Former Lawyer for Jackson Accuser Speaks

ByABC News

Jan. 29, 2004 -- Michael Jackson encouraged the boy who later accused him of molestation into appearing in a British documentary with the suggestion of a movie career, a former lawyer for the boy's family tells ABCNEWS' Primetime.

Jackson brought the boy to his Neverland ranch and "gave him some inducements about things that might happen if he did a good job on camera … like he might have a movie career," William Dickerman told Primetime's Cynthia McFadden. The interview took place before a judge issued a gag order in the case earlier this month.

In the documentary, Jackson is seen holding hands with the 12-year-old, who also rests his head on Jackson's shoulder. The boy tells the interviewer he and his brother had spent a night in the singer's bedroom, and Jackson says he slept on the floor.

Dickerman and others told Primetime that at the time the documentary was shot, according to the boy, both Jackson and the boy were telling the truth: There had never been anything sexual in their relationship.

But according to a source familiar with the boy's allegations, the boy says that after the cameras were turned off later that same day, Jackson showed him pictures of naked women and cuddled him. The boy told no one.

No Stranger to Controversy

Dickerman said the boy, who was befriended by Jackson when the youngster was critically ill with cancer, was brought to Neverland expressly to do the interview. He hadn't been there for months.

"I suppose he was trying to clean up his image, put a young boy in front of the camera who says, 'Yeah everything is OK, he doesn't sleep with me, there is nothing torrid happening in bed,' " he said.

When the program aired last February, the boy's mother contacted him, Dickerman said — not because she had any suspicions about child molestation, but because she felt the documentary's producers hadn't treated her son fairly.

"He had been on camera, there had been no consent given," said Dickerman. "And when she found out about it, she was absolutely livid and she would never have given her consent."

Jackson disappeared from the boy's life for five months after the interview, a source says. The source says he reappeared just before the British documentary was set to air on ABC, amid of storm of controversy.

Dickerman said the family told him that Jackson asked the then-13-year-old boy to fly without his family to this exclusive resort in Miami. Dickerman says Jackson told the boy that they would hold a joint press conference there denouncing the documentary.

"He wanted to take just the kid and mom said, 'No, we're all going,' which apparently was not a big hit with Michael Jackson, who reportedly has no use for moms and for kid sisters," said Dickerman.

At the mother's insistence, Dickerman said, she and the boy's brother and sister arrived at Turnberry resort in Miami, but there was no press conference.

Sources told Primetime that Jackson then flew the boy and his family back to Los Angeles in a private jet. After the documentary aired, Jackson urged the family to abandon their modest apartment in working-class East Los Angeles. He convinced the family — given the uproar around the documentary — that for their own safety they should leave their home and move in to Jackson's Neverland ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley.

‘Hounded,’ ‘Harrassed’ and ‘Terrorized’

At the Neverland ranch, the mother stayed apart from her children. "They were very closely monitored and closely guarded," Dickerman said.

It was sometime in February 2003, sources say, that the boy says cuddling first gave way to incidents of sexual touching. But he did not speak of molestation to his family. Nevertheless, Dickerman says, the boy's mother was becoming increasingly uncomfortable at Neverland, believing that they were being closely monitored — and followed — whenever they left the ranch.

The family felt like they were under house arrest at the Jackson compound, Dickerman said. In a letter to famed criminal defense lawyer Mark Geragos, who had already been hired by Jackson, Dickerman said Jackson or his staff engaged in "despicable behavior" and that the children were "hounded," "harassed" and "terrorized."

Dickerman said Jackson or his agents were:

surveilling and photographing the children's school eavesdropping on their phone conversations in possession of the family's belongings and holding the family's passports and visas.

The passports were arranged for them by the Jackson staff, allegedly to send the family out of the country. Dickerson said Jackson and his staff might have withheld the documents because "if they showed that they had the passports and the visas, it might suggest they were trying to send them somewhere, you know?"

According to sources, Michael Jackson's associates proposed that the family relocate to various places, among them Phoenix, Australia, Brazil or Argentina.

What Is ‘Jesus Juice’?

Geragos spoke to ABCNEWS in detail before the gag order was issued. He told McFadden that the child and his family have made up all the allegations of abuse, and called them just the latest attempt to shake down his client with false accusations. Jackson has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Dickerman sees the child's story differently. He believes the boy was molested, "without a doubt."

Dickerman said of the alleged victim: "He was very, very reluctant to speak. His sister and brother weren't, but of course they weren't the alleged victims. And it wasn't easy especially because he had been humiliated. He also really adored Michael Jackson."

Sources told Primetime the boy has given many details of the alleged molestation, including that Jackson gave his sister vodka, and him and his brother wine — which they say Jackson called "Jesus juice." Sources also told Primetime that alcohol was detected during a blood test for the boy's cancer treatment.

According to a source, a person who is not a member of the family also corroborates the drinking.

But asked about these allegations — if Jackson gave the boy wine, sleeping pills, or showed him pornography — Dickerman said: "I can't say. These are all part of the case and — I don't want to step on the district attorney's toes."

In the meantime, with a trial still many months away, the family has moved to an undisclosed location and there is concern about the still-fragile health of the boy.

"They seem to be doing OK if basically being a prisoner in your home is OK," Dickerman said. "They're not essentially in hiding. They're in hiding."

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