A lawsuit is bringing forth revelations as to just how poor Michael Jackson’s health was shortly before he was set to begin a lengthy series of concert dates in London.
The Los Angeles Times has obtained emails sent between executives at AEG and allegedly, Michael was “drunk and despondent.”
"MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent," Phillips said in an email to his boss at Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Los Angeles company staking a fortune on the singer. "I [am] trying to sober him up."
Across the Atlantic, where it was still early morning, AEG President Tim Leiweke read the message and fired back on his BlackBerry: "Are you kidding me?"
"I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking," Phillips told him. "He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time."
The story of Jackson's ill-fated comeback attempt has been told in news reports, a manslaughter trial and a feature-length documentary. But a cache of confidential AEG emails obtained by The Times offers a darker picture of the relationship between the down-on-his-luck idol and the buttoned-up corporation taking a bet on his erratic talents.
The 250 pages of messages illuminate the extent to which top executives were aware of doubts about Jackson's stability as they prepared for his 50-show concert run at their London arena.
The emails will probably play a central role in two lawsuits set for trial next year. The shows' insurers are asking a judge to nullify a $17.5-million policy that they say AEG got with false claims about Jackson's health and readiness to perform.
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