Michael Jackson's mother Katherine and his three children are demanding $290 million (£193.3 million) in personal damages in their long-running wrongful death lawsuit. The King of Pop's family members have accused concert promoters at AEG Live of negligently hiring convicted medic Conrad Murray to care for the singer as he prepared for his This Is It comeback gigs in 2009.
Closing arguments in the long-running Los Angeles trial began on Tuesday (24Sep13), when family lawyer Brian Panish revealed the exact compensation the family is demanding for the first time. His final presentation to the jury included a video documenting the Thriller hitmaker's career in an effort to show the superstar's earning potential following the doomed London residency.
He did not put a figure on Jackson's potential for future earnings, which Katherine Jackson and his three kids are also suing for, but claimed the singer was on course to have banked more than $1 billion from new music, tours and endorsements following the This Is It shows had he lived.
He told jurors, "We're not looking for sympathy. We're looking for justice. Not partial, but complete justice.
"It's about shared responsibility. Michael probably has some fault. I'm not going to deny that Michael used prescription drugs and that people told him it's risky to use propofol... (but) AEG wanted the King of Pop in their arena in London. They would do whatever it took to get him on stage. They were so excited about how much money they were going to make. They chose to run the risk, to make a huge profit, and they lost and they're responsible."
AEG Live bosses have denied responsibility for hiring Murray, who is currently serving time behind bars after he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the fatal dose of anaesthetic propofol which caused the superstar's death in 2009. Lawyers for the defendants are due to deliver their closing arguments on Wednesday (25Sep13).
Previous reports have placed the Jacksons' total demand for damages at more than $40 billion.
Photographer Harry Goodwin, who snapped stars including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson during their visits to the BBC, has died. The Brit was resident photographer at the TV corporation's hit music show Top of the Pops from 1964 to 1973, when he captured images of some of the world's biggest rock stars.
He died at the age of 89 on Monday (23Sep13) after a short illness.
His agent Stuart Littlewood said several stars contacted Goodwin in his final days, including Sir Paul McCartney and Bee Gees star Barry Gibb.
The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess took to Twitter.com to pay tribute to Goodwin, writing, "Sad to hear of the death of Harry Goodwin - a true unsung hero of music photography."
A Los Angeles judge has ruled Michael Jackson's mother Katherine can seek damages against concert promoters at AEG Live in her ongoing wrongful death lawsuit. The Jackson family matriarch and the King of Pop's three children are suing AEG Live executives over allegations they were negligent in hiring incarcerated medic Conrad Murray to care for the singer as he prepared for his This Is It comeback shows in London in 2009.
The physician is currently serving time behind bars after he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the fatal dose of anaesthetic propofol which caused the superstar's death in 2009.
The Jacksons are seeking more than $40 billion for loss of future earnings and other damages, and on Friday (20Sep13), Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos declared Katherine Jackson has grounds to sue for compensation because the Thriller hitmaker provided for "everything" for his mother, including her household expenses and food.
Ruling in the elderly Jackson's favour, the judge dismissed the defence argument suggesting Katherine had no claim to damages because she had also been receiving $10,000 (£6,670) a month from another of her famous kids, Janet Jackson, for "some period of years".
Judge Palazuelos wrote, "There is no evidence that Janet Jackson's contributions negated Katherine Jackson's reliance - to some extent - on (Michael Jackson's) contributions for the necessaries of life."
Under California law, parents cannot seek damages for wrongful death if their child had other heirs, unless they can prove they were financially dependent on their offspring.
Closing arguments and jury deliberations in the five-month trial are expected to begin this week (begs23Sep13), once the prosecution rests its case.
AEG Live bosses have denied responsibility for hiring Murray.
Pop superstar Michael Jackson was left red-faced after taking a tumble during a photoshoot for his final magazine spread in 2007. A video obtained by WENN shows the King of Pop posing for a Bruce Weber shoot, which featured in L'Uomo Vogue and Ebony Magazine later that year (07), and falling over while trying to manoeuvre around a white background board.
After climbing through a hole in the set the Thriller hitmaker appears to catch his leg on the trim and steadies himself before tumbling down. A loud noise suggests Jackson knocks over a chair or stepladder behind the board as aides rush to help him.
As the star eventually emerges smiling after his mishap, a crew worker asks, "Are you OK?" before telling other helpers to "hold on" to the set.
Jackson is then seen laughing at his own clumsiness while completing the shoot.
The pop superstar died in June, 2009 from an overdose of anaesthetic.
Bosses at Fulham Football Club in London are retiring their Michael Jackson statue that was an odd gift from former chairman Mohamed Al Fayed. The team's Craven Cottage stadium is set to undergo redevelopment, and it has been decided the Jackson statue has to go.
A spokesman for Fulham FC says, "The statue is not part of the Riverside development of the stadium and will be returned to the former chairman in due course."
The gift to the club from the Harrods boss, who once treated his late pop star friend to a tour of the ground in 1999, has always been unpopular among fans, who felt Jackson had no connection to the team.
Speaking out about the criticism, Al Fayed told the BBC, "If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell."
Defence lawyers for concert promoters AEG Live have rested their case in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. Attorneys presented a videotaped testimony from the King of Pop's physician Dr. Allan Metzger as they brought their argument to a close on Wednesday (18Sep13), using the medic's account of his final interactions with Jackson to paint the pop superstar as an energised and determined figure prior to his 2009 death - contrasting claims suggesting he was a tortured soul, under pressure from gig bosses to perform his ill-fated This Is It residency in London.
In the footage, Metzger revealed his famous client signed up for the shows in an effort to rebuild his reputation following his sensational child molestation trial and acquittal in 2005.
The doctor said, "He wanted to redeem Michael Jackson. He wanted to redeem his image. He felt this was it and he wanted to go out with a flash. He was still terribly hurt about the trial and the accusations."
However, Jackson was said to be anxious about the big stage return and asked Metzger to prescribe him an intravenous sleep medication. The physician refused, warning him about the potentially-fatal dangers of the drug.
The Thriller hitmaker's mother, Katherine Jackson, and his three kids are suing AEG Live chiefs amid allegations they were negligent in hiring disgraced medic Conrad Murray as his personal doctor as the superstar worked on his London comeback.
AEG Live executives have denied responsibility, insisting that Jackson was the one who personally employed Murray, who is currently behind bars after being convicted of administering the fatal dose of anaesthetic propofol that claimed the singer's life in June, 2009.
Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected to begin next week (begs23Sep13) after Katherine Jackson's lawyers present their final arguments.
The trial is now in its 21st week.
A dress worn by country star Taylor Swift is to go on sale at an auction. The frock was worn by the I Knew You Were Trouble hitmaker at the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony where she performed her single Mean.
The mid-length gold piece is up for sale on New York-based online auction site GottaHaveIt.com.
Auctioneer Pete Siegel tells New York Post, "If you were with your girlfriend, sister, brother or mother watching the Grammys last year, you'd remember Taylor Swift's performance."
Michael Jackson's final photoshoots are to be the subject of a riveting new documentary. Director Craig Williams' Michael: The Last Photo Shoots chronicles the tragic singer's 2007 sessions with L'Uomo Vogue and Ebony magazines - and the lengths assistants, stylists and photographers had to go to to make the projects happen.
A spokesperson for the documentary tells WENN, "It is a unique story told through the eyes of several of Michael's closest friends, photographers and stylists that had helped Michael prepare for his planned comeback in 2007.
"After several years of living overseas in seclusion, Michael returned to the United States wanting to make a comeback onto the music scene. Taking the cover of L'UOMO Vogue for its October, 2007 issue was Michael's first step... and on September 24, 2007 in Brooklyn, New York, Michael Jackson did an interview and another photoshoot for Ebony Magazine - for its December 2007 issue. This was Michael's first United States interview and magazine story in a decade."
The film features never-before-seen footage of the King of Pop and interviews with Rushka Bergman, the contributing fashion editor of L'Uomo Vogue, Vogue Italia and Jackson's personal stylist, photographer Bruce Weber and make-up artist Kabuki.
Sir Elton John has warned Miley Cyrus is on the verge of a major breakdown. The music legend is convinced he is able to spot the warning signs before troubled stars crack, insisting he correctly predicted the downfall of late legend Michael Jackson, and tried to help Whitney Houston before her death last year (12).
He has now issued a stark warning about former child star Cyrus, admitting he fears the 20 year old's headline-grabbing antics over the last few weeks after signs of trouble brewing.
He tells TheAustralian.com.au, "I look at Miley Cyrus and I see a meltdown waiting to happen. And she's so young! But she's got two records in the top 20, so who is going to stop her?... Maybe it's a British thing, but I can spot a car crash before it happens. I was in my dressing room in Las Vegas when they announced that Michael Jackson was playing 50 dates at the O2. I turned to my agent and said: 'He won't do a single one of those.' I could tell you he was going to die..."
The Rocket Man star also cites troubled singer/songwriter Ryan Adams as a prime example, insisting he tried to help him battle his alcohol and drug problems, but the rocker didn't want to listen.
He adds, "Sometimes you try and reach out to someone and tell them they're going to have a car crash, like I did with Ryan Adams, Ryan didn't listen to me. He had the car crash, he recovered, and now he's back and on great form."
Adams subsequently apologised to Sir Elton, who battled his own drug problems in the past, for refusing his offer to help him get sober.
We've all done this - imagined how a book would be played on the screen if there was a movie or mini-series about it. For a while, it looked like a lost form after the 1980s, but the mini-series has come back to life with Under The Dome. Here are other books that deserve that treatment or even possibly its own show, like Game Of Thrones.
Any Lee Child book
No. Jack Reacher doesn't count. There has to be someone who fits Reacher's description -- at least 6'2 with 250 lbs of muscle -- in Hollywood who can act. Tom Cruise looks like a horse racing jockey comparatively. When I read these books, I don't want to think of Cruise, so let's change that station and get something different. I even visualize Coby Bell, who played Jesse Porter on Burn Notice as a possibility.
The Dark Tower series
This has been in production purgatory, but as Game of Thrones showed, a series of books can make for VERY compelling television. Don't show it on the big screen in 2 hours; let it flow naturally on TV. Legions of Stephen King fans want to see the story of Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last Gunslinger as he chases the man in black towards the Dark Tower in a world that is very much like our own but also very, very different. Heck, I'm getting impatient again thinking about it.
The Rabbit series
John Updike's masterpiece series on the life of Rabbit Angstrom should be shown in a multi-part mini-series. It's about the course of one man's life as he goes through a loveless marriage and suffers a terrible loss. There was a movie, Rabbit, Run, with James Caan that came and went, but they could do about four hours per book, spread out over a couple of weeks. Updike was able to capture the mundane qualities of life beautifully and his writing was always something to behold.
Dean Koontz's book about Chris Snow who has XP and cannot be out in the sun and his trying to unravel a mystery surrounding a military compound. Combine this with the sequel, Seize the Night, and you have some gooooooooood TV to watch. There has been success in making a mini-series from Koontz's books; John C. McGinley played a truly terrifying serial killer in Intensity. They haven't had the same luck with translating them to the big screen. Both Phantoms and Hideaway sucked, despite some impressive star power like Ben Affleck and Jeff Goldblum appearing in them.
Caves of Steel
Apparently this Isaac Asimov book is in development as a movie. I think it would be a better mini-series to fully let the characters develop. Elijah Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw are two really fascinating characters. For the uninitiated, the R in Olivaw's name stands for 'Robot'. Cool, huh? I hope they don't deviate from the storyline like they did in I. Robot.
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