Jacksons V. AEG Jury Seated

A jury, including alternates, has been chosen and opening statements were scheduled to begin April 29 in the $40 billion negligence suit filed by Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson’s three children against AEG Live.

The Los Angeles Superior Court trial is expected to take as long as three months and feature testimony from a witness list that reportedly includes Paris and Prince Jackson, Diana Ross, Prince, Quincy Jones, and former AEG President/CEO Tim Leiweke.

The trial is sure to be a tabloid dream. Even during the mundane task of jury selection, stories erupted over prospective jurors having ties to the Jackson clan, others spinning elaborate excuses to get out of jury duty altogether and peremptory challenges turning up anti-MJ opinions from those who were left.

And if that weren’t enough, various news reports emanating from the case include suggestions that AEG hired a “body double” to stand in for Michael Jackson during the press conference announcing the ill-fated “This Is It” London residency as well as during the rehearsals filmed and eventually released theatrically.

And LaToya Jackson, who had remained uncharacteristically reserved over the last couple of years, added a bit more weirdness by revealing that MJ’s ghost tap-dances in her bedroom.

In the end, six women and six men were seated and six alternates chosen. 

Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit, whittled down to a single charge, claims AEG hired Conrad Murray as Michael Jackson’s personal physician without checking his credentials. AEG counters that MJ insisted on hiring Murray, but the $150,000 per month contract was never signed.

In the meantime Murray, who is serving time on a manslaughter conviction in Michael Jackson’s June 2009 death from an overdose of anesthetic Propofol and other drugs, appealed his conviction April 15.

He claims multiple legal errors led to his conviction 18 months ago, and insufficient evidence was presented to prove Jackson died of an overdose injected by Murray. He continues to claim that Jackson injected the drug himself while Murray was out of the star’s bedroom.