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In And Out At The Jackson Trial

While jurors at the Michael Jackson child molestation trial Tuesday will hear from a travel agent, attention centers on a defense attorney kicked off the team and a future witness — Jackson's ex-wife.

Monday, the judge ruled the pop star's ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, can testify as a prosecution witness, but her testimony may be restricted, especially certain areas the defense claims would "open a can of worms" that could greatly prolong the trial, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

"There's no telling what she could blurt out in front of the jury," says CBS News Consultant J. Randy Taraborrelli, a Jackson biographer.

Rowe is locked in a legal fight with Jackson over custody of their two children, Paris and Prince Michael.

Prosecutors claim she took part in the so-called rebuttal video that aired on television, after she was told she would have access to the children.

Meanwhile, word emerged that the defense has lost another member of the team.

Jackson's attorneys told the judge and prosecutors in a notice released Monday that attorney Brian Oxman's departure was effective last Thursday. The notice did not include a reason.

Oxman and lead attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., had a very public argument after court, in which Mesereau seemed to blast Oxman, reports Gonzales.

Oxman, a long-time Jackson family lawyer, is the fourth attorney to part ways with Jackson since the singer was charged in 2003. Jackson replaced attorneys Mark Geragos and Benjamin Braffman with Mesereau and Susan Yu a year ago. In October, Jackson announced that longtime attorney Steve Cochran was taking a temporary leave.

"The attorney scuffle is a sign, yet another sign, that Jackson has terrible difficulty handling the people around him," says Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in February or March 2003, giving the boy alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive to get them to rebut a TV documentary in which Jackson appeared with the boy and said he allowed children to sleep in his bed. Jackson called the sleeping arrangement non-sexual.

One of the most sensational claims by the mother of the teen accusing Michael Jackson of child molestation is that Jackson's aides conspired to send her and her family to Brazil, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman. The defense has always labeled this as just another figment of the mother's imagination, but Tuesday, the prosecution planned to call witnesses to confirm those efforts to get the accuser's family to leave the U.S. and relocate in South America.

One is travel agent Cynthia Montgomery.

The judge decided Monday to grant "use immunity" to Montgomery, who is under investigation by federal authorities looking into the alleged secret videotaping of conversations between Jackson and Geragos on a charter jet flight.

The immunity means Montgomery's testimony cannot be used against her in any other proceeding. She had told the court last week she would refuse to testify about anything involving the charter jet flight.

The decision came as Judge Rodney S. Melville overruled defense objections and said he will allow Rowe, Jackson's ex-wife, to testify as a prosecution witness.

"If there's a lesson here, it's don't end up in a custody battle with your ex-wife when you haven't paid her alimony in almost a year-and-a-half, because you may need her one day," says Taraborrelli.

Prosecutors want Rowe, the mother of two of his three children, to tell jurors that she was compelled to appear on a videotape praising Jackson as a good father and a humanitarian.

Prosecutors say Rowe did the interview under duress, having been told by Jackson associates that if she did not do it she would risk losing her visitation rights with her children, Paris and Prince Michael.

The defense objected on grounds that the testimony was part of a prosecution "desperation" tactic at the end of its case and had no relevance to the charges against Jackson.

In addition, the defense said that if Rowe testified they would seek to present the entire three hours of her video interview with Jackson associates as well as a tape recording she made secretly.

Prosecutor Ron Zonen said Rowe would tell jurors that she engaged in a "highly scripted interview and that the incentive was to suggest she would have visitation with her children if she did this."

Zonen said this would corroborate the testimony of the mother of the Jackson's young accuser who testified she also was pressured to appear in a video and speak from a script.

Defense attorney Robert Sanger said there was no script, just questions that were written out. The defense also noted that Rowe had given up her parental rights to the children. Zonen said those rights had been recently restored and that she has a case under way in family court regarding visitation.