LOS ANGELES (AP) – A comedy club owner who says he introduced Michael Jackson to the cancer-stricken boy he is accused of molesting said Thursday the child is in such poor health that his remaining kidney is failing.

Jamie Masada, owner of The Laugh Factory in West Hollywood, said he brought Jackson and the child together about two years ago – soon after doctors gave the boy three weeks to live. He said the boy expressed an interest in meeting Jackson and Masada made “a few phone calls.”

“The kid is not doing very good,” Masada said at a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless that he holds at the club each year.

Masada said doctors removed a large tumor from the boy’s stomach some time ago, and at the same time took out one of his kidneys and spleen. He said the boy’s remaining kidney is failing, and that he needs a transplant.

Masada said he saw the boy earlier this week. He said the boy was being treated at home, not a hospital, but was getting dialysis treatments.

Jackson surrendered last week after an arrest warrant alleged he committed lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14. He was released on $3 million bail; authorities say they expect to file formal charges sometime after Dec. 15.

Jackson’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said this week that the accusations are motivated by money and are untrue.

Masada said he met the boy at a camp where stars including Adam Sandler and Chris Tucker teach underprivileged children about comedy. He said he contacted Jackson’s people and asked that Jackson watch a news report about the boy’s condition and the efforts to help him.

He said he asked that the pop singer “call him, cheer him up.”

Masada said that in the past, comedians have given blood for the boy and held benefits to help pay his medical bills.

Stuart Backerman, Jackson’s spokesman, declined to comment on Masada’s account but said he hoped the boy’s condition would improve.

“I think it goes without saying that we all hope he recovers well and that everybody’s heartfelt wish is for him to be healthy,” Backerman said.

The boy’s mother has an unlisted phone number and could not be located for comment. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.

AP-ES-11-27-03 1844EST



Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.