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Michael Jackson's personal chef describes death scene frenzy

June 20, 2013|By Kate Mather
  • Michael Jackson performing during the halftime show at the Super Bowl in Pasadena.
Michael Jackson performing during the halftime show at the Super Bowl in… (Rusty Kennedy / Associated…)

As paramedics arrived at Michael Jackson's rented Holmby Hills mansion, the pop singer's personal chef testified that the performer's bodyguard immediately asked her if she signed a confidentiality agreement.

Kai Chase told a Los Angeles jury Wedneday that she and the other house staff were told to leave Jackson's Holmby Hills estate by bodyguard Alberto Alvarez, who she said then asked her to sign a piece of paper after learning she hadn't signed a confidentiality agreement.

The paper had no letterhead or other signature, Chase testified, but had a paragraph written on it. Chase said she read the text but could not recall its contents.

"It was four years ago," she said.

The star died in June 2009 after Dr. Conrad Murray administered a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is currently serving jail time.

Chase also recalled that Jackson's daughter Paris was distraught the day of his death and didn't want to leave her father.

"Paris was screaming, 'Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!' " Chase testified, saying staff members were "literally pulling her by the ankles" as they tried to keep her from running upstairs.

"Paris was so emotional that day," Chase said. "It was such an emotional day."

When asked by a Jackson family attorney if she thought Paris, now 15, had been going through a "difficult" time in the last two weeks, Chase responded "yes." The teenager was recently hospitalized after an apparent suicide attempt.

Chase is currently employed by Paris' grandmother, Katherine Jackson.

In a video shown to jurors the day before, Paris said her father described the nanny, Grace Rwaramba, as "sneaky" and dishonest, saying the singer "didn't like her, so he tried to, like, keep her away from us."

When asked about the teenager's deposition, Chase said Paris "seemed lost."

"She seemed like she's still grieving," the chef said.

Chase's testimony comes in the eighth week of the case, filed by Jackson's mother and three children. The family contends that AEG pushed an ailing Jackson to perform in hopes of reaping a huge return.

The suit alleges that the entertainment giant employed and controlled Murray. AEG Live says it was Jackson who hired Murray, and any money paid to the physician was part of a much larger advance to the singer.


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