Prince Jackson Testifies Against AEG in Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Michael Jackson's son describes what happened before and after the pop singer's death.
"Sorry, kids. Your dad's dead."
Those are the words Prince Jackson recalled hearing from Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the 2009 death of Michael Jackson, on the night the superstar died.
Prince Jackson tearfully described his father’s death Wednesday, testifying in his family’s wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live.
“I was downstairs in the sitting room with my sister, and I think my brother was there and I heard screaming upstairs,” Prince testified. “I ran upstairs and I saw Dr. Conrad doing CPR on my dad on the bed. My dad was hanging halfway off the bed and his eyes kind of rolled to the back of his head."
“Nothing will ever be the same. I can’t sleep at night,” he continued.
Prince, his siblings, and his grandmother Katherine Jackson have sued AEG Live for $40 billion, alleging the concert promoter negligently hired and monitored Murray, resulting in Jackson’s 2009 death. Murray supplied the superstar with the anesthetic propofol that killed him and is serving four years behind bars following his 2011 conviction.
Jackson "wasn’t happy" with AEG’s promotion of his planned 2009 This Is It tour, Prince testified, adding that phone calls with AEG CEO Randy Phillips reduced the singer to tears. “[My father] would say, 'They're going to kill me. They're going to kill me.'"
Prince also testified that while AEG should have paid Murray, Jackson supplied the doctor’s salary out of his pocket. "He'd say he feels so bad for Dr. Murray because AEG isn’t paying him," Prince said. "He'd say they are supposed to, but they haven’t yet. So my dad would say, 'Here, give him this.'"
Whether AEG or Jackson hired and paid Murray is a crucial factor in the case -- had Murray felt a paycheck from AEG would be conditional on Jackson touring, Murray might have pushed the singer to perform. AEG maintains that Jackson personally hired and supervised the doctor, while Jackson family lawyers contend that Murray was bound to AEG.
Prince is the first of the Jackson children to take the stand, though a video deposition from his sister, Paris, was shown several days ago.
A decision has yet to be made on whether Paris will be summoned following her suicide attempt three weeks ago, and youngest sibling Blanket will not be called to testify.