September 12th, 2012 by faye
The former concert promoter of the ill-fated “This Is It” tour of the late Michael Jackson has decided to drop its claim to collect on a $17.5 million insurance policy for the pop singer, amid revelations in leaked emails that show company executives were concerned about MJ’s stability ahead of his planned London comeback tour.
According to reports, AEG announced their decision on Monday night, claiming that the company has been contemplating the move for months. However, they said that it has nothing to do with the discovery of new emails that show AEG had doubts about the health of Michael Jackson around the time the company applied for the insurance policy.
Marvin Putnam, an attorney for AEG, said the company no longer needs the $17.5 million insurance because it has already been reimbursed by the Michael Jackson estate for its concert-related losses and that it informed Lloyd’s in June that it was withdrawing its claim.
Previous reports have stated that AEG Live — the concert division of privately-held Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) — had filed a claim seeking a $17.5 million insurance payment from Lloyd’s of London for losses they sufferred in up-front costs for MJ’s “This Is It” sell-out shows that were supposed to commence in London in July 2009.
Lloyds of London fired back by filing a lawsuit against AEG and Michael Jackson LLC in the wake of the King of Pop’s death in an attempt to cancel the policy. Lloyds of London has claimed that AEG and Michael Jackson were not honest enough about the pop star’s drug addiction and failing health at the time they applied for the insurance policy.
Now, a rep for Lloyds released a statement, saying, “In exchange for AEG withdrawing its insurance claim, underwriters agreed to dismiss AEG from the case and to waive any costs recoverable from AEG.”
Lloyds of London reiterated that the company is not dropping the case against Michael Jackson LLC — explaining they will press on seeking “rescission of the policy due to non-disclosures of Michael Jackson’s prior drug use.”
The insurance battle is just one of the two major court cases stemming from Michael Jackson’s death.
The other case is a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the “Heal The World” singer’s mother, Katherine Jackson, against AEG Live in which she accused the company of being responsible for medical decisions made by Conrad Murray.
On September 2, news outlet The Los Angeles Times published parts of email exchanges between AEG Live executives about Jackson and his health state. In one email from March 2009, sent when the singer was in London to announce the concerts, Randy Phillips, chief executive concert division AEG Live, voiced out his concerns about the singer’s condition.
“MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” Phillips said in the email, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I trying to sober him up.”
While that email led to claims that AEG Live knew about the issues with Michael Jackson while it was firming up its insurance policy with Lloyds of London, Putnam said AEG’s decision to drop its insurance claim has “nothing to do with the recent leak” of documents containing the emails.
AEG attorneys have said they suspect the emails were leaked from material shared between the two sides in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Katherine Jackson.
“We are standing by AEG’s lawyers comments that the withdrawal of the claim was not related to the leaked emails,” said Paul Schriffer, an attorney for the underwriters at Lloyd’s of London.
In June 2009, Michael Jackson died at the age of 50 due to an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol and sedatives. Last year, a Los Angeles jury convicted the “Thriller” singer’s physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, of involuntary manslaughter, but heard that Jackson was taking a cocktail of sleep aids and prescription medications.
September 3rd, 2012 by faye
Michael Jackson was said to be an “emotionally paralyzed mess” who was “scared to death” leading up to his planned “This Is It” concerts back in 2009 — this according to newly obtained emails sent by the promoters of the said show.
The emails, which were obtained by the Los Angeles Times, are the focal point to various ongoing lawsuits about the failure of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour. The emails are said to contain dire warnings.
“MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” AEG promoter Randy Phillips wrote to his boss before a huge concert announcement that year. “He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self-loathing and doubt.”
In the midst of rehearsals in June, a production manager wrote, “He was a basket case. Doubt is pervasive.”
Show director Kenny Ortega later complained to Phillips that Michael Jackson was displaying “strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior.”
“I think the very best thing we can do is get a top psychiatrist in to evaluate him ASAP,” Ortega said.
The emails also show AEG backed out at the idea of having a shrink talk with Michael Jackson. Instead, they relied on his doctor, Conrad Murray — who was later convicted of giving the “Heal The World” singer a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol to help him sleep.
The insurance company for the concert, Lloyd’s of London, repeatedly demanded a physical from Michael Jackson, which AEG never arranged. The company also demanded that Dr. Murray provide a five-year medical history.
“Authorization was denied,” Murray told AEG in an email sent from the bedroom where Jackson died of an overdose an hour later.
Now, Lloyd’s of London is trying to revoke the $17 million policy, saying AEG did not disclose information about Jackson’s ability to carry out the shows.
Jackson’s estate is also suing AEG, claiming it played a role in his death by pushing him too hard to perform, despite his fragile state.
The emails portray AEG as desperate to get Michael Jackson onto the stage.
“I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking,” Phillips wrote after Michael Jackson declined to leave his London hotel room for the big announcement in March.
“He is scared to death.”
AEG could not be reached for comment on the matter, but its lawyer, Marvin Putnam told the Los Angeles Times the emails that were leaked have been taken out of context and displayed an exaggerated version of the company’s concerns leading up to the King of Pop’s death on June 25, 2009.
“Michael Jackson was an adult,” Putnam said. “It is supercilious to say he was unable to take care of his own affairs.”
July 2nd, 2012 by edsel
Thriller -the pet tiger of Michael Jackson- had recently died of lung cancer.
E! News reported that the King of Pop’s pet tiger passed away at the California wildlife preserve of actress-activist Tippi Hedren on June 11. She was 13 years old when she died.
The Los Angeles Times broke the story. According to the paper, Thriller and her brother Sabu were born on Nov. 20, 1998 at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. She was named after the Michael Jackson smash hit.
The two tigers joined a menagerie of animals that included giraffes, flamingos, orangutans, elephants, and Bubbles the chimpanzee.
E! News reported that Michael Jackson approached Tippi Hedren on May 4, 2006. He asked her to take Thriller and Sabu to her Shambala Preserve in Acton, California.
“She was about a tough a tiger as we have known here,” Tippi Hedren said.
According to the former actress, Thriller “ruled over Sabu. She was the queen,” Hedren said of the late tiger. “We were fascinated by her dominance,” she added.
After a necropsy to determine her cause of death, Thriller the tiger was cremated. Staff workers at the Shambala Preserve held a private service in her honor. They buried her ashes afterwards.
Michael Jackson died three years ago in June, the same month that Thriller died.
June 27th, 2012 by edsel
The baby mama of Conrad Murray reported that he went through more than 60 books and started an in-jail university in an effort to stay busy.
TMZ reported that Murray’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Nicole Alvarez said she stayed in constant contact with Connie since he was locked up in L.A. County Jail. Miss Alvarez claimed that the former doctor of Michael Jackson had been desperately trying to keep his mind active.
“He’s been doing a lot of reading,” Alvarez said. “He’s able to transport himself to all these different places,” she said of Murray’s hunger for books, “Like Sweden or Paris or Afghanistan.”
According to Nicole Alvarez, Conrad Murray had burned through his reading list behind bars. At the time of the third death anniversary of Michael Jackson, Murray had already finished more than sixty books during his stint in captivity. That included the posthumously-published thriller ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson, which featured a protagonist who just got out of jail.
Alvarez further informed TMZ that Murray had also started a virtual “university” behind bars. Much like Lane Garrison of ‘Prison Break’ infamy, Murray decided to educate other inmates in various subjects.
Conrad Murray is serving a 4-year sentence for over-medicating Michael Jackson three years ago, which led to the King of Pop’s death by cardiac arrest. The coroner judged Jackson’s death to be a homicide and Murray was held responsible.
June 27th, 2012 by edsel
In the midst of the memorial for Michael Jackson, Ryan O’Neal would like to remind everyone not to forget the late love of his life: ‘Charlie’s Angels’ star Farrah Fawcett, who passed away after a long and brave bout with anal cancer.
The Hollywood Gossip reported that the world did mourn when they learned of Fawcett’s death. But the tragic death of the King of Pop quickly overshadowed the loss of the most famous -and brief- member of ‘Charlie’s Angels.’
So, this Monday, her long-time parner Ryan O’Neal honored her memory by donning a shirt that featured TV icon Farrah Fawcett during what many considered her finest moment.
The image on O’Neal’s shirt showed Farrah Fawcett wearing a red Lycra swimsuit in her most famous role as Jill Munroe of ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ Taken in 1976, it went on to become one of the best-selling posters in history and achieved the status of an international cultural icon. Her “Farrah” hairdo at the time also achieved international trending and remained popular well into the 80s.
Ryan O’Neal donated Fawcett’s famous swimsuit to the Smithsonian, where it was occasionally featured as part of the museum’s “popular culture” department.
Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Farrah Fawcett was an international sex symbol during her time. She has one child, Redmond O’Neal, with long-time partner Ryan O’Neal.
June 27th, 2012 by edsel
The third death anniversary of the late, great Michael Jackson this Monday saw fans celebrating his life and his music.
According to The Hollywood Gossip, the King of Pop died from cardiac arrest three years ago at his home. He was 50 years old and preparing for his ‘This Is It’ comeback tour.
The coroner ruled Jackson’s death a homicide. His doctor, Conrad Murray, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for over-medicating Michael to a dangerous degree.
The Hollywood Gossip reported that the last thing Conrad Murray intended to do was kill Michael Jackson. However, the doctor was still held responsible for the lethal combination of sedatives that led to the singer’s tragic death.
Conrad Murray received a four-year sentence for his part in Jackson’s death. He had been behind bars since November. Murray often complained that the horrid jail conditions were causing him to waste away.
Jackson’s mother, Katherine, received permanent custody of his three offspring: Prince, Paris, and Blanket. His three children went on to become well-adjusted, normal children, just like Michael Jackson reportedly always wanted and worked hard for.
Paris Jackson, in particular, publicly paid tribute to her father. ”RIP Michael Jackson,” she tweeted. “Dad you will forever be in my heart,” Paris promised. She also posted a picture of Michael and his former wife Debbie Rowe, Paris and Prince’s mother.
Meanwhile, Jackson’s lives on three years after his death. According to The Hollywood Gossip, his death shifted the media and public’s focus away from Jackson’s personal issues and back to his musical genius.
His death introduced Michael Jackson to a new generation of fans. Tens of millions of older fans also found themselves invigorated once more. The King of Pop had never been more popular in over 30 years.
June 11th, 2012 by edsel
A convicted thief filed a billion-dollar handwritten lawsuit against the estate of Michael Jackson for allegedly exploiting personal details about her life to use in his greatest hits.
In an exclusive report by TMZ, Kimberly Griggs filed the case in San Diego, California. Griggs was a convicted felon who served time in prison for burglary and robbery.
Griggs claimed that she and Jackson had an intimate relationship starting from 1979. She further claimed that MJ used the unsavory parts of her criminal life to create his albums ‘Bad,’ ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Off the Wall,’ ‘Thriller,’ and Jackson’s greatest hits album ‘Number Ones.’
According to TMZ, Kimberly Griggs claimed to have been furious with Michael Jackson for exposing her personal secrets in his music. She then alleged that Jackson promised to give her the rights to the songs as compensation.
Griggs claimed to have been shocked when MJ suddenly died. She said she was even more displeased when she was completely left out of his estate, which is now worth billions after an especially lucrative post-humous video concert.
TMZ obtained copies of the handwritten lawsuit. The legal papers stated that Kimberly Griggs asked for $1 billion in damages.
The estate of Michael Jackson did not return TMZ’s calls.
June 11th, 2012 by edsel
Michael Jackson was a “really normal father” who wanted his kids to “have a normal childhood,” said his daughter Paris Jackson.
E! News reported that the only daughter of the King of Pop opened up to Oprah Winfrey in a recent interview about her famous father. Paris Jackson talked about the infamous face-covering paraphernalia she and siblings had to wear, how Michael Jackson preferred to call grounding “on punishment,” and how the most successful entertainer of all time was a typical, “normal” father with his kids.
“I was really confused,” the 13-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson and Debbie Rowe shared, “Like I didn’t get why I was wearing a mask. But I understand it now,” Paris Jackson shared, “Why our dad would want our face to be covered.”
According to Paris, the attention-grabbing masks ensured that “We wouldn’t be recognized” when she and siblings Prince Michael and Blanket went out without their famous dad. “We could have a normal childhood,” she told Oprah Winfrey.
E! News reported that the Jackson household placed a premium on maintaining some semblance of normalcy. When Oprah Winfrey asked if Michael Jackson wanted his kids to have a normal life, Paris Jackson answered that “He did.”
Paris said that Michael “had his doubts” about his kids enjoying their childhood, much less a normal one. “He told us,” she said, “That when he was younger he didn’t really have a childhood.”
Michael Jackson told his children stories about how he would always be singing in the studio while other kids his age were playing outside. ”And he wanted us to have that,” Paris Jackson determined. “Chuck E. Cheese and Toys ‘R’ Us were our favorite places to go,” she told Oprah Winfrey.
Years after Michael’s death, his children remained acutely aware of their loss. ”Now I see other kids and their parents,” Paris said, “And I compare them to my dad. Our dad was a really normal father when he was with us,” she said.
And like any normal father, Michael Jackson would ground his kids if they did something bad. “He wouldn’t call it grounding,” Paris Jackson told Oprah Winfrey. “He’d just say, ‘You’re on punishment.’”
Adding that “Sometimes we’d be on punishment a lot,” Paris admitted that she and her stepbrother Blanket were the usual suspects. “Mostly me and Blanket,” she told Oprah Winfrey, “Because me and Blanket would always fight.”
Things have changed over the years for the kids of Michael Jackson. ”But me and Blanket have found a lot of things in common,” Paris said about her stepbrother. “More things than I thought we did,” she expanded, “So me and him have gotten a lot closer.”
As for her other, older sibling, Paris Jackson said that “Prince has started to drift off. He’s a teenager,” she told Oprah Winfrey, “He’s a teenage boy, he’s gonna do that.”
Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. His three kids -Prince Michael I, Paris, and Prince Michael II (“Blanket”)- are in the custody of their grandmother Katherine Jackson.
June 1st, 2012 by edsel
An auction company will no longer put up a letter written by Michael Jackson to Lisa Marie Presley by request of the daughter of Elvis Presley.
According to E! News, the Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions obtained a handwritten letter where Jackson told Presley (whom he was married to at the time) about his dire need for rest. The company added the letter to the many items of its upcoming Music Icons auction.
However, the company’s CEO, Darren Julien, informed E! News that the camp of Lisa Marie Presley requested Julien’s Auctions to remove the Michael Jackson letter from its Music Icons auction.
Julien’s Auction complied with Presley’s “reasonable request.” According to Darren Julien, the letter’s “personal nature” made it a sensitive item. His company also desired to sustained a “good relationship” with the daughter of Elvis Presley.
Julien could not tell E! News where he expected Jackson’s note to end up in the meantime.
One of the many items scheduled to be sold by Julien’s Auctions is the crypt that once held Elvis Presley -the father of Lisa Marie Presley- and Elvis’ mother Gladys.
The letter to Presley appeared to be proof that Michael Jackson suffered from insomnia long before he took the Propofol that eventually took his life.
Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were married from 1994 to 1996. E! News suggested that Michael Jackson already had trouble sleeping as early as 1993.
“I truly need this rest,” Jackson told Presley in the note. “I haven’t slept litterally in 4 days,” he shared, “And I need to be away from phones and business people.” Though he said that “I must take care of my health first,” he also told his then-wife that “Im’ crazy for you.”
The handwritten note bore the signature “Love, Turd,” which appeared to be a nickname of Michael Jackson.
May 28th, 2012 by edsel
In a bizarre twist, Propofol -the drug that claimed the life of Michael Jackson- will now be used to execute criminals in the state of Missouri.
TMZ reported that the Missouri Department of Corrections recently announced about ditching the previous -and expensive- 3-drug cocktail method used for lethal injections. Instead, the state will administer a lethally large dose of Propofol to the condemned.
Propofol is a powerful anesthetic used to induce anesthesia for surgeries. Marketed as Diprivan by AstraZeneca, it gained the nickname “milk of amnesia” because of its resemblance to milk.
Propofol has been linked to cardiac arrest, but it is still used off-label for medically-unsubstantiated purposes such as anxiety treatment.
Missouri would be the first state to use Propofol for the purpose of execution. The state has not yet established an official date when it will start using it, but there are 19 condemned men who may be executed using this method in the near future.
Michael Jackson was known to use Propofol to help him sleep. The 50-year-old pop icon died of the said drug’s intoxication after suffering a respiratory arrest.
MJ’s personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was sentenced for involuntary manslaughter. Murray was proven to have administered Propofol to Michael Jackson within 24 hours of his death.