The defence in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial on Monday painted the mother of his accuser as a welfare cheat who exploited her son's cancer to get money and lived lavishly at Jackson's expense at a time she claims she was a captive.
The defence effectively put the mother on trial, calling witnesses to show a history of money schemes and her angry rejection of anyone who sought to help her with anything but cash.
The mother's former sister-in-law said her efforts to hold blood drives when the accuser was ill with cancer were dismissed by the mother, who called her and used profanity to denounce her.
"She told me that she didn't need my (expletive) blood," said the former sister-in-law, bursting into tears, "that she needed money."
The defence, seeking to show that Jackson was another target of such schemes, called a flurry of witnesses as it neared the end of its case.
Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in February or March 2003, giving him alcohol and conspiring to hold the family captive to get them to rebut a documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson, who said he let children sleep in his bed but it was non-sexual.
The defence also called a welfare worker who said the mother fraudulently did not disclose on a welfare application that her family received funds from a $152,000 lawsuit settlement just 10 days earlier, and an accountant who showed the family racked up $7,000 in shopping, dining and other expenses paid by Jackson during a week of their alleged captivity.