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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Legal Analysis of Michael Jackson Case
Aired May 3, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Tonight, Michael Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe called him a "sociopath" last year. That's what the lead investigator in the Jackson molestation case testified to today. This is the same Debbie Rowe who, last week, said such surprisingly nice things about Jackson when the prosecution put her on the stand.
Meanwhile, as prosecutors wind up their case, Macaulay Culkin and other alleged abuse victims are reported ready to testify for the defense. Will Jackson himself take the stand?
We'll have all the latest with Jane Velez-Mitchell of "Celebrity Justice," inside the courtroom today.
Raymone Bain, Michael Jackson's spokesperson.
Stacey Honowitz, assistant Florida state attorney, who specializes in sex crimes and child abuse.
Defense attorney Michael Cardoza.
Susan Filan, assistant Connecticut state's attorney, who has attended some of the Jackson trial, and defense attorney Trent Copeland.
They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: Before we get started, the usual quick disclosure -- you probably know it by heart. I have been subpoenaed by the defense in the Michael Jackson case and I cannot talk about it as I'm covered by the judge's gag order in that trial.
Now, on with the show and on to Jane Velez-Mitchell in Santa Maria. What happened today?
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well, I think it was a pretty good day for prosecutors. They scored on a number of fronts. For one, an investigator got up and said Michael Jackson's ex, Debbie Rowe, said a year ago in a taped conversation that Michael Jackson was a sociopath who regarded his children as possessions.
Then, they had a forensic accountant take the stand who said that Michael Jackson was in a severe financial crisis in 2003, as the Bashir documentary aired, that he was spending $20 million to $30 million more per year than he got.
And, finally, they brought Rudy Provencio to the stand. "Celebrity Justice" has been telling you for more than a month now, he'll be the star witness for the prosecution when it comes to the conspiracy case. And we expect tomorrow, according to our sources, that he will claim he heard Michael Jackson himself, on a speaker phone, talking about this alleged conspiracy, specifically about the alleged plot to get this family, the accusing family, out of the country to Brazil, and that he kept journal notes, and that these journal notes were very, specific and that he was very disturbed by what he heard and that they even asked him if he could get involved in deposits and checks, and he said no, because he was frightened and didn't want to get wrapped up in it.
KING: Michael Cardoza, defense attorney in San Francisco, was -- did they successfully prosecute, do you think -- did the prosecution successfully refute Deborah Rowe?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, one thing I noted, Larry, that they didn't refute? The scripted text in the rebuttal video -- they never got that D.A. inspector to say, yes, she told me it was scripted. So, they never did that. You know, what I couldn't help but think about was, in every relationship, you talk to one or the other in that relationship, one month the other is a great person, the next month they're not so good. So, is this something that Debbie Rowe said when she was mad at Michael Jackson a number of years ago? And, now, under oath, she gets on the stand and she tells it the way it is? That's for the jury to decide, but I think it can be argued away that she didn't mean what she said before, it was just in a fit of anger, a pique of anger.
KING: Stacey Honowitz, though, sociopath is a strong word, isn't it?
STACEY HONOWITZ, ASS. FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: Yes, it's very strong word, but I have to disagree with Michael on all counts when it comes to Debbie Rowe's impeachment.
Everybody kept saying, why didn't the prosecutor get up and impeach her and ask her these questions? And, it's because they were waiting for this investigator to take the stand. Her credibility, her saying these things in a fit of anger -- we're never going to know because it was never brought up in front of the jury. So, the jury is going to know after this that, when she said those things on the tape -- which is crucial -- none of them were true. So, I think it was a banner day for the prosecution when it came to her today.
KING: Trent Copeland, what's your read on today?
TRENT COPELAND, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, it's hard to imagine, Larry, that, before prosecutors, who called Debbie Rowe -- they subpoenaed her. She's their witness. They put her on the witness stand. Now, remember, this is the prosecution's case. The prosecution is trying to wind this case down, Larry, on a high note. To bring Debbie Rowe on the witness stand, and to have Debbie Rowe say the things that she said last week, which really, really, cut into the heart of the prosecution's case, and then take the time to impeach their own witness -- it's really hard to imagine that they're having a good day impeaching their own witness.
KING: What do you make of the whole Debbie Rowe thing?
COPELAND: You know, I think Debbie Rowe turns out to be a wash. I mean, look, remember, Larry, at the heart of all this is Debbie Rowe and Michael Jackson in the middle of a custody dispute. Michael Jackson had promised to pay Debbie Rowe millions of dollars. That sum stopped because Debbie Rowe gave an interview to a national broadcast system. You know, she decided that she wanted to continue to do that. Michael Jackson says, you know what, I'm going to cut off all the money I'm giving you. Debbie Rowe, to her credit, says, listen, you know what, I want my kids back. I want to be involved in their life. Debbie Rowe, clearly, Larry, involved in all of this. This is really just a custody dispute, and I think the jury's going to see that.
KING: Susan Filan, what's your thoughts on how the prosecution did, today, before we get Raymone to speak up for Michael.
SUSAN FILAN, ASS'T CONNECTICUT STATE ATTORNEY: I don't think Debbie Rowe wants her kids back. I think Debbie Rowe wants Michael Jackson, and I think the jury will see her for what she is: pathetic, transparent, really unimportant. And, I understand why they didn't impeach her. I think they would have been beating up on their own witness to their discredit. She's not going to work. What was beautiful about her is the way she didn't deliver, because it was such a setup. Now, you've got this guy saying what she said. The only question I have, Larry, is why did they wait a couple of days? Why didn't they put him on right after her? I wonder what their strategy was there.
KING: Raymone, have you talked -- did you talk to Michael today? What was his reaction, if you did, to what the investigators said?
RAYMONE BAIN, MICHAEL JACKSON SPOKESWOMAN: Well, Larry, Michael is looking forward for Tom Mesereau taking over and presenting his case.
KING: Yeah, but what did he say about the investigator's statement today?
BAIN: Nothing. You know...
BAIN: No. He did not. You know, he did not. I -- when I talked to him, he said that he's looking forward to Mesereau presenting his case, and he is confident that when Mesereau finishes, people will see it for what it's worth and he'll be innocent.
KING: You always say the same thing, though. But wouldn't you say...
BAIN: But that's what he says to me.
KING: In other words, didn't you ask him, what did you make of Debra Rowe calling you a sociopath? That would have been the first thing I would have asked him.
BAIN: Well, no. You know why? Because, I think, last week, Larry, when we discussed Debbie Rowe and we also discussed it on this show, Debbie Rowe totally surprised even the pundits and the prosecutor. She told the truth. I predicted last week that she would tell the truth. You asked me last Monday, was Michael concerned or worried about Debbie Rowe and I said he was not. As long as she told the truth, we had nothing to worry about.
KING: So, was the investigator lying today? Was Debbie Rowe lying two years ago?
BAIN: Well, I think I agree with Michael Cardoza. There is a lot going on in the backdrop, and we don't know what mood she was. But she said, under oath, that Michael Jackson was a good person, that she was not scripted, and that he was a good father -- under oath. And that's what we look at, under oath. What she said two years ago, we're not even concerned about.
KING: Someone called me a sociopath, I think I might be bugged. Yes, Michael?
CARDOZA: Yeah, you know, the one thing that I have a problem with is -- and it begs the question -- why did the D.A. put her on the stand to say all those things nice about Jackson, and then come in and let's impeach her? It doesn't make sense to me. It shows either lack of preparation, or, if they were surprised, then they should have attacked her on their own redirect examination, and then put on other witnesses, because they never did rebut the fact about the rebuttal video and whether it was scripted or not. So, that hangs out there. It was not scripted, according to Debbie Rowe.
FILAN: My understanding of the prosecution's point on that was, were the questions to Debbie Rowe scripted, not, were the answers scripted, and I think she testified, whether credibly or not...
CARDOZA: It's not what it was.
FILAN: ...that she wanted to have a fresh cut on this.
HONOWITZ: Nine hours of testimony.
BAIN: Not true.
FILAN: And that she wanted to just say what it was that she wanted to say. KING: One at a time.
FILAN: So, I think the question of scripting with Debbie Rowe isn't the bombshell that people are making it out to be.
KING: It was a shock, though right, Trent?
COPELAND: Well, yes, it was a shock. It's interesting Susan would say it wasn't a bombshell, because, look, it was the prosecution's bombshell. This is a conspiracy claim, and it goes to the essence of whether Michael Jackson was in the middle of that conspiracy, and for Debbie Rowe to come on the stand and say that she wasn't scripted, it really undermines and undercuts what the accuser's mother has said, so it's impossible to say it wasn't a good witness...
HONOWITZ: I think the jury is smart enough to see that it was nine hours. What do you talk about in nine hours unless somebody is telling you, let's cut that, let's edit it, let's say these types of things. She even said, when she was impeached on the stand, that the things she said about him were not true. So, for -- the jury has to make this decision as to when she was telling the truth. Certainly, nine hours worth of testimony, a jury has to think, somebody is feeding her some of these lines.
KING: I got to take a break. That's the jury's decision, of course. I'll ask Jane when we come back, what's going to be the testimony tomorrow and what's the defense going to be like. And what's Macaulay Culkin going to say? And will Jackson take the stand? We'll also include your phone calls. Don't go away.
KING: A program reminder, Thursday night Jiminy Click -- Jiminy Glick hosts LARRY KING LIVE. You're not going to believe it. Jiminy Glick, LARRY KING LIVE host, Thursday night.
All right, Jane Velez-Mitchell, who's this person who started testifying today, the windup witness? Who is he? What's he going to say?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rudy Provencio was brought in, he says, by Mark Schaffel, one of the alleged unindicted co-conspirators to work on a music project with Michael Jackson. And he said that Mark Schaffel had a very bad habit of putting Michael Jackson on speaker phone, so he could gloat about what an important person he had on speaker phone. That's how Rudy said he was able to hear so many of these conversations. And he is starting to describe hearing these conversations. And we believe tomorrow he will go into more depth.
You know, a lot of us thought this conspiracy charge was completely dead in the water. And that had been completely bungled by the prosecution, because the accuser's mother had said little credibility. But if this guy who is charming and likable and the jury seems to like and he doesn't seem to have a lot of baggage, takes the stand and says, he heard Michael Jackson as believe he will, according to our sources.
If he hears -- if says that he heard Michael Jackson talking about this alleged conspiracy, talking about getting this family out of the country to Brazil, that could revive this conspiracy charge and that could be very, very bad news for Michael Jackson.
KING: Raymone, is he -- does he concern about -- what does he say to you about this guy?
BAIN: Well, you know, Larry, all of the focus were under Michael's employ or whom he has done very nice things for, of course, it infuriates him. It infuriates him that they've decided to come in and say untruths about him. He does not like that. And he had made that know. And there have been a string of them that he has been very, very good to. And he wonders just why they are doing this.
KING: So, you're saying this guy will lie tomorrow -- according to Michael?
BAIN: Well, according to Michael, he is concerned that all of sudden these people are coming out of the woodwork with all of this supposedly secret information and secret tapes, and all of this information, when Larry clearly, I don't agree that the prosecution is reviving it's conspiracy. Lets look at what happened today. You have this man who's up on stand and there are all of these calls, not one can be traced to Michael Jackson. Not one. Not one phone call, not one cell phone, not one Neverland telephone line traced to Michael Jackson. Now all of a sudden we are hearing that the prosecution is going to rest it's case today, then what happens is we have another witness who's another smoking gun. He allegedly had secret tapes. He allegedly had phone log. OK, well, we're looking forward to cross- examining him. And of course, Michael Jackson is concerned about that.
KING: So why are you shaking your head, Michael?
CARDOZA: Well, you know, if they tie him -- because what she's saying doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I mean, if Rudy can tie Michael to the conspiracy through those phone calls, and the jury believes him beyond a reasonable doubt, Michael Jackson's in big trouble with that testimony alone. Remember, it only takes one witness that the jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt to get somebody convicted. I'd be very afraid of this guy. And I haven't heard any motive that he has to come on and make up these stories.
KING: Susan is that true?
CARDOZA: So, I would be deathly afraid of this guy.
FILAN: I think it's fascinating how your guest says that whenever anyone says something not nice about Michael, they're lying. And when they say something about Michael, it's the truth. I just find that incredibly fascinating. And again, going back to the Debbie Rowe thing, she's yet another example of somebody who is probably under his spell, wants something from him and isn't truthful on the witness stand. Whereas this Rudy person, what does he have to gain or lose in this? He's just going to testify as he heard it. And I agree, Michael. Hey, Michael, I agree with you.
CARDOZA: That's the first, but I'll take it.
KING: Trent, is going to be rough for the defense. Hold it. Hold it. Trent.
BAIN: Well, I disagree that one witness can make or break a case. I disagree with that. And I'm sure my defense team as well.
FILAN: Can make or break a charge.
BAIN: I'm sorry, but don't agree with that. And I'm sure Tom Mesereau wouldn't either.
CARDOZA: We're talking one charge.
KING: One at a time. One at a time -- Trent.
COPELAND: You know, look, I agree with Raymone. I don't think one witness makes or breaks it. But let's keep this in focus. And I'm going to disagree with my brother Michael Cardoza. And he and I have talked about this case a lot.
I mean, look, think about this, Larry. And the viewers who watching the show need to understand that the conspiracy case goes to whether or not Michael Jackson conspired with these handlers to spirit these people away from Brazil, and to extort them into making this video.
COPELAND: The problem is that you really don't have a conspiracy that really matters for much before the molestation has taken place. And let me say that again. The molestation took place three weeks after...
KING: The alleged molestation.
COPELAND: The alleged molestation, assuming that the prosecution has alleged that this molestation took place at all, it took place three weeks after these phone calls. So, if Michael Jackson's involved in a conspiracy, it takes a whole lot more to be involved in a conspiracy. Sure, they may prove through this guy Rudy Provencio, that Michael Jackson was involved in these phone conversations, assuming he's a credible witness and he has yet to be cross-examined.
COPELAND: But that doesn't take you far enough in establishing whether or not Michael Jackson was participating in something illegal. KING: Stacey you agree?
HONOWITZ: But if you hear the phone -- if you hear the phone conversations, which I'm assured you're going to hear tomorrow. And you can see that Michael Jackson took one more step other than just agreeing or participating, then you are going to prove the charge. And I disagree. I think that one witness can make or break a charge. And conspiracy charge in this case they thought was dead in the water. And the prosecution was saving this witness as their last witness because it's strong. This person doesn't have an ax to grind.
KING: Let me get a break. We'll take a break. We'll take a break and we'll be right back. We'll be right back -- hold, we'll take a break and we'll be right with more. Your calls at the bottom of the hour. Don't go away.
KING: This in from our CNN news desk -- actor Macaulay Culkin and two other witness -- prosecutors' witnesses prosecutors say were molested by Michael Jackson will be among the first to testify in the pop star's defense when his lawyers begin their case, a source familiar with the case said today.
Here's what Macaulay Culkin said on this program when he appeared here last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What happened at the house? That's what all these things people are concerned about.
MACAULAY CULKIN, ACTOR: You know, that's just so weird, you know.
KING: What did happen?
CULKIN: Nothing happened. You know, I mean, nothing, really. I mean, we played video games, you know. You know, we played (INAUDIBLE) in the amusement park.
Well, the thing is -- the thing is with that whole thing is that, you know, they go, oh, you slept in the same bedroom as him. It's like, I don't think you understand. Michael Jackson's bedroom is two stories, and it has like three bathrooms and this and that. So when I slept in his bedroom, yeah, but you have to understand the whole scenario.
And the thing is with Michael, is that he's not very good at explaining himself, and he never really has been. Because he's not a very social person. I mean, you're talking about someone who has been sheltered and sheltering himself also for the last, like, 30 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Jane Velez-Mitchell, will he be a good defense witness?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He'll be a dynamite defense witness. You couldn't pick anyone better to start off the defense case. Three young men who the prosecution insist were molested back in the early '90s taking the stand, along with some of their relatives, one after the other, saying nothing happened, absolutely nothing happened.
How much stronger can you get for the defense? And you have to wonder why the prosecution brought these three cases up to begin with. They had two stronger cases. The '93 accuser, who settled for many millions of dollars. His mother took the stand. It was very compelling. And then you had the Neverland housekeeper's son, who took the stand and said a first-person account of this allegedly happened to me at the hands of Michael Jackson.
And then they kind of muddied the water by bringing in these three other cases, knowing that these three young men have said repeatedly nothing happened. Why did they do it? I don't know.
KING: Stacey, why?
HONOWITZ: I don't think it muddies the water, first of all. I understand what Jane is saying, and everyone seems to think that these three witnesses are going to -- you know, this is going to be the defense's way of saying nothing happened.
You know, people that try these cases, prosecutors and defense attorneys that try these types of cases, are fully aware that kids that are sometimes 7, 8 or 9 years old aren't even aware of what molestation is. And if you listen to the testimony of what was said, there was never any testimony that Michael Jackson touched their penises or masturbated them, anything like that. The testimony was that Michael Jackson touched his back side and kissed him on the cheek. That was the testimony.
So if Macaulay Culkin said I wasn't molested, he might not even know that that's molestation. So I don't think that these 8, 9 or 10- year-old boys that say they weren't molested...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That makes absolutely no sense to me, what she just said.
HONOWITZ: ... isn't going to -- is going to help the case, the defense.
KING: Michael Cardoza?
CARDOZA: Yes, you know why they did it, Larry? Because of the 1108. If you only had two instances, the judge wouldn't let the testimony in as pattern and practice. He'd go, two aren't enough, we need more than that.
So they pile on with these other three. I think this is going to be devastating when these three young men come in and say, nothing happened to me, no matter what other people say. And then you talk about patting them on the butt and kissing them on the head, that's the child molestation? Come on, there are a lot of child molesters running around then, in the sense of just patting a little boy on the butt and kissing him on the head? That's awfully weak to me.
KING: Susan Filan, good point?
FILAN: Yeah, I want to be there for these witnesses. What's so difficult about what we're doing here is we're dissecting this case witness by witness. And when you try a case, really it is a mosaic that you are building, it's a bunch of pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that you're building. And you are putting it brick by brick to get over the wall of beyond a reasonable doubt.
But I got to tell you, if Macaulay Culkin comes in and says, nothing happened, how is that not devastating? What we need to see -- and we have yet to see -- is does this prosecution team have a very important quiver in its arsenal? Can they cross-exam? Without that, things are going to get worse for them. If they are able to properly cross-exam, as Mesereau clearly is, it's not game over. But it's a hit. It's a hit.
KING: Trent? Trent, you agree? Macaulay Culkin is an effective-looking kid, isn't he?
COPELAND: Absolutely. I mean, you know, look, it's hard to imagine a kid who's going to come across more wholesome, more all- American than Macaulay Culkin. Everyone in that courtroom is going to see him. Everyone in that courtroom has seen him. And you know, the fact is, you know, look, this is going to be part of what I'll call the defense's shock and awe campaign. They're going to bring in Macaulay Culkin. They're going to bring in the other two alleged boys who'll walk into that courtroom, and they'll all say nothing happened. And I think the reality is, you know, the prosecution, even before the defense gets going very far in their case, the prosecution is really going to be reeling from this.
KING: But Raymone, on the other hand, Raymone, you always say that all the witnesses for the prosecution are either lying or have a motive. How do you know these witnesses don't have some motive?
KING: How do you know?
BAIN: Well, they were brought in here, Larry, not -- they did not make any accusation against Michael Jackson. .
KING: I mean, how do you know they're -- no, but how do you know -- you've made accusations about those who testified for the prosecution.
BAIN: Yes, I have.
KING: They have a deal to make, or they've lied. How do you know these people... BAIN: But wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, Larry. During cross-examination, they have been called in open court on the stand having to admit that they lied. So I did not just make that up. Most of those witnesses that have come in for the prosecution. Now, why...
FILAN: Debbie Rowe admitted that she lied on the stand, too.
BAIN: Why do not -- why do I think that Macaulay Culkin and the defense witnesses will not lie? Because number one, they have not made any accusation against Michael Jackson. They have been subpoenaed. And I believe they're going to here adhere to the court and tell the truth. That's what I believe.
KING: All right, we don't know how they will be cross-examined.
Let me get a break and come back. I'll reintroduce the panel. We'll also include your phone calls. Don't go away.
KING: Prosecution is close to winding up; defense close to presenting its side. Let's meet our panel again and go to your calls.
In Santa Maria is Jane Velez-Mitchell, correspondent for "Celebrity Justice," who has been covering the Jackson trial.
Raymone Bain is in Washington. She is Michael Jackson's spokesperson.
In Miami is Stacey Honowitz, assistant Florida state attorney for sex crimes and child abuse.
In San Francisco, Michael Cardoza, defense attorney, former Alameda County prosecutor, has attended some of the Jackson trial.
In New York is Susan Filan, assistant state's attorney, the state of Connecticut, former defense attorney, who has attended some of the trial.
And here in Los Angeles is Trent Copeland, defense attorney who has also attended some of the trial.
Let's go to some calls. Lansing, Michigan. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. How are you tonight?
KING: Fine. What's the question?
CALLER: My question is, why were other cases settled with money and now he's broke? And also, why wasn't this settled? But I also want to know these other defense witnesses, they further -- he helped further their career. That's why they're testifying for him.
KING: All right, You were saying, Trent, that they don't have a dog in this hunt. Do they?
COPELAND: Yeah, you know, look, Larry, off the air, you know, I said to you, I said, listen, I think these defense witnesses will be credible, and I think truth will resonate through their testimony. They don't have a dog in this fight. Look, Macaulay Culkin doesn't need to benefit from any testifying in Michael Jackson's trial. Robeson doesn't need to benefit by coming into Michael Jackson's case. I mean, none of these guys will benefit as a result of this. In fact, some might argue that their careers are impacted negatively by being associated.
KING: And they'd rather not be there.
COPELAND: And they'd rather not be there.
KING: Stacey, good point? Stacey? Our Stacey has -- Susan, is that a good point?
HONOWITZ: Yes, I think it's a very good point. (INAUDIBLE)
KING: I'm sorry, Stacey is.
HONOWITZ: ...my attention, all through -- can you hear me?
KING: Yes, go ahead.
HONOWITZ: It's my contention that...
KING: I got you. Go ahead.
HONOWITZ: ...that these defense witnesses, quite frankly, aren't really going to make such a big splash for the defense. I think that they're all going to say that there was never any fondling and that was never even brought up, but you're going to have testimony that Michael Jackson took a shower with Robeson, or what -- Wade Robeson. I think, up on the stand, he says, he took a shower with me. Well, there's credible evidence. It doesn't mean he molested him or fondled him, but certainly it corroborates what the prosecution's witness said. So, I think that there is going to be a way to cross-examine them, and I think that Mesereau has to be very careful because he can open a real can of worms with these guys once they're on the stand.
COPELAND: I don't think the defense is going to make the mistake, Larry, that the prosecution made. They're not going to put witnesses on and not know what those witnesses are going to say.
CARDOZA: I tell you what, I feel like I fell through the looking glass here. The D.A.'s did the 1108. They never lent five evidence. They said Michael Jackson molested five previous kids. Therefore, he has a predilection for molesting, to bootstrap this one charge. And, now everybody on the prosecution side is saying, well, it doesn't make a big deal if they come in and say they didn't do it. Come on? I mean, what are we doing here? If three men come in and say nothing happened, the prosecution is wrong, you don't tell me that the jury's going to look at the prosecution and say, why did you put those three pieces of evidence in if they didn't do it? Their credibility is very much going to be in issue here. Tapped his -- kissed his head and tapped them on the butt? I tell you what, if I were a jury, I would say, that's what you say is child molestation? No. You guys are in trouble, I'm telling you, in this case.
KING: Susan, how do you counter that?
FILAN: Here's the flaw in the argument. You can't talk about a witness who hasn't been thoroughly and properly cross-examined.
FILAN: I mean, it's -- you can't just take one side of this and say, oh, boy, big trouble. We really need to understand what the prosecution is going to do with their cross-exam. And I think, Trent, you raised an excellent point. It is going to negatively impact Macaulay Culkin. If a young star was molested allegedly by the King of Pop and he comes out and says that now, how is that going to help him today? So, maybe his recollection is not as good as it could be, because it serves him better that way.
Is the prosecution going to be successful in its cross-exam to flesh that out? It depends on how thoroughly defended his position is in his mind. Again, this happened many, many years ago. If the prosecution is skillful, what the jury will at least be able to see is how difficult this is for Macaulay Culkin to talk about, and they may begin again to suspect that there's more to it than him marching in blithely, swearing allegiance to Michael Jackson and saying that nothing ever happened, for perhaps self-serving reasons. So I'd really like to do this again after we've heard the cross. Again, I can't wait to see if they're able to cross effectively.
KING: Jane, wouldn't you guess that these witnesses have been well prepped by the defense?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all, I have to say that it is going to be very, difficult for prosecutors to cross-examine these people, these young men, and beat up on them. I mean, these are sympathetic young men who are coming in here under very trying circumstances, and if prosecutors start grilling them, I think it's going to really backfire on them. So, they're going to have to tip- toe around it. I do agree with the comments from somebody on your panel that this testimony does have the chance of negatively impacting stars come here to testify about this stuff. It has the ick factor. I don't think it is something that Macaulay Culkin wanted to get involved -- in fact, our sources tell us that he really didn't, and the defense attorney said, you can do this the easy way or you can do it the hard way and we'll subpoena you. He decided to go along with it. So, I think it's going to be very unpleasant for him, but he's going to get through it.
CARDOZA: You know what will happen there, Larry, and I think that's going to bode well for the defense, because, I'll tell you, when I prosecuted case, I loved to put people on the stand to say, you don't want to be here, do you? No, I don't. And the only reason you're here is because I subpoenaed you, isn't that true? Yes, it is. You're going to tell the truth though, aren't you? Yes, I will, as long as I'm under the subpoena. That really sits well with a jury. This guy doesn't want to be here -- ooh -- and he's going to tell us the truth? It just adds to their credibility.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But, Michael...
KING: We'll take a break and be right back -- we'll take a break and be right back with more calls. Don't go away.
KING: Take another call. Palmdale, California. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, hi. My question is for Raymone.
CALLER: After the '93 case, if Michael Jackson is truly a victim, why does he continuously surround himself with all these people that are money-hungry, liars, mentally unstable? And I want to ask Raymone, if she really trusts Michael Jackson and believes in him so much, would she allow her kids to spend the night with him alone?
BAIN: OK. You've asked me two or three different questions. I think that Michael has answered that question himself. He said that, to have children there -- is nothing wrong with that because Michael is not a pedophile or child molester. He has Neverland, which is an organization. There are -- there is an amusement park, a zoo. Michael Jackson has said that the children who come there are not in harm's way because he loves children...
KING: We know, but that's not what he asked you. He asked you why does he associate with people who are liars and all these kind of people, turning on him...
KING: And two, would you send your children there? Two simple questions.
KING: First question.
BAIN: Well, she asked me three questions, Larry. It's the second answer.
I think that when you look at celebrities as a whole -- and I've represented a lot of them in the past 12 to 13 years -- sometimes they don't see the true picture of who people are until things like this happen. There are people out there who are film-flammers, who are actors, who present themselves to be one way and they're not. And unfortunately, it is a situation like this that will show people's true colors.
Three, yes, I would allow my children to go to -- I don't have any -- but I would allow them to go to Neverland, because I think they would be safe.
KING: Santa Maria, California, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hi, Larry.
CALLER: I have two quick questions. The first is for Jane. I know during the pretrial, they bused fans in from Los Angeles. But really, the last two or three months, you can drive by the courthouse any time of day and, other than hordes of media, there's only about a dozen actual fans.
My second question is for Michael Cardoza. Do you think that at any point during the defense, that Tom Mesereau is going to pay homage to Johnnie Cochran and play the race card?
KING: All right, start with Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you're absolutely right. The number of fans has really, really diminished. And we've got the hard- core fans. And I can tell you, they are very vocal. There's one guy, T.J. here, who can just scream to the point where you can barely think. And we like him. We get along with T.J. But the hard-core fans that remain are from all over the world. From Spain, from all parts of Europe. And these are absolutely dedicated. They get here at the crack of dawn to get into the courtroom itself. They are there observing. They watch the coverage. They will comment on everything you say and give you their opinion. They are the absolute die-hard fans of Michael Jackson.
KING: OK. And Michael, what do you make of the second part of the question?
CARDOZA: No, he's not going to play the race card at all. I mean, because number one, it won't work. This is a different jury, different situation. So absolutely not.
KING: Eudora, Kansas, hello? Eudora, Kansas, hello?
CALLER: Yes, hi, Larry.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: I have a question for Mr. Cardoza.
CALLER: Do you think they should let Michael get on the stand? Or Mesereau, would you think he'd let him?
KING: I want all the -- I want every panelist to give their opinion on this. We'll start with Michael.
CARDOZA: All right. I'll tell you what, if I were defending him, absolutely not. Why? Number one, it would nullify everything good that's happen for the defense up to this point. All the evidence that's come in, all the good cross-examination goes by the wayside. The jury simply looks then to Michael Jackson and how he does on the witness stand.
Number two, cross-examination would be very difficult. And the one I would worry about the most is that youth pastors, one of the Neverland five. I'll tell you what, when he came into that court, if any of the witnesses were going to be believed, he would be the one when he said Michael molested him.
So with that, you put Jackson on the stand; it opens him up to cross-examination on that. And if Jackson says no, I never did that, some of the jurors might think he's not telling the truth about that; therefore he's not telling the truth about this one.
Now, the other thing I'd worry about is the way Jackson acted in the civil trial when he testified. He didn't hold up well. Remember, he was giggling and laughing and waving to his fans. I wouldn't let him get anywhere near the witness stand, no.
HONOWITZ: I actually have to agree with Michael on this one. I don't think there's any way Mesereau is going to put this guy on the stand. You can't rein him in. He's out of control. And I think that's evidenced by the way he dresses in court. I don't think Mesereau would have control with him once he's on the stand. A celebrity, a guy like him, that's loved all over, things like -- think -- he thinks he's above it all and he'd be able to answer the questions.
BAIN: That's not true.
HONOWITZ: And a cross-examination would absolutely kill him. He wouldn't be able to explain away all of these acts that the prosecution brought up. So there's no way Mesereau's putting him on?
COPELAND: You know, I would strongly consider putting him on. I know I'm in the minority...
KING: Didn't they say they would at the beginning?
COPELAND: Look, he promised, you know, sort of a wink and a nod that he would put him on. I mean, he didn't go so far as to say you will hear from him on the witness stand, but I think he went about as close as you can go, safely, Larry, in suggesting that he would put him on the witness stand.
And you know, look, all these statements that the prosecutors are suggesting that would be damaging to Michael Jackson on cross- examination are statements that are already out there. In fact, they're out of context. And I think putting Michael Jackson on the witness stand allows him to take those statements and then put them in context.
And we talk about whether or not he's been a model defendant in this case -- I mean, look, he's, for the most part, he's been there on time. We've only had those two glitches when he was not there. I think he'll control himself on the witness stand. He has certainly controlled himself in court. I think Tom Sneddon was counting on him not controlling himself in court and having more glitches going forth. I think he'll put him on the witness stand because of the nature of these allegations.
KING: Let me get a break, and then we'll get Susan's thoughts as well as Raymone's and Jane's about whether he'll take the stand. Take some more calls, too. We'll be right back.
KING: Susan Filan, does he take the stand?
FILAN: Well, here's the interesting thing about that. Number one, it isn't Mesereau's decision; it's Michael Jackson's decision.
FILAN: Now, if Michael Jackson wants to testify and Mesereau can't talk him out of it, it's going to happen. It's just not clear to me whether he's actually taking his counsel's advice or not. I'm not sure about that.
But here is the other trick to this, and this is a dirty little secret of the business. One of the hardest things for a prosecutor to do is to cross-examine the defendant. If he's extremely well prepared and it's a very tight and very limited direct, remember that limits the scope of where you can go on cross. And the prosecutor is unable to lay a glove, doesn't score -- boy, that's terribly, terribly damaging to the prosecution.
So if Michael Jackson's able to pull it off, and he's got the jury eating out of his hand -- and he's an entertainer -- and an overaggressive district attorney or an under-able or an underskilled district attorney isn't able to do anything -- boy, does that change the landscape of this trial. And it may be a gamble that Mesereau wants to take.
Now, he knows his client better than anybody. He has spent hours and hours conversing with him, I would imagine about this. He's going to know what his strengths and his weaknesses are. And if they get together on this and they agree that they think they can pull it off and the district attorney can't undermine on cross, whoo!
KING: Jane, what do you think?
HONOWITZ: You'll never limit his cross-examination. You'll never limit his cross-examination.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Larry, I think it's too early to say whether or not he's going to take the stand. I think that's kind of an endgame decision that Tom Mesereau is going to make if he feels he needs to put Michael Jackson on the stand, if they get boxed into a corner.
Now, I did see Michael Jackson in the 2002 civil trial right in this courtroom, and it was a disaster. He was a mess. He was giggling. He was saying, "I don't remember, I don't remember, I don't remember." And then he made those famous horns, remember that? That was the snapped photo that went all around the world. I will say he seems to be a completely different man now. He seems a lot more together, a lot more focused. Obviously, he knows he's fighting for his life. If he does take the stand, it will be the performance of his life.
KING: Raymone, does he want to take the stand?
BAIN: You know, Larry, we have had extensive conversations about this, Tom Mesereau, Michael and I, and just talking about the case. And let me just say Susan is wrong. Tom Mesereau will lead this decision. Michael Jackson will follow the lead of Tom Mesereau.
FILAN: But Raymone, under the law, it is Michael Jackson's decision. Under the law, it is Michael Jackson's decision. So if you're telling me that Michael has agreed to abide by his counsel, then...
BAIN: Tome Mesereau -- Tom Mesereau will make the call. If Tom Mesereau decides that Michael Jackson's -- If Tome Mesereau...
FILAN: Legally that's incorrect. Raymone, that's legally impossible.
KING: I think -- I think we're at semantics here, Susan. What she saying is that Tom will make the decision.
FILAN: All right, Larry.
BAIN: That's exactly correct. If Tom Mesereau decides that it is in Michael's best interests to take the stand, he will. But let me also say here -- Jane is right. Michael Jackson is fighting for his life, and he is no idiot. He is overseeing a multibillion dollar enterprise. And he is not coming into court acting like an idiot and being stupid on the stand. Let me just clear that up. Wait, wait, wait. Let me just finish. Let me just finish. If Michael Jackson takes the stand, you will see an articulate, very focused and very business-like Michael Jackson. You are not going to see somebody coming in there acting like a buffoon. He is not acting that way anyway. He is coming into court every day. He is getting there early. I personally something must be wrong with me and the hundreds of people who are writing me in my office. I don't see anything wrong with his dress. I think he's being very meticulous in his dress. So a lot of these negative...
KING: The only question I've asked is -- Raymone, I only ask this, will he take the stand? I didn't ask about how he is dressed.
BAIN: Yes, but others here have said that he doesn't dress appropriately. He acted up at a civil trial several years ago. And what I want to do is clear it up. Michael Jackson, if he takes the stand, will be businesslike and he will be articulate.
HONOWITZ: Larry, Raymone has to remember one thing. That sitting at a defense table and actually being a witness in the witness box are two different things. And when Susan talked earlier, he could be sitting there nice as pie. It's a different ball of wax when you're sitting on the witness stand and you have to answer questions.
BAIN: And all he can do is tell the truth.
HONOWITZ: Susan mentioned before. Wait, wait. Susan mentioned before that if he takes the stand, the prosecutor could be in trouble, because Mesereau could limit it, limit the direct examination and the prosecutors wouldn't be able to go into other things. If he limits that direct examination, the jurors are going to want to know why he isn't answering to everything, not just that limited amount. So, he runs many risks if the stand in this case.
BAIN: Well, that will be Tom Mesereau's decision, but I want to say again that Michael Jackson will be articulate.
KING: All right. Let me take a break and come back with more. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tough talking from smooth looking body guards before Jacko made his getaway, shielding, ducking and running from his fans, the children and the cameras. Outside his hotel, more pandemonium as the elusive star came and went on the roof several times. Michael Jackson accompanied by fans, bodyguards, a full-sized stuffed gorilla, hundreds of sweets and soft toys is in town until Saturday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Memphis, hello.
CALLER: Yes, to anyone on your panel, Larry. I was wondering if it's possible at all that this man has been so manipulative, and well planned all along, that he has these orchestrated friendships with celebrity high profile children like Culkin and Feldman in the instance that ends up exactly where he's at right now, they can vouch for him honestly?
CARDOZA: I'll tell you what. If we're talking about Michael, if he were smart enough to do that, wouldn't you think he'd be smart enough to keep himself out of this problem? So I think the answer is plainly, no.
KING: Chicago, hello. Chicago, hello.
CALLER: Yes, I would like to know if Debbie Rowe wanted to have children to give to Michael as a gift, what was the necessity of the sham marriage. Also does the panel think we'll ever get a straight answer from Raymone, thanks.
BAIN: You want me to answer that question?
KING: No, the question was of -- that was funny.
BAIN: Will she get a straight answer from me? I'm trying to be as straight as I can.
FILAN: You're sticking to the message. Right on message.
KING: Would the defense begin -- Jane, we're going to wrap thing up here. Jane, the defense begins when?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As soon as Rudy Provencio leaves the stand. We believe he will be the last witness. And then the defense begins almost immediately thereafter. There's going to be some motions in which the defense is expected to ask for the case to be dismissed, but that's not likely to be granted. And then they start gangbusters. It's going to be a steamroller. Tom Mesereau, the defense attorney, is incredibly thorough. Leave no stone unturned. And I think the term shock and awe does indeed apply to this defense case.
KING: And you think six weeks, Trent?
COPELAND: You know, I think it's about a six-week trial for the defense, Larry. And I think they'll probably wrap it up shortly thereafter.
KING: And then we wait.
COPELAND: And then we wait.
KING: And this jury could be out a while, right?
COPELAND: This jury -- look, they typically say one day per week, so this jury could be out quite a while.
FILAN: No, but we don't wait yet. We've got rebuttal. Don't forget rebuttal. There could be a whole other part from the prosecution where hear what we haven't yet heard. I mean, it's not over just because the defense finishes its case.
KING: As Yogi said, it ain't over till it's over. Thank you very much.
I'll be back here tomorrow night. But tonight I am doing a little moonlighting on NBC's "Law & Order." Is that appropriate with the topic tonight. The storyline is the son of a prominent matriarch, played by Angela Lansbury, gets implicated in a murder. So, where can she turn to publicly defend her boy? Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might want to take a look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (OFF-MIKE) youth and recreation center.
KING: To which you have made a sizable donation. But I wouldn't be worth my weight if you didn't mention the trial. Your son Gabriel is facing some pretty serious charges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unbelievable.
ANGELA LANSBURY, ENTERTAINER: We're an easy target.
KING: There's talk of more allegations from a former employee.
LANSBURY: Well, when you open your home to someone, you're putting yourself in a potentially vulnerable position.
KING: So you're saying there's no truth to her accusations?
LANSBURY: People hear the name Duvall (ph) and think idle rich. But what I really am is a widow and a mother. I trusted someone and she's betrayed my trust.
KING: You're saying she wanted money?
LANSBURY: Well, I'm not at liberty to discuss the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Hey. Been in 20 movies, 7 television shows. Not bad. And look for me, I'm in a new cartoon coming this November, Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie." I play a bee. I tell you, it's lonely at the top. Little joke, folks. Don't know where the career's going.
Anyway, don't forget Thursday night Jiminy Glick hosts this show. And if things keep going, maybe he permanently -- no, no. Jiminy Glick hosts it Thursday night.
Tomorrow night, we're going to go inside the mind of a psychopath with four doctors and an FBI profiler. That's all tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE. Next, is NEWSNIGHT with my man Aaron Brown. Stay right here.
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