Jackson back in spotlight as civil trial begins
FILE - This March 5, 2009 file photo shows singer Michael Jackson announcing his concerts at the London O2 Arena. Jackson's words and music rang through a courtroom once again on Monday, April 29, 2013, this time at the start of wrongful death trial, as a lawyer tried to show jurors the pop singer's loving relationship with his mother and children. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, file)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson's words and music rang through a courtroom once again — this time at the start of a wrongful death trial — as a lawyer tried to show jurors the pop star's loving relationship with his mother and children.
Jackson's praise for his mother brought tears to her eyes, a tender moment on Monday, when her superstar son was repeatedly called an addict by lawyers on both sides of her lawsuit against concert giant AEG Live.
Jurors listening to opening statements were given a brief tour of Jackson's life through photos of him with his children and videos of his performances. While Jackson's song, "You Are My Life," filled the courtroom, jurors watched footage of a Christmas morning when he gave his children a dog.
Jackson's troubles were also on prominent display, with attorneys describing his financial troubles and his struggles with prescription drug abuse.
Attorneys read emails describing the singer as unhealthy and in need of a serious intervention. A defense attorney for AEG Live at one point flashed a slide listing 45 medical professionals. He said Jackson had consulted with each of them over the years and requested doses of the powerful anesthetic propofol from some.
Both sides concluded opening statements and testimony was expected to begin on Tuesday.
Jackson died in June 2009 from an overdose of propofol. A year later his mother, Katherine Jackson, sued AEG claiming the company failed to properly investigate a doctor who was giving it to him. The former physician, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and remains jailed.
Murray, AEG and Michael Jackson were part of an intricate puzzle that plaintiff's lawyer Brian Panish intends to piece together for the jury in the coming weeks. He told the panel that AEG, motivated by its desire to overtake a competitor, created a conflicted situation for Murray in which he chose a huge payday over properly caring for Jackson.
FILE - In this April 27, 2011 file photo, Katherine Jackson poses for a portrait in Calabasas, Calif. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday April 29, 2013, in Jackson’s lawsuit against concert giant AEG Live over her son Michael’s 2009 death. Katherine Jackson claims the company failed to properly investigate the doctor who was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for the singer’s death, but the company denies all wrongdoing. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
The company also ignored Murray's troubled finances and Jackson's string of health problems as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts titled "This Is It," Panish said.
"They didn't care who got lost in the wash," Panish told the jury. He repeated the adage, "the show must go on," to describe AEG's actions toward both Jackson and Murray.