LOS ANGELES— Michael Jackson’s mother told jurors Friday that she is suing the promoter of her son’s ill-fated comeback concerts to find out the truth about his death.
Katherine Jackson, 83, testified that it has been difficult to listen to some of the testimony during the 12-week trial, explaining that she’s a private person by nature.
“I leave the spotlight for my children,” she said. “A lot of the things that have been said are not the truth. He’s not here to speak for himself.”
The Jackson family matriarch sued AEG Live LLC for negligence, claiming it failed to adequately investigate the doctor who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving the singer an overdose of anesthetic in 2009.
AEG denies it hired the doctor or bears any responsibility for the singer’s death.
Katherine Jackson has been a courtroom fixture during the civil trial, sitting in the front row as witnesses described her son’s creativity and interactions with AEG Live executives.
On the witness stand, she said an email written by Paul Gongaware, a top AEG Live executive, that described her son as lazy was especially hurtful.
“My son is not lazy. You don’t get to be the biggest,” she said, pausing, “by being lazy.”
Much of her early testimony recounted the Jackson family story, from her roots in Alabama to her children’s upbringing in Gary, Indiana.
Videos of Michael Jackson performing at the Academy Awards and doing the moonwalk for the first time were also shown.
Numerous photos of Michael Jackson and his siblings were shown to jurors, including a picture of two of his brothers on a Little League squad and early photos of the singer with his brothers when they performed as the Jackson 5. Katherine Jackson smiled when several of the pictures were displayed.
She was expected to be the final witness called to the stand by her lawyers. AEG Live’s defense was expected to begin next week.