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Michael Jackson: The Final Days

Aired April 5, 2013 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Few were more talented or more troubled. Few were so loved by many or so exploited both in life and in death as Michael Jackson.

Now, nearly four years after his death, with his doctor in jail for involuntary manslaughter, his family has launched a lawsuit with billions of dollars at stake -- in the legal background, child abuse charges and that history of drug abuse, at center stage, his three children, somewhere in the wings, Dr. Conrad Murray, telling his story exclusively to CNN.

In what is already too bizarre for words and almost too sad to say, the story of Michael Jackson's death is roaring back to life.

Here's Don Lemon.



MICHAEL JACKSON, MUSICIAN: These will be my final performances in London. This will be it. This is the final curtain call.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A curtain call Michael Jackson would never make. He had spent months rehearsing for his big comeback in 2009, a series of 50 concerts in London. His unexpected death came just two weeks before showtime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold for applause. Hold for applause. Slow umbrella fadeout.

LEMON: Michael's mother, Katherine, and his children filed an 18-page complaint against AEG Live, the company behind Jackson's planned This Is It concerts.

I spoke to Jackson family attorney Kevin Boyle about the family's lawsuit.

LEMON (on camera): Why is Mrs. Jackson and the kids and the family suing AEG?

KEVIN BOYLE, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, what I can tell you about the lawsuit is, it's very simple. And it's that AEG defendants are negligent in their hiring, retaining or supervising of Dr. Conrad Murray, which led to the death of Michael Jackson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter.

LEMON (voice-over): Conrad Murray, the doctor found guilty in the pop icon's death, is appealing his involuntary manslaughter conviction.

We sat down with his attorney, Valerie Wass, to talk about the appeal and Murray's potential verdict in this trial.

(on camera): If I ask you the same thing over..


LEMON: Is that him?

WASS: I think Dr. Murray is calling. Can I answer?


We can record? Can we roll on it?

(voice-over): The interview took a dramatic turn just as it was getting started.

How are you?

(voice-over): Dr. Murray was calling from jail.

(on camera): No one has heard that from you.

(voice-over): And after some convincing, he agreed to speak with me and share his thoughts on being blamed for Jackson's death.

(on camera): Do you think that you have been made out to be a villain?

DR. CONRAD MURRAY, CONVICTED FELON: I don't want to pass judgment on others.

I can see that I am a scapegoat. There is no doubt about it. All of the mishaps that he has encountered in life seems to trickle down on me. 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, here I am.

LEMON (voice-over): Murray may be asked to testify for either side during the Jacksons' trial with AEG.

WASS: He may be called to testify, but I would be advising him to assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

LEMON: If a jury decides that Murray isn't solely responsible for Jackson's death and that AEG Live is also liable, it could cost the concert promotion company billions, according to some reports, up to $40 billion.

BOYLE: If the jury feels the family deserves $40 billion, that's what they're going to give. But I can tell you, no demand has been made by the Jackson family for $40 billion from AEG. That is just not true.

LEMON: CNN's Alan Duke has been covering this case since Jackson's death.

ALAN DUKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of this trial is going to be about how much would Michael Jackson have made if he had not died June 25, 2009? Michael could have camped out in Vegas. And, in fact, that was his plan, to buy a house in Vegas -- it was part of his AEG contract -- and to stay there and do shows and other projects into his old years.

LEMON: AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam told me he believes the multibillion-dollar figure is absurd. To Putnam, this case is about one thing and one thing only. Did AEG Live negligently hire Dr. Conrad Murray? He denies that the company ever even employed Murray.

MARVIN PUTNAM, AEG LIVE ATTORNEY: Even had he been hired by AEG Live, he certainly wasn't hired negligently. There were no indications in any measure that there was a problem with Dr. Conrad Murray.

To be a negligent hire, it isn't just that you hired, but you have to hire knowing there was a problem. And AEG Live had no indication at any point that there was a problem with Dr. Conrad Murray.

LEMON: I spoke with AEG Live's president and CEO, Randy Phillips, three years ago about similar allegations. In that interview, Phillips said the decision to hire Conrad Murray and pay him $150,000 per month was solely Michael's choice.

RANDY PHILLIPS, PRESIDENT & CEO, AEG LIVE: He stared at me with this very deep stare and he said, you don't understand. My body is what fuels this entire venture. And, like Barack Obama, I need my own physician with me 24/7, OK. That's not negotiable.

LEMON: Phillips believed Michael had a very personal reason for taking on the scheduled 50 concerts.

PHILLIPS: I said, why now? Because I would been chasing him to come out of retirement, to get on the stage and perform live for three years. This was, you know, like a mission of mine, a quest. And he said to me, very interesting -- it was very poignant -- he said, I'm doing it now because my kids are old enough to appreciate what I do.

LEMON: Michael's children could end up playing a major role in this case; 16-year-old Prince, the oldest, is on the witness list and has already testified during depositions, stating that he was intimately involved in his father's affairs.

DUKE: When Prince Jackson gets up on the witness stand, it will be a very dramatic time. Prince has not publicly talked about his father's last days. But I believe we will hear him tell us what his father told him about what was happening, his concerns, his worries and who he thought he couldn't trust.

LEMON: According to testimony in Conrad Murray's criminal trial, the kids saw their father as he lay lifeless in his bedroom. Since their father's death, Prince, Paris and Blanket's lives have gradually become more open to the public, after years of hiding behind masks and being guarded from the media by their father.

DUKE: Michael Jackson was an extremely protective father, had them inside this cocoon and literally under veils when they went out in public. And that veil, that protective blanket -- in fact, his youngest child is known as Blanket -- doesn't exist anymore.

PARIS JACKSON, DAUGHTER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just want to say I love him so much.

LEMON: Since this heartbreaking image of the kids at their father's memorial, the children appear to be doing well; 15-year-old Paris tweeted this photo. She's now a cheerleader for her high school's varsity basketball team; 11-year-old Blanket, according to several celebrity scoop blogs, recently earned his orange belt in karate.

And the oldest, Prince, the newest correspondent on "Entertainment Tonight." The kids have been through a lot of ups and downs since their father's death. During the trial, Prince and Paris may even be called to testify.

LEMON (on camera): Michael Jackson's children can be called to the stand to testify?

PUTNAM: Not by us. We have been told that they will be called by plaintiffs. I can't understand why bringing them to the stand has anything to do with whether or not Dr. Conrad Murray was hired by AEG or hired negligently. But perhaps they're bringing them to the stand for different reasons.

LEMON: The judge has decided to allow Jackson's history of drug use and accusations of child molestation to be introduced at trial.

PUTNAM: Mr. Jackson was a grown man. And, as a grown man, he knew precisely what he was doing, because there's a certain assumption of risk here, as there often is with an adult and an addict.

So that's why the drug abuse could be brought up. And related to that, many people in Mr. Jackson's life have indicated that one of the reasons for his ongoing addiction, one of the places where it became really, really a problem for him was in 1993, around the time of the first accusations about him and the young boy, and then again later in mid-2000, around the time of his trial.

BOYLE: It was a ruling the judge made. And I'm not going to comment on that either way. But I understand the rationale behind the judge's ruling.

LEMON: Molestation, drugs, manslaughter. By bringing the lawsuit, the Jacksons will likely have to endure painful testimony in the weeks to come.

BOYLE: No one in the world is happy about having a family member dying and having to pursue a lawsuit about it, and particularly when children are involved. It's just not a happy thing.

LEMON: Coming up:

911 OPERATOR: He's unconscious? He's not breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he's not breathing, sir.

LEMON: The day the world lost an icon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's on the bed, sir. He's on the bed.

911 OPERATOR: OK, let's get him down to floor. I'm going to have him do a CPR right now, OK?

LEMON: And the events that led to his death.




LEMON (voice-over): As the sun rose above the exclusive Los Angeles hills, inside Michael Jackson's mansion, the entertainer began the morning of June 24, 2009, doing what he loved, preparing for a show.


He and I would start about noon or 1:00 at his home. We'd dance a few hours and stretch.

You have to have a full attitude. You have a half-attitude. Do the full one.

LEMON: Travis Payne was Michael Jackson's longtime choreographer.

PAYNE: We were on a journey with Michael that was going to return him to the stage, you know, that he loved so much. And I know that we were eight days away from leaving for London.

LEMON: The stage is where Michael was most at ease. On stage, there was no one better. Since age 5, he had electrified audiences around the world with hit songs like "I Want You Back." And the world appeared ready to welcome him back.

It had been 12 years since Jackson's last major performance. The king of pop was poised to regain his throne.

M. JACKSON: This is it. I mean, this is really it. This is the final -- this is the final curtain call. LEMON: According to the contract with concert promoters AEG, Michael was to perform 50 concerts at the O2 Centre in London over a nine-month period.

M. JACKSON: I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear.

LEMON: But was Michael physically up to the challenge? Both Michael and AEG had a lot on the line.

JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION": It was his comeback. It was his renaissance, his rebirth on stage. After so many years being out of the spotlight, a lot of people were wondering if he could pull this off.

M. JACKSON: This is it, and see you in July.

LEMON: But there were questions about whether Jackson was ready.

Kenny Ortega, the director for This Is It, called a private meeting at Jackson's home. AEG CEO Randy Phillips attended the meeting.

PHILLIPS: Kenny was concerned that he wasn't coming to enough rehearsals, that he was taking it a little too nonchalantly. And Michael explained that he needed Kenny to build the house and then he would come in and paint the front door.

LEMON: On the afternoon on June 24, Jackson arrived at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Rehearsals for This Is It often ran late into the night. On the surface, the man many say was born to perform never looked better.

(on camera): Was his voice getting stronger over a period of rehearsal?

PAYNE: Absolutely.

LEMON: Was his dancing getting stronger?

PAYNE: Absolutely.

LEMON: His body? Everything?

PAYNE: Absolutely.

LEMON (voice-over): Michael Bearden, the musical director for This Is It, was on stage that last night.

MICHAEL BEARDEN, MUSICAL DIRECTOR: He looked back at me, you know, after we did one number. And he looked at me as if to say, yes, I'm Michael Jackson. And I got this.

He looked really good. And I tease some of the dancers when I see them, because M.J. was 50 years old and they're like half his age and he still was wearing them out.

LEMON: On stage, always a perfectionist, offstage, a legend with a sense of humor.

BEARDEN: He's making big-money decisions. And then he would lean over to me and just say silly stuff like, who's your favorite Three Stooges? And I would go, what, M.J.? He would, oh, no, I don't like this. Yes. Can I have more of this or that or this? Yes. I like Moe.

LEMON: But beneath the surface, concerns from the very moment the concert tour was announced. Jackson was pushing himself to the brink.

RODNEY JERKINS, RECORD PRODUCER: I was just thinking, how is he going to do these shows?

LEMON: Record producer Rodney Jerkins.

JERKINS: Fifty dates at 50 years old? That's a lot of dates. And I was -- I was -- and kept saying, I just hope he gets a physical trainer, someone to really work him out, to make sure he's healthy and prepared.

Jermaine Jackson says his little brother was ready.

JERMAINE JACKSON, BROTHER OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I mean, he could have did 200 shows there.

LEMON: I talked to Jermaine following a band rehearsal.

J. JACKSON: I felt that he could do it because of the way the shows were spaced out, and it wasn't, like, every day.

See, like, when we first started, we were doing one-nighters where you go -- every day, you're in a different place. You're riding a bus and you're sleeping on top of each other. That's tough. But this was an -- and you didn't have to take the stage down. You were in one location.

PHILLIPS: I think, that night, he finally accepted down deep IN whatever the inner reaches of an artist's soul are that he could do this.

LEMON: Was anything out of the ordinary That Night?

BEARDEN: The only thing that might have been out of the ordinary is that Michael was -- had a serious glow about him that night.

You could see his confidence growing and you could see physically he was able to do the things that he wanted to do.

PHILLIPS: We're walking to our cars. And he put his arm around me at the Staples Center and he said, thank you for getting me here. Now I know I can do it and take it from here.

LEMON: But hours later...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he's not breathing, sir. 911 OPERATOR: OK. And he's not conscious either?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he's not conscious, sir.


LEMON: A 50-year-old man in distress. That man is Michael Jackson.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Michael Jackson, the king of pop.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Taken to the hospital and there were rumors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was apparently administered CPR in the ambulance.

LEMON: Fans around the world hoped and prayed, but the music megastar would not survive.

J. JACKSON: My brother, the legendary king of pop, Michael Jackson, passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 2:26 p.m.

The Los Angeles County coroner would rule Jackson's death a homicide, the cause of death, acute propofol intoxication, propofol, a powerful anesthetic administered by Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, on June 25, 2009.

Murray would be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Coming up, what happened in the final hours of Michael Jackson's life? And who was responsible?




LEMON (voice-over): On September 27, 2011, Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, would go on trial.

Outside the Los Angeles criminal courthouse, Jackson's international stardom took center stage. Inside courtroom 107, a jury of seven men and five women took their seats.

HLN's Ryan Smith was watching.

RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: This is the death of Michael Jackson. And it's not just that he's a famous star. It's that someone lost their son, their brother, their father.

LEMON: District attorney David Walgren laid out the prosecution's case.

DAVID WALGREN, PROSECUTOR: Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Conrad Murray. That misplaced trust in the hands of Conrad Murray cost Michael Jackson his life.

LEMON: To help prove their case, prosecutors presented two very different portraits of the pop legend, from a vibrant singer, dancer and entertainer on stage to a completely different person behind the scenes.

Then, midway through opening arguments, a stunning moment: the voice of Michael Jackson as he'd never been heard before.

M. JACKSON: When people leave my show, I want them to say he's the greatest entertainer in the world.

LEMON: Jackson sounded fragile, impaired, incapable. And that's just what Kenny Ortega feared.

Ortega was directing the most anticipated show in decades, with a star he feared wasn't up to it. But Murray insisted he was in charge of Jackson's health.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said I should stop trying to be an amateur doctor and psychologist and be the director and allow Michael's health to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those were the words of Conrad Murray?

LEMON: And on June 25, that meant helping Jackson get to sleep.

(on camera): Based on the affidavit, Dr. Murray's efforts to get Jackson to sleep began with a 10-milligram tablet of Valium around 1:30 a.m. It didn't work.

So, according to the affidavit, Dr. Murray injected the singer with an anti-anxiety drug. But 3:00 a.m., however, Jackson was still awake. So Murray told police he tried another drug, a sedative. That didn't work either.

(voice-over): Murray told investigators, at 10:40 a.m., he gave the pop legend 25 milligrams of propofol, a powerful surgical anesthetic, finally putting Jackson to sleep. But soon after, all hell broke loose.

To describe the scene firsthand...


LEMON: ... district attorney Walgren turned to one of the first men to rush into Jackson's bedroom.

A. ALVAREZ: He was laying on his back with his hands extended out. I observed that his eyes were slightly open -- or were open and his mouth was open.

LEMON: Alvarez said Murray was frantic and vague about Jackson's condition.

A. ALVAREZ: I asked Dr. Conrad Murray, what happened? And he said he had a reaction. He had a bad reaction.

LEMON: In the midst of the chaos, Alvarez spotted Jackson's children in the doorway.

A. ALVAREZ: And they were right behind me. And Paris screamed out, daddy. Dr. Conrad Murray said, hurry. Don't let them see their dad like this.

MORET: We heard about Paris breaking down, very powerful visual.

LEMON: Jim Moret is chief correspondent for "Inside Edition."

MORET: From the perspective of a juror and as a parent, can you imagine seeing your own father lying there, most likely dead, with his eyes wide open?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a gentlemen here that needs help and he's not breathing. He's not breathing. He's not breathing and we need to -- and we're trying to pump him, but he's not...


LEMON: Finally, at 12:22 p.m., Alvarez called 911. As they waited for an ambulance, Murray asked Alvarez for more help.

A. ALVAREZ: He reached over and grabbed a handful of vials. And then he reached out to me and said, here, put these in a bag.

LEMON: When paramedics arrived, Murray withheld critical information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did Dr. Murray ever mention to you having administered propofol to Michael Jackson?

RICHARD SENNEFF, PARAMEDIC: He never mentioned the word propofol.

LEMON: Not mentioning propofol, not keeping medical records, throwing vials in bags, the prosecution was painting a picture of a doctor with plenty to hide.

By day six, DA Walgren would also make clear that Murray may have been...


LEMON: ... distracted.

NICOLE ALVAREZ, WITNESS: My name is Nicole Alvarez.



LEMON: Three women described as Murray's girlfriend. One, Nicole Alvarez, had a son with Murray and even once met his famous patient.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And how did it come about that you got to meet Michael Jackson?

ALVAREZ: I'm still trying to figure that out myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is that? What is confusing about it?

ALVAREZ: Because it's Michael Jackson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes it sound like this is part of his game. "Hey, I'm going to take you over to meet Michael Jackson." It made him sound like a cad. Instead of having his eyes on his patient, he's got his eyes on all these women that you see, all these beautiful women.

LEMON: On the day of Jackson's death, records show that Murray talked to all three women. In fact, prosecutors say he was on the phone for 47 minutes during the exact time he should have been carefully monitoring his patient. A patient to whom Murray supplied a deadly stockpile of drugs.

WALGREN: Two bottles of Lorazepam. Lydocain bottle.

LEMON: And on day 7, D.A. Walgren added into evidence each vial and bottle found at Jackson's house. One after another.

WALGREN: Removing the contents. Was previously impeached (ph) individually.

To take a patient with Valium, Lorazepam and Propofol and to leave them unattended in that state is medical abandonment.

LEMON: Jackson was officially pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m., June 25, 2009. A direct result, said prosecutors, of mistakes, delays and recklessness by Dr. Conrad Murray.

When we come back, Conrad Murray speaks for himself.


WALGREN: He did not act as a medical professional.

LEMON: For over a week, Dr. Conrad Murray listened as district attorney David Walgren portrayed him as reckless.

WALGREN: Conrad Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help.

LEMON: Then, on day 9, for the first time, jurors heard Murray's own voice and his version of events in a police interview recorded just days after Jackson's death.


LEMON: It was Jackson, Murray said, who told him all about Propofol and insisted he used it to ease Jackson's crippling insomnia.

MURRAY: He knew that was the only thing that worked for him. I constantly cautioned him.

LEMON: Cautioned him and claims Murray tried to wean him from the drug. Still, Jackson pressed for Propofol on the day he died.

MURRAY: He said, "I can't function if I don't sleep." So I agreed that I would switch over to the Propofol.

LEMON: Then, Murray said, he sat at Jackson's side.

MURRAY: I monitored him. Saw his oxygen saturation, heart rate and everything looked stable. Then I needed to go to the bathroom. Then I came back to his bedside, and I was stunned when he wasn't breathing.

JIM MORET, HLN ANCHOR: Dr. Murray not only admitted that he gave Michael Jackson Propofol in the hours before Michael Jackson died, but he said, "Oh, sure, I've been giving this to him for weeks. Every night for 60 days." So Conrad Murray's statement was critical, because it gave -- it gave the police and the prosecutor everything they needed to charge him with a crime.

LEMON: To finish his case, prosecutor David Walgren turned to Conrad Murray's colleagues.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.


LEMON: Three doctors, three specialties, one conclusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An extreme deviation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A far deviation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Egregious violations from the standard of care.

LEMON: Dr. Steven Shaffer, who literally wrote the book on Propofol, counter 17 egregious violations by Murray, any of which could result in death.

DR. STEVEN SHAFFER, WITNESS: The lack of the basic emergency airway equipment. The lack of...

LEMON: It was four days on the stand that left jurors fascinated and Murray shaken.

Finally, after 16 days and 33 witnesses...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people are prepared and would ask to rest at this time.

LEMON: It was Conrad Murray's turn to convince a jury.

RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: All the defense has to do is show reasonable doubt. So if they show you one alternative that's plausible to you, then, essentially, Dr. Murray could be acquitted.

LEMON: Leader defense attorney Ed Chernoff had laid out that alternative days before in his opening statement.

ED CHERNOFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: When Dr. Murray left the room, Michael Jackson self-administered a dose of Propofol that, with the Lorazepam, created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly.

LEMON: now, to build his case, Chernoff turned to Cherilyn Lee, a nurse practitioner who cared for Jackson in the months before his death.

CHERILYN LEE, NURSE PRACTITIONER: He said I had a lot of difficulty sleeping.

LEMON: Jackson pressed her to give him Propofol, a drug she'd never heard of.

LEE: He said, "Doctors have told me that it's safe. I just need to be monitored."

And I said, "Let's just try the nutritional IV one more time. We'll try it again."

LEMON: But Lee's remedy didn't work for Jackson.

LEE: Well, he wasn't very happy that he didn't sleep longer.

CHERNOFF: Was he upset with you?

LEE: He was a tad bit upset. He wanted to sleep longer, and he said the nutritional components were not working.

CHERNOFF: He was complaining when he got up? Is that right?

LEE: He said, "This is going to mess up my performance from today. The only thing that's going to help me is Diprivan."

LEMON: Finally, Chernoff turned to his own experts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I specialize in addiction medicine.

LEMON: Dr. Robert Waldman reviewed records from Jackson's dermatologist. In the months before his death, Jackson got frequent treatments and lots of painkillers.

DR. ROBERT WALDMAN: I believe there was evidence that he was probably addicted to the opioids.

LEMON: For the Jackson family, they were hard words to hear. MORET: And they sat in that courtroom and listened to testimony that their son and brother was a drug addict. And often, they had to leave. But they were always there the next day.

LEMON: The addiction, the insomnia, the desperation were so great, said Dr. Paul White, that Jackson swallowed powerful pills by the handful.

DR. PAUL WHITE: It would be my guess that Mr. Jackson may have well taken three or four pills at a couple of different times.

LEMON: Then White, a renowned anesthesiologist, demonstrated how he thought Murray administered Propofol.

WHITE: You would inject very slowly. That's what Dr. Murray said he did. So it's certainly a very safe way to do it.

LEMON: Murray, he says, gave Jackson 25 milligrams of Propofol. Soon after, Jackson, himself, administered the final dose.

CHERNOFF: Do you think it was a self-injection? Propofol?

WHITE: In my opinion, yes.

LEMON: And then, it all rested with the jury. One charge, one man dead, and another man's freedom in the balance.

SMITH: The tension in this case is at a fever pitch. What's on the line in all this? Dr. Murray could go to jail for four years if he's found guilty. On the prosecution side and especially for the Jackson family, it's will Michael Jackson get justice? You know, will there be someone held accountable for what happened to this man?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And we're following the breaking news this hour. A verdict in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury in the above encountered action, find the defendant, Conrad Robert Murray, guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter.

LEMON: Coming up...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel that you did everything you could?

LEMON: ... claims that the promoters behind Michael Jackson's tour were responsible for Murray's negligence.

RANDY PHILLIPS, CEO, AEG LIVE: Is there a camera I can look into to tell the public? Not yet.


LEMON: November 29, 2011, Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of the pop icon.

MICHAEL E. PASTOR, JUDGE: He has absolutely no sense of remorse. Absolutely no sense of fault. And is and remains dangerous.

LEMON: Harsh words from the judge who handed down the maximum sentence.

PASTOR: The court has determined that the appropriate term is the high term of four years imprisonment.

LEMON: But Murray remains defiant and has appealed his conviction. During my interview with his attorney for this documentary, Murray called from jail and spoke with me.

MURRAY (via phone): I've lost a friend. A great friend. A man who was imperfect, like all of us are. He has had his dark sides and his good sides. And I truly will always miss him.

LEMON (on camera): Conrad Murray, do you -- as you sit here now in jail and I'm talking to you, do you believe in your innocence?

MURRAY: Absolutely. No doubt. Because I did nothing wrong. And all I tried to do was to help this friend who I encountered in a devastated state, and I did everything possible to help my friend.

LEMON: How long do you think your client is going to spend in jail?

VALERIE WASS, MURRAY'S LAWYER: He's due to be released in October. He received a four-year term. He has to serve half of it. But that's not really the issue. The issue is having that felony conviction on his record, possibly permanently losing his medical license. Clearing his name.

LEMON: While Murray is appealing his conviction, the death of Michael Jackson is on trial again, this time in a civil court. His mother and his children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging AEG Live, the promoter of Michael's This Is It concerts, hired Dr. Murray and was responsible for his criminal actions.

Kevin Boyle is the attorney for Katherine Jackson.

KEVIN BOYLE, ATTORNEY FOR KATHERINE JACKSON: We are going to present evidence that support those claims, that the AEG defendants were negligent in hiring, retaining or supervising Dr. Conrad Murray and that that ultimately led to the death of Michael Jackson.

LEMON: Marvin Putnam, AEG Live's attorney, said AEG didn't pay Dr. Murray a dime because his contract was never executed.

MARVIN PUTNAM, AEG LIVE ATTORNEY: He in no way has any responsibility or culpability in the tragic death of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson paid for his personal physician, his family doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, for years.

LEMON: The trial of the Jacksons versus AEG Live started this week, with the Jackson family seeking compensation, perhaps billions, from the promoter, AEG Live. The Jackson family claims AEG Live instructed Murray, quote, "not to look out for Jackson's best interests but rather, to do whatever medical procedures were calculated to get Jackson to perform."

The company's president and CEO, Randy Phillips, told me in an interview in 2010 that he saw a lot of Michael Jackson during concert preparations.

RANDY PHILLIPS, CEO, AEG LIVE: Look, I spent the most time with him of anyone because of the position I was in at the time.

LEMON (on camera): So you spent a lot of time with him. Did he ever seem out of it to you?

PHILLIPS: Drug-like out of it?

LEMON: Honestly.

PHILLIPS: I would only be honest with you or I wouldn't have done this interview.

I can't tell if it was drugs or it was just him. But there were just times that he would, you know, wander into his own world sometimes.

LEMON: Did he talk to you about his insomnia at all? Were you aware of that? Did he say, you know, "I have trouble sleeping."

PHILLIPS: No, I mean, I didn't have a clue about it. But he used to call me at 12, 12:30 at night. So I'd engage him in a conversation, and it would usually last an hour. Then I'd go to bed, and he'd call me again at 6:30 in the morning when I'm usually -- when I'm up.

And I just thought because he had kids he got up early. It never occurred to me that he'd never gone to sleep. So, looking back, that's probably a sign that I didn't pick up.

ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: We know that Randy Phillips' concerns about Michael Jackson started at least as early as March, when Michael Jackson went up on the stage and announced his This Is It concert series. According to e-mails that were part of the discovery in this trial.

LEMON (voice-over): In June, during rehearsal, just over a week before Michael Jackson would die, Phillips received this e-mail from director Kenny Ortega: "It is like there are two people there. One deep inside, trying to hold onto what he was and still can be and not wanting us to quit him. The other in this weakened and troubled state. I believe we need professional guidance in this matter."

(UNINTELLIGIBLE) "This doctor is extremely successful. We check everyone out and does not need this gig so he is totally unbiased and ethical."

AEG Live claims that during rehearsals, Dr. Murray worked for and was paid by Michael Jackson. But the Jackson family argues otherwise.

LEMON (on camera): Who do you believe employed Dr. Conrad Murray at the time of Michael's death?

BOYLE: The complaint is very clear in alleging that it was AEG and the defendants at AEG who were employing Dr. Conrad Murray.

LEMON (voice-over): AEG had negotiated a contract to pay Murray's salary. But the company says that agreement would have covered only the upcoming This Is It concert.

PHILLIPS: He had done whatever interaction really didn't concern or involve us until the tour started. And that's when this contract would have kicked in. We had never started to pay Dr. Murray. We had never -- we had never officially employed him. Because that contract never got signed.

LEMON (on camera): So, to you, this contract is null and void or...

PHILLIPS: Yes, I mean, it never took effect because it required Michael's signature.

PUTNAM: Mr. Jackson never signed. AEG never signed. It was still in negotiations.

LEMON: But the Jacksons point to an e-mail sent to Kenny Ortega, director of the This is It concerts.

DUKE: This is what the Jackson lawyers call their smoking gun.

LEMON: In the e-mail, AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware wrote, "We want to remind Murray that it is AEG not M.J. who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him."

(on camera): What is "what is expected of him?" What does that mean?

PUTNAM: That's not all of the e-mail. But more than that, they're taking it completely out of context. My understanding is that to mean is does he have the perfect nutrition? Does he have a physical therapist? Does he have the things in place that Mr. Jackson needs?

LEMON: It didn't mean, "Listen, there's a lot riding on this. Get him to these rehearsals by any means necessary"?

PUTNAM: Oh, absolutely not.

LEMON: For those people who say that AEG is ultimately responsible for Michael Jackson's death, how do you respond?

PHILLIPS: Oh, I'm sad -- it makes me said that it devolves to that. AEG, all we did -- we're just promoters. We put up a lot of money. You know, sometimes there aren't villains. There's just unfortunate circumstances and accidents. LEMON: Do you feel that you did everything that you could? Everything above board? Everything right? Handled it properly?

PHILLIPS: Is there a camera I can look into so the public can check if I'm telling the truth or not? Yes, absolutely. I feel a hundred percent that what happened was, you know, a terrible accident. Had it not happened. I don't know what it was. But whatever happened, OK, had it not and Michael survived, I think we would have created entertainment history with these shows. And he would have reclaimed his -- if you would like to say it, his throne as the King of Pop.