By The Last Tear (Lou)
It seems that Randy Phillips had a lot of fun in the courtroom during his 8 days long testimony! It was like his butt was glued to that chair! There were several moments of laughter when some of the jurors and the public had fun too.
After all, a courtroom – with some journalists – is “a stage” – like O2 or Staples Center that AEG owns – and Randy Phillips would do anything to entertain people. This time HE was the Star of the show not Beyonce, not Timberlake and the others whom he had promoted!
How did he manage to do that?
On the one hand, he tried hard to not answer to the questions asked by Brian Panish, the plaintiffs’ attorney; he argued with Panish, teased him and pissed him off. And when Panish, angry and annoyed, asked the judge for help, Randy promised to behave and to become a good boy!
On the other hand, when Phillips answered to Marvin Putnam, AEG’s attorney, he was fluent and did not suffer from amnesia. He did not forget to cry when his lawyer showed Jackson’s Billie Jean footage! In fact, the two of them put up a fun show fine as a Vegas show! What did Phillips mean by trying to turn the trial into a farce? Probably this: “I’m the CEO! The music executive Irving Azoff is one my billionaire friends! I give you the show, I give you the artist, and without me there is no show! I’m the CEO!”
Irving Azoff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_Azoff on Wikipedia:
Irving Azoff (born December 13, 1947) is an American personal manager, representing recording artists in the music industry such as Christina Aguilera, Journey, Jewel, the Eagles, X Japan, Bush, REO Speedwagon, Seal, David Archuleta, Alter Bridge, Van Halen, 30 Seconds to Mars, Neil Diamond, New Kids on the Block, Steely Dan and New Edition. Azoff is chairman and founder of Azoff Music Management Group, Inc. In late 2008, he became chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment. He was Executive Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment until his resignation on December 31, 2012. He topped Billboard’s 2012 Power 100 and was named the most powerful person in the music industry. As of at least 2010, Azoff is also on the board of Clear Channel Communications..
Panish vs Phillips:
June 10 2013 -Day 26:
After this email is when Phillips made the “badgering” comment to Panish that prompted Judge Palazuelos’ admonition to him. (AP)
Suddenly, judge decides to take a break at 2:24 pm PT and sent jury out of the courtroom. Outside the presence of the jurors, judge admonished Phillips for not answering the questions asked. “Mr. Phillips you need to answer questions,” said Judge Yvette Palazuelos, frustrated. “Lawyers are trying to getting the answers.” Judge told Phillips that arguing with the lawyers isn’t really going to help his case, it will just lengthen his testimony. She noted his testimony is taking much longer than expected, and at this pace he will be here for another week. Phillips told the judge he’s just trying not to say the wrong things or be caught in tricky questions. Judge: It seems like they are pretty straight forward questions, but when you offer info, it may not be good for you. AEG’s attorney Jessica Bina defends Phillips saying the questions are compound, but that she believes he’s trying to answer the questions. Panish said he wants to finish today, that he hasn’t argued with the witness or judge. “I really tried hard, for me, it’s hard!” Panish said. Phillips said he understood and wants to go back to work as well. Promised to be better. (ABC7)
Jurors were sent from the courtroom before the judge addressed Phillips, who has sparred with Katherine Jackson’s attorney Brian Panish throughout his testimony. The lawyers have been repeatedly warned by the judge about the behavior. “Arguing with the lawyers isn’t really going to help,” Palazuelos told Phillips on Monday. “It’s not going to help your case. It’s not going to help anybody.” Phillips said Panish was repeatedly asking him questions about the same subject. “I’m just trying not to say the wrong thing,” Phillips said. (AP)
June 13, 2013- Day 29:
Panish asked Phillips if the exec used derogatory terms to refer to Mrs. Jackson, like the B word. He said no.
Panish referred back to the meeting at the Polo Lounge between Randy Phillips and Dr. Tohme. Phillips and Panish argued about the fact that Phillips said Panish was following him around with photographers. Phillips said it was Panish who told him that, and Panish replied he never said it. Panish: Did you point to me and accused me of following you at the Polo Lounge? Phillips: Yes, I speculated, yes, yes. Panish: You will say anything, won’t you? Phillips: That’s outrageous! Panish asked if Phillips thought he was still following him. He responded he didn’t know, he’s not sure what Panish is capable of . (ABC7).
Jackson lawyer Brian Panish, who has been previously told by the judge not to argue with witnesses, quickly tangled with Phillips.
“Please don’t argue with me because then I will argue back and get in trouble,” Panish told Phillips at one point.
“Then that’s an incentive for me,” Phillips joked. (CNN)
June 14, – Day 30:
Panish concluded his questioning. Putnam was back at it. Phillips joked: Your honor, is this really over after this? Courtroom laughed (ABC7)
Putnam vs Phillips:
June 11, 2013- Day 27:
After lunch break, Putnam asked Phillips if he met with his attorney over lunch hour. All the jurors laughed loud. This is how Panish begins after lunch.
Putnam: Did they show you any documents?
Phillips: Just the menu (ABC7)
After the lunch break, defense attorney Marvin Putnam asked Phillips a few questions that Panish likes to ask after every break. Putnam: “Did you meet with your attorneys over lunch?” (the jury laughed.) Phillips said yes. Putnam: “Did they show you any documents?” (Another question Panish often asks.) Phillips: “Just the menu.” There was more laughter. (AP).
 I think I know what MJ died of and this would exonerate Conrad. “Brenda had called me to tell me that she was in communication with Michael either through a medium or directly,” Phillips testified. Panish objected: triple hearsay! Courtroom bursted into laughter. Phillips said Michael told Brenda that it wasn’t Dr. Murray’s fault and he had killed himself. “I told you it was weird,” Phillips expressed. Putnam asked why he didn’t tell LAPD what Brenda said. “I didn’t want to be in that straight jacket Dan was talking about,” Phillips said. Phillips clarified he didn’t think it was relevant information. (ABC7)
In fact, Randy Phillips CV is im-press-ive; he told it on June 11, 2013 when he answered to Putnam. He also said:
“I’m Schmoozer in Chief,” he said. A few jurors smiled  A salesman (AP), “I’m like manager’s promoter  (ABC 7)
But on June 13, we learned that he is flat footed – that is why he sales show without performing it himself – also that he probably suffers from constipation too:
“I didn’t know what Propofol was at the time,” Phillips explained. All Phillips knew about Propofol was when he was administered it during a colonoscopy (ABC7).
Well, let’s be serious now and see what more the flat footed Schmoozer in Chief of AEG Live said during his testimony!
Phillips was asked many times about Tohme Tohme during his testimony. First, he said that he did not know Tohme. He added that the man had a foreign accent and was Colony Capital’s business associate.
Gradually, we find out that Tohme was in fact the only connection between Michael Jackson and Randy Phillips. We also hear how Tohme helped Phillips on the press conference day in London to get Jackson ready for the announcement (see below the quotes, June 5). Then we discover that Phillips and Co. were pissed off because Jackson had fired Tohme. The man with a foreign accent was supposed to fix the insurance deal for Jackson and AEG Live! We get back later to the insurance problematic when we talk about Murray.
Phillips and AEG were also annoyed because the people in Jackson’s camp were changing all the time; no manager, no lawyer. “A nightmare” Phillips called it! Finally, Frank Dileo came in as Jackson’s artistic manager while Tohme who was back again, would take care of the rest of the work.
The interesting part is when Phillips almost said that the two managers did not get along very well; Phillips advised them to get to know each other by having breakfast or lunch! It seemed to Panish that even Phillips acted a little like the Jackson’s manager!
And then we find out that Phillips and Tohme met recently in a restaurant in Beverly Hills and talked about the case Estate vs Tohme, according to Phillips. Also Phillips had been the Estate witness in the Estate vs Tohme case. Actually, Phillips said that Tohme “was not a traditional music manager” that is why Phillips testified before the Labor Commission. Michael Jackson Estate hopes to convince the Labor Commission that Tohme is a fake manager therefore all the “deals” he made with Jackson and on his behalf should be annulled.
The thing is the collaboration between Jackson and AEG Live was planned at AEG level. When Tom Barrack bailed out Neverland and paid some of Jackson’s debts to the Bahraini prince, he gained some power over the star (2008). Jackson had to pay him back. Barrack suggested that Jackson performed in one of Barrack’s hotels in Las Vegas, that he got rid of Neverland because it was “toxic” for the artist’s reputation and that the star had an interview with Oprah Winfrey to tell that he had taken distance from his past (see this blog).
Evidently, Jackson did not agree with this suggestion. Then Barrack came with the AEG / AEG Live proposition which looked more interesting to Jackson. In fact, this new plan could revive Jackson’s carrier which was one of Michael’s hopes when he went back to the States in December 2006.
To show you that our statements about Barrack, Jackson and AEG are correct, please read a part of Phillips testimony on June 5. This quote confirms what this blog has always said about Colony, AEG and Jackson:
Q. Now, sir, you would agree that it was tom barrack from colony capital, is the real reason youhad Michael Jackson ; correct?
Q. Ok. Exhibit 8111. June 22nd, 2009, e-mail. Show that to defense. We have to give them acopy first. You can look at that if you like. Would you like a copy also, sir?
A. Yes, please.
Q. Be happy to.
A. Thank you.
Q. You can read it in the meantime, if you can. Is that big enough for you?
Q. Ok. But you’ll get a copy, so just to kind of speed it up. Ok. I’m handing you exhibit 8111, ane-mail chain. The top e-mail, June 22nd, 2009 see that before, sir?
A. Would you let me read it, please?
A. Ok. Yes.
Q. Ok. Well, let’s look at the second from the top e-mail. Is that an e-mail that you wrote; sir?
A. That is correct.
Q. Ok. Can you read for us first of all, you agree that Mr. Anschutz is a close friend of tom barrack; right?
A. Yeah. You asked me that already. I don’t know about friends, they were business associates.
Q. Ok. Why don’t you read what you wrote, sir?
A. Ok. In response to a request for tickets to one of Michael Jackson ‘s shows just trying not to take it out of context. I want to give it context.
Q. Sir, could you please
“it would probably be tacky to not comp him since he is the real reason we have MJ tell him we have comp’d seats and offer him a suite at some hard cost charge. Phil a will be there, and they are close friends.”
Q. Ok. You’re referring to Mr. Barrack, aren’t you, sir?
A. Yes, I am.
Q. Ok. And you said, “Mr. Barrack is the real reason we have MJ” did you say that, sir?
A. Yeah, I did. In context.
Q. And did you say him and Phil are close friends?
A. I did.
Q. And is “Phil a” Mr. Anschutz?
Q. The goal for the 02 was to go after a handful of worldwide superstars and convince them to do residence there; correct?
.Q. And Michael Jackson was at the top of that list?
A. Well, let me just say one thing; ok? The 02 is not just an arena for residencies. We have plenty of one-off shows there.
Q. Ok. So let’s play what you said in interview 85-c, a video clip of an interview of the witness.
Since Barrack had invested in “Michael Jackson” – a genius artist who still owned very lucrative assets – he needed to have an eye on his investment. Tohme got in and took over Jackson’s life.
The reason Tohme was back later is that Colony was and still is in the picture; also because of the deals Jackson signed with Tohme. By firing Tohme, Jackson could diminish Tohme’s actions but could not fire him completely because of the agreements the star signed with Colony and Tohme himself.
In 2008, the meetings with AEG Live ended with a deal which was mostly oral. Jackson signed a pre agreement but never a final contract with AEG Live.
AEG Live advanced Jackson with $5 million. Jackson paid $ 3 million to the Bahraini Prince – in order to sign with AEG Live, Jackson had to free himself from that lawsuit. The rest of the money was used to begin with the show which became This Is It.
According to Tohme’s and Dileo’s contracts, AEG Live had to pay them for their services. Brian Panish pointed out that no promoter would do such thing and this would create a conflict of interest. Phillips was not entirely OK with this statement. He added that Jackson worked always like this, that he was not the only one; Bon Jovi had a similar deal too.
What is most interesting in the chapter of managers, in our opinion, is that Jackson seemed to act differently before he died. In the past, he used to change people who worked for him in order to protect himself. He knew that many were after to take the control of his life that is why he fired people and hired new ones.
But some weeks before his death, he associated Dileo with Tohme to work together. In order to get their salary, they had to fulfill some conditions defined by the artist. It almost looks like Jackson hoped Dileo would take care of Tohme and let the artist be in peace. Had the star lived, he would probably nullify the agreements he signed with Tohme.
Another interesting move that Jackson made, in our opinion, was that he rehired John Branca on June 18, 2009. Did he think that Branca would take care of AEG Live? Sadly, Jackson passed and could not reach his goals.
To be continued:
Next part: Randy Phillips Testimony – Conrad from Vegas and more
June 4, 2013:
Panish: Did you learn Colony Capital purchase note on Neverland? Phillips: Yes BP: Is Barrack one of principals on Colony Capital? RP: Yes. On 6/13/08, Phillips sent email to Colony Capital with a summation of plans for MJ for four years. Email: I caution you that MJ is not fast and a total perfectionist (needs to be controlled as much as possible). Phillips said he was referring to MJ’s spending. (ABC7)
Panish: Neverland was his beloved home, right sir? Phillips: Hard to answer, because of the things MJ told me. (ABC7)
When the executive appeared to crack a smile, Panish asked if he thought the proceedings were funny. “No, I think it’s tragic.” Phillips replied. (AP) Panish: Do you think any of this is funny, sir? Phillips: No, I think it’s tragic (ABC7)
Tohme Tohme was a business associate with Colony Capital, who was also working with MJ. Panish asked if Phillips thought there was a conflict of interest with Tohme working for Colony and MJ. He said no. (ABC7)
June 5, 2013:
Phillips said he didn’t know anything about Dr. Tohme in January 09 other than he was a consultant for Colony Capital and repped MJ. (ABC7)
“With Michael Jackson and his advisers you needed a scorecard,” testified Randy Phillips. Phillips said he was introduced to Tohme in a meeting at the Century City offices of Colony Capital, the investment firm that held the mortgage on Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. It was AEG owner Phillip Anschutz’s friendship with a Colony Capital partner that led to the firm’s promotion of the planned 50 “This Is It” concerts at the 02 Arena in London. Phillips said Tohme was an adviser to Colony Capital who had no background in the music business and represented no other clients when he began working with the singer. Brian Panish, the attorney for Jackson’s mother and three children in an ongoing wrongful death suit against AEG, asked Phillips what kind of doctor Tohme was, whether he was a physician or if he had a doctorate. Phillips said that although he had met this doctor 25 times, he never asked him. (LATimes)
June 5, 2013:
Phillips testified it was a “miracle” that the singer showed up at a news conference in London to announce his comeback. Randy Phillips testified that Jackson was hung over, although in emails he says the singer was drunk. “The fact that the press conference even happened is a miracle,” Phillips wrote to Jackson’s manager. In another email he wrote to Tim Leiweke, then-chief executive of parent company Anschutz Entertainment Group, Phillips said: “MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent. Tohme [another Jackson manager] and I are trying to sober him up and get him to the press conference with his hairdresser/make-up artist.”
In a second email to Leiweke, Phillips wrote: “I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking. Tohme and I have dressed him and they are finishing his hair and then we are rushing to the O2. This is the scariest thing I have ever see. He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time. He is scared to death. Right now I just want to get through his press conference.”
In another email Phillips wrote to a business partner: “I haven’t pulled it off yet. We still have to get his nose on propery (sic). You have no idea what this is like. He is a self-loathing, emotionally paralyzed mess.” (LATimes)
“Was Mr. Jackson drunk?” Panish asked.
“No, to the best of my knowledge no,” Phillips testified.
“Was he despondent?” Panish asked. “No,” Phillips replied.
Later Panish produced an e-mail writted by Phillips to AEG President Tim Leiwicke the day of the news conference.
“MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” Phillips wrote. “Tohme (Jackson’s manager) and I are trying to sober him up and get him to the press conference.”
“Are you kidding me?” Leiwicke responds.
“I screamed at him so loud the walls are shaking. Tohme and I have dressed him and they are finishing his hair and then we are rushing him to the O2. This is the scariest thing I have ever seen, he is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is showtime. He is scared to death. Right now I just want to get through this press conference,” Phillips writes.
After showing the e-mail to the jury, Panish asked his witness if he had yelled at Jackson on the day the e-mail was written.
“In the two-and-a-half hours this all took place, if you take it out of context the answer won’t make any sense,” Phillips said.
The executive later acknowledged “I raised my voice”.
“So the answer is no? Did you or did you not scream at Mr. Jackson? Yes, no or I don’t remember?” Panish asked.
Phillips said he couldn’t answer the question. (CBSLA) (An attorney for AEG told KCAL9 he will show there are no inconsistencies in Phillips’ accounts when he calls witnesses to the stand.)
At his deposition six months ago, before he was shown his e-mails, Phillips denied that Jackson was either drunk or despondent on the day of the president conference, and denied yelling at The Gloved One, saying he merely “raised his voice.”
Phillips says he was telling the truth in his deposition, and was not accurate in his email. “I was relaying what Dr. Tohme told me… I wrote it as fast as I could write it.”
Panish said, “You have to yell pretty loud to make the walls shake. Do you have a tendency to exaggerate?”
Phillips said, “No.”
To another business associate, Phillips wrote: “I haven’t pulled it off yet. We still have to get his nose on properly. You have no idea what this is like. He is a self-loathing emotionally paralyzed mess… I just slapped him.”Phillips admitted, “I slapped him on the butt.” (NYPost)
Phillips said he had lunch with Dr. Tohme in Beverly Hills within the past month. Panish asked if Phillips discussed Dr. Tohme’s testimony. Phillips said he didn’t, but Marvin Putnam, AEG’s attorney, was also present. Phillips said they discussed something regarding Dr. Tohme’s case against MJ’s estate. He said he doesn’t remember talking about this case. (ABC7) Phillips was asked about a lunch meeting he had with Jackson’s former manager Tohme Tohme about a month ago. AEG attorney was present too. Phillips said he didn’t directly discuss Tohme’s possible testimony in the Jackson vs AEG Live case. Phillips said he testified in a Labor Commission hearing over Tohme’s claim against Michael Jackson’s estate. Plaintiff’s attorney Brian Panish said he would had a witness who could testify about what was discussed at the table later in the trial. Panish asked Phillips if he testified at Tohme’s Labor Commission hearing to “try to help him out.” Phillips said no. “I was completely impartial,” Phillips said of testifying at the labor hearing. “I was an impartial witness.” (AP) (After court, AEG attorney Marvin Putnam, who was at the lunch meeting, said it was standard for attorneys to interview witnesses before they testify. It remains unclear whether Tohme Tohme will testify during the Jackson vs AEG Live trial. (AP))
The Jacksons’ attorney brought the courtroom to attention when he asked Phillips if he met with Tohme at the Polo Lounge recently. Phillips said they had lunch there about a month ago. “And you were discussing his testimony in this case at the Polo Lounge with him?” Panish asked. “I wasn’t,” Phillips said. “You know there were witnesses sitting around you?” Panish said. “You know people took pictures of you? Phillips said he didn’t remember exactly what was discussed. “I don’t remember what I ate,” he said. “I didn’t ask you what you ate,” snapped Panish. Phillips said the meeting had to do with the case Tohme filed against Jackson’s estate with the state labor board for money he was never paid. Phillips was a witness. (LATimes)
Panish: Isn’t it true, sir, that when Dr. Murray was hired no one was acting as MJ’s personal manager? Phillips: He had someone in that capacity. My understanding Frank DiLeo was his manager. Phillips said AEG advanced DiLeo $50,000 at MJ’s direction. “We never hired Dr. Murray,” Phillips said. (ABC7)
Randy Phillips was also asked about Tohme’s $100k/mo. contract between him, AEG Live and Michael Jackson. Phillips said he could recall of only one other instance where AEG Live paid fee for artist’s manager. He said it was a standard practice for Michael Jackson during his career. Phillips said Bon Jovi has a similar deal. (AP) Phillips said in MJ’s career they always paid his personal manager. Phillips recalls AEG paying artist’s manager 1 other time, for Bon Jovi (ABC7)
Panish later showed Phillips an agreement in which AEG agreed to pay Tohme $100,000 a month and asked if that was common practice, even though the manager is supposed to represent the performer, not the promoter. “In Michael Jackson’s case it was standard,” Phillips said. Panish persisted, and Phillips said AEG’s payments to Jon Bon Jovi’s manager were the only other time it had made a similar arrangement. He also said two of Jackson’s attorneys helped draft the agreement. (LATimes)
June 11, 2013:
Much of the questioning centered on Jackson’s manager relationships and “This is It” production costs. Panish focused on a letter that Phillips sent to Jackson’s former manager Tohme Tohme on June 28, 2009, three days after MJ died. The letter, signed by Tohme, was to confirm the Michael Jackson Co. was responsible for all the production costs for “This Is It.” (AP)
After MJ died, Phillips said Jackson’s costs had exceeded $7.5 million. MJ was responsible for production costs, according to the contract. Phillips said he was not sure if MJ was the sole signatory to approve the costs or if Dr. Tohme had power of attorney as well. On the contract, it said the undersigned Dr. Tohme Tohme represents and warrants that he is an officer of the Artist. Phillips said he didn’t have any information that anyone else could sign and approve the expenses on behalf of MJ. (ABC7)
Panish also showed Phillips a letter signed by Michael Jackson on May 5, 2009, terminating Tohme’s authorization to act on his behalf. Randy Phillips said on June 28, 2009, he wasn’t sure whether Tohme had authority to act on Jackson’s behalf or not. Tohme signed and returned the authorization to AEG Live, but Phillips said he didn’t know how quickly that happened. (AP)
Phillips said he received a note where MJ said Dr. Tohme was no longer his representative. Panish: Did you get anything confirming that Dr. Tohme was back in as an agent?
Phillips: No (ABC7)
AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips was also asked whether he ever saw a signed agreement for Frank Dileo to work as Jackson’s manager. Plaintiff’s attorney Brian Panish showed a May 2, 2009 letter signed by Jackson indicating that Dileo was one of his representatives. The letter included the curious phrasing that Dileo could conduct business on Jackson’s behalf “only when instructed.” AEG exec Paul Gongaware wrote Phillips: “This is a bit strange. “Only when instructed”? How are we to know?” Phillips replied that they’d need a signed contract or letter with Jackson authorizing that Dileo could be paid a $50k advance. Gongaware replied, “We just sign off and pray.” That led Panish to question if that’s how AEG did business. Phillips said no. (AP)
As to Frank DiLeo: Phillips said Frank DiLeo asked AEG to advance him $50,000, and he believes MJ approved it.
Phillips wrote in an email: “I think we need to, but I am not sure how without a contract in place or MJ directing us to via signed letter.”
“We just sign off and pray,” Gongaware responded.
“But what we apply it against,” Phillips wrote back. Phillips cont’d: “I think we need MJ to acknowledge for our record and direct us. You know he has amnesia (ABC 7).
The lawyer showed Phillips emails in which Kathy Jorrie, an attorney working for AEG, expressed doubt about Tohme. She said she was concerned and whether he was “the real McCoy.” She also recommended a background check on Tohme. Phillips said he trusted Tohme based on how he treated Michael Jackson. He said he thought at the time, he did a “phenomenal job.” (AP)
June 13, 2013:
Phillips said Colony Capital, a real estate investment company, got involved with MJ’s finance. They purchased the note of Neverland from a bank for $23 million and MJ wanted to start his career again and make money. Colony asked for a meeting with Phillips. That’s where he learned about Dr. Tohme, who Phillips says was MJ’s manager at the time. Meeting happened in 2008 at the bar of the Bel Air Hotel at the request of Dr. Tohme. “The most pressing thing for him, Michael, at that time, he was fixating in getting a house for him and his children, Phillips said. “He didn’t want to live in other people’s house anymore,” Phillips expressed. (ABC7)