Michael Jackson may not be the only celebrity at his own trial.
The pop star’s lawyer told prospective jurors Monday that witnesses in Jackson’s defense could include bold-faced names such as Elizabeth Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Tonight Show host Jay Leno, pop stars Aaron and Nick Carter, basketball star Kobe Bryant, illusionist David Blaine and actor Chris Tucker.
Though the defense didn’t say exactly how each potential witness might be relevant to the case, the star-studded list includes people who are either friends with Jackson or people who have met his accuser.
The list of possible witnesses was read as the jury-selection process resumed after a week’s delay.
Jackson, who appeared Monday wearing a black suit with a red satin shirt and a gold and red brocade vest, smiled as the prospective jurors entered the courtroom. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient.
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville told the more than 200 prospect jurors that the court is looking for honest people to serve in the case. Melville said a litigant’s greatest fear is that a judge or juror has been “bought and paid for” and has already made up their mind.
“I’m not bought and paid for. I have not made up my mind in this case and I want to select a jury that feels exactly the same way,” Melville said.
One 81-year-old man was immediately dismissed from the potential months-long jury service due to health problems.