Michael Jackson Swaps Lawyers

New counsel lined up prior to arraignment

April 26, 2004 12:00 AM ET

Days before he's expected to be arraigned after a grand jury indictment on child molestation charges, Michael Jackson has cut loose his two attorneys and hired Thomas Mesereau Jr., who initially represented actor Robert Blake in his murder case.

Mesereau replaces Mark Geragos, who is also handling the high profile Scott Peterson murder case, and Benjamin Brafman, who represented Sean "P. Diddy" Combs in a 2001 nightclub shooting incident.

"It is imperative that I have the full attention of those who are representing me," Jackson said in a statement. "My life is at stake. Therefore, I must feel confident that my interests are of the highest priority. I am innocent of these false charges and will aggressively seek to clear my name."

Jackson also clarified that he hadn't replaced his entire defense team, as his longtime attorney Steve Cochran and Santa Barbara lawyer Robert Sanger, would both remain on board.

Jackson was arrested last November and accused of molesting a fourteen-year-old boy. In January, he pleaded not guilty to seven charges of committing lewd acts on a child and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent. He's currently free on $3 million bail. A grand jury was conducted in private this spring to determine if there was sufficient evidence to take the case to trial. According to reports, the grand jurors found sufficient evidence to hand down an indictment, and Jackson is expected to be in court on April 30th for an arraignment.

"The allegations contained in the indictment will be shown to be patently false," a statement from the Jackson camp read. "Michael is looking forward to his day in court and wishes to thank the millions of fans throughout the world who continue to support him during this difficult period."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »