AEG agreed to drop its claim on a $17.5 million policy with Lloyd’s of London filed shortly after Michael Jackson’s death and, in exchange, the underwriter is to drop the company from a suit it filed against AEG and Michael Jackson LLC, CNN reports.
Lloyd’s sued AEG and Michael Jackson LLC, charging they failed to turn over information about MJ’s health and drug use in 2009, as they sought to insure MJ’s 50-concert “This Is it” residency at London’s O2. Jackson died June 25, 2009.
The agreement came hard on the heels of a Los Angeles Times report that included leaked emails between AEG execs and people attached to the production, such as director Kenny Ortega. The emails, taken on their face, could suggest that there was plenty of doubt among producers and staff whether Jackson would be able to perform the shows.
“In exchange for AEG withdrawing its insurance claim, underwriters agreed to dismiss AEG from the case and to waive any costs recoverable from AEG,” Paul Schrieffer, an attorney for Lloyd’s, told CNN. “The insurance case continues against the Michael Jackson Company LLC for, among other things, rescission of the policy due to nondisclosures of Michael Jackson’s prior drug use.”
Not long before Jackson died, AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips told CNN, “He’s as healthy as he can be – no health problems whatsoever,” refuting reports the singer’s health was threatening the concerts.
But Jackson reportedly was missing rehearsals, prompting concerns about his mental and physical health. A production manager wrote: “He was a basket case. Doubt is pervasive.”
Ortega wrote to Phillips that Jackson had “strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive-like behavior” and suggested they bring a “top psychiatrist in to evaluate him ASAP.”
Lloyd’s attempted to have Jackson submit to a rigorous medical exam when he arrived in London, to no avail. According to one of the leaked emails, Dr. Conrad Murray – the physician hired by Jackson to get him through the rehearsals and residency – rejected yet another request for medical records just one hour before Jackson’s death, according to the Times.
AEG has filed motions in the wrongful death suit filed against it by Katherine Jackson, accusing her legal advisers of leaking the emails in violation of a court order, and asking the judge to make the leaked emails inadmissible in court.
The following day, Howard Mann, a one-time business associate of the Jackson matriarch, told CNN that he was the leaker and had obtained the emails through his own recently dismissed copyright battle with Katherine. Some of the emails, he said, even came from fans.