LOS ANGELES (AP) — A look at key moments this past week in the wrongful death trial in Los Angeles between Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and concert giant AEG Live LLC, and what is expected at court in the week ahead:
Jackson’s mother wants a jury to determine that the promoter of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts didn’t properly investigate Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter by a criminal jury for Jackson’s June 2009 death. AEG’s attorney says the case is about personal choice, namely Jackson’s decision to have Murray serve as his doctor and give him doses of a powerful anesthetic as a sleep aid. Millions, possibly billions, of dollars are at stake.
WHAT HAPPENED THIS PAST WEEK
— Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe tearfully testified about the singer’s fear of debilitating pain that he often experienced after sustaining burns to his scalp during a shoot for a Pepsi commercial in 1984.
— Rowe gave conflicting testimony about Jackson’s frequent medical visits, saying many were tied to treatments for acne, the skin-lightening condition vitiligo, and the burns, although she acknowledged that she questioned the singer’s motives when he went for medical treatments from his dermatologist more than once a week.
— Rowe said Jackson’s injuries and medical conditions forced him to wear wigs and de-pigment his skin and left the singer feeling that he was disfigured.
— Financial consultant William Ackerman testified that based on Jackson’s historical spending, he would have likely provided his children and mother $21.5 million in support if he had lived another 15 ½ years. Ackerman however said that the singer’s large debts, in the $400-$500 million range, made it likely that he wouldn’t be able to continue providing for his family as he had in the past.
WHAT THE JURY SAW
— Rowe break down repeatedly, wiping away tears and at one point covering her face with her hands when she was asked about the impact of Jackson’s death on his children.
— Private photos of Jackson’s two oldest children, Prince and Paris, with Rowe and their father. In one image, Prince was captured feeding his mother a piece of watermelon when he was an infant.
— Charts showing that Jackson was spending tens of millions of dollars each year to support his lifestyle and pay the interest on loans he had taken on key assets.
— “Unfortunately, some of the doctors decided that when Michael was in pain that they would try to outbid each other on who could get the better drug. And so he listened to the doctors,” Rowe said, describing what she said a competition by Jackson’s dermatologist and a plastic surgeon to convince the singer their pain medications were better.
— “He foolishly, foolishly, trusted a lot of people,” Rowe said of Jackson based on her observations during the nearly 20 years they were close friends.
— “I loved him very much and I still do. I wanted him to be a father. I wanted him to have everything he didn’t have growing up,” Rowe said of her decision to have children with Jackson after his divorce from Lisa Marie Presley.
— “She is devastated. She tried to kill herself. She is devastated. She has no life. She doesn’t feel she has a life anymore,” Rowe said of her 15-year-old daughter, Paris, who was hospitalized in June after authorities said she took Motrin pills and cut her arm with a kitchen knife.
Jurors will hear from Dr. Gary Green, an expert testifying on medical conflicts of interest, and will likely see testimony from more of Jackson’s doctors.
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