Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal

Jackson rehearsal footage not to be shown at Murray trial

By | Published on Tuesday 26 July 2011

Michael Jackson

Previously unseen footage of Michael Jackson rehearsing for the ‘This Is It’ stage show in the days before his death in 2009 will not be show in court when Dr Conrad Murray is tried for manslaughter in relation to the late king of pop’s demise, Judge Michael Pastor has decided.

As previously reported, it was Murray’s defence team who originally suggested that the footage recorded by AEG Live, some of which was used to make the ‘This Is It’ film, could be useful in determining the state of Jackson’s health prior to his death. They hoped it would show that the singer was in poor health. But after reps for both the prosecution and defence viewed a big chunk of the available footage, the defence team concluded that it didn’t really help their case.

Sony Pictures, which now owns that footage, and which never wanted any of it shown in court, leapt on that conclusion and called on Pastor to ban the recordings from being shown during Murray’s trial, arguing doing so would be a waste of court time.

Having viewed some clips himself, yesterday Pastor said he agreed with the Murray defence and Sony, that the footage wouldn’t help jurors, that it wouldn’t be a good use of court time to show it, and that the benefits of showing it were not significant enough to risk devaluing the content owned by Sony Pictures, who say they may use some or all of the previously unreleased footage for future Jackson related releases.

Clips from the ‘This Is It’ film will be admissible. It is thought the prosecution may use those to show that Jackson was physically well and in an optimistic mood in the days before his death. Murray, of course, is accused of causing Jackson’s demise by negligently administering the drug propofol. Murray’s people are expected to claim Jackson administered the lethal shot himself.