The executive has described the superstar as difficult to work with, often changing managers and ideas about what he wanted creatively.
In testimony later on Wednesday, he described having to coax Jackson to a London press conference in March 2009 to announce his concerts. The singer was a couple of hours late, appeared hung over and was concerned no one would want to see him perform.
“He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self-loathing and doubt now that it is show time,” Phillips wrote his boss that day. He testified that he just wanted to get through the event and forget it ever happened.
The six-man, six-woman jury has been shown numerous emails throughout the trial in which high-level tour workers expressed concerns about the singer’s health, his weight, and whether he was ready for the shows. Many of the concerns were voiced by tour director Kenny Ortega, who Phillips at one point told not to attempt to serve as an amateur doctor or psychiatrist.
Phillips acknowledged earlier this week that statements he wrote to Ortega about Michael Jackson’s physician, Conrad Murray, were untrue. Among those statements were Phillips’ assertions that AEG Live had checked out Murray, and that the deeply indebted physician didn’t need the job.
Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for giving Michael Jackson a lethal dose of propofol. Murray is not a defendant in the civil case, although AEG Live lawyers said early they intend to call the former cardiologist as a witness.