Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal

Sony moves to have This Is It footage removed from Murray trial

By | Published on Monday 25 July 2011

Conrad Murray

The Sony film company has asked the judge hearing the Conrad Murray manslaughter case to scrap plans to show outtakes from the ‘This Is It’ movie during the doctor’s trial later this year.

As previously reported, originally it was Murray’s defence team who requested to see footage recorded by AEG Live at rehearsals for Michael Jackson’s fated ‘This Is It’ live show, believing it may show the late king of pop was in poor health in the weeks before his death. Sony Studios now control that content because they secured the rights to transform some of it into the ‘This Is It’ movie.

The company objected to the idea of lawyers getting access to the unused film, and even more so to proposals it be shown in court, arguing it would reduce the value of the footage, which might be used for future documentary releases. However, Sony was ordered to let reps for both the defence and prosecution see the footage onsite at its studios.

As it turned out, it was the prosecution who subsequently requested to show more of that footage when the case goes to trial in September, with the defence admitting last week that the backstage recordings don’t really give any indication as to Jackson’s state of health.

Sony has leapt on that admission and called for Judge Michael Pastor to axe plans to screen any of the footage during the trial, arguing that doing so would be a waste of the court’s time. Pastor had originally planned to visit Sony’s studios himself to view the footage, though he cancelled those plans this weekend, saying he had seen clips of the sixteen hours of film lawyers had deemed relevant, and felt he could make a decision one way or another based on those clips alone. That decision should follow early this week.

Murray, of course, is accused of causing Michael Jackson’s untimely death two years ago by negligently administering the drug propofol. Murray’s people are expected to claim Jackson self-administered the fatal dose of the drug.