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Flap Over Jackson Spokespersons

Pop star Michael Jackson leaves Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, Calif., Thursday, June 2, 2005. The jury deciding his fate returned to deliberations in the child molestation case Monday, June 6, 2005, after a weekend that saw the pop star make another trip to the hospital. The singer did not need to be at court during deliberations.(AP Photo/Joshua Gates Weisberg,pool)
AP
A controversy over the gag order in the Michael Jackson case erupted Wednesday when Jackson's attorney issued a statement saying he had not authorized anyone to hold news conferences on the pop star's behalf.

The statement from attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. came as the jurors in Jackson's molestation trial wrapped up their third full day of deliberations. Mesereau's statement appeared aimed at assuring the court that his defense team had not violated a gag order imposed by the trial judge.

Mesereau did not name anyone, but his statement came shortly after Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, held a press conference at the courthouse in which she indicated that her comments had been approved by Mesereau. Others, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, also have spoken publicly on the pop star's behalf in recent days.

"I have not authorized anyone to speak or hold any press conferences on behalf of Michael Jackson or his family," Mesereau said in the statement issued on a Jackson Web site. "A gag order is in effect which the defense team will continue to honor."

"What concerns the attorneys and the judge is that something these public speakers will say will somehow get in front of jurors at the most sensitive point in the case,'' said CBS News Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen