LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Michael Jackson’s ex-wife, Debbie Rowe, held back tears on the stand Wednesday as she testified in the Jackson family’s wrongful death lawsuit.
Katherine Jackson and her three grandchildren, Paris, Prince and Blanket, are suing concert promoter AEG in the death of the King of Pop. Attorneys for the family charge that AEG was negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to look after the singer during his ill-fated ‘This Is It’ concert tour.
The promoter denies any wrongdoing and maintains the doctor was brought on at Jackson’s request. They allege that the singer’s dependency on the drug propofol led to his 2009 death.
AEG lawyers are questioning Rowe about Jackson’s drug use during their marriage in the 1990s.
The 54-year-old has told them Jackson had a very low tolerance for pain and that made him vulnerable to doctors who may have taken advantage of him, according to KCAL9’s Randy Paige.
“Unfortunately, some of the doctors decided that when Michael was in pain or something, they would try to outbid each other on who could give the better drugs, and so he listened to the doctors,” she testified. “His fear of pain was incredible. And I think the doctors took advantage of him that way.”
Rowe recalled that on two separate occasions while in Munich on his HIStory tour, doctors set up a surgical suite inside Jackson’s hotel room and gave the singer propfol to help him sleep
Rowe is the mother of Prince and Paris Jackson and currently lives on a horse farm in Palmdale.
She met Jackson while working as a nurse in a Beverly Hills dermatology office where the singer was a patient.
The couple wed in 1996 and divorced three years later, with Rowe giving Jackson custodial rights of the two children.
Since the divorce, Rowe remained largely out of the public eye.
In 2005, she came to her ex-husband’s defense during his child molestation trial, testifying that he was a supporting and loving father. He was later acquitted of all charges.
Since Jackson’s passing, Rowe has reemerged as a fixture in her children’s lives.
On Tuesday, Attorneys for Jackson’s family accused AEG of trying to smear the singer as debt-ridden and irresponsible through testimony from an expert financial witness.
Forensic accountant William Ackerman described the artist as “tapped out” and could not borrow any more money, despite the singer owning half of a music catalog estimated at $2 billion.
The case is expected to continue into September.