Michael Jackson - Aeg Boss: 'Michael Jackson Booked This Is It Dates To Buy Kids A House'
The sick pop superstar died just before making the trip to London, where he was booked to perform 50 shows with the backing of Aeg, and in the ongoing wrongful death trial brought against Phillips and his fellow executives by Jackson's mother and children, the CEO has revealed why the King of Pop was so keen to fulfil his live commitment.
In court on Wednesday (12Jun13), as the trial entered its seventh week, Phillips recalled an emotional meeting with the pop star in a Bel Air hotel suite he was living in with his kids.
He said, "(It was) the first time Michael really told me why he wanted to go back to work. He described his life with the kids. He said they were living like vagabonds. He actually broke down and I broke down... He got emotional. He teared up about his family and having a good life with them and a place to live and a residence they could call their own."
At the time of his death in June, 2009, Jackson and his children were living in a rented $100,000-a-month (£64.5 million) mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. He refused to return to his Neverland Ranch estate in Santa Barbara, California after the place was raided by police and investigators looking for evidence to use against the singer at his 2005 child molestation trial.
Phillips told the court he understood Jackson's primary home was in Las Vegas but he relied on hotels and the generosity of friends when he needed to spend time in Los Angeles.
He added, "I felt incredibly bad that this incredible star was at the point where he just couldn’t buy a house with all this money he made. It just didn’t make sense."
But Phillips soon realised why Jackson was 'homeless' in Los Angeles when the singer showed him a mansion he was interested in buying that came with a $90 million-plus (£58 million) price tag, recalling how he told the star "you’ll put every dime you make into this house".
Phillips also debunked claims that Jackson was a drug-addicted fallen star towards the end of his life.
He testified, "He was a sophisticated, very smart, articulate, 50-year-old man who had control of his life. He’s been presented as a drug-addled five-year-old and that’s not the man I dealt with. The man I dealt with was forceful, kind, but determined. And a force."
Jackson died after his personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray administered a fatal dose of anaesthetic propofol, which the pop star was taking to help him sleep. Murray is currently serving time behind bars after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
The wrongful death trial continues.