The son of Michael Jackson's former maid broke down in court yesterday (05APR05), as his allegations that the THRILLER singer molested him were picked apart under cross-examination.

The 24-year-old man, who reportedly received a $2.4 million (GBP1.2 million) settlement from Jackson in the 1990s, had claimed in court on Monday (05APR05) that the 46-year-old had touched him inappropriately more than a decade ago.

Jackson's defence attorney THOMAS MESEREAU JR set out to discredit the man's story as he cross-examined him about inconsistencies between the story he told on Monday and statements he gave to authorities as recently as last December (04).

The accuser told Mesereau, "I don't mean to sound like I'm wasting your time. It's hard being up here."

He also said he told no one until 1993, when detectives investigating another boy's allegations came to him.

That interview was followed by others in 1994 and in October, November and December 2004. Under cross-examination yesterday, he acknowledged that in his 1993 interview he initially said Jackson did not molest him.

Mesereau asked if investigators became aggressive, calling Jackson a "molester" and cursing. The witness said he did not remember details of the interview.

Mesereau said, "It was only after you were pushed real hard by the sheriffs that you began to say anything like that."

The witness said he could not remember who was present or what was said in most of the interviews but recalled a few details from the first interview in 1993 because he listened to a recording of it before testifying.

The witness also appeared to contradict himself, answering yes when Mesereau asked if Jackson had given him money when he read a book or received a good grade.

However, when a prosecutor questioned him about an hour later, the witness said Jackson didn't give him money for good grades or reading books.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to 10 felony charges of child molestation, administering an intoxicating agent and conspiracy involving allegations of child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.

The trial continues.

06/04/2005 03:14