Newly revealed evidence in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson‘s family against concert promoter AEG Live suggests Dr. Conrad Murray was pressured by the company to sign off on MJ’s grueling rehearsal schedule, despite growing medical concerns. CNN reports that among the recently unsealed documents in the case were e-mails showing AEG Live executives oversaw Murray and may have threatened his job after he kept MJ out of a This Is It rehearsal.
Eleven days before Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009 — and one day after MJ was ordered not to rehearse — AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware wrote: “We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him.” A separate e-mail from an AEG Live accountant also throws AEG President Randy Phillips into the mix: “Randy Phillips and Dr. Murray are responsible for MJ rehearsal and attendance schedule.” Together, this is a significant development since AEG Live’s defense is that the company isn’t liable for Jackson’s death because Murray was acting independently, and was not under the supervision of AEG.
The case is going to trial in April, after the judge’s ruling that Jackson’s lawyers brought forth enough evidence to demonstrate that AEG Live hired and oversaw Murray. Murray, who is currently serving his four-year prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter, is expected to testify in this trial.