Paris Jackson’s attempted suicide came in the middle of another family drama: the Los Angeles trial centering on the Jackson family’s wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG.
Like other relatives, Paris has been personally drawn into case. She gave a pre-trial deposition in March, and was on the list of trial witnesses for Katherine Jackson’s lawyers, along with Katherine herself and Paris’s brother Prince Michael.
Also lingering was the very real possibility she’d have to take the stand – a question that takes on new sensitivity in light of her recent hospitalization. In a 911 call released Tuesday, a dispatcher said Paris cut her arm with a kitchen knife and took 20 Motrin on June 5.
“The trial has brought up the loss all over again,” says an insider. “She’s paying attention to every word of it. She’s feeling that pain all over again.”
While Jackson’s lawyers had no comment on whether they would still be calling Paris to the witness stand, Marvin Putnam, the lawyer for AEG Live (the promoter of the Michael Jackson’s planned comeback tour), said the defense was never planning on asking her to testify.
“Our intention has never been to call Paris,” said Putnam. “It was the plaintiff who announced that she was on their witness list, and even confirmed they might call her after the tragic incidents.”
But he added that if the plaintiff does ask her to testify, he “can’t say whether we’ll call her in response.”
As for speculation that the trial could have been a catalyst for the suicide attempt, Jackson lawyer Perry Sanders says he does not believe that is the case.
“Nobody would force her to do anything,” said Sanders. “I was with her both days of her deposition. She was a poised person. The deposition went fine, and Paris is a good, strong person.”
Now in its seventh week, the trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in downtown L.A concerns whether AEG Live is at fault for not properly investigating Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson’s 2009 death. Also at issue is who’s responsible for the hiring and supervising of Murray.
Last week, jurors heard from AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips, who testified that he didn’t consult a mental health professional for Jackson despite recommendations from two high-level production workers on the singer’s “This Is It” tour.
Phillips also told jurors that five days before Jackson’s death, he emailed the singer’s business manager to inform him that the singer might be in breach of his contract for the shows because he was skipping rehearsals.
• Reporting by MELODY CHIU, JD HEYMAN and JESSICA HERNDON