Jackson Chef Says Family Didn’t Complain

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May 17 2005 [b]Jackson Chef Says Family Didn’t Complain[/b] By TIM MOLLOY, AP Special Correspondent SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A former Neverland chef’s assistant testified Tuesday that the sister of Michael Jackson’s accuser talked to him over about two weeks after the family left the pop star’s estate and never complained of being treated badly or held against their will. Angel Vivanco said he spent time with the sister after work about five or six times while the family was at the ranch in February and March 2003, the period in which prosecutors say Jackson molested the girl’s brother and conspired to hold the family captive. Vivanco said the sister continued to call him on the phone for about two weeks after they left but never said Jackson or anyone else had mistreated them. Before Vivanco took the stand for a second day, Judge Rodney S. Melville reaffirmed his ruling Monday that barred the defense from asking Vivanco about several statements the sister allegedly made during their conversations, including a reference to her mother as “psycho mom.” Defense attorneys had hoped to use Vivanco’s testimony to try to show that the accuser’s family fabricated the allegations in an attempt to get money from Jackson. They said in a motion last week that Vivanco would testify that the girl told him her mother and her mother’s then-boyfriend were planning “something big” involving Jackson. The “something big” statement was not among those barred but defense attorney Robert Sanger opted not to ask about it before ending his questioning of Vivanco. On Monday, Vivanco testified that the accuser’s younger brother once demanded that he make him a milkshake with liquor and had also held a kitchen knife to his throat. Vivanco also said the accuser once used a curse word while demanding food. Under cross-examination by prosecutor Ron Zonen, Vivanco acknowledged he did not report those incidents when he was first interviewed by law enforcement authorities. Vivanco said that when he was asked about the family he did not recognize their last name. He said, however, that he reported the incidents to two supervisors. Prosecutors said in a motion last week that Vivanco, an adult, had a “quasi-sexual” relationship with the then-16-year-old sister, making her “a victim of felonious sexual misconduct by a defense witness employed by the defendant.” The issue was not raised in testimony. Vivanco was one of several witnesses called to the stand Monday in a defense challenge to prosecution claims that Jackson exposed the children to alcohol and adult materials as a precursor to molestation. The defense suggested instead that the boys found the items on their own. Vivanco was also among witnesses portraying the boys as wild and rude. In the milkshake incident, he said, the accuser’s brother threatened to report him to Jackson if he didn’t put the liquor in. “He told me if I didn’t do it he would tell Michael and I would get fired,” Vivanco said. Of the knife incident, he said it ended when someone else scolded the brother. And he quoted the accuser as once demanding, “Give me the (expletive) Cheetos.” In other testimony Monday, Neverland security guard Shane Meredith testified that he caught Jackson’s accuser and his brother with a half-empty bottle of wine, and maid Maria Gomez told the jury that she once saw adult magazines in the brother’s backpack. The defense attacked the family’s claims of being held against their will, calling witnesses who said there was no hint of captivity when the mother went to a spa for a body waxing or when her children went to an orthodontist to have their braces removed. Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient in February or March 2003 and plying him with wine. He is also accused of conspiring to hold the boy’s family captive to get them to rebut a TV documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson, who said let children sleep in his bed but it was non-sexual. Outside court Monday, Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said the defense expects to call CNN’s Larry King to testify Thursday. The defense is expected to asked whether attorney Larry Feldman once said the accuser’s mother made up the molestation story. Feldman, who has denied that story, was contacted by the family after they left Neverland and he referred them to a psychologist who reported molestation suspicions to authorities. ___ AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this report. Source: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050517/ap_en_mu/michael_jackson_18

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