The ex-wife of Michael Jackson and mother of two of his children, Debbie Rowe can give evidence in his sex abuse trial, Judge Rodney Melville has ruled. The decision came as prosecutors wound down nine weeks of testimony against the pop star, who denies all charges of abuse.
Rowe met Jackson when she worked in the office of the pop star’s dermatologist and they got married in 1996 before divorcing in 1999. Judge Melville has apparently said that although he would allow Jacko’s ex-wife to give evidence, she would be limited in what she could talk about.
Prosecutor, Ron Zonen told journalists recently that Rowe would tell the jury that in the wake of a TV documentary, in which questions about Jackson’s behaviour towards alleged victim, Gavin Arvizo, were raised, that Jackson’s aides had pressured her into making a video message of support for the star. Zonen has also confirmed that Rowe was told if she did record the message, which prosecutors describe as “highly scripted”, she would be allowed to see her children. In an agreement signed in 2001 she waived all access rights to the children, Prince Michael and Paris, but, since then has gone to court and is now currently fighting for custody of the children.
The defence case will begin almost immediately after the prosecution finishes. When it begins making its case it is expected to call on a host of celebrities to testify to the singer’s good character and innocent love of children. The stars could include actresses Liza Minnelli and Liz Taylor, singers Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross, and interviewer Larry King, as well as the former child star Macaulay Culkin. Jackson denies all 10 charges against him. He faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.