Jackson's celebrity witnesses
13:30 15 February 2005
Michael Jackson is calling on a star-studded list of witnesses to defend him in court over child abuse charges.
The singer, who denies child molestation, is getting famous friends including Liz Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Barry Gibb to help prove his innocence.
As jury selection resumed yesterday (14.02.05) at the Santa Maria court, the eccentric singer's lawyer, Tom Mesereau, read off 350 names, which included an astonishing list of personalities, who have agreed to take the stand.
Illusionists David Blaine and Uri Geller are expected, as is Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and talk show hosts Jay Leno and Larry King.
Mesereau also said he would call on 10 members of the troubled star's family including his two young children, Paris and Prince Michael, and a handful of nieces and nephews.
Legal experts believe Jackson's strategy is to impress and sway the jury with high profile celebrities.
But, Judge Rodney Melville said the court wouldn't be dazzled by Jackson's celebrity witnesses, saying: "I can assure you there will be a fair trial. I am not bought and paid for, I have not made up my mind in this case and I want to select a jury that feels the same."
Jackson has denied all 10 charges against him.(c) BANG Media International