Geragos: Jackson Sleepovers Not Sexual

ByABC News via logo
January 18, 2004, 5:26 PM

Jan. 19 -- Although Michael Jackson has admitted repeatedly that young men have spent the night in his bedroom, the sleepovers were not sexual, and the pop star has done nothing illegal, defense attorney Mark Geragos told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

"There's nothing sexual going on," Geragos told ABCNEWS senior legal correspondent Cynthia McFadden in an exclusive interview. "You may not like it. I may not like it, but it is not illegal."

Geragos gave the interview before a judge placed a gag order on prosecutors and defense attorneys at Jackson's arraignment hearing on Friday. Jackson, 45, has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent to a child under 14. Santa Barbara County, Calif., prosecutors allege Jackson molested a 12-year-old boy who spent time at his Neverland Ranch.

Jackson, who was first accused of child molestation in 1993 but never charged, has raised eyebrows by repeatedly saying in interviews first in a British documentary, Living With Michael Jackson, and then in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes last month that he has allowed other people's children to sleep in his bed at Neverland Ranch.

But Jackson has never said that he spends the night in the same bedroom as the children, Geragos said.

'Not a Freak'

Despite his client's eccentricities and bizarre appearance, Geragos said he does not consider Jackson a "freak" and he is not concerned about how the pop star's image might affect the criminal case against him. As of Friday, Geragos is sharing lead counsel duties with Benjamin Brafman, a Manhattan attorney best known for winning an acquittal for Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, who faced bribery and weapons charges in 2001.

Geragos spends a couple of hours with Jackson every other day.

"I have sat and talked with him," Geragos said. "He's not a freak in any sense of the word. All I can tell you is that a day does not go by that I do not get inundated at my office with e-mails, letters of support, from people who think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread."