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Jackson said tour would 'kill' him, son testifies

28 june 2013, 10:30
0
©AFP
©AFP
An exhausted Michael Jackson warned that tour promoters AEG Live were going to "kill" him as he rehearsed for a marathon concert tour shortly before his death, AFP reports citing his son Prince testimony.

The 16-year-old also recounted the harrowing scenes on the day Jackson died in 2009, recalling how his younger sister Paris was "screaming" as doctor Conrad Murray was trying to revive her father.

"He just wished he had more time for rehearsals," he told the wrongful death trial, in which the Jackson family accuses AEG Live of negligently hiring Murray to care for the star for his doomed "This Is It" shows.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 for having given Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, to help him cope with chronic insomnia as he rehearsed for the series of 50 planned London shows.

Previous testimony at the manslaughter trial, and at the current civil case, has heard details of how the self-styled King of Pop's state of health deteriorated rapidly in the months before his death.

On Wednesday his son Prince said Jackson was upset on the phone "a lot of time," most of the time with AEG Live chief Randy Phillips.

"He would cry sometimes. He said: 'They're gonna kill me, they're gonna kill me.'" Asked who he was talking about, he said: "People in AEG, Randy Phillips."

The teenager was dressed in a dark suit and tie, with long hair brushed behind his ears. He appeared reasonably relaxed, smiling as some videos and photos of the family were shown in court.

The 16-year-old told how Murray acted as the family doctor, treating the children for minor ailments.

In the months before his death Murray "would come every day, except Sunday night," he said, adding that: "I saw him give my father IVs (intravenous drips) of clear liquid.... I saw IV holders and oxygen tanks" in his bedroom, he said.

Jackson, the highest-profile witness to testify since the civil trial started in late April, recalled June 25, 2009, the day his father died at his rented Holmby Hills mansion outside Los Angeles.

"I was downstairs in the sitting room. I heard screaming usptairs. I saw Dr Conrad, (personal chef) Kai (Chase) looked nervous and said 'Dr Murray wants you upstairs.'

"I ran upstairs and I saw Dr Murray doing CPR on my dad. Dr Murray was screaming while doing CPR. Then my sister came upstairs. She was screaming all the time saying she wants her dad," he added.

Appearing to fight back tears, he recalled how the children followed the ambulance which took Jackson to hospital, in a separate car.

"My dad always told us that angels were looking after him.

At the hospital, "Dr Murray said 'Sorry kids, dad is dead. We just cried," he told the jury.

Jackson's daughter Paris was also listed before the AEG trial as among witnesses due to be called. But it is now thought unlikely she will testify, after she was hospitalized earlier this month following a suicide attempt.

Prince Jackson's testimony came a day after the fourth anniversary of their father's death -- marked by fans who gathered at his mausoleum in the Forest Lawn celebrity ceremony near Los Angeles.

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