Former Jackson Lawyer Testifies

Former Michael Jackson attorney Mark Geragos, left, smiles as he observes cheering fans as he arrives with Jackson defense team investigator Scott Ross for the embattled pop star's child molestation trial at the courthouse in Santa Maria, Calif., Friday, May 13, 2005. Geragos represented Jackson while the singer was under investigation but was let go in April 2004.
Michael Jackson's former attorney Mark Geragos testified at the pop star's child molestation trial Friday that Jackson told him his accuser had slept in his bed but that nothing sexual had happened.

Geragos, who testified that he investigated the accuser's family and became gravely concerned about them, was cross-examined on whether he ever asked Jackson if the boy slept in his bed.

"Yes, he said nothing happened," Geragos testified. "He said he didn't do anything untoward or sexual and if anyone spent the night in his room it was unconditional love."

As the Jackson trial recessed for the weekend, Geragos is scheduled to return to the stand next Friday.

Geragos also gave a ringing defense of his former client as he described his first visit to Jackson's Neverland ranch.

"When I was there, what I saw was a gentleman who was almost childlike in his love for kids. I didn't see anyone doing anything nefarious or criminal. I saw someone who was ripe as a target," he said.

Geragos said he was hired around the time of the February 2003 airing of a documentary in which Jackson appeared with the boy now accusing him of molestation. In the documentary, Jackson said that he let children sleep in his bed but that it was non-sexual.

"I'm sure jurors aren't surprised to hear Jackson's former attorney say nice things about him. And I am sure they are factoring in the relationship between the defendant and Geragos," said CBS News Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen. "But the attorney did reinforce a main defense theme -- that of Jackson as victim -- and gave specific examples in doing so. And that is a big deal."

Under questioning by Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., Geragos said he was concerned about allegations spawned by the documentary and was particularly concerned that the boy or his family might take advantage of them.

He said he did database searches to see if the family had a "litigious history" and was disturbed to find they had previously sued J.C. Penney over allegations they were beaten by security guards. The family received a $150,000 settlement.

"I was gravely concerned," Geragos said.

Geragos said he hired a private investigator to look into the family, and the results led him to believe the family was bad news.

"Michael should have nothing to do with them," he said. "It was a pending disaster."

Mesereau asked Geragos if he was aware of any crime committed against the family. Geragos said no.

"I was trying to prevent a crime against my client," he said. "I thought that they were going to shake him down."

Jackson replaced Geragos as his attorney in April 2004.

  • David Hancock On Google+»

    David Hancock is a home page editor for