Rebbie Jackson (L) and Randy Jackson attend the Jackson vs AEG court case at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse on April 29, 2013 in Los Angeles
*Just one of Michael Jackson’s brothers and sisters can sit in the courtroom at one time in the family’s wrongful death suit against AEG Live, a judge ordered Tuesday.
AEG Live lawyers argued at the start of the second day of the trial that there was “a risk in allowing any of them in the courtroom.”
AEG expects to call Janet, Jermaine, Jackie, Tito, La Toya, Rebbie and Randy Jackson as witnesses in its defense. Only Jackson brother Marlon is not on the defense witness list.
AEG lawyer Marvin Putnam said in his opening statement Monday that Jackson family members will testify about their failed attempts to intervene with Michael Jackson’s drug addiction and their lack of knowledge about what was happening.
The defense lawyers asked that Randy Jackson, the only one attending the trial Tuesday with his 82-year-old mother, Katherine Jackson, be booted from court.
After that, Jackson lawyer Brian Panish told the judge that Katherine Jackson, who can stay in court since she is a plaintiff, needed one of her children to sit with her each day.
“He can remain, but you cannot have five in the courtroom,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos said.
Randy and Rebbie Jackson attended court Monday, the trial’s opening day. All of the brothers and sisters attended the 2011 criminal trial of Dr. Conrad Murray at various times.
Having members of the famous entertainment family in court could influence the jury, as their seats are just a few feet away from the jury box in the small Los Angeles courtroom.
The first witness called Tuesday was Richard Senneff, one of the Los Angeles County paramedics who responded to the 911 call to Michael Jackson’s home on June 25, 2009.
Senneff mostly repeated the testimony he gave as one of the first witnesses in the Murray trial, describing how he initially “thought perhaps this was a hospice patient.”
“He looked like someone who was at the end stage of a long disease process,” he said.
“No, no, this just happened,” Murray told him, Senneff said.
Jackson was not breathing and appeared to be dead, he said.
Los Angeles Police Detective Orlando Martinez, who initially investigated Jackson’s death, is scheduled to be the second witness.
Michael Jackson’s mother and three children are suing AEG Live, the promoter of his planned comeback concerts, saying the company’s executives were liable in his death because they hired, retained and supervised Murray. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and received four years in prison, a sentence he is serving in a Los Angeles County jail.
AEG says Murray was hired and supervised by Jackson, whom they blame for making bad choices because of his drug addiction.
The coroner ruled Jackson died from a fatal combination of the surgical anesthetic propofol and sedatives, which prosecutors said Murray administered in an effort to help Jackson sleep.
According to the website, the judge ordered that MJ’s kids must not be removed from California without a court order. The judge added that TJ should file a petition for permanent guardianship, and he must give notice to both Diana Ross and Debbie Rowe.
TJ’s lawyer also told the court about a phone conversation that TJ had with Katherine Jackson yesterday that gave him serious pause.
According to TMZ, TJ said, “I’ve never heard my grandmother talk like that.”TJ added, “She wasn’t sharp. The pauses, choice of vocabulary … she has not used certain phrases like that before.” TJ thought she was talking in code. As TJ addressed the court, he was choking up.
Judge Beckloff ruled this was not a power play by TJ and ordered the Michael Jackson Estate to give TJ the funds necessary to take care of security and anything else that’s needed for the children. Also, the lawyer for MJ’s kids said they all support TJ getting temporary guardianship.
Also, the judge said Katherine was not suspended for wrongdoing, but that she was prevented from doing her guardianship duties by “intentional act from third parties.” According to TMZ, the judge was referring to Katherine’s kids Randy, Jermaine and Janet.
Additionally, Katherine’s lawyer, Sandra Ribera, told the court that she has been to Katherine’s house several times recently and she believes Katherine has been held against her will. TJ’s lawyer Charles Schultz co-signed, saying there was an “incident” at Katherine’s house last night that escalated. He added TJ is unsure Katherine is acting voluntarily.
Katherine’s lawyer, Perry Sanders, tells TMZ, “This is a very tense time when of course we don’t feel Mrs. Jackson should be removed as guardian and we would vigorously oppose that on anything other than an extremely short-term basis, until she returns home.”
TMZ is also reporting that Katherine had high blood pressure before she skipped L.A., and the reported spa visit in Arizona did her good. But TJ doesn’t think it did the kids any good, as things have completely unraveled at her home within the past week.
(L-R) Blanket, Prince and Paris
At the root of the drama is Michael’s will and whether or not his legal team forged the signature on it. Also, last week, reports surfaced that family matriarch Katherine had gone missing, but Jermaine Jackson insisted she was alive, well. Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives closed their missing persons case opened for Katherine when she was found to be with her daughter Rebbie in Arizona.
“Katherine Jackson has been located and she is fine and with family,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said. “Our missing persons case is closed.” Deputies talked to two family members and were satisfied, he explained.
A lawyer for Katherine Jackson, however, was not satisfied, saying the sheriff’s deputies who tried to talk to her in Arizona Monday were blocked from seeing her.
Janet Jackson (L) and Paris Jackson clash. Janet and her brothers Jermaine and Randy Jackson attempted to convince Michael Jackson’s two oldest children, Paris and Prince, to leave Katherine Jackson’s home with them Monday, but Paris and Prince resisted
As we reported yesterday, TMZ caught footage of a physical confrontation between Jackson’s daughter Paris, her aunt Janet Jackson and uncle Randy Jackson at Katherine’s home. At the root of that incident was Paris’ tweeting about being unable to reach her grandmother for several days. The tweets of their family business didn’t sit well with Janet. This morning, it was reported that Janet actually slapped Paris during their altercation, and Paris slapped her back.
According to TMZ, the incident started when Randy, Jermaine and Janet Jackson followed another vehicle into the Calabasas compound. They were not permitted to enter the property themselves . The car in front was apparently carrying Michael Jackson’s three children.
Once they were inside, Janet, Jermaine and Randy reportedly tried to grab the children and put them in their own SUV in order to take them to Arizona, where Katherine Jackson had been resting. At one point, Janet tried to grab Paris’ mobile phone and called her a “spoiled little bitch.” Paris reportedly said to Janet, “This is our house. Not the Jackson family house. Get the f**k out.”
Meanwhile, cousin Trent Jackson (who works for Katherine) and Randy Jackson had a separate dust up, with Trent allegedly putting Randy in a headlock and punching Jermaine in the mouth.
Back to the issue of Katherine’s whereabouts… Marlon Jackson broke down and walked out of an interview at “The Insider” yesterday during talk of Katherine. He was filming the segment with Jackie and Tito [See below.]. Jermaine continues to insist that the 82-year-old is “fine.” Marlon, however, says they haven’t seen her in over a week.
Marlon told The Insider: ”We’ve been told that our mother is safe. She’s doing well. But we have not spoken with her. We have not talked with her and I don’t know where my mother is.” He then wept on camera as he added angrily, “All I know is she is in Arizona, and whatever doctor is saying I can’t talk to my mother you call me!” before storming off the set in tears.
In another clip, separate to that, Marlon commented “All I know is that there is somebody who made the decision that my mother cannot talk to me and whoever that person is they’re going to answer to me because I’m going to see my mother and I’m going to bring her home.”
His brother Jackie had words too, saying “We would love to talk to her and speak with her. The children haven’t spoken to my mom and whenever my mom goes anywhere she always calls back and talks to the kids, Michael’s kids… At this present time we haven’t spoken to her. It’s been nine or 10 days. We hear that she’s somewhere in Arizona but at this time we haven’t spoken with her.”
“RIP Michael Jackson” is one of the top trending topics on Twitter today, as his fans remember his pop legacy. Usher tweeted: “RIP Michael Jackson — you will never die in our hearts, your legacy will live on forever!” Rapper Wiz Khalifa tweeted: “3 years ago today the world lost a legend. RIP Michael Jackson. Your music lives on for you. Thank you for everything!”
Fans are also gathering today at MJ’s California ranch as well as his birthplace of Gary, Indiana. Additionally, another wax figure of the star was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong this weekend to coincide with the anniversary.
Meanwhile, the King of Pop’s brothers – Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon – are set to return to the stage as The Jacksons this week. Earlier this month, they announced their 16-city “Unity” tour, which will feature slight updates to the “oldies” as well as a tribute with slideshow to the set’s final song “Gone Too Soon.”
The shows mark the first time all of the remaining brothers have toured together since the 1980s “Victory” outing. As previously reported, Jermaine said rehearsals have been tough.
“The brothers don’t know this, but I’ve broken down several times and cried during rehearsals,” he told the AP. “I’m so used to Michael being on the right and then Marlon, Jackie, on and on. It’s just something we never get used to.”
Marlon added: “For me, this cycle that comes around every year – this day, that day – that doesn’t affect me because it affects me every day. When that day comes around, it’s the same. You learn to live with it. I still wake up sometimes and go, ‘Jeez. I can’t believe my brother’s not here.’”
The four surviving members of The Jackson 5 will hit the road this summer for their first tour in nearly 30 years, but Jermaine admits it hasn’t been easy without their former frontman Michael, who died in 2009.
“The brothers don’t know this, but I’ve broken down several times and cried during rehearsals,” he tells the Associated Press. “I’m so used to Michael being on the right and then Marlon, Jackie, on and on. It’s just something we never get used to.”
Jermaine will be joined by Tito, Jackie and Marlon when the Unity tour kicks off in Ontario, Canada on Wednesday (June 20), ahead of the third anniversary of the King of Pop’s death on 25 June – a day still steeped in painful memories for the family.
Marlon explains, “For me, this cycle that comes around every year – this day, that day – that doesn’t affect me because it affects me every day. When that day comes around, it’s the same. You learn to live with it. I still wake up sometimes and go, ‘Jeez. I can’t believe my brother’s not here.’”
However, Tito admits he feels closer to Michael by performing the group’s hits, adding, “There’s certain songs that make you feel the sorrow. Then again, there are other songs that bring so much joy and happiness, such as ‘ABC’ and ‘I Want You Back’ and the up-tempo stuff like ‘This Place Hotel.’ I just imagine how he used to walk and spin and do all these things. You can feel his presence here.”
Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) turns 61 today
*Just like the headline says, this page/board is where you can discuss the stuff that we didn’t cover in today’s issue. (It’s sort of like feedback with a twist) Remember, NO name calling, racial taunting, graphic sex talk and vulgarity in general, PLEASE.
EUR MOTIVATIONAL NOTE
“When two elephants fight, it is the grass that gets trampled” – African Proverb quote
May 4: Jazz musician Ron Carter is 75. Singer Jackie Jackson (The Jacksons) is 61. Rhythm-and-blues singer Oleta Adams is 59. Rhythm-and-blues singer Sharon Jones is 56. TV personality and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is 37.
*After the Jacksons wrap their Unity Tour this summer, the siblings are planning a return to the studio to record their first studio album since 1989′s “2300 Jackson Street,” eldest brother Jackie tells Billboard.com.
“That’s what we gotta do — right after the tour, we’re gonna go back into the studio and start recording some new music. I can’t wait,” says Jackson, adding that he has stayed active in the studio over the past two decades, preparing songs for his daughter.
Musically, the project would include “a little bit of today, and also a return to our sound. We’re gonna keep it simple… We can’t shy away from our sound,” said Jackson.
In the meantime, Jackson and his brothers Jermaine, Marlon and Tito will tour the U.S. beginning June 18 in Louisville. Jackson says that the brothers’ individual projects prevented a live trek from happening sooner, but it was something that was always on their minds.
“For many many years, we’ve been saying that we wanted to tour and go out, and sometimes things just don’t happen the way you want them to,” says Jackson. “All of our fans around the world wanted us to tour as well. So we decided to come together and just do it for the fans because they want to see it.”
Rehearsals for the tour kick off on May 1, and Jackson promises a full band and some snappy choreography. “It’s a challenge, because I can’t move like I used to move a long time ago,” says the 60-year-old Jackson, “but it’s time to do it.”
Of course, the absence of Michael Jackson, the superstar member of the Jacksons who died in 2009, will be fresh in Jackson fans’ minds as the Unity tour gets underway. Jackie Jackson says that the upcoming shows will honor their brother’s legacy, with performances of his solo songs being part of a segment of the show that will serve as a tribute to Michael.
“I just wish my brother was here with us so we could do it with him,” says Jackson, “but there is gonna be some planning to dedicate some songs to Michael in the show, and I’m sure his spirit will be in the house when we’re out there performing on the stage.”