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Old 09-07-2013, 23:26
johartuk
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I pity the jury, Day 44 ended with the attorney's discussing exhibits, Brian Panish said the defendants have 14,000 exhibits on their list, down from 28,000. There are 1,353 documents produced by Kenny Ortega.
Blimey!

When does AEG start to bring on their witnesses and evidence?
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Old 09-07-2013, 23:29
i4u
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Blimey!

When does AEG start to bring on their witnesses and evidence?
Possibly next week or two.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:04
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Kenny Ortega continued giving evidence here's ABC7 Court News report.

The director of Michael Jackson's comeback tour testified Tuesday about what he called a very unusual arrangement, being in close contact with Jackson's doctor.

Weeks before the planned opening of Michael Jackson's comeback tour, show director Kenny Ortega says he and the star worried that the production would not be ready. Ortega testified that special-effect numbers demanded more time.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:26
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Day 45 of Jackson vs AEG Live.

There was only an afternoon session. Katherine & Rebbie Jackson were present in court.

Kenny Ortega resumed being questioned by Brian Panish attorney for the Jackson family. Ortega did not wish to change any of his testimony from yesterday. His lawyer drove him home yesterday, Ortega chose his attorney for the case but AEG is paying.

Ortega said if he had known about Jackson’s condition at the press conference the impact would have been he would have been less likely to want to work on the ‘This Is It’ tour. Ortega wanted to meet with Jackson alone to get into each other’s head regarding plans for the show. Ortega was only involved in the negotiation of Travis Payne's payment. Payne & Jackson were involved in the actual dance steps and performances.

Ortega didn't discuss financing with Jackson, they had not worked together for more than 10 years.
Jackson was compared to Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, the 360’s were called pencil turns. In terms of creativity not much had changed between the two, Ortega’s goal was to edit together the pieces to tell a story about what Michael's goals for the show were.

Going through a list of artists involved with the "This Is It" shows, Ortega said Karen Faye reached out to him, she had already spoken with Jackson about being part of the crew. Ortega said he would not call Bugzee (Houghdahl) the stage manager, he worked under Paul Gongaware as accountant, Ortega explained. Ortega could not recall asking Bugzee to write an email on his behalf.

Paul Gongaware emailed Ortega on March 25, 2009: ‘Kenny, I'm afraid we may not be able to meet your financial requirements for a deal. I'm totally bummed by this. Couldn't sleep last night trying to figure it out. We need to move forward quickly. I know, but I haven't been able to find a way to make this work. My deepest, most sincere apology. Paul G.’ "I remember it had to be approved by Mr. Jackson," Ortega said about the email. Ortega explained to the judge "financial requirements" meant his salary. Ortega told the court it was not what he expected, when asked if it was a negotiating tactic Ortegasmiled and said prehaps.

Ortega didn't think the negotiations were dead. Ortega and Payne share the same agent, they continued working without a contract. He hoped it would all work out and kept the faith that that would happen. Ortega said he performed auditions for dancers, singers, band and interviewed various people for various designer's role. When Ortega auditioned dancers he did not have a written contract,

Ortega didn't know when he signed his contract. The court was shown a copy of Ortega's contract which was executed on April 25, 2009. Emails confirming details were attached to the contract. Ortega was to get $1.5m plus $100K for each of the five territories and $250K for the US.

Both Ortega & Jackson wanted to extend their time preparing the show, Ortega felt comfortable taking the heat of postponing the opening of the shows. The show had got so big Ortega needed an extra week to get it ready. In an email on 19 May 2009 Ortega wrote, ‘I'm uncomfortable with the way the release reads at this moment. I feel strongly that it is unnecessary and misleading to both of the press and fans to suggest things as "staging is from another planet" or "never before seen staging." We are not doing the Chinese Olympics.


Ortega met Dr. Murray at the Carolwood home in April or May. He remembers the doctor going to rehearsals once or twice. Jackson went to two rehearsals at Staples, June 23rd and 24th. Either Randy Phillips or Paul Gongaware told Ortega Dr. Murray would be making Jackson’s schedule and would help Jackson get to rehearsal. Randy Phillips helped Murray with the schedule. In an email on June 23, 2009 from Tim Wooley to Bob Taylor he wrote, ’Changes are structural only: KO has responsibility only for the show content & structure in consultation with MJ. Randy Phillips and Dr. Murray are responsible for MJ's rehearsal and attendance.’ Ortega said it was not unusual, but he never had a doctor give him an artist's schedule. Ortega had ever seen a situation where a CEO of a company was responsible for the artist's schedule/attendance

Ortega just wanted Jackson to come to rehearsals, as to when Ortega was willing to structure everything around that. At some point Jackson being at rehearsals became Ortega’s number one concern. Ortega was frustrated, Murray’s schedule wasn’t working, he was Ortega’s ‘lifeline’. This was the first show where Ortega called an artist’s doctor when he was not attending rehearsals. Ortega recalled Jackson did not attend rehearsals for a period of time in June 2009. Ortega had serious frustrations, he explained, the dream, the goal he and Jackson had was going to fall away. Jackson was Ortega’s directing partner and was needed to get the show on the road.

On Jun 19 2009, there were several calls between Ortega and Dr. Murray. Ortega's first phone call was at 11:25 am and Jackson was not at rehearsal. Before 19 Jun Ortega testified Jackson had not come to rehearsals for a good week or more, on that day Ortega had serious doubts that the show could go on. Jackson turned up very late for a fitting, Ortega explained it was very difficult for him to work like that.

Jackson was cold & shivering, Ortega had concerns about Jackson’s weight. There was a period of time Jackson’s balance wasn’t as good as it had been, he complained of back pain. On the 19 Jun Jackson seemed lost and paranoid. Jackson was not communicating with clarity, although for part of the evening he got better. Ortega remembered there was a plan to get the schedule in order, it was his feeling they weren't going to make it, there was a plan to make it clear

Panish for the family showed an email from Alif Sankey (choreographer/dancer) expressing concerns about Jackson on June 4, Ortega told the court the choreographer is not responsible for the artist's physical/emotional, but if they see something they are to report to director. On 13 Jun 2009 Travis Payne wrote an email saying Jackson was taking a sick day, per doctor's order. The following day Ortega wrote to Gongaware that Jackson was not allowed to attend the rehearsals, he asked about Jackson’s nourishment/therapy. Ortega said the intention was to get assistance in trying to help Michael in every way possible so he could go to rehearsal.

The case was adjourned for the day.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:33
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Report of Kenny Ortega's testimony yesterday in court by ABC7.

The Michael Jackson production that ignited so much excitement in March 2009 was in trouble three months later, according to its director, Kenny Ortega.

Ortega testified Wednesday that he had observed Jackson under the influence of something four times as they prepared for the show.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:39
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Associated Press report of Kenny Ortega's testimony on day 46.

The director of Michael Jackson's ill-fated comeback concerts told a jury on Wednesday that he was frightened when Jackson was shivering and seemed lost at one of his final rehearsals for the "This Is It" shows.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:02
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Day 46 (Part1), Jackson vs AEG. Details extracted from ABC7 Court News tweets.

Katherine & Trent Jackson present in the courtroom.

Kenny Ortega the show director of ‘This Is It’ continued to be questioned by Brian Panish for the family.

Ortega said his agent negotiated his daily rate for The Rolling Stones Tour. He confirmed AEG were paying for his attorney in this case and he is getting a witness fee of $35/day.

Ortega may have suggested to ‘pull the plug’, not regarding Jackson but the show. He didn’t know if Randy Phillips used that terminology, but they did discuss stopping the show when Jackson missed rehearsals. Ortega told Phillips that without Michael he didn’t know how they could continue. Ortega sent Paul Gongaware an email to alert AEG Dr. Murray had ordered Jackson not to rehearse.

On June 14, 2009 Ortega emailed Gongaware: Paul, MJ did not have a good Friday and he didn't show on Saturday. He has been habitually late (the norm). I realize he's up against a lot. I have ton of love/sympathy 4 what he's been through. We must do all that we can as a team to stay on top of his needs everyday. He required more attention and management. As I mentioned I truly believe he needs nourishment guidance & physical therapy (massage) for his fatigued muscles & injuries. He is not in great physical shape. I believe he's hurting. He has been slow at grabbing hold of the work. We have twenty days we can't let him slip. I'm doing all I can every day 2 build up his confidence & to create schedule that will help 2 ready him and to arrive us at our goals. Every time he is late or cancels it chisels away that possibility. There can be no more calls 2 Travis asking him to come to the house. MJ needs to be told that it's time to get real. He must take care of himself so that he can meet the schedule or there are going to be consequences. We need a healthy, rested and ready MJ at the Forum and Staples for all the remaining rehearsals as well as the few we have at the O2 in July. Thanks, KO.

On Jun 14, 2009 Gongaware emailed Ortega: Frank and I have discussed it already and have requested a face-to-face meeting with doctor. We want to remind him that it is AEG, not MJ who is paying his salary. We want him to understand what is expected of him.

Ortega said he just wanted to make sure Jackson had all health benefits available to be able to do the show. He didn’t know if he discussed Gongaware’s email with him. Ortega agreed on 14 Jun 2009 everyone was under pressure and he thought the show was in jeopardy. Ortega said he understood ‘assisted’ to mean under the influence of something, he could not remember if Travis Payne used that word to describe Jackson at rehearsal. Ortega had seen Jackson at least four times come to rehearsal in a condition he described as under the influence, Ortega believed when Jackson showed up like that he been to a doctor. He could see the problem himself he didn’t need Travis Payne to make him aware of it. Ortega didn’t dispute he may have talked to Travis Payne about Jackson being treated for sleeping problems but could not recall the conversation. Ortega did not know if AEG had sick cancellation at the time.

Karen Faye, Travis Payne, Alif Sankey, assistants Stacy Walker and James Faris raised concerns about Jackson's physical condition. Ortega said he and Karen Faye don’t get along on a personal level, he did think she was looking after Jackson’s best interests. Ortega said Faye did not keep Jackson secluded this time around, though.

Michael Bearden was the musical director for "This Is It", on 16 Jun 2009 he emailed Ortega: Hey guys! on MJ's lead vocal re-sings. I'm not sure if we're going to get what we need in time. I'd like 2 try 2 get some alternate takes or un-processed leads from the vault if we can. I can go in with M Prince and re-mix the stuff we need on the 22nd (our proposed media day). I we can get everything we need from the vault I can use what we have and take out ad libs and such to try to make it feel new. MJ is not in shape enough yet to sing this stuff live and dance at the same time. He can use the ballads to sing live and get his stamina back up. Once he's healthy enough and has more strength I have full confidence he can sing the majority of the show live. His voices sounds amazing right now, he just needs to build it back up.

Response on June 16, 2009 from Ortega: I have a 2:30 at MJ's house today with Frank, Randy, Paul and the Doctor. I will add your concerns/requests 2 an ever growing list of items I already plan 2 discuss w/ MJ. The plan is he's joining us tonight for band work. How many individual vocals are we talking about? If he put his mind to it, how long would it take?

Ortega said Jackson wasn’t vocally ready, not in shape to sing & dance. Jackson was still building back his voice, that's what Bearden was referring, to have power to sing/dance the entire show. Ortega said there was so much going on he could not remember if he went to Jackson’s house on June 16, he doesn’t recall anyone telling him not to go to the meeting.

Ortega could not recall whether Jackson was at the rehearsals on June 16, 17 and 18. He knows Jackson was at the rehearsal on June 19, Jackson arrived at night probably in the evening around 9 o'clock. Ortega saw a Jackson that frightened him, he was shivering and cold, Ortega thought there was something emotionally going, on, deeply emotional, thought something physical going on. Ortega was very troubled as to Jackson’s physical condition, he seemed fragile. Ortega was not concerned about Jackson’s weight, he wasn’t a heavy person to begin with, although he had lost weight.
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:51
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Day 46 (Part 2)

On June 19 2009 Ortega saw Jackson like he’d never seen him before, he appeared lost, cold, afraid. Ortega said it troubled me deeply. Jackson at first didn't seem coherent, but better, he seemed to warm up and feel a little better, but he wasn't well enough to rehearse. Ortega was shown a picture of Jackson’s fitting 19 Jun 2009, Ortega did not see him in T-shirt, so didn't know he was that thin, a little emaciated. Ortega asked Jackson if he had eaten and ordered food, he called the doctor but cannot recall if the doctor ever answered the phone. Karen Faye put a heater on the floor, took off his shoes, Ortega began rubbing Jackson’s feet, he said it felt very good. Ortega couldn’t believe it when Jackson he’d never had his feet massaged before.

Ortega said he cut up the salad, Michael ate, they talked and Michael said he didn't want to go home, he wanted to watch the rehearsal. Michael asked that Travis Payne be on stage and be him, so he could seat with the director and watch. Ortega remembers crying because of his concern for Jackson, he didn’t overreact, was not being a drama queen, he had a serious concern and did everything he could. Asked if he tried to AEG there was a problem, Ortega said he believed the attorney had records of it. Panish showed email chain "Trouble At The Front". Ortega said he sent emails to AEG only when he thought it was absolutely necessary. Ortega took a deep breath. Panish asked him if he was alright. He answered let’s keep going, please.

Tim Leiweke of AEG emailed Randy Phillips asking to set up a meeting, Phillips forwarded the email to Ortega asking him to be present at the meeting. Ortega thought Michael had a problem on the 19th. He wasn't thinking about the production, he was only thinking about Michael!

Email sent on 19 Jun 2009 from John Hougdahl to Paul Gongaware and Randy Phillips, Subject: Trouble at the front Paul/Randy I'm not being a drama queen here...Kenny asked me to notify you both. MJ was sent home without stepping foot on stage. He was a basket case and Kenny was concerned he would embarrass himself on stage, or worse yet - get hurt. The company is rehearsing right now, but the DOUBT is pervasive. Time to circle the wagons. Bugzee.

Ortega told the court it wasn’t his email, they weren’t his words, he didn’t ask Hougdahl to write the email, he asked Houghdahl to reach out to Paul and Randy. Ortega said he did not leave Jackson’s side until he left, he wanted to be with Jackson. Ortega said he didn’t respond to the chain of emails, but was only offering his account of the day.

The "Trouble At The Front" Email Ortega wrote:I will do whatever I can to be of help with this situation. My concern is now that we've brought the Doctor in to the fold and have played the tough love, now or never card, is that the Artist may be unable to rise to the occasion due to real emotional stuff. He appeared quite weak and fatigued this evening. He had a terrible case of the chills, was trembling, rambling and obsessing. Everything in me says he should be psychologically evaluated. If we have any chance at all to get him back in the light, it's going to take a strong Therapist to help him through this as well as immediate physical nurturing. I was told by our choreographer that during the artists costume fitting with his designer tonight they noticed he's lost more weight. As far as I can tell, there's no one taking responsibility (caring for) for him on a daily basis. Where was his assistant tonight? Tonight I was feeding him, wrapping him in blankets to warm his chill, massaging his feet to calm him and calling his doctor. There were four security guards outside his door, but no one offering him a cup of hot tea. Finally, it's important for everyone 2 know, I believe that really he wants this. It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He's terribly frightened it's all going to go away. He asked me repeatedly tonight if i was going to leave him. He was practically begging for my confidence. It broke my heart.

Ortega began to cry while reading this part of the email.

Email ends: He was like a lost boy. There still may be a chance he can rise to the occasion if we get him the help he needs.

"I'm not ok right now," Ortega said. Judge asked if he wanted a break, he asked for a few minutes. Judge gave a 10-minute break.
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Old 11-07-2013, 16:11
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Day 46 (Part 3)

After the break, Ortega apologized to everyone. Testimony resumed.

The doctor in the fold meant he was in charge of Jackson’s schedule, and it involved Ortega. Phone records show Ortega called Dr. Murray several times on 19 Jun 2009, Oretage does not remember speaking with the doctor. He didn’t really know Murray or what he did, but Ortega was concerned
Micheal about Michael being in a state when he had a doctor. Ortega felt there was something going on, more than physical. Ortega’s response was to have a professional evaluate Jackson, he had a real concern with Dr. Murray. He thought Jackson was not being cared for at the level he expected Jackson deserved.

In the beginning Ortega was scared about Michael, a little less in the end, when he was a little warm. He thought it would be the most natural to try the doctor, and then reached out to AEG, Michael's partners, for help. Ortega said he could've walked away leaving Jackson without a director, at that point he didn’t believe the show could go forward. Ortega believes his email was a strong suggestion that Jackson needed to be seen by a doctor for his psychological condition.

Ortega doesn't remember an email response from Randy Phillips to his email.

Email from Phillips: Kenny, I will call you when I figure this out. We have a person like that, Brigitte, who's in London advancing his stay. We will bring her back ASAP and Frank, too, however, I'm stymied on who to bring in as a therapist and how they can get through to him in such a short time.

Ortega didn't see Randy Phillips until the next day, on the 20 Jun 2009, when he was at the meeting at Carolwood house. He did not recall discussing with Phillips about pulling the plug. Ortega knew how deeply the it mattered to Jackson to do these shows, he thought it would break his heart is they were cancelled. Ortega was not concerned the business side, but with Michael Jackson, his instinct was to stop the show, but I didn't want to break Michael's heart.

Ortega responded to Phillips: Randy, I'm at home awaiting your call or instructions. I honestly don't think he is ready for this based on his continued physical weakening and deepening emotional state. It is reminiscent of what Karen, Bush, Travis and I remembered just before he fainted causing the HBO Concerts to be canceled. There are strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior. I think the best thing we can do it is get a top Psychiatrist in to evaluate him ASAP. It's like there are two people there. One (deep inside) trying to hold on to what he was and still can be and not wanting us to quit on him, the other is this weakened and troubled state.

Jackson was anxious, he didn't want Ortega to leave or quit, Jackson was repeating for Ortega not to quit or leave him. There was no question in Ortega’s mind Jackson wanted to do the shows.

Randy Phillips responded to Ortega that he was not to be an amateur psychiatrist. Ortega said that was not his intention. Ortega said he does not know whether Dr. Murray was ever successful, unbiased and ethical. The director did not check the doctor out himself, he didn’t think Dr. Murray was giving good care to Jackson. Ortega told the court he was trying to sound alarm bells, raise a red flag. He was trying to concern Randy Phillips about the situation, he had seen something deeply troubling and wanted to be taken seriously.

Ortega disagreed with Phillips' perception that he thought Ortega was entrenched in the situation and not being open minded. Ortega got the impression that Phillips would be looking over and investigate himself. Phillips never told Ortega what the problem was with Jackson, Dr. Murray, in some capacity, tried to tell Ortega what was happening. But the director never got an answer to what was wrong with Jackson. Ortega wanted it to be taken care of, whatever it was, he just wanted Michael to be ok. Ortega trusted both Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware.

Paul Gongaware told Ortega about the meeting on the 20 Jun 2009 between Michael, Dr. Murray, Randy Phillips and himself. It happened at the parlor in the house. WhenOrtega realized the meeting was about him, he stood up to express his feelings. Ortega did not stay very long at the meeting. He estimates 10-15 minutes, definitely under a half an hour. He left by himself. The others stayed.

Ortega said Dr. Murray began the meeting. He said he had a feeling the meeting would be about the night before and the depth of his concerns. Ortega described the meeting as "accusatory" he was the one being accused by Dr. Murray. Ortega was shocked that the doctor was upset and angry with him. He was shocked because what Dr. Murray was saying wasn't at all reflecting of what happened. Dr. Murray said Jackson was fine and could handle all responsibilities for the show, Ortega was “flabbergasted” because he didn't believe that was possible. Ortega testified, he felt hurt and insulted. Asked by Panish if he was ever treated like that in his long career, Ortega responded , "Oh sure! Have I ever being talked down, hurt, insulted? Yes, so many times I can't tell you!”

Asked if Michael stuck up for him, Ortega said, Yes. Dr. Murray told Ortega he had no right to not let Jackson rehearse. Dr. Murray told Ortega to stick with his job and to leave the doctor job to him. Ortega asked Michael to explain to Dr. Murray that Jackson asked to stay, but the evening was different. And Jackson did just that, Jackson stood up, gave Ortega a hug before he left. The doctor suggested that Jackson had told him one thing and now was saying another. Michael said, ‘no, no, no, they were in disagreement too.’ Ortega told Jackson he only cared about him, Jackson responded, 'I know, I know, I love you, I will take the reins.'
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:04
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Day 46 (Part 4)

Ortega was asked if Randy Phillips ever told him he had a 20 minute phone call with Dr. Murray on 20 Jun 2009. Ortega said yes through email, all he's familiar with is that Phillips had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Murray at some point.

When Jackson showed up at rehearsal on June 23, Ortega said: "It was miraculous! Whatever the flu, whatever it was, it was just not present. I didn't ask questions, I was just overjoyed.” Everyone noticed the drastic change, Ortega didn’t know anything about any medication. "He had a metamorphosis," Ortega said, in awe. "Pretty extraordinary. I doubted myself, I remember going did I see something?" Ortega said. Michael just didn't seem the Michael he saw on June 19th.

Earth song was the last song Michael rehearsed, when asked if Jackson performed it well Ortega smiled and answered yes. Ortega took a very deep breath. Asked what happened the next day. Ortega said. ‘Michael died’ (Ortega's voice cracked a little). Ortega was standing on the stage waiting for Jackson, Staples Center was like refrigerators. Randy Phillips was to pick up Jackson from Carolwood house.

Paul Gongaware called Ortega from the hospital and told him, "Our boy is gone." Ortega didn't believe him. "I said I'm not trusting this is Paul Gongaware." Ortega said Gongaware told him to sit down. Ortega asked Gongaware to tell him something only the two would know to prove it was Gongaware. "You have to sit down and get a hold of yourself," Gongaware told Ortega on the phone. "Listen to me, Michael's gone. I wanted to believe it was some weirdo calling me, it was a very awkward phone call and I didn't want to believe him," Ortega testified.

Ortega said they never did a full run-through of the show. Ortega believes AEG paid him everything they owed him for the work done. Sony paid him for the musical documentary, he believes Sony kept all the film in a vault so the video would not get leaked. Jackson’s intention was to take the show out to the world one more time and end it in the US. Ortega would get bonuses if that happened, he explained to the Judge that it's like getting royalties, since he was one of the creators of the show. Jackson had intentions to do movies inspired by his songs "Thriller" and "Smooth Criminal." Asked how he reacted, Ortega said, “Yes, please!”

Ortega said Jackson invented music video, the list goes on and on. He raised the bar in every area he worked in. Ortega said Jackson was a fantastic songwriter, singer, musician, dancer and also a filmmaker. "We worked together really, really well…Anything Michael wanted to do with me I was interested in." Ortega said.

The court was shown a photo of Jackson, Ortega and young Prince, Ortega joked, "Attractive. You didn't show my phone number, but showed my profile!” Ortega said along with the way he talked about his mother, the kids were the single greatest blessing, brought the greatest happiness to his world. Ortega said Jackson gave the children Christmas every day of the year. Regarding the children, Ortega said: "They loved their father, it was very clear, very evident, it was obvious." Of his mother Katherine Jackson, Ortega said, "He loved her dearly, he cared deeply about her."

Brian Panish for the family said he had no further questions at this time.
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Old 11-07-2013, 18:05
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Day 46 (Part 5) Details from ABC7 Court News & Associated Press tweets.

AEG's attorney, Marvin Putnam did the cross examination. Ortega said AEG is contractually obliged to pay his legal fees, the payments didn’t sway his testimony. Ortega reiterated that he did everything he could on the night of 19 Jun 2009. Ortega had been worried about Jackson's mental state before during the HBO Concerts in 1995. "I thought he was anxious," he said. No one from AEG was present during the 1995 incident. Ortega explained the 1995 incident was the only experience he had with Jackson that was similar. Ortega had never seen Jackson physically weak like he saw him on the 19 Jun 2009, Jackson got better as the night went on, "He was just more articulated, in the room, warm, engaged and calmed," Ortega said.

Ortega said the first day he met Dr. Murray in March or April 2009, Jackson introduced him as "my doctor." Putnam asked if Jackson said Dr. Murray was the tour doctor. Ortega said no. He only saw Murray 3 or 4 times before the meeting on 20 Jun 2009.

Putnam asked Ortega about having no recollection of certain emails, Ortega said he did not read every email at the time. The fact he didn’t remember a specific email didn’t mean he was being evasive. The court was shown the time span between production manager John “Bugzhee” Hougdahl’s ‘Trouble at the Front’ email reporting problems to Randy Phillips and some of the executives responses, about 15 hours. Ortega thought Phillips was very professional, it was understandable Phillips may have been confused by the conflicting info he was receiving.

Ortega felt Randy Phillips & Paul Gongaware loved Michael Jackson, he had no reason to think they didn’t still love Jackson. Ortega believed the executives cared for Jackson because they supported him throughout the entire venture.

There court went into to recess for the day. Kenny Ortega is away working for a few of weeks and is due back in court on 1 August.
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Old 11-07-2013, 21:44
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How can anyone trust anything Ortega says when he's on the AEG payroll?

If you watch the This Is It film you can see Michael was definitely capable of doing these shows and was in good form.
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Old 11-07-2013, 22:48
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How can anyone trust anything Ortega says when he's on the AEG payroll?

If you watch the This Is It film you can see Michael was definitely capable of doing these shows and was in good form.
you must have a different version of the bluray from the one i got, as it's quite clear from the official version that he definately wasn't capable of doing it, and fact of the matter was that he wasn't
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:14
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Some of the photo's shown during Kenny Ortega's testimony...

Jackson with Ortega looking through camera,
Ortega beside Jackson,
Jackson & Ortega's profile
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:10
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Day 47 Jacksons vs AEG. Details extracted from tweets by ABC7 Court News and Associated Press.

Katherine Jackson was in attendance.

The day began with legal arguments as to whether notes found by Taj Jackson should be allowed to be shown to the jury. Judge Yvette Palazuelos had previously ruled they could not be shown, after a lengthy discussion the Judge ruled they could be shown.

Taj Jackson took to the stand and was questioned by attorney for the family, Deborah Chang, Taj had previously testified at the end of June. Taj said some people would argue he and his brothers were Jackson’s children before he had his children, Jackson was definitely their mentor. Taj had several handwritten notes which he had saved. The court was shown a note from Jackson written on Neverland stationary, saying he was proud of them and to rehearse, Taj explained his mother probably told Jackson they were not rehearsing that much. Michael bought Taj his first instrument.

Taj and TJ were present when Jackson was awarded a star on the Walk of Fame. Jackson would ask Taj to watch his kids when he needed. He was also in charge of Jackson’s storage.

Taj said it would be foolish not to ask Michael’s advice, he picked out a lot of their songs, he was a perfectionist when it came to his craft. He would study, study, study, and tell them to study the greatest, top 10 singers. Taj described how their uncle lent his voice to the end of the song, "I Need You". Taj said Jackson would tell him 'you have to carry on the legacy, carry on the torch when I retire.' Michael taught Taj and his siblings to listen to the same music several times and hear different instruments each time. "I don't want to give out too many secrets," Taj said, laughing.

Taj told of watching movies with his uncle, once without sound, then with sound. Jackson was constantly studying and reading about directing, he knew it back and forth and would test Taj and his brothers. Jackson hired a USC (University of Southern California?)professor to teach him movie directing. Taj said the children also learned from the professor. Jackson wanted him to study 3D, Taj said, since he loved the technology and wanted to do things with it. He wanted Taj to master it.

Taj said he would stay with his uncle weeks at times. He said he lived at Neverland for about a year, majority of times with his uncle. Taj said he witnessed Jackson writing notes to himself. He said he learned it from his uncle and keeps notes himself nowadays. Jackson liked to conduct meeting usually over the phone, with the speaker on so Taj would learn the business dealings. Taj estimated over 100 meetings over the phone, probably over 20 in person.

Taj said Jackson would write down his ideas and what he wanted to achieve. He would see his uncle write on anything he could write. Taj explained the system Jackson had in his life. Types of Documents
1- Inspirational ("Law of Attraction")
2- Loving Keepsakes (notes)
3- "To Do" Topics to Cover During Meetings to Have Others Do
Taj said after Jackson died he went to Carolwood house to collect some of Jackson’s belongings. He said he wanted to keep them for his cousins. Taj said when his mother died, he lost a lot of things either in storage or they were auctioned off and it was very painful for them. Taj retrieved a box of documents from Jackson’s storage. The attorneys stipulated some of the notes were Jackson’s handwriting.

The judge broke for lunch.
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:00
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Day 47 (Part 2)

After lunch Deborah Chang for the family resumed questioning Taj Jackson, he said having seen Paris do her homework he was familiar with her handwriting. The court was shown a note from Paris to her father: ‘Dear Daddy, I love you so much & I'm so happy I got a goodnight hug. Sleep well, I love you & good night. I'll see you tomorrow! XOX, goodnight and lots of love. Paris Jackson. Another note shown to the jury was one by Michael Jackson to himself: ‘Words of Blanket my son 6 years young. "What's your favorite letter Daddy? Mine is "G" for God and "D" for Daddy" Age 6. Blanket.


AEG attorney, Kathryn Cahan, began her cross examination of Taj Jackson. Out of his cousins and extended family Taj was the one family member who spent the most time with Jackson. Taj visited Jackson in every tour he did: Triumph, Victory, Bad, Dangerous and HIStory. He stayed at the hotels with Jackson’s, went to his room. He never saw any signs of Jackson using drugs. During 2008 Jackson was living in Las Vegas, Taj saw him regularly during that time. Taj described Jackson as definitely happy and healthy. After living at Neverland, Jackson went overseas and then to Las Vegas. In late 2008-2009Taj saw Jackson maybe twice, when he was at the Bel Air Hotel.

Taj didn’t know Michael had moved to the Carolwood house in 2008. The last time Taj saw Jackson alive was in May of 2009 during his grandparent's 60th anniversary party. He never went to the Carolwood house. Taj said that when they learned Jackson was going on tour, they stayed away and gave him space. They knew they could be a distraction for MJ. Asked how he knew Michael was recording new music Taj thought he heard it on the news or from relatives, Taj added he didn’t think his uncle would have stopped recording.

Jackson wanted Taj to be responsible for his storage units, he explained his uncle wanted to transfer the units into his name as there were very few people his uncle trusted. Taj told the court his uncle could trust him and if something happened to him I would do the right thing. Jackson had sentimental things in the storage that he wanted to keep for his children. The storage was full with stuff from Neverland. It had furniture, arts, arcade games. There were two storage units, one in Vegas half of the size of the courtroom (30x37 feet) and one in Buellton at least 4 times bigger. At first Taj didn't want to get paid for taking care of the storage but his uncle insisted. Taj testified his uncle told him, "Everyone else is making money off of me, I want to take care of my family."

Taj did not think Jackson wanted to live at Neverland again. "It felt violated in a way, the purity of it. It didn't feel the same." Taj doesn't know when he went to Carolwood house. Rebbie and her daughter, Janet, Katherine, possibly Trent and one of his brothers were there, he doesn't remember seeing La Toya that day. Taj testified the house seemed normal, not messy. Taj went to Jackson’s bedroom on the second floor. Asked if his uncle was messy Taj said he wasn’t trying to defend his uncle, but understood him. Taj testified travelling a lot, living out of luggage is messy.

The idea of going to Carolwood was to preserve the stuff. It's something someone can sell on eBay for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Taj doesn't remember who handed him a cardboard storage box. He said it could be seen it was documents, that he threw in some stuff as well, but 95% of the stuff was already in the box. Taj said he only stayed in his uncle's master bedroom, closet and bathroom. The box was given to him in the master bedroom, he just assumed the documents were from that area. "It was traumatic enough to be in that room so I just wanted to get out of there quickly," Taj recalled.
Taj took the box to his house. He said he skimmed through some of the documents. This was in the Summer of 2009. Taj turned over the box of documents to Sandra Ribera, one of the Jacksons attorney early this year. The lawsuit was filed in 2010, Cahan said. "I protected that box with my life," Taj said. He kept it hidden in his closet of his house. He turned over the entire box to his lawyer.

Taj given two computers from the Carolwood house. One was a computer with music, one was a computer used by the security team, Taj said. Jeffrey Phillips, business partner of his aunt La Toya, handed him the computers at the Hayvenhurst house. They were Mac Towers. It was known Estate was looking for music for Jackson's new album. Taj assumed Jeffrey knew he was helping Estate out in that aspect of it, Taj is still working with Jackson’s Estate. He turned one of the computers on, it had music files. The Estate was looking for 4 hard drives with music in it, Taj thought that's what was being given to him. The music computer was given to the executors of Michael's estate.

When he turned on the other computer it had log in request, with Mr. Amir's name, asking for a password. Taj called Michael Amir Williams but the password he gave him didn't work. Michael Amir said there was no music in that computer. The Estate, thus, was not interested in the security computer. Taj said he left the security computer at Hayvenhurst house, he hasn't seen it since.

Taj told the court, after the "This is It" tour ended, he and his uncle would make movies, Prince, was going to make movies with them too. He was sure more powerful people would be involved too. Jackson’s last words to Taj were, ‘After this, we're doing films.’ Taj was asked if his uncle ever told him he wanted to partner with Kenny Ortega, not him, to make "Thriller" 3D movie. Taj responded that wasn’t surprising, his uncle wanted to partner with Peter Jackson and other filmmakers.

Since his passing Taj has spent a lot of time with Michael’s, "We've been a unit," Taj said. Taj confirmed Debbie Rowe was back involved with the children, "She started a relationship with Paris, that's as far as I know," Taj said. Cahan for AEG asked if Rowe was Prince & Paris mother, Taj replied, “Biological mother, yes.” At this point the attorneys for the family asked for a sidebar because the judge had ruled that no parentage question was to be asked. Judge read admonition to jury. She said there was a question regarding the status of Debbie Rowe's relationship with the children.
Judge said they are only to consider the relationship between Michael and the children when assessing damages, if any.

Kathryn Cahan for AEG asked Taj if the nanny Grace Rwamba is a truthful person. Taj answered, ‘yes’. Cahan then showed a tweet by Taj in 2011 urging people not to give credibility to a report by Roger Friedman, it ended…

Sorry... but there are a couple of people who truly disgust me. And to me, he belongs in the same category as Grace, Dimond, and Bashir.
"That's not the same Grace," Taj said. "That was Nancy Grace!" Everyone started laughing.

Cahan quickly moved on and Taj was excused, he may be subject to recall.
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Old 12-07-2013, 14:13
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Much play has been made of Jackson's weight, in particular how he looked when having a costume fitting in June 2009. Here are some photos of Jackson in April 2009, is there any difference in skeletal look?

Here are some pictures of him with Dr. Tohme said to have been taken Feb 2009, but his coat is buttoned up.
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Old 13-07-2013, 06:37
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Originally I thought the Jackson family were pushing that it was well known Michael Jackson was an addict, but they seem to be saying he had a dependency due to his medical conditions. They are painting a picture of a reasonable person driven to desperate measures by those around him, as if he was a puppet unwittingly being manipulated.

But the family have just had Taj, who was close to Michael, say he never saw drugs/medication around his uncle. Could not that indicate how good Michael was at covering his tracks? In the case of Propofol, there's no evidence Dr. Murray or Jackson told anyone what they were up to. Those present at Carolwood, the children, his personal assistant, security and the chef seemed blissfully unaware of the nightly events taking place in Jackson's bedroom.

Yet the family expect outsiders to automatically to have known what was going on. The family seem unable to accept Michael was capable of lying or concealing facts, they seem to understand Michael manipulated people to get what he wanted.
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Old 13-07-2013, 06:53
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After Taj's reappearance it seems the family are basing their financial claim on earnings from films they have never been made. AEG mentioned Jackson had sought film deals which weren't picked up and the family seem to be chasing rainbows.

So the court gets told Prince wants to be an actor/director, although he didn't seem to mention that. Family members dropping hints about Prince, Michael watching movies, learning about directing and Taj talking about making films with his uncle. Be interesting to see the projected figures that Arthur Erk comes up, presumably based on the 50 shows being successfully completed.
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Old 16-07-2013, 05:17
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Expert witness Arthur Erk estimates Michael Jackson would have earned 1.1 Billion dollars from a 'This Is It' worldwide tour and a Las Vegas show but Katherine Jackson is shown kicking the idea of a worldwide tour into touch? Report from Associated Press.
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Old 16-07-2013, 18:51
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Day 48 Jackson vs AEG, Extracted from tweets by ABC7 Court News.

The next witness Arthur Erk began his evidence last week on Day 47 but beyond saying who he is didn’t get very far.

Arthur Erk is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for Citrin Cooperman, partner in the firm in New York. He in the entertainment group which handle finances for entertainment. Music happened to be his particular specialty. They have 10 sports clients in football and baseball. He became a CPA in 1978. He has worked with rock band Kiss, did royalty audits.

He was retained to calculate Jackson’s loss of future earning capacity due to his untimely leave. The categories in Tier 1 that Erk analysed were Touring, Merchandising, Sponsorships and Endorsement, Las Vegas and Royalties. Jackson wanted to have a team show in Las Vegas based on Neverland, Erk calculated its earning, use of music for royalties


Day 48

Katherine Jackson was in court for the morning session.

Arthur Erk resumed being questioned by Brian Panish the family’s attorney, about Michael Jackson’s earning potential if he had lived. Erk explained the various elements of an artist’s work and finances, such as copyright, royalties, publishers, the formula used to calculate collect over the air royalties. He said royalty calculations had not changed with technology only distribution costs. He said publisher and artist get 50 cents each for every song. He went on to explain licencing music for films, songwriter used to give up rights to a song, now they would sell 50% and still get a co-publishing deal.

In the opinion of Erk Jackson was a tried and tested songwriter and artist from the time he was 5, Erk explained saying he differed from other artists who have died. He gave a list of some of Jackson’s number one singles. Erk explained a Gold album, it must sell 500,000 copies, Platinum is one million and Diamond is 10 million sales.

Erk said he charges normally hour rate of $475, he has worked a little over 200 hours ($95,000) on this case. He has previously done royalty work for Jackson in mid-80’s, in 1983, he did it for "Thriller," one of the largest selling albums of all time. When Jackson’s manager John Branca was pursuing the Beatles catalogue hired he was hired to calculate its value. Erk said Jackson was smart enough to keep the copyright of his songs, Jackson lost 25 years of copyright income due to his death.

Erk assessed areas of touring, the movie going out on tour, merchandise (t-shits, hats), endorsements (ads, might get signage at arena.) Erk also calculated that Jackson would've done a thematic show and would've earned additional royalties on “grand rights.” Erk reviewed depositions, AEG contract with Jackson, picture/development deal thatJackson signed with AEG, trial testimony, Ortega and Faye's contract. He read emails of AEG's plans, budgets, handwritten notes of Jackson’s; read Ortega's testimony whether MJ would be successful in film industry. The expert said he saw evidence MJ wanted to do shows in Las Vegas and had intention to record future music.
Erk assessed a numerical value for possible losses based on extremely conservative estimates.

Erk based his estimates on AEG’s figures and emails. He said AEG determined what the gross revenue would be for tickets, estimated merchandise sales for shows based on 30 shows originally, not 50. The O2 arena has 20K seat capacity. They sold 750K tickets for 50 shows. Erk said 1.4% of Great Britain's population bought tickets for the show. He based ticket prices on the top 5 grossing tours and took average ticket price, he produced a chart projecting seats he he figured would be sold for Jackson touring in Great Britain, Central Europe, Asia, Australia and US. He estimated the actual seat projection to be 12.9 million, out of 5.9 billion people, would generateJackson revenue of $452,155,095.

Erk explained Tier 1 are top artists: U2, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Erk said. “MJ is in a class of his own, King of Pop, no one came close." In the top 25 grossing acts in 2009, Paul McCartney had 10 shows but was 3rd grossing, since he had very expensive tickets and big venues.
Only two artists were sold out for all the shows in 2009: U2 and Madonna. Billy Joel and Elton John almost sold out, Erk said. Erk calculated MJ's ticket price average of $108.18. "He's the top of the pyramid," the expert opined. Erk said the demand for tickets was wild, AEG could probably sell the tickets for a much higher price and still sold out shows.

Total Projected Economic Damages: $1,511,182,374 billion for MJ's loss of economic earning capacity based on $200 ticket minus MJ's expenses
Total projected income based on $108.18 ticket price: $1,261,745,023

Erk analyzed five categories: Tour, Merchandise, Endorsements, Vegas shows and Vegas royalties.

Erk then calculated Tier 2 category, which is for future earnings for business Jackson would most likely do. He said he had Jackson on a much reduced tour, period of hiatus, another reduced tour, and decline from there up until he was 65 years old. Erk projected Jackson doing 260 shows, an average of 2 per week. He said MJ was much bigger than any other artist.

Beyonce had a Pepsi endorsement deal of $50 million in 2012. Her most recent tour gross revenue was $119,500,000. Jackson’s TII Gross (2009 and 2010) -- $638.976.138 Erk did a calculation based on Beyonce's Pepsi deal and came up with $267,354,032. He added $50 million clothing endorsement and came up with $317,354,032. Erk said he could not compare Beyonce with MJ. "He was the King of Pop," Erk explained. "There was no other like him."

Projected Income to Jackson - Vegas: $269 million. That was for Vegas show where MJ did not have to perform. Royalties, for use of music, would pay 5% of box office: $102 million total.

Erk said the calculation in Tier 1 was based on things Jackson was reasonably assured of doing. "I tried to err on the low side." Future Loss: For 37 months $1.127 billion - $1.511 billion; For 48 months $1.462 billion - $1.96 billion. Erk calculated Jackson would have 20% expense in fees; entertainment attorney, business manager and personal manager.Future Loss Minus Professional Fees: 10% fee -- Range from $1.014 billion to $1.764 billion; 20% fee -- range $901,600,000 to $1.568 billion

Erk did not calculate how much money Jackson could earn making movies. He said he thought it was best left for the jury to decide.

Tier 2 is future touring. $373,985, 179 -- total projected economic damages for Tier 2, including merchandising. Erk calculated four more tours through 2024. Projected Income to MJ -- Merchandise $79,407,278. Panish then announced he had concluded his direct examination.
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Old 16-07-2013, 22:42
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Day 48 (part 2)

AEG's attorney Sabrina Strong did the cross examination.

Erk said he spends half of his time doing business management and other half of royalty compliance.
Largely, Erk said he made estimations based on touring, but he is not a tour manager. Erk testified he prepared tour budget before. But in his deposition, Erk said tour budget was not part of his responsibilities.

ERk said his estimate of Jackson doing four more tours after ‘This Is It’ was not too much. Erk never met Michael Jackson or had personal conversation with Jackson about his future plans. Erk’s professional opinion was that Jackson would have gone on tour 3 more years after he died, plus four more tours until aged 66. "Had he lived, I believe he would've performed the shows," Erk testified. "I believe had he lived he would've taken the stage." For his projections, Erk assumed Jackson was in good health, he did not consider Jackson was taking Demerol in a regular basis, he did not consider Jackson's use of Propofol, would not have changed his opinion if he knew Jackson was using Popofol. He didn't review Jackson’s medical record.

The court was shown a judgement of Marcel Avram v Jackson in which Jackson was ordered to pay $5.3m for being in breach of contract for backing out of Millennium Concerts. Erk said he was unaware of the judgement, didn’t use it in forming hi opinion. Other lawsuits were laid before the jury Jackson had for failing to perform. Erk said he had not reviewed any of the prior lawsuits.

Erk based his assumptions on Jackson’s need to work. Erk took no account of any previous failed Jackson projects. Erk took no account of Jackson having not toured/performed for 12 years or Prince’s testimony that his father didn't want to tour anymore. The court was played Katherine Jackson’s deposition in which she said, she was a bit surprised with Jackson going on tour since he didn't want to do Moonwalk on stage at 50. Erk said his opinion was not based on pure speculation, he had reasonable assurance Jackson would perform.

Erk was not aware Jackson generally spent more than $570K a month to live between Jan 2000-June 2009. Erk relied on a memo to come up with Jackson's monthly consumption. Strong for AEG said there's testimony Jackson was a heavy traveller, used charter planes and stayed at the finest hotels, would take over entire wings. Jackson spent $435,000 on air fare and hotels in two months period in early 2000s.

The Judge adjourned the case until tomorrow.
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Old 16-07-2013, 22:51
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During the day Jury members said they had seen someone at the courtroom doors with a camera taking pictures. The Judge had the door windows covered up.

After the Jury had left Brian Panish for the family said he wanted to put on the record that AEG didn't know if the $5.3 million judgement was ever reversed on appeal. The said she hoped it was final judgement as she didn’t want to undo anything.

Brian Panish said he will try to finish this week, intended witnesses - an economist, Katherine Jackson and possibly Tom Barrack.
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Old 16-07-2013, 23:22
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AEG challenges expert's figures for Jackson's potential earnings, court told analysis did not include breakdown of Jackson's yearly earnings during his life, projected concert tour longer than he'd ever performed.
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Old 17-07-2013, 06:05
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ABC7's account of yesterday in court.

Jackson turned songs to platinum, but jurors heard testimony from accountant Arthur Erk, a witness for the Jacksons, that the artist spent money faster than he made it and that Jackson was broke when he signed with AEG to stage his comeback tour.
Jurors heard Tuesday that Jackson signed his tour agreement after borrowing all he could on what he owned, including his mother's house, which was on the verge of foreclosure.
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