Michael Jackson's Trials

Michael Jackson's Trials


The Ongoing Trials of The Late Michael Jackson

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Leno Gag Lifted

Judge Rodney Melville has ruled that US talk show host, Jay Leno, can tell jokes about Michael Jackson; this despite the fact that there is a gag order on witnesses talking to the media about the trial.

The lifting of the gag came despite the fact that Jackson's lawyers argued that Leno, who has been subpoenaed as a possible witness, should be subject to the strict gag order just like every other witness.

Leno has been using a substitute to tell jokes about Jackson on his "Tonight Show" on US television.

Melville, on Friday, ruled that Leno could make jokes about Jackson. However, he could not talk about specific aspects of the case about which he might be called to testify.

Melville said:

"I wouldn't have expected him not to tell jokes, I would have expected him to tell good jokes,".

Leno's lawyers had argued that the gag would impinge on his freedom of speech.


"Mr Jackson's assertion that broad restriction on Mr Leno's speech is necessary to protect Mr Jackson's right to a fair trial is specious,".

Judge Melville has allowed Jackson to file a request to issue a rebuttal to a US television show about Jackson, made by British TV journalist Martin Bashir.

Jackson's lawyers have asked the judge to hold Bashir in contempt of court, over a new film about Jackson broadcast in the United States last month.

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