Jury Finds For AEG In Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial
It was the verdict that Katherine Jackson didn't want to hear and it's now triggering furious criticism of her family.
A jury threw out the $1 billion wrongful death case that Michael Jackson’s mom brought against concert promoter AEG.
In the wake of the bombshell verdict, respected Hollywood columnist Roger Friedman wrote on Thursday, "That's it for Michael’s siblings' quest for his money. There will be no Rolls Royces or big houses or fancy clothes. The Jackson's will have to keep touring and playing casinos and state farms."
But Tom Mesereau, who defended Jackson in the 2005 molestation trial, scoffed at the idea that Katherine Jackson had any financial motive.
He said, "She said it was not about money. She wanted AEG to be held responsible."
Mesereau says he was blindsided by the jury's verdict. "I find that mind boggling. I think the evidence was overwhelming that Conrad Murray was not fit as an addiction specialist, he was not competent."
The wrongful death suit ultimately came down to one question—Was Dr. Murray unfit to do the job for which he was hired?
The answer from the jury was “No.”
With that answer, it was all over.
Legal expert Royal Oakes told INSIDE EDITION, "This is essentially a total victory for AEG. All along they said, 'We had no idea about the Propofol. Michael was using it since 1997. Conrad Murray was Michael's personal doctor. We can't be held responsible for it.' The jury agreed with them."
One juror, Kevin Smith, said it was Michael Jackson himself who shared the blame for his death. “Michael Jackson was used to getting his own way. He was a very big star,” said Smith.
The jury determined that Dr. Conrad Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, was in fact, fit to treat the pop star.
On the Today show, Dr. Murray spoke to Matt Lauer from behind bars. Dr. Murray said, “This was not about ethics. This is about a lawsuit brought by the Jackson family that I thought from the beginning was frivolous.”
A lawyer for AEG described the lawsuit as an attempted "shakedown" by the Jackson family.
The jury foreman, Gregg Barden said, “This was a difficult decision to make. It was not easy for anyone. After all, it took the passing of a tremendous father, son, and brother, to even be here."
Smith said, "Our hearts go out to the whole family. No one likes to go through tragedy."