Katherine´s Wrongful Death Suit: The Tragedy It Reveals (Pt 1)

by Allforlove

November 2, 2010

I’ve been aware for some time that Katherine Jackson has filed a wrongful death suit against AEG. But only recently, when Denise Johns kindly shared the link with me, had I actually seen a copy of the official document and the details contained therein.

Before I go any further, I’ll just say that I’ve never totally bought into the notion of Michael as this sickly, pathetic, manipulated, drug-addicted puppet that some have tried to make of his last days. I do believe there was a part of Michael that was excited about performing again, and that wanted to do these shows. Furthermore, I believe with the right kind of care, he would have been fully capable of doing them. He hadn’t lost anything. He could still sing; he could still dance. That hadn’t diminished. I believe Kenny Ortega was telling the truth when he said Michael wanted to perform again for his children, “now that they’re old enough to appreciate it, and I’m still young enough to do it.” I could see him saying that, absolutely. With the right kind of TLC, these shows could have been a succesful venture for all parties involved.

But there is another, darker picture that emerges out of this document. And we have to assume that Michael’s mother and children, as the people closest to him who knew him best, are at least telling the truth as they saw it.

I’ll just say that reading the document was a very emotional experience for me. It made me cry. And it made me angry. As, perhaps, all of us should be who cared about this man’s life.

What emerges is a disturbing picture of a desperate man pushed to the edge, fighting tooth and nail to keep everything he had worked for, and being forced-against his wishes and better judgement- to rely on the services of an incompetent doctor he neither wanted, nor asked for. All of which ultimately led to a tragedy that his son, Prince, was forced to witness (and yes, the document confirms that Prince was called in to the room to witness his father’s death).

It’s also worth keeping in mind that the statements made in this document are only alleged statements made against AEG by Katherine. I only say this because, as we all learned from Michael’s trial and how the media reacted, that reporting only “one side” of a case is never fair. But for those who continue to insist on Michael’s culpability in his own death, I think this is an important document that people need to be aware of. Especially for those who insist that Michael “asked for” the treatment that Murray was giving him; that Michael “demanded” to have a doctor who would administer propofol to him in his home, and so on. The document reveals that none of these things were Michael’s own wishes. By submitting himself to Murray’s treatment “regimen”-which included forcing him to accept the administering of propofol as a sleep aid-he was complying with orders from AEG! Sound far fetched? Well, it may not be as “far fetched” as it seems.

In fact, as much as it pains me to say it, Conrad Murray really emerges as the lesser of the evils in this picture. Like Michael, he, too, was at the mercy, whim, and demand of AEG. That does not in any way absolve him of his guilt or negligence. But when you start to look at the bigger picture, a lot of things do start to make more sense.

Unfortunately, as the document is a pdf document, I cannot cut and paste it here, which creates a major inconvenience as far as really being able to really break it down and analyze it in sections, as I would like. However, I am going to include the link here and then refer to those specific sections which bear close inspection.


The following are my summaries and paraphrases, and not the actual words used in the legal document, except where indicated by quotation marks.

On page 4, beneath the heading “General Allegations,” starting at Line 18, #21, it states in effect that on January 26, 2009, the Michael Jackson Company LLC entered into an agreement with AEG (the AEG-Jackson Agreement). The agreement was signed by Michael Jackson and Randy Philips. It specified that Michael would agree to a certain number of shows (does not specify how many), in exchange for which AEG would have exclusive merchandising rights. In exchange for this and the prestige of sponsoring the tour, AEG agreed to advance “substantial” amounts of money to Michael, which it was expected would be recouped from the revenue genertaed by the tour. The contract specified that AEG would have the right to collect this sum against the security provided by Michael Jackson and his company, Michael Jackson Company LLC. This included Michael’s Sony/ATV catalog, which had been put up for collateral. (We also know that AEG was providing Michael with his then current home at Carolwood Drive). The contract further stipulated that AEG would have the right to recoup all financial losses should Michael fail to perform or in any way live up to his end of the agreement.

So far, no real problem. The terms may sound stringent, but this was, after all, a business agreement between two parties, and no more extreme than any such agreement that is typically made between a performer and a company sponsoring their tour. Companies that sponsor a major tour do have the legal right to recoup their losses if the performer does not live up to his/her end of the agreement. They also have the legal right to recoup advance sums if the other party fails to deliver on their end of the agreement.

The question we have to ask here (and the only problematic one, since it’s the only question when it comes to Michael’s own culpability in all of this) is why Michael agreed to put his Sony/ATV catalog up for collateral in the first place, and how much advance money did he agree to accept? (After all, an advance is like any other loan-the more you take, the more you eventually have to give back, in some form or other). As hard as Michael fought through the years to retain his Sony/ATV catalog (even at risk of his own life, so he told people many times) the only way in hell I believe he would have ever put that catalog up for collateral is if he was in dire circumstances. I don’t think he was as desperately broke as some pundits tried to claim. But it’s no secret he did have a lot of debt. Could the desperation of being in such debt have finally driven him to the last thing he ever wanted to do, which was to put his Sony/ATV catalog at risk? Did AEG twist his arm to get him to put the catalog up for collateral? Did AEG twist his arm to request huge advance sums? We don’t know, but I would guess these decisions were solely Michael’s, for whatever reason. Generally, people agree to advances for one reason-they need the money then and there, not later down the road. To make an analogy, as a writer, if a book of mine is accepted for publication by a major publishing house, I would be paid an advance against my book’s royalties. But in exchange for accepting that advance, I would be paid no further money until the publishing comapny has recouped the amount of that advance via royalties. Only after my advance has been earned would I then, in turn, receive further payment. Naturally, the bigger the advance, the longer it will be before I see additional money-unless the book is a mega bestseller. Which is also generally why only big name authors receive large advances. The publishing company wants to be sure it can recoup the amount before they take a gamble on that much money.

In AEG’s case, they had a reasonable presumption that a Michael Jackson tour would generate millions in revenue. It wasn’t really a question of whether his name would sell tickets, but of whether Michael himself would hold up his end of the agreement-or would be capable of doing so.

But to return to my analogy, if my publisher offered me a sizeable advance, I would be a fool not to take it. Who couldn’t use extra cash in their pockets here and now? Most of us assume that the needs of the moment are most urgent, and that we can worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here. Michael certainly wasn’t poor, and even on his worst days, most of us would give anything to have just a fraction of his wealth. Nevertheless, let’s not forget he was a single father raising three children. Sometimes, as the saying goes, people do what they have to do.

However, this did create more pressure on Michael’s end to then live up to his side of the agreement. And that is where things start to turn very ugly.

On page 5, line 9, #23, it states, “By virtue of the Jackson-AEG agreement, AEG came to control much of Jackson’s life. The home Jackson lived in was provided by AEG, his finances were dependent on AEG, and his assets stood security if he failed to perform.”

#24 states that the Jackson-AEG Agreement specified that Michael help AEG in purchasing life insurance that would benefit AEG “upon” his “demise” and that he would agree to medical examinations “for the acquisition of that insurance.” He was further required to purchase cancellation insurance at his own expense, with AEG named “as the benficiary.”

In April, it was so far, so good. Michael was attending rehearsals and actively involved in the production (probably much of what we see in This Is It was from this period in the production). This was where we see him at the dance auditions, actively selecting the dancers, working with them, and giving his advice on the They Don’t Care About Us choreography.

In early May was when the first hint of trouble to come started. Michael had apparently missed some rehearsals. AEG felt the problem was a health condition related to “prescription medications” given him by Dr. Klein. Now, as far as what the heck Klein was allegedly giving him, we don’t know. God knows I am no fan of Arnie Klein. I think that man, too, deserves to be locked up and the key thrown away. But I do think we can safely say that whatever Klein may have been giving him, Michael’s body was at least used to it and able to tolerate it. The only downside is that one of its side effects was drowsiness. AEG felt this was why Michael was missing rehearsals.

On page 5, Lines 21-22, #25, the document states, “AEG instructed Michael Jackson to stop seeing and stop taking medications from his current doctor and to instead start seeing a doctor that AEG would provide.”

In early May, the doctor AEG “provided” and ordered that Michael Jackson see-and no other-was Conrad Murray. The document states, page 5, #26, Lines 24-28: “AEG stated it wanted Murray to get Jackson to attend rehearsals and perform.” (Note: This had nothing to do with his well-being, only the ability to “perform”). AEG said it would hire Murray and pay him $150,000 00 per month for 11 months commencing May, 2009 through March, 2010, along with other benefits, travel, and expenses, including a large house in London and health insurance.”

I think all of the above has been common knowledge for awhile now. But remember right after Michael’s death when AEG kept saying that it was Michael who had insisted on keeping Murray as his personal physician? How then, do you reconcile those claims when the contract clearly specifies that AEG not only hired Murray, but then specifically forbade Michael to see or consult any other doctor? (Trust me, this gets a lot uglier still).

On page 6, Line 1, #27, it goes on to state that an agreement forthwith called the “AEG-Murray Agreement” was signed by Murray and AEG on May 8, 2009. It was as part of this Agreement that AEG promised to “pay for and provide all of Murray’s medical equipment, supplies, personel and treatments administered to Jackson.” He was also to be provided with “Cardio-Pulminory Resuscitation equipment.”

It appeared that Michael did not have a hand or say-so in this process. He was merely “appointed” a physician, the same way a poor person charged with a crime is “appointed” an attorney, or a poor person totally reliant on medical insurance is “appointed” a physician. AEG, in essence, hired a quack physician and then, as we’ll later see, proceeded to cut every corner in regards to costs when it came to Murray’s requests.

Michael Jackson was then ordered, at risk of forfeiting the AEG-Jackson Agreement and the security he had put up as collateral, to accept treatment from Murray- and Murray only.

As much as I have no use for Klein, and do not condone him, I do have to say that at least, had Michael been allowed to continue seeing him, rather than having Murray forced down his throat, he might still be here today. At the very least, Klein had been treating Michael long enough to probably understand what he could and couldn’t tolerate. A little drowsiness might not be good for rehearsal. But at the very least, it never killed anyone.

Murray, on the other hand, had no idea, and proceeded from Day #1 to experiment on his new patient like an excited child with a guinea pig.

In the next installment, I’ll take a closer look at the AEG-Murray Agreement, and how Michael, rather than getting better, gradually became sicker and sicker on the regimen that Murray-and AEG-insisted he follow.

shelly says:

It’s also what Joe said in his wrongful death lawsuit. He said on page 3 that Murray treated Michael and his children from 2006 to 2009.


According to p7, Murray made a prescription to Michael in December 2008

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