In another blow to the prosecution in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial, Deborah Rowe, the pop star's ex-wife and mother of his two children, testified that Jackson was "a great person and a great father." Rowe had been called to the stand -- both yesterday and today -- as a witness for the prosecution, but consistently contradicted prosecutors' arguments.
Jackson's ex had been called to testify to support the claim that both the family of the thirteen-year-old boy Jackson is accused of molesting and Rowe were coerced into recording a video statement in response to the 2003 broadcast of Martin Bashir's Living With Michael Jackson. In the documentary, aired on ABC, Jackson states that he enjoys having children sleep in his bed.
Rowe insisted, however, that she participated in the rebuttal out of a desire to help the pop star. "[Jackson] told me there was a video coming out -- full of lies -- and [asked] would I help," she stated. "As always, I said, 'OK.'" But she went on to admit that she had been hopeful of seeing their children after aiding the singer. "I was eager to do it because I would get to see my children and possibly renew a relationship with Mr. Jackson."
Rowe was a nurse for Jackson's dermatologist when they married in 1996, and later gave birth to Prince Michael, 8, and Paris, 7. (Jackson has a third child, Prince Michael II, whose mother has not been named publicly.) The couple filed for divorce in 1999, and Rowe is currently fighting for visiting rights with the children, whom she claims she has not seen in two-and-a-half years.
Earlier today, the defense had inexplicably asked the Santa Maria, California, judge to strike Rowe's testimony, but later in the day withdrew the request.
The prosecution is expected to rest by tomorrow, with the defense arguments to commence next week.
Jackson, 46, faces up to thirty years in prison if convicted.