It was yet another bad day for the prosecution, which has struggled to make credible witnesses out of the Arvizo family. The boys’ mother, Janet Arvizo — now Janet Jackson, after marrying a Major Jay Jackson — reported Mr Jackson’s alleged abuse three months after it happened after a meeting with Larry Feldman, the lawyer who negotiated an out-of-court settlement with the singer in 1993.
The boys first revealed Mr Jackson’s alleged abuse during a session with Dr Stanley Katz, a psychologist, who worked for Mr Feldman.
During his calm although sometimes sardonic cross-examination, Thomas Meserau Jr, Mr Jackson’s defence lawyer, repeatedly brought up two other cases in which the Arvizo family made claims of sexual abuse and false imprisonment. One of the cases was against Janet Arvizo’s former husband, David; the second was against security guards at the J C Penney department store.
He was then shown another part of his J C Penney statement, in which he said his father never hit him. He admitted that was also a lie. “Please tell the jury why you lied under oath?” a weary-sounding Mr Meserau asked. Star shrugged. “I don’t remember,” he said. “It was a long time ago.”
Mr Jackson, wearing a black suit, black armband and silver waistcoat, looked up at the young witness from his seat at the defence table. Star and his sister, Davellin Arvizo, who was in the witness box last week, have both testified at length about how their father physically abused them at their home in Los Angeles.
Mr Meserau also accused Star of giving different descriptions to various government agencies of the two separate times when he said he saw Mr Jackson molesting his brother. Star told the court that he saw the abuse from the lit stairway leading up to the singer’s darkened bedroom. Gavin was asleep at the time, he said.
“You have given different descriptions about what Michael Jackson was wearing and what Gavin was supposed to have been wearing when you saw them on the bed,” Mr Meserau said. Star replied: “I do not remember exactly what I said.”
The defence continued: “You have given different descriptions about what Michael Jackson did in the bedroom. There were times you said that Michael Jackson put his hand on top of your brother’s underwear, times when you said he put it inside his underwear, and times when you said your brother was wearing pyjamas and times when he was wearing underwear.”
Again, Star said he could not remember, a line that the jury has heard countless times from both Star and his sister, Davellin, when she was giving evidence. Mr Mesereau said: “There were times you said Michael Jackson touched your brother’s butt and not his crotch. Did you ever tell anyone that when you saw Michael Jackson in bed with your brother he was rubbing his butt?” Star replied “no”.
Mr Meserau pressed on: “You never said it to Dr Stanley Katz, to the sheriffs or to the Grand Jury?” Star replied “no”.
In spite of saying that he lied under oath, Star told the jury that he had always been told to tell the truth by his family.
Referring to recorded police interviews, Mr Mesereau said: “You were asked if you knew the difference between right and wrong, and you said you learnt it from your mother?” Star replied: “Yes. She taught us that our whole lives.”
Mr Mesereau continued: “And you told police that lying is a sin?” Star mumbled: “Yes, I think so.” Mr Jackson denies ten counts, including abuse, kidnapping and extortion. The case continues.