US: Actor and comedian Chris Tucker testified yesterday in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial that during the time he befriended Jackson's young accuser, he found the boy to be unusually sophisticated and cunning for a 12-year-old.
"He was really smart and he was cunning at times, and his brother . . . was definitely cunning," said Tucker, who was called by Jackson's lawyers as their last witness.
Tucker was put on the stand to help make the defence case that the boy and his family have a history of targeting celebrities and trying to get money from them.
The defence was expected to rest when Tucker was finished, without calling Jackson.
After the defence rests, prosecutors will begin a rebuttal and Jackson's lawyers will then be given an opportunity to respond.
Closing arguments probably will not begin before next week.
Tucker also testified that he once took Jackson aside and warned him to "watch out" for the boy's mother because he had grown suspicious of her.
Tucker said the boy repeatedly asked for gifts but that he forgave the boy's behaviour because he knew he had battled cancer and had family problems.
"He would always say, 'Chris, let me have this . . . I'm not feeling too good'," Tucker said.
Other comedians who have testified, including George Lopez and Jay Leno, cracked a few jokes on the stand.
But Tucker's demeanour was calm and serious in stark contrast to his outrageous demeanour in the Rush Hour films and such movies as Friday and The Fifth Element.
Jackson (46) is charged with molesting the boy in 2003 when the youth was 13, giving him wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a documentary in which the boy appeared with Jackson as the entertainer said he let children into his bed for innocent sleepovers.
Jackson denies all charges.
Tucker, who co-starred with Jackie Chan in the Rush Hour movies, met Jackson's accuser at a benefit while the boy was battling cancer in 2000.
Tucker provided details about a gift of at least $800 that he gave to the family after the fundraiser for the boy at a Hollywood comedy club.
He said the boy came to his house after the fundraiser and told him it hadn't raised any money.
"He was just real sad looking, saying they didn't raise any money and they needed some money," Tucker said.
Jackson defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau asked Tucker if he became suspicious since he had seen many people at the benefit.
"Yes, but I was always thinking I was helping him so I just did it," Tucker said.
Tucker also said that at one point he considered giving a car to the family but then became concerned that he was doing too much for them.