LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine will finally take the stand Friday at her trial against tour promoters AEG Live, who she alleges negligently hired the doctor convicted over the star’s 2009 death.
After sitting through 12 weeks of often-emotional testimony, the 83-year-old will give her account of what happened in the weeks and months before her son died while rehearsing for a doomed comeback concert tour.
The family matriarch is the main plaintiff in the multi-million dollar case against AEG Live, and the second immediate family member to testify after the late star’s son Prince gave testimony last month.
She claims AEG Live negligently hired and retained doctor Conrad Murray to look after Jackson as he rehearsed in Los Angeles for his “This is It” comeback tour, which planned to start with 50 shows in London.
Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 over Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of surgical anesthetic propofol, administered to help the singer cope with chronic insomnia.
Jackson’s 16-year-old son Prince testified last month his exhausted father warned that tour promoters AEG Live were going to “kill” him as he rehearsed for the marathon concert tour.
“He just wished he had more time for rehearsals,” he told the wrongful death trial, also recounting the harrowing scenes on the day Jackson died, with his younger sister Paris “screaming” as Murray battled in vain to revive him.
In recent days the Jacksons’ lawyer Brian Panish has focused on financial details, calling an accountant expert witness, Arthur Erk, who testified Jackson could have earned up to $1.5 million with the London concerts and a subsequent world tour.