[b]Friend testifies accuser’s family never complained about Jackson’s behavior[/b] By Quintin Cushner/Staff Writer A former close friend of the family accusing Michael Jackson of false imprisonment and child molestation testified in Superior Court in Santa Maria today that the family never complained about the entertainer’s behavior. Witness Azja Pryor said she had frequent phone conversations with the family in February and March of 2003, when Jackson was alleged to have committed crimes against the family. During those conversations, the family praised Jackson and never accused him of any wrong going, Pryor testified. Although the mother of the accuser earlier testified that she was forced to do a rebuttal interview praising Jackson, Pryor said the woman was looking forward to setting the record straight that nothing inappropriate ever happened between Jackson and her son. “She was very excited…to tell the world that this friendship was nothing more than what they say – a beautiful friendship,” Pryor testified. The mother also had testified that there were plans for her family to be taken to Brazil against their wishes. Pryor testified that the mother had invited her to go to Brazil for a holiday. “She said that they were going to Brazil for Carnival,” Pryor said. The witness testified that the mother later expressed hesitance to go to Brazil, and in fact the family never made the trip. Pryor also testified that the mother complained associates of Jackson were preventing her family from seeing the singer in March 2003. During this time period, Jackson is charged with molesting the then-13-year-old boy. Pryor said the mother was effusive in her praise of Jackson. “What a great man he is. He’s an angel. His love is great,” are among the statements Pryor attributed to the mother. Pryor, who met the family in 1999, said she ceased contact with them in April 2003, but did not explain why. Earlier in the day, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville barred CNN talk show host Larry King from testifying for the defense in the case. Dressed in a dark suit, purple shirt and his trademark black eyeglasses, King briefly took the witness stand outside the jury’s presence to describe a conversation he had with civil attorney Larry Feldman. King said Feldman, who at the time was representing the family of Jackson’s accuser, told him he doubted the credibility of the claims against Jackson. According to King, Feldman made disparaging remarks about the accuser’s mother. “He thought the woman in this case was a Michael…” King said. “He just thought she was in it for the money.” King could not identify the time period of this conversation, which occurred at a Beverly Hills deli, but said it was before the trial against Jackson began. Melville ruled that King’s conversation with Feldman was not sufficient to impeach earlier testimony given by the attorney in court. “I don’t find that Mr. King’s testimony would impeach Mr. Feldman,” Melville said. Feldman had earlier testified that he believed the family claims, and that money did not seem to be an issue for them. Also today, book publisher Michael Viner, who also was present at the deli with King, gave a similar account of what Feldman had said. His testimony likewise was disallowed by the judge. … The Santa Maria Times, following its established policy, is not identifying those who allege they were abused by Jackson, even though they are being named in court. Source: http://santamariatimes.com/articles/2005/05/19/news/local/news00.txt

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