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Michael Jackson Cook Takes Stand

Ex-employee testifies he saw pop star molest child star Culkin

April 11, 2005 12:00 AM ET

A former cook at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch testified Saturday that he witnessed the pop star molest former child star Macaulay Culkin in 1991. Phillip LeMarque, who worked as Jackson's cook for ten months in 1991, testified that during that period he was asked to deliver French fries to the singer in the ranch's arcade room around 3 a.m. one night. When he arrived with the food, he says he saw Jackson and then-eleven-year-old Culkin playing a video game. He then allegedly saw that Jackson had one hand inside the Home Alone star's shorts.

"He was holding the kid -- he was small, he probably couldn't reach the controls," said LeMarque, according to reports. "His left hand was inside the pants of the kid . . . down into the pants . . . in the crotch area . . . I was shocked. I almost dropped the French fries." He said he chose not to confront Jackson because "nobody would have ever believed this."

During cross-examination, the defense pointed out that LeMarque had tried to sell the story to a tabloid before deciding against it. "We were tempted by the money, for sure," the chef responded. "Everybody would be tempted. But it was against our principles."

The prosecution called LeMarque to the stand as one of a series of witnesses intended to demonstrate that Jackson, who is charged with molesting a thirteen-year-old in early 2003, has a history of inappropriate behavior with young boys. A representative for Culkin has publicly denied that he was molested during his friendship with Jackson.

Jackson, 46, could face up to twenty or thirty years in prison if convicted.

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