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Wigglytuff
Apr 11th, 2005, 06:48 PM
Jackson Case Witness Waffles in Testimony

43 minutes ago

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By TIM MOLLOY, Associated Press Writer

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A witness in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial surprised the prosecution Monday by saying he did not remember seeing the pop star lick a boy's head during a long flight, but he later reversed himself and said it must have happened after being confronted with an e-mail he wrote.

Former Jackson publicist Bob Jones initially testified that "I don't recall ever seeing any head licking" by Jackson on a flight from Paris to Los Angeles in the early 1990s.

Prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss then read a proposed passage from a book Jones is writing that stated that Jackson and the boy were cooing and kissing and that Jackson licked the boy's head.

"They were holding each other tightly, almost in a romantic sense," the passage said.

The issue of licking was raised by the prosecution to try to show that it is part of a pattern of questionable behavior. Prosecutors claim Jackson also licked the head of a boy who now accuses Jackson of molesting him in February 2003.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., Jones said that passages he writes are completed by a co-writer and then reviewed. Jones said he had not reviewed the passage and it was inaccurate.

But the prosecutor then confronted Jones with an e-mail he sent to the co-writer in which he described Jackson licking the boy on the head. "If it was in my e-mail, I'm taking responsibility for my e-mail," Jones finally testified.

Jones was only the most recent prosecution witness to give prosecutors headaches. For example, former Jackson former house manager Jesus Salas had told investigators that he brought wine to Jackson and several boys, but said on the stand that he had just remembered that he brought soda as well as wine.

The boy at the center of Monday's testimony received a multimillion-dollar settlement a decade ago after accusing the pop star of molestation and subsequently declined to participate in a law enforcement investigation of that case.

Jones said that at the World Music Awards in Monaco, the boy sat on Jackson's lap and the boy's sister also sat on the singer's lap. He characterized Jackson and the boy as inseparable during the trip.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient, plying the boy with alcohol, and holding his family captive in February and March 2003 to get them to help rebut a damaging documentary.

On Sunday, Jackson's mother, Katherine, issued a statement saying she left the courtroom during graphic testimony Thursday just to use the bathroom, and some media outlets had misinterpreted that.