Judge rules that 'This Is It' rehearsal clips cannot be seen by jury
Unseen rehearsal footage from Michael Jackson‘s ill-fated This Is It gigs will not be shown at the trial of the doctor accused of his manslaughter, Conrad Murray.
Prosecutors wanted the footage to be included because they claim it showed that the singer was energetic before his death and eager to begin to start a series of London shows at the time.
Judge Pastor decided against its inclusion after reviewing 12 to 16 hours of raw footage of the self-styled King Of Pop, who died from an overdose of a powerful anaesthetic used as a sleeping aid in 2009.
Attorneys for Sony Pictures Entertainment, which owns the film, had been opposed to the clips being screened, calling it a “big waste of time”.
Judge Pastor commented:
There is absolutely nothing in those materials that could have been of assistance to the defense.
Deputy District Attorney David Walgren said the footage “demonstrated that Michael Jackson was optimistic, engaged, confident, physically well” at the time of the rehearsals.
Murray‘s lawyers have also asked Judge Pastor to consider isolating the jury at the trial because of fears that the massive media coverage could influence them.
Meanwhile, a row has broken out among members of the Jackson family over plans for a tribute concert to the singer at Cardiff‘s Millennium Stadium on October 8.
Jermaine and Randy Jackson have labelled the gig “inappropriate” and “ill-timed”, while the singer’s mother Katherine, sister La Toya and brothers Tito, Marlon and Jackie are all thought to be behind the event.