In the lawsuit filed by Katherine Jackson against concert promoter, AEG, accusing them of negligence in the death of her son, Michael Jackson, it is alleged that AEG aggressively pushed Michael Jackson to rehearse and practice for his final world tour with no regard for the physical strain he was under or his failing health.
Katherine Jackson also alleges that, Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s cardiologist, was hired by AEG, to pump her son with drugs so that he could continue rehearsing and keep up with AEG’s grueling demands.
The suit further alleges that AEG threatened to sue Michael Jackson for millions if he did not attend every rehearsal on time and perform according to the contract, but, did not allow him proper rest and recovery time, even when it was apparent that Michael was not doing well.
AEG, as one might expect, denies the allegations and says the suit is “inaccurate, unsubstantiated and without merit” adding that it did not hire, advise or supervise Dr. Conrad Murray, who has been embroiled in lawsuits with the Jackson family since the very day of his death, when, Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson’s father, filed a wrongful death suit against him.
Just How Sick was Michael Jackson?
Potential complications for the lawsuit are the differing accounts as to the actual state of Michael Jackson’s health prior to his death. Many around him, who worked with him, including, This is It, director, Kenny Ortega, said in a 2009 interview with New York Magazine, that Michael Jackson appeared to be fine, albeit a “little tired”, adding that, “Michael didn’t have great sleeping habits.”
Further, when asked if Michael Jackson showed any warning signs of failing health during the making of the film, Kenny Ortega said, “No” and that Michael Jackson was “inspired and “nourished” by the rehearsing and the making of the film. Indeed, if you’ve had the occasion to see the film, Michael Jackson does appear to be full of good health and vitality, carrying out impressive dance numbers in the film.
Will the Film This is It Play a Role in Determining Michael’s State of Health?
Ironically, according to New York Magazine interview with Kenny Ortega, it was Michael Jackson’s estate who insisted on releasing the film, This is It, so soon after his death. One has to wonder if the film will now play a crucial role in determining the physical fitness of Michael and ultimately end up working against the Jackson family? Only time will tell, of course.
Until then, it appears the Jackson family will continue their shameful and unseemly scapegoating which, unfortunately, thus far, has only served to tarnish, demean and disgrace the musical legacy of Michael Jackson.
“This is It Director, Kenny Ortega on Memories of Michael Jackson” October 26, 2009. New York Magazine.com. September 19, 2010. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/10/this_is_it_director_kenny_orte.html
“Inside Story: A Chilling Version of Michael Jackson’s Final Days” September 19, 2010. People.com. September 19, 2010. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20427138,00.html