LOS ANGELES – The day Michael Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges, his teenage accuser, a cancer survivor, thought life couldn’t get any worse.
from the Daily News
"Why didn’t they believe me? I told the truth. Why didn’t they believe me?" the anguished boy cried when prosecutors broke the news to him by telephone.
But in the year since the verdict June 13, 2005, the 16-year-old’s existence has sunk to an even lonelier hell. His mom has turned her back on him, blaming him for the courtroom loss, for the alleged abuse by the pop idol, even for welfare fraud charges filed against her, the Daily News has learned.
"His mother barely speaks to him. She won’t cook for him. She treats him like dirt, and she won’t let him go to counseling to deal with the trauma. She blames him for the whole mess and says she wants to move on," said a source familiar with the boy’s plight.
Living under an assumed name in Orange County, Calif., the boy is torn between hiding his past from the world and paying for it every time he walks through the door of his home.
"Mentally, he’s really messed up right now. He never knows what verbal abuse will be thrown at him when he goes home," said the source.
The 38-year-old mother, who has a documented history of mental problems and could not be reached for comment, often tells the boy it’s his fault the pop singer allegedly molested him, the source said.
"She screams at him, ‘You allowed him to touch you! You allowed him to do it!’ And she blames him for not getting the jury to believe him," the source says.
But several jurors on the case said it was the boy’s mom – with her rude finger snapping, pointing and irrational tirades on the witness stand – who rubbed them the wrong way and made them doubt the family’s credibility.
Fueling the boy’s problems, his step-dad, Army Reserve Maj. Jay Jackson, was deployed to the Middle East last August while the mom was pregnant with her fifth child, a baby girl now several months old. The couple, who married in 2004, also has a 2-year-old son.
"The mother has her new family now with Jay. Maybe she has no energy for her older kids from her first husband," said the source.
When he testified at Jackson’s trial last year, the teen was playing high school football and making honor-roll grades, but this year his marks started slipping, the source said.
"He has to work now. He rides his bike across town to his job [in a fast-food joint] and buys his own food. His mother won’t cook for him. It’s a terrible situation," said the source.
The mom even blames the boy for the welfare fraud charges she is facing in Los Angeles County because her alleged $8,000 scheme was unearthed by investigators working for Michael Jackson during the criminal case.
"Everything is his fault," the source said.
The desperate boy recently reached out to a family friend, who is trying to intervene and get him help.
The accuser’s younger brother, who still says he saw the pop star molesting his sleeping sibling in 2003, is "just plain angry at the world. He keeps saying, … ‘I saw him do it!’" the source said.
"[The accuser] just keeps saying, ‘I wish I never met Michael Jackson. He ruined my life,’" said the source.