LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors in the child molestation trial of Michael Jackson (search) want court permission to subpoena the star's financial records and present expert testimony about his wealth, according to documents released Friday.
Defense lawyers argued the materials are not relevant and violate Jackson's privacy.
In their motion, prosecutors said they plan to show Jackson's actions toward his accuser and the boy's family were motivated by a desire to minimize the effects of a documentary titled "Living With Michael Jackson (search)" and to "preserve both his fortune and his reputation."
They contend the entertainer held the family hostage at his Neverland ranch (search) until they agreed to participate in a rebuttal video, making laudatory statements about Jackson.
This was the first time prosecutors have alleged a financial motive by the entertainer.
Prosecutors also said they needed testimony of a financial expert, saying the jury cannot accurately judge Jackson's assessment of the documentary "without evidence of his financial circumstances."
The defense countered Jackson "is an international recording artist and a man who has varied and complex business relationships with numerous individuals and entities."
"The very nature of these types of business relationships is that the parties honor a commitment to their respective privacy," the defense said, arguing disclosure would hurt the star's ability to do business in the entertainment industry.
The 46-year-old pop star is charged with molesting a boy, plying him with alcohol, and conspiring to hold his family captive. Jury selection is scheduled to resume next week.