Gasp! Michael once wore pajama bottoms to court (not by choice) and had a pet chimpanzee. If necessary AEG will refer to Michael’s “eccentricities” in order to defend itself in the Katherine Jackson v. AEG civil trial. (Shameful but not surprising considering all that has happened.) The 2005 molestation trial also is pertinent to the promoter’s case, according to AEG lawyer Marvin Putnam because “it resulted in an incredible increase in his drug intake”.
Although Michael’s contractual obligations to AEG aren’t the focus of the trial, AEG would be hard-pressed to find anything, including pictures of Michael buying drugs from a one-armed pimp in a needle strewn alley, that tops the injustice in the contract on Michael–written testament to what AEG and those Michael trusted really thought of him.
And Randy Phillips’ apparent lack of decency and humanity:
“Michael’s death is a terrible tragedy, but life must go on. AEG will make a fortune from merch sales, ticket retention, the touring exhibition and the film/dvd,” Phillips wrote to a concert business colleague in August, adding, “I still wish he was here!”
It’s a wonder Michael wasn’t wearing a straightjacket by June 2009.
“If you are in the creative arts business, you are going to be involved with individuals who have a great many problems,” said AEG attorney Marvin Putnam. “Michael Jackson was an adult and … it is supercilious to say he was unable to take care of his own affairs.”
How many celebrities does Putnam know who take care of their own affairs? That’s what they hire other people to do. How many employees hired by Michael wound up being paid by AEG? Reminded that their checks came from AEG?
Was Michael such a mess when he began talks with AEG? If so, why did the company agree to get involved with him? While AEG searched for witnesses and evidence of past drug abuse by Michael, did it consider that its employees yelled at, administered tough love to, and pushed a man it believes had “a great many problems” instead of halting rehearsals and getting him help (apart from Murray)? What kind of company contractually obligates someone who is incapacitated? AEG can’t have it both ways—Either it believed Michael was addicted before starting talks with him and negotiating a contract in which AEG is highly favored, or Michael showed no signs of addiction and AEG is backpedaling in search of a defense.
April 2, 2013— Katherine Jackson v. AEG begins. Judge hears arguments for tv cameras in the courtroom before jury selection begins in the morning.
Prayers for justice for Michael Jackson, Katherine Jackson, and Michael’s three children have been made. Continued justice until justice is complete.
When all is said and done, AEG,Inc and its companies will not see another dime as far as this blog is concerned. It’s difficult to resume the role of ignorant consumer once enlightened about the ugly side of the entertainment industry. Thanks to Michael for letting the world know he was not happy about the increase in tour dates, AEG’s unprofessional, arrogant and bully representatives (read the emails) and everyone who came forward to inform Michael’s family about what he experienced during the last months of his life. Thanks to members of Michael’s family who refused to look the other way or give up when there was probably pressure and temptation to do so. Thanks to everyone who was not content to accept what they were told and to those of you who let the world know something wasn’t right in the spring of 2009.
Thank you to whoever leaked the AEG emails.
It has been this blog’s opinion that AEG was not only complicit in the financial, emotional, and physical mistreatment of Michael Jackson but played a major role. The company and its representatives had to know they had Michael between a rock and a hard place when lack of money and huge debts reportedly were two catalysts responsible for Michael agreeing to perform again. Michael’s financial situation led him to make hurried decisions, including hiring Tohme Tohme and signing with AEG; and ended with him being financially dependent on AEG.
Why would AEG present such a severely one-sided, piece of crap contract to Michael Jackson unless it knew it had the advantage?
“We are holding all the risk,” Gongaware wrote to Phillips. “We let Mikey know just what this will cost him in terms of him making money…. We cannot be forced into stopping this, which MJ will try to do because he is lazy and constantly changes his mind to fit his immediate wants.”
“He is locked. He has no choice … he signed a contract,” Gongaware wrote.
Pressed by another promoter about Jackson’s ability to deliver, Phillips shot back in an email, “He has to or financial disaster awaits.”
Conflict of interest:
Tohme Tohme and Dennis Hawk are addressed in correspondence regarding the AEG contract and letter of credit. Michael Jackson’s money problems were “relieved” when AEG began advancing money to him for expenses incurred as a result of the 02 shows and for personal expenses. In 2010, Leonard Rowe wrote that AEG’s monetary advancement included payments to Michael’s manager Tohme Tohme. AEG held the purse strings, so who paid Dennis Hawk for his services?
Can there be a satisfactory explanation? Maybe Tohme and Hawk didn’t read the contract.
But, wait a minute…Tohme was brought in specifically to help solve Michael’s financial troubles. Knowing Michael’s circumstances, shouldn’t he (and Hawk) have foreseen the resulting financial, emotional and psychological toll it would have on Michael if he didn’t fulfill his end of the agreement, anticipate the stress and pressure placed on Michael as a result of the contract terms, or the physical results of stress? The deplorable AEG contract is evidence that Michael wasn’t well represented when it was drafted or signed.
And Paul Gongaware is incorrect: AEG was not holding all the risk. The company would have either benefited handsomely from the shows’ receipts and monies owed by Michael, or it would have gained by becoming owner of Michael’s music catalogues had he forfeited his responsibility. After Michael’s death, AEG found a way to recoup its losses and prosper from “This Is It” rehearsal footage while continuing to pursue its claim with Lloyd’s of London.
Side bar: In Randall Sullivan’s salute to tabloid tales—sources/notes pages—he writes that Tohme and Hawk (two sources often mentioned in tandem, making it seem like they are physically joined) believed Michael didn’t have a Will at the time of his death. Lovely of the two of them to comment on a Will when neither has explained the abusive AEG contract and why Michael was allowed to sign it. Interestingly, Sullivan also notes that Dennis Hawk was one of several who told him MJ often didn’t look at docs before signing them.
Despite talk of scheming, money hungry Jacksons and Leonard Rowe’s past legal troubles, the only Jackson named in the AEG contract is Michael and Rowe’s name nowhere to be found. Whether Peter Lopez distanced himself from the agreement or was forced out by others, his reputation was spared by not taking part in the assault on Michael.
What exactly does one call AEG’s action of pursing its insurance claim with Lloyd’s of London while having knowledge of emails contradicting public comments made by its executives regarding Michael’s health and well-being? Attempted fraud? Fraud? Deception? If those emails had not been leaked and AEG received money from Lloyd’s of London, wouldn’t the act be considered a felony? (AEG dropped its claim after emails were released) End side bar
Michael and Conrad Murray were both financially strapped men employed by a company that held the money cards:
CNN reported that AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware wrote an e-mail saying the company wanted to use the $150,000 monthly salary of Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, to pressure him into letting Jackson rehearse despite medical concerns.
“We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary,” CNN quotes Gongaware as writing. “We want to remind him what is expected of him.”
Katherine Jackson v. AEG (Counts Dismissed by Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos)
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(BREACH OF CONTRACT BASED AND OTHER DUTIES OF CARE as against AEG and DOES 1-75)
THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
(FRAUD and CONSTRUCTIVE FRAUD as against AEG and DOES 1-75)
FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
(NEGLIGENT INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS (DILLON V. LEGG) by plaintiff MICHAEL JOSEPH JACKSON, JR. against AEG and DOES 1-75)
FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
(RESPONDEAT SUPERIOR AS AGAINST AEG AND DOES 1-100 FOR MURRAY’S NEGLIGENCE)
The SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION was not dismissed
(NEGLIGENT HIRING, TRAINING, AND SUPERVISION against AEG and DOES 1-75)
70 Plaintiffs hereby incorporate all preceding paragraphs as though fully incorporated herein.
71 The Second Cause of Action is against AEG LIVE LLC, ANSCHUTZ ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, RANDY PHILLIPS, KENNY ORTEGA, PAUL GONGAWARE, and TIMOTHY LEIWEKE (i.e. , AEG) and DOES 1-75
72 For the reasons stated above, AEG owed legal duties to Michael Jackson to behave reasonably toward him
73 AEG was aware that Michael Jackson was not physically well and was having serious problems attending rehearsals for the show
74 AEG chose to hire and employ a physician, Murray, to exclusively treat Michael Jackson and require that Jackson accept treatment from him with the goal being to get him to the shows
75 In undertaking to hire Murray, AEG performed absolutely no diligence in investigating or checking out Murray’s background, specialties, ability, or even whether he was insured, which it had a duty to do. In choosing to hire and employ a physician to treat Jackson, AEG undertook to act, and it needed to do so reasonably. AEG did not act reasonably and breached its duty.
76 During the course of Murray’s treatment, it became clear to AEG that Jackson was not doing well at all. AEG did nothing to terminate Murray and instead negligently retained him as an employee and in so doing violated its duty of care. AEG insisted that Jackson continue treatment with MURRAY and receive no treatment from other physicians, a further breach of its duty of supervision.
77 Indeed, AEG instructed its employee Murray to do whatever it took to make sure Jackson attended rehearsals and shows, in other words Murray was instructed not to look out for Jackson’s best interests, but rather to do whatever medical procedures were calculated to get Jackson to perform. The terms of Murray’s employment with AEG were such as to heighten the risks to Jackson. AEG paid Murray excessively and made the purpose of his employment that Jackson attend rehearsals. AEG knew or should have know that these terms of employment were likely to pose an unacceptable level of risk of Jackson’s health and safety. This is not a proper way to oversee a physician employee from whom AEG was requiring Michael Jackson accept treatment. By so doing, AEG breached its duty to Jackson to hire, retain, and supervise Murray in a reasonable matter.
78 AEG also was negligent in supervising Murray in that Murray had specifically requested a full-time nurse and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation equipment for the treatment of Jackson and AEG had agreed to so provide that equipment. AEG did not provide that equipment and accordingly breached its duty of care to Michael Jackson.
79 The AEG defendants and DOES 1-75 were involved in a civil conspiracy to commit these wrongs against Michael Jackson
80 AEG’s breach of its duty to Michael Jackson directly and proximately caused Michael Jackson’s physical injuries and his ultimate death, resulting in economic and non-economic damages to Plantiffs.
AEG emails and lawyer quote
Katherine Jackson v. Complaint for Damages
Michael put on trial in Katherine Jackson v. AEG/ Judge to hear argument for tv cameras in courtroom