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Michael Jackson had 'short life expectancy', consultant testifies

July 26, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A top executive for a consulting firm on Friday said Michael Jackson had a "short life expectancy" and it's doubtful his tour would have earned the kind of money claimed by the plaintiffs in the singer's wrongful death lawsuit.

Eric Briggs, a consultant who projects risks for entertainment media, testified that Jackson's life expectancy was very short and that the use of meds affected his long-term health. He said Jackson was taking drugs in very dangerous ways.

About the plaintiffs' projections of $1 billion from a 260-concert global tour, Briggs said with Jackson's history of concert cancellations, it wasn't likely he would complete 50 concerts.

Jackson attorney Brian Panish said Briggs is wrong.

"He's never produced a concert, he's never promoted a concert, he's never done a royalty audit, he's never worked for a record label," said Panish.

Briggs will be back to testify on Monday. Also next week, the defense says jurors may hear from Jackson's former wife, Debbie Rowe, Jackson's sister Rebbie and his brother Randy.

In the lawsuit, the singer's mother, Katherine Jackson, alleges that AEG officials failed to monitor Conrad Murray, the doctor who caused her son's death. The AEG defense says that Jackson put himself at risk.

Friday's court session began with one of Jackson's former doctors. Dr. Scott Saunders said in a video deposition that he treated the singer at his Neverland Ranch as many as 25 times between 1998 and 2003. He said the star wanted to end his Demerol dependency and worried about death.

"He said, 'I don't want to end up like my father-in-law?Elvis Presley,'" Saunders said.

He said Jackson did not talk to him about other doctors. Jurors heard testimony earlier that, in the same time period, Jackson was also seeing Dr. Alimorad Farschian for Demerol addiction. Farschian said he implanted Jackson with a chip that inhibits the high delivered by the drug. Saunders said Jackson didn't tell him about that.

Saunders says he worried. What if he injected Jackson with Demerol unaware that Jackson just got a shot from someone else?

"If it was too much too close together, he could have a bad reaction," said Saunders.


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