LOS ANGELES — Promoters of Michael Jackson’s planned 2009 comeback described in emails how they feared for the megastar’s stability, saying he was out of shape and consumed with self-doubt.
The Los Angeles Times obtained 250 pages of messages, most between executives at Anschutz Entertainment Group, which was financing the ill-fated “This Is It” concerts set for London. In one exchange AEG’s Randy Phillips wrote his boss that Jackson was “an emotionally paralyzed mess.” Phillips was writing from Jackson’s London hotel suite just hours before a news conference announcing the concert run.
“MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent,” Phillips said in an email to AEG President Tim Leiweke. “I (am) trying to sober him up.”
In the end, the emails show, Phillips and Jackson’s manager had to dress the pop star, the Times said.
“He is scared to death,” Phillips wrote to Leiweke.
The Times said the messages will probably play a key role in two lawsuits set for trial next year. The shows’ insurers are asking a judge to nullify a $17.5- million policy that they say AEG got with false claims about Jackson’s health and readiness to perform.