LOS ANGELES (KABC) — During the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial on Wednesday, the defense showed jurors a video clip of a beaming Jackson at a press conference announcing his comeback tour. It was a far cry from the meltdown hours earlier, which was detailed in court.
According to Jackson’s tour producer AEG Live, the video is evidence that the superstar was excited about his comeback tour, not pressured to perform and that the so-called crisis that had unfolded before the announcement had been resolved.
The president of AEG Live, Randy Phillips, got his first chance to explain what was behind the alarming emails he sent, which have been ammunition for the plaintiffs. Phillips had written that Jackson was “locked in his room drunk and despondent” and that the singer was an “emotionally paralyzed mess, riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time.”
“I was freaking out,” he told jurors. He said he, Phillips, was a drama queen worried at that time about being late to the event. He said Jackson appeared to be hung over.
He testified Jackson’s anxiety was not about performing. He said Jackson was concerned that his popularity had faded and there weren’t going to be any people at the press conference. Phillips said Jackson later was ecstatic when he learned 3,000 people were waiting for him.
AEG is being sued by Katherine Jackson for allegedly hiring Conrad Murray, the doctor who treated Michael Jackson for insomnia with a sedative that caused the pop star’s death.
The plaintiffs last week played a clip from 2009 that showed an interview with Phillips about Murray.
“We just felt this is his personal doctor, he wants him 24/7, and the guy’s willing to leave his practice for a very large sum of money, so we hired him,” Phillips said in the clip.
On Wednesday, the defense played a different part of the interview to indicate Murray was Jackson’s choice.
“We would prefer to have doctors on call in London, which would be very easy for us to do and bring someone from over here. Michael insisted on hiring Dr. Murray, because he told us he was his personal physician,” Phillips said in the defense’s clip.