Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr told the panel in Los Angeles how he knew there was trouble in the singer’s rented mansion when he heard screaming upstairs and went into his father’s bedroom. His father was lying halfway off the bed, eyes rolled up into the back of his head as his physician tried CPR.
His sister Paris screamed for her father and Prince, now 16, told jurors that he was crying. On the ride to a hospital, he recounted how he tried to calm the fears of his sister and younger brother by telling them that angels were watching over their father and everything would be fine.
“Nothing will ever be the same,” the teenager told jurors. He said while his younger brother doesn’t fully realise the loss, his sister has had the hardest time of them all and he has had many sleepless nights since his father died four years ago.
The re-telling of the scene in Jackson’s bedroom came after nearly an hour of Prince describing happier times, showing photos of him and his sister when they were younger and a series of videos of the children filmed by their father.
He testified in a lawsuit accusing concert promoter AEG Live LLC of negligently hiring Murray, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.
AEG denies it hired the physician or bears any responsibility for the entertainer’s death.
Prince testified that he saw AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips at the family’s rented mansion in a heated conversation with Murray in the days before his father died. The teenager said Phillips grabbed Murray’s elbow.
Phillips “looked aggressive to me”, Prince testified.
He said he saw his father cry after phone conversations with Phillips, and wanted more time to rehearse and was unhappy with pressure to perform his 50 scheduled comeback concerts entitled This Is It.
Murray’s lawyer Valerie Wass and AEG defence lawyer Marvin S Putnam later denied outside court that the meeting Prince described ever happened.
Putnam said Prince would be re-called to the witness stand during the defence case later in the trial.
Prince also said his father gave him and Paris a stack of 100 dollars bills on a few occasions to give to Murray.
He said his understanding was the money was meant to tide Murray over until he got paid by AEG Live.
He never saw or knew how Murray was treating his father: “I was 12. To my understanding he was supposed to make sure my dad stayed healthy,” Prince testified.
Prince, his sister Paris, and brother Blanket, are plaintiffs in the case against AEG, which their grandmother and primary caretaker filed in August 2010.