Michael Jackson had been in rehearsals for his "This Is It" comeback… (Kevin Mazur )
A jury of six men and six women has been impaneled in the wrongful death suit filed by Michael Jackson’s mother and three children against entertainment powerhouse AEG over the death of the pop singer.
The trial is expected to last up to four months as the jury weighs whether AEG negligently hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who gave the singer a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on the eve of what was to be Jackson’s comeback tour.
The lawsuit alleges that AEG relentlessly pushed Jackson to move forward with the "This Is It" tour, knowing the singer was neither physically nor mentally capable of handling it.
FULL COVERAGE: AEG wrongful death trial
AEG had advanced Jackson "substantial sums of money" and threatened that if forced to call off the tour, "there would be lawsuits and Jackson’s career would be over.”
AEG, however, contends that it had favored a British doctor but that Jackson insisted on bringing Murray aboard instead.
The trial is expected to delve into the sensational – the singer’s eccentric lifestyle, his purported drug use, his enormous debt and his allegedly erratic behavior in the days leading up to his death.
Witnesses in the trial could include celebrities such as Prince, Diana Ross and Quincy Jones, as well as Jackson's ex-wives Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe.
Director Spike Lee and actor Lou Ferrigno are also among the listed possible witnesses, as are AEG founder Philip Anschutz and his former chief executive, Tim Leiweke.
Attorneys may add or withdraw names from their initial lists. Some witnesses will appear via deposition testimony.
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