This Is It: Family Finally Sues

According to Michael and many of the people closest to him, he greatly looked forward to the upcoming This Is It concerts that he diligently rehearsed for before his tragic and untimely death. But there are many perspectives that don’t match up. There appear to be numerous people invested in promulgating various stories about what was really going on behind the scenes during those long rehearsal months.

About a year ago, three months after his death, many news sources quoted Michael’s daughter, Paris, as saying that her daddy was working way too hard, even to the point of  death. His sister LaToya confirmed what Paris told her when she asked her niece to clarify her perspective. ‘No, you don’t understand. They kept working him, and Daddy didn’t want that, but they worked him constantly.”

News outlets worldwide are reporting today about the fact that Michael’s mother and children have filed a lawsuit against This Is It concert promotion company, AEG Live.

“The purpose of the lawsuit is to prove to the world the truth about what happened to Michael Jackson, once and for all,” stated Katherine Jackson’s lawyer,” wrote Claire McCormack of  TIME online today.

“His mother’s lawsuit described Jackson in his last months as confused, easily frightened, unable to remember, obsessive, and disoriented,” quoted Alan Duke of CNN this morning. “AEG was well aware of his condition but did not postpone any rehearsals, nor did AEG relent in its demands that Jackson continue to maintain the grueling rehearsal schedule,” the suit said. “Rather than react reasonably and relax the rehearsal schedule so Michael Jackson could recuperate from his physical problems, AEG insisted that he attend every rehearsal in a grueling schedule, threatening that if he missed even one more, they would cancel the tour.”

Michael’s younger brother Randy  posted on Twitter yesterday, “Last year I promised that I would not rest until the truth is exposed about what happened [with regard] to my brothers passing. May he rest in peace. I am doing my best to keep that promise. On this day my family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against AEG. I am proud of my family. What happened to my loving brother should NOT have happened. I really miss him. Please understand its not over, we have a long way to go. There is more to come. We are just getting started. This could not have been done without the support of the fans. Were all together in this. Thank you for your continued support and patience.”

In the lawsuit filed yesterday, Katherine alleges:

1. Michael was under contract with AEG for the This Is It tour and that under that contract “AEG had legal duties to Michael Jackson to treat him safely and not put him in harm’s way….But AEG, despite its’ knowledge of Michael Jackson’s physical condition, breached those duties by putting desire for massive profits from the Tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson.” Katherine alleges AEG’s actions/inactions led to MJ’s death on 6/25/09.

2. Katherine Jackson alleges that AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray. The lawsuit states that not only did AEG hire Dr. Conrad Murray, but that AEG was attempting to control MJ through Murray. It alleges that “AEG demanded and required that Michael Jackson would attend all rehearsals and shows on the tour” and this was ensured through Conrad Murray.

3. Lawsuit names defendants as: AEG LIVE LLC, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc., Brandon (aka Randy) Phillips, Kenny Ortega, Paul Gongaware (co-CEO AEG), Tim Leiweke (president and CEO AEG).

4. Lawsuit states that Michael entered into a contract with AEG on January 26, 2009. The agreement was an “artist loan out” agreement. AEG had the rights to merchandising and other revenues. “AEG advances Michael Jackson substantial sums of money, which it was to recoup through revenues of the Tour. If however, Jackson failed to perform, or failed to generate the revenue to cover the advances, then AEG would have the right to collect the advance against security provided by Michael Jackson and his company Michael Jackson, LLC.” Assets AEG could seize included MJ’s half of the Sony/ATV. “Indeed, AEG was even entitled by the contract to recoup from Jackson the production costs from the Tour if the Tour itself were not to be successful.”

5. Lawsuit alleges AEG essentially controlled MJ’s life; he was financially dependent on AEG, the home he lived in was provided by AEG, “and his assets stood security if he failed to perform.”

6. Lawsuit alleges the AEG contract required MJ to help buy life insurance in which AEG would benefit in the event of Jackson’s demise. MJ was required to buy cancellation insurance at his own expense and name AEG as the beneficiary.

7. Lawsuit alleges that rehearsals began in April, 2009. By May, 2009, AEG complains to MJ that he is missing rehearsals, instructs him to no longer see or take prescriptions from current doctor (Dr. Klein) and to start seeing doctor AEG would provide.

8. Lawsuit alleges AEG hired Murray, entered into a contract to pay him $150,000 per month from May, 2009 through June, 2010. AEG agrees to pay for all of Murray’s medical equipment including CPR equipment and a nurse.

AEG likely cared more for profits from Michael than Michael himself.


This tragic saga will continue to unfold. As Michael’s brother Randy says, “Please understand its not over, we have a long way to go. There is more to come. We are just getting started.”

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