Feldman: Strange scene for Jackson appearance
CNN's Charles Feldman
Outside court, Michael Jackson climbs atop an SUV and waves to fans. (January 16)
SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- After a horde of supporters and newspeople witnessed his arrival Friday for an arraignment, Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty to child molestation charges.
CNN's Charles Feldman filed a report from outside the courthouse in Santa Maria, where events were a little surreal.
FELDMAN: I have covered lots of trials over the years, but this is one of the more bizarre things. This is very odd.
It seems that some of Michael Jackson's bodyguards have been handing out these invitations for Michael Jackson fans to go to a get-together or a party -- I don't know what you want to call it -- at Neverland ranch later today.
The invitation says, "In the spirit of love and togetherness, Michael Jackson would like to invite his friends and supporters to his Neverland ranch. Please join us Friday, January 16, from 11 a.m. to 2," that would be Pacific Time. "Refreshments will be served. We'll see you there."
And attendees are instructed to bring along a proper identification -- a driver's license or a passport.
How many of his fans are going to go, I don't know. But it is one of the strangest developments that I've ever seen in any case that I've ever covered. For the defendant in a case as serious as this -- allegations of child molestation -- to invite his fans to go to a get-together at his house. I don't know what else to say about that.