The judge in Michael Jackson’s child molestation case has granted the pop singer the right to release a video statement and to sit down with Fox news personality Geraldo Rivera in the wake of an ABC Primetime Live report that leaked verbatim grand-jury testimony by Jackson’s accuser.
While an unidentified source told Reuters that the interview is about Jackson’s ”personal life and family relationships” — not the criminal case — a Fox News spokesperson reported that network execs had not yet reviewed Jackson’s prepared statement, approved by Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville, or his chat with Rivera. As a result, no airdate has been set.
Jackson, 46, has pleaded not guilty to a 10-count indictment that includes charges of plying a minor with alcohol, then molesting him. His trial is slated to begin Jan. 31.
Primetime Live’s report last week quoted graphic accusations made by Jackson’s teenage accuser in front of the grand jury; Judge Melville has kept sealed that testimony and most matters related to the case.
In related news, Jackson’s attorneys filed a motion Wednesday asking that his accuser not be called a ”victim” in court. The judge will rule on the matter on Jan. 28.