May 23, 2013
By BILL HETHERMAN
City News Service
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Testifying in trial of a negligence/wrongful death suit against AEG Live over the death of Michael Jackson, the top lawyer for the concert promoter acknowledged this week that its CEO publicly said the company hired Dr. Conrad Murray to be the singer's personal physician.
Shawn Trell, the entertainment conglomerate's general counsel, said under questioning by Jackson family attorney Brian Panish that Brandon Phillips made the remark shortly before the entertainer's death during a media interview
with the AEG Live logo in the background.
``I know he made that statement, yes,'' Trell said on his second day on the stand.
Under further questioning by Panish, Trell confirmed Phillips sent, ``This Is It Tour'' director Kenny Ortega, an email five days before the singer died, in which he said Ortega should not worry about Murray's credentials because the physician was ``extremely successful'' and ``does not need this gig,'' referring to Murray's selection as Jackson's personal doctor while the entertainer toured.
Ortega had written AEG executives days before Jackson's death expressing concern about the singer's health and ability to rehearse.
Asked by Panish why Phillips would make such laudatory remarks about Murray given that Trell had testified that AEG Live does not do background checks on independent contractors like the cardiologist, Trell answered, ``I don't know where (Phillips') expression or intention comes from.''
Trell suggested Panish ask Phillips the same question. But Panish continued to press Trell for answers, at one point asking, ``You didn't want Mr. Jackson to die, did you?'' Trell replied, ''Nobody did, sir.''
Lawyers for 83-year-old Katherine Jackson, who filed the lawsuit in 2010 on behalf of herself and her late son's three children, allege that AEG Live hired Murray to care for the singer and failed to supervise him properly.
AEG Live attorneys maintain that Jackson hired Murray in 2006 as his personal physician and chose him to be his doctor during his ``This Is It Tour.'' Jackson was rehearsing for 50 sold-out concerts in London at the time of his overdose death at age 50.
Panish showed Trell copies of emails between various AEG Live executives discussing Jackson's health in the days before his death. During previous trial testimony, witnesses said Jackson had a bad rehearsal day on June 19,
2009, that prompted the AEG hierarchy to call for a meeting with the singer and Murray the next day.
In one email, Phillips wrote then-AEG Inc. President and CEO Timothy Leiweke stating, ``We have a problem here.''
Asked by Panish if that raised a red flag in his mind, Trell answered, ``I think he (Phillips) realized there was a problem on the 19th. I would take it seriously as I believe Mr. Phillips did.''
However, Trell added, ``I don't think I need to use the word red flag.''
Panish also displayed for the jury a copy of an email from then-Jackson attorney John Branca to Phillips saying he knew a ``therapist, spiritual adviser and substance abuse counselor'' who would help Jackson. Branca -- now
one of two executors of Jackson's estate -- wrote that the person had once helped boxer Mike Tyson.
In yet another email, Paul Gongaware, co-CEO of Concerts West, a division of AEG Live, told Phillips, ``I'm not sure what the problem is, psychological or physiological.''
In another development, Trell said he erred Monday when he testified that Ortega's contract with AEG Live was based solely on a series of emails. He said Ortega actually had a formal agreement.
Murray was convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for giving the singer the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid and was sentenced to four years
Special to LAWT
from the NNPA
Candice Glover was crowned the new “American Idol” last Thursday after defeating country singer Kree Harrison. The 23-year-old R&B vocalist from St. Helena Island, S.C., looked stunned when “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest announced she was victorious over 22-year-old country singer Harrison from Woodville, Texas. Glover performed the new single “I Am Beautiful” after winning the 12th edition of the Fox singing competition. Glover auditioned for the show three times before making it as a finalist this season. The May 16 finale also served as a farewell for Randy Jackson. The show’s lone remaining original judge announced earlier this month that he’s leaving “Idol” to focus on his record label and other business opportunities. Glover, as well as St. Louis native top-ten finalist Curtis Finch Jr., will be in St. Louis next month when the “American Idol Live Tour” stops at the Chaifetz Arena.
May 16, 2013
The link that you’ve established with your spiritual self will be strengthened by the people who come into your life this week. This week is a week for seriousness about a relationship. Discuss your deepest thoughts with others. They’ll understand and thank you for sharing intimate parts of yourself. Soul Affirmation: Faith keeps me calm in the storms of life.
Lucky Numbers: 44, 49, 51
You’ve done some of your own love homework. Hopefully you’ve had an opportunity to learn a new way of seeing the world and in that way you’ve found a way of loving that is more natural for you. The combination of sexiness and joyful focus can create you a wonderful love experience. Soul Affirmation: I get joy from giving good things.
Lucky Numbers: 11, 17, 37
Share in the glory of your friend who has been recognized for outstanding work. Plan a small get-together to celebrate the occasion. Your time will come, and you will be placed on the pedestal. Your intimacy radar is sensitive. Watch out for a new romance that might come along. Expect the unexpected! You will be pleasantly surprised! Soul Affirmation: Love is easier than breathing.
Lucky Numbers: 16, 30, 50
You’ve done a lot of things in life that no one has agreed with at the beginning. Finding agreement this week will be difficult, but it should not deter you from moving forward. Feeling sorry for your loneliness will discolor what you are doing. Be happy that you are alone. Soul Affirmation: I get joy from giving good things.
Lucky Numbers: 2, 10, 31
Eternal optimist, eternity is now. Get in touch with your hopefulness and be a beacon to others. Try not to be taken in by promises made by others or promises you’ve made to yourself. Concerning your own affairs, avoid contemplating lofty subjects and seeking long ranged solutions. Soul Affirmation: Time is the greatest peacemaker of them all.
Lucky Numbers: 14, 28, 39
Some say optimism is fantasy. Suppose the good thing you’re optimistic about never comes. This week you’ll know that the joy of anticipating it is joy enough. Just the certainty of coming goodness is present goodness. The joy of tomorrow is available this week. Soul Affirmation: This week is the week the Lord has made. I rejoice in it.
Lucky Numbers: 22, 36, 38
You might be looking into the buying or selling of a piece of property, and this week seems to be a favorable week for this type of negotiation. Be careful with the intricacies of the matter. Pay attention to details or it could cost you a great deal later. Soul Affirmation: I care deeply about the feelings of others.
Lucky Numbers: 11, 21, 35
What a blessed week this will be. Spend it meditating on all that God has given you. This week think hard about some form of worship. Curtis Mayfield wrote a song called “Who Do You Love?” Someone should write one called “How Do You Love?” For your love lesson, the second song would be the one you should sing. Soul Affirmation: New intuitions create new plans and a new cast of characters.
Lucky Numbers: 7, 16, 25
Your self-discipline helps you to do more this week. People will be watching as you zip around with style and grace! Broaden your cultural horizons by trying new foods and meeting new people. You’ll be pleasantly surprised! Soul Affirmation: I am patient with all that comes my way this week.
Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 14
The urge to chase off on a tangent may be strong this week. Take a few minutes to study the big picture and make sure any whims serve the bigger purpose. It’s a good week to do what needs to be done. Soul Affirmation: Luck is my best friend this week.
Lucky Numbers: 5, 10, 15
You’ll be full of good ideas this week, so make sure you write down the ones you don’t have time to put into action. You’ll want to share your thoughts on a grand scale, and your mind will seem truly universal to you. Try to be patient with those who are staggered by your brilliance. Soul Affirmation: Light from my soul shines in many directions.
Lucky Numbers: 2, 3, 9
This week let your gentle spirit shine through. Your rough and tumble side is not appropriate for the relationships that you’ll encounter. Someone will need your understanding and sympathy. Give it with sensitivity. Soul Affirmation: My life itself is my greatest creation.
Lucky Numbers: 30, 37, 44
Pinpointing HIS STAR: Star comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey points to his newly minted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood recently. Harvey was joined by a bevy of star friends and family.
By Zenitha Prince
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
“Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts has been named the most trusted woman in television, according to a new Reader’s Digest survey released this week.
Reader’s Digest teamed up with The Wagner Group, a research firm, and polled more than 1,000 Americans to discover which 200 public figures inspire the most confidence. Roberts came in at No. 12 on the list, making her the most trusted television host on the list.
The publication defined a trustworthy person as “somebody possessing integrity and character, exceptional talent and a drive for personal excellence, a strong internal moral compass, a consistent message, honesty, and leadership.” And 56 percent of Americans believed that Roberts exemplified those qualities.
“I wish my mom and dad were here to see this,” Roberts said in an interview with Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest. “It would mean so much to them because all they wanted was for us to grow up to be good people.
“They didn’t care that sister is a social worker and brother is a teacher and that two of us are on TV,” she added. “All they wanted was for us to be trustworthy citizens. And there’s a responsibility that goes with that, and it’s not something I take lightly.”
Roberts started gaining national attention as an on-air personality on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” in 1990, winning over fans and also critics with her signature catch phrase, “Go on with your bad self!”, and capturing three Emmy Awards.
In May 2005, the journalist joined Diane Sawyer as co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Moring America.”
Later that year, her professional and personal worlds collided when Hurricane Katrina tore through the Mississippi Gulf Coast, her home, and Roberts traveled to the devastated area and did a series of emotional reports. In 2009 she teamed up with George Stephanopoulos, and the pair catapulted GMA to the No. 1 morning show in April 2012 for the first time in almost two decades.
But it is, perhaps, the resilience, strength and grace Roberts displayed during her public battle with cancer that has endeared so many Americans to the television host.
On the same day in April 2012 when Roberts received the news of her professional accomplishment as part of GMA’s number one ranking, she learned that although she had prevailed against her breast cancer, after being diagnosed in June 2007, the treatment had caused another serious medical problem, myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
“I’ve always been a fighter, and with all of your prayers and support, a winner,” Roberts told her viewers at the time, and her determination inspired many others to join the fight against MDS, a disease of the blood and bone marrow.
On the day she went public with the announcement, Be the Match Registry, the national marrow donor program, experienced an 1,800 percent spike in bone marrow donors.
In her interview with Reader’s Digest, Roberts talked about this influence she has on the public—the inner light that shines out on the world.
“Every day before I leave my apartment—after I say my prayer of protection—I ask God, ‘Please let your light shine through me.,’” she said. “And I am lucky to have the resources to shine it—be it love, unity, or resilience—onto others.”
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