The mother of the accuser in Michael Jackson's child-molestation case is alleged to have raised money to help with her son's cancer treatments, despite having comprehensive medical coverage through her husband's supermarket job.
The unnamed accuser's mother reportedly raised more than $965 through an article in a Los Angeles-area newspaper in November 2000 that solicited contributions toward medical bills, according to the television show "Celebrity Justice." However, the boy's treatments were reportedly covered by his father's Teamsters Union health-insurance policy.
"They were covered 100 percent. There was no cost to [the father] out-of-pocket at all," the union's Los Angeles chief, Paul Kenny, told the program.
The editor of the paper in which the advertisement ran, the MidValley News in El Monte, California, said she was distraught over the mother's front-page appeal.
"My readers were used. My staff was used. It's sickening," Connie Keenan said of the article, which stated that the family's car had been repossessed and that the boy's chemotherapy injections had cost more than $12,000.
Keenan said her suspicion was aroused when the mother allegedly requested that donations be made out to her and sent to her home. Keenan had insisted the article would run only when the mother opened a trust account. "Celebrity Justice" reported that the boy's mother did open an account nine days before the article ran, but it was not a trust account and the mother deposited just one cent into it. Within three weeks, $965 was deposited into the account and $750 withdrawn, at which point the boy's mother reportedly requested that another article run in the paper, which Keenan refused.
The reporter who wrote the story claimed that when she brought the family a Thanksgiving dinner out of sympathy, "Instead of being grateful, this woman ... said, 'This is nice, but I'd rather have the money,' " Keenan said.
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting the woman's then-13-year-old son and giving him an intoxicating agent; he has pleaded not guilty to all charges. According to reports, the singer's defense team is meticulously combing through the mother's financial records in an effort to discredit her testimony in Jackson's child-molestation trial, which is slated to begin late this month.
In the meantime, Judge Rodney Melville continues to keep a tight lid on the evidence in the case. A number of heavily blacked-out rulings and motions were released on Monday, none of which revealed any significant information about the pending case.
The most complete document was a denial of the defense's request to suppress evidence collected from the office of Jackson's personal assistant on September 15. The search took place in an office in a garage in which Jackson's assistant kept the singer's file cabinets and computers. The judge ruled that Jackson had a "reasonable expectation of privacy" covering the materials in that office, which appear to have included correspondence between the singer and his attorneys.
"The search warrant was not intended to reach any such materials and careful efforts have been made to avoid disclosure of attorney-client matters," Melville said. Among the files was one bearing the name of Jackson's attorney, Thomas Mesereau Jr., which contained magazine and newspaper clippings.
Among the other documents released was a report by the prosecution on the November 18, 2003, search of Jackson's Neverland ranch (see "New Allegations Spark Search Of Jackson's Neverland Ranch"). That report obliquely stated that a confidential informant told investigators that Jackson had given the informant some information, but all further details were blacked out.
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."