AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware had a hard time recalling the email, but ultimately admitted that he said Dr. Conrad Murray was an employee of AEG.
That's a huge blow for AEG, since Murray has already been convicted and is doing time for involuntary manslaughter. It would seem that a jury would simply have to connect the dots and find the concert promoter liable in the wrongful death of Jackson, and be on the hook to pay the Jackson family for damages estimated to be more than $1 billion.
"I still don't recall writing it," Gongaware said of the email yesterday at the trial, the New York Post reports, before adding, "But obviously I did."
The damning email was sent to Jackson's director/choreographer Kenny Ortega, just days before Jackson's death on June 25, 2009. In the email, Gongaware wrote, "We went to remind [Murray] that it is AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him."
AEG had been claiming the Murray was hired and employed by Jackson, not the concert promoter.
To make things worse, Gongaware also admitted to writing an email on June 17, 2009, in which he implied to his cohorts that Jackson could use additional medical attention. "We need a nutritionist and a physical therapist," he wrote. "Could be two different guys."
In an email following Jackson's death, Gongaware wrote to a friend, "I was working on the Elvis tour when he died so I kind of knew what to expect," CNN reports. "Still quite a shock."
- Michael Jackson