June 1, 2005 -- -- Before jury deliberations begin in the Michael Jackson child molestation case, a longtime friend and confidant of the pop star is speaking publicly for the first time to express his belief that Jackson is innocent.
Frank Tyson told ABC News' "Primetime Live" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden: There's "not a question in my mind who's telling the truth. I know who's telling the truth and I know who's lying."
Tyson, who worked as an assistant to Jackson, attempted to cast doubt on the teen who is accusing the pop star.
"He was from the street, this kid ... And he is not like a shy little boy ... He is tough ... If anyone pushes him the wrong way, or touches him -- he is to be the first one, to push you back," Tyson said.
If the allegations were true, Tyson said, the accuser "would be the first one to knock Michael out and say, 'The hell with this. I am not doing this.' "
Jackson, 46, faces four counts of molesting a 13-year-old boy, four counts of plying him with alcohol, one count of conspiracy and one count of attempted molestation. Tyson, 24, is an alleged unindicted co-conspirator in the case and is represented by attorney Joseph Tacopina, who is also an ABC News legal consultant. Prosecutors claim he was among a number of Jackson associates who controlled and threatened the boy's family after Jackson's accuser appeared in a documentary in which he said he slept in the pop star's bed.
Tyson said he was speaking out now because he wants to express his support for the pop star, who he described as "a father figure, a brother."
"To see him going in and out of court every day, frail, 90 pounds. See him deteriorate day by day -- it's hard for me to see this," Tyson said. "To see how they're trying to destroy him, I'm not just going to sit there in my chair in my home, and watch this affect him."
The prosecution has alleged that Tyson played a role in holding the family at Jackson's Neverland ranch against its will, but Tyson denies that such a plot existed. "There was no such thing as keeping a family hostage, or a conspiracy," he said. "This is something that the prosecution and this mother created."
In fact, he said the accuser was angry with his mother because they were leaving.
"You would think, if [the accuser] was being touched inappropriately, he would be the first one [to say] 'Thank you Mom, for taking me away,' " said Tyson.
Tyson says he considers the accuser's mother "delusional."
"I really believe that she created this in her head," he said. "This is a family, and a mother who would do anything, to any extent, to get any type of fame. Even to this extent."
The indictment also says Tyson threatened them at one point, allegedly telling the accuser sometime between February and March 2003 that "I could have your mother killed."
Tyson says the allegation is a lie. "Like, I'm Frank Tyson from Jersey, from the 'Sopranos?' " he said. "Come on, man! That's crazy! I'm not that person."
Tyson also rejected the prosecution's other allegations against Jackson.
The prosecution has alleged that he and Jackson showed the accuser and his brother pornography on the Internet, but Tyson says he and Jackson were out of the room when the boys found the Web sites themselves.
He said the pop star expressed concerns when they did. "He says, "'Frank, they can't do that. I do not want this coming back on me,' " Tyson told McFadden.
Tyson also denied that Jackson has ever forced, given or offered alcohol to children. "He would never do that," he said.
He did acknowledge that Jackson drank alcohol out of soda cans when he was around children. But he said the pop star did so precisely to protect the children around him -- so they would not see him drinking alcohol and feel that they should try it themselves.
"He is known all around the world," Tyson said. "He does not want to influence a child, to -- especially drink alcohol."
Tyson first met Jackson as a young boy two decades ago. His father worked at a hotel where the pop star stayed. Over the years, they developed a friendship, and Tyson went on to work for Jackson.
Like the accuser, Tyson says he spent nights as a boy in Jackson's bedroom, but he insists nothing improper or inappropriate happened. "My brother and I slept in the bed, he stayed on the floor. That's what happened," he said.
He says his parents were not concerned. "I never even felt uncomfortable by the slightest bit," Tyson said. "It was no cuddling or nothing like that, it wasn't like that. It was like sleeping with your college roommate."
"I'm going to tell you something," Tyson went on. "If Michael Jackson ever laid a finger on me I would not be in this chair right now. And I don't believe in what they're saying. I don't believe it, because it's not true. At all."
Asked about some of the accusers that Jackson has faced over the years -- including the current accuser and two other boys, one of whom received a $20 million settlement from Jackson, and another, a $3 million settlement -- Tyson responded: "They're all lying."