More craziness in Jackson circus - April Avison

The bizarre case of Michael Jackson's child molestation allegations keeps getting more bizarre.

There is of course the school of thought that pop stars can do no wrong. Then there's the other idea that anyone accused of child molestation is therefore a child molester and should be burned at the stake.

But then there's another interesting facet of this case: What kind of nuts are the people who filed this suit against the King of Pop?

Reports on the Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com) last week show that the family that filed the lawsuit has quite a history of unusual behavior and serial lawsuit filing.

Of course, I must make the obligatory statement here that everyone is entitled to fair treatment and just because someone is weird doesn't mean they are immune to child molestation.

But ? after shoplifting from a JC Penney store in California in 1998, the boy who was allegedly molested by Michael Jackson got into a scuffle with security guards who caught him shoplifting. Apparently the security guards ended up fighting with the boy and his parents. According to the news article, the family sued the JC Penney store, alleging they were severely beaten and falsely arrested. In the suit, the family claimed the boy suffered a "sprained arm, nightmares and emotional distress." The suit also claimed that a younger son, who was 7, was bruised on the forehead, causing "headaches and emotional distress."

The family collected $200,000. Maybe I'm not as compassionate as I should be here, but I have to wonder if they were really emotionally distressed or just in need of money.

Other police reports show that the father once kept his daughter prisoner in the family car for more than two hours and threatened to "kill your mom and your whole family."

And, the story goes on to state that after the mother filed assault charges against the father, she told police in a most unusual statement that Michael Jackson, local weatherman Fritz Coleman and basketball star Kobe Bryant "would assist her with this incident."

I have no problem saying that these people are crazy. Again, crazy people can be victims, but it's worth noting that they are crazy.

Attorneys are sometimes accused of missing the point when they go after a victim's mental history in open court. It's sometimes seen as an unfair tactic to expose the faults of a victim while shifting attention away from the crime and the person on trial for the crime.

But a victim's background is actually vital information for a jury deciding a case. And when deciding Michael Jackson's guilt or innocence, it should be noted that the family making the claim against him has a reputation for filing lawsuits in order to boost their bank accounts, and their unusual behavior doesn't make them the most reliable sources.

Then again, with Jackson's open claims that he has young boys over for sleepovers, it's not too difficult to believe he may have done the horrible things he is accused of.

We've known for years that Michael Jackson is crazy. But now it seems his accusers may be crazy, too.

April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at aavison@henryherald.com.