Michael Jackson’s lawyers will be allowed to question witnesses about an alleged incident in which the boy now accusing the singer of molestation claimed that comedian George Lopez took $300 from his wallet.
Defense attorneys have tried to raise the matter during cross-examination of the boy and other witnesses but have been blocked by objections that Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville has upheld. After reviewing reports about the incident, Melville said Friday he would allow questions about it.
Lopez was one of several comedians who tried to help the boy’s family as the boy battled cancer.
Jackson attorney Robert Sanger said Lopez and the boy’s family had a disagreement, and the boy, at the urging of his father, later accused Lopez of taking money from his wallet, which the boy had left at the comedian’s house.
“There is a good-faith belief here that there are parallel patterns,” said Sanger. “When there is a falling out there is an accusation.”
The defense claims the boy invented molestation claims against Jackson after the boy and his family were evicted from Jackson’s Neverland ranch, where they planned to stay indefinitely.
District Attorney Tom Sneddon sought to block the Lopez evidence, saying he believed the boy’s father “tried to induce the child to say there was $300 in his wallet and the child didn’t want to. … The son was not buying what the father was trying to get him to do.”
Lopez’s attorney may oppose the comedian testifying, the judge said, but Jackson’s attorneys can still ask other witnesses about the incident.
A motion filed by Sanger included a copy of police reports involving interviews with comedian Louise Palanker and comedy club owner Jamie Masada, both of whom have helped the boy’s family financially and described what they knew of the incident.
Palanker’s interview said she believed the boy’s father may have forced the boy to call Lopez and his wife, Ana, about the wallet. Palanker said she learned about the incident from Masada, but Masada said in his interview he was unaware of the boy ever calling the Lopezes.
Masada said he once confronted the boy’s father about the wallet, and that the boy’s father called on his son during the confrontation to support his claim that hundreds of dollars were missing. Masada said the boy refused to go along with his father’s account.