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AEG boss ignored suggestions to get mental help for Michael Jackson

The president of AEG Live never considered calling in a psychiatrist to help Michael Jackson mentally prepare for his ill-fated This Is It shows despite suggestions from two tour executives, a court has heard.

Boss Randy Phillips testified in Los Angeles on Thursday (06Jun13) as part of the ongoing wrongful death lawsuit filed against the concert promotors by the King of Pop's mother, Katherine Jackson, and his three kids.


The plaintiffs argue AEG heads should be held responsible for the negligent hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in relation to the superstar's 2009 passing, and are accusing chiefs of ignoring key signs the singer was seriously ill as he prepared to perform the gruelling 50-date residency in London.


Emails between Phillips and the tour production manager, John 'Bugzee' Hougdahl, were shown in court this week, revealing the employee's concerns that Jackson was nowhere near ready, either physically or emotionally, to perform after he had to be sent home early from rehearsals.


In one message, Hougdahl wrote, "I have watched him deteriorate in front of my eyes over the last 8 weeks. He was able to do multiple 360 spins back in April. He'd fall on his a** if he tried it now."


Another email read: "My layman's degree tells me he needs a shrink to get him mentally prepared... to get on stage."


Tour director and close Jackson pal Kenny Ortega also raised his concerns to Phillips about the singer's well-being, telling the AEG boss that the star had been "trembling, rambling and obsessive" during their abandoned rehearsal and appeared to be suffering from some "real emotional stuff".


However, a defiant Phillips told the court that AEG should not be blamed for the circumstances which led to Jackson's tragic death, insisting, "I'm not responsible for his medical needs. We're promoters - that's what we do."


The trial continues.