The 50 shows were to be spread out over a year in the O2 Arena, which AEG owned and controlled, he said. "AEG had no interest in rushing to get to July 13th. On the contrary, if there was an issue they would have wanted to know."
What did Randy Phillips know?
An earlier e-mail leaked to the Los Angeles Times last year suggests that AEG Live's president saw Jackson's problems first-hand the day the pop star was to appear at the O2 Arena to publicly announce the shows. "MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent," Phillips wrote in a March 5, 2009, e-mail to AEG Live's parent company, the paper reported. "I (am) trying to sober him up."
"I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking," Phillips wrote. "He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self-loathing and doubt now that it is show time."
Despite this, Putnam insisted that Phillips was "incredibly impressed" and "saw a really engaged, interested, very smart, and savvy Michael Jackson."
The AEG Live chief had only "certain limited encounters" with Jackson in the months leading up to the scheduled shows, but he did get glowing reports, Putnam said. "Mr. Phillips kept hearing from various people in the tour party from rehearsals, and practices and meetings with various promoters, meetings with people who were going to do clothes, makeup, things of that nature," he said. "It was the same, that Mr. Jackson was incredibly engaged, was incredibly interested and seemed great."
AEG Live executives also had "no indication at any point that there was a problem with Conrad Murray," Putnam said. "He was licensed in four states. He had never been reprimanded. There were no indicators or warning signs of a problem. "
"Mr. Phillips had met him once, and he seemed quite happy that this was a fine, outstanding doctor in all appearances and he liked that fact," Putnam said. "And he liked that fact that he didn't appear to be a sycophant."
Trial judge thinks Jackson may have a case
Palazuelos, in her ruling rejecting an AEG Live's request to have the case thrown out, said she agreed that the Jackson lawyers had provided evidence that AEG Live didn't do "a sufficient background check of Dr. Murray, which would have established that Murray was deeply in debt."
Jackson's previous relationship with Murray, who treated him and his children for minor illnesses in Las Vegas, did not relieve AEG Live of liability, "although the fact may be relevant in determining proportional liability and damages," she said.
While the AEG Live lawyers argued the company could not have foreseen that Murray might use dangerous drugs on Jackson in preparation for the tour, Palazuelos said there was evidence that Gongaware had "previous tour experiences" with Jackson in which "tour doctors" gave "large amounts of drugs/controlled substances to him."
Gongaware testified in Murray's trial that he worked as tour manager for Jackson's "Dangerous" and "History" tours before joining AEG Live. The judge cited "Gongaware's general knowledge of the ethical issues surrounding 'tour doctors' and the practice of administering drugs to performing artists."
"There is a triable issue of fact as to whether it was foreseeable that such a physician under strong financial pressure may compromise his Hippocratic Oath and do what was known by AEG Live's executives to be an unfortunate practice in the entertainment industry for financial gain," the judge wrote.