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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Panel Discusses Latest Developments in Michael Jackson Trial
Aired March 10, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight: Michael Jackson threatened with jail this morning by a furious trial judge, Judge Rodney Melville. Jackson late to his own child molestation trial, showing up in his pajamas, claiming he's got a bad back. And coincidentally, Michael Jackson managed to overshadow today's testimony from his boy accuser.
We go live to the Santa Maria courthouse for the latest on today's drama with Court TV's Diane Dimond. Also with us, Lisa Bloom from Court TV, high-profile defense lawyer Trent Copeland -- he was also in court today -- Dr. Michael Welner, forensic psychologist who has consulted on many sex abuse cases, and at the courthouse, Jim Moret of "Inside Edition." It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Hello, everybody. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV and Headline News, in for Larry King tonight. Thank you for being with us. Without any further ado, we all know Michael Jackson showed up in his pajamas. Let's go straight out to Diane Dimond.
No. 1, Diane, welcome. Give me the latest. And I also want to hear about the highs and lows of the boy's testimony today.
DIANE DIMOND, COURT TV: Well, you know, Nancy, we work really hard here, all of us reporters, and we were inside, of course, taking our furious notes about the boy's testimony. But it seems that part of the big headline is Michael Jackson winding up in his pajamas in court. I got to be one of the two pool reporters right there at the door as he arrived an hour and 10 minutes late, I might add, after the judge has said, I have an arrest warrant issued. I'm going to forfeit his bail. It's there. It's ready if he isn't here in an hour. Well, he showed up in an hour and about five minutes. But in the end, the judge didn't do anything to him. There were no sanctions. There were no fines. He was not placed under arrest. And he vacated the orders about the bail and the arrest warrant.
But I was standing there as he approached. And I've covered this man for a long, long time. I've never seen him look so bad. He was disheveled. His hair was not combed. It's, like, he didn't comb his hair all day. He had on, as you say, these pajama bottoms, a pair of, like, sandal slippers. And I called out to him, and I said, Mr. Jackson, are you OK? And he sort of looked over in our direction. Linda Deutsch of AP was with me. But he couldn't seem to focus or couldn't -- didn't focus on us. I should be fair. He didn't focus on us. And I repeated, Are you feeling OK? And he didn't answer.
He went into court, stayed there 15 seconds, left, went to the bathroom. And then we all sat in the courtroom waiting for the judge. He called the attorneys back, and you could tell he was pretty upset about it.
GRACE: Jim Moret, what's your take on what went down? Is Jackson spiralling downward?
JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION": I talked to a close family friend, and he told me some weeks ago -- if you remember, Michael Jackson had the flu during jury selection. And that person told me then, Mark my words, this will not be -- at that point, it was believed to take five months. He said, This will not be a smooth five months. And that friend told me today, You are seeing, in his view, a slow deterioration of Michael Jackson.
Diane and I were in court this morning. I remember looking at the clock at about 8:29. I looked over at Diane, and we both knew something was wrong. Michael Jackson's always early because sine that first time when he showed up late and the judge admonished him, he's been on time. And today we knew something was wrong, and it was a circus out here today.
GRACE: Well, now, Jim, now, be honest. It hasn't been that long. You said he's been on time every day. It's only been about a week, right? I mean, this is day eight of the trial and --
MORET: I know that. But you know, this family friend said to me this. He said, Michael Jackson is very fragile emotionally. You're laughing. I can hear it. I can't see you...
GRACE: No, I'm laughing...
MORET: ... but I can hear you laughing.
GRACE: Go ahead.
MORET: I'm just telling you that Michael Jackson looks like -- he looked today like he was on the edge. I mean, emotionally on the edge. We were told that he hurt his back, that he threw it out this morning. He looked horrible when he walked in. It wasn't just wearing pajamas. It was clear to the jurors. They didn't know what was wrong, other than the fact that he was out for what the judge called a medical situation. But he didn't look like the Michael Jackson who comes in every day very proper, very, very put together. He wasn't the same person today, at least from an appearance standpoint.
GRACE: Trent Copeland, a lot of people...
GRACE: Go ahead, dear.
DIMOND: I was going to say, he sat at the defense table and he grabbed Kleenex and started to wipe his eyes, and I motioned to somebody on that side of the bar and I said, Is he crying? They said, yes.
GRACE: Wow. OK, Diane, that's actually the first I've heard that. Thank you, friend.
Very quickly, Trent Copeland, a lot of defense attorneys today are saying that this has actually been some type of a victory for Michael Jackson because all the focus has been on him, coming to the courtroom late in his PJs, somehow deflecting from this boy's testimony. Trent, you're a veteran defense attorney. You've won a lot of cases. How can it possibly be a victory for your guy to show up with his hair all messed up, in his pajamas -- how could -- and sit in court? I mean, Trent, would you go try a case in your PJs? I don't even want to think about it!
TRENT COPELAND, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, look, Nancy, I don't think -- if you're suggesting from that question whether or not Michael Jackson and/or his defense team sort of manufactured this so that they could take away...
GRACE: No, I don't think that.
COPELAND: ... the scene from the...
COPELAND: ... the alleged accused's therapy -- no, then I agree. I don't think that's the case.
But what I do think happened today was -- you know, look, we saw a drama unfold in real time. And I think everyone agreed that this event that took place this morning, with Michael Jackson sort of shuffling into court in his pajama bottoms, really overshadowed the testimony. But the reality is, Nancy -- you know what? The substance of the testimony today was, again, I think, in a large part to the benefit of the defense. And I think Michael Jackson and his the defense team have to be happy, clearly, with how today ended, and I think they clearly have to be happy with how yesterday's events were, and the previous testimony days were because Michael Jackson's defense team, I think by any estimation, are really on the offensive, and I think they're doing a very good job. So I don't think that Michael Jackson would have risked...
COPELAND: ... rebuke from this judge...
GRACE: ... Trent, that was...
COPELAND: ... would have risked a rebuke from this judge...
GRACE: ... a beautiful spin.
COPELAND: ... by coming in -- by coming in late.
GRACE: That was a beautiful spin on your guy showing up in his pajamas. Good job! You know, if I'm ever on trial for a felony, I'm going to consider you, Trent, because that was...
GRACE: That was -- that was beautiful! Hold on. But somebody has something to say back to you. Lisa Bloom?
LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: But you know, Nancy, there's a big difference between what's going on outside the courtroom, where we have cameras and we can show Michael Jackson arriving, looking terrible, and what's going on inside the courtroom, where we don't have cameras. The jury wasn't focused on his late arrival and his shuffling. They were focused on the accuser's testimony, which I thought was very compelling, talking about how Michael Jackson allegedly said to him that if he didn't masturbate, that he'd become a rapist...
GRACE: Let me warn the viewers before -- before we talk about the testimony, some of this is graphic. If you have children, it's -- it's -- well, the whole point of the trial is that children shouldn't be hearing and seeing things just like this! OK.
BLOOM: Well, maybe. On the other hand, older children maybe should be aware about child abuse. And so I'd leave that to the discretion of each parent.
GRACE: Well, I mean...
BLOOM: I myself...
BLOOM: I can tell you, by the way, I have two children who talk a lot about this with their friends. This is a big topic among children.
But having said that, I don't think it's a win for the defense at all. Look, I think Michael Jackson is a very sad, poignant figure who's deteriorating before our eyes. But I question the timing, Nancy. You know, this is an accuser who started testifying yesterday and who said yesterday that he beat cancer. And he sat across the courtroom from Michael Jackson and looked right at him and made it very clear he's going to see this thing through to the end. Now, that's a formidable opponent. Compare that to Michael Jackson, who gets the sniffles or gets a backache and runs to the hospital every week or two when the trial's going bad for him. And I think that's not lost on this jury.
GRACE: With me here in the studio, Dr. Michael Welner. He's a forensic psychiatrist. Michael, I know you have a lot to say. I've been seeing you going back and forth in your chair!
GRACE: Now, my first question is, do celebrities -- do they think differently than we do, or is it rich people -- really, really rich people, and they...
DR. MICHAEL WELNER, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I mean, lookit, Nancy, you're a celebrity now, and how much have you changed?
GRACE: Wait a minute, if you'd seen me out in the middle of 3rd Avenue trying to catch a cab today, you would not accuse me of celebrity!
WELNER: And you know what? And that's my point because Michael Jackson will never have to catch a cab on 3rd Avenue. What distinguishes Michael Jackson's celebrity from anyone else, except for perhaps, of all people, Kim Jong Il, is that he is cloistered, under, literally and figuratively, an umbrella. He never has to face anybody. He doesn't even live in California. He lives in Neverland.
He never has to have the experience of confronting someone that he doesn't say, Shut up. He doesn't have control over a situation. It is highly stressful. And we all know that in certain ways, he's very developmentally backward. How does he cope? How does he experience anxiety and stress? Do I think that he's falling apart? I don't know. I live in New York. This is the same town where we saw the head of the Gambino family wander into court in pajamas while he was trying to inspire an impression that he had lost his mind. When he went to prison, he was running a crime family business as the godfather.
BLOOM: But it's up to the judge to do something about this, Nancy. And you know, his last album was called "Invincible." And I think he proved in the courtroom today, when the judge let him go, in the way he would not have let a burglar or a drug dealer go, he let Michael Jackson walk.
GRACE: We'll go straight back out to the courthouse in just one...
GRACE: Is that you, Trent?
COPELAND: Nancy, I think that's...
GRACE: Tent, hold on one second. We've got to go to a really hard break. We'll be right back. We'll head straight out to Trent Copeland and Diane Dimond. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN OXMAN, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: Mr. Jackson asked me to make a statement here. He tripped this morning and he fell in the early morning hours while he was getting dressed. His back is in terrible pain. He was in terrible discomfort during the entire trial proceedings. He's going to go home, recuperate, rest and relax, and he'll be back on Monday, and he's looking forward to being here. And he went to the emergency room this morning and was given medications. So he'll be back Monday. And we all thank you so very much. You take care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV and Headline News, in for Larry tonight. And I want to thank you for being with us.
Guess you've heard by now that Jackson showed up to his child molestation trial wearing his pajamas, apparently, down in the back, while Judge Rodney Melville threatened to have his bond forfeited -- in other words, land him in jail and Jackson miraculously was healed and showed up.
But Diane Dimond, in my mind, the big story -- I mean, a lot of defendants have antics. People do get sick. They're late to court. This happens. Although I can't think of many that have shown up in their PJs. The reality, though, Diane, is the testimony -- the testimony, the evidence is what matters. Where did we stand at the end of the day? What did we learn today from this boy?
DIMOND: Well, what we learned when the state cross -- or I'm sorry -- did the direct testimony, we heard a lot about a lot of liquor. We heard a lot about a lot of pornography. We heard a lot about sexual games that they played and drinking games that they played. And toward the end of the state's case, we heard about the actual molestation.
I tell you, one of the things that stuck out in my mind that may not make a headline, but -- in the opening statement, Tom Mesereau said that this family was getting to close too fast to Michael Jackson and it made him uncomfortable. And the mother told her kids to call him Daddy.
Well, today we saw two notes from Michael Jackson. I'll just read you one real quick. It was in his handwriting to this boy. It says, "I want for you to have a good time in Florida, and I am happy to be your daddy." And it's signed "Dad." So you know, that kind of stuff just had this jury spellbound today.
This young boy is 15, but in some respects, he seems more mature than that. He has a military sea (ph) cadet background, and so he stands very tall and he has a military haircut. And I noticed a few times today he would not only look directly at the jury and tell them what he had to say, but during breaks, when people were reaching for exhibits and whatnot, he would have this sort of steely sort of -- again, I thought of military -- this gaze, and he would look right at Michael Jackson, as if to say, I'm here, and I'm your worst nightmare.
But in the end of the day, I think Tom Mesereau had some really vital cross-examination. It was a little aggressive. The judge admonished him, told him to stop going so fast. The boy got a little into it, too, and would answered things like, Well, you have to understand, Mr. Mesereau, that -- and then the judge would admonish the boy, as well. So it was very heated, very back-and-forth.
At one point, Mesereau said to him, Are you going to look at this jury and say that Michael Jackson didn't help you? I mean, didn't you stay in his house? Didn't you drive in his cars? Didn't you eat his meals? Didn't you play in his zoo and his rides? And it went on and on, bantering back and forth like that. I'm not quite sure what the jury made of it, but boy, they sure were paying attention.
GRACE: Were they taking a lot of notes, Diane?
DIMOND: Yes. Yes. This is a real note-taking bunch, I'll tell you, Nancy. And in the front row -- they bought these seats for the jury. There's 20 of them because there's so many alternates. And they're very big and they have cup holders on them. And I found out they bought them over E-bay from someplace in the South, and they were from a movie theater. And the front row...
GRACE: Well, I was just about to say we have movie theater seats like that.
GRACE: ... a big Diet Coke right there, your popcorn, everything...
DIMOND: Well, no, bottles of water only in the court. But they actually prop their feet up against the bar in the jury box, and they take their notes on their laps. It's -- it's a -- there's a lot of note taking going on.
GRACE: You know, to you -- Dr. Michael Welner is with us, forensic psychiatrist. I think I need a shrink on this one. Why would he be writing letters to these kids about calling him daddy, "I want to be your daddy"? Explain.
WELNER: Well, Daddy's got the power, and you don't say no to Daddy. I think what we may come to learn from this case, if Michael Jackson is guilty, is that we have an image of people who exploit children as boogie men, as aggressive, as sniveling. And what I encounter in my own professional experience is that much more frequently than we imagine, it's a seduction. And that's why people who are in a position of trust -- sometimes teachers, sometimes school officials, sometimes Boy Scout leaders -- this is how it happens. It isn't just that they position themselves in these jobs, it's that they're seductive to the people in their care. And You don't get any more of a position of power and obedience than being Daddy.
GRACE: Jim Moret, you were in the courtroom today. What was your observation of Jackson's demeanor, once he finally made it there and the testimony resumed? MORET: Well, Jackson appeared -- needed help to stand up, at one point. At least, his attorney -- one of his attorneys motioned to help him. I saw a very different demeanor not only in Michael Jackson, but in this witness. Diane was talking about the witness's testimony. You know, yesterday, this witness -- let's face it, this is a sympathetic character. He's a young boy who's beaten cancer, allegedly molested. It's hard, as a parent, not to look at this kid and feel for him. But we saw a very different young boy on cross- examination.
You know, Tom Mesereau has been walking this fine line with this boy's sister and this boy's brother. He's been very reticent to go on the all-out offensive. But boy, he came out swinging with this witness, with just a half hour left. And on cross-examination, we saw a very different demeanor. This boy was mumbling a great deal, and I thought that many of his answers were somewhat questionable.
And the jury goes home. Remember, they're not here tomorrow. They have a three-day weekend where they have one image, and they have this image where Tom -- that Tom Mesereau left them with, and that's, perhaps with a shaky story. You have to believe this kid. If you don't believe this kid, you don't have a sexual molestation.
GRACE: But Jim, when you say some of his answers were questionable, what specifically was questionable?
MORET: He gave the impression on direct examination that Michael Jackson wanted to appear like he was very giving and very altruistic, and this boy almost made it seem that he was not even seeing Michael Jackson. Today on cross-examination, we learned that Michael Jackson called this boy in the hospital when he was recovering from cancer two to three times a week and would talk to him for an hour, two, three hours at a time. He invited Michael Jackson's (sic) family to stay with him at Neverland ranch for weeks at a time. He gave them an automobile. He flew them to Miami. He gave this boy a $75,000 watch.
So Michael Jackson, you could say that, as this doctor suggests, that this is a predator and he's trying to insinuate himself into this young boy's life, into his family's life. But it's a very different Michael Jackson...
GRACE: Well, Jim...
MORET: ... that was...
GRACE: Jim? Jim?
MORET: ... painted on cross-examination. Yes?
GRACE: You're married, right?
MORET: Yes. I have three kids.
GRACE: When you were dating your wife, didn't you -- didn't you, like, take her out to expensive places, buy her things? I bet you bought her a watch, didn't you, somewhere along the way, jewelry. I mean, it sounds like a courtship!
MORET: In many ways, that's the way it's being portrayed, as a courtship. You're absolutely right. And if you're to believe the prosecution, this man is a predator. And who did he pick? He picked a kid who came from an abusive family. This boy has said on direct examination that his father hit him, hit his brother, hit his sister, hit his mom. And he was a cancer survivor.
MORET: So yes, if you're looking for a victim, this is a perfect kid to take advantage of. But the defense says, Wait a minute. Everything isn't as it appears. Don't believe that this boy is a victim. Perhaps Michael Jackson's the victim.
GRACE: OK. At the courthouse, Jim Moret and Diane Dimond. We'll all be right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Innocent! Innocent! Innocent! Innocent!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Innocent! Innocent! Innocent! Innocent!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Innocent! Innocent! Innocent! Innocent!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV and Headline News, in for Larry tonight. And I want to thank you for being with us.
Let's go straight back out to California. We're taking a look at the developments in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. To defense attorney Trent Copeland, Trent, what do you do with a client you can't control?
COPELAND: Well, you know, Nancy, I'm not sure that we can reach the conclusion that Michael Jackson can't be controlled. I mean, look, remember, Tom Mesereau walked out on Robert Blake because he couldn't control him. Robert Blake continued to give interview after interview, firing lawyers from Tom Mesereau's staff. Michael Jackson hasn't done that. I mean, Michael Jackson has...
GRACE: Trent, he showed up in his pajamas!
COPELAND: He showed up in his pajamas, Nancy, but he showed up. And that's the reality. I mean, look, he was an hour late...
BLOOM: He showed up an hour and 10 minutes late!
COPELAND: He clearly...
BLOOM: And it's not the first time, Trent!
COPELAND: He clearly -- he clearly had -- and on both occasions, Lisa, he clearly had a viable excuse that this court has accepted. I mean, look, whether you like it or not, no matter how we dice it or slice it, Michael Jackson has come to court early each and every occasion. On the two occasions that he has not come to court on time, he's had excuses. I mean, look, you know, whether you want to buy it, I mean, there has been a medical practitioner, a doctor, who has clearly visited with Michael Jackson, examined him and said, You know what? This guy's got some issue going on here, sufficient enough that that medical doctor can talk to the judge and get him on the phone and explain it to him.
COPELAND: And the judge...
COPELAND: ... is satisfied. The judge is satisfied. And this is not a judge, Nancy, who has not told Michael Jackson he's on thin ice. So I don't think that Michael Jackson...
COPELAND: ... would risk...
GRACE: Trent, hold on!
COPELAND: ... rebuke from this judge if he didn't have a doctor...
GRACE: I hate to cut off his sermon. It was beautiful. But Diane Dimond, the judge has, in fact, rebuked Jackson. When he was incredibly late at the beginning, the judge rebuked him on that day about being late. And when Trent Copeland is talking about this impressive track record of being on time or early, this is only day eight of the trial.
DIMOND: You know, though, Nancy, I tell you, the judge said way back when, when right there across the street, Michael Jackson showed up about 30, 40 minutes late for his first arraignment...
DIMOND: ... he said, Mr. Jackson, you have started out on the wrong foot with me, and I won't take it. And I'll hold you in contempt of court. There were a lot of people in court today -- and I think Trent and I were talking about this earlier -- a lot of people in court said, Well, look, he had an arrest warrant. He was going to take away his bail. But in the end, this judge didn't even slap him on the wrist. And there are a lot of court veterans that hang around the media, and some of them are the media, who really expected the judge to do something -- fine him, rebuke him in open court, something. And as far as we know, Michael Jackson never went back to chambers. There wasn't anything like that.
GRACE: Lisa? BLOOM: You know, Nancy, I think there is a different level of justice for celebrities. And only somebody like Michael Jackson could get away with this over and over again. I was very impressed this morning when the judge said that he was going to revoke bail. I thought it was going to actually happen. Jackson not only violated his initial order because he showed up late, he violated the extra hour that the judge gave him, and still the judge did absolutely nothing. And you mean to tell me some ordinary defendant would have been treated that way, Nancy? There is no way!
COPELAND: That's just an outrageous, outrageous statement.
BLOOM: Well, it's absolutely true, Trent!
COPELAND: Unless you -- unless you...
BLOOM: He's done this over and over!
COPELAND: No, it is not, Lisa. Unless you...
BLOOM: You mean to tell me a defendant who...
COPELAND: ... reviewed his medical file...
BLOOM: Let me say something, Trent, for one second. You mean to tell me that an ordinary drug dealer defendant who shows up in his pajamas an hour and 10 minutes late, after being rebuked, would be treated the same way as Michael Jackson? Oh, we'll just go on? I don't think so!
COPELAND: Lisa, the fact of the matter is, you weren't there, I wasn't there. None of us are aware of whether or not this judge reviewed the medical history with Michael Jackson's doctor and sufficiently came to a conclusion that, You know what? I'm not going to substitute my judgment for Michael Jackson's doctor. To suggest that Michael Jackson is some drug dealer on the street and that he...
BLOOM: I'm not saying he's a drug dealer!
COPELAND: ... strolled into court and that he...
BLOOM: I'm saying an ordinary defendant...
COPELAND: ... and that he strolled into court...
BLOOM: ... wouldn't be treated this way! And by the way...
COPELAND: No. No.
BLOOM: ... I read the transcript...
COPELAND: No, that's not true.
BLOOM: ... from the morning...
COPELAND: That is absolutely not true. BLOOM: ... nothing was offered from any doctor! The judge...
GRACE: Hold on, Trent. Let her finish.
BLOOM: ... cut it off -- the judge cut it off before anything from a doctor was offered. The doctor last time around said only that he had flu-like symptoms. This time, it's back pain.
COPELAND: No. Not true.
BLOOM: It's not something a doctor can substantiate...
BLOOM: ... conveniently. It's always at a convenient point in the trial, too. Now it's the time of the accuser's...
COPELAND: He clearly had a conversation. He clearly had...
BLOOM: ... testimony. Last time it was during...
COPELAND: ... a conversation with the doctor.
BLOOM: ... jury selection. The time before that, it was his arraignment. I'll tell you, if other testimony comes in from other victims, I think Jackson's going to get sick again.
GRACE: OK, guys. We've got to take a break. Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace in for Larry tonight. I want to thank you for being with us.
Here on the set with me, Dr. Michael Welner along with Lisa Bloom. Dr. Welner, you heard this description that Diane Dimond just gave us, and Jim Moret as well: the gifts, the expensive trips, $75,000 watch. What do you make of the relationship?
WELNER: Well, Michael Jackson has the wherewithal to make people dependent on him financial, materially. And for someone who is going through a difficult time in his life, who needs companionship, who needs support, that could be substituted emotionally. Friendship, a person who might be isolated, because he has cancer, because his friends may not deal with him in such an accepting and embracing way.
What we tend to view that is with an expression called love bombing. Really, literally, love bombing. That you surround someone with so much affection, attention, material, emotional, that eventually that person, without truly realizing what's happening, becomes dependent upon the relationship in more ways than one.
And exploiting that is easier when you have complete control over someone. And when someone is living in your home, around people who are under your control and your command, it's easy to set a situation like that into motion so that you, a given person -- of course, we don't know what happened there, but a given person can take advantage when the time and moment is right. When the moment is right, because he has complete custodial control over someone.
GRACE: Well, put. Jim Moret is a senior correspondent with "Inside Edition." He's also a lawyer. Jim, if Jackson is taking pain medication, and earlier Diane told us he had a difficulty focusing over on her when she called out to him. His demeanor clearly was off today. If he is on pain medication, is that something the lawyers have to tell the judge? Will that have an affect on a further delay?
MORET: Well, I mean, you heard Trent mention earlier, we can't suppose that we know Michael Jackson's medical condition, but it's certainly realistic to assume that the judge is being kept apprised of his condition.
I also want to make one point, this is the heart of the case, this is a sexual molestation case. The boy in this case, as to 2 of the counts, is the only witness. So, it's his word against Michael Jackson's. Now, if there's no DNA evidence, no physical evidence, it's his word against Jackson's. You better go to another guest. It's very loud here right now.
GRACE: All right, Jim. I will do that.
Everybody, we're talking, also, about graphic testimony by Jackson's boy accuser today. I'm going to go out to Diane Dimond. I think the ambulances have gone by. Diane -- yeah. OK. I think it's gone.
Diane, what was, exactly, the nature of the testimony? I know it was graphic, but what is the testimony in a nutshell?
DIMOND: Well, the testimony today when he was under the direct from Tom Sneddon talked about the about the Bashir documentary, how he went and did it, how afterward Michael Jackson left. They didn't have any more contact for months until it actually aired on television in the UK, then all the bad media started.
And Michael Jackson called him. And he said to Michael Jackson, I just don't think it's fair what all this media is saying about you. This is just wrong. Michael invited him to Miami. And that's where he says the first drinking started.
In Miami, he also gave some testimony that seems to go towards the conspiracy charge which, of course, Jim Moret says is the weakest part of this case, and it might well be. But he puts Michael Jackson in a room with a man, named Deter Weisner (ph) and Ronald Conater (ph), two of the unindicted co-conspirators. And this boy says that they started talking about a plan they had to spin the media around, to turn the media negative coverage into positive coverage, the clear indication was that this boy would be part of it.
Then in a second meeting in Miami, Michael Jackson takes the boy aside and says how are you? Are you OK? Let's do a little improv. Let's do another audition tape, like the audition here like you did with Bashir. And he has the boy improv a situation where Michael Jackson is the principal, he is the student and he is trying to defend himself against a girl who says that he has stolen something.
And after that, they crack open a diet coke, according to the kid, empty the contents and fill it with white wine. And this, he said, was his first taste of wine except for sometime I drank it in church.
GRACE: Jim Moret, did this boy accuser's testimony match up to his brother and sister's.
MORET: Yes, it did. In many ways it dove-tailed quite a bit. The brother testified that Michael Jackson would serve alcohol to the boys. And we heard today the boy said Michael Jackson called it Jesus Juice and he would put wine, as Diane said, in a Coke can. They drank it in Miami, according to this boy's testimony and his brother's testimony. They had it as well on the plane coming back from Miami. They had it routinely at Neverland.
There was a wine cellar that you only could get to by moving this juke box and the arcade, going down this secret stairway where there were allegedly some sleeping bags and there was a wine cellar. The sister testified it was down there that Michael Jackson served cups of wine to kids.
So, yes, a lot of this testimony was dove-tailing. And it was very disturbing to listen to a lot of this testimony today.
WELNER: You know, it's a familiar quality of having a secret that only you 2 share. And that's how that intimacy gets cultivated. It may have nothing to do with sex and it may have everything to do with a secret, however harmless, seeming, but something that they have to keep secret and it keeps them close.
GRACE: Hmm, interesting. I hadn't thought of that. I see exactly what you're saying.
To you, to Trent Copeland. Trent, regarding Mesereau's cross, did he score any points today?
COPELAND: You know, he did. You know, while Jim Moret mentions the testimony seem to do dove-tail with the daughter -- with the sister and the brother. I mean, there are a lot of instances where it didn't, you know, in very, critical, important areas Nancy.
You know, look, there's been a lot of talk about Michael Jackson walking into the bedroom in an aroused state. And obviously aroused state, you know, this young boy, without prodding from the prosecution, couldn't remember that. This young boy could not remember that there were guards, according to the prosecution's theory of this case, stationed down at the Calabaster Center (ph), guarding this family from leaving. He couldn't remember that.
He also couldn't recall and remember that this trip, this alleged trip to Brazil where the family was going to be spirited away, he couldn't recall that being something that was urgent. He did recall that.
He also didn't recall that his mother did anything. Once he told his mother that Michael Jackson had given him alcohol. Remember, the prosecution had said all along that the mother, once she learned her son was being served alcohol, this young cancer survivor, that she rushed over to Michael Jackson's room, pounded on the door and confronted him. He didn't remember that.
There are a lot of instances that simply don't dove-tail with the testimony of the brother and sister. And those critical areas are very, very damaging to the prosecution.
BLOOM: If these kids were all getting together with the mom to make it up, wouldn't they have a script that they were reciting from chapter and verse? And you and I know from trying cases, that it's innocent misrecollection is very common. In fact, that's a jury instruction out there in California that witnesses are not expected who have all witnessed the same thing, to know exactly every detail and to recite it exactly the same as every other witness.
To me, that only adds to their credibility.
GRACE: So, what do you make of those points on cross-examine, for instance, that he didn't know there were guards outside a hotel. How would he know that? And some of the other issues. I think Trent is right that Mesereau was scoring points, but how significant are they?
BLOOM: Well, he may not know all the facts necessary for each of his claims. And he doesn't have to. In the false imprisonment, it may be enough that someone told him you have to stay in the room. And we know there was a sign up at Neverland saying not to let him out. They may the best evidence of false imprisonment. But his key testimony is on the molestation point.
You know, I was surprised to hear that he was relatively flat in his affect when he described the molestation. In fact, at points, he was even joking around with Tom Sneddon, the DA today. That surprised me. If anything, that might cast a little bit of doubt on his credibility. That's not what's consistent with what I know.
DIMOND: He'd wanted to be a comedian, Lisa. That's where...
BLOOM: I know, Diane, but this is not the time for that. And I've represented a lot of child sexual abuse victims, and I never saw somebody testify that way. That's all I'm saying.
GRACE: Guys, we've got to take a quick break.
DIMOND: I don't think there was a lot of joking around.
BLOOM: Not a lot. Not a lot. I'm not saying that. But a few times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly light hearted.
DIMOND: It was clearly light hearted at times.
GRACE: Guys, we've got to take a break. We'll be right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDIE CAPPETTA, SANTA YNEZ VALLEY HOSPITAL: He was here very briefly this morning. He arrived early in the morning. He was released about an hour later, and made his way back to court per the judge's order. So that's all we have to say. And thank you very much for being here, but that's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us. Let's go straight to the calls.
Pleasanton, California, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
CALLER: Yes, I would like to know in that hour and a half that they break for lunch, where does Michael Jackson go, and what does he have for lunch? Can anybody answer that for me?
GRACE: Well, Diane's nonverbal communication...
GRACE: She's shaking her head strenuously, no. Go ahead.
DIMOND: We're all on what Rodney Melville calls the Melville diet. We come in at -- well, all the media has to be in by 8:15. And we get three quick little breaks throughout the day, where you're supposed to bring like a power bar or some fruit or something, and there is no lunch. Michael Jackson doesn't go anywhere for lunch. Nobody goes anywhere for lunch. And yeah, I've lost a couple of pounds, Nancy.
GRACE: Let's go to New Orleans. You're on LARRY KING LIVE, friend.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy, you're great. Do you think Judge...
GRACE: Thank you.
CALLER: ... Melville will tolerate another late arrival by Michael Jackson?
GRACE: You know what, New Orleans, I thought he would throw the book at Jackson this time, because Jackson has already been reprimanded for being late before.
I am going to throw that one back out to Jim Moret. Jim, I thought Melville would do something today, but he didn't.
MORET: It sure looked like he was. I'll tell you something, there was a hush in that courtroom, and Melville wasn't listening to anything from the attorney. I've never seen Tom Mesereau look more upset than I did today. This was clearly not a defense ploy. Mesereau was on the phone, pacing outside, and when Jackson's attorney tried to give the judge an explanation, the judge heard none of it. He said, I'm issuing a warrant, I'm holding it for an hour, bail is revoked. And that's it.
And yet, nothing happened at the end of the day. We were all shocked. We thought that when the jury left -- because basically the witness and the jury left, and the attorneys and Michael Jackson were still in the courtroom, we thought we'd at least hear an admonishment. Don't let this happen again. We heard nothing. So the teeth were taken out of it.
I'm hopeful that the judge wouldn't stand for anything else like this, but I don't know. I'm shocked.
GRACE: Diane, when Mesereau, Tom Mesereau was speaking to the judge trying to explain where Jackson was, is it true the judge gave him the hand, "talk to the hand, I don't want to hear it?"
DIMOND: It wasn't that bad. But you know, he said, "And Your Honor, there's a doctor standing by at Cottage Hospital to talk to you." And he said, "I'm issuing an arrest warrant." I mean, he just didn't even entertain the question of talking to a doctor this time. Remember last time when he had the flu, Michael Jackson's doctor called the judge, and he was convinced he really was sick.
You know, I think the shot of the day, Nancy, besides Michael Jackson arriving in his pajamas, was Tom Mesereau standing out here on the curb, all by himself, cell phone in hand, like, looking around, where is the convoy? Where is my client? What's going on? I think it was pretty clear that he was caught unaware by all this. And can you imagine being in his position, having to stand up and tell the judge, yeah, you're right, Your Honor, my client isn't here today.
GRACE: You know, what's interesting, Trent Copeland, of course Diane is right about that, but I don't know if you've ever been in this spot or not, Trent, but you're standing in front of the judge, either your client isn't there, or in my case, the witness wouldn't be there, and you're fumbling, you're making a legal argument and you're trying to say anything. And then finally you don't have anybody and you have to take the wrath of the judge.
COPELAND: Yeah, you know, it's true, Nancy. Listen, you know, when a client is out on bail, in many instances lawyers like to say, you know, I'm vouching for this client. And Tom Mesereau is in essence vouching for Michael Jackson's appearance, as well as that $3 million bond. And you know, really, Tom Mesereau, you know, they don't teach this in law school. This isn't the kind of thing that you have a law school class about. This is less about legal relations and more really about human relations, and particularly when you're representing high-profile clients. This is an increasingly difficult job, particularly if the case goes on and it's a very stressful case. So I think Tom Mesereau handled it, and I think he handled it well. And I should think, frankly, the judge was satisfied with it. I think the judge was satisfied with the medical excuse.
GRACE: All right, let me clue you in with something, Trent. This judge is not satisfied with Jackson being late to court and showing up in his pajamas. He just had an extreme act of self- restraint by not totally reprimanding Jackson, if not forfeiting his bond, Trent. Today, Michael Jackson, Christmas came early, buddy. Christmas came early for you.
I want to ask Jim Moret. Jim, regarding the testimony today, do you think the jury understood why they were being held up?
MORET: Well, the judge said that there was a medical situation for Michael Jackson, and he made it very clear that if one of them didn't show up, that he would have done the exact same thing.
The testimony they heard, though, you mentioned earlier, it was graphic testimony, and it was. And that's really the heart of this case. And you've got to focus on that, because that's what these jurors had to hear. Many of them have kids. And the picture that was painted by this witness, of Michael Jackson having this boy in his bed and then molesting him, explaining to him that masturbation is something -- he basically said to this boy, "do you masturbate?" And the boy said no. And Michael Jackson gave him this argument, according to the testimony, that if he doesn't, then he could become a rapist, or he could end up basically attacking dogs. It was insane, what we were listening to, and very disturbing.
And then he paints this picture of two nights where he said Michael Jackson molested him. And, you know, aside from the false imprisonment issue, that's nothing. The key, the heart of this case, is this horrible, graphic testimony we heard today. And that's what the jury has to think about.
DIMOND: And you know, Nancy, there was testimony from this boy who he said, you know, after the first time I was really embarrassed, and, you know, Michael Jackson comforted me and told me it was OK. And then he did it again.
And so the jury at that point is hanging on this kid's every word and writing furiously and looking from him to Michael Jackson to Mr. Sneddon to Tom Mesereau. I mean, it was like a tennis match in there at some points, because that's how closely many of the jurors -- I won't say all of them -- one guy seems to doze off every afternoon -- but they are really paying attention to this.
DIMOND: We'll be right back with Lisa Bloom. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL JACKSON: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.
Lisa Bloom, what will the jury take home with them from today?
BLOOM: I think they're going to remember the three teenage nobodies who had the guts to take the stand this week and testify against the most famous man in the world, Michael Jackson. And you know, this defense attorney is very experienced, he's very good, and, yes, he was able to trip them up on cross-examination, just as any of us who are attorneys could beat up a teenager on cross-examination. Big deal. Their central stories didn't change. They go back to the witness protection program. Michael Jackson goes back to Neverland. I think the jury goes home with the idea fresh in their minds of this testimony from these three young people.
GRACE: Let's go to Melbourne, Florida. Florida, you're on LARRY KING LIVE.
CALLER: Yes, hi, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, dear.
CALLER: This is my question. I wonder if Michael Jackson has ever entertained any little girls at Neverland, or -- and their families? Has it always just been little boys?
GRACE: Good question. Diane?
DIMOND: Yes, he has. You know, in all fairness to Michael Jackson, his home is a beautiful 2,700 acres, and he often opens it up to boys and girls. In fact, the jury saw a tape here, like a tour of Neverland, that the little brother narrated. And there he was with his little, you know, Neverland microphone. And in the background were all of these boys and girls wearing Neverland T-shirts, having a great time. And I know from the past, Michael Jackson has often had, you know, groups of boys and girls to visit.
GRACE: Well put. Dr. Welner, after today, many court watchers, legal experts are wondering if we're going to end up in an incompetency hearing.
WELNER: It wouldn't be surprising.
WELNER: It wouldn't be surprising. Look, he is on trial and being accused as a molester. What an incredible stigma for him, for his family, for his future. And this is a guy who lives a protected existence. He never gets confronted by anyone. He has never had to deal with anything that even approaches the stress of trial. In my professional experience, I've seen on a number of occasions, immature individuals, younger defendants, people who don't have as much experience with the system, unraveling, becoming desperate to get out of a trial situation.
One story I will never forget, someone who was an accused sex offender, so desperate to keep from going to trial, and not psychotic, he starved himself to the point that he needed IV fluids, he smeared his bodily fluids on himself, and when that failed and the judge said you have to go to trial, he took a break from armed correction officers, who shot him in the behind. So what did he get? He had to go to court, and it was even more painful, because he had to sit.
GRACE: So I take it that means you don't think Jackson is going to go for an incompetency hearing?
WELNER: No, the judge may not have no choice but to order a competency hearing, because he may be so desperate at this point.
GRACE: I want to thank all of my guests tonight. What a great panel! Here in the set with me, Dr. Michael Welner, forensic psychiatrist. Also with me, Lisa Bloom, Court TV anchor. At the courthouse, Jim Moret. Jim is a senior correspondent with "Inside Edition," also a lawyer. Veteran defense attorney, also at the courthouse, Trent Copeland. And of course, Diane Dimond, executive investigative editor with Court TV.
Diane, I've got about 30 seconds left. Tell me what's going to happen tomorrow.
DIMOND: Well, we'll have more of this cross, probably just as aggressive from Tom Mesereau. And I think it's pretty clear the boy will still be on next week. There will be redirect by the state, I'm positive, and then I have been reporting all day on Court TV that the next witness up I believe is Dr. Stan Katz -- this is the psychologist that the boys went to.
GRACE: Do you think that the cross-exam of this boy will then be followed by a redirect, then a re-cross, redirect, re-cross like a tennis match?
DIMOND: No, not really. This district attorney asks very few questions on redirect. He seems to just have a plan and stick to it. And we've all been surprised that he asked so few questions on redirect.
GRACE: Good night, panel. Thank you very much for being with us, and especially to you for tuning into LARRY KING tonight. Larry is back tomorrow night, so please join him then.
Stay tuned for Aaron Brown and "NEWSNIGHT" coming up next. I'm Nancy Grace, signing off for Larry.
Good night, friend.
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