Michael Jackson, Suffering From Flu, Rushed To Hospital

Singer walked into hospital unassisted; a full recovery is expected.

Michael Jackson was rushed to a hospital emergency room on Tuesday (February 15) suffering from the flu.

The singer was en route to his trial for child-molestation charges when he fell ill and was admitted to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, California. A fan waiting near the medical center reportedly saw the singer walk into the hospital unassisted.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Marian Medical Center spokesperson Kathleen Hernandez declined to provide information about Jackson's condition due to patient confidentiality. However, attending physician Dr. Chuck Merrill said that Jackson had been admitted with a "flu-like illness with some vomiting." He said the singer, who is in stable condition, was being tested and treated with intravenous fluids, and that a full recovery is expected.

Judge Rodney Melville was apprised of the singer's condition Tuesday morning in a conference call with the attending physician, and then told the prospective jurors that Jackson needed the rest of the week and weekend to recover. Jury selection in the trial has been postponed until February 22.

Melville had asked Jackson to be present during jury selection so jurors could grow accustomed to the singer's presence in the courtroom. Jackson has attended each session of jury selection since the trial started on January 31.

Tuesday's postponement is the second so far in the trial. After the jury pool had been narrowed to 250 potential panelists on February 8, Melville postponed the process for a week due to the death of the sister of Thomas Mesereau, Jackson's defense attorney (see "Michael Jackson Trial Delayed A Week").

Jackson called in sick to his last trial — a civil matter in which he lost a breach-of-contract lawsuit against him — at the same courthouse, when he claimed to have been bitten by a spider (see "Allegedly Attacked By Spider, Michael Jackson Skips Court Date").

In that case, Jackson had complained of a series of medical problems, blaming a late arrival on November 14, 2002, on an unspecified malady. His lawyers later said that the singer was actually tired of unflattering court photos (see "Jackson Late To Court As His Lawyers Object To Photographer"). The next day, Jackson claimed that he received the first of two spider bites, on his hand.

When court resumed after a two-week recess, Jackson showed up to court on crutches, complaining of a second bite, on his left foot. The judge in that case ordered Jackson to receive an independent medical examination, and the results confirmed that Jackson had a legitimate ailment that prevented him from appearing in court, but specifics were not disclosed.

For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."

[This story was updated at 5:29 p.m. ET on 02.15.2005]