Jacksons – AEG trial DAYS 53 and 55. KATHERINE JACKSON and DR. FARSHCHIAN
There is so much going on at the AEG trial now that it may look a bit strange to return to Mrs. Jackson’s testimony on Monday this week. However there are reasons for going back.
HAT OFF TO KATHERINE
First of all I want to express my admiration for the sharp and combative way Katherine answered Putnam’s questions – this was something I never expected of a gentle woman like her. TeamMJ called her a lioness defending her cub and our reader Sina also applauded her for her courage:
My impression of Katherine Jackson’s testimony is that she was fearless and stood strong against the tricks and twists of a shrewd lawyer who was out on her blood. I applaud her courage. It was not the strongest testimony, but considering her age, emotions, the pressure and many inappropriate questions, she did very well. She could have given a scripted answer when asked about waiving her rights on restitution, but she spoke from her heart and if you do there are no wrong answers. Most important, she was consistent, there were no significant discrepancies between her deposition and testimony and she was sharp on the questions that really matter: who hired Murray, who killed Michael and AEGs responsibility.
Well, to me Katherine’s testimony looks like a very strong one. Katherine opened up as a completely new person – at the age of 83, with all the memory and concentration problems that come with the age, and with only high school to her credit she indeed looked like a fearless lioness able to stand up to a seasoned lawyer like Putnam who wanted to confuse, trap, catch in a lie and coerce her into something he wanted to hear.
Katherine Jackson stood her ground no matter what, asked Putnam inconvenient questions like “What does it have to do with the death of one son?” and occasionally her testimony looked like it was she who was examining him. Her courage and ability to speak her mind were absolutely awesome to me, especially since I never expected to see this strong side of Michael’s usually gentle and humble mother.
Now we know who Michael inherited his strength from.
Monday July 22, 2013 DAY 53
Everybody must have read the second part of Katherine’s testimony by now but just for the record let me provide the ABC tweets again with occasional comments on my part:
- Hello from the courthouse in downtwon LA. Day 53 of Jackson Family vs AEG trial just about to begin. This is Week 13 of the trial.
- Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine, is set to take the stand again today to resume cross examination.
- Mrs. Jackson spent a few hours on the stand on Friday detailing the humble beginning of MJ’s life and how he rose to fame.
- Session has not started yet. As a reminder, we can’t live tweet, per judge’s ruling. We’ll bring you all the coverage as soon as we can.
- Our reporter Miriam Hernandez is in the courtroom. We are in the overflow room, where a lot of fans are.
- The only witnesses remaining for the Jacksons are Kenny Ortega (who needs to come back for cross) and nanny Grace Rwamba.
- They wanted to call Rwamba today, but they said she has a medical condition (lupus) that may prevent her from coming.
- Judge Yvette Palazuelos asked AEG attorney Marvin Putnam again on Friday whether he intends to call Dr. Murray to testify.
- Putnam responded on Friday he has no intention of calling him. Judge said there are several steps needed to bring an inmate to testify.
- Judge told attorneys none of the steps have been taken yet, which means it’s probably very unlikely they’d be able to get Dr. Murray in.
- Katherine Jackson back on the stand for cross examination. Session began at 9:55 am PT. Marvin Putnam, for AEG, doing the questioning.
- Putnam explained to Mrs. Jackson about the discovery process, where both sides have to exchange documents related to the case.
- Mrs. Jackson said MJ would give her money in cash, but she would not write down the amounts.
- The matriarch has a secretary, Janice Smith, who works for her for anywhere between 15-20 years. She has an office in Encino, CA.
- Putnam asking about the house in Gary, Indiana. It’s been 44 years since she left and moved in to the Hayvenhurst house.
- Mrs. Jackson lives now in a gated community in Calabasas. Hayvenhurst house is under renovation.
- It was a gift, Mrs. Jackson said about the money she received from Michael. Putnam asked if she reported/recorded anywhere.
- My son took care of me, food, shelter, clothes, Mrs. Jackson explained.
- When he gave me cash, it was a gift, I didn’t think I needed to report to anyone, Mrs. Jackson said.
- Putnam asked again if there was any record of the money MJ gave her. She replied she didn’t think she needed to.
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson had a bank account back in 2010 when she filed her lawsuit. She said she doesn’t recall.
PEOPLE STOLE FROM HIM
- Regarding Michael having money problems, Mrs. Jackson said : “My son made a lot of money, he had people working for him.”
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes, I’ve heard from some people
- Putnam: Where you aware MJ was having financial difficulties when he passed away?
- They have been saying it for 15 years, Mrs. Jackson said. “People were taking money from him also, stealing I should say.”
- Putnam: Who did you hear that from?
- Mrs. Jackson: Just different people
- Mrs. Jackson testified she heard stories about it.
- She also said MJ told her too that people were making deals on his behalf.
- They were being offered money under the table, that’s what I heard from my son, Mrs. Jackson testified.
- And Mrs. Jackson asked: “What does this have to do with the death of my son?”
Here is a quote from Mrs. Jackson’s testimony:
Q. So your son Michael Jackson had told you over the years, people asked for money under the table when they were making deals with him? A. Not with him. Making deals for him, and the people they made deals with came back and told him.
Let me interrupt it for a moment. One of those people who told Michael the truth could be Jack Wishna, the man who brought him back from Ireland in December 2006. He also said there were people around Michael who were cutting deals without him knowing about it and since Jack Wishna is dead his words sound like a sort of a testimony to us:
“Michael has a lot of people around him that cut deals and sometimes Michael doesn’t even know what those deals are,” he added. “So many people have been around him. At every turn it’s like he’s his worst enemy because of the people that are around him.” http://uk.eonline.com/news/133691/it-s-going-to-be-a-disaster-associate-says-jackson-was-too-weak-for-major-comeback
The ABC tweets again:
- Putnam: You heard about MJ having money problems?
- Mrs. Jackson: I heard for years Michael Jackson was broken and he wasn’t
- Putnam: Did you ever ask MJ about having money problems?
- Mrs. Jackson: No, because I didn’t believe it. Because he wasn’t.
- Putnam asked about the damages Mrs. Jackson asked for in her lawsuit. MJ’s mother responded that he could ask her attorneys about it.
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson has been here most of the days over the past 12 weeks.
- Putnam: Do you believe that your son is in any way responsible for his passing?
- Mrs. Jackson: No I don’t
- Putnam: You never believed your son had any part in his own death?
- Mrs. Jackson: Correct!
- Putnam: Do you believe your son MJ knew Dr. Murray was giving him Propofol?
- Panish: Objection, calls for speculation
- Putnam: Do you remember MJ asking for Propofol?
- Panish: Calls for hearsay response
- Putnam: Did you hear from the criminal trial that your son asked Dr. Murray to give him Propofol?
- Mrs. Jackson: I have heard
- Mrs. Jackson said she had not heard that MJ asked other doctors for Propofol. Putnam asked if that came to a surprise for her. She said yes.
- Conrad Murray, even if he asked, he could’ve said no, Mrs. Jackson opined.
- Putnam: Do you believe your son hired Dr. Murray?
- Mrs. Jackson: No I don’t
- Putnam: You heard testimony MJ hired Dr. Murray in Las Vegas?
- Mrs Jackson: He had doctors for his children, I don’t know if it was Dr Murray
- Putnam asked if MJ ever paid Dr. Murray. She answered it was to treat the children.
- Putnam asked if she heard testimony from Prince saying he would give Dr. Murray stacks of money in a rubber band.
- He didn’t say stacks, he measure with his fingers, Mrs. Jackson explained.
- Mrs. Jackson said she doesn’t believe that MJ hired Dr. Murray because of what she’s been listening here in court.
- She said from hearing the emails, AEG said they had hired him and that Randy Phillips went on TV saying they hired him.
- Mrs. Jackson: I had heard they had hired and there was the doctor there so I thought MJ had hired him, not knowing the facts.
- Putnam asked how she remembers it when she said her memory wasn’t very good.
- I didn’t say I didn’t remember anything, I said I’m 83, I would ‘t remember everything, Mrs. Jackson responded.
- Mrs Jackson said that’s all that’s been talked about in the trial and that she remembers emails, Phillips’ interview saying AEG hired Murray
- Putnam: Do you recall why you said your son hired the doctor and that your son could’ve prevented his own death?
- I don’t think he could’ve prevented his own death, Mrs. Jackson testified. “I just said I thought he hired the doctor. I do recall that.”
- Mrs. Jackson said she can’t recall exactly what was said in the Dateline interview, but she does remember saying MJ hired the doctor.
- Mrs. Jackson said she had not heard about Dr. Murray prior to MJ’s death. Her son did not discuss what treatments he was having with her.
- Putnam: Prior to your son’s death, did you know your son had a doctor spending the night at the house?
- Mrs. Jackson: No
- Putnam: Did you ever have conversation with your grandchildren prior to trial about the doctor spending the night at the house? She said no
- Putnam asked if Prince testified a doctor was spending the nights at the house.
- Mrs. Jackson: I don’t remember him saying that
- Putnam: Do you remember him (Prince) saying he (the doctor) spent 6 nights a week?
- Mrs. Jackson: No, I don’t remember that
- Putnam asked Mrs. Jackson’s search for the truth and if she thought it would be important to know whether the doctor spending the nights.
- It would’ve been important but I told you I didn’t talk to my grandchildren about that, Mrs. Jackson responded.
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson talked to her grandchildren about Dr. Murray treating MJ in a locked, upstairs bedroom. She answered no.
- Putnam: You do believe Dr. Murray has some responsibility for your son’s death?
- Mrs. Jackson: Of course
- Putnam asked Mrs. Jackson if Dr. Murray was convicted in the criminal trial. She said yes.
- He asked if the doctor is now in jail. “I hope he is,” she responded.
- Putnam inquired about Mrs. Jackson asking the District Attorney to drop the $100 million restitution against Dr. Murray.
- Mrs. Jackson said yes, that Dr. Murray has children and has no money.
- Putnam: You asked the DA to drop the $100 million restitution claim against Dr. Murray?
- Because I felt his children needed him to take care of them, she explained. “He didn’t have any money.”
- Mrs. Jackson: I asked them to drop it because of his children, he has quite a few children, 7 or 8, I don’t know.
- Mrs. Jackson said she believes the DA may have dropped the $100 million restitution claim.
- Putnam: Did you drop the restitution claim so you could file this lawsuit?
- Mrs. Jackson: No
A quote from the testimony:
Q. And so when you learned he didn’t have any money, you asked the district attorney to drop the $100 million restitution claim?
A. I asked him to drop it because of his children. He had quite a few children, seven or eight, I heard. I don’t know.
Q. And after you asked the district attorney to drop the $100 million restitution claim, did the state of California then dropt that part of their claim against Dr. Conrad Murray?
A.Uhm, I didn’t find all that out, but I imagine they might have.
Q. Well, you were in the criminal court, weren’t you, ma’am?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. And do you recall it being announced in the criminal court that you were dropping that part of the claim?
A. No, I didn’t hear it in criminal court.
Q. Okay. Mrs. Jackson, did you drop your restitution claim because of the effect it would have on this lawsuit?
A. No. I never gave it a thought.
This restitution point struck me as something terribly familiar. So it was in AEG’s perception of that story that the so-called fans who accused Katherine of being “greedy” were drawing their inspiration?
But look here, first of all it was the District Attorney David Walgren who made that restitution claim against Murray (and not Katherine) and second, she filed a lawsuit against AEG at least a year before Conrad Murray’s trial, so how could dropping monetary claims against Murray affect the suit against AEG made a year earlier?
And I absolutely believe that being a mother of nine children Katherine felt sorry for Conrad Murray’s kids who should not be held responsible for what their father did to Michael. This move to sympathize with them is very much in Katherine’s character.
THE DAMAGES CLAIMED
The ABC tweets do not go over the next point discussed at a sidebar — the sum of the economic damages claimed, however it’s top important to look into it as it is the most fundamental question of the whole case.
All of us remember the hysteria the media went into over the sum of $40billion allegedly claimed by Mrs. Jackson. Now I realize that this hysteria was also instigated by AEG. It seems that those billions were some preliminary calculation made by Katherine’s lawyers which she did not even see and never signed. The judge agreed that Katherine had not seen it and could not testify about it.
Mr. Boyle for the Plaintiffs explained that all questions concerning the economic damages should be addressed only to the lawyers as they are the ones who are making the estimation. He compared questions he expected Putnam to ask about the damages with questions to a mother of a child in a medical malpractice case, “what are the factual things that the doctor did wrong that”, or a in a products liability case, “what are the facts that is the defective design in the aviation cooling system?” Both questions require a legal conclusion and cannot be asked of a plaintiff.
This is why the Jacksons’ lawyers referred to a certain Rifkind vs. Superior Court case where the plaintiff was not a 83-year old housewife but a lawyer, but even in his case the court ruled that the plaintiff should not explain the damages claimed and the matter should be left to outside experts only.
Putnam disagreed, so the judge decided to put off that discussion until both sides provided her with a brief on this point. This is why all questions about it were put aside and Putnam reserved for him the right to summon Mrs. Jackson once again.
To me as a layperson this sidebar explained that:
1) Initially the Jacksons’ lawyer must have miscalculated the sum, however AEG immediately took advantage of it and trumpeted it all over the world as the damages claimed by that ‘greedy woman’
2) that ‘greedy woman’ never signed that statement of damages and never even saw it
3) all questions to Katherine Jackson about her not providing some financial documents during discovery are the usual AEG’s trick to misinform the jury because the plaintiff’s accountants were already subpoenaed for 60,000 documents to AEG regarding MJ’s financial condition. So we can expect a full picture of it disclosed to us in the future.
Here is the sidebar and please correct me if I misunderstood something here:
Q. …I saw that in your attorney’s opening statements, he talked about the idea of it being between $1.5 and $1.7 billion?
Mr. Panish: Your honor, first of all, that’s not what I said. And number two, this is improper questioning of a plaintiff under Rifkind vs. Superior court, getting into factual contentions of a plaintiff. If we need to go to sidebar, I have the cases. These are not appropriate question. Plaintiff can’t say how much money they’re asking for. Not something a plaintiff does. The jury decides that.
The judge: Okay. Let’s go to sidebar and see the cases you’re talking about.
Mr. Panish: Yes. Sure
Mr. Panish: First of all, I mean, for example, asking Mrs. Jackson these questions on discovery, have you provided documents, we already heard in the cross-examination of Mr. Erk about this 60,000 documents that AEG subpoenaed from all accountants regarding Michael Jackson’s financial condition. So now for them to keep going in with this 83-year-old witness, “did you have this document?” “did you have this document?” it’s not appropriate.
Number two, factual contentions of a party are things that a lawyer does, not what a party does, and that’s what the Rifkind case is. And we went through this in the deposition extensively with Mr. Putnam when he was asking questions, “give us the factual basis for this,” “give us the contention for that,” and that’s not appropriate. And the case is Rifkind vs. Superior court.
The judge: I need to look at it.
Mr. Putnam: Yes. The difference of the time, your honor, because
Mr. Panish: I just wanted to give the citation of the case for the record.
The judge: okay.
Mr. Panish: 22 cal.app.4th 1255. Rifkind vs. Superior court. 1994
Mr. Putnam: And what the case makes clear, your honor we didn’t understand at the time how he could make a contention, couldn’t understand what the plaintiff’s factual contentions were. And so on the first day when we had her for a couple hours, they wouldn’t let her answer all of these questions. And I indicated, “you know what? I’m going to have to talk to the court so I can understand what the basis of her claim is.” And they said, “Rifkind, Rifkind, Rifkind,” and so we went off and read it and came back and explained to them that’s not what the case represents, your honor. What the case represents is not a very difficult idea, legally. I can’t ask for the legal basis. I can’t aks her what the legal contentions that you’re making here. I understand that, and I’m not asking those. What I’m asking of her, your honor, is something I’m very much allowed to do, which is to find out what her basis is factually. And in fact, your honor, if you recall, we had an argument about this very aspect that we’re doing right now, which is the aspect of her damages claim at the beginning of this case where you asked us to come in with briefings. Ms. Chang argued it. We came and talked about these things. And you ruled twice at that time. And I can give you the cites of the trial transcript if you like.
The judge: That’s okay.
Mr. Putnam: Okay. But no, of course you can go into that arena. They can ask counter questions, but we can go into that.
Mr. Panish: You never ruled that.
The judge: Let me see Rifkind.
Mr. Panish: Sure. And, your honor, what he’s going to try to do now, I think, is get into the statement of damages, which she’s never seen.
The judge: Sound like it’s dealing with depositions.
Mr. Panish: Testimony.
The judge: Trial?
Mr. Putnam: No.
Mr. Panish: Deals with the testimony. Same thing. Deposition testimony, trial testimony. I mean, this is totally inappropriate. It’s a lawyer’s work product of what is claimed, what are the contentions, what’s the complaint. That’s the lawyer, not the client. And I’m going to go next. If he finishes all this, then I’m going to go up on the stand, and we’re going to discuss it all.
Ms. Chang: It basically stand for the proposition that someone who is a non-lawyer plaintiff cannot be asked the basis for bringing legal claims and why, and what her factual understanding is, for the same and simple reason that plaintiffs never know. And it’s like an unfair trap by a lawyer to say that they didn’t understand or whatever. And she, of all people, hired attorneys, trusted the attorneys to do their thing.
Mr. Panish: “And what is your claim for negligence?” it’s the same thing. The plaintiff doesn’t know they
The judge: That would be asking a legal question.
Mr. Panish: But it’s the same thing. What is your claim for damages? That’s a legal basis.
Mr. Boyle: Here’s the distinction, your honor. They try to get around this by saying, “oh, we’re just asking for her factual contentions.” If this were a malpractice case, that would be like asking the mother of the child, “well, what are the factual things that the doctor did wrong that” you know what I mean? Or if this were a product liability case, “what are the facts that is the defective design in the aviation cooling system?”
The judge: that’s calling for expert.
Mr. Boyle: Right.
Mr. Panish: So is this damages. “What are your claimed economic damages?’ expert. Same thing. Legal conclusion. Interesting, Mr. Briggs wouldn’t answer any of these questions, saying “legal conclusion”, their expert. It’s asking for legal conclusion of a percipient plaintiff, a non-expert plaintiff. And that’s what that case interesting, in that case, the witness was a lawyer that was being deposed. And the court says it doesn’t matter if you’re a lawyer or what you are. That’s the work product and the legal contentions of the lawyer, not of the party.
Ms. Chang: And I want to clarify. The argument that I made at the beginning of the trial was for them to be permitted to read from a document that was really not filed with the court. And the purpose of it was just to give noticed in the even of a default, and that it was never intended to be used as an affirmative pleading in the case. That’s what I argued and made a record of. And we overruled on that, and he was able to use that $40 billion on
Mr. Putnam: and the reason, your honor, that it was overruled
The judge: Let’s hear the question first.
Mr. Putnam: is the case law didn’t support the argument. Yes, I can go through the case law.
Ms. Chang: We don’t need to argue that.
Mr. Putnam: It says completely the opposite of the arguments made. What I don’t understand is, we have had two different figures in this case: there’s the $42 billion figure, and now we have $1,5 billion that happened within a span of four months.
The judge: What was the $40 million?
Mr. Putnam: On December 3rd, 2010.
Mr. Panish: It was a statement of damages that she’s never seen.
The judge: Yeah.
Mr. Panish: That’s totally inappropriate. So what they’re trying to say
Mr. Putnam: that’s not inappropriate.
Mr. Panish: Can I finish please? Well, the statement of damages she’s never seen says this, now it says this; therefore, something must have happened. Now they are getting into legal conclusions.
The judge: If that’s where you’re going, that sounds like you’re asking legal questions about a statement of damages that the lawyers file.
Mr. Putnam: But the lawyers
The judge: that she doesn’t know anything about.
Mr. Panish: It’s not even filed.
Mr. Boyle: Not even filed.
Mr. Putnam: What is says, the case law says about that very thing, okay? That because it is an element of what they’re saying they believe their damages claim is, and they are an agent of the person. If you look at it, it says, “Katherine Jackson hereby demands,” that’s what it says.
Mr. Panish: She doesn’t sign it.
Mr. Putnam: and therefore I’m able to ask, “are you aware of this fact?” and that is clear. And the reason the case law says and makes it very clear why is because of the fact that if something is so out of whack this is what the case law says –
Ms. Chang: It does not.
Mr. Putnam: is so out of whack with reality, the jury is allowed to assess that.
Mr. Panish: What case is that?
The judge: Here’s what I’m going to allow you to do: you’re going to skip over this portion of your questioning, and I want a brief on it.
Ms. Chang: Okay.
Mr. Putnam: Okay.
Mr. Panish: And I want to know the name of the case he keeps saying that says this. What’s the name of the case?
Mr. Putnam: The one that you cited on the record.
Mr. Panish: What is it?
Mr. Putnam: If you will let me finish, I will. And if you look at what cited at the time of this argument with Ms. Chang, we went through
Ms. Change: I cited the case.
Mr. Putnam: and then we came back with other cases that were cited, and they were cited by Ms. Strong at the time.
The judge: Okay. So, fine. I want a briefing on the issue. Let’s skip over this.
Mr. Putnam: I’ll call her back.
The judge: I’m sure you have a lot of other questions. But I want it in writing so I can consider it, okay?
Ms. Chang: Yes.
Mr. Putnam: I have one more thing for the record.
The judge: And okay.
Mr. Putnam: I also want to note for the sake of the record, Mr. Panish indicated several times he’s going to call himself in reference to that. And I’d like to note we’ve done actual research. Should he call himself in this matter, he does waive the areas he testifies about.
Mr. Panish: Good. Looking forward to you cross-examining me.
The following proceeding was heard in open court, so the jurors must have heard all of it. Depending on the judge’s decision on the damages issue we may or may not see Katherine Jackson on the stand again.
I totally understand Katherine when she says she did not know what to believe about the so-called Michael’s ‘drugs’ – what the media trumpeted about was one thing, what her children knew or imagined about MJ was another thing and the truth was something totally different from the first two.
Sometime in the 2000s Michael relapsed into his dependency on Demerol again and was determined to fight it, however the help his family was offering him in this respect left much to be desired – it was rather blunt, inefficient and often misplaced. I think that the method of unannounced arrivals and cavalier attacks they practiced was even insulting for a man who knew of his problem and was seeking really qualified medical help to be able to cope with it.
As we know now from Dr. Farshchian’s deposition on July 24th Michael approached him for help and they were going through a well-planned program of 12 steps which stemmed from asking God to help him get strength to battle his problem:
- Dr. Farshchian: Each of the steps is somewhat connected of asking God to help you get strength to battle addiction.
Imagine that you are meditating or praying to God for help and suddenly an unannounced crowd of people arrives to gaze at you together with “someone whom Janet knew” and who was not even a specialist in drug dependency problems, and you will realize what a shock it must have been for Michael to see them. Especially since they were evidently planning not just talk but grab him and place in some rehab.
The situation described by Putnam and Mrs. Jackson, when they arrived unannounced at Neverland in 2002 and found that Michael was fine, must have indeed been a tremendous embarrassment for both sides. I can imagine how upset Michael was by that intrusion and their total inability to understand him and the delicate way he needed to help with his problems.
Putnam questioned Mrs. Jackson about that intervention, but first he asked her about her conversation with Michael in 2007 in Las Vegas. The ABC tweets continue:
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson ever saw MJ under the influence of any drug. She said no, that it’s something she never saw during his lifetime
- She would show up at the house unannounced and said she never saw her son “loopy”.
- Putnam: Did you ever speak with your son on the phone when he was out of it?
- Mrs. Jackson: No. Out of what?
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson’s children told her MJ was under the influence of something. She said yes.
- A couple of children came to me and told me they had heard about it, Mrs. Jackson said. She had conversation with MJ about it in Las Vegas.
- Putnam asked Mrs. Jackson is she remembers her son’s criminal trial in 2005. She said yes, and that she attended the trial every day.
- Putnam inquired if MJ left the country after the trial. She said yes. When MJ came back he lived in Las Vegas never lived in Neverland again
- Mrs. Jackson spoke with Michael about what she heard of him using prescription drugs.
- I’ve heard that something had happened to him, Mrs. Jackson described.
- Putnam: When you said that, he denied it, right?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes he did
- I was his mother, I imagined he’d deny it, Mrs. Jackson explained. “No child is going to admit it, if I heard something bad about them.”
- Mrs. Jackson said she didn’t know MJ was taking pain pills, she couldn’t prove it, that’s what she had heard.
- Mrs. Jackson: It didn’t surprise me, I’m the mother, he would not want his mother to worry about him.
- Putnam: If you knew your son was going to deny it, why did you ask him?
- Mrs. Jackson: I’m not answering that question. Because to me it doesn’t make sense. I didn’t know he was going to deny it.
- It’s because he didn’t want me to worry, Mrs. Jackson said. “I just talked to him about it.”
- Mrs. Jackson to Putnam: I don’t think it’s that serious that you have to drill it like that on me.
- Mrs. Jackson: My child, he respected his mother he didn’t want to hurt if it was bad
- Mrs Jackson: He was still my child, I’m still his mother and he wants to hold his respect for me
- Putnam: He wasn’t a child but 50 years old?
- Mrs. Jackson: You’re just trying to confuse me so that you can come back with something.
- Mrs. Jackson: You do understand (the answer) and you keep asking the same question
- Putnam: Has there ever been a time you believe your son was abusing prescription drugs?
- Mrs. Jackson: No
- I believe he was taking it, but I don’t believe he was abusing it Mrs Jackson said. “I just asked him the question, I wanted to make sure”
About the 2002 intervention:
- Even tough Mrs. Jackson didn’t believe MJ was abusing prescription drugs she was part of an intervention at Neverland.
- She doesn’t remember all the siblings present, but probably Janet, Rebbie and Randy were there.
- She said there was a person who came along that Janet brought specialized in intervention.
- Mrs. Jackson said she doesn’t believe MJ knew why they were there.
- Putnam: Do you recall this taking place in 2002?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes
- Putnam asked if MJ was mad they came for an intervention.
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes, because when we got there, there was nothing wrong with him
- We asked if he was okay, he got upset and we didn’t talk about it, Mrs. Jackson explained.
- He didn’t deny anything, he was ok, Mrs. Jackson said. There was no deep discussion, we got there and he was ok, he was upset.”
- Mrs. Jackson: It was kind of embarrassing, because they didn’t see anything.
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson saw him upset. “If I said he was upset, I did see it,” she responded.
- Putnam: After he got upset, did he say to you “I’m not on it, I’m not on anything?”
- Mrs. Jackson: He didn’t say that
- Putnam played part of Mrs. Jackson’s deposition where she said she knew MJ was upset, by the way he talked, said “I’m not on it,” that’s all
- Putnam asked if at the intervention MJ denied he was on influence of prescription drugs?
- Mrs. Jackson: To tell you the truth, I don’t know
- Putnam: Do you remember in your deposition you didn’t know whether to believe your son at all?
- Mrs. Jackson said she was upset with Putnam during deposition. “I was just tired of you asking the same question 50 times in different ways”
- I knew he was on prescription drugs, but he was not abusing it, Mrs. Jackson said.
- After intervention at Neverland in 2002 Putnam asked if her mind changed about MJ abusing drugs. She said she didn’t know one way or another
From Dr. Farshchian’s deposition we’ve learned that Michael decided to seriously address his problem after Blanket was born:
- Dr. Farshchian said when MJ’s third child, Blanket, was just born, there was ‘a monkey on his back’, he didn’t want to do it anymore. Monkey on his back was Demerol use, Dr. Farshchian said.
Blanket was born on February 22, 2002, so it was evidently around that time that the anti-drug treatment began. And since the Jacksons arranged their intervention also in 2002 it must have been approximately the same time when Dr. Farshchian was already treating Michael.
He was Michael’s doctor in the period of 2001-2003. The treatment started with the doctor taking care of Michael’s sprained ankle, but already on the second visit Michael told him that he had a problem with Demerol and was trying to get off it.
The ABC tweets for July 24 DAY 55 when Dr. Farshchian testified say:
- Dr. Farshchian treated MJ in April 2001 and stopped in 2003. ‘I was one of his doctors,” he said.
- Dr. Farshchian said MJ was having an issue with his ankle, he was supposed to performed at MadisonSquareGarden, had to rehearse.
- Dr. Farshchian: And he had an ankle issue that was more like a sprained ankle that was not healing and he had to continue to dance on it.
- He made an appointment like everybody else, Dr. Farshchian said.
- Putnam asked if MJ wanted to get off drugs, if that happened at the hotel in a second meeting with the doctor. He said yes.
- Putnam: Do you remember the first time he told you he wanted to clean himself up from drugs?
- He was trying to get off Demerol, Dr. Farshchian said. MJ told him he had a problem with the drug.
- Dr. Farshchian said MJ’s main concern was his kids, always his kids, I’d do for my kids, and to spend more time with his kids.
- At that time, Dr. Farshchian said he wasn’t following MJ on the media. At that point, to me he was just a regular patient.
- Dr Farshchian: When I got to know him I visited him at the hotel, read a little about him on the internet, then realized was ongoing problem
- Putnam: Did MJ tell you he was addicted to Demerol?
- Dr. Farshchian: Not in certain words
- Putnam: Did he seek treatment with you?
- Dr. Farshchian: Eventually
- Dr. Farshchian: To treat Michael for that problem, I thought that because he travelled quite a bit he needed something to be on him.
- I chose Naltrexone, Dr. Fashchian testified. The drug inhibits the effects of the narcotics, if you take it it stops giving you the euphoria
- Dr. Farshchian said he implanted more than one patch of the drug in MJ. It normally lasts 60-90 days in the body.
- MJ had patch implanted 5 times. Dr. Farshchian said in training in family medicine, he learned about psychiatry and drug dependency.
- The doctor said carrying an implant in you, you carry a risk of infection. That could be a reason they don’t do it that much.
- Dr. Farshchian said MJ’s skin would have allergy from the patch, he wouldn’t be very comfortable with it.
- Dr. Farshchian: It’s usually placed in the abdomen lower than belly button, right or left side, and removed after 90 days.
- 7/21/02 record — sent more information about Buprenex, since did not get any respond (sic) from him and his attempt to intervene
- MJ had some sort of infection on his leg, he was going to Germany at the time, so Dr Farshchian went with him for treatment of his condition
Putnam evidently tried to compromise Mrs. Jackson’s testimony with the help of Dr. Farshchian’s deposition and one of the ways to do it was to ask the doctor about the intervention and its time – he wondered if it was in the spring of 2002. Dr. Farshchian said it could have been after or before and was not sure. He also recalled that he spoke to Mrs. Jackson in Neverland at Christmas time in 2002. He said she saw Michael’s implant and was happy about it:
- Dr. Farshchian: Once at Neverland Michael showed his mother the implant. She was very happy about it.
Since the first implant was used sometime in October 2002 Michael must have shown the implant to his mother at Christmas time and not during the unannounced intervention Putnam was asking her about, so what she described to Putnam as an embarrassing situation must have been perfectly true – there was no talk then about any implants because all of them saw that he was fine.
Below are Dr. Farshchian’s records from October 2002 to July 2003 from the moment the serious treatment started up to the point when the patient “was sober for almost 9 months and was good with 12 step program”.
From these records we also find out the devastating news that that there must have been a necrosis to Michael’s nose and they had to take away part of his nose tissues. Goodness gracious, what terrible hardship Michael went through in his life… A mere fraction of it would be enough for a hundred people to go insane after so much suffering… And he had to endure it all alone …
In fact I half-expected something of the kind. Lupus patients are not recommended plastic surgery exactly for the reason that the wound would not heal and there is a huge danger of a necrosis. So first Hoefflin stretched his scalp for some 9 years or so, and got him totally dependent on Demerol as a result, and then Michael’s nose tissues also suffered because Hoefflin wouldn’t listen to Klein’s remonstrations about Michael’s lupus?
And as if all of it was not enough at the end of the anti-drug treatment Michael was arrested in 2003 on the bogus charges of child molestation. However even that did not make Michael resume drugs as Dr. Farshchian said, so this is how determined he was to get rid of them!
Here is a quote from his records according to ABC tweets:
- 10/20/02 record — patient states he need some help him with his addiction problem.
- Record: He does not wish to go to an outpatient rehab facility despite the pressure from family. Discussed with him option of Naltrexone
- Dr. Farshchian said MJ was adamant about not going to rehab facility. He was concerned about his privacy and paparazzi.
- 11/04/02 record — MJ’s weight was 128 — pre-procedure, cut the skin, insert implant chip of Naltrexone.
- Dr. Farshchian used local anesthesia with lidocaine 1%, done as outpatient in doctor’s office in Miami.
- 11/06/02 record — phone call, states he’s doing well tolerating minimum agitation, little insomnia
- Dr. Farshchian said it was a 10 hour production to go from Neverland to Miami. MJ said he was going to see a psychologist.
- MJ was very private with everything, Dr. Farshchian said. At the time, he was complaining of insomnia. He was seeing a herbologist for it.
- Dr. Farshchian said MJ always had trouble sleeping. “To me his insomnia was caused, possibly, you have this area inside the nose called turbinates, if you reduced it’s called empty nose syndrome, to me that was the cause of that.
- Putnam: Parts of his nose were missing?
- Dr. Farshchian: Portions of his nose were taken out.
- Two days later, MJ reported good nights.
- 11/26/02 record — ankle wound is better, but he had taken the implant out by a physician at home, wishes to do another implant
- Dr. Farshchian said Michael had a local doctor who didn’t know what the patch was and removed it. MJ would itch it, had some skin rash.
- Michael really wanted to do this, he came back to get the procedure done, Dr. Farshchian said.
- 11/26/02 record — second procedure of Naltrexone
- 11/27/02 — no nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Naltrexone implant: continue current treatment, patient sober x 20 days
- 11/27/02 record: Abdomen implant well placed
- 11/29/02 record — feels very good, sleeping well. No sign of opiate withdrawal.
- Dr. Farshchian: My practice is completely orthopedic regeneration. He said he treats arthritis and orthopedic conditions.
- Patient sober, now going over the 12 steps with him
- 12/2/02 record — feel very good, sleeping well
- Dr. Farshchian: Each of the steps is somewhat connected of asking God to help you get strength to battle addiction.
- There was a period of time MJ stayed with Dr. Farshchian. He stayed over two times, the children one time.
- He lives in North Miami Beach, BayHarborIsland. Grace Rwamba might’ve stayed at the house as well.
- Dr. Farshchian said he converted his garage into a bedroom for MJ. He never treated MJ at the house.
- 12/4/02 record: Narcan implant at its place. Exercised the 12 steps with him
- 1/20/03 — patient returns for another implant, been sober for more than 2 months, states been following the 12 step program. Weight: 135 lbs
- 4/3/03: patient returns for another implant, sober for almost 6 months following 12 step program at least once week with private social worker
- 7/2/03 — patient returned for another implant, sober for almost 9 months, good with 12 step program
- Patient can follow up with local physician at this point. Dr. Farshchian said he thought it was enough, the treatment was done.
- The next time Dr. Farshchian saw Michael was the weekend after he was arrested.
- Putnam: How was he doing?
- Dr. Farshchian: Not too good
- Putnam: Was he using drugs again?
- Dr. Farshchian: No
- Dr. Farshchian: There was an attempt intervention by the family but MJ was very difficult to get to, bodyguard, so it may not have happened
- Putnam asked if the intervention was in the Spring of 2002. Dr. Farshchian said it might’ve been after or before, not sure.
- Dr. Farshchian is not aware of MJ doing any other outpatient treatment.
- Dr. Farshchian said when MJ’s third child, Blanket, was just born, there was ‘a monkey on his back’, he didn’t want to do it anymore.
- Monkey on his back was Demerol use, Dr. Farshchian said.
- Dr. Farshchian said he didn’t know why MJ became addicted or started taking Demerol. The doctor said MJ did not abuse other drugs or alcohol
- MJ was seeing other doctors in CA.
- List of other doctors:
- Dr. William Van Valin — Dr. Farshchian doesn’t know him
- Dr. Arnold Klein — yes, I heard about him through the media
- Dr. Murray — Dr. Farshchian doesn’t know him
- Dr. Steven Hoefflin — Dr. Farshchian doesn’t know him
- Dr. Metzger– yes, heard being MJ’s physician in LA, might have spoken to him. Spoke about implants, what to do about it, how he should look
- Last time Dr. Farshchian spoke with Mrs. Jackson was at the funeral. Before he spoke with her at a 2002 Christmas at Neverland.
- He said he also had a phone call with Mrs. Jackson where she wanted to know about the implants.
- Michael called Mrs. Jackson and Dr. Farshchian said he was treating MJ for addiction to Demerol.
- Last time he spoke with MJ on the phone was in the Winter of 2004. His first impression was that he wanted to get better for the kids’ sake.
- Did you understand Mrs. Jackson was concerned about his health?
- Dr. Farshchian: Yes, I don’t recall the conversation, but once she understood the procedure he said she was happy
- Dr. Farshchian: Once at Neverland Michael showed his mother the implant. She was very happy about it.
- That was the end of the video deposition. Judge adjourned trial until 9:45 am PT tomorrow.
I mentioned Dr. Farshchian records because they are needed for understanding Katherine Jackson’s testimony and all those interventions attempted by the family. The fact that Katherine Jackson does not remember certain things should not be regarded as a sign of her being untruthful – she is an old woman with impaired memory and the events described took place more than 10 years ago.
As regards interventions Putnam claimed that there was one more, staged by the family in 2007, but over here he is completely wrong.
PEOPLE MAGAZINE IN 2007
The ABC tweets tell us that the People Magazine published in September 2007 had an article speaking about another intervention on the part of the Jacksons:
- Putnam showed a letter on People Magazine (Sept. 7, 2007) the family sent about MJ not addicted to pain killers and alcohol.
- Mrs. Jackson: We were not trying to take away the business or anything like that. That’s a lie.
- Mrs. Jackson said she never attempted to take her son’s business. Just because it’s in the magazine tabloids doesn’t make it true, she said.
- There are lies, these are all lies, Mrs. Jackson said. “We didn’t try to take his business away.”
- Tito, Marlon, Jackie, Jermaine, Katherine signed this letter. Putnam asked why she signed it if it wasn’t true, she said I wanted it to stop
- Mrs. Jackson: As far as the tabloids, I didn’t waste my time because I know all they do is to try to make money
- Putnam: Isn’t it true your son MJ asked you to sign this?
- Mrs. Jackson: I don’t remember my son asking me to sign this
- Mrs. Jackson said she doesn’t’ remember MJ being involved in the draft of the letter. She doesn’t know who asked her to sign it.
- Putnam showed Mrs. Jackson Randy’s deposition saying MJ asked her to sign the letter. She said it doesn’t refresh her recollection about it.
The story about the People’s Magazine in 2007 faintly reminded me of something I had written earlier. It was a post about Jack Wishna bringing Michael to Las Vegas from Ireland on December 23, 2006.
The first thing I found when looking it up again was the People magazine article itself.
It was published on September 17, 2007 so the Jackson’s letter in reply to that article could not be written on September 7 the same year as Putnam claims it.
The second thing I found from that magazine is that the article referred to an intervention in the year 2006 (and not 2007 as Putnam claimed). This is what it said:
According to several sources, Rwaramba is preventing some Jackson family members from seeing him—and from helping him with what many sources claim is an addiction to prescription drugs. Jermaine Jackson confirmed to PEOPLE on July 21 that he’s worried about his brother’s health.
L.A. attorney Tom Mesereau Jr., who defended Jackson at his 2005 trial, says, “I was approached by the Jackson family” to stage an intervention for Jackson last year but did not participate. A source close to the family confirms the Jacksons did attempt an intervention in Las Vegas in 2006; three of Jackson’s brothers were there and sister Janet was on the phone. ”
Michael got pissed off and said he wasn’t on drugs,” says one family source. Several people interviewed also agree that because of Rwaramba most family members are “cut off—there is no communication with Michael,” says a source close to the family, who adds that Jackson’s brother Randy is afraid Michael will die just like Anna Nicole Smith.
At that time I assumed that the magazine made a big mistake by citing 2006 as the year of the ‘intervention’ and supposed that if it ever took place it could be only in 2007 – Michael arrived from Ireland on December 23, 2006, healthy, excited, invigorated, so there was absolutely no time or reason to arrange any interventions at that moment.
However now I know that formally the magazine was correct – the ‘intervention’ was indeed arranged immediately upon Michael’s arrival in Las Vegas in 2006.
There is one article I’ve overlooked previously which says that it happened exactly at Christmas time in 2006 and was actually no intervention proper but was a totally uncalled for intrusion into Michael’s life connected with his unwillingness to see his father Joe ‘more than once’.Michael was absolutely clean after Ireland in terms of drugs and even alcohol as his Irish friend Paddy Dunning in whose house he stayed for about 5 months said that he drank some wine only at dinner table, so Joe must have been completely mad if he assumed that Michael was on drugs when he arrived from Ireland.
Whatever ideas Joe Jackson had he called Jack Wishna, asked him to get Michael to call his mother Katherine because “it was Christmas” and she, according to Wishna “tried an intervention” and “all the kids were there for it”. Unfortunately we cannot ask Jack Wisha as he committed suicide in November 2012, but this is the story he told to Norm Clarke:
He said family friction surfaced early after Jackson arrived in Las Vegas.
At Jackson’s Summerlin residence, his father, Joe, “would come to the gate, and Michael refused to see him more than once. Joe called me and said, ‘Get Michael to call his mother (Katherine). It’s Christmas.‘ Katherine tried an intervention. All the kids were here for it.”
It wasn’t a drug intervention proper as there was nothing to intervene about, and all Katherine Jackson did was talking to her son and saying to him that she did not want to read in the news that he “ended up like the others”, but we can still imagine how insulting even that mild attempt was – Michael was living the cleanest living possible, and here again a crowd of people arrived suspecting him of something bad and insinuating things about him which he had stopped doing long ago.
Mrs. Jackson testimony is not much different from what Jack Wishna said about it. She said that she and her several children went to Las Vegas and she talked to Michael. A quote from her testimony:
Q. So you had conversations with your children, and they said that they thought your son Michael Jackson had a problem with prescription medications; correct?
A. Yes. But they had heard it.
Q. And as a result of their saying that to you, you had a conversation with your son Michael Jackson about it; correct?
A. Uhm, that was much later.
Q. Let me make sure I understand that. So you had a conversation with your children where they indicated that they thought that your son had a problem with prescription medications?
A. Uhm, I wouldn’t say, “a conversation.” I just heard.
A. Couple of my kids brought it to me that they had heard it out there.
Q. And I asked if, whether as a result of that, you had a conversation with your son Michael Jackson about it.
A. I talked to him about it, yes.
Q. Okay. And did you have that conversation in person?
Q. And do you remember that conversation taking place in Las Vegas?
Q. Now, just do you remember when that happened?
A. Not I don’t remember exactly the year or anything like that. But at that time he was living in Las Vegas.
Q. So one thing you recall is he was living in Las Vegas at the time?
Q. Do you remember where the where it took place? Do you remember where you were talking to your son when you had this conversation about the use of painkillers?
A. Yes. It was I was getting ready to leave, and there’s a theater not too far from the door. And we stepped inside the theater, and that’s where I talked to him.
Q. Let me ask a little bit about that. When you say, “not too far from the door”
A. Front door.
Q. The front door of the house?
Q. And what house was this?
A. In Las Vegas.
Q. Was this the Palomar house?
Q. What house was it, ma’am? Do you remember where the house was?
A. No. I don’t remember the street or anything.
Q. Can you describe it? What was it like?
A. Two-story house.
Q. Uh-huh. Was it light?
A. I don’t even remember the color.
Q. Okay. Do you know if the children were living in the house at the time?
Q. Do you remember approximately how old they were?
A. No, I don’t.
Q. Okay. So you stepped out of the house, and there was a theater. Was the theater on the property?
Q. So it was part of the house?
Q. Okay. And so you’re at the property, and you stepped into the door where the theater to the house was; correct?
Q. And you did this as you were getting ready to leave?
Q. And this conversation was just between you and Mr. Jackson?
A. Yes, it was.
Q. And was this where you told him that you had heard that he was using prescription drugs?
Q. And is this the only time you ever had that conversation with him?
Q. No other time ever in his lifetime where you had that conversation?
A. Only time.
Q. Okay. And is this the conversation that you mentioned on Friday where you said that you didn’t want him to end up that he would be like the others?
A. That’s right.
Q. What did you mean by that?
A. I didn’t want to hear one mention that or one day that something had happened to him.
Q. And when you told him this, that you had heard that he was using prescription drugs, he denied it, didn’t he, ma’am?
A. Yes, he did. He didn’t yes, he denied it.
That ‘intervention’ was surely another of those embarrassing situations the Jacksons got themselves into and most probably later they wished they had not given in to Joe and to the dirty tabloid gossip about Michael. This is a big reason why tabloids should never be read – they lie like crazy and people tend to be totally misguided by them.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with Michael at the time, he looked fine and was full of excitement for starting new projects in the US.
So when an article in the People Magazine appeared in September 2007 saying that the Jacksons staged an intervention in 2006 they probably thought it as their duty to make it up for Michael – there was indeed no intervention and all of it was nothing but a big embarrassment for all those involved.
So now the same crowd of people wrote a letter to the People Magazine saying that Michael wasn’t abusing anything and all of it was lies. Mrs. Jackson signed it too, and everything the letter said was sheer truth.
Putnam read out the letter to Mrs. Jackson trying to catch her lying but she indeed said only the truth – the poor mother is simply being forced now to answer for some people in her family who persuaded her to go to Las Vegas and speak to Michael in December 2006 for no reason at all.
A quote from the testimony:
Q. Do you remember in September of 2007 there being publications that were reporting rumors of which the most troubling and heinous was that your son Michael Jackson was dependent on painkillers and alcohol? Do you remember those publications?
A. I had seen some.
Q. Okay. So you had seen publications that had reported this. And when I asked you why you talked to your son Michael Jackson, when he was living in Las Vegas, and talked about this being, perhaps, in 2006 to 2008, you’d indicated that you had heard this information from your children. Did you also get information from publications that there were rumors that your son was using and I’m sorry, dependent on painkillers and alcohol?
A. It was out there in magazines and things. I never bought them and read them.
Q. Okay, ma’am.
A. And the reason I signed this paper, my children brought it to me. And some of this we weren’t trying to intervene and take over his business and everything like that. All these were lies.
Q. So let’s talk about those. That’s the next paragraph. It says: “people and other news organizations have quoted ‘sources’ indicating that our family has attempted a drug intervention and engaged in an effort to take over his business affairs because of this alleged drug and alcohol usage.” Correct?
A. I see what you read, yes.
Q. And is that what you’re saying, you never attempted to do that? You never attempted to take over your son’s businesses?
Q. Do you think it would have been inappropriate for you to intervene if you thought your son had a drug problem?
A. Repeat yourself.
Q. Sure. Please, ma’am. I’m trying you just had a reaction to this idea of taking over your son’s businesses?
Q. I’m trying that never happened; correct?
Q. But you had attempted at least one intervention before, had you not?
Q. And but what you’re saying is that what you didn’t do is that you never tried to take over his business affairs; correct?
Q. And in the next paragraph, it says: “we categorically deny ever planning, participating in, or having knowledge of any kind of intervention whatsoever. We strongly believe that these ‘sources’ and others, no matter who they are, are making these defamatory, inaccurate, and untrue claims for monetary reasons.” Do you see that, ma’am?
A. I do.
Q. Now, that’s not true, though; right? You can’t categorically deny ever any planning, participating in, or having knowledge of any kind of intervention; correct?
Mr. Panish: I’m going to object, your honor. It’s referring to the article, if you go back to the time.
The judge: overruled.
Mr. Putnam: it doesn’t.
Mr. Panish: it does.
Q. I’m sorry, ma’am. You said “no” to that question?
A. Just because it’s in the magazines, the tabloids, that means there’s liars in the world. Most of this letter is not true.
Q. Most of it is not true. Some of it’s true, though; right?
A. Plus I didn’t write this letter.
Q. Excuse me, ma’am?
A. They’re just talking about me, and it says my son and let me see the first paragraph.
Q. I can show it
A. Quite naturally, I’ll sign it because there are lies. These are all lies. Nobody planned to take over his business, or anything like that.
Q. All right, ma’am. Well, it’s those magazines may have published some lies, ma’am, but it wasn’t a lie that you’d attempted an intervention before, was it, ma’am? You had attempted an intervention, hadn’t you?
A. Yes. At one time, I told you. My children wanted me to go along.
Q. And you didn’t remember if your children tried at other times, had they not?
A. I don’t know. They might have. I don’t know.
Q. You don’t know. Goes on to say that: “Michael Jackson and the Jackson family have endured years of false accusations and misrepresentations. It’s time for the unfair and hurtful rumors for profit to end. Thank you.” You see that, ma’am?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Now, at the bottom there are a bunch of signatures; right?
Q. One purports to be the signature of Tito Jackson; one for Marlon; one for Jackie; one for Jermaine. And there’s yours at the bottom; correct, ma’am?
Q. And you did sign this, didn’t you?
A. That’s my signature.
Q. And you said on Friday, when asked on your direct, if you could recall signing, was asked that, you said, “yes, I can recall signing.” Do you recall signing this?
A. I told you Friday I recall signing it?
Q. Yes, ma’am. “you know what? I don’t really remember that thing, but I did sign something.” is this the “something” you’re talking about, ma’am?
A. Probably, yes.
Q. And why would you sign it if it wasn’t true?
A. I signed it because I wanted them to stop talking about things that weren’t true.
Q. You also wanted them to stop talking about your son?
A. This is not a letter to sign something that is true. It’s a letter to sign something because it’s not true, and we want them to stop. But as far as the intervention, that’s the truth.
Q. And, so, ma’am, it’s your understanding that this was done to try to get the press to stop talking about your son’s drug use; is that correct, ma’am?
A. To stop telling a lot of lies.
Q. And would it be a lie to say that there had been an attempted intervention of your son?
Q. Because there had been; correct, ma’am?
A. I told you, we went, and that was my first time ever.
Q. And is what you’re trying to tell me, ma’am, is that you didn’t try an intervention in 2007? Is that correct?
A. I don’t remember. 2007?
Q. And do you know if your children attempted any interventions at that time?
A. I don’t know. I only know that I did one time.
This remarkable conversation about an intervention that never was was preceded by another sidebar where Ms. Chang confirmed that there was no intervention in 2007:
Ms. Chang: Here is the only thing that we have to add. It’s not as drastic as you think. The first paragraph of this indicates that people magazine has “followed other publications in reporting untrue and inaccurate information.” we need that people magazine article, because in order for this to make sense, it is a 2007 article, and it was alleging that he was abusing it and that they had an intervention in 2007. So, therefore, this cannot make sense without the people magazine article. It’s partial; it’s taken out of context. And this appeared in people magazine‘s editorial section. And she was questioned about it in her deposition without the original people magazine. She didn’t recall what it was referring she said her publicist had her sign it. But, in essence, it is true with respect to, there was no intervention that the family asked for in 2007.
As regards September 2007 or exactly the period when both the article and letter were published in the People magazine, Michael was staying at Frank Cascio’s house (August 19th – October 31st, 2007) and Frank who had seen Michael take some medication before noted that there was absolutely no sign of Michael taking any sort of medicine:
We threw a surprise party for my mother’s fiftieth birthday in New Jersey on August 19, 2007. Later that evening, when the guests had gone, Michael appeared at the house. He had his three kids in tow, as well as his black Lab, Kenya, and a cat. My father called me in the city and said, “I think you should come home tonight, but make sure you come alone.” As soon as he said that, I knew Michael was at the house. … I was working in Manhattan, but I was back and forth to New Jersey frequently to see Michael and the kids. We celebrated Michael’s forty-ninth birthday, which fell ten days after my mother’s fiftieth, with a big family dinner. My mother cooked, and we also ordered in some pizza because Michael loved pizza. The time he’d spent in Bahrain after the trial had been a good break for him. He had needed time away, time for himself, and he seemed rejuvenated. He was alive and excited, getting back into being creative and free. He and Eddie were working in the studio during the day, and he was playing with an idea for an animated cartoon he hoped to produce. He was happy to be around my family, with whom he could be himself. There was no sign that he was on any sort of medicine. He was back to being Michael. (My Friend Michael, chapter 23)
AEG WATCHED HIM WASTE AWAY
The rest of Katherine Jackson’s testimony was about AEG. It was very well summed by Brian Panish:
- “They knew he was having a problem,” Panish said. “He needed them for this concert. They could have easily told him, ‘Look, until you go see the appropriate doctor and come back, we’re not going on with the rehearsal.’ They’re the only ones that really had the ability to do something about it and they chose not to.”
This is absolutely true. AEG knew perfectly well that Michael’s health was deteriorating in front of their eyes but they chose to totally ignore it and didn’t allow others to offer him any help. And judging by the fact that they blocked Joe Jackson from coming to Michael’s home they prevented the relatives from helping Michael either though he was already on the brink of a catastrophe due to his total lack of biological sleep.
Katherine Jackson said that they watched him waste away and even waited for it, and I am inclined to agree with her.
And no matter what situation with Joe was like before, once Michael asked for him there should have been no force on the planet to block Joe from coming and seeing his son. It was absolutely none of AEG’s business to decide who was to see Michael and who was not. Even though I am no fan of Joe Jackson if he had been there he could have at least brought a proper doctor to Michael and Michael would be alive now.
The ABC tweets conclude:
- Mrs. Jackson: I had heard that, that Elizabeth Taylor had something to do about drugs but I don’t watch television that much.
- Putnam: Were you aware your son MJ had gone to rehab before?
- Mrs. Jackson said she did not discuss with MJ about it and had never heard MJ’s 1993 announcement he was going into rehab.
- Mrs. Jackson: My children probably didn’t want me to know about it.
- MJ’s mother said she never heard before tour had been canceled because of MJ’s rehab. She said it doesn’t mean it wasn’t but she didn’t know
- Putnam asked about whether she shut her ears to bad things. “I may have said that but I don’t remember,” Mrs. Jackson responded.
- Mrs. Jackson: I don’t like hearing bad news.
- Mrs. Jackson wore black and white print long jacket with fuchsia flowers, with cranberry top and skirt.
- Putnam asked about the attempted intervention in 2002. He asked about Dr. Farshchian treating MJ’s addiction to Demerol.
- Mrs. Jackson said he doesn’t recall Dr. Farshchian and does not recall any phone call with any doctor about MJ’s addiction to Demerol.
- Putnam showed Mrs. Jackson transcript of Dr. Farshchian’s deposition and asked if that refreshed her recollection. She said it doesn’t.
- Putnam asked if Dr. Farshchian testified he spoke with her because she wanted to know all the details of her son’s Demerol use.
- I don’t remember who Dr. Farshchian is and I don’t remember treating Michael for Demerol, Mrs. Jackson said.
- Putnam: Do you remember testimony about MJ having an implant to treat Demerol?
- Mrs. Jackson: I don’t know anything about that
- Mrs. Jackson said she doesn’t remember discussing the implant in 2002.
- As to Louis Farrakhan — she met him, but doesn’t remember seeing him at Neverland.
- Mrs. Jackson said she does not remember MJ showing her a Narcan patch.
- Putnam asked if Mrs Jackson knows there were a number of doctors who testified in this case. She said she didn’t know, didn’t see deposition
- Putnam asked if she recalls sitting down for interview with Oprah Winfrey in the fall of 2010. Mrs. Jackson said yes.
- Oprah’s interview aired about a month after the the lawsuit was filed. She watched it when it aired at the Hayvenhurst house.
- Putnam: Did you try to tell the truth in that interview?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes
- Putnam: You said you believed your son was addicted to drugs?
- Mrs. Jackson: I told Oprah that
- Mrs. Jackson: I told you MJ was on painkillers, but I don’t think he was abusing it.
- In Oprah’s interview, Mrs. Jackson said it was a long time before she knew MJ was addicted to painkillers.
- She also said about the family’s attempted intervention: the children told her to take MJ to rehab and kind of clean him up.
- Mrs. Jackson told Oprah she didn’t want to hear MJ had overdosed. MJ kept saying he wasn’t on it, and that his own mother didn’t believe him
- Mrs. Jackson: I kind of believe it and didn’t believe it, hearing from my children, hearing from other people.
- Mrs. Jackson conceded she denied this morning that her son was abusing drugs.
- I didn’t know what to believe, Mrs. Jackson said.
- Putnam: Do you think your son was abusing painkillers?
- Mrs. Jackson: I don’t know
- I didn’t know what to believe, she said. “I went to Neverland because my children kept asking me and I was concerned.”
- Putnam: Was there a time you were concerned with MJ using painkillers?
- Mrs. Jackson: I can’t say I weren’t concerned
- Putnam: Was there any time during the criminal trial that you were concerned MJ was under the influence of something?
- Mrs. Jackson: No
- Mrs. Jackson said she never discussed with her son’s attorneys or managers about her concerns.
- Mrs. Jackson said she had many conversations with Frank DiLeo and they were all friendly.
- She remembers answering the phone when Frank DiLeo went back to work for Michael.
- Mrs. Jackson wanted to know why people kept re-hiring people Michael had fired.
- Putnam asked if it was someone other than MJ who hired DiLeo. “I think so, Michael didn’t want him back,” she said.
- Mrs. Jackson: Michael and DiLeo told me he was back for the This Is It tour.
- Putnam: Did you tell Mr. DiLeo you were concerned that your son was abusing painkillers?
- Mrs. Jackson: No, since he had just come back
- Mrs. Jackson said she never told AEG Live or Randy Phillips about MJ having drug problem.
- Mrs. Jackson testified she was receiving money from MJ and also from Janet Jackson.
- At first, it was not on a monthly basis, but it became that way, Mrs. Jackson explained. Janet sent her $10,000 a month.
- Mrs. Jackson said she was receiving that amount when MJ died. The money went to her assistant Janice at the office.
- Mrs. Jackson said she told Janet she didn’t have to continue to send her money after MJ died.
- In re-direct, Panish asked if before MJ died, was he paying for everything?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes, paying for everything
- Panish: Did you rely on him (MJ) for all necessities of life?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes
- Panish inquired if Putnam asked during deposition personal question?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes, he asked ‘did your husband beat you’?
- P: Were you upset?
- Mrs. J: Yes
- Panish: Farrakhan and Nation of Islam, does that have anything to do with your son’s death?
- Mrs. Jackson: No
- Mrs Jackson said she doesn’t know anything about computers, it’s not a lawyer or investigator. Her highest level of education is high school
- Panish asked what she did to go about this case. “I hired your firm,” Mrs. Jackson said.
- Why, Panish asked. “I wanted to find out what really happened to my son,” Mrs. Jackson responded.
- Phillips and Gongaware never called/send card to Mrs. Jackson after MJ died, Mrs Jackson said. Kenny Ortega went to see her, she said.
- Panish: Did you know your son was sleep-deprived for 60 days?
- Mrs. Jackson: No, I didn’t
- Panish asked if she knew Hougdahl wrote an email to AEG that MJ was deteriorating in front of his eyes?
- Mrs. Jackson: No
- Mrs. Jackson said she learned about MJ’s condition in court, that AEG never told her MJ was deteriorating, paranoia, losing weight, rambling
- The could’ve called me, he was asking for his father, he was scared, he was asking for Joseph, Mrs. Jackson said, crying.
- Panish: Did AEG ever tell you they called your son a freak?
- Mrs. Jackson: No
- P: And that it was creepy meeting your son?
- Mrs. J: No (crying)
- Mrs. Jackson: They were there, without calling somebody. My husband and I would have been there in a second (crying)
- They watched him waste away and waited, I know they did it, Mrs. Jackson said, crying.
- Panish showed picture of MJ in June 09 and asked if she ever saw her son like that. “Never,” said Mrs. Jackson crying, wiping her eyes.
- Panish: Issue of restitution was the state decision and you told them not to do it, correct?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes
- Panish asked if the figure for restitution was set by the state. Mrs. Jackson said yes.
- In re-cross, Putnam showed a video where Mrs. Jackson said “It could’ve been prevented, he hired a doctor to take care of him.”
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson talked to her grandchildren about Dr. Murray in search of the truth.
- I could, but I didn’t want to bring that up with them, Mrs. Jackson answered.
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson spoke with Sister Rose, the kids’ nanny.
- She told me that MJ was very weak, and she told me that she talked about what went down at the practice, they had to hold him up she said
- Mrs. Jackson doesn’t know why Sister Rose is called sister and Brother Michael is brother.
- Putnam: Did I say anything improper in the deposition regarding the Nation of Islam?
- Mrs. Jackson: You were asking me question about it
- Putnam asked if Mrs. Jackson knows Gongaware. “No, but that shouldn’t have stopped him, to say I’m sorry what happened to your son” she said
- Putnam asked if AEG put together a Memorial Service for MJ. She said yes.
- Mrs. Jackson said AEG told her if she did the memorial service at the Staples Center it would be free (she wanted to do it at the Coliseum)
- In re-re-direct, Panish asked: They still didn’t send a card, did they?
- Mrs. Jackson: No. Thousands and thousands of people sent her card.
- She’s a Jehovah’s Witness and there’s a difference between her religion and the Nation of Islam.
- Regarding the interview, Mrs. Jackson said she just assumed, she didn’t know whether MJ had hired Dr. Murray.
- Panish: Did Sister Rose discuss with you about AEG pressuring MJ?
- Mrs. Jackson: Yes
- Panish showed video of Phillips saying they hired him.
- Panish: There was a suggestion in this trial you hired Kai Chase back so she can testify in your favor?
- Panish: Did you hire Kai Chase so she would testify in your favor?
- Mrs. Jackson: No, not at all. The children knew her, they wanted her, that’s why.
- Mrs. Jackson: Kai Chase has been working for me not quite a year yet
- In re-re-cross, Putnam inquired Phillips said ‘we hired him’ and Mrs. Jackson said ‘Michael’ hired him.
- Mrs. Jackson: Like I said, I didn’t know who hired him at that time.
- Putnam said one of them was not right in their interview. Mrs. Jackson answered: “I’m not correct.”
- In re-re-re-direct, Panish asked: Who do you think it’s in a better position to know who hired the doctor, you or the CEO of AEG?
- Mrs. Jackson: The CEO of AEG
- Mrs. Jackson was then excused. She went home for the rest of the day to rest.
- Judge told jury we are now moving to defendants’ case, even though plaintiffs have not yet rested their case in chief.
ALAN DUKE’S article:
AEG Live tries to show Michael Jackson had secret drug addiction
Los Angeles (CNN) — Michael Jackson “had a real monkey on his back” with a longtime drug addiction, his family kept it secret from the world and it led to his overdose death, a lawyer for AEG Live said. The concert promoter’s defense against the Jackson family’s wrongful death lawsuit began Tuesday and will include testimony from “all of the many, many doctors” who treated Jackson over the past decades, AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said.
AEG Live executive John Meglin, who is the CEO of the Concerts West division, returns to the stand Wednesday after testifying Tuesday that Dr. Conrad Murray’s request for $5 million to work as Jackson’s personal physician was a topic at a meeting of the company’s executive committee. Jackson lawyer Brian Panish said that was an important revelation that would help his case.
Panish pressed Meglin on the question of if he agreed with his boss, AEG Live President Randy Phillips, who testified that he thought Jackson was the greatest artist of all time. “I think that Michael’s very big in the pop world, but the Rolling Stones are bigger, or Led Zeppelin,” Megline said. “I’m a rocker.”
Defense witnesses will also include a parade of Jackson family members, including a return appearance by matriarch Katherine Jackson, who just concluded two days of testimony as her lawyers presented their case. “They kept his private world private as best they could and now they would like to blame somebody else for things that only they knew privately,” Putnam said.
Michael Jackson’s mother and three children contend AEG Live, which was producing and promoting his comeback concerts, is liable in his death because it negligently hired, retained or supervised Murray.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death, which the coroner ruled was caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol. The doctor told investigators he was using the drug to treat Jackson’s insomnia as he prepared for his “This Is It” debut in London.
Jackson, not AEG Live, chose and controlled Murray, Putnam argued. He said in his opening statements at the start of the trial 12 weeks ago he would show jurors “ugly stuff” about Jackson to prove that AEG Live executives had no way of knowing about the dangerous treatments the doctor was giving in the privacy of Jackson’s bedroom.
Michael’s mom speaks
The appearance of Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s 83-year-old mother, as a concluding witness in her case gave Putnam a chance to probe what family members knew about Jackson’s drug abuse history. “There are a lot of enormous inconsistencies in what is being said and what the truth is,” Putnam told reporters Monday after he finished his cross-examination of Katherine Jackson.
She “reported to the world and to the press that he never had a problem with prescription drugs,” that he never entered drug rehab and that the family never attempted an intervention to stop his drug use, he said. “As we now know, Michael Jackson had a longtime problem with prescription drugs, so what had been told to the world during his lifetime wasn’t true.”
The Jackson family’s lawyer, Brian Panish, said AEG Live executives were “in the best position to help Michael Jackson” when they saw his health deteriorating in the last two months of his life.
Show director Kenny Ortega sent a series of e-mails to top AEG Live executives warning them that Jackson showed “strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior” at a rehearsal. “I think the very best thing we can do is get a top psychiatrist in to evaluate him ASAP,” Ortega wrote. “It’s like there are two people there. One (deep inside) trying to hold on to what he was and still can be and not waiting us to quit him, the other in this weakened and troubled state.”
Production manager John “Bugzee” Houghdahl sent an e-mail to producers saying he “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.”
“They knew he was having a problem,” Panish said. “He needed them for this concert. They could have easily told him, ‘Look, until you go see the appropriate doctor and come back, we’re not going on with the rehearsal.’ They’re the only ones that really had the ability to do something about it and they chose not to.”
Ortega testified this month that he thought AEG Live should have halted production on the show until Jackson was well.
Despite the e-mail evidence and testimony, Putnam insisted Monday that AEG Live executives knew nothing about Jackson’s failing health. “They had little interaction with Michael Jackson in terms of the production and promotion of that,” Putnam said, adding that the executives “certainly” did not know “that he was having any problems.”
But Panish said the executives should have known: “He was deteriorating in front of their own eyes.” “They watched him waste away,” Katherine Jackson testified.
Jackson testified in her first day on the stand Friday that she filed the lawsuit “because I want to know what really happened to my son.”
During cross-examination, the AEG Live lawyer played a clip from an interview she gave to NBC a year after her son’s death in which she said Michael Jackson had hired the doctor. In response, her lawyer argued she made the statement before seeing AEG e-mails indicating that the company hired him.
Putnam questioned her about a statement she and several of her children signed in 2007 accusing People Magazine of publishing “untrue and inaccurate information” about Michael Jackson’s drug use.
“We categorically deny ever planning, participating in, or having knowledge of any kind of intervention, whatsoever,” the statement read. Katherine Jackson acknowledged, however, that she participated in an attempted intervention with her son at his Neverland Ranch in 2002.
“I wanted them to stop lying,” she testified, referring to the magazine. “I was worried about all the lies they were telling about the family.” “Was it a lie to say your son had a problem with prescription drugs?” Putnam asked. “He did not have a problem,” she insisted.
Putnam later asked Jackson’s mother if she liked to “shut your ears to bad things.” “I don’t like to hear bad news,” she said.
Jackson appeared combative at times when Putnam cross-examined her, punching back at his questions. “What does this have to do with my son dying?” she replied at one point.
“I think she was badgered, but that wasn’t the first time,” Panish told reporters later. “In her deposition, she was asked questions like, “Does your husband ever beat you?'”
For the pretrial deposition, she was questioned for about 12 hours over three days. Putnam denied he was being overly aggressive in his questioning of her. “I just wanted to know the facts from her and there was no reason to be aggressive with her,” he said.
“She was combative, but you can’t blame Mrs. Jackson for that. None of us want to find ourselves in a situation where we’re having to confront the very public death of our child.”
Putnam refused to discuss why he asked Katherine Jackson in the deposition if her husband, Joe Jackson, ever beat her. “What occurred in those depositions was confidential at Mrs. Jackson’s request, therefore I am not at liberty to go into to the private matters that we went into in that deposition,” Putnam told CNN.
However, Katherine Jackson and her lawyer both brought up the question in court Monday. “I am not going to go into what we went into about the very tragic history Michael Jackson had with his parents and father over the period of his life,” Putnam said.
“That is something we did not go into on the stand because it is not relevant. I’m not bringing that up.” Testimony is expected to last into September, the judge told the jury. http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/24/showbiz/jackson-death-trial/index.html
The media now says that Dr. Farshchian’s testimony appears to contradict Katherine’s words about “no knowledge of Michael’s addiction”. Firstly I don’t see how it helps the AEG case (they considered Michael an addict themselves) and secondly, I disagree with the above idea in principle.
There is a very fine line to be drawn between addiction and Michael’s need to take prescription medication for legitimate medical conditions (of which he had many – a burn and injury to his back, for example), so what Mrs. Jackson testified to was her big confusion in matters whether the medications were indeed necessary or not, and if necessary, to what degree. She knew of Michael taking medication but she could not know at which point the abuse was starting and whether it had started at all.
She said that she knew he was taking painkillers but she did not know whether he was abusing them.
Can taking medication be considered abuse if Michael was indeed in constant pain from all his innumerable ailments? Who could tell that except a very qualified doctor? So how could Mrs. Jackson definitely know where was a legitimate reason for taking a painkiller and where was the addiction?
Actually the fact that Michael was seeking treatment and went for those implants spoke to his responsible attitude to whatever problems he had and his great determination to fight them. This isn’t the behavior of an addict, but this is the behavior of a responsible person who realizes that things are getting out of control and need correction.
Knowing that Michael was controlling the problem could only convince his mother that her boy was on the right road and there was no addiction. Yes, she knew that her son was taking medication, so what of it? She also knew that they were connected with his tremendous health issues…
And how can all this talk about Katherine help AEG anyway, I wonder?
Katherine Jackson knew about son’s drug issues, doctor says -exclusiveWednesday, July 24, 2013
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — There’s a major development in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial regarding the singer’s use of drugs. Newly revealed testimony appears to contradict the recent testimony of Jackson’s mother, who claimed to have no knowledge of her son’s past addiction.
Jurors heard the most explicit details yet of Jackson’s treatment for addiction. It was 2002, seven years before Jackson’s death from the anesthetic propofol. Jackson’s youngest son had just been born. Dr. Alimorad Farschian said Jackson wanted off of the painkiller demerol.
“Blanket was just born and that was why he wanted to, what he phrased, ‘a monkey on his back,’ he wanted to just not deal with it anymore,” Farschian said in a video deposition.
In the video, Farschian states Jackson’s family was pressuring the artist. The doctor’s statement conflicts with the testimony of Katherine Jackson, who said under oath that she had no personal knowledge that her son struggled with dependency. The doctor said he talked to her directly about the singer’s detox treatment.
“I think she wanted to know all about it, what was going on,” said Farschian.
Farschian described implanting Michael Jackson with a type of demoral antidote. Naltrexone, also known as narcane, is a tiny tube inserted under the skin to block the euphoric effect of opiates. The doctor said he implanted Jackson five times over nine months and that he personally witnessed Mrs. Jackson examining her son’s incision.
“I remember that was in Neverland. Michael did show the implant to his mother. Just his mother was there. She was very happy,” said Farschian.
Katherine Jackson is suing AEG Live, alleging that the tour promoters hired and failed to supervise Conrad Murray, the physician linked to the singer’s propofol overdose. Her attorneys assert that Jackson’s health was deteriorating from anxiety and sleep deprivation in the two months before his death.
Jurors heard from Farschian that Jackson suffered from insomnia years earlier. The doctor’s theory is that it was linked to cosmetic surgery: a key part of Jacksons nose was missing.
“It is possible that you produce what they call empty nose syndrome and producing insomnia,” said Farschian.
About the plaintiffs claim that Jackson was emaciated, the autopsy recorded he was 136 pounds when he died. Farschian testified that Jackson weighed 128 when he treated him.