Michael Jackson's chef talks confrontation at singer's home
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Powerful testimony continued Wednesday in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial as a member of the pop star's staff talked about an angry confrontation in the Jackson home. The testimony came after jurors saw part of a taped deposition from one of Jackson's children.
The singer was pressured to perform, according to the claim filed by his mother, Katherine Jackson. The suit blames his tour producer, AEG Live, for making excessive demands on the singer and his doctor, Conrad Murray.
For the first time, the jury heard about a confrontation at the Jackson home between AEG executives, Jackson and the doctor.
Jackson's personal chef, Kai Chase, testified she served snacks at the meeting, did not hear the discussion, but did witness the fallout. She said Murray cursed as he stormed out and said he didn't have to take it.
A vase was broken, Chase said, though she couldn't say how. She testified that Jackson was wrapped in layers of clothes and, in her opinion, there was fear in his eyes.
Chase testified that Jackson once told her that he was tired and that he said, "They are killing me. They are working me too hard."
AEG's lawyer asked Chase if she took it literally and pointed out that Jackson didn't die of exhaustion, but from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.
Chase replied, "I just took it for what he said."
Chase testified that despite Jackson's complaint about laboring to prepare for the tour, she said she never got the impression he was trying to avoid it.
Chase's credibility was raised Tuesday after she told the jury about former Jackson nanny Grace Rwamba, who she said was beloved by the family. The defense played part of a video deposition from Jackson's daughter, Paris, in which she said her dad didn't like Rwamba and that the nanny once snuck into his hotel room.
"She would call the hotel and say she was his wife. She was obsessed with him," Paris Jackson said. "She'd call and say she was his wife. And they'd let her in, and he'd wake up and she'd be like in his bed... kind of creepy."
The 15-year-old was answering questions from AEG attorneys on March 21, two months before her apparent suicide attempt.
The loss of her father is a component of the lawsuit filed against the entertainment company. According to court documents, general damages sought are in excess of $50 million for each of Jackson's three children and their grandmother.
There's no word on when the jury will hear more from Paris.