LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Following the conviction of Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray in connection with the performer's death, Jackson's family are turning their attention to promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group, the company that was producing Jackson's 50-show 'This is it' concert series when the singer died.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Jackson's mother and three children are filing a civil wrongful death suit against AEG, alleging that the company pushed Jackson into performing in the London concert series when he was not physically prepared for the endeavor.
"The conviction of Dr. Murray is just the beginning of bringing forth the truth on what happened to Michael Jackson," Brian Panish, an attorney for the Jackson family told the Los Angeles Times. "Forces much larger than Dr. Murray were involved in this tragedy."
According to documents filed in the suit, the pressures of the performance pushed a vulnerable Jackson into dangerous drug use.
"AEG said that if they called off the Tour, there would be lawsuits and Jackson's career would be over. They said Jackson must work with Murray," lawyers for the Jacksons wrote in the complaint document.
The Jacksons are seeking unspecified damages from AEG.
AEG has denied the allegations, with lawyers for the company writing, "Michael Jackson was not helpless or incompetent; he lived in his own home, negotiated his own contracts, engaged his own attorneys, and cared for his own family. He at all times retained the option of refusing Dr. Murray's services, or of canceling his agreement with AEG."
Moreover, AEG CEO testified during Jackson's trial that Dr. Murray was Jackson's choice. "He was very firm. He said no, I need my own physician and I need him 24-seven," Phillips testified.
And while Murray worked for Jackson for two months, he was not paid by AEG. Kathy Jorrie, a contract lawyer who helped to draft Murray's contract with Jackson testified that Jackson had yet to sign a contract with AEG.
The case comes at a particularly sensitive time for the Los Angeles-based AEG. The company is currently in negotiations with the city over building a new NFL football stadium in the city. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers