Randy Phillips, head of concert promoters AEG Live, has admitted in court in Los Angeles he believes a legal action filed by Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine is a “baseless extortion” attempt.
Katherine Jackson, 83, claims AEG Live failed to investigate the doctor who was later convicted of causing Michael Jackson’s death in 2009.
AEG Live is being sued for $40 billion.
Randy Phillips says AEG bear no responsibility for Michael Jackson’s death.
When asked on Tuesday by Katherine Jackson’s lawyer whether he thought the case was a “baseless extortion, a shakedown of AEG Live”, Randy Phillips answered: “Yes.”
It is likely Randy Phillips will be asked about numerous emails he sent and received about Michael Jackson’s health in the final weeks of the singer’s life, as well as any interactions he had with his physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.
Katherine Jackson is accused of extortion by AEG Live’s Randy Phillips
AEG Live claims it was not responsible for the hire or supervision of the doctor and has called the legal action “preposterous”.
AEG also denies hiring Dr. Conrad Murray and agreeing to pay his fee as an advance to Michael Jackson.
Conrad Murray agreed to serve as Michael Jackson’s doctor for $150,000 a month while he performed shows at London’s 02 Arena in 2009 and early 2010.
The physician was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter after supplying Michael Jackson with a surgical anaesthetic.
Michael Jackson autopsy report given in a Los Angeles court yesterday has revealed the King of Pop tattooed his lips pink, permanently inked his eyebrows and relied on a dark tattoo to blend his hairline into his wig.
As Michael Jackson’s tour promoter, AEG, continues, a disturbing photograph of the fallen pop star’s corpse was shown to the court on Monday by Dr. Christopher Rogers.
His coroner’s report described Michael Jackson as a man whose struggle to hide a skin pigmentation disease forced him to mask his true features but who would have lived a long life had he not overdosed on propofol.
The revelation of Michael Jackson’s permanent make-up comes during the trial brought by the singer’s mother and children who claim AEG shares blame in his death for neglecting to vet and supervise his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.
AEG, which was organizing Michael Jackson’s planned comeback concerts in London, claims it was not responsible for the star’s decision to employ Conrad Murray as his doctor.
Dr. Christopher Rogers confirmed from his autopsy that Michael Jackson’s skin became lighter in the 1980s owing to “vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disease”.
He added: “So some areas of the skin appear light and others appear dark.”
Michael Jackson autopsy reveals his eyebrows and forehead were tattooed black to make his wigs look better
The doctor also confirmed that an overdose of propofol killed the pop star although several other types of sedative administered by Dr. Conrad Murray the same morning contributed to his death.
Michael Koskoff, a lawyer for Katherine Jackson, asked the deputy medical examiner for Los Angeles County: “Would a fit, competent doctor administer propofol for insomnia?”
“I would not expect that, no,” Dr. Christopher Rogers responded.
Los Angeles coroner’s toxicologist Dan Anderson also testified on Monday that the level of propofol in Michael Jackson’s body was “consistent with major surgery anesthesia”.
Propofol, a sedative used in operations and even executions, was allegedly taken so often by Michael Jackson that he referred to it as “milk”.
Dan Anderson told the court: “It raises a red flag in my eyes. It’s very problematic to find it outside the hospital setting.”
He went on to explain how when propofol is administered to a patient, a number of staff should be on hand equipped with sophisticated medical devices to intervene if the patient stops breathing.
Faced with suggestions that Michael Jackson gave himself the lethal dose of propofol, Dr. Christopher Rogers countered: “…based on the history that was available, I don’t believe that that happened.”
Furthermore, he testified, were it not for the lethal dose of the drug, Michael Jackson’s overall health would have promised him a normal lifespan.
With no signs of addiction to street drugs, or any heart disease that some have insinuated triggered his death, “there was no indication from the autopsy that there was anything anatomically wrong with him that would lead to premature death”, Dr. Christopher Rogers said.
CNN noted the importance of Dr. Christopher Rogers’ testimony in calculating Michael Jackson’s expected lifespan as it would relate to damages. If he had not passed, the fact that the pop star would have continued to make billions of dollars will affect the number the Jackson family expect.
AEG continue to argue that Michal Jackson chose Dr. Conrad Murray as his tour medic and the company had no way of knowing what he was giving the singer to sleep at night.
Detective Orlando Martinez, who investigated Michael Jackson’s 2005 death, has revealed that Dr. Conrad Murray was $500,000 in debt and willing to do anything to get paid while he was treating the megastar.
Orlando Martinez told jurors on Tuesday that Conrad Murray depended on the $150,000-a-month salary that he received from Michael Jackson’s concert promoter AEG Live.
Lawyers for Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine argued that AEG should have vetted Murray. AEG is defending itself from a wrongful death lawsuit that alleges the company bears responsibility for Dr. Conrad Murray allegedly giving Michael Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.
Orlando Martinez testified that he looked into Conrad Murray’s finances searching for a financial motive for his role in Michael Jackson’s death and relied mostly on public records. The detective turned up that Conrad Murray’s Las Vegas home was in foreclosure proceedings, and the doctor faced several liens for unpaid child support and other unpaid debts.
The searches led Orlando Martinez to conclude that Conrad Murray’s financial condition was “severely distressed”.
Orlando Martinez said that led him to believe Conrad Murray’s actions were motivated by the $150,000 a month he expected to be paid by AEG.
“He may break the rules, bend the rules, do whatever he needed to do to get paid,” Orlando Martinez said.
“It might solve his money problems.”
Conrad Murray’s finances were not a factor in the criminal case that ended with his 2011 conviction for administering a fatal dose of propofol to Michael Jackson.
Orlando Martinez also showed jurors photographs the various medications officers uncovered in Michael Jackson’s bedroom, including several vials of propofol.
The paramedic who discovered Michael Jackson dead in his bedroom in june 2009 told the jury earlier Tuesday that the King of Pop appeared to have been dead at least an hour when he arrived on the scene.
Michael Jackson’s blue hands, feet and lips, and the star’s dry eyes all signaled to paramedic Richard Senneff that the singer was dead and hadn’t been breathing for a long time.
Det. Orlando Martinez said Dr. Conrad Murray was $500,000 in debt and willing to do anything to get paid while he was treating Michael Jackson
“To me, he looked like someone who was at the end stage of a long disease process,” Richard Senneff said Tuesday during his testimony in the civil case between Michael Jackson’s mother and concert giant AEG Live.
Richard Senneff also recalled how Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, was frantically trying to revive the megastar.
“He was pale, he was sweaty,” the paramedic said of Murray.
“He was very busy.”
Conrad Murray claimed he was treating Michael Jackson for dehydration and he never mentioned propofol, the hospital-grade anesthetic that killed the singer, Richard Senneff said.
He told the panel that he found an IV pole, oxygen tanks and a nightstand with several medicine bottles.
In the nearly four years since his death, nearly every aspect of Michael Jackson’s life has been explored in court proceedings, documentaries, books and news stories.
Still, the negligence case filed by his mother against AEG promises to deliver the most detailed account of the singer’s addiction struggles, including testimony from his ex-wife Debbie Rowe about treatments involving the anesthetic propofol dating back to the 1990s.
Michael Jackson died from a propofol overdose in 2009 while preparing for a series of comeback concerts at AEG’s O2 Arena in London.
Katherine Jackson contends AEG didn’t properly investigate Conrad Murray, the doctor who later administered the fatal dose. The company denies wrongdoing.
During opening statements, attorneys framed Michael Jackson’s prescription drug addiction through the prism of his superstar status.
Attorney Brian Panish, who represents Katherine Jackson, said the drug problems worsened when the pop star was under the stress of live performances.
AEG attorney Marvin S. Putnam countered that Michael Jackson’s stardom provided a cover to receive multiple, secret medical treatments, many involving propofol.
At one point in the proceedings, the harsh portrayal of Michael Jackson’s struggle with addiction, led one juror to lean forward and stare at the floor for several moments.
Katherine Jackson and two of the superstar’s children, Prince and Paris, are potential witnesses whose testimony will likely focus heavily on their grieving and losses.
On Monday, Brian Panish played a song Michael Jackson wrote for his children as a montage of photos played during opening statements. He also read a handwritten note from Michael Jackson that his mother framed and has hanging on her wall.
“The only way you can assess damages, is to know what they had,” Brian Panish said before reading the letter and playing You Are My Life.
Katherine Jackson dabbed her eyes with a tissue. On Tuesday, she left the courtroom while the paramedic described her son’s condition on the day he died.
It may be several days before jurors get another look at Michael Jackson’s softer side.
The trial will also feature testimony on Michael Jackson’s troubled finances, with debts that reached nearly $400 million by the time he died.
AEG contends the debts made him desperate to have a successful concert series.
“The private Michael Jackson was like a lot of American in the 2000s, spending a lot more than he was making,” Marvin S. Putnam told the jury after describing Michael Jackson’s lavish Neverland Ranch, his art collection and other spending.
Many other private moments from Michael Jackson’s life will be exposed as the case progresses over the next several months, with witnesses expected to testify about secret medical treatments, lavish spending and tender moments spent with his mother and children.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s private doctor has been found guilty today of killing the megastar by a jury in Los Angeles.
Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray faces up to four years behind bars after the jury in Los Angeles convicted him of involuntary manslaughter after just ten hours of deliberations over two days.
A panel of seven men and five women took two days of deliberation to reach a verdict.
Michael Jackson died on 25 June 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's private doctor has been found guilty today of killing the megastar by a jury in Los Angeles
Dr. Conrad Murray, 58, could now receive a maximum prison term of four years and lose his licence to practise medicine.
Doctor’s lawyers argued that Michael Jackson self-administered a lethal dose of the drug while he was out of the room.
Dr. Conrad Murray sat silently, shifting in his seat as the verdict was read out.
The Los Angeles jury – made up of one African American, six whites and five Hispanics – deliberated on Friday and through the morning on Monday.
Outside the court, fans of Michael Jackson were cheering and chanting, “Guilty! Guilty!” in the run-up to the verdict being announced.
During the six-week trial, 49 witnesses and more than 300 pieces of evidence were presented to the court.
Michael Jackson, who had been out of the public eye for several years, died in 2009 as he was preparing for a series of comeback performances at the O2 Arena in London.
Michael Jackson, who had been out of the public eye for several years, died in 2009 as he was preparing for a series of comeback performances at the O2 Arena in London
In his closing argument last Thursday, the prosecution said Dr. Conrad Murray had caused Michael Jackson’s death through negligence, depriving star’s children of their father and the world of a “genius”.
The defense argued that Michael Jackson was a drug addict who caused his own death by giving himself an extra dose of propofol while the cardiologist was out of the room at the star’s rented mansion in Los Angeles.
On another day of Dr. Conrad Murray trial, the court saw a second shocking photograph of Michael Jackson’s dead body taken before an autopsy was carried out the day after his death.
Yesterday it was the second time the jury has seen a picture of dead Michael Jackson after a photograph was displayed on the opening day of the trial.
Michael Jackson‘s mother, Katherine, who flew back to Los Angeles from the weekend tribute to her son in Wales, left the courtroom before the autopsy photo was shown on a screen.
According to Dr. Christopher Rogers, Los Angeles Deputy Medical Examiner, Michael Jackson was comparatively fit when he died.
“He was healthier than the average person of his age,” said Dr Christopher Rogers, who added there was no sign of any fat or cholesterol on the walls of Michael Jackson‘s heart.
Dr. Rogers ruled the cause of mega-star’s death was homicide as a result of acute Propofol intoxication, the court heard.
He also dismissed Conrad Murray’s claims that Michael Jackson took a deadly dose of Propofol himself while the doctor left his bedside for two minutes to go to the toilet.
Dr. Rogers suggested it was too short a time for the singer to be able to self-administer the drug and for it take sufficient effect to stop his breathing.
Dr. Christopher Rogers said Michael Jackson was relatively fit for his age at the moment of death, but had many puncture wounds on his arms and legs from injections
According to Dr. Rogers, Dr. Conrad Murray had no equipment to help deliver the correct amount of Propofol to help Michael Jackson sleep.
“It would be easy for the doctor to estimate wrongly and give too much Propofol,” Dr. Rogers said.
Dr. Conrad Murray, who has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, is not expected to testify at the trial at Los Angeles Superior Court, but the recording means jurors at least got to hear his side of the story.
Before Dr. Christopher Rogers intervention, the last 45 minutes of the two-hour recording was played in the hushed courtroom yesterday.
Conrad Murray told police Michael Jackson’s children “really were weeping, really weeping” when they were told that doctors at UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles had been unable to revive their father.
“I hugged them all, gave comfort to Paris, comfort to Prince, comfort to Blanket, which is the last little guy, because whenever they were sick, they would always ask for Dr Conrad,” Murray said.
“After they cried and cried and cried, then his daughter uttered a lot of words of unhappiness and, you know, she will live alone without her dad and she didn’t want to be an orphan.
“I said, <<I tried my best>>. And she said, <<I know that, Dr Murray. At least I know. I know you tried your best, but I’m really sad>>.”
Conrad Murray also said he arranged for the children to see their father’s body so they could “find closure”.
“I asked them to prepare Mr Jackson’s body to make it as presentable as possible so the children could visit their daddy.”
“They spent a long time with their daddy. They cried.”
Meanwhile, he said Michael Jackson’s siblings LaToya and Jermaine had arrived at the hospital.
Earlier, Murray said he broke the news of the tragedy to the singer’s mother, Katherine.
Dr. Conrad Murray said he couldn’t explain Michael Jackson’s death to other Jackson family members gathered at the hospital.
“Do you know why he died?” one of the Jackson family member asked, according to Conrad Murray.
“My answer was no and that’s the reason why I was recommending to the family to have an autopsy, because I also wanted to know,” he told the detectives in the meeting at the plush Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina Del Ray, California.
According to prosecutors, Dr. Conrad Murray caused Michael Jackson’s death by giving him a lethal dose of the powerful anaesthetic Propofol, which should only be used in a hospital setting.
In the released recording, Dr. Murray admitted for the first time that he gave Michael Jackson Propofol, telling police he had been administering the drug almost daily for the previous two months.
Doctor claimed he was out of Michael Jackson’s bedroom for just two minutes to go to the toilet when he returned to find his patient had stopped breathing.
Conrad Murray made no mention of the fact that he was on the phone to a girlfriend when he discovered Michael Jackson dying in his bed.
He insisted the super star was begging him to help him rest after trying in vain to get to sleep for more than eight hours the night before he died.
Dr. Conrad Murray also claimed Michael Jackson’s eyesight was so bad that he could have been “legally blind” and said he removed calluses and a fungal infection on the singer’s feet that made it painful for him to dance.
Michael Jackson’s personal assistant has described today, during the second day of Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial, the chaotic moments as the megastar was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Michael Amir Williams told the court how Dr. Conrad Murray panicked and asked to be taken back from hospital to Michael Jackson‘s house “to get rid of a cream that the world should never see” as the King of Pop lay dead.
Michael Amir Williams said also that he asked security to place Michael Jackson‘s house on “lockdown” after Dr. Murray repeatedly asked to go back from the hospital to the singer’s mansion.
Michael Jackson’s personal assistant said that he lied to Dr. Murray and told him the keys to his car had been taken by the police as Murray insisted that he be taken back to the house.
Dr. Conrad Murray then asked to be taken “to get food”, but Michael Amir Williams said he again refused.
The court was also played the panicked voicemail that Dr. Conrad Murray left on Michael Amir Williams’ phone before he called 911.
“Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you.”
Dr. Conrad Murray looked uncomfortable and started touching his neck as he waited for the recording to be played.
Dr Conrad Murray on the second day of Michael Jackson’s death trial in Los Angeles
Michael Amir Williams said that he had received the voicemail at 12:13pm on the day that Michael Jackson died, 11 minutes before the emergency call was placed.
When Williams called Dr. Conrad Murray back two minutes later he was told that Michael Jackson had a “bad reaction” and to “get somebody here immediately”.
Michael Amir Williams said that he was not asked to call 911.
When Williams arrived at Michael Jackson’s Los Angeles mansion, he said he saw the King of Pop’s body being brought down the stairs on a gurney.
Michael Amir Williams, Michael Jackson's personal assistant, told the court that Dr Conrad Murray asked to be taken back from hospital to the singer's house
The personal assistant told the court that Dr. Conrad Murray seemed “frantic”.
Then he told how he drove behind the ambulance to the hospital with Michael Jackson’s three children, Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket, and their nanny.
The evening before Michael Jackson was taken to hospital, the personal assistant said he had gone to the singer’s final rehearsal at the Staples Center.
Michael Amir Williams said that he had been “blown away” by the performance and that Michael Jackson was in “high spirits” as he returned home for what would be the final time.
The court was told how Michael Jackson asked to stop the car at the end of his driveway so he could wind down the window and speak to fans.
“He was in good spirits,” Michael Jackson’s personal assistant said.
“Sometimes he was not feeling well and wanted to drive in and just wave, but he wanted to stop the car.”
The jury was shown a photo inside the front door of Michael Jackson's home in Los Angeles
The revelations came as the court today also heard from the concert organizer about how Michael Jackson gave a “good rehearsal” in his final time on stage hours before his death.
Paul Gongaware, an executive for AEG Live, which was promoting Michael Jackson’s planned series of comeback concerts in 2009, resumed his testimony at the courthouse in Los Angeles after the jury was played a recording of the singer’s last performance on stage.
The promoter watched the King of Pop performing at his final two rehearsals and said Michael Jackson appeared engaged and energetic.
The jury was played four minutes of Michael Jackson’s final rehearsals of two songs yesterday.
Paul Gongaware said this morning that Dr. Conrad Murray had asked for $5 million to provide his services to Michael Jackson during the concerts.
But he said they had agreed on a sum of $150,000 a month after Michael Jackson insisted that he wanted Dr. Murray.
The concert promoter said that it was Michael Jackson who had wanted to increase the number of concerts he was due to perform at the O2 in London.
Paul Gongaware said that after the first 10 shows sold out almost instantaneously, Michael Jackson wanted to add another 21 dates. The megastar was obsessed with breaking Prince’s record of 21 shows at the arena.
Paul Gongaware, CEO of AEG Live, told the court that Michael Jackson was “engaged” and “energetic” in the two performances before his death
Another AEG employee, attorney Kathy Jorrie, testified this morning about drafting a contract for Dr. Conrad Murray to work as Michael Jackson’s personal physician.
Katie Jorrie told the court that Dr. Murray requested a CPR machine in the contract. When she asked the doctor why it was needed, he said because of Michael Jackson’s age and the strenuous nature of the concert series that he did not want to take chances.
At one point in negotiations, Dr. Conrad Murray requested his contract be modified to allow him to hire another physician in case he was tired or unavailable while Michael Jackson was performing in London, she testified.
“He wanted to make sure that there was somebody else available to be of assistance,” she said.
She said also that on the day before Michael Jackson’s death that Dr. Conrad Murray told her that the singer was in “perfect health”.
Michael Jackson’s bodyguard is today also expected to reveal what happened in the immediate moments after the singer died.
After a dramatic first day of the hearing into charges against Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray, the prosecution is continuing to present their case claiming that the superstar died after he was “abandoned” by the doctor.
Prosecutors allege Dr. Conrad Murray caused Michael Jackson’s death by providing him with a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol and other sedatives without the proper lifesaving equipment or skills.
Faheem Muhammed, who was Michael Jackson’s head of security, will take the stand today.
He was summoned to the Michael Jackson’s bedroom by Dr. Murray after the megastar was found unconscious.
The second day of Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial is likely concentrate on the day that Michael Jackson died, with witnesses expected to reveal what happened in the immediate moments before and after the singer died.
The prosecution is likely to ask Faheem Muhammed to tell the jury about Dr. Murray’s actions after he discovered that Michael Jackson had died.
A photo of Michael Jackson in white medical robes with his mouth covered with a tube and tap was shown in a shocking beginning to the trial yesterday.
Yesterday, in the first day of trial, the jury was played four minutes of Michael Jackson’s final rehearsals of two songs.
Days before Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” performance during a rehearsal at Staples Center, the megastar’s health prompted friend and collaborator Kenny Ortega to question whether the singer needed serious help. He had just spent hours cradling Michael Jackson, trying to warm him from deep shivers that kept him from rehearsing.
“He was like a lost boy,” Kenny Ortega wrote in an email to promoters five days before Michael Jackson’s death.
“There may still be a chance he can rise to the occasion if we get him the help he needs.”
The email drew a rebuke from Dr. Conrad Murray, who Kenny Ortega said told him not to try to play amateur doctor or psychologist. Five days later, Michael Jackson was dead.