The promoters of Michael Jackson’s ill-fated comeback concerts watched him waste away and should have reached out to his family, his mother says.
Clutching a tissue, Katherine Jackson said she didn’t know the extent of her son’s weakness until after the start of her trial against AEG Live LLC.
“They watched him waste away,” she said after her attorney cited several emails from workers preparing for the planned 2009 “This Is It” shows.
Jackson is suing AEG for billions, and the messages described her ailing son’s condition as deteriorating and cited his inability to even rehearse.
“They could have called me,” Katherine, 83, said. “He was asking me for his father. My grandson told me that his daddy was nervous and scared.”
Her comments came under questioning from her attorney, Brian Panish.
Moments earlier, an attorney for AEG Live questioned the Jackson matriarch regarding her stated purpose for suing – to find out the truth about her son’s death.
If that’s true, attorneys asked, why hadn’t she read through thousands of pages of deposition testimony, or asked her grandchildren about what happened.
She later said that while she could have asked her grandchildren – Prince, Blanket and Paris Jackson – about some issues, she didn’t want to bring it up.
She also said that she didn’t see a photograph of a frail-looking Michael Jackson shot six days before her his death until after the AEG trial started.
Katherine claims AEG failed to truly investigate Dr. Conrad Murray, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving MJ an overdose of Propofol.
AEG Live denies responsibility for hiring the doctor or for Jackson’s death, claiming Michael and Dr. Murray are jointly responsible for those events.
The attorney also asked her about Michael’s prescription drug use.
She said she asked him about it directly on numerous occasions when he lived in Las Vegas and he denied he was abusing prescription medications.
“I’m a mother, quite naturally he denied it,” she said.
“He wouldn’t want me to think that.”
She said she wasn’t surprised by his denial of his problem and likened the situation to a child who’d disobeyed his mother while playing outdoors.
As Putnam noted, Michael was a 50-year-old man at the time of his death. “He’s still my child,” Katherine Jackson said. “He’d still want me to hold his respect.”