Before his death, concert promoters feared Michael Jackson was not physically, or mentally, prepared for his This Is It 50-show residency at London's 02 Arena.
Messages obtained by The Los Angeles Times, which mostly feature correspondence between executives at Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), paint a devastating portrait of the final weeks of the King of Pop's life.
In a message sent just hours before Jackson was set to announce his tour at a press conference, AEG Live's director Randy Phillips told his boss that Jackson was "an emotionally paralysed mess."
Jackson, allegedly "drunk and despondent", had to be dressed by Phillips and his manager, before appearing at the press conference 90 minutes late.
Other emails revealed that Jackson missed concert rehearsals and struggled with his routines.
"MJ is not in shape enough yet to sing this stuff live and dance at the same time," This Is It director Kenny Ortega wrote.
"He was a basket case," one production manager wrote.
According to the Times, the messages are set to play a key role in two upcoming lawsuits — one in which the concert's insurers seek to nullify a US$17.5million policy that was granted after AEG made false claims about Jackson's health and fitness, and another, a wrongful-death suit, in which Jackson's heirs are accusing AEG of pressuring the pop star into performing despite his declining health.
Jackson's heirs, Prince, Paris and Blanket, have yet to actually see the benefits of their father's US$600million estate, with lawyers still dealing with his debts and legal bills.
The Sun reported that the trust fund for Prince, Paris and Blanket will only be funded after all claims, taxes and litigations had been resolved.
The Michael Jackson Family Trust will be split in two, with half going to his mother Katherine, and the rest to his children.
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