Promoter at fault for not helping 'sick' Michael Jackson: mother
By Dana Feldman, Reuters
July 21, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
LOS ANGELES -- The mother of late pop star Michael Jackson testified Friday in her wrongful death lawsuit that concert promoter AEG Live failed to get her son proper medical attention when he became sick while preparing for a comeback tour in 2009.
Katherine Jackson, 83, broke down when recalling the death of her famous son and later asked to suspend her testimony after growing distressed under cross-examination. It was the first time Jackson had taken the stand in the trial in which she and Michael's children are suing AEG Live.
The "Thriller" singer died at age 50 in June 2009 in Los Angeles from an overdose of surgical anesthetic propofol while preparing for a series of shows in London.
The lawsuit alleges that AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray as his personal physician. Murray was caring for the singer as he rehearsed for the shows and the doctor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for administering the propofol that killed Jackson.
Katherine Jackson's testimony on Friday ranged from a tearful recollection of learning her son had died to accounts of her family's humble beginnings in a four-room house in Gary, Indiana. She described Michael as a musically inclined baby who wanted to dance with his brothers.
Under cross-examination from AEG attorney Marvin Putnam, she grew frustrated and confused and ultimately asked to stop shortly after a lunch break. She returns to the stand on Monday.
When Putnam asked why she filed the lawsuit in 2010, she responded: "I want to find out what happened to my son."
"My son was being pressured," she added. "He asked for his father. My son was sick. Nobody said 'Call the doctor. What's wrong with him?' Nobody said that."
When Putnam said he did have a doctor, Jackson said: "My son needed another doctor, an outside doctor, not Dr. Murray."
Katherine Jackson's lawyer, Brian Panish, said later that his client had slept only three hours and accused the defense counsel of trying to mock her.