Pop star Michael Jackson rehearses at Staples Center not long before his… (Kevin Mazur / Associated…)
The civil trial in which Michael Jackson’s mother and three children have blamed entertainment powerhouse AEG for the music legend’s 2009 death is expected to include a string of witnesses -- a list both lengthy and celebrity-studded.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs have listed 97 possible witnesses and the defense 113, many of which overlap.
Among those who could testify are Jackson’s mother, Katherine' two of his children; his ex-wives Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe; and nearly all of his siblings.
Music industry heavyweights Prince, Diana Ross and Quincy Jones are also on the index of witnesses, as well as director Spike Lee and actor Lou Ferrigno.
Dr. Conrad Murray, convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson's death, is listed as a potential witness for both sides.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed by Katherine Jackson, Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II, alleges that AEG negligently hired and supervised Murray, who gave the singer a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol. AEG has said that Jackson chose to hire Murray.
Jackson died two weeks before “This Is It,” a planned series of comeback concerts promoted by AEG Live that his family says the singer was not physically prepared for.
“AEG had legal duties to Michael Jackson to treat him safely and to not put him in harm’s way. But AEG, despite its knowledge of Michael Jackson’s physical condition, breached those duties by putting its desire for massive profits from the tour over the health and safety of Michael Jackson,” reads an amended complaint filed last year.
“Three loving children lost their father, a loving mother and father lost their son, the Jackson siblings lost their brother, and the world lost its most celebrated entertainer.”
Attorneys have cast a wide net, turning in witness lists that contain the names of the pop star’s nephews, former assistants, bodyguards, business consultants, and hair and makeup artists, as well as numerous doctors who either encountered Jackson or are identified as medical experts.
Some of the witnesses testified during the Murray trial.
Multiple AEG employees may also be called to testify, including AEG founder Philip Anschutz and former AEG Chief Executive Tim Leiweke.
Attorneys may add or withdraw names from their initial lists. Some witnesses will appear via deposition testimony.
Jury selection began April 2, and questioning of potential jurors is scheduled to start Monday. The trial is expected to last about 90 days.