Nearly four years ago, audiences got their last look at Michael Jackson in the top-grossing concert film of all time, This Is It. Tens of millions worldwide saw a seemingly healthy and confident performer sing and glide across a rehearsal stage as he prepared for his ill-fated comeback tour.
Now, those same sessions are being replayed for a new audience: jurors in a case filed by Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, claiming concert promoter AEG Live should be held liable for his untimely death in June 2009.
Through testimony and evidence, the panel has seen a very different picture of Jackson — one framed by descriptions such as “skeletal,” “lost,” absent from rehearsals and unable to perform songs that made him a superstar.
In a darkened courtroom, and in stark contrast, the jurors have also seen clips of the concert film — visibly captivated by Jackson’s smooth moves and easy vocals as he prepared for his This Is It tour in yet another indicator of the enduring allure of the so-called “King of Pop.”
AEG Live’s lawyers have used the film to point to the flashes of brilliance in Jackson’s final rehearsals as proof that its executives could not have known the singer would soon die.
But Katherine Jackson’s attorneys have played the footage juxtaposed to video of her son spinning and Moonwalking in younger years in an attempt to show that his skills were diminished and the film was selectively edited.
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