Concert promoters AEG Live LLC have laid all their cards on the table in the wrongful death trial against the Jackson family
Michael Jackson's death is still making headlines across the globe, and last night it had reason to be in the news all over again as the wrongful death trial against concert promoters AEG Live LLC drew closer to it's end as the defence rested their case. With the trial in it's 21st week, the concert promoters brought their defence to a close with a statement from a longtime friend and doctor of Michael, with the jurors now expected to begin their deliberations next week.
Jackson died shortly before he was due to begin his 'This Is It' residency in London
AEG are being sued for negligence leading to the death of Michael Jackson, with Michael's mother, Katherine Jackson filing the case against the company, claiming they were responsible for hiring Dr Conrad Murray and forcing her son into performing his way into an early grave. AEG have continually denied hiring Murray, stating that he was hired through Jackson, and have used a long-line of former physicians to the star to determine that Michael's death was due to his long-held struggle with pain killer addicitons and not through their negligence as his employers.
Jackson has been portrayed mostly as a tortured figure in his final days, forced into performing and made to work through his exhaustion in order to complete his 'This Is It' dates at London's O2 Arena. The final testimony from the defence continued to go against this image though, with Jackson's former physician Dr. Allan Metzger providing a videotaped testimony that described Michael as "energised" and "excited" by his shows, albeit a run that Michael felt a lot of pressure to deliver with.
Katherine Jackson filed the case against AEG Live
"He wanted to redeem his image," the doctor said. "He felt this was it and he wanted to go out with a flash. He was still terribly hurt about the trial and the accusations," he continued, in reference to his sensational 2005 trial for child molestation. He went on to say that Michael was determined to complete the shows and return back to the public eye as the great entertainer he was known as before the trial, and although he presented himself as full of beans and ready to conquer the sets, he still seemed afraid of returning to public in such a big way.
"I think he was fearful because this was it and he needed to do a lot of perfectionalizing," Metzger stated in his testimony. "He wanted it to be something that had never been done before."
Michael was apparently prone to "doctor shopping"
One thing that Metzger was keen to point out was that Jackson was particularly concerned about his ongoing insomnia and was worried that when he got to London to perform, he would still be unable to sleep. He told the courtroom that he advised Michael to see a sleep specialist in London and to visit a nutritionist to help him, but insists that he specifically warned Michael not to take any sleep-inducing medication. He went on to mention that he had no knowledge of who Dr Conrad Murray was nor who it was that hired him, although he did describe Michael as someone who would regularly go "doctor shopping."
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 following Michael's 2009 overdose on the painkiller propofol. Metzger also claimed to have no knowledge of the drugs that Michael was taking.
Katherine Jackson's lawyers are expected to make their rebuttal this week and the closing statements from both sides are expected to be read out at the beginning of next week, at which point the jury will be asked to make their decision. We'll keep you up to date with the trial as it happens.
Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011