LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Five days before Michael Jackson’s death, AEG Live’s top executive described Dr. Conrad Murray as “totally unbiased and ethical” in an email.
KNX 1070′s Margaret Carrero reports that the head of AEG Live said in court Monday that it was a “highly charged situation” five days before Michael Jackson died.
Phillips made the admission under questioning from lead Jackson attorney Brian Panish in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the singer’s mother.
Jackson lawyers produced emails from “This Is It” show director Kenny Ortega in which he said the singer’s physical and mental condition were deteriorating, and raised concerns about his failing health and absence at rehearsals.
Panish presented email evidence in which the CEO told Ortega to ‘please stay steady’ and appeared to praise Dr. Conrad Murray.
“I had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Murray, who I am gaining immense respect for as I get to deal with him more,” the email read. “He said that Michael is not only physically equipped to perform (but) that discouraging him will hasten his decline instead of stopping it.”
“This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he’s totally unbiased and ethical,” the email went on to say.
Asked by Panish why he said that Dr. Conrad Murray was totally unbiased and ethical, Phillips testified he felt that way at the time, and made assumptions when making the statement that he later learned were not true.
Phillips said they called a meeting with Jackson and Dr. Conrad Murray to determine whether the problem was physical or psychological, but went on to say that Murray assured them there was nothing wrong and that he would make sure Jackson was focused and at rehearsals.
“You cannot imagine the harm and ramifications of stopping the show now,” the email from Phillips to Ortega read. “It would far outweigh calling this game off in the seventh inning.”
Jackson died five days after the email was sent.
Attorneys for the concert promoter could begin presenting their side of the case as early as Tuesday.