SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Michael Jackson's former maid testified yesterday that she once found the singer showering with a boy who often slept in the pop star's bed.
Jackson is on trial on charges of groping a 13-year-old boy in 2003 at his Neverland ranch. The former maid testified as part of a prosecution effort to show that the pop star had a pattern of molesting or otherwise behaving inappropriately with other boys.
The former maid's own son received a $2.4 million settlement from Jackson in 1994 after charging that the pop star had groped him. And before the woman took the stand, defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. raised the issue of whether she also had a financial stake in his story by showing she had been paid $20,000 to appear on the TV show ''Hard Copy."
The woman, who was Jackson's personal maid for about five years, told of seeing Jackson in the shower with a boy about 8 years old who frequently stayed at Neverland and slept in the singer's bed.
''Are you aware of him staying anywhere other than in Michael Jackson's bedroom?" asked prosecutor Ron Zonen.
''No," said the woman, speaking with a Spanish accent. ''He stay there."
One day, she said, she used a key to enter the bedroom and heard ''laughing, playing -- like playing around."
''First I thought they were playing in bathtub or Jacuzzi or outside in his garden, and I walked in and they were in the shower," she said, adding later, ''I peek in and they were in shower."
The woman said she saw their clothes on the floor outside the shower but retreated because she thought Jackson would be angry if he found her there.
Interrogated at length about how she knew who was in the shower when the door was clouded with steam, the witness said she was sure she saw ''Mr. Jackson and little kid" through the steam.
The former maid also told of seeing actor Macaulay Culkin at Neverland and said he also stayed in Jackson's bedroom. She called him ''the little kid from the movies" and said he often came with his father, mother, brother, and sister, but sometimes was brought alone by Jackson.
Although the prosecution was allowed to present testimony about Culkin, the defense has asserted that the ''Home Alone" star has denied being molested, and Culkin's spokeswoman has said he will not be involved in the court case.
Earlier, the former maid's 24-year-old son clashed with Mesereau as the attorney cross-examined him about inconsistencies between the story he told Monday and accounts he gave to authorities as recently as December.
''I don't mean to sound like I'm wasting your time," he told the lawyer at one point. ''It's hard being up here."
The jury was told he received a financial settlement but was not told the sum. The young man's attorney acknowledged that the terms of the settlement involved no admission of wrongdoing by Jackson.
On Monday, the young man said Jackson twice touched his crotch over his clothes and once reached under his clothes and touched his genitals during tickling games when he was 7 to 10. He also said that in the first two incidents, Jackson gave him $100.
He also said he told no one until 1993, when detectives investigating another boy's allegations came to him. That interview was followed by others in 1994 and again in 2004.
Under cross-examination yesterday, he acknowledged that in his 1993 interview he initially said Jackson did not molest him. Mesereau asked whether investigators became aggressive, calling Jackson a ''molester" and cursing.
The witness said he did not remember details of the interview.
''It was only after you were pushed real hard by the sheriffs that you began to say anything like that," Mesereau said.
The witness also contradicted himself on a couple of points. Under questioning by Mesereau, he said Jackson would give him money whenever he read a book or got an A. Under questioning by one of the prosecutors, he said that did not happen.
Mesereau confronted the witness with statements he made during one of his interviews in which he said: ''They made me come up with a lot more stuff. They kept pushing. I wanted to hit them in the head."
The witness said he did not remember the statements. Mesereau showed him a transcript and asked if that refreshed his recollection. The witness said no.