Entertainment

Michael Jackson trial: Future-earnings debate continues

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

During the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial Wednesday, new accusations flew about Jackson's potential earnings if he had lived.

The testimony of AEG defense witness Eric Briggs shoots down the projections presented by the Jackson attorneys. During arguments outside the presence of the jury, Jackson lawyer Brian Panish shouted, "He is lying. He is lying."

Panish has been chipping away at Briggs' credibility.

"Where is the research?" Panish asked in front of the jury, demanding to see how the $800-an-hour consultant formed his theories.

A court order was issued to compel Briggs to produce his research materials. During the lunch hour, Briggs' firm said there were no additional documents. The numbers are a component of what jurors could award the Jacksons, but only if they find AEG liable for hiring Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, and failing to monitor him.

Briggs had earlier stated that the Jackson estimates of hundreds of sellout concerts were speculative and that sponsors shied from Jackson because of reports of scandal and drug-use. Briggs showed a graph demonstrating other acts grossed far more than Jackson, and that he was not the biggest star in the world.

Panish showed different math. He said Jackson's potential gross for 186 concerts is $1.1 billion. Panish also probed Briggs about the value of Jackson's biggest holding, the Sony catalog of songs.

Questioning revealed that Briggs also worked for the Jackson estate evaluating the catalog's worth. Panish said that shows a conflict of interest, asserting that Briggs' testimony is tainted.

Michael Laperruque, the former head of Jackson's security team, will take the stand Thursday.

Meantime, attorneys are still clashing. Transcripts obtained by Eyewitness News record complaints made to the judge outside the presence of the jury.

Panish took aim at a defense attorney: "Your honor, Ms. Strong keeps looking over at me making faces, making noises, trying to disrupt me."

Panish threatened to take matters in his own hands.

The judge: "I didn't hear anything."

It goes on with plaintiffs' attorney Kevin Boyle saying: "It's like a little squeakfest of grunt and laughing, and the jury will see them."

The judge instructs Strong: "Don't look in his direction. No grunt or groaning or anything."

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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legal, celebrity, court case, entertainment, miriam hernandez
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