Mothers deny Jackson molested sons
One tells jury that singer 'has a very pure love for children'
SANTA MARIA, California (CNN) -- Mothers of two young men who prosecutors claim were molested by Michael Jackson during the 1990s when they were adolescents testified Friday that the pop star never behaved inappropriately around their children.
The women, mothers of men who testified Thursday, acknowledged, however, that both boys slept in the singer's bed numerous times.
"Unless you know [Jackson], it's hard to understand," one woman said. "He's not the boy next door. ... He has a very pure love for children."
The mother underscored her opinion during cross-examination, when prosecutor Tom Sneddon asked the woman if she was concerned about her son staying in Jackson's bedroom, essentially locked in the singer's suite with chimes that sounded if someone approached.
"There is a certain trust we developed immediately," she said. "Nothing ever crossed my mind there would be a problem there."
The second woman, asked if she allowed her son to sleep in Jackson's bed, responded, "Why not?"
The testimony came a day after two men, now in their 20s, took the stand to deny ever being molested by Jackson. (Thursday's testimony)
The two men were among five whom prosecutors allege Jackson sexually molested in the 1990s. None of those cases resulted in criminal charges.
Actor Macaulay Culkin, another one of the five, is also set to testify in Jackson's defense next week. Culkin has publicly denied any improper conduct on Jackson's part.
A grand jury indicted the 46-year-old pop star last year on charges of molesting a boy, then 13, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold him and his family captive in 2003.
Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Financial help from Jackson
During Friday's testimony, the first woman was asked to describe Neverland, Jackson's sprawling ranch.
"I would have once said the happiest place on Earth," she said.
On family visits there, they watched movies and played in a water fort, she said. The woman testified that she particularly enjoyed playing with the chimpanzees.
However, she testified that in all of her visits to Neverland during the 14 years she has known Jackson, the entertainer was at Neverland only four times.
Sneddon attempted to suggest that the first woman believed Jackson would further the performing arts career of her son, now a choreographer with ties to the film industry.
"That was not my motive," she told Sneddon. When the Santa Barbara district attorney denied putting words in her mouth, she replied, "Yes, you are. You're trying to make me say that was the basis for our friendship, and that's not true."
The woman did testify, however, that Jackson helped her financially and sponsored the family's move from Australia to the United States. And, she said, her son signed a business deal with MJJ Productions -- under which he would receive $30,000 -- when he was 10 years old. He also appeared in three music videos and two commercials, jobs Jackson had a role in getting him, she said.
Trips to Las Vegas
Both women testified their families had traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada, with Jackson. The second woman, who said her family frequently visited him and accompanied him on tour, recalled that Jackson had bought them gifts, but said she did not remember at what point.
On most of the trips, she said, her son -- who was then about 9 -- would sleep with Jackson, who was then in his mid-30s. She and her husband didn't mind, she said, and their only discussions about the matter was about their concern regarding an imposition on Jackson.
"I love him very much," she said of Jackson.
Prosecutors showed her a letter she wrote to Jackson in 1992 in which she apologized for causing him grief about a matter that arose at a show and said one of Jackson's bodyguards told her that her family was responsible for making Jackson ill.
"That made me want to kill myself," she wrote, telling Jackson she loves him as much as she loves her family.
Between the women's testimony, the sister of one of the boys testified she considered Jackson a "family friend." She testified she slept in Jackson's bed four times, each time along with her brother, but recalled nothing inappropriate taking place.
She said she did not believe her brother had been molested, saying, "He would have told me."