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Jackson Case: Opening statements' quotes

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Editor's Note: As part of's new Crime section, we are archiving some of the most interesting content from This story was first published in 2005.

(Court TV) -- Prosecutor Tom Sneddon:

"[The accuser] found out in a very difficult way about how his role played out in this video when classmates and friends came up to him and began calling him 'faggot,' and began calling him rude, crude, sexual remarks about his relationship with the defendant in this case."

"It was Jackson who told them that there were people out there who wanted to kill them, who told them that it was dangerous out there for them, and that [the boy] was in danger. And it was Jackson who told them that a strong statement supporting him, Michael Jackson, would go a long way to making these killers go away."

"And he said, 'Why don't we pretend like this is an audition. And why don't we do this: Why don't we have a cussing contest, and we'll use cuss words. I'll use a cuss word, you use a cuss word. We'll just go back and forth. You pretend like it's an audition,' and he did. Well, the cuss words escalated until they involved very sexually graphic cuss words that I'm sure all of you have heard on a number of occasions, on the playground or the gym, or other places."

"In the attempt to create this trust bond between the defendant and this child, who already, and had in the past, referred to him as 'Daddy,' and 'Daddy Michael,' he gave him presents. He gave him his jacket. He gave him a watch that was purportedly worth $75,000, which it wasn't. And it was cemented through other acts of kindness and generosity on his part to the child and to the child's family."

"During the flight, after the kids had consumed the alcoholic beverages, the defendant and [the boy] began to make crank calls using the plane's telephone system. They would call people, just at random numbers, and make various crass and crude remarks and then hang up."

"For the boys, there was no school. There was no homework. They had free rein at Neverland. The arcade, the cars, the amusement park, the theater, the toys. They, in effect, had the undivided attention of Michael Jackson. They slept in his bed. They enjoyed his wine, enjoyed his magazines that I've described previously, and they dominated his attention."

Defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau:

"Mr. Leno has told the Santa Barbara police, 'Something was wrong. They were looking for a mark. It sounded scripted. The mother was in the background, and I terminated the conversation.'"  referring to Tonight Show host Jay Leno, who says the accuser had once contacted him via telephone asking for money

"Comedian George Lopez was approached... He was asked for money. He didn't want to give money, and then they accused him of stealing $300 from [the boy's] wallet."

"This kind of behavior, we will prove to you, went on and on and on. Michael Tyson was approached. Efforts were made to reach Adam Sandler. Jim Carrey. A number of celebrities. And we will prove to you that the best-known celebrity and the most vulnerable celebrity became the mark: Michael Jackson."

"The prosecutor presented a picture of Neverland being some haven for crime, some lure for despicable conduct. It is not."

"The mother was extremely eager to meet Michael Jackson. Because we will prove to you, the mother, with her children as tools, was trying to find a celebrity to latch on to. They were trying to find a celebrity to create their life and give them advantages they didn't have. And they were looking far and wide for that celebrity. And unfortunately for Michael Jackson, he fell for it."

"She has admitted lying in that case Her son was ill. The lawsuit was settled. The family got a total of $152,500."  regarding a lawsuit the boy's mother had against JCPenney

"[The boy's family] obtained $2,000 from actor and comedian Chris Tucker, claiming they were destitute and needed the money for medical bills. I think you know who actor Chris Tucker is. He was in Rush Hour 1 and Rush Hour 2, the movies."

"She told the police in Los Angeles that Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Fritz Coleman will help her in her suit against her ex-husband. Kobe Bryant doesn't know who she is." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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