Michael Jackson's last concert promoter is defending itself in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the King of Pop’s family by arguing that Jackson was responsible for his own passing.
Unpleasant aspects of Jackson’s history will be brought up during the trial, specifically the child molestation charges of which he was acquitted, and AEG Live’s lawyers will likely present evidence of his drug addiction as they argue they were not liable for his death, CNN reported.
At the time of his death Jackson was working on his “This Is It” concert tour, organized by AEG Live. It was supposed to debut in the summer of 2009.
"I don't know how you can't look to Mr. Jackson's responsibility there," CNN quoted AEG lawyer Marvin Putnam. "He was a grown man."
Putnam was interviewed in the CNN documentary "Michael Jackson: The Final Days," that is set to premiere at 10 p.m. Friday.
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"Mr. Jackson is a person who was known to doctor-shop," Putnam said. "He was known to be someone who would tell one doctor one thing and another doctor something else."
The lawyer says the child molestation trial is relevant because it "resulted in an incredible increase in his drug intake," Putnam said.
He added that the pop star’s eccentricities were fair game.
"We're talking about Michael Jackson," Putnam said. "This is a man who would show up in pajamas. This is a man who would stop traffic and get out and dance on top of his car. This is a man who would go to public events with a monkey named Bubbles. This is a man who said he slept in an oxygen chamber."
But lawyers for Jackson's family, including his mother, Katherine, and children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, argue that AEG Live is responsible because the company hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who fatally maltreated the singer's insomnia as he prepared for the comeback concerts. Murray is currently serving a prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter.
Prince and Paris Jackson, the pop star’s two elder children, will be testifying in the wrongful death trial that could reportedly last several months. Putnam believes the children were asked to testify "for the emotional response."
"I can't understand why bringing them to the stand has anything to do with whether or not Dr. Conrad Murray was hired by AEG or hired negligently. But perhaps they're bringing them to the stand for different reasons."
AEG Live will also be claiming that the convicted Murray worked for Jackson, not the entertainment company. They say he was chosen and paid by the pop idol for four years until the star died on June 25, 2009.
"He was chosen by Michael Jackson," Putnam said. "He was brought to Los Angeles by Michael Jackson. He had been Michael Jackson's longtime physician and continued in that capacity and was directed by him and could only be fired at will by him."
It was not revealed when the trial would start.