Michael Jackson didn't arrive on time for his trial this morning and an angry Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville issued an arrest warrant and said he would also revoke Jackson's $3 million bail unless he appeared in court within one hour after the 8:30 a.m. scheduled start time.
Time is ticking.
Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., said, "Mr. Jackson is at Cottage Hospital in Santa Ynez with a serious back problem. He does plan to come in."
It appears the next "Jacko moment" has arrived.
UPDATE: Hospital spokeswoman Janet O'Neill said Jackson left Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital at 8:45 a.m. (PT) It is about a 35-mile drive from the hospital to the court. O'Neill had no comment on Jackson's condition.
UPDATE: Still a no-show at 9:33.
UPDATE: Jackson arrives, walking gingerly, at 9:43
And while we're waiting, what should the caption be for this photo?
Taking a step back from the moment, Tina Brown asks a very fundamental question in today's Washington Post:
- It's hard to know if Jackson will one day be seen as a repellent relic of celebrity culture, or another Oscar Wilde or Vivaldi, an artist persecuted for something or other we can't recall. Even the people who are absolutely sure he's guilty don't want to stop listening on their iPods to "Thriller" and "Billie Jean." That's a question neither conviction nor acquittal can answer yet — whether Jackson will be remembered for the shame or for the art.
This trial will go a long way toward answering that question.
Accuser's testimony resumes:
- On the witness stand, the boy testified that Jackson walked nude in front of him and his brother in the singer's bedroom.
"He was naked," the boy testified. "He ran up there and got something and ran down stairs. Me and my brother were kind of like 'eew.' We'd never seen a grown man naked before."