The Struggles of A King

By: Dana Brenklin

On the 76th day of testimony and the day before the King of Pop would have officially been a senior citizen, testimony in the Katherine Jackson VS AEG Live trial continues without the presence of the star’s mother or any other family members.

Today was the second day defense’s witness Dr. Petros Levounis spent testifying.  The witness has been called as a drug addiction specialist and gave the opinion that even though Michael only used pain killers and numerous witnesses have testified to Michael never soliciting drugs for euphoria, that he was  an addict.  Standing by his opinion he even acknowledged that there was no evidence that he used more pain killers than he needed.

The witness testified to Michael Jackson being secretive about his drug use.  Plaintiff’s counsel Mr. Koskoff tells the witness that Michael Jackson told the world about his problem with prescription drugs, to which the witness responds, “at that moment He was not secretive” and the witness says to Kathy Cahan during his redirect examination that he was indeed secretive and there was just the one instance where he was not secretive.

Michael’s problem with Opioids, pain killers stemmed from first, second and third degree burns he sustained in the Pepsi commercial accident.  Jackson was given these pain killers after the surgeries to repair his scalp and sometimes after cosmetic surgery.

When asked, the doctor agrees that there was no evidence of Michael having used drugs after his stint in rehab in 1993 until 2001.  The doctor says that Michael was an addict until he died and he was addicted to Demerol, however the coroner did not find any Demerol in Jackson’s system and he died of acute propofol intoxication.

The witness was asked if he had taken into consideration any of the doctor’s testimony he reviewed and if he had considered the coroners report.  The witness says that he reviewed the testimony of several witnesses, but still says that Jackson suffered a “quite extensive” drug addiction.

Lawyers for AEG want to prove that their clients knew nothing about Michael Jackson’s drug use and that he was very secretive and they are not liable for the acts of Dr. Murray.  AEG also argues that Jackson caused his own death.

Lawyers for Katherine Jackson contend that AEG is responsible for  the negligent hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray who used the deadly anesthetic propofol to treat Jackson’s insomnia while he prepared for the “This Is It” shows and are partly responsible for his early demise.

After lunch Dr. Cherilyn Lee was called to the stand.  She is a holistic nurse practitioner and also holds a Ph.D.

She gave very little testimony, as she was called at the end of the day.  She was able to tell the jury that Jackson trusted Doctors and told her repeatedly that doctors told him propofol was safe as long as he was being monitored, when she told him not to use the drug for sleep.

The witness broke down at the end of the day, saying that her mother died in 2010 because she listened to the doctors. Ms. Lee is due back in court tomorrow morning.

Plaintiffs want to amend their case and that argument will be heard tomorrow afternoon.