Another ex-employee testifies that the singer acted inappropriately with the young actor

By Stephen M. SilvermanVickie Bane and Ron Arias
Updated April 08, 2005 08:00 AM

A former chef at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch testified Friday that he saw the pop singer with his hand inside the young Macaulay Culkin’s pants.

Phillip LeMarque, 70, told jurors that he lived at the ranch and cooked for Jackson for a period of 10 months during 1991-’92. He said once “around 3 a.m.” he got a call from security that Jackson, dubbed The Silver Fox, wanted French fries. LeMarque said he delivered the snack to the arcade where Jackson was playing a video game with Culkin on his lap. LeMarque said he saw Jackson holding the boy up with one hand and had his other hand up the boy’s pants.

On Thursday, a former personal maid to Jackson said she also witnessed Jackson “inappropriately” kissing and touching the young Home Alone actor and three other boys, according to testimony at the pop singer’s child-molestation trial.

Though Culkin has continually denied that Jackson ever molested him, the former maid, Adrian McManus, said the actor, who was an “unruly” 10-year-old at the time, would sleep in Jackson’s room whenever he visited, and presumably in Jackson’s bed, since she only made up one bed after his visits.

During Thursday’s graphic testimony, Michael Jackson’s mother, Catherine, who has been at her son’s side during the trial, chose not to be in the courtroom.

Earlier in the day, former Neverland ranch security guard Ralph Chacon testified that he was making his overnight-shift rounds in late 1992 or early 1993 when he saw Jackson and a boy in a whirlpool bath. He said he later saw them take a shower together, then leave the shower and stand naked across from each other, and that Jackson moved his hands “down to his private area.”

The boy in question reputedly received a financial settlement of $15 million to $20 million from Jackson in 1994, and then did not cooperate with a police investigation, reports the Associated Press. The boy is not scheduled to testify in the trial.

On cross-examination by Jackson defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., Chacon’s credibility came under scathing attack. The attorney quickly established that Chacon had sued Jackson, claiming he was improperly fired, and that Jackson had countersued, accusing the guard of stealing from him.

Pundits say the trial’s testimony is getting tougher to hear. “The creep factor has gone way up,” Jim Hammer, a former Bay Area prosecutor and legal analyst told, PEOPLE.

And leaving the courtroom Thursday, holding his mother’s arm after she had re-joined him, Jackson was asked if he was “embarrassed for his mother,” given the day’s testimony.

Jackson replied quietly, “I love my mother.”