Letter To Conrad Murray From The Estate Of Michael Jackson (US)
The Estate of Michael Jackson has just released this letter. It is addressed to Dr Conrad Murray and deals with his recent comments in the press.
About Conrad Murray (Estate press release)
"A jury found Murray criminally responsible for Michael Jackson's death. Yet he continues to blame Michael for his crimes. One must consider the source here. Murray is neither truthful nor credible. His bizarre and lurid comments are not worthy of any additional response". The Estate of Michael Jackson
La famille Jackson perd son procès contre le tourneur AEG
La famille du chanteur a perdu mercredi son procès au civil contre AEG Live, la société qui produisait les concerts de la star et qu’elle accusait de négligences.
La famille Jackson n’obtiendra finalement pas les centaines de millions de dollars qu’elle espérait d’AEG. Attaqué au civil, le promoteur de concerts a en effet été blanchi mercredi par un jury populaire californien de toute responsabilité dans la mort du chanteur en juin 2009.
Les Jackson accusaient la société, promoteur de la tournée « This is it » que la star devait entamer à l’été 2009, de négligence pour avoir embauché le docteur Conrad Murray. Ce dernier a été condamné en 2011 à quatre ans de prison après que son patient a succombé à une surdose de propofol, un anesthésiant qu’il utilisait comme somnifère avec sa complicité.
Pour le jury, le Dr Murray était compétent
Pendant les cinq mois du procès, l’accusation n’a eu de cesse de vouloir démontrer qu’AEG, aveuglé par les profits, avait fermé les yeux sur la dépendance de Michael Jackson aux médicaments et sur sa santé chancelante. AEG a répondu invariablement qu’il n’avait jamais embauché le Dr Murray et que le groupe n’était donc pas responsable de ses faits et gestes.
Sur ce dernier point, le jury a suivi les Jackson, en estimant que le Dr Murray avait bel et bien été employé par AEG. Mais à la question centrale de savoir si le médecin était incompétent pour remplir ses fonctions, le jury a répondu « Non », excluant de fait toute responsabilité d’AEG.
Témoignage de Travis Payne (FR)
Devant un tribunal de Los Angeles, Travis Payne, le chorégraphe de « This Is It », a livré des précisions sur l’état du Roi de la pop lors des dernières répétitions.
Michael Jackson semblait « défoncé » lors des dernières répétitions de son spectacle « This Is It » qu’il préparait au moment de sa mort, le 25 juin 2009, et était apparu plusieurs fois « groggy » après ses visites à son dermatologue, a indiqué un témoin mardi devant un tribunal de Los Angeles. Travis Payne, chorégraphe de « This Is It », a fait ces commentaires au procès opposant la famille du Roi de la pop au groupe AEG.
Michael Jackson a semblé à plusieurs reprises complètement absent en sortant des séances de son dermatologue Arnold Klein, qui lui administrait un puissant antalgique, le Demerol, alors qu’il le traitait au Botox, selon plusieurs informations. « Je pense qu’il était sous l’influence de quelque chose », a déclaré Payne à la cour. La famille Jackson réclame plus d’un milliard de dollars de dommages et intérêts à AEG, qu’elle accuse d’avoir fait preuve de négligence en embauchant le docteur Conrad Murray pour veiller sur sa santé. Le chanteur a succombé à une surdose de Propofol, un puissant anesthésiant qu’il utilisait comme somnifère avec la complicité de son médecin.
Choreographer: No signs Jackson was ill in 2009 (US)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An associate choreographer who worked on Michael Jackson’s planned comeback concerts testified Monday that she didn’t see any signs that the pop superstar was ill or might die in the final days of his life.
« I just never in a million years thought he would leave us, or pass away, » Stacy Walker told jurors hearing a lawsuit filed by Jackson’s mother against concert promoter AEG Live LLC. « It just never crossed my mind. »
Walker, who is testifying for AEG, said Jackson appeared thinner than he had been in previous years and wore multiple layers of clothes while rehearing for his « This Is It » shows planned for London’s O2 arena. She said despite Jackson missing multiple rehearsals, she was convinced based on his performances the last two days of his life that he was ready for the series of shows.
Previous witnesses have testified that Jackson was shivering, had to be fed by others and appeared unprepared.
Walker said she never saw any of that behavior, although she acknowledged that her job was to work with other dancers and not Jackson directly.
« I wasn’t looking for things at the time, » she said. « I wish I was. »
She said she attributed Jackson’s multi-layered wardrobe to a personal preference. She said she recalled one incident in which Jackson may have appeared groggy or drugged, but she said she couldn’t remember whether she witnessed or heard about it from others on the show.
Walker was the first witness called by AEG in a trial filed by Jackson’s mother, Katherine, against the concert promoter. Her suit claims AEG didn’t properly investigate the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death and that its executives missed signs that the singer was unprepared for the « This Is It » shows.
AEG denies all wrongdoing, and contends Jackson hid his struggles with prescription drug addiction. Jackson died in June 2009 from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which he had been using as a sleep aid.
Walker, who worked with Jackson on three projects beginning in 1996, was called to the witness stand Monday because she is slated to leave the country for work. The trial is expected to last several more weeks.
AEG is expected to call choreographer Travis Payne, who worked with Jackson directly in preparation for the « This Is It » shows, and tour director Kenny Ortega is also expected to testify.
Jurors last week heard from a dancer and also Jackson’s longtime makeup artist, who testified that the singer appeared thin and at times unprepared for the concert tour. Another dancer, Alif Sankey, told the panel she expressed concerns that Jackson might die and sent an email about his appearance to Ortega.
Emails presented during the trial so far have shown Ortega expressed concerns about Jackson’s physical and mental wellbeing to AEG executives.
Témoignage de Stacy Walker (FR)
Stacy Walker, l’une des chorégraphes de This Is It qui a commencé à travaillé avec Jackson en 1996, a témoigné aujourd’hui dans le cadre du procès opposant AEG à la famille Jackson.
Walker a affirmé ne pas avoir remarqué que Jackson était malade pendant les répétitions du concert : « Il ne m’était jamais venu à l’idée qu’il allait nous quitter », a-t-elle déclaré.
Walker fait partie des témoins convoqués par AEG. Elle a affirmé que Michael Jackson semblait effectivement plus mince pendant les préparatifs de la tournée. Elle pensait aussi que le fait que Jackson porte plusieurs couches de vêtements sur lui correspondait à un choix délibéré du chanteur. Elle a aussi reconnu qu’elle ne travaillait pas directement avec Jackson mais qu’elle supervisait les autres danseurs du show.
Selon elle, Jackson avait effectué de bonnes répétitions les deux jours précédant sa disparition.
Elle se souvient aussi d’un incident au cours duquel Jackson aurait été aperçu l’air groggy. Elle en se souvient pas si elle avait vu cette scène ou si on la lui avait racontée.
Jackson so thin ‘I could see Michael’s heartbeat,’ costumer said (US)
The costume designer who worked with Michael Jackson was alarmed by the music legend’s frail figure during his last days, a makeup artist testified Friday.
Michael Bush — who created much of the singer’s wardrobe for 25 years and wrote a book about the experience — appeared upset after he finished up a June 2009 fitting inside Jackson’s bathroom at Staples Center, Karen Faye said.
“He said ‘Oh my god, Turkle. I could see Michael’s heartbeat through the skin in his chest,’” Faye recounted.
Turkle was Jackson’s nickname for Faye, who worked as his makeup artist off and on for nearly three decades.
Faye, in her second day on the stand, was emotional as she described the moment.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos then asked Faye about Bush’s tone of voice at the time.
“It was like, ‘Oh my god,’” Faye said. “He was pretty much in shock.”
Around the same time, Faye said she tried to warn Jackson’s manager, Frank DiLeo, about Jackson’s health.
“[Frank] was saying pretty much, ‘I got it under control, don’t worry about it,’” Faye said.
“I said, ‘But he’s losing weight rapidly.’ … I said, ‘Why don’t you ask Michael Bush to verify taking in his pants and how much weight he’s actually losing?’”
Faye said DiLeo went to speak to Bush and she overheard the manager say, “Get him a bucket of chicken.”
“It was such a cold response,” Faye said. “I mean, it broke my heart.”
The 2-week-old civil trial pits AEG against Jackson’s mother and three children who accuse the concert promoter of negligently hiring and controlling Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol to Jackson. Murray is now serving jail time for involuntary manslaughter.
Faye, who began working with Jackson in the early 1980s and did his hair and makeup for the « Thriller » album cover, said she felt the singer “did not have enough muscle mass to do a concert” as he was prepping for his “This Is It” comeback tour.
She said Jackson realized he didn’t look good in a video that was filmed to be used on giant screens during the concert series. At his request, she said, she assisted technicians retouching the singer’s image on the footage.
But the makeup artist said that although she was asked, she did not help retouch the posthumous “This Is It” documentary.
“Everybody was lying after he died, sir, that Michael was well,” Faye said to the Jacksons’ attorney, Brian Panish. “And everybody knew he wasn’t. I felt retouching Michael was just a part of that lie.”
During cross-examination by an AEG attorney, Faye clarified and said she had been torn about working on the documentary.
“My initial feeling was that I didn’t want to lie, and the second, my other thing that was tugging at my heart, was that if this movie was going out, I wanted him to look good.”
Faye said she helped prepare Jackson’s body for his casket.
Karen Faye – témoignage du 10 mai (FR)
Karen Faye a poursuivi son témoignage hier vendredi pendant le procès opposant AEG à Katherine Jackson.
Faye a tenté d’alerter Frank Di Leo, manager de Jackson, quant à l’état de santé du chanteur.
Le costumier qui a également travaillé sur This Is It, Michael Bush (qui a récemment créé la polémique en vendant de faux costumes originaux de MJ et contrefait la signature du chanteur sur au moins un article posthume NDLR) a également fait part de sa stupeur à Karen Faye après une rencontre avec le chanteur.
Il aurait dit à Faye après avoir essayé des costumes sur Jackson : « Oh mon dieu ‘Turkle’ (le surnom de Faye dans le milieu NDLR). Je pouvais voir le coeur de Michael battre à travers sa poitrine ».
Faye a fait part de ces remarques à Di leo. Il aurait répondu « Tout va bien, je contrôle la situation, ne t’inquiète pas ». Puis il se serait adressé à Michael Bush et lui aurait demandé : « Trouve lui un bucket de poulet ».
« C’était une réponse d’une telle froideur », a commenté Faye devant les jurés.
Elle a également déclaré s’être rendue compte que le chanteur n’avait pas bonne mine en regardant une vidéo filmée et qui devait ensuite être diffusée sur les écrans géants pendant le concert. A la de demande de Jackson, elle a aidé les techniciens en charge du projet à retoucher son image. Chose qu’elle n’a pas voulu faire lorsqu’on lui a demandé de travailler sur le documentaire posthume This Is It.
« Tout le monde mentait après sa mort », a témoigné Faye. « Tout le monde disait qu’il allait bien alors que ce n’était pas le cas. Et je pensais que retoucher son image à ce moment-là faisait partie de ce mensonge ».
Pendant le contre-interrogatoire mené par l’avocat d’AEG, Faye a confirmé avoir été contrariée d’avoir travailler sur le film This Is It : « Je ne voulais pas faire partie de ce mensonge puis je me suis dit que si le film devait sortir, je voulais qu’il soit bien dedans ».
Makeup artist says she tried to stop dazed Michael Jackson from taking stage (US)
A makeup artist testified Friday that before a concert in Bangkok, Michael Jackson was having a hard time walking, seemed to be in a daze and stumbled over a potted tree in his dressing room before finally being led on stage to perform.
Karen Faye, who said she had worked with Jackson for more than two decades and considered him a close friend, said she knew the pop singer was using painkillers but she had refused requests to learn how to give him injections.
The testimony, by far the most dramatic so far in a wrongful death suit filed by the singer’s mother and children, focused on a period in Jackson’s life when he was recuperating from being seriously burned during a Pepsi ad and was under pressure because of child molestation allegations.
Faye testified that while backstage in Bangkok, she turned to someone she knew as “Dr. Forecast” and urged him not to let the wobbly Jackson take the stage.
« I put my arms around Michael and said, `You can’t take him.’ »
“Forecast replied, ‘Yes I can,’ » she testified.
The makeup artist testified the man, who she said was “an insurance doctor,” backed her up against a wall and put his hands on her neck, choking her until she couldn’t breathe.
« He said, `You don’t know what you’re up against,’ » Faye testified.
The doctor, whose full name was not mentioned, took Jackson on stage to perform, she said.
The tour, though, would soon come to an end in Mexico City, when Elizabeth Taylor flew down to take the singer to a rehab facility outside London, she said.
« Everyone knew Michael had a problem, » Faye said.
Faye testified she was at Jackson’s side during the 2005 trial in which Jackson was acquitted of molestation, helping him prepare for court each morning.
Faye cried as she described dressing him and washing his hair. They would get on their knees and pray, then hug each other and cry. They would play classical music and watch « Three Stooges » videos.
While Jackson tried to be brave, “he couldn’t eat. He was afraid, » she testified. « The pain got worse. He got thinner. »
Michael Jackson days before death: ‘God keeps talking to me’ (US)
Los Angeles (CNN) — Michael Jackson told his tour director days before he died he was hearing God’s voice, a producer testified Wednesday.
« God keeps talking to me, »Jackson said.
Those words spoken to Kenny Ortega and Jackson’s frail appearance were so disturbing that it caused Ortega and associate producer Alif Sankey to burst into tears at a rehearsal, Sankey said Wednesday in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson’s mother and three children.
Jackson, who was being fitted for his costumes, appeared « extremely thin » and « was not speaking normally » at the June 19, 2009, rehearsal, Sankey told jurors in a trial to determine if concert promoter AEG Live should be held liable in the pop icon’s death.
Jurors saw a photo of Jackson at the costume fitting that showed an obviously thin and gaunt man.
Sankey testified that she and Ortega cried together after Jackson left. On her way home, Sankey stopped her car to call Ortega « because I had a very strong feeling that Michael was dying. »
« I was screaming into the phone at that point, » Sankey testified. « I said he needs to be put in the hospital now. »
Sankey became emotional as she testified about the call.
« I kept saying that ‘Michael is dying, he’s dying, he’s leaving us, he needs to be put in a hospital,’ » Sankey said. « ‘Please do something. Please, please.’ I kept saying that. I asked him why no one had seen what I had seen. He said he didn’t know. »
Ortega sent a series of e-mails early the next morning that resulted in a meeting at Jackson’s house between Jackson, Dr. Conrad Murray, AEG Live President Randy Phillips and Ortega.
An e-mail from Phillips after that meeting said he had confidence in Murray, « who I am gaining immense respect for as I get to deal with him more. »
« This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig, so he (is) totally unbiased and ethical, » Phillips’ e-mail said.
The lawsuit contends that Phillips and AEG never checked Murray out. Otherwise, they would have known he was deeply in debt and vulnerable to breaking the rules in treating Jackson to keep his job, it argues.
Jackson lawyers contend that AEG Live is liable for Jackson’s death because the company negligently hired, retained or supervised Murray — who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death.
Jackson’s last rehearsal was at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on June 24, 2009. Security camera video shown to the jury Wednesday showed him walking with a blanket wrapped around him as he passed Sankey.
« He didn’t look good, » she testified. « I asked him if he was cold, and he said ‘Yes.’ »
Jackson sang two songs that last night on stage: « Thriller » and « Earth Song, » she said.
« He did it, » Sankey said. « He went through it. He wasn’t in full performance mode. »
Sankey said she was standing next to Ortega at a rehearsal the next afternoon when Randy Phillips called to tell him Jackson was dead.
« Kenny collapsed in our arms, » she said.
The lawsuit contends that AEG Live executives missed a series of red flags warning them that Jackson’s life was at risk because of Murray, who was giving him nightly infusions of the surgical anesthetic propofol to treat his insomnia.
The coroner ruled Jackson had died from an overdose of propofol in combination with several sedatives on June 25, 2009.
Murray told investigators he used the drugs to help Jackson sleep so he could be rested for rehearsals.
AEG lawyers argue Jackson, not their company, chose and supervised Murray, and that their executives had no way of knowing what the doctor was doing to Jackson in the privacy of his bedroom.
In contrast to six days of testimony mostly about Jackson’s death, jurors did hear about the pop icon’s creativity during Sankey’s testimony
« Michael’s imagination was endless, » Sankey said. « He would visualize it, and it happened. It was amazing. »
Katherine Jackson dabbed tears from her eyes as her son’s « Smooth Criminal » video was played in court.
Sankey first met Michael Jackson when she was a dancer in the 1987 video production.
« We got to see Michael’s imagination come to life, » Sankey said. « That was my first time as a dancer, as an artist, that I was completely inspired by his craft and inspired by his attention to every detail. He was so detailed and he never missed a thing. »
Working with Jackson was « magical, » she said.
« I dream still to this day that I will be able to create on that level of magic that Michael created, » Sankey said. « It was like living a dream of working with an artist like that, and I will treasure it and have it in my memory forever. »
Sankey’s work as an associate producer and dancer for Jackson’s « This Is It » tour put her on the witness list in this trial.
« He shared with me that he was excited to do the show, » she said. « He was excited to show his kids, finally to show them who he was, what he was all about; he was very excited about that. »
Jurors heard about Jackson’s relationship with his three children and their love of their father. Sankey described how they would come with their father to the set each day in early June when he was filming video elements for the show.
« Paris had a purse, and inside her purse, she had all this candy in her purse she didn’t want her daddy to know about, » Sankey said. « She had these little pictures of her father in her purse that were in frames. She had, like, a lot of them. Her purse was full of candy and pictures of her daddy. »
« They loved their daddy, » she said.
The « This Is It » concert would have been « a pretty big show, » Sankey told jurors.
« It was going to be huge and it was going to be innovative, different, » she testified. « From working with Michael in my past, I knew it had to be something that no one’s ever seen. It all had to be new and pioneering. »
The next witness when court resumes Thursday morning will be Michael Jackson’s longtime hair and make up artist, Karen Faye. She was quoted in interviews after Jackson’s death saying that the pop star was in ill health weeks before he died.
Spectators in the small Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday morning included Judge Lance Ito, famous for presiding over the O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995. Ito was there to watch his friend, Judge Yvette Palazuelos, preside over this trial and then go to lunch with her.