Jacksons vs AEG - Day 39 – June 27 2013 – Summary

Katherine, TJ and Taj Jackson are in court.

TJ Jackson Testimony

Jackson direct

Plaintiffs called next witness, Tito Jackson, also known as TJ Jackson. TJ is MJ's children cousin and co-guardian. (ABC7)

Jackson's attorney Kevin Boyle questioning him Boyle: Have you testified before? TJ: I think this is my first time, so I'm a little nervous. (ABC7)

TJ says he goes by TJ Jackson, since his father is also Tito and people would get the two confused. Katherine Jackson is TJ's grandmother. Tito is MJ's brother, member of Jackson 5 with Jackie, Marlon, Jermaine and Michael. TJ is cousin and co-guardian of Michael's children. TJ said he's from Encino, CA, raised there like most of his family. He went to Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, same as Prince attends now. TJ said he has 3 biological children and 2 stepchildren. He has 2 daughters, age 2 and 5, 13 year old son, 19 and 21 year old stepchildren. TJ said he does music with his brothers primarily, he's a third of band "3T." TJ' wife is a fitness trainer, and they have their own fitness center. He's also a real estate broker, has license but doesn't practice. (ABC7)

"My primary things are my kids, my cousins and my family," TJ said. Boyle: So you don't have a lot of free time? TJ: No, I don't (laughs)

TJ and his brothers Taj and Taryll Jackson compose the 3T group. Boyle: I know you're humble, but you sold millions and millions of records? TJ: Yes (ABC7)

TJ lives in Corona, CA. He explained that when he had his son Royal, he wanted to slow down the pace, wanted smaller community feeling. TJ explained Corona is multi-national area. "When I grew up, I was the only black kid in school," he said. "It was sometimes uncomfortable".TJ doesn't go to Calasabas, where the children live, during rush hour. Sometimes he's there for six days in a row, sometimes once a week. TJ testified he's 34 years old and drives a Honda Accord. "I just need something to get from A to B and the Honda has served me well." Prince has a Ford truck, TJ said. No Ferrari, or Porsche, or expensive car. (ABC7)

TJ broke down when Boyle asked him about his relationship with MJ. He bowed his head for a few minutes and cried. TJ: "My mother was murdered a month after I turned 16. My world crumbled and my uncle Michael saved it""He was just, he was there. He kept me inspired, he kept me ambitious, he was just there for me," TJ explained about Michael Jackson. He said he was raised by his brothers, father and when he needed advice he'd turn to his uncle Michael. (ABC7) TJ’s mother Delores, also known as Dee Dee, was murdered when he was 16. “My world crumbled and my uncle Michael saved it,” he said. (AP)

"He was just everything," T.J., bowing his head in tears and needing a minute to compose himself. (NYDailyNews)

TJ said he's teaching MJ's children to be ambitious, be giving, be loving, be honest and to make their mark in the world. (ABC7)
TJ said his uncle gave him advice and tried to provide him with inspiration tried to keep him inspired. “He was just there for me.” He said Jackson bought him and his brothers instruments and fostered their interest in music, but wanted them to earn their careers. (AP)

TJ said MJ wanted him to go to college. He applied at LMU, UCLA and University of Pennsylvania. He wanted to study Business. "I got into all three," TJ said. They are all considered the top Business schools in the country. TJ said MJ wanted him to go, and he regrets turning it down. "He wanted me to go, he just though it was going to be good for me." "My brothers and I were doing quite well touring around the world," TJ said, that's why he didn't go to Wharton School in Pennsylvania. (ABC7) He said his uncle pushed him to go to the Wharton School of Business, but TJ didn’t end up going. He said he regretted it. (AP)

"From the beginning, along with my father, he was there inspiring us," TJ said about uncle Michael. TJ said his mother would call all her children the 3T, which originated the name of the group. "Especially when my mother passed, he took us under his wing and became important part of our success," TJ said about MJ. "I think he wanted us to earn things in our own," TJ explained, saying MJ would not use his power to benefit the group. Boyle showed video of 3T and clip of MJ's song "Why." Boyle: Did you consider your uncle your mentor? TJ: Definitely (ABC7)

"He's always wanted to be a parent," TJ said about Michael Jackson.
"Eventually he did have his kids, and they were everything to him, the joy of his life," TJ testified. (ABC7)

TJ said he never knew how famous his uncle was until he was already grown-up. "On the HIStory tour, I was probably 19, my uncle had a show on a stadium. The whole route there were people clapping," TJ recalled. "That was probably the first time I really realized his impact in the world," TJ said about MJ. TJ: He was very humble, extremely humble, checking on us, talking about school, amazing to see contradiction outside, people cherishing him. (ABC7) He recounted an incident in Spain where people lined the streets for 5 miles to cheer Jackson on. “He was very humble about that,” TJ said. (AP)

TJ told the jury about Jackson’s generosity and how he won $200 in a trivia contest his uncle officiated between TJ and his brothers. (AP)"My uncle was kind of person he would give us some cash," TJ testified. "He's always given couple of hundred of dollars to myself, my brothers and pretty much whomever was around," TJ said. "He would drive around to areas with poor people and would give hundred dollar bills to people to make their lives a little better," TJ said. As to MJ's charities, TJ said he knows about "Heal the World." He said MJ visited hospital around the world, worked with "Make a Wish"."He was very giving of his time, everything that help put a smile on children's face," TJ explained. (ABC7)

"My grandmother is the queen," TJ testified. "She's the CEO and I help her with the day to day stuff (of co-guardianship) as much as I can." TJ said he does a lot of the doctor's appointments, school stuff, extra curriculum activity, deals with security for children. "Because of who they are, it demands a lot of time and energy," TJ explained saying it's not the kids fault but their high profile status. TJ: Grandma is the overseer, she knows everything that happens, she's there every day, making decisions. "If they want to go out it the movie they know to ask grandma," TJ testified. "She's the one to be commended, her life had changed quite a bit as well," TJ said about grandma Katherine. TJ: I don't think I would be able to live properly my life if I didn't try to help my cousins to be who my uncle wanted them to be. "I can't really see myself far away from them until I make sure they are adults and are what they are supposed to be" TJ said about the kids. (ABC7)

Boyle was then asked about each of the children. Of Prince, he said he’s “poised and ambitious” and is extremely smart, reads a lot of books. “I just think the loss of the uncle has hit her at a different level,” TJ said of Paris. TJ then described Paris’ relationship with her dad. He described her as a daddy’s girl who’s struggling with the loss of her father. He said he always thought Prince was his uncle’s little assistant. Blanket was always wrapped his father’s leg, TJ recalled.(AP)

"Prince is an amazing person, very strong, very smart," TJ testified; he was always devouring books, very poised and ambitious, very loving. "Paris has a heart of gold as well," TJ said. TJ on Paris: I think the loss of my uncle has hit her in a different spot. She's having a difficult time, but we're giving her love/support. (ABC7)

TJ talked about the paparazzi. "It's a complete annoyance, it's awful, I feel there should be something done." He agrees with Halle Berry's attempt to create a law preventing paparazzi to follow children. TJ said he supports it 100%. (ABC7)

Scrutiny by paparazzi has made it more difficult for the children of Michael Jackson to grieve for their dead father, TJ told jury.TJ Jackson said the three children don't like the attention, and he supports any legislative effort to curb photographers from pursuing images of the sons and daughters of celebrities. "In my opinion, I know it's making everything harder for the kids to grieve and recover and progress," Jackson said. TJ Jackson said he had to consider whether Michael Jackson's youngest son Blanket should attend martial arts classes on Tuesday because photographers would be interested in getting a shot of the 11-year-old on the fourth anniversary of his father's death. (AP)

"I know it's making harder for the kids to progress," TJ said about the paparazzi. TJ on Paris: It's tough. She was daddy's girl. My uncle was her world, he gave her more love for it to be taken away it's been very hard. "For all of them, but for her more being the princess," TJ said about Paris. "Prince was my uncle's little assistant," TJ said. He is very mature. "I think my uncle knew he would have to be very sharp," TJ said. "Prince had always been mature beyond his years." Blanket was always wrapped around behind MJ's leg, TJ said. "Wherever my uncle was, Blanket was just steps away. "My uncle was everything for Blanket," TJ said. Blanket was either 7-8 when MJ died.(ABC7)

T.J. Jackson said Prince was Michael Jackson's "little assistant." "He was very mature for his age, very smart. My uncle would prepare him for things" by telling him about his business deals. "He's very strong, he's very smart," he testified. "He was always the smartest kid I'd ever known." As a guardian, T.J. Jackson said he must constantly deal with paparazzi stalking the children for photographs. "It's, just to be frank, a complete annoyance," he said. "It's awful." He suggested there should be a new law to protect celebrity children from photographers. "I know it's making everything harder for the kids to grieve and to recover and to progress," he said. (CNN)

"I don't want to go into details on what's going on with Paris now, but could you explain how Paris is handling the loss of her father?" asked Kevin Boyle, one of the lawyers representing Katherine in her wrongful death case against concert promoter AEG Live. "It's tough," TJ said. "She was daddy's girl. My uncle was her world."T.J. acknowledged Michael's death has "been very hard" for all three kids - including Michael’s sons Prince, 16, and Blanket, 11 - but Paris was "the princess of his life.""Paris has a heart of gold," he said of the 15-year-old. "I just think the loss of my uncle has hit her at a different level. She's in a tough spot, but we're all loving her and doing everything we can to get her where she should be." (NYDailyNews)

"The loss of my uncle has hit her at a different level and she's in a tough spot, but we're loving her and doing everything we can," T.J. Jackson testified Thursday. He said he was at a loss for words to describe what Paris is going through. "It's tough, you know, it's tough." "She was daddy's girl," he said. "My uncle was her world. My uncle gave them more love and for it to be taken away, it's been very hard for Paris, and for all of them." Blanket, who was 7 when his father died, "was always wrapped around his leg, very shy," T.J. Jackson said. "Wherever my uncle was, Blanket was a foot away, My uncle was everything to Blanket." (CNN)

TJ said he lived a couple of blocks away from Hayvenhurst, would go out there to grandma's house quite often. "My uncle just cherished my grandmother, named everything after her, from mountain to next house," TJ testified. "My grandma is the queen." "I think my grandmother was everything to my uncle," TJ testified. (ABC7)

TJ on grandma Katherine: It's hard, very hard, it's tough for me as her grandson, don't know what to say or do. I try to help with the kids."Our children is supposed to outlive us, so it's been very difficult on my grandmother," TJ said. (ABC7)

Boyle asked TJ about Kai Chase, his uncle’s chef who now works for Katherine. He says he had no idea she might be a witness in this case. TJ said he hadn’t heard of Chase until Prince, Paris and Blanket asked for her. (AP) Boyle: Who hired Kai Chase back? TJ: It was a suggestion I made. A couple of employees were let go, as co-guardian job to replace cook/nanny. "The kids just liked Kai, they asked for Kai, and I asked my grandmother and she was okay with it," TJ said. Boyle asked if Chase was hired back in an effort to influence her testimony in this case. "Not a chance, it's silly," TJ said. "It's impossible, I did a lot of the legwork to get Kai back," TJ testified. (ABC7)

TJ first heard of Dr. Murray after MJ passed. (ABC7)

After MJ died, Grace Rwamba came back to work with the family, TJ explained. But he said there was a situation where Grace had to move on. TJ: I was a little disappointed she had to. Along with my grandmother, she was the mother figure the kids had in their lives. "I don't know specifically what happened but I think there had been conflicts between Grace and other members of the family," TJ said. TJ said MJ raised the kids differently. They read a lot, didn't watch tv during the week, one movie a week if they earned, TJ explained."Once my uncle passed, they came into my grandma's house in regular society, it was hard to maintain the same lifestyle," TJ expressed. "She (Grace) wanted to maintain, as did my brothers and I, my uncle's child raising," TJ said. (ABC7)

Boyle asked TJ about Paris deposition regarding Grace. Defendant's attorney objected, they went to a sidebar and lunch break. (ABC7)

AEG Cross

Attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina did the cross examination of TJ on behalf of AEG. (ABC7)

Bina asked about Katherine's health problems last summer and if he's aware of any health problems? TJ said no. (ABC7) Her first questions before the lunch break were about Katherine Jackson’s absence last year. Stebbins Bina asked whether he was aware of any health problems Katherine Jackson experienced that prompted her time away. TJ said he’d heard talk about Katherine Jackson having health issues, but he’s not aware of any that she actually has. (AP)

Bina inquired how many times TJ saw or spoke with MJ and the children. He said he spoke with his uncle every other month. TJ definitely remembers seeing MJ at least once in 2009. (ABC7)

Bina asked if TJ draws salary for being MJ's children co-guardian. "It was hard for me to accept it, my grandmother insisted and a couple of months ago I began receiving it," TJ said. (ABC7)

Bina asked about children being more exposed to the media after MJ died, like going on Oprah and Prince working on Entertainment Tonight. "It's difficult, because they are 15 and 16," TJ said. "It's hard to maintain that private life." "It was very important for him to excel in his career," TJ said about Prince. "I didn't release music until I was 16 or 17," TJ said. "I encourage them to be children first." Paris wants to be an actress, Prince says he wants to act then become a producer, TJ explained. Bina: As their guardian you haven't prevented them to be in the public eye TJ: It's hard to do that when he's straight A student with honors. 'If he really wants to do it, 100%, he should be able to do it at 16," TJ said about Prince working on a television show. "I wanted to do for the art of it, I like the quiet, private life," TJ explained."I would say they want to build their own career, and ET is a stepping stone for his acting career," TJ said about Prince. TJ: It's tough, as long as he (Prince) understands his responsibilities and the pitfalls, it's hard to say no (ABC7)

Bina: You didn't go to Carolwood house? TJ: Not before MJ died (ABC7)

TJ said the last time he saw MJ alive was in his grandparents anniversary, where most of the family member were there. Bina notes the anniversary happened on May 14, 2009. "He was in a good mood," TJ recalled. "He was happy, he was talking about the kids, making jokes, that stuff." TJ didn't remember MJ being extremely thin then, but said he wasn't concerned to check it."He was just happy and jolly and I was just happy to see him and the kids," TJ said. TJ: We talked primarily about the children, that I wanted more kids, talked about movies.TJ said before MJ left, he asked him if he was going to London. "I said 100% and he said ok, see you there," TJ testified. TJ said MJ was excited that TJ was going to London. TJ said he didn't know if MJ was happy because of tour or for being around his family. "At the dinner, MJ seemed happy," TJ said. "I don't think he would be sad if he was sad," TJ said about MJ during the anniversary dinner. The only time TJ recalled seeing his uncle in 2009 was at the anniversary dinner. (ABC7) Once testimony resumed TJ testified about Katherine and Joe Jackson’s 40th anniversary party. It was the last time he saw his uncle Michael. He said Jackson seemed happy but they didn’t talk about “This Is It” or music or career issues.TJ said he said goodbye to his uncle Michael, who asked if he was headed to London for “This Is It.” TJ said he would see him there. (AP)

Bina asked TJ about MJ's wedding gift to him, which was $30,000 in cash. "He wanted to pay for my wedding, but the wedding passed," TJ said. TJ reluctantly accepted the gift. Bina asked if MJ was in financial difficulties then and couldn't afford the gift. TJ said he didn't know. Bina: Did you ever talk to your uncle about his finances? TJ: No (ABC7)

Bina: Did you consider your uncle to be a private person? TJ: For the most part, yes (ABC7)

Bina: Did you ever see a doctor on Dangerous tour? TJ: No
"I don't remember seeing a doctor in the HIStory tour either," TJ said. (ABC7)

TJ testified he was familiar with Dr. Metzger. He said he had not heard of the drug Propofol before MJ died. "I've heard many rumors about my uncle that were not true," TJ testified. (ABC7)

Bina: You never personally saw substance abuse? TJ: No
TJ said he didn't believe MJ had a substance abuse problem, never saw him take pills.
Bina asked if TJ thought MJ would've told him if he had a drug problem.
"I don't think he would've told me, but I'm not sure. He told me some things, but I don't think so," TJ responded. (ABC7)

"My cousins and I were going to Lakers game, they wanted to go to ESPN zone before the game, and that's when I met Randy Phillips," TJ said. Bina asked if TJ thanked Phillips for getting them tickets. TJ testified he didn't know he got the tickets. But in his deposition, TJ testified he did thank Phillips for the tickets. (ABC7)

Bina asked about MJ's lavish lifestyle. "It's hard to measure myself against my uncle, he was kind of person who loved art, liked collectibles, liked the best of the best" TJ said. But TJ noted MJ wore pajama bottoms, V necks, and Mickey Mouse watches. "Homes I would say yes, he wanted nice homes. Cars yes and no," TJ explained. (ABC7)

TJ said MJ was very important to him, had a lot of influence on him.(ABC7)

Bina: It's hard for you to believe he could've died of drug overdose? TJ: It's hard for me to know that he's dead
Bina: Do you believe your uncle was murdered? TJ: I do
"He (MJ) did tell me and a couple of his brothers he would be murdered because of his position, because he was a target," TJ said.TJ had conversation with MJ about it during mid 90s to mid 2000s. (ABC7)

Stebbins Bina then asked TJ whether he believed his uncle Michael was murdered. “I do,” TJ responded. Michael Jackson told TJ and his brothers a couple times that he thought he would be murdered, he said. He said he didn't believe it at first. “My mother was murdered for money,” TJ said. “I don’t put anything past anyone.” (AP)

"Do you believe your uncle was murdered?" AEG Live attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina asked T.J. Jackson. "I do," he answered. "I believe it because he did tell me and the brothers that he was going to be murdered on a couple of occasions. "He said that just because of his position he was a target." T.J. Jackson had earlier testified that his mother, Delores Jackson, was the victim of murder 19 years ago. "My mother was murdered for money, too, so I don't put that past anyone," he said. (CNN)

Jackson redirect

In re-direct, Boyle said he wanted to talk about the Lakers tickets. Boyle: Did you know at that time that Mr. Phillips had a secret meeting with Dr. Murray? TJ: I didn't know. TJ said they didn't go with Phillips to the Lakers game, he was just there, at the game zone. Boyle: Do you think Jackson's kids should be allowed to go to the Lakers games? TJ: I think they should go anywhere they want. (ABc7)

TJ said he began acting as the children's co-guardian shortly after MJ died. Boyle: Did you do it for four years for free? TJ: It was out of love. TJ said his grandma convinced him to accept payment because he has three kids of his own that are losing a lot of his time. (ABC7)

Taj Jackson testimony

Jackson direct

Deborah Chang did direct examination.Taj, real name Tariano Jackson, II is 39 years old. He is the first grandson. "I was spoiled with love, let's just say that," Taj said. (ABC7)

Taj said he was close to MJ. "My uncle, besides being my musical role model, he was like an older brother to us," Taj explained. "He guided our lives, he was everything," Taj said about MJ. "I feel lost some times because he's not here." "When my mom passed, he stepped in and made sure our whole world didn't crumble," TJ said about MJ. MJ helped us with school, Taj said, paid for his college. He encouraged his nephew do it for his mother, to make her proud. Taj said his mother and father were very much in love, but separated. "They loved each other, I never understood the problem." "My mom really looked up to my uncle, leaned on him a lot," Taj testified. "He loved the way that she raised us." "It was known she put us first," Taj said. Dolores (DD) Jackson was Taj's mom's name. (ABC7)

Taj said he stayed at Neverland many times. "Neverland to me, he (MJ) always let us know, it was to help people," Taj explained. "My uncle didn't eat candy, it was for the sick children he was bringing to Neverland," Taj explained. Taj said MJ would take hundreds of people from Make a Wish foundation. "He wanted to make them better, he felt that he could." Ryan White became poster child for HIV/AIDS Taj said. This was during the time we were all terrified about it; Ryan was kicked out of school."They had a really strong relationship," Taj said, explaining MJ took Ryan to Neverland, went into the pool with him. "It was Disneyland," Taj said about Neverland. "He named the train station after my grandma, Katherine. There's a plaque with her name." After Ryan White died, Taj said MJ dedicated the song "Gone Too Soon" to him. Chang played the video clip of the song. (ABC7)

Taj: Michael taught us that being a musician and having the influence not only to make music but to make a change in the world. "He was constantly trying to help people," Taj said, adding there were lots of things the media didn't know about MJ. (ABC7)

“I was the first Jackson to go to college, he was so proud of that," Taj said. Taj also attended Buckley School, went to Loyola Marymount college, studying Music, Film and TV. He needs to finish the last year of school. Chang: Was he your mentor? Taj: Yes, definitely. Taj said his dad Tito was his mentor at baseball. He coached their little league team. (ABC7)

Taj said he shared three things with MJ: Music, Film and the Three Stooges, which Michael loved. "He bought me my first camera," Taj said. He shot home video of his mother and brothers while she was still alive in 1994. "I keep my most sentimental things in my safe," Taj explained about a note he has from MJ. Note: Taj, I saw these and thought they were perfect for you. Love always, Uncle Doo Doo (ABc7)

Taj said MJ was very close with Lionel Richie. Played snippet video of 3T. Taj co-directed their last video for album brotherhood. Chang played a snippet of it, quite funny video. Some jurors were laughing. Chang: Was your uncle proud of you? Taj: Yes, very proud (ABC7)

Taj said he lived at Neverland for 6 months. He said his grandma was there all the time. (ABC7)

Taj said MJ asked him to help raise the children. Taj said he was just about to begin your with 3T and MJ understood it. Taj became the person in charge of MJ's storage and belongings. (ABC7)

Chang asked Taj who was MJ's mentor: "Definitely my grandma, he would tell me that, you could see it, I sensed that," Taj responded. "My mom was my mentor and my mom's mentor was my grandma," Taj said. "They all shared the purity in their heart," Taj explained."My grandma was my uncle's compass in life," Taj said. "He was constantly trying to make her proud of him." (ABC7)

Taj said having children was something they encouraged MJ, since they thought he was going to be a great father. "It lit him up, that's what he lived for, his kids and my grandma," Taj said. (ABC7)

When MJ died, Taj said they stepped in right away."I think it's more difficult because my uncle to them was both father and mother, he was everything for them," Taj said. "When you lose a parent, your life is never the same again," Taj expressed. He said it hurts specially during milestones moments in his life. "I just got married," Taj said, crying. "And my mom wasn't there." Taj told the jury they chose to marry at Hayvenhurst because it was the place his mom and his uncle would be. Taj got married on June 16. He said he had a vase with a candle in it lit for his mother. Taj said he and his brothers wrote the song "Everything" at Hayvenhurst. Judge breaks for afternoon session. Katherine wipes her eyes. (ABC7)

Taj Jackson is 39, is TJ’s older brother and a member of 3T. “I feel lost because he’s not here,” Taj Jackson of his uncle Michael. He added, “When my mom passed, he stepped in and just made sure that our whole world didn't crumble.” He broke down when he described the impact of losing a parent. He cited them being gone for major milestones. Taj cited his wedding last weekend. He held it at the Jackson family’s Hayvenhurst home in Encino. Taj said he wanted to have it in a “place where both my uncle and my mom would be.” (AP)


Attorneys and the judge discussed extensively about things that one side wants to show the jury but the other side doesn't. Judge adjourned session early for the jury. They are ordered back tomorrow morning at 10 am PT. (ABC7)

Shortly after this, there was an afternoon break and they held a sidebar hearing over notes that Taj was going to testify about. One of the notes was from Paris to her father, expressing happiness that she got a hug. The judge ruled it couldn’t be shown to jury.
Another note that Jackson wrote about something Blanket said at age 6 will be shown to jury, but with his age will be redacted. Plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the notes were “classic wrongful death evidence” and should be allowed in. The Jackson vs AEG Live trial ended for the day on arguments about whether Phil Anschutz could be ordered to come testify. Judge denied it. (AP)

"Paris is not going to be testifying," lawyer Deborah Chang told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos while the jury was out of the courtroom. "We have a little girl in so much pain right now, she cannot come," Chang said. Chang confirmed Paris won't take the witness stand as she argued to admit a handwritten note the King of Pop's daughter purportedly wrote to her dad in the months before his death. "Dead Daddy, I love you so much & I'm so glad I got a goodnight hug," the note reads. "Sleep well. I love you & good night. I'll see you tomorrow! XOX Goodnight. Lots of love, Paris Jackson". Chang argued that the pencil-written note depicts how Paris "felt about her father" and the great love they shared. A lawyer for AEG objected that it was hearsay, and the judge agreed. The note was not admitted as evidence. (NYDailyNews)

Karen Faye will resume her testimony tomorrow from a few weeks back. (ABC7)