The woman allegedly tricked a paper into helping get money for her sick son

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 04, 2005 08:00 AM

With the Jan. 31 start date of Michael Jackson’s child-molestation trial looming, now comes a report of a possible scam involving the mother of the star’s accuser.

TV’s Celebrity Justice claims that the woman tricked a newspaper into printing a story seeking donations for her son’s cancer treatments – when, in fact, the boy’s medical care was fully covered by insurance.

The mother was quoted in a November 2000 front-page story in the Mid Valley News as saying, “Our car has been repossessed. One chemotherapy injections cost more than $12,000.”

Three weeks after the story was published, $965 was deposited into a bank account set up to accept donations and $750 was withdrawn, Celebrity Justice reports. A person identified by the show as being close to the woman told the program that the funds were not misspent, but declined to say how it was used.

The show also said that the boy’s supermarket worker father, who was a member of the Teamsters Union, had insurance to cover all of the medical expenses.

Connie Keenan, editor of the Mid Valley News in El Monte, Calif., said the woman first approached a reporter in 2000 and delivered a story “that her son needed all sorts of medical care and they had no financial means.”

Added Keenan: “It’s sickening. … She’s a shark.”

Before the start of Jackson’s trial, one more pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12.