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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 April, 2005, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Jackson jury sees nude boy books
Michael Jackson arriving in court on Friday, 29 April
Jackson's case received a boost with his ex-wife's testimony
Prosecutors in Michael Jackson's abuse trial have shown the jury two books seized from the singer's bedroom which they say show naked boys.

The pictures were found in 1993 during a previous molestation case involving a boy who received a multimillion-dollar settlement from Mr Jackson in 1994.

Also on Friday, prosecutors said they planned to call three new witnesses.

The star denies all 10 charges against him, including plying a 13-year-old boy with alcohol and sexually abusing him.

He faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

Bitter exchanges

The pictures with nude boys - contained in two books - were seized from Mr Jackson's Neverland ranch.

It's just plain stale to bring in something from that far back
Defence attorney Robert Sanger

The jury were shown the covers of "Boys Will Be Boys," showing a painting of boys in swimsuits jumping into a pool, and "The Boy: A Photographic Essay" showing a photograph of a naked boy on rocks by the sea.

The prosecutors in the courtroom in Santa Maria, California, had argued that the books testified to what they said was the singer's sexual proclivity for young boys.

Mr Jackson's defence team had objected bitterly against the introduction of the books into evidence, saying they were too "remote in time", irrelevant to the current case and would prejudice jurors.

"It's just plain stale to bring in something from that far back," defence attorney Robert Sanger said.

However, Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville backed the prosecution's request on the grounds that the books' "probative value exceeds the prejudicial effect".

Prosecutors also said they would call three new witnesses to testify, without giving any further details.

They said they planned to complete their case against the star early next week.

Loyal woman

Judge Melville's ruling came day after the prosecution had suffered a setback, according to most court observers.

They referred to the testimony of Mr Jackson's former wife, Debbie Rowe, who defended the singer and attacked his aides as "vultures".

The allegations came to light after a documentary by British journalist Martin Bashir, in which the singer admitted sharing a bed with a child.

Debbie Rowe in court on Thursday, 28 April
Debbie Rowe met the star when she worked as a dermatologist's nurse

Mr Jackson made his own video to answer the controversy - and asked Ms Rowe to take part, she told during her testimony on Wednesday and Thursday.

Before the interview, the pair had not spoken since 1999 and she signed away her parental rights in 2001.

On Thursday, Ms Rowe denied again that she had been asked to praise her former husband or read a script in the video produced by Mr Jackson to refute the claims made in Mr Bashir's documentary.

She said her aim had been to see her children and possibly be reunited with Mr Jackson.

"He's generous to a fault," she said. "A great father, great with kids."

The singer's ex-wife went on to portray him as a man being manipulated by opportunistic handlers, who she said were keeping information from him and wanted to make millions of dollars out of him.

The BBC's James Coomarasamy says the evidence she gave has helped to pick apart the case against Mr Jackson.

Our correspondent at the trial says that instead of an aggrieved ex-wife forced to praise the star, the jury has seen a loyal woman determined to see her children and apparently rekindle a friendship with their father.

Mr Jackson and Ms Rowe were married from 1996 to 1999 and she is the mother of two of his children.

The defence team is expected to call on a host of celebrities to testify to the singer's good character and innocent love of children.

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