Prince, Diana Ross On MJ List
A star-studded witness list including Prince, Diana Ross and Spike Lee has been released by attorneys while the jury pool for trial in the Michael Jackson family’s suit against AEG Live has risen to 81 members.
Witness lists compiled by attorneys on both sides include some overlap, with 97 listed by the plaintiffs and 113 by the defense team, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Most of Jackson’s siblings, his mother Katherine, two of his three children, and ex-wives Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe may take the stand. Among entertainment industry notables who could also be called are Quincy Jones and Lou Ferrigno, the paper reports.
Dr. Conrad Murray, whom Katherine Jackson and her grandchildren say was negligently hired and supervised by AEG Live, is listed as a witness by both sides but has previously said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right to not testify. Murray is currently serving time in L.A. County Jail for manslaughter in Jackson’s death by Propofol overdose.
In the meantime, jury selection began April 2 and continued at press time. To date, 81 potential jurors have been approved by attorneys from both sides and the judge in the case. Prospective jurors answered lengthy, written questionnaires that gauged their ability to serve on the trial, which may last three months.
One 24-page section of the questionnaire focused on each person’s knowledge and opinions of Michael Jackson’s life, music, family, media coverage and whether they would have a problem deciding a multimillion-dollar case.
Or multibillion-dollar case. Plaintiffs Katherine Jackson and MJ’s three children seek $40 billion, citing lost future earnings of the late King of Pop. The jury will first determine what, if any, damages will be awarded. If they award damages, jurors will then determine how much responsibility AEG Live has in Jackson’s death.
The jury can also reject the claims, decide that Jackson was solely responsible for his own death and limit the amount his family can collect.