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Katherine Jackson testifies she didn't believe her son had drug issues

July 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Michael Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, returned Monday for another emotional day on the witness stand in her wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live.

The Jackson matriarch described learning about her son's death. Under questioning by her attorney, a tearful Katherine Jackson accused AEG of causing his death.

"They watched him waste away and waited. I know they did it," she said.

Mrs. Jackson had earlier testified that she filed the lawsuit against AEG because she wanted to know the truth about her son's death.

Under cross examination, AEG attorney Marvin Putnam asked if that was so, why didn't she read depositions laden with information? He also asked her if she questioned her grandchildren about Conrad Murray's nightly visits to treat their father. She told the jury she never questioned them about it.

Katherine Jackson testified that she never knew that her son had a drug problem even after the singer declared publicly that he was entering rehab or, years later, when some of her children persuaded her to join in an attempted intervention.

She recalled going to Neverland Ranch for the attempted intervention. When they got there, she stated, there was nothing wrong with him.

The defense played a clip from her earlier deposition where she had recalled more details. The defense elicited that the 83-year-old mother never disclosed any information about her son's history with pain killers with AEG or with her son's managers.

Mrs. Jackson accuses AEG tour promoters of hiring and failing to supervise Murray. Executives at AEG say they were unaware of Jackson's dependency.

Katherine Jackson's attorneys rebutted, saying questions about Mrs. Jackson's recollections were not relevant. They said it's about who hired the doctor. Jackson attorney Brian Panish asked Mrs. Jackson: "Who would know about that? You or the CEO of AEG?

Her response: AEG.

"Mrs. Jackson has indicated that what she's trying to do here is to go out and blame someone else for what happened to her son," Putnam said outside of the courtroom. "It's understandable. She's a mother. But you also have to understand that all these facts have come out about what they actually knew and were not able to do anything about. And yet, she's now looking to blame someone else for the very things that she and her family knew."

But the plaintiffs assert that it was AEG who had information about Michael Jackson and failed to respond.

"This man had deteriorated over eight weeks and they did nothing. His family never saw that, and you heard what his mother said. If she had seen all that, she would have taken him right to the hospital. But they didn't do that. They didn't get an independent doctor," said Panish.

The defense attorneys said they'll call on a number of doctors to testify about Michael Jackson's drug-use. They said they'll also call back Katherine Jackson because they have many more questions for her.


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