He had a front-row seat for one of the lowest points of Michael Jackson's life. Now Tom Mesereau, the attorney who represented Jackson in his 2005 child molestation trial, is sharing with Showbiz Tonight his surprising views about the current Jackson family drama.
Mesereau tells Showbiz Tonight he thinks Michael Jackson would be okay with his 15-year-old daughter Paris living with her mother, Debbie Rowe. That would be a sharp difference from Jackson's family, who've reportedly vowed to fight any effort by Rowe to take custody of Paris after the teen's recent suicide attempt (as of yet, Rowe's made no such effort).
Why does Mesereau think Michael would be okay with that mother-daughter reunion? And while Mesereau may differ with Jackson's family on the Paris issue, he tells Showbiz Tonight he's backing them in their wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live. Find out why in the clip.
Source: Showbiz Tonight / Billie Jean
Chef Describes Jackson Children's Lives To Jury. 18-06-'13
A chef who worked for Michael Jackson has described the home lives of the children during the final months of the singer's life, including what she said was his daughter's last birthday party.
Kai Chase told jurors hearing a lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother against concert promoter AEG Live LLC that Jackson was a hands-on father who often played with his children. Katherine Jackson's lawsuit lists the singer's three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, as plaintiffs and claims the concert promoter failed to properly investigate the doctor convicted of giving the singer a fatal dose of anesthetic in June 2009.
AEG denies it hired the doctor or pushed the entertainer to rehearse for his final series of comeback concerts titled "This Is It."
On the stand, Chase said Jackson made sure the children kept a healthy diet and got plenty of sleep for school sessions.
She described an April birthday party for Jackson's only daughter, Paris, in which she said the singer hired a private circus for his children. The Cirque du Soleil-style show featured men on stilts and a woman performing in a giant balloon, Chase said.
Paris Jackson, who was turning 11, adored her father and Chase helped decorate a room filled with posters and photos of the "Thriller" singer. The singer's music was played throughout the party.
Chase, who continues to work for Jackson's mother and his children, said that was the final birthday party that Paris Jackson has had.
"Paris hasn't had any birthdays since," Chase said. "She hasn't wanted to celebrate since."
Michael Jackson was fiercely protective of his children's privacy while alive, often shielding their faces in public with masks.
Chase, who testified during Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial, described for civil jurors the routines inside Jackson's rented mansion in the months before his death.
She said Jackson wouldn't allow his children to eat sweets and made sure they went to bed early so they would be alert for tutors who instructed them. Chase described Jackson as a prankster who ate meals with his children, exchanging jokes and stories.
Paris Jackson would often write notes for her dad on a chalkboard sitting in the kitchen that Chase used to list a menu of the day's meals. One message from Jackson's daughter shown to jurors read, "I love daddy" and "Smile it's free."
Chase described the close bond Jackson and his children shared, telling jurors the youngsters would run to their father when he came into a room. "They would take off like lightning," she said, hugging their father's ankles and legs.
If jurors determine AEG Live is liable for Jackson's death, they will have to determine any damages awarded to his mother and his children.
Source: AP / Billie Jean
Expert: Promoter Created Conflict With Jackson Doc. 18-06-'13
The promoter of Michael Jackson's ill-fated series of comeback shows created a conflict of interest with the singer's physician when it negotiated terms of his deal, an expert testifying for the superstar's mother told a jury Monday.
David Berman told jurors hearing a negligent hiring lawsuit against concert promoter AEG Live LLC that the company should not have negotiated with Jackson's physician without notifying the singer's representatives of the discussion.
The former head of Capitol Records and holder high-level positions at several other record companies is being paid to testify for Katherine Jackson in her lawsuit against AEG Live.
Asked whether it was appropriate for the concert company to attempt to hire a doctor on Jackson's behalf, Berman responded: "I believe that it's highly inappropriate. It is highly unusual."
A more appropriate relationship would have been for Jackson to hire cardiologist Conrad Murray without any involvement from AEG Live, Berman said. Based on draft contracts and emails between company executives, Berman said he believed AEG Live thought it controlled the physician.
Berman retired from the music industry in 2001 to become an expert witness for music industry-related lawsuits. He said he had never heard of a situation in which a tour promoter hired a doctor on behalf of an artist. He began working in the music business in 1969 as a transactional attorney before making the leap to record executive, working with acts such as The Eagles, Van Halen, The Beach Boys, The Doors and other big-name acts.
Berman said he believed that music companies owe a higher obligation to artists than to music buyers or concertgoer's and, in this instance, AEG failed Jackson.
He was shown emails in which a tour accountant traded emails with Murray without including any of the singer's representatives.
To prepare for his testimony, Berman said he had reviewed numerous documents, including 26 depositions and testimony from AEG executives during the trial, which is now in its eighth week. He said he is being paid $500 an hour for his work on the case.
Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011, was never paid his $150,000 per month fee for working with Jackson. The superstar died from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol before signing Murray's contract.
AEG denies it hired Murray. The company's executives and lawyers have said the company was merely advancing Jackson the money to pay Murray, and a valid contract never existed. Its executives also have stated that it agreed to pay Murray's salary only because Jackson insisted on him coming on tour.
An AEG attorney showed Berman an statement signed by Jackson's former manager, Frank Dileo, stating that he was aware of negotiations with Murray, and that it was his understanding that AEG Live's CEO objected to bringing the physician on tour.
The company's lawyers have yet to question Berman but already have objected to his expertise. An AEG Live defense attorney has noted that Berman was never a tour producer or promoter — functions that AEG Live was serving as during preparations for Jackson's comeback shows.
Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos reminded jurors Monday that they will ultimately decide whether AEG Live hired Murray.
It will be several more weeks before the trial concludes. Plaintiff's attorney Brian Panish said Monday that he expects to finish his case the week of July 8.
Source: AP / Billie Jean
Smokey Robinson About MJ: “He Was Number One.”. 18-06-'13
In an interview with EURweb Smokey Robinson gets personal in an interview About Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson & Motown. He explains why Michael Jackson was number one in his opinion and he changed the look of music.
It’s really worth watching this video and see the respect Smokey has for Michael. He truly appreciated him, not just for the spotlights.
Source: EURweb, YouTube / Billie Jean
The Greatest Michael Jackson Photo Unveils At AMFM Fest. 17-06-'13
Every photographer waits for the moment. In 1990, photographer Scott Christopher saw an opportunity. He knew what he wanted. The position. The angle. He took a risk and hoped for the moment. By chance, it happened. The result may be the greatest photograph of pop star Michael Jackson. It depicts a youthful man, at ease, at peace, clear eyed and creative. The photograph has now been unveiled for the very first time to the general public at the AMFM Fest in the Coachella Valley.
Jackson dodged into a small exhibit room and Scott Christopher followed. The photographer had developed a rapport with the pop star. They were comfortable with each other.
Christopher and his camera had become invisible. Jackson sat down, next to a kid-sized table that held three toy xylophones. Above it on the wall was a photograph of jazz great Louis Armstrong. The trumpeter was rehearsing in a bathroom before a concert. A photographer had caught him in an unguarded moment.
Jackson took the xylophone mallet and began to play. There was a shift in the energy and Christopher sensed it. Michael Jackson was getting lost in his own little world. The photographer recalls, "Michael was within his heart of hearts." His face began to relax and his eyes lost focus. The man was having fun. He was playing music.
A photographer looks at elements. Jackson was playing with one hand, the other was relaxed beside him. Louis Armstrong held his trumpet at an angle. The contemporary pop star was lost to himself and so was Armstrong. Scott Christopher wanted a shot where Jackson's arm would parallel the trumpet. He could hope. He also could have popped off a few safe shots. He could possibly ruin the moment. He waited. Jackson continued to play, for himself.
After twenty to thirty seconds, the pressure of the photographer's finger opened the shutter of the camera for a fraction of a second. Light hit celluloid. An image was captured. Immediately, an official popped into the room and announced the start of the event. Reality beckoned. The moment was broken.
Scott Christopher has never shared the photograph of a very private moment of a very public man. He was waiting for the right moment. On June 14, 2013, the photograph was unveiled to the public at the AMFM Fest in Coachella Valley at the Incredible Artist Gallery. The festival, art, music, film and more, is sponsored by Film 4 Change, an organization that Christopher supports. The photograph is noteworthy in so many ways.
Michael's Dream Foundation is a new non-profit organisation that has come into being because of Michael Jackson's love for children and his desire to help as many as possible.
It was a life-long dream of Michael's to build children's hospitals all over the world, which would not only treat their illnesses medically, but would also provide quality emotional and psychological support for those with life-threatening or long-term illnesses.
Ever since the fan community became aware of Michael's wish to build a children's hospital with the proceeds of the This Is It tour, many of us have been wondering if we could do anything to make Michael's last dream come true.
The MCH initiative was created in order to unite fellow fans around the world, to work together and give this gift to the children in our beloved Michael’s name. It is founded and operated by other hard-working, loyal fans of Michael and his philosophies. Head-quartered in Pennsylvania, it is tasked with the mission of improving children's healthcare globally.
We intend to do this in the short-term by building additions onto, or renovating existing medical facilities for children. These additions and renovations would afford the facilities the space and tools they need to provide children with permanent toys, games and entertainment aimed at improving their overall emotional well-being. Our largest and ultimate goal however, is to build a brand new children's hospital in Michael's honour, which we plan to name MCH (Michael's Children's Hospital).
Because this is a fairly new initiative (established in the fall of 2011) it will require the help and support of many to succeed. We have decided to seek support from fan communities and groups like yours, who may also like to see Michael's greatest unfulfilled dream a reality.
We can think of no better way of show the world the heart of the King of Pop, and the dedication of his army of fans. Will you ponder helping us achieve Michael's Dream?
Source: Team MDF / Billie Jean
Iconic Magazine Issue 11 (Stranger In London) Is Available. 17-06-'13
“We are pleased to present a special issue – ‘Stranger in London’ focusing on Michael Jackson’s short film & Song: Stranger in Moscow. This never before seen cover has been created by French Photographer Christophe Boulmé [GHOSTS box Set - SIM Single Cover - History Single Cover] who showcased his amazing work in London last May at the MAKING History Exhibition.
Some of the highlights for Issue 11:
3 Iconic Exclusive interviews with Crew members from the set of Stranger in Moscow
- EXCLUSIVE interview with Joseph Yacoe (Director of Photography)
- EXCLUSIVE interview with Kristian Kachitis (Lighting)
- EXCLUSIVE chat with Eric Zimmerman (Focus Technician)
- Michael vs Sonic 3
- Stranger: Explored
- 2 x A3 Posters
- Making History Exhibition Coverage
- Heartbreak Hotels
Recently Added To My Collection. 16-06-'13
Will You Be There (Limited Edition) [Poster Bag]
'Will You Be There' is the eighth single from Michael Jackson's eighth studio album, 'Dangerous' released on May 24th, 1993 in the UK. The song also appeared on the soundtrack to the film 'Free Willy', of which it is the main theme.
Featured the Andrea Crouch Singers on backing vocals, and opened with 67 seconds of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, played by the Cleveland Orchestra - uncredited.
This single is a limited edition issued in a fold out poster sleeve.
Michael wrote and produced 'Will You Be There' – with co-producing credits going to Bruce Swedien – and orchestrated the rhythm and vocal arrangements. Jackson wrote 'Will You Be There' while sitting in a tree at his Neverland Ranch.
My single is printed in Holland with the series number: EPC 659222 7.
1. Will You Be There - 5:14
1. Girlfriend - 3:04
Record label: Epic
Series number: 659222 7
Guide price: 10 €
Fire Marshal Cuts Public, Media Seats For Jackson Trial. 16-06-'13
The Los Angeles fire marshal has ordered the number of people in the courtroom where the Michael Jackson wrongful-death suit is being tried be reduced immediately, cutting the number of seats for the media by nearly two-thirds and leaving only one spot available for the public.
That does not mean the news media or the public will be shut out of the trial, which finished its 30th day Friday. Since the early days of the proceedings, a closed-circuit feed has been shown in another courtroom that seats 63 people.
The new rule means that media will alternate days in the courtroom. The Times, for instance, will have a seat on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but will have to watch the proceedings in the overflow room other days. Other media, including CNN, KTLA-TV (Channel 5), the Associated Press, the New York Post and Agence France Press, are also part of the rotation.
The number of spectator seats in the courtroom is being reduced from45 to 34.
Before the trial started, Judge Yvette Palazuelos ruled that no cameras would be allowed in the courtroom. CNN’s request to broadcast the proceedings was denied.
Mary Hearn, a spokeswoman for the court, said the plaintiffs and defendants each get 12 seats, which can be filled with members of the legal team and guests. Another seven are reserved for the media and the rest for court staff. If the parties to the suit bring fewer people, their seats will be taken by media or the public. There is a daily lottery for the public.
Hearn said that 15 to 20 reporters have been in the courtroom most days.
A small group of Jackson fans have been attending the trial. Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, has been in the audience most days, along with her nephew. Janet Jackson attended for half a day.
But if Michael Jackson’s children or one of the celebrities on the witness list, such as Prince or Diana Ross, testify, the number of people wanting a look at the trial would probably grow.
Source: LA Times / Billie Jean
New Photos Reveal New Michael Jackson Song Titles. 16-06-'13
The Los Angeles Police Department have released all the photographs taken at the scene of Michael’s passing. One photograph in particular reveals a new song list of (some now familiar) titles including a note to finish Scared Of The Moon and Beautiful Girl. Previous unfinished versions appeared on The Ultimate Collection. Whether or not this note reveals songs Michael was physically working on – only time will tell. (editors note) Interestingly, none of the Cascio songs are listed on either photographs.
Here is the list:
Ways You Love Me
Best Of Joy
Dark Lady H20
Hold My Hand
Cant Stop Loving You
You Where There
Shut Up And Dance
To Late To Turn Back
I Am The One
Everybody Wants To Be A Movie Star
Scared Of The Moon
Lady Of Summer
Ghost Of Another Lover
Is She Coming Back
Remember What I Told You
Source: TMZ / Billie Jean
Michael Jackson Went From Looking Sick To ‘Great’ Days Before Death. 15-06-'13
During testimony in the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit, AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips seemed to agree that a photo of the pop star six days before his death made him look emaciated and unwell, but claimed he looked ‘fantastic’ at an appearance the following day.
The concert honcho who promoted Michael Jackson's doomed comeback concert series admitted to jurors Friday he couldn't explain why the King of Pop appeared sickly and disoriented six days before his death but seemed "great" at a meeting the next morning.
AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips was asked what happened in the 12 hours between Jackson's disturbing display at his failed June 19,2009, rehearsal and his "fantastic" appearance the next day.
"Did he get a lot of protein shakes?," asked Brian Panish, the lawyer representing Katherine Jackson in the wrongful death lawsuit claiming AEG Live negligently hired and supervised the doctor convicted of overdosing her son.
"I was confused as anybody," Phillips answered.
Panish showed jurors a June 19 wardrobe fitting photo in which Michael appeared pale and emaciated in a white v-neck T-shirt.
"He looked great when I saw him. He wasn't dressed in a T-shirt," Phillips said, seeming to agree the photo made Michael look emaciated and unwell.
Source: Daily News / Billie Jean
AEG Defense Shows Clips Of Michael Rehearsing 360-Degree-spins Weeks Before Death. 15-06-'13
Jurors in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial on Thursday saw video clips of the pop star in rehearsal less than four weeks before he died. The defense showed the clips to rebut claims that Michael was not fit to perform and that AEG should have known it.
The video is AEG’s response to emails previously shown by the Jackson attorneys from AEG production heads. One email said Michael’s health had been deteriorating for eight weeks and that Michael would have fallen if he tried a 360-degree spin. According to court testimony, the clip, in which Michael completed several spins, was shot within that eight-week span.
Under questioning by AEG attorney Marvin Putnam, AEG Live President Randy Phillips said he was confused about reports of Michael’s ill health. Phillips said that he had a talk with his doctor, Conrad Murray, and the doctor said Michael might have had the flu and was in great health and looking forward to doing the shows.
Phillips said at a later meeting at Michael’s house, Michael looked great and explained his absence from rehearsals. According to Phillips, Michael said, “I have done this choreography most of my career. I have muscle memory. I don’t have to be at rehearsal all the time.”
Phillips testified that AEG was not responsible for Michael’s personal life and that he forwarded the emails about Michael’s health to a team of Michael’s managers who worked directly with the star.
The mood changed at the end of the court day. The attorney for Katherine Jackson, Brian Panish, fired a question at the defendant, “You will say anything won’t you?” Phillips replied, “That’s outrageous.”
Panish resumes his questioning on Friday.
Source: KABC / Billie Jean
Paris Jackson Hasn't Overcome Father's Death. 15-06-'13
Late pop legend Michael Jackson's daughter Paris, who is in hospital after an alleged suicide attempt, hasn't properly mourned the death of her father, and she is perhaps yet to overcome the tragedy of his death.
If a source is to be believed, one of the reasons behind Paris' cry for help is that she has never properly mourned the passing of her father, who died from acute Propofol intoxication in 2009.
Paris is currently receiving psychological help at UCLA Medical Center and is said to have developed an obsession with the comments that people leave on social media sites about Michael, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
A source said that Paris is a "rebel" and she was almost expelled from school after punching a student who "talked smack about her father".
Paris had also come close to her birth mother Debbie Rowe before the incident. It is said that once Paris is discharged from the medical center, the duo will spend six to eight weeks together.
Source: IANS / Billie Jean
John Landis Reveals Thriller 3D Re-Release. 14-06-'13
During an interview to talk about his latest film project, film director John Landis had a revelation to make about Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
THE STAR “The Michael Jackson estate wants to make a 3D vision of the video, for release next year. Landis expects to be involved, although he has mixed emotions about it.”
“I think they’re going to restore and convert ‘Thriller,’ which they have to do with me, I own it, and that may be released theatrically next year . . .