Friday was the day Michael Jackson's lawyers were waiting for, when they finally got to face off with the mother of his accuser — a woman the defense contends is a con artist who coached her son to lie about being molested.
And so the exchanges between Jackson's lead lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, and the boy's mother were testy, to say the least.
During these exchanges, Judge Rodney Melville chastised both of them, admonishing Mesereau to act more professionally, telling the mother it was as much her fault as Mesereau's, and instructing the jury to disregard portions of the testimony since the woman chose to give short speeches instead of simply answering the questions. Defiant and combative, she accused Mesereau of being willfully "incorrect" and "inaccurate."
When the mother said it was not her nature to be on the lookout for ways to make quick money, Mesereau shot back, "Oh, we'll get to the JC Penney matter later." When he brought it up again, the woman admitted that she had lied in a civil suit she brought against JC Penney, in which she claimed she was assaulted by a security guard and had received more than $150,000 in a 2001 settlement.
Mesereau also pressed her on a sworn statement in which she said she hadn't been abused by her husband (which could have explained the injuries she blamed on the security guard), and she admitted lying about that as well, saying she was embarrassed about the abuse. (Her ex-husband pleaded no contest in 2001 to domestic abuse and pleaded guilty in 2002 to willful cruelty to a child; see "U.K. Reports Tell Story Of How Jackson Met His Accuser.")
When Mesereau asked her about a video in which she's heard praising Jackson, she said it was scripted and that she wasn't very good at following the script, even though she met with Jackson's associates to discuss exactly what she would say. "I'm a poor actress, what can I say?"
Mesereau shot back, "I think you're a very good one."
When he asked her if what she said in the video was the truth, she shot back, "Do you call up Halle Berry and say, 'Are you Catwoman?' "
When Mesereau asked the mother about the "killers" she had described on Wednesday (see "Accuser's Mom Says Jackson Scared Her With Talk Of 'Killers' "), he suggested instead that Jackson had been encouraging her to flee from the media, to which she explained Jackson had said the media was evil. Then, looking out at the courtroom audience, she said, "But now I know that's not the truth anymore."
Bringing up the security guards she claimed would follow her around, Mesereau said they were offered to her and noted that she did not turn them down. "I never said yes," she fired back.
At one point, in response to an unrelated question, she turned to the jury and said, pointing to Jackson, "I thought he didn't drink. How foolish I was. Now I know Neverland is just a place for booze, pornography and sex with boys."
(CBS News contributed to this report.)
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."