The AEG Trial and My "Official" Position

If Katherine Jackson Has A Case...Does That Make This Is It A Lie?
If Katherine Jackson Has A Case…Does That Make This Is It A Lie?

It begins, bright and early Monday morning. I don’t think any of us wanted this trial; certainly I know that MJ fans are not relishing the idea of yet another long, drawn out ordeal of media mud slinging. How many times does this make now? Sheesh, poor Michael has been “tried” more times in death than he ever was in life! At what point do we-even his family and loved ones-simply say enough is enough, and let the man rest in peace? I don’t know how you guys feel. But personally, I am more tired than fired up this time. I try to summon the anger; the outrage, the burning desire for justice/vengeance at all costs. But it just isn’t there anymore.

During the Murray trial, I wrote that justice for Michael will not come without scars:

My sentiments haven’t changed. However, Murray’s guilty verdict did provide much needed closure. That trial was dirty business, but necessary. And in hindsight, I still say it didn’t turn out so bad, as far as Michael’s legacy and reputation coming through relatively unscathed. Much of this, no doubt, was due to several factors: The prosecution’s strong, airtight case; the charisma of David Walgreen; a judge who seemed genuinely sympathetic to the fact that Michael Jackson was the victim in the case (and who showed much integrity in putting a gag order in place so that the case could not disintegrate into a media circus), and perhaps the most important factor of all-televised coverage. Televised coverage not only allowed America and the world to witness every word of the prosecution’s case, but also put a serious kink in any media attempt to spin the story how they wished. After all, it became pretty difficult-and would have been downright embarrassing-to try to spin the case in any way, when viewers could hear and see for themselves exactly what went down on the witness stand on any given day.

Dr. Conrad Murray Trial
The Charisma Of David Walgreen…The Saline Bag…All Captured In Their Glory Courtesy Of Courtroom Cameras

Add to all of this the fact that Conrad Murray himself does not come across as a very sympathetic or likeable figure, despite his best efforts to win over the world’s sympathy. (In fact,  every effort Murray has made to win sympathy has, for the most part, simply blown up in his face, succeeding for the most part only to further reveal his egotism, lack of remorse, and sociopathic tendencies). Consider all of this, and you start to understand how Michael clearly emerged as the victim in the case. Although we will always have the stubborn faction who want to cling to the belief that Michael Jackson alone was responsible for his own death, I don’t think there were too many  that came away from that trial-at least among those who followed it closely-who weren’t convinced that the guilty verdict was well deserved.

But now we are facing the prospect of an untelevised trial, and my biggest concern is that we may see the same kind of unethical media behavior that we had in 2005, in which pro-prosecution journalists took full advantage of the situation to manipulate, twist, and exaggerate witness testimonies. As we now know too well, Michael’s molestation trial was not televised, and therefore journalists during that trial had a field day reporting the prosecution testimony, often without bothering to report the results of cross-examination, and pretty much ignored the entire defense testimony altogether. They purposely honed in on the salacious and whatever headline was guaranteed to “sell copy,” knowing that by the time the actual verdict was reached, it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. They got their story; they sold their papers and spiked their ratings. What might happen months down the road-whatever the defense might prove or disprove-had no relevance. The media lives for the moment.

Michael's 2005 Trial Was Untelevised. The Public Relied On Enactments Such As These On Court TV  To Get A Sense Of "Being There." But The Media Often Distorted The Proceedings.
Michael’s 2005 Trial Was Untelevised. The Public Relied On Re-Enactments Such As These On Court TV To Get A Sense Of “Being There.” But The Media Often Distorted The Proceedings.

True, we will have transcripts made available, eventually. But as usual, only those truly interested in researching the case in depth-the MJ bloggers and the fans who care enough to bother-will learn whatever truth is revealed by those transcripts. The rest will simply swallow whatever CNN, HLN, TMZ, Court TV, etc, etc care to give them.

I am not so much concerned with what may come out of this trial, as the way the media will choose to spin it. And an untelevised trial will give them just that opportunity.

It also concerns me somewhat that this trial has already received double the media attention of the Murray trial. The Murray case was a criminal trial, in which a man charged with the homicide death of a beloved pop star and icon was to be determined guilty or innocent. Yet its coverage was mostly limited to HLN and Court TV, and the results of each days’ testimony given only small bites on most network newscasts. The majority of Americans weren’t even aware a trial was taking place, much less that Murray was convicted. Believe it or not, I still talk to people sometimes who have no idea. If the subject of Michael Jackson and his death comes up, they will ask, “Whatever happened to that doctor of his, did they ever charge him with anything?”

Yet the media has been practically salivating over what is, in essence, a civil case. Perhaps it is the stakes involved (to the tune of $40 billion), or the David vs. Goliath aspect of frail, elderly Katherine Jackson taking on the entertainment giant that is AEG, or (most likely) the fact that, based on what we’ve seen so far, AEG is willing to play as dirty as they have to in order to win this case, thus guaranteeing the media no shortage of dirt.  In any event, I sense the stage is being set for another media feast the likes of which we haven’t seen since 2005.

In light of this, I wanted to share with you an interesting article sent to me by a reader (thank you, shelly!) that was written in 2005 near the close of the molestation trial. It was written by an NBC news correspondent, of all people, yet sheds a lot of insight into the way the media operates and, in particular, how and why they reacted to the Jackson trial in the way that they did:

Endgame, Finally

By Mike TaibbiCorrespondent

NBC News
updated 5/31/2005 2:08:46 PM ET

SANTA MARIA, Calif. — A silver-haired attorney stood and said “The defense rests,” not calling any of the rebuttal witnesses he’d been expected to call, and the vast machine of the Jackson trial press corps poured out of the courtroom to report the news. After 13 weeks, 60 days of testimony, 140 witnesses and more than a dozen years of allegations, rumors, intermittent tabloid frenzy and Ahab-like persistence from a local District Attorney, the question of whether an entertainer of world-class stature is also a pedophile is about to be answered by a jury.

With no final defense rebuttal, the last piece of evidence presented by the prosecution to the 20 local citizens in the jury box (12 primary jurors plus eight alternates) was an hour-long videotape of the understandably sympathetic first police interview with Jackson’s young accuser. Mumbling and with seeming reluctance, the boy related the sordid details of his alleged molestation by the faded popstar over a few nights in the winter of 2003.

“Once you share this you’ll feel better,” prodded Sgt. Steve Robel. The boy, a cancer survivor, fidgeted in his chair, eyes downcast. Robel asked what sports he liked, he said “football and baseball.”

“I wanted to be a pro ballplayer,” the veteran cop said. “I was scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies, they came to talk to me and my parents. But certain things got in the way… it’s called politics.”

Taped allegations
Soon enough the boy told his story. That Jackson trolled internet porn sites with him on the night they first met at Neverland. That he gave him wine, vodka, scotch and rum. That he talked often about sex, shared his collection of pornographic magazines and, “…maybe five times or so,” reached over as the two shared Jackson’s bed, after both had been drinking, and fondled him.

The jurors had heard those specific allegations before when the boy had testified earlier in the trial. I watched the boy on the tape: Were his hesitations and lack of eye contact evidence of the established difficulty male victims of male pedophiles have in first disclosing their molestation? Or was it a performance by a skilled and experienced liar as defense witnesses made him out to be? I looked at the jury box a couple of times: They were watching and listening, but gave no obvious hint of what they were thinking.

“You’ve been through hell,” Sgt. Robel was saying near the end of the interview. “What he has done to you, he is the bad person, not you. You, your mom, your sister, your brother… you’re the good people. You guys are doing the right thing, you’re helping a lot of people.”

Robel asked the boy if he’d “be open to making a phone call to Michael”– a pretext call in hopes that the popstar would make a damaging admission.

The boy shook his head. It was going to be his word… and that of his mother, sister and brother…against Jackson’s. Period. Four months later, with virtually no further substantive investigation beyond the interviews with the accuser and his family, one of the most famous people on the planet would be arrested. The tape ended.

The courtroom lights came back on. The silver-haired lawyer, Jackson’s lead attorney Tom Mesereau, stood up, said his three words, and sat down. A defense source had told me Mesereau had studied the tape and “wasn’t worried about it,” convinced, the source said, that the jury already had an indelible picture of the boy and his family as grifters out to skin any available mark, especially celebrities, with the boy’s sickness as their currency of persuasion.

I ambled deliberately out of court while other reporters raced past me to spread the news worldwide. Jury instructions and final arguments after the holiday weekend, and then those citizens in the box will do their thing. And then, thankfully for me, home.

I have never liked this story and would never have chosen this assignment. Of course there are others among the thousands of stories I’ve reported in nearly four decades at this craft that also would not have been my choice, and an assignment, in my business, is an assignment; but few have left me feeling dispirited and soiled at the end of a day’s work, as this one has. There are others in this press corps who feel the same way, and many of my colleagues and friends and intimates back home have declined to follow this story at all.

It feels voyeuristic, and for a dozen years it has been voyeuristic. There are “journalists” who’ve maintained careers by chasing down and breathlessly reporting every Jackson rumor peddled by real or would-be “witnesses” to the singer’s every move. Many of those rumors, enhanced by each sale and re-sale to the tabloids (print and broadcast), became embedded in the public consciousness because, in the past decade and a half, mainstream journalism itself and its relationship to “tabloid” stories have changed.

‘Buying’ witnesses
I think it began on the day in 1990 when the mainstream press covering the William Kennedy Smith rape trial in Palm Beach (I was there) was restrained outside the courthouse police lines as the key witness in that case was escorted into court on the arm of a “reporter” for one of the newly-popular tabloid TV shows… because that show had “bought” that witness and locked her up exclusively.

And because mainstream news organizations do not “buy” witnesses, the only way to compete on stories the tabloids increasingly “owned” was to legitimize the tabloids themselves. Thus, in the OJ Simpson case, the vaunted New York Times held its nose and started quoting the National Enquirer, because the tabloid (through whatever means) was often out front on that story. And CBS News, on its “Evening News,” used tape and information attributed to the television show “Hard Copy” in its reporting on the 1993 Jackson scandal.

The 9/11 effect
In the meantime, over the years, the preferences of news consumers seemed also to be changing. Or maybe they were being changed. I think—and, let me stress, this is just my opinion—that 9/11 contributed to that change in a fundamental way: The event itself was so incomprehensibly awful that news consumers (consciously or unconsciously) suddenly wanted something different from the news organizations on which they’d depended for years. Less bad news, fewer investigative reporting efforts that required hard work on the part of viewers and readers. Keep it simple, make it pleasant or safely entertaining, make it diverting. The great newsmagazines on the major networks fought shrinking audience shares by changing their fare. Reality television arrived… and exploded as the genre of audience choice. In the cable universe the trial of a fertilizer salesman accused of killing his wife and unborn child became the lead story for a year… audienceswanted that story, the ratings instructed. There was live coverage of Joey Buttafuoco’s sentencing on the same day the realignment of NATO earned a 30-second reader on one network newscast.

And, since November of 2003, the question of whether Michael Jackson fondled a young boy from a family of graspers who may also be con artists has been the epicenter of a worldwide reporting effort by scores of news organizations.

I’m a reporter assigned to this story, so I’m here. Soon, though not soon enough, I’ll be home because one story– Jackson’s guilt or innocence as determined by this apparently hard-working jury—will be over.

But the other story and the bigger one in my mind– how and why we all got here in the first place– is yet to be told.


If there is any silver lining in this, it is that the media, for the most part, does have a tendency to be pro-prosecution. We have seen this play out in many high profile cases, including-no huge surprise here!-even the Murray case. So perhaps it is also possible that the very thing that worked to Michael’s disadvantage in 2005 could work to his advantage now.

Perhaps. But remember that the trade-off in 2011 was that, while Michael ceased being the villain, he became “the victim”-a figure on a gurney; a naked man on an autopsy table; his entire life reduced to his medical history and the gruesome, clinical details of his autopsy report. Not exactly a great alternative.

Ultimately, whether Katherine wins or loses the case,  Michael loses. No one from AEG is going to serve prison time; there is no real justice other than that, if the Jacksons win the case, they get some money out of it. It won’t bring Michael back; it’s not going to bring real justice (no matter how it turns out). In the meantime, we-a “we” that includes Michael’s children, as well as his fans-must once again relive Michael’s death and all of the tragic circumstances that led to it. A doctor was said to have proclaimed that being forced to testify would be “medically detrimental” to Blanket. I would say it’s going to be detrimental to all of them.

At what point can we simply celebrate Michael’s life, and cease rehashing his death? At what point will we be able to celebrate his many strengths and accomplishments, without constantly having his every human flaw and weakness held up for scrutiny?

This past week, country music legend George Jones passed away. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Mr. Jones’s artistry. But as a human being, George Jones was certainly a very flawed man. He was an alcoholic, a drug addict (whose abuse included recreational as well as prescription drugs) and a deadbeat dad. Yet all of the media write-ups, such as the obituary which appeared in The New York Times, have been quite respectful. And if you read the comments left by readers, there is no ridicule, no finger pointing, no trolling. None of the disgraceful and downright dehumanizing kind of comments that we see accompanying anything that is written about Michael. Even the recent story of Ozzy Osbourne’s  fall from the wagon was treated with more respect in the press than anything we will be apt to see reported on Michael Jackson during this upcoming trial. The fact is that while so many talk, talk, talk about “personal responsibility” one really has to ask the question…why are there so many people who apparently are so invested in one man’s “responsibility” for his own death? And what part of the word “homicide” do these people fail to get?

This isn’t exactly sour grapes, but the double standard does bother me; always has. Certainly Michael Jackson’s flaws-such as they were-were no greater or worse than many celebrities-including many of the artists I most admire. Yet the media will always relish in his flaws far moreso than any other celebrity. It is always as if Michael has twice as much to prove, and twice as much to lose, with every bit of negative publicity. And if we are honest with ourselves, it is the negative publicity that we fear most about this trial.

A Grieving Mother Out For Justice...Or A Monster Out For Money? There Is Going To Be No Shortage Of Opinions, From Both Camps
A Grieving Mother Out For Justice…Or A Monster Out For Money? There Is Going To Be No Shortage Of Opinions, From Both Camps

But is that the selfish way to look at it? While many are bashing Katherine, we should keep some things in perspective. She is the one who lost her son. And if this trial is something she feels has to proceed in order to bring closure and justice for what happened to her son, do we have the right to question it? Katherine had to have known the negative consequences of this trial, yet she has felt strongly enough about this case to proceed. I’m sure that having gone through the ordeal of being by Michael’s side every day during the molestation trial, and the toll of being there almost every day at the Murray trial, the last thing she really wants-anymore than the rest of us-is to go through the ordeal of another trial.

Is it just about the money? I know some will say so. Many have convinced themselves so. The word “greed” is used so often in conjunction with the Jackson name that I’m surprised there isn’t a Jackson family photo in the dictionary when one looks up the word “greed.” But personally, I don’t believe it’s about the money. Perhaps I am naive and idealistic,  but I believe Katherine genuinely wants justice from those she feels are responsible for Michael’s death, and this civil suit is as close as she is going to get to any sense of justice. I also know the fur is going to fly these next few months; things are going to get very ugly and heated. This trial has already further polarized an already divided fan base. It’s only going to get worse.

I know there are passionate and ardent defenders on both sides of this case. I also know there are many who are so anti-Jackson family that they will automatically criticize any action the family takes, even down to demonizing Michael’s own mother. And some who are so anti-estate that they have allowed the poison of this hatred to even taint how they portray Michael’s own children.

When “fans” are even attacking Michael’s own mother and kids-the very people he loved dearer than life-what is next? For sure, I know that Michael had some private reservations about his mother. He was very careful who he confided those reservations to. But I still think he would be very unhappy to see how his mother is now being attacked in some circles. Michael’s relationship with his parents was complex, just as most of our parental relationships are, but does that give us the right to judge? Michael certainly never made it any secret that his mother was someone he held in high regard.

I can certainly understand not agreeing with this trial, but I don’t get those who are so pro-AEG that they will attack Michael’s own flesh and blood to defend an organization whose only vested interest in Michael Jackson was as a commodity. Just because I don’t approve of this trial doesn’t mean I hold them blameless.

Let’s not lose perspective on this. For me, there is no love lost for AEG. AEG was nothing to Michael except a corporate entity; Michael in turn was nothing but an entity to them. It was a business arrangement, pure and simple. Whether Michael lived or died; whether he was happy or miserable, sick or well, meant nothing to them as long as a show went on.  It was in their best interest, of course, for him to be well and happy. But in the long run, as long as they got their 50 shows, it didn’t matter.

My sympathies, for sure, are with Katherine and the kids. But that doesn’t mean I don’t question the wisdom or folly of this trial. The Jackson family have been guilty of some pretty bonehead statements and actions (let’s see, there was “Grannygate” last summer, and all that nonsense regarding body doubles in This Is It, etc-I could go on but I won’t). The point I’m making is that, while I may sympathize with them on many issues, I certainly do not always agree with them-or the actions that they take. For sure, there have been times when the family has irritated me to no end. But I am a firm believer in that,when push truly comes to shove, blood is indeed thicker than water-as it should be. with katherine

And something else that bugs me about all of this…if indeed Katherine Jackson has a case, does that mean AEG sold us a lie with This Is It? It’s a question that has been on my mind for over three and a half years. I suppose it is because part of me still wants to believe that Michael was indeed that guy we saw in the film, fully in control and in charge, vibrant and ready to take on the world again; a man excited to perform again for his fans. I used to be the first to scoff at the This Is Not It faction; I put them down as just a bunch of people (haters, perhaps even)who wanted to see the film fail and Michael’s legacy destroyed.  These days, given the facts that came out during the Murray trial and more recent developments that have come to light, I am not so sure anymore.

Perhaps the best clue as to how Michael was really feeling about his life, the shows, and most importantly, about AEG was revealed by Paris during her recent deposition (and I believe his own daughter would certainly be in the best position to know):

Paris also states that Michael told her schedule for TII was “too much” for him and “Phillips and them were out to get them” 
Retweeted by MelanieLOVESMJONE!
Ivy @Ivy_4MJ 37m
Paris states Michael was happy about the ticket presales for TII tour & excited about the tour & he wanted concert footage to be 3D or-Paris

Her comments seem an interesting contradiction, but not an unfeasible one. I think it is very possible that Michael was excited about the shows, but not with the undue pressure he was being put under to suddenly have to perform 50 of them. I certainly have no intention of tossing out my copy of This Is It. For what it is, I still think the film is a precious momento of Michael’s last days, and I like to think that all of the stories of how excited he was to be performing again are at least partially true. So in light of Paris’s words, I think it is possible that there is truth to that, and that what we get in the film is at least a truthful representation of those last, few days when Michael reached deep within himself  and connected with that fire again. I have to believe that. But I am sure I can’t be the only fan for whom the desire to reconcile that belief with much of what we now know from the Murray trial and of AEG’s bullying/”tough love” tactics presents a bit of a conundrum.

Michael Caught In A Beautifully Ecstatic Moment Of Rehearsal During This Is It. I Like To Believe This Is How It Was...No Matter How Briefly
Michael Caught In A Beautifully Ecstatic Moment Of Rehearsal During This Is It. I Like To Believe This Is How It Was…Even If Only For A Little While

I’m sure my comments are going to invite a barrage of heated opinions from both camps. But that’s okay.  As always, I will try to respect most opinions.  For myself, I have usually found it’s best to keep a somewhat neutral perspective; if nothing else, it enables me to see the facts clearly without allowing my own bias to cloud my judgement. So for now, perhaps it is safest to say that my official “position” is to have no position. Or at least, to keep an open mind until we hear all of the facts of this case.

I don’t agree with this trial. I wish with all my heart and soul that it wasn’t happening. But it is, and it’s  here. And seeing as how it is here,  I am not ashamed to say that my heart, my prayers and my full support will certainly be with Katherine and the children during these next few, difficult months.

AEG, I am quite certain, can fend for themselves just fine. After all, the only thing they “lost” on June 25th, 2009 was a business deal.

ETA (04/28/13):  I am excited to announce that, due to the demands of keeping up with this trial over the next several months, I have decided to open up an Allforlove forum. (Link is also included in the right menu, underneath the new “Social” heading).

I know that events will be unfolding rapidly; far more rapidly than I can keep apace here. This way, you all can post updates as necessary, while leaving the comment section on the blogs  only for comments relevant to that particular entry. I have created three sticky threads for the time being-a thread for discussion, one for media postings only, and one for transcripts as they are made available (or if they are made available). More threads can be added as needed; these are just a starting point. The forum at present is just for discussing the trial. I haven’t decided yet if I will want to continue the forum as a permanent feature after the trial is over, or simply lock it down and keep it as a ‘read only” archive. I really never embraced the idea of having a forum; I had operated a forum once before (not related to MJ) and had said, “Never again!” I rather like just having my little corner here where I can express my thoughts about Michael, without all of the madness and responsibility of running a forum. But after much thought (and much persuading from my better half, lol) I have decided that the demands of keeping up with this trial are going to require a much more interactive medium than what I currently have.  Another advantage is that it will keep the blog open for other topics as well. (The idea of writing on nothing but this trial for four months on end is, frankly, a depressing thought to contemplate!).

You will have to register to be able to post and comment. I am the administrator, but not the moderator (just so you know). I decided it would be best to delegate that responsibility to someone else.

I will be posting daily updates on the trial on the Allforlove Facebook page and (yes!) my soon-to-be-active Twitter account (which I’ve actually had for some time, but just never got into the swing of using it; I am slow to come around to change, haha.  But again, with the demands of this trial, I think it is going to be a necessity).

I will post trial-related blogs as developments warrant, but mostly those will be limited to developments that I feel require in-depth analysis or response. Otherwise, look to the forum, Facebook and Twitter for most of the daily trial bites.

And, as we move forward, let’s keep in mind these words that Michael wrote, which are going to apply these next few months more than ever:

In Our Darkest Hour
In My Deepest Despair
Will You Still Care?
Will You Be There?
In My Trials
And My Tribulations
Through Our Doubts
And Frustrations
In My Violence
In My Turbulence
Through My Fear
And My Confessions
In My Anguish And My Pain
Through My Joy And My Sorrow
In The Promise Of Another Tomorrow
I’ll Never Let You Part
For You’re Always In My Heart.

89 thoughts on “The AEG Trial and My "Official" Position”

  1. I agree with everything you wrote. And if there really is life after death, Michael must be pretty tired of all the back-to-earth tugging that’s been going on since he passed. He’ll want to move on to become what’s next on his spiritual agenda, and we should just let him–and treasure what he left behind.

    1. In many Native cultures, it is believed that a soul can be “willed back” or drawn back to earth by the energy we put out. In most cases, that’s not a good thing. It prevents a soul from traveling on to where it is needed in the afterlife. And, regardless of what one believes or what culture one is raised in, we know that in most cases, the afterlife is a lot better place than here. Who really wants to be constantly pulled back down to earth, when they are in a place 1 billion times sweeter and better than here? Other than perhaps to check on their loved ones, no reason at all.

  2. Mike Taibbi was very fair during the 2005 trial.

    “And if this trial is something she feels has to proceed in order to bring closure and justice for what happened to her son, do we have the right to question it?”

    I don’t agree with you on that, she did lots of questionable things herself after he died. I don’t know why she did that and maybe she is manipulated.

    “I can certainly understand not agreeing with this trial, but I don’t get those who are so pro-AEG that they will attack Michael’s own flesh and blood to defend an organization whose only vested interest in Michael Jackson was as a commodity.”

    Because the Jacksons acted the same way when he died. I also think the majority of people don’t expect something different from a company and probably have the same relationship with their company.

    “But personally, I don’t believe it’s about the money. Perhaps I am naive and idealistic, but I believe Katherine genuinely wants justice from those she feels are responsible for Michael’s death, and this civil suit is as close as she is going to get to any sense of justice.”

    I don’t know about that but I’m really wondering what sense of reality she has. My point is she may think he was treated badly but doesn’t she know that there are millions of people that are treated the same or worse and have to deal with that almost every day of their life.

    1. I agree that I do think Katherine is someone who can be easily manipulated. I think that, just like her son, she is too trusting and sometimes too trusting in the wrong people. That isn’t to say she is a fool by any means; just naive. One good example: During that whole fiasco with Kiss signing on to do the tribute concert, she really had NO IDEA of the remarks Gene Simmons had made. I felt so bad for her when she was going on about how much Michael would have loved to have Kiss performing. It was one of those moments that just makes you want to pull her aside and say, “Sweetie, we really need to have a talk about some things.” Perhaps Michael would have been thrilled about it…twenty years ago.

      But with all that said, I do believe the stories about Katherine’s manipulative streak. Those do not shock me in the least.

      I guess what I am really trying to say is that my position in this trial is mostly neutral, but if push comes to shove, my sympathies are with Katherine and the kids. That doesn’t mean we can’t be critical of this action here, just as long as it doesn’t cross the line into bashing. I just can’t in good conscience encourage bashing of Michael’s mother and kids here. I don’t feel as strongly about other family members, but bashing of Katherine and the kids really strikes a nerve with me.

  3. I think Kenny Ortega at one point explained the tug of war that Michael might have felt about the concerts…part of him was excited and stimulated by the creative challenges and part of him…that part so badly affected by 2005 and the pressures to put on the ‘best show’ ever combined with intractable insomnia, fear of not living up to huge expectations of his fans, etc. addresses his conflicting statements/behaviors. Both true and probably reflected in the images we see in TII.

    Personally, I don’t feel much sympathy for KJ…she was very much involved in the Allgood Tour/concert/reunion attempts and pressuring Michael to participate…at the same time he was involved with AEG. My question is two fold…1. If he was as ill, addicted, helpless and pressured by AEG at that time as she claims, why and how was he healthy enough for a family reunion/show?
    and 2. If he was as ill, addicted and unhealthy as she claims, are we to assume that he would make a miraculous recovery pushing 55-60 years of age that would substantiate future earnings of $40B?

    My feeling is that it is KJ, influenced by her other children, who is opening up Michael’s life to another microscopic intrusion by the media, the public and the courts. This is the third trial in which Michael has been the target of brutal assaults on his person and the fourth time he is exposed in a humiliating review of his life.

    1. These are all excellent points that I’m sure will be raised during the trial.

      This is why I find myself a bit conflicted regarding the whole trial. I want to sympathize with Katherine and I do feel, just as she does (and most of the family) that there was a lot more to Michael’s death than just Murray-and many others responsible. But unless we believe this was a case of cold blooded murder (and that is a possibility I have always kept an open mind to) then it also means accepting a huge blow to Michael’s legacy-having to accept that he was this frail, weak, drug addicted wreck of a being who was unable to perform at the last-unless kept going, almost Frankenstein-like, by being pumped full of drugs and propofol. That is not an image we like to be left with. And I have a very hard time accepting that it must be either/or. But that is sort of what this trial really comes down to.

      Either Michael was a total victim in this case, a “frail bird with a broken wing” as Jermaine described him, being forced to fly or fall(and all that entails, including the resultant damage to his artistic legacy) or a healthy man fit and excited to perform, in which case Katherine and co. have no case. But it may still leave, then, many unanswered questions about what did happen to him.

      AEG are going to try to prove that he was that wreck, only it was long before they came into the picture and none of their doing. KJ will have to prove that, yes, he was a wreck-only that AEG encouraged it, were well aware of it, and didn’t care; even exacerbated it.

      And that is why I say, regardless of which side “wins” or “loses” this case, it is ultimately Michael who loses. Perhaps there will be some temporary sense of vindication for KJ, but at what cost?

      1. Michael Jackson was fit and healthy, ready to perform, in the weeks leading up to his death. There is evidence that strongly suggests that he was being systematically poisoned, by Murray and perhaps others. Kai Chase’s testimony about how drastically his body and demeanor changed during the few weeks she left his employ is key here. If Michael was a chronic insomniac, unable to maintain a healthy body weight, why did these things manifest so sharply under Murray’s ‘care’? Why did he look good in April of 2009, and sickly by the end of June?

        1. I do have one possible theory for that. I believe Michael’s body was literally being “poisoned” by the unprecedented amounts of propofol he was receiving during those weeks, and under Murray’s “care.” I don’t believe Michael relied on propofol as a sleep aid routinely; in fact, most night, if he couldn’t sleep, he was probably content just to stay up all night, puttering around. He fell back on the propofol use during times of great stress-i.e, rehearsing and touring, when punctuality and sticking to a schedule became de riguer for the course. He had used propofol before, but I don’t think ever this extensively, and in such a concentrated short period of time. Little is known about the effects of propofol abuse on the body, as it is still such a relatively rare phenomenon and not many studies have been done. When it is used properly, of course, it has no lasting ill effects. But night after night, for weeks on end? Who’s to say what it is capable of doing to the body? I believe absolutely that his body was being poisoned by the propofol use. Whether it was intentional on the part of Murray or AEG, or simply severe negligence/indifference is, of course, the question.

          1. I believe Dr Shaffer said in an interview he was surprised that MJ was able to live for 2 months with the treatment he got.

          2. @Raven, my comment here is intended to be in response to yours about propofol being used night after night. I don’t see anyone having raised it here; however, I know from procedural experiences that anesthetic use requires fasting for something like 12 hours prior to administration, to avoid choking, so how does this square with the chef’s interviews about nightly preparation of meals for both Michael and Murray which she would leave in the frig prior to ending her shift, and in the morning both meal trays were found at the bottom of the steps, the meals apparently having been consumed (or perhaps Murray ate both or got rid of Michael’s meal). If Michael didn’t eat (or could not prior to propofol infusion), his weight would quickly decrease which may account for Jermaine’s observation in his book that he could not believe Michael’s dramatic weight loss between May 14 and June 25.

      2. @Raven, about Michael being that wreck before AEG came into the picture, AEG’s attorney was quoted in a CNN article just today as saying the 2005 allegations are relevant because as a result Michael’s drug use escalated. To me, that begs the question to AEG, why did you choose to enter into a contract with him to promote the tour and advance him many millions of dollars? Why would AEG want to contract with a “drug addict?” Why did they relentlessly pursue Michael starting as early as 2007 (per Phillips’ interviews, but at the time Michael wasn’t ready)?

        Despite having raised these points, I wish Katherine Jackson had not brought this case. Of course AEG has to defend itself. Both sides will raise the “addiction” issue, i.e., Jacksons saying Michael was ill, weak, addicted, and AEG took advantage. These allegations sound worse coming from the family, a family which has been the picture of inconsistency over the years when interviewed on the subject. Jermaine’s changes of position would be laughable under other circumstances.

        And another question I would have for @Jacksons, is it not just a bit hypocritical for you to appear at the BET Special end of June, early July 2013 at Staples Center, owned by (get ready) AEG? I know the bros are not parties to the law suit but come on, really?

          1. Raven, I wasn’t aware the Unity Tour is backed by AEG. Wow! Do you have any information confirming or denying that the Estate is paying Katherine Jackson’s lawyers for the suit against AEG? While I am aware these types of actions are taken on a contingency basis, there must always be an “upfront” cost advance which in this case must be several hundred thousand just to cover the discovery phase. I don’t believe any lawyers would have come this far without up-front funds to cover out of pocket cost expenses.

        1. In their court doc they claimed it’s Péter Lopez who contacted in 2007. I don’t know why they changed their story.

  4. Excellent post Raven! I have been feeling the exact same frustration and sadness about this upcoming trial. I don’t know or understand why Katherine Jackson would put herself, Michael’s children and Michael’s reputation through all of the chaos and cruelty that lies ahead. It is hard to not see $$$ when the amount of monetary reward that is being asked for is so outrageously outlandish in my opinion. I have no doubt that Mrs. Jackson will be searching for answers and some form of justice for the rest of her life. Maybe this trial is part of her search for those answers, but at what cost. Will any answer bring Michael back and when does searching for those who are to blame ever end? Certainly the media played a large part, along with so many of the “yes” people in Michael’s life over the years who cared more about the glamour and money that went along with that role than actually caring about Michael as a person. The Jackson family were most definitely not innocent bystanders either. Is it possible that maybe some feelings of guilt are also driving the need for this trial as well as yet again seeing Michael as a source of $$$.

    The only winners that I see coming out of this trial will be the lawyers and the media. AEG may be tarnished for a time but they will survive no matter what happens. That is the business they are in. They will move on to their next big deal or client. As you said, Michael was only business to them.

    In truth, Michael does bear some of the responsibility for his tragic death. He was human after all like each of us and in the end we are all responsible for the choices and the decisions that we make good and bad. I choose to focus on remembering and honoring all of the good and amazing things that Michael accomplished in his life and shared with all of us.

    I keep wishing that somehow common sense would prevail and someone in the Jackson family would step up and call off this whole thing. Wouldn’t that give the media something to talk about!!

    1. Sorry, but this comment could have been composed by AEG’s public relations firm. There is a great deal about the actions of AEG’s executives that needs to be exposed in this trial. No, it won’t bring Michael Jackson back, but that isn’t the point. The “media” didn’t come up with that ridiculous performance schedule, or that ludicrous contract, whose only purpose was to strip MJ of his assets. The public needs to know about these things, just as Prince and Paris need to defend their father and call out Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware. And who’s to say – information may emerge that could cause additional criminal charges to be brought against Murray and others.

      In truth, I am very suspicious of those who insist that MJ was “responsible” for his own death. No need to re-litigate the Murray case. Murray was found guilty; Michael Jackson was his victim, not his co-conspirator.

      1. I do believe they need to be held liable, which is why my sympathies are with KJ on this.

        I agree with Joyce on some points, but I agree with you on on many points made here, also. That contract was vicious, and I agree with Helena of Vindicating Michael that AEG treated Michael Jackson much differently than other superstar performers like Barbara Streisand. She has done an excellent job of breaking down the contract: (From here, anyone interested can follow the links to her other articles on the subject, all very detailed and thorough).

        I have no doubt, based on what we now know, that AEG does bear culpability. I think, for me, it is more a question of how much, and to what extent.

      2. I’m sorry that this is the impression that you got from my comment. I absolutely do not defend or excuse AEG for their unethical business practice. Sadly, they are not alone in the music industry. They most certainly played a part in what led to Michael’s untimely and completely unnecessary passing. My point was in stating that there are many others that can also share in this blame going back many years.
        Thanks Raven for the link to the contract. I will certainly look at that.

        I also absolutely do not blame Michael for his own death. I do believe that he is human like all the rest of us, not some childlike deity who had no control over anything in his life. He made mistakes along the way, he had faults and frailties which do not diminish him in any way in my eyes. They only make him more human and give me more reason to admire him. My point was only that as an adult human being we all have to take some responsibility for decisions and choices that we make.

        Conrad Murray is sitting in jail as he should be because he made the decision as an adult and a Physician to administer a drug to his patient, Michael, using none of the proper technique or protocols and then chose to abandon his patient.

        I hope this trial answers some questions about AEG and their role but I still have to ask myself…at what cost?

        1. “In truth, Michael does bear some of the responsibility for his tragic death.” – Joyce

          Murray is even more responsible than Michael because he was a doctor, but honestly MJ did play a role. Michael should have seeked professional help from an insomnia clinic. It is a hard thing to say and admit, but it is true.

    2. I’ve said many times before, if we want to ever unravel and completely get down to the bottom of who killed Michael Jackson, we would have to go all the way back to 2300 Jackson Street and the first time Joe ever laid a hand on him…and then work back from there, peeling back layer after layer of damage. It would be a nigh impossible task. I am not one of those who believes Michael was some being damaged to the point of dysfunction, as so many do (that is especially one of the favorite media narratives, and one that I spend a good deal of time on here debunking). But there is no doubt that he was damaged. All child stars are, to some extent-but Michael perhaps moreso, as so much pressure was put on him as the star and breadwinner for his family. Elton John used that very word to describe him-“damaged”-and I am sure he spoke the truth as he saw it. After all, Michael lived with him for awhile during his stay in London in 1993, so I’m sure they had plenty of opportunity to talk.

      I think we are all searching for those answers. It is why I sometimes-quite often-find myself contradicting my own self on here. My opinions will change and evolve as I learn more; I am constantly examining these issues from all sides, hoping that eventually I might piece all of the puzzle together, but I don’t know if that will ever be possible.

      I do have very strong feelings about Tohme and his involvement. But then, who would be to blame there? Michael’s own brother was responsible for bringing him into the picture. And on it goes.

      1. Raven, Michael stayed at Elton John’s house, but Elton was not there. The house was used as a clinic and that’s where MJ had the detox treatment before he went back to USA after leaving Dangerous tour.

  5. I feel,that it is much more important, what people would think about Michael 200 years later, than now. And it seems for me, that AEG would have profit much more of Michael not feeling himself good and happy. So, the trial is a good chance to ask from AEG questions, that have bothered many of us for a long time.

    1. “I feel,that it is much more important, what people would think about Michael 200 years later…”

      I agree.

      “So, the trial is a good chance to ask from AEG questions, that have bothered many of us for a long time.”

      That is the only silver lining I see; maybe this trial will bring some much needed answers.

  6. Hi Raven:

    Great points made by you and all the commentors.

    2005 – Mr. Mesereau for Michael; 2011 – Mr. Walgren and Ms. Brazil for Michael.

    2013? Who will be there for Michael?

    Have you seen that McManus slime has once again sold her morals for $$.
    All I can say is that she is well named – McmANUS.

    1. I really think if the 2005 trial had been televised, we might have actually seen a turnaround in the public’s perception of the defense. Thomas Mesereau would have emerged as a superhero of that trial, for sure. His role got downplayed because we didn’t get to see him in action in the courtroom, and so much of his brilliant cross examinations went under reported.

  7. I don’t even understand the point of this lawsuit. Are the Jacksons saying AEG is responsible for MJ’s death because they hired CM? Well, Michael was the one who introduced CM to them, they hired him on Michael’s request.

    Are they saying AEG was in collusion with Murray to murder Michael. Well, there was no evidence in the trial that showed AEG even knew Murray was giving Michael propofol, or ordered it for Murray. As a matter of fact I remember during the trial Murray paid for the propofol with his credit card and stored it at his baby momma’s house. The cause of Michael’s death was propofol intoxication not the 50 shows.

    Then are they saying the 50 shows added pressure on Michael, resulting in insomnia? Well, I am under pressure at work, and I could be out of a job very soon. If I were to start drinking and die from alcohol poisoning due to the depression would my reletives have a case?

    Raven, why not sue AEG and Murray? They chose to sue only AEG leaving Murray to write all his tell-all books, and all the tv appearences that he please.

    1. “…why not sue AEG and Murray? They chose to sue only AEG leaving Murray to write all his tell-all books, and all the tv appearences that he please”

      Most likely because they know that suing Murray is pointless. The man has no money to pay. As the old saying goes, you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, or something to that same effect.

      1. @Raven, why not sue Murray? Yes, he has nothing now, but wait …..The Goldmans were right there waiting every time OJ came into some cash; the Goldmans demanded restitution; imo Jacksons should have done the same.

  8. Thanks Raven! I think it is a great idea to open up the AllforLove Forum for updates and discussions related to the Trial over the next 4 months. I just signed up and will definitely be checking back in to try to keep up to date.

    I wish I could just completely tune out the rest of the media that will certainly be on overdrive to dig up any dirt and replay all the old tired lies regarding Michael. Unfortunately this trial will be opening up that Pandora’s Box yet again.

      1. We know where Prince’s and Paris’s loyalties lie, so it does not worry me that they will take the stand insofar as what they may say. I believe that, as always, anything they have to say will be a credit to Michael. However, the cross examination may be rough for them. I hope and pray they will be able to hold up with grace under pressure, but it’s going to be rough for them.

  9. The trial didn’t just started, it started 4 years ago but its only now that the civil case can proceed.
    Katherine has my full support and sympathy. The families need , time or means for closure or how to respond does not have to be in sync with the outside world. Our reality is not theirs. When we switch off and go back to our own families, KJ is still Michaels mother, the children are still his children and he is still missing from their lives. Do we know how many sleepless nights KJ had and how often in the passed 4 year she had to comfort the children and probably the other way round.
    I also hate the thought that Michael will again be the center of sick jokes and mud slinging.
    But let’s not turn things upside down. It is not the trial that makes haters think and act the way they do. Its human nature at its ugliest and the medias hunger for ratings.
    If AEG did nothing wrong and were the respectable company they pretended to be, why the need now to trash and ridicule Michael. Why did AEG retract their insurance claim after the email leak. Why were they negotiating with Murray about medical equipment that they didn’t deliver. Michael bares responsibility for accepting the offer without looking into the details, but he is not responsible for his death or for the dealings between Murray and AEG. AEG took advantage of a man who they knew and told had no way out.
    I commend KJ for being so determined. What world would it be if we voluntarily give up our rights,for fear of being bullied or for peoples nasty opinions.

    Murray is serving jail time and will hopefully lose his license. Why in the world would KJ be tied to this man the rest of her life and spend money on lawyers to monitor his finances. Any money he makes will probably be allowed to pay off his enormous debt and child support first before having to pay KJ a dime. Not his life will be a hell, but hers.
    Tohme is sued by the MJE executors for the bogus deals he had Michael sign, which I hope Include the AEG contract.
    AEG recouped 3 times the amount they spent on Michael. I hope they will be sentenced for what they did and have to pay accordingly.
    Michael paid the ultimate price. I wish people would stop blaming him as if he deserved to die for his mistakes.
    If his mother and children feel strong enough to go through this ordeal, bless them.
    We on the other hand have the choice to follow or not follow the trial and to read the media garbage or ignore it.

    Here are some fan reactions when 10 shows became 16, 21, 22 30….50 and fans started to worry. It was around the same time when Randy Philips was mocking Michael “no more shows Randy , no more shows”

    Reply #645 posted 03/11/09 10:55am
    Annika said:
    I wonder how many will be cancelled. 10 night seemed reasonable for his physique, but 30? Best case scenario, it’s still a huge stretch.
    Not that it affects me, I’ve got tickets for opening night!

    You lucky git…. , i’d say all nights after the 21 concert looks suspect ….as we known Prince did it ….but can Mike do more than 21 ??? can any Artist that’s the question as the 22 would be a world record…

    Reply #742 posted 03/12/09 3:33am
    SquirrelMeat said:
    The new London dates are Jan/Feb.
    So where is he going in Oct/Nov/Dec….?
    my bet…NY or Tokyo.

    Surely he’ll rest. I just can’t fathom how he’s physically going to be able do this. Unless half the show is just singing live with no dancing, which I would love. But I’m still greatly concerned he won’t be able to fulfil his commitments.
    Still, 45 dates is just incredible

    1. “If AEG did nothing wrong and were the respectable company they pretended to be, why the need now to trash and ridicule Michael. Why did AEG retract their insurance claim after the email leak. Why were they negotiating with Murray about medical equipment that they didn’t deliver.”

      The equipments were for London. The Lloyd lawsuit is still going on. It’s the Estate vs Lloyd and if I am not wrong they got their money from the Estate.

        1. Yes, but all of that proves nothing. Nobody is a promoter here and you don’t know what is normal or not.

          Anyway all of that will not be part of trial.

          1. Ah, but the beauty of the internet is that we don’t know who is posting here, or what information they may have. You could be Randy Phillips. And so could I.

          2. Yes, but internet allows to you buy and read the docs for yourself if you have an american credit card.

  10. “But I am a firm believer in that,when push truly comes to shove, blood is indeed thicker than water-as it should be. ”

    I disagree with this statement. I am willing to support my relatives up to a point, but just b/c I was born into a family I do not feel obliged, once an adult, to feel like we are all Siamese twins who can never be separated. I am my own person and make my own choices and just b/c I am related to someone does not mean any obligation to violate my health, happiness, or wellbeing b/c of demands they might make on me, especially if it is a dysfunctional and abusive family, which, let’s face it, many families are. Basically, I left my family when I went away to college and went out on my own, making my own friends and living on my own. I find it somehwat repellent this whole idea that you are stuck with your family for liofe if you don;’t want to be. Of course, if you want it, fine, but don’t impose that on others to do the same. I feel Michael tried to separate himself from his family, first by going out as a solo performer, firing Joe as his manager, and then by moving out of Hayvenhurst (even though he was 30 at the time he ‘left home’) and establishing Neverland. I am glad he did that and I appalud him b/c I know it wasn’t easy to break with the expectations placed on him by both Joe and Katherine. He even says as much in Moonwalk when he talks about it not being easy to fire Joe as his manager, and KJ did not want him to leave the Jacksons (the groupo with his brother).

    Is there a chance that the entire family never forgave him for breaking with them in those ways? Is there a chance he felt somehat guilty and that’s why he also gave the family such heavy lip service in public even though he refused to see many of them except at certain times? Does this all have to do with this civil suit b/c family members (siblings and Joe) were not in MJ’s will? Is this suit a way to re-write the will so that through AEG the family will get all the money they feel MJ owes them and that his will denied them?

    I think for a man who was plagued with lawsuits his adult life–estimated 500 deposition and 1,500 lawsuits, he would hate that his young kids at age 15 and 16 had to give depositions, have to testify, have to be cross-examined when they are in his will and he provided for them at great cost, preserving his assets like the catalogues, and yet they have to face this courtroom stress? I do not think he would approve in any way, shape or form with their being dragged into this civil suit. He tried to shield them from this, to give them a life outside the public eye, outside the tabloids, outside the courtrooms and yet here they are in the middle of it.

    1. I did not mean that statement in the sense that Michael owed anything to his family. I only meant it in the sense that I believe that MOST families-and that includes even the Jacksons-will usually stick up for one another against outside forces when the chips are down, no matter how much they might fight and disagree amongst themselves. I also meant it in the sense that, because Katherine is Michael’s mother and the kids, of course, are his children, that my sympathies will naturally lie with them as opposed to AEG, who as I said lost nothing when Michael died except a business venture.

      I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy at all about what his kids are being put through. But there is another way you can look at that. IF he was here, there would be no need for his kids to be put through this, or anything else they’ve had to endure for the past 46 months.

      Personally, my own feelings are torn on this. I feel this trial is a very misguided idea, but it’s just like when someone in my own family makes a bad decision-I can support them in love without necessarily supporting their decision, if that makes sense. (A good example: When my younger sister left her husband, who is a good man: I didn’t agree with her action, but it’s her life, not mine; all I could do was to “be there” for her if needed, but while I could offer advice, it was not my place to dissuade her decision). I think that is probably the best and most accurate way to sum up how I feel regarding this AEG trial.

      I realize the Jackson family dynamic is more complicated than most. As far as AEG seeing Michael as nothing but a commodity, I know there are many who feel the exact same way about his family-that he was nothing but a commodity to them, a money bank, the “goose laying the golden eggs.” But even if that is true-and I certainly do not doubt there is truth to it (probably the most honest thing Conrad Murray has ever said was that Michael told him he was tired of being a “bank” for his family)-I still believe that, deep down, the love is there-the love for a son, a brother, a father. All of the things that he was to his family, which he will never be to AEG or any other corporate entity.

      Speaking of possible “guilt” Michael may have felt on his end, there is something that has always struck me as interesting, and that is how- over 21 years, three world tours and a fourth concert series in the works-the Jackson 5 medley was always a constant staple of his shows. He was always sure to pay homage to his roots with his family, even though he certainly didn’t have to (people by then would have paid money hands over fist just to see him and to hear his songs) but he always included the songs he performed with his brothers, and his emotions during that medley always seemed genuine. He would always take time out to say how much he loved them. BUT (and here is the funny and interesting part)…you never saw him actually onstage WITH his brothers, until 2001 MSG. He would pay his “tribute” but his attitude was always one of, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to perform with them again!” At our house, we always get a bit of the giggles when Michael has Daryll Phinnesse (or whoever) to come out and sing Jermaine’s part on I’ll Be There. It always begs the question…is this a tribute, or the ultimate “F you” to Jermaine? It could certainly be read either way!

      1. Yes, that’s an excellent observation–the tributes that MJ gave to his brothers with the Jackson 5 songs he performed–but without them, except for 2001 MSG shows. There is a double-message coming from MJ–on the one hand, the public statements of love and yet the behavior says something else, along with the will. I think the will says loud and clear that he did not want to be a ‘bank’ for his family anymore. Nevertheless, he make KJ the first-choice guardian. Seems like Michael was torn, too.

  11. I can’t agree more Raven. It isn’t AEG or Katherine on trial, it is Michael all over again, and it makes me feel very very sad. I can understand the family wanting justice – as you say it isn’t really about the money – and I do feel that 4 years, communted to 2 for Murray is nowhere near enough, but I don’t think justice is served by dragging all this up yet again.

    We are just getting past seeing Michael as a medial characture and people looking seriously at his ‘art’, and now again there is going to be a media circus of course – how can the media see it any other way than as another opportunity to cash in on Michael. They won’t be interesed in the art form of This Is It at all!!!!

    I am following it all of course via the fanclub being in another country, and know that the fanclub coverage will be sensitive and caring, but with a very heavy heart for Michael. I wish he could just be left to rest in peace – I really do!

    1. I know, Caro. I really have a sick and heavy heart about the whole thing. But perhaps there is a positive. Anytime Michael’s name is circulated in the news again, more people become curious and start researching him. Those searches will lead some down a very dark path of hate and lies, but for others, it will lead to truth and discovery of who the man really was, just as it did for me in 2009. It will happen for others, too. So even though I feel I’m facing this ordeal with a heavy heart, I have to take some grain of positive with this and look at it as an opportunity to help provide that education and enlightenment that will be so sorely needed during all of this.

      1. The majority of people only read the news, they don’t do their own research. The only thing people are going to read is MJ was hopeless drug addict and AEG should have known vs MJ was hopeless drug addict who hides his drug addiction.

        He will be thrown under the bus by everybody, including his own mother, with nobody to defend him and for what?

          1. That’s right! Murray will be out in October and ready to launch his appeal case. … and his tell all book. He has no other way of making money, but to sell his story. Of course he can’t be sued for doing it.

  12. Raven,
    are now almost 4 years that I think the death of Michael, I try, I read, I ask, I listen to medical advice and legal services, I strive to understand and I fear that this process – as you said – it’s just a loss for Michael .

    I believe that the truth is very nuanced, as Michael himself had a nuanced personality.

    Sometimes I can not come to believe that he had a mental and physical fragility powerful enough to get stuck in things economic and business without the knowledge sufficient to maintain himself and his children.
    I understood that he was a strong man, able to fight and countless horrible adversity … “he was a warrior.”

    But then I do not know and I have no means to understand the extent to which, for example, his finances were really to the collapse, I do not have the ability to understand how strong was his desire for redemption, recovery, his desire of again be the king of pop and what kind of price he had decided inside him he could pay to get back on top.

    “go, go, go, when people leave my show, I want them to say” I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life “…Go….

    Also, I can only assume that the greed of men – and I mean everyone, family, Aeg, friends, businessmen, doctors – have been at the end the only important thing.

    My consternation is total.
    I have asked numerous times to a doctor friend about those symptoms that Michael had a few days before his death. Those left feeling cold, that his fluctuating sense of participation and dismay.
    He told me that – in all likelihood – such reactions depend on the alternation of drugs given to sleep and then to restart life as if nothing powerful had taken, such as propofol.
    But then the autopsy results seem to disprove this theory.

    I often have very mixed feelings when I look This is it: the same that underlie the inability to accept a premeditated murder but in the same way, to the neglect and disinterest on the part of AEG to their goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Perhaps, as you mentioned you, Michael was full of energy and desire to return to the scene, but do I see in the film also deep sadness and anguish and insecurity and, at times, fear.

    Somewhere I read that Michael had told a friend that you do not really choose for anything in life.

    If this view is true, perhaps he recently found himself managing an extreme solution, thinking they can bite the bullet for a final, exhausting time at heavy cost.
    Then the responsibility, as with everything, it would only exclusively his.

    But then I think of the words of Helena when she says that in her blog that f Michael had given forfait for This is it, Aeg, Thome and all ‘commercial’ partners would have a great advantage. Namely that if Michael had not respect the initial agreements (organized by Thome), they would have had the opportunity to buy up the biggest slice of the pie.

    These thoughts bring me the creeps. And perhaps it is true that, at the end of it all, there remains only the actual data of Michael died helpless, asleep and, as always, alone.
    Sorry for the long post.

  13. Yes you are right Raven. I hadn’t thought of it in the positive terms of getting Michaels name out there again, cos all I can see is the negative media circus gearing up. But you are right in that it willl point new people towards researching Michael, and indeed discovering him as I also did in 2009 for the true person that he is/was. Thanks for the positive feedback – I really needed it, as I am sure many true fans do.

  14. U r right, we didn’t need this. But I have a feeling that Prince and Paris have something to say, they look determined…they look like they believe in their grandmothers decision.

    And I guess in the age of twitter and FB, it wud be very hard to lie like the media did in 2005…at least a total blackout of truth would not be possible.

    But the garbage has started tumbling out…MJ drank six glasses of wine everyday…messed up and addict.

    I am going to trust the ‘universe’ that has brought this forth. 2012 seems to be year of good tidings lets hope something good comes out!

  15. I don’t understand why the judge is allowing the defense, and the plaintiffs, to make derogatory, unsupported statements about Michael Jackson. The judge herself limited the lawsuit to one issue – whether or not AEG was negligent in the hiring and supervision of the individual who sits in jail convicted of killing his victim. This talk of addiction, alienation from family, and debt, is the equivalent to tarnishing the reputation of a rape victim by saying that by her actions and the way she dressed, she “asked for it”.

    Did AEG hire Conrad Murray? That is the only question.

    1. I agree, Simba. I am not impressed with this judge so far. Let’s hope she improves as we go along. I cannot understand why the trial is going to take 2-4 months if there is only one charge now re negligent hiring and supervision. I agree this is like bringing in ‘what she wore’ in the case of a rape victim–and other prejudicial bias like that. There is a lot of blaming the victim, but in a way, this is what needs to be proved by both sides–MJ was weak, frail, with a history of being a drug abuser or addict, so therefore AEG should have known they had to be more careful re Murray and what he was up to. And for the defense, he was all those things but they were not aware of the extent or the recent history–this is the 2 lives line of the defense–no one knew what he was doing or could even imagine what he was doing behind “locked doors.”

      1. I am frankly not impressed with the judge OR Panish at this point.

        The system has always worked in Michael’s favor in the past, but in both 2005 and 2011, he had brilliant attorneys working in his corner. Panish is no Mesereau, and no Walgreen, and has already made inaccurate statements that do not line up with the timeline of events established in the Murray trial.

        1. Panish is just doing what the Jacksons did since he died. They always said he was a drug addict, except for Jermaine. You can’t claimed a company should have done something if you, as a family member, admitt that you didn’t know.

  16. I support the case against AEG. I too have been following what Helena has written, and continues to write regarding the contract and other shady people involved in MJ’s life before & during the TII rehersals. But I also don’t support the image of the “fraile” Michael, plagued with illness, etc. Doesn’t the autopsy say that Michael’s brain had swelled? This may have played a role in his performance ability also. I heard Tom Mesereau say on ET (well, he asked), why would AEG hire MJ to begin with if they claim he had all these drug problems (or something to that effect)? Does anyone have a link to the autopsy report (I hope I don’t have to download it)? Raven, can you post a link to your forum to the Friends of AFLB section? Thank you! 🙂

    1. “his may have played a role in his performance ability also. I heard Tom Mesereau say on ET (well, he asked), why would AEG hire MJ to begin with if they claim he had all these drug problems (or something to that effect)?”

      Because, they said they didn’t know about it, they only learned it after his death.

      By the way, the same could be said about the Jacksons why did they tryed to tour with him if they knew he had all his problems? ( I am not talking about the Allgood concert but the tour they wanted to do with Janet as an opening act according to Leonard Rowe).

  17. At the Murray trial, the defense’s expert witness concede under cross examination that by his professional assessment, Michael Jackson was NOT an addict. Repeat, Michael Jackson was NOT an addict. The Jackson family members and the execs from AEG have their motives for trying to portray MJ as an addict. But the fact remains that he was not an addict.

    Even if he had been, it has no bearing on whether AEG hired and supervised Conrad Murray.

    1. Do I have it correct? AEG hired Murray to give Michael propofol nightly. They bought the propofol, but failed to supervise closely Murray’s administration of it to Michael hence making them a co-conspirator in Michael’s death. The sad thing is Michael had no idea that Murray was giving him anesthesia as a sleep aid, and he was in the dark about AEG’s and Murray’s secret dealings.

      AEG did a poor job of monitoring Murray’s actions, plus they should have purchased all the equipment Murray requested, at the very least it would have made for a safe at home use of surgical anesthesia.

      The reason AEG was not charged along with Murray is because they are powerful and slippery hence the police could not find the missing link. Therefore, Murray had to stand alone. CM did not insinuate AEG during the trial because after he completes prison sentence there will be a windfall of money from AEG for keeping their secret.

      As for Michael’s drug addition I simply do not believe it. It doesn’t matter that the toxicology and autopsy showed a slew of prescription drugs in his system even to knock out 10 well built men, but Michael did not fall asleep, and still needed the anesthesia. That does not prove that his body had developed a tolerate to these prescription drugs. No.

      I am getting to the bottom of things and I hope Katherine gets her $1.5 dollars. It will not bring Michael back, but it was ease her suffering and add to the pain of AEG.

      1. @Teva,

        He was able to sleep without anesthesia, according to Cherilyn Lee, and yes the defense expert said he wasn’t an addict.

          1. I understand the term ‘dependency’ is used by professionals, not ‘addiction,’ which is a term used by the general public. Re your other comment, from what I understand AEG is saying/claiming that they had no idea that Murray was giving MJ propofol. Murray bought propofol with his credit card. He was never paid by AEG. The equipment Murray wanted AEG to purchase, such as CPR, would not have helped in a cardiac arrest situation. Yes, the nurse would have helped, assuming that person knew more than CM. I think you are not accurate about the medication reported in the autopsy. Also, there is no evidence about CM getting a windfall from AEG, being the fall-guy for AEG, or being in collusion with AEG. MJ did know that propofol was an anesthetic as he had had an anesthesiologist administer it previously.

          2. @IUDT
            MJ needed someone to tell him the propofol was deadly how else would he have known. This is how I understand it from some fans. He didn’t know what was going on.

          3. I don’t buy for a minute that he didn’t know what was going on. Michael was an intelligent man who certainly knew the risks that were involved in his “treatment.” He was willing to take the risk because he had faith, based on what he had been told by certain doctors, that it was safe “as long as I am monitored.” As to whether those doctors were referring to treatment in a hospital setting or at home, I don’t know. But if the latter, then these doctors were shady characters who deserve to be strung up. I think Michael certainly knew the risk he was taking, but put his faith and confidence in his doctors’ hands. Obviously, that was a fatal mistake.

          4. Cherylynn Lee the nurse who treated him with homeopathic aids for insomnia before CM came along, told him that propofol was dangerous–she told him “no one who cares about you would give you this’ and she told him how dangerous it was. She testified to that in the Murray trial. He had asked her to find him someone to give him propofol. She didn’t know what it was and looked it up and told him how dangerous it was. So he did know that there were problems with that drug but he told her ‘my dr. tells me I’ll be safe if I am monitored.” That’s true if the right person is administering the drug, but obviously CM was not that person.

        1. I believe he was capable of sleeping without it, too. I think this was more of a “dependency” issue that manifested itself and was exacerbated by stressful situations for him, such as the rigor of touring and/or a stingent rehearsal schedule. He felt he needed this crutch to get the kind of deep sleep he needed during those times.

          There is certainly much evidence that supports he was capable of falling asleep without it. But it was probably not quality sleep. It was adequate sleep-for him-during down times when he was not having to stick to a rigorous and demanding physical schedule.

    2. Addiction one way or the other is not a character flaw. Addiction is a result of a chemical brain imbalance that cannot be controlled by the individual’s free will. Whether Michael was or wasn’t an “addict” really shouldn’t be the issue here, since what killed him was propofol intoxication (not a “drug overdose” or “prescription drug overdose” as so many media stories erroneously claim). Of course, AEG is attempting to argue that the propofol use is just another manifestation of his “addictive” personality, and perhaps there is truth in that. He had done it before, and liked the results it gave him. Eventually, he felt like it was a crutch he needed in order to sleep. So I can see how some might argue that this was “addictive” behavior. But addiction and dependency are two different things.

      What we have seen in both the Murray and AEG trials is that, just as the only real defense a rapist has in the courtroom is to cast doubt on his victim’s character, the only defense Murray and AEG have is to paint Michael’s character in the worst possible light. Michael is essentially the “victim” who is being put on trial in order to deflect guilt from the guilty parties. Addiction in and of itself is not a character flaw or a weakness, but because so many have this mistaken assumption that it somehow IS a reflection of character, both the defense and the media will use that angle to villify Michael.

      I do believe Michael had issues with addiction and dependency-at the very least, certainly dependency. In fact, that has never been any secret. He overcame his addiction to prescription pills, but I suspect he struggled for years with falling on and off the wagon, as the many stresses of his life mounted. What really matters, however, and what has relevance, is those last few months when AEG and Murray came into the picture. Bringing up issues from the 1990’s, etc is serving no purpose except character assassination.

      The old saying “once an addict always an addict” comes from the fact that, just because a person’s addiction is treated and they are clean, the brain chemistry that created the addictive personality in the first place is still there. Addicts often simply substitute one addiction for another. Cigarette smokers will usually overeat once they stop smoking; they might get addicted to gum chewing. (Who cares; chewing gum is a lot healthier than smoking, right?). Alcoholics, once sober, usually cannot even allow themselves to drink socially, lest that one glass of wine turn into a three-day binge. There is no automatic cure for addiction. It’s something that an individual copes with for the rest of their life.

      I suppose that is where the judgement of character often comes into play. People assume that a person of strong will (a person who really “wants to”) can pull themselves up by the bootstrap and do it; a person who doesn’t is either just lazy or doesn’t care enough about themselves or anyone around them to make the effort.

      But it is certainly not that easy.

      Regardless of whether Michael was strong and clean at the end, he was an addict by his own admission, which meant just like all addicts, it was something he had to overcome and control for the remainder of his life. Many people mistakenly assume that the word “addict” only refers to an individual when they are in the throes of their addiction. Not necessarily true, although it is probably more accurate to say that such a person has an addictive personality and the propensity for addiction, which does not carry quite the same stigma or connotation.

      I personally do not have an issue with the word. It is just a word. It is not a pretty word; as El said, it literally means “enslavement.” But the word itself does not make a person a “good” or “bad” person.I DO take issue with people who use it in a derogatory fashion to belittle and dehumanize. It is, essentially, the same principle as using the word of any disease to characterize the whole of an entire human being. It is comparable to writing about Farrah Fawcett and dropping the word “cancer victim” into every other line, or linking Michael J. Fox with the phrase “Parkinson’s disease” with every mention. And, of course, our society does not view addiction as sympathetically as physical diseases because, just as with mental illness, it goes unseen and only manifests itself in the form of negative behaviors and consequences. But any human being-and especially an artist and humanitarian as great as Michael Jackson-deserves to be remembered for more than just a derogatory word or name.

      1. The rage against the addict label is not only because we don’t think he was addicted but it’s because of the negative connotation and our own negative attitude towards addiction.
        Addicts are not different from you and me. In fact each and everyone of us may have addictive tendencies. It is as Raven said not a character flaw, but a disease that needs help and not shaming.
        Most addicts will hide it exactly because of the stigma and how they are judged, imagine what it meant for Michael.
        Once an addict always an addict means that even after rehab and being clean there is always a chance of relapse. Anyone who ever smoked will know what I mean. Dependency or addiction is semantics.
        I know this because one of the most loving,intelligent, gentle people I know and love is an addict. He is clean but acknowledges that he has a disorder that will peobably last a lifetime.

        Here is an article about addiction

        Addiction is Redefined as Chronic Brain Disorder
        A significant conclusion has been reached among health professionals, which redefines addiction. Following a four-year discussion among experts, the American Society of Addiction Medicine now defines addiction as a chronic brain disorder, rather than a behavioral one. The new definition places the onus of addiction on neurological activity which predisposes an individual to addictive patterns, whether it be alcohol or drugs, gambling, sex or other potentially destructive behaviors.
        The new definition also recognizes addiction as a primary disease, that is to say that addiction is not the offshoot of another condition such as mental illness. As a primary disease, addiction should be treated and managed in much the way other chronic diseases are, such as diabetes or heart disease. Within the context of its definition, it is accepted that addiction must be handled with certain protocols of treatment over one’s lifetime to effectively prevent relapse or an escalation of detrimental outcomes.
        In viewing addiction as a neurological disorder, rather than a lack of will or any number of the other stigmas that are often associated with dependency, health professionals hope this new understanding of addiction will encourage greater compassion and support for those in need of proper treatment.

        1. MJ suffered a horrific burn to his head, requiring medication to deal with the pain. The pain lingered for years, exacerbated by the botched attempts to repair his scalp, which were excruciating. The need for pain medication, when there is pain, cannot be characterized as a neurological disorder. MJ did not become dependent because of a personality defect, or from recreational use to get high, or low.

          People in the media, and lawyers in the court case, know this. But it suits their purposes to paint a portrait of MJ as, (in the words of Adrian McManus, household thief) a “degenerate drug addict”. When people hear the word “addict”, sympathy goes out the window. As yet, there is no “new definition” embraced by the public that will change this perception.

          1. Addiction never starts intentionally. Sometimes its because of longterm use of medication, recreational druguse starts out of curiosity, experimenting. When using pain or sleeping medication for a long time it is not effective anymore , you build up tolerance and need stronger medication etc. Pain medication or recreational drugs are similar in that they are highly addictive and have the feel good effect that causes the craving, even if the problem- the pain- does not exist anymore. This is how it works

            “Addictive drugs mimic natural rewards such as food and sex by kindling a network of brain areas collectively called the reward circuitry, which is responsible for enjoyment — which if you think about it, is an important survival response. It gets us to do more of the kinds of things that keep us alive and lead to our having more offspring: food-seeking and ingestion, hunting and hoarding, selecting a mate and actually mating.
            Moreover, addictive drugs fire up the reward circuitry in a way that natural rewards can’t — by, in a sense, pressing a heavy thumb down on the scale of pleasure. Over time, the desire for the drug becomes more important than the pleasure the addict gets from it. By the time the thrill is gone, long-lasting changes may have occurred within key regions of the brain.
            The brain is a little bit like the big snarl of tangled wires snaking their way out of that six-outlet surge protector behind your bed. They know where they’re going, even if you don’t. Nerve cells (or neurons, as scientists call them) can be seen as hollow wires transmitting electrical currents down long cables called axons to other neurons.
            Addiction was once defined in terms of physical symptoms of withdrawal, such as nausea and cramps in the case of heroin or delirium tremens in the case of alcohol, which reflect physiological changes within cells of an addict’s body. It’s now seen as changes in brain circuits, or combinations of neurons; in other words, the very neurophysiological changes that result from learning and experience. You crave, seek and use a pernicious drug again and again because you have a memory of it being more wonderful than anything else, and because your brain has been rewired so that, when exposed to anything that reminds you of the drug, you will feel rotten if you don’t get some.
            “These are symptoms of a brain disease, not a mere weakness of will,” Malenka says.

          2. For the record: this is not to say that Michael at the time of his death was addicted to any medication. It is to put in perspective that addiction is not a lack of character. Addiction is a disease, Mc Manus criminal conduct was a choice.

      2. Thanks for this comment Raven. You are soooooo right and you have put it so well. Addiction is certainly not a character flaw, but as you say something that is part of one’s mental makeup, and yes, mental disease is still not regarded in the same light as physical disease, and it is about time it was.

        We all know Michael’s character and it is full of wonderful facets, and I just feel so sad that this one thing can override all of those in people’s minds thanks to the tabloid media etc.

        When I speak to people about Michael, and I do it a lot!!, they all come around to mentioning his ‘addiction’ and I just steer them towards the many many other facets of his character, but your comment has put it so well, that it will help me to put things better when I discuss this matter. Thank you.

        1. You are most welcome, Caro. Also, the article that Sina posted may be quite helpful in regards to those conversations as well.

          1. And so now we read that the judge has decided, over the objection of the Estate of Michael Jackson, that Michael’s medical records will not be sealed. On and on it goes ……

          2. I’m of two minds on the issue of the medical records. For the sake of Michael’s privacy as a patient and his dignity as a human being, they should remain sealed. Information that is directly relevant to the case could be submitted to the jury only, with a sworn agreement that they will keep the info confidential. I don’t see any logical reason why it couldn’t be handled in that way. Of course, jurors are human like everyone else and even then, there is no guarantee that they wouldn’t sell their stories to the media afterwards. But that is why I say a sworn oath that is punishable by a stiff fine or prison sentence, if not upheld, would be a necessity in order to maintain confidentiality. As the estate had requested, these documents should only be made available to the jury, the attorneys, and the judge. There is really no legit or viable reason for them to be made public, and I am very disappointed with Palazuelos’s ruling, as I believe making these docs public serves no viable or legit purpose to the case, and the only justification for making them public is to create a media spectacle.

            But I will also echo some other thoughts I have heard on this. It seems there is a lot of panic in the fan community over the thought of these records going public. Why? What are we afraid of, really? That there IS damaging info that will come out of it? Are we scared that the haters will be proven right? To me, it seems the very worst things that could come out of this, as far as damage to Michael’s reputation and legacy, would be anything pertaining to the paternity of the kids or his vitiligo. And I believe, in all honesty, these are the issues fans fear. But why?

            Michael’s vitiligo was quite obviously a real condition. All anyone has to do is look at those pics of his horribly blotched skin to know he had the disease.

            As for the paternity issue, I believe the judge has already agreed to grant the plaintiff’s request that it not be brought up. In any event, the children’s paternity is totally irrelevant (I would certainly think!) since, regardless of biological paternity, they are his legal children in every sense and his legal heirs.

            The more of an issue that is made out of those medical records-the more fans clamor and the estate demands they be kept sealed-the more it is only going to make people wonder what is actually in there that is so potentially damaging?

            The fear of the medical records may well prove a mountain out of a molehill. However, I share this fear, not because I am duly concerned about what “secrets” those records may contain, but because I know how the media and tabloids operate, and how they will spin everything that is revealed, without bothering to get their facts straight-which, of course, will be doubly worse since this is a trial taking place behind closed doors, with only a few, select media in attendance. (As I have said, the benefit of a televised trial is that at least we get to see and hear for ourselves the information that was presented; it deprives those journalists of any opportunity to spin the stories how they want).

          3. Imo there is nothing worse than the needless display of Michaels naked body waiting for the coroner to be examined, viewed by millions, mocked and sent to his children as a ‘trophy’. What hurts more, us hearing the painful stories now or Michael enduring it day in day out. What about his fears that his children would see what the world thought of him and would maybe also doubt him. Then basically enslaved and bullied by a merciless entity, scared to death what would happpen if he couldnt deliver, so much so that he put his life in the hands of a quack.
            If his mother and children are fearless and have the courage to go against this entity like David against Goliath, power to them.

            I don’t think it will be permitted to use medical ínformation that is not relevant to the case,to prevent the jury from prejudice. The fight will be mostly over what is relevant and what not.
            I think much will have to do with the insurance,the medical examination Randy Philips bragged that Michael passeds with flying colours, why Lloyds objected to AEGs claim and why AEG withdrew the claim, which happened right after the email leak. There must be a correlation between these things as the timing raises many questions.

  18. In Dutch the term addiction translates into ‘verslaafd’, which litterally means ‘enslaved’. Such a Sad thought that the man who stood up bravely against racism all this life ended up worked to death as a corporate slave. It is as of somehow being addicted dehumanizes people and we are therefore no longer required to treat them with such care and respect. Perhaps at a deep level this thinking needs to be stopped. Initiatief this trial may actually be the bravely, most steadfast thing KJ did in her entirely life. Just a thought…..

    1. Hi Els, I am sorry that your comment was held in que for so long. I had a very long day at work and just now checking in. It will usually hold the comments from first timers for moderation.

      I agree and it is one reason I cannot completely take a stance against this trial. I don’t like the negative publicity, of course; nobody does. But it may be a necessary evil that has to be endured to get to the truth.

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