Jackson Civil Jury Hears Roots of Singer’s Trouble

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  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — A look at key moments this past week in the wrongful death trial in Los Angeles between Michael Jackson‘s mother, Katherine Jackson, and concert giant AEG Live, and what is expected at court in the week ahead:

    THE CASE

    Jackson’s mother wants a jury to determine that the promoter of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts didn’t properly investigate Dr. Conrad Murray, who a criminal jury convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson’s June 2009 death. AEG’s attorney says the case is about personal choice, namely Jackson’s decision to have Murray serve as his doctor and give him doses of a powerful anesthetic as a sleep aid. Millions, possibly billions, of dollars are at stake.

    WHAT HAPPENED

    — Jurors heard about Jackson in life and death from a pair of women who knew him and from coroner’s officials who pieced together how he died. Jackson’s mother skipped morbid testimony about Jackson’s autopsy, but listened as her son’s friend and makeup artist told jurors about watching him perform, and gradually become more dependent on prescription drugs.

    — Jackson’s longtime makeup artist Karen Faye testified that she overheard AEG co-CEO Paul Gongaware tell the singer’s assistant to do “whatever it takes” to get the superstar out of a locked bathroom and to a rehearsal. Faye said Gongaware and another AEG official pushed Jackson to perform despite his emaciated appearance and signs of paranoia.

    WHAT THE JURY SAW

    — A black-and-white photo of Jackson’s lifeless body lying on a table before his autopsy. The image was shown in open court for less than a minute.

    — Faye repeatedly break down in tears as she described how Jackson trusted his doctors but became more dependent on prescription medications in the early 1990s when he was on his “Dangerous” tour and facing his first bout of child molestation allegations.

    QUOTABLE MOMENTS

    — “Michael would do five songs to the dancers’ one. I never saw anything like it.” (Makeup artist and hair stylist Karen Faye, describing Jackson’s stamina and ability to put all pain aside while he was performing.)

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