It was made public this morning – the Pop icon’s family believes that AEG Live was in part to blame for Michael Jackson’s death, claiming that his death would not have been possible if AEG Live wouldn’t have hired Conrad Murray. “There will be no question in your mind that they were ruthless and they wanted to be No. 1 at all cost,” Jackson lawyer Brian Panish said. The family also believes that AEG Live was aware of Michael’s present health and mental problems, and failed to recognize them.
In 2009, Michael Jackson died from an overdose of sedatives, Propofol (a surgical anesthetic that was given to him by Dr. Murray), along with other drugs that Dr. Murray was aware of. It was a long and excruciating trial for the Jackson family that was dragged out for months before a conviction was made. Murray was convicted on November 7th, 2011, and was charged with “Involuntary Manslaughter”. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison.
Did AEG Live, the company promoting Jackson’s comeback concerts in 2009, hire or supervise Dr. Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s June 25, 2009, death? Jackson’s family believes so. Dr. Murray was giving Michael Jackson this deadly combination every night before bed, knowing Mr. Jackson’s current health and his history of drug use. Murray was given a $150,000 a month salary during the tour after he was asking for $5 million. So why would AEG Live turn down another doctor who stated he would do the tour for $40,000 as long as Mr. Jackson was clean of drugs? Did AEG Live know of Michael’s drug use, and ignore the possible health risks that giving him other drugs could do?
Eleven days before Michael’s tour kicked off, AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware sent an email to Dr. Murray stating “We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not M.J., who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him”. Jackson’s attorney feels that AEG Live used this tone towards Murray to scare him into getting Michael ready for whatever AEG Live needed despite his health issues. “They put Dr. Murray in a position where if he said Michael can’t go or can’t play, if he said I can’t give you those drugs, then he doesn’t get paid,” Panish told jurors Monday.
The trial will address issues about Jackson’s health and finances that were not factors in Murray’s criminal trial, and may also feature testimony from the singer’s two oldest children. Stars such as Diana Ross, Spike Lee and Quincy Jones are also listed as potential witnesses, and several top AEG executives are expected to testify.