Never-before-seen photos and home videos of Michael Jackson with his three children have been released on Wednesday.
The moving images were shown as Prince Michael Jackson became the first member of the Jackson family to give live testimony in the wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG.
Prince Jackson narrated as the images of his father, who died in 2009 aged 50, lavishing attention on Prince, Paris and Blanket were shown to the jury by Jackson family attorney Brian Panish.
The teenager credited his father with instilling in him a desire to learn and to help others. Along with the photographs, family videos have been entered into evidence, some taken by Michael Jackson himself, as he filmed his children and asked them what they want to be when they grew up.
Speaking on the stand, Prince Jackson revealed that after telling his father he wanted to be a movie director and architect, Michael gave him tips on how he could one day make films.
Paris and Prince Michael II, or Blanket as he is more commonly known, also figure prominently in the still photo and video exhibits.
During his testimony, Prince Jackson said that his father was excited about going back on tour before his death but wanted more time to rehearse and had several tense phone conversations with promoters of his This Is It shows that often ended with the singer in tears.
Prince Jackson, 16, said his father remarked after one of the conversations, “They’re going to kill me”, but did not elaborate further.
The testimony came in a lawsuit claiming AEG negligently hired Conrad Murray, the doctor who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.
AEG denies it hired the physician or bears any responsibility for the entertainer’s death.
Wearing a black suit with a dark grey tie and his long brown hair tucked behind his ears, Prince Jackson testified that he saw AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips at the family’s rented mansion in a heated conversation with Conrad Murray in the days before his father died. The teenager said Randy Phillips grabbed conrad Murray’s elbow and “looked aggressive”.
Michael Jackson wasn’t at home at the time and was probably rehearsing, Prince said.
Conrad Murray’s attorney Valerie Wass and AEG defense attorney Marvin S. Putnam later denied outside court that the meeting Prince described ever happened.
Marvin S. Putnam said Prince Jackson would be re-called to the witness stand during the defense case later in the trial.
“I think as the testimony will show when he is called in our defense that’s not what happened,” Marvin S. Putnam said.
“He was a 12-year-old boy who has had to endure this great tragedy.”
For the first time, Prince Jackson publicly provided details about the day his father died. The teenager testified that he saw Dr. Conrad Murray performing CPR on his father, who was hanging halfway off a bed. It appeared Michael Jackson’s eyes were rolled up in the back of his head, Prince told jurors.
Prince Jackson’s eyes appeared red as he recalled being told by Conrad Murray at a hospital that his father was dead. The teenager said he never saw Conrad Murray’s treatments of his father.
“I was 12. To my understanding he was supposed to make sure my dad stayed healthy,” Prince Jackson testified.
Prince Jackson said none of the household staff were allowed upstairs at the mansion, and the singer kept his bedroom locked while receiving treatments from Conrad Murray.
During cross-examination, Marvin S. Putnam played a clip from a deposition of Prince Jackson in which the teen said he discovered the bedroom was locked when he and his siblings were playing hide-and-seek and couldn’t get inside.
Prince Jackson also said his father gave him and Paris a stack of $100 bills on a few occasions to give to Conrad Murray, telling him Murray wouldn’t take the money from him, and the doctor wouldn’t take the full amount from the children.
The teenager said his understanding was that the money was meant to tide Conrad Murray over until he got paid by AEG Live.
Prince Jackson’s grandmother, Katherine, 83, sat in the front row of the courtroom during his testimony.
Katherine Jackson held a tissue and removed her glasses several times.
The testimony began with the teenager showing jurors roughly 15 minutes of private family photos and home videos.
The trial is expected to last several more weeks.