news: U.S.

Jackson abuse trial begins

Michael Jackson’s trial began on Monday, and, if convicted of the 10 counts of molestation and conspiracy, the pop icon could face a maximum of 21 years in prison. The court sessions are not being televised but the media has created blanket coverage for what has been coined the ‘celebrity trial of the century’. Jackson recently made an impassioned video plea on his website for a fair hearing, the star said he would be ‘acquitted and vindicated when the truth is told,’ and condemned recent media leaks in his case as ‘disgusting and false’. The indictment stems from accusations made by a now 15-year-old boy in December 2003, with prosecutors accusing Jackson of plying the boy with alcohol to seduce him. Jackson’s team dismissed the allegations as ‘a big lie’ concocted by the accuser’s family and driven by greed.