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The singer is told to stick to the gag order as he faces molestation charges

By Todd Peterson
Updated July 09, 2004 05:00 PM
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A California judge blasted Michael Jackson on Friday for speaking out against old molestation accusations and violating a gag order, and ordered the district attorney to take the stand.

“The court’s gag order doesn’t prevent him from talking about an 11-year-old civil case,” lawyer Thomas Mesereau told California Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville. “Someone leaked documents in an 11-year-old case in an attempt to prejudice this case.”

The 45-year-old Jackson, who faces charges of committing a lewd act upon a child last year, administering alcohol and conspiracy to commit child abduction, had released a statement last month proclaiming his innocence in response to the leak about a $23 million settlement made in a 1993 molestation case.

“There is a thin line here,” Melville told Jackson’s camp. “From now on, follow the gag order.”

Meanwhile, the judge ordered Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon to take the stand and testify about his knowledge of the relationship between private investigator Bradley Miller and Jackson’s former attorney, Mark Geragos.

Jackson’s lawyers maintain that Sneddon knew Miller was working for Geragos, and that using material seized from Miller’s Beverly Hills office in November would violate the attorney-client privilege. Police reportedly used a sledgehammer to gain entry to the rooms, in which they recovered videotapes and computer hard drives that the prosecution intends to use in Jackson’s case.

In addition, a document unsealed Wednesday seeking the dismissal of the grand jury indictment against Jackson revealed a memo in which Sneddon reportedly admitted visiting the investigator’s office before the search.

Sneddon vehemently denied any improper knowledge. “I have nothing to hide,” the D.A. said Friday, agreeing to take the stand.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 27.