As she moved from the emotion of her earlier testimony to specifics Monday, Michael Jackson's mother come across as a contentious and forgetful 83-year-old who contradicted herself while trying to defend her son.
Asked about reports that she and her other children had staged an intervention effort at Michael’s Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara County in 2002, Katherine Jackson testified that her son didn't know why his family had driven there and made it sound as if the visit had turned into a social gathering.
“We just saw he was OK and was upset, and ... there was no deep discussion or anything," she said under questioning.
She said that neither she nor her other children questioned the singer about his use of prescription medication.
Katherine Jackson and the pop singer’s three children are suing entertainment giant AEG Live, claiming that the firm is complicit in the entertainer’s 2009 death. On the stand Friday, the entertainer's mother was a powerful witness, at times smiling as she recounted memories of her son as a baby and then weeping as she recalled the day he died.
On Monday, she seemed unfamiliar with some of the details of Michael’s life. She told the court she didn’t know her son's "Dangerous" tour had come to an early ending in 1993 when Elizabeth Taylor flew to Mexico City to take the singer to a rehab program in London.
Katherine Jackson testified that she’d she heard that Taylor had said something about her son going into rehab but didn't seem particularly curious about it.
“Nobody came to me and said anything about it," she said. "My children probably didn’t want me to worry.”
She said she didn't know that her son’s worldwide tour had been cut short. "I don't like to hear bad news," she said.
In the wrongful death suit, the family contends that AEG Live negligently hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who gave the singer a dose of the anesthetic propofol that killed him on June 25, 2009. AEG, which was producing the pop star’s “This Is It” comeback tour, says it was the singer who hired Murray.
Katherine Jackson has spent much of the 2 ½-month trial sitting in the front row of the spectator section with a nephew.
At times her anger toward AEG attorney Marvin Putnam flared, and she refused to answer some questions. Putnam tried to parry with her at least once. She had a hard time recalling how long her assistant had worked for her but corrected Putnam over how long it had been since she had lived in Gary, Ind.
After a small portion of her deposition was shown to the jury, her temper erupted.
“Why are you doing this to me?" she asked. "You’re asking me the same question 50 times, but you’re just rephrasing them."
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