In a surprise move, the rebuttal phase of the Michael Jackson trial ended on Friday in hushed darkness with the prosecution showing a July 6, 2003 videotape of Jackson's then-13 year-old accuser quietly, somberly and seemingly reluctantly telling law enforcement interrogators for the first time of his alleged abuse by Jackson in early '03.
The hour-long interview ended with the boy pleading with two Santa Barbara detectives not to tell his mother about the molestations, leaving at least two jurors wiping their eyes, and casting clouds of doubt over the defense's assertions that the boy was coached by his grifter mother to falsely accuse Jackson for financial gain.
Although Jackson's defense attorneys had stated they would recall the boy, his mother and possibly others to rebut the videotape, they did not do so.
"How long is it going to take?" asked the boy — dressed in a short-sleeved blue dress shirt, denim shorts, white striped sneakers and white socks — to open the videotape.
After discussing baseball, school, and his cancer with Sgt. Steve Robel, the boy said, "Michael Jackson called me in the hospital [in 2000]. He started telling me he wanted me to come down to the ranch."
The boy said Jackson took him aside. "Michael asked me to ask him in front of my parents if I could stay with him in his bedroom. He wanted just me to come and I asked if my brother could come."
He said Jackson showed him and his brother pictures of naked girls on a laptop computer.
After several additional visits, the boy hadn't heard from Jackson for some time when the singer called to ask him to participate in the Martin Bashir dicumentary. "He said he wanted to make me an actor and this was my audition, and he said to talk about my cancer and how he helped me."
After the Bashir film aired in February, '03, Jackson faced a firestorm of criticism for saying that he shared his bed with children, but that it was innocent and non-sexual.