Company executives had attempted to purchase a policy just days before the singer’s death.
Testimonies and emails presented in court this week revealed that just days before Michael Jackson’s death, AEG executives were still working to try and secure a life insurance policy to cover the celebrity who seemed to be over besides erratic. during his return tour rehearsals.
The company expressed concern that Jackson’s behavior could hurt him.
One of the emails presented to the court was from June 19, 2009, from a production manager of the “This Is It” tour to Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware, two executives of AEG. He said that “MJ was sent home without setting foot on stage. He was a hopeless case and [director] Kenny [Ortega] feared he would embarrass himself on stage or, worse yet, hurt himself.
AEG executives recognized that there could be a real problem and requested life insurance coverage for Jackson.
The subject line of afoThe email mentioned was “Trouble at the Front” and had been forwarded by Randy Phillips to Tim Leiweke, who was then President and CEO of AEG. Phillips added his own note, that “We have a real problem here.” This, and a series of other emails and phone calls, led the company to start looking for a living. insurance policy cover the singer in case everything goes wrong.
The emails were shown to AEG’s senior vice president and general counsel Shawn Trell the day after their presentation in court. Trell was brought back to the witness stand during the wrongful death trial lawsuit brought about by members of the Jackson family. He testified that there was no signed contract between AEG and Ortega, which provided funding for the promotion of the concert series to be held at the O2 Arena in London.
Trell said Monday that “Kenny Ortega is different”. He added that the manager was paid based on a number of emails that had been exchanged. However, the lawyer retracted that statement on Tuesday, saying there was after all a written contract with AEG for Ortega. Trell said court documents he reviewed Monday night had “refreshed” his memory.