Pop superstar Michael Jackson’s attorney says molestation accusations levied against the entertainer are motivated by money, even as doubts about the credibility of the boy’s family began to emerge, the Associated Press reports.
The family of the child has already been involved in two previous cases that involved abuse allegations.
In November 2001, J.C. Penney Co. paid the boy’s family $137,500 to settle a lawsuit alleging security guards beat the boy, his mother and his brother in a parking lot after the boy left the store carrying clothes that hadn’t been paid for, court records show.
The mother also contended that she was sexually assaulted by one of the guards during the 1998 confrontation.
A month before the settlement, the boy’s mother had filed for divorce, beginning a bitter fight that would include criminal charges of abuse. The father’s attorney, Russell Halpern, said the mother had lied about the abuse and had a “Svengali-like” ability to make her children repeat her lies.