AEG Live CEO Gets Emotional During Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial

AEG Live CEO Gets Emotional During Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial

Executive says he received confusing reports about MJ's health.

Published June 14, 2013

As the wrongful death trial brought by Katherine Jackson against AEG Live continues, CEO Randy Phillips admits to receiving confusing information about the state of Michael Jackson's health just days preceding his death, but insists he was ultimately responsible for his own health.

Reports the AP, Phillips has been testifying throughout the past seven days in court and will answer questions from Jackson's lawyer next. So far, he's said that while Conrad Murray assured him that Michael Jackson was well enough during rehearsals for the This Is It tour, high-level tour workers said it seemed the singer's health was deteriorating.

Still, he said, "As far as I was concerned, the only person in charge of Michael Jackson's health was Michael Jackson," Phillips said.

Phillips also denied that AEG hired Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in MJ's death, and said they never discussed in detail what types of treatments Murray was giving him.

The reports Phillips received, he said, were via an email from tour director Kenny Ortega and production manager John "Bugzee" Houghdahl. Houghdahl wrote on June 19, 2009, that MJ's performance level had been diminishing for two months. Phillips said that in his own encounters with the singer, during a meeting just hours after those emails were sent, the singer looked to be capable of touring. Jackson died six days later.

Phillips became emotional when he described Jackson's death, the result of a fatal overdose of propofol. He said that there isn't a company policy for artists who are merely rumored to have a substance abuse problem, but said that he was concerned about Jackson after he returned from a visit to the dermatologist. "He scares us to death because he is shooting him up with something," Phillips wrote about the dermatologist in a message to Jackson's business manager, sent two days before MJ's death.

Phillips faces the prosecuting attorney today. 


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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Written by Sia Barnes


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