Michael Jackson’s former doctor is speaking out on the eve of a civil trial in which the King of Pop's family is seeking money from entertainment giant AEG.
Jackson’s mother and children are suing the Los Angeles entertainment giant, alleging it is liable for Jackson’s death because it hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who used a powerful surgical anesthetic in an effort to help the singer cope with insomnia. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011.
In an interview with CNN from behind bars, Murray defended his actions with respect to Jackson. He said he was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
TIMELINE: Michael Jackson 1958-2009
"My entire approach may not have been an orthodox approach, but my intentions were good," he told CNN. "I think that is the definition of a scapegoat. Nobody has taken any responsibilities for anything that they may have done to this man but, because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, then here I am."
Jury selection in the case began late Tuesday morning and is expected to run for days before opening statements in the case are made.
The case is likely to veer into the sensational, pitting Jackson’s towering legacy against a business enterprise that has had a profound influence on the entertainment scene, particularly in Los Angeles.
Though the trial will zero in on whether the singer or AEG is responsible for hiring Murray, testimony will likely touch on the singer’s death, his feeble state as his much-anticipated comeback tour approached and his eccentricities.
In court papers, Jackson’s family has described AEG as a heartless, money-driven machine that pushed Jackson to prepare for a tour that he was not physically capable of pulling off.
AEG says it in no way controlled the singer and that bringing Murray aboard as Jackson’s personal physician was Jackson’s choice. The company, in court papers, said it recommended hiring a British doctor.
Jackson’s “This Is It” comeback concerts were to have debuted in London in 2009. The singer died two weeks before the tour was to launch.
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