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AEG maintains that Jacksons had role in embarrassing email leak

By | Published on Monday 10 September 2012

AEG Live

AEG Live is definitely blaming the Jackson family for the leaking of confidential emails between execs at the live firm regards the late Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’ show, even though an associate of Katherine Jackson has admitted responsibility, according to CNN.

As previously reported, the emails were leaked to the LA Times which published them last month. They showed the various concerns held by AEG execs and others working on ‘This Is It’ regards the late king of pop’s physical and mental health while preparing for the planned London residency that never was, and included some harsh criticism of the singer. One email from after Jackson’s death also showed AEG Live President Randy Phillips calculating how his company could still profit from its alliance with the singer, despite his premature demise.

It was initially thought that the emails, seemingly selected to show AEG in a bad light, had come from evidence amassed for the legal battle between the live firm and Lloyds Of London, insurers of part of the ‘This Is It’ venture. Lloyds has taken legal action to avoid paying out on the ‘This Is It’ policy, claiming that AEG misrepresented the state of Jackson’s health while preparing for his London live jaunt. The emails certainly show that AEG’s public line during the ‘This Is It’ rehearsals – that Jackson was fit and healthy, and definitely ready for a 50 night run in London – wasn’t true.

However, then US gossip man Roger Friedman claimed that AEG was accusing the Jackson family of leaking the emails, suggesting the messages actually came from evidence to be presented as part of a separate legal action between Katherine Jackson and the promoter. And according to CNN, AEG lawyer Marvin Putman said last week that he has “unequivocal evidence” that is the case, and as the Jacksons themselves received the emails under a strict court order, he is now asking the judge overseeing the Katherine Jackson v AEG case to fine the plaintiffs, and to ban the leaked emails from being presented in court.

Putman also reckons that the Jacksons were complicit in the email leaking, even though one Howard Mann has come forward to say it was he that provided the LA Times with the confidential messages. Though Mann is an existing business associate of Katherine Jackson, who has caused controversy before by pursuing Michael Jackson related projects, often in collaboration with the Jackson matriarch, but without the endorsement of the MJ Estate.

Mann says he gathered the emails he handed to the LA Times from various sources, but not Mrs Jackson or her lawyers. Though Putman remains convinced the Jacksons still played a role somewhere along the line. CNN quotes him as saying: “[It is] convenient that Howard Mann – a long time business partner of the Jackson family – has come forward in this fashion. Whether these documents were leaked through an intermediary or directly by Mrs Jackson and her counsel, this remains an egregious violation of the court’s order requiring immediate sanctions and an investigation”.

Putman added that the leaking of the emails was a desperate act by the Jacksons and/or their associates, them having realised that their case against the live music giant is baseless. The Jacksons, of course, reckon that AEG should be held liable for the actions of Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of manslaughter for causing the singer’s death through negligence, because the company paid his bills. AEG argues that Murray was appointed by and reported to Jackson directly, and therefore it is not liable for the medic’s actions.

Responding to Putman’s allegations, Kevin Boyle, a legal rep for the Jacksons, denied his clients had any role in the email leak, and criticised AEG for being so quick to publicly accuse them. He told reporters: “[Mann] definitely never received any documents from Katherine, Prince, Paris, or Blanket Jackson, nor from their lawyers in the wrongful death suit against AEG”.

He added: “AEG made these accusations against the Jackson family and their lawyers apparently without doing even the most rudimentary investigation. We are further disturbed that the motion for sanctions filed by AEG was given to the press before it was served on Katherine Jackson or her counsel. AEG has known about the alleged leak since a week before the [LA Times] article was published [and yet] AEG never contacted the Jackson’s counsel to inquire about the article or the documents”.

As for the Jackson family’s case in the ongoing lawsuit with AEG, he said: “We can assure you that we are in possession of documents that make for an extremely compelling story in the wrongful-death case, and that completely support the plaintiffs’ claims”.

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