SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Michael Jackson's lawyers will be allowed to question witnesses about allegations that the boy accusing the singer of molestation once claimed comedian George Lopez (search) stole $300 from his wallet.
Defense attorneys have tried to raise the matter during Jackson's trial, but have been blocked by objections that Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville (search) has upheld. After reviewing reports about the incident, Melville said Friday he would allow questions about it.
Lopez was one of several comedians who tried to help the boy's family as the boy battled cancer.
The documents filed by defense attorney Robert Sanger (search) said the boy and his father contacted Lopez after a visit to his house and said he had left his wallet, which contained several hundred dollars. Lopez and his wife located the wallet and found that it actually contained a few dollars.
The incident led to a falling out between Lopez and the boy's family, the documents said.
The defense motion claims the incident shows evidence of the family's "pattern and practice of coaching the children to lie for financial gain." Jackson's attorneys have said the boy invented molestation claims against Jackson after the boy and his family were evicted from Jackson's Neverland ranch.
District Attorney Tom Sneddon (search) sought to block the Lopez evidence, saying he believed the boy's father "tried to induce the child to say there was $300 in his wallet and the child didn't want to. ... The son was not buying what the father was trying to get him to do."
Also Friday, Melville rejected a defense request for a mistrial after a witness mentioned the name of a youngster who leveled sex allegations against the pop star a decade ago.
On Thursday, a former housekeeper at Jackson's Neverland ranch mentioned the boy who received a multimillion-dollar civil settlement after claiming in 1993 that Jackson molested him.
The defense argued the testimony violated Melville's ruling that no evidence of past sexual crimes could be admitted unless the judge said so.
In denying the request for a mistrial, Melville said prosecutors elicited the testimony to establish how much contact Jackson had with boys who visited Neverland, not to suggest any impropriety by the singer.
The judge also set a March 28 date for a hearing on the prosecution request to allow evidence of alleged prior offenses into Jackson's trial.
Jackson has never been convicted of a sexual offense, but prosecutors want to present witnesses they believe will show that the current case is part of a pattern.
Jackson, 46, is charged with molesting a 13-year-old cancer patient at Neverland in 2003. No testimony was heard Friday; it will resume on Monday.