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Mesereau Says Jackson Was Overwhelmed; Vows To Win Any Civil Case
By Joel Arak (CBS – The Early Show), June 14, 2005
(CBS) Michael Jackson was overcome by emotion and cried as the “not guilty” verdicts were read in his child molestation trial, his lead defense attorney says.
Thomas Mesereau told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen Tuesday the first words he said to the pop star were, “‘You’re going home. You’re free.’ And he broke down.
“He cried and he just said, ‘Thank you, thank you’ to all of us. And he’s a wonderful person. And he’s innocent, and I’m so happy he’s home with his children.”
Most courtroom observers didn’t see any outward sign of emotion in Jackson at the time.
Later, Mesereau says, he went to Jackson’s Neverland ranch, where he “spent time with (Jackson) and his children and his family. It was a lovely get-together. Everybody said a prayer to God in gratitude.
“He has to spend some time healing. You know, it’s taken a toll on him. He’s had trouble sleeping and eating, but he is looking forward to the future.”
Later, Mesereau said, “He’s had a terrible time with this. It has been month after month of torture for him. It has been a nervous strain on he and his family. He’s been worried about his children. It’s really been a tough ordeal.”
Mesereau says the future didn’t come up Monday: “We just really savored the verdict and talked a little bit about how he felt. And it was, you know, very subdued, a very down-to-earth little meeting we had.”
But, Mesereau added when asked about the possibility of civil action being brought against Jackson by his accuser’s family, “If somebody takes a civil case and tries to go for it, we’ll defend and they’ll lose again.”
The silver-haired attorney told Chen that Jackson “was willing to take the stand, and quite eager to tell his side. I told him there was no need for it. The jury had already seen the problems with their case. They had already heard an interview with him for 2 hours and 45 minutes on videotape where he discusses his life and various issues involved in the case. It just didn’t even seem like it was even necessary.”
Mesereau contends he “always thought it would be a not guilty verdict. I always had a good feeling about these jurors. I felt they were very independent-minded, very courageous people. I loved Santa Maria (where the trial was held). I was confident that this jury would follow the law and do what was right.”