Michael Jackson was not only addicted to powerful drugs 12 years before he died ... at least twice in the late 90s doctors misused a drug similar to Propofol so MJ could sleep through the night ... and we've learned that's exactly what MJ's former wife Debbie Rowe will tell the jury today.
Sources familiar with Debbie Rowe's testimony tell TMZ ... Rowe -- who will be called to the stand by AEG Live -- views herself as a hostile witness, because she feels AEG is largely responsible for MJ's death.
We've learned Rowe will testify ... in 1997 doctors administered Diprivan (a form of Propofol) to Michael in a Munich, Germany hotel room. We're told Rowe will say the drug was administered specifically so Michael could sleep. There was a full medical staff present and MJ slept under the influence of the drug for 8 hours. This occurred on 2 days, either consecutive or 1 day apart.
The testimony is significant because AEG is trying to show MJ was the master of his own fate and had misused Propofol for years.
But we've learned Rowe will also say while she was married to MJ she never saw him as a raging drug addict. She will testify he was addicted to Demerol ... which he used to deal with the pain and anxiety from scalp surgeries after being horribly burned. She says when she left Michael in July, 1997, he was not an out-of-control addict. In fact, he had gone to rehab and was open about it.
As TMZ first reported, Rowe injected Michael in the buttocks with Demerol and Vistaril several times while she worked for Dr. Arnold Klein -- MJ's closest doctor and confidante. Rowe had no idea in the last months of MJ's life Klein injected the singer with Demerol scores of times.
We've learned if asked ... Rowe will say she was horrified when she saw a TMZ video of Michael looking totally out of it as he left Dr. Klein's office days before he died. The day MJ passed, Rowe will testify she called Klein and said, "You killed him. What did you give him?"
We're told Rowe wants to tell the jury ... when the "This Is It" tour was announced and she heard the breakneck concert schedule, she told her shrink, "They're [AEG] gonna kill him."
Bigger Than Michael
So Claims AEG
7/25/2013 10:42 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It's Billie Jean vs. Titanic, and AEG claims the ship wins hands down. Translation -- AEG is trying to convince the Michael Jackson jury that Celine Dion is bigger than MJ.
AEG exec John Meglin is on the stand in the wrongful death case, scoffing at the Jackson family's claim that Michael would have earned $1.5 billion had he lived.
Meglin told the jury it's his opinion Celine is a bigger star and therefore more bankable than MJ ever would have been. Yet according to reports, Celine is worth a measly $400 mil.
Fun facts: Jackson ranks #3 in most albums sold worldwide -- more than a billion (behind the Beatles and Elvis) . Celine ranks #9 at 200 million albums.
So we gotta ask ...
To Testify About
MJ's Shocking Drug Use
7/25/2013 12:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Debbie Rowe will testify in the Michael Jackson wrongful death case that MJ was a SECRET, hardcore drug addict for decades -- testimony that could severely damage the Jackson's case.
Sources connected with the trial tell TMZ ... Rowe will be called by AEG Live Tuesday or Wednesday ... and she'll testify that in the '80s and '90s ... she knew Michael was abusing some prescription meds, but had no idea his habit was so out of control.
We're told Rowe will point the finger at her former boss, MJ's go-to doc, Arnie Klein. Rowe will testify she learned after the fact that Klein had a standing order ... when Michael came to the office he should be injected with Demerol and Vistaril (which makes the Demerol stronger).
Rowe will say Michael kept the extent of his drug abuse a secret from her -- something that will clearly help AEG, because the company is arguing it had no reason to know Michael was a drug abuser.
Rowe will say she saw Michael on TMZ coming out of Klein's office days before he died -- looking totally out of it. We're told she will say she called Klein after Michael died and said, "What the f**k did you give him? He's dead and it's your fault." She then hung up on him.
Rowe's testimony will further help AEG because she'll say she had no idea Michael was secretly going to surgical offices specifically for the purpose of getting high and going to sleep.
She'll also say she's the only person in Michael's world who could control him -- that she's the only one (including Michael's family) who would say "NO."
The testimony could be critical. If the jury believes Michael could hide his hardcore drug use, AEG would have no reason to sound an alarm or take preventative action.
Michael Jackson Estate -- Claim for $300 Mil
2/22/2010 9:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The company that sued Michael Jackson for allegedly torpedoing a family concert has just filed a $300,000,000 creditor's claim against MJ's estate.
AllGood Entertainment claims it had a deal with Jackson to put on a Jackson family concert and alleges the deal was broken when Jackson committed to the London series of concerts. In the $300,000,000 federal lawsuit filed in October 2009, AllGood was asking for profits from "This Is It" along with revenues from the Sony catalog.
AllGood claims Michael Jackson and his agent, Frank Dileo, "secretly teamed up with AEG [Live] to produce a concert or series of concerts in London."
AllGood Entertainment filed the claim Friday.
UPDATE: Howard Weitzman, lawyer for the Michael Jackson estate, tells TMZ, "AllGood's creditor's claim and its underlying lawsuit are frivolous and wholly without merit."
Randy Jackson Pissed at Courtroom No-Shows
2/8/2010 5:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Randy Jackson just Tweeted from inside the courthouse to express his total disgust -- because the people he thinks are profiting most from MJ's death are nowhere to be found ... namely AEG and the estate executors.
This all went down as Randy watched Dr. Murray get arraigned on involuntary manslaughter charges in the death Michael Jackson.
AEG to Murray: Go Pound Sand
11/17/2009 10:02 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
AEG will not pay Michael Jackson's troubled doctor a penny, sources tell TMZ.
As we first reported, Dr. Conrad Murray may sue AEG for $300,000 -- the money he claims he's entitled to under a contract he signed with AEG to provide MJ with medical services. But sources connected with AEG tell TMZ the contract was never signed.
We're told a contract was drafted but it required three signatures -- AEG, Michael Jackson and Dr. Conrad Murray. Sources say Dr. Murray signed the contract and sent it to AEG but neither AEG nor MJ ever signed it.
The contract, we're told, also said it expressly hinged on Jackson signing.
Sources say AEG is drawing a hard line. They will not pay Murray a penny.
Dr. Murray Gunning for AEG
11/17/2009 3:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Dr. Conrad Murray is setting the stage for a lawsuit against AEG for the medical services he rendered to Michael Jackson ... according to Dr. Murray's rep.
AEG owes Dr. Murray $300,000, according to Miranda Sevcik, publicist for Dr. Murray's lawyer, Ed Chernoff. Sevcik claims AEG has been "dragging its feet," even though the Dr. has requested payment for 2 months of services.
Sevcik says Dr. Murray has not been paid a penny for his services, in spite of the fact that the doctor claims to have signed a binding deal with AEG before giving up his medical practice.
Sevcik says Dr. Murray will not file a creditor's claim against Jackson's estate. She says, "Dr. Murray needs the money and he's entitled to the money based on the contract he signed with AEG."
AEG could not immediately be reached for comment.
Michael Jackson AEG Hearing
8/21/2009 8:10 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Several witnesses expected to take the stand today as lawyers for Michael Jackson's estate -- as well as lawyers for Katherine Jackson and Michael's kids -- give testimony about the proposed deal with AEG about a Jackson memorabilia tour.
***KEEP REFRESHING FOR THE LATEST***
UPDATE 7:21 PM ET -- The petition has been approved!!! The AEG deal is done, the memorabilia tour will happen. Finally. The three-city tour could earn as much as $6 million for the estate.
UPDATE 7:20 PM ET -- An attorney for Katherine wants more protections in the agreement to protect the estate and Michael's legacy.
UPDATE 7:14 PM ET -- The attorney for Michael's kids is in favor of the AEG deal.
UPDATE 7:07 PM ET -- And we're back!
UPDATE 5:50 PM ET -- The court has been closed again as one of the senior lawyers for AEG has taken the stand. Outside of court, Taj told reporters the family is more interested in protecting Michael's legacy than in making money. He also told Taj that he planned to do film after the London tour.
UPDATE 4:50 PM ET -- Court is back in session -- but still closed to the media. But it should be opened back up after the current witness is done.
UPDATE 3:20 PM ET -- John Branca has finished testifying via phone and they've adjourned for lunch. Testimony will begin again in about an hour -- but it is unclear whether the judge will re-open the court. Stay tuned.
UPDATE 1:51 PM ET -- Waiting patiently ...
UPDATE 1:26 PM ET -- The judge will re-open the courtroom after John Branca testifies via phone.
UPDATE 1:21 PM ET -- It happened -- the judge closed the courtroom.
UPDATE 1:15 PM ET -- Tito Jackson's oldest son Taj is in the courtroom.
UPDATE 1:10 PM ET -- The judge is considering closing the courtroom because confidential documents will be discussed.
UPDATE 1:06 PM ET -- AEG is upset because Leonard Rowe, who was expected to testify as an expert witness for Katherine, will not testify -- but he was shown confidential documents as part of disclosure. AEG's lawyers also say those docs have not been returned.
UPDATE 1:00 PM ET -- Change of plans already -- Randy Jackson will not be called as a witness, according to an attorney for the estate.
UPDATE 12:58 PM ET -- Lawyers for all sides -- AEG, the co-administrators, Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson's kids -- are all in place.
Katherine Jackson Wants Help with MJ Deal
8/20/2009 5:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Katherine Jackson won't give her blessing to a key deal in Michael Jackson's estate until her financial peeps have a chance to review it.
Katherine's lawyers went to court today, asking the judge to give her permission to show the confidential AEG memorabilia deal to her financial advisors. Under the current court protective order, she's only allowed to show the unredacted version to her lawyers.
Meanwhile, AEG is threatening to pull out of the deal, because the company is worried people are quickly losing interest in an MJ memorabilia tour.
Katherine's lawyer, Burt Levitch, thinks AEG may be crying wolf just to ram the deal through.
AEG has no comment on the matter.
Jackson Insurance Policy
May Be Worthless
8/7/2009 10:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It looks like the insurance policy taken out on Michael Jackson to cover tens of millions of dollars in losses in the event of the singer's death may be a bust.
The Lloyd's of London policy -- taken out by AEG in case Jackson didn't perform his London concerts -- did not cover death related to illegal drug use. According to the policy, obtained by the L.A. Times, "This insurance does not cover any loss directly or indirectly arising out of, contributed, to, by or resulting from ... the illegal possession or illicit taking of drugs and their effects."
As we first reported, authorities believe the powerful anesthetic Propofol caused Michael Jackson's death. Although the drug is legal, it should never be administered at someone's home, according to all the medical professionals with whom we've spoken. That could constitute an "illicit" use and, depending on how the prescription was written, an illegal use as well.
And, according to the Times, the policy only covered losses as the result of an accident. The only way the policy would have covered death is if a second physical had been performed on Jackson -- and it wasn't. And, even if a second physical was performed, it almost certainly would not cover the circumstances surrounding Jackson's death.
The policy covered $17.5 million. AEG reportedly claims it's in the hole $30 mil.
UPDATE: Sources familiar with the insurance policy tell us ... if proceeds are recovered they would all go directly to Jackson's estate. We're told Katherine was given a copy of the policy yesterday.
We're also told the physical performed on Michael back in early February in connection with the policy was hand-picked by the insurance company -- not AEG. Our sources say the 4-hour exam -- which was performed in L.A. by Dr. David Slavit -- included blood work. The policy was issued in mid-April.
Michael Jackson Movie Coming Soon
8/4/2009 10:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
New court documents in the Michael Jackson estate case reveal Columbia Pictures scored the footage of Michael Jackson's rehearsals and preparations for his London concerts ... but the studio is paying a hefty price.
Columbia will create a movie from the footage. Under the terms of the deal, the Jackson estate will get 90% of the profits and AEG will get the remaining 10%.
Columbia will guarantee a minimum of $60 million in return for the rights.
AEG Ready to Fork Over $90,000 --- Today
7/31/2009 2:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
UPDATE: TMZ has learned AEG has dropped off the $90,000 to the L.A. Police Foundation -- as promised.
We're told part of the money will go to build a memorial for fallen officers in front of the new police headquarters in downtown L.A.
AEG is finally putting its money where its mouth is -- saying they will follow through with their promise to donate money raised at the Michael Jackson memorial to the L.A. Police Foundation.
The timing couldn't be more impeccable, considering we broke a story yesterday that the L.A. City Attorney was investigating AEG for not forking over the money.
According to the LA Times, the company plans to make a $90,000 donation today from money made on the sale of 18 suites for the July 7th memorial at the Staples Center.
As we first reported, the L.A. City Attorney is investigating AEG for holding out on the donation -- and they believe AEG should pay for sanitation, transportation, street services and LAPD protection expenses, an amount which is estimated to go into the 7 figures.
City Attorney Probes AEG
7/30/2009 4:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
We've learned the L.A. City Attorney is investigating AEG for allegedly making promises to people who paid thousands of dollars to attend the Michael Jackson memorial ... but not delivering on its promise to donate the money to the LA Police Foundation.
Sources in the City Attorney's office tell us complaints have been lodged by people who bought suites for the July 7th memorial at the Staples Center. People who paid $5,000 for a suite claim AEG promised the money would be donated to the LA Police Foundation but AEG has not yet delivered a cent.
A rep for AEG told TMZ there were 18 suites that went for $5,000 a pop and AEG did indeed promise the money would be donated to the Police Foundation. The rep said AEG is still doing a final accounting of the event and "We have every intention of making this donation."
AEG says the city is trying to get way too much -- 7 figures -- out of them for the event. But the City Attorney believes AEG is on the hook for expenses including sanitation, transportation, street services and LAPD protection -- and that does indeed go into the 7 figures.