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Attorneys react after 8 days of testimony by AEG president

A courtroom sketch shows Randy Phillips, the CEO of AEG Live, during the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial in June 2013.
June 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Attorneys for both sides of the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial spoke out Friday after marathon testimony by the head of AEG Live.

From the pop star's dance moves, to emails about his health, for eight days, the CEO Randy Phillips faced a battery of questions.

"The CEO of AEG Live is not credible or worthy of any belief," Jackson attorney Brian Panish told reporters outside of court.

Defense attorney Marvin Putnam saw it differently.

"There's nothing that showed actual changes in testimony in any substantive or meaningful way," Putnam told reporters.

Jurors on Friday saw contrasting views of Jackson in rehearsal. On Thursday, they were shown a video of Jackson dancing in rehearsal on June 5, 2009, 20 days before he died. Phillips said that Jackson's dance spins that day showed no indication that the star's health was "deteriorating."

Panish, who is representing Katherine Jackson in the case, on Friday showed a side by side comparison of Jackson in the 1980s versus Jackson in what turned out to be the last month of his life. Panish also showed a photo taken 11 days after the dance rehearsal and described Jackson as skeletal.

"The physical evidence is the photographs and Michael Jackson on the video," said Panish.

Phillips testified that the June footage was not a full rehearsal and that he never saw Jackson without his shirt, but that he did see him the following day after Jackson appeared to have recovered from flu-like symptoms.

"[Jackson] took two days off and then came back and gave the best two rehearsals and performances that he had given," Putnam said.

Putnam said that made AEG executives believe that Jackson was OK. A central question in the case is whether Jackson's health was a factor at all in his death. According to the autopsy, Jackson died from a propofol overdose while in the care of his doctor, Conrad Murray.

"The coroner indicated that Mr. Jackson was a normal healthy 50-year-old man," said Putnam.

Panish disagreed.

"No, he said that his organs were that of a healthy 50-year-old. He did not say that he was healthy in his physical condition," said Panish.

Amid all the science was a story of the supernatural. Phillips had written an email saying he had evidence that would exonerate Murray. His explanation in court was that Brenda Richie, the ex-wife of his client Lionel Richie, told him about a vision. In it, Jackson told her that Murray was not responsible for his death.

It got a laugh in court, but Panish now tells reporters that Phillips' explanation of that email was not truthful and that he will produce a witness to prove it.


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