Transcript for Michael Jackson's Wrongful Death Suit: Billion Dollar Trial?
Michael Jackson's life was a bizarre intertwining of concert halls courtrooms and private torment. All three of those are now on stark display in a trial that started today one that promises to give. Really an unprecedented look at what led up to the king of pop's. Untimely demise. This is it. Not just another trial with a remarkable life and tragic death of the King of Pop. But possibly team Michael Jackson -- tens of millions of dollars at stake may be more. Not to mention the reputation. Of a worldwide pop music icon. Find a deep and it. -- -- -- -- Guilty a criminal jury has already made it clear where the immediate blame for Jackson's death lies. Doctor Conrad Murray the physician who administered a fatal dose of Propofol a hospital grade anesthetic. -- is now behind bars for involuntary manslaughter but in the wrongful death lawsuit that went to trial today the -- argue that the blame ultimately lies. With the concert promoter who signed the checks to pay Conrad Murray. -- was Conrad Murray the man who killed Michael Jackson who's in jail for killing Michael Jackson who's -- -- for. Is -- working for the King of Pop or is it working for the promoter AEG live. That's going to be the central issue. -- EG contends that Murray was hired by Michael Jackson -- them. The company had no way of knowing the doctor would prescribe a fatal overdose. But today the Jackson family's lawyer contended the promoter knew full well that Jackson was physically and emotionally weak. Predicament that threatened to key rail his multimillion dollar comeback. This footage from a rehearsal for that tour was taken that day before Jackson died. And included in the documentary this is it released posthumously. NN the fifty year old Jackson appears to be performing well. But behind the scenes Jackson's lawyers said today his reliance on prescription drugs and pain medication were widely known. And lawyers told the jury today Doctor Murray had a conflict of interest so deeply in debt. That he may have been more concerned about his paycheck and his patients best interest. And AEG was paying him 150000. Dollars a month. Michael had a problem Doctor Murray had a problem and AEG had a problem Jackson attorney Brian panic said in his opening statement today. Calling AEG executives ruthless guys who ignored obvious red flags insisting that show must go alone. The cornerstone of the Jackson family's case an email written eleven days before the singer's death. By the CEO of AEG. We want to remind -- that it is eight EG not MJ who's paying his salary we want to remind him what's expected of him. The worst thing that AG EG's got going for them the worst is that email. That's what -- she's got some real exposure so once they agreed to pay 150000 dollars a month you're saying. Their luggage can you write I -- say that's good to go a long way. The Jackson team has the power of celebrity on its side the star studded witness list expected to include Diana Ross Quincy Jones prince. And Jackson's ex wives as well as his teenage children. But clearly. Clearly the ones who were going to be most compelling I think are the kids. End I would expect that they will do well on my experience with them is -- -- it's been years since -- interactions with them but. I was always. Impressed even at a young age at how grounded they were. Intelligent quick Smart. Today as her lawyer played you are my life -- -- jury. Jackson's mother Katherine fought facts here. Everybody saw. Paris at least give a eulogy to her father. In a larger arena here and she did miss a beat -- isn't she brought a lot of people to tears. Wouldn't be surprising for Conrad Murray to testify more than just taking the -- He would not only be surprising it would be completely unorthodox but. That having been said and who knows. Late today as he finally began his opening statement the EG's lawyer Marvin Putnam warned the jury we're gonna show you some ugly stuff. The truth is Michael Jackson fooled everyone. He made sure no one nobody knew his deepest darkest secrets Putnam said now this trial threatens to reveal the -- I'm David Wright for Nightline in Los Angeles.
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