SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The psychologist who was the first to tell authorities about claims that Michael Jackson (search) molested a 13-year-old boy testified Wednesday that it would be "extremely rare" for a child that age to make a false allegation.
Stan Katz (search), one of the prosecution's key witnesses, was prohibited by Judge Rodney Melville (search) from testifying directly about the credibility of Jackson's accuser or whether he believes the molestation occurred.
However, Katz said that children over 5 rarely fabricate claims of molestation.
He said that accusers who appear to be truthful sometimes change their stories and embellish or exaggerate, while "children who make false allegations are usually consistent, almost scripted."
Jackson's defense has noted inconsistencies in testimony by the accuser and his brother.
Under cross-examination, Katz acknowledged he has done no research on civil suits involving teenagers in abuse cases, but later testified, "I don't recall any adolescent or preadolescent making claims for profit."
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting the boy in 2003 and plying him with alcohol.
Earlier Wednesday, a flight attendant testified that the boy once showed off an expensive watch the singer gave him and boasted that Jackson would buy him anything.
Cynthia Bell said the conversation took place in 2003 during a Miami-to-California flight with Jackson and members of the boy's family.
"He was saying things like, 'Look at what Michael got me,' and, 'These are very expensive watches,'" Bell said. "He did say, 'Michael bought this watch for me and he'll buy me anything.'"
Prosecutors contend the watch was a bribe to keep the boy from revealing that Jackson gave him alcohol. The defense contends the boy and his family were out to bilk Jackson. They have portrayed the molestation charges as a shakedown attempt.
Bell also testified that she served Jackson wine in a Diet Coke can but did not see the boy drink from it, as the prosecution says happened.
On Tuesday, Bell said it was her idea to serve Jackson wine in soda cans and it became a routine on all of the pop star's flights, because "Michael Jackson is a very private drinker." She said Jackson was a nervous flier who could not stand turbulence.
She testified that the boy was rude and unruly throughout the flight, at one point starting a food fight by throwing mashed potatoes at a sleeping doctor who was traveling with Jackson.
The flight attendant also said the boy had a wide range of unreasonable demands. "His chicken was warm. 'I want a side of coleslaw. I don't want it on the same plate.' ... He was very demanding throughout the entire flight," she said.
At one point, prosecutor Gordon Auchincloss asked Bell if she saw Jackson cuddling the boy. She said that she did not think so but that Jackson had an arm around the boy while listening to music.
Auchincloss asked Bell, "What do you define as cuddling?"
She hesitated, smiled and said, "I'd have to show you."
The courtroom erupted in laughter, and Auchincloss quipped, "Your honor, may I approach the witness?"
Also testifying was attorney William Dickerman, who was contacted by the accuser's family in February 2003 and wrote letters to Jackson's then-lawyer, Mark Geragos, claiming the family was being subjected to surveillance and harassment by Jackson associates.
He acknowledged on cross-examination that he never mentioned allegations of molestation, false imprisonment or giving wine to children in his letters.
Dickerman said he eventually referred the case to another attorney, Larry Feldman, with whom he has a fee-sharing arrangement that would give him part of any reward obtained in a civil suit.
Mesereau repeatedly implied that the family went to Dickerman because they were after money, but the witness denied that.
"I never made a demand for money for the [family] for any purpose under the sun," Dickerman said.
Jackson arrived at court amid screams from a few fans on the street. He waved and blew a kiss to them and patted one of his aides on the head. He showed no signs of the stiffness that he blamed on a fall in the shower earlier this month.
Testimony is expected to resume Friday. The trial will recess Thursday in observance of the Cesar Chavez state holiday.