Accuser's Mom Details Brazil Plot

The mother of Michael Jackson's accuser told jurors Thursday a bizarre story of weeks during which she was shuttled around by Jackson's associates, made a virtual prisoner and warned that "killers" were after her.

The woman said that during the entire period, she never tried to call police because "who could possibly believe this?"

CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports the woman was more subdued than Wednesday, when she cried, begged for the jury's forgiveness, and gave a rambling account of her family being held against its will at Jackson's ranch. All that, after the jury was told by the judge she was a possible welfare cheat.

"This is a make or break witness for the prosecution. And I think it may be break at this point,'' courtroom observer Jim Moret told Gonzales.

Jackson, 46, is on trial on charges he molested a 13-year-old and kept the youngster and his family captive.

The boy's mother asserted that Jackson's people claimed the family needed to be protected from killers. She said they kept her in line by threatening her parents and her boyfriend.

Prosecutors allege that the family was held to get them to make a video rebutting a Feb. 6, 2003, TV documentary in which Jackson appeared with the boy who would eventually accuse him of molestation. In the program, Jackson said he let children sleep in his bed, but he characterized the practice as innocent.

The woman answered questions from prosecutor Ron Zonen about her excursions with two Jackson aides, Frank Tyson and Vince Amen.

She burst into tears at one point when the prosecutors showed her four passports belonging to her and her children, which she said she had been forced to obtain when she was told they would be going to Brazil.

"Finally!" the woman exclaimed as Zonen produced the passports. She looked upward, sighed and began to cry. She said she had never been given the documents.

She said that all of her activities from Feb. 21 to March 10, 2003, were dictated by Jackson's henchmen, who she said monitored her calls, stood outside her window or her hotel door, and would not let her leave their custody.

"All along this period, I'm trying to reach people to help me because it's evolving into more and more escalation," she said.

At one point, she said, she and the children returned to his Neverland ranch, and Jackson was there. She said her two sons and daughter played with Jackson while she spent time at a guest house and rarely went outside.

"Did you know where the boys were sleeping?" she was asked.

"No," she said.

The woman detailed an extraordinarily busy period of alleged captivity during which, she said, she and the children were taken to various public offices to obtain birth certificates, passports and visas. She said they also went shopping for clothes and went to the Laugh Factory club in Hollywood and to a hotel, and ultimately returned to Neverland, where "I just stood in the room. That was the order."

The prosecution alleges that her son was molested during February or March 2003.

The mother made no mention of her son being molested and mostly talked about how scared she was of Jackson's men.

She said that she once tried to contact comedian Louise Palanker, whom she knew from the Laugh Factory, and tried to "drop clues" to others through phone calls because she was afraid she and the children might disappear.

During the alleged period of captivity, the woman and her children made a video for Jackson in which they praised him. The woman said she was given a script to follow and was instructed to say repeatedly, "That he's a wonderful father. Basically, in summary, that he's a wonderful father ... to my children."


The prosecutor asked if she really believed the things she said on the video.

"I was confused, I was sad, so basically I was acting," she said.

In her jumbled and tearful testimony Wednesday, she said she originally trusted the singer and associates to protect her family from unidentified "killers," but later decided Jackson was the one to fear.

The boy's mother also said she saw Jackson lick her son's head during a February 2003 flight from Miami to California on a private jet. Asked about the event, she turned to jurors and pleaded, "Please don't judge me."

She sobbed, pounded her chest and said, "I thought I was seeing things. I thought it was me."

The woman took the witness stand after Judge Rodney S. Melville allowed her to testify despite her refusal to discuss alleged welfare fraud — an issue the defense had hoped to use to attack her credibility. She invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid questions about it.

"It really begins to undermine this woman's credibility before she's even said a word," said CBS News Legal Analyst Trent Copeland on The Early Show.

And when her testimony began, she made contradictory statements, was flippant and theatrical, crying frequently, even when asked to simply describe her apartment, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

Several times, prosecutor Ron Zonen instructed the witness to answer his questions briefly instead of offering lengthy, sometimes off-topic answers.

"I think (Wednesday) we went from Neverland to Fantasyland," said courtroom observer Jim Moret. "She may believe what she's saying, but the jurors weren't."

"She really undermines the prosecution's case," said Copeland.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting her 13-year-old son, a former cancer patient, plying the boy with alcohol and holding his family captive in February and March 2003 to get them to help rebut the damaging documentary.