SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The latest in a parade of former Michael Jackson (search) employees to take the stand against their ex-boss testified Friday that he once saw Jackson with his hand inside child star Macaulay Culkin's (search) shorts but didn't tell anyone because "nobody would have ever believed this."
Phillip LeMarque (search), who said he and his wife worked for Jackson for 10 months in 1991, said he never made his allegations until 1993, when authorities came to him in connection with another child's claims against the pop star.
LeMarque said that one night in 1991, he was delivering an order of french fries to Jackson at Neverland's (search) arcade and saw the singer holding Culkin up to a video game console with one hand on the boy's waist and the other in the boy's shorts.
"I was shocked. I almost dropped the french fries," said LeMarque, 70, who described his job as "major domo food." He said he sneaked away and then returned, loudly announcing himself.
Under cross-examination by Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. (search), LeMarque acknowledged that he and his wife considered selling the story to the tabloids and that he told an intermediary he wanted $500,000. But he said he and wife backed out when they realized the intermediary "was so sleazy."
At one point, LeMarque said, "Everybody was trying to sell our stories." But he said he and his wife finally decided not to sell because "it was against our principles."
Jackson, 46, is on trial on charges of molesting a 13-year-old boy at his Neverland ranch in 2003. Prosecutors are introducing evidence of inappropriate behavior with other youngsters in an attempt to show that the crime was part of a pattern on Jackson's part.
Culkin was well-known in the 1990s as a Jackson companion. The defense has said the "Home Alone" star has repeatedly denied anything inappropriate happened. And a Culkin spokeswoman has said he does not plan to be a part of the case.
But prosecutors have repeatedly elicited testimony about Culkin over the last few days. Adrian McManus (search), a former personal maid to Jackson, testified she once saw Jackson kiss Culkin while his hand was on Culkin's bottom.
But the maid and other employees came under attack by Mesereau, who showed that they sought to supplement their paychecks by selling stories about the pop star.
McManus testified that she and other Jackson employees used a "media broker" to sell stories to the tabloids, enticing the broker with claims of inside knowledge of Jackson's sex life with ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley.
"You were quoted in a Star story with the headline, `Kinky secrets of Michael and Lisa Marie's bedroom,'" Mesereau said.
"I didn't say that," McManus insisted, adding, "A lot of times with those tabloids they say other stuff."
She said that she did not actually know any kinky sex secrets about the couple.
McManus was part of a lawsuit against Jackson by Neverland employees who sought millions but lost and were ordered to pay him $1.4 million. McManus claimed she was wrongly fired.
LeMarque said he and his wife sued Jackson after they quit, claiming they were owed overtime pay. He said the lawsuit was settled.
Mesereau has used the ex-employees' legal battles with Jackson and the sale of stories to tabloids to attack the reliability of their testimony against the pop star.