN, MICHAEL JACKSON'S SPOKESPERSON: He's feeling pretty good, Larry. It was a very long day. It started very early and, of course, it ended about 4:30. He's very focused. He's very serious about this. We've been hearing about the trial of the century, quote, unquote, for a long time now. And we are here, and he's focused. He was a little disappointed this morning that his mom, dad or family members weren't able to go in with him. And of course, you can imagine the feeling when he found out because this is very major, and he had to be in there this morning alone, but he's doing well. He's doing well.

KING: Why wasn't the family allowed in?

BAIN: We were told that there was not enough room. But, you know, sometimes I think that maybe a few little minor adjustments could be made, you know. Press were allowed in and, of course, the jurors. I'm just hoping that maybe the next couple of days someone will say, well, maybe we can put a chair in here for his mom, because I can imagine how she felt. I mean, this is her son. We've been hearing about this child now for, what, eight months, and the day of the trial, she was not allowed to come, nor any of his family members. But he's a strong man. And he was able to do well today.

KING: Raymone, why would his spirits be high if you're facing a trial on 10 counts of malfeasance with a child?

BAIN: Well, I'm not saying his spirits are high to that regard. He's looking at this thing from a very focused and serious position. I don't know who said his spirits were high. He was there today. He was about business. He has great confidence in his attorneys, and he participated as much as he could. But to say his spirits are high, nobody's spirits would be high having gone through what he's had to go through.

KING: Thank you, Raymone. We'll be check with you on a regular basis. Raymone Bain, spokes person for Michael Jackson.

Cynthia McFadden, from -- this is how big a Johnny Carson sort of question.

How big is this?

Is it as big as the Simpson trial?

MCFADDEN: I think it's unknowable at this point, Larry. Big difference with the Simpson trail, of course, is there's no camera in the courtroom. And you know, you remember better than most, the difference that that camera made. You know, I think that the reporters inside the courtroom -- ABC is delighted we have one of the best in the business, Jim Adler out there for us, will make an enormous difference this time, because can't see what's happening at home. We have to rely on the reporters who are in the courtroom. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know proportionately how much we'll cover it. I don't know proportionately how much the public will be interested. KING: Diane Dimond, you're executive investigative editor at Court TV. You've got a new documentary called "Michael Jackson's Mind." It premieres tomorrow on Court TV.

What's the essence of "Michael Jackson's Mind"?

DIMOND: Well, this is actually produced by a British company and Court TV is airing it here in America. And they did a documentary a while ago, last year I think it was, about Michael Jackson's changing face, and this is an extension of that. They interview all sorts of people, me included. I've seen it. It's fascinating. I encourage everybody to watch it.

KING: Nancy, is it difficult when the key testimony is given by a child?

Childs can make good or bad witnesses. We had the famous case here years ago, where the children were obviously coached and was thrown out. How do you deal with when a child is your chief witness?

GRACE: You know, Larry, you really hit the nail on the head on that one, because children are subject to do a cross-examination of type like no other. For instance, when an adult takes the stand, the adult is not cross-examined over whether they know the difference between a truth or a dream or fantasy or pretend. So, a child is treated right at the outset as less believable. Also another problem with a child, and in this case, there is not going to be physical evidence. There's not going to be DNA as it relates to the child. There may be as it relates to inanimate objects. But another issue is, a lot of times children don't talk like you and I. The way they speak has to be unlocked for a jury and interpreted. For instance, if you notice in the indictment, Larry, instead of giving a specific dated, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), it's dated between a period of months back in 2003. A child may not remember a specific date, but they may remember it was when the Christmas tree was up or when we went for the Easter egg hunt. You have to be able to unlock their mind.

KING: And, Michael, in cross-examining, you can't be rough on a child, can you?

CARDOZA: Oh, absolutely not. I disagree with Nancy. I think children have a leg up in a courtroom. If they come across believable to that jury, the jury will believe them much sooner than an adult. Certainly they have to be careful, the district attorney, that the child doesn't go up and appear to be coached. But when a child is good on that stand, I don't care how good you are as a cross-examiner, you're not going to be able to get to that child as you would an adult.

GRACE: That's true.

CARDOZA: They will kill you.

KING: Ted, would you guess that in view of this it's not a capital case, Michael Jackson is probably going to have to take the stand? ROWLANDS: Yes, one would think so because it's really a "he said, he said" in this case. You're going to have an accuser saying that certain things happened. And you're really going to need somebody to rebut. And I think that if you look at Mesereau's track record and you look at most child molestation cases, the defendant does take the stand to give the jury an adult's version of what happened in their terms. And they try to convince, obviously, the 12 men and women that decide their fate that their right and this child is manipulating. And especially in this case, when the defense has alleged that this family is lying, ball faced -- just basicly lying, looking for money. I think it's imperative that Jackson does take the stand and explain what happened.

KING: Jan, are you going to do this every night?

CARL: You know, "Entertainment Tonight" will be here every day that they're in court. Whether I will be here or not, probably not. We have a lot of other entertainment stories to cover. But "Entertainment Tonight" will definitely be here everyday, because you never know when something is going to happen inside that courtroom which is going to be a lead story for us or not. And as in any trial, there will be days that it's the lead story depending on what happens. There'll be other days it will be drier. But you know, Larry, you asked about does it compares to the O.J. Simpson trial.

And as Cynthia pointed out, certainly because there are no cameras in the courtroom, it makes a big difference, I think, in terms of the water cooler talk and all of that. I think another major difference is the extreme gag order. I mean, you remember vividly that we had attorneys coming out of that courthouse every day putting their spin on it. And I think the fact that this is a three-hour drive almost from Los Angeles, it also removes it and it also makes the fact that the fan base won't be as crazy here as it would be certainly if we were in Los Angeles.

KING: In a moment we'll ask Nancy Grace the difficulty the prosecution faces in a case like this and Michael Cardoza the difficulty the defense faces. We'll also be including your phone calls. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARAK: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) right now on the eve of Michael's trial. And tell me what are you going through, Kate? I mean, it's -- is it painful, stressful, making you angry? What are you going through?

KATHERINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOTHER: Anger. Very painful. I can't sleep at night. I do a lot of praying. I can't talk too much about the case, but I know my son, and this is ridiculous. We have a lot of wicked people out there, and they know what they're doing. I can't say anything else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DAPHNE BARAK, INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST: Why do you think people call him Wacko Jacko? Why do you think people think he's weird?

JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FATHER: I think the people that's calling him that, they're wacko themselves so they should look...

BARAK: You're getting upset about that...

JACKSON: Yes, I am getting upset. I thought this (UNINTELLIGIBLE). It's two sides. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) looking on the other side of the story.

K. JACKSON: He's upset about it. Joe, look, stop that.

J. JACKSON: Let me tell you something, Daphne. He's not wacko. People that's calling him that have to be a wacko themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: These clips you're seeing are from Daphne Barak's exclusive interview with Joe and Katherine Jackson and Daphne will join us a bit later in the program.

All right, Nancy, in this kind of case, question for you. What's the difficulty the prosecution faces?

GRACE: Well, first of all, Michael Jackson is unlike any other in the world. He truly is the king of pop. He is beloved almost all over the world. In fact, Larry, believe it or not, some people actually believe Michael Jackson is a deity, a god. Can I put it any simpler?

Number one, you're going to have that hurdle. I remember growing up to Michael Jackson. I won a swing dance contest to a Michael Jackson song. People naturally love Michael Jackson. We saw him grow up. Problem number one for the state.

Problem number two for the state, this boy, while he may not be subject to an intense cross-examination, and some of my best witnesses ever have been children. They don't have the capacity for guile like we adults do. What about the parents? You will see an attack on the parents on cross-examination like no other you have ever seen. They will be portrayed as money grubbers, but I say, both can be true. The parents may be out for money, and Jackson may have committed child molestation. They are not mutually exclusive. The strong point for the state, possible similar transactions, other boy victims.

KING: The underlining word there is "may."

Michael Cardoza, what difficulty does the defense face?

CARDOZA: I'll tell you, Larry, the biggest that I see right now, and Nancy just alluded to it, that prior misconduct. In most trials, the judge decides before jury selection whether prior similar conduct will come in or not. In this case, the judge isn't doing it because he had a bad past experience where he had to overturn a jury verdict.

So he is saying during the people's, the prosecution part of the case, he'll decide whether that alleged prior misconduct comes in. Now think about what that does to the defense. How do they voir dire the jury? Do they ask juror number one, can you be fair in the case? The jury may say yes despite the charges. What if they were able to ask the followup question, what if there was prior misconduct. Oh, in that case no.

The defense can't ask that question because they don't know if the prior misconduct will come in. To me, that is huge in this case. Next would be jury selection. What type of jury will they get with this panel? Nancy talks about the deity, Michael Jackson. Well, I'll tell you, a jury in this county, I don't think they're going to worship Michael Jackson. What, two years ago, there was a Judge Ochowa (ph) down there that threw out...

GRACE: Look at those people outside the courthouse.

KING: No interruptions, please.

CARDOZA: That threw out an entire panel because it wasn't racially balanced according to the community. But the appellate court overturned it. So what kind of jury will they get? I'm not sure it will be fair. Then you move to the child in this case. He could be devastating or he could disintegrate on the stand. But I'll tell you, if he's believed, and they do too tough a cross-examination there goes the defense.

KING: Cynthia, do you expect -- again, this is a guess -- a fair trial?

MCFADDEN: You know, the judge has said it. All the sides, including Michael Jackson have said it. I mean, you hope and pray that, in fact, a jury can be seated that can be fair. And I believe, Larry. Remember what the standard is. The standard isn't that the jurors have never heard of Michael Jackson. The standard isn't that they've never heard about this case or the allegations of the case or even the specifics of the case. The standard is that they find 12 people who can raise their right hands and say that they can be fair and they can follow the judge's instructions. And I've got to believe that there are 12 people who they can seat in this case. I think it will be a fair trial. I think the judge is no nonsense. I think this is not going to be Lance Ito. This is going to be a judge who runs this courtroom.

KING: Will it come down, do you think, Diane, to whom do you believe?

DIMOND: Absolutely. It will be a case of he said, he said, this little boy and his younger brother, by the way, who was alleged to have seen at least two of the instances of molestation. I think the big hurdle for the prosecution is going to be this mother because Tom Mesereau has already dropped some bomblets inside this courtroom here about what he sees as her past.

She took some welfare checks and put them into her boyfriend's account. He was making $85,000 at the time. She applied for a job, said she would make a good witness since she wanted to be a private detective. The list goes on and on. The old JCPenney's deep pocket case. This mother is going to be the one that is under the microscope. Now we've seen her testify here, Larry. She's pretty strong, and she made me feel as though Tom Mesereau didn't scare her.

So if she's not scared it will be interesting to watch this cross-examination.

KING: We'll take a break and come right back with our panel and take your phone calls as well. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Let's reintroduce our panel. In New York, Nancy Grace, Court TV anchor, former prosecutor and the soon-to-be host of the CNN Headline News show called "Nancy Grace." What a great title! I thought they were going to call it Cynthia Mcfadden, but no.

Cynthia is also in New York. ABC News senior legal correspondent, Co-anchor of "Primetime Live." And earlier this month on "Primetime Live" she had the exclusive report on the grand jury testimony of the Jackson case.

In Santa Maria, Jann Carl, one of the best in the business, correspondent and weekend co-anchor of "Entertainment Tonight."

Diane Dimond, executive investigative editor of Court TV, part of a new documenter "Michael Jackson's Mind." It premieres tomorrow night on Court TV.

Ted Rowlands, CNN correspondent on the scene.

And in San Francisco, Michael Cardoza, defense attorney and former Alameda County prosecutor.

And we go to Nampa, Idaho, hello.

CALLER: I'd like this question for Nancy Grace.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: Whenever I hear him interviewing, like, his mother, she refers to him as a good boy. He's middle aged now. Don't they refer to him as a man? Isn't that some of his problems?

KING: Well, a lot of mother -- my mother called me a boy when I was 50, so mothers still have a boy.

GRACE: But you know what, Larry, you're right. But a lot of people say one of the defenses that Jackson has in the mind of the public is he never had a childhood, and so now he's having a childhood in his adult years. You know what, that jury is not going to care about this. I can tell you this much, Larry, a 45-year-old man asks my nephew to come over for a sleepover, I'm going to give him some of this, OK. And I think that's how that jury is going to react.

KING: I hope you are wrong. You're not prejudging this case, are you, nuance?

GRACE: If that comes to -- if that...

KING: I hope I didn't here you there.

GRACE: Hey, hey, Larry, that reminds me, another thing that's going to happen in trial, and I think this is right, Diane, is that BBC/Bashir documentary is coming in. And there you've got Michael Jackson sitting with this boy saying, I love to have boys sleep in my bed. Hello!

CARDOZA: I think that means you've prejudged it, Nancy.

GRACE: I think that means it's coming into evidence.

KING: Sounds that way, Nancy.

GRACE: It's coming into evidence.

KING: But I mean, you haven't judged the evidence.

GRACE: No, because I want to hear the cross-examination on this boy and his mother.

KING: That's a good idea. Baltimore, Maryland, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how are you, Larry?

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I want to know, Michael is such a big kid. How can the parents of a victim be so care free to allow their child to stay with a grown man? I mean, don't the parents have some responsibility?

KING: Ted Rowlands, won't that come into case, the parents responsibility.

ROWLANDS: It may or may not...

KING: But it has nothing to do with whether he was molested right?

ROWLANDS: ... because neither side really wants it to come in. Yes, I don't think it will come into the case because the prosecution doesn't want to point that out. And of course, the defense doesn't want to admit if anything happen it happen. I think that clearly, and this is another reason I think Michael Jackson is going to have to take the stand, is that Michael Jackson is not your average 40- something man that invites little children to come sleep in his bed. Anyone who was not Michael Jackson would be hung in the town square. But this is a unique individual, that has brought kids to his Neverland Ranch for years, and has befriended kids of all ages for years, some of them stars, Macauley Culkin, others. And when Michael Jackson explains, even in this documentary, what's going on, he has a child like presentation. And I think that if jurors accept that, and accept Michael Jackson's word that nothing happened during these sleepovers, that he's going to be OK. But if you look at it in black and white, a 40 something-year-old man with a 13-year-old in bed, yes, it sounds horrible. I think that's why Jackson has to take the stand.

KING: Nashville, Tennessee, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Nancy Grace, I think you're hot. And I would to know has anyone ever asked Michael Jackson has he been molested as a child?

GRACE: You know what...

KING: Doesn't anyone know that -- Nancy.

GRACE: There's been so much speculation. I believe that it's out there that he fell as if he were pushed and driven so hard, as a child, a very young child, and tender years, I'm talking eight, nine, 10, to preform, a lot of people suspected abuse. But I've never heard sexual abuse actually mentioned.

KING: Jann, if this is a he says, he says, as they say, that could be divided jury, couldn't it? I mean, this could be a real tough one down the line.

CARL: You know, sure, I think it could definitely be that way. I think Michael brought up a good point. Whether or not the alleged victim from 12-years-ago will be taking the stand could be a defining moment in this case. As a matter of fact, "Entertainment Tonight's" sister show, "The Insider," is going to have a tape recording of this alleged victim that was done 12-years-ago, so you will hear that victim tomorrow night on "The Insider" speaking. And if this jury gets to hear that in court, that could be a defining moment. But certainly, it could come down, since it's a he said, he said, to there could be just one juror who says I just can't convict under the circumstances. But Nancy's pointed out and Michael's pointed out, how the young boy can be, you know, it's either a huge win for the prosecution or, you know, a failure there. So, if the young alleged victim has testimony that's impressive, maybe it won't be a split jury at all. Maybe it will be a quick decision.

KING: Diane if that's...

GRACE: Larry, I'd like to point out.

KING: Go ahead, Nancy.

GRACE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) be real careful because the judge has not yet ruled if the 1993 allegation can come into this court. The prosecutor has to do his case in chief on this case first, then we'll have a hearing to see whether or not the past bad act allegations can come in.

KING: Diane, with "The Insider" playing it tomorrow night, doesn't that prejudge?

DIMOND: Not necessarily, but it does certainly puts information out there that Michael Jackson doesn't want out there. Everybody makes their own judgment. You know, Larry, I sort of think that none of this stuff really changes anybody's minds. I think most Americans, most of the world -- and let me tell you, right across the street, there are cameras from Ireland, Spain, Germany, Hungry, Italy, France. People are so interested in this because they already got an opinion about Michael Jackson. I'm not sure that Michael Jackson coming out and giving that statement yesterday changed anybody's mind. And I don't think if you hear this tape of this boy. I've heard this tape from 1993. He's talking to his psychiatrist. I'm not sure that that's going to change any minds either.

KING: Also, isn't there a problem sometimes, Cynthia, with perception and reality? I could touch my young son when he's in the bath and he can say he touched me there and I'm touching him friendly and it don't mean nothing and he perceives it differently.

Isn't it possible that two perceptions could be correct?

MCFADDEN: Anything's possible, I suppose, Larry, but having read the alleged victim's testimony before the grand jury, uncross-examined testimony before the grand jury and that of his brother, I don't think this was a case of a mistake. Either these allegations are true or they're false.

KING: Michael, would you agree with that?

CARDOZA: I'll tell you what, there's a jury instruction in California that's read to jurors, and it says witnesses seeing the same event can often see or hear it differently. It will be up to the jurors to decide, in fact, what are the facts in this case after hearing all the facts. And I'll go back to -- I'll tell you what, as was said, the defining moment in this case will be the ruling of this judge on the prior. Because I've got to tell you, you've got to know there are going to be jurors sitting there saying, wait a minute, if he molested that first child, what did he do, go on a hiatus and never do it again? No. If they believe -- if that comes in...

GRACE: That's a -- that's a big myth...

CARDOZA: It's a big myth. Absolutely.

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: Because there's not just a 1993 case. There's a 1994 case as well. We know that there's a 1994 case where a mother and her son, a former maid, got $2 million from Michael Jackson. So, now that's three allegations.

CARDOZA: Well, they're allegations.

KING: Nancy, do you think the judge will let it in?

GRACE: You know what, I did a little research on Judge Melvill. And this guy's no idiot. Do you know, Larry, that he was the first judge to institute a drug court in that jurisdiction. He is innovative. He knows the law, he knows his way around the courtroom and, yes, I think he'll allow not only the 1993 similar transaction, the $20 million-something settlement, but the '94, which was a $2 million settlement.

And listen, what you just said about one-year, two boys a bath, there's a big difference in bathing your son and having somebody twist your nipples. Hello! That is in this affidavit. There's no way to explain that kind of conduct.

KING: Uncross-examined.

GRACE: Yes. This is a $20 million settlement. If you want to cross-examine a $20 million...

MCFADDEN: That's not the current case. What Nancy's holding up -- just let us be clear is not the current case.

GRACE: Yes, I mentioned that twice. But this boy, Larry, claims that Jackson actually masturbated him in bed under the covers. Now there's no innocent explanation for that.

MCFADDEN: Well, he claims that Michael Jackson gave him wine and other forms of liquor after he told Jackson he had only one kidney. So, you know, that's not a question of mistake. Either it's true or it's not true.

KING: Yes. We'll take a break and be back with more. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACKSON: I never intend to place myself in so vulnerable position ever again. I love my community and I have great faith in our justice system. Please keep an open mind and let me have my day in court. I deserve a fair trial like every other American citizen. I will be acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back, and let's take a call from Brea, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. If Michael Jackson is convicted and goes to prison, will he get any type of special circumstances or treatment?

KING: Nancy?

GRACE: Well, I think it's possible he will be put in what is called a special needs yard, and that's usually kept for police officers who have been convicted, child molesters who have been convicted. And in that sense, he's less likely to be beaten up behind bars.

KING: Pleasanton, California.

CALLER: Good evening, everyone. It's nice to see you guys back on the air. My question is can they have his ex-wife, Lisa Marie Presley, can they have her come on the witness stand and testify that he had children sleeping in their room while they were married to each other? Does anybody know the answer to that?

KING: Michael, the defense can present anyone it wants, can't it?

CARDOZA: Well, as long as it's relevant. Absolutely. And they want to take that tact to say that there were occasions where he'd bring children in, sleep in the room and nothing happened. But I'm not sure if that would sell to a jury because I know what the D.A. would argue in that case. It's sure, it probably did happen. But it didn't mean that he didn't molest on other occasions. It would be like someone robbing a bank once saying he walked into banks a hundred other times. So what?

KING: Diane, you wanted to say something?

DIMOND: No, not really.

KING: Someone said you wanted to say something.

DIMOND: Although I'll tell you, I don't see that Lisa Marie Presley is coming. But I will tell you that his other former wife, former wife Debbie Rowe is on the witness list...

KING: That's who she asked her.

DIMOND: She on -- I'm sorry, I heard Lisa Marie Presley. Debbie Rowe is expected here and she is expected to testify for the state.

KING: For the state. Ted, did you want to say something?

ROWLANDS: Yes, I just wanted to -- I think we need to make sure that we talk about the '93 and the '94 allegations, as just that, allegations. We've got to keep in mind that charges were never filed. The '93 investigation was launched out of Santa Barbara County here and it was extensive, 13 months in length.

So while these allegations are there and there is some transcripts of a psychologist and this victim that is very compelling, they were just allegations, and charges were never brought in either one of those cases.

KING: Kapuskasing, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Hello, I would like to ask Nancy Grace, please, if any of Michael Jackson's famous friends will be testifying. Say, Elizabeth Taylor, for one.

GRACE: I highly doubt it. I do not think they'll be part of this child molestation case. However, I do think you'll see his family in the courtroom who are very high profile. And regarding what Ted Rowlands just said, regarding the '93 and the '94 allegations. They are just that. One to the tune of $20 million and one to the tune of $2 million. To me, that speaks volumes. You know, money talks. KING: Some people settle cases, Nancy, just to avoid going to court.

GRACE: $20 million, Larry? $20 million?

KING: If you have $300 or $500 million, maybe you'll do it.

GRACE: True.

KING: I don't want to make an assumption.

Ottawa, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I just wanted to ask Nancy if Michael was convicted, would he be able to have an appeal? And...

KING: Of course. Anyone can appeal any conviction. Mike, did you want to say something?

CARDOZA: Yes, I did. When talking about the celebrities earlier, you know, they have got to be careful. If they bring celebrities in it can really turn a jury off because they will feel manipulated in this case. And then another point is as Ted brought up, they are simply allegations. And what the judge will have to weigh if he lets those other alleged prior acts of misconduct, they're like little mini trials within a trial because then Mesereau and the defense have to put on a defense to that and actually have to try that as another case. So if he lets in two priors, you theoretically will have three jury trials going on at once.

KING: Thank you all. We'll be calling on all of you a lot during these next expected six months. We're going to take a break and come back with Daphne Barak, the lady who conducted that exclusive interview with Michael Jackson's parents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARAK: What was the most difficult moment for you personally, Katharine, since it all started? Which moment did you say, this is really painful?

K. JACKSON: Well, when they took him down to the jail and I saw them put handcuffs on him. That hurt worse than anything else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Joining us now in New York is Daphne Barak who did that exclusive interviewed with Michael Jackson's parents, which aired on "48 Hours." How did you nail that?

DAPHNE BARAK, INTERVIEWED MICHAEL JACKSON'S PARENTS: I did the first interview with Joe and Katherine right after the indictment, and they were still in a state of shock. And it was always clear to me that I'll leave it alone and I'll revisit it when the right time is coming. And I guess, we both felt on both ends that it's the right timing, although it was very tough for them.

KING: I'll bet. Did they -- did they show any signs of possible belief that their son has done something wrong?

BARAK: Absolutely not. It was not one interview this time. It was really in depth. It was a set of three interviews, Joe alone, Katherine alone and both of them together. And they are absolutely behind their son. They're going through a tough time, though. I mean, I'm not so sure that so positive about the results, although, they're very, very confident about his innocence. I don't think they're very optimistic. And they're very worried, but they're definitely behind him.

KING: Joe Jackson believes racism motivates part of this. Let's watch this quick clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S FATHER: I still say it's a racist thing. I have to say it because I know Michael is not racist. And I know how much their trying to keep him down.

BARAK: And you feel it's racism?

J. JACKSON: Of course it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: What did you make of that, Daphne?

BARAK: It was an actually funny exchange, because he said it alone and actually in the interview before, Joe and Katherine were actually debating it. And she said don't say that, don't say that. And actually had to has to say it. That's what he feels, and she feels it's much beyond that. I mean, she feels it's not only racism. She feels it's much beyond that. So that's where, I guess, they don't agree with each other.

KING: Daphne, did they at all regard it as unusual or strange that their son likes to take in young boys and sleep with them?

BARAK: I actually asked both of them, and especially with her, because of the health crisis and I was really worried about how tough can I get, because this was quite a confrontational interview. But I asked her, and they're both very smart, and I asked Katherine, where is the border between loving children, which is beautiful, and becoming a pedophile. And she said at the beginning, I don't understand your question. Yes, I do understand your question. She's very sophisticated. And then I said, you know, people are judging you right now and they're going to watch interview world wide. And this interview is airing, as we speak, in seven of the biggest markets in the world. They're going to say, OK, if he's a pedophile, what did you do wrong as a mother. Maybe you didn't tell him what's right or wrong. And she says, well -- and she thought about it for a while. And then she said, but I did tell him what's right and wrong. And what did he do wrong? Basically, she really doesn't think he did anything wrong. Actually, I have to correct myself. I mean, Joe does feel he did one thing wrong, very wrong. They feel that he trusted the wrong people around him and that's his biggest mistake.

KING: Will they attend the trial?

BARAK: They said they will attend the trial, but basically not every day. Don't forget, she has problems with her heart. He's after health crisis, after two surgeries. They're in Los Angeles (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The trial is in Santa Maria. So they will do the best that they can, but they can not go everyday.

KING: And they said if the children were taken away from Michael, they would raise his kids.

BARAK: They did. And actually they did they said it a year ago. And I said did you actually revisit it? And the interesting thing, if I compare the two interviews, the one I did a year ago and the one I did right now, actually that they've bonded much even more than before. I mean, they were a couple before, but now there's such a bonded, united couple that you can't imagine.

KING: Thank you, Daphne. Good job.

BARAK: Thank you very much, Larry.

KING: Daphne Barak who recently did that interview with Michael Jackson's parents, Joe and Katherine Jackson.

Before we go, a sad note. A good friend and long-time ABC News producer Leo Meidlinger died Friday after a brave fight against cancer, and he was only 61. Leo joined ABC news in 1972, spent a lot time in the network's Washington bureau. Among other things, he produced the White House coverage during the Reagan, Bush and Clinton presidencies. Leo was part of the ABC News team that earned an Emmy and a Peabody for it's coverage of the attacks on the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and their aftermath. A former Marine and decorated Vietnam Vet. He also worked as lead producer in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was a good man and a gifted professional. Our thoughts are with his family, his wife Mary (ph), his children Ruth (ph) and Robert (ph). He will be greatly missed. I'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: The new issue of "Time Magazine" discusses the top 25 evangelicals in the United States and their effect on the Bush administration. Some of them will be our guests tomorrow night.

Aaron Brown is standing by to anchor NEWSNIGHT in New York.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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