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'This Is It' Producer -- Star Witness in MJ Prelim

1/4/2011 11:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Michael Jackson's producer/director for the "This Is It" tour will be a star witness for the prosecution in Dr. Conrad Murray's preliminary hearing which begins today  ... sources tell TMZ.

Our sources tell us ... Kenny Ortega will testify that on June 19, 2009 -- a week before MJ died -- Michael complained he was cold, had the shakes and was unable to perform ... so the rehearsal was canceled.

The next day -- June 20 -- an emergency meeting was held at Michael's home.  Kenny Ortega, several big wigs from AEG, Michael, and Dr. Conrad Murray were present.  We're told the meeting was "intense, loud and argumentative."  Kenny read Michael the riot act, imploring him to take better care of himself because the tour was imminent.  

Ortega will testify, during the meeting, Dr. Murray said some "terrible things," showing a lack of concern and respect for Michael.  Our sources would not reveal specifics, but we're told it's "damaging" to Murray.

Sources say rehearsals were canceled on June 21 and 22 so Michael could regain his strength. Ortega will testify ... when rehearsals resumed on June 23 and 24 -- the day before Jackson died -- Michael did a complete turnaround, wowing the backup dancers and others present with his moves and singing.

Ortega's testimony is important, because prosecutors will argue MJ was fine before Murray began pumping him with drugs the day he died.



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... so the fans who made were right all the time with their "lurid claims" about the This-is-it-behind-the-scenes and now Ortega finally admits it ...

1388 days ago


I love you Michael!

1388 days ago

Gsharon 710    

Security tapes please.

1388 days ago


Branch out, TMZ. I just read the news all over the NET and you really have narrowed your scope here on TMZ. There is all kinds of celebrity news out there but it's not here. Sports figures in trouble with the police or going to jail and celebrity justice stuff. The only prob with that is celebrity justice failed as a website and television show. Sorry, not many are seeking that kind slant on celebrity news out.

You have to move past that. Othewise, this website is no different than Harvey's failed website and show was.

I look foward to seeing a broad range of celebrity stories here just as I did elsewhere tonight.

1388 days ago


Dear Harvey Levin and TMZ staff,

A friend of mine told before that "You can break the last breaking newS with Billie Jean".
I would like say like Randy said on twitter 18 novembre 2010 "I want his legacy to be respected as if he were here" and this is the most important.

Water,Water,Water... Michael.
Can't you see what perfect psysique form he had...
Just watch few video of the rehearsals (and Billie Jean) and you will understand...

We love you and you miss us so much...


1388 days ago


Words are just that words. Actions are actions. I don't particularly care for Murray or for that matter Michael Jackson either. MJ clearly lost his way years ago, but back in the day he was the man!
Murray on the other hand was only involved for the money. He knew he was dealing with a junkie. He should have walked away. But alas he didn't.
At the end of the day in my heart I believe that Michael Jackson took an opportunity that presented itself when Murray left the room to open up the drip of Profol and allowed it to freely flow into his vein's therefore killing himself accidentally.
I believe Murray when he said he did nothing that would kill Michael Jackson. Why would he make such a statement knowing that it would be proven either way throught tox screenings at autopsy? If he administered that lethal dose, why would he say he hadn't?
Yes defendents lie, but for some reason I don't think he was lying about this, remember it was Michael Jackson after all.
Even in death, Michael Jackson's innocence in his own death will have to wait another day, until the trial begins.

1388 days ago


THIS is it was such a amazing movie. Should have definitely won a Oscar. The Academy Awards are racist.

1388 days ago


The Oscar would be for the editor ... taking all snippets of MJ, where he would look something almost close to healthy.

1388 days ago


The truth is that all they murdered MJ ... worth more dead than alive ... where is the FBI?

1388 days ago


One of the band members for TII stated on his facebook that he got a very negative feeling being around Murray.

Why would Michael call his nutritionist complaining that one side of his body was cold and the other hot?


Because Murray was obviously mixing all kinds of drugs along with propofol and injecting Michael the way he did on the day he killed him !!

I believe Murray NEVER kept a close eye on Michael when he treated him. There was NEVER any proper equipment being used the whole 6 or more weeks that he was with Michael!

Why does anyone think Michael was searching for an anesthesiologist ?

LIEING..MONEY HUNGRY MURRAY had no business pretending to be an anesthesiologist for the MONEY. But that's what he did.

He was too LAZY to monitor and keep an eye on Michael because he's a cardiologist...NOT an anesthesiologist ! That's why he FINALLY hit Michael up with a heavy dose to get him off his back for awhile without having to bother with him.

I've stood by this observation of Murray for quite some time and I still believe it.

MONEY MONEY MONEY.......the hungry JERK !!


1388 days ago


this is just too sad.seems everybody knew michael health was at risk , but kept pushing for the tour. i think they planned this is it as a back up movie in case mj couldnt make it. they had plan b in place

1388 days ago


Hi nan!
"Ortega will testify, during the meeting, Dr. Murray said some "terrible things," showing a lack of concern and respect for Michael. Our sources would not reveal specifics, but we're told it's "damaging" to Murray."

I would like to know more about this! I would have shown all the respect and concern in the world for 150 thou/month and why would he be disrespectful to his employer? What made him to think that he can behave as mentioned above?

1388 days ago


Michael Jackson's Doctor Faces Death Charge

The doctor accused of being responsible for Michael Jackson's death is due to appear in an LA court to face a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Dr Conrad Murray, who was treating the pop star when he died on June 25, 2009, is accused of negligence by administering a fatal dose of a powerful anaesthetic called propofol.
The sleep aid is central to the prosecution's case and was a key factor in Mr Jackson's death. It is rarely found outside a clinical setting, where it is mostly used intravenously before surgery.
The prosecution is expected to argue that Murray was absent from the room while Mr Jackson was receiving the drug and failed to have the equipment which could have revived him.
The charge of involuntary manslaughter is the least serious manslaughter charge in California and carries a maximum four-year prison term and a fine of $10,000 (£6,439).

The pop star was preparing for a concert series in London when he died
Evidence against the doctor is expected to be laid out at a "preliminary hearing" after which Judge Michael Pastor can decide whether the case is strong enough to take to a jury.
Murray, a cardiologist, was hired by the singer as he prepared for a 50-date concert series in London.
His bill was paid by the promoter AEG, which is facing a civil suit brought by Mr Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson.
Dr John Dombrowski from the Washington Pain Centre told Sky News that propofol - which also goes by the name Diprivan - was a "very serious anesthetic".

The singer with his mother, Katherine Jackson
"It slowly shuts the body down, so you can observe the patient's blood pressure lowering and a change in their heartbeat," he said.
"This is why propofol needs to be administered by an anaesthesiologist or at least a physician who's trained on how to not only administer the medication but, more importantly, how to rescue that patient."
Tests found other drugs in Mr Jackson's body: three types of anti-anxiety medication, the stimulant ephedrine and a local anesthetic.
The doctor's defence team claims he gave nothing to Jackson that "should have killed him", and that he took all necessary precautions.
They have also hinted at their strategy - that Murray was trying to wean the singer off the drugs, to which he had become addicted to help relieve the symptoms of chronic pain.

The preliminary hearing could take up to two weeks. Pic: Houston Chronicle
They are also expected to argue that Mr Jackson could have self-administered extra quantities of the drug.
Murray has continued to practise medicine since the charges were filed in February and he has successfully fought an attempt to strip him of his medical licence in Nevada.
Even if the judge does decide the case should move to a jury trial, the case could take months.
Legal experts in the US say both sides are preparing carefully for the "highly technical" case.
Former prosecutor Dmitry Goran said: "Dr Murray's livelihood, his future and his liberty are in his lawyers' hands.
"So they will want to ensure everything is ready to go before they argue this case to a jury."
The prosecution is expected to call 30 witnesses and the preliminary hearing could take up to a fortnight. Members of Jackson's family are likely to attend.

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1388 days ago
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