APRIL 28 2005 (3:00 PM ET) — Yet another devastating day for the prosecution in the Michael Jackson trial. Jackson’s ex, Debbie Rowe, testified again that she was not scripted in that 2003 rebuttal video. Not only that, but under cross-examination, she totally lambasted some of the people around Jackson as being “opportunistic vultures” who were taking advantage of him for financial gain. According to reports from Savannah Guthrie (court tv), Jim Hammer (fox), and Jennifer London (msnbc), Rowe’s testimony has seriously put the ‘conspiracy’ charge in total peril. Some observers haven’t been as diplomatic as that; calling Rowe’s testimony a “disaster of biblical proportions to the prosecution” (fox). According to Guthrie, under cross-examination, Tom Mesereau asked her about some of the people around Jackson. Guthrie reports that Rowe went on at length about how Ron Konitzer, Marc Schaffel, and Dieter Weisner were “opportunistic vultures” around Jackson. She testified that Marc Schaffel was “full of shit”, and apologized for using the expletive, but didn’t take back what she said about Schaffel. Rowe says that they were out doing things behind Jackson’s back and were trying to make millions off of Jackson. This actually corroborated very early testimony from Ann Gabriel (Kite) at the beginning of this trial when she, too, under cross-examination talked about people around Jackson taking advantage of him and not having his best interests in mind. She said that Schaffel would periodically tell her to rephrase a few of her answers, but she would only do so if it didn’t change the context of what she, herself, wanted to say about Jackson during that 2003 rebuttal interview. So now in an effort to understand how the prosecution — the media’s chosen favorite in this trial — got hosed today, the excuses are now being concocted as to why Rowe didn’t say what the prosecution claimed she would say. At one point today, Shepard Smith (fox) asked the question of whether or not this was some secret plan between the defense and Rowe. Prosecutor Arthur Aidala actually alleged that the prosecution could say that somebody got to Rowe and use that to try to convict Jackson in this trial! Well, there is already testimony that she hasn’t spoken to Jackson in years and that at one point she was actually working with the prosecution to tape-record conversations between herself and Marc Schaffel. And further it’s been reported by Laura Ingle (fox) that Rowe was out at a dinner with prosecutors last night. So Aidala’s theory is absolutely absurd on its face. It was stunning to watch the lengths to which some of these pundits are trying to go to explain-away Rowe, instead of just accepting the fact that it may be the PROSECUTION at fault in this scenario. Some observers, including myself, have expressed the opinion than maybe the prosecution tried to backdoor Rowe into this trial by making unsubstantiated claims of what she would say in hopes she would get on the stand and talk trash about Jackson. The reason why some feel that way is because during re-direct, the prosecution didn’t try to impeach Rowe nor put into evidence any previous statement she had made to prosecutors. In essence, the prosecution didn’t provide any evidence that Rowe had ever previously told them she was scripted, like they had promised in their opening statement.
April 28 Trial