Tucker Says Jackson Accuser Was ‘Cunning’

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[b]Tucker Says Jackson Accuser Was ‘Cunning’ [/b] By TIM MOLLOY, Associated Press Writer Actor and comedian Chris Tucker testified Wednesday in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial that during the time he befriended Jackson’s young accuser he found the boy to be unusually sophisticated and cunning for a 12-year-old. “He was really smart and he was cunning at times, and his brother … was definitely cunning,” said Tucker, who was called by Jackson’s attorneys as their last witness. Tucker was put on the stand to help make the defense case that the boy and his family have a history of targeting celebrities and trying to get money from them. The defense was expected to rest when Tucker was done, without calling Jackson. After the defense rests, prosecutors will begin a rebuttal and Jackson’s attorneys will then be given an opportunity to respond. Closing arguments probably will not begin before next week. Tucker also testified that he once took Jackson aside and warned him to “watch out” for the boy’s mother because he had grown suspicious of her. Tucker said the boy repeatedly asked for gifts but that he forgave the boy’s behavior because he knew he had battled cancer and had family problems. “He would always say, ‘Chris, let me have this … I’m not feeling too good,'” Tucker said. Other comedians who have testified, including George Lopez and Jay Leno, cracked a few jokes on the stand. But Tucker’s demeanor was calm and serious in stark contrast to his outrageous demeanor in the “Rush Hour” films and such movies as “Friday” and “The Fifth Element.” Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting the boy in 2003 when the youth was 13, giving him wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson as the entertainer said he let children into his bed for innocent sleepovers. Tucker, who co-starred with Jackie Chan in the “Rush Hour” movies, met Jackson’s accuser at a benefit while the boy was battling cancer in 2000. Tucker provided details about a gift of at least $1,500 that he gave to the family after the fundraiser for the boy at a Hollywood comedy club. He said the boy came to his house after the fundraiser and told him it hadn’t raised any money. “He was just real sad looking, saying they didn’t raise any money and they needed some money,” Tucker said. Jackson defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. asked Tucker if he became suspicious since he had seen many people at the benefit. “Yes, but I was always thinking I was helping him so I just did it,” Tucker said. Tucker also said that at one point he considered giving a truck to the family but then became concerned that he was doing too much for them. He said that he initially gave the mother the keys to the vehicle but she lost them, and when the boy repeatedly asked him for copies of the keys he reconsidered. “They were constantly calling for the truck and I felt the mother was making them call because it was getting on my nerves,” Tucker said. Tucker said the issue of a vehicle arose again after the boy appeared with Jackson in the documentary “Living With Michael Jackson.” He said the boy told him he was being harassed by the media and that the family needed a vehicle. “He said it was hard for him to get around because the media was hounding them and they had no transportation,” Tucker said. Tucker accompanied the boy and his family on a trip to Miami to see Jackson on the day the documentary aired. Prosecutors contend Jackson used the trip to keep the family from seeing the documentary. But Tucker testified that the boy said he wanted to go to Miami to be with Jackson and to get away from media bothering him and his family. Tucker said he agreed to charter a flight. Tucker said that when he arrived at Jackson’s suite in Miami he pulled Jackson aside to report his concerns about the mother. “I told him to watch out for her because I felt suspicious about her,” Tucker said. “I was trying to talk to Michael. She kept interrupting. … I pulled Michael in a room. I told him, ‘You need to watch out.'” Tucker said Jackson listened but they didn’t talk long because the singer was busy. Tucker also said the boy initially introduced him to Jackson by letting him talk to the singer while Tucker was on the set of a movie in Las Vegas. He said after the conversation he and Jackson agreed to meet in New York, and have remained friends since. On Tuesday, Leno said he grew suspicious when he began receiving overly effusive voice mail messages from the boy in 2000. He said he thought it strange that a 12-year-old would tell a comedian in his 50s that he was his hero. “I’m not Batman,” Leno said, to laughter throughout the courtroom. Leno said the boy left so many messages that he finally approached comedian Louise Palanker, a friend who was among several comedians helping the boy’s family. “I said, ‘What’s the story here? This doesn’t sound like a 12-year-old. This seems a little scripted,'” Leno testified. ___ AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this report. Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050525/ap_en_ot/michael_jackson

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