Michael Jackson's lawyer THOMAS MESEREAU insists the King of Pop should be forever grateful to pal Macaulay Culkin and his former attorney MARK GERAGOS because they helped secure victory in his child molestation case.

Mesereau, who celebrated with Jackson and his family at the Neverland Ranch after the pop superstar was acquitted on Monday (13JUN05), admits Culkin and Geragos were big factors in the trial.

He says, "He (Culkin) was a wonderful witness for Michael Jackson and I will always have tremendous respect for Macaulay Culkin.

"He's on top of the world, he didn't have to go to bat for his friend and he did it anyway.

"There never was any doubt that he was gonna come and testify. He always said, 'I wanna be there, I wanna help Michael Jackson and I wanna tell the truth...' He was a man of really strong character." And Mesereau thinks his predecessor Geragos' honest testimony helped swing the jury in Jackson's favour.

He adds, "He was an excellent witness. He was a very, very honest witness. He really spoke for his client, he explained very simply and very carefully and honestly what he had done to surveil this family because of his suspicions."

But Mesereau feels sure that the best witness was called by the prosecution - Jackson's ex-wife Debbie Rowe.

Rowe turned the tables of the lawyers when she took the stand in April (05) and destroyed their conspiracy case.

Mesereau says, "They wined and dined her at a local restaurant the night before. From what I understand, a lot of pressure was put on her to say what they wanted her to say and then she got on the witness stand she told the truth... She was very effective for us."

16/06/2005 09:11