Emails expose troubled Jackson

Posted: September 05, 2012

LOS ANGELES - Promoters of Michael Jackson's planned 2009 comeback described in emails how they feared for the megastar's stability, saying he was out of shape and consumed with self-doubt.

The Los Angeles Times obtained some 250 pages of messages, most between executives at Anschutz Entertainment Group, which was financing the ill-fated "This Is It" concerts set for London. Some of the emails indicated that executives were concerned that Jackson's planned 50-show stand at AEG's 02 Arena would be an expensive bust.

In one exchange AEG's Randy Phillips wrote his boss that Jackson was "an emotionally paralyzed mess." Phillips was writing from Jackson's London hotel suite just hours before a press conference announcing the concert run. Jackson arrived 90 minutes late for the press conference and made brief remarks that some of the 350 reporters described as odd and disjointed.

In an interview with the newspaper, AEG's attorney Marvin Putnam suggested Phillips had exaggerated in his emails and said Jackson's behavior appeared to be a case of "nerves."

The Times said the messages will probably play a key role in two lawsuits set for trial next year. The shows' insurers are asking a judge to nullify a $17.5 million policy that they say AEG got with false claims about Jackson's health and readiness to perform. And Jackson's heirs filed a wrongful-death suit that accuses the entertainment giant of pressuring the singer to carry on with a comeback despite indications he was too weak.

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