Michael Jackson appeared to fall apart in court on Monday arriving late to his child-molestation trial for the second time in two weeks.
The singer’s entrance was less dramatic than the incident in which he ran to the hospital and showed up to court in pajamas on March 10, but it caused speculation that the judge would possibly issue another bench warrant or otherwise sanction the singer for delaying proceedings once again.
However, Judge Rodney Melville made no mention of the delay in open court. Arriving just a few minutes past the usual court deadline, a fully dressed Jackson limped slowly inside the Santa Maria, California, courthouse, flanked by his brother Jackie and a bodyguard. Jackson was also accompanied by a doctor from a nearby hospital who was still in his scrubs, suggesting that the singer’s late arrival was once again due to his problems with his back (see “Pajama-Clad Jackson Late As Accuser’s Lurid Testimony Resumes” ).
Once inside, according to observers, Jackson grabbed a wad of tissue and started sobbing. He was then excused and went to a restroom with Dr. Bert Weiner, while lawyers met with Melville in chambers. That conversation is sealed, and Melville gave no explanation of what was discussed. After the 45-minute delay, the trial got under way with Jackson back in his seat.
Testimony continued with a detective who found porn at Neverland but conceded that it was legal. Detective Conn Abel said on cross-examination that he had never seen a home security system with hidden cameras at Neverland. Child-abuse expert Dr. Anthony J. Urquiza then took the stand and described characteristics of sexually abused children, saying they often don’t fully articulate what happened to them until they go over it several times with different people. He called this “child sexual assault accommodation syndrome” and said that children delay reporting abuse because they feel helpless and don’t know how to cope. Urquiza also said boys who are molested have more trouble coping and disclosing than girls.
“To be sexually abused and have this issue of whether you are homosexual or not is added to this very difficult time,” he said, noting that the difficulty is increased when the child has affection or cares about the person who molested them. Urquiza said children in these situations often “act out, becoming defiant, name-calling.” He also explained that pedophiles usually start with “minor sexual content” like pornography to desensitize victims to increased sexual contact.
Perhaps the most telling testimony of the day was when flight attendant Lauren Wallace corroborated the prosecution’s allegation that Jackson drinks wine in Diet Coke cans on planes. Wallace said she was instructed by another flight attendant to pour white wine into the soda cans, and she would typically have three of them ready for Jackson when he boarded the plane. She also said she would hide the mini bottles of alcohol up high in the bathroom, so that kids could not reach them.
Though the singer’s defense attorney tried to suggest that the singer drank wine this way so that children wouldn’t see him drinking, Wallace testified that Jackson would drink wine from soda cans even when children were not present.
(CBS News contributed to this report.)
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see “Michael Jackson Accused.”