The judge in the Michael Jackson trial Thursday ordered celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos to testify Friday as subpoenaed by his former client’s defense team.
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville flatly rejected a request to delay the lawyer’s appearance because of a scheduling conflict.
Geragos represented Jackson after his arrest on child molestation charges in November 2003. He left the case at Jackson’s request five months later and was replaced by Thomas Mesereau Jr.
At the time, Geragos also was representing Scott Peterson, accused of murdering his wife and unborn son, and Jackson said he needed the lawyer’s undivided attention.
“My life is at stake,” Jackson said at the time. Peterson was later convicted and sentenced to death.
Melville said Geragos should be treated “no different” from any other citizen with a busy schedule and said that a failure to show up would result in a warrant for his arrest.
In testimony Thursday, Jackson’s former business attorney said the pop star had been exploited by unscrupulous business associates and misled by British journalist Martin Bashir.
It was Bashir’s documentary “Living with Michael Jackson” that turned into a public relations fiasco.