The embattled pop star falls ill while en route to court on Tuesday

By Marla Lehner
February 15, 2005 12:00 PM

Michael Jackson was rushed to a hospital emergency room with the flu, the judge in his child molestation trial announced Tuesday.

Judge Rodney Melville told jurors that Jackson has fallen ill with the flu and that jury selection would be postponed until Feb. 22.

The singer’s physician said in a press conference Tuesday that Jackson is not seriously ill. “Mr. Jackson has been evaluated in our emergency department today for a flu-like illness with some vomiting,” said Dr. Chuck Merrill. “He is undergoing testing and is being treated with intravenous fluids right now. He’s in stable condition and we expect a full recovery.”

The initial announcement that the singer was ill came from judge Melville 15 minutes after Jackson was supposed to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. The singer was on his way to the courthouse when he became sick and was taken to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, Calif.

The singer’s illness comes just a day after his lawyer told prospective jurors that witnesses in Jackson’s defense could include 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.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to charges of molesting a 13-year-old former cancer patient.