Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
When 60 Minutes’ Lara Logan and producer John Hamlin toured a secret warehouse where Michael Jackson’s personal effects are stored, they found a surreal collection of statues, arcade games, and crystal-encrusted clothing— but the most fascinating item they found was a simple handwritten note.
“At the age of 21, he wrote a manifesto,” explains Hamlin, “scribbled to himself on the back of a tour itinerary in 1979 that described his mission statement for what he wanted to become.” The document is folded and worn, and it appears to be hand-written by Jackson in ballpoint pen during a moment of inspiration.
The document reads:
“MJ will be my new name. No more Michael Jackson. I want a whole new character, a whole new look. I should be a tottally different person. People should never think of me as the kid who sang “ABC,”
“I Want You Back.” I should be a new, incredible actor/singer/dancer that will shock the world. I will do no interviews. I will be magic. I will be a perfectionist, a researcher, a trainer, a masterer. I will be better than every great actor roped into one.”
Logan, who reported on Michael Jackson’s estate for 60 Minutes this week, said the letter was the most personal find in the vast warehouse of belongings she toured with archivist Karen Langford.
“One of the things that I discovered is that it was very hard to get a sense of who Michael Jackson was by the end of his life,” says Logan. “Because under this siege of accusations and stardom, the real Michael Jackson kind of disappeared. I was hungry for a sense of who Michael Jackson was as a person, and what could be more personal than something he wrote like that when he was so young.”
In the note, Jackson also expressed a desire to improve himself by studying the work of great entertainers. In the margin of the document he added this promise: “I will study and look back on the whole world of entertainment and perfect it, take it steps further from where the greats left off.”
Hamlin, a music industry producer as well as a 60 Minutes producer, says about the letter: “It’s not unusual for young artists, musicians, actors, to daydream about how big a star they wanna become, but for someone to write it down at age 21 and actually execute it almost to the T is remarkable. He set his goals, and he did exactly what he said on the back of that piece of paper.”
LOS ANGELES — A look at key moments this past week in the wrongful death trial in Los Angeles between Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and concert giant AEG Live LLC, and what is expected at court in the week ahead:
Jackson’s mother wants a jury to determine that the promoter of Jackson’s planned comeback concerts didn’t properly investigate Dr. Conrad Murray, who a criminal jury convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson’s June 2009 death. AEG’s attorney says the case is about personal choice, namely Jackson’s decision to have Murray serve as his doctor and give him doses of a powerful anesthetic as a sleep aid. Millions, possibly billions, of dollars are at stake.
Jurors heard from AEG Live’s first two witnesses, a pair of choreographers who worked on Jackson’s ill-fated “This Is It” shows. Stacy Walker told the panel she never saw any signs Jackson was impaired or ill during rehearsals. Her colleague Travis Payne, who rehearsed one-on-one with Jackson, acknowledged he couldn’t say how many times the pair actually rehearsed and said he was concerned the singer was under the influence of prescription medications in the weeks before his death.
An AEG accounting executive testified about the budget for “This Is It,” which was planning on paying Murray up to $1.5 million for the first few months of the shows. The former cardiologist was never paid because Jackson died before signing his contract.
WHAT THE JURY SAW
Payne shift from a composed, sometimes-smiling witness to one who fought back tears toward the end of his day-and-a-half of testimony. His devotion to Jackson was evident from his wardrobe, which included a black blazer with an emblem stitched onto each sleeve containing the letters “MJ” and golden wings.
Lots of courthouse hallways and downtown Los Angeles. Friday’s session featured a four-hour lunch break due to witness availability issues. The trial’s third week featured only three days of live testimony and the jury was kept waiting or sent out of the room numerous times while attorneys argued legal issues.
“Sometimes in rehearsal, Michael would appear just a little loopy,” Payne said of Jackson’s demeanor after visiting his longtime dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein, who is not a party to the case.
“I just never in a million years thought he would leave us, or pass away,” choreographer Stacy Walker said of Jackson. Walker testified for AEG and said she never saw signs Jackson was under the influence of medications or was ill.
OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM
A state attorney urged a court to reject an appeal by Jackson’s former doctor, Conrad Murray, stating there were no legal errors by a trial judge and the physician’s own attorneys failed to raise issues at the appropriate time. Murray has shown no remorse for playing “Russian roulette” with Jackson’s life.
A corporate attorney for AEG Live will testify, reflecting a shift in the trial focus away from Jackson and toward a central issue in the case – whether Murray was hired by the concert promoter.
Los Angeles (CNN) — A cache of e-mails believed lost when Michael Jackson’s last manager’s laptop disappeared could become key evidence in the wrongful death trial against AEG Live.
Lawyers for Michael Jackson’s mother and three children don’t know what they’ll find in Frank DiLeo’s e-mails, but they are hoping it will support their contention that DiLeo was beholden to the concert promoter and not to Jackson.
Jackson changed managers twice in the last three months of his life. In late March 2009, he hired Leonard Rowe — one of his father’s friends — to replace Tohme Tohme, the manager who initially negotiated the deal with AEG for his “This Is It” tour.
Jackson lawyers argue that AEG Live forced Jackson to take DiLeo, who had worked for him off and on for decades, as his manager in May 2009 because they did not want to work with Rowe.
Their contention is part of their larger argument that AEG Live executives were liable for Jackson’s death because they hired, retained or supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
AEG counters that it was Jackson who chose and hired Murray, not them. AEG lawyers argue that Jackson was responsible for his own death and that drug addiction led to his bad decisions.
The coroner ruled his death, which came near the end of preparations for a series of comeback concerts, was caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol that Murray was using to treat Jackson’s insomnia.
AEG Live contends its executives had no way of knowing the doctor was using propofol in the privacy of Jackson’s bedroom.
The Jacksons are seeking billions of dollars in damages, equal to what Michael Jackson might have earned if he had not died on June 25, 2009. The Los Angeles trial began three weeks ago and is expected to continue into July.
The lawsuit contends AEG Live ignored warning signs about Jackson’s health in his last weeks, and instead of getting him help they pressured Jackson and Murray to have him at rehearsals. DiLeo would have been part of that pressure, they contend.
“Get him a bucket of chicken,” DiLeo said on June 19, 2009, in reply to concerns about Jackson’s weight loss, makeup artist Karen Faye testified last week. “It was such a cold response, it broke my heart,” Faye said through tears.
The next day — June 20, 2009 — DiLeo left a voice mail on Murray’s cell phone. “I’m sure you’re aware he had an episode last night. He’s sick. Today’s Saturday. Tomorrow, I’m on my way back. I’m not going to continue my trip. I think you need to get a blood test on him. We got to see what he’s doing?”
DiLeo’s e-mails were recovered after what the judge called “a lot of red tape and kind of cloudiness,” that included the AEG’s lawyers also representing the estate of DiLeo, who died in 2011, in fighting the Jacksons’ subpoena for them.
“Because (DiLeo’s widow) didn’t have litigation counsel, we’re representing her for the limited purposes of responding to that subpoena,” AEG’s lead lawyer, Marvin Putnam, told the judge.
Soon after an Ohio court ordered DiLeo’s estate to give his laptop and e-mails to the Jackson lawyers, the AEG lawyers — in their other capacity representing the DiLeo estate — reported that they could not locate the computer or e-mails.
Jackson lawyers, however, learned that the DiLeo estate’s previous lawyer — Pennsylvania lawyer David Regoli — kept a copy of the e-mail files. For the past several weeks, however, the AEG lawyers argued he had no authority to provide them to the Jacksons’ lawyers for use in the case against AEG.
But in a phone call to the court this week, Regoli said he advised DiLeo’s widow, Linda DiLeo, that “in my opinion, it was a conflict” for AEG’s lawyers — from the Los Angeles firm O’Melveny and Myers — to represent her in the matter.
“She said that she never signed anything with O’Melveny and Myers to authorize them to represent her, and as of this moment they are not representing her anymore,” Regoli said.
Linda DiLeo then rehired Regoli, which allows him to send the e-mails on to the Jacksons — after removing any that are personal or not relevant to the case.
“I think I can give the court my assurances that I’ll go through the documents that I have and I’ll go through the e-mails, and anything that is related to the subpoena, I would obviously turn over,” Regoli said.
As for the missing laptop, there was a simple explanation. Linda DiLeo “had told me her daughter had given it to a friend who needed a computer,” Regoli said. “It wasn’t a very new computer.”
While the Jackson lawyers wanted to explore how AEG’s lawyers came to represent the DiLeo estate in Ohio, the judge declined exploring the matter.
“All we know right now they’re not representing her, and that’s enough for us,” Judge Yvette Palazuelos said.
The trial’s fourth week starts Monday morning with AEG’s chief counsel, Shawn Trell, on the witness stand. Jackson lawyers are expected to grill him about the contract negotiations with Michael Jackson and Murray.
56 notes (via myinspirationmj)
Page 1 of 599