[b]Former Jackson lawyer says he suspected accuser’s family[/b] SANTA MARIA, United States (AFP) – Michael Jackson’s former attorney testified at his child-sex trial how he put the family of Jackson’s young accuser under surveillance for fear they might try to blackmail the pop star. “I was trying to prevent a crime against my client. I thought they were going to try to shake him down,” Mark Geragos told jurors. Geragos was hired by Jackson in February 2003 to help with the fallout of a damaging documentary in which the singer was seen holding hands with his future accuser and admitting to sharing his bed with children. The controversy stirred up by the documentary ultimately led to Jackson’s current trial on charges that he molested his then 13-year-old alleged victim, plied him with alcohol and conspired to hold him and his family captive. Geragos said he was so concerned about the intentions of the boy’s family that he hired a private investigator and had them placed under surveillance. “Things I heard about (them) gave me great pause,” Geragos said. “I had a concern at that point that, given what was going on, someone might manipulate my client,” he added. “I wanted to know where they were, what they were doing, who they were meeting.” He said his suspicions were partly confirmed when a database search turned up a previous allegation of sexual assault the boy’s mother had made against a department store chain. After an investigation that lasted five or six weeks, Geragos said he concluded that Jackson should break off all links with the boy’s family. “I just felt like it was a pending disaster,” he said. Under cross-examination by prosecutors, Geragos said Jackson had acknowledged that young boys slept in his bedroom. But he also stressed that Jackson explained “that he didn’t do anything, … that there was nothing sexual, .. that if someone spent the night with him in his room, it was unconditional love.” Recalling his first impressions of Jackson, Geragos said he saw a man who was a father but childlike in his manner. “I saw nothing nefarious,” he said. Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20050513/ts_alt_afp/afpentertainmentus_050513204937

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