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Michael Jackson

'This Is It' Promoters

Called Jackson a 'Mess'

9/2/2012 3:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0717_michael_jackson_article_gettyMichael Jackson was "an emotionally paralyzed mess" who was "scared to death" leading up to his planned "This Is It" concerts in 2009, this according to newly obtained emails sent by the promoters of the show.

In the emails, obtained by the LA Times, AEG's Randy Phillips traded messages back and forth with AEG President Tim Leiweke. In one email leading up to the 2009 press conference to announce the concerts, Phillips wrote, "MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent ... I (am) trying to sober him up."

Phillips said Jackson was "an emotionally paralyzed mess," that Jackson was "scared to death," and that Phillips and Jackson's manager had to dress him. The press conference ended up being very brief and very strange.

The emails were part of the discovery in an ongoing lawsuit between AEG and the insurance company that backed the tour ... which is suing to get the $17.5 million policy nullified.


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My heart will always go out to Michael Jackson! He was by far one of the greatest for his music and entertainment, but how it did cost him dearly! RIP Michael…

779 days ago


Don't forget Jackson asked for this concert tour. He was not asked or pursued to do a tour. He was broke and in a boat load of debt and needed money.

He knew he was in no condition or physical shape to pull off a tour. He barely made one rehersal.

Years of drugs, plastic surgery, more plastic surgery to fix the bad plastic surgery, jeez, he didn't have a nose left and whatever else took a very bad toll on him. He knew it. No one put a gun to his head to make him do what he did to himself.

This is not badmouthing the man it's simply how it was. All the spin and blame trying to protect his image isn't going to change that. Everyone want's to remember Jackson when he was at the top of his game and yes, he was kick ass. That was many many years ago.

779 days ago


So sad that the family also knew he was in a mess and did nothing about it. Sad but true, and yet they trying to live off his fame. I only hope someone gives the kids the love they need without being after the money.

779 days ago


E-mails show promoter's doubts before Michael Jackson's deathBy Alan Duke, CNN
updated 5:45 AM EDT, Mon September 3, 2012
Michael Jackson attends a press conference to announce plans for a summer residency of concerts at the O2 Arena.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Sunday's Los Angeles Times reveals internal e-mails from "This Is It" promoter
"AEG will make a fortune" despite Jackson's death, promoter says in e-mail
"MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent," AEG Live head writes on day of announcement
Randy Phillips calls Michael Jackson 'an emotionally paralyzed mess' in e-mail
Los Angeles (CNN) -- The promoter for Michael Jackson's comeback concerts expressed doubts about the star's ability to be ready for the shows but expressed confidence in the private doctor eventually convicted in Jackson's death, according to e-mails published in Sunday's Los Angeles Times.

AEG Live President Randy Phillips was responding to "This Is It" director Kenny Ortega's e-mail, which said Jackson had "strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior" and suggesting they hire a "top Psychiatrist in to evaluate him ASAP."

Jackson died on June 25, 2009, from what the Los Angeles County coroner ruled was an overdose of a surgical anesthetic and sedatives, drugs that Dr. Conrad Murray told police he used to help the entertainer sleep as he prepared for the concerts set to start two weeks later.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison last year.

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Jackson mom duped into going to Arizona The e-mails, leaked to the newspaper, were gathered for an insurance company's lawsuit, which seeks to void a $17.5 million policy that AEG Live purchased in case Jackson was not able to perform the 50 shows scheduled for London's O2 Arena. The newspaper did not disclose the source of the leaks.

Lloyds of London contends AEG Live hid Jackson's health problems from the insurer and failed to respond to repeated requests for his medical history.

Katherine Jackson explains disappearance

While Phillips called Jackson's death "a terrible tragedy" in an e-mail weeks after he died, he added "but life must go on."

"AEG will make a fortune from merch sales, ticket retention, the touring exhibition and the film/dvd," Phillips wrote. In fact, AEG Live was allowed to sell Jackson tour merchandise and share in the profits from the do***entary "This Is It," produced from rehearsal video.

AEG Live and its lawyer did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

The e-mails suggest AEG Live's president saw Jackson's problems first hand the day the pop star was to appear at the O2 Arena to publicly announce the shows.

"MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent," Phillips wrote in a March 5, 2009, e-mail to AEG Live's parent company, the paper reported. "I (am) trying to sober him up."

"I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking," Phillips wrote. "He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time."

The promoter blamed London traffic when Jackson was 90 minutes late for the announcement that day.

"He's as healthy as he can be -- no health problems whatsoever," Phillips told CNN two months later to refute reports Jackson's health was threatening the concerts.

The Los Angeles Times story, however, said the e-mails indicated major doubts about Jackson's ability to perform.

"We cannot be forced into stopping this, which MJ will try to do because he is lazy and constantly changes his mind to fit his immediate wants," AEG Live executive Paul Gongaware e-mailed to Phillips.

Jackson's missed rehearsals in June triggered concerns in e-mails that he was slow in learning his dance routines and would have to lip-sync on stage, the newspaper reported.

"MJ is not in shape enough yet to sing this stuff live and dance at the same time," one e-mail from the show's music director read, the paper reported.

A production manager wrote: "He was a basket case. Doubt is pervasive."

Despite 'Unity' concert, family in uproar

A loud warning from Ortega, who worked closely with Jackson on previous tours, came in mid-June, just over a week before his death.

"It is like there are two people there. One (deep inside) trying to hold on to what he was and still can be and not wanting us to quit him, the other in this weakened and troubled state," Ortega wrote. "I believe we need professional guidance in this matter."

Ortega testified at Murray's trial about his concerns about Jackson's frail condition and missed rehearsals. It resulted in a meeting six days before Jackson's death in which Murray assured the promoters he would have Jackson ready for rehearsals that next week.

An e-mail from Phillips after that meeting said he had confidence in Murray "who I am gaining immense respect for as I get to deal with him more."

"This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig, so he (is) totally unbiased and ethical," Phillips' e-mail said.

Murray seeks new test in MJ's death

The correspondence could play a role in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson's heirs against AEG, which accuses the promoter of contributing to his death by pressuring him to prepare for the concerts despite his weak condition.

A lawyer for Jackson's mother and a spokesman for Jackson's estate declined to comment on the e-mails reported in the newspaper.

779 days ago


I believe what u r saying. He is a smart a smart businessman

779 days ago


This article suddenly made Jackson's clan heartbeats and blood pressure double with the perspective of some easy money at the new lawsuit for "defamation" that they're filing right now.

779 days ago


we all knew mj was at end.we all saw.cant defend jackson or him playin his own "dr"he was a drug addict ,child molester and wouldnt pay his hush defending him.his "record"speaks for an entertainer,,,,prob one of the a person....s***bag.

779 days ago


AEG messed up pretty good themselves. They didn't provide Michael with enough time, or respect, or creative freedom to pull it off, and they scared him to death with a contract which would bring him as Phillips put it "financial disaster" if he didn't deliver. Great way to help a ring rusty but immensely talented performer to be able to do his best!

AEG gambled with Michael's life for money. Michael struggled. He risked his life to meet his obligations, he did his utmost and he lost.

This concert series should have brought him back to the stage, to music, to financial safety, to us. It's a huge shame it didn't. He was yelled at, sneered at, met with contempt. Shame on AEG, Randy Phillips and also Ortega.

779 days ago


But the important thing is that someone else took the blame for his demise, so that MJ the Junkie does not have to take any responsibility, even in death.

779 days ago

Victor Elliott    

Leave the man alone..he is gone..let him be in peace..would you want your family to have to continue to have your family memeber dragged through the mud even after your gone? Who gives a damn about if he was drunk, theres nothing that can be done now..he had a lot of things he was dealing with, within himself...working in the psych field most of my nursing career, unless you have been there you have NO idea what he and his family, kids were goin through..

779 days ago


He had to do all those apperances because Proctor and Gambel raised the prices on bleach.

779 days ago


This is sad waited until he was dead, they didn't want this out at the time, now they feel he didn't bring in the money so come hell or high water they want their money.

779 days ago


when will they let micheal rest in peace and the family deal with their legal issues privately there is so much rumor out there its mostly yellow journalism its hard to know what to believe any more i

779 days ago



779 days ago
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