Defense, And Jackson, May Rest

Michael Jackson leaves the courtroom during a break in testimony in his child molestation trial at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Tuesday, May 24, 2005 in Santa Maria, Calif. (AP Photo/Hector Mata, Pool)
With his defense about to rest, Michael Jackson won't take the stand in his child molestation trial, leaving jurors with only the singer's videotaped statements about what happened behind Neverland's closed doors.

The pop star's chief attorney Thomas Mesereau, Jr., announced in court that Comedian Chris Tucker would be the final defense witness, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman.

Tucker was to resume his testimony Wednesday. After he finishes, the defense was expected to formally rest its case, and prosecutors will begin a rebuttal that is expected to last at least a day.

Jackson's attorneys will then be given an opportunity to respond, followed by closing arguments, which probably won't begin before next week.

As he left court Tuesday, Jackson declined to discuss the decision not to testify. Instead, he smiled, pressed his palms together and said he couldn't comment.

Because taking the stand would have exposed him to cross-examination by prosecutors, the odds of Jackson's testifying were considered remote from the outset.

But speculation that he might take the witness stand was fueled by Mesereau's remark during his opening statement that jurors would hear from Jackson on certain issues.

They did hear from Jackson when his attorneys played nearly three hours of videotaped interviews with the entertainer in which he talked about his feelings for children, which he said were innocent and loving.

"I haven't been betrayed or deceived by children," he said at one point. "Adults have let me down."

Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting the boy in February or March 2003 when the youth was 13. He is also charged with giving the teenager alcohol and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson as the entertainer says he let children into his bed for innocent, nonsexual sleepovers.

Tucker, who costarred with Jackie Chan in the "Rush Hour" movies, testified Tuesday that he met Jackson's accuser at a benefit while the boy was battling cancer in 2000. He said the boy's father introduced himself at the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood and asked him to take part.

Tucker said that a few days after the benefit the boy told him it hadn't made any money, so he wired "probably $1,500 or more" to a foundation for the family.

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