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Illness, Disarray In Jackson Camp

Michael Jackson leaves the courtroom on a break at Santa Barbara County Courthouse for the second day of closing arguments in his child molestation trial in Santa Maria, Calif., Frdiay, June 3, 2005. Jackson has appeared gaunt in recent days, and officials at Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital in Solvang disclosed Friday that he had visited the emergency room overnight.
AP
Michael Jackson returned to a hospital for a follow-up treatment of his back problems as jurors completed their third full day of deliberations in the singer's child molestation trial.

Meanwhile, the jurors came and went once again Wednesday, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman. There were no notes, no requests any re-reading of testimony. So far, in four days of deliberations, the jurors have met for more than 18 hours and have asked only one question, on Monday, and the court still has not released the contents of the question.

Jackson's ill health seems to mirror the sorry state of his once-adept PR machine, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

A controversy over the gag order in the case arose Wednesday when the singer's attorney issued a statement saying he had not authorized anyone to hold news conferences on the pop star's behalf.

The court-approved statement from attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. appeared aimed at assuring the court that his defense team had not violated the judge's gag order.

Jackson had gone to the emergency room Sunday because of a back problem exacerbated by stress, spokeswoman Raymone Bain said. Wednesday's visit was a scheduled follow-up to that visit, she said in a statement.

"Mr. Jackson is now at home with his family," she said.

About the same time Bain released the statement late Wednesday, one of Jackson's black sport utility vehicles and one of his bodyguards pulled up at the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. More than an hour later, the car pulled around the back of the hospital and sped off a few minutes later with its headlights off and curtains drawn.

The departure was similar to one after Jackson's visit to the emergency room Sunday, when his bodyguards erected scaffolding around his car to block reporters' views before the vehicle sped off.

Jackson has complained of a back problem since early March, when he made a morning emergency room visit and raced back to court in his pajama bottoms when the judge threatened to have him arrested.

Jurors were scheduled to resume their deliberation Thursday, which was expected to be a half-day. No reason was given, but the judge noted before the start of deliberations that he understood some jurors had obligations to attend graduation ceremonies for family members.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003, plying him with wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a damaging TV documentary about the entertainer.

The confusion inside the Jackson camp was apparent Wednesday as reporters waiting outside the courthouse for a verdict found themselves asking "Who speaks for Michael Jackson?" reports Gonzales.

In the morning, it was Rev. Jesse Jackson, who held his third press conference in three days. He said he meets and prays with the singer.

In the afternoon, it was Bain, who said only she had Mesereau's permission to speak for the singer and his family.