Former child actor Macaulay Culkin took the stand Wednesday at the Michael Jackson child molestation trial in California. CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman reports Culkin is expected to say that Jackson never behaved inappropriately with him when the he was a frequent guest at Jackson's home.
"He's already said that he and Michael Jackson were very good friends and he's never seen Michael Jackson act inappropriately toward a child," said Jackson spokeswoman Raymone Bain.
Culkin is certain to face a very vigorous cross examination from the prosecution and is likely to be asked how many times he slept with Jackson and whether he believes that was proper.
Jackson called Culkin personally and asked him to testify, but sources in the Jackson camp say Culkin has wavered and even delayed his testimony. He really gains nothing by testifying and has a lot to lose.
"His attorneys have been a little bit concerned that some of the testimony involving Macaulay Culkin in this trial really wasn't so critical to the proceedings," says CBS News Consultant J. Randy Taraborrelli. "We heard from three former employees who talked about, you know, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the butt, and some groping. They thought perhaps they didn't want to overplay that testimony. Plus they're concerned about the credibility of those witnesses who have a tabloid history."
Taraborrelli, a biographer of Jackson, says Culkin and Jackson have been friends for about 15 years.
"Michael Jackson actually called Macaulay Culkin when he saw the movie "Home Alone" in 1990. Macaulay was only 10 years old, and Michael was 32," Taraborrelli said. "They became very good friends, and Macaulay Culkin was at Neverland during the 1990s when all of the alleged activity was taking place there with some of the witnesses we've seen here."
"I think it would be a very big mistake for prosecutors to be tough on this witness because he's so liked by so many people," Taraborrelli told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. "I think they'll handle him with kid gloves."
The manager of Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch acknowledged Tuesday he lied to law enforcement officials in 2003 when he said he had no knowledge of Jackson sharing his bed with children.
The testimony by Joe Marcus came during cross-examination by prosecutors, who sought to show he had lied to protect Jackson. At one point, prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss said, "You keep looking at Mr. Jackson. Why is that?"
Marcus appeared startled and didn't answer, and a defense objection was sustained.
Auchincloss then asked Marcus if he was loyal to Jackson. He answered "Yes."
Marcus, who was expected to return to the stand Wednesday, acknowledged he lied when he told authorities during a November 2003 search of Neverland that he did not know about children sleeping in the singer's bedroom.
He later added the events of that day were chaotic and "I was overwhelmed."
The defense called Marcus to the stand Monday to testify that he never instructed anyone to hold Jackson's accuser and the boy's family against their will. He suggested Tuesday no such captivity happened.
The captivity claim is part of the conspiracy portion of the case against the pop star, who is alleged to have molested a 13-year-old boy in 2003.
Prosecutors claim the singer conspired to hold the family to get them to rebut a damaging TV documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson. They also claim Jackson associates planned to send the family on a one-way trip to Brazil.
Marcus, an 18-year employee, testified Tuesday that the family of Jackson's accuser never objected when there were discussions about them going to Brazil. He said the only thing the boy's family wanted to know was where to go to have passport pictures taken.
"Did you ever receive any instructions from anyone to hold the (family) against their will?" Jackson attorney Robert Sanger asked.
"No," Marcus said.
Also Tuesday, the prosecution tried to show Jackson has more "special friends" who are boys than girls or women.
Marcus said there were also females who were close to the star, but when asked to name them off the top of his head he could only come up with Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli, a granddaughter of Marlon Brando and Karlee Barnes, the sister of a boy who spent time at Neverland.
Auchincloss also asked whether Marcus knew Jackson had adult materials at the ranch. Marcus said no, but acknowledged that dolls in bondage attire were kept on Jackson's desk. He called them "artwork."
"Do you think it's appropriate for children to be exposed to these?" Auchincloss asked.
Marcus paused and quietly said no.