SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Superstar Michael Jackson (search) was rushed to the emergency room of a local hospital Tuesday and admitted for the flu, delaying jury selection another week in his child molestation trial.
Judge Rodney Melville (search) told prospective jurors that Jackson was taken to a local hospital on his way to court. He later told them Jackson was admitted for a "very serious" case of the flu, and jury selection would take place next Tuesday, Feb. 22.
Jackson was admitted to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria. His brother Randy said the entertainer would spend the night in the hospital.
"Mr. Jackson is being evaluated for a flu-like illness with some vomiting," said hospital emergency-room physician Dr. Chuck Merrill. "He's in stable condition."
Merrill said he'd undergone some testing, was being kept hydrated with intravenous fluids and would be released "when he is well enough to go home."
The tedious process of choosing a panel of 12 jurors and eight alternates from more than 200 prospects had already been delayed for a week and resumed Monday.
Jackson, 46, was said to have been suffering from stress in court on Monday.
"We found out he had symptoms of the flu ... He was on his way to court when he started throwing up," Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, told FOX News on Tuesday. She said her son wasn't feeling well the previous evening.
The judge made the initial announcement about 15 minutes after Jackson was scheduled to appear in court at 11:30 a.m. EST.
The judge said Jackson would need three or four days to recover. He also noted that several members of the jury pool were also out with the flu and that it appeared to be going around.
Asked about how he will get through all the court proceedings and the trial itself, Mrs. Jackson told FOX: "I think he will endure it. He's a strong boy — man, excuse me. He's my son ... All that bothers me are all the lies that are coming out and the people believing them."
Jackson has a flair for the dramatic, and has been known in the past for savvy publicity moves.
"This is a circus," Jared Shapiro from Star magazine told FOX News on Tuesday.
A day earlier, Jackson's defense attorneys released a list of potential celebrity witnesses in the case — in which the singer is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer patient.
The list of possible witnesses sounded like coming attractions for a major Hollywood spectacle. But Melville dimmed that prospect, saying not all of the celebrities would necessarily testify.
Attorneys are in the process of selecting 12 jurors and eight alternates who will decide whether Jackson molested a teenage cancer patient at his Neverland Ranch and plied the youth with alcohol.
During Monday's proceedings, Jackson smiled and nodded at potential jurors. At one point he picked roughly at a fingernail, and later wrapped it in a napkin.
Names of defense and prosecution witnesses were revealed to prospective jurors Monday so attorneys could find out if any of the more than 240 members of the pool had associations that may be important in jury selection.
Other possible witnesses included Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Chris Tucker, former child actor Corey Feldman, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and younger brother Aaron, CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, CNN's Larry King, FOX broadcaster Rita Cosby, New Age guru Deepak Chopra, psychic Uri Geller, illusionist David Blaine, Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn and relatives of the late Marlon Brando.
Prosecutors also listed the family of a boy involved in 1993 molestation allegations against Jackson. The judge has not yet ruled whether that incident can be mentioned in the trial. The accuser received a multimillion-dollar settlement and no criminal charges were filed.
Movie actor Corey Feldman (search), 33, was subpoenaed by the prosecution last week to testify in the case.
The "Stand By Me" and "Goonies" star also did a new interview on "20/20" with Martin Bashir — the same ABC journalist behind the 2003 documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" that caused such a stir because it depicts Jackson and his accuser holding hands and the singer defending his practice of sharing his bed with children.
Bashir is also on the list of prosecution witnesses.
In the new interview, Feldman — whom Jackson befriended in his 30s when the actor was a rising teen star — said that while Jackson never touched him inappropriately, he did show him nude photographs in a book once when he went to his house at age 13 or 14. Feldman defended the singer in 1993 when the first child molestation case was brought against him, also by Sneddon.
"And the book was focused on venereal diseases and the genitalia. And he sat down with me and he explained it to me, showed me some different pictures and discussed what those meant," Feldman said in the interview that aired Friday on ABC's "20/20."
Feldman told Bashir he didn't consider the nude pictures "a big deal," but became concerned because of the current molestation charges against Jackson.
The pop music icon's mother told FOX she was dismayed over Feldman's comments.
"Oh my goodness ... He was really close to us," Mrs. Jackson said of the actor. "I really love Corey, but I didn't think he'd go out and do this."
Feldman was arrested for heroin possession in 1990. He has been sober for 14 years, worked recently on the film "The Birthday," and has television and stage work lined up, manager Scott Carlson said.
"He's been very busy. He had nothing to gain by coming forward and saying anything," said Carlson last week.
The glimpse into defense plans came as jury selection resumed in the case. Attorneys from both sides faced the difficult task of narrowing down the pool of potential jurors to 12, plus eight alternates.
The defense didn't tell the prospects why each potential witness might be relevant. Some of the celebrities on the list are friends of Jackson, some have interviewed him and others have met his accuser. Jackson supporters claim the accuser's mother was eager to meet celebrities.
Other than the stars, the questionnaires suggested a jury pool from all walks of life: prospects' job titles ranged from engineer to student to janitor, and their ages spanned from 18 to the early 80s. The average was 46, which is also Jackson's age.
The possible jurors were predominantly white, and about a third Hispanic, with only a half-dozen black prospects. All but 16 of the 242 said they could judge someone of another race fairly.
Sixty-seven people, or more than one in four of the respondents, said they knew someone who has met Jackson or spent time at his ranch. A few potential panelists said they, a relative or close friend had been the victim of "inappropriate sexual behavior of any kind."
Defense attorneys were expected to try to weed out parents of young children who might be especially fearful of child abuse. Prosecutors were likely to look for jurors who looked up to law enforcement.
The questioning of potential jurors was scheduled to begin last Monday, but was delayed by the death of lead defense attorney Mesereau's sister.
FOX News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans, Anita Vogel, Adam Housley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.