The choreographer – who claimed in recent documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’ he had been abused as a child by the ‘Thriller’ hitmaker – took to the witness stand to defend the late King of Pop at his 2005 trial for allegedly molesting teenager Gavin Arvizo, but Eleanor Cook felt both Wade and actor Macaulay Culkin lied under oath to protect the singer.
Asked about Wade and Macaulay saying under oath that they had never been abused by Jackson, Eleanor, now 93, said: “I didn’t believe them. They were kids who grew up with Michael.”
Eleanor, who was juror number five, admitted she and another juror strongly felt the ‘Billie Jean’ singer was guilty but eventually decided to agree with the rest of the panel because they “knew we weren’t going to change anyone’s mind”.
In an interview with RadarOnline.com, she said: “We gave in. I definitely thought he was guilty with all my heart and soul. I have always thought that. I have prayed about it.”
Michael – who died from acute Propofol intoxication in June 2009 – was acquitted of all charges but the juror felt he “should have been sent to jail” and “punished”.
However, Eleanor did admit she “felt sorry” for the ‘Scream’ singer.
She said: “His father mistreated him. Yes, he was guilty, and he did a lot of that stuff. But he had a hard life, and his mother was the only one that was there every day. She was a very sweet woman.”
A spokesperson for ‘My Girl’ actor Macaulay declined to address Eleanor’s comments.
They said: “We decline to dignify the request with a response.”
However, the 38-year-old actor has always denied any suggestion the ‘Bad’ hitmaker ever acted inappropriately towards him.
In director Dan Reed’s ‘Leaving Neverland’, both Wade and James Safechuck claimed they were abused by the singer until they became teenagers.