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Michael Jackson Death Trial

AEG Live

On the Ropes

6/14/2013 11:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0402_michael_jackson-02

It's pretty shocking ... but Katherine Jackson may have taken a giant step today toward convincing a jury AEG Live was negligent in protecting Michael Jackson just days before his death.

AEG Live honcho Randy Phillips had trouble explaining to Katherine's lawyer why he thought MJ "looked really good" in a meeting 5 days before his death when a photograph taken a day before the meeting clearly showed otherwise.

The photo shows a smiling Jackson but someone who looked gaunt and pale.  On top of that, there is testimony that producer/director Kenny Ortega and others were alarmed over Jackson's health.

In the days preceding his death, Jackson had missed rehearsals and was sweating profusely.  He also seemed out of it. 

As for how Phillips reconciled his statement with other evidence, he said, "I was confused as anybody."

Here's the deal ... This case was AEG's to lose.  AEG could have made it simple and just said they assumed MJ was being properly cared for by the doctor MJ handpicked.  But AEG has gotten a little too cute, painting a picture that the jury may not be buying.

Short story ... Propofol aside, if the jury believes AEG unreasonably pushed MJ like a circus animal, they could be in beaucoup trouble.

0614_michael_jackson_performance_footer

253 COMMENTS

No Avatar
91.

GS    

People who do not understand a doctor's responsibility to their patient confuse me. People trust their doctor to give them expert medical advice, and rightfully so. This is why you HAVE doctors. They have a clear responsibility to their patients to protect their health and try to SAVE their life in the situation arises. Blaming a patient under the care of a doctor for the doctor's bad medical advice or negligence is ridiculous! IF M.J was an addict the MD still had a responsibility to treat him responsibly as a special needs patient due to his addictions. None of this is M.J's fault. It was Murray,s responsibility to say no to any request made not in the best interest of his patients' health...and yes, ALL other docs MJ would approach if Murray refused, also had the responsibility to say no. So the argument ;'well he would have just found another doc" doesn't fly because then THAT doc would have been responsible to do the right thing. If the above was not true doctors would not exist and we would all be treating and operating on ourselves. Then yes, we as patients would be responsible for any outcome.

307 days ago
92.

What I Think    

MJ certainly looked like a circus animal.

307 days ago
93.

Exclusive    

He had a great yard!

307 days ago
94.

mjstf    

God bless you, Michael. May your vindication continue. AEG has been shown to be the murderers they are....fools.

306 days ago
95.

mjstf    

God bless you, Michael. May your vindication continue. AEG has been shown to be the murderers they are....fools.

306 days ago
96.

lili    

To all the lunatics out there:

If you choose to insist on IV drugs for whatever reason you desire, then you choose to take a chance with the gift that is life and you choose to disrespect that life.

That life may be taken from you. That delicate life may no longer be yours.

I don't care who you are, if you choose to repeatedly go under anesthesia be it for rhinoplasty, chin jobs, eye lifts, facial reconstruction, lip thinning, or anything else, every single time you opt for surgery you take a chance that you will not wake up.

That is your choice to make, but that is a serious potential complication of surgery. Ignore it at your own peril. Blame noone else.

If you happen to like the way those drugs make you feel, and decide to use them after surgery, do so at your own peril. Do not blame anyone else for your choices.

Whatever your reasons for liking how drugs make you feel, do so at YOUR peril, YOUR risk, and take a chance with your life.

But please, do not burden the state with lawsuits of criminal negligence or any other foolery.

If you have a loved one who acts in such a manner, please be aware that they may not emerge from safely from these drug induced states.

But please, do not blame anyone else for their demise. Accept it, or talk them out of it. But for the love of God be aware of all risks associated with drug use, recreational or otherwise.

Thank you!

306 days ago
97.

Pegasus    

Paris & Prince Jackson Have Different Biological Fathers, Report



Posted on Jun 16, 2013 @ 7:41AM | By Radar Staff




Paris Jackson always believed she and Prince were full siblings – with mom Debbie Rowe and the same biological father.

But according to a new report, just weeks ago, she learned she and Prince have different dads and the shocking revelation was one of the traumas leading up to her suicide attempt.

A string of arguments between Paris and Prince followed Michael Jackson’s only daughter learning the truth of her parentage, a source tells the London Sun.

PHOTOS: Paris Jackson Shares Images From Her Schoolgirl Life

There have long been reports that Michael Jackson was not the biological father of any of his three children, and a series of men have claimed that role. But most — including Paris — had previously thought that she and Prince were full siblings.

Paris is still recovering from her tragic suicide attempt, ironically at the same hospital where her father was pronounced dead.

PHOTOS: Paris Jackson Shares Images From Her Schoolgirl Life

306 days ago
98.

Pegasus    

Lawsuit evidence: Michael Jackson lost dance moves in last days

By Alan Duke, CNN

updated 12:22 PM EDT, Sun June 16, 2013


Compare Michael Jackson in 2001 to 2009


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Jurors watched a comparison of Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean" in '01 and '09
Show director was "concerned he would embarrass himself on stage, or worse yet -- get hurt"
Jackson lawyers argue AEG Live pressured his doctor to get Jackson ready for rehearsals
AEG Live lawyers argue Jackson chose and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Michael Jackson's health deteriorated so badly in the last weeks of his life that he couldn't perform some of his trademark dance moves, according to evidence presented in his family's lawsuit against a concert promoter.

Jurors in the wrongful death trial Friday watched a comparison of Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean" from 2001 with rehearsal video from June 2009, when he was preparing for his "This Is It" comeback concerts.

"I have 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," production manager John "Bugzee" Houghdahl wrote in an e-mail to AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips on June 19, 2009.

Show director Kenny Ortega sent Jackson home from a rehearsal that night because of his strange behavior.

"He was a basket case and Kenny was concerned he would embarrass himself on stage, or worse yet -- get hurt," Houghdahl wrote. "The company is rehearsing right now, but the DOUBT is pervasive."

Executives asked: Did Jackson need a straightjacket?


What did AEG know about MJ's health?


AEG CEO e-mail: Big trouble with MJ

Paris Jackson's 'cry for help'
The e-mail chain -- titled "trouble at the Front" -- is key evidence in the trial in which Jackson's mother and three children contend AEG Live is liable for the singer's death because it negligently hired, retained and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray.

Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death, told police he used the surgical anesthetic propofol to treat Jackson's insomnia so he could be rested for rehearsals. The coroner ruled Jackson's June 25, 2009, death was caused by an overdose of propofol.

AEG Live lawyers argue it was Jackson who chose and supervised Murray and that their executives had no way of knowing about the dangerous propofol treatments being administered in the privacy of Jackson's home.

Houghdahl's e-mail came during a "highly charged time" when there was doubt the show would be ready for its London debut in July of that year, Phillips testified Friday.

Phillips met with Dr. Murray, Michael Jackson and Ortega at Jackson's home a day after getting the Houghdahl e-mails, according to testimony.

While Jackson lawyers argue that meeting was intended to pressure Murray to make sure Jackson was ready for rehearsals, AEG lawyers contend Dr. Murray assured producers nothing was wrong with him.

'Miracle' of Jackson's concert announcement described

AEG's lawyer showed jurors a clip Thursday of Jackson performing several non-consecutive 360............-degree spins while rehearsing his song "Billie Jean" on June 5, 2009.

Phillips described them as "multiple 360............ spins," although conceding he was not a choreographer.

Jackson lawyers, in their rebuttal Friday, showed the jurors the side-by-side comparison of the routine in 2001 and the one weeks before Jackson's death that was seen in the "This Is It" do***entary made from rehearsal video.

"Anywhere in the movie does it show Michael Jackson doing multiple 360............ spins?" Jackson lawyer Brian Panish asked Phillips.

"No," Phillips said.

http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2013/06/14/hln#/video/us/2013/06/14/hln-evening-express-alan-duke-michael-jackson-trial.hln

306 days ago
99.

Pegasus    

Jackson Family Feud Reignites! Janet, Randy & Jackie Skip Nephew’s Wedding, While Jermaine Turns Up Late!



Posted on Jun 17, 2013 @ 13:11PM | By Dylan Howard

Janet Jackson and two of Michael Jackson‘s brothers skipped their nephew’s wedding at the weekend, the latest sordid chapter in the famed music family’s long running feud.

“Everyone in the family was invited to Taj’s weddings,” a source close to the family told RadarOnline.com, “but Janet, Randy and Jackie chose not to attend.”

Taj, the son of Tito and the brother of MJ’s kids’ co-guadrian TJ, married at Hayvenhurst, the Jackson family’s English Tudor-style home in Encino, Calif., where King of Pop Michael grew up.

A source told Radar: “Tensions still exist between the brothers, sisters and their mother Katherine. Many have turned on each other.

PHOTOS: Michael Jackson Through The Years

“It all comes down to money and their motivation to do what they did last year — taking Katherine away to Arizona behind the backs of Michael’s kids.”

Janet, Randy and Jackie, along with brother Jermaine and sister Rebbie, ignited the drama almost 12 months ago when they sent a scathing letter to the executors of their late brother’s estate, John Branca and John McClain, claiming the pair faked the King of Pop¹s will in order to gain control of his fortune — an allegation the executors deny.

“At the time we couldn’t possibly fathom what is so obvious to us now: that the Will, without question, it’s Fake, Flawed and Fraudulent,” their letter read.

In the days that followed, Jermaine, Janet and Rebbie took family matriarch Katherine Jackson, to Arizona amid reports she had been kidnapped or missing.

PHOTOS: Paris Jackson Shares Images From Her Schoolgirl Life

Police were also called to a family disturbance call at Katherine’s Calabasas, Calif., home after Jermaine, Janet and Randy reportedly tried to take Michael Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket from the compound.

In the wake of the incident, the Jackson estate banned the siblings from Katherine and the children’s home.

Jermaine and Tito later released statements in which they admitted regret at signing the do***ent — and the bans were overthrown.

“The source of much of the issue, still, is that Katherine is upset that her children didn’t tell her than Prince, Paris and Blanket were trying to contact her when she was in Arizona,” added our insider.

PHOTOS: Michael Jackson Performing

“Randy was the ringleader of it all and the wounds between him, his mother and his siblings are still pretty deep, today.”

Randy particularly has issues with Tito and specifically TJ, added the source, while Janet continues to fight the validity of the will much to disappointment to some members of the family.

Two of those who joined the fight against the executors, Tito and Jermaine, did attend the wedding, though Jermaine was so late he missed the ceremony! He arrived with his father Joe, son Jaffar and wife Halima Rashid.

As we first reported, 15-year-old Paris Jackson did not attend the wedding of her cousin as it was too soon after she slashed her wrists land was rushed to hospital in apparent bid to take her own life. Prince Michael and Blanket did, however.

PHOTOS: Michael Jackson Performing

Kris Jenner and legendary MLB player Barry Bonds also attended the ceremony.

305 days ago
100.

gayforliztaylor    

MJ was not a childlike man. He was a cutthroat person when he wanted money in the entertainment business. He was also very foolish & criminal. That's why he's dead.

He wanted to keep quiet when he was questioned about a possible civil case with Evan Chandler.
He never thought an unwealthy insane man would be able to hurt him in court and he never believed any child would have the brains to manipulate him.
In his world, kids were victims or innocent loving fans of wonderful MJ.
MJ tried to befriend 2 boys who murdered another boy, because he felt the murderers were poor little abused boys like he was so he had the right to heal them. He was the king of entertainment...

MJ wasn't forced to stay in an abusive environment with the Chandlers.
He became increasingly narcissistic.
He told Macaulay Culkin's father that he knew he was threatened by Evan. Evan wanted milions of dollars and told MJ he'd get money in a legal battle.
MJ refused to keep away from the insane man's son. MJ had money to make things go away.
He was willing to let Evan Chandler control him & his son.
MJ was so loving, according to his fanatics, but he didn't immediately get the police to keep Evan away from Jordan, did he?

MJ's sycophant family & friends from Hollywood told him to invite these "poor innocent" dysfunctional kids to his life. Of course, Katherine could earn money from Neverland. Why would she admit that her son lied repeatedly
& hoped no more people had any brains to destroy him. If he were so law-abiding, he would've checked crime backgrounds of everyone in his home. No one else had his careless lifestyle, problem with kids & drug habits.

He went on shopping spree with chldren without permission and he took a vacation with Macaulay Culkin without the Culkin parents' permission.

If you're not a normal person and you don't work at a daycare center, and you have a history of lying about how you got physically abused & harassed at a police station, don't expect to get sympathy from the ex-fans & media.

If I go to a daycare center and tell the media that I'm going to sleep in the kids' beds, I'd be arrested with no publicity for support from child-abuse enablers.

Pedophiles are not just molesters.
They spend all their time staring at other people's kids and sleep in their rooms.
They have a sham marriage with the family member of a pedophile.
They have another sham marriage with the mother of their kids. Kids grew up estranged from their mother because mom didn't realize that daddy was irresponsible at Neverland. He wanted to avoid testifying in the civil case & chose to reward $15 million to a couple of abusive parents who hurt & neglected Jordan Chandler. It's an insult to real victims of child abuse (not just sex crime abuse victims)because MJ tried to profit from the expensive Neverland business to somehow make in his deluded way, forgive his father & "relive a lost childhood" and pretend he's not a vindictive son of his greedy abusive father.

MJ became abusive to himself & the kids. He neglected them to abuse drugs and defamed innocent employees at the police station and once again got away with criminal drug purchase & use.
Had he been a regular guy in Indiana, he wouldn't be dead and his daughter wouldn't be ignored by the Jacksons, despite the reunion with Debbie & all the money she has.

305 days ago
101.

Ann    

Glad the pedo is dead , just an egocentric, deluded, regressed twisted retarded 50 year old that preyed on young buys and raped them, end of .

304 days ago
102.

Pegasus    

Promoter deal with Michael Jackson's doctor 'highly inappropriate,' expert says

By Alan Duke, CNN

updated 8:54 PM EDT, Mon June 18, 2013


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Music industry veteran David Berman testifies for Jackson side in wrongful death trial
AEG Live's contract with Dr. Murray caused 'an inherent conflict of interest'
Jackson's longtime chef Kai Chase set to testify Tuesday
Fire marshal limits number of observers in court, allowing just 1 member of the public

Los Angeles (CNN) -- AEG Live's negotiations with a doctor to treat Michael Jackson were "highly inappropriate," a music industry veteran testified Monday.

The concert promoter's agreement to pay Dr. Conrad Murray $150,000 a month during Jackson's comeback tour set up an "egregious" conflict of interest in which the physician was beholden to the company and himself before Jackson's interests, he testified.

David Berman, who once headed Capitol Records and worked for decades as an entertainment lawyer, was brought into court as an expert witness by Jackson's mother and children in their wrongful death lawsuit against AEG Live.

The tiny Los Angeles courtroom became less crowded Monday after the city fire marshal, acting on a complaint from an unidentified party, ordered that fewer people be allowed inside, according to a court spokesman.

Just one seat is allotted to the public and the number of journalists allowed inside was reduced to just eight at a time under the new limits. The 30 seats set aside for lawyers were not reduced.

The judge rejected CNN's request to televise the trial in March, but she has allowed a small camera and microphone to be focused on the witness so that people in another courtroom can watch the trial.

Michael Jackson's longtime personal chef Kai Chase, who was in his home when he died, is set to testify Tuesday.

Also coming up, the Jackson lawyers will show jurors the "This Is It" do***entary produced using rehearsal video.

The wrongful death trial, which is in its eighth week, is expected to last until August, according to lawyers. Jackson lawyer Brian Panish estimated Monday that he would call his last witness around July 8.

One of the four alternative jurors asked the judge to dismiss him from the case Monday because he has sold his Los Angeles home and must move to Atlanta. "If we are only a third of the way through there's no way I can make it," he said.

Judge Yvette Palazuelos said it is"highly likely I'm going to excuse you," but she will confer with lawyers from both sides before deciding.

The Jackson lawsuit accuses AEG Live of liability in Michael Jackson's death because it negligently hired, retained or supervised Dr. Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death.

Murray told police he used the surgical anesthetic propofol to treat Jackson's insomnia so he could rest for rehearsals for his "This Is It" concerts. The coroner ruled Jackson's death was from an overdose of the drug.

AEG Live lawyers argue it was Jackson who chose and supervised Murray. They contend AEG executives had no way of knowing the doctor was using propofol on Jackson.

Berman, who is paid $500 an hour by the Jacksons as an expert witness, said he reviewed "an enormous amount" of material, including an "extraordinary number of e-mails," to reach his conclusions that Murray's hiring was "highly inappropriate and "highly unusual."

"I have never heard of it being done, and indeed, it is my understanding up until these case, AEG had never done it," Berman testified, referring to a concert promoter hiring a doctor for an artist.

"It creates an inherent conflict of interest on the part of the physician," Berman said. "The physician has dual obligations to the patient and the entity that is engaging them and who is paying his compensation. That, in of itself, is a conflict. It's a more egregious conflict in the cir***stances in this case."

Berman was critical of AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips' response to an e-mail from show director Kenny Ortega warning five days before Jackson's death about the singer's "continued physical weakening ad deepening emotional state."

"Kenny, it is critical that neither you, me, or anyone around this show become amateur psychologists or physicians," Phillips wrote "I had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Murray, who I am gaining immense respect for as I get to deal with him more. He said that Michael is not only physically equipped to perform and that discouraging him to, will hasten his decline instead of stopping it. Dr. Murray also reiterated that he is mentally able to and was speaking to me from the house where he had spent the morning with MJ. This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he totally unbiased and ethical."

Phillips' response is "very telling on a number of levels," Berman said. "He is somewhat dismissive of Mr. Ortega's concerns."

"There are serious problems with that statement because he recognizes the potential of the doctor not being ethical and unbiased if he does need the gig and has financial problems," he said.

It shows AEG Live was aware of the potential for a conflict, Berman testified. "When, in fact, Dr. Murray was in dire financial straits at the time and did need the gig."

A Los Angeles Police detective testified earlier in the trial that Murray was more than $1 million in debt and that his Las Vegas medical clinic faced eviction in the months before he was hired to treat Jackson.

The contractual relationship between AEG Live and Dr. Murray was "not unlike the team doctor for a football team, where the quarterback is injured and the doctor comes to the medical conclusion that the quarterback should be taken out of the game for a period of weeks, but the team doesn't want him out," Berman said. "There is an inherent conflict."

Berman also noted that the contract said AEG Live could terminate Murray if concerts were postponed or canceled.

"The fact that if the tour is even just postponed that AEG Live has the ability to cease any further compensation for Dr. Murray, giving Dr. Murray even greater conflict of interest since he was in financial dire straits, he did need this gig and if it was postponed, which could hypothetically be in the best interest of Michael Jackson, he ran the risk of losing any further compensation," he testified.

Berman was asked about the so-called "smoking gun" e-mail sent by AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware ahead of a planned meeting with Dr. Murray: "We want to remind him that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want him to understand what is expected of him."

The e-mail indicates AEG Live executives wanted "to control, to some extent, Dr. Murray" by reminding him they are paying his salary, Berman said.

Is that reasonable, he was asked. "Certainly not," Berman said. "It is indicative of the fact that they want to control the services of Dr. Murray, as opposed to the artist."

Berman testified that AEG Live executives should have recognized there could be a problem with Dr. Murray when he initially asked for $5 million for one year as Jackson's doctor. "That is a pretty bizarre amount," he said.

The eventual agreement to pay the doctor $150,000 a month was still "an exorbitant amount, more than any other person on the tour was paid," he said. "Even more of a red flag since AEG was aware of another doctor who was willing to take the job for $40,000 a month."

"It's indicative of something out of whack," Berman testified.

Berman also said it was "inappropriate" for AEG Live to not loop in any Jackson lawyer or manager into the negotiations with Murray. "I find that extremely unusual," he testified.

Murray signed the contract and faxed it back to AEG Live on June 24, 2009 -- a day before Jackson's death. But AEG Live's executives never signed and the signature space for Jackson's signature was also left blank.

"That is not inconsistent with this being a valid oral agreement," Berman said.

Berman testified the e-mails confirmed an oral agreement was in place. It is a common practice in the music industry for oral agreements to be put in writing long after the services are commenced, he said.

He pointed to the certification of sponsorship AEG submitted to the British government for Murray to practice in England as evidence they considered him hired.

304 days ago
103.

Pegasus    

Debbie Rowe Ready To Join Family Therapy & Move Closer To Los Angeles For Daughter Paris Jackson

Posted on Jun 18, 2013 @ 3:15AM | By jenheger
paris-jackson-debbie-rowe-square-fameflynet


Debbie Rowe will be attending family therapy with Paris Jackson, 15, and is prepared to temporarily move to Los Angeles, to be closer to her daughter, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned.

Michael Jackson‘s only daughter, “is doing much, much better since arriving at UCLA. She has been cooperating and participating in her care and Paris’ doctors want Debbie to participate in family therapy,” a source exclusively told Radar.

“Debbie will do whatever is asked of her. She is also considering temporarily moving to Los Angeles to be closer to Paris. Debbie lives about 90 miles away from Paris in northern Los Angeles County on her ranch. She would spend part of the week in LA, and then go back to the ranch.”

PHOTOS: Michael Jackson Through The Years

The teenager had hoped to spend the summer at Debbie’s ranch, “but all of that is now up in the air because of her suicide attempt. Paris will need to be closely monitored when she is released from UCLA. When Paris leaves UCLA she will still be seeing doctors at least three times a week, minimum,” the insider revealed.

As Radar previously reported, Paris cut one of her wrists and took a handful of pills on June 5 in a suicide attempt. We also reported exclusively that she no longer wants to be a plaintiff in her grandmother Katherine Jackson‘s wrongful death suit again AEG, the promoter of what would have been Michael’s final concert.

Paris was scheduled to testify in that trial but has told close family members she does not want to.

PHOTOS: Paris Jackson Shares Images From Her Schoolgirl Life

Debbie has suddenly become a key player in the family known for ongoing drama.

Debbie and Paris spent time together before the 15-year-old attempted suicide and Paris’ brother Prince was not happy about it and has no interest in being with Debbie, who is also his biological mother.

304 days ago
104.

Pegasus    

Cops Investigating Who Leaked Paris Jackson 911 Call

Posted on Jun 18, 2013 @ 9:22AM | By Lindsey DiMattina


The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating into who leaked the Paris Jackson 911 call during which it was revealed she had “OD’d on 20 Motrin and cut her arm with a kitchen knife,” RadarOnline.com has learned.

“We don’t release 911 calls,” Sergeant Michael Thomas said late Tuesday, confirming the release of the recording to news media is being probed.

“We’re not going to, but these deputies do it anyway.”

PHOTOS: Paris Jackson Shares Images From Her Schoolgirl Life

The emergence of the tape involving Michael Jackson’s troubled teenage daughter is the latest in a series of leaks to hit Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy D. Baca‘s department.

Describing the leaker or leakers as an “informant” to certain media outlets, Sergeant Thomas said: “We haven’t been able to catch what deputy is giving the information.” But he added their internal probe has “been ongoing for quite a while,” however to date “just haven’t been able to get to [the source].”

Top cops believe it’s possible some media outlets are paying sources to leak the recordings and other secret information.

PHOTOS: Paris Jackson’s History Of Suspicious Slashes On Her Wrists

“That’s the suspicion,” Sgt. Thomas confirmed.

“I’m sure they got a hundred bucks and they’re going to throw away decades of income for 100 bucks,” he said.

304 days ago
105.

Pegasus    

Chef describes kids' grief over Jackson's death
Associated PressBy ANTHONY McCARTNEY | Associated Press – 17 minutes ago...
.
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FILE - This Jan. 27, 2012 file photo shows, from left, Blanket Jackson, Paris Jackson, and Prince Michael Jackson at the opening night of the Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour in Los Angeles. Michael Jackson's personal chef, Kai Chase, testified on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, about the home lives of the singer's children including an 11th birthday party that she says was Paris Jackson's last birthday celebration. Chase is testifying in a negligent hiring lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother against AEG Live LLC, claiming the company failed to properly investigate the doctor convicted of causing her son's 2009 death. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson's personal chef described for jurors the home lives of the children during the final months of the singer's life and their ongoing grief over their father's death nearly four years ago.

Gone are the freewheeling days when the children, Prince, Paris and Blanket Jackson played with their father and traded jokes at the dinner table, chef Kai Chase told jurors Tuesday.

It has been replaced, Chase said, by a weight on eldest son Prince Michael Jackson's shoulders. Daughter Paris Jackson cries and no longer wants parties for her birthday since her father hosted a private circus for her 11th birthday. Youngest son Blanket, who remains home-schooled, wears a T-shirt with his father's image every Friday, she said.

Chase recounted for jurors her interactions with Jackson, his children and her ongoing work with the singer's mother and children for jurors hearing Katherine Jackson's negligent hiring case against concert promoter AEG Live LLC. The company denies all wrongdoing.

After weeks of testimony about Jackson's business dealings with AEG, Chase's testimony returned the trial's focus to the King of Pop and his offspring.

"At 16, the weight of the world is on his shoulders," Chase said of Prince Jackson, who is trying to figure out girls and all the challenges adulthood brings.

His younger brother, 11-year-old Blanket, has his older siblings to shield him from pain but had the least time to spend with his father. "He never really had a time when it was father-son because he was so tiny," Chase said.

The singer's only daughter seems to be having the hardest time, Chase said.

"Being daddy's little girl, Paris is devastated," Chase said. "She's devastated and lost."

Chase's testimony provided a look into the lives of Jackson's three children before and after their father's death in June 2009. Michael Jackson was fiercely protected of their privacy, often using masks to hide their faces when they were in public.

She now has daily interactions with Jackson's children since being hired to serve as their chef in July 2012. Of Paris, she said, "She's trying to find herself and find who she is," Chase said. "It's taking a lot of love and understanding to keep her together. She breaks down, she cries, she talks about him."

Earlier in her testimony, she described an April 2009 birthday party for Paris that included a private circus. The Cirque du Soleil-style show featured men on stilts and a woman performing in a giant balloon, Chase said.

Paris Jackson, who was turning 11, adored her father and Chase helped decorate a room filled with posters and photos of the "Thriller" singer. The singer's music was played throughout the party.

It was the last birthday party the 15-year-old has had. "Paris hasn't had any birthdays since," Chase said. "She hasn't wanted to celebrate since."

She described the routines in Jackson's home in the months before his death, describing him as a vibrant and hands-on father. But by June 2009, Chase said Jackson was deteriorating and she witnessed Prince having to help his father up a staircase to his bedroom.

She said she met AEG executives at the center of the case, including chief executive Randy Phillips and executive Paul Gongaware, when they came to Jackson's home for meetings about the singer's ill-fated "This Is It" comeback concerts. One tense meeting in June started with a vase being broken — she didn't know by whom — and with Jackson and his personal physician storming out.

The doctor, Conrad Murray, told her as he left the home, "I can't take this (stuff.)"

She described the Jackson family dynamic in happier times at the home. The entertainer wouldn't allow his children to eat sweets and made sure they went to bed early so they would be alert for tutors who instructed them. Chase described Jackson as a prankster who ate meals with his children, exchanging jokes and stories.

When the singer entered the room, his children would run to their father when he came into a room. "They would take off like lightning," she said, hugging their father's ankles and legs.

If jurors determine AEG Live is liable for Jackson's death, they will have to determine any damages awarded to his mother and his children.

304 days ago
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