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Jackson Prosecution Winds Down

Michael Jackson waves to fans as he arrives at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Wednesday, May 4, 2005, in Santa Maria, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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For nine and a half weeks Michael Jackson has walked into court to hear prosecutors portray him as a long-time child molester. Now, as CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, the defense could turn the trial into a red-carpet affair with witnesses such as Jay Leno, Macaulay Culkin and Elizabeth Taylor.

Jackson biographer and CBS News Consultant J. Randy Taraborrelli reports that Taylor could be more than just a character witness because she has information about the 1993 accusations against Jackson.

In 1993, Elizabeth Taylor was called the "queen of the defense" because she was so involved in those allegations. Taraborrelli reports she will testify to the fact that Jackson wanted to fight those allegations but was encouraged by his insurance company to settle those claims.

As for Jackson, CBS News Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen reports it's a long shot defense attorney defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. will put him on the stand.

"When a defendant testifies in a criminal case, it's because the defense is very worried and is on the defensive," reports Cohen. "I don't think that's the case here."

In fact, prosecutors have been on the defensive thanks to a series of stumbles and witnesses who did more for Jackson.

On Tuesday, the prosecution tried to undermine earlier testimony from one of their own witnesses — Jackson's ex-wife Deborah Rowe — by calling an investigator who said Rowe told him last year Jackson was a "sociopath."

On Wednesday, the prosecution was to resume its questioning of Rudy Provencio, who worked with Jackson and an associate, Marc Schaffel, on a planned charity recording called "What More Can I Give." Schaffel is one of several men prosecutors have named as unindicted co-conspirators in the case.

Provencio joked Tuesday about getting rich off the Jackson charity project and admitted rifiling through private files. His testimony came as the prosecution neared the end of its case.

A forensic accountant also testified Tuesday that the pop star was spending $20 million to $30 million more every year than he earned, a deep financial problem the prosecution contends underlies conspiracy allegations in the case.

But CBS News Legal Analyst Mickey Sherman says he doesn't believe highlighting the pop singer's financial woes will help the prosecution's case.

"Who cares?" says Sherman. "It does not move the ball closer to determine whether or not he molested this young man or not.

"It makes no sense to me."

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