What if Michael Jackson was still alive?
FILE - In this June 29, 2013 file photo, Prince Jackson, left, and Katherine Jackson arrive at the world premiere of "Michael Jackson ONE" at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in Las Vegas. A Los Angeles jury will have to considering how much to award Jackson's three children and mother if they determine that concert promoter AEG Live LLC hired the doctor convicted of causing the superstar's June 2009 death. Deliberations are expected to begin on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, after a 21 week trial that has revealed many of Michael Jackson's ambitions, including a new career in filmmaking. (Photo by David Becker/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — If Michael Jackson were still alive today, he would have just celebrated his 55th birthday and the world would know the outcome of his comeback efforts. He might be embarking on a new career in filmmaking and probably would be nudging his eldest son in the same direction.
As a trial pursued by the singer's mother against the promoters of Jackson's planned comeback concerts draws to a close, jurors may soon be considering intriguing what-ifs had the King of Pop lived.
Throughout the trial, which has spanned 21 weeks and more than 50 witnesses, the panel of six men and six women has heard evidence about Jackson's ambitions and his undisputed devotion for his three children and mother. If jurors determine that AEG Live LLC is liable for Jackson's death, the group will then have to decide how much to compensate the singer's three children and his mother for the loss of a loving father and an entertainer potentially capable of earning tens of millions of dollars a year.
In order to award Jackson's family any money, the panel would have to determine that AEG Live hired the doctor convicted of administering an overdose of the anesthetic propofol in June 2009. AEG denies it hired former cardiologist Conrad Murray or bears any responsibility for Jackson's death. The company's lawyers point to evidence that Murray treated Jackson for years before preparations for the "This Is It" shows began and testimony that the singer was secretive about his medical care.
FILE - In this March 5, 2009 file photo, US singer Michael Jackson is shown at a press conference in London, announcing plans to appear at the London O2 Arena in July. Jackson's earning potential may become an issue when a Los Angeles jury begins deliberating a negligent hiring lawsuit filed by the singer's mother, Katherine Jackson, against concert giant AEG Live LLC over her son's 2009 death. Witnesses have testified throughout the 21-week trial that the pop superstar was planning a new career in movies after completing his "This Is It" tour that was scheduled to begin in July 2009. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, file)
Yet whether or not the jury will need to determine compensation for Jackson's family, the trial has revealed new details about the superstar's post-tour plans.
Witnesses have described the entertainer's interest in another career as a filmmaker after wrapping up his "This Is It" shows, which were slated to begin in July 2009. The singer's contract included provisions for a worldwide tour after the singer completed a run of 50 shows planned at London's O2 Arena, but AEG executives say the global shows weren't a certainty.
Experts hired by Jackson's mother have testified Jackson could have earned a billion dollars or more on a worldwide tour, a figure that defense experts have attacked as speculative and far in excess of earnings from the singer's previous tours.