Sometimes, when looking for stories to blog about, we come across some funny articles. Most of the time, actually. But every now and then I come across something that convinces me that we as a species are doomed. With that being said, I present to you the testimony of Michael Jackson’s ghost that was allowed as evidence at the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray!
Michael Jackson’s court battle has taken a bizarre turn after the judge presiding over the dispute between the late singer’s family and concert firm AEG has accepted evidence from a ghost.
The new twist in the trial allegedly came as Randy Phillips, CEO of AEG Live, claimed the legendary star had insisted from beyond the grave that his death was an accident, thus clearing Dr Conrad Murray, who has been jailed for delivering a fatal overdose of a sedative in 2009.
Speaking to members of the jury at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Mr Phillips is said to have claimed the supernatural encounter was delivered via his friend Brenda Richie, the ex-wife of musician Lionel Richie.
The Sun quotes him as saying in court: ‘Brenda called me to tell me that she was in communications with Michael, either through a medium or directly. She said Michael told her it wasn’t Dr Murray’s fault – that he had accidentally killed himself.’
Judge Yvette Palazuelos is said to have ‘let the testimony stand’, as Mr Phillips responded to questioning about an email he sent back in August 2009.
It said: ‘I think I know what MJ died of and this would exonerate Conrad.’
A lawyer representing the Jackson family reportedly objected to the evidence, claiming it was ‘triple hearsay’, as the conversation was relayed to Branda Richie through the assistance of a medium. But the judge let the evidence stand nonetheless.
Jackson was close to both Lionel and Brenda throughout his life, and was godfather to their adopted daughter, Nicole Richie, 31.
Earlier this week, it was claimed the late singer was ‘desperately broke’ before his ill-fated This Is It comeback tour.
Phillips made the claims as he testified for a sixth day at the singer’s wrongful death trial in a Los Angeles on Wednesday.
He told of an emotional Halloween meeting with the Prince of Pop at a hotel where the singer claimed ‘they were living like vagabonds.’
He added: ‘He actually broke down and I broke down. We both broke down. He got emotional. He teared up about his family and having a good life with them and a place to live and a residence they could call their own.
‘I felt incredibly bad that this incredible star was at the point where he just couldn’t buy a house with all this money he made It just didn’t make sense.’
He also told AEG attorney Marvin Putnam, it was the ‘first time Michael really told me why he wanted to go back to work.’
The Thriller favourite’s mother Katherine and three children are suing the concert promoter, alleging it negligently hired, retained or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter over the singer’s 2009 death.
Meanwhile he also told jurors he knew the star as a sophisticated, forceful businessman and not the drugged-up performer who’s been described throughout an ongoing civil trial filed over the singer’s untimely death.
Phillips said based on meetings he had with Jackson in 2008 and early 2009, he found Jackson to be a ‘sophisticated man who had control of his life.’
The portrait of Jackson that’s been presented to the jury during the seven-week trial has been inaccurate, Phillips said. Jackson was described by both sides in opening statements as struggling with prescription drug addiction throughout his life.
Phillips said he disagreed with the descriptions of Jackson ‘because he’s been presented as drug-addled 5-year-old. That was not the man I dealt with. The man I dealt with was forceful. Kind, but determined. He was a force.’
Jurors have been presented with conflicting accounts of Jackson, even from Philips. They will have to weigh the different portrayals when they decide who is liable for the singer’s June 2009 death.
Katherine Jackson’s lawyers contend AEG failed to properly investigate the doctor convicted of causing her son’s death, pushing her son too hard to perform and missed warning signs of his health.
AEG, however, contends Michael Jackson hid his addiction to the powerful anesthetic propofol and that the company could not have foreseen that the singer’s doctor was giving him the drug as a sleep aid.
Millions and possibly billions of dollars are at stake in the negligent hiring trial.
Phillips said he didn’t see signs that Jackson was struggling with prescription drugs when he met with the entertainer to discuss options for his This Is It comeback concerts scheduled for London’s O2 Arena in 2009. Phillips has also told jurors that Michael Jackson never told him he was having trouble sleeping.
The executive has described the superstar as difficult to work with, often changing managers and ideas about what he wanted creatively.
In testimony later on Wednesday, he described having to coax Jackson to a London press conference in March 2009 to announce his concerts.
The singer was a couple of hours late, appeared hung over and was concerned no one would want to see him perform.
‘He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self-loathing and doubt now that it is show time,’ Phillips wrote to his boss that day.
He testified that he just wanted to get through the event and forget it ever happened.
The six-man, six-woman jury has been shown numerous emails throughout the trial in which high-level tour workers expressed concerns about the singer’s health, his weight, and whether he was ready for the shows.
Many of the concerns were voiced by tour director Kenny Ortega, who Phillips at one point told not to attempt to serve as an amateur doctor or psychiatrist.
Phillips acknowledged earlier this week that statements he wrote to Ortega about Michael Jackson’s physician, Conrad Murray, were untrue.
Among those statements were Phillips’ assertions that AEG Live had checked out Murray, and that the deeply indebted physician didn’t need the job.
Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for giving Michael Jackson a lethal dose of propofol. Murray is not a defendant in the civil case, although AEG Live lawyers said early they intend to call the former cardiologist as a witness.
So a man’s life hangs in the balance, and this numbskull judge allows triple hearsay (involving a psychic, no less) into the trial? God bless America.