SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Michael Jackson vomited on the way to court Tuesday but his family insisted it was the flu, not the prospect of the trial, that has the singer down and out for a week.

Judge Rodney Melville initially seemed to doubt the singer’s excuse for his absence, but he was finally persuaded by a phone call from the emergency room doctor who treated Jackson.

“I’ve spoken with the doctor. Mr. Jackson is very ill with the flu. He has all the symptoms we all have when we have the flu,” Melville told more than 100 jury candidates who waited in the packed courtroom.

After the judge announced the case was off until next Tuesday, one potential juror, apparently miffed at the delay, muttered, “Six months of this?”

This is the second time jury selection has been postponed: Last week it was called off due to the death of defense lawyer Tom Mesereau’s sister.

Jackson was admitted to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria around 9 a.m. Tuesday and was expected to remain there overnight.

Dr. Chuck Merrill said Jackson had “flulike symptoms and some vomiting” and was treated with intravenous fluids. He said the singer would also undergo additional testing but added that a “full recovery is expected.”

At the hospital, Jackson’s brother Randy Jackson tried to quell suspicions that the pop idol was stressed out or faking sick.

Instead, he tried to portray his brother as a real trouper.

“He’s actually been sick since the weekend. I told him not to go to court. I told him, “Michael, when you are sick, you are sick.’ But he went to court anyway. He was throwing up on his way to court,” Randy Jackson said.

Michael Jackson’s spokeswoman Raymone Bain also denied stress was getting to the pop star.

“He’s a little under the weather. His kids have had sore throats. He hasn’t been feeling well for two weeks.”

And while Jackson’s camp was unified that he really is ill, his mom called a live cable news show Tuesday to complain about ex-child star Corey Feldman, who recently turned against her son in an interview on ABC’s “20/20.”

“My goodness! And he was really close to us,” an emotional Katherine Jackson told Fox News Channel.

“I believe that he’s being paid to lie on my son. I really do … I really loved Corey, but I didn’t think that he would get out and do this,” she said.

Feldman said in the ABC interview aired Friday that Jackson showed him raunchy nude pictures when he was just 13 or 14 but never molested him.

Tuesday’s drama began when Jackson failed to arrive at court by 8:30 a.m.

As 109 prospective jurors, reporters and lawyers waited in the packed courtroom, another Jackson lawyer, Brian Oxman, remained out in the hallway, frantically talking on the cell phone.

“You’re going to the emergency room?” he was heard saying in a stunned voice.

“Make sure you get a report from the doctor!”

Minutes later, Mesereau told the judge his client “was not feeling well … he got sick last night and became ill on the way over.”

Melville invited Mesereau and District Attorney Tom Sneddon into his chambers for a conference call with Jackson’s ER physician, and then emerged to deliver the flu news.

And if things weren’t bizarre enough, a female fan collapsed in front of Randy Jackson’s sport utility vehicle as he left the hospital.

She, too, wound up in the emergency room.



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