Michael Jackson's shocking death ended his This Is It comeback tour before it even began, but recent emails released from the company financing the tour reveal it may have been doomed from the start.
"Self loathing and doubt" led the King of Pop to drink himself into an unmanageable mess as AEG's Randy Phillips wrote to his boss:
"MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent. I [am] trying to sober him up … I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking. He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time."
The 250 pages worth of leaked emails, which the company calls incomplete and leaked to portray the company in a negative light, will most likely be used as evidence in two current lawsuits against the AEG.
On top of the tour's insurers asking a judge to nullify a $17.5-million policy, the Jackson family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit. Heirs to his fortune allege that AEG pressured MJ to perform even though there were clear indications he was not strong enough to do so.
Based on this next exerpt, it sounds like the Jacksons may have a strong case. The iconic entertainer disappeared shortly before he was scheduled to appear in London in March 2009 to announce the tour, which prompted AEG Live exec Paul Gongaware to write:
"We are holding all the risk. We let Mikey know just what this will cost him in terms of him making money…. We cannot be forced into stopping this, which MJ will try to do because he is lazy and constantly changes his mind to fit his immediate wants. He is locked. He has no choice … he signed a contract."
It sounds like the Los Angeles-based company had way too much money invested to stop and consider that the King of Pop wasn't actually physically or mentally able to do the job.
Following a string of missed rehearsals and erratic behavior, tour director Kenny Ortega asked for a psychiatric evaluation while writing:
"There are strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior. I think the very best thing we can do is get a top Psychiatrist in to evaluate him ASAP. It is like there are two people there. One (deep inside) trying to hold on to what he was and still can be and not wanting us to quit him, the other in this weakened and troubled state. I believe we need professional guidance in this matter."
Jackson stopped breathing in his bedroom on June 25, 2009 after suffering cardiac arrest while intoxicated with benzodiazepine and propofol, a surgical anesthetic that Dr. Conrad Murray used to treat his insomnia.
Just another example of how drugs and greed can ruin someone's life… So sad.
[Image via WENN.]
Tags: aeg, comeback, conrad murray, executives, london, michael jackson, paul gongaware, randy phillips, this is it, tour