AEG CEO Acknowledges Flip-Flopping Over Questions Of Michael Jackson’s Drug Use
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The president and CEO of AEG Live acknowledged in testimony Thursday he gave multiple answers during an earlier deposition about whether or not he thought Michael Jackson was abusing drugs in the days before his death.
Randy Phillips took the stand for questioning for the third consecutive day as the Jackson family’s wrongful death trial against his firm continues.
The suit claims AEG executives negligently hired and supervised the doctor who provided Michael Jackson with the fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol that killed him while he was preparing for his comeback concert series in 2009.
Asked about the deposition by Jackson family attorney Brian Panish, Phillips admitted he originally stated he did not know if the singer was using drugs but later admitted it was possible.
Phillips said again on Thursday Michael Jackson could have been using drugs.
“It’s possible at that time he was, I did not know,” Phillips said.
The executive acknowledged he was concerned six days before Jackson died after receiving an e-mail about the singer appearing frail at rehearsals.
Phillips said he e-mailed his boss within minutes explaining they had a “real problem”.
He also said tour director Kenny Ortega and another AEG official recommended Jackson see a psychologist although none was called.
“I’m not responsible for Michael’s care, he’s an adult,” Phillips said.
AEG’s lead attorney said the apparent inconsistencies in Phillips’ testimony will be disproved when he is able to question the witness, who is his client.
Michael Jackson’s relatives meanwhile stayed away from the Los Angeles courtroom for a second day in the wake of Paris Jackson’s apparent suicide attempt.
Family matriarch Katherine Jackson has attended the trial nearly every day since it began six weeks ago but is reportedly by her granddaughter’s side in hospital as the 15-year-old recovers.
She issued a statement about the alleged incident to Entertainment Tonight Wednesday.
“Being a sensitive 15-year-old is difficult no matter who you are. It is especially difficult when you lose the person closest to you. Paris is physically fine and is getting appropriate medical attention. Please respect her privacy and the family’s privacy,” Katherine Jackson said.
Jackson attorneys declined to comment further on Paris’ condition Thursday.
Conrad Murray is currently serving a four-year sentence in a L.A. County jail for involuntary manslaughter after administering a dose of propofol that killed Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009.
The trial resumes Monday.
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