Jury Selection Begins For Jackson Family Lawsuit Against AEG
Jury selection is underway at the sensational Michael Jackson trial and there's $40 billion on the line.
That's the staggering amount his mother Katherine Jackson is reportedly seeking in a
wrongful death suit against AEG, the promoter of the King of Pop's ill-fated "This Is It" concert tour.
There is a 24 page questionnaire that a pool of 105 potential jurors must fill out at Los Angeles Superior Court. It asks questions like, 'Are you familiar with Michael Jackson and prescription drug dependency? Your opinion of Michael Jackson as a performer and a person? "
And there are indicatations that Michael Jackson’s past could be dredged up with questions like, "Have you formed an opinion whether Michael Jackson was responsible for his own death?"
INSIDE EDITION spoke to Tom Mesereau, Jackson’s attorney during his 2005 child molestation case.
He said, "I think the defendants are concerned that Michael Jackson fans will be on the jury. That people will be very receptive and sympathetic to Katherine Jackson and the children will be on the jury."
The lawsuit claims that AEG put "its desire for massive profits from the tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson,” an accusation the concert promoter flatly denies.
Two of Michael’s children, eldest son Prince and daughter Paris, are expected to testify about their dad's final days.
Diane Dimond, special correspondent Newsweek / DailyBeast.com said, "It will obviously have to take a toll on them. Paris is especially a strong child, but the word after Prince's deposition was that he broke down."
At the heart of the lawsuit is the role Dr. Conrad Murray played in Michael’s death.
The lawsuit claims AEG insisted Murray do whatever necessary to get Michael through rehearsals for the "This Is It" tour.
"We want to remind (Murray) that it is AEG, not MJ [Michael Jackson], who is paying his salary," one AEG e-mail reportedly reads.
Dimond said, "His estate is already worth a billion dollars. Now, his mother is going for 40 billion more. That is a lot of money. It is also inflicting emotional pain on his children. I don't think Michael Jackson would be very pleased."