He's screamed obscenities at journalists as they tried to file reports, referred to one repeatedly as a "media whore" and generally thrown his weight around as the mouthpiece for the Michael Jackson superfans gathered outside Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
But at least one member of the media has had enough. Court TV's Diane Dimond filed a temporary restraining order against 20-year-old B.J. Hickman on Thursday, alleging that the Knoxville, Tennessee, Jackson supporter has stepped over the line. According to the order, Hickman must stay 20 yards away from Dimond at all times and is barred from communicating with her.
Hickman moved to California in October to attend the proceedings, and he has planted himself outside the court every day to support Jackson and wave his "Michael Jackson is innocent" poster (see "Dirty Chants, Jackson Puppets And Boxed Birds: The Scene Outside The Courthouse"). As the days drag on without a verdict and the media throng looks for stories to tell, CNN turned its cameras on Hickman earlier this week for a profile on the vocal fan.
On Friday, looking more like a celebrity than an unemployed star gazer, Hickman showed up to court with a lawyer and a spokesperson. Hickman's lawyer, Jerry Camacho, confirmed that his client must stay away from Dimond and that he will be fighting the order in court. "I'm not going to talk about the merits right now; that will be coming in a few weeks," Camacho said. "She has her rights, too. She has the right to make her case, and B.J. has the right to make his case. It sounds like she's really upset, and we have to figure out why."
Hickman started his day Friday outside the courthouse by exchanging papers with Camacho around 8:15 a.m. He left the premises and returned an hour later with his spokesperson in tow, though neither spoke to the bored members of the media, who flocked to Hickman when he returned.
Fellow fans immediately took up a chant in support of Hickman, yelling "B.J. is innocent!," a variation on the mantra they've been chanting about Jackson daily. They also chanted "B.J. hates the media!"
Just a few days before the order was issued, Hickman told MTV News that you just never know what to expect from him as he awaits word on his hero's fate. "We don't really have a routine because that's not how Jackson would want it," he said. "He's unpredictable and so are we."
For full coverage of the Michael Jackson case, see "Michael Jackson Accused."