LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (APRIL 29, 2013) (BILL ROBLES) - An attorney for the concert promotion company AEG Live warned jurors they would see a very different view of the charismatic Michael Jackson as the company seeks to prove it was not liable for the pop star's death.Marvin Putnam, making his opening statement in what is expected to be an emotional wrongful death trial, said AEG officials had no idea that Jackson was taking the surgical anesthetic that led to his death.
He said the three-month civil case would bring to light "some ugly stuff" about the singer's private behavior.
He said Jackson had been using the powerful anesthetic propofol for years to help him sleep "and almost no one knew."
The "Thriller" singer's mother, Katherine, is suing privately held AEG Live, promoters of a never-realized series of comeback concerts by Jackson, for negligence in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray as his personal physician.
Murray, convicted in 2011 for the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson with a propofol overdose, was caring for the singer as he rehearsed in Los Angeles for a series of 50 "This is It" shows in London in 2009.
Brian Panish, representing Jackson's family, said AEG Live ignored red flags when it hired Murray and should have been aware that the singer had addiction problems years before he agreed to perform the concerts.
Jackson, 50, drowning in debt and seeking to rebuild a reputation damaged by his 2005 trial and acquittal on child molestation charges, died in Los Angeles in June 2009.
AEG Live contends that it did not hire or supervise Murray, saying that a proposed contract with him was never executed. The concert promoters also have said they could not have foreseen that Murray posed a danger to Jackson.