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Jackson defense may be in '95 album

Songs addressed past legal troubles

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- A gag order bars Michael Jackson from speaking publicly about his legal troubles, and the defense has not said whether he will testify during his molestation trial.

But Jackson may have offered a defense on an album released a decade ago.

''HIStory" came out in June 1995, soon after the singer paid millions to settle a 1993 molestation allegation. The current case stems from alleged acts in 2003.

The two-disc set was billed as a representation of Jackson's ''past, present, and future," with one disc offering such classics as ''Billie Jean" and another presenting new songs about the singer's troubles.

''I've often thought that if you really want to understand Michael Jackson, listen to HIStory," said J. Randy Taraborrelli, a CBS News analyst and author of the biography ''Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness."

''He doesn't express himself totally in a one-on-one interview. He's best in his songs."

Jackson's spokeswoman, Raymone K. Bain, agreed that many of the songs on ''HIStory" address what the pop star was going through at the time.

It seems that several could sound today like a response to Jackson's current problems. On ''Childhood," he pleads, ''People say I'm not OK, 'cause I love such elementary things/it's been my fate to compensate, for the childhood I've never known. . . . before you judge me, try hard to love me/The painful youth I've had."

In interviews, including some played for jurors during the trial, Jackson has given a similar explanation for turning his Neverland ranch into a children's fantasyland and spending time with youngsters. He said he is trying to recapture a youth lost to the music business. In ''Money," Jackson rails against people who will ''lie for it." The cornerstone argument of his defense is that his accuser's family fabricated their claims to try to win money from him.

In ''D.S.," Jackson rails against someone named in written lyrics as ''Dom Sheldon" -- though he seems to pronounce the name as Tom Sneddon, the lead prosecutor in the current case. Sneddon tried to charge Jackson in 1993, but the case collapsed when the boy refused to cooperate after the out-of-court settlement.

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