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News summary of Week 7 at the AEG trial

June 16, 2013

This summary of the news on week 7 of the AEG trial will be based on the ABC7 Court News tweets and a couple of media articles. I had a brief look at what the media is saying and found that their stories are completely irrelevant for the case. It is just some odd pieces snatched from here and there and having nothing in common with reality.

Indeed what can the article below have to do with the way AEG really treated Michael Jackson? 

AEG CEO: Michael Jackson ‘Mercurial’, ‘Impossible To Do Business With’

June 11, 2013 6:33 PM

LOS ANGELES ( — The top executive for concert promoter AEG testified Tuesday that Michael Jackson was “mercurial” and “impossible to do business with” as he took the stand for the fifth day in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the late singer’s mother.

After enduring five days of questioning from lead Jackson attorney Brian Panish, AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips was questioned by attorneys defending the entertainment giant.

CBS2′s Randy Paige reports that Phillips was visibly relieved as AEG’s lead attorney Marvin Putnam took over questioning shortly before lunch Tuesday.

Putnam asked about the difficulties Phillips encountered working with the late singer.

“Michael was mercurial,” Phillips testified. “One of the things that made him great and one of the things that made him impossible to do business with.”

“He would change representatives like we change our socks,” Phillips went on to say. “You pretty much needed a scorecard as to who was managing Michael at any given time.”

“Why didn’t you put a stop to that?” Putnam asked. “Could you dictate anybody that he hire?”

“No,” Phillips testified.

Putnam told reporters last week that Jackson attorneys were trying to allege inconsistencies in Phillips’ statements that the documents did not support.

“They very pointedly decided they’re not going to show all of those things because they would like the record to reflect something it doesn’t,” he said.

Katherine Jackson attended morning sessions but did not return in the afternoon.

According to testimony Tuesday, AEG Live will produce a weekend of concerts this summer that will include a performance by The Jacksons.

After the slap Phillips gave to Michael I think the above does not even require a comment and is closing the subject of the objective way the media is covering the trial once and for all.

Let’s go over to the tweets from the courtroom instead. All of them speak for themselves so I will draw your attention to a couple of facts only:

Monday June 10, DAY 26

  • Randy Phillips says the goal of the meeting on June 20th was finding out what’s wrong with Michael’s health, but then (evidently by oversight) tells the truth. It was the same old thing again – making Michael attend rehearsals.
  • Murray had Rhillips’s home number and called him before the meeting on June 20th. They spoke for 25 minutes. Phillips “does not remember” what they discussed, but immediately after the call he sent an e-mail to Kenny Ortega saying it was critical not to become amateur psychiatrists or physicians, the doctor is excellent, they check everyone out, etc. So he did not even wait for the meeting to take place to lie to Ortega. It remains to be seen who repeated whose words about “amateur physicians”.
  • Phillips claims he was confused by conflicting reports from Bugzee and Ortega who were sending SOS e-mails the previous night and Conrad Murray’s assurances that everything was fine. Confusion did not stop him from siding with the doctor he knew nothing about and disregarding the information that was coming from people whom he knew very well. And that “confusion” thing is a lie – he reported the situation to his bosses the way it really was –   as “big trouble”, while to Ortega he said the opposite.
  • The AEG emails to each other reveal what they thought about each other, Michael and those around him – Phil Anschutz is a paranoid scrooge (stingy person) and this email was probably what cost Tim Leiweke his job, Randy Phillips was “jittery”, Michael was having  a mental breakdown and they were in a big trouble, Arnold Klein was scaring them to death as he was “shooting him with something” (this explains all the media campaign against Klein that followed), Phillips wanted Murray exonerated, and Kenny Ortega was “beginning to concern them” evidently because at some point he began to defy the tough-love policy and express too much concern about Michael’s health.
  • Things like Michael needed a “straight jacket” (a quote from Phillips’s email), threats that they would pull the plug and ideas evidently quoted from Murray’s interview that Michael was on skid row, would be homeless and lose everything including his children, speak for themselves.

Monday, June 10 DAY 26


Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA? Jackson family vs AEG trial resumed this morning with AEG’s CEO Randy Phillips testimony.


Katherine Jackson is present in court and dressed in black polka dot jacket. This is her first appearance after Paris’ suicide attempt.


Panish showed an email from Tim Leiweke (CEO of AEG) to Dan Beckerman (CFO/COO of AEG) in which Beckerman described Phillips as jittery.


Trouble with MJ, Leiweke wrote in email to Beckerman on Jun 20. “Big trouble.” Beckerman responded: “I figured something might be wrong…


Cont’d: given how jittery Randy has been this week. Is it “pre-show nerves” bad or “get a straight jacket/call our insurance carrier” bad?”


Phillips said he was not jittery, but concerned with the show. Jittery mean shaking and he said he doesn’t think that’s how he was.


Phillips said Dr. Murray receiving $150k per month being the cause of MJ’s sickness in June of 2009 never crossed his mind.


Dr. Murray and Phillips spoke for 25 minutes. Phillips said he didn’t think the call lasted that long, doesn’t recall what they talked.


It’s very possible I might have even read him these emails, Phillips testified, referring to the “Trouble at the Front” chain.


I would not have discussed his health other than what it was in the content of the emails, Phillips said, doesn’t recall the conversation.


Panish: The doctor, show manager and director were telling you MJ was deteriorating? Phillips: I don’t remember what I talked to the doctor


Panish showed picture of the business card Phillips gave Dr. Murray with his cell number on the back. The card was found in the doctor’s car


Phillips testified that Dr. Murray called his home number. Phillips said he doesn’t know how the doctor had his home number.


Phillips said everyone in the This Is It” production got a list with everyone’s phone numbers. He doesn’t know how Dr. Murray got the list.


Panish talked about email Phillips wrote to Ortega on Jun 20:


Kenny, it’s critical that neither you, me or anyone else around this show


Email cont’d: become amateur psychiatrist or physicians. I had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Murray, who I’m gaining immense respect for


Email cont’d: as I get to deal with him more. He said that Michael is not only physically equipped to perform and, that discouraging him to,


Email cont’d: will hasten his decline instead of stopping it. Dr. Murray also reiterated that he’s mentally able to and was speaking to me


Email cont’d: from the house where he has spent the morning with MJ.


Email cont’d: This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he totally unbiased and ethical.


Email cont’d: It is critical we surround Michael with love and support and listen to how he wants to get ready for July 13th.


Cont’d: You cannot imagine the harm and ramifications of stopping this show now. It would far outweigh “calling this game in the 7th inning”


Cont’d: I’m not just talking about AEG’s interests here, but the myriad of stuff/lawsuits swirling around MJ that I crisis manage every day


Email cont’d: and also his well-being. I am meeting with him today at 4p at the Forum. Please stay steady. Enough alarms have sounded.


Email end: It is time to out out the fire, not burning the building down. Sorry for all the analogies. Randy


Phillips said he thought Dr. Murray was extremely successful based on the clinics he had and business he would’ve to close to go on tour


Panish: And that was not true, correct?


Phillips: In retrospect, that’s correct


It was an assumption I made, Phillips conceded.


As to the “we check everyone out” reference in the email, Panish asked if that was a true statement or untrue.


Phillips: It’s not, it’s hard to say yes or no on that. It is not true because everyone would imply everyone.


Panish: “We check everyone out” is a false statement you wrote to Mr. Ortega, correct?


Phillips: In retrospect, yes


Panish asked about the reference “he doesn’t need the gig”. “I made another assumption based on the information I had,” Phillips explained.


I didn’t have any basis to say he was unbiased and ethical, Phillips testified.


Phillips said at the time he thought the information he wrote was true, but agreed he had no basis for his opinion.


Phillips described that in a hardly-charged situation like the one they had, he just wanted to keep the situation under control.


I just wanted to calm things down until we had the meeting, Phillips explained.


Phillips testified he wrote email to Sony exec asking her to remind him to tell her where Dr Murray was the night he was to be caring for MJ


Judge only allowed plaintiffs’ attorney to say it was a social establishment, but the place was a strip club.


As to having mental health professional, “no one brought a psychiatrist,” Phillips said, “because MJ didn’t need one,” Phillips opined.


Lunch break almost over. We’ll tweet more of Phillips’ testimony as soon as we can. Remember, there’s no live tweet allowed in the courtroom


Phillips testified he had conflicting information coming from Dr. Murray and Kenny Ortega regarding MJ.


Panish pressed Phillips about the fact that he sent completely opposite emails to Ortega and AEG high ups.


It was because they were sent for different purposes, Phillips explained.


Phillips said he remembers the meeting on June 20th lasted at least an hour.


Dr. Murray and Phillips were sitting in one couch, MJ was in a bench and Ortega on another couch.


In his deposition, Phillips said Ortega talked about MJ’s physical and mental status.


On the stand today, Phillips explained Ortega did very little talking in the meeting. “He addressed Michael coming to rehearsals.”


I do not believe he talked about MJ’s physical condition and mental state. Dr. Murray did most of the talking, Phillips testified.


Panish pressured Phillips about him changing the testimony. “My memory is getting better about the events of four years ago,” Phillips said.


The purpose of the meeting was to find out what was happening with MJ because of the events on the 19th, Phillips said.


Panish: Did Mr. Ortega say he was concerned MJ was not getting enough sleep?


Phillips: I don’t remember if he asked that question


I know he asked about the food, but I’m not sure if he asked about the sleep, Phillips said.


Phillips testified that MJ’s lack of sleep was not material discussed, but admits it could’ve been.


Panish: Dr. Murray contradicted what Ortega said in the email, correct, sir?


Phillips: Yes


Dr. Murray, said there wasn’t anything wrong with MJ, Phillips expressed. “MJ said there wasn’t anything wrong with Michael Jackson.”


I don’t know if there was a mental problem, Phillips said, highlighting that at least Dr. Murray was a doctor.


He just assured Mr. Ortega that MJ was fine and was going to attend rehearsals, Phillips testified Dr. Murray said in the meeting.


Katherine Jackson did no return after lunch break. Panish resumed questing of Phillips.


Phillips said Timm Wooley’s reference that Phillips was responsible for MJ’s rehearsal and attendance schedule is mistaken.


Meeting on June 20th happened in the afternoon, Phillips said. Panish asked if MJ was shaking in that meeting. Phillips said no, not at all.


Vase was broken in one of production meetings, Phillips explained. He said Frank Dileo, Paul Gongaware, himself were present.


Phillips said he doesn’t know who broke the vase, but he thinks it may have been Frank DiLeo.


Panish: Did you have a meeting with MJ where you threatened to pull the plug and take everything he had?


Phillips: No


Panish: Did you tell him he would lose everything, including his children, if the show didn’t happen?


Phillips:That’s ridiculous, no


Phillips said MJ was a phenomenal father.


Phillips denied ever saying to anyone at the meeting that MJ was on skid row or going to become homeless.


Panish: Did you ever tell MJ you were paying for his toilet paper?


Phillips: No


In the deposition played to the jury, Tim Leiweke said the reference to “mental breakdown” in the email could’ve been Randy Phillips not MJ


Panish played depo of Dan Beckerman, in which he said he didn’t recall what prompted him to say Phillips was jittery.


Panish: Did you think that MJ needed a straight jacket?


Phillips: It was a generic comment


Phillips said it was a question of “stage fright and the show will go on” or “I can’t do this let’s cancel” scenario.


Panish: Do you think MJ needed a straight jacket?


Phillips: No, I don’t think MJ needed a straight jacket.


I wasn’t jittery, but I was nervous, Phillips described.


The meeting got a little bit heated when Dr. Murray was admonishing Kenny, Phillips recalled, but said hostile is too harsh of a word.


Phillips said lack of sleep was discussed in the June 20th meeting, but wasn’t the main focus.


Phillips said the reason of the meeting was to find out what happened in the night before, what was the issue and also MJ missing rehearsals


Phillips said MJ had the best two rehearsals after the June 20th meeting.


Kenny told Michael to take the next two days off, spend some time with the kids, Phillips testified.


Suddenly, judge decides to take a break at 2:24 pm PT and sent jury out of the courtroom.


Outside the presence of the jurors, judge admonished Phillips for not answering the questions asked.


Mr. Phillips you need to answer questions, said Judge Yvette Palazuelos, frustrated. “Lawyers are trying to getting the answers.”


Judge told Phillips that arguing with the lawyers isn’t really going to help his case, it will just lengthen his testimony.


She noted his testimony is taking much longer than expected, and at this pace he will be here for another week.


Phillips told the judge he’s just trying not to say the wrong things or be caught in tricky questions.


Judge: It seems like they are pretty straight forward questions, but when you offer info, it may not be good for you.


AEG’s attorney Jessica Bina defends Phillips saying the questions are compound, but that she believes he’s trying to answer the questions.


Panish said he wants to finish today, that he hasn’t argued with the witness or judge. “I really tried hard, for me, it’s hard!” Panish said


Phillips said he understood and wants to go back to work as well. Promised to be better.


Regarding the straight jacket email, Phillips said the way he read it he can’t tell if were are referring to him or MJ.


Panish pointed out that insurance was only if MJ had a break down, not Phillips. Thus, the email must’ve referred to MJ.


Phillips said the email he wrote saying “this guy is trying to concern me” was referring to Kenny Ortega.


I had two concerns: wanted Kenny to be open minded until the meeting and I didn’t want Kenny to quit, Phillips explained.


At this point they were about $30 million plus in advance, Panish said. Phillips said it was about $28 million, which was a lot of money.


Email on 3/13/09 from Leiweke to Phillips:


Phil (Anschutz) can be such a paranoid scrooge.  He thinks he’s smarter than everyone.


Phillips said again that his concern with Ortega was that he wasn’t going into the meeting with an open mind and that he was going to quit.


Panish played Phillips deposition where he said he didn’t remember what he was concerned about regarding Ortega.


I think my answer today is clarification, Phillips said, adding he did not change his testimony.


In his depo, played to the jury, Phillips said there were no discussions on June 20th about MJ taking a couple of days off.


However, in court today, Phillips testified Ortega suggested that MJ take two days off.


On Jun 23, Michael Kane wrote to DiLeo and Phillips:


Where does Arnold Klein stand on the list? (of doctors caring for MJ)


He scares us to death because he is shooting him up with something, Phillips wrote back.


Phillips said he maintains his position that he didn’t know what, if anything, any doctor was giving MJ prescription drugs.


Kane responded: Well since we owe him $48k and he wants payment maybe I should stop paying him and he’ll stop shooting him up.


Kane cont’d: I have the details of what he is doing.


Regarding the rehearsals on June 23rd and 24th, Phillips said he watched them in its entirety.


Panish: MJ never did the whole show, did he, sir?


Phillips: No


He wouldn’t have, they were not ready for that, Phillips explained.


Panish: Was MJ cold on the 23rd?


Phillips: I don’t remember


Phillips said he watched the entire rehearsal, which lasted about 3 hours. He said MJ was engaged about an hour and a half to two hours.


Phillips said he doesn’t remember whether MJ was chilled on June 24th.


Panish: Did you ever see MJ walking around in blankets?


Phillips: It’s possible, because the place was freezing. But I don’t remember.


On 6/25/09 the insurance broker wrote to Dr. Murray at 12:54:15 pm, probably London time (approximately 5 to 5am LA time):


Email: We are dealing with a matter of great importance and your urgent attention would be greatly appreciated.


The email talked about getting MJ’s medical records. Phillips said he learned from the media that Dr. Murray had been treating MJ since 2006


Panish: This is Dr. Murray doing something to help AEG get insurance, fair enough?


Phillips: Fair enough


On 8/18/09 Phillips wrote email to Michael Roth:


I think I know what MJ died of and this would exonerate Conrad


Lionel Richie’s ex-wife Brenda called Philips and said MJ died of a combination of other drugs and Propofol.


Phillips said he never told police, the DA or Dr. Murray’s attorneys about it because he thought the info was not reliable.


Panish: Did you want Dr. Murray to get exonerated?


Phillips: I’d always want an innocent man not to get convicted


Panish played video of Phillips’ deposition where he said he didn’t remember what the information was but his memory has been refreshed


Judge then adjourned session for the day. Trial resumes tomorrow morning at 9:30 am PT. Panish said he has one more hour of questioning.


The attorneys estimated Phillips will be done testifying by Wednesday afternoon. We hope to see you tomorrow for complete coverage!

CNN has splendid videos to show how AEG bosses were answering questions at their depositions. It is a great fun to see all these AEG people testifying.

Tim Leiweke’s deposition shows that he is suffering from compelete amnesia. I can’t tell you how many times he repeated “I don’t remember this specific email”:

Tim Leiweke's name is pronounced as [lieweke]. We can also call him "I don't remember this specific email" person

Tim Leiweke’s name is pronounced as [lieweke]. We can also call him “I don’t remember this specific email” person

The video is here –

The man who replaced Leiweke Dan Beckerman was having an equally hard time. You can see his lies with a naked eye:

Dan Beckerman replaced Tim Leiweke as AEG CEO

Dan Beckerman replaced Tim Leiweke as AEG CEO

The short fragment of his video deposition is here –

Tuesday June 11, DAY 27

  • The day starts with an important tweet:  “Phillips said he was not sure if MJ was the sole signatory to approve the costs or if Dr. Tohme had power of attorney as well”. This makes me think that it was Tohme who was approving all those excess production costs thus deeping Michael’s debt to AEG without him knowing it.
  • A Labor Commission is now looking into the dispute between Tohme and Michael’s Estate. Phillips testified there – surely in favor of AEG with the idea that  payment to Tohme was none of their business. Michael’s contract with AEG said that Tohme’s salary was not to be included into managerial costs covered by Jackson and were part of Production costs. But AEG overcame that problem by saying that all production costs were Michael’s responsibility.
  • The fact that Michael signed a contract with Tohme is dubious. In your place I wouldn’t so readily believe it.
  • On June 2, 2013 when Frank Dileo had been Michael’s manager for a couple of months already Phillips complained that there was no real manager in place. So they were not of high regard for Frank Dileo and that comment in Sullivan’s book is correct  –  when Tohme asked Phillips what that guy was doing there, Phillips replied something like “we keep him because he makes Michael laugh” . It seems that he was a sort of a clown – for AEG in the first place.
  • Phillips’s answers to Putnam are impossible to listen to – if Michael were indeed “imperial” he wouldn’t be slapping him.  All of it is lies and only the way Phillips dealt with Michael (through Tohme) must be true, with one correction though –  Phillips did not deal with Michael at all,  he dealt only with Tohme.
  • The four of them – Phillips, his lawyer Putnam, Tohme and his lawyer were seen having lunch together at the Polo lounge a month ago, in May 2013. Panish wondered what they discussed and Phillips said it was Tohme’s case against the Estate. So his idea that it was the Estate who asked him to testify in Tohme’s case is a big stretch of the truth again – how could they ask him to testify against themselves?
  • Phillips’s hypocrisy is boundless:  “We live in a free society, they are not my slaves. If the artist doesn’t want to perform, there’s nothing we can do.”
  • Participation of the  Jacksons in the Festival arranged by AEG  is mentioned as if in passing. It is only an overture, a prologue to the whole opera which is going to start the next day.

Tuesday, June 11 DAY 27


Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 27 of Jackson family vs AEG trial is underway. AEG’s CEO Randy Phillips back on the stand.


Katherine Jackson is in present court, wearing fuchsia. She has no other member of her family accompanying her, just bodyguard.


Phillips said on Jun 25, the day MJ died, he was going to head to StaplesCenter, had no intention of going to Carolwood or pick up MJ.


After MJ died, Phillips said Jackson’s costs had exceeded $7.5 million. MJ was responsible for production costs, according to the contract.


Phillips said he was not sure if MJ was the sole signatory to approve the costs or if Dr. Tohme had power of attorney as well.


On the contract [between Tohme and AEG], it said the undersigned Dr. Tohme Tohme represents and warrants that he is an officer of the Artist.


Phillips said he didn’t have any information that anyone else could sign and approve the expenses on behalf of MJ.


Phillips said he received a note where MJ said Dr. Tohme was no longer his representative.


Panish: Did you get anything confirming that Dr. Tohme was back in as an agent?


Phillips: No


Phillips said he was concerned with MJ’s weight during rehearsals. He asked his friend Loeffler to assist getting Michael to eat.


Email on 7/16/09 from Phillips:


We all were worried about MJ’s weight which was 130 Ibs during rehearsal


Email cont’d: and encouraged him to eat properly since he was so obsessed with the creative on the show he would either meals or forget to eat


Email cont’d: Kenny Ortega used to personally feed him and I hired a person to be his “food” person.


Panish: It says you hired a person just to be his food person


Phillips: Didn’t hire him, just did it as a favor


Phillips said his friend never got paid to be MJ’s “food person”.


Email on 8/4/09 from Phillips:


Michael’s death is a terrible tragedy, but life must go on.


Email cont’d: AEG will make a fortune from merch sales, ticket retention, the touring exhibition and the film/dvd. I still wish he was here!


As to Dr. Tohme:


Phillips testified in the Labor Commission hearing in a dispute between Dr. Tohme and MJ’s estate.


Panish asked if it’s common to ask artist manager to follow promoter’s directions. Phillips responded it was done with MJ’s consent.


AEG had an agreement to pay Dr. Tohme $100k per month to be MJ’s manager.


Panish: Does it seem to be a conflict of interest for artist manager to take direction from producer?


Phillips: Actually no, because MJ signed this document, so he must’ve agreed to it


Phillips said he wanted Michael to have somebody to manage him, because they needed somebody to deal with on his behalf.


Panish asked if MJ became more anxious as tour approached. “In my opinion, I never witnessed Michael being anxious,” Phillips testified.


Phillips said Michael never told him he had sleeping problems.


After the lunch on May 4, Phillips said he had one phone call with Dr. Tohme, but they never discussed this case, Phillips said.


As to Frank DiLeo:


Phillips said Frank DiLeo asked AEG to advance him $50,000, and he believes MJ approved it.


Phillips wrote in an email: “I think we need to, but I am not sure how without a contract in place or MJ directing us to via signed letter.”


We just sign off and pray, Gongaware responded.


But what we apply it against, Phillips wrote back.


Phillips cont’d:  “I think we need MJ to acknowledge for our record and direct us. You know he has amnesia when it comes to paying people.”


Phillips said he believe MJ must’ve had a lawyer on June 2, 2009. He said MJ used different lawyers for different things.


On 6/2/09, Phillips wrote to Jeff Wald (maker coffee table books):


Jeff, remember getting MJ to focus is not the easiest thing in the world


Email cont’d: we still have no lawyer, business manager, or, even, real manager in place. It is a nightmare!


Phillips said he didn’t mean to say that Frank DiLeo wasn’t a real manager.


Phillips said he didn’t act as MJ’s manager. Panish asked if crisis management is responsibility of personal manager, he said lawyers do it


Part of the agreement with Michael was that AEG would buy a house in Las Vegas for the artist.


I did not deal with MJ’s affairs, but dealing with MJ was exhausting, Phillips explained.


Panish said he had no more questions at this time for Phillips. Now it’s defendant’s turn to question Phillips. Marvin Putnam is doing it.


Frank DiLeo was the person Phillips dealt with on behalf of MJ, the exec said.


Michael was imperial, which made him great but also impossible to deal with, Phillips explained.


Phillips: He (MJ) would change his mind, want different things at different times.


Phillips: He would change reps as he changed socks, we needed score card to know who was representing him.


Dr. Tohme was introduced to me as MJ’s manager, Phillips said.


Putnam: Could you dictate who MJ hired?


Phillips: No


Phillips said MJ and Dr. Tohme seemed to have a very close relationship and Dr. Tohme seemed to care very much about MJ.


Dr. Tohme was introduced to MJ by Jermaine Jackson, Phillips said. There was a familiarity between all of them, he said.


Phillips said MJ wanted to get ‘back on the saddle’, so Jermaine introduced him to Dr. Tohme.


He said Michael was determined to restart his career, Phillips said Dr. Tohme told him. “It was time for a comeback,” he recalled hearing.


The only way I dealt with MJ was through Dr. Tohme, Phillips said.


Phillips said AEG never paid Dr. Tohme because there were conditions in the contract, like getting insurance for the show, that were not met


Also, Phillips said he received MJ’s letter terminating Dr. Tohme. “Dr. Tohme obviously could not fulfill his obligations then.”


Phillips testified MJ told him Dr. Tohme was to handle some of his business affairs, like purchase house in Vegas, and work with Frank DiLeo.


MJ said DiLeo would be dealing with the entertainment part of his career and stuff MJ thought Dr. Tohme was not qualified to do.


After MJ died, Phillips said MJ’s Estate wanted a detailed expenditure of the production.


As to meeting at the Polo lounge, Phillips said he received a call from Dr. Tohme asking to meet since he had already met Jackson’s attys.


Phillips said he picked the Polo lounge because it was a convenient and public location.


Judge then broke session for lunch. Testimony resumes within half an hour. For complete coverage, watch @ABC7 and


After lunch, Putnam resumed questioning Randy Phillips. Katherine Jackson is not in court for the afternoon session.


Putnam asked Phillips if he met with his attorney over lunch hour. All the jurors laughed loud. This is how Panish begins after lunch.


Putnam: Did they show you any documents?


Phillips: Just the menu


Phillips said Estate of Michael Jackson asked him to be witness for them in the Labor Commission dispute between Dr. Tohme and MJ’s estate.


Yes, I served as his manager for 10 years, Phillips said about his relationship with Lionel Richie. Brenda Richie is Lionel’s ex-wife.


Putnam inquired about email Phillips sent to AEG’s publicity rep on 8/18/09:


I think I know what MJ died of and this would exonerate Conrad


Brenda had called me to tell me that she was in communication with Michael either through a medium or directly, Phillips testified.


Panish objected: triple hearsay! Courtroom bursted into laughter.


Phillips said Michael told Brenda that it wasn’t Dr. Murray’s fault and he had killed himself. “I told you it was weird,” Phillips expressed


Putnam asked why he didn’t tell LAPD what Brenda said. “I didn’t want to be in that straight jacket Dan was talking about,” Phillips said


Phillips clarified he didn’t think it was relevant information.


Putnam showed a letter signed by MJ on June 9, 2009 requesting AEG to advance the sum of $50,000 to Frank DiLeo.


Phillips said his deposition happened three and a half years after MJ died. He believed there were over 9,000 email turned over.


In preparation for his testimony, Phillips said he watched his testimony given in Dr. Conrad Murray’s criminal case.


Phillips said he prepared himself prior to his deposition, but not like he did for testifying in court.


Phillips said he didn’t believe he knew what emails were going to be used, thus he didn’t want to read everything they produced.


Phillips explained he has had time to look over all the emails in detail since his depo, therefore he was able to remember the events better


We are not a very litigious company, Phillips clarified. “I did not realize there’s that ‘gotcha’ politics, ‘gotcha’ legal process.”


Even though you know the answer to a question, you want the person to use it wrong so you can use it against them, Phillips opined.


Phillips said he was not designated as PMK (person with most knowledge) or PMQ (person most qualified) for AEG.


Phillips said he’s the president and CEO of AEG Live.


Phillips said he made only one substantive correction to his deposition transcript.


Phillips said AEG Live has at least 10 divisions, deal, with talent, produce shows, international tours, festivals.


In college, Phillips became the director of special events for students association. He graduated from Stanford in Political Science.


Phillips promoted the Harlem Globetrotters. One of the stars asked to manage him.


He went to law school at University of Santa Clara.


Phillips said he thought it was a good move to start his career, moved to LA, transferred to LoyolaLawSchool.


He started management career with Management West International, then worked at Stiefel & Phillips through 1996.


He managed Rod Stewart and Matthew Brodrick. Then they repped Guns N Roses, Toni Braxton, Prince, Simple Minds, Morrisey.


Phillips worked with MJ at this point. He represented the artist in an endorsement deal and a line of sneakers.


He was hot as a pistol, Phillips described MJ. “This was in early 90s, right before History”.


It was one of the biggest endorsements made at the time, Phillips said. “The deal was a success.”


Phillips said the line of sneakers was not successful, though. The company he made the deal was LA Gear.


When MJ didn’t like something, he was less than demure, Phillips testified. “Some of the shoes was really quite hideous,” Phillips said.


Let’s stop this s**t, it’s ugly, they don’t know what they’re doing, this stuff is s**t, they’re going to ruin me Phillips said MJ reacted


Phillips described MJ as ‘incredibly sharp’ doing business.


After the LA Gear deal, MJ and John Branca asked Phillips to manage MJ. He said no. His next dealing with MJ was not until 2007.


Phillips left Stiefel and Phillips to work at Red Ant Entertainment from 96 to 99, continued to co-manage Toni Braxton.


Managed group called Dream on Puffy Combs Label. Then approached by John Meglan and Paul Gongaware to start Concerts West, now AEG Live


They wanted me to help them secure a tour with an artist named Britney Spears, Phillips explained.


Phillips said he had a very good relationship with her manager at the time. It was the first big break tour of Britney Spears.


Phillips was consultant on the tour and had a piece of the profits. After the tour, Leiweke asked Phillips to consider in-house position.


Phillips wrote the business plan over the weekend and became the president and CEO of AEG Live in 2001.


Phillips said AEG Live created Coachella festival. They used the infrastructure, equipment for another genre of music, Stagecoach festival.


Phillips talked about the residency shows AEG Live promotes in Las Vegas: Celine Dion, Elton John, Cher, Shania Twain, Rod Stewart.


Phillips said AEG Live promoted and produced Prince’s most successfully tour, “Musicality” in 2004.


Phillips testified they produced and promoted Prince’s 21 sold out Nights at the O2 arena and residency show in Vegas at Rio Hotel in 2006.


Artist management team: attorney, business manager, agent, broker, personal manager, generally four people, Phillips explained.


Phillips said there are two ways a tour begin: once artist releases new album, Phillips goes to the artist team and pitches the company.


My job is to go and actually sell the concepts and ideas, Phillips said.


Other way is management of an artist pitches the tour to AEG.


He described himself as “schmoozer in chief”.


Phillips said superstars who fill up big arenas, like Staples, work on a 90-10 split, where 90% of profits goes to artist, 10% to promoter.


Once he wins the bid, Phillips passes the deal on to someone else within AEG Live better prepared to handle it.


I don’t think I sit on this throne, Phillips explained. “We have a very open decision-making process at AEG Live.


I’m like manager’s promoter, I think like a manager, I think in term of the brand itself, Phillips explained.


Phillips has deal w/ AEG Live where he’s allowed to manage 2 acts, Dream and Lionel Richie. Dream dissolved, AEG allowed him to manage Usher


Phillips said Live Nation is about three times bigger than AEG Live. They are competitors when it comes to touring.


I think we’re a better company, Phillips opined. He said Live Nation is in the amphitheater business and AEG is strictly an arena touring.


In interview w/ Telegraph, Phillips said AEG Live was under assault by 800lb gorilla called Live Nation, planning to merge w/ Ticketmaster


Number 1 doesn’t necessary make you the most profitable, Phillips said.


Why take all this risk in deploy capital in this way if you’re not to make a profit? Phillips explained.


I don’t particularly love music, that’s not why I got into it. I love the deal, Phillips testified.


It’s difficult as it can the to deal with the artists, but Phillips said he loves the challenge.


Phillips said he is told all the time to just follow their business plan and not even look at Live Nation. It is a competitive business.


AEG Live is working on a BET Music Festival on June 28.


Sunday: Adult contemporary: R Kelly, Boyz to Men, The Jacksons.


Saturday: Snoop Miguel and Kendrick Lamar, younger crowd


Friday: Beyonce, more mainstream artist


We book them, Phillips said. Deal was done by someone else at AEG Live, who will be promoting and producing this festival.


MJ didn’t have touring team or money to produce “This Is It” tour.


Phillips talked about the difference between promoting and producing.


Phillips said it’s very expensive to keep everyone on staff if you’re not touring regularly. Jackson hadn’t toured for many years.


AEG Live is promoting Justin Bieber world tour. It will be 130 shows over 14-15 months. “It’s a very substantial amount,” Phillips said.


AEG promoted The Rolling Stones, 21 shows. Putnam asked why the difference in the amount of shows.


He’s 19, Mick Jagger is 70, Phillips responded. Rolling Stones sales is gigantic, so they don’t have to do as many concerts.


Putnam: Can AEG Live force an artist to perform on a show?


Phillips: No, the artist has the ultimate veto power


Phillips: We live in a free society, they are not my slaves. If the artist doesn’t want to perform, there’s nothing we can do.


Phillips said Peter Lopez, an attorney for MJ, asked for a meeting with AEG Live in 2007. It took place in Las Vegas.


I was told by John that Michael wanted to get back to work and that’s why we were there, Phillips testified.


MJ, for all the complexities of dealing with Michael, was one of the biggest stars in the world, Phillips testified.


Phillips said MJ talked about putting out new music, do something different, constantly putting music out, every 6 weeks, and tour around it


They also discussed the idea to do mini series on King Tut and do mini movies. Meeting lasted about 90 minutes, Phillips said.


He looked great, very animated, he talked a lot about what he wanted to do, Phillips described. “He seemed fine to me.”


Phillips said he didn’t think MJ was abusing prescription drugs at the time and he was not concerned with his health.


There was another meeting where Phillips said MJ showed a mini-film he called Ghost. They also discussed mini-series on King Tut.


He detailed scene of meeting where MJ threw a pencil at him, joking


MJ was great, animated, clear, like the star he was Phillips described


We picked London because his popularity was less diminished because of the troubles he had had, Phillips explained.


The most pressing thing for him, Michael, at that time, he was fixating in getting a house for him and his children, Phillips said.


Meeting happened in 2008 at the bar of the Bel Air Hotel at the request of Dr. Tohme.


Colony asked for a meeting with Phillips. That’s where he learned about Dr. Tohme, who Phillips says was MJ’s manager at the time.


They purchased the note of Neverland from a bank for $23 million and MJ wanted to start his career again and make money.


Phillips said Colony Capital, a real estate investment company, got involved with MJ’s finance.


MJ ended up not moving forward with the tour then. That was MJ,” Phillips explained.


He didn’t want to live in other people’s house anymore, Phillips expressed.


Putnam showed the email from Jun 13, 2008 with plans for MJ.(the not fast, need to be controlled as much as possible email)


Perfection is expensive, and incidentally impossible to achieve, Phillips opined, saying they tried to control MJ’s spending, nothing else


Putnam: How did you do controlling him financially?


Phillips: Not very well, but I blame Paul (Gongaware)


Court adjourned until 9:45 am PT tomorrow. Randy Phillips will be on stand again. We hope to see you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 12 DAY 28

  • While Phillips tells us to take information published in the English press with a grain of salt (which is probably correct), let us not forget to take with a grain of salt the stories he is telling about Michael, including his tears upon hearing that Michael wanted to do the tour to be able to buy a house.
  • Tohme  was indeed the one who found Michael a house through “an agent of his”  for $100,000 a month. I wonder how much money Tohme made on it.
  • Randy Phillips’s version of  the scene before the press-conference makes it clear that Michael’s unwillingness to attend it was not a surprise to him. Michael did not even want to go on a plane to the UK, and this is why Gongaware was saying “We’ll do it with him or without him”. So what else did Phillips expect then? Michael was quite consistent in his refusal to go, so it’s no use pretending now that it was something extraordinary.
  • Michael never agreed to 31 shows. Even in that dubious contract of theirs it was only an option which was still to be discussed.
  • Phillips says he learned that Michael wanted a doctor when they moved to the Forum (on June 1). But the contract with Murray was dated May 1. I highly doubt they started drafting it without duly informing the CEO of the company.
  • Phillips clearly wants to connect the hiring of Murray with Frank Dileo’s  name and this is why stresses that Murray appeared only much later. Tohme said in Sullivan’s book something like  “if he had been around Michael at that time he would have never allowed it to happen”.

Wednesday, June 12 DAY 28


Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 28 of Jackson family vs AEG just concluded. Randy Phillips testified all day.


Marvin Putnam resumed questioning AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips. Katherine Jackson was not in the courtroom this morning.


Phillips recalled his first meeting in the summer of 2008 with Dr. Tohme in the bar of the Bel Air Hotel.


Phillips said his understanding was that Dr. Tohme went over expenses and signed the checks for Michael. Meeting lasted 2 hours.


Dr. Tohme described Michael’s circumstances, his life, career, where he was living, finances. They mostly talked about restarting his career


Phillips said the the idea came off proposal from Ramone Baines, that the best starting point would be in London.


Phillips explained a residency tour was easier than full blown tour, living out of hotels.  Michael had not toured in so long.


We thought it would be a great city for people to come from around the world to see him, Phillips testified.


Phillips said Dr. Tohme thought it was important to explain why Mr. Jackson wanted to go back to work.


Michael explained one of the biggest motivations was that he wanted to earn enough money to buy a house for his family.


Dr. Tohme spoke with an accent, came from another country, Phillips explained.


Putnam: Did it seem that MJ was ready to go back on tour?


Phillips: Only from what Dr. Tohme told me. The meeting was very positive.


Phillips then asked for a meeting with the artist. Had a meeting at MJ’s suite in Bel Air near street near Bellagio.


Phillips said he believed that was the 2nd meeting. The 1st meeting was a parlor above his suite.


That was more about the dates and how we would put them on sale, who he wanted to work with, Phillips explained.


I was told by Dr. Tohme that MJ was living in LV. He stayed at Bel Air when in LA.


When we relocated to London, we would make it a larger than life event, Phillips testified.


When we built the 02 just Timberlake did 6 night, Beyonce did 8 nights, Phillips explained. “In London, people love to go out.”


Population changes too because there are a lot of visitors from other countries, Phillips said. The Arena was built for entertainment, music


Phillips said MJ was an ideal candidate, probably an ideal place for the come back. Michael was very receptive, since he liked London.


He had friends there, just felt comfortable there, Phillips told the jury. He loved that idea which made everything else that much better.


In Oct 2008, Phillips said he felt MJ was ready to go. “He was dressed well, his eyes were clear, he is very sophisticated 50 year old man”


Phillips: I don’t believe anything I read in the press, especially the English press. I take a lot of those stories with a grain of salt.


He is a very smart, articulate young man who had control of his life, Phillis testified.


Phillips talked about not noting anything atypical in meetings. He was not concerned about MJ’s health, physical condition or drug problem.


MJ moved from LV to  home in December 08 or January 09. He was bone-weary from traveling, Phillips recalled.


MJ said he was tired of living like Vagabonds, wanted the kids to have a permanent place to live, a sense of community, Phillips testified.


The exec said the meeting got emotional. “He teared up he said he wanted a residence for his family that they could call their own.”


That was the primary reason he wanted to go back work, Phillips said.


Phillips testified MJ wanted to tour one more time since he was young enough to do it and the kids were old enough to appreciate it.


I felt incredibly bad that this incredible star was trying to earn enough money to buy a house, Phillips recalled. “I cried also.”


Putnam: Any concern about his mental well being?


Phillips: No, he was just emotional.


Phillips said he tried to talk MJ out of purchasing a $93 million house in Beverly Hills.


AEG advanced $3 million to Jackson to settle a lawsuit.  “He could not enter contract with us until he settled with Bahrain,” Phillips said


Phillips said Dr. Tohme was the one who secured the Carolwood home, not AEG.


The tour agreement was signed in the living room of Carolwood house. There was no press because wanted maximum impact at the news conference


After contract was signed, they popped a champagne to celebrate. Michael read the entire contract, Phillips said, asked questions.


MJ wanted to make sure of AEG’s commitment about the movie in the contract, Phillips recalled.


Also MJ wanted to know how many shows. “It was 31” Phillips said. “He came up with the number.”


Prince had done 21 shows. “MJ and Prince were incredibly competitive, he wanted to do enough shows that Prince could not catch up with him”


Putnam: Was Mr. Jackson excited?


Phillips: Yes, he hugged me.


Phillips said he too was excited.


Phillips: MJ was one of the biggest stars in the world, the idea of him getting on the stage again was one of the biggest parts of my career


Phillips said MJ held the glass of champagne but I didn’t think he drank it. “Meeting ended with a toast and everybody high-fiving.”


Phillips explained it would be better to have press conference since MJ had been gone so long and there were credibility issues w/ consumers


One of the hardest things is creating demand for tickets, Phillips said, since it is an expensive proposition.


When your consumer isn’t sure and they have a limited amount of income, they hesitate; and our aim was to eliminate that hesitation.


But Phillips said in his gut he knew that people wanted to see him perform again.


Phillips said there was a breakdown with Dr. Tohme about an auction that Dr. Tohme had set up involving memorabilia.


Phillips: I was concerned because Dr. Tohme lost contact and he was our only way to directly connect to MJ.


At this point in time I was flying blind because I didn’t know what was happening in Michael’s camp Phillips explained.


Paul always thought it was going to happen, Phillips said. “I was never as sanguine as him.”


Phillips said he had one experience with MJ that was helping secure the LA Gear deal, a disaster for LA Gear, but great for Mr. Jackson.


In late Feb 09, if Jackson decided ‘I can’t do this’ or ‘I can’t go forward, don’t want to’ it would not have hurt AEG Live, Phillips said.


Phillips said at that point they only had put out $5 mil advance.


Putnam: Did Dr. Tohme get on plane to UK with MJ?


Phillips: Yes


Putnam: Did press conference happen as scheduled??


Phillips: Chuckles … it was on the same day.


Phillips described the drama behind the scenes before the press conference. He said he wasn’t sure that they were going to get on plane.


Phillips was in Miami covering the opening of Britney Spears’ a Circus tour. “It was one of the top 5 tours of the year,” Phillips responded


I am the CEO of the company it would remiss of me not to be there, Phillips explained.


Phillips arrived in London on March 5. He travelled with David Loeffler, since they were also producing the Lionel Ritchie tour.


Phillips said he was in the room for about 20 minutes watching TV and Dr. Tohme went to MJ’s suite.


Phillips said he wanted to get to the arena early because of London traffic. “I assume Dr. Tohme would help get MJ ready,” Phillips recalled


Phillips said Dr. Tohme exhibited no concerns about getting MJ ready on time.


Dr. Tohme was gone for what it seemed like an eternity, Phillips said.


Don’t worry, he just needs a little more time, Phillips said Tohme told him. “I started to freak out.”


I am completely freaking out, Phillips said. “I was in the hallway pacing back and forth.”


Tohme told Phillips: “We have a little issue. Michael got drunk, I think he said he was trying to sober him up, but he was going to be late”


Phillips said he became even more anxious. He was receiving emails and phone calls from people at the O2 arena.


Phillips to Leiweke: MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent. Tohme and I are trying to sober him up & get him to the press conference


It didn’t make me less freaked out; I needed to pass on what was happening to Leiweke Phillips said. Leiweke responded: are you kidding me?


Phillips said he told MJ’s bodyguard, Alberto Alvarez, that it was a crisis situation and needed to get into the room.


Time was slipping away, I was sweating bullets. For me at the time it felt like a crisis, Phillips remembered.


Phillips said he received 25 phone calls in 5 minutes. Phillips entered MJ’s room.


He had a robe on, and his pants. I remember seeing an empty bottle of booze at the couch, maybe vodka or gin, Phillips recalled.


To me, he looked hungover, Phillips testified.


Phillips: I said Michael, are you ok? That’s when he said to me that he was really concerned no one was going to be there


Phillips said he told MJ things were quite differently, there were 3,000 adoring fans waiting for him and all top news organizations.


Dr. Tohme talked about hiring or renting a crowd, we didn’t do that, we just had to leak that MJ was coming and fans got the word.


MJ got up, Phillips said, and went to the bathroom with Dr. Tohme and makeup artist. The children were watching tv in another room.


Phillips: MJ had black slacks on and boots, white V-neck shirt. Someone was holding 3 different shirts, one black, one blue and one red.


They were asking me what he should wear, I suggested black since the background was red, Phillips recalled.


Phillips described how MJ wanted to wear a sequin armband but didn’t have a way to attach it to his arm. Phillips said he got angry.


Phillips: I admit to being a drama queen. MJ wouldn’t leave unless he had sequined armband on. At that point it was more than I could take


I raised my voice and said guys, that’s enough! Phillips recalled.


In the van ride, news helicopters were following and press could see he was coming, Phillips remembered.


He was chagrined, he knew that what he had done wasn’t the coolest things, Phillips recalled.


The mood in the van changed, Phillips said. Michael was quite funny. He told Phillips the exec had lost a lot of weight.


Phillips responded to MJ that he too would’ve lost weight if he were pacing in front of the hotel room like he was. Everyone laughed hard.


Phillips said MJ was to write his own remarks the night before the press conference, but didn’t do it. Phillips wrote a few lines for him.


He started a little hunched over, Phillips said of MJ in the news conference. “When he went through that curtain, there was MJ.”


Putnam showed a clip of the press conference, where fans we’re screaming and MJ was saying “this is it.”


He was so nervous and really concerned about how people would have reacting to him, Phillips said.


He became MJ again, they were telling him they still loved him. It underscored that he was a human being, Phillips opined.


I thought it came out fine, Phillips said about the press conference. They announced 10 shows initially.


I was ecstatic. He was elated, Phillips said. “Because his worse fears and trepidations, they didn’t happen.”


They stayed in London to watch Oliver Twist. Phillips got MJ and his kids the best seats in the house.


When we arrived at the theater, it was kind of pandemonium. When MJ walked in he received standing ovation, Phillips recalled.


Phillips said they had to have police on the way out due to the thousands of people in the streets.


Phillips was not concerned with MJ’s physically. He said he was concerned the day before when MJ drank prior to the presser.


Phillips: This wouldn’t be the first time I’d dealt with an artist who had drank a little too much.


Per the contract, they had agreed upon 31 shows. The pre-registration kind of gave them first look of how the show would sell, Philips said.


Paul Gongaware called him, Phillips said, alerting him that the shows were going to be sold out and needed to add more shows.


Dude, we’re going to sell out ridiculous amount of tickets, Gongaware told Phillips.


Phillips called Dr. Tohme asking to add more shows, MJ agreed to 50 with two conditions. He wanted house out in countryside.


House needed at least 16 acres, rolling streams, horseback riders and wanted a guest house for the writers to work on Thriller 3D.


He didn’t want to be trapped in a hotel in London with the kids, Phillips said.


After the 50th show, MJ also wanted the world record to document his record, since he knew no one had done 50 shows, Phillips explained.


Putnam showed a frame of the video showing Phillips and MJ in the golf cart going to the presser.


Phillips said they had a meeting with Bravado regarding merchandising and were going to open a store at the arena to sell MJ’s merch.


Most meeting happened at MJ’s house in Carolwood, some were at Center Staging, Phillips recalled.


Phillips said he had one meeting at Carolwood he went downstairs to the movie room when Michael showed him the movie Ghost he was working on


The exec went to the powder room and kitchen, but never went to the upstairs level of the house.


Phillips said he never saw MJ drink, under the influence, using prescription drugs, inebriated, hungover, slur speech during the TII period


Did you at anytime have any reason to believe that MJ couldn’t perform at the O2 arena?


Phillips: No


Phillips learned MJ wanted to bring his own doctor on tour. This was right at the beginning of rehearsals at the Forum.


Phillips expressed he was concerned not about the doctor, but the cost it would be to bring the physician on tour.


This was the time where Dr. Tohme was no longer in MJ’s life, Frank DiLeo was back in the game, Phillips explained.


It was probably kind of the most tense, one on one, phone call, Phillips testified. The exec said he told MJ that London had great doctors


Would you consider that we hire a doctor, that you hire a doctor, in London for this tour? Phillips said.


Phillips said MJ told him his body is the machine and the engine of the machine drives this entire venture and needs a physician 24/7.


Phillips: It’s Michael, when he wanted something, he wanted something, if he wanted his own doctor, I was in no position to tell him no.


Tour was sold, there was no question if tickets were going to go, Phillips said, “I just wanted to keep the most money in his pocket.”


Phillips said AEG Live was advancing money to pay Dr. Murray, but they would recoup it 100%. He said it was MJ’s money.


I thought I was going to be able to reason with him, but he insisted to have his own physician, Phillips said.


Because it was MJ’s decision, MJ’s money. I took my shot, Phillips said.


Phillips said he didn’t think it was red flag because it was MJ.


After this, Phillips never again discussed Dr. Murray going to London with MJ.


Phillips never had any discussions about an independent contract agreement for Dr. Murray.


Phillips said Dr. Murray was going to be paid $150,000 a month plus expenses.


I thought it was high, but not crazy, Phillips said.


Phillips said he never hired Dr. Murray and no one ever told him the deal was finalized..


Putnam showed the video of the Sky News interview. Jackson’s attorneys objected, they went to Judge’s chamber to talk.


In the interview, Phillips explained that Dr. Murray was MJ’s personal physician and MJ wanted him on tour.


Phillips said AEG never paid MJ.


Putnam: Did you hire Dr. Murray?


Phillips: No


Putnam talked about a meeting at Carolwood with MJ, Dr. Murray, Gongaware, DiLeo, Ortega in May.


I was concerned about Michael’s weight, personally. I believe Kenny wanted him to show up at rehearsals more often, Phillips recalled.


Putnam: Was this an emergency meeting?


Phillips: No


Putnam asked if this was an intervention. Phillips said no, he used this term as idea for all to get together, but not related to drugs.


Dr. Murray was there because he was Michael’s physician, Phillips said. The exec talked to Dr Murray about MJ losing weight, his only agenda


Michael said that he always had problem keeping his weight, Phillips recalled. “When he performed he lost 2-4 pounds, needed Dr. Murray”


He had a high metabolism, he burned calories very quickly, Phillips said.


Dr. Murray told Phillips MJ was working out with Lou Ferrigno.


The doctor didn’t tell Phillips he was going to the house every night and that he was giving him Propofol.


It was a very positive meeting, Phillips said


Phillips said he never had conversation with Dr Murray about drug abuse of treatment of MJ.


Phillips said he carry his business cards at all times and it’s not abnormal for him to write his cell phone on the back of it.


Putnam: Do you think the fact Dr. Murray had your business card you hired him?


Phillips: No


On June 19, MJ went to rehearsal but was sent home sick. The only concern Phillips said he had was with MJ’s weight.


Phillips: There was a production meeting at Carolwood house, I noticed that Michael was sitting at the couch and staring at the dining room


He wasn’t engaged, Phillips said. “I asked Michael Amir Williams what was going on, and he said he had seen Dr. Klein.”


Phillips didn’t think he was abusing prescription drugs at this point. Dr. Murray was not in this meeting.


Phillips recalled receiving a chain of emails on June 19, Trouble at the Front.


The meeting Tim Leiweke requested didn’t take place because if it was superseded by the June 20th meeting, Phillips explained.


Phillips talked about the chemical imbalance that happened with Britney Spears and that she was treated for that during one of her tours.


Phillips said he’s not 100% sure what he meant when he wrote the problems with MJ could be chemical or physiological.


Court adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9:30 am PT. There will be only morning session tomorrow, since two jurors have personal business.


AEG Lice CEO Randy Phillips resumes on the stand. He may not be done until Monday, the lawyers said.


For all the latest, watch @ABC7 and go to . We hope to see you all tomorrow! Have a great night.


Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 27 of Jackson family vs AEG has concluded. There was only morning session today.

Thursday, June 13. DAY 29

  • Now Randy Phillips says what we’ve been saying all along – Michael was absolutely not obliged to rehearse. His only obligation was to give a first-class show. Enrique Iglesias did not attend a single rehearsal either.
  • Phillips also says he never told Kane that Michael was in breach of the contract as he was not rehearsing and therefore would not give him a $1mln. advance to cover his bills. And Panish said he had an email about it.
  • ABC7 News made an enquiry about the Jacksons and AEG responded with a long statement (which they no doubt had specially prepared for the occassion). Every single thing they did for the Jacksons was meticulously recorded and displayed for public view. Low demand for the tickets was also mentioned. Hopefully this humiliation will teach Jacksons a lesson not to enter into deals with the evil.

Thursday June 13 DAY 29


AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips back on the stand. AEG attorney Marvin Putnam resumed questioning him.


Jurors viewed a lengthy clip of Michael Jackson as he rehearsed “Billie Jean.” some jurors could not help but smile. Phillips wiped his eyes


Jackson performed his iconic gyrations. Phillips testified that video, shot weeks before Jackson died, showed no signs of health problems.


Putnam showed “Trouble of the Front” email chain that Randy Phillips forwarded to MJ’s team at the time saying we have a real problem here.


Phillips: I thought it was essential they got this information, I wanted to be completely transparent with his management team.


I wanted everybody to be in the loop of the information I was getting, Phillips said.


I didn’t know what the problem was, Phillips said, adding MJ never told him he wasn’t ready or didn’t want to perform.


Phillips said that he never said nor had any discussions about pulling the plug on the tour.


Michael’s only obligation was to show up and perform a class act show at opening night, Phillips explained.


Phillips said he never mentioned a substance abuse could be the problem. John Branca, MJ’s lawyer, inquired if it could be the issue.


Phillips said he does not remember ever seeing a contract where the artist is required to rehearse.


The only requirement an artist had is to deliver a class act show, Phillips explained.


Enrique Iglesias never showed up to rehearsals in the last tour Phillips did, the exec said.


I thought it was odd, but Enrique Iglesias showed up in Boston, did an amazing show, got great reviews.


Phillips said he expected MJ to rehearse because he hadn’t been on stage over 12 years.


As everything with MJ, this production was the biggest, the best, the greatest the world has ever seen, Phillips explained.


Phillips testified MJ told Kenny Ortega he did not need to rehearse because he had been dancing his songs all his life.


Putnam: Did you ever tell MJ or his management team he was in breach of his contract?


Phillips: No


Putnam: Did you discuss MJ’s medical treatment with Dr. Murray?


Phillips: No


Phillips said he never discussed substance abuse or use of Propofol with Dr. Murray.


Phillips explained in the 25-minute conversation with Dr. Murray he recounted  information he received from Kenny Ortega and John Hougdahl.


It was actually very confusing, Phillips said. “had emails from Kenny and Hougdahl and then Dr. Murray assuring me MJ was fine.”


Phillips said Dr. Murray told him MJ was fine, he wasn’t sure what was wrong with him in the rehearsal the night before, maybe the flu.


Putnam: Did you know what was going on?


Phillips: Not a clue, I was very confused


After that, Phillips said he sent an email to Ortega detailing his conversation with Dr. Murray.


He (Dr. Murray) was just so calm on the phone, and sure of what he was saying, he was very believable, Phillips said.


That’s why Phillips wrote in the email he was respecting Dr. Murray more and more.


Phillips: I think it’s important to give him love, support, not second guess, give diagnosis of what we think the problem is


Putnam: At the time you wrote ‘the doctor is extremely successful’, did you believe this to be true?


Phillips: Yes


Phillips: I was told he had asked $5 million to buy out clinics in 3 different states. To me, hearing that, meant he was a successful doctor


We check everyone out reference in Phillips’ email:


Putnam: Did you mean you performed financial background check on Dr Murray?


Phillips: No


That referred what in my mind is the process we go through when we do business with third party vendors, Phillips explained.


Phillips said at that point he had sufficient information to believe what he wrote was true.


Phillips said he wouldn’t even think of checking a doctor’s finance to determine whether he’s fit to practice medicine.


Phillips: Never occurred to me if a doctor was a good business man or not, a doctor could not perform his functions because he’s in debt


Phillips said by knowing Dr. Murray was in debt, he could’ve said to MJ to pay less for the services since the doctor needed the job.


Putnam: Were you in any position to tell MJ what he needed to prepare for the shows?


Phillips: No


Phillips said that if they stopped the show at that point, he is not sure MJ could ever resume his career.


Phillips explained he wanted Ortega to be open minded about what was going on with MJ and the exec didn’t want him to quit.


I think he’s one of the most creative, artist-oriented director and I understand why MJ loved him show much, Phillips said about Ortega.


I was concerned, confused, I had Dr Murray’s information and prospective and I had Kenny’s information and prospective Phillips explained.


I was completely baffled as to what was going on, Phillips said.


The only person in charge of Michael Jackson’s health is Michael Jackson. He was a 50 year old man, father of three, Phillips opined.


Putnam: Was there any reason to believe MJ wasn’t capable of making his own medical decisions?


Phillips: None whatsoever


Meeting on June 20th was between Kenny Ortega, Dr. Murray, MJ and Phillips.


Putnam: Was Dr. Murray attending because AEG wanted him there?


Phillips: Frank DiLeo wanted him there


He was MJ’s personal physician, Phillips explained.


Ortega opened the meeting and didn’t get very far, Phillips recalled. Dr Murray interrupted him and told him to stop being an amateur doctor


Dr. Murray told Ortega he should leave MJ’s health in his hands, Phillips recalled.


Ortega was a bit surprised that Dr. Murray admonished him. “Basic stay in your lane, this is my lane, I have it,” Phillips said.


Michael looked great, he was fine in this meeting, Phillips testified.


I’ve been doing this choreography most of my career, have muscle memory, don’t need to rehearse all the time Phillips said MJ told Ortega.


You build the house and when you’re done, I’ll come and put the door on and paint it, Phillips described MJ said.


MJ agreed to start coming to rehearsals, he understood Kenny needed him since it was such a complex production, Phillips told the jury.


MJ needed to learn his cues, this was a massive effects show, Phillips said.


It was incredible, they loved each other. MJ told us he wouldn’t do This Is It this is it without Ortega directing it, Phillips recalled.


Phillips: Michael looked great, the doctor was reassuring, Kenny interacted with MJ, Kenny was was on board and Michael seemed to be fine.


All I thought at this point was that he (Dr. Murray) and a Michael had a fabulous relationship, Phillips said.


Phillips said he thought the emails Ortega sent were a little judgmental, since they had not had the meeting to find out what was going on.


Phillips explained he also had great relationship with MJ and Ortega thought if the exec was around they could resolve any issues that arose


Phillips said he watched the rehearsals on 23 and 24.


Michael and Kenny agreed to resume rehearsals on June 23, Phillips said.


How do you describe the best entertainer in the world? I had goose bumps, it was fantastic! Phillips described the rehearsals.


Phillips said the three execs looked like three babies, with goose bumps. “It was phenomenal!”


I thought he did an incredible job, Phillips described, saying there was no reason to be concerned anymore with the trouble at the front.


Putnam: Did he lose his ability to do 360s?


Phillips: Considered he did multiple 360s, no


Phillips spoke with MJ on 24th, asked how he was.


He, Kenny and Travis had a communal hug, went back to dressing room to get ready to leave, Phillips said.


Frank DiLeo and I were standing outside the dressing room waiting for MJ, Phillips recalled.


You’ve gotten me this far, I can take it from here. I got this, MJ told Phillips. “It felt like a million dollars,” Phillips explained.


I was totally shocked, Phillips said about MJ’s passing hours later. Phillips last spoke with MJ around midnight.


Ortega was elated with rehearsal, it was his work and MJ’s work coming alive on stage Phillips testified. “He knew we were over the hump.”


Phillips said he didn’t see MJ in the hospital, only saw the gurney he was on behind the curtains in the emergency room.


After MJ passed away, I think Dr. Tohme was standing next to me, Phillips recalled.


Putnam: Did you talk to Dr. Murray?


Phillips: Yes, he was hysterical, he was crying, I tried to calm him down, but there was no conversation


I was in the hallway with Frank DiLeo and the head nurse came out, Phillips described.


Nurse said ‘ I’m sorry to tell you Mr. Jackson’s passed away,’ an emotional Phillips recalled.


Frank collapsed, Phillips said, holding back tears. “I had to grab him. We were devastated.”


Being an artist means you have to reinvent yourself all the time, Phillips explained. “You can’t give up on people, that’s not our job.”


Phillips said when they make a deal with an artist, they are not part of their inner circle, they don’t control what they do after rehearsal


Phillips said he knew Dr. Arnold Klein was a famous dermatologist, he had gone to him many years ago.


Phillips: I had a concern the way Michael seemed that day (when he came back from Dr. Klein), but never saw him like that again.


He had cosmetic work and had vitiligo, Phillips said. It seemed normal for MJ to go to a dermatologist prior to touring.


I didn’t know what Propofol was at the time, Phillips explained.


Phillips said he asked Dr. Murray whether he knew MJ was seeing Dr. Klein for some type of treatment. Dr. Murray responded he was aware.


As to email Phillips wrote that Dr Klein was shooting MJ up, Phillips said MJ’s manager asked for a million dollar advance to pay MJ’s bills


One of the bills, Phillips said, was from Dr. Klein for $48,000 for restyling, Botox and dozens of things that said IM, IM, IM.


Phillip said he didn’t know what IM meant, but MJ’s manager said it was intramuscular, meaning injections.


All Phillips knew about Propofol was when he was administered it during a colonoscopy. He learned from media MJ died of Propofol overdose.


Putnam: AEG Live make a fortune after MJ’s death?


Phillips: No


No more questions from AEG attorney.


Panish asked Phillips if the exec used derogatory terms to refer to Mrs. Jackson, like the B word. He said no.


Panish referred back to the meeting at the Polo Lounge between Randy Phillips and Dr. Tohme.


Phillips and Panish argued about the fact that Phillips said Panish was following him around with photographers.


Phillips said it was Panish who told him that, and Panish replied he never said it.


Panish: Did you point to me and accused me of following you at the Polo Lounge?


Phillips: Yes, I speculated, yes, yes


Panish: You will say anything, won’t you?


Phillips: That’s outrageous!


Panish asked if Phillips thought he was still following him. He responded he didn’t know, he’s not sure what Panish is capable of.


Judge adjourned the session for the day. Trial resumes tomorrow at 9:00 am PT with Phillips back on the stand for more re-cross.


AEG attorney responded to our inquire about Jackson’s brothers working with AEG. It’s a long statement with their explanation.


Statement: For at least the third time since Michael Jackson’s death and the filing of Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit against AEG Live,


Statement cont’d: Michael Jackson’s brothers, the Jacksons, have chosen to work yet again with AEG Live


Statement cont’d: (one scheduled event, last year, unfortunately had to be cancelled due to low ticket sales). Most recently, they agreed to


Statement cont’d: perform as part of the BET Experience scheduled to take place at LA Live later this month.


Statement cont’d: In fact, just this past week the Jacksons specifically requested AEG Live provide them with VIP suite during BET Experience


Statement cont’d: AEG Live has worked to put on concerts with Janet Jackson 4 times since MJ’s death and filing of her mother’s lawsuit.


Jackson’s attorney said the artists have no choice, they are just using AEG’s venue and are working with BET.


For all the latest and complete coverage of the trial watch @ABC7 and go to . Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Friday, June 14. DAY 30

  • Phillips is talking about ethics. Funny.
  • An interesting question from Jacksons’ lawyer had an interesting answer: Panish asked Phillips what Michael Jackson, Peter Lopez and Frank DiLeo have in common. “They’ve all passed away,” Phillips responded.
  • On the last day of his testimony Phillips is enjoying himself tremendously – he is joking and saying to Panish that he will “miss him”.
  • Katherine Jackson’s response to AEG’s statement is one of the worst things I’ve ever read. It would be better if she simply said, “I have my own opinion about it, but they are big boys now and bear their own responsibility for what they are doing”.
  • Speaking about Randy Phillips’s ethics and his lies – here is an important update from Laura Messina on Facebook:

“Yesterday Randy Phillips turned white when one of his uncountable lies on the stand came out. He met Tohme Tohme after a week of testimony in the trial denying to ever discussed about that. But there was someone loyal to MJ seated close to them and he heard EVERYTHING. He tweeted live about their meeting and Panish showed the screenshot of the tweet.

Panish asked: Did you call Mrs Jackson a word beginning with B?  The person who witnessed their meeting will be called to testify soon. ”

Randy Phillips and Tohme discussed the trial and Phillips was calling Mrs. Jackson a B****

This incident was brought up in Katherine Jackson’s statement on Friday:

Friday June 14, DAY 30


Hello from the courthouse in downtown LA. Day 30 of Jackson family vs AEG trial. AEG CEO Randy Phillips resumes testimony.


Jackson’s attorney, Brian Panish, resumed questioning AEG CEO Randy Phillips. The exec is an adverse witness called by the plaintiffs.


Phillips denied again using derogatory terms to refer to Mrs. Jackson while meeting with Dr. Tohme at Polo Lounge on May 4th of this year.


Panish asked Phillips what MJ, Peter Lopez and Frank DiLeo have in common. “They’ve all passed away,” Phillips responded.


Panish: Are you aware of articles quoting you saying you hired Dr. Murray?


Phillips: I don’t recall


Panish pressed asking if he had testified earlier in the week saying he was not aware of articles quoting him.


It’s been a long time the articles have been written, Phillips testified, saying he doesn’t remember whether he gave any other interviews.


Phillips: If articles were written from interview with Sky News it’s possible, I just don’t remember giving interview about AEG hiring Dr. Murray


Earlier, Phillips testified Michael Roth, AEG’s PR person, set up interviews, so most likely he had talk with Roth about hiring Dr. Murray.


I don’t remember, you have to show me the articles, Phillips explained when Panish asked if he gave other intvs says AEG hired Dr. Murray.


As to Dr. Murray hiring, Phillips said all he knew in beginning of June when they met at the Forum, there was no agreement with Dr. Murray


Phillips said ‘he’ didn’t want to hire an American doctor due to the costs.


There were two issues: one was cost, the other was the ability to practice in the UK, Phillips explained.


Phillips testified he doesn’t know whether his home number is unlisted or not. He said he rarely uses it due to cell phones.


The exec explained again he felt very confused, Dr. Murray was saying MJ was fine, but emails from Ortega and Hougdahl said it differently.


Dr. Murray reassured Phillips on June 20th that MJ was fine, the doctor wasn’t sure what was going on the day before, perhaps the flu.


Panish attempted again to “impeach” the witness, which is a legal technique to put in question his credibility.


But you said it was fantastic, Panish inquired.


He looked really good, Phillips said about MJ rehearsals on June 23 and 24.


Phillips said he was as confused as anyone, since the MJ he expected to see after the chain of emails was very differently from what he saw.


The MJ sitting in that living room looked great, Philips recalled.


Panish showed pic of MJ on Jun 19th wearing t-shirt looking very skinny. The atty asked if that MJ looked really good in Phillips’s opinion


Phillips explained that his description of MJ looking really good was from what he saw on June 23.


Phillips recalled that MJ didn’t look like the picture from the 19th, the day he went home sick.


On the 23rd, Phillips said MJ was not wearing t-shirt, had hair and make up done, looked great.


Panish: I want to finish, you answer the questions, ok?


Phillips: We got a deal


Today is the 8th day of Phillips on the stand.Some days have been half session, though.


Panish asked the “Chinese Wall” comment Phillips made on the stand if it meant he was mediating conflicts. Phillips said it was ethical wall


I didn’t do Travis’, but I was involved in material terms of Kenny’s deal, Phillips said.


Panish: Was there an ethical wall between AEG Live and Dr. Tohme?


Phillips: I felt that it was


This is MJ’s picture from June 19, 2009. How do you think he looked?


Panish asked if Phillips had the “ethical wall” in writing. “I don’t know those things are in writing, it’s figure of speech,” Phillips said


The exec said the ethical wall is not set up. “It’s about behavior, it’s not a real wall, it’s about behavior,” Phillips explained.


Phillips: I’ve never seen one (ethical wall) set up formally


Panish: You don’t know how to set up one?


To me it’s how you behave, you behave ethically with each other Phillips described saying the ethical wall existed between AEG Live and MJ


Phillips: Frankly, I believe interests merge after deal is struck between 2 parties.


Panish: How does AEG employees know about ethical wall?


Phillips explained that ethical wall is not something that’s build, tangible, or in a document, but it’s about the behavior of the parties.


Panish: Did you tell Mr. Gongaware there was an ethical wall?


Phillips: It’s not something you discuss, it’s how you behave


Panish asked about potential conflict of interest with AEG and Dr Tohme. “MJ directed us to do that agreement and he signed it,” Phillips said


Panish asked if there was doc saying there’s a potential conflict of interest with AEG Live hiring Dr. Tohme to be MJ’s personal manager.


Mr. Panish, it’s the artist who directed us, I didn’t know who Dr. Tohme was, Phillips responded.


Panish: Did you advise in writing potential conflict of interest?


Phillips: No


Panish: Did the artist sign a release of potential conflict of interest?


Phillips: The artist may have created the conflict, so no


About ‘changing the socks’ comment, Panish asked Phillips how many times a day he changes his socks. He said 2-3.


Panish asked Phillips how many managers MJ had from 2007 until his death.


Dr. Tohme initiated the deal, Phillips said, then Frank DiLeo, a period of time Arpac Hussain, then, subject to dispute, Leonard Rowe.


Panish asked if DiLeo and Tohme were the main managers. Phillips agreed but said that wasn’t what Panish asked him.


Lopez did a Pepsi deal for MJ as his manager, Phillips explained.


Phillips added Ramon Baynes and Peter Lopez as MJ’s managers.


I don’t know who our attorneys sent the contract to, so I can’t say, Phillips said about emailing Dr. Murray’s contract.


As to creating AEG Live: “I absolutely did, I invented the company based on biz plan i created and I also named it,” Phillips testified.


Panish: You said whomever MJ had as his own manager was his own business, correct?


Phillips: Correct


Phillips explained when he received email from Kathy Jorrie questioning Dr. Tohme he forwarded it to Peter Lopez, MJ’s attorney at the time.


Panish inquired about the fact that Phillips thought Dr. Murray asking for $5 million as payment automatically made him a good doctor.


Panish: If he wanted $10 million, he would be more successful?


Phillips: Absolutely true


Panish: For $20 million the most successful doctor around?


Phillips: Correct


I wasn’t alarmed by the number because it was Michael’s doctor and Michael was paying for it, Phillips explained.


Phillips said John Branca had been hired by MJ on June 18th, two days prior to the 20th meeting.


Panish: Did you ever tell Branca you brought the doctor to the fold?


Phillips: I think there was some logical communication, otherwise they would’ve been hanging.


Regarding the email John Branca asked if MJ’s problem was related to substance abuse, Phillips said he didn’t know one way or the other.


Panish concluded his questioning. Putnam was back at it. Phillips joked: Your honor, is this really over after this? Courtroom laughed.


Phillips reiterated that AEG never paid Dr. Tohme because some conditions of his contract were not fulfilled.


Putnam: Did Dr. Tohme have anything to do with Dr. Murray?


Phillips: None whatsoever that I know of


Putnam: Are you aware of any articles were you are quoting saying we hire him (Dr. Murray)?


Phillips: No


Regarding the video shown yesterday of Mr. Jackson’s spinning, Phillips testified it was production rehearsal, not even full dance rehearsal


The other video shown to the jury yesterday was MJ performing in the early 80s.


Phillips said MJ did 360s spins, and he was 50 years old.


Then it was Panish’s turn again.


Phillips: You are back?


Panish: Just a couple of questions


Phillips: I’m gonna miss you


Everyone laughed


Phillips said MJ didn’t do multiple 360s spins that he remembers, but he didn’t know if the choreography called for it.


Phillips said he’s not a choreographer. “I’m flat footed, there’s a reason I’m in this side of the business.”


Phillips said if he tried a 360 spin he’d be on the jury’s lap.


Phillips was finally excused, subject to recall. Session is over for the day. Trial resumes at 9:45 am PT on Monday.


On Monday, Jacksons attorneys will tell the judge how much time they have left in their case in chief. We don’t know yet who next witness is


For complete coverage and interview with the attorneys watch @ABC7 and go to . Hops you have a great and safe weekend!


“I know what a 360 is, you don’t need to be a choreographer to know that,” Phillips explained.


Panish: Who’s more competent to judge choreography you or Hougdahl? Phillips: Could be me since he hadn’t worked in pop production before


As promised, response from Jackson’s attorney Kevin Boyle regarding MJ’s brothers: Response from Kevin Boyle. Also long:


Mrs Jackson fully supports her children performing wherever they wish to perform, even though many of the world’s venues are owned by AEG


Cont’d: Mrs. Jackson is involved in lawsuit where evidence shows that AEG made a mistake in hiring, supervising an unfit doctor for her son.


Cont’d: There is no reason the Jackson family needs to ban AEG venues because of AEG’s prior mistake, and so the family has not done so.


Cont’d: Despite that Jacksons have acted civilly toward AEG in this litigation, AEG has chosen to attack Mrs. Jackson for bringing this suit


Cont’d: AEG has threatened in open Court to bring out “ugly stuff” about Michael. It is unfortunate that AEG cannot act civilly


Cont’d: toward Mrs. Jackson and Michael, as other corporations across the country who commit negligence act toward their victims.


There is no reason for AEG to go after victims of AEG’s mistake. The Jacksons are willing to continue to take high road, even if AEG isn’t”


Both sides, as promised. Have a great weekend everyone!

The only article worth mentioning in closing is the one by Alan Duke again. It has all those funny videos of depositions of the AEG bosses plus a video of Michael’s spins in 2001 and 2009 shown to the jury. It was when watching that video in the courtroom that Randy Phillips shed one of his crocodile tears.

Here is the video:

The video of Michael doing spins in 2001 and 2009 was shown to the jury. The stage manager said that in April 2009 Michael could do multiple 360 spins but two months later he would fall on his a**.

The video of Michael doing spins in 2001 and 2009 was shown to the jury. The stage manager said that in April 2009 Michael could do multiple 360 spins but two months later he would fall on his a** if he tried it.

Lawsuit evidence: Michael Jackson lost dance moves in last days

By Alan Duke, CNN

June 15, 2013 — Updated 1242 GMT (2042 HKT)

Alan Duke

Alan Duke

Los Angeles (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s health deteriorated so badly in the last weeks of his life that he couldn’t perform some of his trademark dance moves, according to evidence presented in his family’s lawsuit against a concert promoter.

Jurors in the wrongful death trial Friday watched a comparison of Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” from 2001 with rehearsal video from June 2009, when he was preparing for his “This Is It” comeback concerts.

“I have watched him deteriorate in front of my eyes over the last 8 weeks. He was able to do multiple 360 spins back in April. He’d fall on his ass if he tried now,” production manager John “Bugzee” Houghdahl wrote in an e-mail to AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips on June 19, 2009.

Show director Kenny Ortega sent Jackson home from a rehearsal that night because of his strange behavior.

“He was a basket case and Kenny was concerned he would embarrass himself on stage, or worse yet — get hurt,” Houghdahl wrote. “The company is rehearsing right now, but the DOUBT is pervasive.”

The e-mail chain — titled “trouble at the Front” — is key evidence in the trial in which Jackson’s mother and three children contend AEG Live is liable for the singer’s death because it negligently hired, retained and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray.

Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death, told police he used the surgical anesthetic propofol to treat Jackson’s insomnia so he could be rested for rehearsals. The coroner ruled Jackson’s June 25, 2009, death was caused by an overdose of propofol.

AEG Live lawyers argue it was Jackson who chose and supervised Murray and that their executives had no way of knowing about the dangerous propofol treatments being administered in the privacy of Jackson’s home.

Houghdahl’s e-mail came during a “highly charged time” when there was doubt the show would be ready for its London debut in July of that year, Phillips testified Friday.

Phillips met with Dr. Murray, Michael Jackson and Ortega at Jackson’s home a day after getting the Houghdahl e-mails, according to testimony.

While Jackson lawyers argue that meeting was intended to pressure Murray to make sure Jackson was ready for rehearsals, AEG lawyers contend Dr. Murray assured producers nothing was wrong with him.

AEG’s lawyer showed jurors a clip Thursday of Jackson performing several non-consecutive 360-degree spins while rehearsing his song “Billie Jean” on June 5, 2009.

Phillips described them as “multiple 360 spins,” although conceding he was not a choreographer.

Jackson lawyers, in their rebuttal Friday, showed the jurors the side-by-side comparison of the routine in 2001 and the one weeks before Jackson’s death that was seen in the “This Is It” documentary made from rehearsal video.

“Anywhere in the movie does it show Michael Jackson doing multiple 360 spins?” Jackson lawyer Brian Panish asked Phillips.

“No,” Phillips said.

And here is the final piece of news – from now on the number of seats for the public and media at the AEG trial will be cut.  It  looks like they think that too much truth is dangerous or detrimental to people’s health:

Fire marshal cuts public, media seats for Jackson trial

By Jeff Gottlieb

June 14, 2013, 6:25 p.m.

The Los Angeles fire marshal has ordered the number of people in the courtroom where the Michael Jackson wrongful-death suit is being tried be reduced immediately, cutting the number of seats for the media by nearly two-thirds and leaving only one spot available for the public.

That does not mean the news media or the public will be shut out of the trial, which finished its 30th day Friday. Since the early days of the proceedings, a closed-circuit feed has been shown in another courtroom that seats 63 people.

The new rule means that media will alternate days in the courtroom. The Times, for instance, will have a seat on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but will have to watch the proceedings in the overflow room other days. Other media, including CNN, KTLA-TV (Channel 5), the Associated Press, the New York Post and Agence France Press, are also part of the rotation.

The number of spectator seats in the courtroom is being reduced from45 to 34.

Before the trial started, Judge Yvette Palazuelos ruled that no cameras would be allowed in the courtroom. CNN’s request to broadcast the proceedings was denied.

Mary Hearn, a spokeswoman for the court, said the plaintiffs and defendants each get 12 seats, which can be filled with members of the legal team and guests. Another seven are reserved for the media and the rest for court staff. If the parties to the suit bring fewer people, their seats will be taken by media or the public. There is a daily lottery for the public.

Hearn said that 15 to 20 reporters have been in the courtroom most days.

A small group of Jackson fans have been attending the trial. Michael Jackson’s  mother, Katherine Jackson, has been in the audience most days, along with her nephew. Janet Jackson attended for half a  day.

But if Michael Jackson’s children or one of the celebrities on the witness list, such as Prince or Diana Ross, testify, the number of people wanting a look at the trial would probably grow.,0,7244669.story

The fantastic TeamMichaelJackson has posted all transcripts of Randy Phillips’s testimony. Hopefully if we have time enough for it we will be able to pull through the jungles of his lies. Please help them to help us learn the truth:

Here are Randy Phillips’s performances during week 7 of the trial. To be frank, I am disgusted to even look at his face:

June 10th, 2013

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June 11th, 2013

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June 12th, 2013

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June 13th, 2013

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June 14th, 2013

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2013 11:29 pm

    No wonder the public is igorning this trial or looking at us with puzzled amazement.

    Here is one of the biggest piece of nothing seen lately. Wonder if this journalist got paid by the nothing?


  2. June 17, 2013 5:32 am

    Dial, thank you for the link:

    The funniest thing about this article is its headline – the Associated Press (!) calls it WEEK IN REVIEW:

    Michael Jackson wrongful death trial: Week in review
    By The Associated Press
    on June 16, 2013 at 12:39 PM, updated June 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    LOS ANGELES — 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 a criminal jury convicted of involuntary manslaughter 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.


    • AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips told jurors he received conflicting information about Jackson’s health just days before the singer’s death, but was reassured by Jackson’s personal physician that everything was fine. Phillips also said he thought Jackson looked good during a meeting five days before he died, alleviating his fears.

    • Phillips concluded his testimony after eight days on the stand and pointed questions from Katherine Jackson’s attorney about his memory of events. The executive also tried to bolster AEG’s contentions that it was Jackson’s choice to hire Murray, telling jurors that the singer was a sophisticated, forceful businessman.


    • Several minutes of footage of Jackson spinning and dancing during a rehearsal of his song “Billie Jean” during a “This Is It” rehearsal in June 2009.

    • A photo of a slender-looking Jackson in a T-shirt being dwarfed by shoulder elements of a costume he planned to wear. The image was shot on June 19, 2009, the day the singer had to be sent home from rehearsals because he was shivering and unable to eat on his own, according to emails from top tour workers.


    • “We seem to be talking about Michael like he’s the 5-year-old lead singer of the Jackson Five. … That was not the man I dealt with,” Phillips said, describing the singer as a forceful businessman who dictated who he wanted to work with on the tour.

    • “You can’t give up on people — that’s not our job,” Phillips said regarding working with entertainers who have documented problems of substance abuse.


    Authorities released a dispatch call related to the hospitalization of Jackson’s 15-year-old daughter, Paris. According to information from sheriff’s deputies at the scene, Paris Jackson took 20 Motrin pills and cut her arm with a kitchen knife.


    Jurors will likely hear from an expert witness and should see a return of Jackson’s makeup artist, Karen Faye, whose cross-examination by an AEG attorney has been delayed by her work schedule and the availability of other witnesses.

    And this is coming from one of the biggest news agencies? This is all they have to say about the past week?

    Well, looking at it we can at least further educate ourselves on the quality and quantity of their reporting. As to its quality you decide for yourselves, but as regards quantity it is simply nothing. Just ZERO compared with what was already revealed at the trial.


  3. Tatum Marie permalink
    June 18, 2013 10:55 am

    I think it’s interesting that even Harvey Levin who had been vocal about being Pro- AEG in the beginning had to admit how heartless the promoters are on the stand. During a segment on TMZ live they spoke about emails being sent back and forth from the CEO and AEG president – right after Michael died, gloating about how much they would get for merchandizing. Harvey admitted that even he changed his mind about AEG; I can’t believe some fans are still having issues changing theirs.

    Also, what was Katherine’s statement? I read the summary but must have overlooked it.


  4. June 18, 2013 2:56 pm

    “Harvey admitted that even he changed his mind about AEG; I can’t believe some fans are still having issues changing theirs.” – Tatum Marie

    And I can’t believe that someone is still buying that all these people are “fans”. Especially the so-called Senior Staff of some fan forums. ‘If a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.’

    “Also, what was Katherine’s statement? I read the summary but must have overlooked it.”

    I also have only a summary of it from the ABC tweets but it seems that they providing the full text:

    “Mrs Jackson fully supports her children performing wherever they wish to perform, even though many of the world’s venues are owned by AEG. Mrs. Jackson is involved in lawsuit where evidence shows that AEG made a mistake in hiring, supervising an unfit doctor for her son. There is no reason the Jackson family needs to ban AEG venues because of AEG’s prior mistake, and so the family has not done so. Despite that Jacksons have acted civilly toward AEG in this litigation, AEG has chosen to attack Mrs. Jackson for bringing this suit. AEG has threatened in open Court to bring out “ugly stuff” about Michael. It is unfortunate that AEG cannot act civilly toward Mrs. Jackson and Michael, as other corporations across the country who commit negligence act toward their victims. There is no reason for AEG to go after victims of AEG’s mistake. The Jacksons are willing to continue to take high road, even if AEG isn’t”


  5. Nan permalink
    June 19, 2013 12:34 am

    Tatum Marie.
    I have hit the contact button telling TMZ they are cherry picking what they report form this trial.
    They cover.MJ was broke but wanted to spend an outrageous amount on a house but not that Randy Phillips slapped Michael.I never get a response or any satisfaction from them.
    Also the way they covered the Blanca Francia testimony , only mentioning direct examination and not cross where she craters, so I was surprised to hear him mention Randy Phillips not being able ot explain why MJ looked so bad in a picture he showed him , so I think we saw the same segment..
    The interesting thing I heard Harvey say is that they/TMZ had confirmed MJ death and yet AEG people were insisting it hadnt happened , even still telling people to go to rehearsal etc, and he couldnt seem to figure that out.
    Well, Im waiting for Harvey to consider insurance fraud as the answer to that, because I think I recall Paul Gongaware was still trying to get coverage from Lloyds of London even late in the day.
    And of course Murray was on the phone arranging for insurance while MJ probably laid there dead.
    But I was very surprised to hear Harvey actually say he may be wrong about this trial and that they may have been working MJ like a circus animal without regard for how sick he was..


  6. June 19, 2013 5:31 am

    Here is an article describing the meeting on June 20th, 2009. It is described as “tense” and following “missing rehearsals”, but Michael was not missing rehearsals – he was present on June 18th and 19th, only felt so bad that was sent home by Ortega, and this is what was absolutely not to AEG’s liking. In one of his emails Phillips said “This guy is beginning to concern me” referring to Ortega.

    First Phillips said that the purpose of the meeting was to find out what health problem Michael was, but then had to admit that it was about rehearsals again. As far as we know that was Riot meeting No.3:

    Michael Jackson wrongful death trial: AEG Live CEO describes meeting
    Monday, June 10, 2013
    Miriam Hernandez

    LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Randy Phillips, the CEO of AEG Live, returned to the witness stand Monday for some tough questioning as the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial entered its seventh week.

    A tense meeting at the rented home of Michael Jackson was described in court. Jackson had been missing rehearsals, so the face to face meeting included Phillips, Jackson, his doctor Conrad Murray, and the show’s director, Kenny Ortega.

    Katherine Jackson accuses the tour promoter of ignoring warning signs and hiring Murray, whose intravenous insomnia treatments led to Jackson’s death. The meeting was prompted by concern, Phillips testified. They wanted to find out what was wrong with Jackson and what could be done.

    Phillips, a hostile witness called by the Jackson attorneys, was persistently prodded to provide details about the meeting and a series of emails that preceded it. The subject line of the email said: “trouble on the Front.”

    Ortega wrote to Phillips: “I honestly don’t think he is ready for this based on the continued physical weakening and deepening emotional state.”

    Phillips wrote: “It is time. Enough alarms have sounded. It is time to put out the fire, not burn the building down.”

    On the stand, Phillips said burning the building down would be canceling the tour. In another email, Phillips said Murray said Jackson “was physically equipped to perform and that discouraging him will hasten his decline instead of stopping it.”

    Jackson attorney Brian Panish seized on the word “decline,” asking, “If you are hastening a decline, isn’t’ he already in a decline?”

    Phillips answered, “No that means there was an issue. I didn’t know what the issue was.”
    The lawsuit accuses AEG of pressuring Murray to do whatever it took to get Jackson on stage or AEG would not pay the doctor. AEG denies hiring the doctor or knowing about his insomnia therapy.

    Regarding the outcome of the meeting, Phillips testified Jackson was great in the following days and that Jackson had two of the best rehearsals after that. The plaintiffs point out the time frame, saying Jackson died the day after that final rehearsal.

    After the jurors left the courtroom Monday, the judge told Phillips to answer questions without arguing and that his demeanor might be hurting the case. Phillips has been sparring with Jackson’s attorney throughout his testimony.

    (Copyright ©2013 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)


  7. June 19, 2013 11:48 am

    I have hit the contact button telling TMZ they are cherry picking what they report form this trial.
    – Nan

    I definitely agree that they are along with the rest of the mainstream media outlets. However, Harvey’s words overall was that the case is about AEG disregarding Michael’s health and treating him like a circus animal. He mentioned a part of what the trial is really about.

    But I was very surprised to hear Harvey actually say he may be wrong about this trial and that they may have been working MJ like a circus animal without regard for how sick he was. – Nan
    Me too, He turned from the black and white ignorant notion that’s been populated – Murray was Michael’s doctor so Katherine loses idea. I know a few people who work at TMZ, it’s my understanding that media coverage on the AEG trial is tight (no cameras, limited media personnel exposure) and they’re mainly relying on word of mouth. They’re not covering the trial at all really.


  8. June 19, 2013 4:24 pm

    “But I was very surprised to hear Harvey actually say he may be wrong about this trial and that they may have been working MJ like a circus animal without regard for how sick he was. – Nan”

    This is just one of the reasons I dislike Levine. He is being disingenuous. First, he is an attorney. Secondly, he hears all and knew long before his “thoughtful reflection” what was what.

    He is making a habit of this. He either omits to report salient facts concerning a case or help turn it into a Media Circus or lynch mob only to come back later and recant after first impression have set in. He has done this with the 93, 05, W.R. allegations and now this.


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