En route to the Santa Maria, California, courthouse early this morning, Michael Jackson was taken to the emergency room of nearby Marian Medical Center and diagnosed with the flu. The development has effectively delayed the jury selection process in his child molestation case by a week.
The announcement of the delay was followed by the defense’s list of potential witnesses: an all-star lineup including producer Quincy Jones, late-night talk show host Jay Leno, basketball star Kobe Bryant and longtime friend Elizabeth Taylor.
The prosecution listed the family of the boy who brought molestation charges against Jackson in 1993 before settling out of court. (The judge has not yet ruled as to whether that case can be mentioned during the current trial.) Actor Corey Feldman was also recently subpoenaed to testify in the case, sparked in part by his 20/20 interview last week in which he claimed that Jackson had shown him nude photos when he was thirteen years old.
Other possible witnesses include Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and brother Aaron, celebrity magician David Blaine and New Age guru Deepak Chopra.
Jackson, 46, was indicted last April on charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent (alcohol) to a twelve-year-old. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison. Jury selection from among the 240 remaining candidates will resume on February 22nd, to allow Jackson sufficient time to recover. All twelve members and eight alternates are expected to be chosen by early March.