It’s been nearly five years since Michael Jackson died, but his family is still seeking answers as to the cause of his demise. A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the King of Pop’s children and mother is set to go to trial next month--and newly unearthed emails supposedly contain a "smoking gun."
Among the legal documents unsealed this week was an email allegedly suggesting Jackson’s tour promoter, AEG Live, was pressuring Jackson’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, to get the singer ready for his This Is It comeback concerts in London.
CNN reports that the communications between AEG and Murray indicate the promoters were concerned about Jackson missing rehearsals, and were urging Murray to keep him in shape for daily practice--regardless of his health.
In one email sent a little over a week before Jackson’s death, the promoters seem upset by Jackson’s absence at rehearsal the day before: "We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him."
Jackson’s lawyers--on behalf of children Prince, Paris, and Blanket Jackson, and his mother, Katherine Jackson--contend that AEG strong-armed Murray to do whatever needed to keep the fragile singer at rehearsals, ultimately resulting in his death from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol.
Murray, who did not testify on behalf of himself in court, told investigators that Jackson himself regularly demanded propofol as a sleep aid for some time prior to his death. He is currently serving a four-year sentence for an involuntary manslaughter conviction.
If AEG Live is found liable in the suit, it could cost the company an estimated several billion dollars. AEG Live claims it has no liability in Jackson’s death, as they were not responsible for hiring Murray. The company sought to have the suit against them thrown out; however, that request was rejected by the court for various reasons.