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
— Consultant Eric Briggs told jurors that projections Jackson would have earned $1 billion or more if he had lived are speculative and not supported by the singer’s history of earnings for his previous tours.
— Briggs underwent grueling cross-examination with an attorney for Jackson’s mother pointing out that he had billed AEG Live for more than $600,000 worth of work and had compiled only about an inch of research and a couple pages of notes.
— Michael La Perruque, Jackson’s former head of security, testified that he was concerned the singer would overdose on prescription medications and he occasionally went into the entertainer’s bedroom to make sure he was still breathing. He said he didn’t have similar concerns when he worked for Jackson in late 2007 and early 2008.
— La Perruque recounted an incident in a Florida hotel room in 2001 or 2002 in which Jackson’s children called 911 after finding their father unconscious in a hallway of their hotel suite. He said he was able to rouse Jackson before paramedics arrived and saw no signs of drugs or alcohol the singer had taken to cause the episode.
WHAT THE JURY SAW
— Briggs struggle to answer questions about his work estimating the value of Jackson’s signature asset, a stake in the Sony-ATV music catalog that includes songs by The Beatles and other top-name acts. Briggs only answered the questions after being ordered to by a judge; he cited confidentiality agreements with other clients as the reason he didn’t want to answer the questions.
— Survey figures that showed Jackson’s popularity in the United States dropped significantly after he was accused of child molestation in the mid-2000s. Briggs said the survey stopped asking questions about Jackson’s likeability after 2006 due to his low scores, making it unlikely he would have gotten an endorsement deal for his “This Is It” shows.
— “He fought very hard not to be dependent on these prescription medications,” La Perruque said of Jackson.
— “We live in a world unfortunately where headlines impact perceptions,” Briggs said, explaining why he believes that Jackson would not have been able to secure endorsement deals even though he was acquitted of child molestation charges.
Jurors will continue to hear from La Perruque, who will likely recount his recollections of Jackson’s relationship with his children. Jurors may also see the videotaped testimony of Jackson’s younger brother, Randy.
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