Accuser’s Father Talks to Larry King (

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CNN LARRY KING LIVE Interview With Dru Sjodin’s Family; Michael Jackson Accuser’s Father Speaks Out Aired February 13, 2004 – 21:00 ET THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. … (COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: It’s a great pleasure to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, David. He’s the father of the boy now accusing Michael Jackson of sexual molestation. We are not using, David’s last name, because doing so could identify his son and CNN does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse. Also with us is Russell Halpern, he’s David’s attorney on child visitation and custody issues. Now, David, what you want is to have a restraining order against you dropped, right? You cannot see your kids, is that it? DAVID, FATHER OF BOY ACCUSING OF MICHAEL JACKSON: That’s it. I haven’t seen them at all since 2001. KING: Three years. DAVID: Yes. KING: Why? RUSSELL HALPERN, ATTY. FOR DAVID: Actually, what happened was that he was originally charged with spousal abuse and child abuse, and the court issued a restraining order. It was temporary, but his wife went to court and got another restraining order during a divorce proceedings. Unfortunately, he wasn’t represented during the divorce proceedings and it went uncontested so that restraining order is still in effect and will in effect for at least another year unless we get it lifted. KING: So, David, you did not, then, plead no contest to charges of child cruelty and spousal abuse. HALPERN: I’m sorry, he’s here to talk about how he feels about his child and… KING: I want to find out why he doesn’t see his child. HALPERN: Well, he did enter a plea — no contest pleas as you know in California is allowing the court to find him guilty in order to avoid going to trial, and the risks that go along with trials. So my advice, he did enter a plea of no contest to those on separate occasions with a plea bargain that he would not spend a day in jail. Otherwise if he had gone to trial it might have been a year in jail. KING: What is your hope of seeing your kids, David? DAVID: Just waiting to see if I could — everything hasn’t went my way so far. KING: What has to happen? HALPERN: Well, first, in March, we’re going to have a hearing called an order to show cause, and that hearing we’re going to present evidence that David is a good father. Part of the evidence we’re going to present is a deposition that his wife had given during a JCPenney’s lawsuit and in that deposition she was asked what his propensity for violence was and she said that she specifically asked, did he ever hit you? And she said no and then she elaborated by saying he was a wonderful husband, he had never touched her, he didn’t have it in him to touch a woman and he had never touched the children, never as far as even spanking the kids. KING: What is the reaction you have, David, to your son’s accusations? What’s your reaction? DAVID: I can’t have any reaction. I’m not there yet. I haven’t spoke to my son. KING: How did you feel when you heard? You had to have a feeling when you heard that your son is making an accusation. HALPERN: That’s a difficult question for him to ask a difficult question for him to answer, because there is a gag order to David because he may be a witness in that case and he is not to comment on anything to do with the Santa Barbara case. He can comment on how he feels about his children and about his own matter, but as how he reacts to the news of what happened in Santa Barbara, he can’t. KING: Was that because he would have knowledge of what happened in Santa Barbara? Why would he be a witness? HALPERN: Well, I think he would probably be a witness, if anybody, he’d be a witness because he had knowledge as to the background concerning his ex-wife. He had knowledge concerning the background of this child, and that could be used by either side. KING: Do you expect him to be a witness? HALPERN: I actually believe that he will be called as a witness. KING: I see. Do you know Michael Jackson? DAVID: Yes. KING: Do you like him? DAVID: He’s always been a real good friend, yes. KING: So you’re kind of tormented here. DAVID: I don’t know which way to go. I’m not there yet. I haven’t spoke to my son. So I don’t know if I have any feelings one way or the other. KING: You have a son who has made the accusation who you love and miss. DAVID: I don’t even know that much. KING: But you know he’s made the accusation there wouldn’t be a Santa Barbara case. HALPERN: I’m sorry. KING: Well, he’s got to know that. That’s like saying I don’t know the earth is round. HALPERN: That’s true but you’re putting him in a difficult position. He’s been told by me and by other people not to talk about the Mr. Jackson or about the accusations at all. He came on the program today because he wanted to talk about how he feels towards his sons and other children and how he wants to see them again, but it’s really difficult for him… KING: So Jackson is off boards? HALPERN: Definitely off boards. KING: How many children do have, David? DAVID: Three. Two boys and a girl. My boys are a year apart. David is the oldest. My boys are December 11 and 2nd, and that would be 13 and 14. KING: You haven’t seen any of them in three years? DAVID: No. KING: Do they contact you at all? DAVID: No, they were told they couldn’t contact me either. KING: Do you ever go by and try to look for them? DAVID: As a father that’s pretty much what I do in my head all the time. KING: Do you drive by the school? DAVID: No, even though I’ve never been in trouble on this, I’ve never been accused of this before the accusations that she didn’t make up, even something she didn’t pick up in the case was so terrible, you know, I mean it was unheard of a father ever, you know, wanting to do things like this to their family that the court, which are designed to protect women that are going through these things and it’s understandable what they’re doing but if I went by or tried to find out any information on them, they give me an automatic year in jail. HALPERN: During the time his case was pending his wife did make some accusations that he tried to contact one of the children and he almost went to jail that time. KING: Just for contacting? HALPERN: Yes, so he’s leery of that and been following their orders to the letter of the law. KING: Do you expect, Russell, to get this changed at the hearing? HALPERN: Definitely so. I think it will be changed. What we’re going to ask the judge to do in the beginning is to just allow supervised visits. We’ll explain to the judge that we don’t believe any of the accusations ever were true but even assuming that they were, it’s not good for the child not, for all the children not to see their father. We’re going to ask there be supervised visits and let that grow into a better relationship. KING: You’re not under a gag order, are you? HALPERN: Well, that is a good question. I was… KING: How would you be called? HALPERN: That’s a very good question. I received a letter from Mr. Sneddon claiming that I was a potential witness. I called Mr. Sneddon, and asked him how he thought that, and he said, well, maybe you could be an impeaching witness, discrediting other witnesses. I said well which witnesses would I discredit? He named his own witnesses. I said so are you telling me you’re going to call me as a witness to discredit your own witnesses? Of course he didn’t have a real answer for that. I also called Mr. Geragos’ office so ask them if they thought I was a witness. They agreed with me, thank you, that there was not anything that I could say that would be legally admissible. I’m not a potential witness. I think it was an attempt by the prosecution not to defend my client any further in the press. KING: But you have in the past indicated that you think the son may have invented these allegations at the behest of the mother. HALPERN: No, I don’t believe I ever said that. I was asked if that were a probability. I don’t want to comment on that at this time because I’m sitting next to my client and Mr. Sneddon can interpret that as being authorized from him and I don’t want to cause him any trouble. KING: I understand. David, to have you been to Neverland? DAVID: Yes. KING: What do you want to say to your kids that might be watching. DAVID: I want to say that I love them and I’m trying hard to see them and I’ve been trying since they’ve been taken away from me, and I just want them to know that I’m going to keep trying. KING: You still love them and miss them? DAVID: Yes, very much. KING: How bad is this case going to get? HALPERN: I don’t think it’s going to get that bad. KING: No? HALPERN: No, because the real issue is what’s good for the children. In family court that’s the central issue so the court is going to decide is it good for the children to keep the father permanently away from the children? I’m sure any reasonable court would say no. KING: Do you expect the mother to complain a lot? HALPERN: I do expect that very much so. DAVID: The reason why I didn’t plead in this case was because of my insurance. KING: How bad is the Jackson case going to get? HALPERN: Pardon me? KING: How bad is the Jackson case going to get. HALPERN: I’d like to comment on that more now but for the sake of my client… KING: OK, let’s make this agreement. When this is over you both come back. Thank you David, thank you Russell. David, we don’t identify the last name because as we said, CNN will never identify alleged victims of sexual abuse and David’s attorney, Russell Halpern. You’re watching LARRY KING LIVE. Be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Tomorrow night we’ll repeat one of the last interviews done by the late Dr. Robert Atkins who still remains in the news. His wife, by the way, will be with us live on Monday night. Sunday night, a major Oscar preview show with many of the nominees. Right now a man deserving of an Oscar in the world of news — on this Valentine’s eve, on the eve of St. Valentine’s day. The lovable Aaron Brown of “NEWSNIGHT.” TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT Accuser’s Father Speaks Out> Source:

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