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Michael Jackson wrongful death trial underway

Michael Jackson wrongful death trial underway

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The Michael Jackson wrongful death trial is under way in Los Angeles.  The pop star's mother, Katherine Jackson, and his siblings Randy and Rebbie, were on hand for the start of the trial Monday morning. 

The Jackson family is suing AEG Live for 40-billion-dollars, blaming the concert promoters for contributing to Michael's premature death in 2009.  The trial could last three to four months and is expected to include a number of high profile witnesses, including Diana Ross, Prince and Quincy Jones. 

Representing the Jackson family, attorney Brian Panish showed the jury clips of Jackson's concert rehearsal movie "This Is It" in opening statements Monday.  Panish also addressed concerns about the singer's reliance on prescription drugs and his battle with insomnia.  

The Jackson family says AEG Live was negligent in hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to care for Michael as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts.  Murray is currently serving time for involuntary manslaughter in connection to Jackson's death.  He was convicted in 2011 for providing the pop star with a steady supply of prescription medication.  AEG Live denies hiring Murray and says he was one of a number of doctors who had treated Jackson in the past.  The company also says Jackson had a drug problem well before he entered into any agreements to perform with AEG Live. 

Fans are flocking to the L.A. courthouse in the hopes of getting to witness his wrongful-death trial up close.  Dozens of fans showed up on the first day of the trial today to jockey for two lottery seats made available to the public to watch from the gallery.  One woman told the "Los Angeles Times" she had flown in from Italy just for the chance to get close to the trial.  Fans of the late pop star are likely to show up to the courthouse throughout the trial, which is expected to last four months. 

Meanwhile, the King of Pop's daughter Paris is making headlines for spending time with her biological mother Debbie Rowe. 

"TMZ" first reported that the mother and daughter were reconnecting when they were spotted together on her 15th birthday earlier this month.  Rowe, who was married to Michael Jackson from 1996 to 1999, gave him sole custody of Paris and her older brother Prince when the children were both very young. 

According to "People," Paris and Debbie have been spending more and more time together and have the blessing of Michael's mother Katherine, who is Paris' legal guardian.  Sources tell the magazine Debbie has settled down in Palmdale, California - about an hour outside L.A. - where Paris has been spending her weekends of late.  Unlike his sister, 16-year-old Prince is reportedly not interested in forming a relationship with his biological mother.

 

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