Jacksons vs AEG - Day 61 – August 1 2013 – Summary
Katherine Jackson was present in court.
(source: ABC7 unless otherwise indicated)
Eric Briggs Testimony
Panish asked if independent appraiser hired by the IRS valued Sony ATV catalogue between 100 and 300 million. Briggs said "that's correct." Panish: And that Mr. Jackson had more assets, this was just one of them and it was valued 100 to 300 million in excess to the debt, correct? Briggs: I understand there were other assets. Panish said MJ had his own music catalogue, in addition to the other assets. Briggs agreed. The value was just for the Sony ATV catalogue.
Panish showed a chart with MJ's "Net" Earnings from Tours. Briggs said he relied on Paul Gongaware's statement saying "Dangerous" lost money. Panish said Gongaware is one of the defendants in this case. Briggs said he relied on his testimony. Panish: You'd expect he would know what was going on, right, sir? Briggs: I'd expect he had information that supported that statement. Panish asked what was Gongaware's involvement in "Dangerous" tour. Briggs said he believed he was involved in the production of the show.
Panish: Did Mr. Gongaware deal with the artist in the tour?
Briggs: They are dealing with many different factors, including the artist, MJ.
Briggs: I understood he was involved in the production of the show and had knowledge to make that statement.
Panish: Did you know MJ went into rehabilitation?
Briggs: I know he ended the tour and entered a rehabilitation.
Briggs said he cannot speak to specific knowledge of what Gongaware had. The expert said Gongaware made it very clear the tour lost money. Panish: Just a fact that he made the statement was good enough for you to rely on? Briggs: I did not check the veracity of the information. I relied exclusively on his statement.
Panish: How do you know "HIStory" broke even?
Briggs: I relied on Paul Gongaware's statement.
Panish: Did he give it to orphanages in India during that tour?
Briggs: I don't recall that specifically.
Panish asked if Briggs knew how much money MJ donated to charity from that tour. He said he doesn't know. "My recollection was non-profit organization established and there were conflicting headlines as to what was going in entity," Briggs said. Briggs doesn't know how much money MJ donated from the "HIStory" tour.
Panish spent about an hour on his cross-examination, challenging other aspects of consultant Eric Briggs’ testimony. Regarding a slide that Briggs prepared that showed Jackson’s Dangerous tour lost money, Briggs said it was based on Gongaware’s testimony. Panish asked whether Briggs did any other research on earnings for the Dangerous tour. The consultant said no. The slide states the HIStory tour broke even, which Briggs also based on AEG exec Paul Gongaware’s testimony. Panish asked whether Briggs looked into the millions that Jackson donated to charities during that tour. Briggs said he read news stories. Briggs said he saw conflicting headlines about where the donations went, and he couldn’t recall how much the stories said Jackson donated. (AP)
Briggs said he met Gongaware at the AEG's lawyers office.
Panish: Where you there meeting with the lawyers?
No one told Briggs that he shouldn't ask Gongaware questions. Panish asked if he spoke with Gongaware about this case. Briggs: Our discussion was very high level, we spoke about the industry, friends in the industry, generic subjects.
"It was speculative whether the world tour would happen," Briggs said. Panish asked if mattered that there was no agreement beyond the 50 shows, since w/ agreement, it would be speculative in his opinion anyway. Briggs: I disagree with your logic, the lack of agreement supports my opinion that it is speculative that the world tour would happen. Briggs said MJ's history of drug use, long-term effects, and that he was taking drugs in a very dangerous way shortened his life expectancy. Panish asked what "great prognosis" is. Briggs said it means that someone is partaking in actions that's very dangerous. Briggs testify Dr. Earley said MJ's drug use was like playing Russian roulette.
Panish: Who put the bullets in the gun?
Briggs: I believe he said it wasn't an appropriate question.
Panish: The witness wants to argue with me and not answer the quesitons.
Judge: He's answering the questions.
Panish asked what was MJ's cancellation rate for shows. Briggs said he doesn't know for certain. Performance risk is whether people would come 2 the show, Briggs said. Panish asked if there was any question people would show for TII tour. Briggs said no, that there was testimony they could've done at least 100 more shows based on demand.
"This It It" tour:
Panish: Was there a plan to do O2 shows?
P: Was there an audience?
P: Was there finance?
Panish: So all the factors were met for the O2 shows?
Panish: Was there ever a plan, in writing, from Gongaware for world tour?
Briggs: If you're referencing the Sept. 2008 plan, yes
The proposal reflected 186 shows, Briggs said. "It appears, based on exhibits I reviewed, that proposal was sent to Mr. Anschutz." Briggs said he recalls Gongaware testifying they wanted to go on a world tour after O2 shows. Panish asked if Briggs reviewed MJ's lawyer, Dennis Hawk, testimony that MJ was planning to go to Asia on tour. He said yes.
Panish: Do you recall Mr. Hawk testified that MJ would get $400 million?
Briggs: Tried to, yes, that's what he hoped.
"He described that as his hope, yes," Briggs said. "He described as hope, not intention." Panish asked if Hawk testified he had no doubts MJ would complete the shows successfully. Briggs said the word successfully was in the question, and that Hawk answer "no, I have no doubts." Regarding Kenny Ortega, Panish asked if MJ told Ortega that they were going on a world tour, asked 'Have you ever been to India, you must.' And MJ continue to tell Ortega that after completing the O2 he wanted to take the show back out and around the world. "Whatever you're doing, you have to come to India' MJ told Ortega and then he said 'Have you ever been to Japan?' Ortega testified that after that, MJ was going to hang his hat up as touring artist and wanted to transition to do movies. Panish: After the world tour, sir, isn't that true? Briggs: I don't recall the sequence of events . Panish showed Ortega's deposition.
Panish: Your interpretation of Ortega's deposition is that he's not going on tour?
Briggs: He states here very clearly he had hopes.
"That someone hopes that something is going to happen it doesn't indicate it will happen," Briggs said. Panish asked if Briggs saw Paris' testimony that they were going on world tour. "I believe I considered her testimony, but her testimony was not a foundation or basis for my opinion," Briggs testified. "I understand Mr. Gongaware expressed same intention, and I relied on that," Briggs explained. Briggs said Gongaware had intentions based on what he knew then, not now.
The consultant stuck to his core opinion, that projections of Jackson’s earnings or the idea he’d complete a world tour were speculative. To combat that, Panish showed Briggs testimony from “This Is It” Director Kenny Ortega and Paris Jackson. They discussed the world tour. Both Ortega and Paris Jackson in their depositions discussed MJ's plans to go on a world tour after completing the London shows. Briggs was also shown deposition testimony by MJ’s attorney, Dennis Hawk, stating he tried to structure a world tour deal so that Jackson would earn $400 million if he completed the shows. Briggs agreed that was Hawk’s testimony, but said world tour was a ‘hope.’ (AP)
Panish then showed a slide with the 4 highest-grossing concert tours of all time. U2 topped the list. Panish then walked Briggs through the math if Jackson did as many shows as U2 or Madonna, had an average ticket price of $108 and sold merchandise equal to 7.5% of the tour’s earnings. The results showed that an MJ tour would have earned more than $1 billion. The ranges went as high as $1.6 billion with merchandise and ticket sales factored in, very similar to projections by the plaintiff’s expert. Briggs was dismissive of the exercise, saying it was a “math problem.” (AP)
Briggs testified the range for merchandise is 5-15%. The budget had approximately 7-8% of total revenue tour in merchandise. Panish's calculation: 186 shows x 55,000 people x $108 ticket = $1.1 billion x 7.5% merchandise = approximately $1.2 billion total.
Judge: Mr. Panish, why are you gesturing me?
Panish: Ms. Strong is making faces at me, I didn't want to say anything.
Strong: There has been many misrepresentations against me and my colleagues.
Judge: I don't think making faces is something I should even have to acknowledge it. Just ignore it.
Panish concluded his cross examination
Sabrina Strong did re-direct. Sony ATV catalogue contains Eagles music in and countless others, Briggs explained. "I performed significant amount of work regarding Sony ATV catalogue over the last 5-10 years," the expert said. Michael Jackson and Sony corporation own the catalogue 50/50 each.
Strong: Why were you so uncomfortable answering the questions regarding the Sony ATV catalogue?
Briggs: Because I am under confidentiality agreement with various companies I worked for related to valuation of Sony catalogue.
Briggs said he takes the confidentiality agreement very seriously and didn't want to violate them. During deposition, Briggs said he told Jacksons' attorneys that he would not disclose the value of the catalogue to any of the sides. Strong: You're not here as expert to talk about Sony catalogue? Briggs: That's correct, it had nothing to do with the conclusions of my work.
Briggs: We project future income from songs, assess that income to figure out how much the catalogue was worth. Briggs performed work for SonyATV, various lenders and investors, like Fortress Capital, and the Estate of Michael Jackson. Briggs said he has a confidentiality agreement with the Estate of Michael Jackson and other companies he worked for. Briggs said he cannot disclose any information regarding the catalogue unless directed by the court.
Strong: At the instruction of the judge, you told us values of Sony catalogue, right?
Strong asked when MJ Estate attys hired him to evaluate the catalogue. Briggs said the work was done in 2010 for the value as of MJ's death. The evaluation was done based in the piece that belonged to Michael Jackson, which is 50%, Briggs said. Strong: What did you value the catalogue?
There was an objection, since he didn't answer that before. Kevin Boyle: IRS valuation for MJ's part of the catalogue was in excess of MJ's debt by range of $100-300 million. Testimony is that MJ's debt was $400 million plus range= $500-700 million for MJ's part alone, about $1.4 billion for entire catalogue.
Strong: And your valuation was less than the debt?
Briggs: That's correct.
Briggs said his valuation was roughly in line with what MJ owed. Briggs knows who the person doing the appraisal for the IRS is.
Strong: Do you believe you undervalued the catalogue at the date of debt?
Briggs: Absolutely not.
Briggs said his firm always used the same techniques to assess risk, and his valuation was used in loans and plans. Briggs said people were listening and transacting based on his numbers.
Boyle: The witness has no problem of breaching the confidentiality when Ms. Strong is asking the question. Judge: He's not breaching it, he's looking at me for instruction. If I say he needs to answer, he needs to answer.
Strong: Why there may be a difference in your valuation and the IRS? Briggs said there are many reasons, two significant. One of which has to do with subject of control, Briggs said. If one party can control a business their share is worth more. Briggs: If there's a party that doesn't have control, they have to sit there as victims. It's how you interpret control. Briggs said the other is limitation on selling/monetizing. If someone owns part of something, entered into rules, it's not worth fair share. Because you're restricted, you can't do things freely, Briggs said. That's the difference between his valuation and IRS' valuation. Strong: MJ had control issues? Briggs: Generally speaking, yes. Briggs: MJ had limitation to sell or borrow against it. His ability to sell it brings the value down. Strong said there were testimony that MJ was no longer able to borrow against that asset. Is that consistent? Briggs said a number of business managers made reference of MJ's financial situation. "I do not believe I undervalued that asset," Briggs testified.
Strong asked about conflict of interest in this case. Briggs said he participated in the process of checking whether a conflict existed. Strong: There's no conflict because that work was not related to this work? Briggs: My specific opinion in projecting income for MJ had he lived, what he would've earned. Briggs: Everything regarding the catalogue had nothing to do with MJ's ability to make money working. Briggs said Sony ATV catalogue has the Beatles songs in it, Willie Nelson, others. It's an investment, doesn't even have MJ's music in it.
As using debt as factor in his opinion, Briggs said he meant it in relation to endorsements. The perception that MJ had debts could infringe his ability to, for example, go to Citibank, ask money for the tour, Briggs said. Briggs: The unfortunate perception in the media, it had nothing to do whether he did it or not. Strong asked why Briggs mentioned the molestation trial if MJ had been acquitted. "Because we live in a world, unfortunately, that headlines created a perception. And that hurts endorsement deals," Briggs said.
Michael LaPerruque Testimony
After lunch, AEG called their next witness out of order, Michael LaPerruque. He is unavailable at other times.
Atty Marvin Putnam did the questioning. He asked if LaPerruque met with attorneys from defense and plaintiff prior to testimony. He said yes
Putnam: Are you rooting for either side?
LaPerruque: No, I'm not rooting for any side
LaPerruque: I'm a security specialist, provide security for high profile people, celebrities, estate. I worked for Michael and Janet Jackson. MJ hired LaPerruque 5-10 times in the Summer of 2001. He was hired full time in December 2001 and was under employment until 2004. First full time gig in private security was in December 2001. He was with the Sheriff's Department prior to that for 22 1/2 years. Putnam asked if LaPerruque was trained to identify people intoxicated. He said yes, he attended drug intoxication courses.
Earlier in the summer/01, while still at the Sheriff's Dept, LaPerruque said man with MJ security asked for help at the Universal Hilton. LaPerruque stayed at the Universal Hilton, there was a room for him. MJ and the children, nanny, personal security team were there as well. The nanny would call him if they needed anything for MJ or the children. MJ was shooting short film at the lot, so LaPerruque was asked to provide security some times.
He went with MJ to NY to provide security at 30th anniversary of Madison Square Garden. In December 2001, LaPerruque was asked to be full time and head the security of Michael Jackson. For the NY trip, LaPerruque used vacation.
Putnam: Is it fair to say you quit your job with the Sheriff's Department to work for Michael Jackson?
LaPerruque: I retired.
LaPerruque was in charge of Mr. Jackson's protection and the protection of his children. He consulted regarding Neverland security. LaPerruque: Anytime MJ stepped out of the property for extended period, going to LA or around the world, I was activated to accompany him. LaPerruque never lived at Neverland Ranch.
Putnam: Was there a period of time he was with a doctor on a daily basis?
LaPerruque: He would have a physician present, also when we would go out and were staying somewhere he'd have me call a physician. LaPerruque: We would get to a hotel and he would ask me to get the hotel physician. LaPerruque: I would go down to the concierge and ask if they had doctors they work with and get recommendation. LaPerruque would call the doctor. He said MJ complained about back pains, but he didn't ask every single time what the complaint was. "It became commonplace to have a physician ready upon arrivals at hotels," LaPerruque said. LaPerruque testified he learned the client's needs and after been asked many times to find hotel doctor he understood it was part of his job. If doctor came along, it would be someone Mr. Jackson knew and they would have a hotel room. LaPerruque did not help find those doctors.
Putnam: From Dec. 2001 to 2004, did you believe Mr. Jackson was under the influence of drugs?
LaPerruque said there were 3 times he was at a hotel and got a phone call in the middle of the night. "His speech would be very slurred, it would be a lot of mumbling, wouldn't understand him sometimes," LaPerruque described. The security head said he would be asked to go to MJ's room, he had a key. "I would go to his room to make sure he was ok," LaPerruque said. "We would be in the room and he seemed to have a hard time," he said.
Putnam: Did he speak in an incoherent manner?
"It's just slurred speech, sort of mumbling," LaPerruque said. He would be sleeping when MJ called.
Putnam: How many times did you go to his room?
LaPerruque: Through the course of employment, probably 10 to 15 times.
Another 10 to 15 times, he wasn't asked to go to MJ's room, LaPerruque said. Total would be between 20 and 30 times.
LaPerruque: He wouldn't be very coherent, slurred speech, trying to fall asleep, incomprehensible. LaPerruque: He asked questions about the next day's schedule, asked questions over and over. "I knew he had unusual sleep patterns," LaPerruque said. "I think he was just lonely and wanted somebody to talk to."
Putnam asked what made LaPerruque think he was under the influence of drugs. LaPerruque: Because the objective symptoms he was displaying, slurred speech, nod. "I never performed any tests but the symptoms he was displaying were consistent with being under the influence," LaPerruque testified.
LaPerruque spoke with Dr Slavitch from San Francisco. He said he became worried about MJ due to numerous times he saw MJ under the influence. "I was worried about his health," LaPerruque testified. He also spoke with Grace Rwamba, MJ's children nanny at the time, about his concerns and Dr. Alimorad "Alex" Farshchian in Miami, Florida. He was one of the physicians that traveled with MJ, LaPerruque said, probably chosen by MJ. The relationship between Dr. Farshchian and MJ was already established when LaPerruque began working for the artist. LaPerruque spoke with Dr. Slavitch, Dr. Farshchian and Grace Rwamba about his concerns with MJ.
Putnam: What were you concerned?
LaPerruque: Just his general health, it seemed the frequency of the intoxication to be more occurring
LaPerruque said his job was not only to protect MJ from fans or outside causes, but "I took it upon myself to take care of Mr. Jackson." LaPerruque: I knew they (the doctors) would be treating Mr. Jackson and wanted them to have a clear picture going in. Putnam asked if LaPerruque spoke with MJ's family members or business associates. "I didn't believe it was my place to do that," he said.
LaPerruque: Few times in the middle of the day I'd go into his room and he'd be displaying signs of being under the influence. LaPerruque: Any kind of emails and phone calls came to me. I'd relay the message to him, would go to his room to slip a note under the door. LaPerruque: Mr. Jackson had propensity of losing his cell phone. I think I counted he lost 27 cell phones (jury laughs). People were given LaPerruque's cell number and would leave him messages for Michael. LaPerruque'd knock on MJ's door, escort him to the room meeting would take place. He'd wait outside the door and escort MJ back to the room. LaPerruque: In rare occasions, there were times he seemed to be under the influence of drugs in meetings, had to be taken back to his room. "He had slurred speech, incoherent, looked like he was going unconscious," LaPerruque said. LaPerruque: I'd take him back to his room and make sure he was okay. I would seat there and make sure that he was breathing.
Putnam: Why did you do that, sir?
LaPerruque: It was part of my job.
LaPerruque said speaking with MJ about it would be crossing the line. Even though he developed close relationship, needed to have a distance. LaPerruque: There are some professional lines you don't cross and I think it was not my place.
Michael La Perruque said he occasionally went into the singer's hotel room to make sure he was breathing and would often find doctors to treat the pop superstar when he traveled. La Perruque retired from his job as a sheriff's deputy in 2001 to work as the head of Jackson's security detail and frequently traveled with him until 2004. (AP)
Putnam: Did you like Mr. Jackson?
LaPerruque: Very much!
Putnam: Was there a time you didn't like Mr. Jackson? LaPerruque said they had some issues related to workload and work schedule, but for the most part it was a pleasure to work with Mr. Jackson
LaPerruque: I believe he knew that I knew what was going. To bring up that conversation would put him on defensive, have barriers between us. "I wanted to be close to him, to protect him, to watch him," LaPerruque testified. LaPerruque: He knew I was there, he knew I saw him. There were times he fought very, very hard not to be dependent of those medications. "He fought very hard to not be dependent on prescription medication," LaPerruque testified.
La Perruque said he spoke to two of Jackson's doctors about his concerns about the singer's prescription drug use, but that he never spoke directly about it to the singer because he didn't want him to become defensive. "It was my concern that he may overdose," he said. He said he knew Jackson had severe back pain and difficulty sleeping. Despite seeing the entertainer impaired, La Perruque said he never saw Jackson take any drugs or saw any signs of medications lying around. Jackson did try to get help, he said. "He fought very hard to be sober," La Perruque said. "He fought very hard not to be dependent on these prescription medications." Jackson however kept members of his family away because he knew they were trying to stage an intervention, he said. He told jurors that Jackson's younger brother Randy arrived at Neverland Ranch one day in a helicopter to speak with his brother about his medication usage. La Perruque said he turned him away. He said Jackson called him in the middle of the night between 20 and 30 times in the early 2000s and was often mumbling and incoherent. Half those times La Perruque said he went to the singer's room to check on him, and they would start talking."I think he was just lonely," La Perruque said. "He wanted somebody to talk to." (AP)
One day, LaPerruque said MJ told him he was clean. 'I just want you to know I'm going to stay this way,' LaPerruque said MJ told him. LaPerruque understood that MJ was working hard to battle the prescription medication dependency. "He would have the doctors treating him to get him off the harder narcotics," LaPerruque said. Putnam asked how he knew and he said he'd have discussions with the doctors and they would tell him.
Putnam: Where you concern it could cause overdose?
LaPerruque said that when he was with the sheriff's department he saw a number of people overdose and taken to emergency room. "It was my concern he would overdose," LaPerruque testified. LaPerruque never saw MJ do drugs or take prescription medication. He did see open wine bottles in his room. The security head said he never saw, anywhere, prescription drugs in MJ's hotel room or at Neverland.
LaPerruque went a couple of times with MJ and his children to Disney World in Florida. There was a medical emergency once in 2001 or 2002. They were staying at a Disney hotel. LaPerruque doesn't think a doctor traveled along. He stayed in a different room from MJ and kids. LaPerruque: I was in my room, received phone call from hotel security that someone had called 911 from MJ's hotel room, like young children. LaPerruque said they would check in under assumed name. Room service would come to him and he would take it to MJ's room. LaPerruque would set up times to have MJ's room cleaned. LaPerruque: I grabbed Mr. Jackson's keys and found Prince and Paris crying. They were crying saying they couldn't wake up daddy. LaPerruque: I was able to go into the room, had called security partner to meet at the room as well to take the two children to nanny's room. LaPerruque: I found Mr. Jackson in the hallway in the suite proned, unconscious. LaPerruque: I had to check for pulse, turned him over, shook him, ultimately was breathing. I was able to wake him up, took him to his room.
Putnam: Did you have to do mouth-to-mouth?
LaPerruque: I did
P: Did you see any drugs?
LP: Not that I recall
"He became conscious, I wouldn't say alert, but conscious," LaPerruque said. Putnam asked if he was groggy. He said yes. LaPerruque tried to cancel paramedics, but they were arriving. He told them he found MJ and paramedics said they had to check him anyway. LaPerruque: He was cleared, they told me he had to see a physician. LaPerruque asked the paramedics to put on their report the name he checked himself under, not MJ name. LaPerruque: Just to make sure that was no further embarrassment on Mr. Jackson's part. LaPerruque said they left shortly thereafter. "I was just told we were gonna leave." LaPerruque never discussed this incident with MJ.
Putnam: Did he ever thank you for coming over and helping him?
P: Did anyone thank you?
Putnam: Why didn't you talk to Mr. Jackson about it?
LaPerruque: Because I didn't think it was my place.
La Perruque said the singer's children called 911 during a trip to Florida in 2001 or 2002 after their father collapsed in a hallway in a hotel suite at Walt Disney World. He said he found Jackson unconscious, revived him before paramedics arrived and never saw any signs of drugs or alcohol that the singer may have taken. Paramedics checked out the singer and determined he didn't need further medical attention, La Perruque said. (AP)
LaPerruque would take MJ to doctors appointments, normally in Beverly Hills. He'd call building security alerting they were on the way.
Putnam: Did you speak with anyone about that incident before?
P: Did you ever consider letting the tabloids know?
Putnam: Did you consider you could've made a lot of money?
LP: Because I had a commitment to Michael Jackson.
The first time LaPerruque told anyone about this incident was in his deposition. Today in court was the second time.
Putnam: Did you ever understand MJ had surgical procedure implant to help him get off of drugs? LaPerruque did not see any scarring regarding an implant. He was told by a physician, and judge didn't let him continue since it's hearsay.
LaPerruque remembers in 2001 Jackson family attempting an intervention. MJ asked him to come up to the ranch right away. LaPerruque: He told me that his family would be coming over to the ranch to speak with him and asked me to interface with his relatives. "It was requested by Mr. Jackson," LaPerruque said.
Putnam: He wanted to make sure his family members didn't come thru?
LaPerruque: I was at the front gate, saw private helicopter flying very low over Neverland. Randy Jackson was in the helicopter. "He demanded to see Michael," LaPerruque recalled. "I told him that MJ said he didn't want to see any of his family members at the time."
LaPerruque said Michael told him he had trouble sleeping. LaPerruque: He was trying to find something that would help him sleep. LaPerruque: There was one occasion I took him the doctor and I assumed he was there to see if he could find anything to help him sleep.
Putnam: Did you have any understanding MJ was taking Propofol?
LaPerruque never discussed using Propofol with MJ.
Putnam: Did you ever have an impression Mr. Jackson was trying to hide drugs from you?
"I never saw him swallow a pill, never saw him take injections," LaPerruque testified.
LaPerruque said there were two reasons he stopped working for MJ. First, he had two young children and at the service of MJ you work at his pleasure, you never had set schedule. LaPerruque: I was never home, I missed a lot my children, birthdays, holidays. He said he saw MJ's litigation with the Arvizo family (molestation accusation), had been in court before and knew how demanding it was. LaPerruque: He and I had discussed me taking some time off. LaPerruque said the other reason was the revenue stream, which was harder and harder, and financial matters were becoming an issue. LaPerruque took other jobs. He became in charge for the security of LA Times printing plants and security of corporate office. He also worked on internal investigations, security of journalists working on hostile environment in Iraq.
In 2007, LaPerruque went back to work for Michael Jackson. He was still the head of security of the LA Times. Grace Rwamba called LaPerruque and said she wanted to meet him, had a message from Michael Jackson. LaPerruque: MJ always appreciated my loyalty, best security he ever had, asked me to return to work for him. "He kind of grew on me," LaPerruque explained. "I did care for the man." LaPerruque: At that time, my children had grown older, started their own things, always enjoyed the challenge working for MJ. After meeting with him and speaking with his manager at the time, LaPerruque left the LA Times and went to work for Michael Jackson. They met face to face, since the last time they spoke was in the Arvizo trial. He wanted to hear what MJ wanted him back. LaPerruque said Michael appeared bright, clear, energetic, full of energy. He wanted to do a lot of things. Based on the meeting, that's why he went back to work with him in 2007. His job was the same as before. He spoke with Raymone Bain. LaPerruque had a written agreement to work as head of security for Michael Jackson. He worked for him for only a few months in 07.
During this time, LaPerruque took MJ to NYC to meet with AEG Live execs. He escorted MJ into the room, probably 10 people or more present. "Michael seemed bright and alert at this meeting. He seemed excited," LaPerruque said. The meeting lasted a couple of hours, LaPerruque said. He escorted MJ to Penn Station, he wanted to pick up some doughnuts for the kids. LaPerruque said he seemed happy, did not ask about how the meeting went.
The security head never told AEG about any of the concerns he had with Michael Jackson. LaPerruque said he did not have any concern with MJ being under the influence of prescription drug in 2007.
LaPerruque said he stopped working for MJ due to financial difficulties. "I wasn't getting paid," LaPerruque explained. "The production company wasn't paying me for my services," LaPerruque testified. He stopped in the beginning of 2008. Work began in August of 2007, got paid in September and didn't get paid anymore until 2008. LaPerruque spoke with MJ. "He said he was very embarrassed not being able to pay me, he said he was going to make it right, apologized." This was in November 2007. He still didn't get paid. MJ then moved to Las Vegas. He spoke with Raymone Bain, who said MJ had moved. He never heard from anyone about working again. LaPerruque said he tried calling MJ several times about getting paid but never heard back. LaPerruque retained an attorney to speak with MJ's reps to enforce agreement they had. They settled. "I was mad, but not mad at him," LaPerruque said. "Because of what I heard why we stopped working together." (financial reasons). LaPerruque said he never thought of selling his story to the tabloids.
LaPerruque said he saw MJ about 2 weeks prior to his death. He was working for Janet, she threw a party for their parents at a restaurant. LaPerruque: MJ saw me and said Mike! Came running to me, gave me a big hug. He asked if they could talk, I took him to a private room. LaPerruque said MJ seemed happy to be there at the party. He was not incoherent or had slurred speech. LaPerruque: I did ask 'Mike, you're looking skinnier than I've ever seen you. You need to get meet in your bones.' He laughed. LaPerruque said MJ told him he was rehearsing a lot, thus the weight. He said MJ seemed excited about going to London.
Putnam: Were you surprised he passed?
LaPerruque: Yes "It just caught me off guard," LaPerruque explained.
Putnam asked if there was anything LaPerruque thought he could've seen at the meeting two weeks prior but didn't. He answered no.
La Perruque stopped working for Jackson in 2004, but returned to oversee his security in late 2007. He said he didn't see any signs that Jackson was impaired during the few months he worked for him again. He testified he last saw Jackson two weeks before the singer's death and he looked fine, but he noticed that his former boss was skinnier than usual. (AP)
(Outside the presence of the jury, LaPerruque approached Ms. Jackson, hugged her and cried. They had a conversation, she handed him a tissue.)
Jacksons' attorney, Deborah Chang, did the cross examination of LaPerruque following the afternoon break.
LaPerruque worked for the LA Sheriff Department for 22 years. He said MJ being a high profile, would not be able to go out in public. "Wherever we would go, there would be fans there," LaPerruque testified. He said fans wanted to meet MJ, take pictures. LaPerruque: There was always a concern of kidnapping him or his children to hold for ransom. LaPerruque explained he not only try to protect the client from outside sources, but from embarrassing himself. LaPerruque said MJ had thousands of fans everywhere in the world. Chang showed a picture of LaPerruque helping MJ with a left foot casted.
Total time LaPerruque worked for MJ was 3 years. The only time he saw MJ under influence of drugs in 2001-2004.
About the Documentary "Living with Michael Jackson" by Martin Bashir. LaPerruque was present, thought MJ trusted Bashir
Chang: Was he devastated for what he believed to be violation of that trust?
LaPerruque: Very devastated!
LaPerruque said MJ was in pain after the release of the documentary. Chang wanted to play a snippet of the documentary, but changed her mind. Chang: You know what, because he (AEG attorney) was threatening to show other parts of it, I'll withdraw my request.
Chang: Did you believe the Arvizo charges to be false?
"I came out in full support of him," LaPerruque recalled. LaPerruque asked how MJ reacted in regards to the accusations, when all he wanted to do was to take care of children.
LaPerruque: Yes, it devastated him.
Chang: Was he emotionally and physically wrecked in pain?
C: Have you seen him cry?
LaPerruque said he knew MJ had vitiligo and needed treatment. He said MJ complained of back pain.
Chang asked if most of the times LaPerruque heard MJ slur his voice on the phone was during the night. He said yes.
Chang: Could he have taken a sedative such as sleeping pill, or Xanax pill?
LaPerruque: It's a possibility
Chang: Drink wine or vodka?
LaPerruque: It's a possibility
C: Or combination of drinking and sedatives?
LaPerruque never saw any prescription drug in MJ's room, never saw him hooked up to IV lines. He only saw MJ drink wine once in a plane. LaPerruque said he always had full access to MJ's room, had keys to his hotel room. The security head said he would not be able to say MJ was addicted to Demerol or painkillers. He knows MJ wanted to be clear and was motivated in the worse way.
Chang: And you believed him?
LaPerruque: I did
LaPerruque said the majority of time he traveled with MJ he wasn't under the influence. Chang asked if LaPerruque saw MJ doing anything that could put the kids at risk, if he would've called Child Services. He said absolutely.
Chang: Were you very proud of working for MJ?
LaPerruque: I was
LaPerruque received phone calls from President Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor, Gregory Peck, Marlon Brando, world leaders looking for MJ. Chang showed video of Liz Taylor presenting Michael Jackson. LaPerruque said MJ's fans were deafening, nothing like he had ever seen before.
Chang: How would you describe MJ that night?
LaPerruque: He was fantastic
Shows were on Sept 7 and Sept 10, 2001, day before 9/11. "I never experienced anything like this," LaPerruque testified.
Chang showed video of music "What More Can I Give" with several high profile artists singing it, like Celine Dion, Beyonce, Gloria Estefan
Chang: Did MJ write that song in benefit of 9/11 victims?
MJ received the 2002 American Music Award Artist of the Century. Chang showed the video of the announcement. LaPerruque said MJ was very down to earth, never bragged about all the awards he received.