Wednesday’s star witness in the Michael Jackson trial was a crisis management specialist briefly hired to help “put out the many fires” that were ignited by the 2003 TV documentary Living With Michael Jackson.
Ann Kite, who uses the professional name of Ann Gabriel, called the TV special an “absolute disaster” for the singer, one that measured a “25 on a disaster scale of 1 to 10” as she described ensuing days of panic and chaos inside the Jackson camp.
It was fallout from the special that the prosecution contends ultimately led Jackson and his team of associates to hold his young accuser and his family prisoners of Neverland.
Jackson, 46, stands accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at Neverland in 2003, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the boy’s family captive after the program aired.
Two statements by Kite were particularly damaging, according to legal experts. She recalled under oath telling Jackson’s associates about the family, saying: “Don’t tell me these people were hunted down like dogs and returned to the ranch.” The other was that Jackson’s handlers intended to make the mother “look like a crack whore.”
Upon cross examination of Kite, the defense hammered the point that she had only worked for Jackson’s management team for six days, and anything that she had heard was strictly second- or third-hand.
On Thursday, a sheriff’s photographer who videotaped Neverland is due to take the stand. Meanwhile, very few fans continue to greet Jackson during his daily arrivals at the courthouse. On Wednesday there were about three.