Jackson civil jury hears roots of singer's trouble
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A look at key moments this past week in the wrongful death trial in Los Angeles between Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, and concert giant AEG Live, and what is expected at court in the week ahead:
Jackson's mother wants a jury to determine that the promoter of Jackson's planned comeback concerts didn't properly investigate Dr. Conrad Murray, who a criminal jury convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson's June 2009 death. AEG's attorney says the case is about personal choice, namely Jackson's decision to have Murray serve as his doctor and give him doses of a powerful anesthetic as a sleep aid. Millions, possibly billions, of dollars are at stake.
— Jurors heard about Jackson in life and death from a pair of women who knew him and from coroner's officials who pieced together how he died. Jackson's mother skipped morbid testimony about Jackson's autopsy, but listened as her son's friend and makeup artist told jurors about watching him perform, and gradually become more dependent on prescription drugs.
— Jackson's longtime makeup artist Karen Faye testified that she overheard AEG co-CEO Paul Gongaware tell the singer's assistant to do "whatever it takes" to get the superstar out of a locked bathroom and to a rehearsal. Faye said Gongaware and another AEG official pushed Jackson to perform despite his emaciated appearance and signs of paranoia.
WHAT THE JURY SAW:
— A black-and-white photo of Jackson's lifeless body lying on a table before his autopsy. The image was shown in open court for less than a minute.
— Faye repeatedly break down in tears as she described how Jackson trusted his doctors but became more dependent on prescription medications in the early 1990s when he was on his "Dangerous" tour and facing his first bout of child molestation allegations.
— "Michael would do five songs to the dancers' one. I never saw anything like it." (Makeup artist and hair stylist Karen Faye, describing Jackson's stamina and ability to put all pain aside while he was performing.)
— "When I hugged him, he just felt like marble. But when I hugged, when I saw him briefly in 2006, he didn't feel like that anymore. He felt thin." (Dancer and choreographer Alif Sankey, who contrasted Jackson's appearance and build when she met him while shooting the "Smooth Criminal" video with the final years of his life.)
OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM:
— Wade Robson, a choreographer who testified in Jackson's defense at his child molestation
trial, filed court paperwork stating that he was abused by Jackson over a seven-year period, according to his attorney. He has not stated how much he is seeking from Jackson's estate.
— A 20-minute preview of the Cirque du Soleil show "Immortal" based on Jackson's career and music was previewed at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay hotel-casino. The show is scheduled to open June 29.
— Jurors will hear from AEG Live's first witnesses, a pair of choreographers who worked with Jackson and who will be called out of order to accommodate their touring schedule.
— Deputy Medical Examiner Christopher Rogers is expected to resume testifying and may offer an estimate of how long Jackson would have lived if he hadn't received an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.
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