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Lawyer: Jackson A Weak Target

Michael Jackson exits the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, Calif., with his attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. after the verdict was read, Monday, June 13, 2005. Jackson was found not guilty on all counts.
AP
Michael Jackson's lawyer said Tuesday he is convinced that the pop star "has never molested any child," but he said Jackson would no longer let children or their families sleep in his room.

"He's not going to do that because it makes him vulnerable to false charges," attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told The Associated Press in a wide-ranging interview.

Mesereau said he believes that Jackson will continue to be "a convenient target for people who want to extract money or build careers at his expense." As a result, the attorney said, Jackson will have to change his lifestyle and "not easily allow people to enter his life."

Mesereau and his colleague, Susan Yu, spoke to the AP the morning after Jackson's acquittal on charges he molested a 13-year-old cancer survivor at his Neverland ranch.

Both attorneys described Jackson as the most vulnerable person they have ever met. They said he is physically depleted from the four-month trial and will need time to rest before he again ventures into the public.

Jurors said the accusations of a young boy and his family were not credible — a legal victory that triggered jubilation among the pop star's fans and embarrassment for the district attorney's office.

The Jackson Web site mjjsource.com trumpeted the acquittal with graphics declaring "Innocent" and showing a hand giving a victory sign as a fanfare plays. A scrolling calendar highlights historic events such as "Martin Luther King is born," "The Berlin Wall falls," "Nelson Mandela is freed," and finally, "June 13, 2005, Remember this date for it is a part of HIStory." The reference was to Jackson's 1995 album "HIStory: Past, Present, and Future Book I."

A raucous welcome greeted Jackson as he returned to his Neverland Ranch on Monday afternoon. As a convoy of black SUVs carrying him and his entourage pulled through the gates, his sister LaToya rolled down a window, smiled widely and waved. The crowd responded with a euphoric cheer.

"All of us here and millions around the world love and support you," proclaimed a banner strung across a fence by the compound in Los Olivos that Jackson said he created to provide himself with the childhood he never enjoyed.

"It's victory," said Tracee Raynaud, 39. "God is alive and well."

The verdict means Jackson will be free to try to rebuild his blighted musical career. But his legal victory came at a terrible price to his image.

But music industry analysts say Jackson's career can survive his molestation trial, after his acquittal on all charges.

Def Jam Records chairman L.A. Reid says all Jackson has to do is "concentrate on nothing else but making great music" and give great live performances.

CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports that Jackson will take some time to recuperate with his family. This trial has really taken a toll on him over the past few months. But eventually his famous brothers would like him to join them in a worldwide victory tour to celebrate his acquittal.

"My family was very excited," said his brother Jermaine Jackson on CBS News' The Early Show. "And in the very beginning we always said that Michael was 1,000% innocent."

Jermaine Jackson told Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm that his brother was very happy and finally smiled the first time he saw him after the verdict.