Michael Jackson’s attorney angrily vowed Tuesday to “land like a ton of bricks” on anyone who besmirches his client’s reputation and charged that molestation allegations against the entertainer were motivated by money. “If anybody doesn’t think based upon what’s happened so far that the true motivation of these charges and these allegations is anything but money and the seeking of money, then they’re living in their own Neverland,” Mark Geragos said, referring to Jackson’s storybook playland near Santa Barbara.

Geragos did not take any questions at the news conference, but promised a vigorous defense.
“Michael Jackson is not going to be slammed. He is not going to be a pinata for every person who has financial motives,” he said.

The news conference came as doubts about the credibility of Jackson’s accuser and his family began to emerge.

The family of the child has already been involved in two previous cases that involved abuse allegations: a lawsuit in which the family said they were battered by mall security guards, and a divorce fight in which the father pleaded no contest to spousal abuse and child cruelty.

In November 2001, J.C. Penney Co. paid the boy’s family $137,500 to settle a lawsuit alleging security guards beat the boy, his mother and his brother in a parking lot after the boy left the store carrying clothes that hadn’t been paid for, court records show.

The mother also contended that she was sexually assaulted by one of the guards during the 1998 confrontation.

A month before the settlement, the boy’s mother had filed for divorce, beginning a bitter fight that would include criminal charges of abuse. The father’s attorney, Russell Halpern, said the mother had lied about the abuse and had a “Svengali-like” ability to make her children repeat her lies.

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