Documentary to air in Jackson trial
The controversial documentary Living With Michael Jackson will be shown to jurors in the star's child sex abuse trial.
16:31 29 January 2005
The judge overseeing the Michael Jackson child sex abuse trial has ruled that the controversial documentary Living With Michael Jackson should be shown to jurors.
In a pre-trial hearing, Judge Rodney Melville dismissed opposition from Jackson's lawyers, who claim that Martin Bashir's documentary was heavily edited and will provide unreliable evidence.
"They couldn't have come up with something more inflammatory if in their dreams they were permitted to do so," said Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Mesereau.
"The documentary is a highly-edited, dramatised, provocative piece of material."
The programme, first broadcast by ITV1 in February 2003, includes footage of the singer defending his practice of letting young boys share his bedroom.
The documentary, which attracted an audience of more than 14 million when aired in the UK, shows Jackson, 46, holding hands with the boy who accuses the star of molestation and an alleged plot to kidnap and falsely imprison him and his family.
During the hearing, Judge Melville also refused to excuse documentary maker Mr Bashir from taking the witness stand, although the British journalist could still refuse to answer questions put to him if he appears in court.
But in a victory for the defence, the judge also ruled that Jackson's accuser, now 15, would have to testify in open court along with his brother, rejecting prosecutors' claims that forcing the boys to take the witness stand would traumatise them.
The long anticipated trial against the global star will begin on Monday. Mr Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the ten charges made against him.