Maybe Michael Jackson should send Debbie Rowe flowers. His ex-wife turned out to be a better witness for the defense than the prosecution, causing both sides to try to limit her testimony.
After Rowe admitted Wednesday that she lied in the video Jackson made as a rebuttal to the "Living With Michael Jackson" documentary (see "Jackson's Ex-Wife Ends Day Of Testimony With Cliffhanger"), the defense moved first thing Thursday to strike her testimony, which the judge denied, saying he wanted to hear more of what she had to say before making a determination. Jackson's attorney Thomas Mesereau later withdrew the motion.
Meanwhile, prosecutor Ron Zonen, visibly exasperated, told the judge at one point that his questions were for "impeachment purposes" — that he was trying to prove his own witness was lying.
The prosecution had expected Rowe to say her participation in the video was brokered in exchange for visitation time with the two children she had with Jackson and that what she said in the video was scripted. This would bolster their case that Jackson conspired to coerce the participation of the accuser and his family in the same rebuttal video. However, Rowe testified that her part was not scripted and she was not forced, although she hoped to see her children afterward.
On Thursday, Rowe said she did the rebuttal interview to "protect the children and keep the media away" and because "I would get to see my children and possibly renew my relationship" with Jackson. After she did the interview, she called one of Jackson's associates for nine months, asking to see her children, to no avail. Following that, she went to court and got her parental rights reinstated. Rowe is currently suing Jackson for custody of the children (see "Jackson's Restrictions On Ex-Wife Revealed In Court Papers").
Rowe seemed sad about the state of her relationship with Jackson, saying that she still considered him her friend "if he'd talk to me." "There's different Michaels. There's like my Michael and the Michael everyone else sees," she said.
Rowe also blasted Jackson's then-managers Dieter Wiesner and Ronald Konitzer and producer Marc Schaffel, with whom she dealt with during the rebuttal-video shoot and afterward, calling them "opportunistic vultures." Rowe said they manipulated and took advantage of Jackson, and called Schaffel "full of sh--" because, among other things, he had bragged that he had made millions from her rebuttal interview.
As for her own mistruths, Rowe said she lied in the rebuttal video, shot in 2003, when she described herself as part of Jackson's family, since she had not seen him or the children since 1999, and therefore was unaware of his parenting skills at the time. She wasn't specific about what else she had lied about in the video. "My personal life was my personal life and no one's business," she said.
Rowe's attorney, Iris Finsilver, also testified, saying she was present for the taping of Rowe's interview for the rebuttal video, during which Schaffel occasionally interjected to say, "Michael will be very, very pleased about this."
(CBS News contributed to this report.)
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."