Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Jackson mum: My agony at death news

Katherine Jackson told a court that she is suing AEG Live to find out the truth about her son's death (AP)
Katherine Jackson told a court that she is suing AEG Live to find out the truth about her son's death (AP)

Michael Jackson's mother tearfully described finding out about her son's death, telling a court she had expressed concerns about his UK comeback concert schedule to the promoters of the shows.

Katherine Jackson, 83, broke down as she described the day her son died and learning the news from one of her son's managers, Frank Dileo. "I just started screaming," she said, crying and clutching a tissue in one of her hands.

Mrs Jackson said she called Randy Phillips, chief executive of AEG Live, to voice her view that her son could have done 50 shows at London's O2 Arena - but not if they were spaced closely together. "He couldn't do every other night like AEG wanted him to do at first," she said.

Mrs Jackson also said she had called her son's manager, Tohme Tohme, to raise concerns about the This Is It schedule. She did not provide any additional details about the calls.

Mrs Jackson is expected to be the final witness called by her lawyers in the negligence lawsuit against AEG Live in Los Angeles that has lasted 12 weeks. The defence case is due to begin next week.

Her evidence was stopped in the early afternoon after her lawyer said she had only about three hours of sleep on Thursday night and was tired. The decision was made by Superior Court judge Yvette Palazuelos after defence lawyer Marvin Putnam asked Mrs Jackson several questions about her decision to file the case and she had difficulty understanding and recalling dates.

Judge Palazuelos spoke with Mrs Jackson briefly before dismissing her until Monday.

Katherine Jackson has been a courtroom fixture during the civil trial, sitting in the front row as witnesses described her son's creativity and interactions with AEG Live executives.

The Jackson family matriarch sued AEG Live in 2010, claiming it failed to adequately investigate Dr Conrad Murray, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving the 50-year-old singer an overdose of anaesthetic in June 2009.

AEG denies it hired the doctor or bears any responsibility for the singer's death.

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