Jackson's Different Legal 'Briefs'

Pop star Michael Jackson, center, arrives for his expected indictment on charges related to child molestation at a courthouse in Santa Maria, Calif., Friday, April 30, 2004. . (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
AP
A New Jersey man once awarded a warehouse full of Jackson family memorabilia in a bankruptcy settlement turned over a pair of underwear and other items to authorities investigating the Michael Jackson child molestation case.

Henry V. Vaccaro Sr. of Interlaken said he found two pairs of white Calvin Klein briefs balled up in the bottom of a wardrobe containing several of the pop star's costumes.

The briefs and several other items, including photos of Jackson posing with two boys, were seized several weeks ago by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office at the request of California authorities, the New York Post reported in its Sunday editions.

Robert Honecker, the county's first assistant prosecutor, confirmed to The Star-Ledger of Newark for Monday's editions that his office collected the evidence from Vaccaro's warehouse in Asbury Park but declined to say why the items were sought.

A spokesman for the Santa Barbara District Attorney's Office declined to comment, citing a protective order issued by the judge presiding over the pop star's case.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson was showing a very different look at his arraignment last Friday.

"Serious outfits. And the glasses — I've never seen him with these studious glasses," said Court TV's Catherine Crier on CBS News' The Early Show Monday. "He look like he was going to do a science project."

Crier said the new look is likely the result of Jackson's new attorney, Thomas Mesereau.

"If you have a client going nuts — and Mesereau just went from Robert Blake, who wouldn't listen, to someone who won't follow instructions — then you're in trouble," Crier said.

She also said both Mesereau and Jackson are now singing a different tune: "Instead of 'you guys out to get my client,'" like Jackson's previous lead attorney, the singer and attorney are now conciliatory and apologetic, and talking about getting a fair trial.

Jackson pleaded not guilty Friday to a grand jury indictment that expanded the child molestation case against him to include a conspiracy count involving allegations of child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

Vaccaro said he was told that authorities plan to use the underwear for DNA comparison.

"Once we secured the items, we notified the district attorney's office," Honecker said. "They sent two detectives out and we turned the evidence over to them."

Vaccaro said two Santa Barbara sheriff's officers later came to the warehouse and "found a few other things they were interested in," including two handwritten notes from Jackson and a list of "rules" children were to follow when staying at the singer's 2,600-acre Neverland Ranch in Santa Maria, Calif.

Among the rules were that the children — whom Jackson referred to as "rubbers" — had to watch two episodes of "The Three Stooges" daily, know the Peter Pan story by heart and to be "idiots and act crazy at all times."

Other items taken included a note in Jackson's hand urging his sister-in-law to read to her three children a news article about child molestation. "It brings out how even your own relatives can be molesters of children, or even uncles or aunts molesting nieces or nephews," the note read.

Last month, Jackson won a legal fight to shut down a pay-per-view Web site operated by Vaccaro. A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles also said Vaccaro could not sell the pop star's possessions, but Vaccaro said he had shipped the goods to a European buyer weeks ago.

A lawyer for Jackson said he will seek a court order to have the memorabilia returned from either Vaccaro or a buyer. The collection included gold-trimmed costumes, financial documents, letters, awards, and one of Jackson's first outfits worn with the Jackson 5.

Vaccaro, 63, said he was awarded the Jackson family's possessions following nine years of legal wrangling stemming from a failed business venture that wound up in bankruptcy court.