The doctor who went to prison for killing Michael Jackson with a drug overdose says he cried when he heard a jury rejected a claim that the promoter of the singer’s comeback concerts was negligent in hiring him.
Katherine Jackson had sought to hold AEG Live LLC responsible for her son’s death, arguing that it hired Dr Conrad Murray to be the singer’s physician without considering whether he was fit for the job.
Yesterday Murray told NBC’s Today show from prison that he cried when he heard the jury’s verdict.
He said he was “relieved” even though he always believed the wrongful-death lawsuit was “frivolous”.
Murray is appealing against his 2011 involuntary manslaughter conviction. He’s due to be released from prison later this month and says he’s looking forward to reuniting with his family and restarting his life.
The doctor killed Jackson with an overdose of a hospital anaesthetic that the singer used as a sleep aid.
With its verdict, the panel also delivered a somewhat surprising message – jurors did not believe Murray was unfit or incompetent to perform his duties involving Jackson.
The ruling on that question ended any further consideration on damages and who was at fault for the death.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the jury came out. They got it exactly right,” AEG Live lead defence lawyer Marvin S Putnam said after the verdict was read.
A victory could have meant hundreds of millions of dollars in damages for Katherine Jackson and the singer’s three children and provided a rebuke of concert promoter AEG Live.
The case provided the closest look yet at Jackson’s drug use and his battles against chronic pain and insomnia. It also took jurors behind the scenes in the rough and tumble world of negotiations with one of the world’s most famous entertainers looking to solidify his legendary status after scandal interrupted his career.
Witnesses said he saw the This Is It concerts as a chance for personal redemption after being acquitted of child molestation.
But as the opening date of the shows approached, associates testified that he had bouts of insecurity and agonised over his inability to sleep.
They said he turned to the drug propofol and found Murray, who was willing to administer it to him on a nightly basis even though it is not meant to be used outside operating rooms.