SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The mother of the boy accusing Michael Jackson (search) of child molestation testified Thursday that she was "sad," "confused" and "acting" when she said the singer was a father figure to her children.
The woman and her children praised Jackson in an videotape recorded on Feb. 19 and 20, 2003, and played back in court Tuesday.
Prosecutors contend the family made the tape under duress from Jackson associates, who planned to use it as a broadcast rebuttal to British journalist Martin Bashir's documentary "Living With Michael Jackson" (search), which aired on American television on Feb. 6, 2003.
The rebuttal video was never broadcast.
In Bashir's documentary, Jackson was seen with the accusing boy as the pop singer said he allowed children to sleep in his bed, but that such activities were innocent.
The mother said that during the rebuttal video shoot, she was given a script to follow and was read scripted questions.
She said she was instructed to repeatedly say, "That he's a wonderful father. Basically, in summary, that he's a wonderful father ... to my children."
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen (search) asked if she really believed the things she said on the video.
"I was confused, I was sad, so basically I was acting," she said.
On the videotape, the woman continually praised Jackson and occasionally laughed and joked with her children between takes.
The mother said Jackson associate Dieter Wiesner (search), who prosecutors have named as one of the singer's unindicted co-conspirators, was responsible for scripting the questions and answers.
She testified Wednesday that Wiesner was one of the "Germans" she didn't like because they made her feel pressured.
Both Wiesner and another unindicted alleged co-conspirator, Ronald Konitzer, are German.
The woman said that the day after making the rebuttal video, she and her children were interviewed by Los Angeles County child welfare authorities about whether she or Jackson had mistreated the children.
She said that during the child-welfare interview, a Jackson bodyguard pulled her aside and gave her instructions on how to deal with the case workers, implying her parents could be harmed if she didn't protect Jackson's image.
"He told me if I put Michael in a bad light he knew where my parents lived," she testified Wednesday.
Jackson's associates told her not to allow the children to be separated during the interview, to make sure the case workers described the allegations against Jackson that they were investigating and to allow Jackson associates to tape the interview with a hidden recording device, she said.
They also told her she had to play the case workers a DVD made at Neverland in 2000 which showed Jackson and the boy walking and occasionally holding hands to the strains of Jackson's songs, including "I'll Be There."
The woman first took the witness stand Wednesday after Judge Rodney S. Melville (search) allowed her to testify despite her refusal to discuss her alleged welfare fraud — an issue on which the defense had hoped to attack her credibility.
She invoked the Fifth Amendment (search), which protects witnesses against self-incrimination, to avoid questions about the alleged welfare fraud.
During more than four hours of jumbled and tearful testimony, she testified that she saw Jackson lick her son's head during a February 2003 flight from Miami to California on a private jet.
Asked about the event, she turned to jurors and pleaded, "Please don't judge me."
"Everyone was asleep. I had not slept for so long," she said. "I got up. I figured this was my chance to figure out what was going on back there. And that's when I saw Michael licking [the boy's] head."
She sobbed, pounded her chest and said, "I thought I was seeing things. I thought it was me."
The mother also said she originally trusted the singer to protect her family from unidentified "killers," but later decided Jackson was the one to fear.
Following the broadcast of the Bashir documentary, she said the pop star convinced her in a "lovey-dovey speech" that her children were in danger, that there were "killers" after them, and that he was the only one who could protect them.
"I thought, 'What a nice guy,'" she testified Wednesday.
She said Jackson spoke to her family "in a very male voice" in a Miami hotel room, and told them "that he loves us, that he cares about us, we're family. ... That we were in the back of the line, now we're in the front of the line, that he's going to protect us from those killers."
Later she said of Jackson and his associates: "And you know what? They ended up being the killers."
Throughout her more than four hours of testimony on Wednesday, defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. (search) did not make a single objection.
Zonen, however, instructed the witness several times to answer his questions briefly instead of offering lengthy, sometimes off-topic answers.
FOX News legal analyst Jim Hammer said Mesereau's lack of objections to the mother's testimony was meant to let her reveal her own wackiness.
"He makes objections all the time during this trial. Yesterday he sat there silent, looking between the witness and over at the jury," Hammer observed.
"The jurors literally at times would cover their faces in embarrassment laughing at this witness as she would carry on so melodramatically," he added. "I think [Mesereau's] going to let her go. The more she talks, the crazier she sounds."
Before court recessed Wednesday, Zonen played tape-recorded phone conversations between the woman and a man identified as Jackson aide Frank Tyson, whom prosecutors have named as an unindicted coconspirator.
"Let us take care of you. Let us protect you," Tyson is heard saying. "Trust me. ... Now is not the time to be out there alone."
On the tape, Tyson's gentle, high-pitched voice is startlingly reminiscent of the speaking voice Jackson sometimes uses.
"I thought he was a good guy," the woman said of Tyson, "and he ended up being the worst of all of them."
She said she eventually returned to Jackson's Neverland ranch, gave an interview to a private investigator and appeared on the rebuttal video.
Hammer, reporting from the courthouse, said the mother's demeanor was "one of the strangest acts I've ever seen in a courtroom."
"[She was] talking to Jackson himself, at times addressing the media, at one point saying, 'You're good, you guys,'" Hammer said.
Looking directly at the jury, the woman once punctuated her words by snapping her fingers and later affected the German accent of a Jackson associate. At other times she glanced at Jackson, who sat motionless at the defense table.
Hammer said the heart of the mother's testimony was about the alleged imprisonment of the family by Jackson and his co-conspirators.
"She talked about Jackson saying they had to make this rebuttal video to 'appease the killers,' about threats to their safety and what not. Again it sounded crazy, but then the DA pulled out a tape of one of the conversations she had with Frank Tyson," Hammer said.
"And guess what? On that tape, Tyson is heard telling her, 'You're in danger. It's not good for your safety to be out. We're worried that you disappeared from the ranch,' backing up her claim that she escaped.
"So again this tape in some ways corroborated some of what this otherwise crazy witness testified to yesterday."
Hammer added that one of the strangest parts of the mother's story, and one of the problems with the DA's argument, was the leg waxing she got while she was allegedly being held captive.
"The defense says she got a body wax. She says, 'No, it was a leg wax.' Then she said she paid for it herself. She told the kidnappers to take it out of the money they owed her for stealing her luggage," Hammer said.
"Now, this is such a strange story. The idea of Michael Jackson somehow stealing her luggage is so bizarre. It is one of the times the jurors literally covered their faces, looked away and some of them started laughing," he added.
Jurors were in a jovial mood as they returned from a break Wednesday. Several were smiling or laughing, and an alternate stuck his tongue out at a juror as he passed her on the way to his seat.
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient, plying the boy with alcohol and holding his family captive in February and March 2003 to get them to help rebut a damaging documentary.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.