Michael Jackson Defends Himself on 60 Minutes

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, December 29, 2003.

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TONY SNOW, GUEST HOST:  Thanks for staying with us.  I'm Tony Snow in for Bill O'Reilly.

In this second Unresolved Problems segment tonight, Michael Jackson (search) has given his first interview since being charged with child molestation.

Among other things, he told 60 Minutes that he still thinks it's OK to sleep with children.  He also complained that cops roughed him up.  Here are some highlights.


MICHAEL JACKSON, POP SINGER:  Before I would hurt a child, I would slit my wrists.  I would never hurt a child.

ED BRADLEY, CORRESPONDENT, CBS NEWS/60 MINUTES:  As we sit here today, do you still think that it's acceptable to share your bed with children?

JACKSON:  Of course.  Of course.  Why not?  If you're going to be a pedophile, if you're going to be Jack the Ripper, if you're going to be a murderer, it's not a good idea.  And that, I'm not.

BRADLEY:  What happened when they arrested you?

JACKSON:  They manhandled me very roughly.  My shoulder is dislocated, literally.  It's hurting me very badly.

Once I went in the restroom, they locked me in there for like 45 minutes.  There was doo-doo and feces thrown all over the walls, the floor, the ceiling.  I won't live there ever again.

I'll visit Neverland.  It's a house now.  It's not a home anymore.  I'll only visit there.


SNOW:  Joining us now from Los Angeles is Jane Velez-Mitchell, a reporter with Celebrity Justice. And with me here in New York, criminal defense attorney Melinda McAllister.

Jane, let me start by asking you, Michael Jackson, in that clip we just heard, was complaining that his shoulder was dislocated.  Elsewhere in the interview he said that they had tied his wrists so tightly that there were bruises.

What do you make of that?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, REPORTER, CELEBRITY JUSTICE:  Well, I wasn't there.  And, of course, the sheriff's department said that they behaved with utmost professionalism and courtesy.

I spoke to a law enforcement source today who told me that those injuries, in his opinion -- and he's been in law enforcement for 30 years -- are not consistent with handcuff injuries.  He told me that they're way too high up.  Usually, if there's a problem with handcuffs, you have bruises around the wrists.

So, right there, a lot of people are seeing a big problem.  It really cries out for some examination by doctors and by law enforcement.  We can't take that at face value.

On top of that, he said he was locked up in the bathroom for 45 minutes.  Now, I didn't have a stopwatch, but I was there that day.  It seemed to me that the entire process, when he zoomed in with his entourage and then left, was about 45 minutes, maybe even less.

Somebody needs to take a stopwatch and actually go back to the videotape -- the real-time videotape -- and time it.  Because, if it didn't take 45 minutes, or if it just took 45 minutes, that's a big problem with his story.

SNOW:  OK, Jane.  We also just saw a piece of videotape where he is waving to the crowd.  He's got his shoulder fully up.  He's flashing the victory sign.

One of the things he said last night is he could barely raise his hands above his shoulders.  Once again, it doesn't seem consistent with the evidence that we just saw in the film.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Exactly.  And one other important caveat.  I was told by a law enforcement source that the sheriff's department may have videotaped the entire thing from the moment that they encountered him at the airport, thought when he was released after posting bail.

If so, and if there were surveillance cameras inside the sheriff's department booking center, they could have an ace in the hole.  They could turn around and perhaps use that at trial to question his credibility.

If he's lying about that, what else is he lying about?  And, again, we don't know, but it certainly calls for a lot of questions.

SNOW:  Let's ask Melinda.  What do you think?

MELINDA MCALLISTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  I think that it's away, away, away from the real issue.  We have to get back to the main issue.  The issue is pedophilia.  Did this man commit an act of pedophilia or not?  Whether he was injured or not is really kind of aside the point.

SNOW:  Well, part of it, though, when you're dealing with the issue of credibility, he is saying, OK.  This is what happened in Neverland (search).  You know, I never slept with anybody, and all that sort of thing.

If you can attack his credibility on something where the whole world is watching, certainly you can use that kind of testimony to question his credibility when maybe only one person was watching.

MCALLISTER:  Well, again, the issue of pedophilia and any other kind of case, criminal case, is always credibility.  And there's a measure in law that says, if you're lying once, you're lying all the time.

That's going to be the question for the jury.  And certainly, he might have shot himself in the foot by complaining so much about his injuries, if they're not true.

SNOW:  Do you believe that part of his legal strategy is going to be for Mark Geragos (search), his attorney, to say, look.  The guy's nuts.  He just is, just flat nuts.

MCALLISTER:  I -- well, first of all, you have to break down your question, respectfully.  I don't know if he has a strategy or if Geragos has a strategy.

SNOW:  Well, that's why I mentioned Geragos.

MCALLISTER:  Right now what we're seeing is the Michael Jackson strategy of how to do a legal case, which is, hi.  I want to go on the air.  I want to talk about things.  I want to see what I can say.  And that's about it.

Geragos' theory of the case, if you listen to Geragos' part of the interview was, it never happened.  It never could have happened.  There are over 100 employees at Neverland, and Michael Jackson is never alone with children.

SNOW:  Right.

MCALLISTER:  So that's, I think, going to be what the strategy is.

SNOW:  And if that is true, that's a pretty strong defense.


SNOW:  The other thing you have are allegations that the plaintiff's family, upon occasion, has in fact tried to use the legal system to extract money from other people.


SNOW:  That hurts their credibility.

MCALLISTER:  Big credibility issue.  They had not one, but two lawsuits, one with J.C. Penney and the other was a major department store -- $150,000 each.  That's really a problem for them, a big problem.

SNOW:  OK.  Jane, let's go back and talk a little bit about the public relations aftermath of this interview with 60 Minutes.

I have not seen any account that did not describe it as totally disastrous.  What do you think?

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Well, yes.  And just getting to what Melinda said a second ago, she has two lawsuits.  Michael Jackson has had 1,000 lawsuits.  Where is the question about all those lawsuits?

And as far as this being a public relations disaster, indeed, I think it is.  If you break down a lot of what was said, it really enters an area of surrealism.

This whole idea that he is monitored at all times with these children.  OK.  They sleep.  People sleep about eight hours.

Is he contending, then, that there's an individual standing there guard, wide awake, looking at him sleeping on the floor while this child is sleeping on the bed?  Is that exactly what's being contended here?

Because if you break it down, and he's being monitored 24 seven, that's what it would have to be, or somebody watching on videotape.

I would like to see and talk to this person who is monitoring them, wide awake for eight hours while they sleep.

SNOW:  Melinda?

MCALLISTER:  First of all, let's get back to issue number one.  Was it a disaster?  Maybe not.

What we're doing is, we're getting to know Michael Jackson really well.  And maybe he thinks that if you really get to know him really well, maybe everything in context is really truly, is asexual.  That's what he's saying to the media.

That's number one.

Number two, in terms of monitoring him, I don't know how 100 employees work.  I don't know what their shifts are.  I don't know how you break down 24 seven.  That would be for the jury to decide.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  But he has said that he's monitored while he's sleeping in bed.

MCALLISTER:  I never said that.  And neither did anybody on the interview.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  No.  They said monitored ...

MCALLISTER:  Nobody said that on the interview.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  ... all the time.  No, they ...


VELEZ-MITCHELL:  ... said he's monitored all the time, that there's never any time where there isn't a third party present.

SNOW:  Well, OK.  Let's jump past that.


SNOW:  I want to get back to a point you just made, ...


SNOW:  ... which is perhaps, in your opinion, ...


SNOW:  ... that he may be asexual.  Here is one of the answers.


SNOW:  He says, people think sex.  They're thinking sex.  My mind doesn't run that way.  When I see children, I see the face of God.  That's why I love them so much.  That's what I seek.

Core of a defense?

MCALLISTER:  Possibility.  He certainly laid it out first, and he certainly said it.

The thing you have to remember about this particular criminal defendant is that he's running his own show right now.  Geragos is not running the show.

So if he's putting out to the public, hey, I'm asexual, that's so far where he wants to go.

SNOW:  Jane, let me ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  He's a man who has three children.  How ...


MCALLISTER:  Well, two of them were actually ...

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) father with three children.

MCALLISTER:  Two of them were done, I believe, in a doctor's office, so that it may not have been a sexual act.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  But we don't know.  There's a third child who's a mystery child.  We really don't know the circumstances.


VELEZ-MITCHELL:  I mean, we can't say for sure that this person is completely asexual.  He was married.  He was married to Lisa Marie Presley (search).

MCALLISTER:  That doesn't mean anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Well, no.  I'm just saying that ...

MCALLISTER:  Especially with Lisa Marie.  I'm sorry.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  ... that you can't have it both ways.

MCALLISTER:  Respectfully.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  You can't have it both ways.  I mean, you're either an adult, you're a 45-year-old man or you're a child.

And he's ...


VELEZ-MITCHELL:  ... a 45-year-old man who's been married a couple of times, who has had children.

You know, that is the reality of his life, and he can't just close the gates of Neverland and say, behind the gates, I am Peter Pan, I am somebody else.

We have the right to question that.

MCALLISTER:  That's how he sees himself, though.

SNOW:  All right.  Well, Jane, the phrase of the day -- the reality of his life.  Jane, Melinda, thank you both.

MCALLISTER:  Thank you.

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