The hearing will "hear" (sorry!) evidence and statements from both prosecution and defence teams, as to whether previous sexual abuse allegations relating to Jackson should be admitted in the trial.
The request for a closed hearing was made on Friday.
The defence argue that the admission of allegations of previous abuse would prejudice the forthcoming trial, and that public disclosure in the pretrial hearing would contaminate the jury pool.
That may well be so, but it is a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted; the allegations are already in the public domain, and the jury pool would have had to be living on Mars not to be aware of them.
The defence argue that the prosecution case for admitting previous allegations is weak; citing the fact that the prosecution are planning to bring in only one alleged victim, but will be using testimony from disgruntled ex employees and others.
Two allegations that are most definitely in the public domain are:
- The report on the news program "Dateline NBC", on September 3 2004, that Jackson paid $2M to the son of a maid at his Neverland Valley Ranch in 1990; to avoid a child molestation accusation.
- In 1993, Jackson paid the family of another boy $15M to settle a different set of child molestation accusations. Jackson admitted no wrongdoing.
I have said it before, and will say it again, in this particular case the US legal system by seeking to bury this trial in gag orders etc seems to be trying to emulate the British obsession with secrecy.