Jackson’s mother sues concert promoter AEG Live
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Michael Jackson’s mother sued a concert promoter Wednesday, alleging the company failed to provide life-saving equipment and oversee a doctor who was hired to look out for the pop star’s well-being as he prepared for what were intended to be his comeback concerts.
Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit was filed against AEG Live in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
The suit contends AEG and its agents told Michael Jackson the company would provide the equipment and hire Dr. Conrad Murray to care for him so he could perform at the concerts in London.
“AEG’s representations to Jackson were false because in reality AEG was merely doing whatever it took to make sure that Michael Jackson could make it to rehearsals and shows and AEG did not provide a doctor who was truly looking out for Jackson’s well-being and did not provide equipment,” the lawsuit stated.
AEG spokesman Michael Roth said the company has not seen the lawsuit and had no immediate comment.
AEG Live President and CEO Randy Phillips said after Jackson’s June 2009 death that Murray was enlisted to act as Jackson’s personal physician and was to be paid $150,000 a month by AEG Live as the singer prepared for the concerts.
Jackson, however, died before signing the agreement. As a result, Phillips said it was not binding.
The suit also said AEG Live was responsible for the actions of Murray in the care of Jackson. Murray, however, was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
“At the time of his death, Michael Jackson was under the immediate care of a doctor selected by, hired by, and controlled by AEG; indeed AEG demanded and required that Michael Jackson be treated by this particular doctor to ensure that Michael Jackson would attend all rehearsals and shows on the tour,” the complaint stated.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death at age 50. Police said Murray gave Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.
Katherine Jackson, who is the guardian of the singer’s three children, also sued on their behalf. Her lawsuit claimed Jackson’s eldest son, Prince, suffered great trauma and severe emotional distress because he witnessed his father’s final moments.
The lawsuit alleged that Jackson’s agreement with AEG put him under immense pressure to complete the London concerts. The suit claims AEG would have taken over Jackson’s share in a lucrative music catalog that includes songs by The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Jackson and the Jackson 5, which was one of the singer’s best assets after years of accumulating debt.
The comeback concerts in London sold out in anticipation of Jackson’s return as the King of Pop.
Despite years of self-imposed exile, he retained a huge, loyal following of fans overjoyed at the prospect of seeing him reclaim the glory he’d attained with albums like “Thriller” and songs like “Beat It!” and “Billie Jean.”
The singer’s father, Joe Jackson, has sued Murray for wrongful death in federal court. Murray’s attorneys filed a motion Wednesday seeking a dismissal of that case, which alleges the cardiologist acted negligently and lied to emergency-room physicians trying to resuscitate the singer.
A hearing on the dismissal motion is scheduled for Oct. 18.